Issue 9-16 | August 3, 2020
Spotlight On:
Why Overdoses May Be Increasing
Coping with the stress and strains of life during a pandemic while also dealing with social unrest brought on by racist police brutality are contributing to more substance abuse, according to public health experts.

It doesn’t help that a powerful synthetic opioid is showing up in our community, too.

"We know that challenges like fear of COVID-19, financial pressures, and isolation are the kinds of stressors that exacerbate behavioral health and substance use disorders and that is why it is so important to ask for help if you need it," said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm in a press release.

The state finds that suspected opioid overdoses have increased in Wisconsin by an astounding 117% since the start of the pandemic compared to the same time last year. From March to July 13, 2020, there were 325 suspected opioid overdoses statewide; during the same period in 2019, there were 150 suspected overdoses.

Alternatives to Opioids in Treating Acute and Chronic Pain
On-Demand Online Training through August 31
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and the Wisconsin Medical Society are pleased to present this free, two-hour on-demand training on alternatives to opioids. Presented by Dr. Michael McNett, this session covers when and why opioids should be used, as well as non-opioid medications and techniques for treating acute and chronic pain. This free training is targeted to health care professionals but all community members will learn helpful information. Meets the requirements for the two-hour continuing education course on responsible opioid prescribing per Med 13.03(3) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. To register, email Questions? Contact John Eshun at
Implicit Bias Training
Tuesday, August 11
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute will be hosting Dr. Erin Winkler from UW-Milwaukee for an online Implicit Bias training from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11. Dr. Winkler is an Associate Professor in the College of Letters and Science and focuses on African and African Diaspora Studies. Dr. Winkler’s research interests include racial socialization; racial identity development in African American families and communities; the impact of gender, skin tone, and other demographic factors on racial identity development and responses to racism; and the effect of place on shaping conceptualizations and experiences of race and racism. Space is limited and RSVPs are required at this link. This presentation will not be recorded, so please register only if you can attend at the time of the event.
Like MCSAP on Facebook!
We're happy to announce that Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention coalition is now on Facebook! We're aiming to share prevention-related information and activities and help our partners connect easily. Like MCSAP at
Adolescent Health Funding Opportunity
The Adolescent Health Program has posted a Request for Applications (RFA) for Project WISE (Wisconsin Initiative for Student Empowerment), funded by the Title V State Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) grant.

You can access the application information and guidelines on the Wisconsin Public Notices webpage. Letters of intent are requested by August 17 at 5 p.m. CDT to Mariah Geiger. The deadline to apply is September 15, 2020, at 5 p.m. CDT. 

Two virtual information sessions regarding submitting a successful application will take place on August 20:

Please send questions to be answered during the sessions to Mariah Geiger by August 17, 2020, at 5 p.m. CDT. A "frequently asked questions" document will be made available following the virtual sessions.
Small Talks
Start talking to your kids about underage drinking around age 8—and keep it up as they grow. Your next small talk about underage drinking can happen anywhere: over dinner, in the car, or while you play video games. Learn more at Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Small Talks page.
Survey: You and Children with Mental Health Challenges during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Do you work with children with mental health challenges in a community-based setting? Take this short survey sponsored by Wisconsin Family Ties. It examines the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on your job and seeks to identify ways in which your work with children with mental health challenges can be best supported. This survey will take approximately six minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary. The deadline to respond is August 6.
MCW Seeks Study Participants
The Medical College of Wisconsin is seeking individuals who identify as a woman who have also used drugs for a confidential study (with compensation). Please contact Project LEAD at 414-436-9736 for more information.
Webinars & Events
Urban Ecology Center Free Summer Meal Program
Weekdays through August 28
The Urban Ecology Center’s Washington Park Branch (1859 N. 40th St., Milwaukee) and Milwaukee Center for Independence are serving breakfast and lunch packs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, through August 28.
2020 Virtual Public Health Conference
August 5-August 26
The Wisconsin Public Health Association (WPHA) and Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards (WALHDAB) are offering their annual conference virtually on Mondays in August. Live keynotes are:

  • August 5: Racial Justice Is Here Now What?
  • August 12: State & Federal Election Update
  • August 19: Johnnie (Chip) Allen, MPH - Director of Health Equity Ohio Department of Health
  • August 26: Virtual Networking Session

Additional sessions will be held on Mondays. Get details here.
Complex Trauma: The Connection between Mental Health,
COVID-19, and Social Unrest
Wednesday, August 5
Join experts from the National Council for Behavioral Health for a virtual workshop on supporting individuals in developing healing and resiliency. This online session will be held from 11:30 to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5. Register here.
Emotional Resiliency in Uncertain Times
August 6-August 18
UWM’s School of Continuing Education presents a new virtual series, Emotional Resiliency in Uncertain Times, to support overall well-being. Advance registration is required and CEUs will be awarded. Each workshop is scheduled for approximately 60-90 minutes via Zoom. An access link will be sent a minimum of 24 hours prior to the start date. Workshops are $19 per session, or $15 per session for students. Get details and register at this link.

