On March 16th, Candy Watt and Patricia Myers, two of FACES co-founders, accepted an award on behalf of FACES.  Chesterfield Community Services Board honored FACES with a Community Partnership award at a lovely banquet held at Meadowbrook Country Club.   Several other organizations were honored for their collaborative work.

FACES is proud to serve the Chesterfield community and treasures our partnerships with Chesterfield Mental Health as well as other wonderful organizations such as Chesterfield Police, NAMI, American Foundations For Suicide Prevention,  Celebrate Recovery and others, that also strive to bring understanding to the issues of mental illness and brain disorders.

We are pleased to be recognized and remain dedicated to making Chesterfield County a place of mental wellness, understanding and acceptance for all.

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People are talking about FACES and here is what they are saying. 

 

As Program Manager at Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services, I want to express my utmost support and appreciation for the outstanding advocacy and services provided by FACES for families seeking resources and hope and wellness for loved ones affected by disorders of the brain such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorders.  Since FACES first began in 2005, the group has been valued partner and a significant community organization.  FACES is truly a group that saves lives and saves families.  FACES is a group that advocates for mental health systems and services to work better and work smarter for seriously vulnerable citizens and their families here in Chesterfield and throughout Central Virginia.

 

It has been my honor to participate in panels during suicide prevention seminars organized by FACES.  I have witnessed the support and knowledge and hope gained by family members during support gatherings and community education meetings led by dedicated advocates in the FACES House.  These gatherings and meetings occur several times each month as part of the FACES service to this community.  During the early years of FACES, members reached out to case management teams at Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services to provide holiday gifts and cards to persons suffering from serious disorders and who had little or no family support.  These became powerful gifts of understanding and recognition to persons who too often struggle against the stigma and invisibility associated with serious brain disorders. 

 

The passion of our partners in FACES is nothing short of amazing and never fails to inspire.  These partners at FACES are crucial supporters of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program in Chesterfield County.  With help in planning and implementation from FACES, the Chesterfield CIT program became a reality in 2013.  The CIT program provides police and other public safety personnel with 40 hours of intensive training designed to improve emergency responses to individuals and families experiencing a mental health crisis.  Beyond being an important advocate for the creation of the CIT program in Chesterfield, FACES continues to demonstrate support through their role as an advisor to program facilitators and through presentations to each new group of CIT students.

 

Another successful Chesterfield program – the Crisis Triage Center (CTC) at Chippenham Hospital – also became a reality in 2013 with support and involvement from FACES as active members of the CTC Oversight Group.  The CTC is a joint venture between Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services and Richmond Behavioral Health Authority located in the Tucker Intake area of Chippenham Hospital.  Police in Chesterfield and Richmond can coordinate through their respective mental health crisis teams to bring persons in crisis to the CTC assessment site.  CIT-trained law-enforcement officers and mental health clinicians are onsite at the CTC (9am to midnight – 7 days a week) to team with Chippenham medical staff to provide integrated assessments with recommendations for treatment.

 

A significant goal of the CIT program and the CTC is to provide education and resources for law-enforcement officers when dealing with persons suffering from symptoms of serious disorders.  Such programs strive to decrease the likelihood that someone with acute symptoms will be taken to jail.  The goal is to help persons in need find ways to access treatment whenever possible rather than send them into the criminal justice system.  FACES continues to advocate for enhanced access to improved mental health services.  Demonstrating unflagging dedication to their mission, FACES remains an energetic partner with families and organizations in this community and a positive voice for change and continued learning.  We are a better community because of the remarkable work and mission of FACES.

 

 

Sincerely,

 John Tyler, L.C.S.W.

Adult MH, Emergency Services and Access Manager

Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services

P.O. Box 92

Chesterfield, VA 23832

 

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Four years ago I found myself trying to care for a loved one with a serious brain disorder.  They had no diagnosis, I had no real understanding of their condition, and neither of us had real help or assistance.  We had to endure some very difficult times.  I was told about FACES and every aspect of the situation has changed for the better.

FACES gave me the important support that is vital to coping with such a serious situation.  They understand you and your loved one’s needs from personal experience.  The empathy and knowledge sharing provided to you during their meetings are critical in surviving and even thriving through a loved one’s illness.  I learned how to understand what my loved one is going through, how best to communicate with them, and how I can provide them the support and care that they need.  I learned directly from shared experiences in the group meetings as well as from the educational guest speakers where to find information that I was able apply to my loved one’s specific situation.  And most importantly, they are there for your when it is you that needs support.

The leaders of this group are wonderful and sensitive people.  They are highly effective listeners and educators.  They understand because they’ve similarly had to handle what you have and worked diligently to build a warm, caring group that is experienced, knowledgeable, and supportive.  I can’t speak highly enough of them.  Neither I nor my loved one would be where we are today without their efforts.  There is hope, there is help and they never give up.

-          Mark Warriner

 

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FACES is an invaluable organization, providing personal support, education and advocacy to family members who have a loved one living with a mental illness.    This organization has served as a life line to countless families in our community.  FACES provides support groups and presentations on a wide variety of topics that give family members knowledge and understanding about mental illness and brain disorders.  In addition, FACES has promoted suicide awareness through education campaigns and community events.  The work of this organization has benefitted countless families and has helped to reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness.  Finally, FACES has done a tremendous job promoting specialized training for law enforcement and first responders.  The training enhances the officer’s awareness and understanding of mental illness and also focuses on ways to effectively deal with people who are in crisis due to their mental illness.
Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Larry Barnett

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