The David Lawrence Center, Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit mental health and substance abuse treatment facility serving children, adults and families, is joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and other voices of recovery from across the nation to observe the 27th Annual National Recovery Month. This event, held every September, increases awareness and understanding of behavioral health disorders, and promotes the message that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and/or substance use disorders.
The 2017 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!” highlights the importance of families, communities, and individuals sharing stories of recovery to encourage others to seek treatment, share their stories, and make a personal connection with the recovery movement.
David Lawrence Center will honor the observance by celebrating individuals and organizations in our community for their outstanding contributions to support those in recovery at the Annual Recovery Month Awards Ceremony. The event will be emceed by WINK news anchor Therese O’Shea and will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the New Hope Community Center located at 7676 Davis Boulevard in Naples.
At the Recovery Month Awards Ceremony, David Lawrence Center will honor the following outstanding individuals and organizations for sharing their voices to advocate, educate, mentor and help others in need of mental health and substance abuse services:
Polly Whiting is being honored as a Youth Prevention Volunteer. She is a teacher at Lely High School where she helps guide more than 50 children to commit to a substance free lifestyle in her role as a Drug Free Collier CORE Club Advisor. She also actively volunteers in the recovery community spreading hope to individuals in the Collier County jail, local hospitals and treatment centers.
Sergeant Leslie Weidenhammer is being honored as a Crisis Intervention Referral Partner. She currently serves as a Crisis Intervention Team Trainer and Coordinator of the Mental Health Unit for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. She is also a member of the Collier County Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Veterans Court Teams. In these capacities she tirelessly and passionately invests her time to support individuals in crisis with a mental illness and/or substance abuse problem who intercept with law enforcement. In addition, she serves as a volunteer board member for National Alliance on Mental Illness were she also works in their youth programs. She is as a steadfast mental health advocate and conveys the message of help, hope and recovery in all that she does.
Retired EMS Chief Walter Kopka is being honored as an Outreach, Referral and Treatment Partner. Prior to his recent retirement after an accomplished 30-year career with Emergency Medical Services, he was dedicated to helping individuals who experience emergencies related to substance use impairment and overdose. He actively partnered with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and David Lawrence Center to help individuals find substance abuse treatment in the wake of narcotics-related arrests and was a staunch supporter of Drug Free Collier’s task force on heroin overdose.
David Lawrence Center Young Executives is being honored as an Outreach and Fundraising Partner. Since they formed in 2010, the younger generation of mental health and substance abuse advocates has hosted many annual fundraising events, volunteered their time to help with campus improvements, and collected wish list items such as art therapy supplies, hygiene products and clothing for clients. Through these efforts, they have made significant financial contributions, spread awareness, and made a positive, noticeable impact in our community and those we serve.
Terry Cox is being honored as a Recovery Community Volunteer. With more than 10 years of sobriety, he has invested countless hours being a positive influence to others who face addictions and spreading the message that recovery is possible. He is a member of the David Lawrence Center Alumni Association and past participant in the Collier County Drug Court program. He volunteers in a variety of local and district leadership capacities throughout the 12-step recovery community. Cox will also share his personal journey through recovery at the dinner.
The evening includes education and awareness community partner tables during the reception, entertainment, dinner, a raffle and the awards ceremony. Confirmed education and awareness community partner tables to date include: Shelter for Abused Women and Children, Drug Free Collier, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Sovereign Health, Hazelden Betty Ford, St. Matthew’s House, Justin’s Place, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Max Flex Fitness, Gulf Coast Runners, NAMI and Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida.
Sponsors to date include the David Lawrence Center Alumni Association, St. Matthew’s House, Hazelden Betty Ford, Sovereign Health and Genoa.
Sponsorships and donations help ensure the event is able to remain free to attend. Donations are appreciated and will be accepted at the event or in advance by calling 239-354-1434 or donating online at DavidLawrenceCenter.org. To make a reservation, visit DavidLawrenceCenter.org or e-mail the names of your guests to Sue Weber at SueW@dlcmhc.com.
David Lawrence Center is the Southwest Florida-based, not-for-profit leading provider of behavioral health solutions dedicated to inspiring and creating life-changing wellness for every individual. The Center provides innovative, comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, residential and community based prevention and treatment services for the one in four local children and adults who experience mental health, emotional, psychological and substance abuse challenges. David Lawrence Center has eight locations in Collier County and touches the lives of more than 50,000 people each year. For more information about David Lawrence Center call 239-455-8500 or visit www.DavidLawrenceCenter.org.
David Lawernce Ceenter