Mid-America MHTTC Newsletter
Good morning,

We cannot believe it is already September. Our team had a busy month planning and hosting training events for school mental health workers beginning a new school year, airing the second webinar in our Coming Home to Primary Care: Pediatric Integrated Health series, and ramping up universal and targeted training opportunities in serious mental illness.

Read on for summations of our ongoing and upcoming projects, links to new products and resources, and a staff spotlight on our newest regional trainer, Hannah West, PhD. As always, don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions, concerns or feedback.

Best wishes,

The Team at the Mid-America MHTTC
We hope to connect with you through one of our events!
Student Mental Health During COVID-19: What Emergency Response Organizations Need to Know
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 4 | ONLINE
Well-Being Wednesdays: Taking Care of Teachers Who Take Care of Kids
12-1 p.m. Sept. 9 / Ongoing | ONLINE
Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 18 | ONLINE
Program limited to select participants
Grief Sensitivity Virtual Learning Institute
Sept. 10-11 / Nov. 12-13 | ONLINE
Coming Home to Primary Care: Pediatric Integrated Health
Session 2: Ready to Hit the Pavement: How to Dive Into Primary Care
12-1 p.m. Sept. 25 | ONLINE
National Suicide Prevention Week - Sept. 8-14
World Suicide Prevention Day - Sept. 10
Webinar to offer school-reopening strategies for emergency managers, public health professionals and school admins
The Mid-America MHTTC is excited to announce the development of a new webinar, Student Mental Health During COVID-19: How to Prepare as Schools Reopen,

geared toward emergency managers, public health professionals (state and local health departments) and school administrators who are working together to create school reopening and response plans.

The webinar will air at 11 a.m. CT on Friday, Sept. 4. Session content will focus on the mental health needs of children, adolescents and educators related to crises and how community and school organizations can partner to develop responsive plans that address these needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions upon registration, enabling our MHTTC Network specialists to shape content to meet audience needs. Presenters will devote the first segment of the hour-long presentation to the topic, then address attendee-submitted questions.

The recording of the webinar as well as additional resources will be posted on the web page. Certificates of completion are available to viewers of 50% or more of the live webinar.

This webinar is brought to you by the Mid-America MHTTC in collaboration with the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office, National Center for School Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).
Well-being skills for teachers offered via new webinar series
A new webinar series kicking off in early September will present well-being skills to education professionals, administrators, and stakeholders who are working together to create a culture of well-being that supports students and educators.

The introductory session for Well-Being Wednesdays: Taking Care of Educators Who Take Care of Kids, airing 12-1 p.m. Central Time Sept. 9, will cover the what, why, and how of the Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) and present strategies aimed at enhancing resilience and well-being.

Each successive session in this monthly series will focus on one of the 10 ARC practice modules and follow a tell-show-do approach. Session leaders will teach one skill per 30-minute session, outlining the skill, providing examples, and promoting use of the skill. During the last session of the series, participants will be encouraged to identify and practice strategies that align with their personal and professional values, resulting in a “personal recipe for well-being.”

Content is tailored to address needs within our region, but all are welcome to attend. Certificates of completion will be provided to viewers of 50% or more of the live webinars.
Applications open for school mental health learning community for administrators in midst of pandemic
The Mid-America MHTTC's school mental health program is excited to announce that the application period has opened for our upcoming professional learning community, Supporting School Mental Health During a Pandemic.

This learning community will be a collaboration between the Mid-America MHTTC team and the National Center for School Mental Health. The target audience for this learning community is administrators at the state, district, and building level. This learning community will be a year-long learning group with specific topics focused on providing SMH supports during the pandemic. The goal is to provide an opportunity to help teams problem-solve around specific challenges they are encountering.

Applications are due by close-of-business Friday, Oct. 2, with notifications to be issued by Friday, Oct. 9. The official start date is TBD and will be posted on the web page.
NEW RESOURCE: The Road to Primary Care: Several Paths to Coming Home Webinar Recording
To view the webinar, watch the video embedded above or click here.
Learn more about our monthly series Coming Home to Primary Care: Pediatric Integrated Health.
New podcast episode highlights housing and employment in the context of serious mental illness
Serious Mental Illness Program Director Bill Baerentzen, PhD, recently contributed insights on permanent supportive housing to the Essential Conversations in Social Services 2020 podcast.

In the latest episode, The Importance of Housing & Employment, Dr. Baerentzen and co-guest Suzanne Watson from Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services share stories illustrating the power of social factors in people's mental health and recovery and how funding mechanisms have shifted during COVID-19. Dr. Baerentzen and Watson also make planning recommendations for behavioral health providers in the midst of the pandemic.

