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Center Offers Caregiver Tips June 5, 2018

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event observed the first full week in May each year. However, throughout the year, families nationwide face obstacles when it comes to identifying mental health challenges in their children and determining when professional care or treatment is needed.

In support of families, the team at CHI St. Joseph Children's Health Behavioral Health Center in Lancaster shares tips with caregivers on how to identify when a child's mental health may be at risk and when professional care should be considered. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five youth will have suffered with a severe mental disorder, and it is estimated as many as 80 percent do not receive treatment and that the average delay between first onset of symptoms and treatment is eight to 10 years.

Parents are encouraged to remain vigilant for signs that their child may need additional mental health support. Signs include intense irritability or extreme aggression, including verbal threats; trouble sitting still for long periods of time, with the need to be in constant motion; erratic or abnormal behavior, such as acting out in school; sad or withdrawn behavior for a period of more than one to two weeks; no appetite or a significant decrease in appetite; low or no energy; loss of interest in things they used to enjoy; avoiding friends and normal social activities such as sports or clubs; trouble in school or declining grades; harming himself or herself (cutting, scratching, hitting), others, or animals; trouble sleeping, frequent nightmares, or changes in sleep pattern; and inability to complete daily tasks such as caring for oneself.

Parents are encouraged to teach children the meaning and importance of mental health. It is recommended that parents teach their children where to turn for help they are feeling down or experiencing any of the noted symptoms and that it is OK to ask for help if needed. Education and openness to the discussion of emotional and behavioral health is key for diagnosis and treatment.

Although the signs do not guarantee that there is a mental health crisis taking place in a child, being educated and aware of what to look for can be beneficial and potentially life-saving. Any caregiver who sees one or more of these signs in their child should consider contacting a medical expert.

Families in need of service at the new Behavioral Health Center should call 844-837-9285 or 717-947- 6535 for more information or visit www.chistjosephchildrenshealth.org.

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Counseling Center Plans Series May 17, 2018

The Samaritan Counseling Center, 1803 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, will offer an Enhancing Emotional Health Series: Skills to Improve Your Emotional Well-Being. Participants will learn healthful coping strategies to help them get through challenges and enhance their overall emotional well-being.

Classes will take place on select Fridays from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the Community and Training Room, located on the lower level. The dates and topics are as follows: June 8, Enhancing Our Emotions as Pathways of Care and Understanding; June 15, Healthy Mind: Strategies to Direct and Manage Your Thoughts; June 22, Spiritual Health: Developing a Spiritual Path; June 29, Healthy Relationships: Creating Secure Attachments; July 13, Sleep Wellness: The Benefits of Sufficient Sleep for Our Emotional Lives; and July 20, Compassionate Listening: Becoming More Present.

Participants may choose which classes to attend. There is a fee per class and a discounted fee for the entire series.

For more information, readers may visit www.scclanc.org and click on Events or contact Rhonda Myers at 717-560-9969, ext. 253.

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TrueNorth Notes FFT Expansion March 27, 2018

TrueNorth Wellness Services recently announced the expansion of its Functional Family Therapy (FFT) services in southcentral Pennsylvania, with the addition of five therapists and an authorization specialist in the Harrisburg region, serving Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Perry counties. FFT is a short-term, family-based prevention and intervention program for youths ages 10 to 18 who are at risk for and/or presenting with substance abuse, delinquency, excessive school absenteeism (truancy), violence, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or disruptive behavior disorder.

FFT focuses on the family's strengths to help build positive interactions within the family inspiring healthy living and community. Qualified therapists deliver services in a non-threatening environment, such as the home or in a community setting, and include as many family members in the sessions as appropriate.

Joining the TrueNorth Wellness team are Taylor Greene; Amy Strahl, M.S.W.; Daniel J. Daley, M.Ed.; Lauren M. Patches; and Nicole Katsaounis, M.Ed., all functional family therapists. In addition, Andrew Texter, B.A., has joined the team as a FFT authorization specialist.

