14 Goodwill Staff Receive Certification in National/International Mental Health Recovery Program

December 17, 2010, Press Release
First and Only Cambria County Organization with Certified WRAP® Facilitators

JOHNSTOWN, PA, December 17, 2010—Fourteen staff members of Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies , Inc. who serve individuals with serious mental illness have received certification as Wellness and Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP®) Facilitators from the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. The intensive seven‐day training and certification course was provided by the Copeland Center at Goodwill’s headquarters in Johnstown. Made possible through an $18K Wellness Endowment Grant from Lee Initiatives, Inc., the course consisted of a workshop, including interactive instruction, breakout sessions, trainee delivery exercises, and one‐on‐one trainee evaluations.

Goodwill is only the second organization in Pennsylvania whose entire psychiatric rehabilitation and peer support staff consists of CertifiedWRAP Facilitators, and the first and only organization in Cambria County to employ Certified WRAP Facilitators. Staff members are Janice Aspey, Tricia Fisher, Courtney McDermott, Lindsey Raco, Melissa Shinholt, Jason Werner, Colleen Wolfhope, Matthew Gustkey, June Lowery, Kelly Lundgren, Jeannine Kadillac, Brian Woy, Barb Feather, and Dana Newcomer.

WRAP is being utilized in formal and informal recovery programs in all 50 U.S. States and in countries around the world and has been recognized as an emerging best practice in the field of mental health recovery. It is a simple, safe, self‐help system, complementary to any therapy or philosophy, which helps people to identify what makes them feel uncomfortable and create an action plan to ease those feelings. Itis also used to discover what makes people feel good and balanced so that they can add more of those things to their lives. Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois recently conducted a study of 80 individuals who participated in WRAP programs;the research revealed “significant improvements in symptoms and many psychosocial outcome areas associated with recovery” (Cook, et al, 2009).

Because Goodwill works with a large number of members of the community with disabilities, the ultimate goal of this project is to improve mental health services in Cambria County. Goodwill will do this by empowering, annually, 100–110 individuals(primarily low income) who have a diagnosed mental illness to manage their symptoms and triggers, and take control of their daily lives, improve their functioning in the domains of employment and employment training, educational pursuits, socialization, independent living, and, in the words of Goodwill’s mission statement, “achieve their fullest potential in the community through work services.”

Goodwill will immediately implement WRAP facilitation with the appropriate participants in the irrespective programs. In 2009 alone, these programs were serving a total of 323 individuals, with approximately 270 of these (83%) having mental health diagnoses. Of those 270,Goodwill believes about 90 will be most appropriate and feasible for service through WRAP facilitation during the next 12 months.

Goodwill is recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW)for its expertise in mental health service delivery. The DPW has licensed Goodwill’s Recovery and Community Integration Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program and Goodwill’s Peer Support Program.

For information, please contact Janice Aspey ,Director of Community Integration Services at(814) 536‐3536, ext.287 orjaspey@goodwilljohnstown.org. To learn about Goodwill, visit www.goodwillsouthcentralpa.org.

Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley (GICV), Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1962 to empower individuals and families with employment barriers to achieve their fullest potential in the community through work services. Headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, GICV serves individuals with disabilities and disadvantages, dislocated workers, youth, and other job seekers throughout south central Pennsylvania in the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset and a portion of Westmoreland by providing education and career services as well as job placement and postemployment supports. GICV is a community-based member organization of Goodwill Industries International, a 179-member network in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries. Learn more at www.gicv.org.
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