Social Work Spotlight: Prioritizing Your Mental Well-Being

PRIORITIZING YOUR MENTAL WELL-BEING

May is Mental Health Month, a time to raise awareness and promote the importance of mental health and well-being. Mental health is integral to our overall wellness, deserving as much attention as our physical health. Unfortunately, many misconceptions about mental health prevent people from seeking the help they need.

The reality is that mental health issues are widespread. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness annually. These issues span from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression to more severe conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The good news is that many effective treatments and self-care modalities can alleviate symptoms, and with proper support, individuals can and do recover.

Seeking help can feel daunting, often due to fears, shame, or misunderstandings surrounding mental health. However, it is essential to remember that you are not alone. Many resources are available to support your mental health journey, including professional help, therapy, support groups, and trusted loved ones.

Your primary care provider can be a valuable starting point in your mental health journey. They can offer guidance on whether a referral to a mental health specialist is necessary and provide that referral if needed. Additionally, local community mental health centers offer walk-in options that provide direct access to mental health professionals.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) organizes both in-person and virtual sessions to provide support for individuals and families dealing with mental health challenges. There are also local support groups available to help foster a sense of community and connection, providing a safe and supportive space for sharing experiences and emotions. Additionally, mental health hotlines are available for individuals who require immediate assistance and support.

In addition to seeking professional help, taking care of oneself is crucial for promoting mental well-being. Sleeping, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing stress-reducing techniques like meditation or deep breathing can contribute to overall wellness.

Here are some suggestions for activities that individuals and families can engage in to prioritize self-care:

Remember, it’s okay to set boundaries and prioritize your well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, don’t hesitate to seek help. Reach out by calling or texting 988 for support.

Social Work Spotlight: Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

SENIOR FARMER’S MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM

This month, our resource spotlight shines on the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), an initiative dedicated to enhancing senior health and wellness. SFMNP offers eligible seniors a $50 voucher to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey from participating farmer’s market vendors.

Administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in partnership with the Iowa Division of Aging and Disability Services, this program ensures seniors have convenient access to nutritious produce, promoting their overall well-being. SFMNP plays a vital role in fostering community health and wellness by supporting local farmers and encouraging healthy eating habits among seniors.

Area Agencies on Aging facilitate the distribution of vouchers to eligible seniors, with Milestones Area Agency on Aging serving as the administering organization for the seventeen counties in their planning and service area, which includes Scott County. To apply for SFMNP benefits, seniors must meet specific age and income criteria and complete an application. Seniors who received vouchers last year will automatically receive an application by mail by mid-May. First-time applicants are encouraged to contact Milestones Area Agency at (563-324-9085) to request an application. Applications will be accepted exclusively through the mail, and Farmer’s Market vouchers will also be sent to recipients via mail. Please be aware that no business transactions will occur at any Milestones office, and there are no distribution centers.

To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be at least 60 years of age or older.
  • Your annual household income should not exceed 185% of the Federal poverty level. This means an individual’s yearly income should not exceed $27,861 or $2,321.74 monthly, or $37,814 or $3,151.71 monthly for a two-person household. You can find the income guidelines at https://fns-prod.azureedge.us/sites/default/files/resource-files/sfmnp-ieg-2024-25-memo.pdf
  • Seniors must reside within the service area of the Area Agency on Aging.

For more information about the Farmers Market Nutrition program, please visit https://www.milestonesaaa.org/nutrition-programs/farmersmarket/ or contact Milestones Area Agency on Aging at 563-324-9085. You can also find a list of eligible Farmers’ Markets by visiting Eligible Farmer’s Market Locations.

Social Work Spotlight: Amani Community Services

Amani Community Services

In March, we are featuring Amani Community Services, with a focus on highlighting resources that address the cultural needs of our community following Black History Month.

Amani Community Services, operating throughout Iowa, specializes in domestic violence and sexual assault assistance, offering culture-specific services tailored to the African American community.

Culturally specific services refer to initiatives designed to meet the needs of underserved and unserved communities. These services are culturally focused, aligning with the cultural community’s values, behaviors, expectations, norms, and worldviews at every stage of service delivery.

