Welcome to inside us and and when he seventeen we always are up to new year. Where if things about the community and bringing people together and on January 15 is Martin Luther King's birthday. But we have the MO came march that's happening Monday January 16 2017. And with me to speak about that march is year vet Crawford and she's a board member and a secretary of the board for the Austin area heritage council you let. Welcome to the program Inky pinky for inviting me to be here now can you give us a quick background about the Austin area heritage councilman our listeners know what. When it's about. The also area heritage council or 888 seed is a group of individuals. Who have come together is about nine members. Board members that served on the board of the heritage council we come together. Each year to plan for would be in my case celebrations. Any advance for Austin. And these surrounding areas. We all have full time jobs. But we're basically volunteers that this is our way of giving back to the community. And helping to keep doctor king's dream alive and to continue his legacy as one reiterate you are voluntary. Correct it and you work. From the nine and the nine if you work from August all up until the day of the march were correct sometimes it may start earlier. About five or six years ago we also had a keynote address which was a part of the amount they celebrations. Which we have a sponsor who sponsored that entire event. For that but with the economy changing and on that they were no longer able to help fund that particularly even for us so we no longer. Did the keynote address. OK let's get a quick understanding of the importance of march I believe I don't wanna over the speak for every city. But. Several cities across country have memo came marches. Celebrating Martin Luther King's birthday correct and it's it's national holidays while correct so why do we do the march. We did the march. In order to signify the importance of Doctor King not only to African Americans but to individuals from. Different cultures different races. He basically stood for every one he wanted equality for. All. We are to think of each other as Brothers and sisters are fighting for the same costs. Where everything is fair it's not an equal. You know it's funny that you ask that question because this year Spain for the amount case celebrations is. Love unity and power. What all of the issues and incidents that have come across. This country for the past couple of years we really need to unite. As people for the same cars to have equality fall. You know regardless if you're rich for a black white green yellow moon. You know we're all here for the same purse purpose but we really need to unite as as swine as a family so that's why we continue to plan. Events such as this on a yearly basis because we want. To keep his legacy. Alive doctor king's legacy alive and to have his dream become a reality. You know we have to have. Israel to become. True for our youth for our future for our children. Yeah I I completely agree with you within the past few years we have become a divided nation are sharply divide is something that I've. Never seen before in my lifetime and a lot of people are experiencing for their in their lifetimes while. And if you don't know history can repeat it you hear that from ever professor you hear that from people everywhere. We have a country that's divided. Between race. And between religion the marches is really important and we all need look back I think Martin Luther King's message correct. So before the before a march on January 16 seed you have. Events leading up to it yes we we can we go into depth about those. Definitely. Thumb on Thursday January the twelfth. We have the implicate oratory competition. This is the twelfth year for this particular competition. Is basically open 24 fifth and sixth grade students in the Austin. Independent school district or charter schools within the Austin area. On each student is give and at tasks to. Rise of five minute speech or report. If Doctor King relive today what were they basically discuss with him. And the thing for this year is as we continue with the legacy of doctor king and if we in the if he were alive today. What would you personally discuss with him to demonstrate to the people of the world that change begins with self. And what the possibilities of positive change. These differences that make this uniquely gifted and strong. Can display greatness. With that topic the children well we search they'll study about Doctor King. They will in turn come up with their own version of their own speech. Based on what's going on in the world today. That speech is five minutes they have to know what I'm memory. And believe me over the years since I haven't worn in this particular event that children get better and better and better and it's amazing to me. To see how these children think and what they come up with now as a solution to today's issues with today's problems. The first second third place winners they will win our cash prize. From the air we will have the next event which will be on Saturday. January the fourteenth from denying embassy in partnership with the united way of greater Austin pants on central Texas. This is a volunteer effort. For a day of services where individuals or groups and come together to volunteer to clean up areas. To give their time back to the community. If anyone is interested and volunteering. All they need to do is go to Debbie Debbie Debbie you cancel central Texas dot org. To find out more information on how they can volunteer work they will need to meet in order. To get their assignments of where they went clean up or repair the key meaning tier. Eccentric sector also on Saturday the fourteenth. From three to five it'll be the MO okayed. It's scholarship awards. And basically it's a scholarship. Presentation for our ginger and senior high school students where they have been nominated by the appears counselors teachers are community. For eight different categories. For significant accomplishments. Each winner of that particular category will win a 1000 dollar scholarship towards college. And then the final event for 2017. Will be the citywide march rally and cultural festival. Which is open to everyone in Austin all the events let me say are open to everyone there and free and open to the public. But this is