A WEEKLY PROFILE OF A LOCAL NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
The Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County is an organization devoted to promoting mental wellness and seeking quality care for people receiving mental-health services. As part of its mission, the MHA looks for options and strategies for individuals and families to manage, accommodate and prevent mental illness. It provides continuing support, referral and advocacy services for anyone who is currently suffering from mental illness, has suffered from mental illness in the past or is simply looking for information. The MHA also creates and executes educational and prevention programs that encourage mental wellness and support in an open, non-judgmental arena to the benefit of all people.
Ongoing programs include the following:
–The Caregivers Support Group allows relatives and friends of older persons to share concerns and coping strategies. The meetings are free and professionally facilitated.
–The Self-Esteem Project and Resource Center offers educational programs on a variety of topics and loans educational materials to parents, teachers, youth workers and others on such issues as effective communication skills, conflict resolution and decision- making.
–A Clearinghouse for Self-Help Groups offers information and referral for some 300 self-help groups as well as therapy groups, callers and walk-in visitors.
–The Mental Health Coalition is a centralized forum where consumers, families and service providers cooperate to identify needs and develop plans to ensure that those needs are met.
–The Citizen Participation Project is made up of advocates that assist people with mental-health problems in the transition to community living.
–Guides to Living volunteers help Rochester Psychiatric Center residents who have no family celebrate holidays and birthdays.
–The Education and Advocacy Center assists consumers of mental-health services in resolving short-term problems and offers outreach services to patients at local psychiatric inpatient units.
–The Peer Support Project, a new program, is made up of peer support specialists who are consumers of mental-health services. They are therefore able to offer understanding and support to inpatients, and share their experiences.
–Another new program, Better Days Ahead, offers a parent support group for those who have children with emotional problems. Parent consultants are available to provide one-on-one support and guidance.
Chief among the several upcoming events of the MHA is Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 1-7, where the MHA joins with mental-health professionals, advocacy organizations, consumers, families and policy makers to recognize and raise public awareness about mental illness and the 95 million Americans affected by it.
Among those 95 million are employees of small businesses. In recognition of the importance of workplace wellness, the MHA has developed Small Business Membership for Employee Wellness that acts as a resource for small businesses. Employees may be referred to the program to address such problems as parenting and marital difficulties, drug abuse and financial concerns–problems that can affect their work performance. Since small businesses may not have an employee assistance program in place due to cost and other factors, the Small Business Membership fills that gap and acts as a facilitator in achieving employee wellness.
Financial Record Year ended Dec. 31, 1994
Coordinated Care Services Inc. $180,610 49.56
United Way of Greater Rochester Inc. 99,400 27.28
Program fees 20,576 5.65
Miscellaneous contributions 18,937 5.20
Foundation support 12,949 3.55
Other coalition support 12,138 3.33
Other 19,772 5.43
Total revenue $364,382 100
Salaries $141,071 38.62
Supplies & printing 29,984 8.21
Contract service fees 23,998 6.57
Related salary expenses 22,905 6.27
Travel, meeting & conference 20,701 5.67
Special-event expense 19,979 5.47
Other 106,635 29.19
Total expenses $365,273 100
Steven Gersz Esq., president; Underberg & Kessler
Sharon Boyd, vice president; vice president of programming, Lifespan
Robert Douglas, treasurer
Marilyn Hare, secretary
Due to space limitations, only officers have been listed. There are 30 other board members, as well as an 11-member board of advisors.
(Researched and written by Julie K. Welch)