11/16/2018
Navigating the System: Accessing Behavioral Health Services (updated!)
Getting what you need starts with having the right information. One-page "empowerment tools" can give you what you need to know, when you need to know it. This one-pager on "accessing behavioral health services" will help when you or someone you know is in need of support for mental and/or substance use disorders. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

11/16/2018
Northwest Valley Community Resource Guide
The City of Peoria and City of Surprise collaborated to create this quick reference guide to provide contact information for assistance with food, shelter, homelessness, domestic violence and many other local resources. View the guide at www.peoriaaz.gov.

11/15/2018
AHCCCS Member Resources
AHCCCS is the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona's Medicaid. Applying for coverage? Need to report a change of address or income? Click HERE to get help with these and learn more about AHCCCS programs.

11/06/2018
Where to Get a Flu Shot
Flu season is here! The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. It also helps protect others from getting the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu shot (vaccination) for people 6 months and older. Click HERE for information on all the places where you can get a flu shot, like your primary care provider, community healthy centers, walk-in clinics, your local pharmacy, and more.

11/06/2018
Navigating the System: Privacy and Sharing of Healthcare Information
It is permissible to give information to healthcare workers treating your loved ones. It is permissible for healthcare workers to receive information regarding their patients. Not all of the important information relating to our health may be written down in our health records. Friends and family members can help fill in the gaps that may be preventing a loved one from making a full recovery. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

11/05/2018
Benefits Application Assistance
The Father Matters Benefits program can help you apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP, or food stamps), AHCCCS (Arizona's Medicaid) and more. Eligibility screening and application assistance are free and confidential. Click HERE to find out what you will need for enrollmenet, and contact Father Matters, 602.774.3298, info@fathermatters.org to schedule an appointment.

11/05/2018
Need Health Insurance? Cover Arizona Can Help
Cover Arizona's open enrollment team is here to help you: Get answers about health insurance; Find the right plan for you; Fill out forms; Know how to use your plan to live well. They can help you with enrollment in KidsCare, AHCCCS (Arizona's Medicaid), and the Insurance Marketplace. To learn more, visit http://coveraz.org/.

11/05/2018
Lend a Hand Program: Help Paying Off High-cost Car Title Loands
The Lend a Hand loan program pays off high-cost car title loans up to $3,000 for Maricopa County residents. The program is a partnership between the Arizona Community Foundation, MariSol Federal Credit Union, and Take Charge America. The goal of the program is to rescue residents struggling to pay off car title loans and help put them on a path to healthy credit and financial success. With this program, you will establish a savings account with MariSol Federal Credit Union to help you build an emergency savings and plan for a secure financial future. There are no fees to participate in this program. To learn more, visit www.takechargeamerica.org/lendahand.

11/05/2018
State Health Insurance Assistance Program
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free health benefits counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their families or caregivers. Their mission is to educate, advocate, counsel and empower people to make informed benefit decisions. SHIP is an independent program funded by federal agencies and is not affiliated with the insurance industry.This program is a partnership of the Department of Economic Security, Division of Aging and Adult Services and Arizona’s Area Agencies on Aging. To reach the SHIP, call their 24-hour hotline at 1-800-432-4040 and leave a message. A Counselor will call you back. If you need an appointment, our Counselors can refer you to a local office in your county of residence. For answers to frequently asked questions, visit https://des.az.gov/services/aging-and-adult/state-health-insurance/faq.

11/04/2018
Home in Five Advantage: Help for Low- and Moderate-Income Homebuyers
The Home in Five Advantage program helps low and moderate income homebuyers in Maricopa County by offering a competitive loan interest rate with a non-repayable grant for down payment and closing costs. Additional assistance is also available to qualified U.S. Military personnel, veterans, teachers, first responders, and individuals with an annual income up to $31,450. To learn more, visit ww.homein5advantage.com.

11/02/2018
Free Enrollment Assistance for Benefits
Keogh Health Connection offers FREE enrollment assistance for AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid), KidsCare, Marketplace Health Insurance (The Affordable Care Act), SNAP (food stamps), and TANF (emergency cash assistance). Their navigators are advocates and teachers who care for and support their clients on the road to self-sufficiency. Keogh will be available for appointments at the Ability360 Center on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Please call 602-266-0397 to schedule your appointment. For more information, email Lpearson@keoghhealth.org.

11/02/2018
The State of Mental Health in America
For the fifth year in a row, Mental Health America (MHA) released its annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures. This year, Minnesota came out on top overall, and Arizona was ranked 39th overall, 30th in caring for adults, and 43rd in caring for youth. Arizona also ranked very low (42nd) in access to care. Click HERE to read the 2019 State of Mental Health in America Report and see the details.

11/02/2018
NAMI Family-to-Family Program Classes Available
The NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family-to-Family Education Program is a free 12-session course for family members, caregivers, and loved ones of adults (18+) living with mental illness. The course is taught by trained family members.All instruction and course materials are free. To learn more about what the class includes, and to find out how to register, visit https://namivalleyofthesun.org/family-to-family-2/.

11/01/2018
Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition and David's Hope
David's Hope - Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition meets on a regular basis at various locations around our state. David's Hope works to support people with psychiatric disabilities at risk of becoming or already involved in our criminal justice system. If you or your organization would like to help us organize a meeting in your region, we want to hear from you. To receive meeting updates via email, request that your name be added to the distribution list by contacting davidshopeaz@yahoo.com. For more information, visit davidshopeaz.org.

10/31/2018
Crisis Hotline Available for Help Dealing with Pittsburgh Shooting
Mercy Care has activated a dedicated 24/7 hotline to help the community cope with the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburg. Anyone who may be in crisis or who wants to talk about the tragedy can call 1-800-203-CARE (2273) or visit www.crisisnetwork.org. Crisis Response Network operates the hotline. Teen Lifeline, 1-800-248-TEEN (8336), is another good resource for teens and parents available 24/7, or visit http://teenlifeline.org/.

10/31/2018
Job & Training Institute Offered Monthly
Father Matters' Job and Training Institute assists job seekers (men and women) with services and resources that will help with securing employment or obtaining better employment. Topics include adapting to change, job searching, money management, preparing for interviews, dependability, ethics, cover letter/resume writing, customer service and job retention. Free continental breakfast and lunch provided; certificates of completion provided at end of training. Visit www.fathermatters.org for future dates. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Father Matters, 602.774.3298 or info@fathermatters.org.

10/23/2018
Baby Bag Program
The Baby Bag Program from Father Matters is free to families with children who are in need of an emergency set of diapers (sizes newborn to 5T). You will receive an emergency kit with diapers and wipes and, when available, toys, educational materials and resources for parents. Call to schedule an appointment and to make sure we have your diaper size in stock, 602.774.3298.

10/22/2018
Navigating the System:
Timeliness and Appointment Standards for AHCCCS Members
There are standard timelines and other availability requirements to connect you with the care you need, when you need it. Click HERE for information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

10/22/2018
Credit Training Hours for Foster Parents: Foster Care & Adoptive Community
Every year foster parents must complete a specific amount of both online and in-person training in order to continue to stay licensed. A great resource to fulfill the online portion of training is the Foster Care & Adoptive Community (FCAC).To learn more, click HERE.

10/19/2018
Navigating the System: Update Your Mailing Address
Getting what you need starts with having the right information. One-page "empowerment tools" can give you what you need to know, when you need to know it. This week's featured "One-Pager" is: How do you get letters if you become homeless?? Click HERE for this one-pager on how to update your mailing address provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

10/19/2018
Arizona Peer & Family Coalition
Dedicated to extending statewide peer and family leadership into all aspects of Arizona’s behavioral health care since 2009. The mission of the Arizona Peer & Family Coalition (AZPFC) is to advocate for, connect, promote, and develop leadership by peers and family members throughout our state. Participate in AZPFC meetings in person or by phone from anywhere in the state! Monthly meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month from 12 to 1:30 pm at the Family InvolvementCenter, 5333 N 7th St., Ste. A-100, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Doors open at 11:30 am for networking. For more information about upcoming meetings, membership or events, contact Carol McDermott, President ProTem, 602.806.0002 or info@azpeerandfamily.org.

10/18/2018
Join us Saturday at the 2018 NAMI Valley Walk
The annual fundraising walk for the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is set for Saturday, October 20 in downtown Phoenix. Check-in begins at 8 am and the walk starts at 9:15. This great community event raises awareness about the issues and stigma surrounding mental illness and funds for the local chapter of NAMI so they can provide support, programs and advocacy to the people of Maricopa County. Visit www.namiwalks.org/team/SWN to join our team or make a donation. Sponsored in part by Southwest Network.

10/17/2018
Arizona Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioners Seeks Members
AAPRP invites you to get involved in your community! AAPRP is a new organization looking for creative, dedicated individuals to improve access to mental heatlh services in Arizona, highlight real-life stories of recovery in action, serve on the Board of Directors, participate in national conferences, and establish a social media presence. We are looking for participation from anyone in Arizona that identifies as being in recovery themselves, having a family member in recovery, or being involved in the mental health field directly/indirectly. All are welcome! For more information, click HERE or email AAPRPConnect@gmail.com.

