New Year News and Notes from CAFE TAC

With the arrival of a new year, we’re also pleased to announce a new series of webinars in the Peer-Run Organization Learning Collaborative Webinar Series. This series of webinars is hosted by the five Consumer/Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Centers: the National Empowerment Center, the CAFÉ TA Center, NAMI STAR Center, Doors to Wellbeing, and Peerlink. Throughout the series, each TAC will take a turn sharing their knowledge on a range of topics, such as conflict resolution, inclusion, and relationship building, examining each issue through the lens of what it is to be a peer-run organization. Leaders and emerging leaders of peer-run organizations need skills to develop, strengthen, and sustain their mental health organizations, and the Peer-Run Organization Learning Collaborative Webinar Series aims to bolster them!

The first webinar in the series, presented by the NAMI STAR Center, was “Handing Over the Keys: Leadership Succession Planning in Non-Profit Organizations.” It focused on the strategic moves that should be made to prepare an organization for a change in leadership, both planned and unplanned, to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible. This webinar discussed the need for succession planning as part of the strategic plan, and developing new leaders and tips for preparing for transition in nonprofit organizations, with real-life examples and insight from a peer-run organization leader. A recording of this webinar will be available soon! Sign up for the entire webinar series, at

Of course this New Year isn’t just the beginning of another year, it’s also the turning of the page on an entire decade. While 2020 is just another number, it also offers advocates a chance to pause and think about where the national conversation about mental health and recovery has been, and where it’s heading. This Huffington Post article does just that, identifying handful of moments, issues, and trends that changed the perception of mental health over the last ten years. In that spirit, we’re wondering how you think things have changed since 2010. What’s different for you? Where do you think we’ll be in 2030? What do we need to do to get there?

Those are big questions, and there are doubtless plenty of ways to answer. Where to begin? How about starting with a few items of interest from CAFÉ TAC?

Webinar: Recovery at Work: Workplace Policies and Practices that Support Employees with Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

Thursday, January 23
2:00–3:00 p.m. EST

SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) invites you to join national experts in a conversation about how employers can support the success of people living with mental illness or substance use disorders in the workplace. Increasing numbers of employers recognize the benefits of hiring and retaining individuals who are in recovery, and they’re implementing policies and practices to encourage the hiring of people in recovery, including those with involvement in the criminal justice system, and developing human resource policies and procedures that support their retention. Join this webinar to learn about strategies for the recruitment, hiring, and retention of employees in recovery.

2020 Capacity Building Opportunity

Apply by February 3

The SAMHSA Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) has announced its 2020 Capacity Building Opportunity, an intensive technical assistance opportunity for peer-run or peer-involved organizations, recovery community organizations, family-run organizations, collegiate recovery programs, recovery high schools, and youth- and young adult-run organizations. The 2020 Capacity Building Opportunity will offer intensive individualized consultation, training, and peer-to-peer support for up to 25 peer-run, recovery community, family-run, collegiate recovery, recovery high school, or youth and young adult-run organizations.

Learn more and apply at

Peer Support and the 2020 Census

The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is leading an effort to find out what titles people working in peer support roles use, in an effort to make sure peer support is recognized as a unique occupation in Department of Labor statistics.

If you work in a peer role, you can support their efforts by taking a short survey at

Webinar: Retaining and Growing the Youth Peer Support Workforce

February 3
1:00 ET

More agencies are seeing the benefits of the youth peer support specialist role, and are working hard to integrate this role within their mental health services. In this webinar from the Northwest MHTTC, two experienced youth peer support specialists (and youth peer support specialist supervisors) will discuss concrete strategies for retaining and growing the youth peer support workforce.

Learn more and register at

Webinar: Crisis Engagement Strategies

January 28
2:00 ET

In acute and crisis situations, peer support specialists can become an essential part of the recovery process for individuals under duress. Peer support specialists engage, empower, and advocate for people in acute and crisis settings.

Learn more about the role of peers in crises in this upcoming webinar in Doors to Wellbeing’s Peer Specialist Monthly Webinar Series. Register at, and learn more about the series at

Survey on Peer Support Worker Supervision

The University of South Florida and Magellan Health are currently conducting research to investigate the current landscape of peer support worker supervision in the United States (and US territories). If you are a peer support supervisor, or know someone that is, please consider participating in this survey!

How Prozac Nation Changed the Way We Talk about Depression

Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, recently passed away. This piece from The Guardian assesses the impact her work had on the way the public views mental health, and the ways in which Wurtzel’s open, direct approach to writing about her own mental health altered to national conversation.

Mental Health Declining among Older U.S. Adults, Poor Hardest Hit

As this Reuters article highlights, the mental health of America’s aging population is a growing concern, especially among less educated and economically disadvantage seniors.

It’s Not a Hotline, It’s a ‘Warmline’

Unlike hotlines, that serve people in immediate crisis, warmlines staffed by peers can offer support to people that are struggling but may not need or want a more intensive kind of help. While various organizations and communities have used warmlines, as this USA Today article explains, California will be the first state to take the idea statewide.

US Colleges Struggle with Increasing Demand for Mental Health Services

A recent study by the Associated Press has found that many higher education students are forced to endure extremely long waits or turn to off-campus resources to find mental health services.

Student Mental Health Rights Act Introduced in Congress

Rep. Katie Porter has filed a bill in the House of Representatives that would ensure that mental health policies on college campuses are consistent with existing federal guidelines, in an effort to make sure mental health services are readily accessible and help-seeking is widely encouraged.

Read the press release that accompanied the bill’s introduction at

Mental Health Coverage Continues to Fall Short, Study Shows

Despite existing laws requiring parity between behavioral and physical health care, a recent study has found that an increasing number of people are seeking treatment outside of the networks provided through their insurance coverage.

Making Space for Mental Health on Campus

A new report from Mental Health America’s Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council examines trends and emerging needs in the college mental health arena.

Defunding Student Mental Health

One state’s largest community college is taking a unique approach to mental health services for its students: eliminating them entirely.

Amador County California Builds Community College Pipeline for Mental Health Workers

One community in California is addressing its lack of higher education options and its need for additional mental health resources through a single innovative program.

Stanford and Students with Mental Health Disabilities Reach Landmark Settlement

A new legal decision will result significant changes to the university’s leave of absence policies for students with mental health needs, and potentially set a precedent for such policies nationally.