Issue 9-19 | September 15, 2020
Spotlight On:
'My New Friends' Video & Discussion
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in partnership with Connected Health Solutions, ArtWorks for Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MCSAP) are proud to release the video "My New Friends," produced with young people in the city of Milwaukee to raise awareness of drug misuse.
"My New Friends" can be found at, along with prompts for a guided discussion and resources about substance misuse and mental health.

This youth-driven video focuses on the realities of young Milwaukeeans’ lives—the challenges they face from peer pressure, racism, and self-growth—as well as the importance of friendships in their lives. New friends are represented by "Oxy," "Xan," and "Lean," stand-ins for Oxycodone, Xanax, and the codeine-laced drink "Lean," and demonstrate how friendships and drug use can be intertwined in a risky attempt to cope with life challenges.

While we are living in extraordinary times, the daily struggles of life continue to be present in young people’s lives, and may even be exacerbated by the COVID-19 health crisis and current spotlight on racist policies and practices, including law enforcement. According to Milwaukee youth surveyed by MCSAP in 2018, the number one reported cause for youth substance use was to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. "My New Friends" raises the voice of young people and compels the audience to consider how they cope with of the stress and anxiety of daily life and how drug use factors into this process.

This production is part of an effort to move past the fear-mongering style of typical substance misuse PSAs, which evidence has shown is ineffective. The young Milwaukeeans who created the video hope "My New Friends" will spark a serious conversation with other young people and their families to address the root problems that lead to drug misuse and abuse later in life.

Prevent Suicide Wisconsin Releases
'Suicide in Wisconsin: Impact and Response'
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin’s new report, Suicide in Wisconsin: Impact and Response, provides a comprehensive picture of suicidal behavior in the state, as well as strategies and opportunities for action that can prevent suicide attempts and deaths. Wisconsin’s suicide rate rose 40% between 2000 and 2017, with the highest rates among individuals ages 45-54. Get the report here.
SAMHSA's 2019 National Survey on
Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
Last week, SAMHSA released the latest data findings from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The NSDUH provides estimates of the use of illegal substances, prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, as well as mental disorders, treatment, and co-occurring substance use and mental disorders in the United States. NSDUH data also help identify the extent of substance use and mental illness among different sub-groups, estimate trends over time, and determine the need for treatment services. To view the presentation slides, the full report, and additional information, please click here.
Funding Opportunities
Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment
Funding Opportunity 
The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) has announced the availability of up to $6 million in new funding opportunities aimed at improving health and advancing health equity in Wisconsin. These funding opportunities span AHW’s four pathways through which we work to advance health in Wisconsin, with funding available to accelerate biomedical research and population health studies, advance innovations in health education and workforce development, and support changes to policies and systems that impact health across the state.

In addition to these funding opportunities, we are also seeking individuals with a broad range of expertise to serve as merit reviewers for each RFA. This is a great opportunity for those not applying to help guide AHW’s funding awards.

Injection Drug Use Prevention Services
Funding Opportunity
A grant funding opportunity announcement has been posted for injection drug use prevention services. The DHS Division of Care and Treatment Services is soliciting applications from vendors that demonstrate evidence-based strategies and innovative approaches for expanding and/or enhancing services to people who inject drugs. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. October 16, 2020. View the grant funding opportunity announcement.
COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Capacity Building Grant Fund
In partnership with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Forward Community Investments is launching another $50,000 round of their COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Capacity Building Grant to support small nonprofits working to reduce racial and economic disparities that have changed their operational model or services due to COVID‐19 in Milwaukee County.

In order to be eligible to receive one of these $2,500 grants, organizations must:
  • Be a 501c3 organization or fiscally sponsored by another 501c3 organization
  • Located in and serving people of color, low to moderate-income individuals and other marginalized groups in Milwaukee County.
  • Have less than 10 FTE's and an organizational annual budget of less than $500,000.
  • Work towards reducing racial and economic disparities.
  • Have an unexpected expense related to COVID-19.

