Ruth Stafford has been in and around New Directions for Women since its inception, offering vital support to the original founders and their vision. As a clinical psychologist she also played a supportive role in forming the first Advisory Committee to this day. To her credit, Ruth was among those on the frontier of treatment for the alcoholic woman in Orange County, and continues to speak out as a champion of family treatment, focusing on mother at the center.
Her involvement began when a few from her inner circle of close friends – Pam Wilder, Muriel Zink and Marion Schoen – readily recruited her, giving her a seat on the first board of directors. Ruth wrote several grants in the beginning, but it soon became clear that they were not going to get any county or state support. Initial funding came, of course, form the Junior League of Newport Beach after Pam Wilder’s impassioned appeal Ruth served on the Board for four years, and returned later as President of the Board for another two years.
In the late ‘70s, Ruth represented New Directions for Women on the first California Commission on the Woman Alcoholic, using her clinical expertise to represent the “Doctor’s Opinion” for women in addiction at a time when there were few voices to be heard.
“Alcoholism up until that time was sort of seen as a male disease, so most treatment centers were geared toward men,” said Ruth. “The female alcoholic was largely neglected. The research began to indicate that women had different kinds of needs in both treatment and in sobriety.”
It was in response to these unaddressed needs that the founders formed New Directions for Women. “It’s been wonderful to see the dream of having a place where mothers with children can get help come to fruition. Alcoholism as a family disease was very much on the forefront on the founder’s agenda, and I think New Directions is doing an incredible job in reaching the woman alcoholic.”
Excerpted from the New Directions for Women Butterfly Bulletin 2014.
New Directions for Women is a treatment facility located in California that offers help for alcohol dependency to women of all ages, pregnant women in any trimester, and women with children. Founded in 1977, our courageous and visionary founders asked for the help of Newport Beach Junior League members to fulfill their vision of a tranquil home-like facility that would treat women with dignity and respect. Our caring admissions counselors are available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have on getting help. Reach us by phone at 800-93-WOMEN. We can help. Stay in the loop with New Directions for Women by connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.