Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA
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Highlights Local

Bob Evans Restaurant LogoLocal Bob Evans Restaurants Partner With MHA To Raise Funds For Warming Center At MHA

Having heard about our plea for help with making sure we have adequate funds to operate the Warming Center at MHA this coming winter, the Bob Evans' restaurants in the Erie area have stepped up in a big way. On November 14, 15 and 16, the Harborcreek, Peach Street, and West 12th Street Bob Evans' will donate 15% of all beverage purchases made on these dates to the Warming Center at MHA. They will also have donation containers at the check out desk for any patrons who are willing to help out with a direct donation. And, to add to their generosity, they will also be a collection point for patrons who want to bring clothing, food and hygiene items posted on our wish list (on the MHA website) that we can share with our Warming Center at MHA guests this winter.

I don't know who is more excited about this partnership, the Bob Evans' staff or the MHA but I know we are tremendously grateful for this effort on our behalf. Special thanks go to Sean McCullough at the Harborcreek Bob Evans' for spearheading this initiative.

So, get hungry (and thirsty) and get to Bob Evans' on November 14, 15 and 16 for a great meal and a big, delicious beverage. Drop your change in the donation container and bring along something our guests can use to stay warm, be healthier, or eat when they have nothing else. There are forecasts this season for another very cold winter and we need your help to open our doors from 11 pm to 7 am any night the prediction is for a low of 25 degrees or less.

!!URGENT APPEAL !!

Each year we turn to the community to help support the Warming Center at MHA and many of you have been very generous with funds, clothing, food items and blankets. We are very grateful for the help and compassion you have shown for persons without a source of shelter on Erie's coldest of nights when forecasters are predicting temperatures of 25 degrees or below. For those who may not be familiar with the Warming Center at MHA, on any night this temperature threshold is met, we open our doors at 11PM and stay open until 7AM the next morning for anyone who is without safe shelter. We provide a welcoming, safe environment offering a friendly face, coffee, a light meal, and the opportunity to rest and stay warm. We do our best to accommodate everyone regardless of circumstances.

As a result of last year's particularly prolonged, cold winter season, the Warming Center at MHA opened 91 nights. Our previous record had been 57 nights. Obviously this resulted in a serious depletion of funds. Thanks to many individuals and groups as well as events like the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community and Erie Gives Day, we have been able to replenish about half of the funds needed to be prepared for what forecasters are predicting to be another cold winter. While we are strategizing ways to raise $20,000 in operating funds for the Warming Center so we don't have to reduce availability part way through the winter season, we know the best way is to just tell you we are in serious need of your financial support.

Please consider making a donation by check (made payable to "MHANP"), cash or by clicking on the Donate button on the MHA website. It could mean the difference between safety or survival for the more than 300 persons who use the Warming Center at MHA each year.

Thank you.

Mental Health Association of NWPA IconMHA Recieves Grant
To Address Stigma

The Non-Profit Partnership (NPP) awarded a Capacity Building Grant to assist MHA in promoting a more positive image of mental health consumers to the public. MHA will use this $5,000 grant to collect a variety of recovery stories from local mental health consumers and then identify low or no cost ways of getting those stories before the public. Video, print and oral presentations will be gathered.

This is an exciting opportunity for MHA and we already have several consumers who are preparing to help gather the stories and another group interested in telling their stories. Be looking for our media campaign in 2015.

Thanks NPP for the financial support.

Cold weather brings need for blankets & clothing

As the cold weather is now approaching, many of our consumers are preparing to stay warm throughout the winter. We have been receiving many requests for winter clothing, boots, blankets and coats. Unfortunately, our ability to help the individuals who are in need of these items is limited at this time. Help us in our efforts to keep others warm. We accept used or new items and any and all donations would be greatly appreciated.

Mental Health Association of NWPA IconVoter Registration Efforts
Lauded

Thanks to Mike, John, Lenny, Dean, Brian, Tracy and Chuck, Center Members who have been active over the past 2 months in voter registration efforts here at MHA and at rallies and events in the community. Their efforts have been appreciated by us and candidates as we continue to build a mental health consumer voting block.

Mental Health Association of NWPA IconStaff Members
Complete CATV Training

Congratulations to Diana Ames, Brian Davies and Chuck Gauley on completing Community Access TV production training at CATV. We will be producing recovery videos soon!

ITE iconSecond Chance Computers
is going strong

Second Chance Computers is going strong thanks to the efforts of LuAnn Gossett and teacher, Carlos Northington. This means we are in need of good used laptop computers on which qualified consumers can train and then take with them upon graduation. If you or your company/agency has laptop computers that are in working order but have been replaced with more up to date versions, please donate them to MHA for this worthy cause. The value of the laptop represents a tax deductible donation and you will be helping a mental health consumer gain access to the world of modern communication as s/he pursues recovery and a meaningful place in our community.

Tom Stiller ImageMHANP WELCOMES
A FALL INTERN

MHA has hosted student interns from a variety of disciplines over the years and is pleased to welcome Gannon Univ. Social Work senior Tom Stiller this Fall. Tom shares a little about himself in this essay:

Tom Stiller Bio ~

Mental Health Association of NWPA IconJodi Wilson-Moore Appointed to fill Position of External Advocate at Warren State Hospital

MHA is pleased to announce that Jodi Wilson-Moore has accepted to return to the External Advocate role at Warren State Hospital. Ms. Wilson-Moore will be assuming the EA duties effective Sept. 15th. She had previously been a part-time EA at Warren prior to converting the role to fulltime status in January of this year. Besides her Warren State Hospital experience, Ms. Wilson-Moore brings with her many years of effective advocacy with children in Warren and Forest Counties.

