CAFE TAC News and Notes for May 24, 2016

As Mental Health Awareness Month draws to a close and summer begins, it looks as though Congress is set to make a final push for mental health reform legislation. Reports are circulating that the House Energy and Commerce Committee may consider compromise legislation that include provisions from both Rep. Tim Murphy’s (R-PA) bill – Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646) and Rep. Gene Greene’s (D-TX) bill – Comprehensive Behavioral Health Reform and Recovery Act (H.R. 4435).

This “compromise legislation” includes a number of provisions, including new language to codify provisions in a recent Medicaid managed care rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that allows for federal Medicaid payments to be made to residential treatment facilities for short term stays (no more than 15 days in one month) for patients enrolled in Medicaid managed care; language to make clear it is the responsibility of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review and implement privacy regulations regarding the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); new language on Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act compliance; and the establishment of an assistant secretary for mental health and substance use disorders at HHS, that would not absorb the responsibility of the administrator for SAMHSA, as initially proposed.

You can read more about the action in Washington here and here

There is also a lot going on beyond DC, with webinars on a wide array of topics scheduled, from campus mental health to cultural competence, and much discussion of mental health in the media, with articles on the debunked connection between mental health and violence, questions about what’s driving the anxiety epidemic, and the value of social media fro people seeking connection.

You should also note that registration for the 2016 Alternatives conference this September in San Diego is now open, and presentation proposals are being accepted through June 3rd.

We hope you find something in our latest News and Notes to get you engaged! And remember, you can always join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


Most Mass Shooters Aren’t Mentally Ill. So Why Push Better Treatment as the Answer?

This Washington Post article pulls apart the debunked connection between diagnosed mental health conditions and violence. Only 2 out of 10 mass killers were found to have an identifiable condition, whereas most had “personality or antisocial disorders or were disgruntled, jilted, humiliated or full of intense rage. They were unlikely to be identified or helped by the mental-health system, reformed or not.”

Webinar: Advancing Student Emotional Health by 2020

Wednesday, May 25

2:00 EDT

An overwhelming majority of today’s college counselors agree that the mental health of their students is, and continues to be a growing concern. With the list of stressors continuing to change and increase, it is imperative that college mental health services continue to evolve and change in order to best be able to provide for their student’s needs.

We invite you to join this thought provoking webinar, to learn from our panelists how college and university mental health services will evolve by the year 2020.

Register at


Webinar: Improving Relationships Between Police and the Mental Health Community

Wednesday, May 25

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM (EDT)

The National Empowerment Center’s Technical Assistance Center presents a webinar that includes best practices from both the police and mental health peer perspective. Research, collaboration models, and approaches to building better relationships, as well as tools and strategies for safely collaborating with police, will be offered with the ultimate goal of improving the relationship between mental health peers and police and reducing negative outcomes.

Learn more and register at


Alternatives Presentation Deadline Extended

Presentation proposals for the 2016 Alternatives Conference will be accepted through June 3rd! Why not submit a proposal for the nation’s number one event created by and for people in mental health recovery?

Find the Call for Presentations at

Registration for Alternatives is also open at this time. To register and find out more about Alternatives 2016, visit


Webinar: Invest in Wellness: Strategies to Support Your Staff

Tue., June 14

1:00 pm ET

When you’re committed to helping people live healthier lives, it’s important to sustain your own mental and physical wellness and that of your workforce, too.

Workplace wellness programs help organizations combat chronic diseases and lower health care costs of employees. By creating a wellness culture within your organization, employers can enable employees to live healthier and more productive lives, which can translate into healthier clients.

Hear from Addiction Treatment Services, Community Services Group and Stanley Street Treatment & Resources to learn how its executives prioritized employees by giving them the resources, education and tools—such as the myStrength platform or Relias Learning courses—to support their mental health and well-being.

Invest in your wellness and that of your workforce—because when you’re healthy, you’re better able to help others.



NIMH Request for Brief Perspectives on the State of Mental Illness Research

NIMH has released a Request for Information (RFI) entitled “NIMH Request for Brief Perspectives on the State of Mental Illness Research” in order to invite external viewpoints on the state of mental illness research and NIMH’s role in the development of this research.  This is for use in developing briefing materials that will represent the full diversity of perspectives on mental illness research for the incoming NIMH Director. NIMH welcomes feedback from investigators, investigator-sponsors, clinicians, advocates, and any other stakeholders who participate in or are otherwise invested in mental illness research.  Additional information can be found at


“I Just Feel Less Alone”: How Tumblr Became a Source for Mental Health Care

Many reports and articles have pointed out the dangers to mental wellness that accompany social media use. In this article from The Guardian, the trend of people using the micro-blogging site Tumblr to support others illuminates the positive side of online connections.


