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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Truly EPIC Organization

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Truly EPIC Organization

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More used to giving awards than receiving (although I am an official Duke of Paducah, but thatís a story for a different day), I was somewhat surprised when my local Mental Health Association announced my name as one of their annual EPIC award recipients. Since the organization means a heck of a lot to me and so many other family caregivers, I am grateful, surprised and honored.

This will be the 18th consecutive year that the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Southeast Florida will honor recipients of the Exceptional People Impacting the Community (EPIC) Awards and I am in some pretty heady company.

The other recipients of the EPIC award are doing much of the hands-on support for those living with mental health challenges in our community. They are: Kristine Carleson of Rebel Drop-In Center, Memorial Hospital; Kathy London of Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center, Curtis Walker of Taskforce Fore Ending Homelessness and Gail and Chuck Stambaugh of The Seth Line.

We always invite the local mental health organizations to our Fearless Caregiver Conferences because our ability to care for our loved ones is so often affected by their mental health and well-being.

There are three other reasons that I will be overwhelmed this coming Wednesday at the awards luncheon.

First, is how the work of the MHA has affected my own family. My Uncle Mikey, who I adored, returned home from Vietnam a changed man and, as in all issues dealing with mental health, it affected the entire extended family.

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