International Bipolar Foundation Receives 2016 Change Maker Award

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Congratulations to Muffy Walker, founder of the International Bipolar Foundation, for winning the 2016 Organization Change Maker Award!

Each year, the Child Mind Institute honors advocacy organizations and individuals who are making a difference in our shared quest for improved services and supports for individuals and families experiencing mental health challenges. 

We can't think of a better organization to receive this honor!

Learn more about all of the Change Maker Award winners here.

SAMHSA Offering Funding for Training Paraprofessionals to Work With Youth

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SAMHSA-HRSA Collaborative Grants

2016 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Paraprofessionals and Professionals Program

The 2016 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Paraprofessionals and Professionals Program is a collaborative grant that will provide funding during federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The BHWET program funds eligible behavioral health paraprofessional and professional training programs to develop and expand the substance use and mental health workforce. Special emphasis is on training to meet the needs of children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth at risk for developing or who have a recognized behavioral health disorder.

Grant Eligibility
Applications for the grant are due by July 1, 2016. Eligible applicants include:

  • Behavioral paraprofessional certificate training programs and peer paraprofessional certificate training programs.
  • Accredited masters-level schools and programs of psychology, marriage and family therapy, as well as psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners and counselors, including licensed professional counselors and school counselors. Programs must require a pre-degree, clinical field placement in behavioral health as part of the training, and a prerequisite for graduation.
  • American Psychological Association (APA) accredited doctoral-level internships in health service psychology.

Given the current number of BHWET-supported schools and programs of social work and to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of total FY 2016 funds across the behavioral health continuum from paraprofessionals to professionals, current BHWET recipients are not eligible to apply. Schools and programs of social work are also not eligible to apply.

A call to discuss grant eligibilities and funding awards is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

  • Call-in Number: 1-888-220-3085 
  • Participant Code: 5404141 
  • Adobe Connect Link:
  • Instant replay will be available through July 24, 2016, 10:59 p.m. Central Time by calling 1-800-337-5668 with the passcode 9744.

Apply for the Grant Today

New Report Recommends Strategies Linking Literacy and Social-Emotional Skills to Improve Children's Success in School

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Experts agree that there is a deep connection between social-emotional development and literacy in children's early school success including achieving reading proficiency in the early grades. Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a strong predictor of high school graduation and later student success. In Connecticut, 57 percent of 4th graders, including 80 percent of low-income children, and 85 percent of African-American children failed to achieve reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade posing serious consequences for their future.

"To effectively address the achievement gap in Connecticut and boost school-age reading proficiency rates, we need to start early with integrated strategies that support infant and early childhood social-emotional and language development," according to Judith Meyers, President and CEO of CHDI.

In 2014, nine communities in Connecticut explored researched-based strategies to link supports for social-emotional and literacy skills. The effort was part of the Connecticut Peer Learning Pilot on Social-Emotional Development and Early Literacy, developed and led by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, in partnership with the National Center for Children in Poverty and with support from the Irving Harris Foundation and others. Participating community teams represented Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund Discovery Initiative coalitions from Bridgeport, Colchester, Danbury, Enfield, Norwalk, Torrington, Vernon, West Hartford, and Winchester.

connecting social and emotionalThe Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) recently released a report based on the Connecticut Peer Learning Pilot. The report, IMPACTConnecting Social and Emotional Health and Literacy: Critical for Early School Success, explores the interplay between young children's social-emotional development and early literacy and language skills, elevates awareness of the connections between these essential competencies, and seeks to accelerate actions by states and communities to advance children's readiness for school and successful educational achievement.

"Early cognitive and social-emotional skills are interactive and woven together - like strands of a rope," notes Ann Rosewater, lead author of the report and co-leader of the Connecticut Peer Learning Pilot on Social-Emotional Development and Early Literacy. "The strategies and tools in this report will help communities implement approaches to align children's literacy and social-emotional health."

  • Click here for the full report.  
  • For more detailed information on implementing successful strategies for early school success, visit
  • For media questions, contact Julie Tacinelli at or 860-679-1534.

