She’ll be recognized in Brooklyn Park on Nov. 10

    Each year the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health recognizes individuals who have had a significant, positive influence in the lives of children with mental health needs, and among this year’s trio of recipients of the Outstanding Service Award is Crookston’s Brenda Mack, who was a longtime leader at Northwestern Mental Health Center in Crookston before recently becoming a faculty member at Bemidji State University.

    The Outstanding Service Award is open to educators, mental health professionals, social workers, physicians, juvenile justice professionals, administrators, community advocates, parents, caregivers and other public servants who have shown extraordinary achievement and/or leadership in the field of children’s mental health. Mack and the other two award recipients will be celebrated at MACMH’s Evening of Heart, Silent Auction and Award Gala on Friday, Nov. 10 at the Edinburgh USA Golf Course in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

    “The Northwestern Mental Health Center is excited to celebrate this award of Outstanding Service for Brenda Mack, (MSW, LICSW) who until recently worked for the NWMHC,” NWMHC Director Shauna Reitmeeir told the Times. “Because of her dedication, children and families in our region have greater access to quality mental health services.”   

    The Outstanding Service Award recognizes individuals who have met most of the following criteria:

    • Engaged in efforts that raise awareness about infant and/or children’s mental health

    • Provided a lasting contribution to the infant and/or children’s mental health field

    • Demonstrated compassion for children with mental health disorders and their families

    • Developed or implemented creative, successful prevention or early intervention programs for infants or children

    • Advocated on behalf of children with mental health needs

    • Demonstrating dedication to helping children with mental health disorders succeed academically and socially

    • Developed and/or implemented innovative, successful methods of collaborating with those involved in the life of a child with mental health disorders

    • Educated, trained, motivated, mentored peers regarding infant and/or children’s mental health

    • Contributed to the body of knowledge surrounding children’s mental health

    Here’s what the MACMH had to say about Mack in its announcement:

    “A pioneer for children and families in the northwest region of the state, Brenda Mack served as Director of Children’s Services at Northwestern Mental Health Center in Crookston, Minnesota, for 21 years. Committed to breaking down the various barriers that remote communities often face in accessing quality mental health services, she built lasting relationships with professionals in the field to better meet children’s mental health needs throughout the organization’s rural six-county area. At Northwestern Mental Health Center, Brenda took a lead role in creating what now is a school-based mental health program that serves 21 school districts, including a Native American reservation. This program has bolstered accessibility to mental health services by providing therapy, assessments and skills-building classes for students free of cost to families who are uninsured or underinsured and who have limited access to transportation. A passionate and proven leader, Brenda excels at integrating theory and practice, bringing together children and service providers in mutual dialogue to deliver shared strategies that result in long-lasting change.”