On Monday, May 4th, Fountain House raised over one million dollars at its 12th Annual Symposium and Luncheon. The event took place in the Grand Ballroom of The Pierre, where more than 500 guests gathered in support of Fountain House.
The topic for this year’s event was “Challenges and Possibilities: New Research on Schizophrenia.” In the United States, 23.5 million people experience serious mental illness and 3.5 of those people have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The stigma, rejection, and isolation that accompany mental illness are often as damaging and debilitating as the illness itself. The attendees who convened at The Pierre were on hand to learn the latest information from the frontlines of mental health research, treatment, and public policy from an esteemed panel of experts.
The panel was comprised of three of the world’s preeminent physicians in the field of schizophrenia: Nancy C. Andreasen, MD, PhD, a recipient of the President’s National Medal of Science who is Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry and Director of the Iowa Neuroimaging Consortium at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; John M. Kane, MD, Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, who directs the Advanced Center for Interventions and Services Research in Schizophrenia at the Zucker Hillside Hospital; and Peter J. Weiden, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago and Chief Medical Officer of Uptown Research, Inc., whose research has focused on bridging psychopharmacology and public health in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Panelist and moderator Consuelo Mack
"Schizophrenia is a serious, but treatable illness in which people do recover," said Dr. Peter Weiden. "The success seen at Fountain House can be a clue about how researchers can guide treatment." They chronicled the challenges of living with this serious mental illness and illuminated the possibilities for recovery and achievement of a meaningful life. Consuelo Mack, Managing Editor and Anchor of Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, was the engaging and engaged master of ceremonies.
Hawley Hilton McAuliffe, Director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, graciously addressed the assembled guests. In announcing the bestowal of the 2014 Hilton Prize last July, the Foundation cited Fountain House/Clubhouse International as a “pioneering organization that has created a proven model to help those suffering from mental illness reclaim their lives and realize their potential through work and the support of a caring community.” It was the first time the prize was awarded to a mental health organization. Afterwards, Betty Eastland addressed the crowd, sharing her inspiring story of how Fountain House transformed her life, ending the afternoon on a hopeful note.
Hawley Hilton McAuliffe
The Fountain House Symposium and Luncheon was founded by Lorna Hyde Graev and Lynn Nicholas, PsyD, to advance community knowledge about mental illness and to reduce the associated stigma. Funds raised support Fountain House’s groundbreaking programs, including initiatives addressing employment, education, housing, and wellness. The dedicated Chairs who worked tirelessly to ensure the event’s success were: Patricia Begley, Kitty de Chazal, Alexandra A. Herzan, Podie Lynch, Carolyn B. MacKenzie, Anne Mai, and Ilyse Wilpon. Camille Tibaldeo served as Program Chair.