Lee Health and Kids’ Minds Matter, who have launched a special partnership to address mental health needs in the community, will join together as title sponsors for the Hope Clubhouse of Southwest Florida “Faces of Hope Who Give” Mental Health Luncheon on Oct. 28 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers.
“Lee Health’s sponsorship of Hope Clubhouse – through Kids’ Minds Matter – is absolutely vital, not just because mental illness knows no age limit, but, equally, because we must offer those afflicted the promise of dignity, purpose and a loving community. Simply put, this is our calling as a moral, compassionate and humane society,” said Paul G. Simeone, Lee Health vice president and medical director of behavioral and mental health.
The luncheon is from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers. VIP reserve tickets are currently available at $100 each. If seats are still available on Oct. 1, a limited number of general admission tickets may go on sale for $75. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. For tickets or sponsorships, go to hopeclubhouse.org.
Hope Clubhouse is a non-profit organization, which provides a pathway of hope and opportunities for education and employment for hundreds challenged by mental health issues.
“This is a hugely important sponsorship for us,” said James Wineinger, executive director of Hope Clubhouse. “To have Sarah Owen as our keynote speaker and Lee Health as our title sponsor, that is a really powerful combination.”
The “Faces of Hope” event raised a record-breaking $133,000 in 2018, but event chair Diana Willis wants another record, challenging the community to reach the $200,000 mark this year. “We want to work hard to continue that trend,” Wineinger said.
This year, Kids’ Minds Matter is helping Lee Health launch a first-of-its-kind program, called TelePsyche, which offers advice and counseling through digital services to Southwest Florida families on mental health concerns, like depression, anxiety and trauma.
Kids’ Minds Matter raised more than $3 million last year to open doors for children, who need psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health resources.
Both Lee Health and Kids’ Minds Matter have prioritized the need for mental health resources for a state that ranks last in per capita funding for mental health. Statistics show one in five children, ages 13 to 18, will experience a severe mental health issue.
Florida statistics reveal approximately 660,000 adults and 181,000 children live with serious mental illness, including bipolar disorder, severe depression or schizophrenia. Almost half of Florida residents will face a less severe form of mental illness at some point in their lives.