December 9th, 2021 | 6pm-9pm

Asian American Resource Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                        CONTACT: Sharon Lowe
September 22, 2021                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                                                        (512) 775-4774


Austin Clubhouse Names Spirit of Community Award Honorees
for the We Are Not Alone (WANA) Live Party:
Raising Awareness, Support and Funding for Adult Mental Health Recovery 

Austin Clubhouse, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering adults with mental health diagnoses, announced today that it has named The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and Austin Area Mental Health Consumers as the inaugural Spirit of Community Award recipients. The award honors organizations that are advancing mental health and substance use recovery.

“The organizations we honor with the Spirit of Community Award are actively engaged in replacing the silence, isolation and stigma of mental illness and substance use with community, resilience, hopeand possibility,” said Austin Clubhouse Executive Director Sharon Lowe. “They understand that recovery is not only possible but to be expected with the support of meaningful community relationships.”

Executive Director Dr. Octavio Martinez will accept on behalf of The Hogg Foundation and will also keynote the event. Executive Director Shannon Carr will accept on behalf of Austin Area Mental Health Consumers, during Austin Clubhouse’s annual WANA Party.

The term “WANA” was the original name of the first Clubhouse, established in 1948 by a group of former mental health patients and workers who longed for a more inclusive, equitable and community-based approach to recovery.  The WANA Live Party will feature a reception with nonalcoholic beverages, an Asian-themed dinner, opportunities to give, a keynote address from Dr. Martinez, and performances by musicians with lived experience of mental illness.

WANA Live will be held on Dec. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Asian American Resource Center.  Event sponsorships, tickets, and online donations are available at

The Hogg Foundation (

The Hogg Foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.  The foundation’s grants and programs support mental health services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas. The foundation provides grants to build capacity for concrete improvements in mental health and well-being, and decreases in mental health disparities for marginalized populations in communities across Texas.

Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., Executive Director

Dr. Martinez,a native Texan and licensed psychiatrist, is the fifth Executive Director to lead the foundation since its creation in 1940. He oversees the vision, mission, goals, strategic planning and day-to-day operations of the foundation. He is also a clinical professor with an appointment in the university’s School of Social Work and holds an adjunct professor appointment at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. His academic interests include minority health, health disparities and workforce issues.

Austin Area Mental Health Consumers (

AAMHC supports and advocates for a consumer’s right to achieve mental wellness, self-empowerment and self-sufficiency. Its vision is to have a society where people with mental health challenges are active, included, empowered, and supported by each other and the community to live strong, successful lives. AAMCH operates The SHAC (The Self-Help and Advocacy Center), which provides a peer-supported environment for more than 1,200 members each year to learn how to reintegrate into the workplace and daily life.

Shannon Carr, Executive Director

Shannon Carr has been the Executive Director at Austin Area MHC since 2001. She is a certified Mental Health Peer Specialist and MHPS-Supervisor in Texas. She is currently the Planning Chair for the nationally known Central TX African American Family Support Conference; serves as a committee member on the Joint Committee on Access and Forensic Services; and performs other advisory roles that promote wellness and recovery.

Austin Clubhouse (

Founded in 2010, Austin Clubhouse exists to provide acceptance and empowerment so adults with mental health diagnoses can pursue personal goals and play a meaningful role as coworkers, colleagues, family members, neighbors and friends. More than 1,200 adults have joined Austin Clubhouse to celebrate their strengths and build meaningful relationships. Austin Clubhouse is accredited by Clubhouse International (

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