MHA logo
Website        About MHAAZ       Contact Us
In This Issue


Shop Amazon

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to MHA AZ. Just click on the image above and start shopping!

Congrats Sheri George 

& Arizona PBS

We are proud to announce that the Arizona PBS Channel received the Honorable Mention Award by the National Press Foundation for Pinal County's story on the lack of mental health services in rural areas aka "Sheri's Fight." 

Congrats to Sheri, AZ PBS, and all those who made this story a reality.

Maricopa County Community Health Survey


Maricopa County Department of Public Health and community partners would like to get public input about important health topics in our community. Results of this survey will be used to help identify key health priorities for future community health improvement planning efforts. All information gathered in the survey will be kept confidential.

Survey ends 6/30/16.

Take the survey here.

For more information:
For questions or to obtain this survey in another format, please call (602) 372-0521.

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.
Barbara Lang, M.A., L.P.C., LISAC, CCSOTS

Karen Pitico, M.P.H.
Mohamed Ramadan, M.D. 
Clarke Romans
May 15th, 2016
It's happening soon!

This week, on May 20th and 21st, we will hold our annual conference, "B4Stage4:  Starting the Conversation". It will bring together individuals and family members living with mental illness, health care providers, and other mental health partners in public safety, education and faith communities, in discussing the early detection and prevention of mental illness.
There will be over 200 people attending, 12 sponsors, many exhibitors and so much more! It will be a great event, we hope to see many of you there.

Do You Know What Mental Illness Feels Like?
We often hear the clinical terms used by doctors and other professionals to identify the symptoms of mental illnesses...but if someone hasn't gone through it, would they know how to recognize it?

So often, clinical terms don't do justice to what
life with a mental illness feels like. We know that two people with the same diagnosis can experience the same symptom and describe it in very different ways. Understanding the signs of a mental illness and how it can feel can be confusing-and sometimes can contribute to ongoing silence or hesitation to get help.
It's important for people to talk about how it feels to live with a mental illness. We know that mental illnesses are common and treatable, and help is available. But not everyone knows what to look for when they are going through those early stages, and many simply experience symptoms differently. We all need to speak up early - Before Stage 4 - and in real, relatable terms so that people do not feel isolated and alone.
This May is Mental Health Month; MHA AZ is raising awareness of the importance of speaking up about mental health, and asking individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like by tagging social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike . Posting with our hashtag is a way to speak up, to share your point of view with people who may be struggling to explain what they are going through-and to help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness.
Life with a Mental Illness is meant to help remove the shame and stigma of speaking out, so that more people can be comfortable coming out of the shadows and seeking the help they need. Whether you are in Stage 1 and just learning about those early symptoms, or are dealing with what it means to be in Stage 4, sharing how it feels can be part of your recovery.
MHA AZ wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, that recovery is always the goal, and that the best prospects for recovery come when we act Before Stage 4 ( B4Stage4) . Addressing mental illnesses B4Stage4 means more than burying feelings and refusing to talk about them, and waiting for symptoms to clear up on their own.

B4Stage4 means more than wishing that mental health problems aren't real, and hoping that they will never get worse. B4Stage4 means more than thinking that someone on the edge of a crisis will always pull himself or herself back without our help, and praying that someone else will intervene before a crisis occurs.
B4Stage4 means, in part, talking about what mental illnesses feel like, and then acting on that information. It means giving voice to feelings and fears, and to hopes and dreams. It means empowering people as agents of their own recovery. And it means changing the trajectories of our own lives for the better, and helping those we love change theirs.
An Update on SB1457 or "KIDsCARE"

Last Friday, the governor of Arizona signed legislation restoring a program shelved six years ago. Known as KidsCare, this program helps to provide health care to the children of the working poor. Now passed, this bill allows Arizona to receive federal dollars to restart the program.

Following approval from the House and a 16-12 vote from the Senate, the Governor went into action mere hours following the results. This program is an expansion of the state's existing Medicaid program. It is funded by federal dollars that are administered by the state.

KidsCare stems from the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); Arizona joined in 2001. At the time, the action made "financial sense" to then-Governor Jane Hull and her administration. Years later in 2010, when the state was experiencing a deficit the state's lawmakers chose to allow no one new to be signed up for the program. Enrollment then dropped from 45,000 to less than 1,000.
One of the moves that paved the way for the program's reinstatement is that Congress has chosen to fully fund CHIP programs through 2017. Despite opposition from certain legislative leaders, voters both Republican and Democrat alike showed up in droves to protest until Senate was allowed to visit the issue.
In the end, SB1457 has passed and families across the state can rejoice. We of MHA-AZ would like to extend our sincere thanks to all the advocates, lobbyists, voters, and parents who spent time helping in order to get this law passed.

Looking for more information on KidsCare? Check out these links below.
Disclaimer: These websites have not yet updated since the bill passing was so recent but they can still provide cursory information about KidsCare.


Updates from the National Institute of Mental Health
  • More young children two to five years of age receiving care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could benefit from psychological services - including the recommended treatment of behavior therapy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) latest Vital Signs report urges healthcare providers to refer parents of young children with ADHD for training in behavior therapy before prescribing medicine to treat the disorder. Press Release, Digital Press Kit
  • The FDA approved Nuplazid (pimavanserin) tablets, the first drug approved to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with psychosis experienced by some people with Parkinson's disease. Hallucinations or delusions can occur in as many as 50 percent of patients with Parkinson's disease at some time during the course of their illness. People who experience them see or hear things that are not there (hallucinations) and/or have false beliefs (delusions). The hallucinations and delusions experienced with Parkinson's disease are serious symptoms, and can lead to thinking and emotions that are so impaired that the people experiencing them may not relate to loved ones well or take appropriate care of themselves.  Press Release 
  • New Web Portal: Child and Adolescent Mental Health - Children and teens can develop the same mental health disorders and conditions as adults, but their symptoms may be different or hard to identify. Learn more about child and adolescent mental health by visiting NIMH's new web portal
  • Moms' Mental Health Matters: Education Initiative - This initiative is designed to educate consumers and healthcare providers about who is at risk for depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy, the signs of these problems, and how to get help. This first phase of outreach focuses on educating consumers using free materials, including an action plan, posters, and tips that family and friends can use to start a conversation about this issue with their loved one. This initiative is part of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's (NICHD) National Child and Maternal Health Education Program. Find it 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