Mental Health Awareness Symposium Featuring Kathy Cronkite
Mental health advocate Kathy Cronkite will be in Fort Myers Friday, Oct. 12, to discuss her own journey to wellness from depression and urge others to get help if they need it at the Second Annual Mental Health Symposium hosted by HOPE Clubhouse of Southwest Florida. Cronkite, daughter of legendary CBS News Anchorman Walter Cronkite, will headline the symposium in observance of Mental Health Awareness Week October 7-13. The symposium also will include presentations by Judge Steven Leifman, chairman of the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court, and Joel Corcoran, executive director of the International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD). The symposium will be at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with registration at 10:30 a.m. The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, The News-Press Media Group, Florida Weekly, WINK Radio, Northern Trust Bank and John & Kappy King are the major sponsors at press time. Cronkite, is the author of On the Edge of Darkness: Conversations about Conquering Depression, a collection of interviews with celebrities who have fought depression, including CBS’ Mike Wallace, Joan Rivers, Dick Clark, Kitty Dukakis, and John Kenneth Galbraith, among others. She will be available for book-signing immediately after the symposium. “We are very honored that Kathy Cronkite, Judge Leifman and Joel Corcoran have agreed to join us for our Second Annual Symposium on Mental Health,” said Symposium Co-Chairs Dr. Sandra Pavelka of Florida Gulf Coast University and Andrea Prather of the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. “They have a wealth of knowledge about the mental health field that we can all learn and benefit from.” Cronkite is a popular writer and public speaker. As one of the millions who suffer from clinical depression, she has become a tireless champion for mental health. Her clear message is “Depression must be accepted as the medical condition it is in order to combat the stigma attached to it and to make help available for those who suffer from it.” Judge Leifman is a Miami-Dade County judge who served as Special Advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health for the Supreme Court of Florida from 2007 until 2010. In this capacity, he chaired the court’s Mental Health Subcommittee which authored a ground-breaking report entitled “Transforming Florida’s Mental Health System.” This report, which has received considerable state and national recognition, outlines recommendations with the goal of decreasing inappropriate and costly involvement of people with mental illnesses in the justice system. In October, 2010, he was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme court to chair the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court. As Executive Director of the International Center for Clubhouse Development, Corcoran is responsible for all operations, programs, finances and communications of the ICCD. He has traveled throughout the world working to support the development of Clubhouse programs to be strong and enduring resource centers for people living with mental illness. HOPE Clubhouse of Southwest Florida is one of 350 clubhouses in the world overseen by Corcoran. Tickets for the Second Annual Symposium on Mental Health cost $50 including lunch and $65 with 2.0 CEUs from Florida Gulf Coast University for mental health professionals. Tickets are available at HOPE Clubhouse at 239-267-1777 or may be purchased online at www.hopeclubhouse.org. Tables for eight may be purchased for $750 with corporate recognition. HOPE Clubhouse of Southwest Florida is a model of rehabilitation for people living with severe mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and clinical depression. Hope Clubhouse opened its doors in March, 2010, and has 76 active members. HOPE Clubhouse, the only one of its kind in Southwest Florida, fills a significant gap in the mental health system by offering opportunities for meaningful work, education, friendships and access to housing in a supportive, caring and dignified community setting. HOPE Clubhouse is based on the principle that meaningful work is critical in bringing positive change to the lives of those living with mental illness. Clubhouse staff help “members,” as they are called, to develop work skills to enable them to return to productive employment in the community. For more information about HOPE Clubhouse, visit www.hopeclubhouse.org.
Broadway Palm Dinner Theater
1380 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33907