10/04/2018
The Deadline for Voter Registration is Tuesday, October 9.
Please register to vote today if you have not done so! To register to vote, update your address or to check your voting status, visit https://servicearizona.com/voterRegistration. The General Election is November 6, 2018.

10/01/2018
Names of RBHAs Change to Align with AHCCCS Complete Care
When 1.5 million AHCCCS members move into integrated AHCCCS Complete Care (ACC) health plans today, October 1, they will receive behavioral health services through their chosen ACC plan instead of from a regional behavioral health authority(RBHA). However, RBHAs and Tribal RBHAs will continue to serve:
• Foster children enrolled in the Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP), including those CMDP members who have a CRS condition;
• Members enrolled with DES/DDD;
• Individuals determined to have a serious mental illness (SMI).
There will be no changes to RBHA-covered services for these members. RBHAs will also continue to provide crisis, grant funded and state-only funded services.

To align with their respective ACC health plans in each geographic service area, the names of the existing RBHAs will change on Oct. 1, 2018.
• Health Choice Integrated Care (HCIC) will become Steward Health Choice Arizona
• Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care (MMIC) will become Mercy Care
• Cenpatico Integrated Care (CIC) will become Arizona Complete Health – Complete Care Plan

10/01/2018
No-cost Resources for Families Available from Child Crisis Arizona
Child Crisis Arizona offers no-cost resources for families through parenting classes, family events and more. The Family Education Program offers workshops, classes, playgroups, support groups, legal clinics and family-friendly activities. All of these programs center around teaching positive parenting skills that build strong families. Classes are available at both their Mesa and Phoenix locations. Please see thier current class offerings: Fall Community Workshops, https://childcrisisaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2018-Workshops-MESA-Fall.pdf, https://childcrisisaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2018-Workshops-PHOENIX-Fall.pdf. Have questions? Call 480.834.8424.

10/01/2018
AHCCCS Complete Care (ACC) Begins Monday, October 1, 2018
This new integrated system will join physical and behavioral health services together to treat all aspects of our members’ health care needs under a chosen health plan. AHCCCS Complete Care encourages more coordination between providers within the same network which can mean better health outcomes for members. Members currently in a health plan that will be an ACC Plan in their service area on October 1, 2018 will stay with their current health plan. Members currently in a health plan that will not be an ACC Plan in their service area will be assigned an ACC Plan. To learn more, visit www.azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/Initiatives/AHCCCSCompleteCare or call AHCCCS Member Services (including the American Indian Health Program), in Maricopa County: 602-417-7100, outside of Maricopa County: 1-800-962-6690.

09/28/2018
AHCCCS IOFA Publishes Quarterly Report
The AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs (OIFA) promotes recovery, resiliency, and wellness for individuals with mental health and substance abuse challenges. The build partnerships with individuals, families of choice, youth, communities, organizations and we collaborate with key leadership and community members in the decision making process at all levels of the behavioral health system. Click HERE to read their first quarterly report.

09/12/2018
Warm Line Available 24/7/365 If You Need to Talk
602.347.1100
When life is overwhelming, if you are worried about a loved one, or you just need to talk, Crisis Response Network provides immediate and confidential help. The Warm Line is a free and confidential telephone service staffed by peers who have, themselves, dealt with behavioral health issues. Specialists offer peer support for callers who just need someone to talk to. The Warm Line is available 24/7/365. If you are in crisis, talk to a trained crisis intervention specialist by calling the Crisis Line, 602.222.9444 or 1.800.631.1314 (TTY 1.800.327.9254).

09/06/2018
Free Services for Men and Women from Father Matters
Enrollment assistance for food and health insurance benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/food stamps, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)/Medicaid and more. Eligibility screenings and application assistance are free and confidential. Click HERE for details.
Support services for free eye exams/glasses, food boxes, hygiene kits and more. Click HERE for details.
Family Law Legal Services for free legal assistance services for fathers and mothers, such as custody and paternity issues, parenting plans, modification of orders, dissolutions of marriage and more. Click HERE for details.
ReEntryUSA to successfully reintegrate back home after terms of incarceration. Click HERE for details.
Free smart phones for those who qualify. Click HERE for details.
Contact Father Matters, 602.774.3298 or info@fathermatters.org for information or to schedule your appointment.

09/04/2018
Get a Free Back to School Toolkit
Trauma can happen to anyone, at any age. It’s important to be aware of how trauma can trigger mental health issues in young people to prevent mental health conditions before they reach crisis. Half of all mental health conditions start by age 14. By increasing understanding of trauma and recognition of early warning signs of mental health conditions, we can get young people to seek help and support as soon as possible so that they can address issues before crisis, Before Stage 4.The 2018 Back to School Toolkit from Mental Health America will provide young people with information to help them understand the effects trauma, including the onset of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/back-school to download your free toolkit now.

09/04/2018
Navigating the System:
Standard Appointment Availability for AHCCCS Members
Your AHCCCS health plan is required to ensure that you can see medical professionals in a timely manner. The following standards apply to primary care providers (PCP), specialists, dental, maternity, and behavioral health providers: Click HERE for information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

08/31/2018
Volunteer Opportunity: Board of Directors Members
Are you a compassionate and caring person? Have you been impacted by mental illness? Do you have time to give? If so, you can provide hope and support to others through NAMI Valley of the Sun’s outreach efforts, annual walk, program facilitation,committee involvement and other activities. You will receive an orientation and on-the-job training. Volunteers can provide service at various times and in various ways to accommodate individual schedules. We are specifically seeking members for our Board of Directors to oversee policy and direction, especially people with marketing, fundraising, legal advocacy, criminal justice, information technology, and/or mental health advocacyexperience. Please contact Gay Evangelista at g.evangelista@namivalleyofthesun.org for information. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

08/31/2018
Navigating the System:
Services for AHCCCS Members without an SMI Determination
If you are an AHCCCS member, you do not have to have a designation of a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) to receive behavioral health services. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

08/24/2018
Navigating the System: Peer-run Organizations
Peer-run organizations are service providers owned, operated and administrated by persons with lived experiences of mental health and/or substance use disorders. These organizations are based in the community and provide support services.AHCCCS members have the right to request services provided by and/or participate in programs at a peer-run organization. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

08/13/2018
Navigating the Division of Developmental Disabilities
Systems that help people with developmental disabilities are complex. Download a free guide for individuals and families to help you understand the many systems you may work with along the way. Offered by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

08/10/2018
Mental Health Awareness Coalition Scholarship
Application deadline: September 14, 2018
The Mental Health Awareness Coalition Scholarship assists adults diagnosed with a mental illness in gaining educational opportunities for life enrichment, employment and higher education. For an application, click HERE.

08/07/2018
Excessive Heat Warning In Effect Today for Maricopa County
The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for for Maricopa County, which is in effect from Aug. 6 at 10 am through Aug. 7 at 8 pm. Daytime highs are expected to be in the 105 - 115 degrees Fahrenheit range. Residents are advised to stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed. Take these precautions:
• Stay in air-conditioned buildings.
• Limit outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day (mid-day).
• Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day.
• Drink water before, during, and after working or exercising outside.
For additional information, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Services Heat Safety Site which details ways to stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed.

08/03/2018
Foster and Kinship Caregivers Resource
Through a joint effort between AHCCCS and the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), a new resource packet has been developed to support foster and kinship caregivers. This packet will be provided by Rapid Response and contains health plan contacts, behavioral and physical health information, and other valuable resources. Click HERE for the packet.

08/03/2018
Navigating the System:
Sharing Health Information with Family and Friends of Adult Members
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the federal law that protects your personal health information (PHI). Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

07/30/2018
2018 Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute for Behavioral Health
September 15 through December 1, Phoenix, AZ
Application deadline is August 15, 2018
The Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute for Behavioral Health (aka Institute) is designed for service recipients/participants, family members, Board Members, and individuals concerned about quality behavioral health in Arizona. The goal of the training is to provide you a comprehensive overview of the Arizona behavioral health system and to assist you in becoming effective advocates for those receiving behavioral health services. Click HERE for more information and to apply. A program of the Arizona Behavioral Health Corporation

07/26/2018
Paid Confidential Research Opportunity for Caregivers
Are you a caregiver of an individual diagnosed with Schizophrenia? RC Horowitz & Co. is looking for siblings, spouses, other family members, or friends who support a person with schizophrenia. If you qualify and participate, you will be paid $100 to participate in a one-time 45-minute on-line survey. For additional information or to see if you will qualify, go to www.research.net/r/NMHA-SURVEY. Not affiliated with Southwest Network.

07/25/2018
Register to Vote in the Next Election by July 30
The deadline to register to vote in the next primary election is July 30, 2018. The deadline to register to vote in the next general election is October 9, 2018. To register to vote, update your address or to check your voting status, Click HERE. The primary election will be held August 28, and the general election will be held November 6, 2018. Vote. Because your voice matters.

07/23/2018
Crisis Services for Children in Foster, Kinship and Adoptive Care
If your child is experiencing a crisis, don't wait! Call the behavioral health crisis line in your area.Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

07/20/2018
NAMI Valley of the Sun is Looking for Peer Support Group Facilitators
NAMI Valley of the Sun is looking for adult peers, in recovery, who are interested in co-facilitating a NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group. As a facilitator, you will instill hope, be part of an amazing organization, and inspire group participants to accomplish their recovery goals. If you are interested, please contact NAMI Valley of the Sun, Programs Coordinator, info@namivalleyofthesun.org, (602) 759-8182.

