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Highlights Local

"Above And Beyond" Awards Presented To Mha Staff

Dec 2 2016 Erie, PA

When MHA staff members find themselves in a situation that requires extraordinary measures, there are those who take up the charge to do what must be done for the safety of our consumers. Such was the case on November 9th of this year when a Center Team member entered the MHA and proceeded to the men’s restroom and overdosed on a street drug. Center Staff were informed by another consumer of the situation and Team Leader Carla Kurpiewski and Center Team Member Scot Valimont rushed to the scene. The victim was slumped over in a stall requiring Mr. Valimont to lift him out and onto the floor. The overdose was by injection and the effect had caused the scene to be a mess of fluids. By all signs the victim was clinically dead and any effort to revive had to be immediate. Without regard for personal well being, Ms. Kurpiewski began CPR aided by Mr. Valimont and the victim was revived in time for the paramedics to arrive and take over the life support process.

The MHA Board of Directors created the "Above and Beyond" award specifically to recognize such selfless acts of compassion and dedication. Without the quick and efficient actions of these two staff members, the victim in this instance may not have survived to find his way to recovery another day. For this heroic effort, MHA Board Chair, Christine Colao-Nickson presented Scot and Carla with Above and Beyond honors in a brief ceremony held December 2nd in the Consumer Recovery Center.

All of us at MHA are very proud of Carla and Scot and thank them for their brave actions that saved a fellow consumer.

Carla receiving award from board chairmanStaff receives award

Footnote: MHA is always focused on making our facility safe for our members. While it is disheartening that drug dealing predators are lurking in our neighborhoods searching for vulnerable persons to whom they can sell their poison, we will continue to be vigilant in our building and district to work with law enforcement and our neighbors in the effort to combat this scourge.

Volunteer Appreciation

Nov 29, 2016 Erie, PA

A Gratitude Party will be held at the MHA 2nd floor on Tuesday, Nov 29 2016 from 10:30AM till Noon. The guest list appears on the volunteer bulletin board.

Join us for refreshments, conversation and giveaways. Enjoy music and much more. Congratulate Alexis, James and Gage on the conclusion of their internships.

It's Winter And The Warming Center At MHA Needs Donations

Winter is finally here and the temperatures are dropping overnight. We've held our first Warming Center at MHA night and we are looking for your support as we head deeper into the winter months. Here are our most urgent needs:

  • $$$ funding $$$ (We need to start collecting $40,000 to meet this year's needs and be prepared for the 2017-18 winter)
  • Blankets (we are down to our last few)
  • Tea and Hot Chocolate for our guests
  • Large and extra large shirts and pants for the clothing bank

Check out our Warming Center Wish List for other items we need to be sure we are serving our guests well and providing them with the resources to survive the winter months.

Erie has been very generous to the Warming Center at MHA during the past 8 years as we open our doors from 11 at night until 7:30 in the morning when temperatures are forecast to be 25 degrees or below. Please help us again this year to ensure no one is left out in the cold on our most bitter nights.

Telethon Raises $5,000 To Support Boots On Ground

On Wed. Nov. 9th, the first ever Boots On Ground telethon proved to be a great success. With the help of media experts from WJET TV 24, we had a lively and heartwarming response to the call for financial support to help our Erie County Vets and their families coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As the community saw testimonials and learned more about the peer based support services offered at BOG, the phones started ringing and pledges and donations began to stream in. Along with pledges we received calls from Vets and families asking how they could get involved for their own sakes and for their peers. Sean Lafferty was our host and he could not have been more energetic and supportive of the cause. Checks are continuing to come in even a week after the telethon concluded.

Thanks to all of our volunteers who set up the space and phones, fielded the calls and shared their stories. They made it a great inaugural telethon. And thanks to all those who called in offering their financial support to this worthy cause. Your generosity is helping ensure BOG will be able to continue its current services and grow as the needs expand.

If you didn’t get to join in on the telethon but want to give your financial support to BOG, you can go to the BOG page and click on the Donation button for online giving or just send a check made out to "BOG at MHANP" to:

  • Boots On Ground
  • 913 State St, Suite 220
  • Erie, Pa. 16501

Three Great Ways to Support Our Programs

It's fall and time for an important day of remembrance and the coming holidays. MHA has three great ways you can help support our services during this special time for giving:

BOG BannerGive to Boots On Ground with a pledge or donation during our BOG Telethon 5 to 8 pm Wed. Nov. 9th as part of your recognition of Veterans Day. Tune in to WJET TV24 to support our service men and women with PTSD and their families.