The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI), a subsidiary of the Children's Fund of Connecticut, is a not-for-profit organization established to promote and maximize the healthy physical, behavioral, emotional, cognitive and social development of children throughout Connecticut. CHDI works to ensure that children in Connecticut, particularly those who are disadvantaged, will have access to and make use of a comprehensive, effective, community-based health and mental health care system.

Building Healthy Communities by Supporting the Needs of Children and Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances

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SAMHSA's Olmstead Initiative is pleased to announce our next national webinar, "Exploring the Social Determinants of Mental Health: Building Healthy Communities by Supporting the Needs of Children and Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances." This webinar will feature presentations from national, state and local level experts on:

  • Social determinants of mental health and the effects of adverse childhood experiences 
  • Opportunities for creating community level care that reduces the reliance on residential placements for children and youth.

Presenters Include:

  • Dr. Ruth Shim, Vice Chair, Education and Faculty Development, Department of Psychiatry, Lenox Hill Hospital, and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine 

    Dr. Michael Rauso, Division Chief, Los Angeles County - Department of Children and Family Services 

    A Representative from KVC Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., an agency recognized by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as a best-practice provider in children and family services. 

Find a Dentist For Your Kid (Who Accepts Medicaid & CHIP)

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This is just one of the many cool widgets you can add to your organizations website so that your followers can have easy access to health-related services that honor Medicaid and CHIP. 

A widget is a tool that can display data from one or more source and have it appear on other websites. The HRSA Data Warehouse (HDW) has created widgets to enable HRSA data to be displayed on any Web page, blog, or site.

After a widget is added to a website, there is no technical maintenance required – the data is updated automatically by the HDW according to our refresh schedule. Subscribe to the widget RSS feed for notices regarding new or enhanced widgets.

  • Check out the widget page here and be a part of making Medicaid and CHIP accessible for all!

National Wraparound Conference

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wrapconferenceJoin System of Care professionals and Wraparound experts and pioneers from across the U.S. and Canada for a conference that will empower individuals and partnerships, and provide an inclusive and dynamic forum to foster peer networks, share information, and build skills while facilitating interactive dialogue and discussion around the Wraparound Communities of Practice.

Innovation and Excellence in Wraparound

June 7-9, 2016
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront – Melbourne Beach, FL

Keynote Speakers:
Dr. John Vandenberg
Wraparound Pioneer and National Expert
Derek Clark,Former Foster Youth and Motivational Speaker, Author and “Rapping Dad”

Special Guest Presenters:
John Franz
Paper Boat Consulting
Pat MilesMiles Consulting
Dr. Karen ShmuklerAssistant Superintendent of Student Services in the Public Schools of Brookline, Massachusetts

Register Early to Save!
CEU’s Available

Early Registration Fee:
$395 through March 31, 2016

General Registration

Group Rate
Register 8 or more attendees throughout the early registration period and receive 10% off the registration fee by using code GROUP16NCFIE.

For additional information, visit

Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Say no to the Dakota Access Pipeline

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We, the Standing Rock Youth, oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through the Missouri and Cannon Ball River because it poses a serious threat to our water and our land. This campaign echoes our belief that together, we can protect our water and our future.

Join our mission for clean safe water by signing our petition urging the Army Corps of Engineer NOT to sign off on a construction permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. With YOUR help we can work to maintain and protect this sacred land. 

Presidential Proclamation - National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016

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~ From the White House Briefing Room ~


Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress.  Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need.  Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another -- and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us -- we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues.  This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve.

In the last 7 years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for more people across America.  The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in individual and small group markets, and expands mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, which are estimated to help more than

60 million Americans.  Nearly 15 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care.  And because of more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past 2 years.  Still, far too few Americans experiencing mental illnesses do not receive the care and treatment they need.  That is why my most recent Budget proposal includes a new half-billion dollar investment to improve access to mental health care, engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, and help ensure behavioral health care systems work for everyone.  

