Paso Robles woman selected for her service with Transitions-Mental Health Association

Inspirational, energetic, passionate — these are just a few words coworkers of Meghan Madsen used when talking about her dedication to her work as Program Manager of Wellness Centers and Education for Transitions-Mental Health Association. Now, after being honored as a 2019 Women’s Wall of Fame award recipient, Madsen and her team of professionals are eager to share this important work of bringing mental wellness into the spotlight.

The announcement happened at the 6th Annual Commission on the Status of Women SLO County Women’s Wall of Fame Luncheon, held at the Madonna Inn. Honored as a finalist and top nominee in the Service category, her photo is now displayed on the Women’s Wall of Fame in the SLO County Government Building.

“To even be nominated with all of these amazing women was overwhelming,” Madsen said. “Then, to be chosen as the award recipient in the Service category was nothing short of astonishing to me. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience that has me feeling inspired and driven to give back even more. Being honored and recognized for the work I am so passionate about has re-ignited the fire within and I am moving forward with thoughts of, ‘What else can I do?’ I want others to feel noticed and validated and I want to be part of making that happen.”

TMHA Arroyo Grande Wellness Center, Safe Haven Assistant Supervisor Hilary Lawson nominated Madsen for the award. Lawson shared, “I have been so impressed with how much effort Meghan consistently puts into this community. She is extremely deserving of this award; she works non-stop to help others. It is almost like Meghan has superpowers — she is a mental wellness warrior in my eyes!”


Nominees for the award must demonstrate exemplary service to the community during employment in a service profession and live/work in SLO County. Madsen oversees three Wellness Centers in SLO County, conducts mental health education presentations and training and runs support groups.

“The depth of her understanding of and commitment to the mission and clients of TMHA is one of her strongest assets,” said Barry Johnson, TMHA Director of Education and Advocacy. “Meghan meaningfully supports each person along their journey of recovery. She is talented, empathetic, and a truly special person.”

Madsen earned degrees from Cuesta College and Columbia University in Psychology and Sociology. She has worked with TMHA for 10 years, and holds certificates as a Crisis Intervention Trainer and QPR Trainer (Question, Persuade, Refer) for suicide prevention. She and her husband, Joe, the TMHA Division Director of Housing and Support Services, have lived in the area since 2012. Together, they are the proud parents of a young daughter and two fur babies.

“Joe and I love this community,” she said, “and have worked tirelessly to ensure there are services in Paso Robles, where we live. We desperately see the need for our community to have mental health, crisis, and housing support services.

“Easing someone’s suffering and watching the beauty that arises when people connect with one another is what motivates me to contribute to our community,” Madsen added. “Imagine everyone in the community having the skills to support someone experiencing a mental health crisis. By accepting this award on behalf of the people at Transitions — everyone who works at our agency, all of our clients who work tirelessly every day — I just hope to shine the light on what we do.”