The Faces of Hitchcock: Deb O’Shaughnessy

The Faces of Hitchcock: Deb O’Shaughnessy

What inspired you to get involved with Hitchcock?

Initially I became a Board Member to expand my leadership skills and give back to the community.  I went through the BVU Board Training, at the recommendation of my Business Leader at Progressive, and settled on women and children as my area of interest.   Hitchcock appealed to me because of its mission to “empower women to achieve and maintain productive, chemically-free lives at home, at work, and in the community.”  I also liked the concept that women could bring their children to stay with them while seeking treatment. 

My motivation changed after about 6 months, when I attended Gratitude Night.  Gratitude Night is an evening for Hitchcock alumnae to share their stories of recovery.  The overarching theme and phrase I heard again and again was “Hitchcock saved my life.” We were saving lives at Hitchcock! It doesn’t get more powerful than that.

As I look back on my life, I recognize that some of my family members and friends did not deal with their addiction, and as a result, damaged relationships with people that were special to them.  More recently I’ve attended funerals of friends, and friends of my children. Treatment and addressing mental health issues may have saved some of these lives. 

What have you learned about women in recovery and treatment that you think the community should be aware of?

Addiction is like cancer, it doesn’t discriminate and affects everyone in one way or another. Unlike cancer, people suffering from addiction and mental health issues can be embarrassed or scared to reach out for help.  It takes strength, support, and commitment to begin on a path of recovery.  We all have things we need to work on in life.  Hitchcock is there to help women begin the process of recovery and reach their full potential.

If someone was thinking of volunteering or getting involved with Hitchcock, what would want them to know? 

What are you waiting for?  If you have a passion for our mission, or just want to help women and children in your community, we welcome your talents and skills. 

To learn more about volunteering or how you can get involved, please reach out to us at 216-421-0662 or

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