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Life-changing program ‘H.U.G.S.’ helping children with mental illness

Life-changing program ‘H.U.G.S.’ helping children with mental illness
By: Jennifer Jones
Please click below for our recent H.U.G.S. story on WINK News. The story and original link can be found here.


Originally Posted Here…
By Ali Siemianowski

Florida’s public mental health funding is among the lowest in the U.S., with a system demand for treatment that is often far greater than available resources. NAMI of Collier County sought to change the barriers and lack of resources that many parents face accessing much-needed services for their children.

Anyone reading this knows that early intervention is critical to preventing future serious problems for kids, like problems at school, substance use, criminal behavior, violence and self-harm. In a recent webinar, Donna Charbonneu and Kathryn Hunter, both with NAMI of Collier County, talked about how their innovative HUGS […]

Well-known Naples man dies suddenly, leaves behind legacy

Originally posted by the Naples Daily News, here.
By Hanna Marcus

Before anyone could predict who Todd Foege would be, he knew.

In the sixth grade, he told his teacher he wanted to be a child psychologist. On the playground, he’d break up fights, or mediate arguments between other kids — he’d do anything to help, his mom, Maripat Kline said, because that’s who he was.

His title never became psychologist, but his mission stayed the same from that sixth grade day on: He helped kids.

He was a teacher and confidant for at-risk kids, a pillar of hope for disadvantaged people and a […]

O’Neill Foundation Awards $10,000 to NAMI of Collier County’s H.U.G.S. Program


June 25, 2015

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Collier County
6216 Trail Blvd., Bldg. C, Naples, FL 34108
Contact: Jacquelyn Sly (239) 260-7300

O’Neill Foundation Awards $10,000 to NAMI of Collier County’s H.U.G.S. Program

(Naples, FL – June 25, 2015) – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Collier County is elated to announce that their H.U.G.S. (Health Under Guided Systems) program was recently the recipient of a $10,000 grant from The William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation, which is a private, family foundation whose vision is for strong communities where all families thrive and […]

How to Support a Loved One’s Mental Health

By Brendan McLean
Originally Posted here

“In any given year, only 60% of people with a mental illness get mental health care. As a result, family members and caregivers often play a large role in helping and supporting them. 

Millions of people have experienced the thoughts and questions you might be having now. You may be trying to help a family member who doesn’t have access to care of doesn’t want help. Or you may want to learn how to support and encourage someone who has been hospitalized or experienced a similar mental health crisis. Take a look at this infographic we […]

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    Naples Daily News Guest Commentary: Naples woman shares story about ties that bind too tightly

Naples Daily News Guest Commentary: Naples woman shares story about ties that bind too tightly

By Deena Baxter
Originally posted here

The Naples Daily News published a Guest Commentary by Deena Baxter on May 25, 2015. It shines a light on NAMI-Collier’s H.U.G.S. Program, honors National Mental Health Month, and is a tribute to her friend and their children who died from mental illness. Click here to read the commentary, or read on for a short excerpt.

“After struggling for many years from crisis to crisis, we lost our youngest adult son to suicide, death by mental illness. I called Kate with the news. After a short pause, she said, “I’m just waiting for a similar call.” […]

81 Awesome Mental Health Resources When you Can’t Afford a Therapist

Originally posted here

Sure, pretty much everyone could benefit from therapy. But not everyone can afford it. Thankfully, there’s a whole world of free or affordable mental health care out there designed to help you with just about every issue, whether that’s kicking an addiction, managing your emotions, finding a group of like-minded peers, or recovering from trauma. Even better? Some of these resources are available whenever you need them. (No need to schedule an appointment between the hours of 9 and 5.) Support groups, hotlines and call centers, websites and online forums, and even apps can be […]

Five Ways to Support Siblings in Special Needs Families

By Alyson Krueger
Originally Posted here…

When Sophie Kleinhandler was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder at 8, one thing that meant a lot to her was the support of her sister Rachel.

“My older sister started worrying about me,” Sophie recalled, “and she told me something really special. There’s a song called ‘Lean on Me,’ and she said, ‘Sophie, now that you have OCD I want you to lean on me when you’re upset and you can’t handle anything.'”

Rachel was a big help to Sophie, but Sophie’s OCD was hard on Rachel, too.

Sophie would get very upset if she was touched without warning. If […]

Local Mental Health Organization's Youth Screening Program Focuses on Early Detection

Originally Posted Here

A local arm of a national mental health advocacy organization has developed a successful way to screen children for signs of possible behavioral issues.

A 2010 report from the National Advisory Mental Health Council said one out of every four adults in the US suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. The local program garnered attention last month when it won an award from a national mental illness campaign.

When Mindy Wendt’s 11-year-old son Matthew gets upset, he sometimes punches holes in the wall.

In his room, there are three holes above where he lays his head at night.

Wendt said […]

HUGS Program Makes Headlines

Behavioral Help for At-Risk Youth
By Ed Mund
Originally Posted Here

Kathryn Hunter only needs nine words to describe the positive effect of Collier County’s Health Under Guided Systems (HUGS) program. “Families are so overjoyed that somebody else gets it,” she says.

Since the HUGS program’s inception in 2010, the families of more than 3,000 low-income, at-risk children and youth in the Florida county have lent truth to those words.

HUGS is administered by NAMI of Collier County, a Naples-based affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Hunter is the organization’s CEO. The program provides universal screening and early identification of children who have […]