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Tony Hoffman Community Mental Health Service Awards
Presented by Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission

Article

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission’s Tony Hoffman Awards recognize individuals, professionals, businesses, or media representatives who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with mental illness and the San Mateo County community. Recognition is given for public education or advocacy to promote mental health awareness and needs or to address stigma, services to persons with mental illness, creation of new and innovative programs or community support activities, recognition of fundraising for mental health activities or long-term financial support to mental health programs, working for new mental health legislation, and compassionate treatment of persons with mental illness. Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

Dr. Muir Hooper (Service Provider)

As the only Spanish-speaking psychiatrist in the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS­) youth system and a member of various youth teams, Dr. Hooper’s expertise, skill and knowledge has served countless youth and their families within San Mateo County. 

He works tirelessly to meet the psychiatric needs of his clients demonstrates humility and compassion to all he meets.  

Beyond his clinical skill as a psychiatrist, Muir is a beloved and trusted colleague. His gentle guidance, tireless work ethic and commitment make him an invaluable asset to BHRS, his clients, their families, and the community.

Language Circle of California, Inc. (Business)

This local organization provides family support with professional on-site interpretation services to consumers and their family members in understanding mental health through a neutrally compassionate approach. They work with clinical healthcare providers daily, and have served at public schools and county contracted community clinics since 2013.

They provide valuable support to the immigrant population in making medical decisions.

Loren Shea (Client/Volunteer)

Loren Shea is a tremendous asset to NAMI San Mateo County and to the greater San Mateo County community. She is a great example of what it means to be involved, engaged and to give back. After first hearing about NAMI in 2013 after she attended a NAMI General Meeting with her mother, Loren signed up for the Peer to Peer class in 2016 and was motivated to become a co-teacher of the program. In 2017, Loren told her story as an “In Our Own Voice” presenter, to inspire others and show first hand that recovery is possible. Since becoming trained, Loren has taught a Peer to Peer class and shared her story numerous times at the San Mateo Medical Center.

Loren is driven and gives tremendously of herself.

When she’s not volunteering with NAMI SMC, she is pursuing her undergraduate degree and intends to go to medical school. As a college student, she helps to promote student mental health and suicide prevention efforts on campus through the American Medical Students Association. She has also shared her story at her former high school, and presented at Stanford University to medical students and Ph.D. psychology candidates. Through her hard work, Loren gives hope to others every day.

Claudia Saggese (Service Provider)

Claudia has been supporting families for the past 13 and a half years with BHRS and the San Mateo community.

Claudia goes above and beyond in helping families so they can support their loved ones experiencing behavioral health challenges.

She supports families on a one-to-one basis and has led support groups in Spanish for most of her 13 years with the county. Claudia has made a positive impact on many people by teaching classes for parents, caregivers, family members, children, youth and adults. She’s facilitated programs including Wellness Recovery Action Plan, NAMI Family to Family, NAMI Basics, Know the Signs, Parent Project, Anti-Stigma, United Advocates for Children and Families, Parent Café and others.

Claudia currently co-supervises and supports family partners, sharing her own lived experience and learning with them, so they can be skilled in supporting more families. 

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