The Otsego County Community Education Project operated by RSS was established in
1997 as part of a reinvestment initiative. The focus of the Project is to combat
the sigma that is attached to mental illness and help people connect to
From the onset, the Community Education Project has been a partnership between Rehabilitation Support Services and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Otsego County (Otsego NAMI).
The philosophy of the Community Education Project is that mental disorders are treatable and through education the stigma that keeps people from seeking treatment can be reduced there by creating a community of support for both the individual and their families.
The focus of the Project is to break down the sigma of mental illness by providing educational opportunities to the community. The Project has hosted over 25 public educational forums. These forums have consisted of video presentations and panels of local experts available to answer questions from attendees. Topics have ranged from understanding the various diagnoses such as bi polar or schizophrenia to discussing system issues such as SPOA the involvement of the criminal justice system, the Otsego County Crisis system.
The Community Education Project has sponsored Family Education Classes. This is a ten week course for family members that not only provides the information they desperately seek regarding mental illness but also provides support for participants and connects participants to the NAMI support groups in the area.
The Community Education Project produces a guide for mental health services throughout the county free of charge. This guide only provides information regarding mental health providers put also provides contact numbers to area agencies that assist people in the community. Agencies and providers can order this guide to have on hand in their facilities or people can access the guide at the new Community Education Project Web site or stop by at the Library site located at 31 Main St Oneonta.
In addition, the Project has sponsored educational shows that have been aired on the local public assess television station, and have participated in educational programs on WZOZ radio.
Over the years, the Community Education Project has set up informational booths and exhibits throughout the county, have gifted books to area Libraries and Schools. The Project has participated in helping to organize a county wide Health Fair.
The Community Education Project has a library that has recently moved to a larger site. This library is available to the public either by appointment or during limited hours of operation. The library has materials in the form of books, magazines, pamphlets, brochures, videos and DVDs that focus on mental health topics and issues are available for loan. The Otsego County Community Education Project Library is located at 31 Main St in Oneonta, NY. The project can be reached by calling 433-1714 ext 218 or 433-1714 ext 201.