SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

July 27, 2022 | Issue 38 (View newsletter as webpage)  Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

988 Suicide and Crisis Helpline decorative photo

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline offers 24/7 access to trained counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. There is a tremendous need, given:

  • In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes.
  • For people ages 10–34, suicide is a leading cause of death.
  • From April 2020 through April 2021, over 100,000 people died from drug overdoses.


Behind each of these data points, there are people, families, and communities who have been impacted. Yet, in the face of these urgent realities, there is hope. The 988 Lifeline helps thousands of struggling people overcome suicidal crises or mental-health-related distress every day.

People can call or text 988 or chat at for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

No matter where you live in the United States, by using 988 you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.

Review the 988 Partner Toolkit here which includes: 

  • Key messages
  • FAQs
  • Social Media Resources

Check out resources here for specific audiences on the Lifeline website

Learn more about SPAN's role as the NJ State Organization of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health 


Referring a Preschool Child for Evaluation for Special Education

Decorative image of two children

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center has published a new resource to support public awareness about referring a child with a suspected disability or delay to be evaluated for special education.  



Public Awareness is part of a comprehensive Child Find system to identify, locate, and evaluate infants and toddlers with disabilities as early as possible. Key audiences for the information are primary referral sources which include: 



       physicians, and

       child care programs.


There is a PDF version with general information and a template that is intended for states and communities to add additional details and their contact information. This tool can be used as part of a public awareness program to keep families informed about early intervention. Families are encouraged to explore inclusive opportunities for preschool children with disabilities. Learn more about Preschool Inclusion here. 


Download the PDF with general information here


Download a template for adding state-specific or local information here

Check out SPAN's Early Childhood Initiatives


National Parents and Families Engagement Center

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a National Parents and Families Engagement Council to facilitate strong and effective relationships between schools and parents, families, and caregivers. The Department has recognized that families’ voices play a critical role in how the nation’s children are recovering from the pandemic.


Representatives from national organizations focused on family engagement and leadership will work with the Department to identify concrete ways to help families engage at the local level.


Organization representatives reflect the diversity of the families whose children are involved in the education system, including families from diverse racial, ethnic, socio-economic, disability, and geographic backgrounds. These diverse family and caregiver voices will inform the Department's policies and programs and help to disseminate important information to families across the country. 


The Council members include Diana Autin, representing The National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment (National PLACE) as well as representatives from the following organizations.


  • Fathers Incorporated
  • Generations United
  •  Girls, Inc.
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • Mocha Moms
  • National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE)
  • National Action Network
  • National Military Family Association (NMFA)
  • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
  • National Parents Union (NPU)
  • The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
  • United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN)
  •  UnidosUS


Learn more here 

Upcoming Events

See what's happening

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event this week

Decorative image of people in a training session

Community In-Service:

An Introduction to Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders

Friday, August 19, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Join us to learn from the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders. This presentation will promote a more positive, inclusive, and successful learning environment for individuals with these disorders.

Learning Objectives include:

  • Understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of TS and associated disorders such as OCD, ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, mood disorders, and depression
  • Recognition of the ways TS and associated disorders can affect academic performance and peer social interactions
  • Increased awareness of strategies and accommodations that can have a positive impact on the academic success of a student with TS and associated disorders

Register Here

Spanish interpretation is available upon request.  

Interpretacion en Espanol Disponible, si se requiere.

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse


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