Consumer Health Group News Forum

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Disability Presidential Candidates' Forum, Nov. 2, 2007

Dear colleagues: I just wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of the
upcoming National Forum on Equality, Opportunity and Access: a presidential
candidates' forum being sponsored by disability groups based in New
Hampshire and nationally. The forum will take place this Friday, November
2nd and will be broadcast over the internet. More information is below.
Please share with anyone who may be interested in learning about what
presidential candidates have to say on disability issues. Regards, T.J.
Sutcliffe, The Arc of DC
*****************************************************
http://www.aapd.com/News/election/070920aapd.htm
November 2, 2007
Manchester, New Hampshire

The National Forum on Equality, Opportunity, and Access is a presidential
candidates' forum hosted by Granite State Independent Living Center (GSIL)
and a New Hampshire coalition of disability organizations and sponsored by
more than fifteen of the country's largest national disability
organizations. Manchester Community Television will televise the event,
which will feature live appearances by the presidential candidates and an
audience of over 500 New Hampshire voters with disabilities, their families,
and their friends. During the forum, each candidate will have an opportunity
to present his or her vision for the future of national disability policy
(including employment, healthcare, long-term community-based supports,
transportation, education, etc.) and receive questions from an audience
through a moderator. Lunchtime keynote addresses from key Democratic and
Republican leadership are also planned. National leaders from the disability
community will also be in attendance, including Ted Kennedy, Jr., Tony
Coelho, and Cheryl Sensenbrenner.

CONFIRMED ATTENDANCE:

1. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE)
2. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
3. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)
4. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
5. Senator John McCain (R-AZ, to participate by phone)
---------------------------------------------------------
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fw: Housing Justice & Community Service Awards on Wed., 10/24/07, 6-8pm @ Busboys & Poets

 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 11:56 AM

D.C. COALITION FOR HOUSING JUSTICE, INC.,

 _DECENT AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT_

 

CELEBRATE  AND HONORS OUR COMMUNITY LEADERS

 

This year the D.C. Coalition for Housing Justice, Inc. "Coalition" a 501( C ) 3 non-profit tax-exempt organization will  honor those who have contributed to the "Social Justice and Affordable Housing" struggle, at our "5th Annual Housing Justice & Community Service Awards Ceremony", to be held @ 7pm on Wed., October 24th, 2007 at Busboys & Poets Restaurant located at 1421 V St., N.W. DC..  Celebrating these persons for their community service efforts, has become a true "Coalition" and District of Columbia tradition in the housing industry.   We invite our neighbors to take part in this community observance, in honor of those persons that advocate for "affordable housing". 

 

FACTS ABOUT HOUSING IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

·         ONE THIRD (1/3) OF MOST RESIDENTS INCOME GOES TOWARD HOUSING EXPENSES

·         APPROXIMATELY  65% OF RESIDENTS IN D.C. ARE RENTERS

·         D.C. HAS THE STRONGEST "RENT CONTROL LAWS", ON THE EASTCOAST

·         DC COALITION FOR HOUSING JUSTICE, HELP LEAD THE FIGHT, for the passage of the "Rent Control Reform Act of 2006", which included, "Tenants Rights to Organize Bill", the "Tenant Information Act", and created the "Tenant Advocate Office". Our successful efforts of coalition building and action with others, positively impacted over 72,000 apt. units in D.C.  We believe that tenants, homeowners, individuals, businesses, government and families are the fundamental building blocks of our communities, and the city.        

WHAT:                        5TH Annual Housing Justice & Community Service Awards Ceremony

WHEN:            Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WHERE:          BUSBOYS & POETS RESTAURANT

                        1421 V St.,  N.W., WDC

                        (METRO Green. Ln /13th & U St.,)

TIME:              6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

 

FREE & OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. For further information contact: Lester Cuffie, Exec. Director on (202)

986-4449 or  210-4882.  DC Coalition for Housing Justice, Inc., is a 501 ( C ) 3 tax-exempt charitable organization.  All donations are tax deductible.

 

coalitionforhousingjustice@yahoo.com / www.coalitionforhousingjustice.org / lestercuffie15@hotmail.com



Help yourself to FREE treats served up daily at the Messenger Café. Stop by today!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mama Dharma

Mama Dharma: "Friday, June 29, 2007"
The Mommune Manifesto

I have had a thought, an idea, a dream that has gone off like a cannon in my head today, and won't leave me alone, and I would like to share it with you.

The Mommune.

I have a dream.

I have a dream of a place where "it takes a village" is real and not a nice-sounding theory.

I want a place where I can truly live my values of conscious, sustainable living. A place on the land, yet close enough to a city to allow for occasional urban day-trips. A place where single mothers could pool their resources to create a true village of sisterhood and support. We would help each other raise our kids, we would share babysitting so that we could take much-needed breaks for ourselves--to meditate, write, paint, do yoga, or just sit under a tree and be.

We would create the conditions of economic self-sufficiency so that no one would have to work long hours at a job that did not nourish their souls because they felt trapped, without choices. We would not have to kill ourselves working to try to make ends meet after childcare and mortgages or rent sucked it all away. We would not have to miss out on huge swathes of our children's lives because we were too busy working to sustain some kind of artificial cultural construct that says that everyone should live in these discrete economic units called houses that literally keep us apart from one another, and that we should pay someone else to watch our children even though it breaks our hearts when we drop them off all day, five days a week, everyone spinning in their own individual orbits trying to keep it all together even though it just doesn't feel right.

