Celebrating 30 Years
A Note from Executive Director, Lynda Gargan
How many of us remember when we turned 30? When we turned 16, we had a big celebration as did we when we turned 18 and 21, but 30? This is the time when many of us began to look for gray hairs and wrinkles and signs of gravity. Not so for NFFCMH! We’re turning 30 this year and we want to celebrate, but first let’s take a look at our journey.

In 1989, a group of parents and supportive professionals came together to discuss their challenges with mental health services and supports and with bias and stigma. Their meeting of hearts and minds led to the creation of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH) – an organization created by parents, for parents in an effort to improve family voice in the mental health system and to stand against the stigma that prevents our loved ones from receiving the supports and services they need and deserve to live full and happy lives.

NFFCMH’s journey over the last 30 years is akin to the journey of the families we represent, complete with growing pains, important accomplishments and a constant need to adapt as the world changes around us. Our proudest accomplishment is the creation of a network of family run organizations and partner affiliates who provide tremendous support and services to families and children across the country. A close second is the development of our national certification of Parent Peer Support Partners – a workforce whose valuable parent to parent support cannot be stated enough.

Today, NFFCMH takes an active role representing children, youth and families in legislation and advocacy efforts at the national level. It also provides education, resources and technical assistance to individuals, organizations and systems that benefit families and children who experience mental health and substance use challenges. Our annual conference is the largest event devoted entirely to issues that impact children, youth and young adults with behavioral health challenges and their families.

We honor our rich history and look toward a future focused on celebrating the gifts of all children, fueled by unwavering devotion to the needs of families. We believe in family voice and choice. We stand against bias and stigma that infringes upon the rights and potential of children and youth who have behavioral health challenges. We are grateful and proud to recognize our 30 th anniversary this year and we look forward to the next 30 years of collaboration with all of you.

Lynda Gargan, Ph.D.

Children’s Mental Health Matters!
30th Annual Conference Call for Proposals
Deadline March 15th
We invite you to submit proposals to present at our 30th Annual Conference this November in Phoenix, Arizona. We are looking for 90-minute workshops and a select number of 3-hour intensive workshops from professionals, family members, and youth that support the well-being of our children and promote family voice in children’s mental health.
The deadline for submissions
is March 15th.    
Welcome New Affiliate
Illinois State Chapter
We are excited to welcome Family 2 Family Federation for Children's Mental Health, the State NFFCMH Chapter for Illinois, to our network! Family 2 Family is a family-run coalition that focuses on reducing child abuse and neglect by building strong families, communities, and schools through education, parent engagement and advocacy.
Funding Opportunity from DHHS
Deadline March 11th
The purpose of the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program is to promote behavioral health integration into pediatric primary care by supporting pediatric mental health care telehealth access programs. State or regional networks of pediatric mental health care teams will provide tele-consultation, training, technical assistance and care coordination for pediatric primary care providers to diagnose, treat and refer children with behavioral health conditions.

MediSprout , a telehealth provider, has expressed an interest in partnering with NFFCMH affiliates who are interested in pursuing this funding opportunity.
Legislation and Advocacy
Mental Health in Schools Act Update
Mental illness affects millions of youth across America, with 1 out of 5 children and adolescents suffering from some form of mental illness. Most go untreated because they either cannot afford care, lack access, or do not know anyone they can turn to for help. Investing in preventive mental health could give these young people a better future. Without help, youth with untreated mental illnesses are more likely to fall victim to crime, drugs, imprisonment, or suicide later in life.

Rep. Grace F. Napolitano is reintroducing the Mental Health in Schools Act . By providing increased federal funding for therapists and mental health services in our schools, this bill will help youth with preventable mental illnesses get access to the services they need. The Federation is proud to be one of the many national organizations in support of the bill.
For More about Legislation and Advocacy
Legislation, policy, advocacy and funding related updates are now sent separately from our monthly newsletter . We invite you to sign up to receive these important emails and alerts and to visit our newly redesigned Policy & Advocacy page for more information and resources.

