Certified Family Based Therapist

Brent Adams successfully graduated from the WPIC Family Training Institute Family Based program. He attended three years of intensive training followed by review of video taped sessions along with a passing score on the Family Based exam. Brent is now a  Certified Family Based Therapist. We are proud to have knowledgeable and experienced staff providing exceptional services to the families of Lawrence County. 

1st Annual Children’s Continuum of Care Conference, Karing 4 Kids:  Navigating the System with Care

Laura Glenn, HR Generalist/Public Relations and Dee Welker, CASSP/SOC Coordinator are excited to have the opportunity to participate in the 1st Annual Children’s Continuum of Care Conference, Karing 4 Kids:  Navigating the System with Care sponsored by Beacon Health Options on June 27.  Evidence-based practices is the main theme of this conference.  The goal is to offer supportive ways children and their families can more successfully navigate through mental health systems of care, collaborating on identifying the strengths and barriers of these systems so that we can begin to identify solutions to promote health and recovery.

LGBTQA Health Conference

Human Services Center, Family Based Program Director, Brenda Bacich, is participating in this year’s conference.  HSC is one of the largest behavioral health care providers in Western Pennsylvania and we want to ensure that we are providing appropriate services and supports to all community members.  This skill based conference will focus on issues related to behavioral health and the LGBTQA community.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and asexual (LGBTQA) individuals face challenges when accessing and receiving care that may lead to preventable adverse health outcomes. A Healthy People 2020 report found LGBTQA youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide, more likely to be homeless, and have a higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In addition, LGBTQA populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use. Transgender individuals experience a high prevalence of HIV/STD, victimization, mental health issues, and suicide. Gay and bisexual men have higher chances of major depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder compared to other men.

In 2015 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health added two questions on sexual orientation (sexual identity and sexual attraction). That year’s study found that sexual minority adults were more likely to have any mental illness, serious mental illness, and/or major depressive episodes. During the study year, 26.4% of those identifying as sexual minority adults received mental health services compared to 13.7% of adults identifying as sexual majorities. While this was the first year for the data collection by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse ad Mental Health Services Administration), additional years of data will allow them to track this issue over time.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the perspectives and needs of LGBTQA people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities. In addition to considering the needs of LGBTQA people in programs designed to improve the health of entire communities, there is also a need for culturally competent medical care and prevention services that are specific to this population. Social inequality is often associated with poorer health status, and sexual orientation has been associated with multiple health threats. Members of the LGBTQA community are at increased risk for a number of health threats when compared to their heterosexual peers [1-5]. Differences in sexual behavior account for some of these disparities, but others are associated with social and structural inequities, such as the stigma and discrimination that LGBTQA populations experience.

HSC goes Green to raise Mental Health Awareness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!!

HSC “goes Green” was held on Wednesday, 5/30/18, as a way to raise continued awareness about Mental Health and the need to End Stigma.  When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle.  It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.(Mental Health America)


HSC celebrates 10 years of the Sanctuary Model

Human Services Center adopted the Sanctuary Model as part of our clinical services philosophy in 2008.   The overall focus of the Sanctuary Model is to address the needs of our clients and staff in a caring, respectful manner, to develop and maintain a welcoming and positive environment, to offer recovery-oriented services that empower individuals to determine their goals and outcomes, and to encourage staff by promoting the Seven Sanctuary Commitments an fostering an atmosphere of personal and professional growth. To celebrate, staff enjoyed a “traveling lunch” at HSC properties on Grant Street.  In addition to having the opportunity to review the Seven Commitments, they were able to eat good food and connect with co-workers.


Lawrence County Peer Leadership

On May 14, 2018, Lawrence County Peer Leadership, a program of the Human Services Center, celebrated its annual Peer Leadership Recognition Banquet. This event marked twenty-two years of the Lawrence County Peer Leadership Program and over one thousand students that have been trained. The event was held at The Villa Banquet Center. Daniel Barnes, Director of Lawrence County Peer Leadership and Director of the Human Services Center Student Assistance Program (SAP), served as the moderator for this celebration. Megan Bliss played the violin before dinner. Megan is the daughter of Terry Bliss of HSC’s Student Assistance Program. Sixty-four sophomore students from various Lawrence County schools districts were recognized for their service to
their schools and community. Each of these students participated in three days of training this past school year. The training was designed to educate the students in the qualities of leadership, empathy for others, communication, and multi-cultural awareness. Students were then challenged to “make a difference” in their homes, schools, and communities. Students also learned to identify problems and pursue solutions to the issues that challenge teenagers today. At the banquet, selected students from each of the Lawrence County schools, were asked to speak about “What it means to be a Peer Leader,” an important highlight of the evening. The Human Services Center has provided the administration and coordination of this program since 1995. A dedicated staff from Lawrence County Drug and Alcohol Commission and Cray Youth and Family Services, work with this program as well. Back at their schools, these peer leaders collaborate with others already trained, also members of a Peer Leadership Club. Each club has committed advisors who provide them guidance and help coordinate activities that benefit the Lawrence County community.

