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For Immediate Release

Programs formerly provided by Mental Health America of Vanderburgh County are now provided under the Easterseals umbrella!

Focus on awareness, information and education will benefit the entire Tri-State.

 

Mental health matters with reaching hands

 
   In an innovative collaboration announced on August 12, 2021, programs formerly provided by Mental Health America of Vanderburgh County are now being provided under the umbrella of Easterseals. The initiative will help to meet the community's growing need for mental health information, education, and resources, and is expected to have a significant impact on the mental health crisis affecting so many Tri-State children, youth and families.
     Nationwide, one in four American adults lives with a diagnosable mental health condition. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has listed mental health as one of the state’s top five priorities. Locally, mental health issues are the focus of the Community Health Needs Assessment and Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s Task Force on Mental Health.
     To help address these needs, Easterseals began expanding its psychology services two years ago by creating a clinical psychology internship program. Predoctoral interns in their final year of training before earning a PhD provide assessment and treatment under the supervision of Easterseals staff psychologists. The internship has allowed Easterseals to quadruple the program’s capacity, reduce wait times for appointments, and serve 800 Tri-State children and families.
     A second priority of the Easterseals psychology expansion is to provide community outreach and education about mental health, which has been an area of expertise for Mental Health America of Vanderburgh County (MHA). MHA’s programs have provided support and resources to thousands of individuals in Vanderburgh County and beyond. Recognizing the potential for greater community impact, the MHA board of directors approached Easterseals. The organizations agreed on a proposal to utilize their combined expertise and resources to strengthen and expand local mental health programs.
     At the August 12th press conference, MHA Board Chair Erica Esche announced that MHA’s board will play an essential role in the collaboration’s strategic vision through a mental health advisory committee to the Easterseals board. Easterseals President/CEO Kelly Schneider announced that Emily Reidford, Executive Director of MHA for the past 10 years, has joined the Easterseals leadership team. As Vice President of Community Outreach & Education, Emily will continue the focus on mental health information, awareness and community trainings established and facilitated by MHA. Those important initiatives include Southwest Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition, Resilient Evansville, and FACES System of Care. Information about these programs is available by contacting Emily at 812-426-2640 or ereidford@evansvillerehab.com.
    Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and United Way of Southwestern Indiana President/CEO Amy Canterbury participated in the announcement, expressing their strong support. They congratulated both nonprofits for the excellent example of collaborating and combining resources to better serve the entire community.
     For details about the new collaboration and Easterseals mental health education and outreach programs, please call 812-426-2640.

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