September 2017
Federation in Action 
Message from Executive Director, Lynda Gargan
As we watch the devastation and suffering that is occurring as a result of Hurricane Harvey, it is challenging to know how to help. This level of disaster leaves us trying to make sense of something that is impossible to understand. We, as Americans, are a very giving people and we understand that we are all Americans and that generosity and compassion are two of our most important values. Many of you are already mobilizing responses within your communities, others are making donations and many of us are turning to our faith. Our children and youth are also watching these events unfold and many are already involved in school or organization activities in response. Because we know that these types of natural disasters are often traumatizing to our children and youth, we have included links to resources that may help you as you ensure that our children and youth remain healthy and optimistic.

Thanks to our Federation family for your generosity, your compassion, and your dedication to helping those who are in need.
 Representing You
I nterdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee
Lynda recently represented NFFCMH as a panelist at the inaugural meeting of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee on August 31st.

The ISMICC, is composed of senior leaders from across the federal government along with public subject matter experts including providers, researchers, patients, families and others, is charged with reporting on: 1) advances in serious mental illness (SMI) and serious emotional disturbance (SED); 2) federal efforts to address the needs of this population, and 3) recommendations on how to improve such efforts. Lynda participated in the panel Non-Federal Advances to Address Challenges in SMI and SED.
As you know, the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) includes only one family member. We are very fortunate that Conni Wells was selected for this prestigious honor. Conni takes very seriously the responsibility of representing a diverse family voice. To support her in this effort and to offer a conduit for  all  family voice to be represented with ISMICC, we will be hosting a series of calls to facilitate the opportunity for Conni to learn from families about the issues that are most important to them.

NFFCMH will begin hosting these family calls in September, following the inaugural ISMICC and will continue to host calls before each ISMICC to gather feedback and after each ISMICC to allow Conni to share important information with all families.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the first family call and plan to join Conni as she represents our voice.
The Federation actively represents you as part of the Mental Health Liaison Group .
  • The Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) is a coalition of national organizations representing consumers, family members, mental health and addiction providers, advocates, payers and other stakeholders committed to strengthening Americans’ access to mental health and addiction care. As trusted leaders in the field, the 60+ member organizations are dedicated to elevating the national conversation around mental health and addiction. Together, they work to advance federal policies that support prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery services and supports.
  • The Mental Health Liaison Group is a forum for collaboration among the leading national mental health and addiction-focused organizations. Together, we provide policymakers with information and support in advancing our shared policy priorities. The Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) hosts congressional staff briefings to share information on trends and best practices in the field; provides annual recommendations on mental health and addiction funding in the federal appropriations bills; writes letters to Congress outlining our position on important legislation or offering suggestions for improving proposed policies; and more. 
  • Learn more about MHLG
  • The Federation supported the ACT!! Coalition in its comment letter to CMS in opposition to the Elimination of Medicaid Transportation in Massachusetts
  • Along with our colleagues at the Mental Health Liaison Group, we endorsed the Mental Health In Schools Act - H.R. 2913. MHLG Endorsement
  • With the HELP Committee’s hearings on stabilizing the individual health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) scheduled for September, the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) wrote to Senator Alexander and Senator Murray to offer our thoughts on issues associated with market stabilization that would likely have an impact on coverage of mental health and substance use disorder prevention and treatment services through marketplace plans. MHLG Help Committee Letter
  • The Federation signed in in support of the CONNECT for Health Act, S. 1016 . Section 12 (Expanding the Use of Telehealth for Mental Health Services), which would expand telementalhealth by allowing the Secretary to lift current Medicare restrictions for some mental health services; most notable recognizing the patient’s home as an eligible originating site for receiving telehealth services Connect for Health Act of 2017
28th National Conference
The only national conference dedicated solely to issues that impact children, youth and young adults with behavioral health challenges and their families. Our conference focus is inclusive of children and youth who experience complex diagnostic challenges.

NOVEMBER 9 - 12,

Pre-Conference Institute
to Explore Funding, Certification and Reciprocity for Parent/Family Peer Support
NFFCMH is pleased to announce that Tara Larson, Senior Healthcare Policy Specialist, Cansler Collaborative Resources, LLC. will be joining us on Thursday, November 9 th , for a Pre-Conference Institute to explore funding, certification, and reciprocity for parent/family peer support.