We could collectively educate our kids in a wonderful kind of free school. We would teach our kids about nonviolent communication and we would teach them how to think for themselves and to love themselves unconditionally and to care for the earth and each other. We would use gentle discipline and most of all we would heal ourselves so that we could teach primarily by our own authentic example.

Together we would cook and we would clean and wash and maintain the land and these tasks would not be burdensome or overwhelming because we would all just have a little bit to do, just our small share, our contribution to the collective effort.

We would all bring our own unique skills and talents into the mix and we would all have the opportunity to constantly teach and learn from one another. With our remarkable pooled skill set, we could create a small business or businesses that would enable us to fund our crazy and beautiful venture in a sustainable way.

The Mommune would bring together the best of intentional/collective living without any strange, scary charismatic leaders or hierarchical, cult-like formations. The Mommune would be both utopian and utterly grounded.

Heck, even nuclear "intact" families could join us on the Mommune, although the community's primary purpose would be to be a network of emotional, financial, and creative support for single mothers.

Maybe this is a crazy pipe dream, but it is delicious to let myself dream in this way. I feel like I and others really could dream The Mommune into reality. All it takes is enough of us to believe in this dream wholeheartedly. There is no such thing as an impossible dream.

I am just putting it out there, and delighting in the infinite possibilities that unfurl before me when I dare to dream outside the box.

CBH HEALTH GOURMET PIZZA PARTY/OPEN HOUSE IN ROCKVILLE FRIDAY, JULY 6TH--TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM AVAILABLE.

> Based upon the overwhelming response to Dr. Bob Litman's "Beatniks Club"
> talk last Wednesday--he's the founder and major domo behind the local CBH
> Health empire--this multi-faceted company is hosting a gourmet pizza
> party/open house at their offices off of Medical Center Drive in Rockville
> (near Potomac Ridge hospital) this coming Friday afternoon, July 6th, and
> quite possibly stretching into the evening. Doctors and recruiters will
> be on hand to answer all of your questions about the myriad clinical drug
> trials which this company sponsors (and for which consumers get paid to
> participate in!!); answer questions about existing and upcoming
> psychotropic meds; and answer all of your questions about CBH Health's
> popular "Life Skills" day-treatment program which also meets weekdays in
> Rockville, near the intersection of Shady Grove Road and Gaither Road.
>
> Anyone who's had gyrations with their meds...anyone who wants to know
> about newer drugs which will be coming out over the next few
> years...anyone who's had nasty side-effects from their existing
> meds...anyone who wants to actually get paid to be a little bit of a
> guinea pig, and contribute to medical science in the process...anyone
> curious about "Life Skills," will want to attend. Family members are also
> welcome.
>
> A CBH Health shuttle bus will ferry people to and from the Shady Grove
> Metro stop, starting at about 11:00am this Friday and continuing for as
> long as necessary. For those who can't conveniently make it to Shady
> Grove Metro, Dr. Bob is willing to spring for cab fare (within reason).
>
> Here's your chance to learn from the experts, free of charge, and gorge on
> Zio's pizza, arguably the best in the county. (At roughly $25 per pizza
> pie, it had better be good.)
>
> Your first step to register is to call me, Beatnik Pete, at (240)449-5988,
> and I'll hook you up with the right people at CBH Health.
>
> EVENT WHEN: FRIDAY, JULY 6TH, 2007. STARTS 12:00PM NOON...UNTIL?
> EVENT WHERE: CBH HEALTH EXECUTIVE OFFICES, 9695 MEDICAL CENTER DRIVE,
> ROCKVILLE.
> TRANSPORTATION: WILL BE PROVIDED IF NECESSARY.
> QUESTIONS?: BEATNIK PETE, (240)449-5988.
>
> HOPE TO SEE YA' THERE!!
>
> Beatnik Pete/"Bethesda Beatniks Dinner Club"/www.bethesdabeatniks.org

###
> ---------------------------------------------------
> To be removed from the DCMHCL.ORG mailing list,
> send a message to info@dcmhcl.org with
> "remove me from dcmhcl.org list" in the subject line of message.
> ===================================================
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> the envelop to the left to join this health list.
>
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> http://www.dcmhcl.org/

Burned out on synthetic psychotropics? Herbal/botanical/alternative medicine expert talks to Beatniks before fireworks this Wednesday night, July 4th.

