Leesburg, Fla. (May 4, 2016) – LifeStream Behavioral Center kicked off its 45th anniversary celebration with a luncheon recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month.
The event, attended by more than 70 elected officials, law enforcement, first responders, civic and business leaders, and Board members, included the reading of a congressional record by Congressman Daniel Webster commemorating LifeStream’s 45 years of service, and a presentation of a proclamation recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month from the Lake County Board of County Commissioners by Commissioner Welton Cadwell.
Tiffany Dahl, licensed mental health counselor, presented an overview of LifeStream’s partnership with the Florida Linking Individuals Needing Care (FL LINC) project and the “Zero Suicide Movement.” The initiative provides tools and supports for organizations to adopt approaches to dramatically reduce suicide among consumers receiving care.
Jennifer Slater, mother of five and owner of 1,000 Words Gallery, shared the story of her brother, Tom, who died by suicide. “I have looked for programs like we have heard about today, Jennifer said. Many people call the people who take their own life victims of suicide, but I disagree. They are not the victims, those of us left behind are the victims, those of us with unanswered questions, we are the victims of suicide.”
Mental illnesses are common and treatable, and help is available. We need to speak up early and in real, relatable terms so that people do not feel isolated and alone. Don’t be afraid to let others know of your mental illness or the mental illness of a loved one. As long as mental illness remains hidden, many people will believe it to be a shameful thing that needs to be concealed. Speaking up about mental illness can be empowering for individuals with a mental illness by helping to relieve the “internalized stigma” they feel. Contact LifeStream if you are interested in having someone speak to your organization, or a local business, on mental health issues.
About LifeStream Behavioral Center
LifeStream Behavioral Center, Inc. (LifeStream) is a behavioral health and social services organization that provides quality-driven inpatient and outpatient treatment, residential, education, care management, rehabilitation and homeless services to children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Since 1971, LifeStream has been dedicated to our mission of “Supporting Recovery, Promoting Health and Creating Hope.”
Located in Central Florida, we primarily serve Lake and Sumter Counties with additional services located in Marion, Citrus, Hernando and Orange Counties. LifeStream is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and reviewed annually by state and federal regulatory agencies.