AUTHOR: Kacee Baker
TAG LINE: Helping Hands:
AGENCY: Skills of Central PA
Centre County's Mental Health Community Committee (MHCC) is working to promote mental health awareness, community partnerships, and education regarding mental health services, support, and training opportunities. The Committee has been active for nearly ten years, and is currently focusing on finding new ways to grow. “Our goal is to make sure that everyone in Centre County can find mental health support when they need it,” MHCC Chair Nicki Tice says.
The MHCC was founded in 2013 after a community survey identified mental health as one of the most pressing health issues in Centre County. MHCC meetings started as a series of brown bag lunches hosted by the Centre County Partnership for Community Health. Eventually, this informal gathering became a coalition of members from various mental and physical health providers and organizations.
The coalition was eventually named the Mental Health Community Committee. The committee now meets every other month, and members collaborate to find ways to make sure all Centre County residents have access to the mental health information and services they need. Recent meetings have been attended by staff from organizations including Centre County Crisis Intervention Team, State College Borough Police, Skills of Central PA, The Meadows, Strawberry Fields, and Opportunity Centre Clubhouse, bringing together a diverse mix of perspectives and experiences. In addition, several staff people now dedicate time each week to improve and expand the MHCC website, MHCCCentre.com.
Finding support and learning about available mental health services are some of the first steps toward recovery, and the goal of the MHCC website is to make these steps as easy as possible. The site answers frequently asked questions about mental health, provides information on mental health service providers across Centre County, and links to mental health and crisis resources. Additionally, the site has a calendar of area mental health and wellness events open to any Centre County resident.
“The MHCC is a great way for different providers to come together and share ideas,” Chairperson Nicki Tice says. “We all have the same goal, which is to help as many people as possible get the support they need so that they can work toward recovery, and our committee members are great at coming up with creative ways to help us reach that goal.”
If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, please visit MHCCCentre.com to learn more about all the services, events, and resources available to you. You can also follow along with MHCC on Facebook, at facebook.com/MentalHealthCommunityCommittee.