our final event is celebration of doctor king and this is where we will march from. You DM receipt of Texas from twenty firsts. And speedway at the MOK statue. There'll be a short program starts at 9 AM. We will march on to the south steps of the capitol there'll be another short program at the capitol. And Lou conclude. The march has hastened Towson University where there'll be accessible for everyone to be free live music. Children's area and vendors are people see enjoy it and keep celebrating. Doctor king's legacy. Well that sounds like a wonderful day and you know the events leading up to it is. Purcell I think it's great pitcher in the children involved. You get them to get those speeches together in need to sign that topic and to see what they come up with. And it's certainly anybody that. That appreciates. The spoken word would probably. Be very you know into that kind of thing and it's not easy. It's not. I'm really amazed of how they can get up that down if front of people to speak because government run I was that age I. Would have lost my train of thought spoke to let your speech is so powerful. And is just. Amazing what comes out of their mouth I mean. It's just so eloquent and insists. It's unbelievable and it adds I'm really proud of the children. That. That want to do it I mean they really. You want to do this and you know we have to understand Tim that children they know what's going on in the world whom they may not talk to their parents about the make talked to France about it. But there are some things and I'm pretty sure that they do not lie. What's gone on a world we know what they see no so this is their way of expressing. Themselves to speech. But it is it is getting an insight. It yourself in their shoes it is I'm pretty sure we around. You may need. Volunteers. At times. And you know you may work in August remain do a little bit may start a little bit before prior. On routes of anybody that wants to get involved with your organization. It was let's say they convince. They can go to our well website I am like LK celebration. Dot com. They can find out more about. Our events where we've what we've done in the past. They'll find out about. Who'll Doctor King was. If they want to donate money you know we would be happy to receive you know any type response sponsorship our donation. It allowed us yellow rose towards the events in the march or not I mean because we don't have the funds to to pay for the events in order for them to take place week. We ask for sponsorship. And that is how we are able to make these events possible. For people to and door for people to come to. Moved and they can volunteer they get in contact where the share to find out how they can't and become involved was. The heritage council or what they can do to assist the heritage council. And trying to make things spare you know each year we learn. How would implant things accordingly how we can make it fair for the upcoming year are years. And we. Bluff individuals to give us there and put it you know things we met in my they've done in the past things we can bring back. This actress satcher. Thank you win doing this some time and I think we got a good coverage of of a the events leading up to the march and the march itself. What are some final thoughts about what the stay mean CU and know why oh why you do what you do. The reason why I I do this. I'm a native Austin. And one thing that my parents instilled in to me growing up was to give back to your community. For me this is an opportunity for me to give back. I'm not only given back I'm also learning more about Doctor King you know I was a little girl when he was assassinated. I felt that if he had not been assassinated. Hopefully things would have been a lot better than what they are now but. We want to. Keep his legacy alive. And if we don't do it who were around who would do. So this is a way of of celebrating his life celebrating his lead latest. And keeping his dream alive. And keeping hope that things will get better for not. Minorities. But for every one. Well I think bringing in the youth and educating them is gonna do just that. Yeah man I am so glad that you took some time out of your data come and speak with us. Thank you so much for inviting me to be here today again that's event Crawford board member and secretary the boards per Austin area heritage council. The Martin Luther King march is Monday January 16 2017. If you like more information on. The parade he can visit MLK celebration a comic again that's an okay celebration. I don't. There. Greivis. Okay. You're going to lose this. You're going to need us and. I. And it's going to need or technical skills and I'm Max yeah engineering students. He's going to eat and how quick you want to. He and you're fit. You're going to need their organizational skills a problem solving skills. You're going to need a determination. Our aunts and our compassion. You're going to need the next generation of leaders to face the challenges of the future will bring. And we comments. From people. Today. For aids is going the next generation of leaders. Support us before age and go to work. It's. Welcome to inside us I guess today is. Telling whites. And Kelly why it's the CEO let's say alliance she's here to speak about the safe alliance a merger of the Austin children's shelter. And safe place Kelly welcome to the program bill a tongue twister for me for some reason. How are you having me. Now let's are from the beginning here said he had a lot to speak about. And I wanna get your full intake on the services you're gonna provide for the gusting community. We came together our children shelter and safe place are both very long standing organizations end in dot in central Texas. They've both been providing services for decades in. In the areas of child abuse domestic violence sexual assault. But separately so very silo to services and and about five years ago we first came together sane. Gosh we need to break down the silos and be able to address system more of a continuum because the reality is is that. Was so often dealing with the same people. We may be dealing with famine different plates and their life. But. But but it's the same people that are experiencing death and so. Literally in 2012. We began the conversation about how could we do this more seamlessly. And it's taken since banned for us to. Reached