News and Notes for #GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday. What’s #GivingTuesday? It’s an idea that began a few years ago, and grew out of the tradition of Black Friday shopping, and the more recent growth of Cyber Monday, the day dedicated to online shopping.

During the holiday season, we spend a lot of time and energy on searching out bargains and looking for that perfect gift. #GivingTuesday is all about taking a moment amidst the holiday rush to support the things we think are important by investing in them.

If you would like to help support the work that CAFÉ TAC does to promote recovery and the peer voice, we would certainly welcome the contribution. You can do that here.

But the point of this message isn’t to ask you to donate to CAFÉ TAC. It’s to remind you of two important things.

  • One, you have a voice, and that voice matters.
  • Two, it’s not just the things you say that represent your voice out in the world. It’s also how you invest your time, energy and effort, and your hard earned dollars.

So on this #GivingTuesday, we encourage you to find something that you believe in and contribute to it. Even if it’s only one dollar, that dollar represents your voice, and speaks to the kind of world you want to help create. So be empowered, and make that voice heard on this #GivingTuesday!

Washington Updates

With a new administration and Congress set to come to Washington in January, there are many policy changes and legislative battles on the horizon. Here’s one overview of what’s potentially to come.

Health Reform and the Trump White House: Implications for Key Stakeholders

House GOP eying major Medicare overhaul in 2017

Will value-based payment initiatives continue under Trump?


There’s also potential for legislative action on mental health reform during the lame duck session, which represents the current Congress’ last chance to pass anything before their term ends. A pending bill called the “21st Century Cures Act” includes mental health reform, as well as changes to Medicaid and cancer research funding.

21st Century Cures Act will get vote this week

Consumer groups caution Dems on ‘Cures’ bill


How to call your reps when you have social anxiety

Contacting your elected representative can be intimidating. Having anxiety can make it even harder. Here’s some advice on how to overcome it.


The Debate Over Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment

This episode of NPR’s Diane Rehm Show features a conversation about forced treatment from a variety of perspectives.

Back to School: Toolkits to Support the Full Inclusion of Students with Early Psychosis in Higher Education

SAMHSA has published two new toolkits designed to help students with psychiatric conditions succeed in higher education.

Student and Family version:

Campus Staff and Administrator version:


Webinar: Planning for Sustainability—Supporting Community-Based Reentry Programs

Wednesday, November 30

2–3:30 p.m. ET

This webinar will discuss strategies and recommendations for sustaining reentry programs initiated by community-based organizations. With a particular focus on programs that incorporate mentors, presenters will discuss how to consider sustainability throughout the program-development process beginning in the planning phase. Topics will include leveraging multiple funding streams from public and private sources, asset mapping, and how to build an agency’s profile in the field and community.


Reversing the Criminalization of Mental Illness

A program in Kansas City has created a mental health triage facility to help divert people in mental health crisis from the criminal justice system.


Direct Connect National Learning Community for Young Leaders

Thursday December 15

3:30 PM – 05:00 PM

Youth M.O.V.E National is looking for young leaders to participate in a national learning community. The Direct Connect National Learning Community for Young Leaders is a virtual forum for youth and young adults to: develop professional skill sets via virtual training opportunities connect as a community to share and gather new resources unite with other youth advocates and professional peers from across the country.


Webinar: Hospital to Community: A Process of Inclusion

Friday, December 2

9 AM PST, 10 AM MST, 11 AM CST, and 12 PM EST

In this 1-hour Webinar, The Copeland Center’s Gina Calhoun shares her personal story of transitioning from long-term institutionalization to community living, including her work as a peer support specialist during the closure of Harrisburg State Hospital in Pennsylvania.

Following Gina’s story, we will explore the role of peer support in downsizing, right sizing and closing institutional-based settings. We will explore 3 interrelated approaches to include: the Community-Hospital Integration Project Program (CHIPP); the Comprehensive Individual Treatment and Community Support Planning Process; and the essential role of Certified Peer Specialists in the hospital to community transition.


Diverting to Treatment: Community Policing and Supporting Youth with Mental Health Needs

The November 2016 Knowledge Network for Systems of Care TV (KSOC-TV) webcast highlights the changing role of law enforcement in supporting youth and young adults with mental health needs. The program included evidence-based strategies to combine efforts of police officers, mental health educators, and community advocates to resolve potentially volatile situations in more positive ways.


