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MAY | Print |

RAGING OPIOID EPIDEMIC & RECENT DEATHS UNDERSCORES THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH MONTH

 Mental Health Staff

(ABOVE: Dr. William Whissell, Psychiatrist, and Tammie Gibson, Administrative Assistant, at the Center for Health & Rehabilitation)

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In the past week, four people died from a drug overdose in Georgia, and dozens more were hospitalized in a single day.  Stories like this have become common.  In fact, drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, and public health officials agree that the current opioid epidemic is the worst drug crisis in American history.

That is why recognizing May as Mental Health Month has become more important. Although the Fulton County Department of behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (BHDD) is in a state of transition, the staff remain committed to meeting the needs of the increased number of Fulton County residents seeking treatment for addiction or another form of mental health disorder.  

"There is no health without mental health.  It is inexplicably tied together with physical health," says Charles Releford, Chief of Staff of the Fulton County Department of BHDD.  "And the work that our employees do is of the utmost importance to the overall community, as well as the individual."

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 349,000 adults in Georgia live with serious mental illness and 111,000 children live with serious mental health conditions.  Untreated mental illness also has deadly and costly consequences.  Suicide is almost always the result of untreated or under-treated mental illness.    

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 ALTHOUGH THEY FACE CHALLENGES DAILY, THESE MOTHERS ENJOYED BEING QUEEN FOR A DAY

Mothers

(ABOVE: Betty Williams & Erika Williams - Walker, both Social Services Program Managers with the Fulton County Department of BHDD, enjoy the Mother's Day event)

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On Friday, May 12th, the South Training Center transformed its dining room for clients into an elegant salon thathosted a luncheon in honor of the mothers of the 63 adultswith developmental disabilities who receive services at the facility.

The theme was "Purses & Peals", and the room was draped in pink and featured a collage of the client's mothers on a display wall.  The highlight was an elegant buffet lunch and live entertainment provided by a local singer and guitarist.  "As a parent of a special needs individual, our jobs as mothers are never done," said Danielle Winfield, Training Center Instructor.  "The mother's really enjoyed it.  They needed that boost to know that you are not alone and others are in this with you."

guitarweb  

 (ABOVE: A guitarist and singer performs for the mothers of adult clients with developmental disabilities at the South Training Center)

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Over 30 mothers and caregivers of clients attended the event.  The South Center Training regularly holds special events for their consumers and family members.  The parents have a tax-exempt foundation that funds special events at the Center.

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 MEET LAURA JONES

Laura Jones

Laura Jones is a Skills Trainer at the South Training Center.  She teaches adults with developmental disabilities to develop skills that can be utilized to attain employment. Laura also manages a team of consumers who provide cleaning services to business customers.  

 

 
 

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