As we are welcoming Ms. Wilson-Moore back we are also wishing Dave Taylor, departing EA, best wishes in his future endeavors and gratitude for his advocacy efforts on behalf of mental health consumers in treatment at Warren State Hospital. While Dave will be missed we are sure we have a very competent successor who will provide continuity in advocacy at WSH.

Mental Health Association of NWPA IconMaking The Consumer Recovery Center "Safe And Comfortable" For All

This essay by Bill Grove, CEO, describes our commitment to being available and accepting of consumers from all walks of life and behavior, and providing them a peaceful and controlled environment.

Essay ~

A quick guide to some housing resources for people experiencing homelessness

Warming Center at MHA
Click on Icon just above this column.
The Warming Center at MHA opens its doors whenever the overnight temperature will be 25 degrees or less, accepting anyone who needs to come in from the cold during overnight hours. All are welcome while they abide by basic rules of mutual respect. MHA provides shelter, safety, food, coffee, activities, conversation, support, and a place to "nap" for those needing to rest.
Erie County Care Management Homeless Case Management
814.528.0600
Best to call early in the morning or late afternoon or most likely you will need to leave a message and number for them to call back. They can meet with you at their office or somewhere in the community. Homeless Case Management can be a good resource way to help someone with a mental health need find a place to live. Homeless case managers have expertise and resources others may not have. The case managers are in the emergency shelters almost every day.
United Methodist Alliance Project Hope
814.456.5670
Project Hope has very active outreach workers. They can meet with you in the community. Project Hope workers often can meet with people in the evenings as well as the daytime. Project Hope has resources others may not.
Over-flow shelter information
814.459.5765
The over-flow shelter location rotates through the community. Call to find the location and times it is open.

The Internship Experience at the MHA

Several college seniors from universities within the tri state area have spent a semester at the MHA. We have asked our recent interns to express their impression of their experience with us.

Highlights Regional

Mental Health Association of NWPA IconMHA Participates In Panel Presentation
Before Senator Toomey

MHA CEO, Bill Grove was invited to provide a brief presentation on issues related to mental health as a member of a "Poverty and Social Concerns Roundtable" of community representatives from areas of health, legal, housing, education, and philanthropy organized by Sen. Pat Toomey's office. The Senator was very attentive to the presentations of each of the participants on the panel as he sought to become better informed about issues impacting his constituents in the Erie region. Mr. Grove offered Sen. Toomey some perspective on issues of mental health recovery, stigma and the importance of peer and natural supports in recovery.

Anna Almendraia PhotoA Blood Test For Depression Shows The Illness Is Not A Matter Of Will

Anna Almendraia writing in the Huffington Post, describes the potential impact of this recent medical discovery.

Complete Article ~

National Recovery Month IconNational Recovery Month was celebrated September 16, 2014

Prevention works, treatment is effective, people can and do recover from mental and substance use disorders.

"Reach Out, Speak Up" was the theme for the 25th Annual National Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery Month.

Event Summary ~

Charles GauleyMake It a Home Always Congratulates its First Success

Congratulations to Charles Gauley who reached financial and residential self-sufficiency and was able to graduate from the MIHA program this summer. Chuck was homeless and had few resources prior to being accepted into the MIHA program. His history with mental health, substance use, and criminal justice had reduced his potential for housing success. He was able to take full advantage of the support offered by MIHA to establish a residence, link with support and treatment services and develop an income source. He is now living his life independent of the MIHA program but remains an active and valued member of the MHA Recovery Center where he participates in a variety of activities that promote recovery and mental health consumer empowerment.

Clifton McNair, staff member at Make It A Home Always with Charles Gauley

Clifton McNair, MIHA with Charles Gauley

PA Office of Vocational RehabilitationJob Fair hosted by PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)

OVR is hosting a job fair for their present customers, who are ready to get back to work. If you are currently an active client of OVR, check out this important opportunity.

Information Flyer ~

9 Things Only People With Depression Can Truly Understand

Lindsay Holmes, writing in the Huffington Post, addresses depression in an article dated 8/26/2014.

There's been a lot of dialogue surrounding depression , particularly in light of recent events, as people struggle to understand why and how it affects people in the ways that it does. And for the 350 million people worldwide with the condition, it can be just as hard to articulate its effects as it is to understand it.

Depression can make people feel like their minds have completely rebelled against them. From a lack of will to physical pain, it can cause people to function poorly at work, in school and in social activities.

Complete Article ~

Facebook Provides First-of-a-Kind Service To Help Prevent Suicides

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are collaborating with Facebook to help those in crisis.

In partnership with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Facebook is announcing a new service that harnesses the power of social networking and crisis support to help prevent suicides across the Nation and Canada. The new service enables Facebook users to report a suicidal comment they see posted by a friend to Facebook using either the Report Suicidal Content link or the report links found throughout the site. The person who posted the suicidal comment will then immediately receive an email from Facebook encouraging them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or to click on this link to begin a confidential chat session with a crisis worker.

MH Advance Directive

Mental Health Advance Directive is available online.