Health & Wellness

As weather warms, wandering risk increases among persons with Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 60% of individuals with Alzheimer’s will wander and become lost at some point during the disease process, and that risk increases as the spring and summer months approach. If not found within 24 hours, at least half of those that become lost risk serious injury or even death.   

Many caregivers are faced with the question of what they can do to prevent this behavior in their loved one. Arden Courts, a memory care community in Westlake designed for persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, offers suggestions to caregivers on how to prevent wandering behavior.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:51 AM, 03.20.2012

March is MS Awareness Month

March is MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Awareness Month in Ohio. Why? Our state has a very high incidence of MS – one of the highest in the nation. Of the estimated 400,000 people in this country with MS, an estimated 18,000 live in this state. Whatever it is that brings MS to more people in Northeast climates is still unknown, as is much about MS in general.

We do know that MS is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). Signs and symptoms may include: numbness or weakness in one or more limbs; partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time (often with pain during eye movement); double vision or blurring of vision; tingling or pain in parts of your body; electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements; tremor; lack of coordination or unsteady gait; fatigue; and dizziness. Once thought to be a disease of young adults, we now know MS hits a wider range of ages.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:47 AM, 03.20.2012

Compeer offering two mental health education programs starting in April

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a non-profit organization which offers public education and support programming. Our Compeer Program is offering two beneficial NAMI programs, “Hearts and Minds” and “Peer To Peer,” starting this April.  Both programs are open to all Cuyahoga County adult residents who are managing mental illness. 

We are very fortunate to have both these NAMI programs available at the Far West Center in Westlake! Both Hearts and Minds and Peer To Peer are confidential, informative, thought provoking and fun. Also, both groups are offered free of cost.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:53 AM, 03.20.2012

Compeer volunteer Carol Taylor honored by United Way

Far West Center is a United Way agency and has an annual opportunity to nominate a United Way Spotlight Volunteer. Last year we nominated Compeer volunteer Josef Vyvoda, a Westlake resident. Our nomination for 2011 is another outstanding Compeer volunteer, Carol Taylor. Carol was honored at the annual meeting of United Way of Greater Cleveland on March 2.

Carol became a Compeer volunteer in November 2010 after reading one of our articles in the Observer, and began her Compeer Friendship Match with Laurie. Carol has provided true friendship and encouragement to Laurie, a woman in recovery from mental illness.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 1:30 PM, 03.06.2012

New places and new faces strengthen brain health

As the new year began, many people made resolutions to improve their physical fitness. Often we hear in news reports that the attendance at gyms and fitness clubs is highest in January and February. Paying attention to our ability to move and our muscle tone are important priorities. 

It is equally important to remember that our brains are muscles and can benefit from strengthening exercises, too. A great form of brain exercise is to explore new places and meet new people. Now that kind of exercise sounds fun, right?

Research supports that new experiences do stimulate “neurogenesis,” meaning the growth of new neurons in the brain.  Neurons are the pathways by which our brains communicate and function. This means that each time you go to a place you have not been before you are activating and strengthening your brain.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 2:43 PM, 02.21.2012

Is someone you love destroying family harmony?

Are you at your wit’s end?  There is help and hope available! Families Anonymous is a FREE 12-step program that is designed for family members who have a loved one who has alcohol, drug and/or behavioral problems. 

We are happy to inform you that there are two meeting sites within the neighborhood. Our newest location is at CrossPointe Community Church, 1800 Columbia Rd., Westlake, at 6:00 p.m. Sunday evenings. Hope Christian Church, 32625 Detroit Rd. in Avon has been hosting meetings at 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays for the past five years.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 2:34 PM, 02.21.2012

North Coast Health Ministry recognized for hypertension care

North Coast Health Ministry (NCHM), a free clinic serving the low-income uninsured on Greater Cleveland’s West Side, has attained recognition by Better Health Greater Cleveland for outstanding achievement in high blood pressure care and control. The results were published in the Better Health Greater Cleveland Winter 2012 Community Health Checkup.