Amani Community Services is committed to empowering African American youth, women, and men, fostering healthy black relationships, and combatting violence.

Amani Community Services has a team comprising mobile advocates and prevention specialists working closely with clients and the community. The mobile advocates meet clients at locations that are convenient and comfortable for them, such as libraries, coffee shops, stores, or schools, providing one-on-one support to victims of domestic violence. This personalized approach empowers individuals to transition from victims to survivors, offering the necessary support and resources. On the other hand, prevention specialists work within the community to educate youth and families about sexual violence, with the ultimate goal of preventing future incidents. Their mission revolves around proactively fostering awareness and educating the community to avoid future occurrences.

Their comprehensive services include:

  • Medical Advocacy
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Housing Advocacy
  • Individual Counseling
  • Teen and Children Programming
  • Support Groups

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, help is available. Please call 888-983-2533 for immediate support. You can also contact Amani Community Services at 563-564-5392 to learn more or schedule an appointment. For additional information and resources, please visit their website at www.amani-cs.org

Social Work Spotlight: Quad Cities Open Network IRIS Resource Hub

Quad Cities Open Network IRIS Resource Hub

This month, our resource spotlight is on the Quad Cities Open Network (QCON), a collaboration of over 116 Health and Human service organizations. Their shared mission is to bolster community well-being through a robust human services sector. Quad Cities Open Network maintains an Information and Referral Hub that assists agencies in connecting Quad Citizens to the resources they need.

Established in 2020, The Quad Cities Open Network Hub utilizes IRIS, an information and referral tool created by the University of Kansas to facilitate warm hand offs between providers as Quad Citizens in a person-centered way. The hub has evolved to include eighty-five human service providers. These organizations work with QCON to simplify services and referrals, ensuring seamless support for individuals and families in the Quad Cities. According to Cecelia Bailey, QCON Executive Director, ‘navigating community resources during a crisis can be overwhelming’. The IRIS hub’s primary goal is to create a centralized access point, providing individuals and families with a single-entry point to connect to the most relevant resources or services tailored to their needs.

Within the hub, each organization is detailed with an explanation of their services, facilitating efficient referrals. This streamlined process identifies available services and ensures that client’s needs are appropriately addressed, minimizing service gaps and allowing for easy follow-up. Effective communication among the organizations within IRIS is crucial in bridging service gaps. QCON aims to expand the platform to foster a collaborative environment where member agencies complement each other.

The vast network of providers empowers community members, and as the number of participating agencies grows, QCON strives to make a substantial impact through its Resource Hub. The hub’s significance becomes evident during natural disasters as a crucial centralized entry point for coordinating emergency support and resources. Notably, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was pivotal in providing a centralized hub for individuals and families to access emergency support and resources.

QCON envisions the Hub as a new standard for information and referral systems, serving as a best practice model for other communities. By collecting data on service gaps and overlaps, QCON aims to inform member agencies, fostering greater collaboration across a sector with finite resources.

All organizations in the Quad Cities committed to serving the local communities are welcome to become part of the IRIS platform. By participating in this initiative, you not only increase awareness for the valuable services you provide but also facilitate smoother referrals. This, in turn, promotes a more interconnected and supportive community where collaboration and communication thrive for the benefit of all. If you want to learn more about how to join IRIS and partner with QCON, please email TheOpenNetworkQC@gmail.com.

Health Care Option for Older Adults

Health Care Option for Older Adults

In January, our social work spotlight will focus on healthcare options for older adults. As the new year begins, there’s a strong push for self-care and increased health consciousness. Recognizing the challenges older individuals face in accessing healthcare due to mobility issues and other constraints, we are highlighting an essential addition to Davenport’s healthcare landscape: the Oak Street Health Primary Care Center at 2217 Rockingham Rd in Davenport.

Oak Street Health specializes in primary care for older adults on Medicare with Part B benefits and Disability. They offer personalized wellness plans, comprehensive health services, educational programs, and social activities. The primary objective of Oak Street Health is to enhance healthcare outcomes for older adults in the community while ensuring each patient feels warmly welcomed. Their dedicated team of primary care doctors and care team focuses exclusively on meeting the needs of seniors, employing a preventive primary care model tailored to their unique needs. Service delivery is versatile, including behavioral healthcare, support for social determinants, and easy accessibility through a blend of in-center, in-home, and telehealth appointments, along with a 24/7 patient support line. Additionally, for those unable to visit the Oak Street Health Center, they offer home visits.

