MAINE, Maine — Cheryl Rust has advocated for the reduction of the stigma of mental health diagnoses and increased access to treatment for more than 25 years.

It all began when Cheryl was a small business owner and saw how mental health issues affected her employees and community. Not afraid to ask the tough questions, and always having the clients at the forefront of decision-making, Cheryl has helped change the landscape of mental health treatment in Maine for the better. 

One of Cheryl’s significant accomplishments involves laying the groundwork for outpatient support for mentally ill patients once they leave the hospital, which is now standard practice across the Maine health care system, integrating mental health with physical health in primary care settings. 

Cheryl’s wisdom, compassion, and concern for her community’s health is bringing to light an issue not just in Maine, but nationwide, and is providing a platform and resources to help those with mental illness.