> Are you burned out on very expensive synthetic psychotropic drugs? Tired
> of nasty side effects? Want to try something natural...and generally much
> less expensive? One of the world's top experts in natural herbal and
> botanical treatments for the whole spectrum of psychiatric disorders, Dr.
> Jerry Cott, has the answers and will address the Bethesda Beatniks Dinner
> Club--BEFORE THE FIREWORKS START--at Alfio's in Friendship Heights on
> Wednesday night, July 4th. Dr. Jerry, Ph.D., is a researcher, writer,
> lecturer, and scientific consultant for conventional and complementary
> health care and academia. He has lectured at major universities and
> international meetings for more than 25 years. His research interests
> include psychotherapeutic drug development and the treatment of mental
> disorders by the rational use of conventional drugs and/or nutritional
> (essential fatty acids) and botanical (e.g. hypericum, ginkgo, kava,
> valerian) supplements. A current specialty is herb-drug interac!
> tions.
>
>
>
> He has more than 80 scientific publications and was most recently Chief of
> the Psychopharmacology Research Program at the National Institute of
> Mental Health at NIH. Jerry has also done research in the pharmaceutical
> industry and currently reviews new drugs with the U.S. Food and Drug
> Administration (FDA). Obviously, this man knows whereof he speaks.
>
> WHEN: Wednesday, July 4th, 2007, dinner starts 6:30pm, lecture/discussion
> starts 7:15pm.
> WHERE: Alfio's Trattoria, 4515 Willard Avenue in Friendship Heights, three
> blocks west of Wisconsin Avenue and the Friendship Heights Metro stop.
> Free valet parking.
> QUESTIONS? Call Pete at (240)449-5988.
>
> Hope to see ya' there...then it's off to the fireworks displays!!
>
> Beatnik Pete/"Bethesda Beatniks Dinner Club"/www.bethesdabeatniks.org

###
> ---------------------------------------------------
> To be removed from the DCMHCL.ORG mailing list,
> send a message to info@dcmhcl.org with
> "remove me from dcmhcl.org list" in the subject line of message.
> ===================================================
> To add a friend, family member or co -worker goto WWW.DCMHCL.ORG and use
> the envelop to the left to join this health list.
>
> This message was sent via healthlist, a mailing list created through
> http://www.dcmhcl.org/

Fw: July 2007 calendar; RE: Wash Nationals Sat. July 7, 07, at 7:05 pm

July calendar in PDF. A run down of events (highlights) will arrive in a few
days. Meanwhile, here's a one page calendar for this month.

Two highlights that you should know about right now:

1. We still have tickets left for the Washington Nationals game on Sat. July
7 at 7 pm, scroll down for old email. You must become a member of SSDIC
(free application/membership) in order to get a ticket, and they will only
be available for pick up on Sat. July 7, between 1 and 5 pm. Then, a group
of us will take the metro down to RFK Stadium Armory.

2. Donna Lewis, an EEO attorney, will conduct a workshop on Sat. July 21, at
2pm, on "Whether or not to disclose mental illness in the workplace." She
held a very successful workshop in March, sponsored by NAMI Montgomery
County, and we are thrilled that she is willing to hold one here at the drop
in! Please RSVP for this event by no later than Thursday July 19, if you
can. Light refreshments will be served.

Cheers,

Miriam L. Yarmolinsky
Director
Silver Spring Drop-In Center at Affiliated Santé Group
7961 Eastern Ave., First Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Voice: (301) 589-2303 X 108; X 111 direct, during drop-in center hours
Fax: (301) 585-2965
myarmolinsky@santegroup.org
visit www.thesantegroup.org and click on Drop-In Center (left on menu)
~ The Silver Spring Drop-In Center's current hours of operation (for
visiting the center) are M, T, and Th 4 - 7 pm, and Sat 1 - 5 pm.~
* If you have never visited the drop-in center before, please arrange for a
brief interview beforehand. Membership applications are available online at

https://dropin.thesantegroup.org/membership_application.htm or you can
request an application in person. Thanks! *

________________________________

From: Yarmolinsky, Miriam
Sent: Thu 6/28/2007 8:19 PM
Subject: Wash Nationals Sat. July 7, 07, at 7:05 pm


Hello,

Opportunity for Sat July 7: Washington Nationals game at RFK stadium at 7:05
pm. YOU MUST BECOME A SILVER SPRING DROP IN CENTER MEMBER BEFORE getting a
ticket~ free application included, or go online, see signature line. We only
have 20 tickets, 6 people have signed up already but some often drop off at
last minute, so we will have a waitlist. You must pick up ticket from here
on Saturday July 7, between 1 and 5 pm ONLY. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Flyer and application attached in PDF (please note the application for
membership is two, two-sided pages; documents entitled dicmemberapp1.pdf and
dicmemberapp2.pdf)


Silver Spring Drop-In Center presents Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee
Brewers on Saturday July 7, 2007.

Game starts at 7:05 p.m.

The Washington Nationals have been very kind to donate 20 tickets to us
again this year.

The first 14 - 15 people who sign up, who are either already SSDIC members
or who will fill out a free SSDIC member application, and can come and pick
up their tickets here on the same day of the game, will have a chance to
attend the game. Others can be placed on a waitlist, as we have 20 tickets,
and plans sometimes change between now and next Saturday.

Bring your own $ for transportation (RFK metro, we will be leaving the
center around 5:15 pm). Please note that the food costs are pretty high, and
expect to pay at least $8 for a hotdog! For information on the game, visit

www.washingtonnationals.com <http://www.washingtonnationals.com/> or call
202.675.NATS(6287).

LEAVING FROM: Silver Spring Drop-In Center at Affiliated Santé Group, 7961
Eastern Ave., first floor, Silver Spring MD, by 5:15 p.m.

YOU MUST COME AND GET YOUR TICKET FROM THE CENTER ON SAT JULY 7, 07, between
1 and 5 pm ONLY. NO EXCEPTIONS!


