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CFAC Spotlight: Alamance-Caswell

Jeanette Williamson of Burlington, N.C., has been in recovery from substance use disorder since June 6, 2006. Today, she serves as the chairperson of Cardinal Innovations Alamance-Caswell Consumer and Family Advisory Committee (CFAC), a role that is her way of giving back and providing a voice for others with similar struggles, she said.

“I was in recovery for many years and I needed a way to stay in recovery and to stay clean. I also wanted a way to give back to the community that I had to leave behind in order to survive. CFAC provided that for me,” Williamson said, explaining how she first got involved about four years ago. “They provided a safe haven for me, a place where I can go and be in recovery and still be able to learn and still be able to stay clean and sober.”

CFACs provide a means for adult members or family of members served by Cardinal Innovations to have voices in their local behavioral health system. CFAC members discuss community service issues, learn about the operations of Cardinal Innovations and give feedback. Cardinal Innovations has CFACs located in all of its communities.

“Why it’s so important to me is that it gives me a voice to speak on behalf of others who, like myself, have in the past struggled with substance use,” Williamson said.

“I’m just glad that I’m part of Cardinal Innovations CFAC and I’m able to be a part of an organization that’s trying to make a difference,” she said.

One of the ways CFAC allows Williamson to give back to her community is by sharing information at community events. She participates in a recovery event every September. The Alamance-Caswell CFAC has distributed gift bags with crisis and treatment information to individuals who were living on the streets and still struggling with substance use disorder. The also shared information in the fall at their booth at the annual Carousel Festival in Burlington, N.C.

Williamson said she also enjoys the training opportunities that are provided to CFAC members. “They have training opportunities, conferences and seminars that help us along the way. They provide the tools that help us engage with our community and empower others to do the same…It keeps you and your family members involved in state policy as well.”

As Cardinal Innovations members and their family members think about making New Year’s resolutions this year, Williamson encourages them to consider joining their local CFAC to make a positive impact in their own and others’ care.

“If you want to make a real difference in your circumstances or for those you love, then the local CFAC is where you should begin to get connected,” she said. “It is hard work and it is a commitment, but it gives you an opportunity to make a positive difference.”

The Alamance-Caswell CFAC meets at 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every other month at Cardinal Innovations Burlington office located at 2929 Crouse Lane, Suite B, in Burlington, N.C. These meetings are open to the public.

If you would like to contact the Alamance-Caswell CFAC to provide input regarding services, service gaps or any other issue, email: memberquestions@cardinalinnovations.org​.

Click here for more information about CFACs.
https://www.cardinalinnovations.org/consumer-families/rights-responsibilities/cfac/mecklenburg
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