Project Director Update

By: Gretchen Behimer, Project Director


Every summer, the FAST TRAC team attends a national conference hosted by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration).  A family member and youth also attend as part of the team.  This year, the conference was held in sunny Orlando, Florida.  Although the conference was very exhausting since we attended trainings all day long, gathered a lot of data and connected with many people, we also got to enjoy time together as a team.  This year our team included:

            Gretchen Behimer, FAST TRAC Project Director

Karen Scherra, FAST TRAC Principal Investigator; Mental Health & Recovery Board Executive Director

Jean Houston, FAST TRAC Lead Family Contract; Co-Founder of Families Connected, Inc.

Danny Little, FAST TRAC Youth Engagement Specialist

Naomi Garretson, family member, FAST TRAC Parent Advisory Group

Stevie Garretson, youth, FAST TRAC Youth Advisory Group

Gary Dick, FAST TRAC Co-Lead Evaluator, University of Cincinnati

Jeff Schellinger, FAST TRAC Associate Researcher, University of Cincinnati

Mary Wolff, FAST TRAC Cultural & Linguistic Competence Coordinator

Tara Keith, FAST TRAC Social Marketing Coordinator

Tracy Plouck, Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health

So much great information was presented this year.  Our team has many ideas circulating in our heads and we will be talking about how we can use the information gathered to further improve our programs in Clermont County and statewide.  We were thrilled that the Ohio Department of Mental Health’s Director attended the conference as part of Clermont FAST TRAC’s team.  Ms. Plouck got to learn more about Systems of Care in various states and learn what contributes to a successful System of Care.   

One highlight of the conference was the ECCO awards.  The ECCO awards recognize Excellence in Community Communication and Outreach.  Last year, FAST TRAC was excited to be awarded a “bronze” plaque for “Starr’s article,” in which a parent wrote about her experience with FAST TRAC. This year, we were ecstatic to be awarded a “gold” plaque for FAST TRAC’s 2011 My Feelings Are a Work of Art video, showcasing our county’s efforts to bring mental health awareness to our community through art projects with youth.

FAST TRAC has been out and about this summer.  I hope you had a chance to stop by our My Feelings Are a Work of Art exhibit at Eastgate Mall or our booth at the Clermont County fair or see our youth at New Richmond River Days’ Cardboard Boat Regatta!