"Adult Ally" What does it mean to parents?

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As a parent when you hear the term “Adult Ally” in the context of role in the life of your young adult how do you feel?

As parents raising our youth who are transitioning to adulthood how are we handling the change in roles? Lisa Lambert the Executive Director of PPAL posted on her blog January 4, 2015, The imminent demise of parent voice, sort of…

  • “Parents are unique in their son’s or daughter’s life. Their relationship has many layers and textures and nuances that no one else can come close to.”

Join the TA Center in a public conversation where family and youth leaders openly discuss how they distinguish the role of their parents from other supportive adults in their lives.

  •  Webinar: "Adult Ally" What Does it Mean to Parents?
  • July 16, 2015, 1:00-2:30 PM E.T.
  • Register here


  • Teresa King, Family Content Specialist, National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health (NFFCMH) and National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health, Georgetown University
  • Lisa Lambert, Executive Director, Parent Professional Advocacy League (PPAL)
  • Johanna Bergan, Executive Director, Youth M.O.V.E. National (YMN)

SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative launches new campaign

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SAMHSA Press Release: Monday, June 15, 2015

Raising awareness about the impact of child traumatic stress and what parents and caregivers can do to help children recover and thrive is the focus of a new public education campaign launched today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI). The campaign, titled “Helping Kids Recover and Thrive” includes new public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish, as well as a website.

“Too many children and youth experience traumatic events, from serious injuries and illnesses to interpersonal violence, abuse, and neglect to natural or human-caused disasters.  With support, children can recover from traumatic stress through a supportive caregiving system, access to effective treatments, and service systems that are trauma-informed,” says Paolo del Vecchio, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. “Our job is to improve the quality of community-based trauma treatment and services and increase access to effective trauma-focused interventions so that children and their families can get the help they need.”

Forty-one percent of children and youth experienced a physical assault in the last year, and 1 in 10 experienced an assault-related injury. More than 1 in 10 experienced maltreatment by a caregiver. According to the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study adverse childhood experiences increases the likelihood of adult strokes, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, early death – and lowered job performance and employment levels. Over half of the more than 17,000 participants in the study had been exposed to at least one adverse childhood experience such as abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction.  Adults who had six or more adverse experiences were likely to die 20 years sooner than those with none.

Since the enactment of the Children’s Health Act of 2000, NCTSI has been actively helping children and their families recover and thrive through the funding and support of a network of intervention developers and centers called the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (link is external) (NCTSN). In fact, since its inception, NCTSN has trained more than one million health professionals including mental health professionals, primary care providers, and other professionals in child-serving systems, consumers, and members of the public. Additionally, more than 200 grants have been awarded to 180 member centers providing trauma treatment to thousands, and these centers have been able to provide evidence-based treatment to hundreds of thousands of children, adolescents, and their families.

  • To view NCTSI’s PSAs and learn more about NCTSI, visit www.samhsa.gov/child-trauma.
  • For more information, contact the SAMHSA Press Office at 240-276-2130.

Check out the updated CHDI website for children's mental health

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Newly designed website connects parents to information and local resources; provides free training for health and child care professionals in Connecticut

ctwebsiteThe newly designed KidsMentalHealthInfo.com website connects parents and professionals working with young children in Connecticut to information, training and resources on children's mental health. The mobile-friendly site features new training sections for professionals and recently translated Spanish-language content for parents on the critical, but often overlooked issue of infant and early childhood mental health.

The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc. (CHDI) initially developed www.kidsmentalhealthinfo.com in 2010 to serve as a free, comprehensive resource on children's mental health for parents and caregivers. The site redesign and the development of the provider training sections were made possible by a grant from the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) as part of their ongoing work to build an early childhood workforce trained and skilled in infant mental health.

  • "A knowledgeable workforce is key in identifying and addressing the mental health needs of our youngest children," said OEC Commissioner, Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor. "The redesigned website gives early childhood professionals the valuable resources they need to better serve young children and their families."  

