Since our inception in 1949, the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County (MHA) has been dedicated to improving the lives of people who are touched by mental illness. MHA is working with our community partners to reduce the stigma of mental illness and to improve understanding about issues related to mental health and well-being. Through advocacy, education, research, and outreach, MHA seeks to improve access to mental health services for all who need ...
MHA Public Policy, Advocacy, and Education
The Mental Health Association works with community partners to advocate for solutions that will improve the lives of people living with mental illness. MHA works with public policy leaders, service providers, researchers, advocates, consumers, and educators to providing the latest news and information about mental health and wellness. Among the priorities of the Mental Health Association are:
Increasing understanding about mental health issues among all residents of the county to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
Countywide mental health system capacity-building that will lead to more coordinated care delivery systems among all providers of mental health services, including independent practitioners, primary care and mental health clinics, hospitals, food and shelter providers, prisons and jails, employers, and educators.
Partnership program development. MHA works with a variety of community partners to implement targeted strategies to address critical community mental health needs.
Increasing assistance and support to special populations such as caregivers, veterans and their families, older adults, children and families, populations who are reentering society, specific ethnic/racial groups, and many more.
Including mental health issues in the Health Care Reform and other policy discussions.
Improving mental health wellness support and information and referral resources for all in the community.
It's Okay to Get Help Campaign
It's Okay to Get Help! is an exciting and inclusive umbrella under which the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County is presenting a new set of collaborative strategies aimed at improving the recognition of and early intervention with mental health problems.
MHAPBC's It's Okay to Get Help! program launched in 2010 on multiple fronts (more information about all of them is available at www.mhapbc.org):
A set of sponsored commercials and public service announcements identifying mental health problems broadly affecting the Palm Beach County population (e.g. caregiver fatigue, stress, prescription drugs and youth) and steps that we all can take to mitigate them ;
A new and expanded resource center available through the MHA web site that provides links to scores of collaborative partners and materials covering a vast array of mental health topics and concerns;
A series of programs and special events throughout the year that target specific groups (e.g., primary care providers and public health professionals, caregivers, mental health professionals) and provide them the resources they need to identify, refer, and help manage mental health problems as they see them in patients and others;
An ongoing set of services and programs, for individuals and groups, often offered in collaboration with other County service providers, and with peer support available at MHA's Peer Place Drop In Center;
Youth programs, for both teens and younger children, that provide skilled and trained mentors and counselors to help them identify and get help for mental health problems they may have.
It's Okay to Get Help! is more than a campaign - it's a challenge to us to take control of what we can to make sure that when mental illness strikes, we know what help is available, we understand how to get it, and - most importantly - we don't feel stigmatized when we do.
Listen to Children uses trained volunteers in the elementary and middle school setting to provide confidential one-on-one listening sessions with children who have been identified by their teachers as needing extra help due to family problems such as divorce or death, isolation, low self-esteem, or other behavioral clues. The volunteer visits the child once a week to listen and problem solve with the child.
Peer Place is a drop-in center that provides a safe and comfortable place for consumers of mental health services to learn essential wellness and recovery skills. This peer mentoring program employs nationally recognized strategies for helping people with chronic mental illness help each other achieve the best outcomes possible in their lives. In a comfortable and friendly environment, we offer supported employment in the Peer Place, peer mentoring, a computer lab, wellness planning and support. We also host 6 and 12 step recovery meetings including a Schizophrenics Anonymous Group. Other supports include art and relaxation activities, group counseling support, and assistance creating a wellness and recovery plan.
Beacon Community Centers are operated by the Mental Health Association. There are three Beacon Community Centers in the Palm Beach County School District: South Grade Elementary in Lake Worth, Washington Elementary in Riviera Beach, and Lantana Elementary in Lantana. Each center's activities are designed to meet the community's unique needs to develop strong neighborhood relationships, opportunities, and support systems. Activities of these community hubs include teen programs, community awareness initiatives, evening education programs for adults and children, and after school and summer care. Community Liaisons work with families in the community to identify their needs and link them to the right resources.
Older Adult Initiatives involves collaboration with several community partners, including the Area Agency on Aging, to assess the mental health needs of older adults and provide the necessary supports and resources so they can remain independent and connected to the community. Resources are available to educate the community about the needs of older adults, along with recommendations for improving the community using the many assets of our older population.
To Learn More: Please contact the Mental Health Association at 561-832-3755 or email Pam Gionfriddo at email@example.com or visit our web site: www.mhapbc.org.
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