FCI is committed to providing these funds to those who need them in the most expedited way possible so our application process is intended to take less than 15 minutes. The submission deadline is Tuesday, September 22. For full details, visit their website.
Webinars & Events
Minority Health Film Festival
Through September 24
The second annual Minority Health Film Festival uses film to spark conversation and create critical dialogue around well-being. By connecting film with personal health experiences, the festival confronts stigmas and removes barriers limiting wellness discussions – ultimately helping our community address health disparities in minority communities. The virtual festival will showcase over 50 films addressing minority health for families, communities, and institutions. Throughout the festival, panels and Q&As will give more insight on key topics that impact minority health. Get details and tickets here.
Homeless Outreach Training
Wednesday, September 16-Friday, September 18
Homelessness is a complex issue caused by variety of factors including mental health, substance abuse, social or economic problems. The solution to the problem can be equally complex. The Homeless Outreach Team concept is a collaborative community-driven, multi-disciplinary approach to engaging those experiencing homelessness, meeting them where they are at, overcoming barriers and working for a dignified permanent solution to their temporary situation. This training is provided at no cost thanks to MIRACLE and NAMI-Wisconsin. Get details and register here.
Assembly District 8 Virtual Candidate Forum
Thursday, September 17
Did you know some Milwaukee residents are exposed to twice as much tobacco marketing compared to residents of the surrounding suburbs? Find out where candidates in Wisconsin Assembly District 8 (Sylvia Ortiz-Velez and Angel Sanchez) stand on issues related to creating healthy communities, with a focus on tobacco prevention, substance abuse, and COVID-19. This event will be held from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 17, on Zoom and Facebook Live and is co-hosted by the Hispanic Tobacco Prevention Network of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance. Click on this link to RSVP.

Averigua donde están los candidatos del Distrito 8 de la Asamblea, Sylvia Ortiz-Velez (D) & Angel Sanchez (R), en temas relacionados al crear comunidades saludables, incluyendo el abuso de sustancias, tabaco y el COVID-19. El foro es una oportunidad para que el público haga preguntas a los candidatos en un ambiente moderado.

Vealo en vivo por Facebook:

Milwaukee Walk for Recovery
September 18-20
The 12th Annual Milwaukee Walk for Recovery will be held virtually this year. Grab a friend and walk (at a safe distance), then tag @MilwaukeeWalkForRecovery on Facebook in your selfie and share your stories. Donations are welcome at
QPR Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Training
Monday, September 21
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. 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. These online trainings are sponsored by RECAST MKE through the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention in partnership with Community Advocates Public Policy Institute. RSVP here for the September 21 training.
Crisis Intervention Team Training
Monday, September 21-Friday, September 25
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training allows participants to use trauma-informed care and verbal/non-verbal skills as part of their responses to crisis situations. Crisis Intervention Partners are professionals, paraprofessionals or volunteers and CIT officers are law enforcement officers. CIP and CIT trained personnel volunteer to work with people who suffer with mental illnesses or other cognitive issues in crisis situations. CIP/CIT-trained individuals partner with advocates, providers, families and mental health consumers in their role. This training is provided at no cost thanks to MIRACLE and NAMI-Wisconsin. Get details and register here.
Voting Training with People First Wisconsin
Tuesday, September 22
The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition and People First Wisconsin are celebrating National Voter Registration Day by offering this Zoom training on voter registration, absentee voting, voter rights and resources and more. RSVP and find more voting resources at this link.
Online Circles of Connection
Tuesday, September 22 & Tuesday, October 13
Experience Community Building, a unique form of self-care, and learn tools to listen with greater depth and empathy. Click here for more information and to register.
Crisis Intervention Partner Training
Tuesday, September 29 & Wednesday, September 30
Crisis Intervention Partner (CIP) training is a two-day, 16-hour program modeled after the philosophy of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs. CIP serves as training for students to learn how to use trauma informed care and verbal/non-verbal skills as part of their responses to crisis situations. CIP students are those who have professional or paraprofessional contact with people who suffer with mental illnesses or other cognitive changes and are in crisis. This training is provided at no cost thanks to MIRACLE and NAMI-Wisconsin. Get details and register here.
Community Building 2020 Online Training
Wednesday, September 30-Friday, October 2
Wisconsin Community Services is offering this no-cost three-day training on Community Building, a deeper and more authentic way of interpersonal communication, for members of the helping professions. To get more details and to register, click here.
APHA 2020
October 24-October 28
The theme of the online American Public Health Association’s 2020 annual meeting and expo is "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence." Attendees will have 24/7 access to all meeting sessions during or beyond the dates of the meeting. Get details and register here.
Freshstart Smoking Cessation Program
Wednesdays, October 28-November 18
Aurora Health’s four-week smoking cessation program, Freshstart, is offered at no cost and teaches participants how quit smoking and not be dependent on nicotine, from the comfort of their own home. Sessions will be held on Wednesdays, 3 to 4 p.m., from October 28 through November 18 on Zoom and are sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Register by emailing
Post-Community Crisis Mental Health Resources
A traumatic event such last week’s violence and civil unrest in Kenosha and often brings out strong emotions that need attention. We’ve collected some resources for coping with the aftermath of community trauma and stress, and understanding the special needs of children during traumatic events.