New provider sections include the following:

  • Early Care and Education Providers: free training information, videos and important links to help providers promote social and emotional learning in the young children they serve
  • Pediatricians: free online training modules on Infant Mental Health and Maternal Mental Health, which include opportunities for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit and participation in Maintenance of Certification (quality improvement) projects through Connecticut Children's Medical Center

The expanded section for parents and caregivers is available in both English and Spanish. It is designed to answer questions and concerns about children's behavior and mental health and covers:

  • Tips to promote children's social and emotional development from birth
  • How can parents and caregivers know if their child needs help
  • Where to get help in Connecticut
  • Special sections on child trauma, infant/early childhood and school-based mental health
  • Local and national resources and publications
  • Mental health providers in Connecticut offering evidence-based treatment (TF-CBT list available, full searchable database coming soon)

For more information, visit www.kidsmentalhealthinfo.com and www.chdi.org or contact Julie Tacinelli [tacinelli@uchc.edu], 860-679-1534 or Cindy Langer [langer@uchc.edu], 860-679-1538.

DBASSE launches search for new Director of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families

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The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) have begun a nationwide search for a Director to lead the activities of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families (BCYF).

BCYF brings a multidisciplinary and evidence-based perspective to bear on the development of policies and programs for children, youth, and families, drawing upon the collective knowledge and analytic tools of the behavioral, health and social sciences. The BCYF director is responsible for the development, communication, and evaluation of projects under the board, and the ongoing management of BCYF operations.

Statement by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell on the Affordable Care Act

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June 25, 2015

Today’s Supreme Court decision confirms that the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits are available to all eligible Americans no matter where they live. Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia can continue to rely on the security and peace of mind that come with affordable, quality health care coverage.

Over six million Americans and their families will sleep easier knowing they will still be able to afford health coverage. Millions more won’t have to worry about an upward spiral in their premiums because of today’s decision, even if they didn’t buy their insurance through the Marketplace. And the law’s financial assistance will be available in the next open enrollment so that others can benefit as well.

The Affordable Care Act is working to improve access, affordability and quality.

That is the story I hear as I travel across this country. People’s lives have been changed and even saved because they have health insurance—many for the first time. They have coverage that can keep them healthy and provide quality care when they are sick.

The Affordable Care Act also strengthens protections for almost every American with health insurance. People with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage or charged higher premiums. Critical preventive services, like immunizations and certain cancer screenings, are available at no additional cost. Since parents can keep their children on their health insurance policies up to age 26, young Americans can stay in school or find their first job without worrying about their coverage. And your health premiums can no longer be higher just because you are a woman.

I hope that this positive decision will do what the American people want us to do -- focus on the substance and turn to building on the progress we have made. They want us to move forward to provide more Americans with affordable access to quality coverage and create a health care system that improves the quality of care and spends our dollars more wisely.

Better Days - A Fresh Approach for Developing Effective Coping Methods

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Another fantastic International Bipolar Foundation webinar ready to be placed on your calendar!

  • Webinar: Better Days - A Fresh Approach for Developing Effective Coping Methods with Craig Lewis and Dr. Jamie Marich
  • July 8th, 2015 at 9:00 am PT
  • Space is limited, reserve your Webinar seat now.

In this webinar, Craig Lewis and Jamie Marich, will be discussing the reality that we all possess the ability to develop more effective coping methods. We honor that each person has a wealth of knowledge and self-expertise, that when tapped into, can radically improve the quality of our lives for the better. This is the 'Better Days' approach - that each person is the expert on themselves and therefore knows what sets them off, identifying what has successfully worked for them in dealing with the triggers they face, and accordingly, identifying what reactions that they may have had in the past, to those triggers that have resulted in continued disruption to their lives. Each of us has a choice, and this choice is the key to increased degrees of happiness, peace and life satisfaction. You are the expert on you and this is to be honored, valued, nurtured and respected.

