Issue 10-4 | February 22, 2021
Spotlight On:
Meet 2 Black Mental Health & Wellness Experts
This month, we are highlighting Black mental health and wellness professionals to shed light on Black history and current issues facing the Black community. We firmly believe that preventing mental health issues from turning into larger problems is a profoundly healing act. Finding a compassionate, relatable mental health or wellness expert can be part of an individual’s healing journey.

Meet two Black healers in Milwaukee: Dr. Lakeia Jones, Ph.D., DSW, LPC, CSAC, CCTP, of AMRI Counseling Services and Serita Valmond, CHC, CLC, Chronic Pain Coach.
Funding Alert: DHS Grant Program Aimed at Promoting Racial and Geographic Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has published its request for applications (RFA) for a $3.1 million grant program aimed at promoting racial and geographic equity in the COVID-19 vaccination program. DHS intends to award approximately 50 grants to community-based organizations engaged in health equity work that will complement Wisconsin’s efforts to promote vaccine confidence and minimize systemic barriers.
Due to various social factors and systemic barriers, communities of color have experienced higher rates of infection, hospitalizations, and death during this pandemic. In Wisconsin, as well as nationwide, COVID-19 vaccine data shows rates of vaccinations have been disproportionately lower for Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and other underserved populations. In addition to current barriers that prevent many populations from accessing quality healthcare, many of these communities have also faced historic traumas and medical mistreatment that has driven vaccine hesitancy.
This grant program aims to address these disparities by investing in organizations to provide culturally competent information to build vaccine confidence, reduce racial and geographic barriers that prevent individuals from accessing the COVID-19 vaccine, and to serve as trusted messengers in promoting the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. These partnerships will be vital to minimizing the impact of COVID-19 and achieving the statewide immunity rate needed to overcome this pandemic.
DHS is seeking organizations that are recognized as a 501(c)3 organization, project sponsored by another 501(c)3 organization, a K-12 school or district, or a local/tribal government entity; and are committed to reducing socioeconomic or health inequities in Wisconsin. DHS will support grantees with technical support, educational resources and materials, and public health guidance. Organizations that work with marginalized or medically underserved populations are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is March 19 at 4 p.m. CT. Awards are expected to be announced March 31. To access the grant visit
New Sixteenth Street Behavioral Health Clinic Opens
Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, in partnership with Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, has opened a new clinic on 17th Street and National Avenue in Milwaukee entirely dedicated to behavioral health. Services will include mental health services plus additional services that focus on prevention and early intervention. Sixteenth Street will also expand access to its substance use services and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services for those with opioid addiction, as well as adding Comprehensive Community Service (CCS) case management services to assist individuals who are in need of care outside of inpatient settings, but who may have ongoing needs that, if left unaddressed, could result in hospitalizations during times of crisis. BHD will co-locate some of their services within this clinic, including the mobile crisis team members. 
In 2018, the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) started working on a new approach to improve the rider experience and meet the community's modern needs. The MCTS NEXT system redesign aligns with Milwaukee County's mission to advance racial equity and enhance the quality of life through great public service. MCTS will be hosting virtual public meetings to give an overview of what to expect for Phase One of MCTS NEXT, which takes effect on Sunday, March 7. We’ll cover the improvements and adjustments to Routes 15, 19, 20, 31, 33, 35, 51, 52, 63, and 68. Sign up today – capacity is limited to the first 500 people.

New Data on Covid-19’s Impact on
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Face Mask 1
According to January 2021 survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 4 in 10 adults in the US have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, up from 1 in 10 before the pandemic. Young adults, Black and Latinx adults, moms with kids, essential workers, and adults who faced job loss or lower incomes are especially impacted by the pandemic. The researchers note that two stimulus bills passed in 2020 included funds for mental health and substance use services, but more could be done since the behavioral health impacts of Covid-19 will likely outlast the pandemic itself. The pandemic also spotlights the lack of access to mental health and substance use services, which was a concern before the pandemic. Read the full report here.