Our Nation has made strong advances in improving prevention, increasing early intervention, and expanding treatment of mental illnesses.  Earlier this year, I established a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, which aims to ensure that coverage for mental health benefits is comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care, improve understanding of the requirements of the law, and expand compliance with it.  Mental health should be treated as part of a person's overall health, and we must ensure individuals living with mental health conditions can get the treatment they need.  My Administration also continues to invest in science and research through the BRAIN initiative to enhance our understanding of the complexities of the human brain and to make it easier to diagnose and treat mental health disorders early. 

One of our most profound obligations as a Nation is to support the men and women in uniform who return home and continue fighting battles against mental illness.  Last year, I signed the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which fills critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses, increases peer support and outreach, and recruits more talented individuals to work on mental health issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  This law will make it easier for veterans to get the care they need when they need it.  All Americans, including service members, can get immediate assistance by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. 

During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well.  Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real.  Together, we can help everyone get the support they need to recover as they continue along the journey to get well.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month.  I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.


What is the Recommended Treatment for Young Children with ADHD?

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Children diagnosed with ADHD at an early age tend to have the most severe symptoms and benefit from early treatment.

About 2 million of the more than 6 million children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were diagnosed as young children aged 2-5 years. Children diagnosed with ADHD at an early age tend to have the most severe symptoms and benefit from early treatment. CDC’s latest Vital Signs report urges healthcare providers to refer parents of young children with ADHD for training in behavior therapy before prescribing medicine to treat the disorder. Learning and practicing behavior therapy requires time and effort, but it has lasting benefits for the child.

“Parents may feel overwhelmed with decisions about their child’s treatment for ADHD, but healthcare providers, therapists, and families can all work together to help the child thrive,” said Anne Schuchat, MD, Principal Deputy Director, CDC. “Parents of young children with ADHD may need support, and behavior therapy is an important first step. It has been shown to be as effective as medicine, but without the risk of side effects.” 

The recommended first treatment for  young children with ADHD is underused. Treatment types among young children with employer-sponsored insurance in clinical care for ADHD.

Together with the support of healthcare providers, parents can learn specific ways to improve their child’s behavior and keep their relationships strong. Parents can:

  • Talk with their child’s healthcare provider about the benefits of being trained in behavior therapy for their young child with ADHD.
  • Learn and use their strategies to support their young child with ADHD.

Healthcare providers can:

  • Follow the clinical guidelines for diagnoses and treatment of ADHD in young children.
  • Discuss with parents the benefits of behavior therapy and why they should consider getting training.
  • Identify parent training providers in your area and refer parents of young children with ADHD for training in behavior therapy before prescribing medicine.

To learn more, visit the Vital Signs ADHD in Young Children web page.

Announcing the 2016 School- Justice Partnerships Certificate Program

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Following the overwhelming success of the inaugural program, the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University‘s McCourt School of Public Policy is pleased to announce its second annual School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program! The application for the 2016 program is now open through June 17, 2016.  We invite you to join leaders and participant teams from around the country on the Georgetown campus for a week of intensive study from September 26-30, 2016.

The School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program was created by CJJR and the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and is designed to provide school and district staff, court professionals, juvenile justice, law enforcement, child welfare and other child serving leaders with the knowledge and understanding necessary to address the educational and related needs of children known to, or at risk of entering, the juvenile justice system. 

The curriculum focuses on school-based and cross-system policies and practices to promote ongoing school engagement, ensure re-engagement for students who have been disconnected, prevent unnecessary entry into the juvenile justice system and help schools and other child serving agencies work together to create environments that foster better academic and social outcomes for youth. The importance of family and youth engagement, culture change and leadership are also central themes throughout the Certificate Program. Upon completion of the program participants will apply what they have learned to develop a Capstone Project to initiate or enrich collaborative efforts to improve educational outcomes for youth in their home jurisdiction, and will be inducted into the prestigious CJJR Fellows Network. 

We encourage you to consider applying to the 2016 School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program and passing along information about this opportunity to your colleagues and partners. For more information, please visit CJJR's website, where you will find detailed information about the program, including curriculum and instructors, tuition and available subsidies for those with financial need, selection criteria and how to apply.

Applications are due by June 17, 2016.  Please direct questions to or call at (202) 687-4942. 

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