CAFE TAC News and Notes for July 27, 2016

This week marks the 26th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This landmark piece of legislation guaranteed that citizens with disabilities would have the same access to public spaces, rights in the workplace, and ability to access public transportation as their fellow Americans. And that includes Americans with psychiatric disabilities!

While 26 isn’t the kind of round number that typically brings about large celebrations and extra attention, this particular ADA anniversary is an important one to recognize. That’s because one of the essential rights that is protected by the ADA is the right to vote. In this critical election year, it is more important than ever that people with disabilities take advantage of that right, and make their voices heard at the ballot box!

With that in mind, CAFÉ TAC would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to register to vote this November. Depending on which state you live in, the rules and processes for voter registration differ. Visit this link to find out how to register in your state:

For additional disability voting resources, check out this document from the Southeast ADA Center:

The signing of the ADA in 1990 was an important landmark for people with disabilities that brought us essential rights, but those rights are only meaningful if we choose to exercise them. So please celebrate this 26th ADA Anniversary by making sure you are registered to vote, and that you know how to access the polls where you live!

Mental Health Legislation Unlikely to Move in 2016

Between the limited space on the Congressional calendar and the potential for contentious amendments, the chance of mental health reform legislation passing this year are dwindling.

Obamacare and Mental Health: An Unfinished Story

This Politico piece examines how mental health care has been impacted by health reform, and the factors that continue to frustrate the Affordable Care Act’s promises of mental health parity.

Criminal Justice Reform Will Fail If We Don’t Fix Mental Health Care Too

This opinion piece from a public defender in San Francisco’s Behavioral Health Court makes the case that without mental health reform, criminal just reform is impossible.

Watch Singer Demi Lovato Give a Brilliant Mental Health Message to the DNC

Singer and mental health advocate Demi Lovato used her appearance at this week’s Democratic National Convention to share her story, and highlight the need for better mental health services in the US.

Become a Member of the Team Developing the MHA National Peer Specialist (NCPS) Credential!

Mental Health America (MHA) is working in partnership with the Florida Certification Board (FCB) to develop and implement a national, accredited certification for whole health peer specialists that will set new standards in the field. This credential has been peer initiated, conceived, and developed, including peer staff at FCB.

The development of a new credential is a complex process. MHA established a national panel of subject matter experts, many of whom are accomplished leaders in the peer community to guide the development of the credential. The team has completed the Role Delineation Study, which resulted in the MHA NCPS core competencies and examination blueprint. Please download the MHA National Certified Peer Specialist RDS Report for detailed information

Mental Health America and the Florida Certification Board are beginning to develop the written examination for our new credential, the MHA National Certified Peer Specialist. We are preparing to launch an item writing training, item writing and item validation effort and we need subject matter experts who are willing to volunteer their valuable time and expertise as we develop the item bank for the NCPS credential. To limit financial impact, the FCB is planning a series of webinars and does not intend to hold any face-to-face meetings. If you are interested in becoming a part of this exciting project — or if you know someone who would be a fantastic MHA-NCPS item writer, please review and complete the MHA-FCB Item Writer Nomination Form by August 1, 2016.

“Listening to Orlando” Listening Sessions

As we undergo a major shift in our society, we in the LGBTQI community see and/or experience much death and pain. Ending the oppression of our community is an important part of the struggle to transform society.

This event invites the LGBTQI community to join free listening sessions that will give people a safe place to speak from their hearts and be heard, respected, and validated. The gatherings will provide a gentle and compassionate space that will serve as an antidote to the cruelty and hardness of the world we live in.

“Orlando reminded me just how vulnerable we remain as a community. With all of our recent accomplishments, we are still openly vulnerable to those who want to do us harm. May we stay strong, united, and vigilant.”—Iden Campbell McCollum

“Forty-nine individuals were celebrating the beauty of their lives when they were brutally murdered. Their deaths are a call for truth, reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, and the development of inclusive next steps that advance the safety and respect for everyone that are so desperately needed in our communities today.”—Lauren Spiro

The purpose of the sessions are to get un-numb by giving people a space to have a voice, speak from their heart, be heard, validated and respected. The gatherings also provide a safe and compassionate space which serves as a contradiction to the hardness of the world we live in.

There are two sets of calls, one for LGBTQI people and another for their allies. Here’s the schedule:

LISTENING TO ORLANDO CALLS FOR LGBTQI – July 20 & 27, 2016 (Wednesdays) from 8:00pm – 9:30pm ET & August 2 & 9, 2016 (Tuesdays) from 10:30am – 12pm ET. Join as many times as you would like! Co-facilitators: Iden Campbell McCollum and Lauren Spiro

LISTENING TO ORLANDO CALLS FOR ALLIES OF LGBTQI – July 30, 2016 (Saturday) from 10:30am – 12pm ET & August 11, 2016 (Thursday) from 8:00pm – 9:30pm ET. Co-facilitators: Lauren Spiro and Rita Cronise

Call (Toll #) 712-432-0375, PIN 1029243#

Mental Health And Latinos After Orlando

In the wake of the Orlando incident this June, this article takes a look at attitudes toward mental health in the Latin community and efforts to meet the needs of the Latino/LGBTQ/Latinx community.

New Report Provides Plan for Ending Discrimination Associated with Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

This new publication from the National Academy of Sciences, Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change, lays out a detailed plan for stigma reduction on a national scale, including an emphasis on the essential role peers should play in those efforts.

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at, via fax at 215.636.6312, or by phone at 800.553.4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.orgor Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

And speaking of the Clearinghouse, we suggest that you subscribe to their valuable newsletter, the Key Update. You can do so at

10th iNAPS Annual Peer Support Conference: Collaborating for Unity

August 26-28, 2016


The 10th Annual National Peer Support Conference (an internationally-attended event) will held on August 26-28, 2016 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill; a short walk to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

In partnership with our major sponsor, the Philadelphia Dept. of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disABILITY Services (DBHIDS), and several other collaborative partners, the conference committee has chosen an excellent conference program, attracted many outstanding pre-conference events, and set the stage for an opportunity for peers across the country and around the world to meet and network with some of the leading voices in peer support today.

With over 60 workshops, a dynamic line up of featured nationally-known presenters, and Summer Institutes that range from half day workshops up to four-day full certification training events (see Summer Institute Catalog below), Philadelphia promises to an exciting place of learning, networking, and fun August 22 through 28, 2016. Don’t miss it!

Webinar: The Power of Storytelling

July 29, 2016

9 AM Pacific | 10 AM Mountain | 11 AM Central | 12 Noon Eastern

Stories have the power to inform, inspire and transform our lives. Stories connect and comfort us in our shared struggles as a common humanity. They help us know that we are not alone, and offer hope to cope, survive and thrive. And, when it comes to matters of mental health, stories have the power to save lives and create social change.

During this webinar, participants will learn about the power of storytelling to save lives, the power of storytelling to create social change, and how to share their story to make a difference.

This iNAPS webinar will provide a preview of the keynote speaker at the upcoming 10th Annual iNAPS Conference, Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS, Founder & President of ASHA International.

Alternatives is Coming!

Alternatives will be marking its 30th Anniversary this September in San Diego. Will you be on hand for this essential gathering of people with lived experience?

Registration is available at

For updates on Keynote Speakers and other stuff happening at Alternatives this year, check out the Facebook page at

Webinar: Lessons on Integrated Care from the VA and DoD

Thu, July 28

2:00pm- 3:30 p.m. ET

Primary and behavioral health care integration has long been a priority within the Veterans Administration (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD). How do their practices apply to safety-net health care providers? Join this webinar to hear from VA and DoD integration experts on how you can transfer the latest practices to your own efforts to integrate primary and behavioral health care. Also learn about the latest tools and resources from the VA and DoD to help guide your implementation.

After this webinar, participants will become familiar with the various clinical, workforce and operational strategies implemented within the VA and DoD, and gain access to practical VA and DoD developed tools and resources that can be utilized in other integrated care settings


Webinar: Raising the Overtime Pay Threshold: An Overview of New Federal Requirements for Employers

Tuesday, August 9

2:00 PM ET

Millions of American workers will now be eligible for overtime pay under a final rule published by the Department of Labor in May. The new regulation raises the salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay to $47,476.

With this rule set to take effect on December 1, 2016, the National Council is teaming up with Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell to walk you through the details of the new rule. Join us and learn from experts in the field on how this change will impact your organization’s payroll. The content of this webinar is targeted to executive leadership, finance and operations officers, and state associations.


Webinar: State Best Practices in Developing and Implementing Integrated Health Care

Wed., August 24

2:00-3:30 p.m. ET

NASMHPD, sponsored by SAMHSA, will present a webinar on integrated health in hopes to continue to provide assistance to states in working through challenges to better serve the holistic health needs of consumers. Laura Galbreath (Director, SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, National Council for Behavioral Health) will provide information on state legislation and regulatory changes that facilitate the integration of primary care services for individuals with serious mental illness served in community mental health and addiction providers. In addition, she will highlight recent efforts in states and provide insights and resources that others can use to foster increased dialogue and policy changes in their states.

Debbie Herrmann (Indiana FSSA/DMHA Deputy Director, DMHA Medicaid Initiatives) will provide information on Indiana’s work to build an integrated health initiative. This includes developing a collaboration of Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) and Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) as part of the State Integration Team. Also, she will discuss how Indiana brought together stakeholders across the state to develop subcommittees to build cohesion among the different entities involved. She will illustrate how Indiana identified provider types and agencies across the state, thus developing provider qualifications, and guiding principles and core requirements of services.


Measuring the Impact of Advocacy on State Mental Health Policy

In partnership with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO), Live & Learn, Inc. conducted a survey on the impact of stakeholder advocacy on decisions affecting public mental health systems in California. We have prepared a report for public dissemination: Mental Health Advocacy in California: Perspectives of Advocates and Decision-Makers.

The California Mental Health Stakeholder Advocacy Survey was conducted in April 2016 and asked about advocacy activities in California in the past 6 months by people who identify as consumers, survivors, ex-patients, or peers. There were different versions of the survey for consumer advocates and for county decision-makers.

Read the Report: Mental Health Advocacy in California: Perspectives of Advocates and Decision-Makers

Webinar: The Effectiveness of Peer Support Services: Highlights from the Research

Thursday, August 18

2:00-3:30pm ET (1:00pm CT, 12:00pm MT, 11:00am PT)

A growing body of research shows that peer support services are effective for supporting recovery from mental health conditions and substance use disorders.  However, service providers and service system administrators do not always have access to the most recent research, nor the time to digest it.  At the same time, funders and decision-makers often demand evidence for the effectiveness of these services.

This webinar will bridge this gap by sharing highlights of research on the effectiveness of peer recovery support services for mental health conditions and substance use disorders.  Presenters will share the results of two recent systematic reviews—rigorous and structured approaches to assessing the extent and quality of existing research—on the effectiveness of peer-delivered recovery support services for mental health conditions and substance use disorders, respectively.  They will discuss the state of the research on peer recovery service, the limitations and challenges of the current body of research, and recommendations for future research.

Webinar participants will be able to describe the key takeaway points related to the research on the effectiveness of peer recovery support services for supporting recovery from mental health conditions and substance use disorders; understand the challenges and limitations of the existing research peer recovery services; and access and cite key research publications on the effectiveness of peer-delivered recovery support services.

Register here.

Study: Influence of Genetics on Mental Health Depends on Environment

The same genes can make people more sensitive to their experiences, “for better or for worse,” psychologists argue.–Influence-of-Genetics-on-Mental-Health-Depends-on-Environment/

Frustrated You Can’t Find A Therapist? They’re Frustrated, Too

This NPR story looks at the shortage of mental health care providers, and the role private insurance plays in the disconnect between demand and availability of counseling services.

Webinar: Improving Infrastructure and Sustainability in Peer-Run and Recovery Community Organizations

Friday, August 5

Noon-1:00pm ET / 11:00am-Noon CT/ 10:00am-11:00am MT/ 9:00am-10:00am PT

First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery related topics in an open and informal setting. You are invited to join us on Friday, August 5, 2016 in a virtual meeting room to learn about improving infrastructure and sustainability in recovery community organizations and to submit your questions to Dr. Edye Schwartz (New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services) and Chacku Mathai (NAMI Star Center).

Register here.

Accommodating Mental Illness in the Workplace

Workplace accommodations help individuals with mental health conditions to remain employed and productive. Learn about different accommodations, many of which can be accomplished at little or no cost.

‘Crisis Living Rooms’ Provide Mental Health Patients with Alternative to Emergency Room

This report out of New Mexico shares an example of how the living room model helps to divert people in crisis from emergency rooms and fosters better outcomes for those with access to them.

News of Tragedy Affects Overall Mental Health

The nearly constant stream of tragedy in the news has profound effects on our mental health, as this article describes.