Athens-Clarke County Business Owner Provides Jobs to People With Mental Illness

One in five adults will experience mental illness this year, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

With more than 30 years in business, Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Food restaurant is known for the phrase “automatic for the people,” but there is a special group of people, owner Dexter Weaver feeds with more than food.

I think they need to talk about it, get the help they need, to help remove the stigma,” Weaver said.

Weaver is talking about people with a mental illness.

I have employed a lot of people with mental illness,” Weaver said.

Research has found that 46% of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition.

Tammy Dalton, the executive director of Friends of Advantage, credits sponsors, like Weaver, who provide jobs but also give the non-profit organization funds to bring awareness of mental illness to the community. Friends of Advantage meets people where they are and will not refuse services due to inability to pay.

“A lot of times people have viruses or if they have the sickness of the flu, they go and get help for that. Mental illness or developmental disability recovery is much the same way when you have an issue, you just reach out for help for that.” Dalton Said.

Because there is help and there is hope.”

Dalton, a Madison County native, said people who are interested in mental health awareness can post on social media about mental wellness or donate to local faith-based churches and businesses.

By wearing a green ribbon, people show and support mental health awareness. Friends of Advantage said when people come together to help one another, it really impacts the community.

Alexandra Rios is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.



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