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Volunteer to be honored at USF

For more than 20 years, Gwen Iding has volunteered in the mental health field. Tuesday, the Homosassa woman will be honored by the Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter will speak at FMHI's seventh annual Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health Conference from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Westshore.

Her speech will inaugurate the Gwen Iding Distinguished Lecture series, which will honor Iding's work as a citizen advocate.

Each year speakers who are known for their significant contributions to children's mental health policy will be invited to share their national perspectives with conference participants and guests.

This conference will focus on current developments in mental health services for children and their families.

Iding, who began volunteering in 1972 with the Mental Health Association of Pinellas County, was appointed by the governor in 1981 to the State Task Force on Children and later served on a national advisory committee on children's mental health.

She is also a life member of the Guild at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Along the way Iding has garnered many awards for her advocacy in the mental health arena. She served in various positions with the National Mental Health Association from 1980 to 1990 and was considered a driving force in the creation of the National Community Support Network.

Although health now limits much of Iding's direct participation, she still continues to work with the Florida Mental Health Institute and the national advisory boards for the Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health, as well as Boston University's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.