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HOLYOKE — River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC), a multi-faceted mental-health agency, will hold its sixth annual golf tournament fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 10 at 10:30 a.m. at East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. The event is presented by Action Ambulance Service Inc.

“Funds raised will support the programs that we provide to children and teens in the community, in schools, and through local partnerships,” said Rosemarie Ansel, RVCC’s executive director. “The event is a great time for participants, both on and off the course.”

The cost per golfer is $100 and includes greens fees, a golf cart, a gift bag, lunch, and dinner. Golfers will also be able to participate in course contests and a raffle. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit rvccinc.org/golf for more information and to register or sponsor online.

The Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics indicated that as many as one in six U.S. children between the ages of 6 and 17 have a treatable mental-health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Over the past year, RVCC has provided uninterrupted essential services to the most vulnerable children and teens throughout the Pioneer Valley. RVCC has kept offices open safely for those requesting in-person appointments, successfully introduced virtual care and telehealth services, and provided counseling programs and activities to students in RVCC-partnering school districts throughout Hampden and Hampshire counties.

With the addition of Westfield Public Schools this past fall, RVCC now provides 11 school districts with mental-health counseling to students during the school day. RVCC expanded further into the Greater Westfield area with a new outpatient clinic, which opened in April. Recently, RVCC also partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke to provide counseling services to children who are club members.

Support of RVCC’s sixth annual golf tournament, the organization’s premier fundraising event, will directly impact the children, teens, and families who receive RVCC’s compassionate, innovative, and life-changing services.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) announced it has been awarded a $50,000 technology makeover from Insight Enterprises and Intel. RVCC is one of three winners in the Connected Workplace Makeover Contest, which was created to help businesses address the effects of aging technology. As a winner, RVCC will receive IT consultation from Insight and $50,000 worth of new 11th Gen Intel Core Processor devices, including Intel vPro Platform PCs built for business.

“We are absolutely thrilled and incredibly appreciative to Insight Enterprises and Intel for selecting River Valley Counseling Center as a winner of this contest,” said Rosemarie Ansel, executive director of RVCC. “With the new Intel PCs, our team will be able to better service the over 9,000 children and adult clients we provide care for each year in the Pioneer Valley.”

The contest targeted small and mid-sized companies of fewer than 1,000 employees that have been particularly strapped for resources or may be struggling to adapt IT systems and processes to the shifting marketplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The contest focused on three areas of critical IT needs: productivity; updating tools, particularly for remote work; security; and total cost of ownership. More than 1,200 U.S. organizations submitted contest entries sharing why they needed a workplace makeover. RVCC was named the winner in the productivity category.

RVCC IT Support Manager Leonard Smith, who submitted RVCC into the contest, looks forward to the makeover. “We are thrilled and excited to be able to receive this makeover at our largest and oldest clinic, giving it the love and care it deserves just as our staff does for our clients. These machines will vastly help support our community that means so much to us.”

Intel Evo vPro PCs will allow RVCC to service clients in a timelier manner, roll out better telehealth options, stay secure, and be HIPAA-compliant. Over the next month, Insight and Intel will be conducting on-site consultations with RVCC to help the team identify the best technology upgrades for their clinic located at 303 Beech St. in Holyoke. It is expected that productivity based at this location could improve by up to 25% by replacing poorly running computers, including some still running on Windows Vista.

“Business needs and demands have changed dramatically in the last year alone, when keeping pace with new technology already was challenging enough for independent businesses in ordinary times” said Brenda Hudson, senior vice president, Commercial Business Solutions at Insight. “Each of the winners of the Connected Workplace Makeover Contest has experienced significant disruption or financial hardship during the pandemic, from having to abruptly switch to more telehealth options and shoring up the security of patient data to bringing greater stability to a widely distributed workforce. A technology makeover will put them on the fast track to more reliable performance and stronger connections with their customers and workforce however and wherever they need to engage with them.”

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HOLYOKE — River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) held a training titled “Understanding, Assessing, Managing, and Preventing Suicidal Behavior” at Holyoke High School’s North Campus on March 2.

RVCC therapists attended the event, along with school counselors, psychologists, and nurses from 14 local school districts. The training reviewed the spectrum of self-destructive behavior, differentiated suicide from non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, reviewed suicide assessment and intervention, and discussed sitting with misery and self-care. 

The presenter, Barent Walsh, has written extensively and presented internationally on the topic of self-destructive behavior. According to Walsh, “the field of suicide prevention is evolving with important new empirically supported theories and interventions.” The author of Treating Self-Injury: A Practical Guide, Walsh is the executive director emeritus of Open Sky Community Services, a human-service agency headquartered in Worcester. He is also a lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School at Cambridge Health Alliance.

Alexa Mignano, director of School-Based Clinical Services at RVCC, brought forth the idea of the training in response to an increase in self-harming and suicidal behavior among students in the Pioneer Valley.

“As the premier provider of school-based therapy services, it was imperative for RVCC to offer this training in response to the school districts’ concern of increased self-harming behavior and suicidality amongst students,” she said. “Besides providing school districts with clinicians in the schools, we also try to support school administrators and their staff with tools they can utilize to support their school community.”

RVCC partners with local school districts to offer comprehensive clinical services during the school day, providing families with access to therapy by removing barriers such as long waitlists, transportation, insurance-coverage problems, and scheduling conflicts. RVCC currently partners with school districts in Holyoke, Chicopee, Easthampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Amherst, Granby, Springfield, and East Longmeadow. It also has an office on the campus of Springfield Technical Community College, providing counseling services to students.

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