Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act
NAAF Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Ayers-Moore spoke to a full house on October 29, 2013, in Lancaster, PA, as Mental Health America of Lancaster County celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act signed by President John F. Kennedy.
Jennifer shared the story of her family’s challenges when her brother Nathaniel became ill, which halted his education at Juilliard and his dreams of becoming a successful classical musician. She shared how he is doing now, how he has grown and what she would like to see for the future in the mental health community. It was a very well-received presentation, demonstrated by a standing ovation. Jennifer was approached by many attendees wanting to ask questions and share a little of their own stories, which is what she encourages all to do: Speak out and share.
“From the feedback received, many lives were touched by Jennifer as she shared Tony’s journey and the importance of support from family,” wrote Mental Health America of Lancaster County. “We found Jennifer to be authentic, warm, willing, and compassionate. Her desire to connect with providers, families and individuals with mental illness was both heartfelt and touching. She is an extraordinary advocate for countless others.”
Jennier also had the opportunity to visit one of the programs there that serves the emotional and mentally ill, stating, “It was a heart-wrenching experience that I will always remember, because of the staff who love what they do and the people I met they serve. Hearing the stories of consumers is always amazing and humbling. Those who shared were so open because they knew they could be. I had a great experience in Lancaster, PA. Thank you for inviting me!”
Mental Health America “is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental illness and contributing to the quality of life of persons suffering from mental and emotional problems.”
Jennifer Ayers-Moore with Vivian Spiese, former president of Lancaster NAMI and Jim Laughman, Lancaster County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Executive Director (or LCBH/DS for short)
Jan Baily, Executive Director, Mental Health America of Lancaster County, introducing Jennifer Ayers-Moore
From left to right: Diana Fullem, Founder/CEO Recovery InSight, Inc.; Alice Yoder, RN MSN. Director Community Health at Lancaster General Health; Phil Hess, M.H.A.. Chief Executive Officer of Philhaven; Mary Steffy, retired Executive Director of Mental Health America of Lancaster County and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award the evening of the gala; Jennifer Ayers-Moore; Jan Bailey, Executive Director of Mental health America of Lancaster County; Peter Mumma, Director, Behavioral Health Services at Lancaster General Health; Susan Blue, President and CEO of Community Services Group.
Deb Jones, Director of Programs & Compeer Lancaster
Lancaster reception with Jennifer Ayers-Moore
Musicians entertain at the Lancaster reception
The Lancaster audience listens attentively