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News & Events

Grab Your Soup & Cookie Jars Before the Holidays!

NAMI’s soup and cookie jars are back for the holiday season, but they won’t last long! All jars are handmade in our office, and we have plenty of recipes to choose from including:

Soup: Merry Minestrone (split peas, lentils, barley, rice, pasta, onions, Italian seasoning, and beef bouillon).

Cookies: Reindeer (made with old fashioned oats, dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and granola) Gingerbread (your basic gingerbread recipe, with a few secret spices!), and Holiday M&M (white chocolate chip cookies with red and green M&M’s to add a pop of color).

Soup and cookie jars are $5 each, and all proceeds benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free to the public Family-to-Family, Basics, and Homefront programs. We are offering three easy ways to place your order: online, over the phone at (814) 456-1773, or stopping by the office at 1611 Peach Street. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for you to call in or stop by.

Soup and cookie jars make a great gift for your coworkers, neighbors, or teachers, and you will know that the gift you purchase supports a great cause!

Schedule MHFA for Your Organization Today!

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training teaches participants how to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of a mental health challenge. Just as CPR helps someone with no clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps a person experiencing a mental health crisis.

In 2018 it was found that 19 percent (47.6 million) of U.S. adults experienced a mental illness, with suicide being second leading cause of death among people age 10-34 and the 10th leading cause of death overall. In Erie County, that’s over 55,000 individuals, or 1 in 5, that are going to face a mental health challenge this year. Less than half (43.3 percent) are going to receive the treatment that they need, with an average delay of 11 years before reaching out for help.

When you take MHFA, you are trained to help people in need. With so many experiencing a mental health challenge, it is becoming more common to learn what we as bystanders can do to help in a crisis.

NAMI has provided this training to many different organizations, such as: Crime Victim Center, Coventina Day Spa, the Multicultural Community Resource Center, and the YMCA, to name a few. MHFA is beneficial to organizations everywhere because it teaches information about mental illnesses, as well as builds empathy and communication skills.

If you would like to schedule a training for your staff, or are interested in community trainings held at the NAMI office, you can call (814) 456-1773.

Cookie & Soup Jars Are Back!

NAMI’s popular soup and cookie jars are back for the holiday season! We have plenty of recipes including:

Cookies: Reindeer (made with old fashioned oats, dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and granola) Gingerbread (your basic gingerbread recipe, with a few secret spices!), and Holiday M&M (white chocolate chip cookies with red and green M&M’s to add a pop of color)

Soup: Merry Minestrone (split peas, lentils, barley, rice, pasta, onions, Italian seasoning, and beef bouillon)

Soup and cookie jars are $5 each, and they are now available for purchase.

All proceeds will benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free Family-to-Family, Basics, and Homefront programs.

We are offering three easy ways to place your order: online by visiting our website at NAMIerie.org, over the phone at (814) 456-1773, or stopping by the office at 1611 Peach Street, Suite 218.

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 decide to order ahead, we can have your purchase ready for when you arrive at our office.

Soup and cookie jars make a great gift for your coworkers, neighbors, or teachers, and you will know that the gift you purchase supports a great cause!

Purse and Prize Bingo

Join NAMI for an exciting night of Purse and Prize Bingo on Saturday, December 7, doors open at 5:30 and games will begin at six!

This event will be held at St. John’s Social Hall in Girard at 1001 East Main Street. It will be BYOB and all proceeds will benefit NAMI of Erie County.

Tickets will be $25 per person or $100 for a table of five. You can purchase tickets at the NAMI office or Coventina Day Spa.
Other options include calling or texting (814) 460-0693 or following our link online at here.

By participating, you will have the chance to win purses and wallets designed by Michael Kors, Coach, and Kate Spade, as well as other fabulous prizes!

Along with purses and prizes, participants will get the chance to purchase raffle tickets for the possibility to win one of the many raffle baskets available.

NAMI Hosts 2nd Annual 90s Dance

On Saturday, October 12 NAMI hosted the second annual 90s Dance Party! The rad event took place at Rainbow Gardens and benefited NAMI of Erie County’s free educational programs and services.

The dance had DJ Tony B playing the hottest 90s tracks with an unreal light show, and there were plenty of totally sweet glow sticks and slap bracelets for everyone to reminisce about the 90s.Participants were encouraged to wear their favorite 90s gear, and they did not disappoint!

The costume contest winners (pictured right) were Courtney Steding and Allison Hodas dressed as Julia Roberts from the movie Pretty Woman.

This dance could not have been possible without our totally rad sponsors: Erie News Now, the Erie Reader, Great Lakes Metal Finishing, Lamar Advertising, Northwest Bank, TechWorx, Tipsy Bean, and UPMC Health Plan.

The details for next year’s dance are still in the works, but you can K.I.T. (keep in touch!) with us by following our Facebook page at 90sDanceErie or going to our website, 90sDancePartyErie.com.

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

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!