Bringing Family Lived Experience To You


Accept, Advocate, Act


June 1, 2023 | Volume 1, Issue 8


Children's Mental Health Acceptance

Recorded CMHAW Panel


NFF News and Highlights

Annual Conference Tentative Schedule


Learn more about Keynote Speaker Hasan Davis


SAMHSA Webinar: Including and Elevating Fathers in Family Mental Health Support


Recorded SAMHSA Webinar:

Supporting Family Members with Co-Occurring Diagnoses


NFSTAC News and Highlights

Family Connections: Fathering

June 1st, 1:30 p.m. ET


Office Hour: Celebrating Success: The Importance of Messaging

June 13th, 3:00 p.m. ET


Family Connections: Father to Father

June 7th, 8:00 p.m. ET


Celebrating Our Affiliates

Indiana Family to Family


Legislative & Advocacy News

Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act


Saluting Fathers Resources


Events and Resources

COE for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health's Pride Month Series: Walking with Tribal Youth on Their Sacred Journey

June 5th, 12th, 20th, and 26th, 1:00 p.m. ET


Peer Recovery COE's Nonprofit Basics Series: Effective Budgeting for Nonprofits

June 6th, 1:00 p.m. ET


NE and Caribbean MHTTC's Supported Education Services: A Pathway to Cap and Gown for College Students with Mental Health Conditions

June 7th, 2:00 p.m. ET


SSW MHHTC's Creating Affirming Environments for LGBTQ People Receiving Services

June 23rd, 10:00 a.m. ET


Website: UMass's Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research


Resource: Mental Health America's Peer Support in College Mental Health Initiatives

Note from the Executive Director


Saluting Fathers and Father Figures!


Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's Children's Mental Health ACCEPTANCE Week a success! We heard from so many great leaders in children's mental health during SAMHSA's event series, were blessed with inspiring stories from the Dennises during NFF's intimate conversation, and saw so many in our community advocating for acceptance now!


This June, we want to put the spotlight on the fathers and father figures who support their children across the lifespan with mental health and/or substance use challenges. They are our heroes everyday, but during this month of Father's Day, we want to say a special thank you for all that you do to support your families.


We have some wonderful events where you'll hear directly from fathers themselves about how they are including and elevating fathers and father figures in their organizations' mental health support. Join us to learn from Nelson Rascon of Dads M.O.V.E., George Fleming of Allegheny Family Network, and James C. Rodriguez of Fathers and Families Coalition of America for some inspiring events.


To all our superhero fathers and father figures, THANK YOU for all that you do!


With hope,

Lynda Gargan, PhD

Executive Director, National Federation of Families

Children's Mental Health:

We Accepted, Advocated, & Acted!

From webinars to proclamations to events, May was inspirational. If you are looking for inspiration, take time to watch our May 18th Parent Panel.

Watch Panel Here

What a month! We saw new Children’s Mental Health Acceptance proclamations in Hawaii, New Jersey, Alabama, West Virginia, and twelve Massachusetts communities joining New York, Tennessee, Oregon, Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Delaware, and Idaho. We loved seeing school districts like New York State Education Department, Hawaii Public Schools, Tulsa Public Schools, Wisconsin’s Racine Unified School District, and Maryland's Prince George's County Schools all celebrating Acceptance Weeks for children in their community.


In El Paso, a local healthcare provider sponsored Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Day and Fair, celebrated at the El Paso Zoo, while youth in Oklahoma City got to be a Mental Health Superhero alongside Oklahoma Family Network. "A" means Aloha and Acceptance in Hawaii—with a proclamation from the Governor thanks to support from our affiliate Hawaii Families as Allies and Hawaii Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division. Nevada PEP went green for Children's Mental Health Acceptance Day, while bells were ringing over in Missouri. TN Voices celebrated Children’s Mental Health Acceptance at a local elementary school with “See Me, Hear Me,” an all-day art event. As a result, several children are now receiving mental health services. We're grateful for everyone's efforts!

Above (from top left, clockwise): Southwest Florida Wellness Network with Florida proclamation; Nevada PEP's social media campaign; TN Voices and System of Care Across Tennessee accept proclamation from Clarksville, TN mayor; and Racine Unified School District's CMHAW campaign

National Federation of Families News & Highlights

You can now register for the 2023 NFF Annual Conference in Chicago, IL November 9-11!

Get your ticket now to take advantage of our early bird pricing! Explore our conference webpage to learn more about our theme, focus areas, tracks, and conference site!

Register for the 2023 NFF Annual Conference

Introducing Our Key Note Speaker

Hasan Davis


Come to our conference this November to hear Hasan's lived experience of overcoming hardships to graduate college and law school, success leading comprehensive juvenile justice reform in Kentucky as the Commissioner of Juvenile Justice, and his work helping young people and adults to find their voice, personal power, sense of self-respect, and dignity. Hasan will also be doing a special session just for youth!

