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Experience Hope Newsletter April 2018

Experience Hope Newsletter April 2018

Though Spring officially began on March 20th, its beauty becomes most apparent in the month of April.   The flowers bloom, the trees blossom and the days continue to get longer.  It’s easy to be hopeful about the future against a backdrop of growth and beauty.

April is also National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The observance is especially significant this year because of the rise of the #MeToo Movement.  Dedicated to demonstrating the prevalence of sexual assault, #MeToo is ultimately a campaign of hope.

We raise awareness because we believe it will bring widespread change.  In the meantime, the work that we do can bring healing as we continue to spread the word about sexual assault.

We also want to note that April is National Minority Health Month.  Our mission is to provide resources to everyone, and the awareness months allow us to help particular communities that traditionally are underserved.

Below, we offer 17 resources for raising awareness and supporting all survivors of sexual abuse and for promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of people of color.

Though Spring officially began on March 20th, its beauty becomes most apparent in the month of April.   The flowers bloom, the trees blossom and the days continue to get longer.  It’s easy to be hopeful about the future against a backdrop of growth and beauty.

April is also National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The observance is especially significant this year because of the rise of the #MeToo Movement.  Dedicated to demonstrating the prevalence of sexual assault, #MeToo is ultimately a campaign of hope.

We raise awareness because we believe it will bring widespread change.  In the meantime, the work that we do can bring healing as we continue to spread the word about sexual assault.

We also want to note that April is National Minority Health Month.  Our mission is to provide resources to everyone, and the awareness months allow us to help particular communities that traditionally are underserved.

Below, we offer 17 resources for raising awareness and supporting all survivors of sexual abuse and for promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of people of color.

Experience Hope Upcoming Trainings:

Mental Health First Aid trainings seek to empower community members to respond compassionately and directly when someone experiences a mental health challenge. In addition, Catholic Charities’ Mental Health First Aid facilitators take pride in adding restorative and culturally-aware ideas and discussions into these trainings. We offer Mental Health First Aid trainings focused on adult and adolescent mental health. These trainings can be offered in Spanish or English.

Youth Mental Health First Aid courses are free to community members through the end of September thanks to a generous grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).

Adult Mental Health First Aid courses are only $75 per person.

Click here for a list of our upcoming trainings.

Check out our revamped webpage for up-to-date Mental Health First Aid information and training dates:

In the News:

Catholic Charities of the East Bay’s Ivan Villaseñor-Madriz conducted a Mental Health First Aid training at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and was included in the organization’s employee and physician newsletter, “Look InsideKP.”

Lamorinda Groups help Grateful Gatherings Tackle Biggest Project Yet

Lamorinda Weekly-Apr 3, 2018

The Oakland-based, nonprofit organization Grateful Gatherings is helping to furnish Catholic Charities newest program, Claire’s House – a therapeutic living community for children who have been trafficked for sex and a home of genuine love, hope, and healing.  This particular project of Grateful Gatherings requires the help of all six Bay Area chapters, local groups and corporations, and volunteers as they help set up Claire’s House.

County Supervisor Promotes Website, Hotline for Immigrants Fearing Deportation

Richmond Standard-Mar 22, 2018

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, who represents West Contra Costa County, has released a video promoting Stand Together Contra Costa.  The County’s new 24-hour, staffed hotline can now be reached at 925-900-5151. The County has also launched the program’s website, at Stand Together Contra Costa.org

Contra Costa Launches Deportation Defense Hotline

Richmond Confidential-Mar 16, 2018

On March 1, on behalf of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender launched Stand Together Contra Costa, a new immigration hotline and deportation defense initiative serving Contra Costa County residents.

A public-private initiative, Stand Together Contra Costa is managed by the Office of the Public Defender in partnership with a coalition of nonprofit organizations led by Catholic Charities of the East Bay.

The mission of Stand Together Contra Costa is to ensure that all people in Contra Costa County, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are afforded the due-process rights established by the United States Constitution.

Do You Know about these Resources...

To Help Survivors of Sexual Assault:

The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline provides free confidential support, including counseling, locations of nearby health facilities, next steps toward healing and legal advice, among other resources.  The hotline is a project of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

RAINN also offers Tips for Talking with Survivors of Sexual Assault.  Included are suggestions for what to say and for continuing to support a survivor.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape published “Assisting Trafficking Victims – A Guide for Victims Advocates.”  The 29-page guide includes research; risk factors; tips for identifying victims; referrals for counseling, housing, medical and immigration assistance and suggestions for building partnerships with other advocates, among other resources.

 

To Raise Awareness about Sexual Assault and Harassment:

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center also has devoted a website to materials that help individuals and organizations promote National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Among other resources, the site provides sexual violence prevention recommendations, campaign planning instructions, event ideas, tools to evaluate the campaign’s effectiveness and an online store to buy branded merchandise.  The Sexual Assault Awareness Month Action Kit summarizes the information.

EducationDive has developed a #MeTook12 campaign to raise awareness of sexual assaut and harassment in K-12 schools.  Aimed at parents, students, educators and child advocates, the materials include sexual harassment policy guidance, awareness videos, legal FAQs, info on filing complaints, what prevention actions school can take and much more. Student activists can find information in the “Stop Sexual Assault in Schools” Action Guide.

 

To Support the Emotional Healing of People Overcoming Trauma and Abuse:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers “Trauma-Informed Approach and Trauma-Specific Interventions,” a comprehensive list of best practices for providing support.

“Emotional and Psychological Trauma – Healing from Trauma and Moving On,” is a 10-page guide published by Helpguide.org that offers symptoms, coping strategies, therapy alternatives and ways that loved ones can help.

The affirmations listed in these “Mental Wellness Statement Coping Cards” can help people reduce stress, stop negative thinking and regain control during mental health struggles.

To Provide Health Assistance to Communities of Color:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) dedicates a website and a 16-page  toolkit to the promotion of National Minority Health Awareness Month.  Included are social media and traditional media templates, webinars, information for combatting health inequities and advice and information for individuals facing health challenges, among other resources.  Most information is also offered in Spanish.

HHS’ Office of Minority Health also provides information on where to go for help with medical issues (scroll down to “My Health”), updates on policy to stop health inequities and news about the health of people of color.

Mental Health First Aid, administered by the National Council for Behavioral Health, offers these resources for National Minority Health Awareness Month as part of its #BeTheDifference campaign.  (Catholic Charities conducts regular Mental Health First Aid trainings).

The ABC news story, “Black Panther and Mental Health in the Black Community,” describes the blockbuster film’s positive impact on the mental wellbeing of African Americans.

Toolkit of the Month:

The Sexual Assault Response Team Toolkit

The United States Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has created a toolkit for Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs), whose members empower survivors and help them heal.  OJP devotes an entire website to the kit, with a menu that includes “Learn about SARTs,” “Develop a SART,” “Put the Focus on Victims,” “Follow Innovative Practices” and “Find Tools.”