Resource: College Guide for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities has created a resource to help students with mental health needs succeed in higher education.


Resource: Suicide Prevention in College

Affordable Colleges Online recently released a guide titled, “Suicide Prevention in College.” The guide includes suicide warning signs, college campus suicide prevention resources and resources to help protect students from depression.


What Happens When Major Companies Take Mental Health Seriously

Focusing on employee mental health makes for healthier workers and more productive companies.


Webinar: Recovery-Oriented Crisis Response

Friday, June 3

Noon-1:00pm ET

This BRSS-TACS technical assistance event will feature a presentation from Dr. Oryx Cohen (National Empowerment Center) and Phillip Valentine (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery).

Register at


Webinar: Ensuring Stakeholder and Family Engagement

Monday, June 13

2:00 EDT – 3:30 EDT

Adults, youth and children with lived experience and families of those affected by mental illness and behavioral health challenges have emerged as some of the leading voices in the modern day development of comprehensive resilience and recovery services across the U.S. In fact, some behavioral health payers in today’s health care arena are now requiring states and organizations to diversify the stakeholder groups that contribute to and govern overall program development and implementation. This webinar will explore how organizations can incorporate consumer, family and community perspectives in organizational decision making, and the role states can have to encourage behavioral health organizations to include consumers, families and community partners perspectives’ in governance and decision making through formal and informal mechanisms.

Register at


iNPAS Conference

August 26 and 27


The 10th Annual National Peer Support Conference (an internationally-attended event) will held on Aug. 26 and 27, 2016 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill; a short walk to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Working in partnership with our major sponsor, the Philadelphia Dept. of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disABILITY Services (DBHIDS), and several other collaborative partners, we have created an excellent conference program, outstanding pre-conference events, and an opportunity to meet and network with some of the leading voices and innovators in peer support today.

Early bird registration ends June 1st! Find out more at


Self-Exploration, Resiliency, and Professional Development: A Virtual Learning Community for Young Leaders

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is pleased to invite youth and young adult leaders in recovery to take part in Self-Exploration, Resiliency, and Professional Development: A Virtual Learning Community for Young Leaders.

Over the course of three interactive sessions, learning community members will network, share knowledge, and advance their own professional development. This learning community is part of SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) initiative, dedicated to promoting wide-scale adoption of recovery-oriented supports, services, and systems for people in recovery from mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

Nationally recognized experts will offer their perspectives on leadership development and concrete strategies for building skills. During each session, learning community members will exchange knowledge with one another as they consider strategies for increasing their own professional awareness and abilities.

This series will support young people in developing as leaders and professionals by:

  • fostering peer-to-peer learning and network development;
  • providing tools, resources, information, and connections to assist young leaders with identifying and progressing towards their individual goals; and
  • sharing the experience, perspectives, and knowledge of accomplished youth leaders from across the country.

Learn more at


Webinar: The Role of Spiritual and Faith Communities in Recovery

May 31

1-2 p.m. EDT

For many people, recovery from behavioral health conditions requires spiritual as well as emotional and physical healing.  Faith communities may be the first or only place some individuals turn to when in deep distress. This webinar will describe the important role that faith-based organizations and communities play in welcoming and engaging people in recovery.  Presenters will talk about their work with faith communities to help them address behavioral health issues of their members, and with behavioral health practitioners to equip them to better understand the role of faith and spirituality in recovery.  Through examples of individual and organizational collaborations, participants will gain valuable strategies for their own practice.

Event link:


Webinar: Engaging Communities to Promote Recovery

June 7

1-2 p.m. EDT

Behavioral health practitioners have an opportunity for broader impact when they work not only with individuals but also turn their attention to engaging community groups and the general community population. This webinar will provide information on how to help individuals identify their interests and learn what is available to them in the community as well as describing the benefit of engaging, educating, and helping to build welcoming places that benefit both individuals in recovery and the community at large.  The presenters will provide examples of innovative projects that help challenge negative attitudes while offering opportunity for meaningful engagement in community life.

Event link:


Webinar: Integrating Community Resources into Person-centered Plans

June 14

1-2 p.m. EDT

This webinar will introduce participants to the importance of developing community connections for supporting and sustaining a life in recovery.  It will challenge the common practice of using segregated behavioral health venues for social, occupational, and other pursuits in favor of a “community first” approach that uses mainstream community activities to help meet people’s needs. The webinar will present a practical, person-directed, community based approach to helping people build their preferred lives with focus on community resources and ‘natural’ supports.

Event link:


Webinar: Using the Cultural Formulation Interview to Support Recovery

June 21

1-2 p.m. EDT

Culture influences every aspect of care in behavioral health practice. Cultural context frames communication from how individuals describe their situation and what they expect from treatment to how practitioners understand and interpret the stories of the people they see. This webinar will introduce participants to the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI), an evidence-based tool used to guide practitioners in understanding the worldviews of people seeking services. The presenters will describe the origins of the CFI and how it is used with individuals and families to create a culturally rich mutual understanding of concerns. Scenarios will illustrate how use of this structured tool increases practitioner skills in recovery-oriented practices, including the ability to engage people in personally meaningful, collaborative plans that identify and enhance cultural strengths and are embedded in the person’s or family’s unique worldview.

Event link:


Healing Voices on NPR

The makers of the new documentary film “Healing Voices,” Oryx Cohen and P.J. Moynihan, recently appeared on a Kansas public radio station to discuss the film and its take on psychosis.

Listen to the interview at

Learn more about “Healing Voices” at


Raising Awareness for Mental Health Issues Is Not an End in Itself

This blog highlights the need for colleges and universities to be proactive in how they deal with mental health, and move beyond promoting awareness and reacting to crises.


Only Fundamental Social Change Can Defeat the Anxiety Epidemic

Perhaps the recent uptick in people dealing with anxiety is as much of a social problem as it is a mental health problem. Are we facing an epidemic of clinical anxiety, or do we live in an age of anxiety?


Webinar: Shoulder to Shoulder – Peer Support with Veterans

Tuesday, May 31st

11am PST/ 2pm EST

The webinar will describe what VA Peer Support is and why it is so important.  There will be a look at the critical role of recovery and having peers modeling recovery from both the provider and the patients’ perspective.  To support the legitimacy of the peer support position the presenters will detail the training, certification, credentialing, and ethics of Peer Support within the VA.   They will explore the many roles of a peer supporter such as a model, mentor, coach, guide, cheerleader, or companion. The webinar also presents appropriate boundaries and clarifies what Peer Support is not. Examples of what is happening at the Boise VA Medical Center and other VAs throughout the nation will be presented.  Listeners will see how they can be part of the VA peer support system.

Register at


Funding Opportunity: Statewide Peer Networks for Recovery and Resiliency

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for Statewide Peer Networks for Recovery and Resiliency grants totaling up to $800,000.

The program is jointly-funded by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). The purpose of this program is to provide a one-year developmental period to promote cross-system collaboration, expand the peer workforce, build infrastructure, and enhance capacity among community behavioral health programs across the nation.

SAMHSA expects to fund as many as eight grantees for up to $100,000 for one year.  The actual award amount may vary, depending on the availability of funds.

Learn more at


Webinar:  Addressing the Behavioral Health Needs of Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Patients

Monday, June 13

11 am PDT / 12 pm MDT / 1 pm CDT / 2 pm EDT

This 90 minute webinar aims to build competency to address the behavioral health needs of transgender and gender non-conforming patients in a culturally appropriate manner and will feature promising practices of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grantees. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights will discuss the proposed nondiscrimination rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

The target audience includes HRSA grantees, healthcare providers, public health officials, and advocates wanting to improve competency in regards to serving the needs of transgender and gender non-conforming patients in their practices.



Survey on Language Describing “Mental Illness”

Erika Carr, PhD of the Yale University School of Medicine is seeking information through a survey.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the preferences of language usage for describing what some refer to as “mental illness” and terms used to describe such. By participating in this study, you will contribute to the field of psychology research as it pertains to our understanding of language used in clinical care settings.

Your participation is completely voluntary, and you may choose to exit the survey at any time. You do not have to answer any specific items in the survey in order to participate. All responses are anonymous and will be kept confidential.

The survey takes no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. To participate in that survey, click here

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your participation in this study, please contact the Principle Investigator, Erika Carr, Ph.D. at


Webinar: Treatment Access and the Need for Diverse Treatment Approaches

Wednesday, May 25

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

Disparities in behavioral health care leave damaging impacts on underserved populations across the nation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched several initiatives to help address challenges presented by gaps in behavioral healthcare access and delivery and eliminate barriers to quality behavioral health care provided to underserved populations. This Webinar will highlight key initiatives that promote overall behavioral health equity and provide an overview of specific behavioral health approaches to working with Latinos/Latinas and other populations.

Register at