♦ 2016 ♦
Erie County Treatment Court
Jun 30, 2016 Erie, PA
The Erie County Treatment Court consists of four components: a drug & alcohol component commonly referred to as Drug Court (started in March 2000), a mental illness component commonly referred to as Mental Health Court (started in March 2002), a program with drugs & alcohol and mental health specifically for cases involved with the Erie County Office of Children & Youth referred to as Family Dependency Court (started in September 2011) and our newly formed Veterans Treatment Court (started in March 2014) which is currently in the implementation stage. The Drug and MH components work within the framework of one combined "Treatment Court" in order to handle drug involved defendants and or seriously mentally ill defendants. The Family component works with drug involved parents and or seriously mentally ill parents in Family Dependency Court. The Veterans component works with drug involved and/or seriously mentally ill Veteran defendants. Treatment Court is in a supportive, treatment oriented setting that uses graduated sanctions along with incentives.
The Erie County Treatment Courts have been developed to handle the nonviolent, seriously mentally ill offenders and non-violent drug dependents through intensive and comprehensive supervision, case management and treatment. The intervenors on the Treatment Court Team are the Judge, Prosecutor, Defense Counsel, Case Managers, Veterans Justice Outreach, Treatment Specialists, Probation Officers, Caseworkers, Law Enforcement, Correctional Personnel and others. This unique partnership that has been developed in Erie County is able to provide a comprehensive and holistic approach in addressing the most devastating problems facing our community today; drug abuse, mental illness and/or crime.
The Erie County Treatment Court is a joint program involving:
- The Erie County Court of Common Pleas, Sixth Judicial District
- The Erie County Public Defenders Office
- The Erie County District Attorneys Office
- Erie County Office of Human Services
- Office of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- Office of Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities
- Erie County Care Management
- Erie County Adult Probation/Parole Department
- Erie Veterans Administration
- The Erie County Prison
- Mercyhurst College Civic Institute
- Drug & Alcohol/Mental Health Treatment Providers
- Erie County Office of Children and Youth
There are currently over 2,800 drug courts, over 275 mental health courts, more than 300 family drug courts and over 100 Veterans Court programs that are either in operation or being planned nationwide.
Pennsylvania has approximately 100 "problem solving" court programs in operation or being planned.
Erie County is an organizational member of the National and PA Association of Drug Court Professionals.
There have been 30 Treatment Court graduations. There have been 252 graduates from the Erie County Treatment Court programs.
Comments by Graduates
Memorial Service was held Wednesday, June 24, 2016
Jun 24 2016 Erie, PA
A Memorial Service was held on Wednesday, June 24, 2016 at the Mental Health Association 1101 Peach St. Erie PA. We remembered and celebrated the lives Pat Mort and other people who have passed on. Reverend Rhodes, a charismatic and compassionate minister led us in prayer. Ms. Anoia and Ms. Gloria led us in song and dance. As the names were recited the group played an African rhythm on drums and shakers. Everyone stayed and shared a light meal and conversation.
Thanks to All Who Participated in Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community
Jun 16 2016 Erie, PA
Over $9,000 was raised for the Warming Center at MHA during this year's Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community campaign. MHA along with 24 other local nonprofits were able to benefit from the Walk. As always, Highmark covered the costs of organizing, managing, and promoting the event. Thanks go out to all the Highmark staff who dedicated their time energy and finances to make this another successful year for the Walk.
Thanks also to the many donors and walkers who made this year's Walk for a Healthy Community so successful for the Warming Center at MHA. Your generosity now is helping ensure we will be ready to open our doors to anyone without adequate shelter next winter when overnight temperatures dip to 25 degrees or below. Have a great summer and we will see you again for next year's Walk for a Healthy Community.
2016 "I'm The Evidence Awards" Presented at MHA
May 27 2016, Erie PA
Once again, MHA hosted the "I'm The Evidence" Award presentation on May 11th in recognition of May is Mental Health Month. The call for nominations went out in early April and we received 9 excellent responses identifying individual mental health consumers who exemplified persons successfully pursuing a life in recovery. Of the nominations received, 5 were selected as this year's honorees.
Congratulations to Brian McLaughlin, Rita Fitzgerald, Stephen Mello, Samuel Pruitt and Martin Province each of whose inspiring stories of recovery and service were detailed by their nominators. Following the presentation ceremony, honorees, guests, and MHA members enjoyed a reception on the second floor of the MHA building.