TrueNorth Wellness Services provides comprehensive and personal approaches to empower individuals in maintaining a life of wellness through preventative and healing services in Central Pennsylvania. For more information, readers may visit www.truenorthwellness.org.

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Free Education Courses Posted January 31, 2018

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) York County will offer free education courses for family, friends, and significant others who have loved ones with mental health conditions. The classes include Family-to-Family and Homefront.

NAMI Family-to-Family is a 12-week course, taught by two specially trained family members. All materials are furnished at no charge. The classes focus on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Some of the topics covered will include diagnosis and treatment, medications, understanding mental illness, rehabilitation and recovery, communication skills, and advocacy.

One course will be held every Thursday, beginning March 1, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lebanon Veterans Administration. The other course will be held every Thursday, beginning March 8, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Mt. Zion United Church of Christ, 1054 Ridgewood Road, York.

NAMI Homefront is a free, six-session education program for family, friends, and significant others of military service members and veterans with mental health conditions. The course focuses on the unique needs of military and veteran communities, such as post-deployment and post-discharge transitions.

The course is designed to help family members understand and support their loved one while maintaining their own well-being. The trained teachers of this course are also family members who have experience with military culture and know what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness. The course will be held on Tuesdays, March 6 to April 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lebanon Veterans Administration.

Preregistration is required for all courses. Readers may contact the NAMI office at 717-848-3784 or Danielle at ddennis.nami@gmail.com for more information or to register for the course. For additional information about these courses, support groups, or other NAMI services, readers may also visit www.namiyork.org.

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Retrouvaille Posts Services November 9, 2017

Retrouvaille invites local residents to consider signing up for its service. The Christian peer ministry, a lifeline for struggling marriages, is a three-phase program that begins with a weekend experience, followed by post-weekend presentations and monthly small group support meetings. Through the ministry, couples help couples with the support of clergy members. The primary focus is on improving communication and building a stronger marriage so couples may rediscover the love they have for each other.

Retrouvaille, pronounced "retro-vi," is a French word meaning "rediscovery." Though the program is Catholic in origin and has a Christian orientation, couples of all faiths or no faith background are welcome. The nonprofit program, which began in Quebec, Canada, in 1977, is available in communities worldwide.

The next weekend experience has been set for Friday through Sunday, Jan. 12 to 14, 2018. Space is limited, and there is a per-couple fee. For more information, readers may contact George and Mary Russo, community coordinators, at 717-817-1838. To register, individuals may email retrouvaillehbg@gmail.com.

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NAMI Support Groups To Meet September 29, 2017

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to the eradication of mental illness and the improvement in the quality of life of those affected by these diseases. NAMI's goals are to educate, support, and advocate for individuals who are affected by mental illness.

The NAMI Family Support Group is a monthly support group for family members, partners, and friends of individuals living with a mental illness. The group meets the first Tuesday of each month at Luther Memorial Church, 1907 Hollywood Drive, York, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

NAMI Connection weekly support groups, which are exclusively for persons with a diagnosed mental illness who are in recovery, will also be offered. Groups will meet on Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Luther Memorial Church and on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the NAMI office, 140 Roosevelt Ave., York.

A new NAMI Connection Support Group will begin meeting on the third Thursday of each month from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and will begin Oct. 19 at the Lewisberry Community Center, located in the same building as Family First Health, 308 Market St., Lewisberry.

Information shared at any NAMI-sponsored support groups is always confidential. Attendees do not need to be a NAMI member or be receiving services from any of the sponsoring locations to attend meetings. No fee or registration is required.

For additional information, readers may call the NAMI York office at 717-848-3784 or visit www.namiyork.org. More details about NAMI and mental illness in general are also available at www.nami-pa.org or www.nami.org. In the case of inclement weather or holidays, readers may call the NAMI York office for cancellations.