07/19/2018
Summer Food Service Program for Children
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is again sponsoring the 2018 Summer Food Service Program for Children. The purpose of the program is to help ease demand summer food, particularly among children who take part in the free breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. Meals will be made available free to all eligible children 18 years of age and under within the approved geographical area without discrimination against any child. For an interactive map of dates, time and locations meals will be provided for children in more than a dozen cities around Arizona, visit click HERE or download a printable map at www.firstfoodbank.org

07/13/2018
Family Law Legal Services
Free legal assistance services for fathers and mothers from Father Matters. You have the right to see your children and no parent can take that right away from you. Being responsible financially for your children is required by law, but even parents without financial means have the right to see their children. Don't let a legal matter stop you from being an excellent and involved parent. Schedule an appointment to establish or enforce legal decision-making (also called custody) and parenting time, paternity, parenting plans, or modify orders, and even dissolutions of marriage when involving children. Services are open to men and women. Contact Father Matters to schedule your appointment: call 602.774.3298 or e-mail info@fathermatters.org. Review the forms regarding these matters before your appoint by clicking HERE.

07/06/2018
SNAP Enrollment Assistance: Nutritious Food and Health Insurance
Participate in the Father Matters Benefits program for you and your family. Father Matters helps you apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) / food stamps, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)/Medicaid and more. Eligibility screenings and application assistance are FREE and confidential. On-time service, at ONE place and with ONE application. Contact Father Matters to schedule an appointment, 602.774.3298 or info@fathermatters.org.

07/05/2018
Notice of Southwest Network Annual Meeting
Monday, July 16, 11:30 am, 2700 North Central Ave., 10th floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004
The board of directors hereby gives notice of the annual meeting of Southwest Network for the purpose of electing board officers. Board members of the organization and interested parties are invited to participate.

07/05/2018
Join the Mental Health Awareness Coalition
Join the discussion about public education to increase understanding, awareness and acceptance of mental health issues in the community and reducing stigma and discrimination. Visit www.mhacaz.org or www.facebook.com/MHACArizona to learn more.

06/22/2018
Mental Health First Aid Training for Youths and Adults
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of individuals experiencing a mental crisis. It will build understanding of their impact andoverviews appropriate support. The 8-hour course uses role playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to appropriate professional help. To learn more, click HERE. For more information on scheduling a Youth/Adult Mental Health First Aid training or to attend one, please contact the Prevention department at MIKID (Mentally Ill Kids in Distress), prevention@mikid.org.

06/21/2018
Department of Health Services Advises Residents to Take Precautions to Prevent Rabies
The Arizona Department of Health Services is alerting residents to a statewide rise in animal rabies cases and urging the community to follow prevention guidelines to stay safe from the disease. As of May 31, 2018 there have been 77 rabid animals reported compared with 54 at that time last year, with the majority of animals identified in rural counties in the state. Most rabid animals identified to date in 2018 have been skunks and foxes, with 25 rabid skunks and 31 positive foxes reported from January through May. An increase in rabid bats is expected as the weather gets warmer.

To prevent rabies, and other disease spread by animals like plague and tularemia, ADHS advises that people do not touch or feed wild or unfamiliar animals, even if they do not appear sick or aggressive. Any wild animal exhibiting unusual, erratic, or aggressive behavior should be reported to local animal control officials or the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 602-942-3000. If you or your pet is bitten or has contact with a wild animal, seek immediate medical or veterinary attention and contact your county public health department.

For more information on rabies, click HERE.

06/19/2018
Suicide Prevention and Support Resources
Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple combinations of factors, such as mental illness, substance abuse, painful losses, exposure to violence, and social isolation. Click HERE for resources and information provided by SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. If you need to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress and prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and offers best practices for professionals.

06/18/2018
Benevolence Requests
Pilgrim Rest Family Services provides benevolence assistance for individuals and families who are in crisis situations. To apply, please download application HERE. Bring completed application to the PRBC office Mon-Friday between 10 AM and 4 PM or fax to (602.258.0840. All application information is confidential.

06/18/2018
Family Services Offered by Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
Pilgrim Rest offers a variety of family services, resources and information, including food programs and assistance, adoption and foster care resources for grandparents, youth homelessness resources, child and youth services information, counseling and mental health services, employment information and referrals, ex-offender resources, financial/loan assistance, and general assistance. Information on health care and for seniors and grandparents is also available. For details, visit http://pilgrimrestphx.org/pr_family2res.html or contact familyservices@pilgrimrestphx.org.

06/18/2018
Support Services for Men, Women and Families from Father Matters
To receive any of these services, please call 602.774.3298 to make an appointment and complete an application.
• Vision USA Program provides eye exams for eligible, low-income individuals in need of eye glasses.
• New Eyes Program offers free eye glasses for eligible, low-income individuals in need of eye glasses if they have an eye exam done within the year.
• Emergency Food Box Program assists individuals and families in need of emergency food.
• Hygiene kits are available for individuals and families who need but cannot afford toiletry and hygiene items.

06/18/2018
Child Support Assistance Services
Father Matters, in partnership with the Division of Child Support Services, provides child support assistance services to fathers and their families. Work one-on-one with a child support case worker in a safe and secure environment. Services Include: Applying for child support services, establishing paternity, modification of a current support order, discussing arrears, discussing a settlement of arrears, and help with an out of state child support case. Contact Father Matters to make an appointment, 602.774.3298 or info@fathermatters.org.

06/16/2018
Have a Newsworthy Item or Notice to Add Here?
To have an item considered for inclusion on this page, please e-mail connections@southwestnetwork.org. Please note: Submissions are subject to review for appropriateness. Listings are provided as a community service by Southwest Network. Inclusion does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Southwest Network, nor do we guarantee accuracy. Services offered may require eligibility; contact the provider for information.

06/15/2018
Free Summer Meals for School-aged Children
If you have a school-aged child (18 years and younger) in need of breakfast and lunch this summer, simply text “FOOD” to 877877. You will receive a message back with a location closest to where they can get free summer meals. Or, call 1.866.3.Hungry (1.866.348.6479). For more information or to find free summer meals near you, visit http://summermeals.azfoodbanks.org/.

06/15/2018
AHCCCS Complete Care Community Forums
AHCCCS Complete Care (ACC) begins on October 1, 2018. This new integrated system will join physical and behavioral health services together to treat all aspects of our members’ health care needs under a chosen health plan. ACC encourages more coordination between providers within the same network which can mean better health outcomes for members. At a community meeting, you can learn more about the new health plans, choices and changes. Click HERE for a schedule of community meetings, or to view a presentation about ACC.

06/15/2018
Finding Quality Treatment for Substance Use Disorders (in English and Spanish)
This fact sheet serves as a guide for individuals seeking behavioral health treatment. It outlines the three necessary steps to complete prior to utilizing a treatment center and lists the five signs of a quality treatment center, which include a review of the accreditation, medication, evidence-based practices, position on the role of families, and support networks. Click HERE for more information provided by SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

06/15/2018
Get Rid of High-cost Car title Loans
The Lend a Hand loan program pays off high-cost car title loans up to $3,000 for Maricopa County residents. The program is a partnership between the Arizona Community Foundation, MariSol Federal Credit Union, and Take Charge America. The goal of the program is to rescue residents struggling to pay off car title loans and help put them on a path to healthy credit and financial success. For more information, click HERE.

06/14/2018
Help Others Beat the Heat, Avoid Heat-related Illness and Death
Vulnerable populations like older adults, children, people who are experiencing homelessness and those who work outdoors, need to take extra precautions when it’s hot outside. Spread the word about the Heat Relief Network, which provides maps of hydration stations where people can get water and other donations such as sunscreen, and refuge and emergency hydration locations where people can go to cool off and get water. Find these maps and more information on preventing heat-related illnesses and deaths at www.azmag.gov.

06/08/2018
Drop Off Unwanted Medications
Reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse by dropping off unwanted medications at Arizona prescription drug drop-box locations. Click HERE for a list of locations.

06/08/2018
Non-Title XIX Assistance Available
Non-Title XIX assistance may be available to certain customers. If you are waiting for your Medicaid application to be processed or you are not eligible for AHCCCS medical assistance, you may qualify to receive drug and alcohol and mental health treatment services through other funding sources administered by the regional behavioral health authority (RBHA). To learn more, click HERE for information provided by AHCCCS and Health-e-Arizona PLUS.

06/05/2018
Mobile Clinic Offers Free Medical Care and Prescriptions
Mission of Mercy is a free mobile clinic for primary medical care and prescriptions for children and adults, as well as no cost lab tests and X-rays, mammography, and more. Appointments are recommended. If a medication is needed, it will be dispensed free of charge. Their clinics are located in Phoenix, Mesa and Avondale. For clinic locations and schedules, and to make an appointment, visit www.amissionofmercy.org/Arizona.

06/04/2018
Crisis Text Line: Free Support at Your Fingertips, 24/7
Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust: text. Here’s how it works:
• Text START to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.
• A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds quickly.
• The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you out of your moment of crisis and work with you to create a plan to continue to feel better. Find more information at www.crisistextline.org.

