Last chance for tickets to “Closer to Hope” Mental Health Symposium

September 29, 2015 CONRIC PR

Keynote speaker Jessie Close traces her remarkable journey from chaos to healing as being the “one in four”

From a cloistered childhood existence inside a dangerous cult to a series of destructive marriages to a dual diagnosis of bipolar disease and addiction, Jessie Close now uses a life story full of twists and turns to educate, inspire and heal. She is the keynote speaker for the “Closer to Hope” Mental Health Symposium, which is the fifth such annual event for Hope Clubhouse of Southwest Florida, taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, October 5 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. Limited tickets are still available for $40, including a buffet lunch, at or by calling (239) 267-1777.

One in four people suffers from a mental illness. Sister of Glenn Close and ambassador of the actress’ mental health awareness organization Bring Change 2 Mind, Jessie Close is also mother to a son who lives with mental illness. She will be joined by a panel of local mental health advocates to discuss the state of mental health care in Southwest Florida and answer questions from the audience. The panel will include Sharon Dardy, a co-founder and first chairperson of the Board of Directors of Hope Clubhouse of Southwest Florida; Mary Delhagen, a Hope Clubhouse member living with a dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and addiction and a long-time mental health advocate; and the Reverend Eddie Spencer, Senior Pastor of New Hope Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers. NBC-2 News Anchor Kellie Burns will emcee the event, with her colleague, Anchor Natasha Verma, serving as moderator for the panel discussion.

Hope Clubhouse Executive Director James Wineinger said, “Our educational mental health symposium will help build awareness of how you can help your friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers recognize the signs of mental illness and attain the help they need. Maybe the person who might someday need help is you. Your attendance will help us create a more compassionate, understanding society that helps people with mental illness lead lives of dignity, respect and acceptance.”

Sponsors are also needed to underwrite the cost of a ticket for Hope Clubhouse members. For more information and for sponsorship opportunities, contact Hope Clubhouse Executive Director James Wineinger at

Hope Clubhouse is grateful to its Title Sponsor, Scott White Advisors, and these other generous sponsors: Allegra Design-Marketing-Print, Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, Community Assisted and Supported Living, CONRIC PR & Marketing, William and Sharon Dardy, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Fish Tale Sales and Service, The City of Fort Myers, Gavin’s Ace Hardware, John and Kathryn King, Miller and Lucas Families, NAMI Collier, The News-Press Media Group, Dr. Omar Rieche, Dottie and George Pacharis, Park Royal Hospital, Sovereign Health, United Way.

About Hope Clubhouse

Hope Clubhouse is a community of support for adults living with mental illness in Southwest Florida providing opportunities for meaningful work, education, friendships and access to housing in a supportive, caring, dignified and respectful community setting.

Hope Clubhouse is a 501(c)3 organization located at 3602 Broadway Ave., Fort Myers, Florida 33907. Call (239) 267-1777 or visit to donate or for more information.

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