Judy

STATEWIDE HONOR ­— Judy Cooperberg (left) was honored by State Sen. Scott Wilk for a distinguished career in the field of mental health and recovery services.

Courtesy photo

SACRAMENTO — Judy Cooperberg, the chief advancement officer of North County for Mental Health America of Los Angeles, has been honored by State Sen. Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, as his Woman of the Year.

The Senate conducted a “Woman of the Year” luncheon and ceremony Monday at the state Capitol to honor each member’s choice for the award.

“Judy is an amazing woman and is very deserving of this recognition,” Wilk said. “She has spent a lifetime serving the people in our community who, too often, struggle to have their voices heard. Whether it is helping young adults with psychiatric disabilities, leading the community on efforts to address homelessness or helping our veterans, she has really done it all.”

“It is an understatement to say that I am truly honored and overwhelmed by Senator Wilk’s acknowledgment of my work,” Cooperberg said. “I have been blessed for the past 38 years to work for an organization that believes in recovery and the potential of people, despite any diagnosis.”

Cooperberg’s accomplishments professionally and personally are many. They include:

• The development of psychosocial rehabilitation programs for adults and transitioning young adults in the Antelope Valley since 1988.

• Leading force in the establishment and administration of the Homeless Solutions Access Center.

• Developed “Operation Healthy Homecoming,” a program to serve homeless and at-risk veteran families; coordinated and facilitated the Antelope Valley Veterans Alliance, bringing together agencies, organizations and individuals serving veterans.

• Formed the Law Enforcement Mental Health Training Task Force, then launched “Tactical Approaches for First Responders,” an effort to educate and train every law enforcement officer in the Antelope Valley on mental health crisis interventions and communication. In under three years six hundred officers were trained.  

Cooperberg has served on several boards of directors, including United Way-Antelope Valley Region, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, AV Partners for Health, Valley Oasis Domestic Violence Council, Palmdale Sheriff’s Booster, AV Hospital Advisory Board and the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies.

In 2011, she was appointed by then-Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to represent the 5th District on the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission, and has represented L.A. County on the California Association of Local Mental Health Boards and Commissions. In 2013, she was inducted as an honorary commander at Edwards Air Force Base, working with the 412th Medical Group. She is also a member of Lancaster West Rotary.

Cooperberg’s other achievements include induction into the 1990 Governor’s Hall of Fame for People With Disabilities; the 1996 National Mental Health America’s Clifford W. Beers Award; recipient of the Antelope Valley’s Athena Award for 2003; Penny Lane’s Blue Skies Award in 2008; the 2013 Jeannette Rankin Award from the League of Women Voters Antelope Valley; and 2014 Woman of the Year for the 5th District.

In addition to her work at MHA, Cooperberg is a private consultant, national lecturer and a published writer and poet. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in educational psychology and is a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner.

“When it comes to compassion followed by action, Judy is a star. She sees a need, springs into action, engages other community organizations and members to work together to address a need,” Wilk said. “It is an honor to work with her on mental health, homelessness and helping our veterans. I am so pleased to be able to call attention to all the good work she has done for the Antelope Valley and all of California.”

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