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Recovery Month Events Planned August 28, 2017

The York Recovery Committee will sponsor a series of events to recognize September as Recovery Month. The local events are part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Recovery Month, which strives to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover. This year's theme is "Join the Voice for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities."

Recovery Day will take place at Peoples Bank Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 17, and will feature a pre-game vendor fair at 10 a.m. on Brooks Robinson Plaza and a picnic buffet. The York Revolution will take on the Lancaster Barnstormers at 1 p.m. Tickets for the event are available by calling Reed Gunderson at 717-801-4498.

A Bike Run, led by the York Chapter of the Phoenix Motorcycle Club, will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Pinchot State Park's Shadyside Pavilion. The two-hour ride will leave the park at 11 a.m. A picnic and family activities will take place at 1:30 p.m. Tickets and information will be available at the Recovery Day event on Sept. 17, as well as through Brittany Shutz at bashutz@yorkcountypa.gov.

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Bereavement Camp Slated June 2, 2017

Camp Evergreen is a weekend-long overnight camp for children, ages 6 to 16, who have experienced a recent death of a loved one within their family/community circle. The camp is designed to mix traditional camp activities with others that are geared to help strengthen campers' coping skills. Camp Evergreen will be offered free of charge and will be held from Saturday, July 29, through Sunday, July 30, at Camp Fowler in Orefield.

The children can gather together in a safe, peer-to-peer environment and learn new ways of expressing their feelings. Professional staff and trained volunteers provide craft and physical activities, including games that enable children to acquire appropriate ways to cope with their loss and grief.

Chaplains and social workers experienced in working with grieving children, along with specially trained volunteers, supervise and oversee all activities at camp. Registered nurses will be on-site at all times to dispense medications and respond to medical problems that may arise. Professional camp counselors provide instructions, safety lessons, and accompany the campers through a challenge course built primarily for children of this age group.

Camp registration will begin on July 29 from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Closing ceremonies will include lunch on July 30. For more details, readers may visit www.valleyyouthhouse.org/CampFowler-Valley-Youth-House.html.

Camp space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each registration will be reviewed and may include an interview before the application process is completed and the applicant accepted.

Volunteers are also needed. To register, volunteer, or obtain more details about Camp Evergreen, readers may contact Linda Rothermel at 877-438-3511 or lrothermel@spiritrustlutheranhomecare.org. For more information, readers may visit www.spiritrustlutheranhomecare.org.

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NAMI Support Groups To Meet April 19, 2017

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to the eradication of mental illness and the improvement in the quality of life of those affected by these diseases. NAMI's goals are to educate, support, and advocate for individuals who are affected by mental illness.

The NAMI Family Support Group is a monthly support group for family members, partners, and friends of individuals living with a mental illness. The group meets the first Tuesday of each month at Luther Memorial Church, 1907 Hollywood Drive, York, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

NAMI Connection weekly support groups, which are exclusively for persons with a diagnosed mental illness who are in recovery, will also be offered. Groups will meet on Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive, York, and on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the NAMI office, 140 Roosevelt Ave., second floor, York.

Information shared at any NAMI-sponsored support groups is always confidential. Attendees do not need to be a NAMI member or be receiving services from any of the sponsoring locations to attend meetings. No fee or registration is required.

For additional information, readers may call the NAMI York office at 848-3784 or visit www.namiyork.org. More details about NAMI and mental illness in general are also available at www.nami-pa.org or www.nami.org. In the case of inclement weather or holidays, readers may call the NAMI York office for cancellations.

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Flavors Of Ethiopia

Hope Within Ministries Plans Fundraiser

On Saturday, March 25, Hope Within Ministries will host its annual Flavors of Ethiopia Dinner at Hershey Free Church, 330 Hilltop Road, Hummelstown.

The food will be freshly prepared by Ethiopian cooks and served in an all-you-can-eat buffet style from 5 to 8 p.m. Separate ticket prices have been set for adults and for children age 12 and under. To purchase tickets, individuals may call Hope Within office manager Anne Marie McAlester at 367-9797, ext. 303, or email annemarie.mcalester@hopewithin.org by Wednesday, March 22. All tickets must be purchased in advance. New for this year will be a takeout option, which will allow individuals to purchase a ticket in advance for one plate of food to go.

