News & Events
Celebrating Volunteers: Service and Friendship
But, mostly, our volunteers are content to go about their work quietly. That’s why we’re thrilled when this week rolls around each year. It’s National Volunteer Week – a time for fanfare – to “celebrate service” and to applaud the many contributions of our volunteers. In 2012, more than 210 dedicated volunteers gave 4,000 hours of their time, talent, and energy to help us meet our mission: serving in 1:1 friendship matches with clients, talking on the phone with individuals served, assisting members of our Community Support Program during drop-in hours, greeting guests to our offices, and moving furniture to clients’ apartments.
“Volunteers are a huge resource and support for our clients who often have no community connection,” said Director of Community Treatment, Richard Aylward. Take Myron and his volunteer phone buddy, Jeff. The men talk at least a couple of times a week, often about shortwave radio, but like most friends, they chat about what’s going on in each other’s lives, too. The phone calls led to monthly get-togethers; usually these friends head out for a good book store or a restaurant.
“It’s because of Jeff that Myron is able to get out into the community and do things he normally wouldn’t do,” said RN Case Manager, Kristi Jolly, who works with Myron. “The two have built a strong relationship over the six years they’ve known each other and I can really see how much Jeff cares about Myron.”
Seemingly small, day-to-day activities, like those shared by Jeff and Myron, can have a significant impact on an individual’s health, recovery, and quality of life. Being friends with Jeff has helped Myron boost his self-confidence, avoid isolation, and stay active.
Our volunteers help to connect us and those we serve to the community and make it a better place. So, cheers to Jeff and all of our volunteers who not only help us fulfill our mission, but become an extension of it – seeing the individuals we serve as “whole people” and not just as their diagnosis.
You can be part of something bigger, too. Become a volunteer today.
Contact Shannon Horstman, Volunteer Coordinator or call directly at 651-925-8456.
The statement, “I’m no longer quiet about my illness.” is one that’s stuck with me.
Spoken by Heidi Nordin, one of our Ladder of Hope speakers, the words seem particularly significant right now as we participate in legislative activities and events.
“Not being quiet” about mental illness is one of the ways we get involved. Here’s how:
- Our Public Policy Committee including members of our Board of Directors, staff, and people from the community meets regularly to follow policy issues and to help identify those that affect individuals we serve. Once identified, they educate clients, staff, and board members on the issues and assist them to take action. Be sure to watch our Facebook page for regular updates on this work and photos.
- On February 11, our Community Support Program (CSP)hosted Matt Burdick, Grassroots AdvocacyCoordinator,for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota (NAMI-MN.) Matt talked with client members about the legislative process and current issues related to mental health. Members learned about how the process works and how to get involved.
- On March 4, we participated in the SF 644 (Tomassoni) hearing before the Senate Committee on Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development. The purpose of the bill is to increase funds for the evidence-based Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment program. I testified about how we use IPS and the positive impact it’s had for individuals we serve. JaJamie Kiland is one of those individuals and he told the committee about the job he’s held since 1999 – a job we helped him find and apply for. “Guild helps me to be more self-reliant,” he said. The bill passed and was re-referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
- On March 7, Delancey Services staff and clients attended Homeless Day on the Hill, an annual event focused on talking about and advocating for the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. The group began their day with a legislative briefing and then attended a House Health and Human Services Committee Hearing on the Homes for All bill and the Homeless Youth Act. Later, some met and spoke with Representative Rena Moran.
- And, on March 12, we made our way back to the capitol for the Mental Health Rally and Day at the Capitol. Clients, staff and board members joined more than 700 people for the event. It was a great day of advocating for increased funds and changes to the mental health system.
- Julie Grothe, Delancey Services Director, along with a client testified on March 13 in support of HF1088 Adult mental health grant funding provided for supportive housing, and money appropriated. Delancey Apartmentsrecieves partical funding from this type of grant.
Commenting on the activities, Chair of our Public Policy Committee, Eileen Chanen said, “I’m reminded that nobody is in this alone. We gather with others who feel the way we do and want to see our legislators act on the things that are important to us.”
Joining with others at the capitol always inspires me and reinforces one of my greatest beliefs – that our community is the strongest when all citizens are included in community life, when we live together, in neighborly fashion, and support each other.
I know you share my belief. Find out how you can “not be quiet” about mental illness, too. Contact Kristi Hamilton, Communications Director.
Tending the Heart. It may not come in a heart-shaped box or from the local flower shop, but when it comes to tending the hearts of those we serve, we still deliver.
It’s a fact that people with mental illness die decades earlier than the general population – often from chronic health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The good news is we’re doing something about it.
Our brand of tending the heart comes in the form of our long-standing commitment to deliver services that integrate both mental and physical health care to help individuals reach optimal health. So, when the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created the 10×10 Wellness Initiative, taking action to prevent and reduce early mortality by 10 years over 10 years, we were already on board.
Here’s how we support the initiative along with some recent outcomes:
- Both of our Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)teams have significantly increased the percentage of clients obtaining annual physical exams. 92% of clients served by our ACT team in Dakota County and 88% of clients in Ramsey County received an exam – exceeding the established 2012 goals.
- We were recently honored with the Department of Human Services Commissioner’s 2012 Circle of Excellence Awards for our participation as one of the direct service providers in the Preferred Integrated Network (PIN). PIN is a joint project with Dakota County and Medica, which aims to provide integrated health care to its members by helping them access mental and physical health care as well as social services. Our Case Managers assume the role of “Wellness Navigator,” coordinating care for members, in this innovative partnership.
