(PHOENIX - June 21, 2016) On Friday, May 20, 2016, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services (SB&H), one of Arizona’s largest and long-standing nonprofit behavioral and health service providers, hosted a fashion show for SB&H clients at its Community Resilience Center.
The “nautical” theme fashion show was coordinated by both staff and SB&H clients to promote Abby’s Place Thrift Store, a program of SB&H. Abby’s Place Thrift Store is a retail store open to the public selling new and gently used donated items such as clothing, jewelry, household goods, bedding and home décor. The store offers opportunities for SB&H clients with mental health disabilities to learn practical business skills in a supportive environment.
There were nine participants in the fashion show and more than 50 employees and clients in attendance. This is the fourth year the event has been running with four shows put on each year. While the event seeks to promote Abby’s Place Thrift Store, as the clients are able to choose their own outfit from the store and keep at no cost, it also has many clinical values for the clients SB&H serves.
“We host events like the fashion show to create new and positive experiences for our clients. Many have suffered great trauma, so rather than focusing on the past, we offer opportunities to create memorable moments they want to remember,” said Abra Arlinsky, clinical director at SB&H, noting that the nonprofit organization also hosts events like a chili cook-off and game nights. “Our clients are here voluntarily and have a great sense of community with each other, so we try to incorporate many fun events to encourage their comradery and wellbeing.”
“With clients having severe mental illnesses and disabilities, we want to help them heal and recover. Through that recovery process it’s important that they feel like they have a sense of
purpose and belonging,” said Deborah Woodard, vice president at SB&H. “Through our job development program, they have opportunities to run Abby’s Place Thrift Store and help out at the Community Resilience Center. This really helps teach them the skills they need in a supportive environment.”
About Southwest Behavioral & Health Services:
Incorporated in 1974 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services provides services in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, Payson, Buckeye, Apache Junction and Northern Arizona. Its mission: “We inspire people to feel better and reach their potential. Through helping people discover their strengths, we improve our communities.” For more information, visit www.sbhservices.org.