Peer Leaders 2017/2018 *Speakers
Laurel High School – Michele McClelland, Advisor
Brent Bergbauer *Olivia Kohen Joseph Paglia
Daniel Blank Grace Enscoe Mikyla Slater

Lawrence Co. Career & Technical Center – Donna Pasterik, Advisor
Josephine Beier Kasiah Gilmore *Nick Neupauer
Janice Bowers Candace Hammond Nathan Smith
Katie Dillen *Amelia Hogue Trenton Yale
Aaron Dilling

Lincoln High School – Laura Adams, Advisor
Carson Aiken Saylee Grinnen Colin Smith
Skyler Campbell *Gracie Kauffman Levi Smith
Avery Dudek Hannah Keally Angela Volpe
Morgan Falesnik

Mohawk High School – Ryan Castor, Advisor
Raegen Esenwein Taylor Harman Ronnie Shirilla
*Natalie Grim
Angelique Lindsay Leah Stroebel

New Castle High School – Rebecca Saymansky, Advisor
Braeden Bailey Liam Frost Marissa Polding
Matt Ball Jewel Kneram Taylor Tanner
Jade Bodie *Rachel Lloyd Juleeann Viggiano
Austin Browne Kerrionna Lyles TeAsia Stewart
Tyler Francis Aleah Nelson

Shenango High School – Kim Rudesill, Debbie Grego, Advisors
Harrison Miller Alexis Presjnar Jordan Smith
Gianna Orrico *Cambyl Schry Serena Sokolowski

Union High School – James Dotson, Advisor
Tyler Benedict Vinny Fuleno Nicholas Pasquarello
*Lexi Bucker
Nate Meeks Christian Pasquarello

Wilmington High School – Brandon Phillian, Advisor
Shane Cox Austin Lisowski David Patton
Jason Hess Hannah Lockhart *Marcus Tokar
Leah Hickman

HSC’s Executive Director elected 2nd term as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA)

Dr. Dennis Nebel, Human Services Center’s Executive Director, was elected to a second term as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association, (RCPA), of Pennsylvania at the association’s Annual Meeting in Hershey, PA on Friday, May 15, 2018.  Approaching 350 members statewide, RCPA is among the largest and most diverse state health and human services trade associations in the nation. RCPA advocates for those in need, works to advance effective state and federal public policies, serves as a forum for the exchange of crucial information, and provides professional support to its members.  RCPA members offer mental health, drug and alcohol, intellectual and developmental disabilities, children’s, brain injury, medical rehabilitation and physical disabilities and aging services through all settings and levels of care.  “I look forward to another year of working with this engaged Board of Directors on behalf of our members and those we serve.”, stated Dr. Nebel.  The Human Services Center, whose primary corporate office is on North Street in New Castle, is a comprehensive Community Mental Health Center serving the Lawrence Region.

HSC’s acquisition of the Erie/Lackawanna Train Station

Human Services Center (HSC) is excited to announce that it is in the process of acquiring the ‘Train Station”, formerly the location of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.  HSC owns numerous properties in Lawrence County that serve as sites for the administration and provision of Behavioral Health Services. These properties have followed the Keystone Principles for Growth for Pennsylvania.  The close proximity of the Shenango Street Station to HSC’s main offices on North Street will provide easy access to them.  During this transition, HSC will determine the best use for the station.  Further, HSC is exploring the possibility of having the caboose, that is located on the periphery of the property, relocated closer to the train station itself.  Local artist, Larry Macri, and approximately 15 volunteer New Castle High School students, will complete a restoration process that includes cleaning and painting of the caboose.  HSC is one of the largest community mental health centers in Western Pennsylvania.  “We also take great pride in being good community citizens”, stated Dr. Dennis Nebel, HSC’s Executive Director.  “The Train Station is a very important community asset.  We want to insure that it is well maintained and continues, in its own way, to serve our community”


HSC Family Based Program Director as Guest Trainer for WPIC Family Based Training Institute 

Human Services Center Family Based Program Director, Brenda Bacich, was honored to be a guest trainer for the WPIC Family Based Training Institute.  She assisted 300 Family Based Clinicians from the western region of Pennsylvania with increasing their knowledge of working with families.  Human Services Center recognizes the need for staff to be intensively trained to provide the level of excellence that should be expected while working with the families in our community.  Brenda served as a Family Based clinician for five years in the past and returned to HSC as the Family Based Program Director in July of 2016.  Her expertise and knowledge of working with families is the reason Human Services Center is happy to have her leading the Family Based Program.