The mission of The Mental Health Association of Westchester County, Inc. is to promote mental health in Westchester, New York through advocacy, community education and direct services.

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MHA: Hope, Respect, Commitment
Recover My Worth
Meet the newest graduates of MHA’s Culinary Arts Program

Join us to Run or Walk our 5k
on May 4th


ira 2014
The Ira S. Stevens 34th Memorial Conference
Monday, June 9th  |  DoubleTree by Hilton, Tarrytown
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Balancing the Duty of Care and the Dignity of Risk In A Managed Health Care System

patdeeganSave-the-Date to join us when Patricia E. Deegan Ph.D., internationally renowned thought leader and disruptive innovator in the field of behavioral health and recovery practices keynotes at our conference. 

Informed by the experience of her own recovery, Pat speaks eloquently about the “conspiracy of hope”, and the essential humanity of all people.  The focus for the day is on balancing the “Duty of Care” with the “Dignity of Risk” – supporting people to make decisions about their lives and expand their horizons.  Pat will also present “Shared Decision Making” a set of tools that help people, in collaboration with their health care providers, make decisions about their own health care based upon their own personal priorities.

Featured Speakers of the Week:




Christopher Gordon, MD,
Medical Director and Senior VP, Advocates, Inc.,
Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School


Brenda Miele Soares
Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Advocates Inc., Framingham, Massachusetts

“Bringing the Gifts and Challenges of Open Dialogue to the US – One Community Agency’s Experience.”

Dr. Gordon and Ms. Miele Soares will share their experiences over the past five years, bringing the Open Dialogue approach to working with people with mental health conditions to the United States, creating programs based on these principles both for people with new psychiatric crises and for people deeply engaged in the mental health system. They will share their stories of learning, some successes and some challenges. One of the dilemmas which the team has wrestled with has been how to offer people in psychiatric crisis the very best of what the medical system has to offer, while avoiding insofar as possible, the toxicities, disempowerment and other inadvertent impediments to recovery that psychiatric treatment and language can bring.


We are seeking volunteers to advocate for residents in licensed long term care facilities in Westchester County. Ombudsmen help resolve complaints, monitor quality of life and help preserve the dignity of residents. Training begins Thursday, May 1, 2014.

To become a certified ombudsman, a volunteer must be at least 21 years of age and complete a 36-hour training. A commitment of 4 hours weekly for one year is required.  
For more information, contact Margaret Hadad at (914) 345-5900 Ext. 7522 or

MHA on the move:
10 Years of Moving for Mental Health

Sunday, May 4, 2014 FDR State Park, Yorktown Heights, NY

Join us for the only 5K Run/Walk & 1 Mile Kids’ Race in the county in support of mental health.  Whether you run or walk, your participation helps raise the money that makes our work possible. With the data now showing that 1 in 5 live with a mental health condition, more effective help and better resources are essential.

Be an inspiration and go the extra mile to help change hearts and minds about mental health issues and erase stigma. Sign up now to run, walk or to become a fundraiser.

To register

For more information about the event, visit


ccsAPRIL 24—Text, Talk, Act is back! Text, Talk, Act to Improve Mental Health is an hour-long event that uses text messaging to get people talking about mental health and encourage them to take action. Through this event, young people can have a conversation with their peers and give voice to an issue that can otherwise be difficult for them to speak about. This event is geared toward young people, but people of all ages can participate and benefit from it. It's simple: At any time on April 24, gather 3-4 of your friends, family, classmates, students, and/or colleagues; Text "start" to 89800. Receive polling and discussion questions via text  while having a face-to-face dialogue with your group. To learn more and to register, go to

It's Time to Talk About It: A Family Guide for Youth Suicide Prevention

This guide describes the roles families can play in preventing youth suicide. It includes ways to help families become aware of warning signs and risk; ways to find help for at-risk youth; tips to help families promote emotional well-being; strategies to build partnerships with helping professionals; and ways families can become suicide prevention advocates and champions in their communities. A list of national mental health and educational resources is included. A Spanish language version of the guide is also available.

psychtodayThe Power of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present, in which you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them.  Mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. 

The practice of mindfulness does more than enhance the experience of well-being.  A recent study demonstrates the positive power of mindfulness training as part of a successful alcohol and relapse prevention treatment program.

Mindfulness training has also been associated with the ability to control food cravings – including cravings for chocolate. 




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