Dr. Patricia Newman Awarded 2022 School Mental Health Champion

On June 1, 2022, RESPECT’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Patricia Newman was awarded the 2022 School Mental Health Champion Award at the Nebraska School Mental Health Conference. For over 20 years, Dr. Newman has helped stage conversations about the importance of healthy relationships and mental health through her work as the Executive Director of RESPECT. When she started this important work many did not believe bullying and violence and their relationship to mental health and child abuse were serious problems, but Dr. Newman knew otherwise. She was determined to prevent many of these problems and to provide help for those experiencing them. Dr. Newman’s Psychology and Education background has provided her with the passion and skills to help provide over 600,000 individuals with the tools needed to help others. She is a mental health advocate, and a true leader in the Omaha community. Through her work with RESPECT, she has made speaking about mental health more accessible and possible for school counselors by offering educational theatre programs, small group workshops, and multi-week residences, that complement and bridge to the resources that school counselors provide. Students, teachers, and parents, become more aware of how school counselors can partner with them to get the help that they need thanks to her work.

The award was presented at the NSMHC, organized by the Kim Foundation and Educational Service Unit #3, where 500 participants attended to promote strong mental health services in our schools; to provide resources and training to increase access; and to promote early intervention and wrap around services for youth and families.  At this conference, RESPECT presented a breakout session entitled A Theatrical Approach to Mental Health Prevention.