System of Care Expansion Grants Available!

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Application Due Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $3 million per year for state applicants; up to $1 million for political subdivisions of states, territories, Indian or tribal organizations.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2017 Cooperative Agreements for the Expansion and Sustainability of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances (Short title: System of Care (SOC) Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements). 

American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) Communities Planning Grants Available!

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Application Due Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $418,000 per year

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2017 Planning and Developing Infrastructure to Improve the Mental Health and Wellness of Children, Youth and Families in American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) Communities (Short Title: Circles of Care VII) grants. The purpose of this program is to provide tribal and urban indian communities with tools and resources to plan and design a holistic,...

New Law Will Expand Mental Health Services For Low-Income Californians

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~ By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News ~

The staff of Clinica Sierra Vista, which has health centers throughout a vast swath of central California, screened its mostly low-income patients last year for mental health needs and determined that nearly 30 percent suffered from depression, anxiety or alcoholism.

Christopher Reilly, Sierra Vista’s chief of behavioral health services, said he was concerned about the high percentage of patients afflicted, but even more so about the clinic’s ability to treat them.

That’s in part because at health centers like Clinica Sierra Vista, a large group of mental health providers are excluded from reimbursement by Medi-Cal, the government program for low-income Californians. But that will soon change. Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a law allowing federally funded health centers and rural clinics to bill Medi-Cal for the services of licensed marriage and family therapists.

“I am ecstatic that this passed,” Reilly said. “It means a lot more people are going to get attention for their behavioral health needs a lot earlier.”

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, is designed to address gaps in mental health care, particularly in rural areas where recruiting and retaining behavioral health providers is a challenge. Under the current law, clinics hire licensed clinical social workers and psychologists for their Medi-Cal patients, but they often can’t find enough to meet their needs. Many clinics don’t provide behavioral health services at all.

About 40,000 marriage and family therapists are licensed in the state, compared to about 22,000 social workers and 21,000 psychologists, according to a state analysis of the legislation, Assembly Bill 1863.

Nationwide, most states allow federally funded health centers to bill for licensed psychologists and social workers but not marriage and family therapists, according to a 2011 report by the National Association of Community Health Centers. According to the association, the decision is made by states and by individual community health centers.

Generally, more than 70 percent of health centers across the country currently offer some sort of behavioral health services — and there has been a significant increase over the past 15 years, according to the association. Many centers are also trying to integrate mental and physical health care, including by screening patients for depression during their primary care visits.

Sierra Vista’s Reilly, who himself is a marriage and family therapist, said he expects another benefit from the law: less reliance on medication. Instead of simply being referred to doctors for prescriptions, the patients will be able to have regular counseling. Often, Reilly noted, patients’ depression or anxiety stems from family problems, domestic violence or substance use. Marriage and family therapists can help with those situations, he said.

Access to mental health services has long been a challenge in California, especially for low-income residents. In 2014, millions more Californians became eligible for Medi-Cal and for mental health services under the Affordable Care Act. That put even more pressure on the system.

The new law signed by the governor affects nearly 1,000 federally-funded and rural health clinics, according to the state analysis. The clinics accept patients regardless of their ability to pay and rely heavily on Medi-Cal reimbursements.

One of them, OLE Health, treats about 25,000 patients each year in Napa. CEO Tanir Ami said it’s been a challenge to find enough social workers to treat patients, many of whom have depression and anxiety, often exacerbated by poverty and inadequate housing.

“Now we get to recruit from a whole other pool of qualified candidates,” Ami said. “I am hoping it will make it exponentially easier to find the workforce we need.”

Gov. Brown vetoed a similar bill last year. The bill’s author, Assemblyman Jim Wood, (D-Healdsburg), said the governor had been concerned about its cost. But this year, Wood said he and the bill’s supporters convinced Brown that providing more mental health services could actually reduce health care costs.

“If you get people the behavioral health they need, you potentially keep them out of emergency rooms, which is a huge savings,” Wood said.

The bill was sponsored by CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates, an arm of the California Primary Care Association, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. The California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the California Psychological Association opposed it.

Caitlin Baird Wins National Gary Blau Professional of the Year Award

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caitlin award
With so much progress to be made in promoting youth voice, we don't always take the time to celebrate the good that is done each and every day by incredible youth advocates working to redefine what youth voice looks like on the front line of mental health service delivery.

Please join Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon in congratulating our Peer Services Manager, Caitlin Baird for receiving the National Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year Award! This prestigious national award, named after the current Chief of SAMHSA’s Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, recognizes one professional for their outstanding and continued support of youth voice as evidenced by their efforts to ensure the full integration of youth voice into their work. 

