Missouri Mental Health Director Receives National Award

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The National Council for Behavioral Health recognized Dr. Keith Schafer, Director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, with the Inspiring Hope Award on Tuesday evening, May 6, at the Awards of Excellence ceremony in Washington DC.

Schafer was honored for his 27 years of service to the mental health field and for improving the lives of thousands of people with mental and substance use disorders. Specifically noted was his ability to connect data and metrics with real-life stories of recovery which has helped sustain essential services in Missouri.

“Dr. Schafer and his team are tireless in their efforts to serve some of our most vulnerable citizens, and to improve the quality of life for all Missourians,” said. Gov. Jay Nixon. “Today, Missouri is a better, healthier and safer state because of the work of Dr. Schafer and we are grateful for his continued service.”

“The Awards of Excellence pay tribute to those individuals and organizations that honor our legacy by their selflessness and their service,” said Linda Rosenburg, President and CEO of the National Council. “The honorees are our heroes, they have turned private pain into public passion, focused on people’s gifts and abilities not their disabilities, and blended business sense and common sense into community-based solutions,” she added.

Schafer was chosen for the Inspiring Hope award from a large pool of nominations by an independent panel of mental health leaders. As an award recipient, Schafer will receive a grant of $10,000 to go to a non-profit organization of his choice. Schafer has designated his grant go to the Missouri Mental Health Foundation.

For more information go to the National Council’s press release at http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/press-releases/inspiring-hope-awards-recognize-excellence-mental-health/.

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Keith and Cathy Schafer
Keith and Cathy Schafer at the National Council for Behavioral Health – Awards of Excellence ceremony in Washington DC, May 6, 2014.