ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Non-profits in Roanoke are teaming up for an event they hope will help struggling families in our area.
Children's Trust, Bethany Hall and Trust House are hosting a first ever penal discussion on mental health and addition, and how those issues can be addressed without forcing children into the foster care system.
Experts say mental health and addiction affect thousands of families in Southwest Virginia.
But the message here? There is hope, thanks to dedicated people providing counseling services in the Commonwealth.
Teresa Carpentieri with the Children's Trust says parents often come to them having lost their children to the foster care system. Through the work she and her colleagues are doing, they find loving homes for more than 100 of those children every year.
That's why she says events, like the discussion Tuesday night, that spread awareness of the help that's out there are so important.
"It is possible to reunite families. Just because you have gone through a struggle, such as addiction, or whether it's losing a job and losing your home, that there's hope. There's hope that you can reunite your family, you can become a stronger family," Carpentieri said.
Carpentieri says while they often deal with severe cases of child abuse or neglect, any family facing struggle with addiction or mental health can contact their organization for support. The event Tuesday night follows the City of Roanoke officially designating this week of November annually as The Week of the Family.
Roanoke joins dozens of others around the country in celebrating services, like Children's Trust, that help keep families together.
The panel discussion begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 in the Grandin Theater. There will also be a showing of the film On Life's Terms, a documentary about mothers recovering from addiction.