06/01/2018
Childhood Immunizations Provided Free of Charges
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health operates three childhood immunization clinics for children ages 0 years up to their 19th birthday. Immunizations are provided free of charge. Vaccines are also available for uninsured or under-insured adults at our clinics. Please call the clinic ahead of time to check on vaccine availability. Vaccines for foreign travel are not available at the clinics. Please remember to bring your insurance card and Immunization Record to every visit. Call for hours and other details:
• Central - Roosevelt Clinic: 1645 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix 85006, 602.506.8815
• East - Mesa Clinic: 635 E. Broadway Rd., Mesa 85204, 480.834.2660
• West - West Clinic: 1850 N. 95th Ave., Suite 184, Phoenix 85037, 623.474.2290
Visit www.maricopa.gov/1809/Locations for additional information.

05/30/2018
Navigating the System: Behavioral Health Services for AHCCCS Members without a Serious Mental Illness
If you are an adult AHCCCS member you are entitled to behavioral health services. You do not have to have a designation of a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) to receive behavioral health services. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

05/29/2018
NOAH Receives $30,000 to Provide Oral Health services to Children
Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH) received a $30,000 grant from Delta Dental of Arizona to deliver oral health education and screening to uninsured and under-insured children. ervices will be provided at back-to-school events, community health fairs and other school activities in low-income areas. As a federally qualified health center, NOAH provides accessible, affordable and confidential care of individuals and families who have little or no access to basic health care. Read the full story at www.scottsdaleindependent.com.

05/25/2018
Be One in a Million: Get Mental Health First Aid Training
Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack—we’d start CPR, or at the very least, call 9-1-1. But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack or if we were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of alcoholism.

Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by improving understanding and providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental illness or substance use disorder.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Become 1 in a million by getting trained today. Visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org to learn more or find a course near you.

05/19/2018
Hotline Now Open in Response to Texas Shooting
Mercy Care Plan and Mercy Maricopa have activated a 24/7 hotline to help the community cope with the shooting in Texas. Ten people have been killed in a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. The suspect is being held on a capital murder charge. Anyone who may be in crisis or who wants to talk about the tragedy can call 1-800-203-CARE (2273). Crisis Response Network operates the hotline. Teen Lifeline, 1-800-248-TEEN (8336), is another good resource for teens and parents. That hotline is also available 24/7. Please call if you're in crisis or even if you just need to talk.

05/18/2018
Navigating the System: Sharing Health Information With Family and Friends 0f Adult Members
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the Federal law that protects your personal health information (PHI). HIPAA allows you to access health care with the assurance that your personal information will be kept confidential. HIPAA protects both physical health care and mental health care information. HIPAA does not prevent health care providers from listening to the concerns of family members or other caregivers. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs. Click HERE to learn more about HIPAA.

05/18/2018
13 Reasons Why Resources
Since the second season of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why comes out today, May 18, Southwest Network is passing along this LIST from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center of commonly asked questions about the series. It contains resources to help parents, schools, members of the media, and community leaders discuss the series and promote awareness about suicide prevention.

05/18/2018
Changes to Three Southwest Network Sites
As of May 19, 2018 three sites previously operated by Southwest Network will be operated by other behavioral health providers:
• The Highland Clinic, previously at 4707 North 12th St., Phoenix will be operated by Community Partners, Inc. at 1515 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
• The Mesa Heritage Clinic will be operated by Community Bridges, Inc. at the same location, 460 North Mesa Dr., Suite 201, Mesa, AZ 85201.
• The Royal Palms Clinic will be operated by Lifewell Behavioral Wellness at the same location, 2311 West Royal Palm Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85021.
Members at these three sites have a choice where they receive services. They can work with their clinical team and/or Mercy Maricopa Member Services to change to any provider in the Mercy Maricopa network at any time, for any reason. If members don't select a new provider, they will be assigned to a provider. Members are encouraged to contact Member Services, 602.586.1841 or 1.800.564.5465.

05/18/2018
Hotline Now Open in Response to Texas Shooting
Mercy Care Plan and Mercy Maricopa have activated a 24/7 hotline to help the community cope with the shooting in Texas. Ten people have been killed in a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. The suspect is being held on a capital murder charge. Anyone who may be in crisis or who wants to talk about the tragedy can call 1-800-203-CARE (2273). Crisis Response Network operates the hotline. Teen Lifeline, 1-800-248-TEEN (8336), is another good resource for teens and parents. That hotline is also available 24/7. Please call if you're in crisis or even if you just need to talk.

05/18/2018
Free Oral Health Screenings for Children to 5 Years of Age and Pregnant Women
Revisiones Dentales Gratis
Maricopa County Public Health has partnered with the Ventanilla de Salud at the Consulate of Mexico to provide free oral health screenings and fluoride varnish for newborns to 5 years old and oral health screenings for pregnant women. No appointment is needed. Every Friday, 8 am to 1 pm, Ventanilla de Salud, 320 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85004, 602.510.0637. En Español.

05/15/2018
Navigating the System: Filing an SMI Grievance
Members in the public behavioral health system who are determined to have a serious mental illness (SMI) are entitled to extensive rights. An SMI grievance is a request for an investigation when a member’s rights may have been violated. Anyone can file an SMI grievance, and may do so within one year from the date of the incident. Include all helpful details such as events, names of individuals involved, titles, agencies and dates. When describing the grievance focus on the facts but don’t forget to include the solution you want. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

05/04/2018
Are You Ready for AHCCCS Complete Care?
If you are one of the 1.5 million people moving to an AHCCCS Complete Care Contractor on Oct. 1, 2018, don't get left out of the loop. Make sure your address and contact information is up-to-date. Click HERE to find out how.

05/03/2018
Navigating the System: Filing a Formal Complaint in the Children's System
A formal complaint has the capacity to address the quality of care or services provided, or the way your child was treated. If you have a complaint or concern with a provider about the quality of care or services your child received, and you are unable to resolve it wish leadership staff at the site where your child receives services, you may file a formal complaint. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

05/01/2018
New Treatment Options for Opioid Misuse, Abuse or Dependence
You or someone you know may be affected by opioid use disorder. AHCCCS, as the administrator of a Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant, has increased treatment options to include 24/7 access to Opioid Treatment Programs. Arizona now has five agencies providing opioid treatment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve individuals who need immediate access to treatment services and connections to ongoing services. For information on these five agencies, as well as crisis, treatment and support resources and services, Click HERE.

05/01/2018
Reentry Mentoring Project: Help for Ex-Offenders
Father Matters' Reentry Mentoring Project assists men and women successfully reintegrate back home after terms of incarceration. All of our services are free to currently incarcerated or recently released male and female parents. We assist by helping to build stronger, healthier families by providing support, encouragement, beneficial life skills development and personal advocacy and education. Referrals not needed. Please call 602.774.3298 o make appointment.To learn more, or to become a mentor, visit http://fathermatters.org/programs/father-matters-reentry-mentoring-project.

04/27/2018
Governor Ducey Declares May 2018 'Mental Health Awareness Month'
Our Governor has called on all Arizonans to support those experiencing mental illness and commit to stigma reduction by changing the way we speak about mental health. Read the full proclamation.

04/26/2018
College Scholarships Available from First Things First
Financial scholarships to support eligible individuals in completing a credential, associate degree, or bachelor's degree in early childhood education or related field. To learn more, click HERE.

04/20/2018
Fight Stigma
People with mental illnesses must often cope with the sting of social stigma in addition to their illness. Individuals with mental illnesses have been marginalized under the weight of negative attitudes and beliefs that cause others to fear them, avoid them and shun them. By simply changing the words you use, you can help someone who may feel shame about seeking help for a mental illness. The right words show respect for the experience that someone else is living. To learn more, visit https://azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/HealthcareAdvocacy/OIFA/Stigma.

04/20/2018
Navigating the System: Crisis Services for Children in Foster, Kinship and Adoptive Care (Bilingual)
If your child is facing a crisis, don't wait. Call the behavioral health crisis line in your area. To learn more, click HERE.

04/17/2018
Re-entry Coalition
Arizona State University is contracted with the Department of Corrections to facilitate Community Re-entry Coalitions throughout the Valley. They are looking to bring together multiple sectors (housing, employment, substance abuse, faith-based, law enforcement, etc.) to help address the specific re-entry needs of your community and reduce recidivism throughout Arizona. As a coalition, you will determine the goals and initiatives you would like to undertake to promote successful re-entry after incarceration in your community. ASU will be there to provide logistic support, meeting minutes, and guided facilitation to help assist you in identifying and executing those goals. If you are interested in participating in a coalition, would like to recommend a community member or organization, or have further questions about the coalitions, please contact Christina.Boudreau@asu.edu or khyatt@azcorrections.gov.

04/13/2018
Disability Benefits 101: Online Benefits Planning Calculators
If you have a disability in Arizona, how much can you earn and keep your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits? If you go to work, are you concerned you'll lose your SSDI benefits or healthcare? Use DB101's online benefits planning calculators to get ready for a change in your work or benefits, or to learn how benefits rules might apply to you. Just visit https://az.db101.org/.