the point at which we merged the organizations. And to create safe which stands for stopped at peace for everyone. We decided to do it. It was at a process we didn't begin the process thinking that we would merge. We began the process thinking that we just needed to do a better job with the people that we provided services for. They recognize that too often and kids where aging out of the Foster care system where ending up and homes where there was violence and abuse work. Were then. Invite then their children were involved with the child protection system. Then they were and ending up in battered women's programs they were repeatedly victimized in other ways. And the size it was just a cycle and that we needed to figure out how to. End the cycle as opposed to just putting a band aid on every step of the way which is how we had been doing. Yet a anything got into her life. People end up going through cycles and maybe even turn events snowball write into the other I yeah yeah. What we found two when we for and so so much of much of our original inclination came from our observations. I've been working in the areas of violence and abuse serving people that have been victimized. For come over three decades for a very long yeah experience that you got some experience. And as had many of the people that that work for that work with me and then there are part of the safe alliance. And and what and so what we've seen. Is the people that we parked where and end the cycles that how they are involved. And it was just heartbreaking for us to see kids that would come in to. Into the children's shelter into the emergency shelter and would be doing well and then. Become a who had who who came into the system. So it if you're involved with the children's shelter if you if you are in the emergency. Care at the children's shelter that means that you have. Already experienced horrific horrific abuse because you've been you're in this. In the care of the state attacks you've been removed. From your parental care because of violence and abuse. So those kits come man they've already experienced and seen and lived horrific abuse. And then we see a young man then that is abusive to his girlfriend. And and what we have to do is to say you can't lift here with her you got I mean. If we have to provide the protection and so is just this constant cycle or young mom. Also coming from the children's shelter the very young mom doing everything she can. But once and moving out moving in with her abusive boyfriend who's abusive to her and to the children she asks does this custody ever children. And it's just this this horrific cycle but somehow we have to end. So we came to it from that place saying. It's time in the cycle. And then as we as we moved into it we've also seen there's a lot of research now that supporting. What we anecdotally do what what is your overall goal or maybe even plan to help. Break the cycle. Our our overall goal. Is to end violence and a big hits and that would be our vision I think our goal is probably got to step down from there but everyone ago I mean our goal would be to put ourselves out of business wouldn't it be great if we didn't have that. But we. But we do have lots of of of prevention program. And we're very very engaged with advocacy. And social justice and working to Tenet what I say drain the swamp. We have a strong start witches are very large child abuse prevention program. So works with vulnerable families goes into their homes and helps them to learn how to parent better. Give it helps to have them to have the resources so that they can move on toward. Toward raising happy healthy. Safe children in it and it nurturing home we have a large program expect respect that operates in the school. And inept program we do exactly what it says we teach young people how to expect respect in their relationships. And we also do and provide in both of those programs would provide. Counseling and support services for those people that are already experiencing some kinds of violence and abuse. But ultimately the goal being to. To keep people from ever needing to. To be to receive more intensive services from moving on into. Violent and abusive relationships and homes and end. Tip to experience. CC and you've been doing this for a couple decades. OS at three degree or another cup and so. Have you seen any success with the work that you've done yourself I'm Mike actually sink so much success how I keep doing this unless I saw a lot of success. I'm and I sheriff people that I came out of a very abusive marriage. And that was a long time ago obviously but a long long time ago and I left the I actually packed my car. Quit my job sign a quit claim deed on my house. When my ex husband hurt my three year old son when he was trying to protect me. So. So I can say do I cease success absolutely and I've got a wonderful life my children have a wonderful life. And the cycle stopped it's done but so I went from there into running programs him and and my my first reaction when I would see some of that that the people that would be working with was like. Oh my gosh this is the hardest thing I've ever done and I had an education. And I had a supporting family and I had all these things going for me. How in the world can these families ever possibly make it. And what I learned was that they could I learned that given given the resources. Given the opportunity. That they could make it and it was an and I think that is guided mine. It's guided my work Evers to chance. You know. No that's that's that's so great to hear that it is all. All things are possible and men into having a much normal and stable life and of course you know ending breaking the cycle soon seat. You know your son wasn't you know. They introduced it. I guess to say hey he was such an influential age at the time that it's a good thing heating carried out with impressive. I didn't about what we know is that families that are raised in research shows that. Children who witness an intimate partner violence are six times more likely than their peers. Two experienced violence as adults so it's really really important to. For kids not to seat to not experience that so that's one. Children that have experienced abuse and neglect. Are two to three times more likely to experience either as perpetrators or his victims mounts an abusive adults. We also see