The SOS (Survivors of Suicide) Group meets the first Wednesday of each month at MHA (The Mental Health Association of Rockland County) at
140 Route 303,
Valley Cottage, NY 10989
from 7 to 8 pm in Room 132.
The group provides support to individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide.
The death of a loved one through any cause is painful, but losing someone we love to suicide adds another layer of pain and emotions to the experience of loss.
Please call 845-267-2172 x465 for questions or attend the meeting. No registration required.
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Toll-Free: 1-888-333-AFSP (2377)
The talented and dedicated staff of MHA of Rockland literally and figuratively “meet people where they are at.” We engage individuals in a strength based, recovery oriented way to help them concretize the goals that they wish to achieve. We do the bulk of this work in the community, in people’s homes, schools, job sites, and community centers, allowing for greater access to and comfort with services. MHA Rockland has now embarked upon another new program which holds true to this piece of our mission.
In June 2017, administrative and clinical staff of our PROS program (Personalized Recovery Oriented Services program) began running therapeutic groups in several of the adult homes in the Rockland community. These groups use art therapy, recreational therapy, and social skill building as ways to engage residents in the homes. Participation is voluntary, and is designed to be short term. It allows individuals to connect to others in a meaningful way, as well as get a taste of what our PROS program is like. In many cases, it results in people applying to and being accepted into our Valley Cottage PROS program. These experiences and connections are beneficial to the participants in enriching their lives and addressing their mental health needs. They are similarly beneficial for the proprietors of the adult homes in creating a more stimulating and fulfilling environment. It is truly a “win win” initiative for all.
MHA has launched an innovative and very well-received discussion group for men incarcerated in the Rockland County Jail. Co-facilitated by our clinic’s director, Juliet Stiebeck, and clinician Jennifer Conforto, the group draws ten men each week who choose to participate in discussions about their lives, hopes, and dreams. Some of the participants will likely be released shortly while others will be serving long-term sentences upstate.
The topics have included how addiction took control of their decisions, how their resilience has helped them to survive, and what they still have control over while incarcerated.
The participants have been tremendously open with and supportive of each other, which speaks to the safe environment that the facilitators have helped create with the group’s assistance. While Juliet and Jennifer come prepared with a particular topic for discussion, they make it clear that this is the participants’ group and will follow their direction.
Juliet reflects on this new endeavor as one of the most meaningful projects she has taken on at MHA. It helps her to see the participants in the group as people who “want the same things out of life as I do.” Unfortunately, she says, “the drugs took over their lives and they lost all sense of self.” This group is intended to help them reconnect with who they are and envision a better future.
After piloting and learning from this experience, we plan to expand the program and start a group for women.
Trauma Informed Care
Here at MHA of Rockland, we are incredibly proud of our 65 year history of providing exceptional services to more than 50,000 Rockland County residents affected by mental health and/or substance use issues. An important part of that history has been keeping abreast of research and innovation, thereby providing evidenced based practices at all times. Currently, our dedicated staff are trained in 10 different best practice models which are implemented with children, adults, families, and significant others. Now, we are expanding our horizons yet again, as we have embarked upon an agency wide initiative to be a trauma informed care organization. Trauma informed care realizes, recognizes, and responds to the widespread impact of trauma on the individuals we have the privilege of supporting every day. Through utilization of six key principles of trauma informed care, we help people find a path to recovery, promoting strength, empowerment and resilience. The six principles all staff are being trained in are:
- Trustworthiness and transparency
- Peer support
- Collaboration and mutuality
- Empowerment, voice and choice
- Cultural, historical and gender issues
Every single staff member will receive this training, from our receptionists and drivers to our clinicians and doctors. It is yet another way that we continue to be committed to excellence, providing outstanding supports and services to our Rockland County residents.