Community Engagement Update 2017

Mental Health Association

Community Engagement Updates

Melanie Funchess, Director of Community Engagement

Melanie Funchess, Director of Community Engagement

Melanie Funchess, Director of Community Engagement

2017 has been a very eventful year in community engagement. Through our partnership with Connected Communities, we had an AmeriCorps member on staff which has greatly enhanced our capacity to do high level quality outreach, education and engagement within our community. We’ve expanded our audience through targeted community-based engagement and outreach efforts. We worked to build new partnerships as well as strengthen existing ones to increase our visibility and engage more community members around the concept of mental wellness. We also fought to be a more effective voice for mental wellness at the practice, program, and policy levels within the community.

Some of our accomplishments in 2017 include:

  • Participation in 16 community based health fairs where we have been able to increase our engagement and presence in new communities.
  • 12 radio show appearances on different radio stations (WDKX, WXXI, WAYO, and WRFZ) where we educated people about mental health, the stigma of mental illness, trauma, and methods for finding and helping others find mental wellness.
  • Conducted 56 educational presentations/ trainings/ workshops throughout the community with various groups covering subjects such as:
    • Self-Care- Keys to Maintaining Mental Wellness
    • My Teen Is From Mars!!!- Helping Parents Understand Adolescent Brain Development
    • Trauma and Resiliency in Communities of Color
    • Moving Beyond Myths, Stigmas, and Misconceptions about Mental Health
    • Are The Children Alright?- Emotional Wellness in Children and Adolescents
  • Built new partnerships with the RCSD for training/ presentations for students and staff including:
    • Teachers
    • Social Workers
    • Counselors
    • School Safety officers
    • Paraprofessionals

As we look forward into 2018 we anticipate further expanding our outreach, engagement, and education efforts. We seek to expand our role as the hub for community based education and support in finding and maintaining wellness.

Melanie Funchess is the Director of Community Engagement for the Mental Health Association.