Locals Receive NAMI Statewide Awards
At the recent annual North Carolina conference of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Sgt. Robert Cardwell, Dr. Fernando Cobos, and Mary Griffin received awards.
Cardwell, training coordinator for the Moore County Sheriff's Office, was nominated by NAMIMoore County for the statewide Advocate of the Year Award for the work he has done for the last two years and continues to do with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.
This program teaches law enforcement officers how to appropriately deal with people with severe mental illness and divert them from the criminal justice system into treatment when possible.
The award is given to an "individual who has had a significant impact on the lives of people living with mental illness and their families in a local community." Cardwell serves on the Sandhills Center CIT Committee and the North Carolina CIT Advisory Committee, and is a member of the newly founded CIT International.
Dr. Cobos, medical director of substance abuse and outpatient services at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, received the Mental Health Professional of the Year Award for his many contributions to NAMI-MC's programs and his work with those who suffer a brain illness. He treats patients of all ages and has established a great rapport and reputation with adolescents that are experiencing mental illness and/or substance abuse or both.
As a U.S. Army reservist, Cobos has served two tours in Iraq and has offered his time and experience to NAMI-MC members, their families and the community to help cope with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how to effectively deal with this illness.
Cobos goes above and beyond his duties at FirstHealth to be supportive of both his patients and family members and has the reputation of being "the people's doctor," a spokesman for NAMI-Moore County said.
The Pilot received NAMI-NC's Media Award, this time to honor former staff writer Mary Griffin for her numerous and lengthy articles on NAMI-MC activities during the past year. She wrote lengthy articles to highlight NAMI-MC's speakers for its 2007 and 2008 "Pathway to Awareness" Weekends -- one on Pete Earley and the latest on actor Joe Pantoliano.
She continued the series with stories on Dr. Mary Mandell and Dr. Fernando Cobos, who participated in the "Ask the Psychiatrist" portion of its Sunday activities.
Later in the year, Griffin wrote about the first weeklong Crisis Intervention Team training.
"These awardees in his or her own unique specialty have helped our fellow citizens understand brain diseases better, which lessens the stigma associated with mental illness," said Marianne Kernan, president of NAMI-MC. "Their outstanding efforts working with NAMI have enlightened the public as to where family members can come for support, education, and advocacy to enhance the lives of our loved ones who suffer with a brain disease."
Anyone needing more information about NAMI-Moore County can call 295-1053 or visit www.nami-moorecounty.org.
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