04/13/2018
The Importance of a Hospital Discharge Plan
Discharge planning begins as soon as you are admitted to the hospital. It helps your health care providers coordinate your treatment and helps you make a smooth return to your community and your regular routine and to good health. Click HERE for more information about discharge planning provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

04/12/2018
DispatchHealth Brings Mobile Urgent Care to Mercy Care Members
Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care and Mercy Care Plan members now have access to urgent care that comes to you through the plan’s new partnership with DispatchHealth. This service allows members to stay comfortable at home while they are ill or injured and avoid emergency room waiting rooms. The service is available seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., all year long. Services include on-site suturing, IV fluids and IV-medication administration, UTI treatment, catheter insertion, and even mobile imaging like X-rays if needed. Mercy Care members can access DispatchHealth through its smartphone app, a phone call to 480.493.3444 or visitng dispatchhealth.com. Read the full story at http://ktar.com.

04/12/2018
Mental and Behavioral Health Information
Marc Community Resources, Inc. provides mental and behavioral health information and resources at no cost. Their ReferralCoordinator enjoys helping others navigate the often confusing world of Arizona’s mental health system to locate the professionals and organizations best able to assist the people he serves. No matter what your need is, he is committed to solve the problem or point you in the right direction! Call Information and Resources Coordinator Andy Arnowitz, 480.994.4407Mon. through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. Follow-up calls available.

04/06/2018
Strong Warnings Against Combining Opioids with Other Medications
Most of us know that opioids are used to treat pain. But did you know that some prescription cough syrups also contain opioids? Click HERE for more information about high-risk medications provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

04/06/2018
You Have Voice and Choice in Your Health Care Decisions
If you are an AHCCCS member, you have the right to request covered services and choose where to receive these services within your network. Getting what you need starts with having the right information and knowing what to do when you are unable to get behavioral health services. https://www.azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/Downloads/ChoiceInHCdecisionsFlyer.pdf to learn more.

04/06/2018
At-home Urgent Care Services Offered Through DispatchHealth
Mercy Care Plan and Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care announced they are now partnering with DispatchHealth, offering on-demand mobile urgent care services in the Phoenix area. The service claims to offer greater convenience, lower costs than an emergency room visit and better care. Read the full story in www.abc15.com.

03/30/2018
Foster Family FAQ and Resources
Fostering can pose challenges and uncertainties. You can find some answers to frequently-asked questions for foster families and kinship caregivers HERE.

03/29/2018
Learn More About Peer-run Organizations
Peer-run organizations are service providers owned, operated and administered by persons with lived experiences of mental health and/or substance use disorders. Click HERE to learn more from a fact sheet from AHCCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

03/14/2018
Advisory Council Members Needed for the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Program
The Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL) is a non-profit law firm that assists Arizonans with disabilities to promote and protect their legal rights to independence, justice, and equality. ACDL envisions a society where people with disabilities enjoy full acceptance without barriers. ACDL works in 8 federal grant programs.The Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program is one of those programs. In the PAIMI program, we investigate abuse or neglect in institutions or facilities, and advocate for the legal rights of Arizonans with mental illness. ACDL has a PAIMI Advisory Council (PAC) to help us achieve our mental health program goals. Members of the PAC include persons who have received or are receiving mental health services as well as their family members, attorneys, mental health professionals, providers of mental health services, and persons knowledgeable about mental illness. ACDL is currently seeking new members to join the PAC. Persons from any Arizona county can apply. 60 percent of the members have to be persons with mental illness or their family members. Diversity is encouraged. For more information or if you are interested in an application, please email center@azdisabilitylaw.org.

03/12/2018
American Association of Suicidology Statement on Firearms and Suicide
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) has released a statement on firearms and suicide. Nearly all individuals who attempt suicide using firearms die. AAS recognizes that access to firearms is a risk factor for death by suicide, promotes means safety as a method for lowering the national suicide rate, and supports collaborative relationships between the suicide prevention field and the firearms community. Click HERE to read their statement.

03/05/2018
AHCCCS Awards Contracts to Seven Managed Care Organizations
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has awarded managed care contracts to seven integrated managed care organizations (MCO’s) that will coordinate the provision of physical and behavioral health care services to 1.5 million Medicaid members. Called AHCCCS Complete Care, the contracts begin on Oct. 1, 2018 and are awarded in the following geographic service areas (GSAs):

Central GSA (Maricopa, Gila and Pinal counties, excluding zip codes 85542, 85192, and 85550): Banner-University Family Care Plan, Care1st Health Plan Arizona, Health Choice Arizona (Steward Health Choice Arizona), Health Net Access, Magellan Complete Care of Arizona, Mercy Care, and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan.

South GSA (Pima, Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Santa Cruz, and Yuma Counties, including zip codes 85542, 85192, and 85550): Banner-University Family Care Plan, Health Net Access, and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan (in Pima County only).

North GSA (Mohave, Coconino, Apache, Navajo, and Yavapai Counties): Care1st Health Plan Arizona, Health Choice Arizona (Steward Health Choice Arizona).

To learn more, visit https://azahcccs.gov.

02/28/2018
Final Analysis of CMDP Integrated Health Plan Capacity Released
AHCCCS has announced that Mercer, an independent contractor, has completed an analysis of a proposal to integrate behavioral health services for children in foster care who are enrolled in the state’s Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP). This report includes the analysis requested by AHCCCS and the Department of Child Safety (DCS) in January 2018 that Mercer examine Administrative Services Organization (ASO) models for Arizona's child welfare and Medicaid agencies and alternative health service delivery systems for children and youth in foster care. Click HERE to read Mercer's final analysis.

02/27/2018
Southwest Network Selected as Targeted Investment Program Participant
AHCCCS announced on February 20 that Southwest Network is one of the adult behavioral health provider participants selected for the Targeted Investments Program (TI), a 5-year incentive program to help registered AHCCCS providers develop clinical processes that integrate physical and behavioral health care delivery. More than 515 locations have been accepted from six specialty categories: Adult Behavioral Health, Pediatric Behavioral Health, Adult Primary Care, Pediatric Primary Care, Hospitals, and Justice. All participants are currently working to complete Year Two program milestones. Click HERE to see the full ist of participants.

02/07/2018
Free Art Classes for Suicide Survivors
Arizona Artists Guild offers tuition-free art classes to suicide survivors. This program is designed specifically for friends and families who have lost a loved one to suicide as well as those who have attempted suicide and survived. Attendees will receive the benefits of expression, social interaction with others, and the enjoyment of quality time engaged in a creative activity. Working alongside one another so that they can meet and share with people in similar situations. Classes are offered the 4th Saturday of each month from 3 to 5 pm. There is no fee, but pre-registration is required. For information or to register, contact info@arizonaartistsguild.net or 928.300.7185.

02/05/2018
Free Classes from Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services
Healthy Pregnancy and Childbirth Classes for Teens
Classes are offered in Avondale, Glendale, and Mesa for pregnant adolescents age 21 and younger. Class topics include prenatal nutrition, healthy relationships, what to expect during labor and delivery, relaxation and breathing, postpartum care, and much more.
Proactive Teen Parenting Classes for Teen Parents
Classes are offered in Avondale, Glendale, and Mesa for parenting adolescents age 21 and younger. Class topics include nutrition, playtime, developmental milestones, positive discipline, and much more. Class participants are eligible for raffle prizes, free diapers, and CPR classes. Free snacks during class. Children are more than welcome to attend with class participants.
Find Your Future Classes for Pregnant and Parenting Teens
Classes are offered in Avondale, Glendale, and Mesa for pregnant or parenting adolescents ages of 14 to 19. This series helps teen parents learn to have healthy relationships, make positive decisions, set career and educational goals, and save money. Participants receive a free gift card at series completion.
For more information on these classes, contact Kelley Rodriguez, Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services, 623.334.1501.

02/05/2018
‘Bipolar’ is Not a Synonym for ‘Violent’
By now, we’ve all had some time to absorb the horrifying news out of Orlando, and to think about the victims of this traumatic event. And we’ve also heard Sitora Yusufiy, ex-wife of the slain Orlando nightclub shooter, say that she thinks his actions were caused by mental illness—specifically “bipolar disorder”—and not a connection to ISIS or intolerance.

While we don’t want to minimize the abuse that Yusifiy suffered throughout their short marriage, her statements perpetuate an unfortunate (and altogether too common) misconception that violent crime is rooted in mental health issues.

Bipolar is NOT a synonym for violent, and does not explain this kind of violence. It is a disservice to say such a thing, and a further disservice to report it simply because his ex-wife surmised it.

In fact, the truth of the matter is only about 4% of interpersonal violence in the United States can be attributed to mental illness (of course, that does not come close to 40% of news stories about mental health issues connecting it to violent behavior that harms other people).

In addition, people with severe mental illness are 10 times more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than the perpetrators of them.

What’s also true, however, is that those who were impacted by the tragedy in Orlando are the ones who may now—or may soon—be suffering from mental trauma. Just as it continues to affect many of the victims of Sandy Hook, 9/11, Columbine, Oklahoma City, and every other shooting or disaster in America—years or even decades after the event occurs. Taking a screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Visit MHAScreening.org to take a free online screening today.

