To support Alexandrians with mental disabilities and their families through advocacy, education and fund-raising
Since 1984 FRIENDS OF THE ALEXANDRIA MENTAL HEALTH CENTER*, a not-for-profit group of resident-volunteers, has provided financial needs assistance to Alexandrians receiving mental health, intellectual disability, and/or substance use disorder services from the Department of Community & Human Services. The majority of these individuals have limited financial resources and need help when they are faced with emergency and special needs.
Friends of the AMHC also cosponsors community education events to reduce stigma, supports special activities for DCHS's mental health clients, helps purchase supplemental equipment for extended care residences, and advocates for mental health care programs.
Here is an example of a free community event Friends supports each year in conjunction with other local groups:
- "Art Uniting People" is an annual exhibition of artwork created by community members whose lives have been affected by mental illness, substance use disorders, or developmental or intellectual disabilities. The goal of the exhibit is to reduce stigma by revealing the uniqueness of each artist as well as the feelings we all share. Everyone is invited to attend the 2014 "Art Uniting People" Opening Reception on Wednesday, May 7, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Convergence, 1801 N.Quaker Lane, Alexandria.
Here are some examples of ways Friends has been able to assist DCHS clients:
- Persons with mental illness who are unable to work because of physical disabilities are particularly vulnerable when unexpected expenses arise. An older gentleman who receives disability benefits was able to pay his rent until January of this year, but then began to lag behind because of unexpected urgent medical needs. Friends split rent catch-up payments with several Alexandria churches.
- Another person on a fixed income was sent to the hospital by ambulance. Friends paid part of the Fire and Rescue Department bill.
- Another person was unable to work because of a back injury. Friends paid for a bus pass so that he could attend appointments and visit his family.
- On several occasions, Friends has paid City recreation league basketball registration fees so residents can obtain needed structure by participating in a community activity.
Your donation will help Friends of the AMHC lend a hand, raise a voice, and foster understanding!
For further information and to learn more about our free mental health events, please see our newsletter.
*Friends of the AMHC was originally known as Friends of the Alexandria Community Mental Health Center.