“We have long said it is our goal to provide care to our patients that is on par in quality with that provided to anyone of greater economic means or regardless of insurance status,” says NCHM Executive Director Lee Elmore. “This demonstrates that the quality of care we are providing for our patients with hypertension is not only on par – it is of the highest quality in the region.”

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 12:16 PM, 02.21.2012

Joy, love, friendship benefit brain health

As you read the title of this article you may think “don’t we know that already?” We all get positive feelings from joyful activities, falling in love and spending time with friends. In addition to those positive feelings, these three actions have actual, measurable health benefits for brain function. Adding or increasing activities that bring more joy, love and friendship into your monthly schedule can start to improve your brain function.

Brains function and communicate by way of a great number of chemicals present in our bodies including neurotransmitters and hormones. They are sometimes referred to as our “brain chemistry.” When the majority of those body-produced chemicals are in correct balance we are feeling well. If some of these chemicals are not in proper balance we feel less than healthy or somewhat unbalanced. It is encouraging to know that there are many things we can chose to do that can promote healthy brain chemistry!

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 11:00 AM, 02.07.2012

Managing the holidays when a loved one has Alzheimer's

For anyone whose loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, the greatest gift of all is often the joy felt in creating a moment of happiness or comfort in that person’s life. However, planning for and creating those special moments during the holidays can be especially challenging.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a national organization that provides support and information about the disease, the person with Alzheimer’s may feel a special sense of loss during the holidays, as a result of the changes he or she has experienced.

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Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:51 PM, 12.13.2011

Compeer Program gives the gift of 'belonging'

There is no doubt this is busy season for most of us. Now we are in the final “crunch time” before we share the holidays with our families and friends. We travel over to Crocker Park and other shopping places, and out of our love and caring, we try to find that right match of gift to person on our list. 

Our Compeer Program at Far West Center would like to share our gift suggestion. Please take a moment to read our message. This message was part of the presentation at our recent “Compeer Annual Winter Celebration of Friendship” held on Dec. 8 at Bay Lodge. It was part of our first annual “State of the Union,” or more so, “The State of Compeer Address 2011.”

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Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:51 PM, 12.13.2011

Encore showing of 'Forks Over Knives' at Unity on Nov. 18

Due to the large turnout and positive response to Unity’s presentation of “Forks Over Knives” in September, a second showing has been scheduled. This groundbreaking film will be screened again on Friday, Nov. 18, at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake.

If you missed this film last time or simply wish to see it again, plan to be there! A special attraction this time will be a drawing for two $20 gift certificates to Nature’s Bin, which will be providing snacks after the film. To be entered in the drawing you must be one of the first forty people to buy advance tickets. Tickets are $5 and can be ordered online through or by calling Unity at 440-835-0400. Tickets will also be sold at the door for the same price.

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Volume 3, Issue 23, Posted 4:15 PM, 11.16.2011

Eating disorder support group begins twice-monthly meetings

Hungry for help? Struggling with an eating disorder? We are here to help. Beginning in November, an Eating Disorders Anonymous support group, following the Twelve Step model, will be held twice monthly from 7-8:30 p.m. at 25000 Center Ridge Rd., Suite 4, in Westlake. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17. There is no charge for this group.

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Volume 3, Issue 23, Posted 4:13 PM, 11.16.2011

Therapeutic massage improves physical, mental health

As we get ready for the return of snow, we becoming increasingly aware that now is the time that seasonal and holiday-related stress begins. Any day now we will need to scrape ice from our windshields and shovel our driveways. The numerous holiday shopping commercials are the start of expanding holiday-time stress. Winter and preparing for celebrations put increasing demands on our minds and our bodies. 

Though some of these stressors are unavoidable, no one needs to become overwhelmed. Meeting the challenges of winter and the holidays can have effects  similar to running a marathon. One of the best ways to cope is to become proactive and have a plan. It is totally appropriate and most beneficial to think of ways in which you can plan to find stress relief for both body and mind.

