Category Archives: Mental Health

Ol’ Merc Pizza to host another Hope is Alive Open Mic May 18

Hope is Alive 12 coming at Old Merc Friday May 18

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Filed under health, McArthur, Mental Health, Music

NEW MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN OFFERS SUPPORT FOR MEN

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SHASTA COUNTY – HHSA’s new Captain Awesome campaign encourages men to take charge of their mental health. Featuring advertisements designed with a sense of humor and a resource website, ShastaSuicidePrevention.com/Men, this community outreach endeavor provides men access to tools, strategies, and resources to be mentally fit. The aim is to help men educate themselves on key components of mental wellness, and lets them know it is okay to seek tools and support from a professional.

Mental health outreach to men is a priority, as men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women, and often have more difficulty asking for help when they need it. The campaign targets men of all ages, with a special focus on those between the ages of 45-64, the group that has the highest rate of completed suicides.

Created in collaboration between the Shasta Suicide Prevention Workgroup and Stand Against Stigma programs, the Captain Awesome campaign was informed by national research, national and local mental health statistics, other outreach programs and focus groups comprised of Shasta County community members. The intention is to celebrate the many perspectives of what it means to be strong and resilient, and allow members of the community to offer their own definition of what it means to be “Captain Awesome”.

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Hope is Alive! at Billy’s Roadside Cafe

About 50 people gathered at Billy’s Roadside Café in Montgomery Creek on Friday evening October 6 to hear poets and musicians share a message of hope and inspiration.

The program was sponsored by Stand Against Stigma, funded by Shasta County Health and Human Services to address issues associated with mental illness and to provide suicide prevention services. The Hope is Alive! open mics celebrate the theme of healing through  performance arts.  The gathering in Montgomery Creek was the fourth Hope is Alive open mic in the Intermountain Area and the 12th in Shasta County at large.

Marc Dadigan, community education specialist for the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, emceed the event. The evening performances began with a performance by Randy and Verena Compton followed by the talented Billy Riggins who share some of his original rap music.

Billy Riggins uplifts the audience with his original poetic rap

Mental illness is often associated with substance abuse.

Larry Harris from Redding shares several poignant poems

Poet Larry Harris from Redding shared three poems of personal experience describing the struggles and victory that his family experienced through their daughter’s bout with mental illness. It was a tale of hope prevailing over despair.

After a period of substance abuse resulting in mental breakdown, his daughter successfully went through therapy and recovery and now leads a successful happy life as an actress.

In one particularly poignant poem, Harris talked about his daughter going to a Simon and Garfunkle concert in San Francisco on her own after rehab. Harris shared the emotion a parent goes through as he experiences the restoration of trust, letting go and watching his child emerge as a happy independent young woman.

Michael Bennett and Kimberly Michelle Davis from the Circle of Friends in Burney both sang songs. Bennett charmed people with an a capella rendering of Mac Davis “Oh Lord it’s Hard to be Humble.” Ms. Davis once again delighted the audience as she sang Broadway show tunes in her lovely soprano voice.

A young lady who had traveled two hours to attend got up and recited a short poem.

A highlight of the evening was the personal testimony of David Martinez, a spokesman for Stand Against Stigma’s Brave Faces who has suffered from depression, anxiety and PTSD. Mr. Martinez is a member of the Wintu tribe. He has been a biker, a cowboy and an EMT for the fire department. He has also worked in Redding as a substance abuse counselor. After sharing his story, Martinez shared two popular songs, “Pancho and Lefty,” and “City of New Orleans”.

A testimony and two songs from an elder

Singer-songwriter Mauro livened things up with several of his original songs.

Mauro sings some soul stirring originals

Next, the audience was treated to a performance of Native American Rap by Louis Gustafson and his family. As well as singing, Gustafson also plays bass and performs with Pit Crew. He also is a wonderful drummer who performed at the 2015 Burney Basin Days with the Pit River Nation Drum Group.

Louis Gustafson and his family performing Native American rap

The evening was closed out by Alex Colvin and George Whitfield. Colvin opened with a poem “In This World of Heart and Mind” expressing the healing power of love and then sang “Live for Others.” Alex and George then sang “Ghost Riders in the Sky” together.

Before singing two songs,  “Sounds of Silence” and “Vietnam Song.” George talked about the seriousness of mental illness and suicide plaguing our country. Seventeen veterans die every day from suicide.

“Don’t let stigma stand in your way,” Whitman said, “If you feel like your life is going to pieces, reach out for help.”

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Filed under Art, Hope is Alive!, Mental Health, Montgomery Creek, Pit River Tribe

Hope is Alive! 12 coming to Montgomery Creek October 6

The 12th Hope Is Alive! Open Mic Night will be held 6-8 p.m. Friday, October 6, 2017 at Billy’s Roadside Café, 30356 State Highway, 299 East, Montgomery Creek. Songwriters, musicians, poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, and dancers are welcome to come share their talent. Performers are encouraged to reserve a spot in advance by contacting Carrie Jo Diamond at 229-8484 or cdiamond@co.shasta.ca.us.

