DIY livestream gives Kensington users a voice at opioid community forum

Monday night’s community forum on the opioid epidemic was a bit of a hike from Kensington, one of the Philly neighborhoods where drug use is most prevalent.

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.

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Why help isn’t only a ‘yes’ away

“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.

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Philadelphia recruiting residents to fight opioid epidemic

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.

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Trump Wants More Asylums — and Some Psychiatrists Agree

'In the wake of the horrific school shootings in Parkland, Fla., President Trump has called repeatedly for building or reopening mental institutions.


“It is hard to describe the smell,” said Joseph Rogers, 66, executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, who spent stretches of up to six months on locked wards, mostly in Florida, after a psychotic episode at age 19.'

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Certified Peer Specialists Recognized with Full Certification Process

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.

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"It's the Guns," Says Mental Health Partnerships

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.

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6 ABC NEWS: Therapy dogs return from helping Parkland community grieve

"A group of volunteers and k-9s spent the last several days spreading the gift of love to the families and students impacted by the Parkland school shooting.

They returned Thursday, exhausted from 5 nights and 4 days on the road.

Cici, Kelsey and Minnie are just a few of the paws from the Tri-State K-9 Response Ready Team, ready to serve communities in need - this time, Parkland, Florida."

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MHP in the NewsNed Redmond
Tri-State Canine Response Team providing healing in Florida

UPDATE: Click to view gallery

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.

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AnnouncementNed Redmond
Get a first look at Suburban Station's new homeless services center

"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."

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Comprehensive User Engagement Sites

"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."

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Connecting mental illness and mass shooting misses the point, experts say | NBC News


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.

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