"It truly is a very special event as the food is lovingly prepared by our refugee and immigrant population," stated Donita Sturgis, president, Hope Within Ministries.

McAlester said the idea for the fundraiser originated years ago when several individuals from the Ethiopian community who had received care at Hope Within wanted to do something to partner with the ministry.

The meal will include Ethiopian chicken, beef, and vegetable dishes that McAlester said are prepared similarly to a stew and in varying spice intensities. "Knowing that this is Pennsylvania, they don't have all of the food ridiculously spiced," McAlester said. An assortment of American-style desserts will be served, and attendees will have the opportunity to purchase themed gift baskets as well.

All proceeds from the dinner will benefit Hope Within Ministries, which provides medical and counseling services to individuals in need. "It's a huge fundraiser for us, and we really encourage people to join us," said McAlester. "When people partner with us and what we're doing, it really helps."

According to Sturgis, the leadership of Hope Within recently voted on expanded eligibility for the primary health care program to include those with Medical Assistance who are unable to find a reasonably accessible medical home. The counseling program at Hope Within also expanded in 2017 to include additional hours to meet the growing need.

"For Hope Within to continue to meet the needs of those most vulnerable members of our community, we depend on and are so grateful for the diverse support from our community," Sturgis said. "It would not be possible for us to make these programs available without the many faithful volunteers and those who donate funds to help us keep our doors open."

Hope Within Ministries is located at 4748 E. Harrisburg Pike, Elizabethtown. To learn more, readers may visit www.hopewithin.org or www.facebook.com/HopeWithinMinistries.

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Family Promise Has A New Location February 1, 2017

Family Promise of Southern Chester County has found a new home for its base of operations at 1156 W. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square.

Family Promise of Southern Chester County, previously located in West Grove, is a branch of the Family Promise nonprofit organization. Founded in 1986, Family Promise has 200 sites nationwide that are focused on helping homeless families get back on their feet and into safe housing.

The local Family Promise branch works with 27 area congregations to serve people in the Oxford, Avon Grove, Unionville/Chadds Ford and Kennett Consolidated school districts. The program links families with resources they need.

For example, some mothers with very young children may need to stay at the Kennett Square location until they find child care and a job. Those who are seeking employment may use the computers in the resource center to help in their job search. Others will return to the site after work where there is a place to shower and change before going to their overnight location.

"We have a bilingual case manager who works with the families to get what they need. She's really very involved with the families and trying to take them step by step to sustainability," executive director Susan Minarchi said.

The churches working with Family Promise fall into two categories: those that provide an overnight location and those that provide finances and volunteers. Thirteen host congregations take 13-week turns providing a place for families to get a good evening meal, enjoy after-dinner activities and spend the night. Volunteers make dinner, and congregation members (one male and one female) spend the night at the church with the families. In the morning, the volunteers provide each person with a "grab and go" breakfast and a bagged lunch for the coming day.

"If they're not employed, they work with a case manager to find employment, or if they are employed, they go to work," Minarchi explained. "We really want them to move out and be sustainable for the long term. We don't want them to fall into homelessness again."

Support congregations may not have appropriate facilities for families to spend the night at their church, but they help in other ways, such as providing financial support and volunteer hours for the programs of Family Promise. Approximately 600 volunteers help provide the 300 volunteer hours each week that are needed to keep the program going.

Family Promise is not a faith-based program, and it is open to people regardless of their religious affiliation. Congregations of all faiths are welcome to join in supporting Family Promise.

Family Promise is not designed for assisting individuals. Rather, the program is for single parents or two parents with children under age 18, sometimes including extended families. "We've made connections with all of the social service agencies in the area and they give us referrals, as well as the school districts. We also have people calling us because a family member has heard of us," Minarchi said. "It's not a shelter. It's really a program where the churches are used for housing and meals."

