Annual Rosecrance Ware Center event celebrates stories of recovery

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came,” sang Rosecrance clients, welcoming attendees to the 2019 Rosecrance Recovery Fest.

This line of the “Cheers” theme song set the tone for the event, held May 16 at the Rosecrance Ware Center. The Rosecrance Choraliers opened the afternoon with a performance of several popular songs and personal stories of recovery from mental health disorders.

“Our hope today is for you to feel connected and part of the celebration of recovery here at the Ware Center, a place where as the lyrics said, ‘we’re glad you came,’” said Liam Wolf, who co-directs the Rosecrance Choraliers group alongside Autumn Shreve. The group provides clients with an opportunity to engage in a performance-based experiential therapy, and uses music as a tool and coping skill to reduce negative impacts of mental health symptoms.

After the half-hour performance, Administrator of Adult Mental Health Services Joan Lodge welcomed staff members, clients, friends and family members to the event. Recovery support specialist Mike Holstein emceed throughout the afternoon and introduced the Rosecrance Ambassador Program.

The Ambassador Program is a pilot program at the Ware Center created to help clients enhance their recovery skills while helping others. The duties of an ambassador include greeting clients at the front door, informing clients of available community resources and Rosecrance services, and providing staff with feedback on client issues or concerns.

Holstein then transitioned into the last part of the program, where Rosecrance staff recognized clients who had made extraordinary progress in their recovery efforts.

One such client was Linda, who came to Rosecrance in July of 2018. Her counselor, Grace, had started working at Rosecrance that same month. Linda was Grace’s second client. “When she first came to me, the first three sessions I don’t think I got more than four words out of her because she cried so much,” said Grace, recounting how far Linda has come. “Finally she came in and she didn’t cry. I was so excited. She’s come a long way. She embraces everything we offer here.” Linda’s story was one of many inspiring testaments to the power of recovery from substance use and mental health disorders. Recovery Fest is purposefully hosted in May to bring awareness to mental health month.