Hello from the Community Networking Project team! We hope you had time to renew and recharge this summer. The HUB is here to serve our community and connect you to the rich array of K-12 school-based mental health events, activities, services, resources, webinars, trainings, policy and funding opportunities, and more, happening here in Orange County (OC) and beyond. 
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and now more than ever, it is vital that we come together to make a difference in our community. Every person can play a role in suicide prevention by recognizing the signs of suicide, finding the best words to support someone in need, and promoting local and national resources. 

To help schools and organizations prepare, Know the Signs has developed a comprehensive, easy-to-use Suicide Prevention Toolkit with effective ways and helpful tools to promote suicide prevention in OC and across all California communities. 

Promote the Theme: Reconnect, Recenter & Rebuild 
“As we re-enter ‘normal’ life – whether it is going back to school, reconnecting with friends, rediscovering favorite places, or reimagining our future, transitions are easier when we navigate them together. Remember, all of us can play a role in suicide prevention. Together we can reconnect, recenter, and rebuild for the future.”  

-Know the Signs 
Training Opportunity
A Great Opportunity to Fulfill District Requirements for Suicide Prevention Education Through FREE Online Training Programs for Staff and Students

Suicide prevention begins with education. California recognizes this vital need, and lawmakers have established requirements for schools and districts to train staff and students. 

The California Department of EducationSan Diego County Office of Education, and LivingWorks are making it easy for schools to fulfill these state requirements by offering all middle and high school staff and students (ages 13+) in California the opportunity to complete the LivingWorks Start Suicide Prevention Online Training Program – a 90-minute, evidence-based, online suicide prevention training. And…it’s FREE!​ The online training program was announced in June 2020 and is still available. 
Here’s how it works: 

  • If you are an employee working in any public middle or high school in California,
  • you are eligible to complete this training at no cost.
  • Middle and high school students and staff all utilize the same training program.
  • Students and staff can choose two of the three youth-specific practice scenarios at the end of the training, titled "Eric," "Ali," or "Mikayla and Hailey." 
  • Students who complete LivingWorks Start are eligible to earn 90 minutes of community service hours. 
  • The training is sponsored by California Assembly Bill 1808.

After completing the training, participants will:

  • Better understand and recognize when a young person might be experiencing emotional distress or having thoughts of suicide.
  • Learn how to support and connect them to professional help.
Upcoming Webinars

Suicide Prevention 101 Webinar 
Register for the webinar on September 7, 2021 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. hosted by The Priority Center’s Outreach and Engagement Team and available to all Orange County residents at no-cost. 

What you’ll learn during the presentation: 

  • Overview of statistics associated with suicide 
  • Signs and risk factors for suicide 
  • How to help someone who expresses suicidal thoughts or ideation 
  • Support strategies and safety planning
  • Where to get help and how to locate available resources 
  • Suggestions for self-care 
The webinar will have a 30-minute presentation followed by an additional 30 minutes of discussion to answer any questions and conduct one-on-one breakouts for skill-building as needed or requested by participants.
Join the Orange County Community Suicide Prevention Initiative 
The Be Well Orange County Community Suicide Prevention Initiative aims to prevent suicide by promoting a sense of hope and a purposeful life in the community – especially among suicide survivors, those at risk, and their loved ones. Join the initiative and fellow OC residents to advance this mission and register for the Community Forum on September 11, 2021 from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. 

Community Efforts to Strengthen Health Equity in Orange County
The Community Alliances Forum focusing on Community Efforts to Strengthen Health Equity in Orange County is happening on September 14, 2021 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Learn about:

  • CalOptima and the County’s role in improving access to health 
  • Innovative strategies taking place in Orange County to increase health equity for vulnerable populations 
  • Initiatives to support health equity for people with disabilities 

Click here to register. 
Upcoming Conference

Leading the Way for Positive and Equitable Schools
The California Conference on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is hosting a conference to lead the way for positive and equitable schools. Join educators and administrators from September 13-15, 2021, to learn how your school can establish a social culture that leads to positive academic outcomes, social connectedness, and fosters rewarding student relationships. The conference will be held at the Safe Credit Union Convention Center in the heart of downtown Sacramento. Register for the conference. 
Art for Change: An Evening with Directing Change 
At the beginning of the 2020/21 school year, Directing Change created Hope & Justice, a new submission category that provided an opportunity for youth living through history to express their thoughts and feelings related to contemporary topics including social issues, mental health awareness, and suicide prevention. 

Directing Change is hosting a two-part virtual event in celebration of Hope & Justice on September 22, 2021 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. 

Part One: Facebook Live Event from 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.
The first part of the event is free to all! Join Directing Change on Facebook Live to hear from special guests and young artists about the impact of art on mental health and social change. Register for the first part of the event.
Part Two: Paint My Piece from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 
The second part of the event is a ticketed virtual painting experience. From the comfort of your home, you’ll receive guided instructions to help you recreate a work of art from the Hope & Justice Art Collection. A special bonus: Your instructor will be the youth alumni who originally created the piece of art. 

Tickets Options:

  • $25: You provide your own supplies.
  • $50: Directing Change ships the supplies to you (this ticket option must be purchased by September 10).