Miriam L. Yarmolinsky
Director
Silver Spring Drop-In Center at Affiliated Santé Group
7961 Eastern Ave., First Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Voice: (301) 589-2303 X 108; X 111 direct, during drop-in center hours
Fax: (301) 585-2965
myarmolinsky@santegroup.org
visit www.thesantegroup.org and click on Drop-In Center (left on menu)
~ The Silver Spring Drop-In Center's current hours of operation (for
visiting the center) are M, T, and Th 4 - 7 pm, and Sat 1 - 5 pm.~
* If you have never visited the drop-in center before, please arrange for a
brief interview beforehand. Membership applications are available online at

https://dropin.thesantegroup.org/membership_application.htm or you can
request an application in person. Thanks! *

________________________________

From: Yarmolinsky, Miriam
Sent: Mon 6/25/2007 10:28 PM
Subject: Tues, Thurs and Sat activities, 6/26 - 6/30/07


Please forward to clients, etc.

Highlights for this week (excluding today):

Tues June 26: Open 4 - 8 pm ; June Birthdays around 4:30 p; WRAP (week 3 of
4), 5:30-7:30 pm (if you haven't been to the first two WRAP classes, this
class will repeat itself in the future, details when they arrive) flyer
attached

Thur June 28: Open 4 - 7 pm; Game Day (board games) or, if people prefer,
some other activity flyer attached

Sat June 30: Open 1 - 5 pm; Arts, minor crafts, 2 p.m. flyer attached

Thanks!
PS July Calendar will be available soon, stay tuned

If you'd like to be removed from these mailings, please send an email w/
UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line, and we'll try to take care of it. Thanks!
(it may take a couple of attempts to get it sorted out)

Miriam L. Yarmolinsky
Director
Silver Spring Drop-In Center at Affiliated Santé Group
7961 Eastern Ave., First Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Voice: (301) 589-2303 X 108; X 111 direct, during drop-in center hours
Fax: (301) 585-2965
myarmolinsky@santegroup.org
visit www.thesantegroup.org and click on Drop-In Center (left on menu)
~ The Silver Spring Drop-In Center's current hours of operation (for
visiting the center) are M, T, and Th 4 - 7 pm, and Sat 1 - 5 pm.~
* If you have never visited the drop-in center before, please arrange for a
brief interview beforehand. Membership applications are available online at

https://dropin.thesantegroup.org/membership_application.htm or you can
request an application in person. Thanks! *

________________________________

From: Yarmolinsky, Miriam
Sent: Wed 6/6/2007 6:24 PM
Subject: June activities update

Next series of announcements...

Thur June 7: Open 4 - 7 pm; Resources & Referrals, by appt. Sign up for help
w/ specific issues, like housing, food stamps, disability, etc.

PLEASE NOTE: Poetry w/ JoAnne Growney HAS BEEN CANCELLED due to family
health issues. You may still come and share your poetry or hang out and
discuss literature and poetry, or get help in editing from staff. We will
let you know when the next Poetry class will resume

Sat June 9: Open 1 - 5 pm; NAMI C.A.R.E. support group, 3 - 4:30 p (Miriam
will be at the offsite event below that day)

OFFSITE: Borderline Personality Disorder conference/symposium, at Suburban
Hosp, 9 - 4 pm, visit

www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com/Conferences/Washington-07/WDC-07-registration.shtml

for more info; ($20 registration for consumers)

Mon June 11: Open 3 - 7 pm; Intro to Mindfulness Meditation w/ Leah Harris,
3:15 - 4:45 pm flyer attached
PC/Computer help will be available from 3 - 7 pm, by Mike Wells. We're
trying to get a group going for computer lessons, so come w/ questions and
suggestion. flyer attached

Tues June 12: Open 4 - 8 pm; CLASS (1 of 4) of WRAP - Wellness Recovery
Action Plan, with Beverly McCollum We may have one or two more slots left.
You must contact Miriam in advance and plan to attend all four classes.
flyer attached (NOTE: This class has a 15 person limit, so please RSVP in
advance)
Thur June 14: Open 4 - 7 pm; Game Day (board games)

Sat June 16: Open 1 - 5 pm; NAMI Montgomery's In Our Own Voice's Brenda
McArthur and James Vurpillot will present powerful stories of their journey
in recovery, starting 2 pm; Pet visit (usually a cat, but contact me if you
want your pet to be the June guest visitor!)

Mon June 18: Open 4 - 9 pm; NAMI Peer to Peer class (1 of 10), 6:45 - 9pm;
open later for 10 successive Mondays due to the class, but the kitchen and
the back rooms will be off limits except to the Peer to Peer class, starting
6:30 pm

Tues June 19: Open 4 - 8 pm ; Pizza eve, 3rd Tues of month, starting around
4:30 pm; WRAP (week 2 of 4), 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Thur June 21: Open 4 - 7 pm; Resources & Referrals - sign up for help w/
housing, food stamps, benefits, SSI/SSDI, whatever, or drop by.

