National Council accepting nominations for 2015 Advocacy Leadership Award

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Hey Network faithful, take note – the National Behavioral Health Council is accepting nominations for
the 2015 Advocacy Leadership Awards, to recognize individuals and organizations for their achievements in community, state and federal advocacy and their public policy successes to expand access to services and supports for persons with mental illnesses and addictions.

Last year, Network Advisory Council member and founder of the International Bipolar Foundation, Muffy Walker, was one of the esteemed recipients of the Advocacy Leadership Award. Look around Network faithful, we are a collection of amazing advocates. Let's keep the Network love flowing at full throttle. The deadline for nominations is November 19th so get out the old #2 pencil and start to scribblin'! 

Here is the announcement from the National Council:

November 3, 2014 (Washington, DC) — The National for Behavioral Health (National Council) is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Advocacy Leadership Awards, supported by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, to recognize individuals and organizations for their achievements in community, state and federal advocacy and their public policy successes to expand access to services and supports for persons with mental illnesses and addictions.

Nominations are accepted in three categories:

  • Individual Achievement in Advocacy: Recognizing an advocate engaged in outstanding work in behavioral health policy and legislative or regulatory advocacy. 
  • Organizational Achievement in Advocacy: Recognizing a behavioral health organization that achieved significant results through advocacy for local, state or federal legislation, regulations or other public policies that increase access to mental health and addiction treatment services.
  • Elected Official Service in Advocacy: Recognizing a state or local elected official (e.g., governor, mayor, county board official, elected attorney general) who promoted public policies that increase access to mental health and addiction treatment services.

The Advocacy Leadership Awards are a part of the National Council Awards of Excellence that incorporate 17 categories in total. All nominations are accepted through an online submission process and must be completed by November 19, 2014.  

Honorees receive $10,000 to be donated to a nonprofit of their choice and are recognized at the Celebration of Excellence event during the 2015 National Council Conference in Orlando, FL (travel expenses paid). 

Advocacy Leadership Award honorees in 2014 included Mary Ruiz of Manatee Glens in Bradenton, Florida; the Texas Council of Community Centers; and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Read about all 2014 honorees.

2015 Open Enrollment season begins in 8 days!

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Are you involved with efforts to assist Americans in enrolling in health care coverage? If so, this CMS webinar is for you!

2015 Open Enrollment webinar announcement
Get ready, we are 8 days away from the 2015 Open Enrollment season!  There is a lot to get done to prepare over the coming weeks. 

We welcome you to join us for the Champion webinar: Preparing for 2015 Open Enrollment-Review of New Resources and Updates on Wednesday, November12th. With enrollment less than 5 days away, the webinar will provide you with the most up-to-date information and resources for open enrollment. Please email us with any specific questions or resources that you would like us to cover. You can submit questions in advance to

  • WhenWednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. ET
  • How: Webinar link:  
    Participant Number: (800) 837-1935
    Conference ID:            30220953

HRSA awards $51.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support mental health and substance abuse treatment

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This year, more than 400 Health Centers nationwide have received HHS funding to add or expand access to mental health and substance abuse services.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., today announced $51.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support 210 health centers in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to establish or expand behavioral health services for nearly 440,000 people nationwide.  Earlier this year, HHS awarded $54.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding for 223 other health centers to expand behavioral health services. Health centers use these new funds to hire new mental health professionals, add mental health and substance use disorder health services, and employ integrated models of primary care.

“Today’s awards will give health centers the ability to improve access and care for individuals in need of mental health services,” said HRSA Administrator Wakefield. “These funds support the Administration’s focus on improving recognition of and responding to the mental health needs of people nationwide.”

The Affordable Care Act expands mental health and substance use disorder benefits and federal parity protections for approximately 60 million Americans. HHS is also supporting health centers' efforts to integrate behavioral health services into primary care.

Today, nearly 1,300 health centers operate more than 9,200 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21.7 million patients in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. In 2013, health centers saw over 1.2 million behavioral health patients.

Learn more:

The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit

SAMHSA's GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation seeks communities to participate in trauma-informed trainings

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SAMHSA's GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation is soliciting applications from communities interested in its How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses training. The target audiences for this training are community-based criminal justice system professionals, including police, community corrections (probation, parole, and pre-trial services officers), court personnel, and other human service providers.

The GAINS Center will offer the training events free of charge to 10 selected communities between February 2015 and August 2015. Since the purpose of this training initiative is to offer targeted technical assistance and training to prepared communities in the field, there are no fees for registration, tuition, or materials associated with these trainings. Applications due December 5, 2014. 

Know It 2 Own It: Teaching and learning about disability rights

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ED launched the Know It 2 Own It campaign to encourage Americans to learn more about the disability rights movement and history that led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July of 1990. Over the next year, the campaign will be posting monthly blogs featuring people who participated in and led the disability rights movement, as well as young adults and students working to make a difference in their communities.

SAMHSA provides up to $747 million to promote youth mental and substance use disorder prevention programs

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded up to $747 million in funding to programs for preventing mental and substance use disorders among children and youth. These programs provide crucial mental and substance use disorder prevention services in communities throughout the nation by supporting community coalitions and other universal and targeted prevention approaches. 

The enhanced and expanded services created through this program address a wide array of youth-related behavioral health concerns including suicide prevention, underage drinking, and other substance use prevention efforts. These programs are also designed to expand the nation’s behavioral health workforce, and build its capacity to address the needs of underserved populations and people with specialized needs. 

Some of these programs were developed as part of the Obama Administration’s “Now is the Time” initiative to expand and improve behavioral health services to children and youth across many critical areas. These programs work to ensure that children and youth in need of behavioral health services receive help as early as possible.

