Gina Barnard, founder of GJ Cabarets, held an evening entitled ‘Loved Ones Lost’ in memory of her father, who passed away after a battle with mental health and addiction.
She found that he constantly struggled to receive the help he needed due to a lack of dual diagnosis (co-existing mental health and alcohol or drug problems) services.
“I reached out to the ACTS team to communicate my concerns and see what I could do to help bridge this gap in the system,” said Gina.
In 2019 Gina donated more than £2,000 which supported a dual diagnosis conference which brought together mental health professionals and addiction workers to look at various case studies and see what can be done differently in the future.
Gina added, “I would love to continue the evening on an annual basis. However, Covid-19 has had such a huge effect on the entertainment industry. Fingers crossed we are able to perform again next February.”
Gina has been a professional dancer for over 10 years and a dance teacher for 15. All of the performers who participated are friends and fellow entertainers.
Mercedes Dryer, ACTS senior support worker, mentioned, “Gina’s donation has allowed me to start counselling training and build a skill set in working with dual-diagnosis patients and a knowledge base to better understand mental health disorders and the relevant psychological therapies that would benefit these patients.”
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