Local Heroes Rachel Emerson and Loretta Stalnaker Recognized For Work in Mental Health Crises
Rachel Emerson, of the Clara Martin Center and Sergeant Loretta Stalnaker of the Randolph Police Department have been named winners of this year’s Team Two Frank Silfies Award, presented to a law enforcement officer and a mental health crisis clinician who exemplify collaborative response to mental health crises.
Emerson was nominated by Kristen Briggs, the Acute Care Coordinator at Clara Martin Center, who wrote, “Rachel has been a dedicated member of the Clara Martin team for over two decades Rachel is a person whisperer and has great insight into the needs of others. Her contribution to keeping the communities around her safe over the years is invaluable.”
Emerson said she learned early in her career to establish a good relationship with the people she was out on calls with in middle of night such as the ER staff and police.
“Loretta is a good one to work with.” She commented.
Emerson has been quick to give others credit saying “Yes, I received this award, but I want to share it with everyone at Clara Martin Center because the staff here have been my mentors, teachers, friends, I would never have been able to get this far without them.”
Sgt. Stalnaker, also nominated by Briggs, who wrote, “Officer Stalnaker has always responded to different crises in the town of Randolph with great respect toward the person in crisis as well as with a respectful and collaborative approach with the staff at Clara Martin Center. She goes out of her way to help support the continuum of care that CMC strives to keep with persons served.”
Created last year in memory of Frank Silfies, the former Emergency Services Director at Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS) and a member of the original Team Two Steering Committee, this award honors his commitment to working closely with police officers to find the safest, best outcome for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Nominations are solicited from all the designated mental health agencies in Vermont as well as from all of the Vermont Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs and Station Commanders at Vermont State Police. The Team Two Steering Committee reviews the nominations and selects the recipients. Members of the Steering Committee include representatives from a municipal police department, county sheriffs, the Vermont State Police, the Criminal Justice Training Council, Emergency Services Directors, the Department of Aging and Independent Living, NAMI Vermont, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Health and designated mental health agencies.
Presentation of the award took place at the NAMI Pathways to Wellness Conference in May 2017.