Issue 9-18 | August 31, 2020
Spotlight On:
Black Lives Matter: Preventing Black Youth Suicide
September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month.

This year's monthly observance is different than the ones that have come before. This year, we are facing a global pandemic and civil unrest in response to racist police brutality and practices. These factors must be part of everyday conversations we have about suicide awareness and prevention, especially when we are engaging Black youth, who are experiencing these twin crises intensely while also losing their usual routines and social support. Black lives matter. And those of us who live with and work with young Black people must do better to support and appreciate them to reduce their risk of suicide.

Jeremy Triblett, Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator at Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, says caring adults and youth workers shouldn’t shy away from these tough conversations.

"Because of COVID-19 and civil unrest, our young people are in a very unique position," Triblett says. "They are being impacted at a young age by concepts, ideas, and reality that they were born into. This isn't a conversation that is too 'mature.' This is a conversation that is age appropriate. We want to help young people find the vocabulary to talk about issues like racism, segregation, civil unrest, and pandemics, along with mental health, anxiety, depression, and suicide. We want to give young people the space to use their voice around these issues."

Tobacco as a Racial Justice Issue
Commercial tobacco use continues to impact some communities harder, with 26% of Black adults and 37% of American Indian/Alaska Native adults in Wisconsin who smoke compared to just 16% of the overall population. A recent online article from the Truth Initiative highlights three reasons why racial disparities in tobacco use persist, including:

  1. Menthol;
  2. Tobacco industry profiling; and
  3. Fewer protections by smoke-free laws.

Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Position Opening
The Milwaukee County Mental Health Board, which oversees the provision of mental health functions and services in Milwaukee County, has an open board position for an individual to serve as "a representative of the community who is a consumer of mental health services." Get details here.
Take Back My Meds Milwaukee’s New Video
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes stars in this new video reminder to dispose of medications safely, in a secure drop box or at a drug take-back event. Go to for details.
Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force 2020 Awards:
Call for Nominations
The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force is seeking nominations for the 2020 Karen Avery Award and the Marie C. Perry Award. This is a meaningful way to recognize the important advocacy work taking place in our community. Nominations are due by September 11. The awards will be presented on October 13 at the 2020 Karen Avery Forum, Housing: Opportunities, Rights and Resources. For more information, go to the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force’s website.
Webinars & Events
Reckless Driving Webinar
Wednesday, September 2
Near West Side Partners (NWSP)—in partnership with Safe and Sound, City of Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis and Celia Jackson, city of Milwaukee resident, attorney, and WCS board member who started the "Slow Down Life Matters" campaign—are starting a discussion on the topic of reckless driving. Their webinar on reckless driving will be held on Wednesday, September 2, at noon. The event will be broadcast on Facebook Live. Attached are graphics for social media and other platforms. The discussion panel will include youth from the Milwaukee area as well as city of Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis who is on the city of Milwaukee Taskforce for Reckless Driving.  
COVID-19, Mental Health, and the Need for Equity
Thursday, September 3 & Friday, September 4
Mental Health America’s annual conference is virtual this year with the aim of bringing together MHA affiliates, community stakeholders, peers, caregivers, providers, government officials and more to discuss emerging mental health issues. It’ll be held on September 3 & 4, with a preconference day for affiliates on September 2. Get details and register here.
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin 2020 Virtual Conference
September 8 & 9
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin’s annual conference, "Reframing the Narrative," is scheduled to be held on Zoom on September 8 and 9. Breakout sessions include "Suicide Prevention and COVID-19," "You're Not Alone Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion," and "How Are Our US Military Children Doing?" For details, click on this link.
Emerging Trends in Adolescent Suicide Prevention Webinar
Wednesday, September 9
As part of CADCA’s webinar series, “Research into Action,” Dr. Cheryl King will discuss two prevention strategies for preventing adolescent suicide and the role prevention coalitions can play in preventing youth suicide. This free webinar will be held on Wednesday, September 9, from 1-2 p.m. Register here.
Working at the Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health Webinar Series
Wednesday, September 9
This series, brought by the MHTTC Network and the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, will introduce key issues at the intersection of intimate partner violence and mental health, and prepare mental health providers to better respond to the needs of individuals and families affected by intimate partner violence.
While it has long been recognized that intimate partner violence can have significant mental health and substance use-related effects, the lack of collaboration and cross-training among providers often leaves survivors and their families without ways to address both safety and recovery needs. Intimate partner violence is prevalent among people accessing mental health services, but often goes unnoticed or unaddressed when mental health providers are unaware or unsure of how to help.