Purchase tickets here
Showcase of Youth Engagement Opportunities 
The Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) Youth Development Programs will be hosting a virtual event on September 23, 2021 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. to present no-cost opportunities that help school staff and student groups to promote special mental health events, including Red Ribbon Week/substance use prevention, bullying prevention, social-emotional learning, and positive school climate activities. Register here to learn about important and effective programs to support student well-being. 

2021 Orange County Counselor Symposium
Save the date! The 2021 Orange County Counselor Symposium will take place in an entirely virtual format and will be held at no-cost on November 10, 2021 from 8:15 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. The Symposium theme “Reconnecting, Resetting, and Restoring” will focus on promoting excellence, equity, and access for all learners. They are expecting a big turnout so don’t miss this opportunity and register here
Looking for somewhere safe to talk? We’ve got you covered.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in a suicidal crisis or in emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741741.
OC Links Behavioral Health Line – 24/7 Support 
OC Links is available 24/7 at (855) 625-4657 and provides information and links to any of the Health Care Agency’s Behavioral Health Services, including crisis services, via telephone and chat. 

TEEN LINE – Teens Helping Teens 
TEEN LINE is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides emotional support to youth. TEEN LINE is answered exclusively by Orange and Los Angeles County teenagers, who can relate to what callers are going through. It provides services for individuals ages 19 and under. Call (310) 855-HOPE from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. for support or text “TEEN” to 839863 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Other Resources 

Films for Diverse Communities
Through an innovative film contest, the Directing Change Program and Film Contest seeks to engage students and young people throughout California to learn about the topics of suicide prevention and mental health. Students who submit a 60 second film in the “Suicide Prevention” category have the opportunity to share information about suicide prevention, resources, and the warning signs of suicide. Check out the collection of youth-created videos here!

Teens4TeensHelp is a website created by teens for teens. The site is led by teens who have faced serious mental health challenges and chose recovery. Through sharing their own personal stories, Teens4TeensHelp hopes to reach other teens in need and let them know that they are not alone in their struggles. The site is packed with helpful information including supportive mental health stories, resources, and self-care ideas. 
You And App
"You And" is a resiliency skill-building app that is available at no-cost to all K-12 Orange County students. As students start to emerge from this long year of distance learning, they will be encouraged to maintain a positive mindset when they return to in-person school. Through engaging activities and videos, the app reminds students that things are slowly transitioning to a new normal, and it's important for them to take things one step at a time. Start using the app today! You can also stay up-to-date and follow “You And” on Instagram and Twitter
Advocates Ramp Up Campaign for a White House Children’s Office
As children’s mental health crises and child poverty worsen, advocates are calling for the White House to appoint a special liaison for youth policies and establish a Federal Children’s Cabinet. Advocates say the cabinet would help policymakers more effectively coordinate the federal response to issues like youth mental health, rebuilding the childcare sector, and eliminating child poverty. Read more here.

SAMHSA Awards $62.4 Million in Grants to Combat Child Trauma
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is distributing $62.4 million in grant funding to provide and increase access to effective treatment and services for children, adolescents, and their families who experience traumatic events. The White House is bolstering these awards with $800,000 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) support. Read more here

“Providing appropriate trauma-informed treatment and service responses for our nation’s children, adolescents and their families continues to be a SAMHSA priority, and is needed more now than ever as we begin emerging from the pandemic.”

-Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary
for Mental Health and Substance Use
School-Based WellSpace Centers Offer a Space of Calm 
The Orange County Department of Education and Children’s Health Orange County teamed up to pilot a limited group of new school-based “WellSpace” centers that encourage students to take a break from life’s daily stressors in thoughtfully designed, supervised environments that are safe, calming, and inclusive. WellSpace centers aim to teach students stress management strategies while boosting academic performance and reducing chronic absenteeism from an early age. Read more here

Suicide Attempts Rose Among Adolescent Girls During Pandemic
According to a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDCstudy, in May 2020, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts started to increase among adolescents ages 12 to 17, especially girls. The findings from this study reinforce the need for increased attention to, and prevention efforts for, this population. The CDC noted that suicide risks can be diminished with more social connections for young people and teaching an array of coping skills. 

How Affirmations Can Support Your Child's Learning
Children’s mental health and well-being are frequently tied to their achievement in school. Affirmations can support K-12 student mental health and help students perform better in the classroom. This article is packed with information on what positive affirmations and self-affirmations are and how they can support children’s mental health. 
We Want to Hear From You! Want to share an event that advances student mental health? Let The Hub help. Whether an event, training, webinar, grant, or a “Zoom” gathering, we can help spread the word! We encourage you to submit items for future issues.

Share The HUB – Please forward it on to educators, staff, administrators, parents, families and students in the school community and community organizations serving youth and families. 
The HUB is brought to you by The Reilly Group as part of the HCA Community Networking Project, and humble editors: Colleen Reilly, Gabriela Rodriguez, Angela Castellanos, and Jenna Shaffer. We look forward to serving you! 
 Contact the Community Networking Project
Funded by OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA), Behavioral Health Services, Prevention & Intervention, Mental Health Services Act/Prop. 63