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Blackshear awarded National Council's "Up and Coming Leadership Award"

March 24, 2011
by News release
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San Diego — Mark Blackshear, Youth Leadership Trainer at Mental Health Systems’ Caring Helpers leadership training program, was recognized for the “Up and Coming Leadership Award” by the National Council. Each year, the National Council recognizes the best and brightest behavioral health care professionals in the nation through its Awards of Excellence program. The National Council Awards of Excellence honorees exemplify the important work that is being done across the nation to benefit children, adults and families with mental illness and addiction disorders.

The “Up and Coming Leadership Award” was created to recognize emerging leaders in the behavioral health care industry whose enthusiasm and passion for their work inspires others entering the workforce. The recipient of the “Up and Coming Leadership” award has been recognized by their superiors as someone who has proven their abilities, has growth potential, and who brings passion and excellence to their job. Thirteen individuals and organizations will be presented with National Council Awards of Excellence on May 3, 2011, during the 41st National Council Conference in San Diego, CA.

Caring Helpers is one of the 90 community-based mental health programs run by Mental Health Systems. The program was developed to provide mentoring and training for youth and adults to allow them to become outstanding leaders in their own communities.

Blackshear started as Youth Leadership Trainer at Caring Helpers in 2007. He specializes in the creation of character development and leadership training courses, and trains approximately 2,000 youth and adults each year in youth development and leadership skills. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences and programs across California for topics relating to youth issues. In addition to his numerous accomplishments, Mark coaches track and field, volunteers as a ministry leader and serves as a mentor for the Foster Youth Mentor Program of San Diego County.

“Mark truly represents up and coming leadership in behavioral health care,” said Kim Bond, President of Mental Health Systems. “The care and commitment to his job that he demonstrates each day make him a role model to his colleagues in the program as well as the youth that he serves. We are very proud of him.” With 1,800 member organizations, the National Council is the unifying voice of America’s behavioral health organizations. Through public policy advocacy, education and practice improvement programs, National Council member organizations serve the nation’s most vulnerable citizens—more than eight million adults and children with mental illnesses and addiction disorders.