TopJune/July 2015

In This Issue
Hope Re-imagined Through Art
Arundel Lodge's New Program
LGBT Youth
Empire Beauty School Gives Back
Brian Hepburn: Maryland's Loss Becomes Nation's Gain!
Employee of the Month
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Art and 
Special Events

Monthly Meetings and Groups

Open Eye Gallery

Committee Meeting

Fri., August 7

11 a.m.

At Arundel Lodge.

Held on the first Friday of each month. All are welcome. Email Katerina Evans or call her at (443) 433-5961 with any questions.


NAMI Family Support Group

Thurs.,  August 13

7 to 8:30 p.m.

At Arundel Lodge.

For more information, email NAMI Anne Arundel.

 Lodge Links 

Mental Health Links

NAMI Anne Arundel County 


On Our Own of Maryland 




Free Quitline to Stop Smoking

Save the Date!
Hope Re-imagined Through Art



Friday, November 13 from 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm, come enjoy an evening of great art, food, drinks, music and a chance to meet inspiring artists, all while supporting a great cause. Plus win your bid at our silent and live auctions! 

This event benefits Arundel Lodge Behavioral Health Services and the Open Eye Gallery and Art Studio Programs and will be held at Arundel Lodge's Open Eye Gallery, 2600 Solomons Island Rd, Edgewater, MD 21037.


Tickets are $40/person, $75/couple before November 1st and are available for purchase online now.


Contact  Char Nado for more information or call 443-433-5907 to purchase tickets or inquire about sponsorship opportunities. 


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Arundel Lodge's New Program

According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), about 45% of Americans seeking substance use disorder treatment have been diagnosed as having a co-occurring mental and substance use disorder. Conversely, people diagnosed with a mental health disorder are more likely to experience a problem with substance use.


In late 2014, Arundel Lodge, and First Step Recovery Center, which provides substance use treatment services formulated plans to merge in order to provide integration of care for co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. These plans were realized as the two organizations completed the merger on July 1st.


First Step Recovery Center will now be known as First Step Recovery Program and fall under Arundel Lodge's existing outpatient behavioral health services. The First Step Recovery Program  is certified through the State of Maryland to provide three outpatient levels of care for substance use disorders: Early Intervention, Outpatient Services, and Intensive Outpatient Services, and will offer screening and assessment, individual, family and group therapy, person-centered treatment planning, transition and discharge planning. Through our new First Step Recovery Program, Arundel Lodge will continue to work in collaboration with agencies in Anne Arundel County including Department of Probation and Parole, Department of Social Services, Anne Arundel County Crisis Response, Anne Arundel County Department of Health, District Court Drug Court, Circuit Court Drug Court, Family Law, local physicians, inpatient treatment programs, recovery supported housing, and transitional housing to offer substance use treatment to those in need.


First Step Recovery Program services are available at 1419 Forest Dr., where Arundel Lodge also has a second Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, but plans to expand the program to the main campus at 2600 Solomons Island Rd location are under way. Same Day Access is available for the services provided at each location.


"This merger will be good for our clients and positive for our community," says Leigh Ragan, co-founder of First Step Recovery who will now serve as
Clinic Director over all behavioral health clinic services for Arundel Lodge. "The individuals we serve will be able to access care in one place, under one umbrella. They will no longer have to figure out how they will have to catch a bus or ask for a ride to get to treatment for their mental health and substance use." 

Mike Drummond, Executive Director of Arundel Lodge says, "First Step Recovery and Arundel Lodge have been partnering to deliver services to our mutual clients for a long time. This merger will help us provide higher quality, life-saving services because we're now all one team."


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Barriers Chipped Away For LGBT Youth 

Adolescent and teen years bring with them unique challenges, and sometimes more so for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender youth, who experience depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use disorders, and even suicide at an alarmingly higher rate than their heterosexual peers due to intense discrimination. According to a NAMI article, "A recent review of literature suggests that rates of suicide attempt among GLB youth are 20-40% higher than among non-GLB youth." 


Mental Health America published the following statistics as evidence to the harmful results experienced by LGBT youth due to bullying:

  • Substance Use: Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth are more than twice as likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
  • Happiness: Only 37% of LGBT youth report being happy, while 67% of non-LGBT youth say they are happy. However, over 80% of LGBT youth believe they will be happy eventually, with nearly half believing that they will need to move away from their current town to find happiness.
  • Self-Harm: With each instance of verbal or physical harassment, the risk of self-harm among LGBT youth is 2 times more likely.
  • Suicide: Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.

