News & Events

Stronger Together

In May, NAMI of Erie County’s Executive Director, Denise Kolivoski, MBA, and NAMI consumer contributor, Libbie Johnson, joined over 400 advocates from around Pennsylvania at an annual conference. Here’s Libbie’s thoughts from attending:

“But what can I do? I’m only one person. Can I really make that much of a difference?” How often are we overwhelmed by the frustrations, uncertainties, and complexities of mental illness?

As a peer, family member, and friend, there are moments of hopelessness, despair, and misunderstanding. When the fight seems to be bigger than we are, when we want to give up, when the price for survival is staggering.

Those are the moments we need to unite and stay the course, because we are truly “Stronger Together”.

Fittingly, this was the theme of 2019’s 3rd annual Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conference. It was held May 20-21 at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel in Grantville and sponsored by NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association, and Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania.

This symposium connected peers, family members, mental health workers, educators, medical personnel, specialists, and other professionals to discuss a wide range of topics in a supportive, accurate, and stigma-free environment. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in workshops, engage in panel discussions, network, and interact with a wide variety of vendors.

One of the big highlights of the conference was Keynote Speaker, Representative Mike Schlossberg, from Lehigh County. We listened intently as he described his experiences of living with anxiety and depression. Representative Schlossberg boldy disclosed his mental health diagnoses in an op-ed piece after reading a stigmatizing comment following actor Robin Williams’ death.

In addition to discussing current legislature, Representative Schlossberg urged audience members to contact their governing politicians because, yes! Just one person, can make a difference!

So, in the spirit of Representative Schlossberg, I’m asking you to mail those letters, make those phone calls, send those emails. Yes, one person can make a difference. But working collaboratively? We are unstoppable because we are indeed STRONGER TOGETHER!

Spring Cookie Jars are Back!

Spring is known as a season of rebirth and regrowth, so what better time to try something new?

NAMI of Erie County will be selling new recipes for our cookie and soup jars this year!

The proceeds will benefit NAMI’s evidence-based mental health courses, such as the Family-to-Family and NAMI Basics programs. These programs are offered at no cost to participants.

The cookie recipes will include chocolate chip, M&M, and Easter. In addition, we will have a potato soup recipe. Jars will be sold for only $5.

For your convenience, we are providing three easy ways to purchase. Orders can be placed by calling (814) 456-1773, visiting our website, or stopping in to our office. You can also use this link to order: https://forms.gle/aLVrWJfuCpoF1Q1JA 

Please contact us during office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Our jars also make gift giving easy. Show your loved ones your appreciation by giving a treat that warms the heart and soul. Be sure to place your order while supplies last!

Laughter in the Limelight Raises $10,000!

On March 13, 2019, NAMI and the Mental Health Association (MHA) participated in another successful evening at Laughter in the Limelight, Act III at Jr’s Last Laugh Comedy Club.

The show brought some hilarious acts from local officials and news personalities.

From the local news side, David Wolter (Erie News Now First Warning Weather Meteorologist), John Last (Erie News Now Reporter), Kristen Nielson (WJET/Fox 66 Assignment Reporter), and Tiarra Braddock (WJET/Fox 66 Assignment Reporter) all gave the audience some fun performances.

The government officials that gave the crowd some laughs were Kathy Fatica (Erie County Council Woman), Joe Schember (City of Erie Mayor), Lyell Cook (Erie County Coroner), and Dean Pepicello as the Emcee (Harborcreek Township Supervisor and Voice of the Erie Otters).

Over the course of the night and overall from the event, more than $10,000 was raised in support and to benefit NAMI and MHA!

We’d like to offer a special thank you to the event organizer, John Groh, for including us in the evening and everyone who attended.

Fat Tuesday Kicks Off NAMI Golf Outing

NAMI of Erie County hosted a Fat Tuesday kickoff celebration on March 5th, 2019 for our Seventh Annual Golf Outing. The event took place at The Brewerie at Union Station and raised $575, an increase from the previous year!

The Mardi Gras themed event was complete with boas, feathered masks, beads, Dixieland jazz music, Cajun style cuisine, and guest bartending from NAMI’s Board of Directors. This fun filled night allowed guests to experience the rich culture associated with this New Orleans tradition, through all five senses.

In addition, this event allowed NAMI’S fabulous team members to spread awareness about the reality of mental illness. Proceeds raised from both events helps NAMI of Erie County to provide free educational services to families and individuals with mental health challenges.

We are thankful for the surrounding community in helping make both events a continuous success.

This year, our Seventh Annual Fabulous Golf Outing is scheduled for June 21, 2019 at Venango Valley Inn & Golf Course. Come out and enjoy lunch, a steak dinner, samplings from popular locations around Erie, $7,000 in raffle baskets, $3,000 in team prizes, and $22,000 in hole-in-one prizes.

To find out more information about this outing, call (814) 456-1773 or visit NAMIerie.org/fabulous. The journey to mental wellness starts with awareness, so please join us in making a difference in Erie County!

Soup and Cookie Jars Return for the Holidays

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Erie County’s popular soup and cookie jars and hot chocolate cones are back! We have plenty of jars and cones for the holiday season for sale. This year’s sale will feature the following recipes:

Cookies: Santa’s Extreme Cookies (your basic chocolate chip cookie made extreme with oatmeal, M&M’s, and a few secret spices), Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, and the new Munchy Crunchy Cookies (the perfect sweet and salty cookies loaded with chocolate chips, coconut, and crunchy cereal).

