April 2020
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
While we are all experiencing additional stress and uncertainty right now, our focus remains on families and our chapters. We have four resources we would like to highlight in an effort to provide parents and caregivers and family-run organizations with support they may need. We hope you will find these helpful.
Crisis Resources
We have collected information to help families in crisis connect easily to supports and services in the following areas of need:
  • Mental Health
  • Crisis and/or Suicide Risk
  • Substance Use
  • Child Abuse or Neglect
  • Domestic/Family Violence
  • Access to Food
  • Parenting
Small Business Resources
The Small Business Administration and Treasury Department have initiated robust efforts to provide small businesses, including nonprofit organizations , with the funds they need. As a result of the CARES Act, nonprofit organizations can apply for loans that will provide eight weeks of payroll. These loans will be forgiven as long as these funds are used to keep staff employed and to cover other specified expenses. We encourage our chapters to review this information carefully and to reach out to us with questions.
Home Resources
To support parents and caregivers at home with their children, we have compiled hundreds of ideas, activities, virtual experiences, educational resources and more on our new Facebook page dedicated to home resources. We invite you to:
  • Follow and like the page
  • Scroll through the posts for ideas you and your family can use
  • Post additional resources on the page to support parents and help children and youth stay active, engaged and healthy
Pinterest Resources
Our Pinterest page is well-stocked with resources for parents and families as well. We have 65 boards offering ideas and activities to use at home and useful information all organized by topic area. A few examples include:
  • Activities for home
  • Coronavirus resources
  • Self-care
  • Education
  • Family life
  • Remote learning
2020 Conference Call for Presentations
The call for presentation proposals is currently open for our 31st Annual Conference taking place in Chicago, IL on November 12th - 14th . We welcome submissions from professionals, mental health advocates, family members, and youth who support family voice in children’s mental health and know how much it matters. While the future is difficult to predict right now, we remain optimistic that we will be able to convene in November. You can help us by submitting your presentation proposals. The deadline has been extended to Friday, May 1st .
The National Federation is looking for  90 minute  and a select number of 60 minute and
3 hour intensive workshop proposals. We are seeking workshop proposals that will provide information on the following content areas:

  • Collaboration and Integration of Services Across Multiple Systems
  • Engaging Youth and Young Adults
  • Evidence Based Practices
  • Family and Caregiver Support 
  • Parent Peer Support Today 
  • Providing Services and Outreach in the Digital Age
  • Organizational Development and Sustainability
  • Research to Practice
  • Strategies for Reducing Bias and Stigma
  • Supports for Special Populations 
  • Trauma Informed Care
Proposals are due by
Friday, May 1, 2020 .
Celebrating Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and Day
The world looks different right now. Parents are adjusting to having their kids at home full time. They're creating daily schedules, taking on home schooling and learning new ways to keep children active and engaged indoors. Organizations are sharpening their technology skills, meeting with staff on conference calls and finding ways to provide support services virtually. This is a challenging and stressful time for many and it raises added concern about the mental health of our children and youth as well as adults.

In 29 days, the 16th Annual National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week (CMHAW) will be here. And its not just that the show must go on, it's that we need it to go on. This is an important time to stay focused on our mental health and it's also a time to practice and model resilience, positivity and strong family voice. So how can we celebrate CMHAW if we can't host events or gather in person? Below is what we will continue to do - and what we will be doing differently - to celebrate CMHAW this year.
Awareness Events Go Virtual
NFFCMH encourages its chapters, partners, families, youth and all mental health advocates to participate in the annual awareness campaign . We hear that many organizations will be hosting online events, Facebook Live sessions, Twitter Chats, etc. We have adapted our national map so that virtual events can now be listed. We invite you to submit any awareness events taking place in person OR online to be included on the national map.
Join Us #EveryDayInMay
#EveryDayInMay will continue this year! Each day during the month of May we will post content on our Facebook page you can share to help spread awareness in your state and community. Posts will include infographics, awareness activities, messages of hope and more. We encourage you to repost these on your social media channels using the CMHAW hashtags:  #ChildrensMentalHealthMatters, #CMHAW2020, #PerfectVisionIn20/20.
Activity Book
We're excited to share our new Children's Mental Health Awareness activity book - just for kids. This fun resource is a great way to get kids talking about their feelings and caring for their mental health, to engage them in Children's Mental Health Awareness week and to make mental health part of the conversation at home with the whole family.
Learn more about Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and
take advantage of these tools to help plan and promote your CMHAW events!
Legislation and Advocacy
News and Updates
Following our Legislative and Advocacy page on Facebook is the best way to get the latest news. You will also find our recent updates as well as tools and resources that can assist in your efforts to represent the voice of children, youth and families on our Legislative and Advocacy web pages .
Look for our next Legislative and Advocacy update in your inbox next week. It will highlight important information for parents, youth, families and organizations related to the recently passed stimulus package and other notable bills and legislation. Not signed up for our Legislative and Advocacy updates yet? Click here to subscribe to the list.

