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Local groups get federal grants to treat substance abuse, mental health issues

BayCare Behavioral Health and the Homeless Emergency Project have received a grant of $400,000 a year for five years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. SAMHSA is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"This grant gives us the opportunity to combine housing assistance with treatment services for mental health and substance abuse issues," said Bruce Fyfe, chairman of the Homeless Emergency Project. "By helping our clients address their mental health and substance abuse issues, we hope to help them effectively end the cycle of chronic homelessness."

With the grant, BayCare Behavioral Health and the Homeless Emergency Project will provide assistance for homeless individuals and families who reside in the project's housing facilities. Together, the organizations will develop outreach, direct treatment programs and other support services for the homeless with serious psychiatric or substance abuse issues.

Treatment and support services will include employment and housing services, daily living skills, self-help programs, parenting skills, on-site mental health and substance abuse treatment, crisis counseling, medication management and coordination of care and support services.

In addition, the organizations will reserve 20 percent of the program's capacity for veterans and their families, including veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more information about this program, call 877-692-2922, visit or

• • •

The Deaf and Hearing Connection recently announced the addition of several new telephones, TTYs and captioned telephones available through its no-charge equipment distribution program. Deaf and Hearing Connection offers amplified telephones and related equipment at no cost to permanent Florida residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind or speech-impaired.

The telecommunications access program is funded by an existing surcharge on all Florida telephone bills. Equipment is available by appointment Monday through Friday at the Deaf and Hearing Connection's main office, or at satellite locations throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

The Deaf and Hearing Connection, Tampa Bay's only nonprofit hearing center, also offers free hearing screenings by appointment, low-cost hearing aids, cleaning and repair. The group specializes in communication access for deaf, hard of hearing or late-deafened people.

The main office is at 7821 Seminole Blvd., Seminole. For a complete list of distribution locations or to schedule an appointment, call (727) 399-9983 (voice) or (727) 399-9422 (TTY).

• • •

A special program for patients, "Improving the Chemotherapy/Radiation Experience," is scheduled from 5-6 p.m. Thursday at Mease Countryside Hospital, Shaffer Tower, fourth floor, Evelyn R. Simmers Oncology Resource Library, 3231 McMullen-Booth Road, Safety Harbor.

A Morton Plant Mease health care professional will explain what cancer is and the difference between a normal cell and a cancer cell; four ways of treating cancer; tips on how to get through cancer treatments; how radiation and chemotherapy work; and pointers on managing the side effects of both.

To register or for more information, call (727) 462-7500.

• • •

Author Tina Turbin will host a Halloween-themed, gluten-free cupcake party 2-4 p.m. Saturday at 1976 Dunloe Circle, Dunedin. Parents and children are invited to help bake and decorate Halloween treats. The event will be videotaped and used to raise funds for the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University's medical department. Space is limited.

Contact Rosie Newman at

• • •

A diagnostic clinic physician will discuss good nutrition and digestive illnesses at a seminar entitled, "You Are What You Eat," 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Cypress Palms, 400 Lake Ave., Largo.

For details, call (727) 584-7706.

• • •

Chef Surinder Dhaliwal will present a free cooking class at 11 a.m. Saturday at Nature's Food Patch, 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater. For more information, call (727) 443-6703.

• • •

A Therapy Above, Centers For Natural Medicine, 1590 Seminole Blvd., Largo, offers the following free Saturday classes:

• 10-11 a.m., Yoga with Kris.

• 11 a.m.- noon, Breathe and Stretch with Dr. Dory.

• Noon-1 p.m., Mixed Tai Chi and Qi Gong with Dr. Simon.

Class size limited to 20. To register, call (727) 518-2268.

Local groups get federal grants to treat substance abuse, mental health issues 10/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 7:48pm]
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