Liberation Programs' board chairman, Debra Hertz, recently hosted in Darien the first in an ongoing series of quarterly luncheons for area women willing to provide support for pregnant and parenting women needing substance abuse treatment as well as their families.
More than 25 women gathered to listen to guest speaker Mary Barneby, CEO of the Girls Scouts of Connecticut and former head of UBS' private wealth management office. A client of Liberation Programs' Families in Recovery Program also shared her story.
"Women who are struggling to recover have different issues and needs than men that underlie the reasons they are addicted and then in terms of what they need to recover," Barneby said in a release. "Today I am asking you to be Girl Scouts for the day as we discover and connect to learn more about the needs of women in our community who are seeking a way to battle addiction, just as anyone else needs support and encouragement to battle any debilitating disease. I am asking you to be a sister to every courageous woman who is striving to make her life and the life of her family better."
Luncheon guests also heard the story of one of the Families in Recovery clients. FIR is the available treatment in Connecticut where a mother can bring with her two children up to the age of 10 into the long-term residential program.
"Men don't have to worry about bringing their children into treatment with them," Johnnie Malloy, Liberation's chief development and administrative officer, said in a release. "It's estimated that over 20,000 women in Connecticut need substance abuse treatment each year, but less than half will seek treatment because they don't want to be separated from their children."
The group was asked to bring a friend and help grow participation in order to continue to provide support for pregnant and parenting women and their children and families. In August, the Families in Recovery program will relocate to the Linda & Vince McMahon Center for Women and Children in Norwalk.
"Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer," Hertz said in the release. "If we needed to have a family member enter treatment, we wouldn't worry about how to pay for it -- no one should be denied treatment based on their ability to pay and that's why we are here today."
The founders of the women's group include Barneby; Sally Bassler; First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and state Rep.Terrie Wood, R-Darien. Members include Lee Reynolds Crouch, Heather Raker, Christel Truglia, Hertz, Donna Monson and Sherry Sopin.
The next luncheon is scheduled for October and will be hosted by Shelle Cleveland, global diversity leader at GE Capital and Liberation Programs' board member.
For information, call 203-604-1162.