In brief: Created to advise the Public Affairs Committee of the Board on programs to inform the public of available services and information regarding the treatment of substance abuse problems and problems relative to mental health, the committee generally meets on the third Thursday of the month, except July and August, at 7:30 p.m. at the Township Administration Building, 8230 Old York Road, Elkins Park.
Howard H. Covitz, Ph.D.
Nancy Schnieder, J.D., Ph.D.
Susan B. Miller
Lamar Freed, Ph. D.
Early Diagnosis and Intervention: Identifying Autism in Your ChildFebruary 22, 2016 at Rowland Community Center - A five-member panel of experts provided information and answered questions about the early signs of autism, who to turn to for diagnosis and what to do next.
Making a Difference Awards
Recognizes a person, business or organization that contributes to the community in any of the following ways:
Preventing tobacco, drug or alcohol abuse
Increasing awareness of the dangers of drug or alcohol abuse
Improving conditions for the mentally ill
Combating domestic violence
Mentoring children to achieve their potential
Improving the well-being for older adults
Any other health-related activity that makes a difference in these areas.
The nomination deadline is late April. Submit a nomination.
Essay/Mulit-Media Contest Contest
To engage students in thinking about various issues relating to substance abuse and mental health, the Committee sponsors an annual contest for grades 5-12 in public, private and parochial schools in the community that includes multi-media submissions including poems, short videos, artwork and photography in addition to essays to depict the topics. Students are encouraged to explore and support their opinions, feelings, and/or personal experiences, without mentioning the names of individuals, regarding the topic issues each year.
Walter Luchay (front, center) of Wyncote Academy was a 2015 Winner of the Cheltenham Township Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Committee’s annual essay/multi-media contest, which promotes awareness of the dangers of substance abuse. He received his certificate and prize at a Board of Commissioners meeting at Curtis Hall in Wyncote. Kerry Ann Learis (front, right), head of school at Wyncote Academy and Susan Miller (front, second from right), member of the SAHM Committee, joined Commissioners (left to right) Ann L. Rappoport, Morton J. Simon, Jr., Daniel B. Norris, Harvey Portner, Baron B. Holland, Charles D. McKeown, Sr., and Drew Sharkey in making the presentation. Also honored but not shown was Isaiah West, also of Wyncote Academy.
In past years, the Committee has participated in Safe Schools Grant and has applied for Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board grants.
School District/Township Events
Traditionally, the Committee has attended Back to School Nights at Cheltenham School District to provide valuable information to parents and has participated at Township events like Market Day, the Glenside Street Fair and the Community Harvest Festival to distribute materials to the community.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Committee had a table at the Run for Jake/Health Fair on April 15, 2012.
Creedon Memorial and Youth at Peace, and Prom Letter
The Committee honors Cheltenham and Bishop McDevitt High School seniors who contribute significantly to the issues of substance abuse and mental health by presenting awards at their graduation ceremonies. The Committee also helped launch an annual prom letter from the Chief of Police to Cheltenham and Bishop McDevitt High School students regarding the dangers of substance abuse that can transform a wonderful rite of passage into a tragedy.
The Committee supports the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) curriculum in Cheltenham School District and often sends representatives to their graduation ceremonies.
The Committee collects and periodically updates its distribution material, provided by county, state and federal agencies.
Cheltenham Township officials invite residents to drop off unwanted medications at the Cheltenham Police Station, open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week, at 8230 Old York Road in Elkins Park. Cheltenham is one of dozens of communities participating in the Montgomery County District Attorney Prescription Drug Disposal Program.
Years ago, doctors used to advise people to flush unneeded medications down the toilet. However, experts now agree that medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting our waters and contaminating our food and water supplies. Because wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove medicines, these chemicals may be discharged to rivers and bays. Even at very low levels, medicines in the environment hurt aquatic life.
Throwing them out with the trash is also dangerous. Drugs are still chemically active in the trash, even if mixed with kitty litter or coffee grounds. Several studies have shown that medicines in a landfill can be released into the local environment.
The best and safest option for disposing of unwanted medications is to drop them off at designated disposal sites like the Cheltenham Township Police Station.