Soups: Merry Minestrone, Potato, and Friendship (split peas, lentils, barley, rice, pasta, onions, Italian seasonings, and beef bouillon).
Hot Chocolate Mixes: Peanut Butter, White Chocolate, and Peppermint.

Soup and cookie jars are $5, hot chocolate cones are $2 and they are now available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit NAMI’s free evidence-based programming.

We are offering three easy ways to place your order: online by visiting our website, over the phone, or stopping by the office. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for you to call in or stop by.

If you order ahead, we can have your order ready when you stop in! Soup and cookie jars make a great gift for your coworkers, neighbors, or children’s teachers, and you will know the gift you purchase supports a great cause!

NAMI Wins Second Gold Niagara Award

On Thursday, November 15th, NAMI won our second Gold Niagara Award at the 2018 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Northwestern Pennsylvania awards ceremony for our community report.

The Niagara Awards are awarded to an organization’s marketing project showing excellence in their category. This year, the Niagara Awards were held at the BrewERIE at Union Station.

This year, NAMI’s community report focused on NAMI’s past, as well as the future, of the organization with new projects, programs, and events, such as NAMI Basics and the 90s Dance Party. You can view a digital version of the community report at NAMIerie.org/about/community-report.

Thank you to the judges and PRSA NWPA Chapter for this great honor!

NAMI ‘Rocks On’ with the 90s Dance Party

On Saturday, November 3rd, NAMI hosted our first ever 90s Dance Party!

The rad event took place at Rainbow Gardens and benefited NAMI’s free educational programs and services. The dance had DJ Tony B playing the hottest 90s tracks while The Big Cheese food truck provided delicious snacks.

The dance featured plenty of totally rad glow sticks, slap bracelets, and DJ Tony B’s unreal light show.

Participants were encouraged to wear their favorite 90s gear, and they did not disappoint!

All proceeds from the dance will stay in Erie County to help individuals, families, and children facing the challenges of mental illness.

For more information on the 90s Dance, visit 90sDancePartyErie.com. Additional information on NAMI of Erie County can be found online at NAMIerie.org.

NAMI Basics Celebrates First Graduation

Pictured above are recently trained NAMI Basics teachers, including Tracy Palazzotto (far left), and Christina Halli (middle right), who taught the fall session.

On Thursday, October 11th, NAMI celebrated our first graduating class of our newest program, NAMI Basics. Congratulations to all of the program graduates!

Participants in the class learned about treatment options, how to manage crisis situations, an overview of the biological basis and symptoms of mental illness, self-care strategies, how to be an advocate for their child’s rights within the school system, and a variety of other topics.

NAMI Basics will return again this spring, so be sure to keep an eye out for our program registration announcements. For more information on NAMI Basics or to register for the next session, please visit our website, NAMIerie.org/programs.

NAMI Basics is made possible thanks to a generous grant from The Erie Women’s Fund.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAMI’s Soup and Cookie Jar Sales return

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Erie County’s popular soup and cookie jars are back! We’re hoping to have plenty of jars for the holiday season for sale. This year’s sale will feature the following recipes:

Cookies: Santa’s Extreme Cookies (your basic chocolate chip cookie made extreme with oatmeal, M&M’s, and a few secret spices), Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, and the new Munchy Crunchy Cookies (the perfect sweet and salty cookies loaded with chocolate chips, coconut, and crunchy cereal)

Soups: Merry Minestrone, Potato, and Friendship

Soup and cookie jars are $5, and they are now available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit NAMI’s free Family-to-Family and Peer-to-Peer Programs.

We are offering three easy ways to place your order: online by visiting our website, over the phone, or stopping by the office. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for you to call in or stop by.

If you order ahead, we can have your order ready when you stop in! Soup and cookie jars make a great gift for your coworkers, neighbors, or children’s teachers, and you will know that the gift you purchase supports a great cause!

NAMI Hosts First 90s Dance Party

90s Dance Party Saturday November 3 8p.m. to midnight at Rainbow Gardens $20 a person

On Saturday, November 3rd, NAMI will host our first ever 90s Dance Party! This rad event will take place at Rainbow Gardens, starting at 8 p.m. and last until midnight. It’s going to be “Supa Dupa Fly!”

Tickets for the dance are $20 per person. DJ Tony B will be playing all of your favorite 90s tracks and The Big Cheese Food Truck will have delicious snacks. The dance will feature plenty of totally rad glow sticks, slap bracelets, and an unreal light show.

Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite 90s gear, so break out your Starter Jackets and Doc Martins! All proceeds from the dance will stay in Erie County to help individuals, families, and children facing the challenges of mental illness.

Tickets are available online at 90sDancePartyErie.com, as well as locations across Erie including: The Beer & Pop Discount Warehouse, The Brewerie At Union Station, A Compassionate Hart Massage Therapy, Coventina Day Spa, Krauza Family Chiropractic, and various Northwest Saving Banks in the Erie Area.

For more information on the 90s Dance Party, please visit www.90sdancepartyerie.com. Additional information on NAMI of Erie County can be found online at www.NAMIerie.org.