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Volume 3, Issue 23, Posted 4:17 PM, 11.16.2011

Far West Center holding free workshop on parenting programs

The Far West Center is offering a FREE workshop to anyone in the community interested in gaining more information or having any questions answered about our Help for Mom and Help for Parents programs!

The Far West Center is an award-winning community mental health center providing behavioral health services for residents of western Cuyahoga County and Lorain County.

We serve adults and young adults experiencing major mental health problems that interfere with daily living, or persons at risk of developing serious problems as a result of stressful or overwhelming life circumstances. Problems such as mood or thought disorders are often treated with a combination of services designed to do one thing well: help persons achieve their highest level of health and well-being.

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Volume 3, Issue 22, Posted 11:31 AM, 11.01.2011

Employment program at Far West Center looking for job openings

This past August, the Compeer Program at Far West Center started a branch of the Peer Employment Support Program.  Peer Employment Support Program, or PEP, is a program that the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) and Case Western Reserve University have been working on together in the mental health services system of the state. ODMH and CWRU have adopted a well structured Peer Support Program developed by the Integrated Employment Institute in New Jersey. Peer Support Specialist Marilyn Kohn, the coordinator of PEP, met with Far West Center to organize a local PEP in Westlake. Case Western Reserve University collects important quarterly data to help the ODMH improve mental health recovery services.

The PEP at Far West Center, “Peers at Work”, meets every Monday at 3 p.m. Peers at Work offers a variety of supportive assistance to adults managing mental illness that are considering employment. Our agency’s own Peer Support Specialist, Jody Bell, facilitates Peers at Work and offers knowledge from her own career goals. This program offers support and assistance to people that are presently employed, were previously employed, or are beginning to create their paths to employment. To become a member please contact Jody Bell at 440-835-6212, ext. 263.

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Volume 3, Issue 22, Posted 11:32 AM, 11.01.2011

Belvedere nurse liaison Pat Rine honored with state award

Westlake resident Pat Rine, a Nurse Liaison at The Belvedere of Westlake, was recently honored with a 2011 Honoring Excellence Award For Nursing from the Ohio Assisted Living Association. The OALA is a statewide association representing 351 assisted living facilities in the state of Ohio. 

Pat Rine has been a nurse for the the Rae-Ann Skilled Nursing facilities for the past 22 years. She combines the caring and compassion that is so essential to nursing, while remaining objective in any given situation. Her integrity shines through in every decision and interaction with the community, staff, and residents alike.

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Volume 3, Issue 22, Posted 11:27 AM, 11.01.2011

Women should be aware of heart attack symptoms and risk

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Women may have different heart attack symptoms than men. Women who develop one or more of the following symptoms while at rest or unexpectedly should seek medical attention immediately.  Women need to understand that they, too, are vulnerable for heart disease and delaying treatment can be fatal.

Common symptoms of heart attack in women include:

  • Cold sweat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Pain or pressure in the back or chest
  • Pain or discomfort in either or both arms (The pain may be intermittent.)
  • Burning sensation in the chest or upper abdomen
  • Irregular heartbeat
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Volume 3, Issue 22, Posted 11:34 AM, 11.01.2011

Friendship promotes wellness in recovery

It is important for everyone on a path of recovery from mental illness to know that they do not need to do this alone. The healing power of friendship and evidence on how friendship promotes wellness can be found in numerous health studies. Each of us can reflect and identify ways friends have helped us along life’s journey. The Compeer Program at Far West Center finds compassionate men and women that can offer mentoring and supportive friendship to adults managing mental illness.

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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 5:17 PM, 10.18.2011

The Bay Village Heritage Run

Race through beautiful Bay Village in the second annual Heritage Run to benefit the Village Foundation. On Saturday, Oct. 22, the 5K run/one-mile walk begins at Cahoon Memorial Park at 9 a.m. Preregistration is available online at for $20, or on the day of the race for $25. Packets will be available for pickup at 7:30 a.m. the morning of the race at Cahoon Park.

