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Empowerment for Healthy Minds News

Feb 28, 2004
Thank at having survived a year of hospital times and great challenge, the non-profit 501(c)3 EFHM bravely rolls forward. Please drop us a line!
Aug 07, 2003
Empowerment for Healthy Minds has been interviewing local candidates for sheriff as to how they perceive their role with respect to the mental community. Insight into the current thinking of law enforcement was obtained, and the interviews will soon be posted here. We urge others in mental health advocacy to query their local candidates, as it establishes the existence of mental people as a constituency.

July 16, 2003
We've sent in all the forms, dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's. Now it's to be seen whether the IRS grants us non-profit status. Please cross your fingers with us!

March 27, 2003
The Second Annual Poetry Reading held on March 27, 2003 sponsored by Empowerment for Healthy Minds and the Easy Chair Coffee Shop was a big success. There definitely were some great vibes and the poetry was awesome. The eighteen people participating were lively, engaged, and positively connected. Artistic expression is healing and fun, a great vehicle for personal empowerment and a way of truly sharing our common joys, challenges, and beliefs. We mental people have so much to offer each other and society.

Sept 26, 2002
Alternatives, the major national conference for mental folk, was energizing and empowering.    photos here.

August 9, 2002
We're incorporated! So much is riding on our tires.    picture here.

July 4, 2002
In celebration of mental people exercising their civic responsibilities, we showered the earth with sparks on July 4th.     picture here.

June 13, 2002
Our trip to the National Mental Health Association Annual Conference held in Washington DC involved dedicated hobnobbing and touching base with dear friends while pigging out at fun dining spots.     pictorial here.

May 11, 2002
James Preiss, a person with computer graphics skills, has offered to help make our site more attractive. Welcome James, and thank you!

April 21, 2002
When is grant writing training not grant writing training? When leaders seeking such knowledge gather and work together for the betterment of mental people everywhere. We just got back from a week long experience of stress and elation. Full Story

March 27, 2002
The Poetry Reading, held tonight, was "hypomanic" in the best possible sense. Thanks to everyone who attended! Story and picture here.

March 24, 2002
At the On Our Own drop-in center in Roanoke, Virginia, computer training and computer disbursal is moving ahead with energy, conviction, and merriment.  Story and picture here.

March 23, 2002
We are looking forward to our first Poetry Reading to take place at the Easy Chair Coffee Shop in Blacksburg, Virginia at 7:30-8:30 pm on Wednesday March 27th. We invite everyone to stop by and listen or share. It's sure to be a creative evening of mutual empowerment!

March 1, 2002
We met with Alison Hymes, a mental health activist who is also a psychiatric survivor/mental health consumer. We had a great time discussing the Virginia consumer movement over dinner at a wonderful Indian restaurant. Picture Here.

February 8, 2002
Our first day of consumer computer training! Money and equipment are still needed, but we're full steam ahead. Story and picture here.

February 4, 2002
People are empowering themselves through theater at Virginia Tech, the university located in our town. We saw a new musical entitled My Mania, a play exploring manic-depression through music and movement. In the program guide, director/playwright Gabrielle "Bri" Laskey writes "Last spring (2001) I had a crazy idea; I was going to write a musical. When I first wrote "My Mania" I never expected to share it with anyone else, it was a personal endeavor and something that was so important and therapeutic to me; that I couldn't image that it would ever be interesting to other people." Bri's play is terrific, and we wish her every success in the future.

January 21, 2002
We visited an inspiring place, On Our Own in Charlottesville, Virginia (a different "On Our Own" than the one in Roanoke).  Full Charlottesville Story and Picture Here. Earlier we attended a mental health political rally at the General Assembly Building in Richmond, sponsored by the Coalition for Mentally Disabled Citizens of Virginia.  Full Rally Story and Picture Here.

January 15, 2002
EFHM will be volunteering for On Our Own of the Roanoke Valley, the excellent consumer-run drop-in center. Marc will be teaching computer skills to consumers at no cost. If you would like to contribute money or computer equipment to this project, please email us for more details.

January 14, 2002
Tonight we spoke before the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors regarding mental illness and the need for attention and support. People reacted so positively to the fact that we are willing to talk about something so personal and traumatic. When we talk openly about our illnesses, I think people see us as strong, not weak. --Marc

January 3, 2002
Today we spoke at a Virginia General Assembly budget hearing held in Roanoke, Virginia. We told of our experience with mental illness, the need for sufficient public mental health services, and our desire as mental health consumers to direct research, policy, and treatment. The Senators and Delegates appeared attentive, and the audience applauded when we finished. It feels great to be politically active!

December 20, 2001
Today we learned that a parity provision was defeated in the U.S. Congress, though the current parity law has been extended for a year. In the future, mental illnesses may not be covered under insurance policies the same way as physical illnesses. Despite this setback, we are determined to become an interest group of power and presence. --Marc

December 15, 2001
The following is posted at theNew River Valley Community Services website:
"There were two guests: Marc Cowgill and Terry Grimes, who as persons with mental disabilities, spoke of their commitment of adding advocacy to efforts of agencies such as NRVCS who provide services for those in need. They represented a newly formed group - Empowerment for Healthy Minds - that will be working to support our requests for funding at all levels. Lynn Chenault will inform them of upcoming meetings as this becomes available. The board thanked them for coming and hoped that they would continue to come to these meetings to provide support and information."

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