Caitlin and Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon were recognized in front of hundreds of the nation’s top leaders in Wraparound and Children’s Mental Health at the National Wraparound Initiative’s 2nd Annual National Wraparound Academy in Washington D.C. This honor is reserved for one of the tens of thousands of outstanding Wraparound professionals across the country. The award is a testament to Caitlin's incredible passion for and dedication to the young people of Oregon. Caitlin was quick to point out, that this award would not be possible without the support of our contractors and donors and the courageous youth who fight to survive and live more successful lives every day. In response to the award, her comment was: "I am very humbled to be honored with this award, and it is a privilege to work with dedicated community partners who are committed to system change."

Caitlin has been a staunch advocate for young adults and system improvement for many years. She continues to deliver what Bob Lieberman Executive Director of Kairos calls "YMO's Brand of Disruptive Innovation"  in her system-changing peer work. We could not be more proud of Caitlin not only for receiving this honor but for her excellence day-to-day when no one is looking. In these private moments, Caitlin doesn’t hesitate to choose the more difficult, work-intensive path in order to help a young person survive. 

Please join me in congratulating Caitlin by replying to this message, we will be present them to her during a celebration to later this month!

Let's keep showing the country that Oregon is second to none in its youth serving systems!

Proudly and with gratitude,

Martin Rafferty, Founder and Executive Director, Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon.

Building a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System – The Connecticut Collaborative on Effective Practices for Trauma (CONCEPT)

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Child trauma
The majority of children involved in child welfare have been exposed to trauma. In Connecticut, these children are now routinely screened for trauma exposure and connected to evidence-based interventions.

CHDI's latest Issue Brief highlights how Connecticut transformed its child welfare system over the past five years to be more trauma-informed through the Connecticut Collaborative on Effective Practices for Trauma (CONCEPT) initiative.

KnKt'd Behavioral Health One of 10 Startups in 2016 Health Wildcatters Class

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DALLAS -- The 2016 Health Wildcatters accelerator class has been revealed, and among the 10 healthcare startups chosen is KnKt'd Behavioral Health.

Health Wildcatters is an accelerator that helps fund and mentor young healthcare startups, and accepts only 5 to 7 percent of the companies that apply. It is a leading healthcare accelerator program in the U.S. and is physician-led. Startups in the accelerator get access to a list of more than 100 high-level business mentors, one of the biggest healthcare markets in the U.S., untold amounts of potential follow-on investment and more collective wisdom than one could ever dream of.

KnKt'd Behavioral Health is an app that enables care providers to connect instantaneously with their client's wellness between appointments. They can track clients' health through questions and journals, and clients in need of help can test coping methods the app suggests or message their provider, effectively extending treatment out of the office, in-between appointments into people's everyday lives.

KnKt'd Co-Founder and CEO Matthew Holland is currently in Dallas, Texas, one of the biggest healthcare markets in the U.S., and will be there for the next 3 months. He will be bringing in team members periodically to immerse themselves in the culture, knowledge and many benefits awarded in this silver tier accelerator program.

From 100s of healthcare start-ups, Health Wildcatters whittled its list of applicants to the top 18. Then, with one quick pitch from each on a hot summer day, the final 10 of the 2016 class were chosen.

To participate, Holland left his family at home in Salem, Oregon. He'll be away from home for 3 months to grow his business and be co-locating his company time between the two states for the foreseeable future. Holland says, "We are super excited, jazzed and elated to be here and couldn't be more proud of the product and the whole team!"

New York Times Explores The Power of Perception And Race - #HereisMyAmerica

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~ Bayeté Ross Smith for The New York Times and POV ~ beyett
The portraits above show me in a variety of different clothing, all of it my own. On any given day, you might encounter me in one form or another.

It’s all part of a larger series I created, which also involved people of different backgrounds and genders. In every case, the facial expressions and lighting stay the same; all that changes is the subject’s clothing.

So the question is: What personal preconceptions do you, or any viewer, project onto me? Or others?

As an artist – now embedded at The New York Times with Race/Related in a collaboration with the independent documentary showcase POV – I’ve often tried to explore issues of identity and why we are drawn to certain visual cues, and repelled or confused by others.

Our Kind of People, which included these self-portraits, was an effort to explore perception and allow viewers to reflect on their own preconceptions. Sometimes we project our own personal notions onto individuals; sometimes onto entire communities.

