January 2020

This month's newsletter includes photos from our Annual Helping Hands Holiday Events, articles to help jump start a happy and healthy year, January events, exciting agency updates and more!
Helping Hands Holiday Event 2019
In December we hosted our annual Helping Hands Holiday Event to share the spirit of the season with our clients. We were able to provide entertainment, delicious food, fabulous give-aways, and photos with Santa! Thank you to everyone who volunteered and participated. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and look forward to an even greater 2020!

Without your generosity our annual Holiday Event would not have been possible
Leith Walk Elementary School
H & S Bakery
Target Towson
Harford Community Action Agency
Giant Edmondson
The Epicenter at Edgewood
Boys and Girls Club, Aberdeen
Department of Juvenile Services
Annie the KinderKlown
5 New Year’s Resolutions for Mental Health
Written by staff at psychology & Counseling Associates

While you’re getting organized, quitting smoking, and losing weight (the most popular New Year’s resolutions in the U.S.), you may be overlooking something that would actually make a bigger difference for you and your family than those popular resolutions.

How about some New Year’s resolutions for mental health?
You might find that the dissatisfaction that makes you think you need to get organized (again) can be handled better by working directly on the dissatisfaction instead of starting your year with a resolution you haven’t kept in any of the previous years when you’ve made that resolution. New Year’s resolutions for mental health might even make it easier for you to keep the other resolutions you choose to make.
Here are a few to consider:

I will take action on my mental health . There’s enough stigma around mental health in the U.S. that many people choose not to visit a therapist even when they know that a trained, unbiased listener is exactly what they need. A therapist has tools for dealing with mental health issues effectively, and for personal growth and development, too. In fact, that regular appointment is one of the nicest things you can do for yourself.

I will be kind to myself.  Does your self talk sound like something you would never say to the people you love? We see people on Facebook posting, “I was a big fat pig” with a photo of their holiday dinner. A friend told us he puts notes up in his house saying, “Don’t smoke that cigarette, dummy!” You don’t deserve that. Treat yourself with respect.

I will set healthy boundaries.  Sometimes we give other people too much power in our lives. Letting our significant others, our kids, or our bosses make our lives more difficult can masquerade as kindness, but it’s not always good for us. Define your limits at work, at home, and in other relationships. Maybe you’re not willing to do personal errands for your boss, to lie for your spouse, or to accept verbal abuse from your friends. Let this be the year you say so, directly and without anger.

I will exercise regularly.  Does that sound like a physical health resolution? In fact, there is a lot of evidence that regular movement, especially outdoors, helps our mental health as well as our physical help. Put a daily walk, bike ride, or swim on your calendar and stick to it no matter what. Feeling too low for a walk? Move for three minutes, and then you can head home… if you still want to.

I will resist negative thinking.  It’s easy for us to figure that positive attitudes and happy thoughts are wishful thinking and that negative thoughts are realistic and practical. Actually, ruminating — going over and over the negative feelings and anxious thoughts that pop into our heads — is neither practical nor realistic. Distracting ourselves with work, exercise, or a puzzle is a healthier choice.
Happy New Year!!
Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert Information
The Health Commissioner declares a Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert during periods of extremely cold weather. Code Blue Extreme Cold is a multi-agency effort to reduce hypothermia deaths during the winter months by protecting our City's homeless, seniors and other vulnerable populations.

A Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration triggers several responses aimed at providing shelter and services for homeless individuals.
  • Private homeless shelters will be encouraged to extend their hours and keep individuals indoors.
  • Homeless Services Outreach Workers provide cold weather education, encourage homeless individuals to take shelter, and connect them to services as needed.
  • On nights when Code Blue Extreme Cold has been declared, the Salvation Army FEEDMORE canteen provides hot drinks and other items to homeless individuals.
A list of  City Homeless Shelters and Services  is available through the Mayor's Office of Human Services. 
EMRC would like to recognize the following Key Dates in January
Here’s a list of six facts you need to know about cervical cancer:

1. HPV is the #1 cause of cervical cancer.
To find a cure, it’s vital to know the causes. Most cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another through sexual activity. Both men and women can be infected with HPV. It can be present for years without causing any symptoms and can be passed on to others without knowing.

2. Most cervical cancer cases are preventable.
Because cervical cancer is typically caused by HPV, the simplest way to prevent cervical cancer is to prevent HPV infection in the first place. Since 2006, a highly effective HPV vaccinationhas been used. Just like other vaccines, the HPV vaccine helps your immune system create an antibody response that protects your body against the infection. This vaccination is administered in two or three shots over a six-month period to both males and females between the ages of 9-26. [3]
Routine Pap testing is the best way to detect abnormal changes to the cervix before they develop into cancer. 

3. Only certain strains of HPV cause cancer.
HPV is serious – but not always a cancer indicator. HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses. Most men and women who have ever had sex will get HPV at some time in their lives. And while there are strains that can cause cervical cancer and make it the top cause of the disease, as mentioned above, most HPV infections go away without treatment and are not linked to cancer.
  4. Smoking and other factors increase risk of cervical cancer.
Women who smoke are about twice as likely as non-smokers to get cervical cancer. Smoking weakens your immune system,making it more difficult for your body to fight HPV infections on its own.
There is also evidence that long-term use of oral contraceptivesas well as being overweight increase risk of cervical cancer.
Women with a sister or mother who had cervical cancer are two to three times more likely to develop the disease.

