Congratulations to Rita Thrasher who was named "Advocate of the Year" by the Palm Beach School Counselor Association on February 6, 2015, at the 28th Annual Principal & School Counselor Appreciation event at PBC Convention Center. 

 

The purpose of the award is to recognize a person or organization whose advocacy of guidance and counseling services in a school setting has impact for counselors on a local, state or national level.

 

This year's  Advocate of the Year is committed to improving mental health services throughout Palm Beach County.  As President/CEO of Boca Raton's Promise, she piloted the grassroots effort to fulfill an emerging concern;  the identification and coordination of mental health needs and resources.  Through her persistent efforts of presenting a vision and plan for changing this climate, the PBC Action Alliance for Mental Health formed in 2010.

 

She brought her creative approach to get students of Palm Beach County talking about mental health in an effort to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.  Enlisting the active support of school and community sponsors, her successes include:  A series of Breaking the Silence workshops for elementary school counselors, in which participants received curriculum materials at no cost;  A student musical performance, "The Weight of Words" presented to school principals and administrators;  Sponsoring "The Weight of Words" training and materials for area high schools;  Mental Health First Aid training opportunities for educators, and;  Sponsor and supporter of the School Districts 1st Annual Health and Wellness Conference held last June.

 

She is an advocate, a mover and shaker, someone who works day in and day out to support students and families in Palm Beach County.  She recognizes the role that school counselors play in developing the mental health and wellness of all students.  The Palm Beach School Counselor Association is pleased to recognize Ms. Rita Thrasher as Advocate of the Year 2015.