Mind Matters Dinner Dance Honors Sonia Murdock and Thomas Ronayne


The Mind Matters Dinner Dance was hosted by The Mental Health Association in Suffolk in partnership with Suffolk County United Veterans and Clubhouse of Suffolk.

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East Setauket, NY - Jan 30, 2014 - The annual Mind Matters Dinner Dance, hosted by the Mental Health Association in Suffolk, in partnership with Clubhouse of Suffolk and Suffolk County United Veterans was held on January 30, 2014 at the picturesque Old Field Club in East Setauket. A packed hall of attendees gathered to mingle, enjoy a gourmet dinner and dance the night away to live jazz performed by the New York City Police Department Jazz Band.  Event honorees Sonia Murdock, Executive Director of the Postpartum Resource Center of New York; and Thomas Ronayne, Director of the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency gave passionate speeches  to business executives and non-profit leaders, friends, family, and politicians on the  healthcare strengths and needs of people living on Long Island, New York.
Sonia Murdock, an international advocate and educator on mental health related to childbearing, eloquently spoke about the gap in education, treatment and support services regarding postpartum depression/psychosis as well as the support and resources available to mothers and families who are experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, to include postpartum depression. Thomas Ronayne spoke about the need for advocacy and casework services for our Veterans, to include housing, career assistance, and academic opportunities. As administrator of the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Program, Mr. Ronayne spoke on the prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder and the tragic rate of suicides amongst or returning Veterans.
For these honorees, it’s personal. Ms. Murdock’s sister has suffered with postpartum depression and psychosis. Mr. Ronayne served in the U.S. Navy from 1979-1983. He has conducted operations including the evacuation of hostile forces in Beirut, Lebanon as well as part of the United Nations Multinational Peace Keeping Forces and anti submarine warfare operations around the world.
The Mental Health Association in Suffolk is an advocacy organization devoted to improving the mental health of the community through education, workforce training, and information and referral services. MHAS is a local chapter of a statewide and national and network association of local MHAs. Its mission is: “To promote mental wellness by means of support services, education and advocacy.”  
MHAS is in the process of a full merger with Suffolk County United Veterans and Clubhouse of Suffolk. SCUV provides emergency, transitional, and permanent housing to at-risk and homeless veterans along with case management, education and vocational services, a food pantry, and a County-wide peer support program, the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran PTSD Peer Support Project. Clubhouse offers psychiatric rehabilitation, treatment, support services and care management for adults affected by mental illness. Further information may be found online at www.mhasuffolk.org or by calling (631) 226-3900.