Essential Conversations in Social Services 2020 features subject matter experts who discuss timely topics and share tips designed to help the behavioral health and substance use disorder workforce in Region 7. The podcast is co-hosted by our Center and the Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC). Please note that past episodes were previously called 20-Minute Tips: A Podcast for Behavioral Health Providers.
Family peer support concepts introduced via Aug. 20 webinar
The Mid-America MHTTC serious mental illness program on Aug. 20 co-presented the Family Peer Support: An Emerging Workforce webinar with the Omaha-based Community Alliance's family and peer services department.

The webinar introduced family peer support as a profession, explored its roles and functions, and highlighted specific training needs. Dr. Lilchandra Jai Sookram, manager of family and peer services at Community Alliance, and advocates Cecilia Losee and Rich Kalal shared what led them to get involved in family peer support.

Losee, a financial planner who specializes in working with special needs families, described caring for her adult daughter with serious mental illness and how it affected personal aspects of her life, including her marriage. This led her to family peer support, where she was able to connect with others in similar predicaments.

Losee said the network opened up crucial resources she did not know of, such as whom to call in the midst of a crisis. Now, her daughter has a strong team of mental health professionals and other doctors caring for her.

"That couldn't have happened without peer support," she said.
Kalal, a Community Alliance volunteer, said that after his daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2012, the stress of caring for her led him to struggle with controlling his emotions. A friend directed him to Dr. Sookram at Community Alliance, and eight years later, he is still deeply involved with the family peer support group.

Kalal said he has spoken with hundreds of people since he joined, and the empathy and bonds that form are lasting. Now, he advocates for families undergoing similar situations.

The Family Peer Support: An Emerging Workforce webinar will be expanded into a monthly series beginning in October. To learn more, check out the area of focus spotlight on our serious mental illness program below.

To watch the webinar, play the embedded video below or click here.
Serious Mental Illness
In our nascent years, the majority of our serious mental illness training has been delivered at the intensive level and developed for specific entities. Now, our program is expanding to offer more universal and targeted training opportunities that will be shared online.

One such training opportunity is a new monthly webinar series building from content shared in our Aug. 20 Family Peer Support: An Emerging Workforce webinar, co-hosted by Omaha-based Community Alliance. This series will expand upon concepts outlined in this webinar, drawing from SAMHSA-published competencies in peer support. It will explore how persons with lived experience as a family member, friend or other caregiver of a person with a mental illness can support others in a similar situation, and discuss the training needs of this emerging workforce. Mark your calendars for the following sessions:

Family Peer Support: Outcomes
Thursday, Oct. 22, 12-1 p.m.

Family Peer Support: Self-care
Thursday, Nov. 19, 12-1 p.m.

Family Peer Support: Being Part of the Mental Health Team
Thursday, Dec. 17, 12-1 p.m.

Family Peer Support: Preventing Crisis and Relapse
Thursday, Jan. 21, 12-1 p.m.

Registration links and speaker information will be released soon. Bookmark this page for updates.
Each newsletter we highlight our work in one of our core training areas: school mental health, integrated behavioral health in primary care, serious mental illness and behavioral health workforce development.
Hannah West, PhD
Hannah West, PhD, is our newest regional trainer for the Mid-America MHTTC and postdoctoral behavioral health provider at Sunflower Pediatric Behavioral Health in Shawnee, Kansas. Dr. West completed an undergraduate degree in psychology at Henderson State University, a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Missouri State University, and a doctorate in school psychology at Oklahoma State University.

Dr. West is passionate about assisting schools and districts at the systems level through consultation and coaching to match student academic, behavioral and mental health needs with resources available through the development of multi-tiered systems of support. As a trainer for the National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) PREPaRE curriculum, she is also passionate about working with schools to implement best-practice prevention, intervention, and postvention supports related to school crises. She began working with the Mid-America MHTTC's school mental health team during her predoctoral internship at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, but recently was promoted to regional trainer in Missouri and Kansas.

"When I first got involved, I was impressed with the level of evidence-based training and support provided, along with the reach within our four-state region," Dr. West says. "I am thrilled to be able to further expand our services in Missouri and Kansas as a regional trainer, and to assist in building our network and connections across the region to develop partnerships and opportunities for training and technical assistance."

Dr. West is gearing up for an exciting year, professionally and personally. She and her husband are settling into their new home in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, as they also prepare to welcome their first child in the coming weeks.

"I am excited for parenthood and the changes it will bring to our lives," she says.
Each newsletter we shed light on an exceptional contributor to Mid-America MHTTC's mission.
You have reached the conclusion of this issue. Thank you for reading!
Mid-America MHTTC | 402.552.7697 | MHTTCnetwork.org/midamerica
The Mid-America Mental Health Technology Transfer Center is a SAMHSA-funded program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The Mid-America MHTTC provides training in evidence-based practices to the four-state area of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. 
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