MHA membership drive underway

JAMESTOWN – “Rec-overing Lives, Saving Families.”

This theme of the membership drive in progress at the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County (MHA) describes what happens when people with mental health, alcohol, and/or drug addiction issues come to the program in Jamestown’s Gateway Center.

“When a person is in crisis, the whole family suffers,” said MHA Board President Carm Micciche, who along with vice president Mary Keeney is heading up the membership effort. “When individuals or family members come to MHA, they are going to get help from someone who has been in their shoes and has learned to navigate the system.”

The MHA is staffed by recovery coaches, trained individuals who are recovering from mental health diagnosis or substance abuse. They work in collaboration with other community organizations and especially the Jamestown City Treatment Court to help participants be successful in attaining their goals.

In an accepting environment, the MHA offers one-on-one meetings with recovery coaches as well as more than two dozen peer support groups and classes. Focuses for the various groups include Self Help, Recovery, Mindfulness, Veterans, Learning to Live Again, and more.

There is no charge for any of the MHA’s services or programs.

The recent drug epidemic, with 16 drug-related deaths in Jamestown in the month of March alone, makes services more needed now than ever.

The response to the membership drive has been heartwarming.

“There are so many people in our community who recognize the scourge of substance addiction and mental illness and want to support our work,” Micciche said. “We’ve been thrilled to receive checks from folks who have responded to our invitation to help someone acquire adequate housing, go back to school, gain meaningful employment and financial independence, along with learning to adopt a healthier lifestyle.”

Become a member of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County by sending a check in the amount of one’s choosing to: MHA Membership, 31 Water Street, Suite 7, Jamestown, N.Y. 14701.

To learn more about the MHA and its programs, call 661-9044 or visit www.mhachautauqua.org or www.facebook.com/MHAChautauqua.

A complete list of support groups and classes is at www.mhachautauqua.org/services.

Anyone with questions or in need of services for themselves or a family member is welcome to call or stop in at 31 Water St., Door 14 in the rear of the Gateway Center.