Over the past several years, the media has brought our attention to cases of teens, such as Asher Brown (13), Seth Walsh (13), Billy Lucas (15), and Tyler Clementi (18) who committed suicide, as a result of bullying, harassment and physical assault over their sexual orientation or gender identity. 


It's been a landmark year for the LGBT community, with government leading a societal shift that could chip away at barriers for LGBT youth, and the entertainment industry and media front and center as well.


On May 29th, 2015, President Barack Obama once again, proclaimed the month of June, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, stating that "All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation." Read Proclamation

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) has traditionally been celebrated each year in the U.S. throughout the month of June to commemorate the June 28, 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, regarded by many as the first major movement on behalf of equal rights for homosexuals. In brief, the riots began after New York City police attempted to shut down a gay club in Greenwich Village. The Stonewall Inn was a Mafia-owned "dive" that had been serving alcohol without a license. It also happened to be a gay club. Targeting gay bars and clubs was routine at the time and mostly occurred without incident. This particular night however, amidst the many civil rights movements that were taking place in the late 1960's, the local gay community fought back against years of discrimination and oppression.


While not the first Presidential proclamation declaring June as Gay Pride Month (the first made by President Clinton in 1999), President Obama's proclamation not only calls attention to the issues facing the LGBT Community, but highlights, in particular, issues facing LGBT youth such as homelessness and calling an end to conversion therapy for minors.


Until 1973, being gay was considered a mental illness and was listed in the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, published in 1952, as "sociopathic personality disturbance" and then as a "sexual deviation" in the DSM-II, which came out in 1968.  The diagnosis of Sexual Orientation Disturbance, which remained in the Manual, left the door open for some groups to claim that the practice of sexual conversion therapies was legitimate and effective.


The American Psychological Association "advises parents, guardians, young people, and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and to seek psychotherapy, social support, and educational services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth."

Soon after, on June 26, after over 40 years of individual court battles throughout the nation, the United States

Supreme Court handed down its landmark ruling, 5-4 in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in all fifty states and declaring it unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, stating:


"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilizations oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.


The Judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered."


Read full opinion: CNN Politics, Read the Opinion: Supreme Court rules states cannot ban same-sex marriage


Legitimizing the institution of marriage on a national scale for same-sex couples could serve as another step toward removing barriers of social discrimination and oppression for LGBT Youth, opening the door to a future more in line with their non-LGBT peers.


On the entertainment front, one of our nations most successful and beloved athletes from the 1970's, Bruce Jenner, recently "came out" about his life-long desire to be a woman and indeed transformed before our very eyes into Caitlyn Jenner. ESPN recently honored Caitlyn with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this year's ESPY's, and amidst controversy has defended its decision. Maura Mandt, ESPYs co-executive producer states:

"I think Caitlyn's decision to publicly come out as a transgender woman and live as Caitlyn Jenner displayed enormous courage and self-acceptance,"


"That is what the Arthur Ashe Courage Award is about, somebody from the athletic community who has done something that transcends sport," she further defends the decision. "One of the biggest platforms the Arthur Ashe Foundation has is educational, and I think in this choice we have the opportunity to educate people about this issue and hopefully change and possibly save some lives. I think that is why it was the right choice."


"This is a subject matter where there are kids in the middle of the country killing themselves [over gender identity questions] and the whole courage of Caitlyn coming out is we all know now someone who is transgender."

Additionally, the It Gets Better Project, which began in 2010 as a You Tube video created by syndicated columnist and author, Dan Savage and his partner, Tom Miller, to inspire LGBT youth experiencing harassment, is now a worldwide movement that has received support from individuals, internationally, from all walks of life, in the form of over 50,000 video submissions. 


We are entering an age where barriers for LGBT youth are being chipped away and they will be able to look to mainstream channels for support, acceptance, and role models.


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Empire Beauty School Gives Back





In April, one of our Residential Program managers asked us for help.  

There was a resident in the MICA Program who needed a haircut, but could not afford one. This was also no ordinary haircut. "Sally" lives with severe depression and often stays in bed for days or even weeks at a time. As a result, her long hair had become tangled and matted. Our Development team got to work. 


