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Sometimes out of the worst tragedy comes great strength, passion and resolve. When John “Tripp” H. Smith, III and his wife Loretta’s son Michael took his own life on November 10, 2007, their lives were painfully and irrevocably changed. By all accounts, Michael was very successful in his earlier life, but developed into an unrecognizable person as a result of his depression and dependence on chemicals to self-medicate his problems. 

Michael’s suicide set into motion a series of events that Tripp says is “nothing short of a miracle.” Determined not to let his son’s passing be in vain, Tripp and two close friends who knew Michael well – Dr. Richard Granese, a well-respected Orange County psychiatrist, and Drew Fisher, a certified alcohol and drug counselor – joined together to create A Mission for Michael (AMFM), a South Orange County – based facility specializing in drug and alcohol rehab and dual diagnosis treatment. 

“Dr. Granese, Drew and I knew we could offer people like Michael and their families, a chance at a new life free from the suffering and the interdependence they had endured with no apparent way out.” Says Tripp. “At A Mission for Michael, we surround ourselves with a staff of professionals who are equally as passionate about helping others recover from their pain.

“The recovery process itself is tremendously moving to watch, for the addicted individual and for their family,” says Fisher. It takes an inordinate amount of strength and vigilance to recover from substance abuse, but when you add in a mental health condition, it can really complicate recovery. Recovery really does start with the brain and body, but to truly recover we need to heal our minds, hearts and spirits.”

We are proud of what we have created at AMFM in Michael’s honor and we welcome the opportunity to help your family too. 

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