Gannon U Recognizes Rita Wheeler with Outstanding Field Instructor Award
Apr 19 2016 Erie, PA
Rita Wheeler, Program Development/Volunteer Coordinator at MHA, accepted the Outstanding Field Instructor Award for Years of Outstanding Service at the Gannon University Social Work Program appreciation lunch.
Dr. Sara Lichtenwalter, LSW comments:" In the almost 11 years I've been at Gannon and have been serving as the Field Coordinator, there has been only one year that we have not had a student working under Rita and Bill at the MHA. Frequently, we have had more than one student, as we do this year. There is a long history of serving as a field placement for my predecessor, Chuck Murphy.
Rita, we would like to acknowledge you as the day-today-hands on field instructor who has for every year accepted and guided Gannon students in their professional development for over 20 years. The outstanding field experiences you consistently and creatively provide are tailored to the unique in abilities and interests of our students. Therefore, every students field experience at MHA has been unique.
Thank you, Ms. Wheeler for service to the Gannon Social Work Program and our students."
Receiving this award during National Volunteer Week gave it a special meaning. This awards signifies that an organization outside of the mental health system recognizes that the MHA walks the road of recovery with others.
Gannon U Recognizes MHA with Outstanding Agency for Field Placements Award
Apr 19 2016 Erie, PA
Bill Grove, CEO of MHA, accepted the Award for Outstanding Agency for Field Placement from Dr. Lori Lindley, Associate Dean CHESS and Dr. Sara Lichtenwalter LSW, Associate Professor, Social Work Program at Gannon University.
The Gannon university Social Work Program hosted an appreciation lunch for their interns and field instructors on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Dr. Sara Lichtenwalter LSW comments:"Under your leadership, Bill, the MHA has strived and thrived in the service of individuals and families impacted by mental illnesses. Without an exceptional organizational, the MHA, we would not have the venue for Rita or the vibrant placements available to dozens of students over the years. The Gannon Social Work Program wanted to acknowledge the valuable resource, this community treasure, which you captain and pilot through changing economical, political, social conditions and budget cuts, as well as through new and exciting opportunities.
This (award) is to honor the MHA in recognition and appreciation for service to the Gannon Social Work Program and our students."
MHA consumers meet with Congressman Mike Kelly to share concerns about legislation.
Feb 16 2016 Washington, DC
MHA members Chuck Gauley and James Elmore attended a meeting with Congressman Kelly at his office on Feb 16, 2016. The meeting was organized by Elisha Coffee from the Mental Health Assn. of Southeastern Pa. and Diana Ames at our MHA to specifically address concerns regarding Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (aka.the Murphy Bill), currently in the U.S. House, awaiting passage. We were to meet for half an hour and ended up discussing the Bill for over 90 minutes. Everyone, including the Congressman, shared knowledge and experiences regarding the mental illnesses and the mental health system. We shared the struggles, the treatments that failed, the attempts to make decisions benefiting both our families and ourselves. We also spoke about the positive approaches of MHA's across the Commonwealth and how folks have successfully turned their lives around to become quite productive while still living with the diagnosis. The Congressman requested to visit the MHA in Erie and offered to have further discussions on this issue. He also responded positively to our request for help in organizing a meeting with the Bill's sponsor to share consumer ideas and concerns with him. Rep. Kelly felt that would be very productive and would definitely try to make that happen. He also stated he was grateful we took the time to meet with him as he felt this was an important issue.
♦ 2015 ♦
MHA Annual Consumer Christmas Dinner Great Success Thanks To Harborcreek Bob Evans
Dec 23 2015 Erie, PA
Over 150 consumers and MHA staff members enjoyed a Christmas Dinner on December 23rd, 2015 thanks in large part to the generosity of Sean McCullough and his staff at the Harborcreek Bob Evans Restaurant. As has been the case with other major holiday meal events at MHA over the past year, they contributed main course, side dishes, and dessert items to make sure we had enough food so that no one at the dinner went without a meal. The event, held annually in the Mental Health Consumer Recovery Center on the first floor of the MHA building, was enjoyed by all in attendance. We are also very grateful to the Center Team staff and Consumer Family Satisfaction Team staff for their time and commitment to preparing and serving the dinner. They did a great job.
