TILTON — NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness named Ken Norton of Tilton as their 2021 advocacy award winner. Named after founding members of The Alliance, Richard and Betsy Greer, the award is given annually to a person whose outstanding work, leadership and vision has advanced policy and advocacy efforts that impact individuals living with mental illness and their families. A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Norton, serves as the executive director of NAMI NH, and has worked in the mental health field for over 40 years.
Regarding the award Norton said, “The Greer’s left a legacy of fierce advocacy and I am deeply honored to be this year’s recipient. I am inspired by the daily courage of people with mental health conditions who face ongoing discrimination, prejudice and negative attitudes in accessing timely care and supports, and I am committed to improving the lives of all people impacted by mental illness and suicide.”
Norton has been involved in numerous mental health advocacy efforts in New Hampshire as well as nationally and he has presented internationally on topics related to mental health, suicide prevention, and responding to suicide deaths (postvention). Norton led the development of NAMI NH’s Connect Suicide Prevention Program, a national best practice which has trained in almost every state across the US, including over 40 tribal nations, as well as in a half dozen countries.
Norton resides with his family in Tilton where he has also been an active advocate promoting conservation, and recreation as a means of economic development with Friends of the Winnipesaukee River, and the Winnipesaukee River Trail Association.