Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SAMHSA and Facebook Partner to Prevent Suicides

Image from SAMHSA Blog.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Facebook have partnered together on an innovative and life-saving project: fighting the suicide epidemic through collaboration and early intervention.

As part of a new service, the social networking site will enable Facebook users in the United States and Canada to report suicidal comments posted by their friends on the site. Facebook will then send the user a rapid-response email with a direct link to an online crisis worker and the telephone number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Here's how U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin described the new partnership today on the SAMHSA blog:
"Facebook is an important part of that partnership, and I’m excited about the new initiative to augment its response to potentially suicidal members by offering the opportunity for a private chat with a trained crisis representative from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline in addition to providing the Lifeline’s phone number. This service will be available to people who use Facebook in the United States and Canada. The new service enables Facebook users to report a suicidal comment they see posted by a friend to Facebook using either the Report Suicidal Content link or the report links found throughout the site.  The person who posted the suicidal comment will then immediately receive an e-mail from Facebook encouraging them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or to click on a link to begin a confidential chat session with a crisis worker."
Ada S. McKinley applauds both SAMHSA and Facebook for working together to address such a critical issue that effects thousands of Americans each year. What a wonderful way to harness the power of social networking for social good.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Agency Hosts Holiday Open House in New Offices

Executive Director George Jones (left) with McKinley friends and staff.
Close to 200 guests and staff attended an Open House celebration at Ada S. McKinley's new office building on Dec. 9. Guests were asked to bring an unwrapped toy for McKinley’s annual holiday toy drive, and more than 200 toys were collected for needy children. The toys were distributed to McKinley Head Start and Child Care Centers and through our Foster Care program.

The Open House planning and execution was in the hands of the capable Director of Community Affairs Brenda Fashola. Highlights included soft keyboard music provided by a student at Vandercook School of Music at the evening’s onset and the sounds of Anthony Kidonakis & Friends, a full jazz ensemble, later that night. The scrumptious fare was catered by David Jenson Foods.

The new administrative office space reflected breathtaking holiday splendor, thanks to the hard work of Property Manager Tracey Stokes and Braxton Davis of the janitorial services staff.

Monday, December 5, 2011

McKinley Clients' Artistry Displayed on Holiday Cards

From left to right: William Anderson, William Davis and 
LaTonya Cummings proudly display their holiday cards.
Happy holidays! We have a wonderful story to share with you today that's sure to warm your heart. The art work of three clients from our Vocational Services area was selected for the covers of Little City Foundation holiday greeting cards this season.

William Anderson, LaTonya Cummings and William Davis submitted their art work in the Spring and quickly learned through Nelly Gamboa, director of the Vocation Services Center that their designs were among six chosen to grace the covers of the foundation’s assorted greeting cards this year.

Anderson’s artwork features a Nativity scene, while Cummings designed a Peace Dove and Davis created a “Winter Penguin.” (Check out the slide show below to see full-size images of each card, followed by a profile of each artist.) Each of the artists received a check for $100 as compensation for his/her work. Their creations were guided by Bobbie Malloy, case manager for Vocational Services, who encourages her clients to express themselves through art.

“Some of our clients are non-verbal,” explained Malloy. “Drawing gives them a way to express themselves. You put a pen in their hands and they will put something on paper that you didn’t expect.”

The Little City Foundation, based in Palatine, IL has for more than 20 years provided children and adults with developmental delays the opportunity to explore their creative talents through the arts.

Boxes of cards can be ordered online at www.littlecity.org/cards and include Christmas, Hanukkah and season’s greetings selections. Orders can also be made via telephone, 847-358-9467 or FAX, 847-358-3291.

Our congratulations to William, LaTonya and William! We're so proud of you and your beautiful holiday cards! 

Artist Profiles:

William Anderson: "William Anderson has always loved to draw and express himself through color and detail. His eye for detail enables him to draw a wide range of images from landscapes to portraits. William also utilizes his creativity to create entire drawings made up only of words." --from the Little City website

LaTonya Cummings: "LaTonya Cummings has always loved to draw and express herself through color and detail and enjoys creating a wide range of subject matters. She draws with great care and adds her own unique touch to every piece. LaTonya has participated in various art contests, winning several accolades for her works." --from the Little City website

William Davis: "William Davis's artistic style is sleek and elegant, incorporating many different colors and lines. His work often has very soothing undertones, with soft images and the illusion of depth." --from the Little City website

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fire Prevention: Tips to Stay Safe This Holiday Season

Image from cdc.gov.
It's past Fire Prevention Safety Week, but with cold weather and Christmas trees getting set up, it's important to keep our homes and families safe.

Visit the Center for Disease Control's website today to learn how to protect your family from fires.