Indiana, PA - Indiana County


on March 24, 2013 2:50 AM

Information for this column is provided by the Indiana County Department of Human Services.


A free kennel will be available for pet owners in crisis from the Human Services Center, a comprehensive community behavioral health center in New Castle. The opening of Caritas PetCare, a free, full-service kennel for dogs or cats when the pet’s owner is experiencing a short-term crisis: in-patient psychiatric hospitalization, a medical emergency, displacement due to a natural disaster, escape from a violent situation or other such emergency. Pet owners must reside in western Pennsylvania, meet income eligibility requirements, and the pet must be up to date on all vaccinations, except in limited cases. Pets may not stay past 30 days. The Human Services Center staff and the residents of the Caritas Supportive Housing Program will care for the pet. A local vet is available when necessary. Call (724) 730-9397 for more information or to arrange a stay.

Warm Up America, a group of local knitters, is in search of new members to help with a program that provides afghans to the needy. The group knits swatches of donated washable yarn, and 49 swatches are put together to make the afghans. They are distributed through the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the Indiana County Community Action Program and other groups. The group meets at 10 a.m. the second and fourth Mondays of the month at Michael’s craft store, Townfair Plaza, White Township. For more information, call (724) 463-0822.

Jacksonville Presbyterian Church Clothing Closet provides free clothing the last Saturday of the month. For more information, call (724) 726-8895 or (724) 479-8237.


Home Alone & In Control, for children age 12 and older, teaches home alone skills and time management at IRMC. Call (724) 357- 7075.

Look Good ... Feel Better is The American Cancer Society’s free program that teaches beauty techniques to female cancer patients in active treatment to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Next session is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday. For more information, to register or to learn more about this program, call (800) 227-2345 or visit

Managing Your Diabetes, IRMC, (724) 357-8088.

Nutrition Therapy is a class for cancer patients to encourage healthy eating during treatment. Classes are held monthly at Arnold Palmer Pavilion. For more information, call Excela Health at (877) 771- 1234.

Strong Women Strong Bones is a 10-week strength training course to help manage osteoporosis. The program includes a pre- and post-assessment and two days of strength training each week. For information, call IRMC at (724) 357-8088.

Tobacco Cessation Course, through Excela Health, is a seven-week program for those who have resolved to quit smoking. It includes one-on-one counseling. Times and locations vary. For information, call (877) 771-1234. Telephonic support is available 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.


The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Indiana County will hold a general meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Trinity United Methodist Church, 298 Church St., Indiana. The public is welcome and the guest speaker will be Michelle Seaman, regional director of Peerstar.


Breast Cancer Support Groups are available through IRMC. At 6:30 p.m. every second Thursday, a group meets at IRMC at Chestnut Ridge, Conference Room, Blairsville. On the last Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m., a group for all interested women meets at the Women’s Imaging Center Library. For more information, call (724) 357-8081.

Connections by Choice, Catholic Charities, provides support and training for families with foster and adopted children including pre-adoptive, foreign and domestic adoptive families. Call (724) 463-8806.

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team, for emergency services personnel such as ambulance crews, firefighters, law enforcement officers and any others who respond to critical incidents, meets every six weeks. In offering debriefing services, the team helps prevent the negative impact of acute stress on emergency workers and helps with the recovery process. For more information, call The Open Door at (877) 333-2470.

Crohn’s and Colitis Support Group is available through Excela Health. For more information, call (877) 771-1234.

Fibromyalgia Support Group will meet from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital. For more information, call (877) 771-1234.

Grandparents as Parents provides information and support to family members who are actively involved in the lives of others’ children through ARIN IU 28. The group meets from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Aging Services Inc. Community Center. Child care is available. For information, call Andrea at (724) 463-5300, ext. 1235.

ICD Support Group is for those with an implantable cardiac defibrillator and their support people. For more information, call Excela Health at (877) 771-1234.

Keep on Dropping is a free weight management support group to keep those who have lost weight recently motivated and are on track to continue to lose. Join a team of coaches at 5:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at the IRMC Women’s Imaging Center Library. For more information, call (724) 357-8088.

First Assembly of God Church provides Christian-based groups with opportunities to make friends with other moms, share encouragement and practical tips for surviving the preschool years. For mothers of preschoolers birth to age 5, and expectant mothers, 9:30 a.m. Friday or 10 a.m. Saturday, (724) 465-4662.

Myasthenia Gravis Association offers monthly, face-to-face support group meetings. Call for the schedule at (412) 566-1545, or visit the message board at

Nurturing Parent Program, through the Child Advocacy and Relationship Enhancing Center, Indiana, provides general information on child discipline, nurturing, child development, parents of teens support and nurturing oneself as a parent.