Services provided include:

  • Same-day/next-day appointments and a 24/7 patient support line
  • Conveniently located in your neighborhood
  • Assistance in understanding your Medicare benefits
  • Hassle-free transfer of medical records and health history
  • Transportation within a 10-mile radius

For further information or to schedule an appointment, please call 563-726-0155 or visit their website at www.oakstreethealth.com.

 

Social Work Spotlight: Kinna’s House of Love

KINNA’S HOUSE OF LOVE

This month, we’re shining the spotlight on an extraordinary organization dedicated to spreading love and support in the Quad Cities. Kinna’s House of Love is on a mission to assist those facing various challenges, including homelessness, domestic violence, sex trafficking, rape, and trauma. This organization’s driving force is its founder’s passion and her own experiences with sex trafficking, homelessness, and abuse. Her ultimate vision is to create a compassionate and inclusive society where everyone is valued and treated equally, free from judgment. More importantly, she aims to establish a safe and secure environment for those dealing with abuse.

To achieve these goals, Kinna’s House of Love offers a range of programs and services:

  • Kinna’s Corner: A safe place for children and teenagers at risk of physical or sexual abuse. Kinna’s Corner provides therapeutic activities such as art therapy and play therapy. High school students can also benefit from programs focused on financial planning, budgeting, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.
  • Coats and Hygiene Drive: Kinna’s House of Love conducts coat and hygiene drives to assist individuals experiencing homelessness. The Davenport Public Library is partnering with Kinna’s House of Love for a Coat Drive through November 20th, 2023. The donated items will be distributed at the Winter Wellness Event at the Davenport Public Library | Main on December 4th, 2023, from 10 AM to 12 PM. Please consider donating winter items such as coats, gloves, and socks at 318 E 7th Street. For drop-off arrangements, please call 563-200-8064.
  • Home-Cooked Meals: Kinna collaborates with various organizations and restaurants to provide home-cooked meals for those at the shelter. These meals are available every Sunday at the Corner of Vine and 5th Street. This is important because most organizations serving meals to those at shelters are closed on Sundays. Kinna’s House of Love also ensures shelter members receive meals during holidays.
  • Job Fairs: Kinna partners with other organizations to organize job fairs for adults, offering job-seeking assistance and programs to eliminate employment barriers.
  • Expungement Clinics: Through a partnership with Iowa Legal Aid, Kinna’s House of Love hosts expungement clinics to help individuals with criminal records overcome barriers to employment.

Kinna’s House of Love is at 318 E 7th Street, Ste 205, Davenport, IA 52802. To learn more about their programs and services, please visit their website at www.kinnashouseoflove.com or call  at 563-200-8064.

Holiday Assistance Programs

HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES IN THE QUAD CITIES

The November Resource Spotlight highlights programs offering holiday assistance to families in the Quad Cities. Registration is currently open for most of these programs, providing Quad City families the opportunity to manage their budgets during this period and address urgent needs. Below is a list of current programs providing holiday assistance.

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TOYS FOR TOTS QUAD CITIES – October 1- November 24, 2023

The 2023 online request for toys started on October 1 and will end November 24.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Children must be 6 months -12 years old to register.
  • You must be a resident of one of the following counties: Scott, Muscatine, Clinton, Rock Island, Mercer and Henry Counties.
  • After submitting an online application, you must verify in-person with your ID and children’s birth certificates
  • Verification is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am – 6 pm starting on October 20th until December 2nd. (Closed on November 10 & 11)
  • Verification office address: 1 Montgomery Drive, Moline, IL 61265

Toy Application Link: Request a Toy

Toy Application Information:

  • Sunday October 1: Online Toy Application Opens
  • Friday, October 20: In-person verification begins
  • Friday November 24: Online toy application closes
  • Saturday, December 2nd: In-person verification ends.

