Last night, three Community First Behavioral Health Services employees were honored by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Recipients are nominated by their peers and chosen by the NAMI board.

NAMI of Butler County Ohio works to improve the quality of life for families and individuals impacted by mental health disorders through education, support, advocacy and stigma reduction. Each year, they recognize innovative leaders in the community in the field of mental health.

This year's honored Community First Employees were Colleen Rilley, nominated by Yvette Lampley, for Excellence in Leadership. Karen King, nominated by Nick Schrantz, for the Lifetime Mental Health Service Award and Matthew Brashear, nominated by Steve Cahill, for Clinical Service Provider of the Year.


Colleen Rilley, Excellence in Leadership

Colleen RilleyYvette Lampley had many glowing things to say about her supervisor.

“She always has an open door and is willing to work with everyone. She brings up morale as a supervisor. She could teach a class on how to be an effective leader,” said Lampley.

After accepting the award, Colleen Riley said,

“Being a supervisor is similar to my job as a mother of three. Sometimes you are not sure you are doing the right thing all the time. Then you see your team and your children grow, and you start believing you are doing something right. Being a supervisor means that it is not about you, it’s about your employees. When I took the position I told them to shape me into an effective leader, to be honest with me and keep me accountable. I wanted to set the standard in employee care. Taking this position pushed me out of my comfort zone, but my employees built me up and made me into the person I am today. I am very grateful for that.”


Karen King, Lifetime Mental Health Service Award

Karen KingKaren King boasts more than twelve years of service; ten years with Community First’s ACT program.

“She improved hundreds of her clients' lives and saved them too,” said Nick Schrantz. “Her retirement gift is the many success stories of her clients.”

In response, Karen said,

“I am a very lucky person. The most meaningful thing to me was working together with the community of services. I helped my clients with only some of the issues they faced, but everyone in this room helped them overcome other challenges such as loneliness, poverty, and homelessness. It was my exquisite pleasure to work with all of you—together.”



Matt Brashear, Clinical Service Provider of the Year

Matt BrashearUnfortunately, Matt was unable to attend the ceremony for a previous engagement.

“There was something about a lake house and fishing in Alabama,” joked Steve Cahill. “In all seriousness, Matt was truly sorry he could not be here.”

Speaking on behalf of his coworker, Steve continued,

“Matt is very compassionate and a driven person. We wanted to reach people where we could, and get them the help they needed in Butler County’s jails. We started with 15 to 20 clients, and now have programming all day because of Matt.”

Stephanie Brasher, AOD Supervisor at Community First’s Second Street location and his wife, accepted the award on his behalf.


Well Deserved Honors

In a sometimes thankless job in a very difficult field, the night is meant to honor the amazing work performed by many dedicated individuals in Butler County.

“Some people say that Butler County can be the face of recovery in Ohio,” said Scott Rasmus, Executive Director of the Butler County MHARS Board, “with people like this working in the field, I believe it can be.”

Community First Solutions is very lucky to have such dedicated and compassionate employees as a part of its community. Congratulations to all the honorees for their much deserved awards.