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TPC’s Consumer Advocacy Awards - Celebrating Client Success Stories

Posted: Mon, July 10, 2017

By: Jake Bissaro

On June 21st, The Providence Center (TPC)’s Consumer Advocacy Council (CAC) held their annual recognition awards ceremony to celebrate the hard work that clients from various programs have put into their own recovery.

TPC employment specialist David Whitty emceed the ceremony. “This kind of event really illustrates the dedicated and compassionate community of people that we serve here at The Providence Center,” said Whitty.

The CAC, a division of TPC’s Wellness, Employment and Education department, is a group for TPC clients led by staff liaisons and designed to be a voice for TPC clients. For over 20 years, the group has been helping clients live more empowered lives. In monthly meetings, they discuss pertinent issues, and examine how to increase awareness and potentially elicit change that will positively impact mental health consumers.

The CAC has been involved in voter registration initiatives, Rally for Recovery at the State House, and most recently, advocacy surrounding RIPTA’s proposed changes to the no-fare passes for disabled individuals. Whitty cited the recent restoration of the passes in the State’s new proposed budget as a victory. “It’s a direct result of advocacy groups like the CAC all around the State making their voices heard,” he said.

15 honorable mentions were presented, along with 3 main awards:

  • Community services achievement
  • Outstanding progress in recovery
  • Long term achievement

As each award was announced, a TPC staff member that has worked with the client presented a few remarks about their progress.

TPC client Gail Campinha (pictured above) took home the Long Term Achievement award. Gail first came to TPC about 15 years ago as a group home resident, and went on to graduate from the Community College of Rhode Island this year.

She spoke about her journey. “It wasn’t always easy - one of my biggest challenges was concentration, and I’m also a slow learner,” said Campinha. “It consisted of long days and long nights studying for quizzes and tests, semester after semester – and I often had to work hard to manage my anxiety.”

“I’d like to thank the TPC staff for keeping me motivated – I was able to succeed with their support. Today I’m so happy to be a CCRI graduate.”

TPC Consumer Advocacy Council meetings are held the first and third Thursdays of every month. For questions about the CAC, please contact David Whitty at dwhitty@provctr.org