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November is National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month – a time to celebrate the contributions of caregivers, provide them with tools that they need, and continue to advocate for individuals with mental illness. Mental Health Amercia provides these tools and supports for family members that provide round-the-clock care to their loved ones In Montgomery County, these providers offer support and resources for Caregivers

Under 21 Substance Use Prevention Mini Grant Application for FY 2023

The Collaboration Council announces the availability of FY23 Under 21 Mini-Grant funding to help community-based organizations deliver activities to middle and high school youth and those under age 21 that address the illegal and underage use, misuse and overuse of substances that include, but are not limited to, alcohol, opioids and other prescription drugs. Applications are due November 14, 2022 by midnight.

Funding comes from the Montgomery County Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.


For complete details and to download the Mini-Grant Application Announcement please click here.
Please direct all questions to info@collaborationcouncil.org.

Deadline for submitting questions is November 14, 2022, 4:00 p.m. Include FY23 Under 21-Mini-Grant in the subject line. No phone calls please.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 immediately.  In Maryland, you can also call 211 press 1 or text 898-211 to be connected to crisis services.
According to the CDC suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, with 45,979 deaths in 2020. This is about one death every 11 minutes. The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

    988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While some areas may be currently able to connect to the Lifeline by dialing 988, this dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States starting on July 16, 2022.

  • EveryMind Crisis Prevention and Intervention specialists are available by phone, text and chat every hour of every day, and knowing that will save lives. The community can also look to EveryMind for mental health professionals who are prepared to talk about warning signs and ways that we all can help to prevent suicide from ending lives far too soon. Every suicide is a tragic loss, but when a public figure takes their own life, the ripples are felt by so many. Kate Spade’s passing earlier this week and Anthony Bourdain’s passing today are only two of the more than 7301 people who die by suicide each week and nearly 105 each day in America alone. Suicide can be prevented and YOU can help. You do not need to be a mental health professional, you can simply be a caring friend, neighbor and fellow human being. If you think someone may be considering suicide you can: ASK, KEEP THEM SAFE, BE THERE, HELP THEM CONNECT and FOLLOW UP.Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (SPAM) resources from NAMI
  • Call or Text Montgomery County Hotline: 301.738.2255 or chat 
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
  • American Association of Suicidology

Preparing to Return to School

A reminder and #repost from our partners @EveryMindInc

As summer winds down, we are prepping for a return to school and, for many, a return to in-person work at the office. Events in the news and the changing landscape of the pandemic have given us real reasons to feel an incredible range of mixed emotions. Excitement for our children to return to critical social settings. Anxiety for their safety. Relief for some normalcy. Yearning to provide our children with the tools they need to thrive.

EveryMind is here to support you and your children. Reach out to us for supportive listening and resources, including trainings to identify signs of mental health distress in your kids, yourself, and your loved ones.

Please share our hotline information with your children and teens. Many have anxieties about returning to school after nearly 18 months away, and we are here for them, too.

EveryMind Hotline Call or Text: 301.738.2255 Chat: Every-Mind.org/chat/

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.

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