Peer-to-Peer Facilitator Honored at Annual Meeting


Gizem Yagci, left, receiving her award from Sue and Blake Lancaster.

NAMI Washtenaw’s Annual Membership Meeting on Nov. 3 drew nearly 30 members and volunteers, who munched on roll-ups and fruit salad before getting down to business. Attendees watched a 2018 NAMI Washtenaw video and listened to a summary of the organization’s accomplishments in the past year. The board of directors voted to approve a slate of new and continuing board members and Tyrone Kelsey as board president. Sheriff Jerry Clayton updated the audience on projects related to the mental health/public safety money approved by Washtenaw County voters last year.

Highlighting the meeting was the presentation of the Laura E. Lancaster Volunteer Award to Gizem Yagci. The award recognizes NAMI volunteers for contributions they have made to improving the lives of people living with mental illness.

Yagci was recognized for her work as a gifted Peer-to-Peer facilitator. She has served as a facilitator for five Peer-to-Peer classes held in diverse locations, including St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Hospital, the Mental Health Treatment Court and the Washtenaw County Jail. Nominated by Pat Root, Darlene Wetzel, and Mark Creekmore, she “has a wonderful way of relating to [students] with her sense of humor and her freely open sharing at a significant level about her own personal experience.” The award was presented by Blake and Sue Lancaster.

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