that there's. And we talk about this week we tend to talk about domestic mounts child abuse but the reality is is that sexual abuse and sexual violence is. Permeates all of it yeah it's it's it's all that it's all in America together. And victims of child abuse are much more likely to be raped as adults or as teenagers it's just. It's is there the more likely to a child abuse people. People that experienced child abuse among likely to end up homeless stand up to drink addicted to drugs. To not graduate high school to become teen parents to also lose there too good to Tina and in violent relationships. We half to break the cycle. And and what we're doing with with safe is we've put together. A system to break the cycle some really excited about it because I am you should be aren't the most exciting work I've ever done and the culmination of decades decades of work. So with this merger of these two organizations. How easy has it been for you or is it anything from easy. I tell a lot of hard work over the years and I mean that's just not it's not easy work when you're dealing with crisis and danger and safety and families. And this has been the hardest thing beverage and and and it's and it and I say analysts say I week it's been it's been a team very much a group of people. And and it's been difficult because some of well in large part because it's what's happened is that these all these programs kind of grew up separately. And they they and they work. And and honestly governmental regulations. And the funding associated with them all the reps separately. They didn't grow up in the they didn't they didn't come up in the way that people live their lives so it debate they came up bit in regard to. Indy silos and with that very very rigid walls if you are a victim of child abuse then that's. Got a rigid wall around it then that one issue but when you. When your age out of that system then just age on to the next them. And rather than recognizing that the way people live their lives. Are are much more fluid and so is trying to break down those those walls and those laws and those regulations and those funding sources. Has been a five year battle geez I had no radios on now for that law. Nobody puts. People either say what it. And I thought he did this years ago and I like men and we start working on you're sick. You talk about an uphill battle you've been climbing that hill for a long time a very long time now where how close are you to completing. Well it will always be a journey let me just because there's always going to be. That's separate systems that we have to work for rent so and so will never be done done but as far as. We arm we are emerged as of January 1 we have couple are certificates of nurture everybody signed off on all of our funding sources have agreed. Where. And now now what we're doing is is really working to tell the story about applying quiet this is such an important thing to do. And that it's really important that that people recognize. Safe place and Austin children's shelter have not gone away. We're still providing all of the same services. And more we still need all of the same funding and more. And and we're just doing it better and we're doing it so much better. And Steve talk about better what what is better about it right now. For instance. It's a different acts the better part of me just give you some examples of 'cause there's no reason to do this except in lives changed we don't do it because. We certainly didn't do that because at about getting bigger. Although we're we got bigger we didn't do it about about you know. About. Operational efficiencies we did it about lives and so some of the lives examples would be. Like we had a a young fan a family with several young children that were at the safe place emergency shelter of we just wish that they. That domestic violence shelter program. And they're with their mom and the mom. Really eventually what happened when she she left all the kids she abandoned kids. So we were able to successfully advocating we we also operate a charter school. And we do that with incomes and connection with the University of Texas Turkish system is that 'cause met ski school on our campus. And so the kids were all and that consummate ski school the mom abandoned kids. We were able to successfully move them into the Austin children's shelter emergency shelter. Child Protective Services worked with us to move them in there they never missed a single day of school. They stayed together. They were able to to stay with that with their same therapists with the same family. They didn't get split up they can go out to different homes where and have to begin a new school. And later on that year. Everybody from the children's shelter and from the safe place emergency shelter. Everybody was able to go and celebrate the oldest child graduating high school bus and I stick so that's. We are able to do this and a more seamless way in the way that people live their lives now. We're big and mean and people are surprised and I say it. Those surprise should be that we're. That would that this is all that we are. We have about 350 employees and over twenty million dollar annual budget operate out of many many many buildings. Because we have to do residential services and residential requires building. But. But given the enormity of the problem people should be surprised that that's all that we car. We we provide crisis services that include a hotline 24. 