60th bash suits Mental Health Association to a ‘Tee’

Dr Nicholas Coppola, Sheana Firth, and Cpt Eric Flowers [Photo: Denise Ritchie]

Teaching ways to cope with life’s unexpected challenges is something the counselors at the Mental Health Association in Indian River County help their clients with every day. Those very skills came into play last Thursday during a Birthday Par-tee at BigShots Golf to celebrate the organization’s 60th anniversary.

Even after the skies darkened and a deluge of rain poured down, threatening to curtail festivities, the optimistic organizers vetoed a mulligan and forged ahead with the party like the pros they are.

Guests made good use of their golf umbrellas in the parking lot, but once inside partook of the endless appetizer bar, silent auction, 50/50 cash raffle and competitive golf play. After cocktails, snacks and a lively conversation about MHA services, participants headed out to the golf range for some friendly competition. With covered areas for onlookers and players alike, only the balls got wet.

“We are fortunate the rain has not stopped folks from coming,” said Dr. Nick Coppola, MHA CEO. “We are so happy to celebrate 60 years of helping people in our community. Even a downpour won’t stop us from celebrating and spreading the word about our free mental health screenings and affordable ongoing care for everyone in Indian River County.”

Maj. Eric Flowers, representing the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, imparted heartfelt praise for MHA.

“We are so proud to partner with MHA,” said Flowers. “They provide such valuable services – like the Drop-In Centers that are open 365 days a year. We couldn’t do our mission at the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office without the Mental Health Association.”

Throughout its 60-year history, the Mental Health Association has continued to adapt to an ever-changing world, while providing immediate access to mental health care and striving to reduce the stigma of mental health issues. It does so with an overall message that stresses: ‘It’s OK to get help.’

Coppola has brought boundless energy and enthusiasm to the team since his appointment in January, almost immediately introducing new outreach programs.

MHA introduced High School Violence and Suicide Prevention Programs at the Vero Beach and Sebastian River High Schools, a Skill Streaming Program at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center, and their Outreach Programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs have been expanded.

“We are heading in great directions with Dr. Coppola,” said longtime board member Anne Lanier. “MHA has a full calendar of programs and events with lots of new exciting things on the horizon.”

Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday at the Walk-In & Counseling Center, 820 37th Place. The MHA Drop-In Center, open 365 days per year, is a peer-oriented environment, where members actively support each other in their recovery.

For more information, visit www.mhairc.org.

Photos by: Denise Ritchie
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