Submit your state's advocacy and legislative updates to mcovington@ffcmh.org .
Webinars and Events
A Deep Dive into Hospital/Health System and Community Behavioral Health Partnerships  
Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Time: 3:30pm EST

People living with mental illnesses and addictions often have co-occurring physical health concerns and use emergency rooms at a higher rate. Community behavioral health organizations (CBHOs) are essential to the continuum, providing specialty care to those living with complex health conditions. Building partnerships with hospitals and health systems can help ensure CBHOs are able to provide comprehensive approaches and meet the needs of their clients. During this webinar, you’ll hear lessons learned from Atrium Health Systems, a large multi-health system, that undertook a series of initiatives to integrate behavioral health in emergency rooms and specialty clinics over the past six years.
Planning and IEP Team Meeting When Your Child Has Mental Health Challenges
Date: Thursday, February 7, 2019 Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meetings can be challenging when a child has complex mental health needs. This workshop will provide parents and others with information to help prepare for a positive team meeting to support the child’s mental health needs in school.
Becoming an Active Partner in Your Child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Time: 6:30-8:30pm

This workshop for parents of children ages three to five will provide an overview of the early childhood special education process and how to take an active lead in the IEP process.
Working with Families to Address School Avoidance and Truancy for Children with Mental Health Needs
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019 Time: 12:00-1:00pm

Educators, mental health providers, social workers, and other professionals will gain information about supporting families with children who have mental health needs that impact school engagement and attendance .
Early Psychosis and Clinical High Risk: Connecting the Dots
Date: Thursday, February 14, 2019 Time: 11:00-12:30pm EST

This webinar will review the work being done in the United States and internationally to develop and implement seamless community-based care for youth at clinical high risk for psychosis. Common challenges and opportunities across these programs will be discussed, along with opportunities for synergy and learning. The webinar will introduce participants to important knowledge and resources and provide opportunities to network, share, and collaborate. It is part of the Clinical High Risk/Early Psychosis LC.
Operationalizing State-Community Partnerships for SOC Expansion
Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Time: 2:30-4:00pm EST

This webinar will focus on strategies states and communities can use to create effective partnerships to expand systems of care for children, youth, and young adults with behavioral health challenges and their families. A framework will be presented that outlines the roles of states and communities in SOC expansion and sustainability, along with ideas to enhance partnerships. This webinar is part of the SOC Expansion Leadership LC.
The AAKOMA Project: Engaging African-American Youth and Youth of Color in Addressing Depression and Other Mental Health Needs
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019 Time: 1:30-3:00pm EST

Alfiee Breland-Noble, PhD, MHSc, project director for AAKOMA (African American Knowledge Optimized for Mindfully Healthy Adolescents), will present this webinar on increasing access to mental health services through culturally appropriate engagement. The webinar is part of the Cultural and Linguistic Competence LC.
Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2019 Time: 3:00-4:30pm EST

Adolescence is an important developmental period when small interventions can have a significant impact. In 2016, the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health described the “triple dividend,” in which investments in adolescent health result in benefits to young people now, into adult life, and for future generations. Families play an important role in helping to realize the triple dividend. Join the Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association to learn about information and resources available from the Office of Adolescent Health. This webinar is part of the Family Leadership LC.
Resources and Opportunities
From ADDitude
On-Demand Parenting Webinars
If your child has ADHD, you know that standard parenting strategies don’t always work. Listen to these expert webinars to learn ADD-tested discipline tips, positive parenting techniques, how to manage treatment, school and learning resources, and more. Click HERE for the full list of webinars for parents.
Research Opportunity for Youth and Families
Families deserve to have a voice in children’s mental health! All too often, families are not considered in the picture of children’s mental health. Yet, families are the primary environment in which children have symptom onset, seek help for a diagnosis, and embark on a path of recovery. Complete this research survey for youth and parents to share your experience and help families like you! Learn more HERE .
From Pacer's Parent Center for Transition and Employment
Parent Tips for Supporting Success in High School and Beyond On this web page (which includes a video offering suggestions for parents, from parents) parents can explore a variety of topics and find tips and resources for supporting their teen during high school and into adulthood. Visit their page HERE .