From mid-April through early August 2012, anyone who walked by the Employment Unit at 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month could see that the five Fountain House members seated around the rectangular conference table were hard at work. They were the first participants in the Employment Unit’s pilot course, “Interview Preparedness,” self-selected by their willingness to attend the series of hands-on workshops regularly and to do the homework too.
Led by Fountain House Human Resources Director, Jennifer Rivera, and facilitated by Employment Unit Leader, Nancy Young, the pilot’s curriculum covered a lot of ground. Starting with writing a cover letter and preparing a resume, the comprehensive program focused on interviewing skills and concluded with how to follow up after an interview. Other sessions included interview etiquette and attire, networking, and honing an “elevator pitch” to use when you only have 30 seconds with a potential employer to summarize what you bring to the table. Informative handouts tailored to each session were a valuable takeaway, enabling the participants to reinforce at home what they learned in the workshops.
Several sessions were dedicated to mock interviews; each participant had two during the pilot program. Most were led by Jennifer, but one interview workshop session was led by a surprise guest, Ernst & Young HR Manager, Jean Clark. (Thanks, Jean!) The mock interviews were based on advertised job descriptions that members had identified at the first workshop: real opportunities for which they were already qualified, or would be with additional training. Job goals were fine-tuned, as participants gained insights about their interests and skills and the work environments that would best play to their strengths. All the workshops were videotaped by Fountain House for training purposes.
As a new volunteer to Fountain House this year, my interest in assisting the Employment Unit happily coincided with the launch of the Interview Preparedness pilot program. As the “semester” progressed, I was privileged to witness the participants thrive as they gained confidence, smiled more, and took steps toward their personal goals.
Graduation day was August 7. Participants received a personalized certificate of completion, talked about what they had learned during the pilot, and offered suggestions for possible future topics related to employment. Darvin reported that he had just been called back for a second interview; Nora expressed thanks for awareness she gained during the mock interview process; and Jasmine shared that she has recently spent time assisting others coming to the Employment Unit. Maisoun reflected the sentiments of the group when she accepted her certificate: “Now I have hope.” Keisha, who had attended most of the workshops, couldn’t be there for that last session -- she had already gotten the full-time employment she prepared for.
Members, staff, board members and friends joined together for the annual Fountain House Holiday Open House, hosted by Fountain House President, Kenneth J. Dudek.
Members, staff, board members and friends joined together for the annual Fountain House Holiday Open House, hosted by Fountain House President, Kenneth J. Dudek. Guests were greeted by carolers as they entered the clubhouse and enjoyed hot chocolate and apple cider as they took the elevator to the newly renovated Wellness Unit on the 5th and 6th Floors. They shopped for their holiday gifts at the High Point Alpaca Trading Co. store including items from Fountain Gallery.
More than 500 guests converged at The Prince George Ballroom for Fountain Gallery’s 10th Annual Celebration of Life Benefit.
More than 500 guests converged at The Prince George Ballroom for Fountain Gallery’s 10th Annual Celebration of Life Benefit. The Ballroom, situated in a landmark building in Manhattan’s Madison Square North Historic District and replete with neo-Renaissance architectural details, provided a splendid showcase for the 100 works displayed for sale by the artists of Fountain Gallery, the premier venue in New York City representing artists with mental illness.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sasha Nicholas Steven Caputo
BENEFIT COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS
Earle Altman Peter L. DiCapua Matt Duthie Carmel W. Fromson Dario Gristina Carl T. Hagberg John McGinley Jerry Schumm Andrew Stenzler
Rich Hiler Marcia Mann JuneAnn Patrick Mary Pontillo Melissa Shafton Gabriel Stefania
Alexander Acquavella Sal Amato Maggie Calamari Judy Cormier Kevin DePicotto Lydia Detres Ines Elskop and Christopher Scholz Andrew Hurewitz Dino Mangione Sasha Nicholas and Steven Caputo Joseph Primiano Dawn Reinholtz Antinea ivera Thomas Rutter Bonnie and Jay Stockwell Joe Szabo Lynn Epsteen Tesher and Martin Tesher, MD Anthony Valencia
The Associates Committee of Fountain House hosted their fourth annual Fall Fête on Thursday, November 3, 2011.
