As a comprehensive community mental health center, the Fond du Lac County Department of Community Programs takes part in many prevention and educational programs, and in regular consultation with agencies who share concerns regarding individuals with mental health needs. Some of these prevention/educational opportunities are presented by our staff for the general public, for special groups with particular interest, for fellow professional and for our consumers of mental health care. Other activities are collaborative efforts with other agencies in the community whose focus reflects our concerns in the mental health field.
Regular consultation is provided to the following:
Beacon House, local halfway house for women
Berry House, local halfway house for persons with severe and
persistent mental illness
Blandine House, local halfway house for men
Fond du Lac County Department of Social Services
Fond du Lac County School System
ATODA (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Abuse) Council
Domestic Violence Coalition, Legal Committee
Drug Free Communities Task Force
Fond du Lac Area Council for Healthy Communities
Fond du Lac Chapter National Alliance on Mental Illness
Fond du Lac School District CSI Program
Juvenile Firesetters Program
Mental Health Task Force
Senior Services Advisory Committee
Special Population Emergency Preparedness Task Force
Examples of two of our prevention activities:
In Mental Health: For the past 10 years DCP has co-sponsored with NAMI a special program during the first week in October which is designated as “Mental Illness Awareness Week.” One of our most successful programs was “Hearing Voices that are Distressing,” a
three hour interactive program originally developed by Dr, Patricia Deegan, psychologist, researcher and voice-hearer herself. Our program used Dr. Deegan’s materials to assist participants in understanding what it is actually like to have auditory hallucinations through the use of recorded simulated “voices” and personal headset. Participants heard Dr. Deegan speak on a video, spent about 45 minutes with their earphones on and their “voices” playing while trying to complete activities, such as games, reading, writing a letter, getting a soda, and just conversing. The conclusion of the program is a shared discussion of the personal experience of each participant. Very powerful! This program is often requested and rerun at intervals.
In Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse: Just this year our Juvenile Court Specialist, who does many good things for kids and our community, wrote for and received a grant from the Alliance for Families program. With fellow members of the ATODA Council, she developed a “Youth Summit ‘07” opportunity for students in grades 7-11. The focus is on youth coming together to share ideas and opinions, and to discuss topics such as local activities, diversity, health and community action issues. At lunchtime a speaker will address ATODA problems and issues to help stimulate that very important discussion. The entire program is free and offers youth from all schools and from all over the county the opportunity to meet, network and support each other.