In the summer of 2004 a group of families with loved ones with critical brain disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, OCD and schizoaffective disorder bonded and made a vow and commitment to establish a non-profit entity called FACES. We formed our group in loving memory of Justin Myers who lost his life to bipolar disorder. We were a determined group of individuals who knew the great need for improved services for those challenged with brain disorders. Mental illnesses are biologically base brain disorders and have nothing to do with moral fortitude. Stigma concerning these illnesses had built a barrier of shame and ignorance and made society and family members reluctant to demand better services for these crucial medical conditions. And so with the help and expertise of our founding advisors (James D. Phillips JD, PHD, J.C. Sadler, Stella Cline, MD, C William Sublett, Jayne Johnson, and David Mangano) we embarked on a journey of providing needed services to the community.

One main avenue of accomplishment comes from our Support Groups which we host twice a month. Here family members can gain comfort, insights, and referrals from others who have walked the same walk. Our once a month Advocacy programs have brought in outstanding speakers from the medical field, community service boards and related social services, law enforcement, consumers, and government officials. We have presented two successful conferences on suicide prevention and we participate in volunteer programs for Central State and Gateway Homes. Our newsletter informs over 600 members of our activities and we have a lending library that helps to educate the public on brain disorders. We are especially proud of the FACES Family Center provided by the grace and support of St. Marks United Methodist Church. On November of 2005 we had our premier fundraiser at Swift Creek Mill Theater and continue to have this event each year. Thousands of live auction items and services have been provided by businesses and individuals to make this yearly event a wonderful success. We can proudly say that through the years we have connected with thousands of residents of the Greater Richmond area in our goal to support and educate families and to advocate for better funding and services for mental health.

The current and past Board Members have worked hard and passionately to accomplish the goals of FACES. We thank all our members, contributors and volunteers for our successes and trust that they shall continue in the future.

Board Members past and present: Pam Weiseman, Chair; Pat Myers, Co Chair; Candy Watt, Steve Watt, Derle Edwards, Deborah Tucker, Ruby Fitzgerald, J.C. Sadler, Linda Townsend, Jeanne Wendt, Gary Wendt, Terry Fowler, and Bonnie Reid. Administrators: Barbara Kunowsky and John Ficklin.