Sunday, December 08, 2013
NAAF Offers T-Shirt Sales for New Fundraising Opportunity
We are excited to announce our new fundraising opportunity! You can help the Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Foundation and get yourself a great T-shirt at the same time. Buy several for gifts, since it’s the holiday season!
Proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to select an agency that has a history of serving the mentally ill. The agency selected will provide personal hygiene products, a journal and pen to encourage the consumer to write as a method of expression, and we will schedule a “HEAR THE MUSIC!” music therapy session by a certified Music Therapist. Recipients of these products will be people who are served by the organization that has helped Nathaniel immensely. We want to give back to this organization by benefiting their clients in need.
The T-shirts are available in a variety of sizes including Youth YXS-YXL, Unisex S-4XL and Ladies XS-3XL. The T-shirts will only be available for sale until December 28, so hurry to order yours now. Click on this link to order: https://www.booster.com/nathanielanthonyayersfoundation .
Shirts will be delivered approximately two weeks after the campaign closes. Delivery date may be affected by the holidays.
At 100 T-shirts sold, this Booster will raise $1050 for the Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Foundation. We can help a lot of people with that. So order a few T-shirts today! Do it for Nathaniel (or Tony Ocean, as he prefers to be called) and do it for those people you know who are dealing with mental health issues. As always, thanks for your support!
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
Friday, June 14, 2013
Woman fights stigma attached to mental illness
An Indiana newspaper recently featured our own Jennifer Ayers-Moore, Founder and Executive Director of the Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Foundation. The Post-Tribune interviewed Jennifer in connection with her speaking at an event in Hobart, Indiana—the Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living’s sixth annual Northwest Indiana Mental Health Awareness Luncheon and Awards Celebration on May 16.
Under the headline, “Woman fights stigma attached to mental illness,” the article details Jennifer’s efforts as advocate of mental health awareness and provides an update on the status of her brother, Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, aka Tony Ocean, who has schizophrenia.
The article begins, “Three years after a movie depicted the friendship between Nathaniel Anthony Ayers and Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, Ayers’ sister, Jennifer Ayers-Moore, said the reality of her brother living with schizophrenia goes on with challenges and victories that no film crew documents.”
To read the rest of the article, please visit the Post-Tribune online:
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
“HEAR the MUSIC” JAM Session a Birthday Success
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Professor Ron Borczon, Director of the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic, California State University Northridge, and Helen Dolas, Founder/CEO of Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc. (http://www.artsandservices.org/) Because of their effort and concern we were able to collaborate and quickly pull together a fabulous “HEAR the MUSIC” JAM Session and birthday celebration for my brother, Nathaniel, who prefers to be called Tony Ocean at this time. Tony is what our mother called him and he loves to play by the Ocean. Such a fitting name.
Tony had the time of his life playing improv with Certified Music Therapists and Music Therapy students, along with members of LAMP Community, who were able to enjoy an afternoon of music, food and fun. The pizza from Waleeto’s in Hawthorne, CA, was great! Thanks Wally. Thank you, Hayk Makhmuryan, Fine Arts Coordinator, LAMP Community, who took the time to bring the members. The JAM Session was held on Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the Cultural Education Center for the Arts in Hawthorne, CA. Here’s the link to a short video of the JAM Session we have to share with you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_QyKkTrpOg
I traveled to LA with my dear friend and colleague Dr. Barbara Lattimore, Counseling Psychologist/CEO, Alternative Research and Development Services. The trip was a challenge for me, because I was ill, yet I made it through. The students from Cal State were excellent volunteers and participants. Also in attendance were Steve Lopez (Tony’s dear friend), his lovely wife Alison and daughter, and Professor Janise White, conductor of the Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra (https://www.facebook.com/AACMS?ref=stream). Tony is a huge fan of Professor White and plays with the Orchestra when he is healthy enough to join them.
Also Joanne Pierce Martin, an amazing pianist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, came along with her husband, Gavin, who is also a very talented pianist. It was Joanne’s birthday and the LA Phil had a concert that night, so what a sacrifice for her to attend. The huge sacrifices that everyone made to be there were so heart felt. Even our hometown friend Bobby Witbeck, who grew up down the street from us back in Cleveland, Ohio, and his beautiful wife and girls were there. Our sister Lydia from our father’s second marriage was in attendance along with her husband, Vance, and granddaughter, with whom I am just getting acquainted, and it has been a pleasure.
It was awesome to see so many people there to simply enjoy the JAM Session and to see the Music Therapists control the set with their expertise. Most of all it was great to see Tony have such a wonderful time for four hours, in what seemed to provide him with freedom from the torment his mind faces in day-to-day life.
Thank you everyone for your time and contributions. Tony thanks you as well. I know he does!
THANK YOU JANSSEN Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (http://www.janssenpharmaceuticalsinc.com) for your support and sponsorship of the “HEAR the MUSIC” JAM Session. We appreciate your commitment to those diagnosed with mental illness, with your research and continuous efforts to develop new treatments.
Hear the Music/Stop Stigma
Jennifer Ayers-Moore, Founder and Executive Director,
The Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Foundation
Photos courtesy of Yessenia Gonzalez, CSUN Music Therapy Student