24 are safe flying we have. Two emergency residential shelters. We do hospital accompaniment we do sexual assault forensic exams. We're we're very much responding in the moment 24 hours a day 24/7. Two. Emergency crisis response of of something a band that is happening in somebody's life. We do sheltering in healing which is you know once past the crisis we have transitional housing programs. Helping to provide support services to get people's switch into toward independents emotional. And economics. Independents. We have. We do a lot a lot of counseling and therapy and counseling. For child abuse domestic violence sexual assault family counseling and broad based community counseling torque all all. All geared toward violence and victimization. We have a really big program that deals with disability services. People with disabilities are extreme. Extreme risk. Four. For victimization. Not always with an intimate partner not always an a child abuse oftentimes by somebody that scared that their caregiver. So it's it's. Don't believe. Complicated by the fact that that may be the person that's allowing them to be to be independent. And their roots there's so dependent on that person and that person abusive to them. So we we have an a broad program goes into the communities in deals with here in central Texas we do intervention in counseling but. We also trained. Matt internationally. About prevention programs violence prevention programs for people with disabilities. We have and I'm I'm really not going into everything but and we also have our community services so. Things like strong start expect respect things like that and then we're very committed to social change. It can't have worked in this area and announcing gauge for as long as. All of us that we're there half again and not want to. To end it we want to come stopped and seen. The lives devastated and families torn apart. And it's we know that to do that we have to to act in during change happens by changing policy by changing. Cultural pat and societal attitudes. And so we're theory very committed to that as well. Now. Whom he said he had 350. Employees who've been. I'm sure that an organization especially with the merger. It's as large assists and providing some much assistance of the community you mean have a need for her volunteers. We volunteers. Are very very engaged with our. Come hospital company meant our sexual assault advocacy. None of these serve for the faint of heart let me just the K eight consists of these are crisis response but now slower in the schools with expect respect and help an art child development programs. We also have volunteers that just come in and help us with. Is the people I love to come in and help with violated. But early and but it yet we have a we have many many volunteers student community education a speaker's bureau. And who just. To pick up basketball games with the kids at the children's shelter and stuff like that so. They volunteers do have to go through background checks they have to go through training program. But. That if they're doing. During work continuous work with. The people that we serve but we do also have community groups such as come in for a day and help us to. Do something is to be done we just ahead of course our big holiday program and which where we. I don't have the final numbers but I know that we would provide. Holiday for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of of of children and families. And so we have volunteers that come in and help us. Sort the gifts wrap the gifts. Figure out what the gifts are mean it's a huge. In which to deal and so it. Lots of volunteers and for volunteers they can just go to your website yes they can mission centers link on the web site safe Austin dot. Org but the other pieces is how we operate with a set about a 20/20 plus million dollar budget of which about nine million of dollars and many years made up through. Community philanthropy which means it's people in the community. Giving us money to operate. And 75% of our budget. Goes is directly toward personnel. So. I point out to people. You figure out that it's not the frosting on the cake. It's. It's it's the cage I mean it's it's dynamic it's it's the core of how we operate is that people supporting us and allowing us to do that. One of the things that we do and that and that's been really enhanced by by the merger is that we track are impact. We want to know that we in factor making it different so it's not just the number of people that we serve but it's album so the ways in which we are changing lines. That we we serve an awful lot of people we serve tens of thousands of people every year. In 2015. We provided residential services so that means people living with us. For 5765. Youths and adults during 2015. So. That's a lot of people to provide residential care for that was for almost 51000. Knights of care sent us a way that we sometimes track because that says how many people. That are that anyone night that we're making sure that where that were. The were providing safety and care for and then we have thousands of people that we obstinacy in non resident programs so so it's not just residential it's not the non residential programs. Which are counseling. And strong start. And expect respect and support groups in the schools so so RR scale is large. But we also are seeing. Are seeing. Tremendous outcomes in people that are learning how to be saying that aren't. Learning how to expect respect how to. Growing into nurturing independent caring adults and parents and so it's very very rewarding what we Wear accomplishing amazing things and we're saving lives. Now for anyone listening right now. And they wanna get a hold of the European in touch with your services Seattle Epstein gritty enough of them going safe Austin. Dot or. And we can always call our hotline which is 512267. Safe. Cool and we now have a capability to. Chat and text through our as well through that through state of mind for the safe and well that's that's amazing no word on what the DC if there. Yes and enact it. GAAP net well and worry all located as well we operate from two primary campuses in east Austin we have. We enact a campus that's just. On just. Off of east Riverside. And that's and we have a most of our domestic counts of sexual assault programs and then we have a campus on com. And at Miller. Off of main road trip and it's where we have the majority of our. Of our programs associated with child protection and child welfare. But they're also very intertwined. We operate a program called planet safe for reduced supervised visitation and that's in aunt down by the courthouse. And that's court ordered child unsupervised exchange and visitation programs. We have where we obviously we have a lot of staff that operate in the schools doing. Expect respect. We have our. Our operate the homes with strong start the child abuse prevention. We have staff that operate out of the county attorney's office the district attorney's office. What with the police department where we we. Work that we operate out of hospitals for reduced the sexual assault exams we also have Eloise house that's on our. Campus office east Riverside where we do on the majority of our sexual assault forensic exams. We look for the cracks