The first 350 participants will get a cool, dry-tech, long-sleeved T-shirt. Funds collected by the not-for-profit Village Foundation go for Bay Village community projects. Please join us, rain or shine for a delightful Fall experience in Bay Village.

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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 5:03 PM, 10.18.2011

Westlake support group connects moms concerned about child's development

Connecting for Kids, a Westlake nonprofit organization, was launched to meet the needs of moms with questions or concerns about their child’s development. This networking organization will connect parents to resources in the community and support the moms as they help their child grow and develop. Whether a child has a formal diagnosis or if parents are just questioning if their child’s development is typical compared to same-aged peers, Connecting for Kids can help.        

Connecting for Kids offers a variety of services for its family subscribers including a safe, private website – – where moms can post questions or concerns anonymously.  The group also meets in various Westside locations to connect moms during coffee, dinner and family events. 

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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 4:58 PM, 10.18.2011

Parent drug education program returns to Bay Middle School

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think my child would engage in alcohol or other drugs, let alone develop a drug problem.” We hear this time and time again from parents whose children become chemically dependent.  

Whether it’s drug abuse or experimentation, parents need to know that their children are putting themselves at risk every time they decide to engage in alcohol and other drugs. This is why parents need to educate themselves by learning what the drug trends are, that experimentation can lead to addiction, that some kids are at a higher risk than others, what the signs are and how to respond if they discover their child has a problem.

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Volume 3, Issue 20, Posted 3:47 PM, 10.04.2011

Westshore teen leaders learn valuable life skills

Teens from five Westshore school districts participated in a Leadership Training exercise at the Westlake Recreation Center on Sept. 8. The Westshore Enforcement Bureau hosted this event for 7th-12th grade students, school administrators, counselors and resource officers. The Westshore Young Leaders Network is an alcohol and other drug prevention program funded by a grant that was awarded to the Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB) in 2010. Special Agent Jeff Capretto and myself have been working with school staff and students to provide alcohol- and drug-free activities and events for students for the past year.

McKeon Educational Group staff members from Bay Family Sevices Loren McKeon and Jamie Mahnic designed and facilitated the day-long experiential program. Middle and high school staff from Bay Village, Westlake, Lakewood, North Olmsted and Rocky River attended the training as liaisons between students and adult trainers to assist teens as they learned leadership and team building skills.

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Volume 3, Issue 19, Posted 3:02 PM, 09.20.2011

Compeer NAMI Walks team invites you to understand recovery

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the “NAMI Walks For The Minds of America” will be held at Voinovich Park. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the NAMI Walk begins at 10 a.m.

This event has two activities: a 2.5-mile walk around downtown Cleveland and a party at Voinovich Park. The walk route is secured by police and provides a great way to site see downtown. The party at Voinovich Park includes various company sponsor tents and live music. Dogs with leashes are welcome to join walkers.

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Volume 3, Issue 19, Posted 3:03 PM, 09.20.2011

Bay resident to be featured on WVIZ/PBS special

Two years ago, Bill Forester of Bay Village was a multitasking machine, working as a teacher at Lorain County Community College, as well as a realtor and a labor negotiator. But in August 2009, the then-51-year-old was stopped in his tracks when he suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak.

Bill tells his story and shares his process of rehabilitation (he recently ran a half marathon!) on the WVIZ/PBS program “Surviving Stroke,” premiering Thursday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. The special also looks into the exciting new developments being made locally in stroke-related research, as well as stroke prevention tips.

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Volume 3, Issue 19, Posted 2:59 PM, 09.20.2011

Unity to screen 'a film that can save your life' Sept. 22

“Forks Over Knives,” the highly acclaimed film which movie critic Roger Ebert called “a film that can save your life” will be shown at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7:00 p.m.

The documentary examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.

