Here we go!

Here we go – my first time writing a blog and it’s about something incredibly cool and transformational!!

First a little background: At age 61, I changed jobs from Essentia Health, where I had worked for 25 years, to The Miller-Dwan Foundation, where I have now been for nearly a year! I am a Child/Adolescent Licensed Psychologist by training and started my journey in Mental Health in 1982. At the Miller-Dwan Foundation, I was hired as the Senior Mental Health Advisor, which the charge of finding ways to alleviate the mental health crisis in which we find ourselves, somewhat caused by the pandemic, yet we all know the crisis was there pre-pandemic. My blog will be about all the steps that were taken in these last eleven months to begin the journey of what we, at The Miller-Dwan Foundation call Hope X, a journey to multiply community healing!

My first three charges in my role at the Miller-Dwan Foundation:

1. Get a global, national and local perspective on what has transpired with the mental health crisis with the onset of the pandemic;

2. Re-establish relationships with the Treatment Implementation Collaborative in Seattle to move toward Certifications from the Linehan Institute. I was one of the people who was instrumental in bringing DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) into the Twin Ports and Amberwing, about fifteen years ago, through the support of Essentia Health and the Miller-Dwan Foundation.

3. Find a National Voice for the Miller-Dwan Foundation to help us with advocacy for our mental health Initiative (teaser – this is already done!!!) Some of you may already know.

I will blog about ALL THINGS HOPEX (learn more here!) and will share all the things that are happening with Hope X and all the incredible people and collaborations that have happened in eleven short months! Here is an intro to Hope X:

Hope X is Miller-Dwan Foundation’s revolutionary response to eliminating the mental health crisis in our region. It is a multi-phased approach that is leading way in implementing a holistic and comprehensive effort that includes:

· Collaborating with international partners such as the World Health Organization, The New School For Social Research in NYC and George Washington University in the use of an evidence-based innovative model for the expansion and mobilization of a boots-on-the-ground mental health workforce.

· Improving access to proven therapies.

· Introducing new services.

· Addressing the dire need for mental health support in underserved portions of our region through the expansion of facilities.

Hope X Phase 1—Boots on the Ground: We are launching a program developed and tested by the World Health Organization called Problem Management Plus (PM+). This evidence-based program is a scalable psychological intervention for those experiencing stress and anxiety specifically designed to expand and mobilize a boots-on-the-ground mental health workforce. To begin, we will pilot this program by training up to 20 people from a variety of groups in the Twin Ports highly impacted by the pandemic. They will be trained to assist people with mild depression, anxiety, and stress, in their respective communities and/or workplace. We have established partnerships with our initial group of eight Stakeholder to identify the initial training group. After the Pilot is complete, we will reach out to more community members to continue this training to add to our PM+ workforce and “multiply community healing”. This program aims to mitigate the impact of stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health and care, while building community connections people can turn to before they are in a mental health emergency. We are out to transform the way in which we deliver mental health care, and we want our readers to join us on this journey!!!! You can be an ambassador by “spreading the word” of this incredible work; share your thoughts with us about our initiative or contribute your own time, talent or finances to help us continue these efforts.

You will hear more soon and EVER FORWARD!!

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Stay connected to Miller-Dwan Foundation

Together we will realize our shared vision of a community free from mental health crisis.