OMHSAS Announcements – June 21, 2013

National Practice Standards for Peer Recovery Supporters: Comments Welcome (Deadline Extended)

The International Association of Peer Supporters (formerly National Association of Peer Specialists) has created a draft document on core values of peer support. They are seeking input on the document from anyone who provides or receives peer support. This does not mean just certified peer specialists–people who participate in other forms of peer support are welcome to comment also.

To review the document and comment, go to National Practice Standards (U.S.) Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, June 25th.

SAMHSA Grant Opportunity

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for up to $24.7 million for the National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention Cooperative Agreement. This program will serve as a national resource and training center to prevent mental, emotional and behavioral disorders, to increase the effectiveness of youth violence prevention and to promote the healthy development of children and youth. The cooperative agreement will also provide technical assistance to SAMHSA’s Safe Schools/Healthy Students and Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health (Project LAUNCH) grant programs.

Who can apply: Eligible applicants are domestic public and private nonprofit entities, including current and former grantees. Examples include: State and local governments, federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizations, Urban Indian organizations, public or private universities and colleges, and community and faith-based organizations.

Please read the SAMHSA Press Release for more details.

PA Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Invites You To Join Statewide Positive Practices Committee

Statewide PPC  flyer7-17 (2)You’re Invited – Statewide Positive Practices Committee

Positive Practices Committee (PPC) is a joint initiative between the Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Developmental Programs and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. PPC consists of a large statewide group and multiple regional groups, tasked with building capacity and collaborating across offices to enhance community services and clinical support for people experiencing co-occurring intellectual disability and mental illness.

Please join the Positive Practices Committee for a statewide videoconference presenting two topics of interest to people supporting individuals experiencing co-occurring intellectual disability and mental illness.

Register to Participate:

July 17, 2013

10:00 am to 12:00 pm


1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

PaTTan Harrisburg: 6340 Flank Drive, Harrisburg Pa 17112

PaTTan King of Prussia: 200 Anderson Road, King of Prussia Pa 19046

PaTTan Pittsburgh: 3190 William Pitt, Pittsburgh Pa 15238

Bringing Mental Health from the Shadows to Main Street America


June 3, 2013  by Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D., Executive  Director, NACBHDD

The President and Vice President call for a new national dialogue to reduce stigma and promote care-seeking. What can you do in your own community?

Under George Washington’s ever watchful eyes in the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait, President Barack Obama on June 3 announced a very important new community campaign for a much different era. The event was an extremely-rare White House National Conference on Mental Health (hashtag #MentalHealthMatters). The President used the historical venue of the East Room to address the debilitating issue of mental illness stigma and to launch a national dialogue on mental health in order to encourage those with mental health and substance use issues to reach out and seek care.

Read more at:

13th Annual Carbon-Monroe-Pike MH Awareness Walk

pic 1 copy“Stigma Stops with Me.”

This was the theme of  the 13th annual Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health Awareness walk held on Friday, May 17, 2013

The walk started at 10:30 AM at 801 Main St., Stroudsburg and ended at Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg.  Participants wanted to fight the stigma that often comes with mental illness. Lunch was provided to all participants at the pavilion. The walk was approximately 1.3 miles.

Photo to left: Rebecca D., Mike M., Mike B., & Brian S.

Below: Participants enjoying a celebratory luncheon outdoors after the walk.

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Below: Kim S. & Mike M. answer questions and pass along educational materials on mental health.

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Bereaved Parents and Siblings of Suicide Loss Peer Support Group Meeting Planned

Bereaved Parents and Siblings of Suicide Loss Peer Support Group Meeting:

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Please call 570-236-1168 for location

BPSSL is peer facilitated and is not affiliated with any particular religion – all adults are welcome. In addition to the anguish of losing a child or sibling of any age, there are unique elements of grieving for those who have taken their own lives; the questions we ask of ourselves, the questions we are asked by others, possibly feelings of guilt, regret or remorse, the attitudes we encounter and the thoughtless remarks. Bereaved Parents and Siblings of Suicide Loss offers a supportive forum to air these questions and feelings and find out how others in our position are building their strength and hope, and finding some peace.

Registration is not required and there is no fee. For meeting location, contact Alice at or 570-236-1168.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Launches Online Mental Health Resource

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched as an online resource for information about mental health.

Information about the signs of mental illness; how to seek help; and how individuals, families, and communities can be involved in discussion about mental health and mental illness, recovery, and hope is included. Videos of individuals’ stories of hope and recovery are also available.

A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Toolkit for Community Conversations about Mental Health will be available in the future. The toolkit is in three parts, an information brief, discussion guide, and an organizing guide to assist communities with understanding, prevention, identification, treatment, and supports for persons with mental illnesses. The information brief is available now.

The web site was announced during the White House Mental Health Conference on June 3, held to broaden the conversation about mental health, reduce stigma, educate about the many services and supports that are available, and encourage those who need help to seek it. One means to assist with identification and response to persons with mental illness in need of assistance is Mental Health First Aid, a program similar to first aid that trains non-professional individuals to provide support for persons in crisis until professional help can arrive. Programs providing support through social media were also discussed. View information about the conference and President Obama’s remarks on the White House Blog.