Mental First Aid from MHA Dutchess (Aired On February 26, 2023)


Andrew O’Grady, CEO of Mental Health America of Dutchess County (MHA) visits Radio Rotary to introduce “Mental Health First Aid,” an eight-hour course that teaches ways to identify, understand, and respond to signs of a mental health or substance use problem. Similar to physical First Aid and CPR, Mental Health First Aid helps a trainee assist someone in a mental health or substance use crisis. MHA, among the sponsors of the First Aid course, is a nonprofit devoted to community-based services for dealing with mental health problems. Its many programs include care management, mobile crisis aid, community residences for persons experiencing substance misuse, veterans’ services, mental-health backup for police, supported housing, several varieties of support groups, and workshops and educational programs. MHA has aided more than 6,000 persons to solve their mental health problems in the past twelve years.

Learn More:
Mental Health America of Dutchess County:
Mental Health First Aid:
National Council for Mental Wellbeing:

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Preventing Substance Abuse through Education (Aired On January 29, 2023)


CAPE is the Council on Addiction Prevention & Education in Dutchess County.  For this program, Dora Celestino, Community Educator, returns to Radio Rotary  to talk about how CAPE uses education about the harm caused by substance  misuse disorder—including addiction to tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, or  street drugs— as a way to prevent such misuse. Duchess County currently  experiences more overdose deaths than any other county in New York State,  mainly due to the synthetic drug fentanyl. While fentanyl may be taken  deliberately, it is also used as an additive to other drugs, so persons may be  exposed without expecting it. CAPE teaches children, often younger than 13,to  avoid buying drugs over the internet. Another frequent misuse of drugs is taking a prescription medicine by raiding a medicine cabinet. But the most common form of drug misuse among children is vaping, nicotine delivered with an electronic device as a substitute for cigarettes. CAPE is also showing a movie about a family after their 19-year-old dies from drug misuse (Life After You at the Millerton Moviehouse)

Learn More:
CAPE (Council on Addiction Prevention & Education):
U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, One Pill Can Kill:
Dutchess County Addiction Prevention Services:
Trailer for Life After You:

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February 13, 2023 · Posted in Addiction Recovery, Education, Mental Health, Service Organizations  

Hope on a Mission Helps Homeless and More (Aired on December 11, 2022)


Cara Mia Bacchiochi returns to RadioRotary to describe progress of Hope on a Mission, her continuing ministry to homeless Poughkeepsie women (and men), many also addicted to drugs or alcohol. Seven years ago, as she was once-again in jail, Cara Mia vowed to help street women, aware of their needs because she had been one. When she was out of jail, she borrowed a car, filled the trunk with bottles of water and parked at the corner of Main and South Clinton, one of the most traveled locations for street women and addicts in Poughkeepsie, handing out water to those who past. Since then every Saturday evening, sometimes in rain or snow, her the street ministry Hope on a Mission (HOAM) has served from that corner. Bacchiochi and volunteers, many from local Rotary clubs, distribute food, clothing, and personal care items, restoring dignity to the homeless and addicted. Those who are ready to change their lives are escorted to Dutchess County’s Stabilization Center or to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital (formerly St.Francis) for treatment. Since that first visit, Hope on a Mission has added a Saturday breakfast and dinners on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, a 20-passenger bus bringing help where it is needed, and a partnership in a thrift shop.

Learn More:
Hope on a Mission Website:
Hope on a Mission HOAM Facebook Page:
Cara Mia Bacchiochi on Facebook:
Stabilization Center:
Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital Chemical Dependency:

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Community-Based Care from MHA (Aired on Aug. 28, 2022)


Mental Health America of Dutchess County (MHA) provides a wide range of services to veterans, families, children, and those who, because of poverty, need help from local nonprofits or government-sponsored services. MHA’s CEO, Andrew O’Grady, returns to Radio Rotary to describe several of the programs that MHA has in place to provide community-based solutions to mental-health problems. The 250 workers at MHA are not all therapists—although some are—but they are all able to meet with those in need, direct them to sources of assistance, and follow up for as long as necessary. MHA partnerships with local businesses lead to employment opportunities. A newly donated building will enable MHA to set up a one-stop-shop for veteran’s services. Apartments and community residences can help with housing. MHA services are free or very inexpensive for its clients.

Learn More:
Mental Health America of Dutchess County (MHA):
Veterans Services in Dutchess County:
Home and Community-Based Services:

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