02/02/2018
New Opioid Support Group: Stop the Cycle of Addiction Today
Do you need to support to stop using or keep from relapsing on pain killers or other opioids? Have you taken opioids that were not prescribed to you? Have you taken them more frequently than prescribed? STAR (Stand Together and Recover Centers) is now offering a FREE weekly opioid support group for adults ages 18 and older. The group will be facilitated by a counselor and a peer and will focus on opioid addiction and dependency. No referral is needed, you are welcome to join any time. The group meets every Wednesday from 6 to 7 pm at STAR Central, 2502 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 85034, upstairs on the second floor. Questions? Call 602.231.0071.

01/26/2018
Thrive Mentor Program for Foster Youth
Arizona's Children Association's Thrive Mentor Program matches volunteer mentors with adolescents who are in the process of transitioning out of foster care. Participants develop supportive, positive relationships that contribute to the achievement of personal, social, and educational growth of their mentee as they transition to an independent life. To learn more about Thrive and becoming a mentor, visit www.ArizonasChildren.org/thrive.

01/25/2018
CHIP Funding Reauthorized for Six Years
Federal legislation signed into law on Monday, Jan. 22 extends federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP, which is called KidsCare in Arizona) for six years, through Sept. 30, 2023. The law also ensures that the federal government will cover 100% of KidsCare costs through Federal Fiscal Year 2019 (ending Sept. 30, 2019). In Arizona, KidsCare currently covers more than 23,000 children who otherwise would not have health insurance.

01/25/2018
Support Groups for Sexual Violence Survivors
Sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, and physical effects on a survivor. These effects are not always easy to deal with, but with the right help and support they can be managed. Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) offers a weekly support group for survivors of sexual violence facilitated by trained sexual violence advocates. Please consider joining us and let the healing begin. Light snacks provided.
• Wednesday evenings, 5:30 to 7 pm, 879 North Plaza Dr. D101, Apache Junction, AZ
Please RSVP to Kimberly, 480.815.8154 or kimberlyh@caafaaz.org
• Thursday evenings, 5:30 to 7 pm, House of Refuge, Community Center, 6909 E. Ursula, No.1, Mesa, 85212
Please RSVP to Sam, 480.815.9946 or samanthaw@caafaaz.org =


01/25/2018
Support Groups Are Available at No Charge from NAMI Valley of the Sun
Valley of the Sun Chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers free family and peer support groups. NAMI Family Support Groups are open to all adults who have a family member or friend who is living with mental illness, regardless of diagnosis. You are welcome to drop by and share your feelings, difficulties, or successes. NAMI Peer Support Groups are facilitated by trained NAMI members and participants are encouraged to share actively in the work of the group. For information, contact Debbie, 602.759.8177 or visit http://namivalleyofthesun.org.

01/25/2018
Support Groups and Help Available at No Charge
You are not alone! Peer support groups are free and open to the public for adults 18 years or older living with a mental disorder and are sponsored by the Mental Health Guild. Groups are located throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Benefits of a peer support group include:
• A safe place for people to share their experience
• A place to get ideas on ways to cope
• A forum for mutual acceptance and self-discovery
• Being heard by sympathetic and empathetic people
• Get a better understanding of your illness
• Getting out of the house and not being alone
• Being able to connect and possibly make new friends
• An opportunity to reach out to others and benefit from the experience of those who have “been there.”
• A place to remind ourselves that recovery is possible!
There is a new group starting Sunday, Feb. 4 in Sun City called "Celebrating Strengths". For more information or to find the group that's right for you, visit http://mentalhealthaz.org/support-groups or call Andy, 480.994.4407.

01/25/2018
Support Groups for Survivors of Suicide
These are groups for family members and friends who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide. After a suicide, survivors need acceptance when there is often so much rejection, approval when there is so much disapproval, direction where there is confusion. Members of a surviving family need help from others because their own grief makes it difficult for them to support one another. This is not a recovery group for those who have attempted suicide themselves. There is no fee, but donations are welcomed. The support group meets at various locations and times; visit http://empactsos.org/support-groups for more information.

01/01/2018
Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly: Get Taxes Done FREE
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. In addition to VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older. Click HERE to find a tax assistance site near you.

12/19/2017
Resources for Foster Families
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is committed to providing comprehensive, quality health care for foster children. Foster children are eligible for medical and dental care, inpatient, outpatient, behavioral health, and other services through the Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP) and the regional behavioral health authorities (RBHAs) or through Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS). For information for foster families, including how to access services, foster family rights and information, policy updates, member frequently asked questions, and contact information for questions or comments regarding services, please visit www.azahcccs.gov/Members/AlreadyCovered/MemberResources/Foster.

12/18/2017
Free Online Training for Drug Court Professionals
Funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, this free online course from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals is designed for drug court professionals to learn more about medication assisted treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders. Visit www.ndcrc.org to learn more.

12/18/2017
Free Cell Phones
Father Matters, in partnership with Access Wireless, is proud to bring back their Intouch Program. Upon approval of your application for Lifeline service, you'll receive a free mobile phone provided by Access Wireless. On the same date each month, a free allotment of 250 minutes and unlimited text messaging will automatically be applied to your Access Wireless account. Click HERE for more information on the Intouch program and on how to schedule an appointment at Father Matters' South Phoenix office.

12/14/2017
Project Connect Events: More Than 50 Service Providers in One Location
Individuals and families who need assistance with housing, shelter, benefits, identification, and other basic health and human services are invited to be guests at Project Connect. These monthly Valley of the Sun United Way events help those in need on their journeys to health, financial stability, and housing by bringing more than 50 service providers to one location. The events allow individuals and families to receive numerous services in one day that could normally take days, weeks, or months on their own. Visit vsuw.org for a schedule of events and locations. Project Connect is a program of Valley of the Sun United Way.

12/08/2017
Free Legal Services for Victims of Crime
The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence provides free legal services for victims of crime through its Crime Victims' Rights Project. ACESDV provides direct representation for crime victims as counsel of record in criminal cases for the purpose of asserting or enforcing their rights, as well as support services throughout the duration of the criminal case. Services are available statewide for criminal cases in federal, state, county or municipal justice court. Call the Legal Advocacy Hotline at (602) 279-2900. For more information, please click HERE.

12/07/2017
Financial Help with Medications
Low-income patients may be able to get their medications for free by providing documentation to charitable programs run by pharmaceutical companies. The Medicine Program is a patient advocate organization and is FREE service to assist you and your family find, apply and qualify for the right patient assistance program(s). By working closely with you, your doctor and the prescription drug manufacturers we help cut through the red tape and assist you in receiving your medicine free or almost free-of-charge. Visit www.themedicineprogram.com/ for more information and an application form.

12/06/2017
Free Baby Shots Vaccination Clinics
The Phoenix Fire Department's Baby Shots Program offers vaccines to those who don't have insurance or on KidsCare or are Medicaid/AHCCCS eligible, and to American Indians and Alaka Natives. Each month, several clinics are available for those who need it. Parents are asked to bring their children's shot records to the events. Call 602-534-BABY (2229) to confirm clinic times and locations. Visit www.phoenix.gov/fire/babyshots for criteria, the 2018 Baby Shots Schedule, and more details.

12/05/2017
Find Help Phoenix
Find Help Phoenix is a source for free and almost free services in Maricopa County. Find resources for housing/utilities, mental health/addiction, dental, disability services, domstic violence, food/clothing, health care/health insurance, kids and youth, legal, child care/parenting/sexual health, senior services, transportation, education and jobs. Visit http://findhelpphx.azurewebsites.net to search for what YOU need.

12/04/2017
Health Resources Available at AZRefugeeHealth.org
Health education pamphlets have been translated into multiple languages and are available on the Arizona Department of Health Services' Refugee Health Program’s website for community use. These pamphlets cover car safety, vaccination, behavioral health, personal hygiene and more.

12/04/2017
Getting Your Flu Shot Protects More Than Just You
We all know that the best way to protect yourself against the flu is by getting your flu shot each year, but did you know that getting vaccinated can also protect those around you? A community-wide study showed that when more younger and middle-aged adults (aged 18-64 years) got their flu vaccine, there were lower rates of flu in older adults (aged 65+ years). This shows how important it is for ALL of us to get the flu vaccine: it helps protect you, your family, coworkers, fellow shoppers, and those celebrating the holidays with you. Find out where to get a flu shot using the Flu Vaccine Finder at www.cdc.gov/flu.

In addition to getting a flu shot every year, you can help fight the flu with a few easy steps. Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs like washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying at home if you are sick. If you do get the flu, you can take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Get more information at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.

12/04/2017
New State of Mental Health Report Shows America’s Youth in Crisis
A new report suggests that mental health outcomes among American teens are worsening. Researchers at Mental Health America examined 2010 to 2015 state data and found that rates of severe depression among youth increased from 5.9 to 8.2 percent. Nearly half of participants between ages 11 and 17 reported often thinking about suicide or self-harm throughout the week. And most reported not receiving the treatment they need. “I wish I could say the mental health of our children is improving. Our report shows the opposite,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America. “Far too many young people are suffering –often in silence. They are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives - and too many simply don’t see a way out.” Click HERE to read the full report.