in the system where where it's not working for people and we fill in let's crack. Yeah well I mean I think it's always nice to bring people into the studio that earth. That provide so much can care and Mike good for the community. Especially. Organizations I never knew existed or never even would have crossed my mind because it doesn't affect my life. Personally by. People think that it doesn't affect their lives but they just don't know yet you don't know. About what's happening in the life of your neighbor. Or your friend or coworker or your co worker and I have never ever since as long as I've done this work I've never ever gone into a room of people and talk to them without somebody saying. Alone let me tell you can I talk to you about. About what happened to me and he. Willis often time I went to dinner last night with some friends of my husband and when they asked me what I did I was reluctant to sell it. It's it beat it does become your life where you're at some point she do images step away for a moment. And and you're very you're very open I think this is like the perfect thing for you because you'd be feeling very safe person speak to something I imagine everybody listening right now feels very safe thing to do this. So. A really appreciate the work you do and just have one more thing for you do you have anything on and with your. Thirty years of experience. With the merger and do you have any last words. I think I said this earlier my last words would be that I've done this work for over thirty years by far away this is the most meaningful. And exciting. And important. John I've never taken on his bringing together. Austin children's shelter and safe place and creating this. Which seamless continue on and ability to impact across a lifetime and genuinely genuinely began to in. Kelli thank you so much for coming in Syria today and explain everything. There is with safe alliance and dust and children's shelter. Thank you for having me. I'm Paul George of the Indiana Pacers. I don't know six. One thing on my mind. When a six. Mondays for spent playing basketball every chance I couldn't. When I was six. My dream was to make its debut at. No suits. My mom had a stroke. So once you learn the signs of stroke fast. Test panel this team. That's true. They aren't we best speech difficulty tee time to call 91. Because the sooner they get to the hospital to see me go get treated. McNamee remarkable difference in their recovery. I'm Paul George. Protect the ones who loved. Spotter strolled best pay best T fast. And like this one and visit stroke association Donna were brought you by the American stroke association. That counsels. It's. Thank you for joining us on the inside us and now today I have a very special guest and her name is Karen reign as. And she's the executive director for mommy Austin Karen. Welcome to show. Thanks so much for inviting me what does nominee do for the Austin community okay we end it's and I know he said dealing with mental health but I'm. I mean that's that's clarify for our listeners a little bit charity in some context church so not me is actually an acronym for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. So deny me started problem BF 32 years ago the one here in Austin army Austin was founded about 32 years ago. And it's primary purpose initially was really to provide education and support for the families and individuals who were most impacted by mental illness. So one of the things that we know is in the mental illnesses can be really challenge gene to. To navigate kind of that whole system and to also navigate the treatments and I'll let other stuff so in the past and still today we know that a lot of families are oftentimes in isolation and indeed the year often not a whole lot of resources in the community for families when they get a diagnosis loosely. So what money does is we provide these great classes so like we have a twelve week course called family to family so family members can go to that class. It's twelve weeks. So every week you're learning something new about treatments about. What kinds of medications are required and kind of really learning brain biology in Anders Dini all of the different the full spectrum of different kinds of mental health conditions. And then. The very last she classes are really what I call almost like workshops earth I was say it's like we're feeling that you tool kit and so we provide all kinds of great workshops on communications skills on. And making good problem you know been the problem solver when things are happening. Self care all those kinds of things and so what we're really aiming to do is a quick Hanley so they can be a whole lot more confident and resilient. As they face any additional crisis that might happen in the future so one of the things that happens as a sidebar to all of the learning that people do in these classes. Is they also get an opportunity to kind of shed all of the shame and blaming guilt and a lot of families walk in the door of west. And the reality is that people don't recover well when their under this kind of dark cloud of shame. So it's really great to help and understand that mental illnesses are real medical illnesses now that they require treatment and medication and that recovery is possible. And so that's really important and we always talk about the fact that what we're really doing is providing hope and help so we do a lot of that we have classes for family members. But then we also have classes for individuals who live with a mental health conditions so we also have a ten week course for them. We have a six week course that we offer for families who have early onset of mental health conditions in the family so if you've got to have. Ten year old or thirteen year older high school that's having an early onset of something going on we have a class for you as well. And then we have support groups so we do a lot if support and education for the families that are an individuals who are most impacted by mental illness so where they're to provide. Education and support for families who were right there on the forefront. And these kinds of mental health conditions. And then the anything that we do is provide all kinds of training and presentations in the community as well. So one of the big places that were do a lot of work in rhinos in the schools so we're providing. Education