The hope-building we do, together with our many partners, is not something that’s easily defined, measured, and evaluated. Nor is it easily shared with people secondhand. That doesn’t mean we won’t keep trying to show the impact of hope in action. Indeed, the data and the myriad stories from our partners are both the result of and source for hope.
As an organization and movement built on hope and great achievements, it’s no surprise we look toward 2018 with such anticipation.
Mental Health Partnerships, a city-contracted nonprofit that provides behavioral health services, has conducted their outreach and survey efforts in Kensington’s homeless camps. While those results are not yet published, the organization’s findings line up with the health department’s survey, said Stephanie Jamison, MHP’s organizational learning and development manager.
“The housing crisis is a health crisis,” Jamison said. “The survey indicates that 59 percent of respondents have recently participated in drug treatment,” Jamison said. “Providers need to make stable housing a central focus of their treatment and support services. No one should be discharged from an inpatient or residential treatment setting without a solid plan for stable housing.”
Kathy Laws (Family & Youth) was the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Robert H. Miller Award, given annually to one individual "who has made a long term commitment to the field and whose involvement, service and contributions to the improvement of the quality of life of persons with mental illness is noteworthy and exceptional." Kathy was recognized for her passion, advocacy, and trail-blazing efforts on behalf of Families and Youth.
MHP's programs are successful because our staff truly listen and respond to the needs of our participants. Check out “Anne & Ebony’s” story of how true partnership can be a life altering force.
We are so proud that over 60% of our staff have lived experience! Peer support means that our participants have access to individuals who understand their struggles, their choices, their victories! Check out our “I was YOU” video to meet some of the truly special individuals who help MHP make a difference in the lives of individuals who are walking their path to recovery.
"To fully understand the complexities of the growing opioid epidemic, we as a society must begin to engage one another without excluding those who are closest to the problem. People who are experiencing homelessness, active addiction from a substance use disorder and mental health challenges need to be at the table. We must consider those who are struggling with these challenges as subject matter experts when we invite them to the table to focus on solutions towards ending homelessness and with fighting the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia, such as exploring the expansion of low-barrier non-abstinence housing first programs."
Evan Figueroa-Vargas is a Board Member at Pathways to Housing PA, as well as a homeless service provider at Mental Health Partnerships.
When Darlene La Torre wakes up in the morning, there’s a good chance her husband of five years will want to kick off the day debating how to address the opioid crisis. And whether Philadelphia’s controversial proposal to open a supervised safe injection facility is a good idea.
Once at work, she’ll likely get an email or text from him linking to a study or article on the merits of such a site. When she gets home, she knows he’ll be poised to follow up. And if not then, then perhaps at 2 a.m.
“He wakes up and goes to the bathroom, and I just do the slightest move, and he’s like, ‘So yeah, I was thinking about this and that.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m trying to sleep right now!’ ” La Torre said.
While Ms. Hill is more than happy to help homeless people get out of the cold during the daytime hours in the chill of winter, her mission runs much deeper than that.
“Peer support is what we do,” she said. “A lot of people need peer support and need somebody to listen and we can be that person. We have different support groups that we offer. We specialize in peer services, so we offer different support groups, such as an employment group, and do some different activities, arts and crafts, music and things like that.
The meeting was held at CORA Services, a Fox Chase community center. It’s about 10 miles from the intersection of Emerald Street and East Lehigh Avenue — that’s 30 minutes driving, about an hour if you take SEPTA.
Still, at that intersection, an estimated 40 people living under the bridge heard the speakers of the night loud and clear. Evan Figueroa-Vargas made sure of it.
“Meet people where they’re at” is a phrase frequently used by those who practice harm reduction. It means working with people with substance use disorder, even if they are unable or unwilling to stop, to reduce the risks and the negative consequences. Medication-assisted treatment, needle exchanges and safe injection sites are some of the well-known examples.
Sofronski uses harm reduction strategies in her work as an advocate with Mental Health Partnerships in the Delaware Valley, and while doing outreach in encampments like Kensington.