  • “It is essential that we do everything possible to help prevent young people from developing mental and substance use disorders,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “These prevention programs are some of the most important investments we can make in our nation’s future, because they are helping to shape a new generation of healthy, resilient, and productive Americans.”

The grant programs included in this SAMHSA effort are:

  • The Cooperative Agreements for State-Sponsored Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention (State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention Cooperative Agreements).
  • Cooperative Agreements for Tribal Behavioral Health (Native Connections).
  • PPHF-2014 Campus Suicide Prevention Grant
  • Cooperative Agreements to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (National Strategy Grants).
  • Now is the Time” Project AWARE State Educational Agency Grants (NITT AWARE- SEA).
  • Now is the Time” Project AWARE Local Educational Agency Grants (NITT AWARE- LEA).
  • Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) Program Using New Media to Prevent Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS for Populations at High Risk (SA & HIV/AIDS Prevention & New Media).
  • Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program (funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, administered by SAMHSA).
  • Drug-Free Communities Mentoring Program (funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, administered by SAMHSA).
  • Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success State and Tribal Initiative (SPF-PFS).
  • Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations (CBO) (MSI CBO).
  • Cooperative Agreement for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health (HBCU-CFE).

The actual award amounts may vary, depending on the availability of funds.

For more information on SAMHSA grants, visit or the SAMHSA Press Office at 240-276-2130.

Straightjacket Memories

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The International Bipolar Foundation is out with another great webinar that is coming up soon. Check it out Network faithful!

Bipolar disorder is becoming more prevalent in our society today.  Despite the growing knowledge of it's effects, this disorder is still not recognized for what it should be; a physical disorder.  Most people label those of us that struggle with bipolar as mentally unstable thus dismissing this disorder as a true ailment that affects our daily lives.  I will discuss how people can deal with bipolar disorder despite the stigmas that are out there.  I use a Christian perspective on the disorder and how it affects people of faith, overcoming the perceptions that others have of bipolar disorder.

About the presenter
jonJonathan Nelson is an Elementary Physical Education teacher and Head Boy's Basketball Coach in Iowa, with a Master's degree in Education. He has been a teacher for 13 years and a basketball coach for 15 years. He is married to his wife Alicia, and has three beautiful girls.  Jonathan struggled for many years with depression but continued to go undiagnosed figuring it was a spiritual issue or that he just was not a good husband or father.  After years of frustration, he was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008.  Since that time, his life has turned around and he has been able to overcome the difficulties associated with bipolar disorder.  With the help of his family, he was able to write the book Straightjacket Memories and share his life story.  

Understanding the continuum of informal and formal youth & young adult peer support

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 The Georgetown National TA Center is launching an exciting webinar series called "Building the Foundation for a Youth MOVEment of Peer Support." This series will cover important fundamental strategies to create better outcomes for young adults with behavioral health concerns. Check it out Network faithful!

  • Webinar: Understanding the Continuum of Informal and Formal Youth & Young Adult Peer Support
    Thursday December 4, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST
    Add to Calendar 
    (be sure to open the calendar invite for further instructions on how to register)
  • Young adult peer support is value added to the community based service array for youth and young adult struggling with mental health challenges. Peer support can be provided in a variety of ways along the continuum of informal social group settings to individual one-to-one service model. This webinar showcases efforts in the field that have effectively met the needs of youth and young adults. Youth MOVE National, utilizing literature from the field and application along the continuum, offers a framework for communities to follow when developing community based peer to peer opportunities.
  • Facilitators
    Gwen White, Senior Policy Associate, Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health
  • Presenters
    Brianne Masselli, Director Technical Assistance, Youth MOVE National
    Johanna Bergan, Interim Executive DirectorYouth MOVE National

Don't forget to add the following dates to your calendar so you can participate in the entire series!

  • December 11th, 1:00-2:00pm ET:  Open Discussion for Understanding the Continuum of Informal and Formal Youth & Young Adult Peer Support 
  • January 8, 2015, 1:00-2:30pm ET: Open Discussion for Supporting Youth and Young Adults in your Organization
  • February 5, 2015, 1:00-2:30pm ET: Open Discussion for Defining the Developmental Needs of Youth and Young Adult Peer Support 

National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families announces research fellowship program

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The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families has announced their Summer Research Fellowship program for 2015. The goal of this program is to attract, develop, and expand the pool of emerging scholars focused on studying issues concerning low-income and vulnerable Hispanic children and families across three priority areas—(1) poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, (2) healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, and (3) early care and education. This 12-week program is open to advanced Ph.D. students (third year or higher) and will provide selected graduate students with the opportunity to carry out policy-relevant research in an applied setting.

  • Click here for more information on how to apply. 
    Applications are due no later than January 14, 2015.

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless: A Model of Supportive Housing

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commonwealthFor 30 years, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has been working to integrate health care and housing services for the homeless based on the principle that managing serious mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders, and chronic medical conditions prevalent among the homeless requires safe housing.

Over the decades, the nonprofit has overseen the development of 1,600 housing units for homeless individuals and families in Denver and across the state, a significant portion of which are targeted to those in frail health whose recovery has been hindered by lack of consistent access to nutritious food, clean water, and a place to rest.

The coalition’s most recent and largest development—the Stout Street Health Center and Renaissance Stout Street Lofts—combines a 53,000-square-foot federally qualified health center for the homeless with 78 housing units (see video). The building in downtown Denver provides those housed in coalition developments and those that are still homeless with access to a continuum of health care services—including primary care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and dental and vision care—generally on a same-day basis...

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