Last year, we revitalized our brand to more fully encompass the essence of our work. Our new logo and tagline embody our continued commitment to serving our community and speak to the core spirit of our organization: Help is here. Each year we help more than 16,000 individuals who benefit from the support we provide as they face a variety of mental health challenges in their lives.
Our compassionate, professional staff of 1500+ employees provides help for people with chronic mental health issues, people struggling with and in recovery from substance use, and individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism. We provide help for children, adolescents, adults, and families. We provide support in homes, outpatient offices, schools, residential settings, and at numerous community locations. Our crisis programs provide support 24/7/365. We help people when and where they need it most.
And we do more than help individuals and families. We provide education on issues that impact our entire community. This fall, our new Community Education Series featured presentations about opiate use, depression, autism, and trauma—topics that permeate many community-wide conversations. To help community members better understand these and other issues, our staff share their expertise through multiple venues, including presentations at state, national, and international conferences. They educate and partner in hundreds of other ways each day by collaborating with local school personnel to ensure that children with emotional and behavioral challenges succeed in school, providing education to the business community about employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities or mental health challenges, and helping families and friends who have a loved one who is facing challenges associated with substance use.
Each of these partnerships provides an opportunity to share our expertise about the larger concerns facing our community. Perhaps equally important, they also offer the opportunity for us as a community to rethink our preconceptions. What does it mean to have a disability or to be in recovery? Every time an individual with a developmental disability gains competitive employment or is able to live independently with moderate assistance, it has a positive impact on our community and serves as a model of what is possible. When someone who has been in in recovery from opiate use for several years is able to share their experience and advocates for others who are struggling, their success is felt throughout our community. When a child with emotional challenges is able to succeed in school, we all benefit from the excitement of the present and the promise of what they will then be able to contribute to their community as an adult.
The fact is we are all sharing in this journey. The more we acknowledge community issues and forge partnerships which create opportunities for change, the better off we all will be—as individuals, as families, and as a community.
For the past 150 years, Howard Center has played an integral role in the Vermont community. We have advocated for individuals and families to ensure that they receive quality mental health services. We have forged valuable partnerships with community organizations to provide services in response to emerging needs. We value all of our community partners, and we appreciate their shared vision that recognizes that we are all vulnerable. We are proud to join with them to better serve our community.