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“Suicide Prevention Display To Travel To Penn State”

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This April 17, 2015 Community Content article on the Onward State website talks about a traveling exhibit to raise awareness of suicide prevention and decrease stigma about mental health issues on college campuses.

“Housing, not asylums”

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This March 24, 2015 article found on the Philly.com website talks about the idea that providing safe affordable housing with appropriate supportive services could reduce homelessness and incarceration rates among those with mental health issues who have found themselves either incarcerated or homeless .. or both.

“Mental health and treatment more complicated for older adults”

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This October 26, 2014 InsuranceNews.net article talks about issues surrounding the treatment or lack of treatment of mental health issues in the elderly.

“Serious Mental Illness No Barrier to Weight Loss Success”

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This March 21, 2013 article on the Science Daily website talks about a recent study that seems to show that folks with serious mental illnesses can successfully lose weight if they are given simple nutritional messages, counseling to support their efforts, and regular exercise to help them become more active.



“Many have trouble navigating mental health maze”


This article found in the Reading Eagle on July 17, 2011 offers some insight for those who maybe need mental health care but don’t know where to turn.  The article also offers some starting points for things like paying for medications or other treatment.

“Plans for Rolling Hills site bring crowd to meeting”

This article was first published on September 25, 2008 in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at the following address …. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08269/914768-55.stm   The article discussies plans for an assisted living program for folks with severe mental illnesses to aid them in transitioning into the community.

Plans for Rolling Hills site bring crowd to meeting
Mercy buying Baldwin Township property
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Residents of Baldwin Township who live near the closed Rolling Hills Manor Assisted Living Center on Newport Drive are worried about a proposal to establish a Mercy Behavioral Health facility at that site.

More than 100 people attempted to attend a community meeting held by Mercy at the center last Thursday. The crowd was so large that some people stood outside and tried to listen in through windows, said Eileen Hoellein, who lives near the center.

Ms. Hoellein said residents are concerned about the safety of the neighborhood and a potential drain on the small township’s police force.

Kimberly Flaherty, spokeswoman for Mercy Behaviorial Health, said the building would not house a crisis center, where admissions would be made around the clock and people would arrive in the midst of a crisis.

But rather, the proposed Rolling Hills facility will be a residential center where patients will live for extended periods as part of their therapy. She said it would house two types of programs — a long-term structured residence program and an extended acute-care program.

The long-term program would house people with serious mental illnesses “who are expected to need extensive treatment and services over an extensive period of time,” Ms. Flaherty said.

The program would be staffed 24 hours daily and would serve up to 14 patients age 18 years or older. This program, Ms. Flaherty said, was originally operated by the state and will employ former Mayview State Hospital personnel.

The acute-care program is “recovery-oriented,” Ms. Flaherty said, and will house patients for up to six months. There will be 16 people in that program.

“The services they receive are to improve their ability to move back into the community,” she said.

No one who requires detoxification from drugs or alcohol will be admitted to either program. The center will have a staff of 50 people, and the building will be secure, Ms. Flaherty said.

Mercy operates similar programs in other neighborhoods, including the South Side and West Mifflin, she said. Mercy has signed a sales agreement on the property, but the sale is contingent upon Mercy receiving necessary approvals from the township.

The property’s current zoning designation is R-1 residential, which permits single-family homes. But an assisted living facility or nursing home also would be permitted there if conditional use is granted, said Arnold Horovitz, attorney for Mercy Behavioral Health.

Mr. Horovitz said Mercy has submitted plans to township officials and has asked for conditional use approval. He said the planning commission will consider Mercy’s application and make a recommendation to township commissioners.

Commissioners then would hold a public hearing on the issue before they vote. Rolling Hills Manor Assisted Living Center, which closed in August 2007, operated under a conditional use provision, Mr. Horovitz said.

Township Secretary Mary McGinley could not be reached for comment, nor could township solicitor Thomas McDermott or Commission Chairwoman Eileen Frisoli.

Planning commission member Bob Wagner said Tuesday that he received a packet containing the Mercy proposal, but said he hadn’t opened it. He said he didn’t know when the commission would meet on the matter.

In the meantime, residents are worried about the center’s impact on their neighborhood.

“This is a very safe community and you can walk anywhere anytime. We don’t want to lose that,” said Alice Hradisky.

Ms. Hradisky said she is also concerned about the loss of revenue to the township. She said Rolling Hills Manor Assisted Living Center was a for-profit enterprise that paid taxes. The Mercy center would be nonprofit and exempt from taxes.

Ms. Flaherty said Mercy officials are planning another informational meeting for residents within the next week and will offer tours of similar facilities in other neighborhoods.

Mary Niederberger can be reached at mniederberger@post-gazette.com or 412-851-1512.
First published on September 25, 2008 at 6:08 am

  For those of you outside of Warren County, you may not know what is going on, but to put it simply, there is a debate in town over whether or not inmates at the county jail should or should not receive medications for Mental Health diagnosis.  Normally I wouldn’t put a letter to the editor here, but I felt the person who wrote this letter to the editor found in the Warren Times Observer on December 19, 2007 raised some good points, so I decided to post it here.

Sheriff statement

12/19/2007 – Dear Editor: Fine men with good intention occasionally slip up. I was disappointed reading the comments of the sheriff concerning mental health care in his jail. Zingers like “happy pills” and “all juiced up” I’d expect from the Larry ‘The Cable Guy,’ not Larry “The Sheriff Guy.”

Rehabilitation begins with excepting personal responsibility for your choices, paying your debt to society and making a conscious decision to be a member of society every day. If drug therapy helps reverse poor decision making then medicine should be embraced and encouraged, not ridiculed as a recreational perk of being locked down in county jail. This link reinforces the value of mental health care during incarceration http://www.depts.ttu.edu/psy/psy.php?page=spotlight.html.

Time behind bars does nothing to make the Warren safer from criminals. However treatment (all types) during incarceration creates a better chance for security in the county. Unfortunately Larry “The Sheriff Guy’s” comments guarantee job growth for law enforcement not safety for Warrenites. Those in custody will reoffend when repatriation into society does not include addressing mental health issues.

The sheriffs statement ‘What do you expect’ referenced a WTO article he attributed for contributing to a ‘higher than usual’ expenditure for medicine was reckless at best, condescending at worse. To infer the incarcerated ask for (and receive) psychotropic drugs is with out merit and lacks standing in fact. His views are beneath the office he has the privilege of holding and insulting to the fine men and women of the WCS department whom serve the citizens faithfully in Warren County. An ‘over the top’ statement from an ‘under informed’ mind broad brushed and stereotyped. Larry “The Sheriff Guy” doesn’t have the medical background nor the clinical expertise to evaluate and decide whom benefits from treatment.

The problem with speaking stupidly about important subjects….is you get better with practice. Why were commissioners silent for the outrageous statement rebuking a policy they fund? This is why agencies have spokesmen (or women). Its easier to maintain professional credibility when a foolish position is spoken for you…instead of speaking foolishly on behalf of your department. WCS dept. needs to go on record by publicly supporting all policies in place making Warren safe, not condoning Larry “The Sheriff Guy’s” one man show.

David Klasen

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