The Associates Committee of Fountain House hosted their fourth annual Fall Fête on Thursday, November 3, 2011. This gala event serves to introduce a new audience of young professionals to Fountain House’s comprehensive mental health model and its mission to fight the stigma associated with mental illness. The program featured Fountain House’s successful Supported Education Program and highlighted its newest component: the Associates Scholarship Award Fund.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Kate and Chris Allen Byrdie Bell Sarah and Jeremy Goldstein Kathleen and Reha Kicatas Jennifer and Erik Oken Lil Phillips Madeleine Potvin Elizabeth Pyne Katie Tozer Kiliaen Van Rensselaer Katie Zorn
Anne and George Baker Elizabeth and Matthew Borsch Lindsay and Michael Bracken Mark Bryant Nicole and Keith Cunningham Phoebe and Spencer DePree Brooke and Thorne Porkin Daisy Prince and Hugh Chisolm Frances Schultz Timothy Wheaton
The Changing Mind: Youth and Neuroplasticity. The 9th annual Fountain House Symposium and Luncheon took place at The Pierre in New York City on April 30, 2012 and raised over one million dollars.
The 9th annual Fountain House Symposium and Luncheon took place at The Pierre in New York City on April 30, 2012 and raised over one million dollars.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Mark Vonnegut, MD Pediatrician and Instructor of pediatrics at Harvard Mdical School
Joseph T. Coyle, MD Brian M. D'onofrio, PHD Elyn R. Saks
Congressman Earl Blumenauer Glenn Close Hon. Patrick J. Kennedy Hon. Jim Ramstad Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers Hon. Gordon Smith Congressman John A. Sullivan
Kim S. Fennebresque Dahlman Rose & Co.
Allen and Frances Beatty Adler Ann Barish William C. Bartholomay Peggy and Jeff Bewkes Mr. and Mrs. William McC. Blair, Jr. Lisa and Dick Cashin Jackie and Barry Gosin Jane C. Gould and Stephen Fillo Jane Hartley and Ralph Schlosstein Mr. and Mr.s Franklin W. Hobbs Isabel and Jerry Jasinowski Ginny and David Knott Stephanie Kreiger Margo M. Langenberg Ambassador and Mrs. John L. Loeb, Jr. Ginny and Pete Nicholas Peggy and Marne Obernauer, Jr. Laura and Richard Parsons Elena and Michael Patterson Mary Quick Pedersen Nancy Peretsman and Robert Scully Ted and Vada Stanley Kari and Carl Tiedemann Laurie M. Tisch Cynthia and John C. Whitehead
So much is still unknown about James Holmes, the accused shooter in Colorado, but inevitably the question of his mental health arises. As most people know by now, he was being seen by a psychiatrist who, in fact, did report a problem to the campus police. Soon after, he dropped out of school, so campus police didn’t pursue it.
The facts of this case will evolve over time, but what will we recommend for the next time?
My friend E. Fuller Torre says we should improve the community commitment laws, and I’m sure my friends at the Bazelon Center would say we need to protect the rights of the individual. I’m really not sure who is right, but on the ground, in practical everyday interactions, what can be done? Since this man was seeing a psychiatrist, he was already getting more services than many people in similar situations on many campuses.
Why didn’t someone take more action? The problem is not just a medical issue but a cultural one – tremendous stigma still follows serious mental health conditions. While reporting a person may prevent a violent act, it also brands that person with the scarlet letter of mental illness. Once you bear this brand, it affects your whole life: your friends, your family, your job, your school.
Someone from the university should have been able to ensure that Holmes received continuous, aggressive help. But they didn’t. And he didn’t. I don’t blame the school; I say that we are all responsible, because we perpetuate the problem. We have stigmatized these illnesses in such a way that it is impossible for caring, responsible people to do what needs to be done. And until we figure out how to eradicate this stigma, inadequate care – and the host of problems it causes - will continue.
Joan Allen, Lauren Ambrose, David Aaron Baker, and Dan Futterman took part in a reading of Daughter of the Queen of Sheba at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on Monday, October 17.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen Father Richard Baker, St. Malachy's - The Actor's Chapel Daniel Barnz Lee Bryant Susan Cartsonis John P. Casaly Ashley Corbiere Karen Croner Wayne Diana Kevin Dolan Ines Elskop Nancy Farrell Judy Finneran Brandon Fradd, MD Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell Mary Pat Gleason Mary Moss Greenbaum Lance Harison Rabbi Jill Hausman, The Actor's Temple Alexandra A. Herzan Gail Hochman Irish ARts Center Evelyn Lorentzen-Bell Jacki Lyden Anne Mai Tori Masters Rabbi J. ROlando Matalon, Congregation B'nai Jeshrun Douglas A. McIntyre Jilianne Michelle Marcia and Howard Owens, MD Vivian Palazzolo Izhar Patkin Jennnifer A. Raab, President, Hunter College Sylvie Rabineau Frank and Lucy Rosengarten Arlene and Chester Salomon Pastor Paul Schmiege Joshua Wolf Shenk Lynn Tesher T.P.U Local One, I.A.T.S.E. Patricia Towers Madeleine L. Tramm, PhD Bard and Mark Vonnegut Nancy Walther
Three modern day, strength-based theories are consistent with the Fountain House working community practices, in that they state or imply a need for places where people can build their motivation, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and ultimately their natural tendency for personal fulfillment.