  • Coping With Grief After Community Violence—This Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) tip sheet introduces some of the signs of grief and anger after an incident of community violence, provides useful information about to how to cope with grief, and offers tips for helping children deal with grief.
  • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline—This toll-free number (1–800–985–5990) provides immediate counseling. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is also available via SMS (text TalkWithUs to 66746) to anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this event. People who call and text are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. Helpline staff provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services. 
  • Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event—In this tip sheet, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) defines and describes grief, discusses ways of coping with grief, explains complicated grief, and offers relevant resources for additional support.
  • Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Managing Stress—This SAMHSA tip sheet gives stress prevention and management tips for dealing with the effects of trauma, mass violence, or terrorism. It lists tips to relieve stress, describes how to know when to seek professional help, and provides accompanying resources. In Spanish and Punjabi.
  • Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes the importance of coping after a disaster, and getting professional help if needed, with reactions that may be difficult and intense. Links are provided to additional information about managing your emotional health as a survivor, supporting your children in coping, and making time for self-care as a disaster responder. In Spanish.
  • Understanding Child Trauma—This web page identifies events that children and youth may experience as traumatic, presents statistics on traumatic experiences and their effects on children and youth, lists signs of traumatic stress in children and youth of various ages, and offers tips for parents and other important adults in the lives of children and youth for helping children and youth to cope with trauma. Links to resources for more information and support are also provided.
  • Age-related Reactions to a Traumatic Event—In this information and tip sheet, the NCTSN provides an overview of how children and adolescents may react to natural and human-caused disasters that they experience as traumatic. It describes reactions typical within specific age ranges and offers tips for parents and other caregivers, school personnel, healthcare practitioners, and community members to help children and adolescents cope.
  • Community Violence: Reactions and Actions in Dangerous Times—This resource from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides information on community violence, how it can affect daily lives, and what to do for support.
  • Helping Youth After Community Trauma: Tips for Educators—In this 1-page tip sheet, the NCTSN identifies 10 ways in which youth may react to community traumas such as natural or human-caused disasters and suggests ways for educators to respond to these reactions and support youth in coping. The tip sheet also advises educators to find professional mental health support for youth—and for themselves—as needed. 
SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Resources
September is Suicide Prevention Month, which means it’s a good time to review and share SAMHSA’s suicide prevention resources. You’ll find contact information, videos, resources for specific populations, and much more.
Hold On To Your Butt MKE
DIY Cigarette Receptacles and Cleanup Kits
If you are sick of cigarette litter fouling up your living area, get some help from Hold On To Your Butt MKE. They’re offering do it yourself cigarette butt receptacles and clean up kits for your use. Click here for details and to order.
Check out the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s FAQs on preventing COVID-19, the new mask ordinance, and more at this link.
The City of Milwaukee Health Department launched "Ask MHD" to respond to questions about COVID-19. Email to ask your question.
Food Resources
If you are looking for where to get food right now, visit 211 Wisconsin, dial 211, or text your ZIP code to 898211. FoodShare is another great way to get the food you need for your family! If you are interested in applying to receive EBT benefits, please visit Wisconsin's Access website. Find more information from Hunger Task Force.
Community Advocates' COVID-19 Resource Pages
Home To Stay
Home To Stay is a new website full of resources for people returning from incarceration developed by the Milwaukee County Community Justice Council’s Milwaukee Reentry Council and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. New entries are being added, so check this site often.
Get Counted
The 2020 Census is underway and the most important thing you can do is respond when you receive your invitation. Responding now will minimize the need for the Census Bureau to send census takers out into communities to follow up. Go to to be counted.
Job Opportunities
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Community Advocates Public Policy Institute | 414-270-2950  |
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.