Hamilton Center Announces 2015 Art Winners

The “Light the Way” art contest, sponsored by Hamilton Center, Inc. (HCI), challenged middle-high school students and adults from all counties that HCI serves to submit an entry for creative writing, poetry, or artwork using the theme to express their views on mental illness. All contestants received honorable mention and blue ribbon winners were chosen from each category.

The first prize winners were:

  • Creative Writing Middle/High School Category: “I’m Not As Fine As I Seem” by Melissa Harden, North Vermillion High School
  • Creative Writing Adult: “Untitled” by Sara Smith, Vigo
  • Poetry Middle/High School Category: “To Awaken to the Dawn” by Alex Watts, North Vermillion High School
  • Poetry Adult: “Hope” by Tavia K. Lloyd, Vigo
  • Art Middle/High School: “Untitled” by Lexxus March and Maddie Schaffer, McLean High School
  • Art Adult: “Life Light” by David Erickson, Vigo

Each winner is invited to bring a guest to the 44th Annual Hamilton Center Awards Dinner at Hulman Center where they will receive a prize bag and a gift card. Winners will have the opportunity to interact with guests and explain their art. All entries will be displayed that night at the exhibition.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a community mental health system serving the counties of Clay, Greene, Hendricks, Marion, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo.

Hamilton Center, Inc. Receives $100,000 Grant from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction

Hamilton Center, Inc. received funding from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction to provide an evidence based practice for a school social service program. The proposed project will focus on one elementary school in each of the five counties of Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo.

Data shows low rankings for these counties in the rate of poverty, unemployment, income, high school graduation, divorce, and single head-of-household.

Strengthening Families and Question Persuade Refer are the evidence based practices that will be used in the project. These practices increase awareness of substance abuse issues and suicide.

Hamilton Center, Inc. will use the evidence based programs to target parents, teachers, and the community to identify children who are at-risk of dropping out of school and are impacted by substance abuse. Programming and assistance with suicide prevention, parenting skills, family communication education, and social skills education and development will also be provided through the grant. Grief counseling will be provided through referrals to Hamilton Center’s clinical divisions.

“We must reach out to the entire family when we are trying to resolve issues with substance abuse. It is not just one person who is impacted, it is the child, the family, and the community. We are grateful to have the opportunity to offer preventative education on these matters,” said Melvin L. Burks, CEO, Hamilton Center, Inc.

Hamilton Center, Inc. Receives $124,000 Federal Grant

Hamilton Center, Inc. has received a $124,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund a program that will increase mental health literacy in adults who interact with adolescents.

The goal of the federal Project AWARE is to train at least 3,000 adults, nationally, as “Youth Mental Health First-Aid” instructors, who can discern when an adolescent is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Trainees will come from community-based, youth-serving organizations.

In January 2013, President Obama created a national plan – “Now is the Time” – which combined executive action and calls for legislative action that would, among other goals, increase access to mental health services. Project AWARE is part of this plan.

The Indiana Youth Institute estimates that one-in-five Hoosier adolescents have a diagnosable mental disorder. Adolescents with mental health problems are at higher risk for substance abuse, suicide and other dangerous or destructive behaviors.

“Hamilton Center, Inc. is grateful to have this opportunity. As a community, we need to increase awareness of mental health issues in our youth population. Project AWARE will play a significant role in assisting those who serve our youth to better identify these situations,” said Melvin L. Burks, CEO, Hamilton Center, Inc.

Hamilton Center Parenting Expert Wins Healthy Families Award

Hamilton Center’s Margie Grayless was awarded the 2015 Program Manager of the Year for Healthy Families Indiana. Healthy Families is an intensive home visiting program designed to enhance early childhood outcomes and prevent child abuse and neglect. The program, based on proven results, began in Indiana in 1994. Vigo County became a pilot site with Grayless on board from day one.

Grayless oversees the day-to-day operations of the Healthy Families program in the counties of Greene, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo. She collaborates with community partners and ensures the program follows the National Healthy Families America Model.

“I believe in the program (Healthy Families). Parenting is one of the hardest jobs anyone can do,” says Grayless. “All new parents have questions, and by partnering with them, Healthy Families can offer support that families may not otherwise have. It is important that as a community we look at ways to support our children and families right from the start.”

For more information about Healthy Families please call 812-231-8362.