An area couple is recognized for their dedication to improving the lives of the mentally ill.
Thomas and Margaret Quinn received the Service to Mankind Award from the district and regional Sertoma Awards Programs. The Quinn’s are Co-Officers for the local chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness and have worked to bring awareness to issues concerning the mentally ill for more than 20 years.
"It’s awesome," said award recipient, Tom Quinn. I mean makes it worth the really hard work we have done to try to let people know that mental illness is not to be stigmatized. "
Mental illness is a cause close to the Quinn’s heart. Their youngest of seven children, Patrick was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and they say seeing his achievements and difficulties over the years has taught them to open their eyes to the disease.
"We denied it at first, " said award recipient, Margaret Quinn. Which is often, you just can’t hardly believe it’s happening to you. We think education is probably number one for families to understand. "
The Quinn’s were nominated by the Sertoma Club of Downtown Columbus and will now be considered for the club’s international award.