Webinars & Events
Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training
Thursday, February 25
The QPR mission is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. The signs of crisis are all around us. We believe that quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know. This training is sponsored by RECAST MKE through the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention in partnership with Community Advocates Public Policy Institute. It will be held on Zoom from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 25. RSVP here.

Know Your Worth Teen Forum
Thursday, February 25
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAM). The City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention is organizing a teen panel on February 25th at 3:30pm to hear from youth and local organizations and to raise awareness about the issues of teen dating violence. This year’s national theme is “Know Your Worth.” The panel will be held on Zoom or Facebook live through the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention page. You can register in advance here.
Emotional Reparations as Racial Justice Work: What’s Mindfulness and Compassion Got to Do with It?
Thursday, February 25
This Wisconsin Public Health Association (WPHA) keynote is intended for cross-racial audiences and highlights the critical intersection between racial justice, emotional reparations, and the utility of mindfulness and compassion in supporting both. Participants will increase their awareness of how self-evaluation and self-regulation tools rooted in mindfulness and compassion can support racial justice work. Dr. Angela Rose Black is a Thought Leader in mindfulness research, teaching, and practice. Named by Mindful as one of the "10 Powerful Women of the Mindfulness Movement" and TIME magazine as "The New Mindfulness," Dr. Black brings racial justice to mindfulness initiatives, and mindfulness to racial justice initiatives. Training at Tulane University, University of Georgia, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, UMass, Stanford, and the Mayo Clinic support her interdisciplinary background in Psychology, Human Development and Family Studies, Women’s Studies, Public Health, and Mind-Body Medicine. This session will run from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 25. It’s free to WPHA members and $25 to nonmembers. Register here.
Triple P Workshop: Taming Temper Tantrums
Wednesday, March 4
The Parenting Network’s online workshop will provide ideas and strategies to help parents and caregivers handle their child’s tantrums and teach their toddlers to calm down quickly. It will be held on Zoom from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on March 4. To register, click on this link or call the Parent Helpline at 414-671-0566.
Motivational Interviewing: Beginning Skills
Tuesday, March 2 & Tuesday, March 9
This two-day professional development opportunity will begin your journey of learning Motivational Interviewing (MI) from a trauma-informed, culturally reverent lens. This workshop from Share Collaborative is designed for all human service professionals and leaders. The event is led by Shawn Smith, member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MIINT), MINT Certified Trainer, and Founder of Share Collaborative. CEUs are available. This two-part workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 2 and 9. Cost is $135. Register here.
Triple P Workshop: Behavior at School
Wednesday, March 10
As part of The Parenting Network’s Triple P series, parents and caregivers will get ideas on how to work with their child’s teacher to help their child behave responsibly at school and follow rules. It will be held on Zoom from 6 to 7:30 on March 10. To register, click on this link or call the Parent Helpline at 414-671-0566.
Freshstart Smoking Cessation Program
Wednesdays, March 10-31
Join Advocate Aurora Health’s no-cost four-week smoking cessation program, Freshstart, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, to plan a successful quit attempt by learning effective ways to overcome nicotine dependence. Freshstart is designed to help any tobacco user, including those who may be unsure about wanting to quit, and specifically addresses ambivalence about quitting. The information, activities and discussion topics help participants discover why they smoke and what motivates them to quit. The sessions will be held on Wednesdays on Zoom from 5:30 to 6: 30 p.m. Register here.
Triple P Workshop: Self Esteem
Thursday, March 18
The Parenting Network is offering this new workshop to provide suggestions about ways that you can improve your child’s self-esteem. It will be held virtually from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on March 18. To register, click on this link or call the Parent Helpline at 414-671-0566.
LGBTQI+ Cancer Survivors Needed for Survey
OUT: The National Cancer Survey is seeking LGBTQI+ cancer survivors to participate in a survey to help improve cancer care. Get details and take the survey here.
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Community Advocates is supported by ReCAST MKE, a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services, under Grant No. 5H79SM063524.