Awards & Testimonials


  • Mental Health Association Hope & Courage Award for exceptional community service in mental health in 2017
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Melissa Nemeth “Next Step Award” for an individual who shows courage, resiliency, and advocacy for recovery in 2016
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Voice Award Nominee in 2016
  • Spirit of Volunteerism Award for her outstanding commitment to NAMI Orange County in 2016
  • Featured in the OC Register article in December 2014
  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialist by CCAPP
  • Largest individual fundraiser (raised over $9,400) for the NAMI Orange County Walk in 2015
  • “Best New Team Captain” for the NAMI Orange County Walk in 2014
  • Guest Blogger on MH Chat: “Challenges of a Non-profit in Mental Health”
  • Guest Blogger & Featured on Each Mind Matters


“I invited Hufsa Ahmad to be the keynote speaker at a Mental Health Awareness Event I hosted on September 19, 2015. She presented her story in a way that was sensitive to others who might have been experiencing challenges of their own at the time. Her story made clear the realities of mental illness, while emphasizing the importance of continuously working toward recovery and appreciating one’s own mind. The presentation was remarkable and uplifting, demonstrating that one can accomplish their goals and move forward in their life in spite of mental illness, as the illness is not what defines the person. I would strongly recommend Hufsa as a presenter—she shows an incredible capability to connect with her audience and deliver a message of hope and strength.”

Sophia Luzzi, UCLA, Girl Scouts of Orange County

“Hufsa is a member of the county’s MHSA Steering Committee, a Peer to Peer mentor at NAMI, a board member with the Dayle McIntosh Center, and has her own mental health blog. Hufsa devotes much of her time advocating for clients and changing how people perceive individuals with mental illness. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work in the community as well as for her personal resiliency in her recovery journey. Hufsa is described as Empowering.”

Mental Health Association, Orange County Recipient of the Hope & Courage Award, February 23, 2017

“Hufsa first made her presence known five years ago as a volunteer for the NAMI Walk committee. She later brought her expertise of social media and led four or more of us through hours of blogging on mental illness. For the last two years, she has led a walk team that consistently was in the top teams for donations raised. For nearly 5 years, her efforts have made a major impact on NAMI Orange County. She’s worked at the Warmline as a Peer Mentor and taught Peer to Peer and Provider classes. She’s made countless speeches advocating for those living with mental illness and has played an important role in destigmatizing mental illness here in Orange County. Hufsa is just an excellent example of one person making a difference.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Orange County Recipient of the Next Step Award, June 25, 2016

“I first met Hufsa as a fellow student of NAMI’s Provider Education. We hit it off, for we both are, or in my case have been, mental health care providers with personal lived experience with mental illness. We both went on to attend the same training to become Provider Education presenters. I joined Hufsa’s NAMI Walks team, the Stigma Smashers, in 2015 and am doing so again in 2016 (our team rocks!). My life is better having Hufsa as a friend and colleague. Our world is better having her as a mental health advocate.”

Kitt O’Malley, LMFT,