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Institute for Positive Mental Health

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Job Training, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention, Mental Health Associations, Vocational Counseling

Mission: Founded in 1994, the Institute for Positive Mental Health is a 501(c) 3) for-impact organization, dedicated to the social and vocational rehabilitation of adults and youth. IPMH develops programs that promote and maintain positive social action, services, and education to the community thereby reducing stigma of mental illness. IPMH aggressively sponsors rehabilitation services that will enable and empower program participants to achieve or return to economic independence through gainful employment and education. The mission of IPMH is achieved through employment services, education, community services, life coaching, and mentoring.

Results: Information and Referral, Mental Health Support through the COVID-19 pandemic. Partnered with Loyola University for Workshops/Guest Speakers from Community Remote Rescue Bear-Maker✨Experiences in middle schools in Western Suburbs of Chicago More than a dozen served through Life coaching/Mentoring/Employment and Entrepreneurship Coaching The Library Scoop #16 - All Things Mental Health with Jabez Patterson, Niles-Maine Library Remote Rescue Bear-Maker✨Experiences in libraries in greater Chicago area Revised Entrepreneurial and Financial Literacy Guide Milwaukee Maker Faire, Mini Maker Fests Exhibited Art in Action at Vendor and Craft Fairs

Target demographics: Older children and teens, adults with a disability, children with an IEP, Economically Disenfranchised, At-Risk Youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 140 adults, 400 + children and teens

Geographic areas served: Chicago, Chicagoland, Western suburbs, Midwest Region

Programs: Rescue Bear-Making ✨Experience , Entrepreneurship Workshops, training, Financial Literacy

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Steven Tre H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Experienced Erin and the Institute for Positive Mental Health at the Milwaukee Makers Faire. My kids got to experience the power of the 'Rescue Bear' by bringing their own little bear to life. We got to see the power of the bears and Erin's mission

Client Served

Rating: 5

Extremely supportive with mental health and coaching. They help people get jobs and find work. Supporting people to work through there fear and anxiety. They go out of their way to make sure you’re comfortable.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It was a pleasure to meet Erin. Had an amazing chat with her about her business and what they stand for. IPMH has a strong role and morals. Also the bears they make are so cute. I stand by the message they send and share.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I met Erin at the Schurz's High School Makerfest in Chicago, where I was immediately pulled in to her presentation and welcoming attitude. I invited her and IPMH to be a part of the Niles-Maine District Library’s Makerfest to make Rescue Bears, knowing that her program would enrich the lives of the patrons in the community. The Rescue Bears are repurposed old socks that are turned into little bears or stuffed animals. Their goal is to bring joy to teens, and really anyone of any age, when they are struggling with their mental health, or going through a rough time.

There were over 500 people who visited her table at Makerfest, which was both overwhelming and wonderful. So many people in the community flocked to make a rescue bear, to the point that there was still a long line waiting even after the event ended. Erin stayed late to make sure everyone who wanted to make their own rescue bear was able to.

We invited IPMH back to be a part of our Makerfests. The turnout was always absolutely amazing and they were one of the most talked-about sessions. The feedback we’ve gotten from our patrons and community has been outstanding; people cannot stop talking about how lovely the rescue bears are, and how important it is to continue to be open and honest about mental health challenges.

Also, we had Erin on the Niles-Maine District Library Podcast The Library Scoop, to discuss the importance of taking care of your mental health. Erin is so willing to jump in and be a part of something special when you ask her for help.

Erin and IPMH are professional, supportive to mental health solutions, and dedicated to making sure every event they are at runs smooth and makes the biggest impact to the community.

Eti B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the incredible pleasure of collaborating with the Institute for Positive Mental Health at Lincolnwood Public Library for the past couple years to facilitate bear-making experiences especially for our elementary and middle school after-school Junior Justice League program. With attention to detail and guided by care and empathy, Erin Fountain and her staff guided our group to learn how to create our own rescue bears. She transformed this experience in the virtual space in December of 2020 to ensure it was accessible and safe for our community - and offered much-needed support and conversations during this difficult year. We were able to connect to our larger community with Erin's brilliant idea to donate bears to our local senior living facility. This partnership is invaluable to our community and we are eager to continue working with Erin and the Institute for Positive Mental Health. You can see the full program recap, including videos of our bear-making experience here: https://lincolnwoodlibrary.org/rescue-bears-experience-recap

Eva Marie S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Erin Fountain is such a loving warm hearted person I loved working with her. I've had a few sock bear making events and they were all a success. Every person that had a chance to build a bear from a simple used sock had so much fun and brought them so much joy. I personally loved and felt so attached to my bear I had a hard time letting Erin keep her. It brought me even more joy when Erin told me that a little girl choose my bear to take home. IPMH is doing great things and bringing people so much joy.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a teacher at Forest Park Middle School. We have made Rescue Bears three times with the Institute for Positive Mental Health. It is such a fun activity for our students. The staff IPMH is wonderful. It was fun to see our students' interactions with them. Not only is at a fun activity, it is very rewarding for our students. We can't wait to have the IPMH staff back to our school for the next Rescue Bear making party!!

Roger H.3

Advisor

Rating: 5

It's not a question of whether IPMH is a worthy center, but why there aren't more like it. Their ability to provide the hands-on care to mental well-being—care that's grossly lacking today—is invaluable. Their personalized approach to the candidates is unmatched by any I've ever seen in the field, and has helped those in their darkest hour get back on their feet, and on to living prosperous lives. A lot can be learned from Erin Fountain, and the center she's run for 27 years strong, as providing life tools for worldly challenges is something we all can use, frankly.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization has people who are kind, caring, understanding, and warmth. People like this are what this world needs!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

IPMH is a great resource for the benefit of Mental Health. Mental Health is a problem that has been affecting humanity for a very long time and the IPMH is an outlet to help people of all ages to work towards fixing and finding solutions to their problems. They have different programs and activities that help their clients. The also have programs that teach prevention of mental issues. We love making the socks bears!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rescue Bears, are a really fun activity that can bring people together. I enjoy it because I meet fun and interesting people each time I volunteer !

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Proof, that anything you set your mind to you can do. This is one of the things that Erin teachers. She and the company are going to great places. I’m glad that I can say that I know her and I have my own personal experiences with the company. Time only can tell when it’s time. And the time is coming for her to take over. So do it then and that’s it period.

1 Francis Isaac A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

IMPH is a fantastic establishment that prides itself in serving individuals and the community before its own needs. I had the pleasure of working for their company for numerous years. The care and attention Erin and her staff dedicates to each individual that engages with IPMH is unmatched!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I LaQuahn is very happy that I was introduced to this program I am on my way to opening up my own daycare i'm have a 1year 1/2 left of school thank to Erin & Her professional staff they gave me the tools I need to be the best woman in mother I am today in I will past these skill down to my daughter they are very supportive in i relly appreciate. That thank you so much.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best place I’ve ever been too it was truly a life changing experience that helped me blossom into the successful business owner I am today the staff was amazing and felt like family.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

HAPPY TO HAVE VISITED INSTITUTE OFFICE AND FOUND MYSELF WARMLY WELCOMED BY STAFF!

DIRECTOR ERIN FOUNTAIN IS A CONSUMATE , CARING PROFESSIONAL
WHO ENDEAVORS TO INSTILL IN HER
"CLIENTS" THE HIGHEST EXPECTATIONS.