Stu Stoore, Ginny Dye, and Don Smith

Stu Stoore, Ginny Dye, and Don Smith at Hope is Alive! 9 in McArthur

This is the fourth Hope Is Alive! to be held in the Intermountain area of the county.

Hope Is Alive! was founded in September 2014. The purpose has been to celebrate the healing power of art, music, and poetry and to raise awareness about mental health struggles, substance use disorders, and suicide loss.

Burney International Folk Dancers

Burney International Folk Dancers at Hope is Alive! 4 in Burney

Hope Is Alive! open mic nights have been held at locations throughout Shasta County. Nearly 130 performers, including dancers, spoken word artists, rappers and musicians have participated.

Billy Riggins and Lewis Gustafson

Billy Riggins and Lewis Gustafson at Hope is Alive! 4 in Burney

For more information about Stand Against Stigma and Hope Is Alive! Open Mic Nights, visit www. Standagainststigma.com or Hope is Alive! 12 on Facebook.

Articles on past Hope is Alive! open mics in the Burney, Montgomery Creek, and McArthur:

Hope is Alive 9! at Old Merc Pizza
Hope is Alive! 6 showcases incredible talent
Open mic brings hope alive in Burney!

Videos:
Hope is Alive 9! at Old Merc Pizza: A selection of videos

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Filed under Art, Hope is Alive!, Mental Health, Music

Mental Health Services Act invites the community to review progress and plan for the future

The following is a press release from Shasta County Health and Human services about the Mental (MHSA) established by Proposition 63. MHSA funds several programs in the Intermountain Area including Circle of Friends, the Be Free Open Mics sponsored by Stand Against Stigma, and other programs through the various health organizations. MHSA is also the source of funding for the proposed permanent housing for the mentally ill that was discussed at an open meeting at the Veterans Hall in Burney on June 21, 2016. This is an opportunity to ask questions, learn more, and participate as a stakeholder.

 

The Mental Health Services Act Program will hold a meeting to review the MHSA 2017 Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan on August 29, from 2-3 p.m., at the Redding Library Community Room, 1100 Parkview Ave. Participants will have the chance to learn about MHSA, program progress, and give input into changes through this stakeholder process.

This workgroup will meet quarterly to provide input and guidance for planning, implementation and oversight of MHSA programs and services. It is open to anyone who wishes to participate.

In 2004, Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, went into place statewide. This Act imposes a 1 percent income tax on personal income in excess of $1 million.

Through the California Department of Mental Health, MHSA provides increased funding, personnel and other resources to support county mental health programs. Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency oversees many local MHSA programs that impact the mental health and well-being of children, transitional aged youth, adults, and older adults, in our county. The input of many local community members, including this stakeholder workgroup, is vital to the planning and development of these programs.

Come be part of the process!

For more information please contact:

Kerri Schuette, MHSA Coordinator
(530) 245-6951
kschuette@co.shasta.ca.us

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MARIJUANA USE COMES WITH RULES, RISKS

The following is a press release from Shasta County Health and Human Services dated June 29:

SHASTA COUNTY – Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency wants to remind the community that marijuana use is restricted to those 21 years and older, must be done away from public view, and affects a person’s ability to drive safely.

California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) prohibits use of marijuana anywhere the public may see, including inside vehicles parked in a public place, public parks and trails. Driving with marijuana available to the driver or passengers also is against the law.

“Proposition 64 comes with rules. Those who want to use recreational marijuana need to make sure they do it legally and responsibly,” said Terri Fields-Hosler, Shasta County’s Director of the Public Health Branch, Health and Human Services Agency.

That means even though recreational marijuana use may be legal for adults, users also may be subject to employer restrictions as part of a drug-free workplace rule. The same is true of landlords, who may prohibit marijuana use in their rentals.

Recreational marijuana sales are not available until the state develops retail marijuana regulations, which are likely to be introduced in 2018. Marijuana may not be shared or sold to minors.

A local informational campaign on the new law will be rolled out this spring, along with information to education about the potential dangers of marijuana use for teens.

“Marijuana research suggests that use by those under 21 carries risk of long-term damage to the brain,” said Dr. Andrew Deckert, Shasta County’s Public Health Officer.

The campaign will also remind the motoring public that driving under the influence of marijuana is prosecuted the same as driving under the influence of alcohol, since both affect judgement and reaction time and increase fatal crash risk..

Anyone interested in more information about marijuana regulations or how to talk to their children about the risks of drugs and alcohol are encouraged to visit http://www.thinkagainshasta.com/, a website designed to help parents learn more about substance use and prevention for their children.

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Filed under health, Mental Health

Circle of Friends to offer 6-week group about developing a Wellness Recovery Action Plan

Circle of Friends will be hosting a 6-week group designed to support someone in developing their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).

WRAP is an evidence-based practice for anyone interested in crafting their own individual plan toward getting well and staying well.  It was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland in response to her owning mental health struggles and healing and has become a powerful tool for many.  This link provides a good summary http://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrap-is/.  We have received wonderful feedback from people who have been attending the groups since last July.

WRAP will meet at Circle of Friends every Thursday from 10am to 1pm beginning Thursday, March 2nd and ending April 6th.  Please see the attached flyer.  We expect this will be the last 6-week group until later in the year.

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Filed under Burney, Mental Health