Experience Hope Newsletter for May 2017

Dear Friends,

One of the toughest challenges to providing effective mental health services is the stigma associated with mental illness. May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and the third week in May is National Prevention Week, which raises awareness of substance abuse and mental health.
This month empowers us to educate and engage in advocacy to combat the shame of seeking treatment. Those of us in the field know that people who use mental health resources improve not only their own lives, but also the lives of their loved ones and communities.
Through our collective work, we strive to increase the number of people who decide to reach out for help. May is an opportunity to do even more. Toolkits that help build awareness are listed later in the newsletter under “Tools of the Month.”
It takes great courage to seek treatment.  The more we nurture the inner strength of those who need healing, the more we live up to the promise of these mental health observances.

Spotlight on Experience Hope Clinical Services and California's Office of Health Equity

Catholic Charities was recently awarded a prestigious grant from the Office of Health Equity within the California Department of Public Health. Catholic Charities is one of 35 grantees funded through the California Reducing Disparities Project.
The project is a five-year initiative to build an evidence base for our Experience Hope model, which integrates restorative practices into evidence-based trauma treatment. Restorative practices offer students respect and a focus on the importance of context and cultural factors in understanding youth behaviors; it provides youth with healing approaches to trauma-driven behaviors, instead of traditional punishment, which perpetuates trauma.
When integrated into mental health services, youth who may otherwise be reluctant to engage in traditional counseling services build deep, safe, and effective bonds with our therapists, supportive adults, and other youth.
Catholic Charities’ Experience Hope Clinical Services Program currently comprises four therapists: one in a West Contra Costa middle school, funded by Kaiser’s Youth Trauma-Informed Care program, and three others working across all six comprehensive high schools in Oakland Unified School District.The latter are funded through the District’s U.S. Department of Education Project Prevent grant. This new program will cover two more therapists for an Oakland middle school.

Experience Hope Upcoming Trainings:

Adult Mental Health First Aid teaches signs and symptoms of mental health issues and offers a simple (but not always easy) action plan for supporting people in our lives who might be experiencing a mental health challenge. Register online today!
Next training: Thursday, May 25th from 9am-5pm
Cost: FREE (a $175 value).
Please email Cat Willett for more information.

Youth Mental Health First Aid training is a nationally-certified training focused on learning the signs, symptoms and supports for youth with mental health struggles. In addition to building knowledge, we hope to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health issues in our communities. Click here to register!

Next trainings:

·         Wednesday, May 24th from 9am-5pm
·         Thursday, June 1st and Friday, June 2nd from 9:30am-1:30pm (must attend both dates)
Cost: FREE (a $175 value)
Please email Cat Willett, Project Director, for more information.

Building Restorative Trauma-Responsive Systems is an experiential training focused on deepening understanding of restorative philosophy and practices, as well as other trauma-responsive practices.Click here to register!

Next training: Thursday, July 27th and Friday, July 28th from 9:30am-4:30pm (must attend both dates)

Cost: $250 for 14 hours of training
Please email Cat Willett for more information.
Restorative and Trauma-Responsive Skills Training builds on our existing “Building Restorative and Trauma-Responsive Systems” training and offers concrete skills and practices to create and maintain restorative, trauma-responsive systems.
Attending “Building Restorative and Trauma-Responsive Systems” is a prerequisite for attendance. Click here to register.Next training:
Wednesday, June 21st and Thursday, June 22nd from 9:30am-4:30pm (must attend both dates)
Cost: $250 for 14 hours of training
Please email Cat Willett for more information.
Love Your Neighbors Training: Bystander Intervention for Hate and Bias Incidentsaddresses what we can do as individuals to protect and support the members of our community who are vulnerable to attacks because of their race, religion, culture, gender, or faith. The training explores our role as individuals in supporting safe communities for everyone. In this interactive and experiential training, participants will learn about the bystander effect and the pre-planning needed to intervene and will practice specific intervention techniques. Click here to register!
Next training: Wednesday, June 7th from 1pm-5pm.
This training will be held at Catholic Charities’ Oakland Office.
Cost: $10-30 (Profits are donated to local organizations working on issues of justice in our communities.)
Please email Cat Willett for more information.

Did You Know?

We like to collect interesting information, reports, and studies that might be relevant to your work.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has developed an app, Suicide Safe, to help mental health and primary care providers decrease the suicide rate by offering tools that integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and address suicide risk among their patients.
 Young people with mental illness face a unique set of challenges as college students A website that offers advice for students in higher education has developed a guide called“College Planning with Psychiatric Disabilities.”
The organization “Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe” provides a virtual and interactive campus to help keep kids safe.The Child Abuse, School Bullying Prevention website offers a curriculum, facilitator training materials and resources for parents, schools and communities.
 The Oakland Unified School District has compiled a comprehensive directory of organizations that support the needs of Oakland residents with children in its schools.The OUSD Directory of Community Based Resources for Students and Families includes groups that provide mental health support, food and shelter, youth development and legal advice, among others assistance.
Pathways to Positive Futures is offering Promoting Positive Pathways to Adulthood, a series of 10 trainingmodules to support mental health providers who work with youth, young adults (aged 14-29) and their families.
The National Center for Safe Supportive Learning Environments’ website provides information on a host of topics, including resources for School Climate Improvement, tips for connecting with adolescent boys and engaging parents and communities in the education process.
For an overview of the latest resources on trauma, toxic stress, and executive functioning of children (also called self-regulatory capacities, which are the ability to organize, plan, and practice self-control), check out the U.S. Department of Education’s Resource Guide to Trauma-Informed Human Services
The TV news show NBC Bay Area ran a story about the West Contra Costa County Unified School District possibly banning suspensions for student defiance; the proposed policy addresses the disproportionate number of suspensions given to students of color.

In Other News…

The New York Times article, “A Focus on Health to Resolve Urban Ills,” mentions Catholic Charities of the East Bay as a beneficiary of The California Endowment.
The Martinez Tribune published “The Homily on the Woman at the Well,” which included information provided by Catholic Charities.
Mary Kuhn, Catholic Charities’ Director of Communications, was quoted in the Richmond Confidential article, “Feminine Hygiene Products Unavailable to Many East Bay Women.”

Tool of the Month

Mental Health America offers a tool kit organizations can use to engage community members in providing support for mental health.The emphasis is on identifying and preventing risky behavior. Included are media relations materials, such as key messages and press releases, and social media resources, like sample Facebook and Twitter posts.Register here to receive information.
For organizations that can pull together an event quickly, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is providing a tool kit for sponsoring an event for National Prevention (May 14th to May 20th). SAMHSA offers ideas, tips for planning, fact sheets and checklists.