Special Happy Holidays To Cobb’s Second Time Around Thrift Store
Dec 23 2015 Erie, PA
Amy Cobb and Brenda Gallogly from Cobb’s came to our rescue on short notice. MHA needed some additional Christmas gift items for our guests at the Annual Dinner on 12/23/2015. Cobb’s stepped right up and delivered a variety of items we could offer to dinner attendees. We thank them again for their help and generosity especially at this time of year.
Bob Evans' Fundraiser for Warming Center at MHA Big Success
Dec 23 2015 Erie, PA
If you visited any of the local Bob Evans' Restaurants this past weekend and purchased a beverage with your meal, you helped raise over $1,600 to support the Warming Center at MHA. If you dropped some change in the donation canister at the checkout, you also contributed. Some of you brought in clothing, personal hygiene items, non-perishable food, or other Warming Center wish list items and placed them in the donation boxes at Bob Evans' stores. If you did any of the above, THANK YOU for helping make sure the Warming Center at MHA would be open this winter any time the temperatures are forecast to be 25 degrees or below.
Our friends at Bob Evans' are again helping mental health consumers at MHA celebrate the holidays. On 12/23/15 we held the Annual Christmas Dinner in the Consumer Recovery Center. As they did for Thanksgiving, Bob Evans' Restaurant in Harborcreek donated meal items to help feed the over 100 members and staff who attend this event. For some this dinner will be the only Christmas celebration they will have. So, thanks again to Sean McCullough and all the fine folks at the Harborcreek Bob Evans' for helping make Christmas memorable for so many.
Thanks go out again to Sean McCullough and the staff at the Harborcreek Bob Evans' Restaurant. Sean and his crew are donating an Easter Dinner for the mental health consumers at MHA. We are very grateful for the generosity behind this donation but also for the commitment of both the Harborcreek Bob Evans' and the regional Bob Evans' office for their support to MHA. Recovery from the impact of mental illness in one's life is a worthy challenge which becomes more real with the support of the community. Bob Evans' has been at our side throughout the winter as we provided overnight shelter for over 400 persons on Erie's coldest nights and their spirit as well as great Bob Evans' food was at the table for holiday meals offered this year.
World Aids Day at MHA
Nov 30 2015 Erie, PA
Educational materials and a Tree of Hope were on display for two weeks to recognize World Aids Day. Free and confidential testing and asking questions was offered by the Gaudenzia SHOUT Team on Monday, November 30, 2015.Thank you Mary for decorating the Tree of Hope.
World Aids Day
through the years
Annual MHA Thanksgiving Dinner Serves Over 130
Nov 26 2015 Erie, PA
With the help of Bob Evans' Harborcreek restaurant, on Nov 26, 2015 MHA staff served up a great Thanksgiving meal for mental health consumer members and staff. Over 130 individuals enjoyed dinner with all the trimmings. Everyone was very complimentary and no one was turned away without a meal. The meal was planned and prepared by members of the Consumer Recovery Center and served by the Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team.
Bob Evans' provided ham, vegetables, potatoes, gravy, dressing and cranberry relish for the event. Thanks go out to General Manager, Sean McCullough and his staff in Harborcreek for their generous support. This is the second year Bob Evans' has partnered with MHA on making sure our members enjoy a well-supplied and prepared meal during holiday celebrations. We encourage any friends of MHA to patronize Bob Evans' both for a good meal and to support a good partner.
MHA Consumers Invited To Meet Governor Wolf
Nov 1 2015 Erie, PA
MHA consumers Scott Clark and Charles Gauley, along with CEC, Diana Ames and MHA CEO Bill Grove, were given an exclusive opportunity to meet Governor Tom Wolf following the Governor’s speech at a Jefferson Society event held Nov. 1st, 2015 at Collegiate Academy in Erie. The Governor expressed his thanks to MHA for helping focus public attention on the impact of the state budget impasse. The MHA group highlighted the need for addressing past cuts to human service funding and creating meaningful work opportunities for consumers.
National Recovery Month was celebrated Sep 15, 2015
Sep 15 2015 Erie, PA
The 2015 Recovery Month theme, "Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable", highlights the value of peer support by educating, mentoring and helping others. The theme invites individuals in recovery and their support systems to be catalysts and active change-agents in communities, and in civic and advocacy engagements. It encourages individuals to start conversations about the prevention, treatment and recovery of behavioral health conditions at earlier stages of life. This is the twelfth (12th) year that Erie County has celebrated this event.
