Year End News and Notes from The CAFE TA Center

In this year-end edition of news and notes, we want to start off by letting you know about a major funding opportunity for mental health consumer organizations: the SAMHSA Statewide Consumer Network grant. This grant is SAMHSA’s main vehicle to support the work of state-based organizations that work to promote recovery, peer support, and a greater role for people with lived experience in shaping the mental health system of care. You can learn more about this opportunity at Applications must be submitted by December 24th.

Speaking of SAMHSA, you will also find a link the agency’s new Strategic Plan in this edition of news and notes. This document will provide a roadmap for the nation’s lead behavioral health agency for the next five years, and we encourage you to check it out to see where things are heading on the public policy front. You can find it at

We also have a range of other interesting items, including several items related to campus mental health and colleges and universities’ ongoing difficulties in meeting their students’ needs. There are also multiple items that offer opportunities to participate in ongoing research surveys.

Finally, as 2018 comes to a close and many of us stop to count our blessings, consider how far we have come in the past year, and look forward to a fresh start in the New Year, please accept our best wishes for a season of wellness and renewal!


SAMHSA Releases FY 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

SAMHSA has released the document that will guide its activities through the early years of the next decade. It’s built around five priority areas, and five core principles.

Read about those areas and principles, and find a link to the full plan, at

Mental Health America Releases Annual State of Mental Health Report

Mental Health America has released an annual report with information on prevalence, access to care, workforce issues, and state by state rankings.

Online Chat on Challenges and Innovations in College Mental Health

This archived online chat from STAT News features Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor and director of the College Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital, in a conversation on innovative approaches, barriers, and the potential of connecting schools and off-campus providers to improve services.

5 Ways to Transform the Mental Health Conversation on Your Campus

For students on campuses that are less than friendly to public discussion of mental health, it can be hard to know where to start. This article offers some ideas on how to start the process of transforming a campus culture.

Feeling Suicidal, Students Turned to Their College. They Were Told to Go Home.

This New York Times story examines the issue of students being asked to leave campus as a result of seeking help for mental health issues, and a resulting class-action lawsuit.

The College Years: How Students with Lived Experience Navigate Academics and Mental Health Management

This Transitions ACR webinar describes findings from a qualitative study that examined facilitators and barriers to academic success for college students with mental health conditions, based on the direct perspectives of college students, faculty, and Disability and Counseling Services staff.

View a recording at

Kansas City Mayoral Candidate and Veteran Leaves Race to Focus on PTSD Treatment

Jason Kander, a candidate for mayor in Kansas City, announced that he would end his campaign to concentrate on his mental health in a candid statement.

Read his comments here:

Pilot Study Examines Supported Education for Veterans with PTSD

A new study attempts to determine if supported education can provide a path to success in higher ed for returning veterans, and indicates that “supported education services can have a measurable effect on time spent attaining an educational goal.”

Read the study at

What’s Life Like After Depression? Surprisingly, Little Is Known

While depression has been the subject of much research, much less attention has been paid to those that have successfully navigated their way to recovery, as described in this New York Times article.

Giving Patients a Voice in Their Mental Health Care Before They’re Too Ill to Have a Say

This New York Times piece examines the role of psychiatric advance directives in helping people with mental health conditions better control their care before a crisis.

Mental Health Coverage Limits in Self-Insured Plans Hang on Judge’s Ruling

A pending lawsuit is likely to have major implications for what behavioral health benefits insurers that administer self-insured health plans cover.

Mental Health Therapy at Walmart? It’s Now a Thing

Might WalMart be the key to providing better access to mental health services? According to this Boston Globe article, one behavioral health company is trying to find out.

Why Denver Voted to Fund Mental-Health Treatment

With a record number of suicides and overdoses, voters in Denver made a dedicated revenue stream for behavioral health a priority in November’s election.

Secondary Traumatic Stress in Peer Advocates

A research program at Fielding Graduate University is currently seeking peer advocates who may have experienced secondary traumatic stress to participate in a study. The purpose of the study is to identify the connection between characteristics of peer advocates and the occurrence of secondary traumatic stress.

Learn more at

International Survey on Antipsychotic Medication Withdrawal

If you have taken antipsychotic medication for any condition or diagnosis, with or without other medications, have stopped or tried to stop, and are currently 18 years or older, this Maastricht University survey is looking for your input.

Report: Advances in Employment Policy for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has released a new report that includes recommendations on how state mental health agencies can improve their efforts to help people with mental health conditions find and maintain employment.

Check it out at

Beyond Awareness: Student-led Innovation in Campus Mental Health

A report from Mental Health America’s Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council highlights how innovative programs created by and for students in higher education are filling some of the gaps in campus mental health arena.

With Growing Mental Health Needs, Colleges Look to Professors for Suicide Prevention

As this Philadelphia Inquirer article explains, there is a complex, yet essential role for faculty to play in connecting students with mental health resources on campus.