Fri June 22: OFFSITE: DORS/MHA conference, on employment & dual diagnosis,
8 - 4:30 pm, Best Western Conference & Hotel Cntr., Baltimore, MD . Call
410.646.7758 or Steve Reeder 410-402-8484

Sat June 23: Open 1 - 5 pm; NAMI C.A.R.E. support group, 3 - 4:30 pm

Mon June 25: Open 4 - 9 pm ; NAMI Peer to Peer class 2 of 10, 6:45 - 9 p

Tues June 26: Open 4 - 8 pm ; June Birthdays around 4:30 p; WRAP (week 3 of
4), 5:30-7:30 pm

Thur June 28: Open 4 - 7 pm; Game Day (board games) or, if people prefer,
some other activity

Sat June 30: Open 1 - 5 pm; Arts & Crafts, 2 p.m.

Stay tuned for July: follow-up focus group on Trauma-Informed Care by Mary
Blake, formerly of CAN-DC may be scheduled. (Consumer Action Network of DC)

If you'd like to be removed from these mailings, please send an email w/
UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line, and we'll try to take care of it. Thanks!
(it may take a couple of attempts to get it sorted out)

Miriam

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Seniors to keep affordable homes, HOC buys Forest Oak Towers for $20.7 million, saves subsidies

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Seniors to keep affordable homes

HOC buys Forest Oak Towers for $20.7 million, saves subsidies

E-mail this article \ Print this article

Brian Lewis⁄The Gazette
Grayce Ward, the longest residing resident of Forest Oak Apartments, talk with County Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg. Next to Ward are Forest Oak Towers residents Hazel Krouse (left) and Nancy Mayo.
A housing authority that serves Montgomery County this week celebrated the purchase of a 175-unit Gaithersburg apartment complex that will now be able to retain subsidies for its low-income senior tenants.

The Housing Opportunities Commission's $20.7 million purchase of Forest Oak Towers ensures the continued renewal of the Housing Assistance Payment Contract, a federal subsidized housing program, said Peter Engel, assistant director of the HOC real estate division.

The move preserves affordable housing for the city's most vulnerable population, said the city's Director of community development Louise Kauffmann.

Gaithersburg has about 4,000 affordable housing units, based on a 2005 survey, she said.

That's more than in most areas of the county, but with major redevelopment projects coming up such as at the Broadstone Apartments, it's important for Gaithersburg to retain as much affordable housing as possible, Kauffmann said.

Housing in Forest Oak Towers is available to those 62 years and older, or those with disabilities, and whose average annual income is about $14,000, said Susan Krimer, assistant director in the HOC office of legislative and public affairs.

However, to comply with fair housing regulations that limit occupancy, the facility is not expected to receive new disabled people under 62 years old, Krimer wrote in an e-mail.

The current affordable housing contract was set to expire in 2009.

The HOC acted to purchase the property when it learned that some developers had inquired about purchasing it.

''If somebody else were to buy it ... come 2009, we wouldn't have any clear idea of what would happen," Engel said. ''Our mission is to provide affordable housing. It serves very low-income seniors, and there is a shortage not just in the county, but throughout the state and it certainly fits our goal."

More than 100 seniors and officials from local to federal levels packed under a tent Monday afternoon outside Forest Oak Towers, located at 101 Odendhal Ave., to praise the purchase.

''For us to preserve and increase affordable housing, we must first keep what we have," said County Executive Isiah Leggett (D).

Ella Mae Burton, 77, a Forest Oak Towers resident since 2004, said during the ceremony that she was shocked to hear she might lose her home, but is delighted that won't happen.

''I plan to be with you for a long time to come," she said.

Sale of the 26-year-old building by Bethesda-based real estate company The Artery Group was finalized March 30.

The facility provides 100 percent Section 8 housing, which allows residents to devote only 30 percent of their income to rent while the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development covers the remainder, Krimer said.

The HOC began working to purchase Forest Oak Towers in 2005, Krimer said.

Payment was assisted by state-issued tax credits, programs with Montgomery County and Gaithersburg that reduce property tax to $1 per year and a risk-sharing agreement with HUD's Federal Housing Administration that insures 75 percent of a $18.1 million HOC loan, Krimer said.

The deal also includes $2.6 million for renovation and other contingencies. Upgrades include new appliances for the rooms, fresh carpet and other amenities, said Martha McClelland, regional property manager with Realty Management Service, the company that operates Forest Oak Towers

But for three-year Forest Oak Towers resident John Jackson, 66, it's plenty just to know he'll stay with all his friends.

''I feel very much relieved because this is home," Jackson said.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Pentagon may drop mental health question, By PAULINE JELINEK and ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writers 10 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - U.S. troops would no longer be asked to reveal previous mental health treatment when applying for security clearances under a proposal being considered by the  Pentagon. The idea stems from the finding that service members avoid needed counseling because they believe that getting it — and acknowledging it — could cost them their clearance as well as do other harm to their careers, The Associated Press has learned.

"This is just one of several items under review by the Department of Defense and the services in an effort to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues," said Air Force Maj. Patrick Ryder.

The proposal is to omit a question regarding mental health treatment that appears on a form required by the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that does the majority of investigations for granting clearances to military and civilian workers in the federal government.

Currently, the questionnaire asks applicants whether they have consulted a mental health professional in the last seven years. If so, they are asked to list the names, addresses and dates they saw the doctor or therapist.

The Pentagon has been working for some time to end the stigma of counseling. Studies indicate that soldiers most in need of post-combat health care are the least likely to get it because they fear that others will have less confidence in them, that it will threaten career advancement and that it could result in loss of their security clearance and possibly removal from their unit.

