Monthly Archives: December 2012

Recovering from holiday foods? Try this:

“Take an extra ten minutes a day to prepare healthy meals.  By devoting a few minutes to planning for more nutritious eating, you invest in your own health and that of your family. Studies from UCLA suggest that a wholesome, home-cooked dinner takes only about ten minutes longer to prepare, on average, than serving processed or ready-made food. If you make enough for leftovers, you’ll save time in the long run. And don’t forget: obesity, diabetes, and heart disease all lead to doctor and hospital visits—which take a lot of time.”

-from ICount Wellness



December 20, 2012

12:00-2:30 P.M. 



  • Committee Break-Outs
  • Meeting Format                              
  • Introductions                                        
  • Housekeeping Update & Diplomacy Reminder
  • Review of minutes
  • CSP Budget
  • Committee Break-Out Reports
  • Advocacy Subcommittee
  • Public Policy Subcommittee
  • Social Subcommittee
  • CSP Regional Report
  • Joint Provider Update
  • Personal Wellness
  • New Business


Montgomery County CSP Mission Statement:

MontgomeryCounty’s Community Support Program (CSP) brings together individuals that receive mental health services, their family members, providers and the Department of Behavioral Health in an equal partnership to promote recovery and excellence in the delivery of community-based mental health services.

 CSP Meeting Information:

 Because we encourage new membership, we want to ensure that everyone that attends the meeting has the opportunity to learn more about the Community Support Program, the CSP principles and the purpose of this committee.  A community of support systems represents a philosophy about the way in which services should be delivered to persons with mental illness.  Individuals with mental illness are seen, first and foremost, as persons with basic human needs and aspirations. A basic value of the CSP concept is that the community is the best place for people to have access to the supports and opportunities needed by all persons as well as to specialized mental health services.  The CSP concept is based on creating opportunities for individuals to develop their potentials–for growth, improvements, and movement toward independence–rather than fostering a life of dependency, disability, and “chronic patienthood”.

 Pennsylvaniahas a state CSP committee whose major function is to see that the perspectives of individuals that receive services, family members and providers are all being represented within the mental health system.  Each region has a CSP committee to which local CSP committees report.   

 MontgomeryCounty’s CSP encourages input and volunteerism from individuals that receive services, family members and providers.  Please ask questions about anything that you don’t understand.  If you would like any more information about CSP, please see one of the co-chairs after the meeting.


Thank you for your participation in the meeting.



Montgomery County CSP Committee Meeting

November 15, 2012


Topic Discussion Action
Review of Minutes The committee reviewed the minutes and Vera updated the committee about the Extended Acute Care proposal that the county has been working on.   
Budget Report Mary Fala outlined the current expenditures, which were pizza and Community Connection grants.  
Committee Reports 




















Mary Fala reported:-       The committee talked about advocacy about the budget and the suggestion to bring Kate Atkins to talk about the budget process so that the committee is educated before the commissioners attend a future meeting.

–       Discussion about whether to make a separate newsletter committee so that the advocacy committee can spend more time discussing issues rather than planning the newsletter.

–       Discussion about new Mobile crisis diversion service versus MCES’s crisis diversion service, which emphasized diversion from hospitals.  The committee will invite Access Services, which is providing the services, to present information at December’s meeting about the new program.


Ameika Malcolm reported:

–       The committee discussed the upcoming project to spruce up the library community room – they are continuing to work on getting resources for that.

–       NAMI in Lansdale have agreed to partner to host a Lansdale brunch – we’re working on a location.

–       The committee is continuing to try to get the word out about the Community Connection grants.  

 Kate Atkins to be invited to future mtg.


Access to be invited to Dec. mtg to speak



Committee to continue looking for resources for library spruce up. 


Lansdale brunch to be scheduled

County Updates Vera Zanders talked about how the feedback from CSP is used plan and provide services in the county.  An additional crisis residential service is starting – the need for this service was identified in the CSP surveys last year, and the criteria that the committee who reviewed the proposals for the service were set from the feedback from those surveys as well.  

