The Carbon-Monroe-Pike Employment Coalition is hosting Discover Your Network, a morning conference and Job Fair on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. This event is open to students/adults with disabilities, employers, non-profit agencies, case managers, and teachers/other support professionals.

According to a recent survey reported by the Associated Press, 34% of people with intellectual disabilities are employed versus 83% of working age people who are not identified as having disabilities. The firm Right Management in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, reports that the majority of its clients received jobs through networking. Given these statistics, it is apparent that new strategies are needed to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

The focus of “Discover Your Network” is to help students and adults with disabilities develop networking and self-advocacy skills which can lead to employment opportunities. This involves identifying strengths and skills and locating the resources and natural supports that will help one succeed.

Workshops will focus on networking skills, customized employment, employment incentives for hiring people with disabilities, transition programs in Northeast Pennsylvania, and self-advocacy skills. Of special interest to employers who attend, the Business Leadership Network of Pennsylvania will present on employer incentives for hiring people with disabilities along with a local employer which successfully hired a person with a disability.

In addition to workshops, there will be a networking fair. Job seeking students and adults should come dressed to impress and bring a one page summary of strengths or a resume. Job seekers will interact with local employers and non-profits. Prize drawings will be held afterwards. A continental breakfast and coffee will be available during the event.

Registration is required for everyone who wishes to attend the workshops and/or have a booth at the networking fair. To register, contact Jennifer Duggan at the Advocacy Alliance at 570-207-0151, toll free at 1-877-315-6855 or email by Friday, March 28, 2014.  For additional information on Discover Your Network, contact James Furiosi of The Employment Coalition at or call (570) 420-1900, ext. 3434.


OC87 Recovery Diaries: Stories of courage, empowerment and change

OC87 Recovery Diaries is a website that continues the conversation about mental health and the challenges and triumphs of recovery.

Through mini documentaries, video diaries, articles and posts, they tell brave, honest and inspiring stories that embrace the drama of everyday life, and reveal the thoughts and passions of people living with mental health challenges.

 PMHCA is excited to announce that two of our members have participated in this important initiative, Tim Connors and Mary Fala. Mary is also a PMHCA board member and is the woman who sings in the first video (

We invite you to visit the Recovery Diaries website and hear their stories. We expect you will be encouraged and inspired!

Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association Announces Revisions to OMHSAS Suicide Prevention Plan

OMHSAS Suicide Prevention Plan

The OMHSAS Suicide Prevention Plan is being revised by many stakeholders on several committees. OMHSAS contracted with Carol Ward-Colesante and the Older Adult Behavioral Health Coalition to help make this a successful effort.

In order to provide the best services possible to all Pennsylvanians, it is always helpful to have brief statements (a few sentences to a paragraph) to include in the 2014 Pennsylvania Adult and Older Adult Suicide Prevention Plans. Real stories make documents mean more to policy makers and other audiences.

The statements can be submitted to Carol Ward-Colasante, consultant to this planning process, at by February 18.

If you would rather not include personally identifying information, please send your stories to me, Lynn Keltz, PMHCA, at, and request your name and/or email not be included.  I will remove any identifying information, at your request.

The Suicide Prevention Plan Advisory Committee will select a few of the statements to include in the plan. Questions may be sent to if you need more information.

Thank you for your assistance with this important process.