The Marshall Home Fund (MHF) is pleased to announce financial support for two new training programs to benefit Watertown residents ages 55 and over. The trainings to be provided by Wayside Youth & Family Support Multi Service Center this spring will offer older adult residents important skills and information related to 1) “Mental Health First Aid” and 2) financial literacy for retirees and those interested in retirement planning.
“We are glad to see a grant like this especially as we look to issues that are arising in our community. The two most prevalent are elder money management and how to assess mental health concerns in a loved one,” stated Seda Aghamianz, Chair of MHF’s Allocations Committee, which awarded this off-cycle grant to Wayside at the end of 2015.
National training program teaches about crisis management, resilience, and recovery Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a national training certification program where members of the general public learn the signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to de-escalate crisis situations and provide comfort, and when and where to refer someone for services. It also teaches about recovery and resiliency — “the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.”
Wayside already has MHFA certified many individuals from a variety of groups in town, and is eager to extend this opportunity to older adults who have adult children with mental health and substance use disorders, as well as those who are raising grandchildren and need information and resources to help them better manage challenges their family members may experience.
The training also is a response to the stresses related to the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic facing Watertown families and the entire nation, stated Laura Kurman, Wayside’s Senior Program Director.
“And it dovetails well with the work of the Watertown Social Services Resource Specialist (SSRS) Program where Danielle DeMoss, the SSRS clinician, meets with individuals dealing with mental health, behavioral, and substance use disorders. Many residents are dealing with their own or family trauma: both MHFA training and their relationship with the SSRS can help them better deal with the traumatic issues of their loved ones or themselves,” explained Kurman.
Financial literacy program helps retirees make the most of their money
In collaboration with Watertown Savings Bank, Wayside will also teach older residents how to manage and make the most of their money with the goal of preventing serious financial problems, housing difficulties — and even homelessness, which has been on the rise in the area due to a lack of affordable housing.
MHF’s Annual RFP
In 2015, MHF awarded a total of more than $60,000 to 19 agencies that serve older adults in Watertown, including this program grant to Wayside. MHF’s annual RFP takes place each spring with applications due March 31. Agencies that serve older adults in Watertown are invited to attend MHF’s annual Program Grant Information Session on Wednesday, February 10, 12 noon at the Watertown Public Library; a light lunch will be provided (Feb. 12 is the snow date). Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.