For more information, call (724) 463-8595.

Reach to Recovery is for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients to receive support, information and resources through visits and conversations with trained breast cancer survivors. Call (800) 227-2345.

Stroke Education and Support Group meets through Excela Health. For information, call (877) 771-1234.

Trauma Services Caregiver Support Group will be held at Family Behavioral Resources Indiana Clinic every fourth Monday of the month. Do you know a child who demonstrates challenging behaviors? Are the child’s family members struggling with feelings of frustration regarding caring for this child? Does this child have a history of out-of-home placements, trauma, abuse or neglect? This group is designed for parents, caregivers and foster parents of children who have experienced loss, out-of-home placement, adoption or other emotionally charged events.

Register with Katie Stormer at (724) 465-0369 or kstormer@familybehavioral

Weight Watchers, for more information call (800) 651-6000 or visit www. There is a fee.

Adult Socialization Group is for adults with Epilepsy through the Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central Pennsylvania.

For more information, call the Pittsburgh office at (800) 361-5885 or the Johnstown office at (814) 262-7494.

Breast Cancer Support Group is for individuals who have had breast cancer. The group generally meets at 6:30 p.m. the last Thursday of the month. For more information, call (724) 357-8081.

Insulin Pump Therapy Support Group is held six times a year at IRMC. Call (724) 357-7164 for more information.

Living with Diabetes is a recurring series that provides diabetes management information. Most insurance companies cover the costs. A physician referral is required. For more information, call Excela Health Diabetes Center at (724) 537-1066.

Leche League provides mother-to-mother information and support for those planning to breastfeed or currently breastfeeding. The group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the IRMC Outpatient Building, classrooms A&B. For information or 24-hour support, call (724) 463-4661.

Man to Man is a support group for men facing prostate cancer where they can receive information and resources by talking with trained prostate cancer survivors. Registration is encouraged, but not required. For more information, call Kristen at (724) 834-9081, ext. 65281.

Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS, provides Christian-based groups with opportunities to make friends with other moms and share encouragement and practical tips for surviving the preschool years. For mothers of preschoolers from birth to age 5 and expectant mothers. Groups meet as follows:

— Blairsville Free Methodist Church, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., first and third Wednesday, with a $25 registration fee for MOPS International (scholarships available). For more information, call (724) 459-5255.

— Blairsville Christian Missionary Alliance Church, 7 to 8:30 p.m. second Monday, child care provided, (724) 668-7056.

— First Assembly of God Church, Indiana, 9:30 a.m., second and fourth Wednesdays, (724) 349-8180.


Bowser-Minich Bereavement Support Services offers a bereavement lending library open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by appointment. Call (724) 349-3100 or (888) 923-5550.

C. Frederick Bowser Funeral Home, Homer City, offers support services through an interactive website for bereavement and grief support literature at

Coping with Loss Grief Support Group is a six-week series held at various community locations. Call Excela Health at (877) 771-1234.

Curran Funeral Home Grief Support Group, 701 Salt St., Saltsburg. Call (724) 639-3911 for dates, times and location.

GRASP, or Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing, offers support and sources of help for families and individuals who are in bereavement due to a substance misuse death.

The group will begin in late February and will meet at The Open Door. For more information or to register, call (724) 762-3344, email or visit

Graystone Church GriefShare is a 13-week seminar and support group for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them.

Sessions are offered in the spring and the fall.

Registration is not necessary, and participants may join at any time in the series.

Highmark Caring Place, through the Caring Foundation for Children, Pittsburgh, offers support groups weekly or biweekly for grieving children, adolescents and families.

Call (888) 224-4673.

John A. Lefdahl Funeral Home offers a bereavement support group open to the public. Call (724) 463-4499.

Hopeful Hearts, a service of the VNA of Indiana County, is a child-focused family bereavement support center.

Hopeful Hearts provides peer support at no cost for all family members when someone close to the family has died.

Families meet biweekly in a safe, caring and confidential environment.

For more information about this program or volunteer opportunities, call (724) 349-3888 or (877) 349-3888.

Pregnancy Loss Support Group provides support for families who are grieving the loss of their baby through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death.

Call (877) 771-1234.

Rairigh-Bence Funeral Home Inc. offers a support group and a bereavement lending library with booklets, videos, etc.

Richard Shoemaker Funeral Home Support Group, Blairsville, (724) 459-9115; information and support offered by phone.

Robinson-Lytle Funeral Home offers a bereavement library with books, videos and other information for adults and children. Call (724) 349-9700.

Sharing Grief Support Group is offered from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every first and third Thursday of the month. For more information, call (724) 349-2000.

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