The major storyline traces the personal journeys of Dr. Colin Campbell, a nutritional scientist from Cornell University, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a former top surgeon at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic. Inspired by remarkable discoveries in their young careers, these men conducted several groundbreaking studies.

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Volume 3, Issue 18, Posted 4:17 PM, 09.07.2011

Hall of Fame Blood Drive held at Westlake Porter Public Library

Locally, the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross serves 57 hospitals. To maintain an ample supply, nearly 900 pints of blood must be collected every day.

Over the years, we have seen many of the same faces donate blood on a regular basis. Many of these donors have given the gift of life throughout their lifetime and we acknowledged one of these donors at the Westlake Porter Public Library on Monday, August 29. 

We call this tribute our Hall of Fame blood drive and this year we recognized Joseph Griffin of Rocky River who has given 203 blood donations. Andrew Mangels, Library Director, presented Mr. Griffin with a certificate, donor pin and special letter from the American Red Cross.

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Volume 3, Issue 18, Posted 4:24 PM, 09.07.2011

Compeer volunteering offers simple way to give back

Some of you reading the Westlake | Bay Village Observer may be either considering or looking for volunteer opportunities.  People decide to become volunteers for many reasons, including, a desire to "give back" and share talents and skills, to become more connected to an organization, and to meet like-minded people with similar ideas and interests.   

The Compeer Program has great appreciation for  our volunteers. We are looking for more individuals to add to our “Valuable Volunteers” list. I am taking this opportunity to answer some common questions asked regarding Compeer Volunteering. 

Q: What do Compeer volunteers do?


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Volume 3, Issue 17, Posted 2:58 PM, 08.23.2011

Help for Mom program at Far West Center

Being a new mom can be joyous and rewarding. However, the demands of motherhood can also be overwhelming. As a new mom, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to take care of your new baby and yourself. Maybe you are feeling moody, depressed, anxious, tearful, hopeless or sad? Nearly 1 in 12 women experience postpartum depression in the weeks and months after giving birth.

Postpartum depression is a serious form of depression new mothers often experience from 3 to 12 months after delivery. Even though postpartum depression is very common, only a small fraction of women who experience it ever get the help they need!  Postpartum depression can often be overlooked as just the “baby blues,” but it is a real illness and it can be treated!


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Volume 3, Issue 17, Posted 3:07 PM, 08.23.2011

Annual Compeer picnic celebrates renewed life

Compeer members and volunteers are already busy planning for our program’s Annual Summer Picnic being held Friday, August 26, at Bradley Woods. This is a very special event for the Compeer Program for many reasons. The summer weather is perfect for all to enjoy nature’s beauty, gathering as friends, sharing great food and playing games. In addition to these picnic traditions, our Annual Summer Compeer Picnic is a group celebration of the recovery and renewed interest in life for our members.

Compeer offers a variety of social activities. The purpose of these activities is to pull individuals out of the isolation and depression that goes along with managing a mental illness. As you know, isolation only leads to increasing depression.  The feeling of isolation and “lack of belonging” is identified in recent research to be a significant contributing factor for suicide attempts.

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Volume 3, Issue 16, Posted 2:59 PM, 08.09.2011

WEB quiz

The Westshore Enforcement Bureau has developed a drug/alcohol quiz to use as a teaching tool with teens. The 20-question quiz is usually followed by a group discussion. Teens often report that they are surprised by some of the answers and learn valuable information through the interactive group discussion.

Download a PDF of the quiz only or a discussion guide with answers.

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Volume 3, Issue 16, Posted 2:28 PM, 08.08.2011

Activity and friendships promote wellness

Compeer is the program at Far West Center that encourages hands-on activities, social activities, and building friendships to promote the wellness goals of mental health recovery. Summertime is especially fun for members and volunteers in the Compeer Program. 

