Kitty Dukakis, the former first lady of Massachusetts and wife of 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, will be on the Vineyard Tuesday to speak about her struggle with mental illness, the stress added by the public life, and how electroconvulsive therapy saved her life.
Her talk, Shock of Recognition: Depression, Addiction and Hope, is set for Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center on Centre street in Vineyard Haven, as part of the fall season of the Vineyard Haven library’s evening lecture series.
Ms. Dukakis went public with her personal story of addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs in 1990, as well as her experience with depression. She speaks her mind with the same uncompromising courage and candor that characterized her appearances during the 1988 presidential election.
Ms. Dukakis is the author of a recent book on electro-convulsive therapy, better known as shock therapy. Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy, is an important and powerful book about electro-convulsive therapy and its comeback.
Last month, the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain opened a center for addiction treatment named The Kitty Dukakis Treatment Center for Women. The center was named in honor of Ms. Dukakis’s untiring work on the behalf of women recovering from addiction. The center will open in January, and its 28-day program is expected to treat 300 women annually. Counseling for addiction, HIV, and post-traumatic stress will be provided.
“This is way beyond a shelter,” she said. “This is a shelter dedicated to women who have both drug and alcohol issues, and many of them have trauma also.
“It’s an excellent program and I am thrilled to be honored this way. I think as a person in recovery I am well aware that for everybody in the United States — and this is true in Massachusetts, too — the opportunities for treatment for people who need it are way down from what they were 25 years ago. I will continue to advocate for folks to understand that this problem has not gone away.”
All are invited for this free evening with a powerful speaker on depression and addiction. For details, call 508-696-4211, extension 16 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.