Toy Distribution Days:

Friday December 8 – 9 am – 7 pm

Saturday December 9 – 8 am – 4 pm

Saturday, December 16 – 8 am – 4 pm

Sunday, December 17 – 9 am – 7 pm

For more information, email rock.island.il@toysfortots.org or call 563-296-3842

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FRIENDLY HOUSE FOOD AND GIFT BASKETS – November 6-10, 2023

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Available to residents whose address is within the following area: Lincoln Ave to Brady Street and South of Central Park Ave. (West of Brady street, South of Central Park Avenue, East of Lincoln and Elmwood Avenues)
  • You must bring a photo ID, proof of address and Social Security card for everyone in your household.
  • Applications are taken the first week of November for December distribution.
  • Gifts are available for children 16 and under.

Sign Up:

  • November 6-10 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am and 1:30 pm to 3 pm.

Distribution Date:

  • Wednesday, December 15 from 9 am – 10:30 am.

For more information, please visit Friendly House website or call 563-323-1821 x17.

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MLK CENTER ANNUAL CHILDREN’S HOLIDAY GIFT

Eligibility:

  • Children must be within ages 3 years to 12 years old residing in the Quad Cities
  • Must have picture ID to pick up gifts.
  • Identification must match the parent/Guardian name on the registration form.

Gift Distribution Dates:

  • Thursday, December 14, 2023 – 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Friday, December 15, 2023 – 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Saturday, December 16, 2023 – 1 pm – 5 pm

Sign Up:

Registration is now open, click here to register!

For more information, contact MLK Center at 309-732-2999.

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SALVATION ARMY CHRISTMAS ASSISTANCE – November 1-24, 2023

Eligibility:

  • Applications are now being accepted at the Davenport and Moline Salvation Army locations through November 24.
  • Families can get toys for children up to age 15 and holiday food boxes

Sign up:

  • Make an appointment by calling 563-324-4808 for Scott County Residents and 309-764-2811 for Rock Island County residents.

For more information please visit Salvation Army or call 563-324-4808.

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ST ANTHONY’S CHURCH – HYVEE VOUCHERS FOR THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS

Distribution

  • Thanksgiving vouchers distributed on November 14, 2023 – 9 am to 12 pm.
  • Christmas vouchers will be distributed on December 12, 2023 9 am to 12 pm.

Eligibility:

  • Be a Davenport Resident
  • Bring an ID or a piece of mail showing your address.

Social Work Spotlight: Bridge Appointments

BRIDGE APPOINTMENTS

This month, our resource spotlight focuses on Bridge Appointments, a newly introduced service now available to Eastern Iowa residents through the Eastern Iowa Crisis Region System. While many are familiar with the crisis system’s emergency hotline, few may know about the additional support services it offers, all aimed at strengthening our communities.

Bridge Appointments were created in response to the lengthy and intimidating process many individuals face when seeking psychiatric care, especially if they are inconsistent with provider visits. So, what exactly are Bridge Appointments?

Bridge Appointments, as defined by the Eastern Iowa Crisis Region System, are appointments with a psychiatric provider to bridge the gap for individuals needing behavioral health medication. Through telehealth, individuals requiring these medications can receive a psychiatric evaluation and prescription, helping them until they can secure ongoing psychiatric care.

To qualify for this free service:

  • You must be an Eastern Iowa resident aged 12 or older.
  • It’s available to residents of Scott, Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, and Muscatine counties.
  • You must have a scheduled ongoing psychiatric care appointment before a bridge appointment can be scheduled.
  • A care coordinator will be assigned to assist you through the process.
  • No insurance is required, as the Eastern Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region funds the service.

If you need a bridge appointment referral, you can visit the Davenport Public Library, where a social worker can assist you. Alternatively, you can contact any Eastern Iowa Region Crisis System staff member.

For more information about Bridge Appointments or if you have questions, please email amy.gold@unitypoint.org or danielle.atta@unitypoint.org or visit https://easterniowamhds.org/eastern-iowa-crisis-system.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis or requires emergency assistance, please dial 988 or contact the 24-Hour CRISIS LINE at 855.581.8111.