The average stay at Family Promise nationwide is 60 days, but at the Southern Chester County site the average is 50 days. "We've had a family regroup in about seven days. It was just a matter of finding another apartment," Minarchi said. "On the other hand, a mother with three children who had no job, no car, and no resources needed 154 days to get into a new home."

Minarchi added that since opening in November 2015, the organization has helped 20 families. So far, 17 of them have found housing and are still in their new homes.

For more information on Family Promise of Southern Chester County, readers may call 610-444-0400 or visit www.familypromisescc.org.

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Columbia Life Network Adds Financial Services January 27, 2017

Looking for ways to manage debt, beginning the process of buying a home, and improving or repairing credit scores are just a few money-related topics that can feel overwhelming to those who are not sure where to start. To provide area residents with access to more knowledge and resources, the Columbia Life Network (CLN), located at 336 Locust St., Columbia, is now offering personalized financial counseling on-site through the Ann B. Barshinger Financial Empowerment Center for Lancaster County.

Health and money issues tend to be the two biggest stress points that keep people up at night, commented Todd Capitao, manager of the Financial Empowerment Center. "We can help make (finances) a bit easier," Capitao said.

The Financial Empowerment Center, which operates under Tabor Community Services, aims to equip clients with skills and understanding to solve financial challenges, as well as to build financial stability for the future. The majority of the services are free. Minimal fees apply for a few services, but waivers are available.

So what exactly can a financial counseling session do for an individual? Capitao said the meetings depend on what someone needs help with, but a trained financial counselor can help with things like analyzing a person's current financial situation, developing a budget and action plan to achieve goals, reviewing a credit report, creating a strategy for paying off debt, and deciding if a debt management plan is an appropriate solution. Homeownership, mortgage, and reverse mortgage counseling are all available as well.

Columbia is the first location that the Financial Empowerment Center has branched out to outside of Lancaster city, and CLN executive director Jamie Quinn hopes that bringing the services to Columbia will meet a need for individuals who have difficulty finding transportation beyond Columbia. CLN, formerly known as Community Life Network, is a nonprofit group dedicated to connecting the residents of Columbia with helpful organizations and programs that fulfill certain needs.

Quinn also hopes that others will realize the services at CLN are available for anyone and everyone, not only individuals below a certain income level and not just residents of Columbia. She noted that sometimes resources are not utilized because people are not aware they exist, but pride can also hold people back from utilizing the programs that have been put in place to help. "Our goal has always been to make sure people know what's available to them and to give people the tools to succeed," stated Quinn.

For example, she noted that between the first-time home buyer incentives offered by Columbia Borough and taking a Home Buyer Course through Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP), making a down payment and closing on a house is much more feasible than a lot of people who come to CLN initially realize.

"Our services help people to know what's available. It seems scary if you don't know (how it all works), but the reality is you can do it," Quinn said.

Currently, one-on-one financial counseling appointments can be made at the Columbia location on Wednesdays. Interested individuals may call 358-9364 or email bfolker@tabornet.org and indicate that they would like to schedule an appointment in Columbia. Appointments will be offered on additional days in the future based on interest.

In the future, Quinn and Capitao would like to add group workshops at CLN on budgeting, personal banking, savings techniques, understanding and improving credit standing, and choosing appropriate loans.

For more information, readers may visit www.tabornet.org or call CLN at 684-8094.

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NAMI Support Groups Posted January 18, 2017

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to the eradication of mental illness and the improvement in the quality of life of those affected by these diseases. NAMI's goals are to educate, support, and advocate for individuals who are affected by mental illness.

The local affiliate, NAMI Pennsylvania York County, offers support groups that are open to everyone affected by mental illness, including family members of people with a mental health diagnosis and caregivers. On the first Tuesday of each month, a group gathers from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Luther Memorial Church, 1907 Hollywood Drive, York.