Learn More about Hasan Here

Tentative Conference Schedule


Making travel plans for our conference? Make sure to come to Chicago a day early for our FREE Pre-conference Training on the soon-to-be published Family Peer Support Curriculum! Check out our full tentative conference schedule so you'll know when to see all of the excellent full conference speakers, presentations, and exhibitors, as well as when you'll be able to enjoy some delicious meals with us.

View the Schedule
Register Here

National Federation of Families and SAMHSA Present

Including and Elevating Fathers in Family Mental Health Support


Dr. James C. Rodriguez and his team at the Fathers and Families Coalition of America have used their extensive lived experience and expertise as clinicians and family members to create a variety of professional development opportunities and an international conference to increase the knowledge and skills around family mental health and substance use support not only for fathers and families, but also for those who support them. Learn about the programs that Fathers and Families Coalition of America offers, including specific strategies that Family Peer Specialists, clinicians, and others working in the mental health and substance use fields can use to better support fathers.

Watch Supporting Family Members with Co-Occurring Diagnoses


On May 24th, NFF Project Specialist Dana Asby led a panel of phenomenal family members who wear multiple hats in a discussion of how they support their own and others' family members through the challenges of a co-occurring diagnosis. Listen to the inspiring conversation between Muriel Jones, Executive Director of the Central FL Federation of Families and the mother of a son with a co-occurring diagnosis; Rachael Craig-Dunn, the Family Program Supervisor for South FL Wellness Network who has supported families as a family peer; and Dr. Mark Thomsen, an Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry Department of both University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton University where he supports individuals with co-occurring diagnoses and their families.

Watch Webinar

New Leadership at the Association for Children's Mental Health


The National Federation of Families welcomes the new Executive Director of the Association for Children's Mental Health, Carla Pretto. In addition to her lived experience as a parent, Ms. Pretto brings more than 25 years of experience as a manger and mentor with a history of project planning and implementation, as well as professional experience as a researcher and nurse. We look forward to seeing ACMH continue to grow under Ms. Pretto's leadership.

We also want to thank Jane Shank, ACMH's outgoing Executive Director who led the organization in their efforts to make a positive change in mental health and related systems for the past 10 years. In addition to connecting families to each other and resources, Ms. Shank made sure families' voices were heard at all levels of advocacy. We wish her the best as she transitions into a new role.

QUESTION: How do you involve fathers in mental health support work?
We have programming directed towards fathers.
We attend community events popular with fathers to share resources.
We partner with organizations that support fathers.
We actively recruit fathers as staff members.

New TAC Talk:

What Can I Do to Manage Loss?


NFSTAC has collaborated with the Partnership to End Addiction on a series of TAC Talks—short videos to introduce practical strategies to family members of loved ones with mental health and/or substance use challenges. Check out our second TAC Talk about managing feelings of loss and seeking support.

Watch TAC Talk

Watch April NFSTAC Events



Office Hour: Moving from Awareness to Acceptance Through Storytelling with Steven Jackson and Jo Tyler


Webinar: Marijuana: What Parents, Schools, and the Healthcare Workforce Need to Know with Linda Richter and Stormy Skrip

NFSTAC invites you to submit requests for free technical assistance from our network of partners and subject matter experts. NFSTAC is driven by the needs of families and the workforce that supports families. You'll find education, training, and family support resources tailored specifically to families, the family peer workforce, communities, healthcare systems, clinicians, and educators.

Learn More & Request TA

Family Connections: Fathering

June 1st, 1:30 p.m. ET


Join our first of two Family Connections this month. The concept of “fathering” can be described as someone who responds readily and consistently to a child's developmental needs over time. But “fathering” is also a movement across the country, providing peer support and training for people who may not have had a role model to emulate, fathers who’ve not parented their children, or to simply connect with other fathers. 

Register Here

Family Connections:

Father to Father

June 7th, 8:00 p.m. ET

 

We’ve planned this special late day event to engage fathers, father role models, parents, and caregivers in an open conversation led by two

fathers and leaders in the movement. Nelson Rascon and George Fleming will speak about how they empower other fathers through education, peer support, and advocacy, and connect Father to Father.

Register Here

Office Hour:

Celebrating Success:

The Importance of Messaging

June 13th, 3:00 p.m. ET


In our last Office Hour of this series, John Ferrone shares his experience guiding leaders to reach their goals and achieve sustainability. Mr. Ferrone will help leaders and emerging leaders of family-run organizations to understand the nuances of when, what, and how to share their successes to secure funding, grow their audience, and increase impact.

Register Here

Celebrating Our Affiliates!

Indiana Family to Family

Indianapolis, IN


The National Federation of Families is pleased to welcome its newest affiliate Indiana Family to Family and their Executive Director Holly Wheeler to our community of advocates and family peers!


