On October 5th, 2015, Hope Clubhouse of Southwest Florida will sponsor Closer to Hope, a symposium designed to raise awareness of mental health conditions and modes of treatment. Taking place at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater in Fort Myers, Florida, the event includes a keynote lecture by Jessie Close, a mental health advocate and sister of actress Glenn Close. Proceeds from this event will go toward Hope Clubhouse of Southwest Florida’s efforts to educate the public on mental health initiatives and issues.
The Hope Clubhouse works to provide education, community events, housing and other resources to those with mental illnesses in the local Florida area. The organization also strives to treat all people diagnosed with a mental health condition with respect, dignity and empathy. Hope Clubhouse holds true to the belief that recovery from mental illness is possible with love, care and strong communities.
Closer to Hope keynote speaker Jessie Close is familiar with the ups and downs of mental illness. Now diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Close previously engaged in reckless behavior as a result of her mental health condition, eventually reaching the point of severe suicide ideation. It wasn’t until the age of 51 that Close sought support from her sister Glenn and received professional help for bipolar disorder.
Together, Jessie and Glenn started their own organization, Bring Change 2 Mind, to end the stigma of mental illness and advocate for others who cannot always stand up for themselves.
“I think it might help people save someone they love. I think it has huge potential for is to give people courage,” Glenn said, “courage to talk about their pain and their fear and what they might be secretly afraid of and secretly thinking of.”
Harriet Lefley, Ph.D, professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Barry Jacobs, Psy.D, director of behavioral sciences at the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Pennsylvania, have established some strategies for coordinating mental illness support systems.
Organizations such as Hope Clubhouse of Southwest Florida or the National Alliance on Mental Illness can provide resources for those with mental illnesses. In times of severe mental illness, Lefley and Jacobs recommend family members and friends stay in contact with the patient’s treatment team, depending on the level of consent the support system has to the person’s records.
Another important aspect of support lies in autonomy: “People with mental illness feel they’ve lost control of their lives, they feel stigmatized and they suffer the most with self-esteem,” Lefley emphasizes, “treat them with respect no matter how symptomatic they are.”
Sovereign Health Group respects patients and their families during admission, treatment and beyond. Every person with a mental illness deserves treatment and reentry into society as a productive and loved human being. Call us today to learn more about our treatment programs.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer