A Focus on SAMHSA’s New Strategic Plan

Like any organization, from the largest corporation to the smallest grassroots advocacy group, our nation’s lead agency for behavioral health, SAMHSA, has a strategic plan to guide it. After more than 1,400 public comments and months of refinement, the latest version of that plan, Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015-2018 has been released.

In the latest Focus newsletter, CAFE TAC takes a look under the hood of this new guiding vision for our country’s approach to behavioral health. Find out what the common themes from those who commented to SAMHSA were, and what priorities made it into the final version. This is the document that will set the course for the lead behavioral health agency for years to come, and likely influence the evolution of behavioral health care nationwide, so it’s essential for everyone in the behavioral health community to know what
it includes! Check out the new Focus here.

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A Focus on Supported Employment

People with behavioral health needs can and do participate in the labor force. With the right supports, they can succeed in the workplace, and enjoy both the economic and the social benefits of employment. The key to helping people with lived experience to move into the workforce is Supported Employment, a system that empowers consumers to find and keep competitive, well-paying jobs in integrated settings.

In the latest Focus, CAFE TAC lists the components that a quality Supported Employment program should include. We also examine new evidence that shows that Supported Employment has lasting positive benefits. By abandoning the false assumption that people with behavioral health needs are permanently disabled and cannot work, and embracing recovery-based Supported Employment, the mental health system can save money, empower people, and deliver better outcomes. Read about it in our latest Focus!

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Watch a Keynote by Trauma Advocate Tonier “Neen” Cain

Tonier-Cain-keynoteTrauma survivor and fearless advocate Tonier “Neen” Cain, subject of the award winning film “Healing Neen,” delivered a keynote address at The 16th Annual Family Cafe on June 6th, 2014.

Ms. Cain began her journey to become a survivor, and to live with more hope than fear, when someone finally asked her, “What happened to you?” instead of “What’s wrong with you?” That’s when she came to understand the central role that trauma plays in shaping the way people relate to the world around them.

The impact of trauma is realized by every age group, race, ethnicity, socio-economic group, gender, community, and workforce. Ms. Cain’s experience illustrates the consequences that untreated trauma has on individuals and society at-large, including mental health problems, addiction,homelessness and incarceration.

Check out her inspiring keynote here.


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Peers as Professionals: Workplace Success

Click to launch presentationThe CAFE TA Center is pleased to present its newest online training,  Peers as Professionals: Workplace Success. There are many challenges for people with lived experience when it comes to engaging with the behavioral health workforce. Peer professionals want to remain true to the principles of recovery, help those they work with build on their strengths and drive their own care, and be treated as valued, competent team members by their colleagues.

CAFE TAC’s latest training, Peers as Professionals: Workplace Success, offers advice for peers in every role, including paid peer support specialists, peer volunteers, committee or council members and supervisors. The training is conveniently organized into modules, so viewers can select the portions that are most relevant to their role. It coves a wide range of topics, including ethics, being a valued employee, working effectively in a team, understanding and explaining your role, staying true to peer support values, effective advocacy and communicating with supervisors. Check it out today!

This training is presented as a pre-recorded slide show with accompanying audio. To download or view the training in PDF format with a written transcription of the audio and thumbnail images, please click here.PDF icon


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Focus: A Policy Model for Campus Mental Health

On campuses across the country there is a growing consensus that the mental health of the student body must be a topic of open conversation. Many colleges and universities offer free, confidential counseling services, and the stigma associated with behavioral health is being challenged by student activists.

While the atmosphere surrounding campus mental health is changing, the issue of how to deal with students in crisis remains a sticking point. Administrators are caught between a desire to support students, and concerns regarding student safety and their own liability.

In the newest Focus newsletter, CAFE TAC examines a policy prescription from the Bazelon Center that offers a model for how to create a campus mental health system that promotes awareness and understanding of mental health, supports students through counseling and accommodations, and treats every individual student fairly. Does this model policy point the way forward for campus mental health? Find out in Focus 35: A Model Policy to Support Students with Behavioral Health Needs.

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