2011 Mental Health Champions

Toni Jordan’s passion for helping others overcome the chains of addiction and travel the road to recovery is rooted in her own struggle to change her life. The result for Toni is a career demonstrating compassion, understanding and encouragement for clients of the Queen of Peace Center in St. Louis. Today, Toni is employed full time in a research study conducted collaboratively by Queen of Peace Center and St. Louis University. She is also enrolled in the Human Services Program at Forest Park Community College, pursuing an Associate Degree. She plans to expand her services to women in recovery. For the women at Queen of Peace Center and anyone in recovery, Toni Jordan provides them an example of determination to succeed. She also provides them hope.

Watch a video about Toni.

Jim Rennison helped bring about a strong advocacy organization in the greater Sedalia area through his tenacity and ability to see an opportunity where others saw obstacles. For the past 10 years, Jim has been President of the Association for Persons with Disabilities, an organization he helped to form from three other local advocacy organizations that were struggling to survive. Jim has helped to shape a very diverse board of directors for the Association as he seeks members who are familiar with the people served, as well as the service delivery system. Under Jim’s leadership, the Association continues to help fund therapies, adaptive equipment, summer camp and recreational activities that enhance the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Watch a video about Jim.

After years of turmoil, Mickie McDowell was finally diagnosed with mental illness in 1995. She made the decision at that time to get control of her life. Through appropriate treatment, intense determination, desire and hard work, she overcame her mental illness and now proudly shares her recovery with those still struggling. Her goal, she says, is to “be a living billboard promoting that recovery can happen.” Mickie is a Certified Missouri Peer Specialist, a Certified Recovery Educator and a Licensed Procovery Forum Facilitator. Her credentials are well earned as she has transformed her own experiences into a message of hope and of action for others.

Watch a video about Mickie.