The Wyoming Department of Health is looking for nominees for its Starfish Award. The Starfish award is given to a person or organization that helps people or someone who personally has struggled with mental illness or substance abuse.

Celebrating recovery:

"The Starfish Award is to acknowledge those special individuals or groups who work tirelessly to improve their lives and the lives of others affected by mental illness and or addictions. These awards were designed to celebrate those who are doing well in their recovery."

Shawna Pena with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Division of the state Health Department, explains the metaphor behind the Starfish Awards.

Every single one worth saving:

"The Starfish Award started as a brainchild of Roger McDaniel about four years ago. This is our fourth annual one, and it started with the story of the little boy on the beach, with all the starfish on the beach, and he started throwing them into the ocean. And a gentleman comes up behind him and says, you can't save all of them. And he says, but I can save this one, and he throws it in."

To fill out a nomination form online you can go to health-dot-wyo-dot-gov, click on the mental health and substance abuse services tab, then programs A to Z, then starfish, or you can call 1-800-535-4006, and they'll send you a form.

Recipients honored at luncheon:

"The deadline for nominations is April 14th. The awards will be presented on June 15th at a luncheon in Cheyenne at Little America."

Possible nominees: Person in recovery from substance abuse; Person in recovery from mental illness; Family or parents in recovery; Person who has advocated for public change regarding substance abuse or mental health issues; Person or group under the age of 25 years who has contributed to changing substance abuse or mental health issues; Organization, program, provider or coalition that has contributed to change on substance abuse or mental health issues; Person, organization, provider, coalition or program that has made significant contributions to prevention in the field of substance abuse or mental health; Substance abuse or mental health therapist; A person who has demonstrated exceptional courage to address a community or statewide human needs issue.