I'm Thumbody Special

Helping children to recognize there is "No One Quite Like Me...or You!"

Christmas Gift Lift
Social Events

The goal of I'm Thumbody Special is to provide our community's children with life skills to make decisions, resolve conflicts, and cope with challenges, Mental Health America of Jackson County offers "I'm Thumbody Special," a self-esteem program presented to preschool aged students in a classroom setting. This program is designed to help each student develop a strong concept of his or her own worth by focusing on individual differences and respect for others. Children are also encouraged to see differences as valuable and as something that makes each one of us unique.  Likewise, making it clear that we are all alike in many ways, this program helps students learn to accept and value differences in themselves and others.

The "I'm Thumbody Special" program offers a variety of topics and education utilizing "Kelly Bear" activities, songs, and puppet and many emotion related books and activities.  The activities done with students encourage positive self-esteem. Throughout the program, activities are done that encourage students to brighten their self-image through positive self-talk. Students also learn that they should seek friends and activities that make them feel good about themselves. Focusing on what the child sees as his or her strengths will help a child to determine activities that make them feel proud of themselves and will make it easier for them to recognize their own achievements. The "I'm Thumbody Special" program encourages students to put themselves in someone else's shoes.

"I'm Thumbody Special" emphasizes the importance of a positive self-image in a child's ability to interact positively with others and to achieve his or her social and academic potential. By focusing on a child's strengths and building assets, this program will help them grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible. Positive self-esteem is reflected in a child with an optimistic outgoing personality.

Building a strong sense of self-worth through the "I'm Thumbody Special" program will enable the growing child to reject destructive behavior and to emerge as a successful adult. Increasingly, educators and mental health professionals are recognizing the critical role resiliency plays in a child's ability to achieve his or her social and academic potential.

Through "I'm Thumbody Special," a child's resilience can be increased and their self-worth is strengthened.

"No One Quite Like Me...or You!"

Annually since 1951, MHAJC has set a goal of giving Christmas gifts to lift the spirits of every known person that has a mental disability. This goal has been achieved each year by the generous support of the individuals and employers of Jackson County.

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you. This support has allowed us to reach 174 individuals. Each individual attending our December Social received a meal and a shopping bag of gifts to include clothing, games, craft activities, and personal toiletries. For the individuals that could not attend our December social, gifts are hand delivered by MHAJC Volunteers or Board Members.

If your workplace or organization would like to adopt an angel tree project, please contact us. We can assist you with guidelines on how to set up an angel tree in any work or public location. Angel ornaments on the tree will include the first name and a list of two or three items that can be donated to meet the specific needs of one person. As an “angel" from your workplace adopts an angel ornament, they agree to purchase those items, and the Christmas wishes of one disabled person will be met. It is a win-win, angel to angel situation.

Monetary gifts of any amount to support our CGL program can be mailed to:

MHAJC Christmas Gift Lift
PO Box 51
Seymour, Indiana 47274
Attn: Christmas Gift Lift

Christmas Gift Lift makes Christmas a little brighter for individuals that may not have the opportunity to be with family during the holidays. A gift at Christmas says someone thought about you, and this small token of generosity can make a difference to someone fighting depression, which is so common during the holiday season.

It also helps to remember that some people fighting mental illness may already have a feeling of isolation; you help someone feel a little less isolated and alone each time you donate an item or money to the Mental Health America Jackson County Christmas Gift Lift.

We appreciate your generous donations and welcome the opportunity to make our current year's CGL program a huge success as we strive to educate and advocate for those with reduced mental health.

Once per quarter, MHAJC hosts activities to promote socialization and interaction for all Jackson County clients that participate in any mental health program or anyone who is currently receiving care from a mental health provider.

Being part of a community is a basic need for all individuals. Healthcare providers recognize that people from the mental health community have an even greater need to interact with others to eliminate the isolation that can occur due to limited skills or negative stigma associated with decreased mental health.

MHAJC socials promote a stress-free, fun, and healthy atmosphere where friendships can develop. Those with more advanced skills have the opportunity to mentor and assist those with more serious limitations. Being accepted within a community of your peers provides opportunities to increase self-esteem, self-confidence, and an acceptance of others not always found in other avenues of social interaction.

Social events are held in Seymour, typically on the second or third Thursday of the month of February, once per summer, October and December. We begin our year in February and the normal time of the event is from 5:00 to 6:30 pm. Each social is free of charge and refreshments or a light dinner are provided. Our final social of the year is a Christmas party where each participant is given gifts that are collected using the generous donations from our Christmas Gift Lift providers.

Past socials have included the following activities:

Valentine’s Dance
Summer Picnic
Halloween contests
Christmas Gift Lift

Please call our office to obtain information regarding our next planned event. Clients and their caregivers are welcome to participate. We hope to see new faces as we continue to provide this popular and welcomed outlet for social activity.