July has been jumping! Taking good care of our vegetable garden at the Bay Village Community Garden has resulted in large green plants! We broke ground, literally with shovels, in our second plot donated to Compeer by the Bay Village Green Team. Compeer’s “Club West Garden Club” meets formally on two Monday afternoons per month at 3 p.m. Our next meeting is scheduled for August 8. If you are an adult gardener, please call to join us at 440-835-6212, ext. 242, and give us a hand!

On Friday, July 29, hopefully the fish will be jumping, too! Compeer has added a “Fishing Day” each month while weather permits. Many people enjoy fishing. If you are one of them, consider getting out your gear and giving Compeer a call.

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Volume 3, Issue 15, Posted 3:39 PM, 07.26.2011

Latest drinking water report now available

The Cleveland Division of Water (CWD) is committed to providing our customers with a first-class product – fresh drinking water. This commitment is our pledge as members of the Partnership for Safe Water program. The Partnership is a voluntary cooperative effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), drinking water professional organizations and 200 drinking water utilities across the country. Utilities which join the Partnership agree to adopt performance standards where drinking water regulations do not exist to optimize treatment and protect the water supply against microbiological contamination.

The CWD uses surface water drawn from four intakes in Lake Erie as the source of our drinking water. Lake Erie is a part of the Great Lakes watershed. Ninety-five percent of the water entering Lake Erie comes from the upstream Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan and Huron – as well as all of the rivers and streams that flow into these Lakes. The remaining 5% comes from rain and snow in the Lake Erie drainage basin which includes the various streams and rivers that flow into Lake Erie.

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Volume 3, Issue 14, Posted 1:56 PM, 07.12.2011

Brain chemistry strikes a delicate balance

Compeer is a program that assists adults that are in recovery from severe mental illness. The Compeer office is located at Far West Center on the St. John Medical Center campus. Our program is a 23-year-old branch of Compeer Inc., an international non-profit mental health recovery organization. In addition to assisting adults that are recovering from mental illness, Compeer strives to provide more accurate information regarding mental health recovery to the general public. 

Our Compeer office received a copy of a New York Times article published on June 23, 2011, from our Regional Director, Johanna Ambrose. The article, titled “Expert On Mental Illness Reveals Her Own Fight,” tells the first-hand story of Dr. Marcia Linehan in New York. It is an interview with Dr. Linehan written by Benedict Carey.

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Volume 3, Issue 13, Posted 6:36 PM, 06.28.2011

Compeer thanks Westlake man for six years of volunteer service

Our Compeer Program is fortunate to have many outstanding men and women volunteering their time for individuals in isolation. Our Valuable Volunteers offer friendship on a one-to-one basis to adults who are managing chronic mental illness.

Our volunteers help individuals by scheduling regular phone calls, making home visits, arranging meetings at community places and encouraging their Match Members to attend Compeer Social Events. This very important work is a great help to an individual who may be depressed and/or suffers anxiety as a result of managing mental illness.

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 2:21 PM, 06.14.2011

Compeer honors program's valuable volunteers

On May 17, Compeer held its annual Volunteers Appreciation Dinner at Far West Center. To show our gratitude to all of our valuable Compeer Match Volunteers, Group Event Volunteers, and Community Volunteers, staff organized a bountiful dinner in a warm atmosphere. The room was decorated in an elegant dining room style. 

Our goal was to treat our “Valuable Volunteers” as the VIPs that they truly are. Each was given recognition for the care, time and heartfelt friendship they bring to the Compeer Program. Our Valuable Volunteers make it possible for Compeer to offer the friendship and opportunities greatly needed to decrease isolation and depression.

Compeer is planning to spotlight each of our Valuable Volunteers in our upcoming Westlake | Bay Village Observer articles. In this article, we are spotlighting volunteer Krystal Kinley.

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 3:18 PM, 06.01.2011

Residents celebrate World Tai Chi Day

Bay Village and Westlake residents celebrated World Tai Chi and Qigong Day 2011 on Saturday, April 30, at Huntington Park and at the Friendship Center in Bay Village. At 10 a.m. in every time zone around the world, tens of thousands in hundreds of cities, in over 70 nations came together... to breathe together... to provide the world a healing image of our planet and our people.

