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RACINE — The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread and the Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health is recognizing National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day with the launch of Heroes for Health, a new online series that highlights individuals in the Racine area who are committed to strengthening the social and emotional development of children.

The first Heroes for Health to be profiled are Debby Ganaway, the outgoing executive director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Racine, and Michael Boticki, NAMI’s new executive director.

Ganaway served as executive director of NAMI from 2004 to 2013. Prior to joining NAMI-Racine, she chaired a committee that established a rehabilitative project for people with mental illness and served on a task force that established the county’s first homeless shelter for women and children. As the NAMI executive director, she also served on the task force to bring the Drug Treatment Court to Racine and was a member of the Partnership for Access to Care and Treatment for persons with mental illness. She was a member of the United Way Task Force to create the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization for homeless individuals and their children.

Boticki is a Wisconsin native and received his doctorate in counseling psychology at Marquette University. His expertise in children’s mental health issues extends to work with the HOPES Center, Advancing Family Assets, SAFE Haven of Racine and Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin. Boticki was also instrumental in the development and opening of the Racine County Child Advocacy Center.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day was created to raise awareness around children’s mental health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health is made up of a broad spectrum of community leaders and individuals focused on improving the mental health of children in Racine. The collaborative was convened in September 2012 and has been making strides in creating awareness and solutions around children’s mental health issues.

For more information and a complete list of participating organizations, go to www.johnsonfdn.org/aboutus/community/ChildrensMentalHealth. To see the Heroes for Health series, click on “Spotlight: Heroes.”

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