May 2018
Hello, May! May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Empowering Minds will be celebrating mental health awareness at the upcoming NAMIWalks in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Below you will find information on the Walk for Mental Health, an article on Mental Health Awareness in Schools, and agency updates, including the Certificate of Recognition we received from the Comptroller of Maryland, our coming Health Home program, MHVP client testimonials, and more.
Three Powerful Messages For Promoting Mental Health Awareness In Every School
It’s OK To Talk About Mental Illness

To Demystify Mental Health We Must Define It

There are a lot of  myths  about mental illness. Due to  stigma , or negative attitudes about a group, and lack of understanding of what mental illness is, both students and educators are being left in the dark. This lack of clarity can lead students to feel isolated, misunderstood and even destructive.
In order to say it’s OK to talk about mental illness we must first remind ourselves that  mental illness  can affect anyone, is not the result of character, personal defects, or poor upbringing and are treatable. When we can accurately point out, name and define mental illness we can have a common vocabulary to talk about it. By defining we demystify. 

Showing Its OK

Students need to actively see that it is OK to talk about mental health. 1 out of 5 adolescents are diagnosed with a mental illness any given year, but only  20% of those that need treatment  will receive it. Moreover, children living in  disadvantaged neighborhoods  are much more vulnerable to mental health issues and less likely to have access to treatment. 

School leadership in general can help students see that communicating their challenges is ok and is one of the ways to take care of yourself. Showing it’s OK can range from setting up lunchtime safe spaces, to running awareness programs, to ensuring safety protocols are in place. Regardless of the measure, students need to feel supported by the entire school community.

There Is No Shame In Seeking Help

What Does It Mean To Seek Help?

Students are more likely to  seek help from their friends  than adults, if they seek help at all. When all of the students are aware of mental health resources available to them, they are also better prepared to help a friend or classmate who may confide in them.
High school students are prone to feeling like they can handle it all on their own, or if help is something that they would consider, they will not get it because of negative beliefs or comments by peers. This is one of the many ways we see evidence of stigma in schools.
Schools must explicitly have a “you can come to me” attitude in order to encourage students to seek help. If your school has a school  mental health professional , students need to know who they are, likewise, teachers need to know who to refer their students to. Although it can be difficult to discuss issues with students, following  proven strategies  such listening non-judgmentally normalizing negative emotions and being compassionate, students can have an opportunity to openly seek help.

Showing Models Of Mental Health

Students need to see that there is no shame to seek help by making it an ok thing to do. By showing cultural icons who talk about their challenges and seek help, such as  Brandon Marshall Demi Lovato  and  Kendrick Lamar , we help young people embrace the idea that it is OK and expected to face mental health challenges. By also having intentional time for  mental health awareness , students will see the value being placed on this topic and the  attitudes they have about stigma  will be addressed.

There Is Hope After Diagnosis

We all know middle school and high school is a time of dramatic change, growth and  developmental milestones . This period of change and growth impacts the mental health of young people. In fact, one half of all cases of  lifetime mental illness begin by the age of 14 . However young people who are diagnosed  need to know  that with proper care and treatment mental illness are treatable. 

Schools are an ideal place to help young people know that they are supported whether or not they are struggling with mental illness. Promoting programs like Michelle Obama’s Change Direction initiative, national programs like  NAMI’s Ending the Silence , educational based initiatives like NAMI Queens/Nassau’s  Breaking the Silence  and  Let’s Talk Mental Illness TM , or local initiatives like First Lady Chirlane McCray of New York City  Mental Health Texting Pilot Program ,will reinforce for students that mental health is something to speak about and not to be hidden.

Mental health is now coming front and center. Schools can be places where kids can know its OK to talk about what they are going through, seek help if they need it and receive encouragement when they experience mental illness. Through consistently and openly sharing these mental health messages, schools can begin to create a culture of open expression.

Certificate of Recognition
In celebration of our first anniversary at our Edgewood location. With special appreciation for our dedication to provide direct mental health, substance abuse and community support services to adults, children and adolescent clients in institutional and outpatient settings in Harford County and throughout Maryland, the Comptroller of Maryland presented Empowering Minds Resource Center with a Certificate of Recognition on April 12, 2018.
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
MHVP Client Testimonials
Congratulations to Mr. Wilks and Ms. Wheeler who have successfully completed our MHVP Supported Employment program! Both have successfully obtained competitive employment and graduated on April, 27, 2018.

 "Selvi was very helpful and inspiring and even when I had my moments of doubt, Selvi encouraged me to keep going. Being successfully employed has been very rewarding, Thank you Empowering Minds Resource Center!"

-Ms. Wheeler

 "Although the process had it ups and downs and was somewhat challenging. There were times of discouragement and doubt; but we are glad that we stuck through it."

-Mr. Wilks
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 Lisa Micelli as the agency's Direct Service Coordinator (DSC) of the month. Lisa  is dedicated to seeing her clients complete and accomplish their goals. Lisa always has a winning attitude. Her desire and willingness to help everyone around her makes her a stand out DSC . EMRC is impressed with Lisa's dedication and problem solving skills. The service she provides to clients exceeds all expectations. Whatever the task, Lisa always find a way to get it done.


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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