Did you know that the October calendar includes a day dedicated to celebrating peer support? Thursday, October 17th marks The 4th Annual Peer Support Celebration Day.
As anyone that’s been part of an effective peer support relationship knows, peer support has a unique ability to foster recovery through respect, active listening, and genuine empathy. With each passing year, more people in the mental health community become aware of the role and value of peer support, and the practice gains traction as a key component it an effective mental health system of care.
This October, we encourage you to celebrate peer support, and the values of person-centered recovery and genuine human connection that form its basis. It would also be a great occasion to talk to policymakers, community leaders, and other stakeholders in your community about how peer support can play a valuable role in helping people with mental health conditions to thrive. For some ideas on how to do that, check out the Global Peer Support Celebration Day toolkit created by iNAPS at https://www.inaops.org/gpscd.
We would also like to take this opportunity to let you know about a new resource available to mental health advocates, the Mental Health Technology Transfer Centers (MHTTC), which you can find online at https://mhttcnetwork.org/. This SAMHSA-funded resource includes a center dedicated to each of the ten HHS regions, as well as centers dedicated to American Indian/Alaskan Native and Hispanic/Latino populations. The MHTTC exists to share information on evidence-based practices in support of prevention and recovery efforts. To find your MHTTC, visit https://mhttcnetwork.org/centers/selection; see the areas of focus addressed by the program at https://mhttcnetwork.org/centers/global-mhttc/mhttc-areas-focus.
As always, we have also brought together a range of news items and resources of interest below. Enjoy!
Bazelon Center Releases Report on Diversion
A new report from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law offers guidance on what services should be offered through diversion programs that are designed to provide alternatives to incarceration for people with mental health needs.
Read the report at http://www.bazelon.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Bazelon-Diversion-to-What-Essential-Services-Publication_September-2019.pdf
The State of Mental Health in America
Mental Health America has released a new report that attempts to evaluate the state of mental health across the nation, finding prevalent issues with worsening youth mental health and a growing suicide problem.
Read the full report, including prevalence data and state-by-state rankings, at https://mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america
SAMHSA Releases 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
The annual NSDUH report provides a snapshot of drug use and mental health conditions nationally, with data on prevalence and patterns among different demographics.
Find the report at https://www.samhsa.gov/data/nsduh/reports-detailed-tables-2018-NSDUH, and view a presentation on the report at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb7pPHuRNMA.
Police Departments Struggle To Protect Officers’ Mental Health In The Face Of Trauma
This article explores the growing suicide epidemic among the law enforcement community, and its links to the trauma that comes with the role, and the lack of trauma-informed supports within police departments.
GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation
The GAINS Center is SAMHSA’s program dedicated to sharing information on behavioral health for people involved in the criminal justice system.
Learn more and subscribe to the GAINS Center newsletter at https://www.samhsa.gov/gains-center
Who Helps the Caregiver? Penn Counselor’s Suicide Highlights how Experts Aren’t Immune from Struggles
As recounted in this USA Today article, the recent suicide of a counselor at the University of Pennsylvania is spotlighting the pressure and strain the campus mental health crisis is putting on those that are asked to meet their student body’s needs.
Survey: Peer Services in Your State
The Doors to Wellbeing TA Center is inviting peers across the country to share information about peer services in their states.
Learn more and complete the survey at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfixluuXAXzPrL2vvq6byUGr-hKM15zm2CoOWZtJ5DNP9vWRA/viewform
Mental Health and 2020
Curious what the many presidential candidates have to say about our nation’s mental health system? A new nonpartisan coalition called Mental Health for US has put together their statements on this website.
National Dialogues on Behavioral Health Conference
New Orleans, LA
The National Dialogues on Behavioral Health, the nation’s “oldest ongoing annual conference on mental health and substance abuse,” will take place in New Orleans this November. Its focus will be the need to connect individual and family needs with system-wide approaches that promote integration and interconnectedness.
Learn more and register at https://nationaldialoguesbh.org/.
Interventions to Prevent Psychosis
This New York Times article explores how an intervention called the Portland Identification and Early Referral, or PIER, program, can mitigate psychosis through a multidisciplinary approach that relies heavily on multifamily group sessions.
Harvard Student’s Suicide Prompts Concern about Mental Health Care on College Campuses
A recent suicide at Harvard has once again brought attention to the factors that lead to stress and suicidal ideation among college students, as well as the way unique cultural experiences influence how, when, and whether students reach out for help.
As Students Struggle with Mental Health, Virginia Tech Takes Proactive Measures
With growing pressure on its counseling center, Virginia Tech is seeking to create a broader culture of mental health awareness to address its students’ needs.
These College Students are Far More Prone to Serious Mental Health Issues
A new study finds that students with marginalized gender identities, such as transgender, gender nonconforming, or genderqueer students, are more likely to experience mental health issues on campus in comparison with their peers.
Study: College Presidents Prioritizing Student Mental Health
A study from the American Council on Education finds that more than 80% of administrators see mental health as an issue of increasing importance.
Company Launches Mental Health App for College Students
A company called META has launched a smartphone app designed to connect college students with therapists.