Department of Mental Health Hosts First Annual Stephanie Moulton Symposium in Honor of Dedicated Mental Health Worker
Nearly 400 direct care workers and members of the mental health community come together for a day of remembrance and collective focus on staff training
BOSTON — Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby today joined 400 stakeholders from the mental health community at the John F. Kennedy Library to honor and remember the late Stephanie Moulton, a passionate and dedicated professional who worked in mental health. This is the first annual Department of Mental Health (DMH) symposium named in Stephanie’s honor and it convened persons with lived experience, direct care and mental health workers, providers and DMH staff who heard from speakers — including Stephanie’s mother, Kim Flynn of Peabody, who offered remarks in a remembrance of her daughter.
“This symposium is about remembering Stephanie Moulton, her dedication as a mental health worker and the enduring impact of her work and legacy,” said Secretary Bigby. “Stephanie Moulton’s commitment to the people she served is a great testament to the many dedicated people within the mental health community.”
Sen. Frederick Berry, the Majority Leader of the State Senate and legislative champion for the bill that established the Stephanie Moulton Symposium, was also honored for his more than 30 years of leadership and support for the mental health community.
“This is an important day to remember the selfless life of Stephanie Moulton. I thank the Patrick-Murray administration and all attendees for their commitment to the implementation of best practices for the field,” said Senator Berry. “I want to especially commend Stephanie’s mother, Kim Flynn, for her unwavering pledge to pursue safety for all direct care workers.”
The theme of the first annual Stephanie Moulton symposium was “Reconciliation and Moving On.” The day-long event at the JFK Library included workshops focused on trauma response, healing, and lessons learned and concluded with a moving ceremony and tribute to Stephanie Moulton created by her peers and members of the mental health community. DMH will hold this event each year in Stephanie’s honor to provide training for community-based mental health workers.
“This is a time to honor Stephanie’s work, her memory and her contribution to the care of individuals living with mental illness,” said DMH Commissioner Marcia Fowler, “I am grateful for the commitment shown by Stephanie’s family to celebrating those within this honorable profession.”
Participants also heard from keynote speaker Dr. James O’Connell, M.D., president of Boston Health Care for the Homeless.
DMH also established an annual award that will be presented to a direct care worker who embodies the spirit, compassion and professionalism of Stephanie Moulton. The inaugural Stephanie Moulton Memorial Award was presented today to Josephine Roman, a residential counselor at Community Healthlink in Worcester. Ms. Roman’s compassionate outreach to persons with mental illness and her forward-thinking approach serves as an example for direct care workers to follow.
About the Department of Mental Health (DMH)
Part of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, DMH provides services to adults, children and adolescents with long-term or serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbance; provides early and ongoing treatment for mental illness; and conducts research into the causes of and treatments for mental illness. Through state-operated inpatient facilities and community mental health centers and through community services and programs provided by nearly 200 mental health providers, DMH directly serves 21,000 citizens, including about 3,500 children and adolescents, with severe and persistent mental illness and serious emotional disturbance.
# # #