Black Americans in particular tend to be defined by those among us who are struggling the most, as opposed to those of us who are doing well. Donald J. Trump, for example, has drawn scrutiny recently for reducing the black experience to poverty, lack of education and violence.

But this issue transcends Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or any other politician. It also transcends black Americans. In media, in marketing and in life, it’s all too common to see large, multifaceted groups of people defined by a single narrative.

#HereIsMyAmerica — a project we’re launching here and on Instagram — is an attempt to counter that simplistic approach. And we need your help.

We’re inviting you to help build a more nuanced national portrait. What do you want to show us or tell us about your America that politicians and much of the public do not fully see or grasp?

Please post your photos and videos to Instagram (and Twitter or Facebook) with the tag #HereIsMyAmerica. We’ll be in touch if your contribution is selected for our gallery of the strongest imagery that broadens the national conversation about race and ethnicity. (It may end up looking a little like this.)

To get the project started, I also photographed and interviewed a range of black Americans who live what might be considered “prominent” lives.

These people are not proverbial unicorns. They are a small selection of people from different backgrounds, drawn from a larger percentage of black Americans who are intellectual, excelling, productive, contributing members of our society.

These are their portraits and comments, lightly edited and condensed, about their lives and how we can progress together toward a country of more mutual understanding and prosperity. We hope you’ll join in.

  • Get involved here.

National Alliance on Mental Illness and The Jed Foundation Release "Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health"

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A Guide for Families on Starting a Conversation about Mental Health

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), in partnership with The Jed Foundation (JED), today released "Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health," a guide to help students and parents talk about mental health.

Approximately 75% of mental health conditions begin by age 24, making college a critical time, especially as students transition away from their support systems. With one in five young adults living with a mental health condition and suicide ranking as the second leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds, it is vital to talk about mental health before students leave for college. The guide contains information about mental health, privacy laws and how students can keep their parents informed.

"College is an incredible time in a young adult's life, but also a stressful time when the vast majority of mental illnesses first appear. Yet, when students prepare to go off to college, they often get vaccines and families talk about nutrition or exercise, but skip addressing mental health needs," said Mary Giliberti, J.D., NAMI Chief Executive Officer. "Reading this guide, having conversations together and knowing where to go for help are important steps to keep students mentally well and avoid tragedy from emerging mental illnesses."

Key takeaways:

- Mental health conditions are common. One in five young adults will experience a mental health condition during their college years. When facing a mental illness, students should know they are not alone.

- There are warning signs. Parents and students should learn how to recognize the warning signs of mental illness in themselves and in others before it's too late. Being informed can save lives.

- Seek help when you need it. Students should be aware of the mental health resources and care options available to them— for example, most colleges have health clinics on campus—and should not hesitate to ask for help.

- Know the laws. Health privacy laws prevent mental health professionals from sharing sensitive information with families. Having a support system that is aware and involved will better enable students to overcome mental health challenges.

"Going to college is a major life milestone and time of significant change for students and their families," said John MacPhee, JED Chief Executive Officer. "This guide will help students and parents better prepare for this transition by helping them understand and discuss issues related to college student mental health and establish a plan to address potential concerns together."

Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health is a resource for students and parents to start this important conversation. While it may be hard to initiate, it can make all the difference. 

  • Download the guide here.

Announcing, Third International PAX Partner Training

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November 2-4, 2016–Dayton, Ohio • SAVE THE DATE

paxHaving PAX Partners dramatically improves the implementation and results of PAX GBG–that means significantly increasing the protective elements of PAX, which have been shown to reduce substance abuse or involvement in violent crimes. With PAX Partner training, PAX Partners are able to support teachers with in-depth knowledge and skills to develop Tiered Support for children with higher needs. Research in adult learning indicates that partner-model interventions similar to PAX GBG have better implementation and results as well as improved staff outcome among implementers.

Registration for the 2016 PAX Partner Training includes:

  • 4th Edition PAX Good Behavior Game Manual
  • 1st Edition Partner Workbook
  • 1-year subscription to online videos and PAX Partnering materials
  • 3-day training (possible CEU/Grad Credit for additional cost)

  • Partnering PAX Kernels and Cues
  • Brain and Behavioral Science of PAX
  • Using PAX for RTI and PBIS
  • Skills to Create Nurturing Environments and Increase Self-Regulation
  • Morning coffee, lunch and afternoon snacks
  • (Breakfast and dinner on your own)
  • Dinner reception at Wright State University
  • $20 PAX Bucks to use with attending vendors

Registration Fee:
$1950 per person
$1500 per person for returning PAX Partners, and for groups of three or more

  • Sign Up Now
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