Megan’s House residents recently played host to Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders, for a visit that proved both educational and inspirational.
Secretary Sudders spent most of her 1-hour visit in the Great Room, the room where Megan’s House graduation ceremonies are held, engaged in conversation with staff and residents. Sudders, who oversees Massachusetts’ largest executive agency with over 22,000 workers, listened intently as the young women shared their thoughts about what more could be done to assist in the fight against addiction.
One resident spoke of how easy it was to get into Megan’s House, noting the difficulty she faced in trying to get into other programs. “In that split second, when you’re asking for help,” she told Secretary Sudders, “if you can’t find a bed, it’s devastating.”
Another resident praised Megan’s House for its holistic approach to treatment, noting she was searching “for a program that would help me become a woman.” With the program focusing on education, job training and life skills to go along with therapy, she was well on her way to achieving that goal.
Professionally trained as a Social Worker, Secretary Sudders has dedicated her life to public service and our most vulnerable citizens. That dedication can be traced to a battle with alcohol that claimed her mother’s life while Sudders was a teenager.
“Everyone blamed her for her alcoholism,” Sudders said as the room grew silent. “They never saw the battle with depression underneath that she was self-medicating.”
Also on hand for the tour was State Representative Tom Golden of Lowell, one of the early champions in the fight against addiction. The Representative, whose District includes the neighborhood Megan’s House is located in, spoke of the legislature’s continued efforts to fund more programs.
As Secretary Sudders concluded her visit, she encouraged the residents to focus on recovery and never stop advocating for themselves, no matter where life’s journey takes them. Coming from such a powerful role model, those words hit home for the women at Megan’s House.