The City of Philadelphia is recruiting residents to help in fighting the opioid epidemic. The city health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, announced a new awareness campaign on Tuesday morning. The city is urging the public to carry Naloxone, an opioid antidote commonly known by the brand name Narcan, in an effort to reduce overdose deaths citywide. "We had 1,200 deaths from drug overdose. Many of these can be saved because, probably half or more, there's a witness nearby," said Farley.
To more formally recognize the value of peers in the workforce, Pennsylvania is moving to a new full peer certification offered by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). To make this transition as easy as possible for current Pennsylvania Peer Specialists, there will be a time-limited grandparenting process for those who wish to obtain the new full certification during the grandparenting period. The grandparenting period begins March 1, 2018 and ends August 31, 2019.
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Mental Health Partnerships (MHP), a multi-faceted mental health advocacy and service agency, joins with all Americans in mourning the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—and we demand that our legislators take immediate action to prevent such tragedies," says MHP President and CEO Michael Brody.
Another community is shattered following the mass shooting at a school in Broward County, Florida. Tri-State K-9 Response team is putting a together six teams of dogs and their handlers to provide comfort and support to that community. Janice Campbell, Program Manager of Community Outreach, MHASWNJ and her dog CeCe are members of this team whose mission is to help this community begin the healing process.
"Guiding chronically homeless people to the assistance they need is a delicate process, said those who work with the city’s indigent, and requires giving people with nowhere to go a place to feel welcome."
"Starting Wednesday, they will be offered a safe place in an unlikely space: deep in the tunnels of Suburban Station, where Project HOME, SEPTA, and city government have cooperated to build a daytime service center designed to help the city’s homeless."
"At a press conference on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, the City of Philadelphia announced that they would be encouraging the opening of one or more Comprehensive User Engagement Sites (CUES), also known as supervised injection facilities, or safe consumption sites."
"...Mental Health Partnerships is looking forward to working with individuals and community based organizations to complete this project, and ensure that mental health services, specifically peer support, are included in services offered, as a crucial component to the success of CUES and increasing opportunities for recovery."
evin Neal’s family knew he was mentally ill, but they never thought he would kill five people and attack an elementary school in rural northern California. But Neal committed both those acts on Tuesday, and it has left his family asking some very difficult questions.
"We got, 'I can't take it anymore’ a thousand times — like when do you know if it's real?" asked Sheridan Orr, Neal’s sister.
MHP, in collaboration with the State Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, has been awarded a three year SAMHSA grant to bring peer support services to women and those who identify as female while incarcerated in Philadelphia’s Riverside Correctional Facility (RCF) and as they transition to community upon release.
MHP is relieved to hear that the most recent attempt by the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as the Graham-Cassidy Bill, was pulled from consideration prior to a vote, in the early evening on Tuesday, September 26th.
As of August 1, 2017, the Mental Health Association in Southwestern New Jersey and Mental Health Partnerships have decided to join forces; to come together to better serve our communities and those who need us most.
A few years ago, Mental Health Partnerships (MHP), then known as Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP), began expanding its supporter base and recruiting board members from outside the behavioral health space. But people from the corporate and business worlds didn’t easily grasp what the organization was all about. The name “Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania” didn’t say it all!
Yesterday morning, in an effort to finalize state budget negotiations, the Pennsylvania Senate passed HB 59, with provisions imposing work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries. The provisions also open the door to cuts in “nonessential” benefits including things like dental, vision and prescription drugs.
MHP is deeply disappointed in the outcome of the Senate to raise a “motion to proceed”, and consider specific proposals to either repeal, or repeal and replace, the Affordable Care Act. The motion passed by a vote of 51 to 50 Tuesday afternoon, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote.
The Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania has endeavored since 1951 to bolster long-term recovery outcomes for those in need. A newly announced name change to Mental Health Partnerships speaks, in part, to its expanded reach and ambition. NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller speaks with Michael Brody, President and CEO of Mental Health Partnerships. Listen to the conversation below.