Helping Share Resources for Mental Health and Substance Use has been Lisa Rosenberg Sutton’s mission.  In accomplishing this, she covers a lot of ground (and airspace) but was kind enough to take the time to share her story.  Lisa writes:

During my stay at St. Lawrence in New York State and Graduate School at LIU I worked with Upward Bound, a program for students in St. Lawrence County and the Mohawk Indian Reservation.  Once finished I returned full time to SLU to work as the Assistant Head Trainer, but ended up working as a Head Resident which started the road to taking clinical classes.  The next step was to work with adjudicated adolescents on a wagon train, wilderness trips and quality assurance.  This brought the possibility of working with a private residential school in North Idaho, where I continue to live.  I worked directly with the students and families for about ten years and then moved into a new role doing marketing and admissions for a program that worked with young adults struggling to become independent with either mental health issues and/or co-occurring secondary substance use.  While there I learned of a whole network of people and places that could help all different kinds of people from all different kinds of backgrounds. That started the trajectory of what my company does now.

 I started Sutton Enterprises to help schools, programs and people create places that can help struggling families, plus share who they are and what they do so people can find them.   In the past nine years I have worked with over nineteen programs around the world, including Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Israel.  I am bringing people over to Israel, Cyprus and Rome this month to visit a multi-dimensional program.  The programs range from those working with developmentally delayed adults who need to be somewhere for a lifetime to young adults with schizophrenia to adolescents with depression and anxiety.

Currently I am working with a men’s structured sober living in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach (California), a residential high school for adolescent boys with substance issues, where the goal is to have them eventually attend the local public high school.  I am also working with a nomadic adventure therapy program on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska.  It is for ages 14-25.  As the island’s population is native and the owner is a therapist who has worked with teens on the island, our goal is to create a non- profit arm so the kids on the island can have the experience.

There are so many options for families in need, but most are not known about even when there’s a crisis.  It’s amazing how many people I talk to when flying, which I spend most of my days doing, that have no idea about what’s out there to help.  Most of the time they have a story of a family member who is in need and then ask for my card. I’m always happy to connect them with somebody who can point them in a positive direction.

I have lived outside of Sandpoint, Idaho with my husband Glenn for the past thirty-four years. We have two children, Aubrey, 31, and Dean, 28.  Aubrey was just married last weekend at the summit of the ski resort, Schweitzer, where she grew up skiing. It has been a family past time and we like to travel to different areas each year.  Besides skiing, I enjoy spending time with our two dogs, gardening, exercising and being out on our boat as much as possible.

Editor’s Note:  Lisa is our only known classmate who resides in Idaho. Also, for date reference, this was written in early July 2023.