Erie Downtown Partnership Helps Keep MHA Member Bikes Safe
Aug 1 2015 Erie, PA
Thanks to the Erie Downtown Partnership, MHA members and guests who get around town on bicycles now have more places to keep their bikes safe while at MHA. On August 1, 2015, two new bike stands have been installed by partnership staff; one on the Peach street side of our building and the other on the 11th street side. We are proud to say many of our members are a bit healthier and help keep our environment cleaner by traveling to and from MHA on bicycles and we very much appreciate the new stands which help make sure 4 more bikes can be accommodated around our building.
Open House Held May 18-22, 2015
May 18 2015 Erie, PA
Our open house held May 18-22, 2015 was an invitation to the Erie community to share with us, our updated and expanded facility. Staff members met the visitors as they toured the individual areas and explained the functions and opportunities of each unique area.For many in our neighborhood their exposure to MHA has been only what they see happening around the exterior of the building which, at times can be disconcerting as we do see, and try to assist some individuals with serious behavior problems. What they don't get to see is what is happening inside the MHA where literally hundreds of mental health consumers annually are working on maintaining themselves in our community or actively pursuing recovery from mental illness using peer driven/run programming.The staff and consumers at MHA are proud of what we all do to make this organization a meaningful experience for anyone with mental health needs.
Spirituality & Mental Health Recovery Conference 2015
May 6 2015 Erie, PA
The 13th Annual Spirituallity & Mental Health Recovery Conference, "Spiritual Opportunities", was held May 6, 2015 at the Masonic Temple, Erie.
MHA Holds Candidates Forum
Apr 16 2015 Erie, PA
On Thursday, April 16, 2015, NW PA Pride Alliance Inc and the MHA jointly held a candidate forum at MHA's office, 1101 Peach St, Erie PA attended by over 30 individuals. The forum addressed both LGBT and mental health related issues. Candidates attending included Elvage Murphy for Erie County Court of Common Pleas, John Morgan for Millcreek Supervisor, and Nathaniel Strasser for Magistrate, 5th Ward, as well as Erie City Council candidates Sonya Arrington, Gary Grack, Bob Merski, Rebecca Styn, Richard Wagner, and Jon Whaley. Trish Catalano, candidate for Erie County Council District 5, also attended. Attendees had the opportunity to hear the candidates' views in a panel format and there was time before and after the formal presentation for individual questions and socializing. Thanks go out to Diana Ames for coordinating, Kelly Kidd for moderating, Matthew Robison for taking photos, Season Crannell, Rita Wheeler, LuAnn Gossett, Bill Grove, Lenny Ginnery and Michael Mooney for support.
♦ 2014 ♦
MHA Participates in a Giving Tree Program to Benefit Children at Kid's Café
Dec 9 2014 Erie, PA
For several years our good friend Edna Lingenfelter has decorated a small tree on the second floor at MHA with holiday tags indicating toys and gifts that children at the Kid's Café would like to receive at Christmas. MHA staff, consumers, board members, and visitors are encouraged to consider taking a tag with something on it they can afford to purchase. They then bring the tag and the unwrapped gift to Bill Grove's office for safekeeping until Edna picks them up on Dec. 9 2014th. Stop by the MHA building and come on up to the second floor. You can't miss the tree.
MHA Staff Participate as Panel Members in Presentations at Statewide Conference
Nov 17 2014 Harrisburg, PA
Five MHA staff members attended this year's 'Homes Within Reach' conference in Harrisburg on November 17th, 2014. Sponsored by the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, this conference brought 850 housing providers, developers and State and local housing officials together to learn about opportunities for safe, affordable low income housing and related issues.
MHA was invited to participate in two panel presentations at this year's conference. Center Team Leader, Carla Kurpiewski was a panelist in a workshop focusing on shelter alternatives for persons who are homeless. Center Team Member, Diana Ames was also a panelist in a workshop designed to help attendees to become effective advocates for their programs and the low income populations. Both represented the topics and MHA well.
Erie Gives Day
Aug 12 2014 Erie, PA
Thank you to the 34 donors who supported the Warming Center at MHA on Erie Gives Day on Aug. 12th, 2014. With their generous contributions and the prorated match from the Erie Community Foundation, GE Transportation, Erie Insurance Exchange and Presque Isle Downs and Casino, a total of $2,249 was raised in this year’s campaign. This total represents a new record for Erie Gives donations for MHA.
