Mental health event needs sponsors

Published 12:02 am Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cuts to mental health programs have plagued agencies throughout the state since 2009, decreasing the budget some $40 million, prompting local agencies to organize fundraisers to help make up lost funding and raise awareness.

Now, South Central Alabama Mental Health officials are asking the community to “get connected” and “take leadership in supporting” the annual Communities Caring 2013 by either donating an auction item or becoming an event sponsor.

“By participating as a sponsor, your organization benefits from extended exposure through media campaigns and promotional efforts directed toward the support of South Central Alabama Mental Health,” Executive Director Diane Baugher said in a letter to locals.

There are several sponsorship packages available, Baugher said.

“You can select the level of participation that best meets your needs and be secure in the knowledge that your donation or sponsorship will be used to help SCAMH meet the mental health needs of our community,” she said.

The event is held to raise awareness of mental illness and raise money for the agency, which serves the comprehensive mental health needs of the mentally ill and substance abuse patients from Covington, Crenshaw, Coffee and Butler counties.

The center provides an array of services for people who have mental illness and for those persons who experience difficulty in coping with life events.

SCAMH offers the following mental illness and difficult situation services: assessment management, court liaison and hospital evaluations, crisis intervention, geriatric services, group counseling, in-home intervention, psychiatric services, rehabilitative day program and therapeutic residential services.

The fundraiser is scheduled for Fri., March 22, at 5:30 p.m., at the Kiwanis Community Center.

Staci Wilson, marketing and training director at SCAMH, said this year’s event will be a 50s rock ‘n’ roll theme.

“This year, we’ll have entertainment, with Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison impersonators coming,” she said. “We’re also encouraging people to come in their 50s attire.”

There will also be a dinner with parmesan-crusted chicken, salad, baked potatoes and dessert.

Wilson said there may be a 50s-themed dessert bar.

Cost is $25 per person for the event.

For more information or to become a sponsor, call 428-5050.