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Welcome Kristina Sabetta
Kristina Sabetta, LMSW is the new Executive Consultant for MHA AZ. Kristina came to us from CHEEERS Recovery Center, a peer-run, peer-driven behavioral health care provider here in Arizona, where she served as their President and CEO since 2014. During her tenure, CHEEERS obtained additional funds, brought on 8 new programs, rebranded the agency, expanded their Center, increased enrollment and increased the agency's presence in the greater Phoenix community. Prior to that, Kristina was the President and CEO of Mental Health America of Wisconsin. Under her leadership, MHA grew enormously and became a leader in mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. Kristina is an advocate, volunteer, athlete, wife, mom, step-mom, home owner, landlord - and she is also in recovery from depression and bulimia. With her professional and lived experience, she has dedicated her time, energy, and talents to inspiring hope and saving lives. She is an advocate for change and we are fortunate to have her talents at MHA-AZ as we build on our foundation, strengthen our presence, and demand change. Please join us in welcoming Kristina!

Thank you Max Dine

We recently said goodbye to a tremendous mental health advocate, Max Dine. Cheryl Collier, President of the Mental Health Guild and past Executive Director of MHA-AZ, reflects a little on who Max was. Max was "a wonder - a one in a million." After moving to Arizona from Colorado, Max joined MHA-AZ's board and within a short period of time he "became one of the greatest & best known advocates in Arizona." Max Dine was selected as a recipient of the MHA Clifford Beers award, which is the most honorable award given out by our national affiliate. "Max won hearts and changed minds. He became very dear to all of us." On behalf of MHA-AZ and this large mental health community, we want to thank Max for all he has done. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all who knew and loved him.

Community Calendars
Cenpatico Integrated Care AZ Community Events
Mercy Maricopa of Integrated Care Community Events 
Health Choice Integrated Care Community Events 
AZ Center for Applied Behavioral Health  Events

Arizona Trauma Institute Trainings 
NAMI AZ Calendar
Sign up here for a Mental Health First Aid class near you!

2016 Board of Directors 
Michael Shafer, Ph.D. Chair  
Joshua Mozell, J.D., Vice Chair  
Jason Bernstein, C.P.A., Treasurer

Jack Beveridge
Max Dine, M.D.

Sheri George
Charles Goldstein, M.D
Laurie Goldstein

Emily Jenkins, J.D.
Marcus Johnson , M.P.H.
Karen Pitico, M.P.H.
Mohamed Ramadan, M.D. 
Clarke Romans
June 15th, 2016
Thank you to all who attended our Conference! 
It brought together individuals and family members living with mental illness, health care providers, and other mental health partners in public safety, education and faith communities, by discussing the early detection and prevention of mental illness. There were over 200 people attending, 12 sponsors, many exhibitors and so much more! It was a fantastic event, we saw so many colleagues, friends, and associates there. We all had a great time and hope to see everyone return next year! 
  Some more of our Board of Directors members are featured in this shot. These members were also sponsors for the conference as well. Thanks for all your help! 
More images and conference highlights can be found on our website's homepage at
Looking for More Information About KidsCare?

Check out this handy factsheet regarding KidsCare brought to you by Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers. 

This document has information regarding: what the program is, who qualifies, how much it costs, and even where you can find someone to help you apply! 

Addiction Community Resources Toolkit by Addiction Policy Forum

" On May 10, 2016, U.S. Representatives in districts nationwide released a comprehensive addiction resources toolkit to help the families impacted by the heroin and opioid epidemic across their states. The Addiction Policy Forum worked with leading national and community organizations to gather these resources.  Leading national and community organizations contributed to this comprehensive set of resources."

"We want families impacted by addiction to know that help is out there. Until now, the best resources-from prevention and education to treatment and recovery-could be difficult to track down."  - Jessica Nickel, Executive Director of Addiction Policy Forum

Community members can download the kit and preview other resources by visiting Addiction Policy Forum's website
New Behavioral Health Hospital Opens in Avondale

Over three hundred people attended a   special ceremony on May 9 for the new 56,000 square foot, 72-bed hospital located on the northeast corner of McDowell Road and 107th Avenue - in Avondale.

"For better or worse, behavioral health is certainly an aspect and definitely needed in our community," said John Safin,  President & CEO of the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce. Safin thanked the hospital operator for establishing themselves in the west valley and commended them for their  willingness to care for those in need.

New Crisis Resource: Disaster Distress Helpline

In light of the recent tragic events that occurred in Orlando, FL, some new disaster distress resources have been shared by the national MHA affiliate. 

The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Calls (1-800-985-5990) and texts (text "TalkWithUs" to 66746) are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the country, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support.


Check out our website under "Resources" and the "Help & Support" headings for more information regarding the Disaster Distress Helpline.

Updates from the National Institute of Mental Health
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) strengthened access to health care for individuals transitioning from incarceration back to their communities. New Medicaid guidance just released updates decades-old policy and clarifies that individuals who are currently on probation, parole, or in home confinement are not considered inmates of a public institution. It also extends coverage to Medicaid-eligible individuals living in community halfway houses where they have freedom of movement, improving access to care for as many as 96,000 individuals in Medicaid expansion states over the course of the year.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse has released an emerging trends notice about recent media reports and official alerts in several U.S. communities warning of counterfeit pain and anxiety medications that actually contain fentanyl, an extremely powerful, potentially deadly opioid. The pills, which are disguised as common prescription drugs like Norco (hydrocodone), Percocet (oxycodone), and Xanax (alprazolam), are responsible for a growing number of overdose deaths and non-fatal overdoses around the country. Fentanyl is 25 to 50 times stronger than heroin, so even a small amount can cause an overdose. The fake pills are much cheaper than the real versions. The public should be aware that drugs obtained on the street, even though they look like a real prescription pharmaceutical, may be deadly. It is always unsafe to take a prescription drug unless it comes from one's own prescription and is dispensed by a reputable pharmacy. Notice 
  • For people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), early detection and early intervention can help a great deal in improving outcomes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that health care providers screen for ASD at the 18- and 24-month visits. Researchers supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) are working to develop screening tools that can detect the disorder even earlier. Click here for resources
  • Increase in Suicide in the U.S., 1999-2014
    Suicide is an important public health issue involving psychological, biological, and societal factors. After a period of nearly consistent decline in suicide rates in the U.S. from 1986 through 1999, suicide rates have increased almost steadily from 1999 through 2014. While suicide among adolescents and young adults is increasing and among the leading causes of death for those demographic groups, suicide among middle-aged adults is also rising. This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report presents an overview of suicide mortality in the U.S. from 1999 through 2014. Suicide rates in 1999 are compared with 2014 for both females and males across age groups, and percentages are compared by method (firearms, poisoning, suffocation, and other means). More info, click here 
Mental Health America of Arizona wants to acknowledge the support of Janssen Pharmaceutical Company. Corporate support is key to assuring there is a voice in the community.

We invite your participation and sharing of this newsletter by forwarding to your friends and colleagues.  If they wish to receive the newsletter, encourage them to simply click on the link here.  Let's share the word.  Time to get involved.
Kristina Sabetta, LMSW
Executive Consultant