May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

For many of us, mental health and wellness have taken on new meanings as we cope with the ongoing pandemic and its effects. This Monthly Bulletin includes many new COVID-19-related resources and events from our center and across the field to support you in this work.

Below, our Youth & Young Adults (YYA) Feature highlights Mental Health Awareness Month events from our partners. For more Mental Health Month resources, visit the 2020 Tools2Thrive toolkit from Mental Health America (MHA).
The   Pacific Southwest MHTTC   is a SAMHSA-funded center serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa,Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau.
Contact us   for technical assistance and support on mental health topics. 
Invite your team to sign up:


The Pacific Southwest MHTTC’s new series of topical resource kits is designed to help you find high-quality resources on caring for yourself, your loved ones, and the communities you serve. Each document includes curated tools, trainings, and virtual or phone-based supports. Sample topics include:

  • Resources for mental health practitioners, healthcare providers, and social workers
  • Supporting diverse populations, including people with disabilities and communities of color
  • Substance abuse recovery in the context of stay-at-home orders
  • And more

Bookmark this page! The kits will be updated on an ongoing basis.

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The Pacific Southwest MHTTC’s new handbook is written for licensed behavioral health providers who are working to transition to telehealth care. In this time of rapid change, clinicians need quick, accessible information on telehealth basics and best practices. Developed in consultation with mental health providers in our region, this guide includes tips and checklists, research-informed considerations, and more resources. Sections include:

  • Clinical Practices to Establish and Maintain Telehealth Care 
  • Telepresence Best Practices
  • Telehealth Laws, Risk Management, and Billing
  • Using Technology and Establishing Your Space

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Self-care is a critical tool to maintain our wellness and work-life balance. Even under normal circumstances, it can be difficult to prioritize self-care. But now, more than ever, it’s important for systems-involved youth and the mental health field to pause and be intentional about addressing physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational needs. This tip sheet shares resources for young adults or those supporting youth and young people during the pandemic.

Third Wednesday of Each Month
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET / 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT / 7:00-8:00 a.m. HT ( view in your time zone )

Do you work with youth and young adults of transition age in California? If so, join us for the California TAY Professional Learning Community (PLC), our monthly community learning forum on topics relevant to TAY-serving providers, advocates, champions, and allies.

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Tuesday, May 26
2:00-3:30 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PT / 8:00-9:30 a.m. HT ( view in your time zone )
Times of crisis necessitate health care leaders to balance competing priorities, including patient need, staff wellbeing, and one’s own health. This session will dedicate time to exploring strategies for improving leadership response during crises. This Presenters will discuss the Crisis Leadership Continuum, highlighting health care leadership approaches and strategies that are integral to ensuring staff wellbeing. Presented by Leora Wolf-Prusan, EdD, and featuring a Practitioner Highlight with Nkem Ndefo, MSN, CNM, RN.


Meet the Facilitators:
Leora Wolf-Prusan, EdD is the Director of Partnerships & Learning at the Center for Applied Research Solutions (CARS). In this role, she supports the agency’s teaching and learning portfolio and serves as the Pacific Southwest MHTTC School Mental Health field director and training specialist, in addition to many other facilitation projects. Leora develops and leads trainings on trauma-informed and resilience-oriented practices, policies, programs, and paradigm shifts founded in an anti-racist stance. Leora specializes in crisis readiness, response, recovery, and renewal; grief in the workplace; and fostering cultures that embody self and collective care.
Nkem Ndefo  is the founder and president of Lumos Transforms and creator of The Resilience Toolkit, a model that promotes embodied self-awareness and self-regulation in an ecologically sensitive framework and social justice context. She brings an abundance of experience as a clinician, educator, consultant, and community strategist to innovative programs that address stress and trauma and build resilience for individuals, organizations, and communities. She regularly provides subject matter expertise, including serving on the Los Angeles County Trauma- and Resilience-Informed Systems Change Initiative Workgroup and developing a pilot learning academy for peer support workers as part of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Trauma Prevention Initiative.
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Friday, June 5
5:00-6:30 p.m. ET / 2:00-3:30 p.m. PT / 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. HT ( view in your time zone )
This presentation will focus on understanding the environment in which suicidality is possible. Tiara Peterkin, LCSW, will review key elements of the psychological and social environment that increase likelihood of suicidality. To make a nuanced assessment, we must also understand relevant cultural factors and their impact on an individual’s suicide risk . Ms. Peterkin will provide a brief review of special risk factors for populations at increased risk for suicide. The target audience for this presentation is mental health professionals, including licensed and non-licensed staff.

