Governor George W. Bush has proclaimed Sept. 2000 as “Destination Dignity Month.” “I urge Texans to respect the dignity of people with mental illness or mental retardation and to recognize the contributions of Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Centers toward enhancing the quality of life for their clients,” said Bush. Forty local Communtiy Mental Health and Mental Retardation Centers serve more than 164,000 people across the Lone Star State. Staff and volunteers in these centers strive to provide cost-effective services and support that enable Texans with mental disabilities to lead productive lives in their communities. Community Mental Heath and Mental Retardation Centers offer local living opportunities in addition to vocational and other programs that allow many people with mental disabilities to work in their hometowns. The centers have also helped thousands of Texans in their struggle to overcome alcohol and drug abuse. “The centers, in partnership with state and local governments, have played a major role in expanding community care options for Texans with mental illness and mental retardation,” added Bush. The Texas Council of Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Centers, Inc. sponsors “Destination Dignity” during the month of September to promote community acceptance and quality of life for individuals with mental illness or mental retardation. The Council also distributes information across the state about the services available to help these individuals be productive members of their communities. Within the seven county area serviced by Central Texas MHMR centers, in close coordination with many associated mental health providers, a number of awareness activities are being planned. In the local area, an afternoon reception will be hosted for clients on Thursday, Sept. 21 from 3-4 p.m. in the Central Texas MHMR center located at 205 South Bridge Street in Brady.