Mental Health Awareness Month Profile – Michael Roth

Mental Health Awareness month wrapped up on May 31st, but every month is mental health awareness month at Jawonio.

Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to celebrate the positive accomplishments of individuals who are in recovery and can be positive role models for others.  Jawonio provides mental health services and supports to hundreds of individuals with a mental health diagnosis, each year through its Personalized Recovery Oriented Services or PROS Program, fondly known as the “PROmiSe Program.”  The PROS Program offers numerous opportunities for its participants through regular classes and activities in which they can explore ways to make healthy choices through nutrition and fitness, quit smoking, build positive relationships and explore their creativity through music and art.  There are many participants in the program who have an inspirational life story to tell. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month we are profiling a special young man, Michael Roth, who has been a part of the Jawonio PROS Program since 2014.


PROS Talent show - Breaking Down Breaking Through

PROS Talent show performers with Jill Warner, CEO, Joe Zweig, PROS Program Director, Monica Carr, Social Worker and Anthony Thomas, Mental Health Counselor


Michael Roth

When he was younger, long before enrolling in the Jawonio PROS Program, Michael performed in musicals and plays at school.  He had lost touch with performing for many years. The last performance he was in before coming to Jawonio was in 1997 in school.  When he came to Jawonio, he joined the music therapy group within just a few days of starting the program. Music was something he loved and was comfortable with.  He started by playing guitar and eventually began singing too. After participating in the group, he joined the Talent Show Recovery Group and has been performing in the talent shows ever since.


“It is great being able to perform in front of people.  The show today was about focusing on the positive so we chose uplifting songs.  Some of us pick our own songs to fit the theme, sometimes Monica and Anthony pick them,” said Michael.

 Jawonio PROS staff members, Monica Carr, Social Worker and Anthony Thomas, Mental Health Counselor, collaborate with the group to select the content of each show, songs and poetry that reflect the theme they are focusing on.  Each show is about one hour and they put them on three to four times per year for other participants, friends, family and Jawonio staff. It’s always a full house. The most recent show called “Breaking Down, Breaking Through” incorporated both poetry and music to represent the theme of recovery


Michael performed in PROS Talent Show - Silver Screen

Michael performing at the Jawonio PROS Talent Show


Michael backstage at Mary Poppins musical

“All of us support each other throughout the whole process of putting the show together, its great,” said Michael.  He continued, “Anyone can have a bad day, but then when you play music, it changes your day for the better and can really change your outlook.  It has had such a positive influence on my life and recovery.”


Michael has built up his confidence so much through the music program at Jawonio that he recently performed in a production of the musical “Mary Poppins” put on by the Parish Players at St. Anthony’s in Nanuet, NY.  He played the part of Admiral Boom.


He is also a member of the Jawonio PROS band called “Musicians Only”, that has performed at the Jawonio Golf Outing and at the opening of the new JCC of Rockland’s Café.


Michael _ Joannie performed at JCC Cafe opening

Michael & Joannie

Michael _ Joannie performed at JCC Cafe opening 2

Michael & Joannie performing at JCC Cafe opening

Michael’s favorite genre of music to play is Rock and Roll but he also enjoys Alternative.  He also works with a music teacher outside of the PROS Program, and writes original songs.


Michael’s advice to anyone who is starting their recovery journey is, “Find your own outlet, an activity that you can do that will distract you from the negative and bring up your spirits and help you feel better.  Take time to observe the program. There is something for everyone. Chances are, no matter who you are, the Jawonio PROS program has something that you will like and can help you.


On May 1, Jawonio participated in the Mental Health Awareness Flag Raising sponsored by NAMI-Rockland. 

If you or someone you love are in need of mental health services and supports, please contact Mary Hollender, Intake Coordinator at (845)-708-2000 x2246 or via email at: 


Mental Health Awareness Flag Raising

A few Mental Health Facts (source: NAMI)

Mental Health Facts

  • 1 in 5 (46.6 million) adults in the United States experience a mental health condition in a given year.
  • 1 in 25 (11.2 million) adults in the United States experience a serious mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 46.6 million adults in the United States face the reality of managing a mental illness every day.
  • Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.



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About us

We provide care for over 10,000 people with special needs each year.

Our mission

Jawonio is a registered 501c3 organization and the premier provider of lifespan services in the Hudson Valley of New York State for individuals with developmental disabilities, behavioral health challenges, and chronic medical conditions. 

Jawonio is dedicated to advancing the independence, well-being, and equality of people with disabilities and special needs.