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Third Annual Mental Health Symposium

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Mental health advocate and author Dottie Pacharis will be in Fort Myers Tuesday, Oct. 1, to discuss her family’s struggle to get help for her son and urge others to obtain treatment if they need it at the Third Annual Mental Health Symposium hosted by HOPE Clubhouse of Southwest Florida. Pacharis, who is the author of “Mind On the Run,” will headline the symposium in observance of Mental Health Awareness Week October 7-13. The symposium, named “Mental Illness: A Family Affair,” also will include a presentation on the genetics of mental illness by Fort Myers psychiatrist Dr. Steven Machlin. A highlight of the symposium will be a panel discussion by Pacharis and three well-known local women, each of whom has been impacted by mental illness in her own family: ● Dawn-Marie Driscoll, an executive fellow at the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University and a former corporate attorney, who has a 61-year-old sister diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type; ● Sarah Owen, CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, who has a 23-year-old son living independently with mental illness; and ● Andrea Prather, co-owner of the Broadway Palm, who was diagnosed with depression and has managed her illness with appropriate medication. The symposium will be at the Broadway Palm, 1380 Colonial Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with registration at 10:30 a.m. The Broadway Palm, Florida Weekly and The News-Press Media Group are the major sponsors with support from FineMark National Bank, Gavin’s Ace Hardware, Gulf Coast Clinical Research Center, Northern Trust, Park Royal Hospital, Rehak & Branning Attorneys at Law, and Storm Force. HOPE Clubhouse Board Vice-Chair Shawn Seliger will serve as master of ceremonies. Tickets for “Mental Wellness: A Family Affair” cost $35 including lunch and $50 with 2.0 CEUs for mental health professionals. Tickets are available at HOPE Clubhouse at 239-267-1777 or may be purchased online at Tables for eight may be purchased for $750 with corporate recognition. For more information about HOPE Clubhouse, visit

Occurs once: Oct 1, 2013 (11:00 AM to 2:00 PM)
Contact Name: Deb Webb
Contact Phone: 239-267-1777

Broadway Palm
1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33901

Ticket Price: $35 or $50 with CEUs
Ticketing Phone: 239-267-1777
Ticketing URL:
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