The Coalition for Community Living held its mid-year board meeting Thursday at the Clarion Hotel on York Street.
Board members presented a program, "Fairweather Lodge: An Innovative, Practiced Residential Solution and Approach for those in Recovery from Mental Illness."
The presentation drew several local mental health professionals and community representatives who were interested in learning about the Fairweather Lodge model. There are 90 Community Lodge Programs in 16 states across the country.
According to information provided by Coalition, the Fairweather Lodge program was founded by Dr. George Fairweather in 1963 to help people with diagnosed mental illness lead active, independent lives.
Corey Trench, a board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Williamsburg branch, said the meeting was important to those who were actively involved in helping those who were affected by mental illness.
"We are introducing the Fairweather Lodge concept to the community," Trench said. "We hope people will find it as interesting as we do at NAMI Williamsburg."
The Fairweather Lodge philosophy is "to enhance the lives of adults with mental health disabilities by promoting their self-sufficiency."
Some of the program goals for members to achieve, include becoming autonomous, becoming a contributing member of society, develop positive relationships, manage home and job obligations, learn vocational skills, develop coping skills and learn skills that will enable them to stay out of the hospital.
Delegate Monty Mason (D-93rd District) attended the meeting to learn more about the program. He said that his office gets numerous calls regarding questions about available resources to help those with mental illness or intellectual impairment. He is hopeful models like Fairweather Lodge may catch on locally or regionally.
"You have to start the conversation," Mason said. "You have to make people aware that these types of programs are there."
For more information, visit www.theccl.org.