What a thrill to speak at the Texas Advocates Annual Conference! We missed seeing our friends and colleagues in person. But we were pleased to share information about keeping your mental health in good shape. We are also excited to connect with self-advocates as we move forward with our project.
For those who missed it, here’s a snippet from our presentation. This short video shows how different people are working on mental health during the pandemic.
Many thanks to Brooke, Deborah, Annessa, and the self-advocates, sponsors, and other who made this a great conference!
Did you know that people with IDD are more likely to also have mental health challenges? And that often, these challenges are never diagnosed?
Strategic Education Solutions (SES) and University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) are working on a new project about mental health. We will research what’s happening now in mental health care for people with IDD. We’ll also do a survey, asking self-advocates about their experiences. Then, we’ll start building tools and training to help self-advocates and their families and friends get better mental health care. We’ll also teach service providers, mental health specialists, and others to serve people with IDD better. Stay tuned for updates!
Did you know that people with IDD are much more likely than others to be victims of sexual abuse and assault? By learning and talking about it, we can all help change that!
Strategic Education Solutions (SES) and University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) are working on a new project about sexual assault. We will research what’s happening now. We’ll also hold focus groups to ask self-advocates, families/friends/allies, service providers, and first-responders about their experiences.
Then, we’ll start building tools and training to help self-advocates and others prevent sexual assault and improve response when it happens. Stay tuned for updates!
The UMMS/SES team will train Peer Support Specialists at its first pilot site—The ARC of Greater Beaumont—this Fall. Beaumont was chosen for its strong group of self-advocates, the experience of its staff, and Jefferson County’s demographics.
“We wanted a location that reflected the demographics of the state as a whole. Working in Beaumont will give us a great idea of the challenges and successes we can expect as we expand statewide. Partnering with an organization that has an established and vibrant community self-advocates is a bonus,” says Cynthia Burrow, Project Director and owner of Strategic Education Solutions.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Jefferson County who receive or are on the interest list for Medicaid waivers can apply for free peer support through the program. People of diverse ethnicities, language needs, and socioeconomic status, and those for whom transportation and geographical isolation may be challenging, are encouraged to apply.
Our project will teach self-advocates to help others with IDD live the lives they choose. In our first year, we’ll write the training curriculum. Starting in year 2, we’ll teach a growing group of coaches and peer support specialists. Use the form on the right to join our mailing list and get project updates.
Join us at the Texas Advocates Conference
Project staff will be at the Texas Advocates annual conference in San Antonio, August 2-4. We will give a workshop presentation about this exciting new project. We will also have an exhibit table. Come by and meet our staff. Enter our raffle to win a restaurant gift card!
Make your voice heard
We want our project to meet your needs. To make sure that happens, please:
Take our online survey. Tell us what kind of help you want and need. Service providers–Please share this link with your clients!
Volunteer for our curriculum review panel. You will review our program and tell us what you think. You must have access to a computer or other device and have Web access. You must be able to use email and to do surveys online. If you are interested, email us.