James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

May 04, 2021

New York State Recognizes New York City Man for Inspirational Advocacy Efforts

Jeremiah Farduchi Honored for Using his Lived Experience with Mental Health Struggles to Inspire Change in the Lives of Others

Albany, NY - New York State is honoring Jeremiah Farduchi, a young man from New York City, with the 2021 ‘What’s Great in our State’ Youth/Young Adult Award.

As a resident at the Ottilie Residential Treatment Facility, Jeremiah became involved in an OMH Youth Advisory Board called Creating Opportunities for Progressive Equality & Solutions (COPES). Even since discharge from Ottilie, he remains an active participant in the group and is known as “the mayor” because of his leadership skills and inspiring contributions.

Jeremiah can often be found sharing his research about discussion topics, brainstorming about how to inspire change, and writing proposals with the goal of putting those changes into practice.

“Jeremiah Farduchi shows us ‘What’s Great in Our State’ through his leadership and advocacy. He is a role model for other people with mental health struggles and shows us how important peers can be in the recovery of others,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “He is a shining example of how powerful young people can be in advocacy and advancing the mental health system. We thank him and all our honorees for their hard work and commitment to children’s mental health.”

Including the youth voice is a critical component for providing quality services to support the well-being of children and youth in New York State. The mental health system works to include youth voice at multiple levels, including:

  • in the provision of direct care,
  • in raising awareness and reducing stigma, and
  • as key voices in advocacy.

Jeremiah was presented with the award at the annual ‘What’s Great in our State 2021’ event on May 4th held virtually via Zoom. The celebration recognizes the individuals and programs that are successfully advancing the cause of children’s mental health in New York State.

“Thank you for this recognition as a Youth Advisor. I try to remember that ‘Failing is easy but winning is not.’  It’s easy to put something on paper and get it wrong- but trying and putting in effort to win is hard,” said Jeremiah Farduchi. “I’m proud of myself for putting in that effort and proud of all the other youth advisors that do this hard work, too”


What’s Great in Our State’

The ‘What’s Great in Our State’ event was first launched in 2010 and is typically held during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a national movement that raises awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was reorganized as a virtual celebration.

The event is sponsored by six New York State agencies and several children’s mental health advocacy organizations: The Office of Mental Health, the Council on Children and Families, the Department of Health, the State Education Department, the Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, Early Care & Learning Council, Families Together in New York State, Inc., Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness - New York State, New York State Network for Youth Success, Prevent Child Abuse New York, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., and the Suicide Prevention Center of New York.


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