Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content

Mental health group presents awards

Profile image for Staff report
Staff report

The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Denton County has handed out several special awards in recognition of efforts to improve and advocate for mental health care in Denton County.

NAMI, a national grassroots organization dedicated to making lives better for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness, announced the awards last week.

An award will be presented to state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, on Wednesday in recognition of her work as a state lawmaker in improving mental health care in Texas.

Denton Record-Chronicle Staff Writer Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe received an award last week for her reporting on mental illness, including her coverage of a report about mental health needs in Denton County.

Also receiving awards last week were:

Esther and Dale Fidler, who received a Lifetime Service and Advocacy Award. Esther Fidler is president of NAMI Denton County and Dale Fidler is treasurer.

They have been NAMI members for many years and both are trained as family support group facilitiators and as family educators.

A man identified only as Thomas F., who received a Volunteer of the Year Award.

Thomas has established three local Recovery International Support Group meetings in Denton County including in Double Oak, Denton and Lewisville.

An Award of Special Appreciation was also awarded to Thomas’ mentor, Sarah Grant Reid, a national board member and the former North Texas regional coordinator for Recovery International.

Pam Gutierrez, executive director of Denton County MHMR, who received an Award of Appreciation for her “professionalism and dedication to providing mental health services.”

Gutierrez was instrumental in securing funds for expanded services in Denton County.

Phyllis Finley, community liaison for Denton County MHMR, also received an award.

She works closely with MHMR’s mobile crisis outreach team.

For more information about NAMI or Recovery International, visit or call 469-248-8789.