Lassen Aurora Network plans activities when MHSA funding is received
The Three Year Community Services and Supports Funding Plan, a requirement to receive funding, is in the process of being approved by the state.
Lassen Aurora Network is a network of individuals interested in developing their own balance and emotional wellness.
The preliminary goals are to work with existing programs as part of a mutual referral system, to create needed services that do not exist and to work with existing programs to strengthen their services and outreach.
Upon the receipt of the funds, LAN will provide part-time employment opportunities.
Some of the positions include two positions to produce a Health and Social Services newsletter, 10 positions to provide assistance with data collection and two bilingual interpreters to help LAN reach multiple individuals.
According to LAN Executive Director Colleen Thorn, one of the goals of LAN is to connect with a more diverse population in the community.
In order to achieve this goal, LAN will employ trained peer support associates for engaging and reaching more people.
She said there are people out there who need mental health services but aren’t accessing them.
LAN will host meetings in outlying areas, providing incentives for people to attend. The meetings may also provide ways for trained staff to reach individuals and connect one-on-one with them.
Within a year, Thorn said the goal is to hire and train 28 peer support associates.
One incentive Thorn discussed was handing out tool kits, which will have basic, but useful items to help people get through a crisis.
Items might include soap, food and crisis phone numbers people can call.
LAN associates will be used as volunteers in the development of the tool kits.
Volunteers will also be used to help educate the community about mental illness, develop a quality control committee and a resource library attendant.
Associates will also be used for speaker bureaus and helping inform the community about LAN and educating people about mental health and reducing the stigmas about mental health.
MHSA funds will also be used for a warm line. Thorn said a warm line is not a crisis line, but is a way for individuals to call and talk to someone for support.
Mental Health will determine if a person is eligible to use the line and Thorn said someone will be available around the clock for individuals to talk to.
In addition to a warm line, LAN will also provide a buddy service, another method allowing someone to partner with a support person and talk with that person face-to-face or on the telephone.
As part of its peer support services, LAN will also provide education for Mental Health and Lassen County Alcohol and Drug departments on consumer culture training, recovery/wellness training and cultural competency.
It will also provide staff for the development and implementation of community training forums, seminars and education to reduce stigmas and promote concepts of wellness, resiliency and recovery.
Services already offered
Mental Health and LAN run a health and wellness resource library.
The library loans out educational materials including journals, books and videos, in addition to educational materials for mental health, alcohol and drugs for consumers, families, staff and the community.
The library is open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday or by appointment.
LAN also offers Friday Gatherings, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 557 Hospital Lane.
The day begins with free yoga classes at 9 a.m. followed by refreshments.
Past activities have included storytelling, making Indian tacos and making flowers out of bread.
Thorn said these activities will be offered again.
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