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Mental Health America of Jackson County


Frequently Asked Questions





  1. What is the Mental Health America?
  2. What are the Association's goals?
  3. What services are provided by the Association?
  4. What, exactly, is the Ombudsman Program?
  5. How else does the Association help the mentally ill?
  6. Why does the Mental Health America have a bell as its logo?
  7. How can I help?


  1. What is the Mental Health America ?
     Mental Health America is a statewide organization with over 60 local chapters, created to work for the mental health of all citizens and victory over mental illness.  Mental Health America is the only broad-based group of citizens, consumers and professionals concerned with all aspects of mental health and mental illness.
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  2. What are the Association's goals?
     Mental Health America  of Jackson County is working to:
    • Promote the mental health of all Jackson County citizens through educational programs.
    • Increase public understanding and acceptance of persons with a mental illness.
    • Foster the delivery of the most appropriate and effective services to all individuals in need.
    • Advocate public policy change to initiate reform of the mental health service delivery system.
      From our earliest history it has been understood that in order to change the manner in which mental health services are provided, the Association must become a strong voice within government.
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  3. What services are provided by the Association?
    Among the services offered by the Mental Health America of Jackson County are:
    • The continuing education of the public to combat the stigma surrounding mental and emotional disorders. By increasing the knowledge of the general public, our friends, neighbors, the clergy, law enforcement, industrial management, barbers and beauticians become more able to recognize and to help the mentally ill.
    • The Christmas Gift Lift which provides holiday gifts for patients in state hospitals and group homes. At no other time of the year would a patient feel as isolated as in the season of peace and goodwill without a special gift and attention.
    • The Mental Health Ombudsman Program which serves consumers moving from state hospitals to the community. Ombudsmen work to resolve problems consumers may face in community living. The idea is to prevent problems from becoming so serious that re-hospitalization is necessary.
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  4. What, exactly, is the Ombudsman Program?
    • The Ombudsman Program's purpose is to serve mental health consumers living in the community by acting as advocates or mediators on their behalf.
    • Consumers, family members and interested individuals may call if they have questions or concerns about services, care, treatment or rights.
    • To reach the Ombudsman Intake Site, call Mental Health American's Jackson County Chapter at: 522-3480. The office is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
    • The intake site will resolve the issue locally, or if needed will contact the regional Ombudsman who will work with the consumer and local provider to resolve the issue.
    • If the issue is not resolved to the consumer's satisfaction, the Ombudsman Director is contacted for assistance.
    • When the situation cannot be resolved the case will be referred to the Division of Mental Health or the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Service.
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  5. How else does the Association help the mentally ill?
     Mental Health American of Jackson County helps the mentally ill by:
    • Assisting our legislators in their search for facts. The Association is the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves with the objective of bringing about better care for sick children and adults by establishing a network of community mental health centers. While the development of the centers is on schedule, much still needs t be done.
    • Providing volunteers to work with patients and consumers. An average of 6000 volunteers serve statewide as friends to patients and consumers making them feel cherished and loved.
    • Promoting improved care and treatment of the mentally ill and emotionally disturbed children.
    • Preventing emotional and mental disorders whenever possible. More is being learned each year about ways in which some of these illnesses can be prevented.
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  6. Why does the Mental Health American  use a bell as its logo?
    The bell symbol was derived from an actual bell, the Mental Health Bell, which was cast in 1953 from the chains and shackles formerly used to bind mental patients. The huge bell is kept in the MHA/National Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The bell bears the inscription: "Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness." The bell is a nationally recognized symbol of hope, vision and liberty for the mentally ill in our country.
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  7. How can I help?
     Mental Health America of Jackson County needs the help of concerned individuals to meet its goals in serving the needs of our community's mentally ill. For further information, or to volunteer your services, please write, call, or E-mail the Mental Health America Executive Director at:
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    Mental Health America of Jackson County
    PO Box 51
    Seymour, IN 47274
    ATTN: Laura Stahl - Executive Director
    812-522-3480

    jcmha@verizon.net


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