Cassandra Sheets

March Hopeful Minute Video – Outreach Project

We are excited to launch our Hopeful Minute Series! Join the Center for Family Life & Recovery Team on Facebook to chat about positive stories, health, & wellness, & tips for a mentally healthy life!

This week, help us welcome Katie Burns, Recovery Advocate to today’s Hopeful Minute! We are discussing our Outreach Project with our Recovery Program.

Posted by Cassandra Sheets in CFLR In Action

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

Utica NY- Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is a time to focus on the mental health of children. For 10 years, Center for Family Life & Recovery has offered children, youth, and young adults with mental or substance use disorders in the Mohawk Valley the services and supports they need to meet their goals at home, at school, and in the community.

COVID has impacted children both directly and indirectly. The CDC has reported that during the onset of COVID that Emergency Department mental health visits of children 18 years and younger during the months of Jan. 2020-Oct. 17,2020 showed an increase of 31% and children ages 12-17 had the highest proportion of Mental Health visits during this time. Beyond just thinking about the illness itself and getting sick so many children and families social, emotional, and mental health has been impacted by this pandemic. Many parents are seeing their children for the very first-time experiencing anxiety, sadness, and behavior changes.  Some of the change’s parents may be noticing with their child due to stress related to COVID may include but not limited to:

  • Difficulty sleeping or having nightmares or sleeping too much.
  • Changes in their energy level, appetite, motivation, and interests
  • Difficulty staying focused, making decisions, concentration.
  • Feelings of anger, frustration, fear, grief/loss, worrying.
  • May be exhibiting headaches, body aches/pains, stomach issues, skin problems like rashes due to stress.
  • Mental health or worsening of chronic health conditions.
  • Exhibiting risky behaviors using alcohol, e-cigs, other substances
  • Self-injurious behaviors or talking about not caring or self-isolation.

“Awareness Days are an opportunity for us to join with more than 1,100 communities across the country in celebrating the positive impact that we can have on the lives of children, youth, and young adults when we are able to integrate positive mental health into every environment,” said Cassandra Sheets, Chief Executive Officer. “When we focus on building resilience and social-emotional skills in children, youth, and young adults, we can help these individuals and their families thrive.”

Center for Family Life & Recovery focuses on prevention and Mental Health and be as proactive as we can for our children and families. Center for Family Life & Recovery prevention department works with our school districts and the focus is on proactive prevention and providing evidence-based programming that is geared around Mental Health. Our Prevention focus is on a tiered level of support as all children and families may have different levels of support and needs. We want to provide prevention to ALL children and their families, but we also know that we need to build more services around children and families that have unique and different situations. We offer many different prevention services and programs to work with our families by education, empowering, advocating with them, and working toward wellness as a family unit.

If you or your child is struggling with Mental Health you can call Center for Family Life & Recovery for help to help Navigate services with you. You are not alone! Center For family Life & Recovery is supporting Families and offering hope.

If in immediate crisis call 911.

  • National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish
  • National Domestic Violence 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • National Child Abuse 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
  • National Sexual Assault 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) o
  • Veteran’s Crisis 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis or text: 8388255
  • Disaster Distress CALL or TEXT 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish).
  • The Eldercare 1-800-677-1116 – TTY
Posted by Cassandra Sheets in CFLR In Action, News

Education & Awareness of Heart Health

Education & Awareness of Heart Health

Utica NY- February is American Heart Month. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), people are more successful at meeting health goals when we work on them with others. NHLBI launched the #OurHearts movement to inspire us to protect and strengthen our hearts with the support of others. People who have close relationships at home, work, or in their community tend to be healthier and live longer. Another one of the heart-healthy lifestyle tips is Eat a nutritious diet.

Center for Family Life & Recovery in collaboration with Your Bargain Grocer offered a Free Crock Pot Cooking Series to people who have previously participated in a substance use of mental health service.  “By shopping, creating and executing nutritious recipes for the family to enjoy, we were able to grow life skills with the continued focus on the four pillars of recovery which are Home, Health, Community and purpose,” says Ambi Daniels, Family support navigator at Center for Family Life & Recovery.

Recovery Advocate, Michelle Engelbrecht, facilitates a weekly class which encourages socialization, fun, healthy eating on a budget, and the art of creating heartwarming recipes the whole family will enjoy.  This project was made possible in part by support from the American Heart Association Mohawk Valley Community Impact Grant.  Targeting low-income participants impacted by substance use disorders and mental health, the goal is to teach the individuals how to shop for and make healthy and affordable meals for their families while practicing in fun, social engagement.  Working on foundational recovery and heart health through nutrition, wellness will also be tackled by social engagement.

Recovery is about skills and practice. Center for Family Life & Recovery wants to impact Recovery by creating a venue to practice healthy, budget-conscious shopping, cooking, eating, and socialization. Healthy eating is one of the most underrated Recovery Skills when it comes to substance use disorders.

Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. is proud to be the area’s leading expert for prevention services, mental and behavioral health, and community and family recovery services. Together with our community partners, we continue spreading the message of help and hope to our area and those with whom we work.

Posted by Cassandra Sheets in CFLR In Action, News

300 Blankets and Handwarmers will be handed out during Heartwarming Outreach

300 Blankets and Handwarmers will be handed out during Heartwarming Outreach

The ‘Warming Hearts Giveaway’ is made possible by the Center for Family Life and Recovery, Erin’s Light and the Utica Police Department.
Immediate Release UTICA/ROME, NY – Staff and volunteers from the Center for Family Life and Recovery, Erin’s Light and the Utica Police Department will be handing out blankets and hand warmers to those in recovery and to those in need on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
Media outlets are invited to provide coverage during scheduled events:

February 24, 2021

  • HOPE HOUSE – 10 AM with UPD
  • The Hub Eatery – 11 AM with UPD
  • The Warming Station 11:30 AM with UPD
  • STREET OUTREACH 12:00-4:00 UPD

CFLR will be joined in partnership with UPD and visit various areas in the City of Utica where the homeless population tends to congregate. We will offer hope and support.

It is a great honor to support and collaborate with Erin’s Light, and our UPD partners, stated Cassandra Sheets, CFLR, CEO, “Erin’s Mom always shares with us her daughter’s vision that every recovering individual needs some Love, Inspiration, Grace, Hope. Recovery is possible. In that process, we are proud to be able to offer help that lets families and individuals have hope.”

The Center for Family Life and Recovery would like to thank everyone who made this event possible through their donations to the program. A special thank you to Utica Police Department for their support.

Some photos from the day!

Posted by Cassandra Sheets in CFLR In Action, News