MHA supports the professional community by offering professional training opportunities. Since 1986, MHA has been an authorized source for Continuing Education working as an independent provider and through collaborative partnerships with other community providers. A five year contract with Broward County resulted in a Training Program for publicly resourced agencies that included development of resources for INTEGRATED SERVICES delivery to persons with co-occurring mental health and substance disorders, an ALL STAR LEADERSHIP ACADEMY for representatives of human services provider agencies and a CONSUMER LEADERSHIP ACADEMY that works to build capacity for future self-advocacy initiatives by persons served. Benefits of these programs are felt throughout the system of care where Integrated Services evolved to become the BROWARD CARES Workgroup and the Leadership program, now funded via a grant from American Express, continues to build strengths for the community.
In 2003, MHA was selected as the recipient of a grant to develop the PAMELA ANN GLASSMAN EDUCATION PROGRAM. The program is named for a local psychologist whose tragic suicide resulted from depression. It supports an array of professional and public education initiatives and serves as a venue for exhibition of MHA’s permanent collection of artworks.
Public education, particularly as a means to eliminate stigma, is also a core service of MHA. Staff and volunteers participate as presenters at community forums and are available to educate groups and organizations about mental health as a desirable goal for everyone. In 1992, Mental Health America (then titled National Mental Health Association) named Broward County as a pilot site for its National Public Education Campaign on Clinical Depression. That initiative expanded to include resources, information and programming on Anxiety Disorders, Children’s Disorders, Eating Disorders, Dual-diagnosis issues and Consumer initiatives. The campaign educated thousands of local residents on the symptoms and treatment opportunities for these prevalent but treatable disorders. It also challenges the community to recognize the humanity of persons diagnosed with mental illnesses. The campaign has helped to challenge attitudes and save lives.
In 1993, MHA introduced “CONNECTIONS”, a comprehensive and user friendly guide to mental health services in Broward County. “Connections” has become an essential community resource that is utilized by providers, case managers, the Courts, families and consumers. More than 10,000 copies are updated and distributed annually. Grant funds from Broward County and DCF/ADM and proceeds of private agency sales have allowed Connections to be offered at no cost to primary consumers, families and key community agencies.
In 1991, MHA expanded and formalized its INFORMATION and REFERRAL activities, a core service since the organization’s founding, by publishing the first DIRECTORY OF PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS. The Directory offered the first verified and documented source of information on behavioral health professional providers in the County. Its success has resulted in updated publications and an expanded outreach through MHA’s website
In 2003, a grant from Broward County allowed MHA to introduce “Connections for Kids.” That resource guide, a mainstay for parents seeking help for younger children with behavioral challenges and for community providers who work with those children, their families was unfortunately discontinued in 2011 with the elimination of funding. Children’s resource information is now included in our Connections resource guide..