Arundel Lodge reached out to Staci Wyatt, Executive Director of Empire Beauty School in Glen Burnie. Staci eagerly agreed to help. Not only did she agree to work with "Sally," but she invited Arundel Lodge to bring several residents to receive haircuts, manicures, shaves...the works. These visits have now become a monthly ritual. Empire Beauty School wrote about it in their Newsletter:


"As part of the Empire Gives Back initiative, Arundel Lodge clients received complimentary services designed not only to provide basic needs, but also a lift in confidence as they work toward self-sufficiency."


"The students have taken this monthly visit to heart," says Staci Wyatt, Executive Director at the Glen Burnie School. "The clients are overwhelmed to have someone just take time to care of them and the confidence they feel walking out our doors is immeasurable..."


"Many of the Clients are shy of visiting the school, embarrassed with how they look. But if you can imagine how amazing they feel when they look at themselves in the mirror just after a basic wash, cut and blow-dry," says Wyatt, "It brings them to tears as it does us."


When asked about the benefits her students gained from our partnership, Staci explained, "Our students got a chance to give back. They need to learn the power of this industry. When someone does not have access to basic beauty and health needs and education, it is surprising to our future professionals. This was an amazing wake-up call for some of them. The students had no clue that mental health could affect a person's physical health as much as it did some individuals'. This was an incredible eye opener for students [and it made for a] wonderful learning experience...I want to thank you for thinking of us and giving Empire the chance to learn from [Arundel Lodge] and your members."


Arundel Lodge also asked a few Empire students how they felt about their experience. Tiffany, soon to be graduating from the program shared that, "It was neat to work with [Arundel Lodge] members. They are very open and like to communicate. It made me feel good that the client liked his haircut. He emphasized getting his hair shampooed, so I made sure I did that real good." Lameka, an outgoing stylist, who clients seem to love, expressed that, "It was really nice just getting a chance to learn about [the client]. He was really funny and it felt good helping out even though it was just a haircut."


The students and staff at Empire welcomed our persons served with open arms, making them feel comfortable and relaxed. We extend a warm thank you to Staci Wyatt and all of the Glen Burnie Empire Beauty School

staff and students for their kindness and support.


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Brian Hepburn: Maryland's Loss Becomes Nation's Gain!

Mike Drummond, Arundel Lodge Executve Director, 
with Brian Hepburn, BHA Executive Director

Dr. Brian Hepburn has been the Executive Director of the Behavioral Health Administration(BHA) and its predecessor, the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA), since 2002. Prior to his current position, he was the Clinical Director for MHA from 1996 to 2004 and the Director of Psychiatric Education and Training for MHA from 1987 to 1997.  Arundel Lodge, other providers of mental health services, family members and consumers appreciate the leadership he has provided to develop and improve one of the most highly rated public mental health systems in the country.  His door was always open and he embraced partnering with all of the stakeholders to create better and more effective services. Maryland's loss will become the nation's gain as Brian retires from the BHA and begins his tenure as the Executive Director of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

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Employee of the Month!

Patricia Garcia has been with Arundel Lodge for almost two years. She is one of the first people visitors see when they walk in the door and she helps set the tone for their experience with us, so her job is an important one. According to her co-workers, Patricia "has the right attitude. She is nice, compassionate and friendly! She always wears a smile and is kind and polite to everyone." Patricia's warm and friendly nature puts people at ease. When Patricia first got to Arundel Lodge, she admits that she wasn't sure quite
Patricia Garcia, Customer Service Representative
what to expect and was a little scared. "Once the Day Program participants got comfortable with me," she says, "they started talking to me and I would help remind them of their appointments." Patricia came to Arundel Lodge because she wanted to help people. She had a family history of depression, including an uncle who became depressed when he was not able to locate resources for his son, who was disabled. So Patricia thought it was "cool" that a place existed in the community that could help individuals with mental health disorders. When she found out about our Same Day Access services, she thought it was even "cooler." 

When asked what she likes most about her job Patricia says, "It's amazing that I've gotten to help so many Latin families. When they heard I was here, they started telling all of their friends and families. Some people that stopped coming for some time, returned because I could help them make appointments." Patricia's family is from El Salvador and she is Bilingual (English/Spanish).  "When you get people telling you that they appreciate that you are here, you take pride in your job," she beams. Congratulations Patricia and thank you for being such an important member of our service team!

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