for teens middle school and high school teens as well as school professionals and in the schools. So it's really great as what we're doing is we're cooking them with an understanding of what the early signs of mental health conditions can look like as well as suicide awareness so that's really important. Just this spring we did that presentation culled Andy in the silence which is for the teens for 6200 kids jest and this spring while and actually. And 94 point seven radio host and it was actually very involved with doing the biggest presentation we've ever done of that Westlake high school we did it for 2600 kids all in one time. And he actually co presented with us on at that presentation. So he's been a big supporter of the work we're doing because he knows as well as we do that the earlier that we intervene McPeak earlier a young person gets a diagnosis the much more likely that they'll have better outcomes in the future. One of the reasons that I'm really passionate about the work that I do is because I have a daughter who is now 24 years old. That five years ago I almost lost her to suicide she was eighteen years old. A college student like all of us. You know the trajectory that now I know lots of families experiencing issue went on to college she was doing. Academically really well I mean on the surface she looked like a kid that had it all together. But she was really embarrassed about the depression in the eggs ID that she'd been living with actually for a few years and we just didn't know how serious it was. And and so again we talk about wanting to create community in which we can talk more positively about mental health. Certainly with teens that's one of the places that we know is sort an important. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages fifteen to 24 and in fact. And just this spring we had to study they came out from the center for health statistics that show that there had been the largest surge in suicides in the last thirty years and K. So we know that that's just really important issues because in 90% of the cases we see a suicide there's an underlying. And treat your undiagnosed mental health condition. So we can catch those things early and make sure that kids don't get to that point in adults as well. We're very likely to save lives just by creating a community in which people feel comfortable saying hey you know what I'm really not doing well. I need some help I need somebody to top tier I might need to see a doctor. But we still don't live in the kind of communities where we heiress and comfortable talking about mental health as we talk about. All of our other public health concerns right. And what's interesting about that is actually. The prevalence rates for mental illnesses are one in five so in any given year one in five Americans will experience a mental health condition. That's 43 point seven million people in the United States so it has a higher prevalence rates and cancer diabetes or asthma. But we're just not as comfortable talking about mental health conditions as we are about physical health conditions. So we're really striving to. You community where we can do that. I ate a completely agree with you. I'm millennial like I'm in my twenties or more a year since then we'll know oh gosh two more months. I thought that I think. A lot of people don't realize how gave our mental illness crisis is in this country. Until they have a handful of friends I go through it. And I noticed it in my mid twenty's with some of my close friends and as asleep. Wow where'd this come from like I can you would never expected it always thank you said it like on the outside. They seem to be doing well. They have great job sir happy uttered they're exceeding and in all sorts of levels but then they just have this. Depression or this staying inside just eating them up and and it's it's hard for them to address to people even even as grown adults I think B these so they have some sort of shame that the don't want live without and they just eats away at them day after day. Until it's until. Of really big breaking point for them. Yeah you're absolutely right I mean that's what we know in fifteen million people live with depression another thirteen million anxiety. And so what we know is it's really scary comment. But again we don't feel comfortable talking about it week we still carry this. This myth around. That somehow if you develop a mental health condition and that means there's something wrong with you do something flawed with youth. And so we don't see it for as the medical illnesses that they are. And so that's a big part of the shame and that you talk about and that's so common for us to hear that. You know and it's funny because we have a tendency. But the reality is that we would never think to say something like that about cancer like how could that person get cancer they don't look like the kind of person that could. So because we don't see them as illnesses we see them is you know flaws in personality York. Not as a mom I really felt that as kind of like I had failed as a mother that that's the reason my daughter had ended up in crisis. So you we it is so important that we start talking about mental health in the same way we talk about physical health I love what the World Health Organization says. They say that there is no. Health without mental health. And I think we really have to work toward integrating. So that when we talk about health we automatically know that it means both physical and mental. But we do separate those out and and so it's hard because we have to talk about it so we talk very specifically about mental health. But I really long for and wish for the day when it will we will talk about health and will automatically know that we're talking about both that it's not the side by our absolute. Me now if you're just joining us your listening to incite Austin and I'm here with Karen Arenas. And she's the executive director for nominee Austin Karen for anyone listening to inside us and at this moment if they want to get more information on nominee. From may be someone that they know that may be mentally ill. Or maybe even to just just to go in and check out what nominee has to offer is their website as their phone number is or someone they can you now get in contact with. You bet actually thank you for asking that. So we have a great website