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Attendees again feel the love at Mental Wellness-grant supported Swizzy's Cause Valentine's event

by kwindus
Wed, Feb 12th 2020 12:00 pm

In 2019, 100 individuals received a reminder to love themselves, thanks to the Love Yourself Valentines Day program at the YMCA, supported by a grant from the Mental Wellness in Cattaraugus County Fund.

With the support of a second grant from the Mental Wellness in Cattaraugus County Fund, some 120 attendees received that same assuring reminder this year at the second annual “Love yourself – You Matter” event, led by the YMCA and ReHabiliation Center’s Swizzy’s Cause program.

Swizzy’s Cause provides support to individuals who may be struggling with depression or other mental health problems on-site at the YMCA while connecting clients with valuable community resources and services.

“Barb [Sweitzer, YMCA of the Twin Tiers CEO] approached me to come up with an event in order to bring awareness to the Care Coordination Program using this grant [in 2019]. I then came up with the ‘Love Yourself- You Matter’ Event,” said Ashley Lowe, Swizzy’s Cause Care Coordinator. “I wanted this event to focus on the people I served. It was important to make everyone feel good when entering the event and also kick start what may have been a more difficult day into a day filled with positive activities.”

For the second year, attendees received free services to make them more positive, like free flowers donated by Scarlet Lily, free massages by Dana Boser, free haircuts from Hello Gorgeous and more.

This year the program added two special speakers: Amy Mann, a licensed mental health counselor, clinic director and suicide prevention coalition coordinator for Cattaraugus Community Services; and Melissa Ball, (SPOA) single point of access coordinator for Cattaraugus County, case management program director for Cattaraugus County Community Services and a licensed mental health counselor.

Their presentations focused on suicide prevention, positive affirmations and self-talk, all principles championed by the Swizzy’s Cause Program.

Since last year’s Love Yourself program, the Swizzy’s Cause Care Coordinator Program has continued to expand, according to Lowe.

“I have received a total of 123 referrals since 2018. My current caseload is at 31 active participants,” said Lowe. “Since 2018, there have been 1,021 referrals made to outside sources. These referrals include but are not limited to mental health, developmental health, housing, educational, employment, volunteer opportunities, and community events.”

According to CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit, the Foundation’s board of directors decided to help fund the program again in 2020 due to the importance of the Care Coordination program and similar resources for community mental health.

“For those that are struggling, holidays like Valentine’s Day can be difficult,” said Buchheit. “Programs like this and the ongoing efforts of the Care Coordinator Program remind people that they are not alone and there are resources in the community to help them heal.”

Donations can be made to the Mental Wellness Fund in Cattaraugus County at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at cattfoundation.org.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).