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Amie Cajka

Amie Cajka
Amie Cajka is the Director of Community Relations for the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County.The Mental Health & Recovery Board is a county agency that fund, plans and monitors public mental health and substance abuse treatment services for Portage County residents. Last year, the board invested in services that helped more than 7,000 children, teens and adults. The board also funds the 24-hour crisis intervention services which handle more than 39,000 contacts each year. The agency is primarily funded by local levies. To contact the board, call 330-673-1756.

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Portage County – Area residents, who have someone in their life living with a mental illness or mental illness and addiction, have the opportunity to join a free local education program starting March 15 in Aurora.

The Portage County Family-to-Family Education Program starts March 15 and will run on Saturdays for 12 weeks from 9:30 am to noon at The Church in Aurora, 146 S. Chillicothe Rd,. Aurora. The national program is sponsored locally by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and NAMI Portage County.

The course is open to anyone who has a family member or a friend with a brain disease, including schizophrenia, manic depression, clinical depression, an anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. It provides participants with education about the biology of the brain and the major mental illnesses.

Family-to-Family is taught by local residents who have a family member living with mental illness. There will also be information shared about treatments, rehabilitation services, problem-solving, communication and advocacy. The registration deadline is March 13. Call the Mental Health & Recovery Board at 330-673-1756, ext 201. You can also register at laurab@mental-health-recovery.org. Please leave a name, phone, street address, city and zip code. For more information about the course, go to www.nami.org or www.youtube.com/watch?v=osN2YiNbRrw.

The Mental Health & Recovery Board, a county agency which funds local mental illness and addiction treatment services and crisis services, is online at www.mental-health-recovery.org and on Facebook. NAMI Portage County meetings are on the second and fourth Thursdays monthly at the MHRB office, 155 E. Main St., Kent. The website is www.namiportagecounty.org. NAMI Portage County, whose members are working to improve the lives of persons with mental illness,  is also on Facebook.


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Join NAMI Portage County, a chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, for the second countywide Walk for Recovery on Sept. 28 in Kent to support people with mental illness and their families.  

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Portage County – A week-long summer workshop for personnel will focus on how to support and work with students in crisis and who may also have mental health problems.

Registration is now open for the Mental Health Awareness and Crisis Management workshop set for July 15-19. It is sponsored by the Portage County Crisis Intervention Team Education Collaboration and the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County. The class will be conducted at the Streetsboro Police Department, 2080 State Route 303, Streetsboro.

Amanda speaks thoughtfully and softly. She is very wise for one so young. She has been through more than her share of heartache, with mental illness in her family and recently a cousin completed suicide.

She’s strong in her knowledge about how to help her family and she’s sharing that education as a teacher for the Portage County Family-to-Family Education Class that starts Saturday, March 16, at The Church in Aurora.

Since the school deaths in Connecticut, our nation has seen more school and community violence, as well as the ramping up of the debate over guns and, just as importantly, over mental health services. Portage has an array of mental health treatment services for children, teens and families supported through funding by the Mental Health & Recovery Board. The board also funds the county’s 24-hour crisis services that help residents who may be threatening to hurt themselves or others and also serve as round the clock  information and referral sources.

My usually good natured husband was looking troubled when I returned from my shopping trip several Sundays ago. How could he have guessed about the new pair of shoes I just had to have? The shoes were far from the problem I learned as he shared this story.

Soon after I had left for an afternoon of retail consumption, a woman came to the front door. My husband didn’t recognize her but thought it might be an acquaintance ofmine. It turned out to be a relative. She lives with her family far from our home. Her visit was a surprise but a welcome one.