In 1997, the psychologist Albert Bandura elaborated his concept of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief that he has the ability to accomplish a certain task; as a person’s self-efficacy increases, he is better able to deal with insecurities related to unsuccessful past efforts. According to Bandura, the best way to improve self-efficacy is through participation in real activities as opposed to simulated ones. It’s through this participation that a person can have a successful experience (mastery), observe others successfully participating in similar activities (vicarious experience), and be inspired by others in a significant relationship (verbal persuasion).
In Edward Deci and Richard Ryan's self-determination theory, intrinsic motivation - a prerequisite for self-actualization - requires a place: a social environment in which the nutrients for autonomy (the exercise of control and choice) relatedness (relationships with people who care) and competence (increasing self-efficacy) exist.
The third relevant incarnation is the advent of positive psychology in 2001 – a field that brings together theories and research that focus on what people need in order to live a "good life." According to positive psychology, the good life involves optimal functioning; subjective well-being; and a focus on human strengths, capacities, and resources rather than human pathology. As it relates to positive psychology and the need for supportive environments, Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson wrote
"Using your signature strengths is concordant with your intrinsic interests and values; hence in a supportive environmental context the clients strengths will become evident. This does not typically happen in a prescriptive way such as having the client complete a strengths inventory, but it occurs spontaneously in the relationship."1
The Fountain House strength-based working community treatment approach predates these three modern theories, although it has in common with them all of the essential elements for human growth and development. They all state or imply the necessity of a relationship-rich place - a place that has values and offers a sense of belonging and the opportunity to model others, a place that has practices and activities that are real, not simulated, in which members can choose to participate, and - by that choice - experience success and the growth in their motivation and self-efficacy.
In addition to offering adults with serious mental illness a sense of belonging, the Fountain House treatment approach breaks new ground by creating a situation in which they are needed to participate in all of the essential practices and activities of the community. When you relate to a person’s need to be needed, you celebrate humanity, confer dignity, and emphasize belonging. It both supports and fosters self-respect, and because of the mutual need and mutual gratitude expressed, produces equity in the professional relationship.
1 Seligman, M.E. Positive Psychology: Fundamental Assumptions. The Psychologist 16, p. 126-127.
Julius Lanoil Education and Wellness Consultant, Fountain House
The Associates Committee held the Fountain House Fall Fête on Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Associates Committee of Fountain House hosted their fifth annual Fall Fête on Thursday, November 1, 2012. This event served to introduce a new audience of young professionals to Fountain House’s comprehensive mental health model and its mission to fight the stigma associated with mental illness.
Emporio Armani Lilly USA, LLC Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Byrdie Bell Jeremy L. Goldstein Sarah Simmons Goldstein Kathleen and Reha Kocatas Jennifer Oken Lil Phillips Madeleine Potvin and Alexandre Desmarais Katie Tozer Kiliaen Van Rensselaer Katie Zorn
Kate and Chris Allen Melissa Berkelhammer Amy and Shawn Atkinson Lindsay and Michael Bracken Mark Bryant Nicole and Keith Cunningham Kandis Koustenis William Manger Brooke and Robby Mountain Elizabeth Pyne Frances Schultz Timothy Whealon
On March 6, 2012, Giorgio Armani sponsored the Second Annual Fountain House Associates Spring Breakfast, entitled “Enhancing Your Mood and Memory: Hormones are Just Part of the Story.”
On March 6, 2012, Giorgio Armani sponsored the Second Annual Fountain House Associates Spring Breakfast, entitled “Enhancing Your Mood and Memory: Hormones are Just Part of the Story.” The event, which was held at Armani Ristorante, featured C. Neill Epperson, MD, Director of the Penn Center for Women’s Behavioral Wellness and Shari Lusskin, MD, Founding Director of Reproductive Psychiatry at NYU Medical Center and NYU School of Medicine.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
C. Neill Epperson, MD Shari Lusskin, MD
Kate Allen Donya Bommer Kathleen Kocatas Jennifer Oken Katie Tozer Katie Zorn
Nicole Cunningham Heather Georges Sarah Goldstein Stacey Graev Kandis Koustenis Laura McVey Elizabeth Pyne