The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southern Santa Barbara County chapter and the Mental Wellness Center recognized Lynne Gibbs, a dedicated mental health advocate, with the Eldridge Advocacy Award. Gibbs was presented with the award at a special celebration ceremony on August 18th held at the Mental Wellness Center’s Fellowship Club.
NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County and the Mental Wellness Center created the Eldridge Advocacy Award to recognize NAMI members who exhibit extraordinary devotion to upholding NAMI ideals through their advocacy on behalf of people living with mental health disorders and their families.
Gibbs is a NAMI member and the newly appointed Chair of the local chapter’s Public Policy Committee. She has been an advocate at the national, state and local levels and was instrumental in the multi-year effort to bring “Laura’s Law” to Santa Barbara County, which provides treatment to people who are living with mental illness and are unable to recognize that they need treatment.
“Lynne’s public advocacy is fueled and informed by her faithful contacts with family members, especially those whose loved ones are not getting services appropriate to their needs, often with tragic results,” said Jan Winter, a local NAMI member who has worked closely with Gibbs for many years.
“Ann Eldridge has been my confidant, my essential mentor and my fine friend for many years; her accomplishments in mental health advocacy for clients and families are legendary. Given Ann’s distinction, only the most outstanding advocate deserves the Ann Eldridge Advocacy award, and especially the first such award: Lynne Gibbs is that advocate.”
In addition to her service with NAMI National and the local chapter, Gibbs is a volunteer for the Mental Wellness Center’s Education Course and volunteers at the Ventura County Help Line. She serves on many other committees through the County of Mental Health, Crisis Action Team, Forensic Teams, HART, ACT Committee, and the Sheriff’s Department Committees.
Gibbs and her husband, Tony, live in Ojai.
For more information about the Mental Wellness Center or NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County, please call (805) 884-8440 or visit www.mentalwellnesscenter.org.
About the Mental Wellness Center
The Mental Wellness Center is a private, non-profit organization providing recovery, education, and support services for individuals affected by mental illness including youth, adults, families and the community.
About NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County is a program of the Mental Wellness Center in Santa Barbara and an affiliate of NAMI California. NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County’s dedicated volunteers, members and leaders work tirelessly to raise awareness and provide essential education, advocacy and support group programs for people in our community living with mental illness and their loved ones.