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NAMI Collier raises a record $200,000 at luncheon featuring Zak Williams, son of Robin Willims

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - EntSun -- – NAMI Collier (National Alliance on Mental Illness) raised $200,000 at the Hope Shines Luncheon attended by 286 guests Dec. 10 at the Arthrex terrace in Naples.

The 14th annual fundraising luncheon helps NAMI Collier County to continue to provide free mental health services to the community.

"We are so grateful that the community and our supporters recognize the increasing need for mental health support as a result of the pandemic," said Kristin Long, development director for NAMI Collier County. "Without financial support, we would be unable to meet the increasing needs during this mental health crisis."

NAMI recognized Collier County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Tom Tavery and the Naples Police Department's Sgt. Matthew Doyle as officers of the year for Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT). CIT is a 40-hour training program through NAMI and other mental health agencies to help law enforcement identify and de-escalate individuals who may be struggling with mental illness. More than 1,000 Collier County law enforcement officers have been trained through the quarterly program.

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Keynote speaker Zak Williams, son of the late Robin Williams, shared the effect losing his father to suicide had on his mental health and embodied the luncheon's motto of "Hope Shines" by sharing how he chose wellness, treatment and a lifestyle focused on recovery in order to be present for himself and his family.

Sponsors of the luncheon included the Driftwood Garden Center, Hahn Loeser, Stock Development, MHK Architecture & Planning, Park Royal Behavioral Health Services, John R. Wood Properties, the Naples Trust Company, Community Health Partners, E. Sue Huff, Patty's Apparel, Surety Construction Company, Naples Daily News and Neapolitan Family.

At the luncheon, NAMI Collier County received a $50,000 donation from the Herman B. Lustigman Family Foundation and a $30,000 grant from Arthrex for NAMI's Supportive Housing Program.

Since March 2020, NAMI Collier has:
  • Helped 150 homeless people find safe, supportive housing
  • Experienced a 56% increase in request for consumer care fund assistance
  • Seen more than 50% increase in demand for services
  • Seen a 30% increase in support group attendance
  • Seen a 22% increase in H.U.G.S. Children's program referrals for services
  • Seen a 25% increase in visits to the drop-in center, with group attendance doubling since the center reopened in September 2020
  • Delivered food to more than 6,000 people in response to the need for community resources.

The next event to raise awareness and hope is the 20th Anniversary of NAMI Collier's Mental Health Walk planned Jan. 29 at Baker Park in Naples. For information, visit namicollier.org/events/ (https://www.namicollier.org/events/).

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Source: NAMI Collier County
Filed Under: Event

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