MHA needs donations of turkeys,MHA Banner hams, dressing, canned or frozen vegetables, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pies so we can serve our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for our mental health consumer members, many of whom are living in poverty or are homeless. The Mental Health Association is located at 1101 Peach St., Erie, PA 16501.

Warming Center IconThe Warming Center at MHA will be opening its doors soon for overnight guests when temperatures drop to 25 degrees or below between the hours of 11 pm and 7:30 am.No one should be left out in the cold on Erie's most bitter nights. We need your financial, clothing, towels, blanket, and personal care item donations to serve our guests in a respectful, safe, and comfortable environment.

Please consider one or all of these ways of sharing your good fortunes with those among us whose fortunes are yet to be realized.

MHA Consumer Recovery Center In Need Of Food Donations For Holiday Dinners

As we do every year, the MHA Consumer Recovery Center provides holiday meals for its members at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is not unusual for us to feed over 100 persons at these festive occasions. We would appreciate donations of food items including turkeys, hams, canned or frozen corn and beans, potatoes, cranberry sauce, pies, cookies, boxed dressing or be creative and surprise us. We have plenty of freezer space so perishable donations that can be frozen can be accepted at any time. The Mental Health Association is located at 1101 Peach St., Erie, PA 16501.

Enjoy the holidays by helping others celebrate with a nourishing meal.

Morning Guest at MHA

It is Wed. 10/26 and 34 degrees at MHA's back door when this picture is being taken. Winter is coming and the nights will get much colder. Please donate to the Warming Center at MHA so that we will have a safe, comfortable place for folks without shelter on Erie’s coldest nights.

Homeless man sleeping on our patioMorning Guest at MHA

Avon Fundraiser for Warming Center

Oct 7 2016 Erie, PA

What a success! Avon and Stairways Behavioral Health hosted a fundraiser for the Warming Center on October 7, 2016. We are grateful for the Avon representative, Nancy Roebke, who put this fundraising event together and for Stairways Behavioral Health who donated the wonderful space for the displays for our shopping pleasure.

Avon FundraiserAvon Rundraiser for Warm Center

Nancy had heard about the Warming Center and wanted to help out before winter descended upon Erie. The MHA Center Team Leader, Carla Kurpiewski and Operations Manager, Pat Stucke helped Nancy with the display set up which took over 4 hours to complete.

It was a fun event and we are thankful for the many Stairways employees who stopped by to shop and chat about the Warming Center. Nancy donated 30% of the event sales to the Warming Center. The donated amount of $328 will feed the Warming Center guests for one week! We are thankful to be part of such a giving and compassionate community. We are hoping to make this an annual event.

MHA Staff Helping Displaced Residents Of Condemned Apartments

Oct 20 2016 Millcreek, Pa

MIHA Housing Case Manager Clifton McNair and Community Engagement Coordinator Diana Ames are working with residents of Granada Apartments who are being displaced as several buildings are being condemned. Granada has been home to many mental health consumers on fixed incomes, some of whom are members of the Consumer Recovery Center here at MHA. Diana and Clifton are members of Erie County Home Team whose members are putting together informational forums for the displaced residents and finding sympathetic area landlords to help re-house these individuals and families as quickly as possible. Both Clifton and Diana are very experienced and knowledgeable on housing and homelessness related resources and will bring their expertise to bear on addressing this devastating issue for those caught in its grip. MHA is proud of their advocacy as part of MHA.

Boots On Ground at MHA Gets over $2,000 From Erie Gives Day Donations

Aug 15 2016 Erie, PA

Once again a generous Erie community helped literally hundreds of nonprofits on Erie Gives Day August 9th. Boots On Ground was this year’s MHA program we selected to be the beneficiary of Erie Gives Day donations. Thanks Erie for donating over $2,000 in support of peer based support for our veterans and their families working to recover from PTSD and depression. Boots On Ground (BOG) is relatively new to Erie and the MHA so it is very gratifying that so many of our fellow Erieites are learning about BOG and its life saving message of hope and recovery for those vets among us who are struggling with return to civilian status.

