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“Stairways leader deals with changes in behavioral-health landscape”

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This March 10, 2015 article on GoErie.com talks about internal changes at Stairways as they work together with Beacon Light Behavioral Health to pull their resources together in hopes that they can offer better services to those they serve.   Valarie Vicarri is the new leader at Stairways and will be reporting to Rick Saegar the CEO of Beacon Light unlike her predecessor who reported to the Stairways board of directors.  Everything is being done to reduce any impact this change has on those being served by both agencies as they grow together.

“Suicide Prevention a Mission in Erie County”

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This October 22, 2014 GoErie.com article talks about a recent conference held in Erie County, PA on suicide prevention.  The segment includes video and text-based items within it, and at the end offers some resources for folks in Erie County, PA who may be seeking help either for them-self or for a friend or family member who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide.

“Erie’s New Bullying Prevention Program Launches”

 

 

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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This December 6, 2013 article is about a grant awarded in Erie, PA to Grover Elementary that will help them start an anti-bullying campaign in the school that involves students, parents, teachers and other professionals within the community to work towards preventing bullying.

 

 

 

“Erie man finishes 100-mile run”

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This August 4, 2013 article found on the GoErie.com website is a followup to another article I posted about Tom Jennings who decided to use his passion for running to help raise funding for NAMI of Erie County.  This article includes some stats about his run and how much money he raised in the process.

“Our View: Let’s highlight Erie’s mental health resources”

Panorama of downtown Erie in 1912, looking Wes...

Panorama of downtown Erie in 1912, looking West along the 15th Street tracks. The tallest steeple to the north of the tracks is St. Peter Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This January 8, 2013 article on GoErie.com talks about resources available in Erie, PA to help folks with mental health issues.

Warming Center at MHA

Resource Link

This resource link takes you to a page about the Mental Health Association (MHA) Warming Center in Erie, PA.  They open their doors when temperatures become dangerously cold in the winter, and this site explains not only about the center, but how folks can help them help others.

“Erie shelters to ask churches to help with homeless”

Lake Erie 01/29/2005

Lake Erie 01/29/2005 (Photo credit: kuddlyteddybear2004)

Article Link

This October 18, 2012 article on the GoErie.com website talks about a request made to Erie churches to help give shelter during the winter for people who are homeless in and around Erie, PA.

“Erie nonprofits at town-hall meeting ‘already on bare-bones budget’ (UPDATED: Noon)”

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110324/NEWS02/303249891/-1/NEWS

This article found on the GoErie.com website was posted  March 24, 2011 and briefly discusses a town-hall meeting held in Erie to discuss the potential impact of budget cuts on non-profits in the Erie region

“Stairways, Value Behavioral Health talking settlement in mental health spending dispute”

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110301/NEWS02/302289914/-1/NEWSSITEMAP

The above link is to an article found on the GoErie.com website and was published on March 1, 2011.

A walk down history lane

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Root_(Pennsylvania)

The above link,  is to a page in Wikipedia about a man named Joe Root who spent some time living off the land in Erie, PA on Presque Isle.  By now you may be wondering why I’m including this here since it seems like it wouldn’t apply to the general topic of this blog.  Well, it kind of does apply.  Joe Root, from what little I’ve read about him, apparently was an entertainer, and kids loved his ventrilloqy.  Aside from entertaining children, it seems that Joe Root was a bit of a dreamer and came up with ideas like starting a feather factory among other ideas that others would listen to but seemed to find them o be more amusing then anything.  I don’t know what kind of violence occurred, but some say that Joe Root was actually the victim of it some speculate it was to prevent him from collecting squater’s rights on Presque Isle.  The details of the incident that I’ve found have been more like implied statements then anything, but they do indicate that because of this vaguely described violance, Joe Root was sent to Warren State Hospital in Warren, PA.  He spent the rest of his life there from the sounds of things but was said to have repeatedly asked to return to his home on Presque Isle.

So when did this occurr?  well based on Wikipedia, He lived on Presque Isle in the early 1900’s and was comitted to Warren State Hospital then known as “The State Hospital for the Insane at Warren, PA”  the name was later changed to Warren Stae Hospital sometime around 1920 if memory serves me right.  Anyway, Joe Root was committed there and died in 1912.

I guess my reason for sharingthis, is to give folks an idea of how in many ways there has been some if not a lot of progress in how folks with mental illnesses are treated today compared to then in the early days of Warren State.  at that time people could be sent to a state hospital for just about any reason that anyone else thought made the person being comitted seem to not conform to society and while Joe Root seems like the kind of guy we might refer to as eccentric today, at the time, something occurred and someone didn’t agree with what happened probably claimed he was insane (using terminology for the time period) and under the authority of one person like a doctor, law enforcement or anyone that had any kind of authority he was sent to Warren State where I’m guessing he died since he died in 1912 just 2 years after he arrived at Warren State.  Today it takes a team of people to have someone admitted to a state hospital, and in the current goal is to have the person ready for discharge in roughly 6 months to a year.  Today, Joe Root would have needed to have been evaluated by a physician, and met certain criteria before he could have been admitted to Warren State.   There is a lot more to the process, but there are more steps and criteria that need to be taken and met then there once was.

For folks who are in the mental health system receiving treatment, yes, there are many changes occurring and  yes at this pointstate hospitals still exist, but to be sent to one isn’t as easy as it once was, and length of stay is much shorter on average then it was at the time that Joe Root was comitted.

I will close by saying that yes, treatment is better for folks with mental illnesses then it once was, but at the same time as with anything, I feel there is always room for improvement.

Disclaimer:  While I am currently researching the History of Warren State Hospital, I have many questions left unanswered and Joe Root is just one piece of the puzzle.  I do not intend this blog entry to be a precise or complete history, but rather a summary of things I’ve been reading about and some of my own thoughts based on experiences I have had in my own life.  In short this is an opinion post based on many pieces of information.  The information about Joe Root mostly came from Wikipedia, but some of what I said in regards to what the process of him ending up at Warren state is purely speculation based on my limited knowledge of how the system functioned at that time.  I welcome any information anyone wants to send my way, and to be honest am really kind of intrigued with Joe Root’s story so he is someone I’m looking further into. 

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