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Parsons recognized for work in mental health

Cullman Times - 8/18/2022

Aug. 18—Melodie Parsons didn't expect to be the center of attention at Tuesday's meeting of the Cullman County Commission — but then again, her peers left her little choice.

That's because they nominated Parsons, a community outreach coordinator at Cullman'sWellStone behavioral health clinic, for special recognition for the work she does in educating local people on locally-available mental health and substance use programs, as well as the resources that her employer — which partners with local agencies and the drug court program administered through Cullman County District Court — is able to provide.

There was nothing vital about the timing of the honor; Parsons' coworkers simply felt she was more than due for a well-earned shoutout. In a letter to the commission on behalf of her colleagues, WellStone peer support specialist Zackery Moore explained her contributions to better mental health in Cullman.

"Mrs. Parsons has saved lives, improved access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, been a wonderful mentor, and continues to bring much-needed mental and substance abuse recovery services to the area," Moore wrote, highlighting Parson's oversight role in the new Mobile Crisis Team, as well as a new jail diversion program and her ongoing work leading WellStone's case management team.

"We don't want her to know the recognition came from us," the letter added, though the presence of half a dozen supportive colleagues as Parsons accepted the commission's honor was more than enough to tip her off.

With offices in Huntsville and Cullman, WellStone is a 501©3 nonprofit organization providing comprehensive mental health care services — regardless of a patron's ability to pay — across north Alabama. The nonprofit has served the Tennessee Valley since 1969, when the organization was founded as the Huntsville — Madison County Mental Health Board.

Benjamin Bullard can be reached by phone at 256-734-2131 ext. 234.


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