Meet the Presenter:
Tiara Peterkin, LCSW, is an advanced practice clinical social worker who has been working in the field for 8 years. Ms. Peterkin worked in several Veterans Affairs programs, including homeless outreach, combat PTSD, the emergency department, homeless case management, suicide prevention, and outpatient mental health. Under her stewardship, the suicide prevention program was able to increase outreach and engagement activities throughout the Pacific Basin. Ms. Peterkin is passionate about suicide prevention and is thrilled to share her knowledge with the audience.
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NEW! Implicit Bias in Mental Health Webinar Series

Everyone has implicit biases, and it is important to become mindful of how they can show up and impact our work with others. In this new summer learning series, we will explore the dynamics of implicit bias and its impact on decision-making in behavioral health spaces. This series will challenge you to:

  • Reflect on your own implicit bias
  • Experientially grapple with the concepts of prejudice, bias, microaggressions, and stereotypes
  • Recognize the role bias plays in responding to mental health concerns and in client interactions
  • Learn ways to become self-aware of personal biases
  • Acknowledge the way bias shows up in our organizational culture, climate, policies, and practices
  • Examine strategies to break the biases that show up in organizational structure and engagement with communities
Presented by Pacific Southwest MHTTC team members Rachele Espiritu, PhD, Project Co-Director; Suganya Sockalingam, PhD, Knowledge Transfer Specialist; and Kaitlin Ferrick, JD, Knowledge Transfer Specialist .
Session Date: May 13

Wednesday, July 22
6:00-7:30 p.m. ET / 3:00-4:30pm PT / 12:00-1:30 p.m. HT ( view in your time zone )

Thursday, August 27
6:00-7:30 p.m. ET / 3:00-4:30pm PT / 12:00-1:30 p.m. HT ( view in your time zone )
Pacific Southwest MHTTC Virtual Learning Guide: Study Sessions

The PS MHTTC's Virtual Learning Guide is a workbook-style facilitator's handbook to support the transition to digital platforms. These 45-minute sessions covered different components of the guide.
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Cinthya Chin Herrera, PsyD, and Erin Rosenblatt, PsyD, of the WestCoast Children's Clinic presented best practices and strategies for clinical supervision by video or phone.
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This webinar explored systems and agency leadership approaches that embrace trauma-informed care, blending brain science, principles for building a safe environment, and promising practices.
Focus on Mental Health Awareness Month
This month, we’re highlighting three organizations that are hosting Mental Health Awareness Month activities specific to young adult services and supports. Thank you to our partners for hosting and sharing these events!

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow f or the California Professional Learning Community for the TAY Mental Health Workforce and Champions.

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Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month  

CLASP’s mental health work centers on systems and policy change with an explicit focus on how race and ethnicity affect a person’s interactions with systems and services. Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, CLASP will explore the role of historical and cultural trauma, the importance of lived experience , how to create more equitable access to mental health resources, and the importance of access to a full continuum of mental health care.

Upcoming CLASP Webinars  

Wednesday, May 20
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET / 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT / 7:00-8:00 a.m. HT ( view in your time zone )
This session will present learnings from young parents about practice, program, and policy solutions that can address their mental health needs. 

Wednesday, May 27
3:00-4:00 p.m. ET / 12 :00 -1:00 p.m. PT / 9:00-10:00 a.m. HT ( view in your time zone )
Understanding the current response to the opioid epidemic requires a closer look at what barriers have existed for communities of color. This discussion will explore how we can adapt the current response to address these constraints.

Recent CLASP Mental Health Publications  

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Youth MOVE National (YMN) Announces Children's Mental Health Awareness (CMHA) Plan

YMN is excited to announce the 2020 Children's Mental Health Awareness theme, " Perfect Vision in 20/20 ," in support of the  National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health . For Youth MOVE, the theme fits the current situation we are experiencing with COVID-19. We are witnessing the impact of blind spots in our current systems for youth. In creating a plan, strategy, and policy change for the future, Youth MOVE wants to seek out those blind spots and create a better vision for youth.