One webinar in this three-part series remains: Intimate Partner Violence, Suicidality, and Disabling Psychiatric Conditions: Unique Risks, Needs, and Strategies on September 9. Register and get details here.

All sessions will be archived; you can find previous sessions on this page.
Mindful Self-Compassion
Wednesday, September 9
This introductory workshop to the Mindful Self-Compassion Program can help you increase your resilience when facing life’s challenge. This three-hour session from Prevent Suicide Wisconsin is presented by Dr. Barbara Moser and will be held from 1:15 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 9. Cost is $40. Get details and register here.
Grief Sensitivity Virtual Learning Institute Part 1
Thursday, September 10 & Friday, September 11
The MHTTC Network is pleased to invite you to their two-part virtual learning series, Grief Sensitivity Virtual Learning Institute. This series is geared towards providing front-line workers (community mental health practitioners, social workers, psychologists, therapists, school mental health personnel, school counselors, educators, etc.) with tools and strategies that can be used when addressing the needs of individuals experiencing grief and loss during COVID-19 and beyond. Part 1, “Grounding Ourselves in the Basics (Frameworks, Definitions, and Foundational concepts)," will be held on September 10 and 11. Register here. Part 2, "Applying Concepts to Practice," will be held on November 12 and 13. Register here.
QPR Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Training
Thursday, September 10 & 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. Register here for the September 10 training. RSVP here for the September 21 training.
Crisis Intervention Conference
2020: The Dawn of a New Decade—Innovations in Intervention
Thursday, September 17 & Friday, September 18
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point encourages consumers and family members, front-line workers and community professionals involved in crisis intervention to join this two-day conference to be held September 17 and 18 on Zoom. Keynote speakers are Dr. Tony Thrasher of the Medical College of Wisconsin; Dr. Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp of UW-Eau Claire; and Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Executive Director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and Clinician. Click here for details and to register.
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
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.
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. 
E-Cigarette Webinar
This webinar from the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance highlights key issues related to e-cigarette use among Wisconsin youth. It provides an overview of what the products look like and the Tobacco Is Changing campaign, Youth Tobacco Survey data among Wisconsin middle and high school students, the acute impact on lung health from the EVALI outbreak, and differences in product regulation. Featured speakers include Spencer Straub, Luke Witkowski, and Mike Metcalf from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Dr. Michael Gutzeit from Children’s Wisconsin.  
Health Equity Webinar
This webinar from the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance highlights key concepts related to health equity, with a focus on racial equity resources and frameworks. Topics covered include the Garden Analogy by Dr. Camara Jones, past APHA president, key terms, unpacking white privilege and white supremacy, the connection between zip codes and health, and resources for ongoing learning. The featured speaker is Alexandria Kohn, Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health.
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.
Data Dream Award
Deadline Friday, September 4
Data You Can Use (DYCU) seeks applications for the Data Dream Award. Winners will realize their "data dream" through the professional services of DYCU and expertise of our partners valued at $5,000. Milwaukee-area nonprofits will be selected through a competitive process and awarded at Data Day on October 21, 2020. The Data Dream competition is an opportunity for an organization to move beyond limitations due to a lack of information, the capacity to interpret data already collected, or some combination of both. Applicants share what would be different if nonprofit leaders had a certain piece of data—how their planning, service provision, results, or funding might be improved with assistance in securing, analyzing, visualizing or presenting data. Applications are screened and the top candidates will compete in the "shark tank" at Data Day on October 21, 2020. Following a five-minute pitch, celebrity judges will select the winners. Click here to apply.
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.
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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.