Partnership’s Bricker to receive state award |

Partnership’s Bricker to receive state award

Staff Reports
Cheryl Bricker

In recognition of commitments of talent, time, and devotion to supporting individuals with mental illness and their families, the Board of Directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Western Nevada affiliate recently voted to recognize three champions at their third annual Unmasked Gala.

At the gala the NAMI Western Nevada and their supporters will be treated to the comedy of author and headline performer Dave Mowry, a professional comedian from Ashland, Ore.

The leadership award will be given to Cheryl Bricker, retiring executive director of Douglas County’s Partnership for Community Resources.

“Cheryl Bricker has devoted most of the last two decades to connecting youth and adults with needs to community resources,” said Jessica Flood, NAMI Western Nevada vice president. “She represents the warm heart of Douglas County and she opened that heart to NAMI Western Nevada as soon as we were formed.”

The volunteer of the year award will be given to Linda Porzig, Education and Outreach Coordinator for NAMI Western Nevada. In that position, she has organized 28 multi-week Family to Family and NAMI Basics classes throughout western Nevada and stretching all the way to Elko.

“Words really cannot capture the passion for mental illness advocacy, education, and support that Linda brings to her 24/7 work with NAMI Western Nevada,” said Sarah Adler, NAMI Western Nevada president. “Her knowledge and exuberance create tangible support and that most important intangible – hope and belief in recovery – that drives the rest of us forward.”

Porzig and her husband Rick are both founding board members who brought their knowledge of NAMI with them from Arizona when they established a home in western Nevada in 2010.

The difference maker award will be given to Barbara Jacobsen, a human services volunteer leader in Winnemucca.

Jacobsen learned of NAMI and its classes that teach families and individuals about mental illness, and its support groups, and immediately realized the importance of lifting the stigma around mental illness in rural communities.

“Barbara Jacobsen’s courage knows no boundaries,” said Linda Porzig, NAMI Western Nevada Education and Outreach Director. “She has brought the reality of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health challenges forward as the brain disorders that they are and the need for them to be recognized and treated.” Jacobsen and her family gave key testimony at the 2017 Legislature in support of rural mental health funding.

The 2017 awards will be given at NAMI Western Nevada’s third annual Unmasked Gala 5 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Governor’s Mansion. The gala will be headlined by comedian Dave Mowry. NAMI Western Nevada uses funds raised for its growing range of services and education programs. Tickets and further information may be found at or by calling 775-440-1626.