The Mental Health Association of Rhode Island recently presented its Annual Bell Award to Jean Gavigan at Patrick's Pier One in Providence.
Gavigan, vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Kent Center, was honored for her work to promote greater awareness of mental health issues while eliminating the stigma of mental illness.
Proceeds of the event benefited the Mental Health Association's many mental health programs, including advocacy on the local and national levels, the promotion of mental health programs and the removal of stigma related to mental illness.
A graphic designer and owner of Hodge Graphics in Warwick, Gavigan became involved in mental health advocacy after caring for a family member who developed mental health issues. Gavigan can speak firsthand of the challenges faced by employees when caring for family members with mental illness. She is a past chair of the Board of Directors of the Kent Center and currently serves on the board’s Citizens Advisory subcommittee, which promotes greater awareness of mental health issues with an aim to bust the stigma of mental illness.
Gavigan also serves on the Board of the Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Organizations, and on the Advocacy and Policy Committee.