Dr. Drew Honored For Work In Mental Health Community At Maple Ball

By John Lavitt 10/28/16

The Maple Counseling Center celebrated Dr. Drew's "commitment to raising awareness towards mental health issues" throughout his career.

Dr. Drew Honored For Work In Mental Health Community At Maple Ball
Dr. Drew Pinsky Honored at The Maple Ball Photographer: Peter Mah

On the night of Wednesday, Oct. 26, Dr. Drew Pinsky was honored with the Maple Entertainment Media Award at the 42nd annual Maple Ball. Held at the Montage Beverly Hills, the fundraising event supports The Maple Counseling Center (TMCC), a notable organization that provides mental health counseling services regardless of a client’s ability to pay. While the average cost of a counseling session in Los Angeles County is between $150 and $200, the average cost of a TMCC session is only $24. As a result, the center opens its doors to a population that normally could not access the mental health support they require.

On the red carpet before the event, Dr. Drew spoke about his long-time support for TMCC. About being honored by the organization, he said, “I appreciate any event that is focused on helping to bring treatment to a greater population. Their mission is to provide mental health services for anyone in need. Since access to such services is truly lacking in our society, organizations like The Maple Counseling Center need to be supported.” 

Susan Pinsky & Dr. Drew Pinsky on the Red Carpet  photographer: Peter Mah

As highlighted on the homepage of its website, “The Maple Counseling Center's (TMCC) mission is to provide low cost comprehensive mental health services to individuals, couples, families, and groups throughout Los Angeles County, and to provide training for interns and counselors who are working towards licensure in the mental health field.” 

Although the first part of the mission is remarkable, the second part is just as important. For an MFT intern to receive their license in California, they are required to complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. It can be challenging to find the opportunity to both complete all the hours and access quality supervision. Since TMCC supervises 90 MFT interns at a time and the combined clinical staff (both licensed clinicians and interns) sees over 600 clients every week, they provide a key benefit by helping to build California’s mental health services community. 

At the Maple Ball, retiring TMCC clinical director Harold Young, LCSW, was honored with a special tribute. A staff member since 1985, Young has been the clinical director of the facility for nearly 20 years, helping to set the tone for the organization’s ongoing success. Upon receiving the award, he remarked how happy he was to have been a part of “a creative and fulfilling place where clients are always welcomed with compassion and respect.” 

As the awards part of the night came to a close, Dr. Drew took the stage to humbly receive his honorary plaque. He said, “I want to explain why I do what I do. I love the human experience and addiction is a window into the human experience. Mental health services are a window into that experience as well … And it means so much when you can help someone. Just one recovery gives you hope for so many others.”

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.