On The Avenue

A Toast to Health at the Fountain House Symposium and Luncheon

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
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There are lunches with lighter content than the Fountain House Symposium and Luncheon, but none better attended, more lovingly supported and more riveting. This year, the subject was “Borderline Personality Disorder—Why it Matters and What You Should Know.” Panelist, and foremost expert in the field, Dr. John Gunderson, asked “I’m sure you’re wondering, what is it?” We were, but no longer. Symptoms include all too familiar characteristics like anger, self destruction, fear of abandonment, impulsiveness and an unstable sense of self.  

Marie-Paule de Valdivia told of her daughter’s struggle with the disorder, and how she changed her career to help her and many others. You could’ve heard a pin drop during poignant and encouraging telling of her tale. And Dr. Perry Hoffman explained that despite being originally deemed “the leprosy of mental illness,” borderline personality disorder is highly treatable and once remitted, stays remitted.

Lorna Hyde Graev, founding chair, presented the Fountain House Humanitarian Award to Amanda Wang, who asked us to turn to our neighbor and simply say, “I see you,” which we often don’t.

For seven decades, Fountain House has provided mental health services in New York City and has inspired similar programs in 32 states and 34 countries, serving over 100,000 people annually.

Among the friends and supporters were chairs, Patricia Begley, Kitty de Chazal, Alexandra Herzan, Carolyn MacKenzie, Anne Mai, Florence Peyrelongue, Ilyse Wilpon, expert MC Consuelo Mack, president Kenneth Dudek, Deeda Blair, Frances Beatty Adler, Elizabeth Peabody, Jackie Drexel, Judy Ney, Hilary Califano, Sydney Schuman, Polly Millard, Evelyn Lorentzen Bell, Isabel Jasinowski, Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels, Podie Lynch, Barbie Bancroft, Stephanie Krieger, Kari Tiedemann, Cece Cord, Missy Taylor, Gail Gilbert, Lynn Gilbert, Podie Lynch and Nancy Missett.


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