News, Notes, and a Major Funding Opportunity

SAMHSA has just released a funding opportunity announcement for the Statewide Consumer Network (SCN) grant program. The SCN is the SAMHSA grant program that supports statewide consumer mental health organizations in several states across the nation. The purpose of this program is to improve efforts to address the needs of adults with serious mental illness by “developing and/or expanding peer support services, peer leadership, and peer engagement strategies statewide.”

This grant is specifically intended for consumer organizations, which SAMHSA defines as “an organization that is controlled and managed by mental health consumers and dedicated to improving mental health and ensuring that recovery support services are consumer-driven. A consumer-operated organization must have a board of directors comprised of more than 50 percent consumers.” The SCN is a three year grant funded at $95,000 per year. Applications are due on Monday, April 23. You can see the full announcement at

For additional insight on how to complete a SAMHSA grant application, you can view the recently developed manual “Developing a Competitive SAMHSA Grant Application” online at

The Statewide Consumer Network grant presents a great opportunity for consumer organizations to obtain the resources they need to have an impact in their states. We definitely encourage any interested organizations to apply!

For more news and notes, see below.

Virtual Learning Series: Peer Navigators to Address Health Disparities of People From Latino and African American Communities Living With Serious Mental Illness

Session Three:  March 15, 2018, 12:30–1:30 pm ET
Implementation of Peer Navigator Programs

Peer navigators are people with lived experience who help individuals receiving services meet their health needs in an often-fragmented healthcare system.  Peer navigators build professional relationships to assist with arranging or getting to doctor’s appointments, lab tests, office procedures, clinic visits, counselor meetings, pharmacies, and support services.  The National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute developed and evaluated peer navigator programs in three federally funded projects. These projects focus on individuals living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder, individuals who have experienced homelessness, and the use of peer navigators in integrated health care. BRSS TACS will present this work in this three-part virtual learning series.

JED’s 2018 Student Voice of Mental Health Award

Deadline: March 20, 2018

JED’s Student Voice of Mental Health Award is an annual award that celebrates an exceptional undergraduate college student who is raising awareness of mental health issues on campus and encouraging help-seeking among their peers.

The college student selected for this award receives:
•             A $3,000 cash scholarship
•             Recognition on JED’s website
•             A trip to New York City to accept the award at JED’s Annual Gala

To learn more, visit

Live & Learn Launches New Peer Respite Program Directory

Live & Learn Inc. has published a national directory of peer respite facilities, organized by state. The directory includes information on locations, staff qualifications, and guest eligibility. Peer respites are consumer operated facilities that provide a community-based alternative for people in mental health crisis. Check out the full listing to see what peer respites are available in your state.

Librarians Get Trained to Help People with Mental Health Conditions

With many homeless people with mental health conditions using local libraries as a place to find refuge, a group of California librarians has responded to the trend by getting trained in how to identify and respond to mental health and substance use conditions.

Comeback TV Video Series

This series of videos from The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (formerly known as the Transitions RTC) provides ideas about educational accommodations that can help college students with mental health lived experience.

Nominate Now for SAMHSA’s 2018 Voice Awards!

SAMHSAʹs Voice Awards program honors consumer, peer, and family leaders who are improving the lives of people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in communities across the country. The awards program also recognizes television and film productions that educate the public about behavioral health and showcase that recovery is real and possible through treatment and recovery supports.

SAMHSAʹs 2018 Voice Awards will pay special attention to individuals and entertainment productions that are raising awareness about serious mental illness and opioid use disorders.

All nominations within the categories of “Consumer, Peer, and Family Leaders” and “Television and Film Productions” are due by March 16, 2018.

20 Ways To Help A Partner Living With Mental Illness

This quick “listicle” offers some basic tips on simple things anyone can do to support someone experiencing a mental health challenge.

JED Foundation Offers “Set To Go” Program

A new set of resources from JED provides resources to help students and families prepare to manage the emotional and psychological aspects of the transition from high school to college.

Could Roommates Help College Students Get the Mental Health Services They Need?

When it comes to campus mental health, the peer is usually the first person a student in crisis will turn to. Now, new research out of New York University has found that roommates may be the key to connecting students to the mental health support they need.

Robin Williams’s Suicide was Followed by a Sharp Rise in ‘Copycat’ Deaths

A study of suicide statistics in the period after the death of actor Robin Williams shows a dramatic rise, demonstrating the effects of suicide contagion, and underscoring the importance journalists respecting guidelines on how suicide is portrayed.

Here is a set of guidelines for journalists from the World Health Organization:

Calls to Puerto Rico’s Suicide Hotline have Skyrocketed Since Hurricane Maria

Many people in Puerto Rico still lack basic services like water and electricity, and the situation is taking a toll on the population’s mental health.

From Searing Personal Pain to Providing Support: Two Devoted Mothers Seek to Help Others

This article describes how two Connecticut women are working together to create a space for young people that hear voices to discuss their experiences.

Peer Support on Campus at University of Michigan

This MHA blog talks about a peer-based support network for mental health at the University of Michigan, which grew out of the realization that undergrad students are most likely to turn to their classmates for help.