Local Resources Available for Mental Health

January 10, 2022 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Announcements

Post-holiday depression is tough. Resources are available in our area. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)


Related Story: Feeling Post-Holiday Depression? You’re Not Alone

In a crisis or an emergency?

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800 273-8255.

The Re:Solve Crisis Network is a 24/7, 365-day crisis service that is available for free to all Allegheny County residents. The hotline number is 1-888-796-8226.

Addiction Treatment and Intervention Services

Addiction Treatment and Intervention Services (ATIS) has Open Access (OA) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Call (412) 675-8516.

National Alliance for Mental Illness

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania provides information and resources for diverse communities.

The McKeesport NAMI Family Support Group meets at 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, at Penn State Greater Allegheny, Frable Building, Room 122, 4000 University Drive, McKeesport.

For information regarding the group, contact AnnaLisa Haughwout at annalisahaughwout@gmail.com or call (412) 527-6600.

UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Mon Yough Community Services

UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Mon Yough Community Services, located at 335 Shaw Ave., Downtown McKeesport, provides resources for adults and children in the Mon Valley.

Adult Outpatient Program: (412) 675-6927 — The Adult Outpatient program provides intensive outpatient programming. The program is only taking hospital discharges due to staffing shortages, but will make referrals.

Child and Adolescent Program: (412) 675-8226 — The Child and Adolescent Program will begin Open Access (OA) the week of Jan. 10. OA is held on Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Clients can walk-in to start the intake process. This program accepts young adults from 18 to 22 years as well. This program also offers school-based therapy in several school districts.

Vickie Babyak is a photographer and freelance writer from Dravosburg. She may be reached at vbabyak@yahoo.com.


Feeling Post-Holiday Depression? You’re Not Alone

January 10, 2022 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Donna Campbell of Glassport holds a photograph of her father on his 99th birthday. Since his death from COVID-19 in March 2021, she’s been battling depression. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Related story: Local resources for people struggling with depression

The holiday season is over, and a new year has begun. People may be asking themselves why they have been feeling blue. Mental health experts say there are different reasons people experience depression through the holidays and post-holidays.

Psychotherapist Trina Bennett, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and McKeesport Area Senior High School, says people may experience seasonal depression or have an increase in their depressive symptoms due to shorter days. The colder weather also decreases socialization and outdoor activities.

Bennett specializes in working with people who have confronted trauma, and has clients who experience increased depression during the holidays. They are triggered by that time of the year because holiday breaks from school left them vulnerable to home abuse, she said.

“I’d imagine it is awful to experience the expectation that everyone is cheerful when the season brings up body harm and/or cognitive memories of decreased safety,” Bennett said.

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Holiday Displays Bring Cheer During Pandemic

January 04, 2022 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

Russell Morgan’s house on Fawcett Avenue in White Oak is one of the winners of the borough’s second-annual holiday home decorating contest. (Submitted photo courtesy White Oak Borough)

When Russell Morgan moved to White Oak two years ago, he knew he wanted to share his love of Christmas with the community.

“I’m fond of creating, and of Christmas. My favorite part is the look of it, and other peoples’ reactions,” Morgan said.

The borough of White Oak announced the winners of the Second Annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest and the Gingerbread House Contest.

Categories in the home decorating contest included Best Traditional, Clark Griswold, Buddy the Elf, and Kids’ Choice.

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Davis Officially Announces Lt. Gov Bid

January 04, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

State Rep. Austin Davis of McKeesport is congratulated by Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey on Tuesday morning. Davis announced plans to run for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania at Kennedy Park, Downtown. (Tube City Almanac photo)

State Rep. Austin Davis on Tuesday officially kicked off his bid to become Pennsylvania’s next lieutenant governor.

The 32-year-old McKeesport Democrat said he was running to send a message “to those who say our state and our country is too divided to repair.”

“To those who say our best days are behind us, that we are no longer a beacon of hope and opportunity, I offer myself and my story as proof to the contrary,” said Davis, standing next to the statue of John F. Kennedy along Lysle Boulevard, near the site where the former president gave a speech in 1962.

