Habitat Hope House Helps De-Stigmatize Mental Illness

People with Mental Illness Volunteer to Build a Home and Bring New Hope



Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from The Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity

    FAIRFIELD, Ala., April 12 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Over
 30 million people, one in five adults, are currently affected by mental
 illnesses in the United States.  With appropriate treatment and support, they
 can lead fulfilling lives.   However, negative stereotypes and stigmas
 associated with mental illness often hinder those with mental illness from
 seeking treatment.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010412/NYTH002 )
     The Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity (GBHFH) and Compeer, a
 nonprofit agency that matches volunteers with adults and children being
 treated for mental or emotional conditions, are working to change that.  It is
 important for communities to confront the attitudes, fears, and
 misunderstandings that create barriers to treatment and offer support to those
 dealing with mental illness.
     Today begins construction of Habitat Hope House -- the first Habitat for
 Humanity home in the nation to be built exclusively by volunteers with mental
 health challenges, their families, and mental health caregivers.  The house
 idea originated with Compeer of Birmingham and is funded by a grant from
 Forest Laboratories, the maker of Celexa(TM) (citalopram HBr), the
 fastest-growing antidepressant in the United States.
     "As the Hope House walls are raised, myths and stereotypes about persons
 with mental illness will be torn down," says Jan Bell, GBHFH board chair.
     The Habitat Hope House project serves as a model for breaking down the
 stigma of mental illness and demonstrates that people can come together to
 help others.  "Forest is committed to supporting education and awareness of
 mental illness.  It is our hope that projects like Habitat Hope House will
 draw attention to mental illness and demonstrate that people dealing with
 mental illness can lead productive lives," said Ken Goodman, President and
 Chief Operating Officer, Forest Laboratories.  "We believe this project sets
 an example of people from various walks of life joining together to overcome
 misperceptions."
     The individuals benefiting from this project are the Williams and Taylor
 families.  Darryl Taylor and his family currently live in substandard
 conditions and have put in over 300 hours of "sweat equity" towards a down
 payment for their home.  A recent widower, Mr. Taylor was left alone with his
 three-year-old daughter, Angel.  His mother-in-law, Ms. Williams is helping
 care for the child and assisted in the selection of carpet and vinyl colors.
 The family is thrilled beyond words, "We are blessed; it is a wonderful
 partnership of people helping people."
 
     About Compeer of Birmingham
     Compeer of Birmingham is a non-profit organization that matches caring
 volunteers in one-to-one supportive friendships with adults and children who
 are receiving treatment for mental or emotional illness.  Compeer unites the
 community in its effort to understand and cope with mental illness by bringing
 together the therapist, the consumer, and the volunteer -- each one a unique
 representative of the community.  Compeer is always in need of volunteers,
 please contact (205) 444-0076 or the website: http://www.compeerbham.org for
 more information.
 
     About Habitat for Humanity
     Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry
 dedicated to eliminating poverty housing.  Founded by Millard Fuller and his
 wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates have built
 and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit,
 zero-interest mortgages in more than 2,000 communities in 76 nations.
 
     About Forest Laboratories
     Forest Laboratories (NYSE:   FRX) develops, manufactures and sells ethical
 pharmaceutical products, which are used for the treatment of a wide range of
 illnesses.
     Forest Laboratories' growing line of products includes:  Celexa(TM)
 (citalopram HBr), which is available for the treatment of depression,
 Tiazac(R), a once-daily diltiazem, which is indicated for the treatment of
 angina and hypertension, and Aerobid(R), an inhaled steroid indicated for the
 treatment of asthma.  http://www.Celexa.com
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X48433846
 
 

SOURCE The Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity
    FAIRFIELD, Ala., April 12 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Over
 30 million people, one in five adults, are currently affected by mental
 illnesses in the United States.  With appropriate treatment and support, they
 can lead fulfilling lives.   However, negative stereotypes and stigmas
 associated with mental illness often hinder those with mental illness from
 seeking treatment.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010412/NYTH002 )
     The Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity (GBHFH) and Compeer, a
 nonprofit agency that matches volunteers with adults and children being
 treated for mental or emotional conditions, are working to change that.  It is
 important for communities to confront the attitudes, fears, and
 misunderstandings that create barriers to treatment and offer support to those
 dealing with mental illness.
     Today begins construction of Habitat Hope House -- the first Habitat for
 Humanity home in the nation to be built exclusively by volunteers with mental
 health challenges, their families, and mental health caregivers.  The house
 idea originated with Compeer of Birmingham and is funded by a grant from
 Forest Laboratories, the maker of Celexa(TM) (citalopram HBr), the
 fastest-growing antidepressant in the United States.
     "As the Hope House walls are raised, myths and stereotypes about persons
 with mental illness will be torn down," says Jan Bell, GBHFH board chair.
     The Habitat Hope House project serves as a model for breaking down the
 stigma of mental illness and demonstrates that people can come together to
 help others.  "Forest is committed to supporting education and awareness of
 mental illness.  It is our hope that projects like Habitat Hope House will
 draw attention to mental illness and demonstrate that people dealing with
 mental illness can lead productive lives," said Ken Goodman, President and
 Chief Operating Officer, Forest Laboratories.  "We believe this project sets
 an example of people from various walks of life joining together to overcome
 misperceptions."
     The individuals benefiting from this project are the Williams and Taylor
 families.  Darryl Taylor and his family currently live in substandard
 conditions and have put in over 300 hours of "sweat equity" towards a down
 payment for their home.  A recent widower, Mr. Taylor was left alone with his
 three-year-old daughter, Angel.  His mother-in-law, Ms. Williams is helping
 care for the child and assisted in the selection of carpet and vinyl colors.
 The family is thrilled beyond words, "We are blessed; it is a wonderful
 partnership of people helping people."
 
     About Compeer of Birmingham
     Compeer of Birmingham is a non-profit organization that matches caring
 volunteers in one-to-one supportive friendships with adults and children who
 are receiving treatment for mental or emotional illness.  Compeer unites the
 community in its effort to understand and cope with mental illness by bringing
 together the therapist, the consumer, and the volunteer -- each one a unique
 representative of the community.  Compeer is always in need of volunteers,
 please contact (205) 444-0076 or the website: http://www.compeerbham.org for
 more information.
 
     About Habitat for Humanity
     Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry
 dedicated to eliminating poverty housing.  Founded by Millard Fuller and his
 wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates have built
 and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit,
 zero-interest mortgages in more than 2,000 communities in 76 nations.
 
     About Forest Laboratories
     Forest Laboratories (NYSE:   FRX) develops, manufactures and sells ethical
 pharmaceutical products, which are used for the treatment of a wide range of
 illnesses.
     Forest Laboratories' growing line of products includes:  Celexa(TM)
 (citalopram HBr), which is available for the treatment of depression,
 Tiazac(R), a once-daily diltiazem, which is indicated for the treatment of
 angina and hypertension, and Aerobid(R), an inhaled steroid indicated for the
 treatment of asthma.  http://www.Celexa.com
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X48433846
 
 SOURCE  The Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity