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County Executive Marc Elrich, County Leaders, Survivor Launch Family Violence Awareness and Prevention Campaign

Montgomery County announced a new Family Violence Awareness and Prevention Campaign, designed to support and inform County residents who are experiencing family violence during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Essential County businesses and restaurants are spreading the word that free help is always available. They’re doing so by sharing emergency contact information on informative cards, stickers and even on store receipts.

These materials are designed to increase awareness of family violence, provide support and resources to those experiencing family violence, and provide information anyone can use to support a friend or family member who is being abused.

A Rockville resident and family violence survivor spoke passionately about the assistance she received from County agencies and partners as she struggled to leave an abusive relationship. The 41-year old woman says a concerned co-worker recognized signs of family violence and reached out to help. That support helped to empower her to report the abuse and connect with County resources. She stressed that the agencies and programs that helped her leave her relationship are still open and functioning during this health crisis. “Like many complex issues, addressing domestic violence takes the whole community,” she said. “That community is still here.”

The Montgomery County Family Justice Center (FJC) remains open throughout the pandemic and continues to provide services. The FJC can be reached by telephone at 240-773-0444 or by email at safe@montgomerycountymd.gov. The Montgomery County Crisis Center is open 24/7 and can be reached at 240-777-4000.

The statewide stay-at-home order is critical to limiting the spread of COVID-19, but the increased isolation and stress, along with the inability to avoid an abuser, makes this a particularly difficult time for those experiencing family violence. As individuals are cut off from support systems outside the home, new stressors, such as financial instability, can make abusive situations more volatile. In addition, many people are not being seen by others who might report suspected family violence, such as teachers.

“We should all feel safe in our homes, but the reality is, not everyone does,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “The goal of the Family Violence Awareness and Prevention Campaign is to let County residents know that there is still help for victims, even during these difficult times. We have programs in place, some of them are available 24 hours a day. We are here to help.” Mr. Elrich and other County leaders stressed that no one will ever be asked about their immigration status if they seek help.

Materials for the campaign include stickers, cards, posters and yard signs that can be displayed and distributed at open retail stores and businesses, as well as graphics that can be used on social media. Stickers will be displayed on the plexiglass barriers at Montgomery County Liquor and Wine Stores.  In addition, phone numbers where people can seek help will be printed on customer receipts. Founding Farmers in Potomac and Giuseppi’s Pizza in Rockville are adding the cards to their takeout orders. Printed materials are available in English and Spanish, and other languages upon request. Organizations and businesses interested in helping spread the word about available County resources should email Smita Varia, Domestic Violence Coordinating Council Program Manager at smita.varia@montgomerycountymd.gov.

“Don’t suffer in silence,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones. “If you need help, or if you have a friend, neighbor or loved one who you believe is suffering family violence in these trying times, please reach out. Our officers are ready to help, and so are our partners. We can overcome this together.”

Taking Care of Our Community’s Mental Health During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic may be causing stress and anxiety for county residents of all ages. Schools are closed, there is a Stay-at-Home Order across Maryland and daily lives are disrupted in many ways. County health officials, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff and our state health partners are working around the clock to fight COVID-19 and slow down the number of cases. The virus can affect everyone in emotional and physical ways.

            The current COVID-19 situation can exacerbate domestic violence and human trafficking and add additional layers of challenges for those with existing mental health concerns. The County’s 24-hour Crisis Center provides telephone help for anyone in crisis. The Crisis Center number is 240-777-4000.

            Mental health professionals from the County’s Department of Health and Human Services have the following guidance:

  • It is natural and okay to feel anxious and overwhelmed; times are uncertain and difficult right now
  • Work individually and together to find creative ways to keep anxiety in check
  • It is important to find time to take care of ourselves and our mental health, so we can ultimately look out for each other
  • Focusing on news headlines can worsen anxiety
  • Stick to the facts about COVID-19 and what is being done to combat it
  • Turn off the television and limit social media consumption
  • When possible, connect with friends and loved ones through video chats and other online platforms; share your tips for relaxation
  • Get outside to exercise but remember to keep your distance from others
  • Take deep breaths
  • Eat right and get enough sleep
  • Help others in your community

Additional mental health resources are on the COVID-19 website.

      For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCountyMD.

COVID-19 – COPING WITH ANXIETY AND STRESS

Repost from Every-mind.org As we navigate this unprecedented crisis, its imperative that we tend to our mental well-being. Concerns for our health and the health of our loved ones, a stream of sometimes confusing and contradictory information, disruptions to routines, worry about the impact on personal finances and uncertainty about how and when life will return to some semblance of normal – these are just a few ways COVID-19 has impacted our mental health.

During this time of heightened anxiety, we know that you or a loved one may need someone to talk to. Please know that our phone, text and chat call specialists are available 24/7 to listen and provide support.

This service is free and open to all members of our community. You do not have to be in crisis to connect with us. Reach out even if you are just looking for ways to support someone you are concerned about.

CALL/TEXT: 301.738.2255

CHAT: HTTPS://SUICIDEPREVENTIONLIFELINE.ORG/CHAT/

EveryMind staff have recorded a webinar with tips and tools to help manage stress and anxiety.

SMYAL’s virtual programming for LGBTQ

I wanted to send out a link about SMYAL’s virtual programming for LGBTQ youth, that you could share with your participants.   We are not limiting it geographically, and youth do not need to be connected with SMYAL already.  We are creating online support spaces during this time when young people might be struggling to find community.   https://smyal.org/virtualprograms/virtual-programming/

Job Announcement: LGBTQ Services Navigator

SMYAL is seeking an LGBTQ Services Navigator

Position Description

The LGBTQ Services Navigator will work with staff at the Montgomery County Reengagement / Drop-In Center to engage disconnected youth. The goal of the work will be to identify and build culturally competent resources for youth, to refer youth to the appropriate resources through Case Management, and to develop solutions to gaps in services. The LGBTQ Services Navigator, along with the dedicated Case Managers, provides client centered case management services to address the education, mental health, physical health and permanent living situation through coordinated activities and referrals. The LGBTQ Services Navigator will also consult on the general space and environment for the Reengagement / Drop-In Center, helping to ensure the space is culturally competent towards and inviting to LGBTQ youth. The LGBTQ Services Navigator needs to have vision, drive, and passion as the role will shift with time and needs.

Please see the job description for Primary Duties and Responsibilities, Core Competencies and Qualifications.

To apply:

Send cover letter and resume to Adalphie Johnson (adalphie.johnson@smyal.org) >

Job Announcement: LGBTQ Services Navigator SMYAL

SMYAL is seeking an LGBTQ Services Navigator

Position Description

The LGBTQ Services Navigator will work with staff at the Montgomery County Reengagement / Drop‐In Center to engage disconnected youth. The goal of the work will be to identify and build culturally competent resources for youth, to refer youth to the appropriate resources through Case Management, and to develop solutions to gaps in services. The LGBTQ Services Navigator, along with the dedicated Case Managers, provides client centered case management services to address the education, mental health, physical health and permanent living situation through coordinated activities and referrals. The LGBTQ Services Navigator will also consult on the general space and environment for the Reengagement / Drop‐In Center, helping to ensure the space is culturally competent towards and inviting to LGBTQ youth. The LGBTQ Services Navigator needs to have vision, drive, and passion as the role will shift with time andneeds.

Please see the job description for Primary Duties and Responsibilities, Core Competencies and Qualifications.

Job Announcement: Goal Setting Girls Assistants (Contractual Position)

Crittenton Services of Greater Washington is seeking up to 3 Goal Setting Girls Assistants

Position Description

The Goal Setting Girls Assistant is a contractual position that works closely with Crittenton’s Youth Development Program Coordinators. S/he will be responsible for providing support to the Youth Development Program Coordinator with the delivery of program curricula to two to three groups of 18 to 20 girls at middle schools in Montgomery County (Up County and East County); assisting with enrichment activities as needed; and serving as a role model for program participants. The position requires a commitment to Crittenton’s core values, a sense of humor, and the ability to create a caring and safe environment for program participants while maintaining professional boundaries, to multi‐task in a fast paced environment, to take initiative, and to be both flexible and persistent.

Please see the job description for Primary Duties and Responsibilities, Core Competencies and Qualifications.

To apply:

Please send an email to ndonovan@crittentonservices.org with the following attachments:

 Your resume

 A cover letter

 A brief, work‐related writing sample.

Manager of CWIN Recruitment

The Montgomery County Collaboration Council seeks a Manager of CWIN

Position Description

The Manager of CWIN (Children with Intensive Needs) supports the continuum of care which introduces and recommends effective services and supports for children and adolescents with behavioral and health disorders and their families with increased availability focused to the Spanish-speaking communities. Though the Collaboration Council does not provide direct services, the Manager of CWIN is responsible for utilizing a coordinated network of available resources that will integrate care planning and management across multiple levels and which are culturally and linguistically competent and build meaningful partnerships with families and youth at service delivery, management and policy levels. For complete details and how to submit your cover letter with salary requirements and resume click here.

Position open until filled.

A word from our Prevention Coordinator on Opioids

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 130 Americans die from an opioid related overdose every day. Opioids, a class of drugs that act on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to relax the body and relieve pain, are often described as licit (e.g. prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine), illicit (e.g. heroin) and synthetic (e.g. man-made drugs such as methadone, fentanyl, tramadol). Synthetic opioids are manufactured using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients, resulting most times in higher potency. A drug that is considered highly potent requires only a small amount to give the desired effect. Click here to read more

Dangers of Vaping that Parents and Students Should Know

Reposting from The Montgomery County Paperless Airplane Newsletter
October 23, 2018

Dangers of Vaping that Parents and Students Should Know

The principal of Winston Churchill High School Brandice C. Heckert reached out to inform the school community on the dangers of vaping. Heckert indicated that vaping is on the rise and it is important to address the issue at both schools and at home.
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