Erase the Stigma

A Community Conversation About Mental Illness

In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, Soroptimist International of Chico is hosting a free public forum.

Attendees are invited to participate in open dialogues about mental health issues and support for people with them. There will be panelists sharing their tips for being present in the everyday life of work and family while coping with mental illness.

A wide variety of community organizations will also be at this event to provide resource information.

When: Thursday, May 10th, 2018, 6:30-8:45 pm
Where: Manzanita Place (Chico Elks Lodge) - 1705 Manzanita Avenue, Chico, CA
Cost: Free to the public

Refreshments will be served

6:30 - 7:00 pm Doors Open & Resource Tables Open
7:00 - 7:30 pm Welcome & Panel Introductions (Facilitator: Florence Soares-Dabalos, MS, LMFT)
7:30 - 8:30 pm Q & A discussions - Attendees & Panelists
8:30 - 8:45 pm Opportunity to Visit Resource Tables


  • Enloe Behavioral Health
  • Enloe Mother/Child Programs
  • Stonewall Alliance
  • Butte County Veterans
  • 6th Street Center for Youth
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Butte County Behavioral Health
  • Access California
  • NorCal Mental Health Alliance


Andrea Cook:
Andrea has a B.S. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from the University of San Francisco and is an Advanced Level Wellness and Recovery Action Plan Facilitator, serves on the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission’s Client and Family Leadership Committee, and worked with National Mental Health America to develop the first national advanced peer specialist certification.

Andrea has spent years on her own journey to wellness and recovery prior to entering the behavioral health field. Working for a peer-run, community-based organization has been an integral part of her recovery journey.

Her personal and professional experience has encouraged her to advocate for clients’ rights and advocate for those who are stigmatized and marginalized within our society. Education, advocacy and social inclusion are the areas of her focus.


Carl “Butch” Fredrickson:
Carl “Butch” Frederickson is a native of Butte County. After graduating from Paradise High School, he joined the Navy. He then completed three tours of duty in Vietnam. The first two tours were aboard an amphibious landing ship. We landed Marines and then supported their activities. The third tour was on a Swift Boat ( riverine forces ) in the Mekong Delta. Upon returning home he studied automotive technology at Butte College. He completed about twenty-five years as a service manager for new car dealerships and did some teaching at Butte College in the automotive department.

Butch has served over a decade as President of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 582 for Butte County. He served as Executive Director for Vectors for two years. Vectors provides transitional housing for homeless veterans. Butch is now a Director on the California State Council of Vietnam Veterans as North District ( state ) Director. Butch has dedicated his life to helping veterans and to finding ways to help others as he himself learned to live with PTSD.


John Aguirre:
John has over 25 years' experience in management for community based and government organizations. He has successfully managed programs through collaboration building and community engagement in the arenas of advocacy, prevention, stigma and discrimination reduction, intervention, and wellness and recovery in mental health, substance abuse, poverty and family violence.

John has learned to use his lived experience as a consumer/ client living with bipolar disorder and ADHD from various intersecting, underserved populations; LGBT, rural upbringing, farmworker, Latino, veteran, older adult, person living with HIV, to inform his advocacy work at the local and state levels while utilizing work as a recovery tool.



Florence Soares-Dabalos MFT:
Florence offers counseling, clinical supervision, and workshops to individuals and groups. It is owned and operated by Florence Soares-Dabalos, a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, who focuses on the following:

  • LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy
  • Men's Issues
  • Multi-cultural Counseling
  • Grief & Loss, including disenfranchised losses
  • Life Transitions (change in job, marital status, new home, new baby, mid-life changes, college, etc)
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Depression

For more information, please visit her website at


Lisa Currier
Lisa will be speaking as a panelist about her life with her schizophrenic son.

Qualifications: Mental Health Advocate for 25+ years, CIT Memphis Model trained, Speaker at CIT Police/Service providers training quarterly in 3 counties, Mental Health First Aide, Safe Space CIT Team Leader, Social Services, Superior Court Advocate Speaker, Laura's Law wrap around, Mental Health Housing Manager.




Sponsored and Hosted by Soroptimist International of Chico