Volunteer Consultation: Housing, Medical, Legal, Employment Issues
The Cole Center members provide consultation in the following areas:
- Housing search information (HUD, group homes, co-ops, half and quarter way houses)
- Health insurance
- Low cost medications
- Volunteer employment
- Legal advocacy and support
Advocacy is at the heart of the Cole Center operation. Helping consumers obtain benefits or resolve work-related issues can empower them to advocate for themselves, and others, as well.
Consumer advocacy is provided by the Cole Center on a number of levels. Personally, an individual may be helped to secure benefits; or the rights of all consumers are upheld and strengthened through rallies and letter-writing campaigns.
The Cole Center is active and successful in promoting mental health parity and access to an open prescription formulary for all consumers, regardless of individual health plans. The Cole Center also authors newspaper opinion pieces in support of better healthcare coverage from insurers and managed care companies.
The Cole Center works closely with the news media to create and develop news stories about psychiatric illness. This collaboration has led to articles in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Lowell Sun, TAB newspapers, Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and the Harvard Business Review . The Cole Center has also participated in segments informing the public about psychiatric illnesses on the Discovery Channel and television programs such as "20/20" and "Good Morning America."
Cole Center Library and Mental Health Resources
The Cole Center offers a library with current articles and resources on an array of mental health topics. The library includes an adolescent section, created in memory of Jason Chesley that is a collection of reference books geared toward the unique concerns of adolescents who struggle with psychiatric illnesses.