ORGANIZED ANNUAL PUBLIC FORUM AND LED STIGMA-FREE INITIATIVE
The Morris County Board of Freeholders this week honored retiring county behavioral health director Laurie Becker for a job well done over the past 21 years in caring for the needs of Morris County’s most vulnerable residents.
Becker, who retired on Oct.1, was presented with a county resolution by the county governing board at its work session in Morristown. The honoree also was lauded by leaders of the Morris County nonprofit community, such as Homeless Solutions, NewBridge Services, Market Street Mission, Mental Health Association, and others who attended the ceremony.
“Since she started with the county in 1998, Laurie has devoted herself to the mission of serving those most in need, especially those struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “She has demonstrated exemplary leadership in her service to the residents of Morris County, and is truly deserving of our thanks and congratulation.’’
Laurie Becker: “I am overwhelmed by the people who are here today to help transport me through this significant transition. I have worked with so many of you over the years. I am truly blessed.’’
Laurie Becker started working for Morris County on Jan. 26, 1998, in the Community and Behavioral Health Services Division. She rose through the ranks to become Director of the Division of Community and Behavioral H.
She has effectively overseen the implementation and operation of an agency, which provides more than $10 million annually in grants to community providers that care for the needs of Morris County residents.
Over the years, she engaged community partners in her collaborative work through the Mental Health Addictions Services Advisory Board, Youth Services Advisory Committee, Human Services Advisory Committee, and Municipal Alliances.
For the past two decades, she has coordinated the annual Morris County Public Forum for Consumers and Families, giving residents a chance to have a voice in how the system works for them, allowing consumers to offer constructive feedback that has led to improvements in operations and service.
Becker also has been a leader in countywide Disaster Response Crisis Counseling, taking lead roles in responses to Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and many more incidents to provide comfort, support and resources to residents in need of assistance.
In addition, her work and leadership on the countywide Stigma-Free Initiative has made it a major success in Morris County, where she has worked closely with towns, schools, hospitals, nonprofit partners, law enforcement and faith-based organizations to help grow the fledgling initiative into a success that now reaches across our county.