Davis was joined by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor. Shapiro had told KDKA-TV in December he wanted Davis to be his running mate.

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W.O. Swears in New Council Members

January 04, 2022 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

Members of White Oak borough council taking the oath Monday included Council Members Jason Russell, Joelle Harbert, Loree Scharritter and returning Council Member Julie Opferman. (Sarah Turnbull for Tube City Almanac)

The borough of White Oak swore in members of council, mayor and tax collector at Monday’s reorganizational meeting.

Magisterial District Judge Thomas G. Miller administered the Oath of Office for Council Members Joelle Harbert, Julie Opferman, Jason Russell and Loree Scharriter; Mayor Ina Jean Marton, and tax collector Lisa Pitchford.

“People who get involved in municipal government are usually involved in other activities,” Miller said. “I think you will all do a very good job.”

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Council Members, City Clerk Take Oaths

January 04, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

At Monday’s meeting, Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi, second from left, administered the oath of office to McKeesport City Council Members Brian Evans and Jim Barry Jr., and City Controller Ryan Sturgess. Not shown: City Council Member Jill Lape. (Tube City Almanac photo)

At a short meeting on Monday, members of McKeesport City Council were sworn into office and meeting dates were set for 2022.

Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi administered the oath of office to Council Members Jim Barry Jr. and Brian Evans, City Controller Ryan Sturgess and City Clerk Annette James.

Council Member Jill Lape was unable to attend and was sworn in earlier in the day at Riazzi’s office.

Barry, Evans, Lape and Sturgess were elected to four-year terms in November. James, who has served as city clerk for seven years, is appointed by Mayor Michael Cherepko and city council.

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Hearings Begin for Proposed House, Senate Maps

January 03, 2022 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

With the deadline for approving Pennsylvania’s new voting-district maps fast approaching, the commission in charge of creating House and Senate maps is hosting public hearings this week to receive feedback from residents.

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission will host eight hours of public hearings on Thursday and Friday in Harrisburg.

Carol Kuniholm, chair of the advocacy group Fair Districts PA, said creating new maps once a decade based on population changes is never an easy task. She pointed out in the proposed Senate map, there is concern about a pattern of large deviations from the ideal district population, which needs to be addressed.

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January NAMI Meeting Canceled

January 03, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements

The McKeesport affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness has canceled its planned Jan. 5 meeting, a spokeswoman said.

The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 2 in Room 122 of the Frable Building at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. It offers understanding and support unique to those who are affected by these conditions.

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Fate of Vacant Penn-McKee Awaits Report

January 02, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Editor’s Note: The writer of this story has a conflict of interest. See note at the end of this story.

(Tube City Almanac photo)

The fate of McKeesport’s long-vacant Penn-McKee Hotel likely depends on an engineer’s report due later this month.

The in-depth study, being completed by KU Resources on behalf of the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh, will help advise city redevelopment officials on whether the historic structure near the McKees Point Marina can be stabilized for re-use, or must be torn down.

“Right now, we are gathering all of the facts so that we are able make a responsible, educated decision on the future of the Penn-McKee,” McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

Nearly $1 million has been set aside for environmental remediation of the structure, said Matthew Craig, executive director of the YPA. The organization was retained in 2018 to study the history of the area around the Penn-McKee, as well as possible re-uses for the building.

Located on Fifth Avenue at Strawberry Way, the Penn-McKee is like a person who has abused drugs and alcohol for decades “and then they go to the doctor and hope they can erase all of their bad choices,” Craig said. “It has sat vacant for too long.”

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NV Twp. Manager Retiring, New Head Named

December 31, 2021 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

After serving North Versailles Twp. for more than two decades — most recently as township manager — Patricia Logo is now preparing to retire.

At the December commissioners’ meeting, board President Frank Bivins thanked Logo for her efforts to guide the township through a period of financial difficulty. “Since she’s been here, she’s done a wonderful job,” Bivins said. “We were in the hole when she got here and she brought us up to where we’ve got a surplus.”

Logo’s last day will be Jan. 28.

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