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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mental Health First Aid Training has far reach


          OXFORD -- The Tri-County Mental Health First Aid group has provided Mental Health First Aid training to more than 2,000 people.
The group is offering the training for free through September 30 as it works toward the goal set by the National Council for Behavioral Health to make MHFA training as common as CPR and First Aid.
The free training was made possible by a grant that Training and Treatment Innovations, Inc. (TTI) received from the Michigan Department of Community Health. The grant money allowed TTI, Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority, the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center and other collaborating agencies to form the Tri-County Mental Health First Aid group, helping to ensure that the optimum number of people are trained in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.
The training teaches people about mental health issues and instructs them in what to do if they encounter someone having a mental health issue or crisis. There are two types of mental health first aid. The first is for anyone the community while the second is for adults who work with children and teenagers.
A calendar of training date and locations is available at
Jerry Wolffe is the writer-in-residence and advocate-at-large at the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at 586 263-8950.

A life changed by generosity

Nonprofit builds accessible bathroom for West Bloomfield teen with cerebral palsy

Posted: 07/24/14, 3:08 PM EDT |
Thanks to a group of volunteers, a 14-year-old girl can now use an accessible bathroom in her home built by volunteers with “Rebuilding Together,” a nonprofit.
Molly McCullough has cerebral palsy and is non-verbal. She lives in her family’s West Bloomfield two-story home with her parents and her four siblings.
There was no accessible bathroom on the first floor of their home and it was becoming increasingly difficult for Molly’s parents, Scott and Kristen, to give her a bath or use the toilet since it meant carrying her up a flight of stairs to the small bathroom.
Macomb-Oakland Regional Center support coordinator Karen Hollingsworth, who visits the home monthly, helped the family find a way to build an accessible bathroom for Molly in the garage. Rebuilding Together had a budget of $2,000 for the project. Hollingsworth, who has worked for MORC since July 1972, said materials cost $1,300 and “donated” materials and labor was worth about $13,000.
The room is nine-feet by 10-feet with beautiful tile on the floors and walls. It also has a roll-in shower and a roll-in-shower chair that was donated for Molly’s use.
Quotes from home remodelers for an accessible bathroom were in the range of “$20,000 and above,” she said. However, Hollingsworth’s son-in-law, Chuck Riley, and her daughter, Becky, volunteer through “Rebuilding Together.”
An application was made to Rebuilding Together and a gift of $2,000 was approved.
Each department in the Home Depot store in White Lake Township gave discounts on materials and there was an additional corporate discount, she said.
“The original supply list was under $2,000 but when the discounts were applied, it was under $1,000.”
Volunteers included electricians, plumbers and other trade workers who installed everything for the bathroom, including drywall, insulation and extending heating ducts to warm the bathroom.
The 90-square-foot bathroom contains a shower that is six-feet wide and three-feet deep as well as a vanity, toilet and sink. Parts of the walls were reinforced so grab bars can be installed, if needed. The donated roll-in-shower chair would have cost about $2,000 if the McCullough family had to purchase one.
Hollingsworth noted that Molly is ecstatic with the new addition to their home. “Now that her new bathroom is done, Molly has had her first shower in it and loved it,” McCullough’s mother said.
Jerry Wolffe is the writer-in-residence, advocate-at-large for the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at 586 263-8950.