Statistics indicate that the perception of stigma is "far worse than the reality" when it comes to getting security clearances, Ryder said. Last year, less than .05 percent of some 800,000 people investigated for clearances were rejected on the sole issue of their mental health profile, he said.

That's because the clearance process is done on the "whole-person concept" — that is, it weighs a number of factors about the person's past and present, favorable and unfavorable. People can be prevented from getting a clearance if they have been convicted and imprisoned, are addicted to any controlled substance, have been discharged dishonorably from the service or are currently mentally incompetent.

If the application for clearances is changed to omit the question on previous counseling, it would be just a small part of the effort to encourage service members to get mental health care.

An education program for personnel at all levels of the military is among main recommendations of a yearlong mental health study. The task force study, ordered by Congress, called for urgent action to improve care for members of the military, under strain from simultaneous wars in  Iraq and  Afghanistan, officials said earlier Friday.

A change already made is a program called Respect.mil, Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, the acting surgeon general of the Army, said at a news conference on the task force report. Under the program, instead of requiring soldiers or their family members to go to a designated location where it's clear they're getting behavioral health care, they can get the care at a primary care center.

The overall conclusion of the report was that it will take more money and staff to keep up with health care needed because of the high tempo of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Long and repeated deployments in the wars have been blamed for some of the mental health problems.

The two "signature injuries" from the conflicts — mostly Iraq — are post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, the task force said, adding that the new demands "have exposed shortfalls" on a system that has not been war-focused for decades.

The military also needs to train leaders to understand that physical health and psychological health are equally important, said Vice Adm. Donald Arthur, co-chair of the task force.

"We concentrate a great deal on ... how fast can you run a mile, how many sit-ups and push-ups can you do," Arthur told reporters. "But we don't often concentrate on the psychological health of the service member."

"If you break your leg, it's not your fault; if you get cancer, it's not your fault; if you have a post-traumatic stress reaction, it's not your fault," he said.

Noting that the problem of stigma is pervasive not only in the military, but in American society as a whole, they said the evidence in the military is overwhelming. Fifty-nine percent of soldiers and 48 percent of Marines said thought they would be treated differently by leadership if they sought counseling, according to a survey among troops who had been deployed.

Of even greater concern, the report said, are recent findings that service members who screened positive for symptoms consistent with mental illness were twice as likely as those without symptoms to express concerns about stigma.

"Individuals exhibiting the greatest need were the most hesitant to seek care, even though empirical data from at least one military study indicates that service members do not suffer any negative career impact from seeking services related to their psychological health," the report said.

"Post-traumatic stress, combat stress is an absolutely normal reaction to a very abnormal situation," Arthur said, adding that care can prevent it from turning into a disorder.

"Combat is like nothing else that one can experience in peacetime. It is not like you see in the movies," he said. "It's not 90 minutes of show with 30 minutes of commercials and the good guy wins in the end. You have a real chance of being seriously injured or killed in your service to your nation."

___

Associated Press writer Lolita Baldor contributed to this report

Trauma Champions, FREE all day workshop, Wed 6/20/07, Core Service Agency, RSVP!

Hi, I'm passing along a really interesting all day workshop on trauma and
healing. Email from Kim Allen, below, and flyer attached in PDF. PLEASE RSVP
to Kim Allen, info below!!!

"Hello Everyone -

The Office of Consumer Affairs of the Montgomery County Core Service
Agency is holding a Trauma Champions Institute on Wednesday, June 20th.
We are encouraging consumers to come and participate. Please RSVP as we
will have lunch. It would be great if we could show Jacki a warm
welcome, so consider attending the morning session and lunch or the
lunch and the afternoon session if you cannot attend the full day.

Thanks and call me if you have any questions.

Kim Renee Allen
Program Manager
Office of Consumer Affairs
240.777.4571"

Text of flyer:
Trauma Champions Institute

Trauma Healing and Peer Counseling

June 20, 2007 9:00 - 4:00

Presenters: :

Jacki McKinney

Director - Trauma Knowledge Utilization Project

Susan Mockus

Trauma Practitioner - Trauma Knowledge Utilization Project

Rhonda Elsey -Jones

Trauma Project - Trauma Knowledge Utilization Project

Networking Brunch for Service Providers

12:00 - 2:00

Part 2: How Women Heal

Presenters: Trauma Knowledge Utilization Project

2:00 2:- 4:00 4:

Location:

Mental Health Core Service Agency

751 Twinbrook Parkway

Rockville, MD

Please Contact and RSVP: Please Contact and RSVP:

Kim Renee Allen, Program Manager Kim Renee Allen, Program Manager

Office Of Consumer Affairs Office Of Consumer Affairs

Mental Health Core Service Agency Mental Health Core Service Agency

240.777.4571 240.777.4571

Kim.Allen@montgomerycountymd.gov

The Goals of this Training: The Goals of this Training:

To assist mental health consumers address trauma issues and To assist mental
health consumers heal. To introduce therapists to trauma informed care and
its impact on therapy retention, peer involvement, empowerment , and
meaningful recovery. .

