May is Mental Health Month: Family Service Encourages You to Speak Up and Share What Mental Illness Feels Like

May 02, 2016 | Family Service Press Release

When mental illnesses are discussed, the language typically used to describe them tends to be clinical and impersonal. These words, while useful for doctors or clinicians, often don’t do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like. That is why this year’s theme for Mental Health Month—Life With a Mental Illness—is a call to action to share what life with a mental illness feels like to someone going through it.

Mental Health Month was started 67 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

This year, Family Service and Mental Health America are encouraging individuals to give voice to what it really means to live with a mental illness. Life with a Mental Illness is meant to help remove the shame and stigma of speaking out, so that more people can be comfortable coming out of the shadows and seeking the help they need.

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At homeless camp, waiting and worrying

May 01, 2016 | J.D. Mullane | Bucks County Courier Times

Chris Hilgar is 51 and homeless. It’s Monday. He stands in the brick plaza of the Levittown Veterans Memorial, worrying.

“They’ve told us we gotta get out by 8 (a.m.) Friday. But where to? I don’t have any place to go.”

He looks around the Bucks County Government Services center, a sprawling campus that holds the Levittown Library, an automobile impound lot and, in the distance, woods.

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Family Service’s Helpline Volunteer Answers Call and Saves a Life

April 26, 2016 | Family Service Press Release

A college student recently called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK), and one of Family Service Association of Bucks County’s volunteer listeners answered the phone. The caller told the listener that he had been thinking about suicide for a while now and, just the night before, he had sat on a bridge contemplating whether or not to jump off.

The caller said he had contacted the student health center to make a therapy appointment, but the earliest appointment he could get was a few weeks away. With the student’s permission, Family Service’s volunteer listener called the student health center and informed the staff of the caller’s thoughts of suicide and experience on the bridge.

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Customers Bank makes donation

April 25, 2016 | Bucks County Courier Times

Customers Bank, with branches throughout the region including Doylestown, recently had a check presentation ceremony acknowledging the bank’s $25,000 donation to Family Service Association of Bucks County, an outreach organization serving more than 24,000 Bucks County residents each year.

The donation has been earmarked to support programs including the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter. With approximately one-third of the shelters’ residents children, the donation will help to fund building a playground and expand the facilities’ parking area for families and service providers.

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Area tech school students heading to national SkillsUSA competition

April 25, 2016 | Joan Hellyer | Bucks County Courier Times

A team of Bucks County Technical High School students is using its talents to not only compete in the annual SkillsUSA competition, but also to help others.

Madeline Bobst, Sage Hall and Gianna Manela teamed up to create a hot sauce called Tech Sauce using the perfect blend of tomatoes, distilled vinegar, peppers, garlic, water and other ingredients. The teammates also worked collaboratively with two student artists to create the labeling for the hot sauce and students from the school’s carpentry department to create the packaging for it, said Gianna, a junior.

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Customers Bank Donates $25,000 to Family Service Association of Bucks County

April 20, 2016 | Family Service Press Release

Customers Bank, a community-based bank with locations throughout the region, has donated $25,000 to Family Service Association of Bucks County (Family Service), a non-profit organization that serves more than 24,000 people in need each year in Bucks County.

Family Service offers a variety of programs and services focused on increasing opportunities for adults, protecting seniors, reducing substance abuse, improving the lives of those with mental illness, preparing children and adolescents for the future, improving the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS and more.

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William E. Clark Elected to Family Service Board of Directors

March 17, 2016 | Family Service Press Release

William E. Clark of Doylestown was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Family Service Association of Bucks County.

Clark, a licensed Title Agent in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is the Chief Operations Manager at First Platinum Abstract, LLC in Bensalem. He brings more than twenty-five years of business experience to Family Service. Clark is a member of the Pennsylvania Land Title Association, and he also serves on the panel for Bucks County’s Community Accountability Program through the District Attorney’s Office.

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Bucks homeless groups get $500,000 in grants

March 10, 2016 | James Boyle | Bucks County Courier Times

More than $500,000 in renewed federal grants has been awarded to a network of Bucks County organizations working to turn the tide of local homelessness. Led by the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development, the network uses a hotline and evaluation system to determine the best ways to serve the at-risk community. It’s the kind of operation that can’t survive without a steady stream of funding.

“We are a coalition of government agencies and nonprofits that address homelessness in Bucks County,” said Marti Woglom, executive director of housing and community development. “The grant application goes through us, and the money goes directly to the organizations.”

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Pennsylvania’s Labor & Industry Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Announces $1.2 Million in Transition Services Contracts

February 23, 2016 | PR Newswire

The Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation today announced eight recipients of Transition Services contracts totaling $1.2 million.

Contracts are awarded to develop new and expanded innovative strategies and programs to provide transition services, including pre-employment transition services, for high school students with disabilities.

“Labor & Industry is proud to facilitate the transition from education to job-readiness with this additional funding that will go a long way in ensuring that students with disabilities receive services at the appropriate time in their lives,” L&I Secretary Kathy Manderino said. “This money will help young people with disabilities transition from high school to secondary education or meaningful employment smoothly and with greater success.”

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Family Service volunteer saves a life

February 18, 2016 | Bucks County Herald

A few weeks ago, a young man called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and one of Family Service Association of Bucks County’s volunteer listeners answered the phone. The man told the listener that he was depressed and was thinking of suicide. The caller felt very much alone and isolated.

He had spoken with his father about his feelings, but he didn’t think his father really understood how troubled he was. After talking about his options and his need to be safe, the caller brought his father into the call.

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