Crisis & Counseling Centers’ (C&C’s) community partners and staff celebrated the agency’s crisis residential program at the Annual Meeting & Dinner in May at the Elks Banquet and Conference Center in Waterville.

Kennebec and Somerset county residents who are in crisis often turn to C&C’s Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs), which have been offering Mainers around-the-clock care on a short-term basis for more than 20 years. The residential homes provide a safe and caring environment where people experiencing intense, immediate crisis can stay while they regain their emotional and physical stability.

“The Maine of 2014 has precious few resources available to individuals needing to regain their footing, and the help we offer at the CSUs enable people to make life-changing decisions in a supportive setting,” said C&C Board President Dana Hamilton. “For many, the first step toward treatment and recovery from mental health conditions and substance abuse begin at our CSUs.”

The Annual Meeting recognizes the important work partner agencies do in the community, applauds vital public service providers and highlights relationships that help the organization meet its mission.

“We are fortunate to have the support of our sponsors, partners and guests as we continue to provide vitally important services to people in our community during a particularly challenging time,” C&C CEO Lynn Duby said.

Duby presented the CEO Special Recognition Award to WCSH 6 NEWS CENTER weatherman Kevin Mannix and his wife Linda Rota, who have demonstrated a commitment to Mainers with mental health and substance abuse challenges. Mannix began sharing the impact of his father’s substance abuse in 2013 through a series of frank public addresses with the support of his wife.

The popular WCSH 6 series “Kevin’s Story” originated when Mannix told his colleagues, “My wife keeps saying I should tell this story about me being an adult child of an alcoholic and the shame around it.” Mannix told Annual Meeting guests.

“They’d been trying to figure out a way to talk about it for years, but there was no face [to represent the issue]. So I said, ‘I’ll be the face.’” Thousands of people have written to Mannix to thank him for sharing his story, with some fans crediting him with saving their lives.

Somerset Regional Communications Center earned the Public Safety Appreciation Award for its professionalism in the dispatching of emergency services and law enforcement. Hannah Longley, C&C clinical manager, presented the award, saying, “Their team is as professional and courteous to clients as to staff and are always willing to respond to life-threatening situations with sensitivity, care and commitment.”

Motivational Services’ (MoCo’s) partnership with C&C in supporting the welfare of the community earned MoCo recognition as the Agency of the Year. “An agency like Motivational Services has the sincerity, dedication, passion and professionalism to care about the people that otherwise would be cast aside or lost,” said C&C Clinical Director Michael Mitchell.

Crisis & Counseling Centers presented the Peer Recognition Award to CSU Worker Sandra Gibbs, whose colleagues nominated her for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Seventeen area businesses sponsored the event, including VIP sponsors Aetna, Kennebec Savings Bank and Norton Financial, and music sponsor Riverside Disposal.