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National Council for Mental Wellbeing Honors 2023 Mental Health First Aid Impact Awards Winners

Media Contact
Irene Tung

Washington, D.C. (May 1, 2023) – In a ceremony held at the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Summit in Los Angeles, California, on April 30, 2023, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing recognized Rare Beauty, California State University, Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio, Yulanda Prude, Marisa Vicere, Michael Rhinehart and Stephanie Hartman for their outstanding contributions to advancing MHFA’s reach across the country.

The MHFA Impact Awards — Organization of the Year, Partnership of the Year, Momentum Award, Instructor of the Year and Coordinator of the Year — recognize organizations and individuals who have been exceptional in promoting MHFA’s mission to support people of all ages and backgrounds who may be experiencing mental health and substance use challenges through education and peer-support.

“The National Council thanks the 2023 MHFA Impact Award winners, who have made a significant impact on their communities in changing the conversation surrounding mental health,” said Tramaine EL-Amin, vice president, Mental Health First Aid. “Because of their unwavering efforts, even more people will have someone in their close circle to turn to when experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.”

The 2023 Impact Award winners are:

Partnership of the Year: Rare Beauty

The Partnership of the Year award is given to a National Council strategic partner that has championed MHFA and supported its growth.

 Rare Beauty demonstrates an ongoing commitment to eliminate stigma associated with mental illness and substance use challenges. In 2022, in partnership with MHFA, Rare Beauty launched Your Words Matter, an educational campaign focused on the power and influence of our words when talking about mental health. The campaign acted as a guide on how to share and how to respond when talking about mental health and provided tangible takeaways to apply in work and life. This public-facing campaign helped elevate the national conversation about mental health awareness across the country. The organization also trains every Rare Beauty team member in MHFA within the first year of employment.

Momentum Award: The California State University

This year, the National Council introduced the Momentum Award to celebrate an organization that has built considerable enthusiasm for MHFA in their community.

The award’s inaugural winner is California State University (CSU), the nation’s largest four-year public university system. For MHFA, the CSU embodied “momentum” by training more than 600 faculty members across 23 campuses. MHFA training has empowered CSU faculty to become mental health allies for their students and has helped reduce the stigma associated with mental health and substance use challenges. The program has equipped participants with how to respond when a student seems to exhibit signs or symptoms of common mental health challenges that may be exacerbated by the high-stress environment of higher education settings.

Organization of the Year: Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio

The Organization of the Year award recognizes a group that has implemented creative solutions to expand MHFA within their organization and externally.

Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio (MHA NKYSWOH), the lead agency of the Statewide MHFA Collaborative, has certified more than 11,000 Ohio residents in MHFA and has trained over 100 new MHFA Instructors in just two and a half years. The success of this project is noteworthy because of the transition from in-person to virtual classes, teaching from a new virtual curriculum and adjusting to a new learning management system during the pandemic. Over 200 organizations in Ohio have qualified to host MHFA trainings at no cost; they serve faith-based, underserved, first responders and recovery support communities.

Instructor of the Year

The Instructor of the Year is awarded to an individual Adult, Youth or teen MHFA Instructor who has showcased a positive impact on conversations surrounding mental health through the courses they are teaching and they relationships they have built to offer MHFA.

“Mental Health First Aid would not be who we are as an organization without our Instructors and Coordinators, who interact daily with members of their local communities and empower everyday people to support others in times of need,” said EL-Amin.

Adult Mental Health First Aid: Yulanda Prude
For the last six years, Yulanda Prude has implemented MHFA, conducting 141 MHFA trainings, certifying over 2,300 First Aiders. Prude has worked in the human services industry for more than 20 years, providing mental wellbeing advocacy, services and support to families and children and developing extensive community partnerships.

Youth Mental Health First Aid: Marisa Vicere
In the past nine years, Marisa Vicere has conducted 165 MHFA trainings, certifying over 2,500 First Aiders and truly expanding MHFA’s impact in Pennsylvania. Vicere is passionate about helping young people navigate through transitional teen years and educating parents and community members about mental and emotional health.

Mental Health First Aid Community-specific Course: Michael Rhinehart
Michael Rhinehart began implementing MHFA nine years ago. Since then, he has conducted more than 100 MHFA trainings, certifying more than 1,000 First Aiders. Michael is expanding MHFA’s impact and reach in multiple communities, including his work in destigmatizing mental health among Veterans and connecting them and their families to mental health services.

Coordinator of the Year: Stephanie Hartman
The Coordinator of the Year Award honors a MHFA Coordinator who has made a considerable impact in supporting the growth of MHFA in their communities. For the last eight years, Stephanie Hartman has been a MHFA Instructor and Coordinator, overseeing and promoting Youth and teen MHFA trainings in New Jersey to school boards and staff, local officials, community organizations and residents across the country. Stephanie plays a critical role in ensuring the MHFA courses delivered are the highest possible quality.

The National Council thanks these individuals and organizations for the tremendous work they do in communities nationwide. To learn more about Mental Health First Aid, visit


About The National Council
Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,100 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than three million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.

About Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidence-based training program administered by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing that teaches individuals how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges. More than three million people across the United States have been trained in MHFA by a dedicated base of more than 15,000 Instructors.

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