Cindy Salas: VISTA Serves With MHMR Services for The Concho Valley
November 20, 2017
Cindy Salas is serving as the VISTA Outreach Coordinator with MHMR Services for the Concho Valley (MHMRCV). Cindy started her year of service in June 2017. She has a goal to assist in breaking down the stigma and misunderstanding of mental illness and intellectual and developmental disorders through grant writing and outreach efforts during VISTA service.
Cindy has been busy with researching and assessing Foundations and other grant proposal opportunities that are in line with the mission of MHMRCV. One of her favorite achievements is the submission of a grant to BBVA Compass Bank for a possible work vehicle for use by the Autism Behavior Communication Center (ABC Center) at MHMRCV. While awaiting results of this and other grants, Cindy assists with MHMRCV outreach efforts.
Her main outreach activity this fall was serving on the planning committee for the “Bridge to Recovery –Rise Above” youth night. The event was planned to provide youth ages 11-18 a free night of entertainment and activities to prevent youth from turning to the streets and drugs. In planning the event, youth in the community, including individuals receiving substance use recovery services, were asked to offer ideas as alternatives to using drugs when young people are “with their friends”.
The Bridge to Recovery committee concluded that there are not many activities in the community for this age group at no cost. The cost is important since our city has a high percentage of youth, including many in recovery services, from low income families. Bridge to Recovery decided to develop events that provide free activities that appeal to the 11-18 age group and prevent them from participating in risky behaviors like substance use and crime.
There were two sports attendees could play during the event in September: roller derby and flag football. The youth were encouraged to play or cheer for their friends while having pizza provided at no cost by the community. Several community agencies provided additional activities at their booths to engage the youth. For example one agency had hair “spray paint” and finger nail painting in support of a “Stop Bullying” campaign.
Bridge to Recovery is a Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC) which serves “as a framework for coordinating multiple systems, services, and supports that are person-centered, self-directed and designed to readily adjust to meet the individual’s needs and chosen pathway to recovery”. For more information please visit www.facebook.com/B2Recovery/
Cindy looks forward to representing MHMRCV in more events like the “Rise Above” youth night, and continuing to work toward breaking down the stigma of mental health issues in the community.
For more information about MHMRCV services please visit their website: https://www.mhmrcv.org/