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Veterans Crisis Line

Programs A thru K

Boots On Ground (BOG)

Boots On Ground is a program supporting all veterans regardless of their status:

  • Helps veterans struggling and living with PTSD and their families.
  • Provides peer support for veterans and peer support for family members.
  • Non military liaison: links veterans and their families to resources.
  • Community outreach and education in suicide prevention and PTSD awareness.
  • 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.

  • 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.

Community Engagement Coordinator

MHA has a new position. Last year we created a position within the Center Team hours for a part-time staff person to provide opportunities for members to become more active in community events and issues. That position has proven successful to the degree that we have established it as an independent program open to any mental health consumer volunteer who is interested in empowerment and meets criteria. Currently held by Diana Ames, the Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC) helps consumers identify issues important to them and their peers in local, state, or national arenas. She then helps them plan and implement empowerment activities to address those needs. Members participating on the CEC team have met with a variety of policymakers around such issues as stigma, housing, the budget impasse, transportation, and employment. They have helped organize, and have participated in, area rallies to draw attention to important issues. Some have been interviewed by the media to talk about the impact of policy decisions and opportunities in their lives.

Consumers 18 yrs. of age and older interested in volunteering on the CEC Team can contact Rita Wheeler, Program/Volunteer Coordinator at 452-4462 x103 for a volunteer application.

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Residents of Granada Apartments Helped

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.

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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.

Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team: (CFST)

The Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team functions as a service to all mental health consumers and family members who are a part of the Health Choices Service System and/or the Public Mental Health system of Erie Co. Through the Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team's individual contacts and interviews, Consumers and Family members have the opportunity to voice their opinion regarding their own mental health services. The information gathered by this team is reported as group results to providers and funders and is used to improve mental health services in the areas of quality, accessibility, effectiveness, and general satisfaction in Erie County. This team has collected and analyzed as many as 4,000 satisfaction surveys from their fellow consumers and family members each year.

Consumer Recovery Center

According to the US 2000 Census, approximately 24,000 adults with disabilities live in the Erie area and less than half of them are employed. The Consumer Recovery Center is a safe environment for members to enjoy a wide range of social or educational activities or to just be. The main area of the Consumer Recovery Center accommodates recreational activities such as pool, ping-pong, movies or board games as well as space for stimulating conversation and relaxation. There is a small cafe in which snacks and drinks can be purchased with space to sit and enjoy a meal with friends. The Consumer Recovery Center also provides members with two activity rooms, a Self-Help library, laundry facilities, computer center, lounge area, classroom, and a telephone where local calls can be made and received if necessary. We provide rides home to the surrounding areas most days out of the week. Over the last four years the MHA has served more than 600 people annually.

Eligibility

Membership in the MHA is free and there are no requirements regarding your attendance. Come as little or as often as you want! Any and all adults above the age of 18 with a history of treatment for mental health needs may seek free membership and services from the Mental Health Association. We operate for the benefit of mental health consumers through consumer conceived, designed and operated programs.

Visit "Our Place", our Consumer Recovery Center.

External Advocate

The External Advocate is located on-site at Warren State Hospital (WSH) and is available to patients 5 days a week. This advocate safeguards the human rights of all WSH patients regardless of county of residence, by supporting them when they have complaints or issues. The External Advocate helps with investigation of claims of abuse, neglect and maltreatment as well. The Warren State Hospital External Advocate also ensures patient involvement in policy development or change, and helps to disseminate information about rights and recovery to patients. (S)he is a key contact at intake and orientation for all new patients and is available to attend and participate in patient treatment team meetings and Consumer Support Plan sessions. The External Advocate also sits on multiple committees at the hospital. The external advocate is trained in Recovery Principles and Advance Directives. External Advocates Schedule

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.

Participants's Comments ~

Programs M thru Z

Make It A Home Always provided at MHANP

Make It A Home Always (MIHA) is a HUD funded Supported Housing Program to help secure housing for individuals who have been diagnosed with mental illness, may also have a substance use history and/or been in the criminal justice system .

Program Information ~

Outreach Program

We support other organizations by collaborating with them at their events. This provides us the opportunity to share information about the recovery programs at the MHA and to build relationships with persons with mental health issues in their own neighborhoods.

Outreach Program ~

Peer Support Program at MHANP

We are pleased to offer Peer Support as a free-standing consumer run program here at MHANP. Formal Peer Support is complimentary to traditional mental health treatment......complete article

~ Referral Form ~

Schedule of Activities

We maintain a up-to-date list of the scheduled activities and events effecting the MHA. This schedule is listed dailey at the sign-in-desk and send electronically to dozens of organizations which have requested this service.

Schedule of Activities ~

Second Chance Computers

Where Second Chances can Bridge the Gap

Second Chance Computers (SCC) is not just a second chance for computers.

SCC is a computer recycling program to help bridge the gap between folks with mental health needs who do not have the means to purchase and operate a computer and the rest of the world living and communicating in the 21st century.

So maybe you didn't 'get it' the first time around. Here's the second chance you may be looking for.

We teach basic computer skills using operating systems and software from open sources.

Our program is 5 weeks long at 2 classes per week. Upon successful completion of the program, the participant takes the computer home.

To date, 36 students have graduated from this program earning them a personal computer, self confidence in keeping up with the times and the satisfaction of success.

Qualified SSC graduates may have the opportunity to return and teach the class to others.

We are in need of donations of used, functional laptops so that this program can continue.

Area businesses qualify for a tax credit by donating functioning but outdated computers.

Because MHA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, individuals can also deduct the value of donated laptops.

Hardware Specifications:
Any laptop with a 40G hard drive or bigger.

We are also looking for volunteers to install operating systems, download open source software and assist with class instruction.

Distribution Plan For Computers Donated To 2ndchancecomputers@mha

It is the intent of the Mental Health Association of NW PA to collaborate with area businesses to assist mental health consumers to obtain personal computers. To be considered for this offer, consumers must:

  • Not have resources to obtain a computer on their own.
  • Be able to show competence in learning how to use a computer
    AND
    Be committed to participate in 30 hour training over a 5 week period that would result in achieving a score of no less than 80% on the computer competency final exam.
  • Be able to identify a compelling recovery focused reason/need which having a computer will help meet.
  • Proof of living in a safe, secure place for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Not sell the computer and agree to return the computer if they do not find that they need or use it.
  • Must have solid basic reading and writing skills.
  • Understand that these computers are NOT licensed for any branding software or operating system.
  • Must follow ALL classroom and MHA rules.

Congratulations to Our Second Class of Graduates of the Second Chance Computer Program

MHA is pleased to announce that on Monday, August 25, 7 more mental health consumers graduated from the Second Chance Computer Program. Congratulations to John Wilson, Michael Wardell, Adrienne Preiosi, Joni Mary, Charles Gauley. Not Pictured: Robert Steele, Gail Cash-McGuire. Instructor: Carlos Northington.

Summary & Photos ~

For more information, please contact LuAnn Gossett at luanngossett@mhanp.org or 814-452-4462 ext 126.

Volunteers

Volunteers play a major role in the functioning and well being of the Mental Health Association and its members. Interaction with consumer center members is vital to the volunteer experience. Volunteers help in any way possible. Volunteering also provides opportunities for individuals who have been out of the workforce due to mental illness as a means to help ease the transition back into gainful employment.

Contact the Program/Volunteer Coordinator at 814.452.4462 x 103 for a volunteer application.

Warming Center at MHA

Warming Center at MHA opens its door on those nights when the chill factor is expected to be below 25 degrees.

Warming Center ~