A quick guide to some housing resources
for people experiencing homelessness

Warming Center at MHA

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. Click on Icon just above this column.

Erie County Care Management Homeless Case Management

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

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

The over-flow shelter location rotates through the community. Call to find the location and times it is open.

Highlights Regional

Erie County Treatment Court holds Graduation

Dec 15 2016 Erie, Pa">

The Erie County Treatment Court held its thirty-second (32nd) Graduation on Thursday (12/15/16). Being present during this ceremony helped recognize the diligent efforts and proud accomplishments of the graduates today. Also by being there for these individuals, it lets them know that they are not alone and that we are here to help them. Since this day, two hundred and fifty-seven (257) individuals have graduated from the Erie County Treatment Court Programs. We hope that many more individuals out there, who are struggling, will come forth and take advantage of the resources offered through the Erie County treatment Courts.

World Aids Day Observance 2016

Dec 8 2016 Erie, PA

Erie, PA had its first major winter storm on Thursday, December 8, 2016. The World Aids Day Observance was held that morning on the second floor of the Mental Health Association. Reverend Rhodes from New Jerusalem Church led the prayer service with an inspiring message of faith. Miss Gloria and her children provided the music throughout and after the program. Volunteers proclaimed Scripture passages, prayer petitions and recited the names of those who had passed on from the disease. The Prayer Service ended with a prayer for healing on all levels and in all spaces. Attendees spent time for fellowship and eating healthy refreshments.

"I really liked the story about your mother" was a comment made by a first time attendee.

Consumers Sought Out to Work on Campaigns

May 28 2016, Erie PA

Thanks to outreach by Diana Ames, MHA's Community Engagement Coordinator, an increasing number of candidates for public office are contacting us for volunteers to assist in their campaigns. We are pleased to say that this includes opportunities from both major political parties.

MHA cannot and does not support any particular candidate for any office but we can offer the opportunity for consumer members to take an active role in campaigns on behalf of candidates they may favor. This represents a great way for consumers to become more aware of how our democracy works and about important policy issues that can impact their lives. Dozens of consumers have taken advantage of these opportunities and have become active in promoting voter registration and action amongst fellow consumers. MHA is pleased and proud that our members and mental health consumers in general, are developing a voting block.

Shop Amazon Smile And Support Boots On Ground

Do you shop on Amazon? Now you can support Boots On Ground (BOG), the new MHA program supporting our veterans and families coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With every purchase you make on Amazon Smile, .5% of the sale will be donated by Amazon to MHA for this veteran peer based program. Click on the Amazon Smile post above and happy shopping.

For more information on Boots On Ground, click on the BOG logo on the left side of this home page. Our veterans with invisible wounds need us so they can help each other.

4 Used, Working Laptop Computer Donations Make A Difference, But More Needed

Thanks to the donors of four good used laptop computers for Second Chance Computers. This is enough to hold a small class for some lucky mental health consumers who will learn basic proficiency of use and then be able to take home the laptop on which they trained. Second Chance Computers is helping transform the lives of consumers on the wrong side of the digital divide. They are learning how to produce resumes, access the internet, use open source software and generally become a part of 21st century communication. Gaining these skills have helped them be more confident and engaged and has led to employment opportunities.

We still need more laptops . . . a lot! We have many names of individuals meeting basic criteria for Second Chance Computer classes but we are constantly having to wait for individuals, businesses and organizations to part with their outdated laptops that are gathering dust. Please give your used but working laptops a second life with a consumer who can become empowered by your donation. Call LuAnn at 452-4462 ext. 126 with any questions you may have about donating laptops.

Community Care, Erie County, Meeting Schedule

Community Care, a nonprofit managed care organization, announces the schedule for the upcomming advisory meetings.

Meetings for Community Care Adult Members:
Adult Members Meetings ~

Meetings for Families of Members:
Family Meetings ~

Western Region CSP
Schedule for 2016

The Community Support Program (CSP) of Pennsylvania is a coalition of mental health consumers, family members and professionals working to help adults with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders live successfully in the community.

Meeting Information ~

MHANP routinely attends these meetings and all members are encouraged to participate. The exact time and date is listed monthly in our Schedule of Activities.

Schedule of Activities ~