2022 Year in Review

The year has moved quickly as we watched the seasons change from winter, to spring, to a blazing hot summer and early taste of fall.  Just like the seasons, our work is always evolving.

In the spring and summer we saw our newest program, Guardianship/POA/Rep Payee, grow exponentially.  We have the honor of serving almost 30 individuals; assuring their needs are met and their safety is assured. We have developed relationships with nursing homes, personal care homes, the Animal Rescue League, funeral homes, attorneys, doctor’s offices, and many other community partners. 

We held our second annual golf tournament fundraiser and saw an increase of 20 golfers this year.  We’ve continued to partner with a local bicycle club for events and continue to work to broaden our fundraising efforts for 2023!   

Our peer support program continues to serve many individuals in Berks County who are beginning their journey to mental wellness and our representative payee services continued to grow as well.

Our Educational Advocates continue to be quite busy with the resumption of in person learning in the fall of 2021.  Many children in Berks County are still struggling to catch up from the years of virtual learning caused by the pandemic.  Continued trainings to best serve our families is a goal for the Educational Advocates in the coming year.  

GRMHA is continuing the creation the first ever Berks County LOSS team to respond to surviving relatives and friends who are affected by a suicide.  With the help of the Berks County Suicide Prevention Task Force and RUOk Berks, we have compiled local resources to provide to coroners and funeral homes in Berks County. We started a second session for the Survivors of Suicide support group and attended the National LOSS team Conference in October. We are currently searching for volunteers to work in this program, hopefully beginning in early 2023.     

Our work is heavily dependent upon the generosity of our Berks County community.  There are several ways you can help us continue our mission. We have become an Amazon Smile non-profit which means we receive a portion of the purchases made when you designate us as your charity of choice (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/23-1522636).   You may make donations/contributions directly to us by mail or through online donations on our website.  You can sponsor a hole at our annual golf event or send a team to play!  And, if your employer participates in the United Way and you pledge, you may select our organization to be the recipient of your donations.  Every donation helps!

This is only a glimpse into the work that goes on at GRMHA daily.  The work we do here is critical to the betterment of Berks County and I remain grateful that I have the privilege to be a part of it. 

Stay well,
Wendy

Safe Medication Management

Please join us for a presentation on safe medication management on December 13, 2022 @ 11:30 am. Proper storage and disposal of medications helps prevent accidental and intentional misuse and also protects the environment. In this presentation offered by the Council on Chemical Abuse, you’ll learn about no-cost programs in Berks County to support medication safety, including drop box locations, medication lock boxes available free to residents, and medication disposal bags that neutralize medicines for safe disposal, also available at no cost to county residents.

This is a free event but please let us know you are coming by contacting Trisha Rotelli at (610) 775-3000.

Grief & Loss Group for children

Does your child feel like they weren’t ready to say goodbye? Are they struggling to process the loss of a loved one? If your answer is yes, Everlasting Wellness LLC has a grief and loss group that may be the perfect fit for your child aged 7 to 11.

This is a closed group that will meet at Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance on Fridays at 5:00 pm beginning November 11, 2022. For more information or to sign up please call 484-706-9465 or email us at intern@everlastingwellness.com.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Saturday, July 16, marks our country’s transition to 988 as the easy-to-remember number to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Ahead of the implementation Saturday, we want to share a compilation of resources for your reference.

  • The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) is a network of more than 200 state and local call centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health.
  • 988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use and other mental health crises.
  • To reach the Lifeline, people can call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.

On June 5, 2022 Holcomb will be providing crisis intervention

At midnight, on Sunday, June 5, 2022, Service Access & Management will no longer be providing crisis Intervention in Berks County’s. The new provider will be Holcomb; they can be reached at 610-379-2007. Please see the flyer (Spanish and English links below) for additional information.

Using your PEX Card in your digital wallet

The individuals who are in our Rep Payee program have been using the PEX Card system since July 2020. The PEX Card is a prepaid card that can be used anywhere a credit or debit card can be used. Now, our Rep Payee participants can add their PEX Card to their digital wallet. Click here for information on mobile payments with the PEX Card. Click here for information on how to add your PEX Card to your digital wallet.