Austin Area Mental Health Consumers, Inc. (AAMHC) is one of the largest consumer operated service centers in Texas; serving approximately 1000 members.
The SHAC supports consumers in becoming independent members of society and encourages them to act on their own behalf. We help them in their efforts to become self-reliant and thus regain control of their own lives.
These services reflect the eight core values of Austin Area Mental Health Consumers, Inc.; empowerment and self-determination, promoting recovery, consumer-control, education emphasis, peer support, advocacy, inclusiveness and diversity, and collaboration.
People living with mental illness in our community go without having peer support, job readiness skills, and a safe place to go to receive services in order to help cope with their mental illness. There are a variety of factors including low wages, job loss, injuries, illness, age, domestic violence, or divorce that could keep someone from receiving the services they need. While all of us are susceptible to hard times, people with a mental illness make up the members that we serve.
With the generous support of people like you, we will be able to help more people not only get the services they need, but also to work toward a brighter future with programs in job training, education, counseling, and peer support.
AAMHC Peer to Peer Mentoring
The Peer Mentor Specialist is a peer to peer program that helps individuals who are going through some type of crisis and are seeking a supportive way to work through the crisis. The program is designed to help those who are looking for the tools to self advocate with or without support at critical times. The vital part of peer mentoring is to empower the individual to advocate for themself.
AAMHC Return To Work Program
Creating, assisting, and maintaining self-sufficiency is one of the values of Austin Area MHC, Inc. We have always felt, as people living with a mental illness, we have a lot to offer our community as well as our peers in order to, not only help others, but help ourselves. Through this effort we have built our Return to Work Program, which is an employment program fashioned after the IDES (Illinois Department of Employment Services) program. It is set up to primarily identify the various needs of a mental health consumer who have been out of the workforce due to crisis and/or institutionalization. The vision of the program is to empower participants to take responsibility and seek their own path to reentry into the workforce. This program eliminates the barriers to employment, which can provide for a better experience in finding the right employment opportunity for you.
We also offer hands-on work opportunities through our volunteer training program. Through this program we have those who are seeking new skills, re-visiting skills they have, as well as those who are eager to give back to their peers, the voice of RECOVERY. We have volunteer opportunities such as data specialist, receptionist, janitors, peer mentors, and bookkeepers - just to name a few.
AAMHC Support Groups
The SHAC members create an atmosphere where peer-to-peer support can thrive. We offer diverse support groups that have been specifically requested by members. The groups are structured according to diagnosis and have evolved due to continuing interest. Our volunteer staff is trained in peer-to-peer support and has the utmost respect for those who come to the meetings. Our groups are successful because consumers learn from the experiences of each other. Members also benefit from peer support by learning assertiveness skills, relaxation techniques, stress management, goal setting, and building self-esteem. Outcomes of our peer support programs are social networking, validation, coping skills development, and the dispelling of myths.
AAMHC Computer Lab
The SHAC Computer Lab is comprised of mostly donated computers that allow our users to access the internet and word processing applications as well as access to email and printing of services related to housing, employment, counseling, and a variety of other service through online resources.