Another need that was identified by CSP services was the need for a peer run warm line.  Access Services will be providing both services, and they will begin rolling out those services in January 2013 in part of the county and will grow to serve the whole county. 


The next area the county is working on based on the previous surveys is how to improve services for Residential Services in ways that help people connect to available resources in the community. 


Matt Sarafinas said that he had attended the kickoff for the Residential Transformation project and he was interested to see how a Housing First approach provides 100% upfront vouchers to move people into apartments without having to find resources for upfront costs and without having to spend 70% or more of income on housing.  The committee discussed issues like the unavailability of Housing Vouchers (formerly Section 8), transportation, and the need for roommate matching services. 

Ideas for roommate matching included creating a Craig’s List-like site online for providers to use, what kind of questions people should ask potential roommates, and using peer support to facilitate roommate issues.  Also, a concern about sharing a living space impacting household income for Social Security was raised.





















Committee agreed to keep discussing ideas for housing issues.


 Joint Provider Update  Matt Sarafinas had no report because the Joint Provider meeting was canceled last month. Matt will forward information from the September meeting to Sue Shannon to include with the minutes (the Roadmap for Housing Stability presentation from the September meeting is attached).   
Approval of Gas Card Procedures The Gas Card Application was distributed and discussed by the county.  

A concern was raised about how to choose which applications will be given priority.  The suggestion was made to give out the same number of cards each month, and for the original planning committee to draft a more specific priorities list (ie whether a person attends CSP, etc).

Committee to begin accepting and considering gas card applications at the next CSP meeting
CSP Regional The state approved a budget for the CSP Regional committee with a 10% reduction, so the regional committee would receive a budget of $8550. The committee has also received an additional $5000 from the regional OMHSAS office. 

The committee is planning a holiday party at their December meeting.  It is also publishing a December newsletter which will incorporate information from the Alternatives conference, including information from the keynote speaker, Mary Ellen Copeland.


The November meeting included a discussion about the plans for the scope of work for the year, and specifically about diversion from the Norristown State Hospital, an issue that arose from members of the NSH Human Rights Committee.  The committee plans to survey the five counties in the region to see whether the lack of availability of long term acute care at the Norristown State Hospital is causing issues. 

New Business Jesse Celestin from MCES talked to the committee about MCES’s effort to facilitate people being able to vote.  She helped everyone who wanted to vote receive and submit absentee ballots.  Three members of the CSP committee also gave a presentation at the Norristown State Hospital about voting and they were impressed by how motivated the people were there to vote.  

There was a discussion about library spruce up for MLK day – it may not be possible to get everything organized in time for MLK day, but if not, we will schedule another day to volunteer when the supplies are organized. 



Self-Healing Practices

Part of self-advocacy is learning new ways to stay well or get well using self-healing practices. Periodically, we will share wellness tips and cartoons that we find helpful or amusing. Here are some thoughts for today:

Your Wellness Tip For Today
Reconsider those long hot shower you take. Too much time in a hot shower can literally melt the layer of lipids that bonds your skin cells together and keeps moisture in. Even though your body will replace those lipids, it takes several hours and during that time moisture escapes at a very high rate. Instead, consider warm showers that last no longer than 10 minutes. You may not love it as much, but your skin will be more plump and moisturized!


During the holidays, we sometimes spend more money than we have. Try to stay within your budget!

Never enough decorations for the Christmas season

Yesterday on Friday we were going through the new arrivals and we uncovered  many Christmas decorations. I was so excited because I really didn’t anticipate decorating  my apartment this year. I get my enjoyment by decorating our lounge area and conference room at  HopeWorx during the past two years,  but now I am able to do my own thing in my own apartment thanks to the donor that gave us the beautiful assortmetnt of decorations. All you Hope Market members should take a trip to the market, because we have plenty left.

 Before Christmas gets here I encourage members and non-members to please donate toys. Even if you have to wait til after Christmas, that’s OK too. Those toys that are not longer of interest to a child could be really appreciated by another kid.

Have a Merry Christmas!