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Ellen Kozlowski wins 2021 Mental Health Award

Ellen has worked for over 15 years as a Mental Health Peer Advocate for Community Advocates of Montgomery County, and throughout those years, has become a trusted support to many in the mental health community. Ellen is reliable, dependable, and a passionate advocate. She also “walks the talk,” as she practices the principles of self-advocacy that she teaches others while continuing to grow professionally and in her own mental health recovery. Despite her lack of familiarity using technology, Ellen was quick to stretch herself beyond her comfort level when the pandemic began to adapt to working at home so she could continue to support others. During this time, she has not only been able to adapt, but has taken on more work than before. She has been indispensable to the people she serves, including several people who moved and/or lost supports during the pandemic, as well as to the team and Hopeworx as a whole. She is always willing to listen, learn, and to try to help anyone and always conducts her advocacy work with the highest ethics. Ellen is both passionate about protecting the rights of people with mental health challenges and advocating to have their voices heard, while simultaneously being a calming presence to everyone around her. A family member who refers to Ellen as her "guardian angel" recently wrote, "She always returns my phone calls and, please believe me when I say this, [that] is a very rare occurrence as I stumble my way through the ‘system’. She is positive, knowledgeable, and very pleasant to talk to. She is a credit to [Hopeworx and the Community Advocates]. I cannot commend her highly enough or thank her sufficiently for everything she has done for us." 

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