NAMI Connection weekly support groups, which are exclusively for persons with a diagnosed mental illness who are in recovery, will also be offered. NAMI Connection support groups are facilitated by a team of two peers who are also in recovery. Participants are free to attend as little or as often as they like and can even attend more than one group. Groups will meet on Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive, York, and on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the NAMI office, 140 Roosevelt Ave., second floor, York.

Information shared at any NAMI-sponsored support groups is always confidential. Attendees do not need to be a NAMI member or be receiving services from any of the sponsoring locations to attend meetings. No fee or registration is required.

For additional information, readers may call the NAMI York office at 848-3784 or visit www.namiyork.org. More details about NAMI and mental illness in general are also available at www.nami-pa.org or www.nami.org. In the case of inclement weather or holidays, readers may call the NAMI York office for cancellations.

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Agencies Plan To Work Together November 21, 2016

TrueNorth Wellness Services, Mason-Dixon Community Services, and Community Progress Council recently announced that they have partnered to provide mental health services in the Delta community. Mason-Dixon Community Services and Community Progress Council work together in Delta to operate the Community Center, located at Delta Peach Bottom Recreation Center, Suite 2, 5 Pendyrus St., Delta. TrueNorth Wellness Services provides the mental health therapists to serve the clients.

The Community Center is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays through Thursdays. Services are available on a walk-in basis. Center staff are also able to work with clients for additional services, such as groceries and personal care items from the food pantry and assistance with emergency funding for energy and fuel expenses, as well as information and referral to other community services such as Community Progress Council's WIC program.

For more information about services, readers may contact Torri Dietrich at 410-452-9025 or Susan Bowen at 456-5559.

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Money Management Classes Posted October 7, 2016

P.R.O.B.E. will offer money management education and one-on-one counseling sessions as part of the Financial Literacy Project of Lebanon County. The free program is a collaborative effort among more than 12 human service agencies to promote sound financial practices in Lebanon County.

The program includes two financial life-skill courses and ongoing individual counseling sessions as needed. The goal is for participants to gain valuable money management skills, including creating a spending plan, efficient saving and budgeting practices, accessing and understanding a credit report, navigating loan and credit processes, and more.

Classes are currently forming for the upcoming sessions. Readers may call 273-2090 to speak with experienced financial counselors. Additional information about P.R.O.B.E. and its programs can be found at www.probepa.org.

The project was financed in part by a grant from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, under the administration of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development. P.R.O.B.E. is a member agency of the United Way.

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Memory Loss Group To Meet June 30, 2016

The Memory Loss Support Group will meet on Monday, July 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the third-floor conference room at Lancaster General Health Suburban Outpatient Pavilion (formerly Health Campus), 2100 Harrisburg Pike. Angie Wendler will speak on "Reflections From the Past and Moving Forward."

The group meets on the second Monday of each month. For more information, readers may call Shelby Swartley at 544-3280.

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NAMI Support Groups Posted May 18, 2016

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to the eradication of mental illness and the improvement in the quality of life of those affected by these diseases. NAMI's goals are to educate, support, and advocate for individuals who are affected by mental illness.

The local affiliate, NAMI Pennsylvania York County, holds support groups that are open to everyone affected by mental illness, including family members of people with a mental health diagnosis and caregivers. On Tuesday, June 7, a group will gather from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Luther Memorial Church, 1907 Hollywood Drive, York. On Monday, June 20, a group will meet from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 175 E. Main St., New Freedom.

NAMI Connection weekly support groups, which are exclusively for persons with a diagnosed mental illness who are in recovery, will also be offered. NAMI Connection support groups are facilitated by a team of two peers who are also in recovery. Participants are free to attend as little or as often as they like and can even attend more than one group. Groups will meet on Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive, York, and on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the NAMI office, 140 Roosevelt Ave., second floor, York.

Information shared at any NAMI-sponsored support groups is always confidential. Attendees do not need to be a NAMI member or be receiving services from any of the sponsoring locations to attend meetings. No fee or registration is required.