  • August 6: Be Your Best without Burning Out
  • August 11: RACISM: What Do We Do Today and Beyond?
  • August 13: Mindfulness in Times of Stress
  • August 18: How to Set Boundaries When Working Remotely
Supporting School Mental Health in the Context of Racial Violence Webinar Series
Friday, August 7
Supporting School Mental Health in the Context of Racial Violence from SAMHSA’s Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network is a two-part learning series intended for students, families, educators and school mental health professionals who are navigating the impact of racial violence on student mental health. Each 1.5 hour learning session will feature a moderator who will engage advocates, leaders and the school mental health workforce in a conversation that focuses on: Strategies for supporting students’ mental health while navigating racial violence (in and out of school); Opportunities for the field to improve its commitment to fostering a workforce ready, able and willing to hold racial violence as a mental health issue; and Steps we might take to advance school mental health supports for students experiencing racial violence.

The second part of this two-session series will be held on Friday, August 7, from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., and is titled "Learning from and with the School Mental Health Workforce." Get details and register here. The first session, "Learning from and with Students, Caregivers, Advocates and Systems Leaders," is archived on this page.
Preventing and Responding to Family Violence during COVID-19 Webinar Series
Tuesday, August 11
This four-part webinar series featuring experts from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network addressing critical questions that mental health providers are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The final webinar in the series will be held on Tuesday, August 11, at 12 noon, and will focus on "When Monsters Live with Us: Reflections on the Intersection of Structural Inequities, COVID-19 and Intimate Partner Violence and Its Impact on Young Children in Latin American Families." This session is presented in Spanish / Esta sesion es en español. Register here.

  • Supporting Families of Young Children at Risk for Ongoing Domestic Violence
  • "Keeping it in the Family": Addressing Family Conflict in the Time of COVID-19
  • Minimizing Risk for Conflict/Coercion in Families with School-Age Children
Working at the Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health Webinar Series
August 12 & 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.

Two webinars in this three-part series remain:
  • August 12: Mental Health Treatment in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence
  • September 9: Intimate Partner Violence, Suicidality, and Disabling Psychiatric Conditions: Unique Risks, Needs, and Strategies

Both sessions will be archived; you can find a previous session, Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond, on this page.
5th Annual Peer Recovery Conference: Thriving Amid Adversity
Thursday, August 13 & Friday, August 14
The 2020 Wisconsin Peer Recovery Conference will be held virtually via Zoom. The registration fee is $50. Organized by Independent Living Resources, with funding from the DHS Division of Care and Treatment Services, this event features workshops on how to provide effective peer support within community services for mental health and substance use concerns and innovative applications of peer support. Click here for details. 
Celebrating Strong Families Online Auction
Friday, August 14-Tuesday, September 1
With a mission To Strengthen Parenting and To Prevent Child Abuse, The Parenting Network is excited to announce their online auction, Celebrating Strong Families, beginning August 14 through September 1. During these unprecedented times, the strength and resilience of families have been put to the test. The added burden of job loss, food insecurity, and teaching children from home has compounded the day to day stress all parents face. Funds raised from this event will be used to provide parent education and support services to strengthen families and ensure children are raised in a stable and nurturing home. Please consider participating in the online auction beginning on August 14; if you are interested in donating an item or sponsoring the event, please contact Joyce Felker at
Bike Drive
Saturday, August 15
Milwaukee County Parks, the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Milwaukee Police Department, the Office of Violence Prevention, and the City of Milwaukee Health Department, in partnership with Feeding 100 Mouths, will be hosting its final Bike Drives this summer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 15 at Washington Park, 1859 N. 40th St., and Brown Deer Park, 7835 N. Green Bay Road. They’re also looking for volunteers and new or gently used bikes and equipment. The event will provide volunteers with PPE gear and volunteers will be asked to practice social distancing. Contact Prianca Lal for more information at
Buprenorphine X-Waiver Training Webinars
August 18-November 17
Register now for buprenorphine x-waiver training webinars sponsored by the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. These webinars are part of an effort to increase treatment capacity for opioid use disorder through expanded prescribing of buprenorphine. MDs, DOs, NPs, and PAs are encouraged to participate. There is no registration fee for these webinars.

  • August 18: 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Register)
  • September 14: 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Register)
  • October 23: 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Register)
  • November 17: 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Register)

Each webinar is presented as a live four-hour activity via Zoom, which, when paired with the American Society of Addiction Medicine's (ASAM) four-hour on-demand course, will provide necessary education for participants to qualify for their buprenorphine x-waiver. Prior to the four-hour live course, participants will be provided instructions for completing the first four-hours of education online, after which they will attend the live four-hour activity via webinar. When done with both activities, participants will qualify to apply for their x-waiver. ASAM offers the additional 16 hours required for NPs, PAs, and other CNSs for no additional cost.
WISE Annual Partner Gathering
Tuesday, August 18
WISE’s annual Partner Gathering will include watching the documentary "Finding Your Fairytale," which showcases inspirational individuals who have overcome significant adversity, including mental illness, chronic disease, and traumatic life circumstances. It’s only available via scheduled viewings at this time. Before the viewing, a partner check-in will start at 9 a.m. After the viewing (11:10 a.m. to 12 noon), there will be a panel discussion with Angela Kupper, creator of the film, and one or two others from the cast. Those attending just to watch the film, can join the meeting at 9:30 a.m. The gathering will use Microsoft Teams, which works best in Chrome browser: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting. Questions?
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. For details, click on this link.
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.
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.