has all kinds of resources on it and that's non meet Austan dot org so that's an AM I Austin dot Orix if you visit the website. We've got a crisis resource page which got I mean just a whole bunch of resources that are available both locally and online we've also got a suicide prevention. Mom. Went tab as well that you can do it's it's we've got to pay to have all kinds of crisis information. Un and then you can also call the office at 5124209810. And then if you email. Info. At none meet Austan dot Warrick. We continue all kinds of resources by email as well we have a plethora of resources and information and that's really the other. Besides providing education and support in the community I really feel like that's our other purpose in the community is we have really become kind of the goatee. If you have a question about mental health and you don't know where to go where deterrent to call us. If you call 5124209810. Or you can email us at info at nominee Austin got bored. If we don't know the answer will find it for you. That we've got a list of resources and great information and in a person that answers that phone and email who heard just Angeles decreed a finding resources. Well I hope they're all. As prepared as communicated was you because I've never felt more comfortable on an interview at all like it like I've done several interviews someone if people really comfortable and confident right now just speaking with the U. And I and I'm pretty sure that goes from you speaking to people on a daily basis about this. I did have a question it is a nonprofit so families with without insurance or they more than welcome to come in and stuff like that. Well again that's the great thing about everything that we do know cost we don't charge for any thing that we do so whether you call for resources. We have a lending library so if you wanna come men and Arlen book and I was tell people hey if I never seen a book again and totally OK with that. Make sure somebody else gets it who needs it. But otherwise people come and they are books they get resource is there in our office as well every class you take every support creepy city and if you need is to come out tee you're. Girl Scouts to your. Faith community T your workplace and provide information we are happy to do that and we will not charge you a dying to do that. You know one of the things that we know is that particularly when families and individuals. Higher. And navigating really kind of serious mental illnesses and I know that this was two for my own family especially the first year of my daughter's diagnosis. I mean all of your resources are going to treatment and therapy and medication. And so we don't ever want cost to be an obstacle for people I mean we want them to know that there's a place that they can come to an access the help that they need. If they are need dean if they're looking for a counselor we've got a list of sliding scale or no cost counselors that we have that they can have access to. In week instantly connect them with resources in the community if if again if in cost is an issue for them we'll do the best that we can to connect them with the resource in the community that can help them I mean you know one of the things that I know is that a lot of times when we talk about mental illness you know there's. It's kind of one of those topics that people don't feel comfortable talking about and and there is this kind of cloud over it sometimes and so wean bury intentionally on that day. Make sure that it is a day about celebrating. We talk about the fact that part of what we're doing is celebrating the mental health warriors amongst us it was really Great Depression took my daughter to the swat because we relieving and then you know she's young she's like 19% in go to the swap elicits a would you think in she said. A loved it and I said wryly. And she sees say yeah I really dead pool tell me why and she said well here's why she said because. This is the first place that I've ever come this the first time I've ever been someplace where someone like me gets celebrated. She said because anywhere else rank and its cues that person that was with depression during side you know there's this real negative says she does that it was a really celebratory day at Karen. Before we we end the the interview would do you have any last words you'd like to have. I think only thing that I really want to say is that if you're listening to this. Interviewed. And you've been struggling for awhile and have been reluctant to reach out. Com please do they mean call us if you want somebody to talk to will connect you with our programs our support groups. We've also as I said got some great resources on our website as well and you know I think about my daughter in the sense that you know one of the things that she does now she does in the community telling her story as well. And I think one of the things that she always says as I regret not having said something earlier I wish I had had the courage to say I need some help. So whether you write it down are you tax someone. Com or you call last. Make that first step because the reality is that so many times people don't reach out because they're fearful that they really won't get better that there is something flawed about them. But what we know is again people have the armed potential and capacity to get better and leave really productive successful lives. A mention to you that five years ago almost lost my daughter to suicide but. In the rough first year was a little rough. But just last summer she moved to Portland Oregon she's finishing up for college education at Portland State University. He she's going to be graduating in June the highest honors and more importantly she's happy. And that didn't happen until she reached out and got help and got the help in treatment and medication that she needed to help forget on that road so. It can happen so don't be afraid to reach out and get help Karen thank you you're welcome thanks for having me. And if you like to reach out to nominee at any time of the year. You can go ahead and emailed comment and vote and not me Austin dot org again that's info. And not me Haas and dot org and don't be afraid he can go ahead and pick up the phone and give my call at 512. Or 209810. Again that's 512. 1409810. And I'm Matt Alvarez and this is entitlements and. The I move.