Miriam L. Yarmolinsky
Director
Silver Spring Drop-In Center at Affiliated Santé Group
7961 Eastern Ave., First Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Voice: (301) 589-2303 X 108; X 111 direct, during drop-in center hours
Fax: (301) 585-2965
myarmolinsky@santegroup.org
visit www.thesantegroup.org and click on Drop-In Center (left on menu)
~ The Silver Spring Drop-In Center's current hours of operation (for
visiting the center) are M, T, and Th 4 - 7 pm, and Sat 1 - 5 pm.~
* If you have never visited the drop-in center before, please arrange for a
brief interview beforehand. Membership applications are available online at

https://dropin.thesantegroup.org/membership_application.htm or you can
request an application in person. Thanks! *

________________________________

From: Yarmolinsky, Miriam
Sent: Wed 6/13/2007 7:46 PM
Subject: NAMI In Our Own Voice presentation, Sat. June 16, 2 pm


Please pass this information along ....
plain text below, flyer attached in PDF:
(scroll down for more June events in previous email)


Silver Spring Drop-In Center hosts a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental
Illness) Montgomery County chapter sponsored "In Our Own Voice" presentation
on Saturday June 16, 2007, at 2 p.m.

(We may have a pet visit this day as well)

Where: Silver Spring Drop-In Center at the Affiliated Santé Group, 7961
Eastern Rd., 1st floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910

For driving directions, check out www.mapquest.com; for accurate public
transportation info, visit www.wmata.com

Today's speakers will be Brenda McArthur and James Vurpillot

Light refreshments will be provided

What It Is:

¨ A presentation by consumers that creates awareness about what is
involved in recovery from mental illness

¨ A powerful anti-stigma tool to change hearts, minds, and attitudes
about mental illness

¨ Living proof that recovery from mental illness is an ongoing reality

The Presentation:

¨ Hear from people who have struggled with disorders such as
depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other severe mental
illnesses

¨ A brief video features consumers speaking about the topics of Dark
Days,
Acceptance, Treatment, Coping Skills, and Successes, Hopes, and Dreams

¨ Gain insight into how people with serious mental illnesses cope with
the realities of their disorders while reclaiming productive lives

¨ Ask questions from the real experts -- the consumers are the ones
who "have been there"

¨ A Take Home Folder is distributed to all attendees, which includes
resources and an opportunity for program evaluation

RSVPs preferred but not required:
Miriam at 301.589.2303 X 108 or

email myarmolinsky@santegroup.org

The Silver Spring Drop-In Center's current hours are normally M, T, & Th.
4 - 7 pm and Sat 1 - 5 pm


Thanks!

Miriam L. Yarmolinsky
Director
Silver Spring Drop-In Center at Affiliated Santé Group
7961 Eastern Ave., First Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Voice: (301) 589-2303 X 108; X 111 direct, during drop-in center hours
Fax: (301) 585-2965
myarmolinsky@santegroup.org
visit www.thesantegroup.org and click on Drop-In Center (left on menu)
~ The Silver Spring Drop-In Center's current hours of operation (for
visiting the center) are M, T, and Th 4 - 7 pm, and Sat 1 - 5 pm.~
* If you have never visited the drop-in center before, please arrange for a
brief interview beforehand. Membership applications are available online at

https://dropin.thesantegroup.org/membership_application.htm or you can
request an application in person. Thanks! *

________________________________

From: Yarmolinsky, Miriam
Sent: Wed 6/6/2007 6:24 PM
Subject: June activities update


Next series of announcements...

Thur June 7: Open 4 - 7 pm; Resources & Referrals, by appt. Sign up for help
w/ specific issues, like housing, food stamps, disability, etc.

PLEASE NOTE: Poetry w/ JoAnne Growney HAS BEEN CANCELLED due to family
health issues. You may still come and share your poetry or hang out and
discuss literature and poetry, or get help in editing from staff. We will
let you know when the next Poetry class will resume

Sat June 9: Open 1 - 5 pm; NAMI C.A.R.E. support group, 3 - 4:30 p (Miriam
will be at the offsite event below that day)

OFFSITE: Borderline Personality Disorder conference/symposium, at Suburban
Hosp, 9 - 4 pm, visit

www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com/Conferences/Washington-07/WDC-07-registration.shtml

for more info; ($20 registration for consumers)

Mon June 11: Open 3 - 7 pm; Intro to Mindfulness Meditation w/ Leah Harris,
3:15 - 4:45 pm flyer attached
PC/Computer help will be available from 3 - 7 pm, by Mike Wells. We're
trying to get a group going for computer lessons, so come w/ questions and
suggestion. flyer attached

Tues June 12: Open 4 - 8 pm; CLASS (1 of 4) of WRAP - Wellness Recovery
Action Plan, with Beverly McCollum We may have one or two more slots left.
You must contact Miriam in advance and plan to attend all four classes.
flyer attached (NOTE: This class has a 15 person limit, so please RSVP in
advance)
Thur June 14: Open 4 - 7 pm; Game Day (board games)

Sat June 16: Open 1 - 5 pm; NAMI Montgomery's In Our Own Voice's Brenda
McArthur and James Vurpillot will present powerful stories of their journey
in recovery, starting 2 pm; Pet visit (usually a cat, but contact me if you
want your pet to be the June guest visitor!)

