NYSF doesn’t only appreciate good food. More than that, we appreciate significant people who contribute to New York City, to our nation, and most importantly – to our fellow citizens who are in need.
A celebration that recognizes achievements in the mental health community honors sports announcer and activist Mauro Ranallo at the Eleventh Annual Fountain House Fall Fête. The star of Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller, Ranallo receives the recognition at the recommendation of the Associates Committee of the Fountain House. Co-chair Jeremy Goldstein helps hosts the jacket and tie event at the Racquet and Tennis Club on 370 Park Avenue at 53rd Street. The celebration features the organization’s successful education programs and the Danny Zorn Scholarship Award, which started in 2012.
A partner at Jeremy L. Goldstein & Associates LLC, Goldstein supports Fountain House due to its outstanding programs and their ability to make a lasting impact on those suffering from serious mental illness. His interest in supporting Fountain House reflects his belief that no one has found a “substitute for caring.” The event that he helps host provides an opportunity to introduce “a new audience of prominent leaders” to the outstanding programs at Fountain House. Its mental health model and mission lead the fight against the stigma associated with mental illness.
Goldstein has compiled a distinguished record of large corporate deals over the past decade. A graduate of the New York University School of Law, Goldstein‘s expertise in executive compensation helps him rank as one of the top attorneys in the field. At his law firm, he advises clients – including CEOs, compensation committees, and management teams on executive compensation and corporate governance matters, with an emphasis on “transformative business events.”
Committing to Caring for Others
Goldstein brings a commitment to caring from his professional work to his support of Fountain House. The programs there offer hope and guidance to people in need, and Goldstein regards it as an immense honor to help host the Fall Fête.
Understanding the Fountain House Approach
Fountain House uses a working community model that relies on the concept that members have a stake in their recovery and become partners instead of “passive recipients” of treatment. In this way, the organization places value on meaningful work and relationships. A philosophy of inclusion helps people with mental illness who often feel alone in the world integrate into a community where everyone feels welcome. The experience allows people who live with mental illnesses to gather as a community, along with mental health professionals and committed volunteers. Working together, they rely on each other to reach common goals, plan, and administer the programs.
The working community concept at Fountain House has inspired replication around the world, and the federal government recognizes it as an “evidence-based practice.” The effectiveness of the model comes from reliance on core principles that recognize the importance of the need for inclusion, collaboration, and personal choices. Around 40 percent of Fountain House members have experienced homelessness at one time. Even more have substance abuse issues, so the organization provides “Double Trouble” meetings to help members who cope with mental illness and chemical abuse.
Reviewing the Fountain House Programs
At the Fall Fête that co-chair Jeremy Goldstein helps to hosts for Fountain House, the educational programs receive recognition. In its Center for Leadership and Education, Fountain House develops leadership opportunities, which further expand the community-based mental health treatment approach. The organization prepares future leaders and mental health advocates to adopt the principles of Fountain House. The multiple areas that work together to accomplish outstanding results include education, colleague training, leadership, research initiatives, and consulting. The National Institute of Mental Health established a program in 1977 to encourage the replication of Fountain House’s model across the United States. In the following decade, it worked to educate the mental health community and develop more leaders, who inspired the development of “clubhouses” across the country. The positive results are evident in the “thousands of community-based mental health centers” now in operation around the world.
Fountain House experiences similar success with more than 300 clubhouse programs in the U.S. and 34 other countries. Within the framework of the Center for Leadership and Education, which has trained more than 2,500 teams of advocates and leaders, exists a highly efficient program. A dual track offers access to the Executive Fellowship and Internship programs. Immersion training for new and potential clubhouse leaders integrates Fountain House principles and practices with “contemporary nonprofit management techniques.” A J-1 Visa allows participants from around the world to attend the fellowship program. The internship program offers a four-month course that allows participants to work with various clubhouse units and learn through immersion the fundamentals of the community recovery model.
Within the Education and Advocacy branch, three aspects provide a thorough grounding in the essential components of the program.
• Core Colleague Training
A three-week “experience-based learning environment” allows program staff to define and explain how to understand and execute the concepts of the model. Participants receive an orientation to Fountain House’s model for volunteers, board members, and donors who do not engage in direct service to members.
• Focused Workshops
In one-week workshops that teach leadership, employment, and the work-ordered day, the Center for Leadership and Education offers training in regional areas to promote collaboration and connectivity. The outreach enhances opportunities for fundraising and advocacy campaigns, and trainers may conduct the workshops in the language of a region.
The follow-up procedures after the workshops include the establishment of networks through regular teleconferences to build teams that can support each other. Teams that attend the Core Colleague Training sessions may have access to three-day consultations to reinforce the strengths that sustain them. Visits by the faculty of the Center for Leadership and Education provide guidance in self-assessment and direction of program development. A targeted program for new directors allows them to receive executive coaching sessions for a fee.
Conducting the Research
An annual symposium takes place at an international venue and continues the tradition that started in 2008 to promote the community recovery model. The symposium focuses on topics that explore the central concepts of the organization, including academic internships, employment, and integrated health care. The outcome of the symposium consists of the development of new practices, regular meetings of global researchers, journals, and books, all of which reflect the vital work of Fountain House.
Facing the Challenge
Mental illness directly affects 450 million people around the world, and occurs in one in four families. The World Health Organization recognizes it as a “humanitarian crisis of our time” due to its ability to diminish one’s quality of life. The impact of stigma extends to discrimination that people with mental illness suffer. Such discrimination affects housing, employment, and education opportunities. As an outcome of the suffering and isolation, almost one million people attempt suicide every year. Expert projections indicate that depression may become the “leading cause of disability” among women and children, but the lack of treatment availability limits access. Approximately 13 percent of the global population lives with mental health conditions, but only a third of them receive treatment. About 85 percent of Americans with severe mental illnesses are unemployed, and approximately 40 percent have no home. The effects of mental illness can prevent the management of financial affairs, educational opportunities, employment, and self-care.
With influences that trace back to 1948 and the “We Are Not Alone” group, which created the concept of the community-based model, Fountain House addresses the urgent matter of social isolation. A fountain at the clubhouse at West 47th street inspired the name of the organization for which attorney Jeremy Goldstein hosts the Fall Fête.