For additional information, readers may call the NAMI York office at 848-3784 or visit www.namiyork.org. More about NAMI and mental illness in general is also available at www.nami-pa.org or www.nami.org. In the case of inclement weather or holidays, readers may call the NAMI York office for cancellations.

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NAMI Support Groups Posted March 29, 2016

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to the eradication of mental illness and the improvement in the quality of life of those affected by these diseases. NAMI's goals are to educate, support, and advocate for individuals who are affected by mental illness.

The local affiliate, NAMI Pennsylvania York County, holds support groups that are open to everyone affected by mental illness, including family members of people with a mental health diagnosis and caregivers. On Monday, April 18, a group will meet from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 175 E. Main St., New Freedom.

NAMI Connection weekly support groups, which are exclusively for persons with a diagnosed mental illness who are in recovery, will also be offered. NAMI Connection support groups are facilitated by a team of two peers who are also in recovery. Participants are free to attend as little or as often as they like and can even attend more than one group. Groups will meet on Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive, York, and on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the NAMI office, 140 Roosevelt Ave., second floor, York.

Information shared at any NAMI-sponsored support groups is always confidential. Attendees do not need to be a NAMI member or be receiving services from any of the sponsoring locations to attend meetings. No fee or registration is required.

For additional information, readers may call the NAMI York office at 848-3784 or visit www.namiyork.org. More about NAMI and mental illness in general is also available at www.nami-pa.org or www.nami.org. In the case of inclement weather or holidays, readers may call the NAMI York office for cancellations.

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United Way Offers Helpline February 5, 2016

Thursday, Feb. 11, is 2-1-1 Day. The United Way of Lancaster County's 2-1-1 helpline, which serves the residents of Lancaster County, is a free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that connects local residents with health and human services. Last year, more than 28,000 people called the local 2-1-1 helpline, and another 7,000 visited the 2-1-1 website to search for community resources.

Available information includes heating or utility assistance, eldercare, food bank sites, locations of child development screening, job training, scheduling free tax filing support, and more. When someone calls 2-1-1, the call is routed to Lancaster County's 2-1-1 call center. Trained 2-1-1 information and referral specialists assess each caller's situation, ask questions, and then refer the caller directly to the needed services. A translation service is available for more than 170 languages.

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NAMI Will Offer Support Groups January 19, 2016

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to the eradication of mental illness and the improvement in the quality of life of those affected by these diseases. NAMI's goals are to educate, support, and advocate for individuals who are affected by mental illness.

The local affiliate, NAMI Pennsylvania York County, will hold support groups that are open to everyone affected by mental illness, including family members of people with a mental health diagnosis and caregivers. A group will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Luther Memorial Church, 1907 Hollywood Drive, York. On Monday, Feb. 15, a group will also meet from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 175 E. Main St., New Freedom. A group will meet at New Life Church, 530 Big Spring Road, New Cumberland, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18. The Hanover meetings are temporarily discontinued, and calls may be made to Doris at 632-0435 for more information.

NAMI Connection weekly support groups, which are exclusively for persons with a diagnosed mental illness who are in recovery, will also be offered. NAMI Connection support groups are facilitated by a team of two peers who are also in recovery. Participants are free to attend as little or as often as they like and can even attend more than one group. Groups will meet on Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at WellSpan Behavioral Health (Edgar Square), 1101 Edgar St., York, in room C and on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the NAMI office, 140 Roosevelt Ave., second floor, York.

Information shared at any NAMI-sponsored support groups is always confidential. Attendees do not need to be a NAMI member or be receiving services from any of the sponsoring locations to attend meetings. No fee or registration is required.

For additional information, readers may call the NAMI York office at 848-3784 or visit www.namiyork.org. More about NAMI and mental illness in general is also available at www.nami-pa.org or www.nami.org. In the case of inclement weather or holidays, readers may call the NAMI York office for cancellations.

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