This year, Youth MOVE will be creating a nation-wide vision board that will feature CMHA 2020 projects – including photos, videos, event flyers, essays, poems, and more – to create a web space of these blind spots. Youth MOVE wants to use a new lens to highlight calls for policy-change action. 

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Transitions ACR/iSPARC Mental Health Awareness Month Contest

The  Mental Health Experienced & Years Of Understanding  (MHE & YOU) Advisory Council at iSPARC / Transitions ACR launched a photo contest for May is Mental Health Month to show that we may be physically distant, but we can still be a community. Six winners will each win $50.

Transitions ACR also has a robust, frequently updated library of tip sheets, webinars, and external resources on supports for youth and young adults during the pandemic.

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Please find ways to virtually advocate for mental health wellness. Join a Twitter chat, a virtual festival, and/or webinar in the month of May!
Webinars & Virtual Meetings, and On-Demand Learning

Outpatient Settings: May 20 or June 23
Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings: May 28 or June 10
All trainings are 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. HT

In May and June, Zero Suicide Institute is offering full-day online AMSR trainings designed with the same standards and outcomes as in-person trainings. 6.5 CE hours available.
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Tuesday, May 26

National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC will discuss culturally responsive coping strategies for Latino clients. For social workers, counselors, psychologists, and graduate students.

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Thursday, May 28
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET / 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT / 7:00-8:00 a.m. HT ( view in your time zone )

This recorded workshop and resource collection addresses topics such as structuring, facilitating, and managing conflict during workplace or community online healing circles.

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Monday, June 1 | Weekly on Mondays

Northwest MHTTC leads a weekly forum for Assertive Community Treatment teams. June 1: "Efforts to Support Participation, Independence, and Functioning in Extraordinary Times."

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Thursday, June 4

Central East MHTTC will explore best practices for psychotropic medication management and self-care planning with youth in or transitioning from foster care.

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Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 21-June 16
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET / 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT / 7:00-8:00 a.m. HT

Northwest MHTTC is partnering with Forefront Suicide Prevention Training Center and DBT in Schools to provide a 16-lesson online curriculum on DBT STEPS-A (Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents). Join Drs. Jim and Lizz Mazza and their family as they teach kids the basics of emotional regulation and skills such as mindfulness and distress tolerance. For families, students, educators, and others who work with youth.

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This course explores healthcare provider grief, burnout, compassion fatigue, meaning-making, and more. 9.6 Nursing CE hours are offered for California professionals.

June 24-26 | Virtual

The 2020 theme of this national conference for licensed mental health counselors is Energized, Empowered, & Unified: Shaping the Future of Mental Health.

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August 6-9 | Virtual

APA 2020 is transitioning from an in-person event in Washington, DC, to a virtual event. Visit the conference page to view keynote speakers and sign up for updates.

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August 9-13 | Tucson, AZ

The SWS conference features nationally known speakers and local presenters addressing a wide range of behavioral health topics. Registration begins June 1.

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September 16-18 | Los Angeles, CA

The National Hispanic & Latino Technology Transfer Centers present a forum for discussing Latino and Hispanic community-focused prevention, treatment, and recovery.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) finds that more people sheltering in place reported negative mental health effects from COVID-19 (47%) than people not sheltering in place (37%), among other key takeaways in this new brief.

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In a new study ( Journal of Adolescent Health ) based on interviews with hundreds of California 17-year-olds in the foster care system, half were receiving mental health counseling and one-third used medication. View the press release for more important learnings.
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The National American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) MHTTC assembled this list of resources for providers who are Native and/or who support individuals (updates ongoing).

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The 5 C’s are HealSF’s trauma-informed clinical guidelines for supporting first responders. Learn about the 5 C’s with this training video, infographic, and sample script.

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Share SMI Adviser’s infographic tip sheet (available in English and Spanish) with clients and community members to help them prepare for a telemental health appointment.

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SAMHSA’s new guide offers a checklist of considerations for professionals who provide or coordinate services that help women with reentry after justice system involvement.

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15-30-minute videos

The NN COVID-19 series includes ten videos with trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry on relevant topics such as “Patterns of Stress Determine Risk and Resilience” and “Decision Fatigue.”
Contact the Pacific Southwest MHTTC
Toll-Free: 1-844-856-1749  Email:   
Disclaimer:  The views, opinions, and content expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).