You are one who can figure out how to best cope with your struggles and triggers, etc, by honoring your personal lived experience, knowledge and self-expertise. 'Better Days' can become part of your life, and without any question; with hard work, effort and time, the life you want can become yours.

craigCraig Lewis is a Certified Peer Specialist living and working in Massachusetts. Craig has authored and published the coping skills guide, Better Days - A Mental Health Recovery Workbook. Craig based the Better Days workbook on his personal life and recovery, and every page has been used successfully in peer support group settings.

dr.Dr.Jamie Marich Jamie Marich's friends and colleagues describe her as a renaissance woman. A dancer, musician, performer, writer, recovery ambassador, and clinical counselor, Marich unites these elements of her experience to achieve an ultimate mission: bringing the art and joy of healing to others. Marich travels internationally speaking on topics related to EMDR, trauma, addiction, and mindfulness while maintaining a private practice (Mindful Ohio) in her home base of Warren, OH.

National Council provides self-assessment for State Planning Grant applicants

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Ah yes, we continue to marvel at Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO, National Council for Behavioral Health. She is constantly thinking up strategies to make life easier for behavioral health providers and we are just about convinced she never sleeps. Case in point - We received this wonderful email in the middle of the night from her reminding all of us that the State Planning Grant applications are due in six weeks. But Linda doesn't just remind, she provides (what else) an amazingly clear self-assessment that you can use to make sure you are up to snuff.

Here ya go, and get some sleep, Rosenberg!

  • From the desk of Linda Rosenberg
    Tick tock. Six weeks to go until State Planning Grant applications are due for states to move forward with Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, and, I believe, six weeks until we enter a New World Order for specialty behavioral health care.

    Now we can show you what that means and where to find the checklist: Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. For the first time in two generations, our country has a common definition for a comprehensive behavioral health provider, and it is going to change the way that organizations deliver care. Wondering if you measure up? Use a self-assessment tool to objectively measure yourself against SAMHSA’s criteria.

    The “six weeks until the New World Order” in the title of this post is hyperbole, of course – it’s six weeks to go until August 5th when state planning grant applications are due to SAMHSA. From there we move on to the year-long planning phase, out of which eight states will be selected to participate in the demonstration program. 

A challenge to unleash the power of prevention

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Press release - Institute of Medicine

Prevention is the best investment we can make in behavioral health—and the time to make it is now. Every day, across America, behavioral health problems in childhood and adolescence take a heavy toll on millions of lives. These problems cause deep, often long-term damage to young people, families, schools, and communities. They erode the social con-tract that one generation makes with another to equip its young people for a bright future.Behavioral health problems range widely from anxiety and depression to alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse; delinquent and violent behavior; dropping out of school; and risky sexual activity and unwanted pregnancies. Behavioral health is defined so broadly because many of these problems share risk factors and solutions. Preventing one problem often reduces another, or several others. For decades, the approach to behavioral health problems was to treat them one at a time and only after they were identified—at a high and ongoing price. The cost of treatment services and lost productivity attributed to depression, conduct disorder, and sub-stance abuse alone are estimated at $247 billion per year. Other losses—in lifetimes of compromised potential, the fraying of our social fabric, and the diminishment of our nation’s future—are incalculable.

Unleashing the power of prevention

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Press release - Institute of Medicine

Every day across America, behavioral health problems in childhood and adolescence, from anxiety to violence, take a heavy toll on millions of lives. For decades the approach to these problems has been to treat them only after they’ve been identified—at a high and ongoing cost to young people, families, entire communities, and our nation. Now we have a 30-year body of research and more than 50 programs showing that behavioral health problems can be prevented. This critical mass of prevention science is converging with growing interest in prevention across health care, education, child psychiatry, child welfare, and juvenile justice. Together, we stand at the threshold of a new age of prevention. The challenge now is to mobilize across disciplines and communities to unleash the power of prevention on a nationwide scale. We propose a grand challenge that will advance the policies, programs, funding, and workforce preparation needed to promote behavioral health and prevent behavioral health problems among all young people—including those at greatest disadvantage or risk, from birth through age 24. Within a decade, we can reduce the incidence and prevalence of behavioral health problems in this population by 20 percent from current levels through widespread policies and programs that will serve millions and save billions. Prevention is the best investment we can make, and the time to make it is now.

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