News and Notes for September 13

Welcome to September, which marks the return of the annual celebration of wellness and recovery that is Recovery Month. Recovery Month offers advocates in the mental health community an opportunity not only to consider what recovery means in their own lives, but also what recovery means to those with less knowledge and understanding of the reality of living with a mental health condition.

When they hear the word “recovery,” it’s likely that most people think about substance abuse first and foremost. And when the same people hear the phrase “mental illness,” they imagine a permanent, debilitating state that means the person in question can’t live a meaningful life in the community. For advocates, the challenge is to use Recovery Month as a moment to promote the idea that people with mental health conditions can and do recover.

To help you spread that message, we would like to remind you about a resource available on our website: The Recovery Stories Video Project. Back in 2013, CAFÉ TAC interviewed people to find out what recovery meant to them, and what they wanted to world to know about it. These videos can be a great tool in helping to introduce the idea of mental health recovery to anyone that’s unfamiliar with it. Check them out at (For additional Recovery Month resources, check out

In addition to September being Recovery Month, it will also be the first of many months of disaster recovery for people and communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. In addition to the immediate threats to physical health and property, disasters like Harvey and Irma can bring trauma with far-reaching implications for the mental wellness of entire communities, as explored in this CBS News report: That’s why we’d like to point out two resources in this area: resources listed in the Disaster Planning and Recovery section of the CAFÉ TAC site at, and SAMHSA’s Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) online at

As always, we have more information about news, events, and webinars below. We hope you find something of interest here!

Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Joins SAMHSA as the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Elinore McCance-Katz has been confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, a new position created by the 21st Century Cures Act. Read about her background at

Public Members Appointed to New Federal Effort to Address Serious Mental Illness

The members of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC), which was created by the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act earlier this year, have been announced. Read the HHS press release with information about these 14 appointees, who will lead the national conversation on mental health reform.

Webinar: It Can Be a Bumpy Ride: Navigating School and Work with a Serious Mental Health Condition

Thu, Sep 14
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Young adults with serious mental health conditions (SMHC) face delays in participating or are prevented from participating in settings where career development and exploration activities typically occur. These delays can have long-lasting negative effects on vocational attainment and economic progress over time yet little is still known about how young adults navigate these activities while also managing a SMHC.
This Transitions RTC webinar will describe the educational and employment activities of young adults with SMHC and the successes and challenges they encounter, including challenges due to their mental health conditions.

Register at

Colleges See Growing Need for Mental Health Services

The demand for mental health services on college campuses continues to grow. This Marketplace article looks at the trend, with a focus on the University of Pennsylvania.

Nonwhite Students Slow to Seek Mental Health Counseling

As US News notes in this article, students of color have a greater need for mental health services, but are less likely to seek them out.

New Federal Report Addresses Mental Health Crisis on College Campuses

A comprehensive new report from the National Council on Disability thoroughly examines the growing crisis of campus mental health, and offers specific findings and recommendations to offer a path forward.

Outside-The-Box College Accommodations Real Support for Real Students

This tip sheet from Transitions RTC offers a list of academic accommodations that you may not have thought of.

Campus Mental Health: Frequently Asked Questions

This fact sheet from the Bazelon Center answers some basic questions for students with mental health needs heading off to campuses across the nation this fall.

NYAPRS 35th Annual Conference

September 13-15
Kerhonkson, NY

The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services will host its annual conference this September. This event presents a great opportunity to share knowledge and connect with people working in the peer support and recovery community.

Learn more and register at

International Association of Peer Supporters 2017 Conference

October 16 – 18
Phoenix, AZ

The Annual INAPS conference brings together experts in mental health peer support from across the nation and beyond. It’s a great event for anyone involved in mental health peer support.

To view the event program and find registration information, visit

England’s Mental Health Experiment: No-Cost Talk Therapy

One nation has taken an unusual approach to meeting the growing need for mental health services: immediate therapy and no cost. Read about it in this NY Times article.

Mental Health Self-Direction

The Human Services Research Institute, Applied Self-Direction and the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services have created a new online resource for people with mental health needs that are interested in self-directed, recovery-based care. (h/t to The Key Update for sharing this resource)

Huddle is a Mental Health App that Aims to Be a Safe Space to Share with Peers

A number of smartphone apps have been developed to address mental health, but a new one called Huddle takes the unique approach of connecting users via live video for informal peer support, as reported by TechCrunch.

The Consent Dilemma

This article from Politico examines the quandary of consent to treatment in mental health, and makes the argument that allowing people more autonomy over their treatment may actually result in greater adherence to medical advice by creating an atmosphere of cooperation.