News and Notes for October 18

It’s October, and with the new month comes a renewed focus on mental health awareness among people with lived experience of mental health conditions. Tuesday, October 10th marks World Mental Health Day, an international recognition of the importance of mental health as part of overall health and wellness sponsored by the World Health Organization. This year, the WHO has placed an emphasis on mental health in the workplace. Additionally, the first week of October is “Mental Illness Awareness Week,” an event that was established by Congress in 1990 to bring national attention to mental health. October also brings Global Peer Support Celebration Day on October 19th, which serves to spread awareness of the value of peer support work internationally.

While occasions like these are important, it’s equally important to realize that standalone events on given days, weeks, or months shouldn’t be one-time occurrences. Instead, they should serve as reminders about the need to talk about mental health and recovery throughout the year. Mental health is a central part of everyone’s overall health and wellness, and appreciation of the importance of supporting mental health should be an everyday practice.

As recent events have demonstrated, anyone can find themselves in a traumatizing situation that results in negative mental health impacts. By paying attention to mental health and wellness on a regular basis, we can not only be better able to support people in our communities that have mental health conditions, but we can also be prepared to deal with the short- and long-term mental health impacts of traumatic events.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by a natural or man-made disaster, and needs support dealing with the trauma, SAMHSA has a Disaster Distress Helpline available at 1-800-985-5990, or by text by sending “TalkWithUs” to 66746. For more information on federal support for disaster response mental health resources, visit the Disaster Technical Assistance Center at

For more news and information, please see below!

Webinar: When Disaster Strikes:  Promoting Resilience through Prevention, Preparation and Intervention

October 19
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EDT

In recent months, our country has experienced a rash of disasters that include hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires, as well as gun violence.  These incidents have ripple effects that often last for years. Promoting resilience can be a powerful starting point in assisting communities, organizations, and systems to prepare and respond to disasters.

This National Council webinar will offer opportunities to learn about the range of individual and collective responses to disaster, provide practical strategies to support affected parties, and highlight the importance of addressing responder stress and self-care.

Register at

How to Rebuild Mental Health After Hurricane Harvey

Two authors of a recent viewpoint published in JAMA explored how mental health consequences of Hurricane Harvey can be mitigated by replenishing social and economic resources that restore living conditions, in addition to providing short-term, individualized medical or psychological interventions.

How Power Outages Can Affect Mental Health

According to research described in this Time article, prolonged power outages like the one currently happening in Puerto Rico are correlated with an increase in mental health events.

11th Annual iNAPS Peer Support Conference

October 16-18, 2017
Phoenix, AZ

The International Association of Peer Supporters will host its 11th Annual Peer Support Conference this month in Phoenix. The INAPS Conference is the longest running internationally attended conference devoted completely to peer support practices. Scheduled keynote speakers include Pat Deegan, Chacku Mathai, and Sally Zinman.

For more information visit

Are Campuses Ready to Support Students in Distress?

Data continues to show that only 50% of students struggling with mental health seek professional help. This survey of 65,177 Faculty, Staff, and Students in 100+ Colleges and Universities, co-authored by Glenn Albright, Ph.D. Co-Founder and Director of Research, Kognito, and Victor Schwartz, M.D., JED, examines faculty, staff and students’ ability to recognize when a student is experiencing signs of distress and talking with them about seeking help.

Peer Academic Support for Success (PASS): Peer Coaching for College Students with Serious Mental Health Conditions

Only 11% of young adults with serious mental health conditions (SMHCs) attend 4-year colleges, compared to 30% of young adults in the general population. Given the advantage that a college education provides in today’s labor market, the goal of the Peer Academic Supports for Success (PASS) project is to provide strong academic supports to successfully launch the college careers of students with mental health conditions.

Read about this program and learn how it works in a publication from Transitions RTC at

Georgia Tech Puts $1 Million Toward Mental Health Counseling Services

In the wake of criticism over its services for students with mental health needs, Georgia Tech will spend one million dollars to make improvements based on recommendations from the campus community.

All Incoming UCLA Students To Receive A Vital Mental Health Assist

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) will begin offering depression screenings to all incoming freshmen and transfer students this fall as part of an initiative to address mental health issues on campus.

Read about this effort in a post from The Fix at

Direct Connect Learning Community: Working with LGBTQI2S Youth

October 26th
3:30 PM – 05:00 PM

Led by Youth M.O.V.E. National, this LC 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, and unite with other youth advocates and professional peers from across the country. October’s Direct Connect offering will be presented by Peter Gamache, Ph.D. and cover the topic of working with youth and young adults in the LGBTQI2S community.

Register at

New Resource: SAMHSA Knowledge Network

SAMHSA has announced its new Knowledge Network website. The Knowledge Network provides a single, searchable portal to SAMHSA’s publicly available online training and technical assistance content with the goal of improving the design and delivery of prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

Check out this new site at