The Center County Mental Health Community Committee (MHCC) works to promote mental health awareness, community partnerships and education regarding mental health services, support and training opportunities. The committee has been active for almost 10 years and is currently focused on finding new ways to grow.
“Our goal is to ensure that everyone in Center County can find mental health support when they need it,” said MHCC Chair Nicki Tice.
MHCC was founded in 2013 after a community survey identified mental health as one of the most pressing health issues in Center County. MHCC meetings began with a series of brown lunches hosted by the Center County Partnership for Community Health. Eventually, this informal gathering grew into a coalition of members from various mental and physical health providers and organizations.
The coalition was eventually named the Community Mental Health Committee. The committee now meets every two months and members work together to find ways to ensure that all Center County residents have access to the mental health information and services they need. Recent meetings have been attended by staff from organizations including Center County Crisis Response Team, State College Borough Police, Skills of Central PA, The Meadows, Strawberry Fields and Opportunity Center Clubhouse, bringing together a diverse mix of perspectives and experiences.
In addition, several staff members now dedicate time each week to improving and expanding the MHCC website, MHCCCentre.com.
Finding support and learning about available mental health services are some of the first steps towards recovery, and the goal of the MHCC website is to make those steps as simple as possible. The site answers frequently asked questions about mental health, provides information about mental health service providers in Center County, and links to mental health and crisis resources. Additionally, the site offers a calendar of area mental health and wellness events open to any Center County resident.
“The CSMC is a great way for different vendors to come together and share ideas,” Tice said. “We all have the same goal, which is to help as many people as possible get the support they need so they can work on their recovery, and our committee members are great at finding creative ways to help us achieve this 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 the MHCC on Facebook at facebook.com/MentalHealthCommunityCommittee.
Kacee Baker is an employee of Skills of Central PA.