Monday, 17 May 2010 16:42
Clint Rayner, Florida’s chief of Consumer and Family Affairs at the Department of Children and Families, had the promise of an exceptionally productive life snatched from him in 1990 when he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 40.
Rayner met that diagnosis head-on and turned his life into a mission to make dramatic changes in the way the state deals with mental health.
“Transformation of the public mental health system is a major cultural shift,” Rayner said on the Consumer and Family Affairs Web site. “It will not be accomplished overnight.”
NAMI Wakulla, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has invited Rayner to speak on May 24 at the Tallahassee Community College Center, about Bipolar Disorder and his trailblazing work in Florida to provide a voice for Floridians with mental illness and their families.
Bipolar Disorder, sometimes called manic depression, is a medical illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy and functioning. The estimates of adults and children who have the disorder are in the millions.
While the disorder usually lasts a lifetime, there are treatments for it that allow people, like Rayner, to lead productive lives.
For his work in mental health advocacy, Rayner is heralded by the state of Florida as a pioneer. His peer programs are a major component of his mission as chief of DCF’s Consumer and Family Affairs Department.
In the past two years, Rayner has worked to open doors for those with mental diseases and their families to be the “driving force” in setting state policies, make decisions on all state levels and strengthen families by meeting their needs with education, support and access to services.
Major aspects of Rayner’s work are peer programs that train those with mental illness as leaders in recovery programs, education programs for those who work in trauma situations, and jail-diversion programs for veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The May 24 meeting is open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m., Tallahassee Community College Center, 319 South Crawfordville Highway, Crawfordville, FL.
In addition to offering public programs, NAMI Wakulla is gearing up for a special night at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. The management at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s has committed to donating 15 percent of the profit on Monday, June 14, from customers who order take-out or dine-in and mention NAMI between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
To reach NAMI Wakulla, please call 850-926-1033.
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