Many of the Tai Chi enthusiasts regularly gather for practice on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. in Bay Way Youth Cabin in the colder months; but from June through September they gather at Huntington Park, facing the lake. These sessions are free and open to all and are led by Bay resident Patricia Heinke. These exercises are for people of all ages and are highly recommended by many physicians for maintenance of balance and muscle coordination.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:10 PM, 05.17.2011

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT: Alcohol and other drug program for parents and 7th/8th-grade students

Many parents "don’t know what they don’t know" about teen alcohol and other drug use. In other words, what parents don’t know could hurt their child because of their lack of knowledge regarding substance abuse.  

This is why it’s important for parents to educate themselves about what teen drug use means and how to respond to it. 

“Looking back, I know there were subtle signs of early drug use that our daughter displayed," said a parent of a teen in recovery from alcoholism. "If we had known what the signs were at the time, I know we could have responded much sooner.”

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 6:14 PM, 04.19.2011

Volunteer health advocates meet with officials in Columbus

In conjunction with MS (Multiple Scerlosis) Awareness Month in Ohio, I was one of about 40 volunteers attending MS Advocacy Day in Columbus on March 22.

This is an annual event during which those attending have a continental breakfast with state senators, representatives and members of their staffs; receive some training on issues affecting those with disabilities and then, by teams, visit lawmakers in their offices.

My team of five first visited Rep. Marlene Anielski of the 17th District. She had a conflicting meeting so she was not able to spend much time with us, leaving her top aide to hear our issues. We then visited the offices of our district’s representative, Nan Baker. Rep. Baker welcomed us into her office and took the time to hear from each of us, making me proud to be in her district.

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 6:31 PM, 04.19.2011

Drug awareness and education program for middle school students and their parents to be held May 2

The Partnership at tells us that children who learn from their parents about the risks of drug and alcohol use are up to 50% less likely to use than those who don’t. So, let’s talk about it!

The 2010 Cuyahoga County Youth Risk Behavioral Study, conducted on our Bay Middle School students by Case Western Reserve University, indicates that some specific drug use is down. Why? Is it because of the new Bay Family Services and the programs they offer? Is it due to the new approach of the D.A.R.E program? Is it because of the drug awareness and education programs offered at Bay Middle School or the teachers who support these programs? Or is it because these support systems and programs have inspired parents to talk to their children about drug and alcohol? Perhaps it’s a combination of them all.

However, the study also indicates that nearly 25% of our middle school students have tried prescription medication one or more times without a doctor’s prescription. That is an area of concern, so... let’s talk about it!

A special program, designed for parents and seventh/eighth grade Bay Middle School and St Raphael students (and open to all middle school students and their parents, as well) will be held on Monday, May 2, at 7 p.m. at Bay Middle School, 27725 Wolf Rd.

The program will cover:

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 3:09 PM, 04.05.2011

Compeer looking for stories of friendship

Compeer is a program based on friendship and all the advantages that friendship provides to everyone’s well being. In good times our friends celebrate, smile and laugh with us. Whether you’re at a rock concert, enjoying the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, or watching your daughter speed in for that homerun, a friend or two are right beside you. When you have good news to share, you call or email your friends.

Friends also help us through the tough times. Friends will walk the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for breast cancer research for you and with you. If your car breaks down, a friend comes to pick you up. For a crisis big or small, a friend can help you.  Your friend can be your personal “cheerleader” or offer a warm, quiet place to ease your nerves.

In Compeer, we work on developing those important friendship connections. We are requesting “friendship stories” you would like to share with us! We would like to put together a collection of friendship stories for our cities. These collections will be shared and enjoyed at the 3rd Annual Compeer Night at Westlake Porter Public Library on May 9 at 6:00 p.m. Anyone interested may attend; please call 440-835-6212, ext. 242.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 3:13 PM, 04.05.2011