July 2018
Happy July from Empowering Minds Resource Center! Last June, Empowering Minds joined NAMIWAlks to raise awareness around mental health, and we had an All Hands Meeting for Empowering Minds staff. Coming in August, we will be hosting a Back-to-School Outreach Event, where we will be giving away free backpacks and school supplies to youth in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Below, you will find information about Baltimore City Cooling Centers, an article about PTSD and fireworks, and several agency updates.
Empowering Minds walked to raise mental health awareness at this year's NAMIWalks. It was wonderful to see so many community members and partners there.
Empowering Minds will be stuffing backpacks with school supplies for Baltimore Metropolitan youth. We need your support to make it happen! We are in need of notebooks, pens, pencils, calculators, binders, binder paper, erasers, and more. Donations can be dropped-off to our offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Edgewood. Donations can also be made online. Please call Community Outreach Coordinator Ava at (443) 925-4895 if you have any further questions about donating.
This June, Empowering Minds staff from Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, and Harford County all came together for an education day and team-building fun.
EMRC's Health Home Program provides enhanced and comprehensive care coordination and management services to our Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program clients who are affected by, or at risk for, chronic conditions.

We serve both children and adults with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI), serious emotional disturbance (SED), opioid substance use disorders, and/or developmental and intellectual disabilities through a whole-person approach that addresses their behavioral, somatic, and social needs; and improves their overall wellness.

Our Health Home services not only treat clients’ current chronic conditions but also helps prevent additional chronic health issues. Using a community-based approach, EMRC’s Health Home integrates and coordinates all of the client’s primary, acute, behavioral health, and long-term services. We provide clients and their caregivers with a myriad of supports and services that promote health activities, monitor both somatic and behavioral health needs, and assist with hospital transitional care. With the EMRC Health Home Program, clients will have a Care Manager who will work with their doctors to:

  • Pay special attention to your health care needs
  • Make sure you get the medical services you need
  • Assist you with scheduling medical appointments
  • Health Education
  • Referrals to Specialists
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Weight Maintenance
  • Diabetes Control
  • Accessing Benefits
  • Transitional Care Needs
Baltimore City Cooling Centers
How Fireworks Can Trigger PTSD

You may see the signs popping up around your neighborhood this July 4—red, white and blue notices that indicate the home of a vet with the request to “Please be courteous with fireworks.”

The signs are the work of a Facebook-launched nonprofit, Military With PTSD, begun by Shawn Gourley, whose husband, Justin, served in the Navy for four years and returned with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sudden and loud noises can trigger episodes of PTSD, bringing veterans back to traumatic experiences they have lived through during their service. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, up to 20% of military personnel who served in Iraq or Afghanistan experience PTSD each year.

The signs are posted on the lawns of veterans’ homes to alert people to be more considerate when setting off fireworks in the area. According to Gourley, who spoke to CNN, the group has mailed 2,500 signs, some of which were paid for by donations and others by the vets themselves, while 3,000 people remain on a waiting list.

The signs are not meant to quash any Fourth of July celebrations, but to raise awareness that the explosive sounds, flashes of light and smell of powder may trigger unwelcome memories for some. “If you are a veteran, on the one hand July 4th should be one of the most patriotic holidays that you feel a part of,” says Dr. John Markowitz, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. “On the other hand, the rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting in air are likely to evoke traumatic memories, and you might want to hide. It’s a tricky one.”

Having advanced knowledge of a fireworks display can help some people with PTSD to better prepare and cope with any symptoms they may experience. “A big component of the startle response and PTSD is the unexpected,” says Rachel Tester, program director of the Law Enforcement, Active Duty, Emergency Responder (LEADER) Program at Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital. “When people are able to anticipate, they are able to put into place mechanisms they have to cope ahead of time.”

That might include things such as relaxation techniques or being able to see the fireworks show and therefore know that they’re coming, as well as having headphones, music or other distractions at the ready.

Such strategies may not work for every PTSD patient, but being more aware that the explosive celebrations of the holiday might affect those with PTSD is an important step toward ensuring that everyone can enjoy the holiday without fear, anxiety or pain.
Empowering Minds Resource Center client Ms. Brinkley has a street named after her. Ms. Brinkley's neighborhood chose to honor her for being a valuable community figure and leader. At Empowering Minds, we are so proud to know and serve her! Thank you Ms. Brinkley for all you do!
Harford County Group
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 Melissa Williams as the agency's Direct Service Coordinator of the month. Many thanks, Melissa Williams , for your outstanding leadership and those qualities that help your clients accomplish their goals. I hope you know how much EMRC and surely your colleagues truly appreciate and recognize your commendable performance and great contribution to EMRC. We take pride on your commitment and honesty that you exuded from the very first day of you joining our team. We hope you would surely continue contributing to the growth of your clients and as well as the agency.

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