FRN Family Recognition Celebrations

2013 FRN Family Recognition Celebration

On Saturday, April 27, 2013 the Family Resource Network (FRN) held its 4nd annual Family Recognition Celebration at Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment.

Approximately 200 family members, some loved ones, and provider staff attended the event to learn about the various family inclusion efforts underway in Philadelphia’s transformation of the behavioral health system. Family members had an opportunity to meet other families, the leadership of the Family Resource Network, gain needed resources and meet provider partners.

Moderated by Rose Carvalho, Philadelphia NAMI Office, the program included:

  • Welcome from Margaret Meshok, Director of Social Work, Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment.
  • Keynote speaker Laura DeRiggi, Director of Special Projects, Community Behavioral Health and Director, Clinical Services Department of Human Services. In both adult and children’s’ services, Laura discussed the importance of families, the Practice Guidelines representing a collective voice of many stakeholders in the recovery process, creating collaborative efforts between families/significant people, providers, and the behavioral health system, and a commitment to the Family Resource Network Standards.
  • Musical Entertainment by Eric Solenberger
  • Max Molinaro, Dr. Larry Real (who, the evening before, was awarded the psychiatrist of the year by NAMI), and the FRN Project Partners: Comhar, Community Treatment Teams, Horizon House, JEVS, Mental Health Association of Southern PA in efforting family inclusion standards.
  • Lloyd Wertz discussing the importance of the Tears in the Safety Net project, and the need for those who have lost funding and/or services to help inform legislators of the negative impact that those losses have had on their lives and/or the lives of their families.
  • Jazmin Banks on the importance of resources, networking, and getting involved in the behavioral health system.

The celebration honored 35 family members for the various ways they support their loved ones either through personal and/or system support.

The 2013 Family Leadership Award was presented to Thelma Freeney, who through years of example, advocated for her loved one and others in need, facilitated a NAMI family support group for over 20 yrs, was involved in numerous efforts at state and local levels to ensure that the family voice was heard.

FRN expresses appreciation to Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment the use of their facility, Temple/Episcopal Hospital Family Advisory Committee, and the Family Recognition Celebration Committee (Jazmin Banks, Kathleen Cantwell, Carol Bitzer, Rose Carvalho, Becky Espanol, Barbara Fitz, Judy Long, George Shields, Angela Smith) for their time, efforts, donation of door prizes.