12/04/2017
AHCCCS Enrollment Assistance
In partnership with Maricopa Superior Juvenile Courts and Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Family Involvement Center offers assistance in getting AHCCCS coverage, including nutrition and cash assistance, at two locations in both Enlish and Spanish. To learn more, click HERE.

12/01/2017
LGBT Youth: It's OK to Ask for Help
Visit www.thetrevorproject.org/site/AskforHelp for empowering, first-person accounts of LGBT youth reaching out to friends, teachers, parents or counselors to show that it’s OK to ask for help when you need it. It’s the first step to getting the support you need.

12/01/2017
Are You Thinking About Suicide?
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, help is available 24 hours a day at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

11/30/2017
Veterans Crisis Line
A free, confidential resource that veterans and their families and friends can access any day, any time. If you notice warning signs, tell a veteran about the Veterans Crisis Line, or make the call yourself. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at http://veteranscrisisline.net, or text message 838255 for free, confidential support 365 days a year. Spread the word.

11/30/2017
Consider Foster Care Adoption: Arizona's Foster Children Need You
There are more than 19,000 Arizona kids in foster care. One home makes a difference. Child Crisis Arizona is committed to helping Arizona children in out-of-home care by licensing and certifying parents for foster care and adoption. They provide a range of services and support along with realistic training to prepare families for the placement of children of all ages and backgrounds. Attend a free orientation to see if foster care is right for you. Visit http://childcrisisaz.org/what-we-do/adoption-foster-care to review the requirements, learn about the orientation sessions, or get more information, or call 480.834.9424.

11/29/2017
National Survey Shows Many Did Not Receive Needed Care
People across the United States experience mental disorders and substance use disorders, but only a subsetof these individuals actually receive services. The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, reports that only 12% of the 2.6 million individuals with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders received both mental health and substance use treatment in 2016. More than 34% of the 2.6 million, or 884,000 individuals, did not receive any treatment whatsoever. Click HERE to view the survey.

11/27/2017
Join Mental Health America of Arizona
Mental Health America of Arizona invites you to join their network. It’s a way for you to help promote the statewide goals of developing, empowering, informing and activating a network of people like yourself, healthcare providers and business alliances who want to advocate for sound public mental health policy in Arizona. Take that first step in building a viable community of advocates working to assure a mentally healthy Arizona, free from stigma and treatment disparities. To learn more, visit http://mhaarizona.org.

11/27/2017
Valley Metro Travel Training Program Now Available
Valley Metro has offers Travel Training. a program that works with people who have disabilities, teaching them the skills they need for successful travel on buses and light rail. A travel instructor works one-on-one with people, teaching specific bus and light rail routhes that they regular travel, along with trip planning, travel skills, and more. The program is free. The travel instructor is also available to make presentations to business or groups about the program. For more information, visit www.valleymetro.org/accessibility/travel_training.

11/20/2017
Alcohol Treatment Navigator: Find Your Way to Aclohol Treatment
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently released a new online resource called the Alcohol Treatment Navigator. It’s designed to be a comprehensive, easy-to-use tool to help individuals and their loved ones navigate the often-complex process of searching for, and choosing, a professional treatment provider. Visit https://alcoholtreatment.niaaa.nih.gov/ to find alcohol treatment or more information.

11/17/2017
Arizona’s Behavioral Health Services Rank Poorly in Annual Analysis
Mental Health America (MHA) publishes an annual analysis of the “State of Mental Health in America” and this year, as in last year’s report, the organization ranks Arizona poorly in terms of overall access to behavioral health care – a position that AHCCCS categorically disputes. Click HERE to read more from AHCCCS.

11/16/2017
Get Rid of High-cost Title Loans
The Lend a Hand loan program pays off high-cost car title loans up to $3,000 for Maricopa County residents. The program is a partnership between the Arizona Community Foundation, MariSol Federal Credit Union, and Take Charge America. The goal of the program is to rescue residents struggling to pay off car title loans and help put them on a path to healthy credit and financial success. For more information, click HERE.

11/15/2017
Access to Opioid Treatment Programs to Expand in Arizona
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) announced today that the second year of a two-year, $24 million Federal grant to address the opioid crisis in Arizona will begin in January 2018. Through evidence-based practices, Arizona is using grant funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand access to opioid treatment programs throughout the state. Click HERE to read more.

11/14/2017
Supported Employment Expands to Serve Hundreds More
Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care's employment rehabilitation department has announced the expansion of Supported Employment services for people determined to have serious mental illness (SMI), on site at adult direct care clinics and at other provider locations. Supported Employment rapidly connects members seeking jobs to employment opportunities that meet the members' job skills and preferences. Employment specialists also support members to obtain and maintain employment, and will stay with them for as long as they need the support. Clinical teams make Supported Employment referrals for members to service providesr. Employment Specialists are on site at adult SMI clinics, including Southwest Network locations.

11/13/2017
Find and Get Help for Alcholol Use
No matter how severe the problem may seem, most people with an alcohol use disorder can benefit from some form of treatment. Take a minute to check out this treatment guide from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for individuals, and their family and friends, who are looking for options to address alcohol problems. It is a resource to understand what treatment choices are available and what to consider when selecting among them.

11/06/2017
Get Help Dealing With the Shooting in Texas
In response to the shooting in Texas, Mercy Maricopa has activated a dedicated 24/7 hotline to help the community cope. Crisis Response Network operates the hotline: 1-800-203-CARE (2273). It's available to anyone who may be in crisis or who wants to talk about the tragedy. Teen Lifeline, 1-800-248-TEEN (8336) is also good resource for teens and parents. Don't hesitate to reach out for help or even just to talk.

11/01/2017
Get a Free HIV Test or Find Free or Low Cost Care
Visit www.hivaz.org to find HIV testing providers close to you, learn what your test results mean, find out how often you should get tested, find free or low cost HIV care, and find other help, services and information.

10/24/2017
Office of Human Rights Advocates for Arizonans with Mental Illness
Voice and choice are essential for individuals on the path of recovery. Yet for some of our most vulnerable members, those unable to independently understand, protect and exercise their rights due to mental illness or cognitive impairment, self-determination is insurmountable without assistance. The Office of Human Rights (OHR) is there for such individuals. The focus of OHR is to advocate for individuals determined to have a serious mental illness (SMI) to help them understand, protect and exercise their rights, facilitate self-advocacy through education and obtain access to behavioral health services in the publicly funded behavioral health system in Arizona.

OHR primarily represents individuals with SMI and in need of special assistance in service and discharge planning and in the grievance and appeal processes. OHR also provides technical assistance, information and guidance to friends, family members and guardians when requested to support their advocacy efforts. OHR works with members to understand their treatment needs and preferences, and works collaboratively with other entities to ensure members’ needs are met, their rights are protected,and desired services can be accessed without barriers. To learn more about your rights, visit www.azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/HealthcareAdvocacy/ohr

10/23/2017
Donate Your Unused Cell Phones
The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence will gladly take your old, unused or broken cell phones to earn funds to support their mission. Send or drop your cell phones by their office at: 2800 N Central Ave, Suite 1570, Phoenix, AZ 85004. For information about ACESDV, visit www.acesdv.org.

10/17/2017
Free Smart Phones for Income Eligible People
Father Matters, in partnership with Access Wireless, offers free smart phones through the Father Matters Intouch Program. Upon approval of your application for Lifeline service, you'll receive a free mobile phone. On the same date each month, a free allotment of 250 minutes and unlimited text messaging will automatically be applied to your Access Wireless account. Click HERE for more information and to schedule an appointment.

10/14/2017
Website Teaches How to 'Stop a Suicide Today'
Stop a Suicide Today, a national campaign that encourages individuals to take action to prevent suicide, is a campaign that was created by Screening for Mental Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting population-based mental health screening and the founder of National Depression Screening Day. The campaign provides tools to initiate a dialogue and intervene when a friend or family member indicates that he or she might be considering suicide. To learn more, visit the Stop a Suicide Today website.

10/10/2017
Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change
This book explores stigma and discrimination faced by individuals with mental or substance use disorders and recommends effective strategies for reducing stigma and encouraging people to seek treatment and other supportive services. It offers a set of conclusions and recommendations about successful stigma change strategies and the research needed to inform and evaluate these efforts in the United States. The book is available for download free of charge from the National Academies Press at www.nap.edu. Paperback and ebook versions are available for a fee.

10/09/2017
Have You Been Screened for Depression?
You get checked for cavities and high blood pressure. You should get checked for depression, too. If you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or unable to do the things you once enjoyed, it may be time to assess your emotional health. If you are concerned about yourself or someone you love, take a few minutes to complete an anonymous self-assessment. Just visit www.helpyourselfhelpothers.org.

10/03/2017
Be Your Own Advocate
Have a voice and choice in your health care decisions
You are your best advocate. Speak up to ensure that you receive the medical and behavioral health services that you need AHCCCS is committed to ensuring the availability of timely, quality behavioral health care. If you or a loved one are enrolled in AHCCCS and are unable to access behavioral health services, or if you have a concern about the quality of care, please call the Member Services hotline for the health plan serving your area. If you have questions, or are unable to access services, please call AHCCCS Clinical Resolution Unit. Click HERE for phone numbers and further information.