Last winter’s brutal weather took quite a toll on our resources to support the Warming Center at MHA and we are still working hard to recover so that we can be ready for what is predicted to be another cold winter ahead. The Erie Gives effort helps us get closer to being financially prepared but we still have a ways to go. So, please keep the Warming Center in mind as you consider any Fall philanthropic plans.
Thanks again to all those who gave on Erie Gives Day. Thanks and congratulations to Rita Wheeler for her efforts and leadership with this year’s Erie Gives Day planning and to LuAnn Gossett, Danielle DiFilippo, and Pat Stucke for their work on the Warming Center at MHA donation request video.
MHA Presents at AFL/CIO Event
May 9 2014 Erie, PA
Bill Grove, MHA CEO, was a guest speaker at the 49thAnnual Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO Dinner held May 9th at the Polish Falcons Club in Erie. Along with representatives from the Emmaus Food Kitchen and Second Harvest Food Bank, Mr. Grove took a turn to talk about the Warming Center at MHA and how it benefited from the generosity of the Employee Community Services Fund of General Electric. This fund was the honoree of the evening's celebration of the benevolence of organized labor in our community. The event was attended by many union members, public officials, and candidates for office. MHA is pleased to have been a part of recognizing Rob Celeski and the board of the GE Employees Community Services Fund on its 66th year of helping make Erie a better place for all its citizens.
Very Successful Year for 2014 Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community
Jun 7 2014 Erie, PA
Thanks to all who registered and donated for MHA in this year's 2014 Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community on June 7th. What a great day. The sun was out; the breeze was cool; the cottonwoods were calm and the company was inspiring.
MHA was one of the top organizations this year both in registrants and funds raised. We had over 150 walkers registered and brought in over $13,000. Our walkers looked great in the MHA yellow and purple walk T-shirts we provided for each of them.
♦ 2012 ♦
Celebrating our volunteers: National Volunteer Week April 15-21
Apr 20 2012 Erie, PA
A party was held Apr 20th, 2012 to recognize the many contributions of the volunteers at the Mental Health Association. During the last 12 months, 219 different volunteers have given 7,175 hours of their lives to the betterment of our community. The focus of these efforts vary from Art Class to Woodworking and include 55 categories.
The Mental Health Association has always stepped up to aid sister non-profit agencies in their missions whenever possible. For example, our volunteers have performed mail handling and office tasks for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Upper Room of Erie, reordered and shelved materials for the library at NAMI Erie and recently created a new web site for Upper Room of Erie. We visit those hospitalized at Warren State Hospital and offer encouragement and socialization. We visit the Corry Counseling Center and share life experiences with members. These are but a few of the numerous efforts we make to reach out and assist whenever possible.
We try to be responsible stewards of our neighborhood. Our volunteers keep our property neat and clean by collecting trash, pulling weeds, and planting flowers and shrubs where possible. We also maintain our building by painting what ought to be painted and cleaning what needs to be cleaned.
Our members are guided in the use of internet technology and personal computer usage in our computer lab by volunteers. In our computer training facility volunteers provide hands on learning of basic computer. This hands on learning is intended to improve members' employment chances.
♦ 2010 ♦
Wellness Recovery Action Plan Groups Form
Dec 1 2010 Erie, PA
In December 2010, the Erie Community Foundation approved a grant to the Mental Health Association of NW PA for the purpose of offering four WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) groups. WRAP is a self- monitoring wellness tool that helps you manage your symptoms and stay well. WRAP helps you get well when things go downhill. WRAP covers such things as Wellness Tools, Triggers, Early Warning sign and Action Plans to work with symptoms.
Apr 26 2010 Erie, PA
Three university social work interns were honored on April 26th, 2010. Fifty staff and members of the MHA gathered to celebrate their successes. Amy Lechner and Jessica Clancy from Edinboro University, and Katy Lynn from Gannon University, will complete their field assignments at the MHA later this month.
Bill Grove, CEO, stated that these social work majors contributed much to our mission of providing an environment for mental health recovery. He noted that their future is bright considering the many contributions they made to the MHA.
Katy Lynn, whose home is Ontario, Canada, provided a very interesting overview of her country. The group was interested in learning surprising details about our northern neighbor. Amy and Jessica introduced members with whom they worked. These members read poetry they had authored, told stories about their recovery and played the instruments they had been taught.
The event concluded with a photo session, goodbyes and a light snack.
Congratulations Amy, Jessica and Katy!