5. There are warning signs, but not early warning signs.
Cervical cancer often presents no symptoms in its early stages, which is why it is often referred to as a “silent killer.” But as the disease progresses, warning signs may present themselves. Examples include pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, painful urination, unusual discharge, abnormal menstrual cycles, pain or bleeding after sex, anemia, urinary incontinence, and back pain. [6]  If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.

6. Genomics research helps us attack cervical cancer – and all types of cancer.
NFCR has distinguished itself from other organizations by emphasizing long-term, transformative research and working to move people toward cancer genomics and away from the old “location-based” research approaches.
Human Trafficking Awareness Day is dedicated to raising awareness of sexual  slavery  and human trafficking worldwide. Today, there are between 21-30 million people enslaved in the world, more than at any time in human history. Every day, modern slavery can be recognized:  children  become soldiers, young women are forced into prostitution and  migrant workers  exploited in the workforce. Human Trafficking Awareness Day seeks to end this slavery, return rights to individuals and make the world a safer place for all inhabitants.
The second Monday of January each year recognizes National Clean Off Your Desk Day.
This day is an opportunity to begin your new year with a clean and organized workspace. Whether your desk is in a private or shared office, cubicle, home or a make-shift desk on the counter, having your workspace uncluttered, organized, refreshed and clean will help you work more efficiently and give you a sense of serenity.
If having fun at work isn’t something you’re accustomed to, then get ready to live it up on January 31 — aka National Fun at Work Day! Sure, work can be hard, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any fun; after all, achieving happiness requires a healthy balance. National Fun at Work Day, held on the fourth Friday of January, makes having fun a priority. So rally your coworkers and bosses — plan parties, schedule activities, bring in goodies — and get everyone in on the action.
Empowering Minds Offices will be closed on January 20th, 2020 to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade

Monday, January 20th, 2020
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is proud to present the 20th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade alongside the City of Baltimore. The parade commemorates the life of civil rights leader and icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 20, 2020 starting at noon. Spectators are welcome to view the parade along the route on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard between Eutaw Street and Baltimore Street.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Monday, January 20th 2020
8:30am – 12:00pm

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?- Martin Luther King Jr.

Join Cityfam for our 5th annual MLK Day of Service. Cityfam is partnering with Civic Works to celebrate and serve the city of Baltimore and honor the legacy of Dr. King. On January 20th volunteers will go to multiple locations to serve and join the millions of Americans throughout the country that will be giving back.
Civic Works strengthens Baltimore’s communities through education, skills development, and community service. They are a non-profit working in Baltimore communities for over 20 years, and are deeply committed to service. Their programs deliver tangible results through a combination of job training, skills development and community service. The following are the current options for volunteers on MLK day 2020:

  • Real Food Farm (outside projects-clearing and landscaping the entrance to the farm; pruning vines on fences, mulching a new mushroom crop, etc) All ages
  • Loading Dock- helping with donations of furniture and other items (min age 14)
  • Second Chance- Organizing donations or pulling nails out of re-purposed wood (min age 18). NOTE: this section is 9am-12:30pm

Contact Civic Works’ Volunteer Manager, Gwen Kokes, at  [email protected]  with questions.
King Program

We have launched our brand new KING Program focused on youth mentoring!
The KING Program has partnered with the following schools and services:

Guilford Elementary/Middle School, Carver High School, Calvin Rodwell Elementary/Middle School, Barclay Elementary/Middle School, and Baltimore City Department of Juvenile Justice.

Contact Wade McLaughlin at 410-625-5088 or [email protected] for more information.

Coming Soon : Empowering Minds Outpatient Mental Health Center
(Baltimore City and Harford County)

We are hiring for several positions!
Openings can be found www.emrcgroup.org/careers
Empowering Minds is proud to partner with ShareBaby

Our partnership includes monthly diaper distributions for Baltimore EMRC clients with children between the ages of 0 - 5 years old.  In addition, EMRC is currently accepting "ShareBaby Coat Requests" for children ages 0 - 5 years old and requests for Boy or Girl newborn bundles.

Newborn bundles include:
1 pack of size 1 diapers
1 pack of size 2 diapers
1 0-3 month onesie
1 0-3 month outfit (top & bottom)
1 3-6 month onesie
1 3-6 month outfit (top & bottom)
1 6-12 month onesie,
1 6-12 month outfit (top & bottom)

 If you are in need of diapers, a coat or newborn bundle for a child between 0 - 5 years old, please contact your  Direct Service Coordinator  to submit your request and provide the sex of the baby and size needed between 0 - 24 months or 2t - 5t. If you have any questions, please contact the Baltimore City office.

**ShareBaby items are for Baltimore City clients only
Harford County Groups
Baltimore City Groups
Mondays 6-7 PM 
Women's Group, Teen's Group, and Youth Group

Tuesdays 6-7 PM
Men's Group

Anne Arundel County Groups

Empowering Minds Resource Center is proud to announce there is currently  NO WAIT LIST at the agency. We work hard everyday to ensure referrals are quickly processed and clients are engaged by our staff and partnered therapists immediately. We are ready, willing and able to accept new clients TODAY.  

Empowering Minds Resource Center has no waitlist for our CARE COORDINATION FOR MINORS and our PSYCHIATRIC REHABILITATION PROGRAM in Harford County

Empowering Minds recognizes Wade McLaughlin as the Direct Service Coordinator of the Month.   Congratulations, !

Empowering Minds is looking to add some new members to our wonderful team. Check out the link below for more information!