Plus, September is National Recovery Month. How are you striving?
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You Could Get Up to $25 in Gift Cards

When you come to the Center, we'll provide you with a Loyalty Card and a stamp for every workshop or activity you participate in. After five stamps, you'll receive a gift card to Walmart, Publix, CVS, and more for up to $25.

Bring a friend, and get two stamps!

Register to attend an event at the Center today

(786) 802-3448 •

Be Visible, Be Vocal, Be Valuable!

Back during our Celebrate Recovery event in May at the Christ Fellowship in Downtown Miami, I remember interviewing a woman for Youth MOVE Miami's "red carpet" video. She had just completed a rehabilitation process for substance abuse at Reaves House. I asked her what wellness meant to her.

Her answer was such a revelation to me. She told me that she always thought her issues were solely about substance abuse. She said that she wasn't even aware of the possibility of mental illness. But through her recovery journey, she had discovered that her substance abuse was a symptom of being mentally unwell.

I think so often we try to commodify these issues; we want to believe that the endgame is a cure—or that there's an endgame at all. Moments like our Celebrate Recovery event, or an entire month dedicated to growing awareness for recovery, remind us that we're not headed to a destination. I like to say that recovery is like traveling to zero (to borrow from high school algebra).

At risk of sounding didactic or even cheesy: recovery is the journey, and I hope you all are striving well on your road to recovery.

We urge you this September to Be Visible—know the prevalence of mental health and substance abuse disorders; Be Vocal—notice warning signs and symptoms; and Be Valuable—raise awareness of resources to help!

Other Interesting Stories from August

  • Notorious rapper Eminem spoke out in Men's Journal about his addiction to pills. He told the magazine that he was unable to sleep without taking them. His turning point was in 2007 when he overdosed. After rehab, he found that running helped him sustain his mental wellness and sleep through the night.
  • Guitarist Michael Clifford, of 5 Seconds of Summer, is also speaking out about his mental health issues. He paused a concert during the band's tour to open up briefly. Clifford has previously stated that he's dealt with depression and anxiety, and the band's upcoming album should reflect some of his experiences.
  • Project Semicolon has been gaining traction this summer. The project, which began in 2013, is meant to help those who are mentally unwell empower themselves by drawing a semicolon on their wrists as a symbol of not ending the sentence, but deciding to continue.
  • The Atlantic published a cover story on The Trigger Warning. A trigger warning is the concept of notifying people that the content they're about to read, view, or hear could possibly affect their mental health negatively because of past experiences. The Atlantic posits that this is a form of coddling, a controversial stance. What do you think?
  • Miami-Dade County has emerged as a national model to combat the criminalization of mental illness. Judge Steve Leifman launched the Criminal Mental Health Project. People arrested for misdemeanors and identified as having acute mental illnesses were offered the choice of undergoing treatment or going back to jail; 80 percent of participants chose to undergo treatment. Only 20 percent of those who completed the program were arrested in the future on separate charges as opposed to over 70 percent who did not participate. To combat initial arrests, Miami's police departments also adopted a training model to identify different mental illnesses and how to respond to them, and in 2013 alone responded to over 10,500 mental health calls. I highly recommend reading the article.

Upcoming Events at the Youth & Family Center

  • Hip-Hop Dance Class and Latin Heat Workout—which have been huge hits at the Center—will continue every Thursday from 4pm to 7:30pm.
  • Our English Parenting Workshop will begin on September 9 and continue every Wednesday throughout the month from 5:30pm to 8pm.
  • We'll be providing an Intro to Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) on September 10 and 11 from 9am to 5pm.
  • Drums and Guitar class with The Motivational Edge will continue on Monday and Wednesdays, but at a different time, from 5pm to 8pm. Art Class will also continue on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm.
  • We'll be doing our first ever Movie Night! Join us on Friday, September 25, from 5pm to 7pm!
See all the events we're hosting this September by viewing our calendar below!

Thank You For Your Support!

Our #TherapistsBeLike Campaign Engaged Thousands

With your help, Youth MOVE Miami's advocacy campaign aimed at transforming the system of care through humorous and true moments between youth and their respective therapists knew no bounds. Between Facebook and YouTube, the video doubled the amount of views of our previously most watched video, and the campaign—which also highlighted members sharing their personal stories—engaged close to 2,000 members on Facebook. We also added many new followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with prominent support from Youth MOVE National and Youth MOVE Indiana. Thanks to everyone who liked and shared.

If you haven't seen the video yet, we highly encourage you to watch!


Our Youth Are Going Back to School In Style

Federation of Families Miami donated over fifty backpacks and school supplies to youth in need! This school year, our youth won't be caught in school without the essentials—notebooks, pens and pencils, crayons and craft supplies, and more. Plus, an incredibly stylish backpack of their choice!  We couldn't be more thankful to Unity on the Bay Church for the supplies. We hope everyone has started the school year in style and in control!

We Continue to Collaborate!

Our efforts to collaborate with other organizations continues to go smoothly. During this month's meeting we discussed ways on how we could all benefit from joint events and shared goals between us, ICFH, Citrus Health Network, and Jackson North. September's meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Jackson North.

New Hires Have Dog-Eat-Dog Attitude

We recently hired two new Canine Specialists at the Center, Lucky Verjano and Ziggy Khan. They work part-time, and only come into the office on Fridays. It’s definitely an… adjustment… into a professional work environment for the two new hires. They’ve been known to bark orders during meetings, and seem to think lunchtime is all the time. But they’re well groomed; Lucky especially likes to dress in tuxedos. Upon advising him it might be a bit too formal for our more casual culture, Lucky promptly scratched his ear and ran off. Ziggy injects peppy energy into the office; we’ve also asked her to cut back on the Cuban coffee. It hasn’t been the smoothest transition, but we have seen great improvement from them.
In all seriousness, having an open-door policy for dogs at the workplace has been proven to increase office morale, and reduce absenteeism, stress, and stress-related ailments like heart disease and diabetes. Plus, you know, they’re so cute. We sure do love having the canine energy in the office!

Joshua Was Accepted Into Youth MOVE National's Board of Directors

Our very own Peer Specialist Joshua Calarino was recently accepted into Youth MOVE Miami's board of directors. "Since joining Youth MOVE Miami in April 2013, I've grown from being a member, to traveling and accepting awards on behalf of the organization, and now I'm a Peer Specialist," Josh said. "Being added to the board of directors is a good opportunity to do even more work for Youth MOVE!"

All of us at the Center are incredibly proud to have Joshua representing Youth MOVE Miami in the Youth MOVE National board of directors.
The Youth & Family Center is a haven for the South Florida community with a focus on young adults and families with mental health and substance abuse experiences. Housing Federation of Families, Beyond Empowerment, and Youth M.O.V.E. Miami, the Youth & Family Center provides workshops, presentations, and programs to better the wellness of our participants through trainings, support, and enrichment activities, completely free to the community.
Federation of Families Miami-Dade Chapter • Youth M.O.V.E Miami • Beyond Empowerment

The Youth & Family Center
111 NW 183rd street, Ste. 110
Miami Gardens, FL 33169
(786) 802-3448 •
Copyright © 2015 The Youth & Family Center, All rights reserved.

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