Online therapy a new tool for campus mental health

This article from a former counselor at the University of Central Florida argues that online counseling and other non-traditional approaches are needed to meet the need for campus mental health resources.


Webinar: SSI/SSDI: A Foundation for Employment, Recovery, Self Sufficiency and Social Inclusion!

December 14th

11:00 A.M. PT / 2:00 P.M. ET

The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery Technical Assistance (SOAR TA) Center, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), seeks to end homelessness and support recovery through increased access to SSI/SSDI income supports. SOAR extends beyond simply helping people access benefits and also encourages employment as a means to increase individual income and promote recovery in line with the SAMHSA assertion that: “to recover, people need meaningful work and the ability to enhance their skills through education.”

Over the last 10 years, the SOAR approach has been used to assist nearly 50,000 people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness with applications for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefit programs. The national SOAR allowance rate for 2015 is 64 percent, which compares to the initial allowance rate of 28 percent for all persons aged 18-64 who applied for SSI or SSDI in 2013. Decisions on SOAR-assisted initial applications were received in an average of 81 days in 2015, a decrease of 13 days from 2014.

This webinar will focus on how the SOAR process works well in a complementary fashion with employment supports and the individual employment goals of the people we serve.


There’s a Startling Increase in Major Depression Among Teens in the U.S.

This Time article examines the growing depression crisis in the transition age population.


Webinar: A Second Look: Psychiatric Advance Directives

Tuesday, December 6

1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Experts Patricia Siebert and Marie Verna will be back to share more information and further explore the role of practitioners and clinicians in developing and responding to PADs. Topics will include:

• Best practices for developing PADs

• Best practices for disseminating PADs

• Roles and approaches for direct service providers for responding to PADs

• Understanding limitations of PADS

The two presenters bring different perspectives: one as a disability rights attorney, and the other as an educator/trainer who uses a PAD to support her personal recovery and regularly trains and supports staff in the importance and use of PADs.


Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

SAMHSA and the Surgeon General have released a new report on the impact substance abuse has on our nation, and the way forward on this issue.

Read the report online at


Webinar: STAR Center Secrets of Sustainability Series: Measuring What Matters

December 15

2pm ET

Are you concerned about the sustainability of your organization? Is your organization considered a peer or family run organization? Are you in an executive management or governance role in your organization?

If you answered yes to these questions, Register Now to get involved in an introductory session with Chacku Mathai and Lora Bonnet from Louisiana on December 15, 2016 at 2pm ET and prepare to be in the first cohort of peer and family run organizations supported through this exciting process!


STAR Center Collaborative Leadership Series

December 16

2pm ET

Are you interested in strengthening your collaborative leadership skills? Are you hoping to bridge the divides in your community? Register Now to get involved in the STAR Center Collaborative Leadership Series. It involves 6 virtual sessions in a curriculum based training opportunity for people interested in learning social justice focused and trauma informed community building skills that build collaboration across historically rooted divides. STAR Center hopes to engage new, emerging and seasoned peer and family advocates who are interested in strengthening leadership skills and opportunities in their communities.


Proposals Sought for 2017 National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy Annual Rights Conference

The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) is seeking proposals which address strategies, ideas, programs, and emerging practices that support and promote NARPA’s mission and commitment to individual rights, liberty, freedom, and dignity.

The event will be held September 6-9, 2017. Proposals are due by February 15th.


Survey: Transportation Access and Experiences

The NIDILRR-funded ADA Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC) is conducting a survey, Transportation Access and Experiences, which is designed to improve understanding of the accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities. The survey is available in English and Spanish and is open to any person with a disability who has used public transportation. The results will be used to inform improvements to accessible transportation.


Peerpocalypse 2017 Workshop Proposals

Organizers are now seeking presentation proposals for Peerpocalypse workshop sessions. Peerpocalypse 2017 will be in Seaside, OR, April 24 – 26. The sessions are 90 minutes long and should include more than one method of sharing information (i.e. facilitated conversation, interactive exercises, visuals, handouts). Since this is a conference for and by peers, presenters will, ideally, identify as having lived experience of mental health issues.

Deadline for Proposals: 10:00 AM PT, Monday, December 12, 2016. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of peers.


Federal Panel Calls For Stricter Enforcement Of Mental Health Care Parity Law

Acknowledging that “there is more work to be done” to ensure that patients with mental illness and addiction don’t face discrimination in their health care, a presidential task force made a series of recommendations including $9.3 million in funding to improve enforcement of the federal parity law.