INF2F is the statewide organization that provides family peer support, resources, and training to families of children and youth with special health care needs—including mental health and substance use challenges. They have an impressive collection of Fact Sheetsmany of which are available in Spanish and other languages—that anyone can share. If you're in Indiana, make sure to register for their Heart to Heart Conference on 9/28!


We are excited to have this impressive group as a part of the NFF Family!

Visit INF2F's Website

Interested in being a Featured Affiliate?

In July, we'd love to feature YOU! Reach out to dasby@ffcmh.org if your organization has a program, event, or great story to share!

Legislative & Advocacy News

Read More

Pursuing Equity in

Mental Health

This month the Pursing Equity in Mental Health Act was reintroduced by Sen. Menendez (D-NJ), Representative Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Representative Napolitano (D-CA). The bill advocates for $995 million in grants to combat Black and brown suicide rates and mental health disparities among diverse children and adolescents. NFF as part of the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) worked in support of this legislation to address disproportionate realities for children and adolescents of color. This legislation includes provisions to address Black youth suicide rates and mental health disparities among children and adolescents of color. 

The Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act would authorize $995 million in grants and other funding to support research, improve the pipeline of culturally competent providers, build outreach programs that reduce stigma, and develop a training program for providers to effectively manage disparities. It includes:  

  • $750 million annually for 5 years for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • $150 million annually over 5 years for the National Institute of Health to build relationships with communities and support clinical research, including on racial or ethnic disparities in physical and mental health 
  • $15 million annually over 5 years for the Department of Health and Human Services to develop an outreach and education strategy to promote behavioral and mental health and reduce stigma associated with mental health conditions and substance abuse among minority groups
  • Updates to the Primary and Behavioral Health Care Grant Program to ensure that special consideration is given to serving a high proportion of racial and ethnic minority groups
  • Amendments to Section 597 of the Public Health Service Act to allow funds to be used to promote best practices or core competencies addressing mental health disparities among racial and ethnic minority groups for training students in the behavioral health field
  • Directions for the National Institutes of Health to enter into an arrangement with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine or another body to study mental health disparities in racial and ethnic minority groups and submit the result to Congress.

Keep an eye out for our new Legislation & Policy Updates Newsletter coming soon!

Keep Up with the Latest Legislative News

NFF's Legislation and Policy News for Family Advocates is the place to find the details on the bills, policies, and opportunities for input that family advocates need. Visit for the latest news and releases, proposed legislation and policies, and what's being implemented in both policy and legislation. It's updated monthly to give you the latest information in one place.

Visit Legislation and Policy Page

For the latest in Advocacy and Legislation, follow the National Federation of Families Legislation and Advocacy Facebook page. 

Saluting Fathers Resources

In addition to our three webinars for and about fathers, we've included recent research and resources about dads.

Research



Policies and Programs Affecting Fathers: A State-by-State Report


Preparing Fathers for Successful Community Re-entry


Advancing Equity for Fathers in Human Services Systems


Resources


  • The National Fatherhood Initiative locator helps in the search for father-focused programs. Their Inside-Out Dad© program connects fathers who are justice-involved to their children while preparing for release.



  • Our affiliate Dads M.O.V.E. offers training and support to all parents with children experiencing behavioral health challenges.


  • In Georgia, Fathers Incorporated offers creative programming and services to support black fathers and their extended community— including non-custodial fathers.


  • Look at the Dovetail Project to see how they help young Hispanic and African-American fathers break the cycle in Chicago.

Events and Resources

Upcoming Family Mental Health Events


COE for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health's Pride Month Series: Walking with Tribal Youth on Their Sacred Journey

June 5th, 12th, 20th, and 26th, 1:00 p.m. ET


Peer Recovery COE's Nonprofit Basics Series: Effective Budgeting for Nonprofits

June 6th, 1:00 p.m. ET


NE and Carribbean MHTTC's Supported Education Services: A Pathway to Cap and Gown for College Students with Mental Health Conditions

June 7th, 2:00 p.m. ET


SSW MHHTC's Creating Affirming Environments for LGBTQ People Receiving Services

June 23rd, 10:00 a.m. ET

UMass's Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research


University of Massachusetts's Chan Medical School runs the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research where they provide a wealth of information for young adults and their parents as they transition into legal adulthood. Many parents have questions about how to remain involved in their child's physical and behavioral healthcare when they and their children want to remain partners in care. Transitions ACR has resources like the My Must Have Papers tip sheet.

Visit Website

Resource: Mental Health America's Peer Support in College Mental Health Initiatives

As high school seniors enjoy their last summer at home before college, they might be wondering how best to find mental health support when they get to their new school. MHA has compiled a report with lessons from successful higher education peer programs with key themes and recommendations for young adults to start their own programs.

Access Resource
Sign Up for this Advisory Group

California State University Monterey Bay is seeking working parents of children with a mental or behavioral health challenge for a paid virtual advisory group. Invited parents will be compensated $50 per meeting from June 2023 until Spring 2024. You can learn more here and sign up to join the advisory board here.