December News & Updates


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Minimum Age Requirements for Unlicensed Behavioral Health Staff
Manage Your Mental Health During the Holidays
Peer to Peer Groups for Teens by BLOOM365
RFGP Banner University Health Plan
Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package
Sleep Deprivation: The Effects on Mind and Body 

Upcoming Events and Community Calendar
Support Groups in Maricopa County
2018 MHA of AZ Board of Directors
Contact Us


Support Consistency of Minimum Age Requirements for  Unlicensed Behavioral Health Staff

MHA AZ and other behavioral health advocates ask that you SUPPORT the minimum age of unlicensed behavioral health staff working in AzDHS licensed Health Care Institutions be consistent with the minimum age requirements of unlicensed staff in all other AzDHS licensed Health Care Institutions, Community Service Agencies, and DD Group Homes.
Arizona Health Facility Licensure rules require all Behavioral Health staff to be at least 21 years of age or older.  No other licensed setting in AZ require unlicensed health facility staff to be 21; in all other licensed facilities unlicensed staff may be age 18 or the Licensee is given discretion to determine staff qualifications.  This differential standard is a barrier to entry into the profession, has inadvertently restricted access to Young Adult Peer Support, and can contribute to the stigma surrounding behavioral health services.

Except for Behavioral Health services in Health Care Institutions, virtually all other AZ settings allow unlicensed staff to be age 18 or allow the licensee to determine the appropriate qualifications for staff, which could be age 18.  We have found no law, data, or research to support a higher age for unlicensed behavioral health staff than for other unlicensed health or human service staff.

To fully integrate behavioral health with physical health, differential standards and barriers to entry into the profession should be removed when there is no basis in law or research to support a standard. The staff age requirements in behavioral health facility licensing rules and skilled nursing facility rules should be amended to be consistent with other health care licensing standards and should no longer require unlicensed behavioral health staff to be 21. 

Manage Your Mental Health During the Holidays

During the holiday season, many look forward to festivities with friends and family. But for others, this time can bring on or worsen stress, anxiety and depression.  There are a variety of  factors  that can bring on holiday anxiety and depression. Some people experience increased financial burden due to travel, gift and/or hosting costs. 
Others may feel overwhelmed as the holiday season often includes a packed calendar of parties, performances and traveling that can be difficult to balance with everyday responsibilities and self-care. Not to mention: High expectations to give perfect gifts and plan perfect events, as well as loneliness for those who aren't with loved ones.

Peer to Peer Groups for Teens by BLOOM365

Preventing teen dating abuse before it starts will help to assure relationships, homes, schools, and communities are healthy, safe and free of domestic abuse and sexual violence. At BLOOM365, we take a collaborative and comprehensive public health approach to preventing teen dating abuse and sexual violence at the root cause. 

Through multi-dose "Bloom It Up" education curricula, ongoing advocacy and youth-led activism, we change the social norms that support violence. Take a look at the multiple support groups offered to youth, aged 13-17; including "Mind Your Mental Health" on Tuesdays, led by MHA AZ's Associate Director, Erin Callinan.

RFGP for Banner University Health Plan: 
Peer & Family Representation on BUHP Committees & Governing Bodies 

Dear Community Partners, At Banner University Health Plans (BUHP), we work hard to make healthcare easier, so life can be better. Listening and responding to our community's needs is engrained in our culture. We value every interaction with our members and their families. Our member-centric culture encourages continuous learning and drives our transformation to an integrated system. 

BUHP is committed to engaging members and their families in conversations regarding health policy, access to care and system improvements. To demonstrate our commitment to a member-centric culture, we are establishing member and family representation on our Neighborhood Advisory Councils, which will bring providers, peers, family members and other groups together to discuss issues impacting care while collaboratively building local solutions.
  View Request for Grant Proposal

Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices

This technical package represents a select group of strategies based on the best available evidence to help communities and states sharpen their focus on prevention activities with the greatest potential to prevent suicide. These strategies include: strengthening economic supports; strengthening access and delivery of suicide care; creating protective environments; promoting connectedness; teaching coping and problem-solving skills; identifying and supporting people at risk; and lessening harms and preventing future risk.

The strategies represented in this package include those with a focus on preventing the risk of suicide in the first place as well as approaches to lessen the immediate and long-term harms of suicidal behavior for individuals, families, communities, and society. 

View Technical Package

Sleep Deprivation: The Effects on Mind and Body

When building a healthy lifestyle, the importance of adequate sleep cannot be stressed enough. Both mind and body need rest to function at peak efficiency. Without it, your mental, emotional, and physical health suffer, potentially pushing you further away from your personal goals. When you sleep, you give your body the time it needs to cleanse, stabilize, and heal itself.

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Safe Interactions with First Responders for Brain Injury Survivors
January 5, 2019
 12:30 - 2:30pm (Be Safe Training)
2:30-3:30pm (When to Call 911)
Ability360 Center, 5025 E. Washington St., Suite 108, Phoenix

Sexual Violence Prevention Conference
January 24, 2019
 7:30am - 5:00pm
Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Phoenix
Questions, contact: [email protected]

African American Conference on Disabilities
February 15, 2019
 8:00am - 5:00pm
Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Phoenix

Check out more Community Calendars in the Phoenix Area!

Arizona Trauma Institute  Trainings   
ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy  Events
Health Choice Integrated Care Community  Events
Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care  Events
NAMI Arizona  Calendar


Chuck Goldstein, M.D., Vice Chair  
Jason Bernstein, C.P.A., Treasurer
Matthew Moody, M.C., Secretary
Kathy Bashor, M.C.
Laura Dix, M.S.
Charles Goldstein, M.D.
Laurie Goldstein
Emily Jenkins, J.D. 
Adwoa John, M.H.A.
Marcus Johnson, M.P.H
Charles Montgomery
Karen Pitico, L.C.S.W & M.P.H.
Myra Richman
Detective Amanda Stamps
Mental Health America of Arizona