R'ville Woman Given JJC's Service Award
Carrie Worthington received Joliet Junior College's J. D. Ross Extraordinary Service Award in recognition of her work as an advocate for the mentally ill.
Carrie Worthington was honored as the recipient of the Joliet Junior College J. D. Ross Extraordinary Service Award (ESA) at the Feb. 5 Board of Trustees meeting.
The J. D. Ross ESA is the highest honor bestowed by JJC; it was developed by the Board of Trustees to honor community members who have given outstanding service to Community College District 525.
Nominated by fellow district resident Robert Talkie for distinguished public service, Worthington, of Romeoville, has been a tireless advocate and volunteer for five years for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), serving the last two years as president of the grassroots Will-Grundy chapter.
“Ms. Worthington has dedicated her life as a leader in promoting mental health awareness in Will-Grundy County,” said Amy Murphy, ESA board member.
“During the last several years, she has facilitated a program designed to educate the public with a workshop designed to raise public awareness in mental health issues, and educate individuals to become mental health first responders.
“Carrie Worthington exemplifies what the J.D. Ross ESA is all about, and we were delighted to honor her with this award.”
Since joining NAMI, Worthington has heightened awareness of the ongoing and often urgent need for programs and services for individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses or mental health conditions in the area. During this time, the requests for service have more than doubled.
"I am so honored to have received this award,” said Worthington. “I'm hoping I can keep moving forward to help fight against the stigma of mental illness and keep promoting all the programs NAMI has to offer."
Additionally, Worthington initiated and implemented in Joliet the nationally-renowned course, Mental Health First Aid USA, which is now repeated four to five times yearly in the Will-Grundy service region and certifies and equips students to prevent major mental health crises from occurring, including suicide prevention.
Her service in the community also extends to her church, Good Shepherd, which involves helping to operate a food pantry and assesses and assists with other recognized needs in the area.
For more information and a list of past recipients, visit www.jjc.edu/info/esa.