- Nursing is integrated throughout our services. Nurses promote overall health – assisting clients to meet their health goals. By integrating nursing services, we are able to achieve the following outcomes: Provide effective services to individuals experiencing increasingly complex health conditions, Provide enhanced, individualized medication education and health promotion and Coordinate care with clinics, hospitals, social services, and other supports to ensure all providers are “on the same page”.
- Classes that help to foster recovery and overall health are available at our Community Support Program (CSP) and include Illness Management and Recovery, Wellness Reflection, Healthy Eating, Meditation, and Movement (walking, yoga, dance).
- Throughout 2012 Clients served by Community Treatment and CSP teams were able to participate in Simply Good Eating (SGE) classes. Available through the University of Minnesota Extension, SGE is a series of courses teaching nutrition and cooking
In their final report from last year’s accrediting process, CARF surveyors recognized our efforts, stating, “It is evident that healthcare is truly integrated and a part of all areas of service delivery.”
Feature: From Where I Stand: Notes from Our President
What does ushering in a new year mean for you? Quiet reflection? Making resolutions? For me, it’s the chance to do a bit of both.
Looking back, here are some of the things I’m proud we accomplished:
- Continued to illustrate that people with serious mental illness can re-enter and be successful in the workplace: See what having a job means to Mark and Patrick — individuals who’ve been helped by employment services. Two other individuals, Antrinita and Maxine, are featured in this year’s Johnson & Johnson – Dartmouth Community Mental Health Program Calendar, along with others who’ve re-entered the workforce.
- Strengthened existing partnerships and forged new collaborations: Continued partnership in the Hospital to Home initiative resulted in desired outcomes for participants. Read this month’s, Meeting Goals, Expanding: Hospital to Home Outcomes Released to see the difference the project is making. And, we’re one of the partners in a new collaboration – the Medica Supportive Housing Project – launched by Medica and Hearth Connection. Through this project, our Delancey Services Team will offer an array of mobile supportive services and rental assistance to individuals who are Medica members, are homeless, and who have a variety of health challenges to help them secure housing, stabilize and improve their health.
- Promoted Overall Health: Nursing services and care coordination for physical and mental health care have always been critical components of our services because we know they are central to creating overall health and longevity. But, last year, UCare selected us as their provider to launch new Care Coordination services to help their Connect members coordinate care for both their medical and mental health conditions. And, we had the chance to demonstrate our support of the 10×10 Wellness initiative from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA.)
- Created More Access to Services and Information: We responded to nearly 500 calls from people outside of our usual referral sources that needed help. And, we launched a Family Resources section on our website.
- Spoke Up: Guild clients, staff and board members joined me and hundreds of other Minnesotans in the Capitol rotunda for Mental Health Day on the Hill to rally for improved quality and availability of mental health services.
- Inspired and Involved Others in Our Mission: More than 220 people volunteer — lending their time, talent, and skills to help us meet our mission
Reflecting on these moments and accomplishments is the very thing that sustains my commitment to our mission. It’s the thing that renews my determination to move forward – to innovate, to speak up, to face challenges (we always have some), to learn.
I’ll leave you with a favorite Rainer Maria Rilka quote, “And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”
From Where I Stand: Notes from Our President
Perhaps you heard me say this at our recent Ladder of Hope events:
I love words.
“…to show that a day or event is important…to honor…” begins the definition of a word that’s always held a certain kind of significance in the work we do here.
The word is celebrate.
Okay, I know, I know, it’s overused and perhaps a little cliché. But, stick with me. I’m talking about a deeper kind of celebration –not the “Celebrate good times, come on!” variety (though that’s a perfectly good song.) I’m talking about celebrating the journey of recovery for what it truly is – an unpredictable and sometimes confusing process that takes courage and a whole lot of hard work.
And while certainly a lot of effort is expended to prepare for the gatherings – Our recent Ladder of Hope events give us time and space to pause, to listen to accounts of the journey, and, yes, to celebrate.
We celebrate because, for one hour, hundreds of people come together to honor individuals who embark on the journey. We celebrate not to ignore or deny the challenges of recovery, but to be sure achievements don’t get buried under struggles. We celebrate because we understand that, together, we are providing treatment and services that work. We celebrate because for every individual who speaks up, another piece of stigma falls away.
And, then, we celebrate the results:
- Nearly 750 guests attended this year’s events.
- Approximately 319 monetary gifts were given. We also received gifts of ideas and new volunteers.
- 11 new members joined our Ladder of Hope Five Year Giving Society, bringing our total number of members to 121.
- The Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation generously inspired others to give by matching all new and increased contributions up to $25,000. With your support, we received the matching funds based on results from our Minneapolis event.
- Anchor Bank and the Maguire Agency were our Presenting Sponsors this year. Their support, along with others allows the gifts we received to go directly to our mission. Learn more about why they support our mission.
- Our 8 Supporting Sponsors included: CBL Floors, Choice Communications, Garrity, Tegler & Varley Wealth Strategies, LLP, Greeman Toomey, Hometown Tire & Services, Regions Hospital, TDS, and Wilkerson Associates.
- And, volunteer Designer, Nancy Hilk and volunteer Photographers, Paula Primeau with Passionate Portraits helped us refresh our materials and Peter Koeleman of KOELEMANFOTO captured the events.
Funds generated sustain current services and increase our capacity to respond to individuals and families beginning their own journey.
Thank you for celebrating with us. May your own celebrations be all that you desire this holiday season.