Mon June 18: Open 4 - 9 pm; NAMI Peer to Peer class (1 of 10), 6:45 - 9pm;
open later for 10 successive Mondays due to the class, but the kitchen and
the back rooms will be off limits except to the Peer to Peer class, starting
6:30 pm

Tues June 19: Open 4 - 8 pm ; Pizza eve, 3rd Tues of month, starting around
4:30 pm; WRAP (week 2 of 4), 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Thur June 21: Open 4 - 7 pm; Resources & Referrals - sign up for help w/
housing, food stamps, benefits, SSI/SSDI, whatever, or drop by.

Fri June 22: OFFSITE: DORS/MHA conference, on employment & dual diagnosis,
8 - 4:30 pm, Best Western Conference & Hotel Cntr., Baltimore, MD . Call
410.646.7758 or Steve Reeder 410-402-8484

Sat June 23: Open 1 - 5 pm; NAMI C.A.R.E. support group, 3 - 4:30 pm

Mon June 25: Open 4 - 9 pm ; NAMI Peer to Peer class 2 of 10, 6:45 - 9 p

Tues June 26: Open 4 - 8 pm ; June Birthdays around 4:30 p; WRAP (week 3 of
4), 5:30-7:30 pm

Thur June 28: Open 4 - 7 pm; Game Day (board games) or, if people prefer,
some other activity

Sat June 30: Open 1 - 5 pm; Arts & Crafts, 2 p.m.

Stay tuned for July: follow-up focus group on Trauma-Informed Care by Mary
Blake, formerly of CAN-DC may be scheduled. (Consumer Action Network of DC)

If you'd like to be removed from these mailings, please send an email w/
UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line, and we'll try to take care of it. Thanks!
(it may take a couple of attempts to get it sorted out)

Miriam

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A DC Mental Health Dialog

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

and

the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI

invites you to attend "A DC Mental Health Dialog: Roadmap for Collaboration" on June 5, 2007 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, 2437 Fifteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Learn about the most pressing issues facing the mental health community and how to advocate your preference with local officials.

Guest Speaker, Carol L. Alter, M.D, Georgetown University Department of Psychiatry, who will discuss "Fail First".

Angela Kimball, NAMI, will lead a discussion on how to advocate your local officials.

For more information or to make a reservation (required) please contact either

Daryll Griffin, Executive Director
DC Behavioral Health Association
202.207.0755
dgriffin@dcbha.org

Steven Newman, Executive Director
NAMI DC
202.646.0646
namidc@juno.com


This message was sent via dcmhcllist, a mailing list created through http://www.dcmhcl.org/

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Stun gun use on mentally ill questioned, 1 hour, 55 minutes ago HOUSTON - Advocates for the mentally ill

Stun gun use on mentally ill questioned
 

1 hour, 55 minutes ago

HOUSTON - Advocates for the mentally ill are questioning Houston police officers' use of stun guns on suspects with mental problems, many of whom were unarmed and then never charged with a crime.

Since officers started carrying Tasers in December 2004, nearly 130 people known or suspected to be mentally ill were shocked by officers responding to calls, according to a Houston Chronicle review of more than 1,000 incidents involving the stun gun.

The department also had its first Taser-related death recently that involved a mentally ill man, the newspaper reported Sunday.

Often, police knew they were responding to calls involving people with mental health issues but rarely called officers who are specially trained to deal with the mentally ill, according to police records.

"Using a Taser is easy," said Arlene Kelly, who became an outspoken advocate for the mentally ill after her daughter was shot and killed by a Houston police officer in 1999. "There's no waiting. There's no need to be patient with someone who may not understand orders. The Taser has represented a step backward in how police deal with the mentally ill."

Some of those stunned had committed violent crimes, threatened others or harmed themselves. But most were people who failed to follow officers' orders in the fog of their mental confusion, records show.

Police Chief Harold Hurtt said the use of Tasers has prevented dangerous situations from becoming deadly.

"Crisis-intervention training is a critical part of our approach to the mentally ill, and our officers are well aware of the necessity to use the minimum force necessary," Hurtt said.

The newspaper found that most of the mentally ill people shocked by police were not armed and fewer than one in four were later convicted of a crime.

One case involved a 63-year-old man who needed a metal walker to move around. Another involved Carol Ann Vickery, a 49-year-old woman with a history of bipolar disorder who disrupted a local convenience store. When police arrived, she picked up a can of soda as if to throw it. Police responded with three 50,000-volt shocks from a Taser.

"She may have gotten excited, but two male officers should be able to defuse a situation with one woman without pulling out a Taser," said Vickery's husband of 10 years, Tim Byus. "In this case, it's clear they did not try."

Some dispatchers fail to identify people experiencing mental problems and send untrained officers to those calls, said Lt. Michael Lee, who is in charge of the department's crisis-intervention team that was developed in 1999 to train officers how to calm people with mental illness.

Other circumstances do not allow officers to wait for support, he said.

"Most officers are using Tasers to prevent a situation from escalating, and that can happen very quickly," Lee said. "Sometimes de-escalation techniques just don't work."

The crisis-intervention team had 600 patrol officers and more than 100 officers in other divisions, but the force has since been depleted by retirement, transfers and other strains. Its ranks have dropped to 410 officers, less than 20 percent of those on patrol.

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