Submit your state's advocacy and legislative news and updates to our
Legislative Liaison, Michelle Covington, at mcovington@ffcmh.org .
Emergency Grants Announcement
Grant Title: Emergency Grants to Address Mental
and Substance Use Disorders during COVID-19

Application Due Date: Friday, April 10, 2020

SAMHSA is accepting applications for Emergency Grants to Address Mental and Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19. SAMHSA recognizes there are currently 57.8 million Americans living with mental and/or substance use disorders (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2018). The current national crisis of COVID-19 will certainly contribute to growth in these numbers. Americans across the country will struggle with increases in depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief. There is also an anticipated increase in substance misuse as the lives of individuals and families are impacted.

The purpose of this program is to provide crisis intervention services, mental and substance use disorder treatment, crisis counseling, and other related supports for children and adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will be provided for states, territories, and tribes to develop comprehensive systems to address these needs. The purpose of this program is specifically to address the needs of individuals with serious mental illness, individuals with substance use disorders, and/or individuals with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders.

SAMHSA plans to issue 60 grants of up to $2 million per state or
up to $500,000 for territories and tribes for 16 months.
Webinars and Events
Title: Virtual Family Support Meeting
Date/Time: Thursday, April 9, 3:30 4:30 p.m. EDT

Hosted by our chapter in Mississippi, Families as Allies, t his meeting is open to any parent or caregiver raising a child who has behavioral mental health challenges. There’s no specific agenda this is a time to check in with each other, discuss problems and concerns and support one another through this emotional time.
Date/Time: Every Friday in April at 3:00 pm EDT

Nevada PEP offers weekly webinars covering a variety of topics that support parents, caregivers, families and their children as well as the professionals who support them.
Click the button below to view their calendar, see titles and descriptions and
to register for this month's webinars.
Title: Providing Digital Peer Recovery Support Services
Date/Time: Thursday, April 9, from 2:00 3:30 p.m. EST

Join national experts in a conversation about providing digital peer recovery support services for people with mental illness and substance use disorders.
The event will explore the practical aspects of using technology to offer peer recovery support services, including assessing which platform to use; how to engage people with technology; digital communication skills; technology literacy and usage skills; and consent, privacy, and confidentiality. 
Experts will offer practical advice, resources, and lessons learned from their collective experience developing, evaluating, and providing various forms of digital peer recovery support services.
Title: Conversation on Supporting Families During COVID-19
Date/Time: Thursday, April 9, at 3:00 4:30 p.m. EST

The TA Network is hosting a discussion for family leaders, parent peer support providers, staff, and leadership from family-run organizations, child-serving systems,
and other stakeholders to brainstorm and share strategies for engaging and
meeting the needs of family members in the midst of COVID-19.
The TA Network operates multiple Learning Communities (LC’s) that are available to any and all participants on various topics. The LC’s were assembled with the most pressing needs of the children's behavioral health field in mind, and are facilitated by a diverse group of content experts. Opportunities for peer examples and interactions
are also provided in addition to robust resources and tools.

April webinar offerings include:

  1. The Importance of Understanding and Recognizing Trauma in Young Children: A Family Perspective - Friday, April 3, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST
  2. Innovative Strategies for Outreaching and Engaging Young People in Behavioral Health Services - Wednesday, April 8, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EDT
  3. Collaboration Between Youth Partners and Family Partners in Wraparound - Thursday, April 30, 1:00 2:00 p.m. EDT
Resources and Opportunities
MHA's 2020 Mental Health Month Toolkit
MHA’s 2020 Mental Health Month toolkit focuses on resiliency and offers Tools 2 Thrive at any time. The toolkit includes sample materials for communications and social media, printable handouts and more. Download it here .
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Child Welfare Information Gateway’s website features a new multimedia gallery, resources, graphics and sample social media posts to help spread awareness and support children and families in your community. Visit the page here .
Medication Safety Tips: A Guide to Protecting Children
Medication safety involves kids as well as parents, family members, medical professionals, babysitters, caregivers and the many other people who come into contact with children. This guide, Medication Safety Tips: A Guide to Protecting Children from Safe Home , offers important information about how to prevent accidental medication poisoning and how to store and dispose of medication safely. Find it here .