This full-day event will include a panel of Executive Directors from our family-run organizations who will share their expertise and experience in the funding of parent/family peer support. The morning will provide vital information for both organizations and peers, with the afternoon providing intensive work sessions designed to inform and support state-level efforts. T he Institute is included in the conference registration. Be sure to click option to attend when you register.
Tara Larson
With over 33 years of experience in healthcare, from the direct delivery of services to the development and administration of state policy, Tara Larson has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the administration of state and federal policies and regulatory requirements. From her initial work in the State’s behavioral health facilities, to her ultimate responsibilities as Senior Deputy Director and Chief Clinical Operations Officer, and as interim Director of the State’s Medicaid program, Tara has an understanding of the issues related to healthcare administration and management that is virtually unequaled in North Carolina. Also included in her vast experience is her tenure as the Deputy Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services where she had responsibility for oversight of central office, state facilities, and local programs. Tara also worked in the NC Division of Information Resources Management where she had responsibilities for the development of policy related to information technology implementation within the NC Department of Health and Human Services and served as the Statewide HIPPA Coordinator for non-DHHS state agencies. Tara’s technical knowledge, combined with her facilitation skills and ability to focus on the real issues, continue to be of significant benefit to our clients.
Federation Welcomes 
HYPED4U Mentoring   As a New Affiliate
HYPED4U Mentoring is a nonprofit organization that is geared towards assisting families with kids between the ages of 5-18 years old with disabilities and without disabilities. They are bridging the gap between disabled/able, kids/parents, parents/schools, communities/families by giving them the opportunity to bond with each other and making lifelong friendships through our program. Their goal is to help individuals to become productive citizens in the world. ​
Upcoming Webinars
Unite to Protect Behavioral Health: Advocacy Webinar Series
  1. Wed, Sep 13 Wed, Sept 27
  2. 3:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET

With numerous emerging threats to Medicaid and behavioral health services, beginning in 2017, the National Council will hold biweekly policy webinars to update our members on the latest news and advocacy opportunities out of Washington. We will monitor and update our members on issues that matter most, including: the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, proposed reforms to Medicaid and details on government spending for behavioral health care programs. Each webinar will feature a specific Call to Action for National Council members. Please prepare and plan for a year of persistent advocacy and engagement with your legislators.
Families for Depression Awareness is presenting a free Teen Depression webinar on Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00 PM ET
Expert Presenter, Dr. Nancy Rappaport, will discuss what schools and parents can do when a teen is reluctant to seek treatment or ask for help. The program is designed for parents, caregivers, school educators and personnel, youth workers, and anyone interested in teen mental health.
What Is Neurofeedback and
Can It Help My Child?

Thursday, September 7th at 10:00 AM MD
Can changing your brain change your life? Neurofeedback is a way of working directly with the brain to help it become more regulated. In this webinar, you will learn what neurofeedback is, see a session in action, and get an overview of what the research says about its effectiveness.
Success with the IEP
Tuesday September 26th
This training will provide information and resources on special education and related services. This interactive workshop will give parents the tools needed to understand the IEP process and write meaningful goals.
Reciprocity and Certification
The Federation has been working to advance reciprocity for certification, as well as to reach out to states about Medicaid reimbursement for Parent Support Providers. We have been working to actively educate State Behavioral Health and Medicaid Leaders about the benefits of Family/Parent Peer Support and the opportunities to include them in their state healthcare plans.  In August, the Federation hosted two learning sessions for state decision makers based on their state's specific level readiness and family run affiliates who can continue the conversations in their states.
Part 1 - Family/Parent Peer Support: National Certification and Reciprocity Webinar
Part 2 - National Certification: An Effective Tool for Parent/Family Support Sustainability
Remembering Trauma
This website offers resources for those in the field of mental health, education, juvenile justice and policy makers regarding complex trauma. Explore the resources and watch the 30 minute video.

“Remembering Trauma: Connecting the Dots between Complex Trauma and Misdiagnosis in Youth” is a short film (16 minutes) that highlights the story of a traumatized youth from early childhood to older adolescence illustrating his trauma reactions and interactions with various service providers (including probation officer, school counselor, and therapist). This product was created in order to support the critical importance of using a trauma lens in our work within child-serving systems and the potentially detrimental impact of not incorporating a trauma framework. We believe this resource can serve as a powerful educational and awareness raising tool. 
“Remembering Trauma Part 2” incorporates scenes from the narrative Part 1 film, with poignant commentary from real world professionals who work across child-serving settings, including school, juvenile justice and mental health.
Help Kids Cope will help parents talk to their kids about the disasters they may face and know how best to support them throughout—whether sheltering-in-place at home, evacuating to a designated shelter, or helping your family heal after reuniting.
Help Kids Cope equips parents:
  • Learn what to do BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER 10 disaster types. 
  • Know what to say “in the moment” to support your kids of all ages. Hear audio clips of other parents’ experiences.
  • Understand how kids commonly respond during and after disasters.
  • Use the checklists to prepare your entire family before disasters.
  • Explain different disasters to your kids using age-appropriate language.
  • Find tips on caring for yourself as you care for your family.
  • Connect to activities, children’s books, tip sheets, and more!
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing
of Sue Smith's beloved husband, Norman Smith.
Please share your love and support with Sue.

She can be reached at
Sue Smith c/o GPSN
1381 Metropolitan Parkway 
Atlanta, GA 30310