Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA

Regaining mental wellness is an expectation not an exception.

Best wishes on your recovery journey.

Recovery Programs and Solutions

National Programs

Screening for Mental Health and Recovererie

Screening for Mental Health is the Premier provider of mental health screening programs.
Our community-based programs offer health care, social service, advocacy and government organizations the tools to provide screening and education for today’s most pressing mental health problems: depression, suicide, bipolar disorder, alcohol use disorders, generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Erie County MH/MR Administrator, Mary Beth Kwiatkowski, created a New Freedom Initiatives Committee which is now using the name'RecoverErie'
Revolution Health Online College Mental Health Fair
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and Mental Health America, have been invited by our partner, Revolution Health, to join them and 10 other select nonprofit mental health groups in sharing information through their first Online College Mental Health Fair.

Regional Programs

Structured Programs at our facility

Support Groups at our facility

Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
DBSA support groups provide the kind of sharing and caring that is crucial for a lifetime of wellness
Schizophrenia Anonymous
Anyone diagnosed with schizophrenia or related disorders, is encouraged to visit our meeting. We are an affiliate of the National Schizophrenia Foundation and support their goals
Come and join in using Christian faith to address the problems and difficulties we all experience in today's world

Support Groups at nearby facilities

Family to Family Support and Education
Family-to-family is a free, 12-week course for family and friends of individuals with serious mental illness. The program offers information about illnesses of the brain and their treatment, as well as coping skills and guidance.
NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) has once again started to host a Parent Support Group.
The Parent Support Group will be held each Wednesday Night from 6:30PM -8:00 PM, at the NAMI Office in the old professional building 1611 Peach Street, Suite 105, Erie PA 16501. The phone number is 814-456-1773. Have families call for more details. NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. See NAMI and all of the area group meeting schedules at our Active Support Groups page.

Coping Solutions

Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms
A growing volume of research shows that exercise can help improve symptoms of certain mental conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Exercise also may help prevent a relapse after treatment for depression or anxiety. As little as 30 minutes of exercise a day for at least three to five days a week may significantly improve symptoms of depression.
Coping with anxiety: Can diet make a difference?
Certain foods worsen anxiety and others have a calming effect. Mayo Clinic recommends a good anti-anxiety diet.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Stanley Popovich discusses approaches to managing stress and anxieties that may be useful to anyone but especially to those of us with anxiety disorders. These tips have been effective for the author and may well be useful tools for every consumer.

Articles of Significant Interest

Recovery Educations Materials
Report from the New Freedom Initiative
A Vision of Recovery
The Foundational Principles of Recovery
AACP Guidelines
AACP Guidelines for Recovery Oriented Services
Erie County and Mental Health Recovery

I was privileged to attend a METAmersion , A Learning-Centered Experience in Recovery event in Phoenix, AZ a number of years ago at Recovery Innovations, Inc. I came away very hopeful for finding a way that people can get the help they need on a clinical basis (The Livingroom) and also find a way out of the revolving door which can be clinical services.

I was delighted at the prospect of a person coming out of a quasi-clinical setting with a Peer Support component and going into a Community Living program (RESTART) 7-10 day stay. The next step was a referral to an educational experience (Recovery Education Center). It seemed logical to me that this was the next step in recovery. It had also been my experience in recovery when I attended 3 ½ years of a trauma group which was a series of new information about recovery, healthy relationships and wellness. At Recovery Innovations the Recovery Education Center is a large part of the transition of a person from crisis to hopefulness.

The next phase of the recovery path is training as a Peer Support Specialist under Peer Employment Training. This brings people full circle from problem to solution; from being the one in need to being the one supporting others in need.

Here in Erie County we have not yet embraced the recovery concept in its fullness. We still see Certified Peer Specialists as an extension of the clinical services and have not yet made a recovery systems change. In order to be a recovery culture here in Erie County, we need to have the full expectation for others to have significant recovery and possibly go on to become supporters of others who are newly experiencing a mental health diagnosis. The focus of our expectation for recovery needs to be one of community integration and a person moving into a position of sponsorship or mentoring for others. For our mental health system to actually effect lasting change in people's lives we have to find the way (as Recovery Innovations did) of truly helping people to experience significant recovery through support, education and empowerment to, in turn, help others and themselves.

Submitted by
Kate Bender, B.A.,M.F.A.,CPS,CRS
Jun 14, 2015

12 Things Happy People Do Differently
Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness. These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.
After Drugs and Dark Times, Helping Others to Stand Back Up
"Peers are living, breathing proof that recovery is possible, that it is real." This New York Times aricle details the effectiveness of the use of peer support in mental health care counseling.
A 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.
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.
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.