May 2018 Message from Jeff O'Neil, President/CEO
MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
Our recent 12th Annual Champions of Hope gala was truly a night to remember. For those of you who weren’t able to join us, we heard the amazing story of Bill, a GCB client who lost almost everything – his house, career, marriage – to mental illness. But Bill’s story is not one of loss, but of inspiration and renewal. Standing before 350 people, 11 years since his journey first began, Bill has made incredible strides towards recovery and reclaiming his life.
Many of you have been deeply impacted by the addiction or mental illness of a family member or close friend. You know that people with serious mental illness and/or addiction have to not only live with the symptoms and disabilities of the disease, but the stigma and misconceptions that accompany them.
We are so thankful that you have joined with us to encourage, empower and partner with our clients to look at their situation, options and potential. As our advocates, you are standing alongside each of our 700 staff members when we meet approximately 30,000 people experiencing a mental illness or addiction each year, providing the help that is needed, resulting in a safer, healthier community.
Your continued support allows us to show up every day for the thousands who we’re helping on the road back to recovery. Like Bill. I hope you’ll enjoy reading his story in its entirety, included in this issue. Also, in honor of Mental Health Awareness month, we are also profiling our FIRST program which is the only program of its kind in the Greater Cincinnati area that provides coordinated specialty care for individuals and families who have experienced psychosis for the first time.
We look forward to sharing many more stories of hope and healing with you in the coming months. Thank you again – and Happy Spring!