10/03/2017
Autism "Centers of Excellence"
Autism "centers of excellence" are opening up around the Valley, hoping to ease the burden on families by providing a variety of resources and care under one roof. The centers are the first of their kind in the state and funded in part by Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care. Patients on AHCCCS are welcome.The centers are located at:
• Southwest Human Development (Birth to 5): 2850 N. 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008
• Southwest Behavioral & Health Services (6 through adulthood): 11221 N. 28th Drive, Building E, Phoenix, AZ 85029
• Southwest Behavioral & Health Services (6 through adulthood): 1255 W. Baseline Road, Suite 138, Mesa, AZ 85202
•Touchstone Health Services: 3602 E. Greenway Rd., Suite 102, Phoenix, AZ 85032

10/02/2017
If You Need Help Dealing With the Shooting in Las Vegas
If you are in crisis, or would just like to talk, a 24-hour crisis line is available: 1-800-203-2273 (CARE). For teens and parents, the Teen Lifeline is also available: 602-248-8337. You are encouraged to call for help to cope with this tragedy.

09/30/2017
Free DACA Application Renewal Assistance to Qualifying DACA Recipients
Friendly House, a non-profit organization founded on providing services to help immigrant populations integrate into the workforce, is offering free DACA application renewal assistance to qualifying DACA recipients. Friendly House personnel will be offering free appointments to aid in completing the renewal application paperwork. The appointments will be offered Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm at Friendly House’s immigration office at 723 South 1st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003. Appointments can be made by calling (602) 416-7200 or emailing Monica.Manke@friendlyhouse.org.

09/28/2017
Double Up Food Bucks: Buy $1, Get $1
Double Up Food Bucks Arizona is a federally funded program that helps people bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables, while also supporting Arizona farmers. The program doubles the value of SNAP (formerly food stamps) benefits used at farmers markets. Use your SNAP Quest Card at participating farmers markets and every dollar you spend is matched with an extra dollar to spend on more Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables, up to an additional $20 in free fruits and vegetables per market visit. Visit /www.doubleupfoodbucksarizona.org or ask about it next time you shop with your SNAP Quest Card at your favorite farmers market. Program of Pinnacle Prevention.

09/21/2017
United Food Bank's Help Yourself Food Box Program
Through the Help Yourself program, clients can purchase a box of food for $20 which includes a variety of fresh meats, produce and dry goods (a value of about $40). For an extra $13, you can get extra meat selections. Clients can also select from additional bonus items like bread, pastries, dairy products and deli products depending on availability. The earlier, the better the selection. Cash or food stamps accepted, no restrictions or qualifications. 358 E. Javelina Drive, Mesa, AZ 85210, (480) 926-4897. Fridays from 8:00 am to noon, excluding holidays. Open to the public.

08/30/2017
Back to School Tookit Available from Mental Health America
Kids and teens today are dealing with some heavy stuff -- cyber-bullying, body shaming, community violence, abuse, neglect, unstable home lives, drug exposure, sexual orientation, immigration issues and more. MHA’s 2017 Back to School Toolkit works to increase emotional intelligence and self-regulation through materials for parents, school personnel, and young people. This year's toolkit includes:
   •An Infographic on Youth Mental Health
   •Tips for Parents
   •Tips for Teachers
   •Harmful vs. Helpful Coping Skills for Kids and Teens
   •Sample Articles for Parents and Youth to use in School Newsletters
   •A Lesson Plan with included Worksheets
To download the free toolkit, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/back-school

08/28/2017
Mercy Maricopa and Tempe Working to House Individuals with Serious Mental Illness
Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care’s Housing Department has developed a partnership with the City of Tempe that’s expanding the Bridge to Permanency Housing Program. Together, they are working to house the most vulnerable residents. Eligible members are adults designated as seriously mentally ill (SMI) who are enrolled with Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care. To learn more, visit www.mercymaricopa.org/tempe-bridge-housing.

08/28/2017
Resource for Affordable Housing
Find affordable housing location anywhere in the United States by visiting www.socialserve.com. This searchable website may help you located affordable housing for rent or for sale.

08/25/2017
Support Groups Available Free from NAMI
Family and Peer Support Groups are free monthly meetings of caregivers of individuals a mental illness where family members can talk frankly about their challenges and help one another through their learned wisdom. These meetings are facilitated by trained National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) members across Arizona. Participants are encouraged to share actively in the work of the group. For times and locations, visit www.namiaz.com.

08/24/2017
Free Resources and Information on the Mental Health System
Get information and resources about mental health support groups, crisis lines, petitioning (involuntary commitment), therapists, seriously mentally ill, psychiatric hospitals, AHCCCS (Medicaid), Social Security (SSD and SSI), mental health power of atorney, Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, prescription assistance, mental health power of attorney, mental health lawyers, food boxes, psychiatric hospitals, and many other resources. Information and Resources Coordinator Andy Arnowitz enjoys helping people navigate through the often confusing world of the Arizona mental health system, and getting clients to the people and organizations best able to serve them. These services are offered to the public by MarcCommunity Resources, Inc. Click HERE for more information or call Andy at 480.994.4407 Mon.-Fri. 9 am to 4 pm.

08/14/2017
Free Youth Training Program
Are you between the ages of 16 and 21? Looking to take the next step forward? Would you like to learn the skills needed for entry-level positions to start a career? Take the first step and call today to learn more about the free programs and benefits offered by Arizona Center for Youth Resources, 602.252.6721. Visit www.acyraz.org for more information on their education, work readiness skills, and career/skill enhancement programs.

08/08/2017
Talking to a Child About a Suicide Attempt
A suicide attempt is likely one of the most difficult situations a family may ever face. Click HERE for a 24-page educational booklet and accompanying website, created by the Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, which offers parents and caregivers information and guidance for communicating with different age groups about a suicide attempt in your family.

08/01/2017
Expanded Blood Screening and Emergency Rules Help Address Opioid Epidemic
The Arizona Department of Health Services continues to make progress in addressing the statewide opioid epidemic with the announcement of expanded blood screening at the State Public Health Lab and emergency rules for licensed healthcare facilities.

The State Public Health Lab will be screening blood samples from suspected overdose cases for opioids and other medications using a toxicology test panel. Testing results will provide additional surveillance data on what specific drugs are involved in overdoses in Arizona. The Lab launched the blood screening program for opioids on July 31.

The emergency rules require licensed healthcare institutions to implement policies and procedures for prescribing, ordering, and administering opioids as part of patient treatment. The emergency rules also include specific processes related to opioids in a healthcare institution’s quality management program, which is critical to improving patient care. Additionally, licensed healthcare institutions are required to notify the Department of the death of a patient from an opioid overdose. The emergency rules went into effect on July 28.

07/26/2017
Southwest Network Ranked No. 3 on Business Journal List
For the second year, Southwest Network was ranked No. 3 on The Phoenix Business Journal’s Nonprofit Organizations Health-Medical List for 2017, based on 2016-2017 budget. Read the full story in the July 14, 2017 issue.

07/24/2017
Youth Mental Health First Aid Courses Now Available
Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring adults how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or substance abuse challenge or is in crisis. The eight-hour course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a five-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. For information and to find a course, click HERE.

07/19/2017
Get Help Finding a Job with the
Supplemental Employment and Training Personal Accountability Program
Father Matters Job and Training Institute partnered with D.E.S Employment Administration on the Supplemental Employment & Training (SNAP E & T) Personal Accountability program. This voluntary program engages SNAP (Food Stamp) recipients in more diverse community settings, offering a range of employment and training assistance. Services include: individual assessments, employment and career development plans, case management, job searching and job leads, job readiness, assistance with continuing education and/or job training, and internships to gain work experience.

Father Matters Job and Training Institute assists job seekers with services and resources that will help them gain employment or get better employment. If you are interested in obtaining more information or want assistance with finding employment, please call our office at 602-774-3298 or email info@fathermatters.org. Bus passes and clothing are provided at no cost to participants in the program.

07/13/2017
Recovery WORKS Newsletter: New Issue Now Available
Click HERE to read the Spring 2017 quarterly issue of Recovery WORKS, the newsletter of AHCCCS and the Arizona Department of Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services. In this issue are stories of hope and recovery, of family support from the family's perspective, plus crisis and warm line resources, mental health month news, federal grants, upcoming events, monthly support group contacts, resources and information and more.

07/07/2017
State Plan to End Suicide
According to the latest data available, in 2015 there were more than 1340 deaths by suicide in Arizona. The 2017 Arizona State Plan to End Suicide is now open for public comment. Click HERE to access the plan. The annual plan is updated each summer, taking into account the many community coalitions and endeavors across the state.

07/06/2017
Pocket Guide to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Now Available
Click HERE to download a convenient "Pocket Guide to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services" from Mental Health America of Arizona.

06/08/2015
Behavioral Health Services for Children in Foster, Kinship and Adoptive Care
A Rapid Response is an initial in-home assessment for children entering into the Department of Child Safety (DCS) custody, which may be requested by DCS or a caregiver. Clinicians will assess immediate needs and triage any crisis or trauma-related issues. Includes behavioral health assessment, screening for developmental delays, support to child/family placement and connection to ongoing services. Click HERE to learn more in a one-page fact sheet provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.