Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts Sheet
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a fact sheet on aclohol prevention written specifically for preteens and teens. It compares the myths with the facts about how common alcohol use is among youth. This fact sheet can also help you start a conversation about underage drinking and alcohol misuse. To view or download it, click HERE.

MIHS Acquires Hospital in Maryvale
Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) will soon be re-opening the emergency department at its newly acquired Maryvale campus beginning April 2. This will be the first project completed within MIHS’s Care Reimagined initiative designed to transform our community’s public teaching hospital and safety net system of care to better serve the community. The behavioral health hospital will open in April with 48 staffed beds. The remodeled facility will have capacity for up to 192 beds which they intend to phase in over time.Click HERE to learn more.

AHCCCS Public Forums on 2019 Waiver and Initiatives Community Presentations
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is hosting community meetings across the state from March 29 through April 15 to provide the public with information on upcoming AHCCCS initiatives and listen to feedback from stakeholders, including members, their families, advocates, and providers. Attend in person or by webinar.
• Tucson: March 29, 10 am to 12 pm or 1:30 to 3:30 pm at LaFrontera
• Phoenix: April 3, 2 to 4 pm at Valle Del Sol
• Prescott Valley, April 5, 10 am to 12 pm at Family Involvement Center
• Flagstaff: April 5, 2 to 4 pm at Flagstaff Medical Center, McGee Auditorium
• Phoenix, April 15, 2 to 4 pm at AHCCCS, 3rd floor Gold room
For more info, addresses and an agenda, click HERE.

U of A: Parent and Family Specialist Institute in Tucson
The Parent and Family Specialist Institute (P&FSI) is instructed by Certified Parent and Family Specialists. Using evidence based practices, they train parents and families to establish rapport, develop relationships, assess and support progress towards health improvements, and identify individualized goals by working with members to develop their strengths, talents and abilities to make effective personal choices. P&FSI, an AHCCCS credentialed training, produces readily employable certified Parent and Family Specialists, with proficiency of the health care system and how to navigate it. Click HERE for more information.

Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program to Veterans
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is sometimes called domestic violence. This type of violence happens specifically when a present or past boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife harms you, says they will harm you, or follows or watches you or tries to make you scared. It is NOT your fault and you are not alonge. the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program will help Veterans, their families and V.A. staff who use or experience IPV. To learn more, visit www.socialwork.va.gov/IPV.

Navigating the System: Timelines for Accessing Services
Your AHCCCS health plan is required to ensure that you can see medical professionals in a timely manner. Click HERE for information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

Stories of Hope and Recovery: A Video Guide for Suicide Attempt Survivors
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a video series that features inspiring stories from three people who survived an attempted suicide. These individuals and their families personally recount their journeys from the suicide attempt to a life of hope and recovery. To view the videos, visit www.youtube.com.

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.

Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a brochure that explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness, substance use disorders, or both. It explains how family therapy sessions are run and who conducts them. It also provides information on how effective family therapy sessions are in recovery. To view or download the brochure, click HERE.

Homeless Veterans Community Resource and Referral Center
1500 E. Thomas Road, Suite 106, Phoenix, 602.248.6040
This "One Stop Shop" for homeless veterans services is sponsored by the Phoenix V.A. and community partners.Daily services include peer support, employment services, medical care, substance abuse services, assessments for health care and housing needs and more. To learn more, visit click HERE.

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.

Suicide and Social Media Tipsheet
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) has released Suicide and Social Media: A Tipsheet for Parents and Providers. Developed with physicians and prevention experts, it offers guidance for adults to help young people safely navigate social media. To download the tipsheet, visit www.suicidology.org.

Navigating the System:
Crisis Services for Children in Foster, Kinship and Adoptive Care
Having to wait for help when your child is experiencing a behavioral health crisis is not something a parent wants to do. Learn more about who to contact, and what help they can offer. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

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 events help those in need on their journeys to health, financial stability, and housing by bringing more than 50 service providers to one location, allowing 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.

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.

Tax Filing Assistance at No Charge
Every Saturday through April 13, 9 am to 1 pm by appointment at the Ability360 Center, 5025 E. Washington St., Phoenix. VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program from the IRS, offers free tax help to people who generally make $55,000 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. To schedule an appointment, call (602) 443-0738 and leave a voice message. To find other providers who offer free tax preparation from VITA and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program, visit https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep.

Warm Line Available 24/7/365 If You Need to Talk
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).

Navigating the System: Dental Coverage for AHCCCS Members Under 21
Did you know that AHCCCS coverage includes routine dental care for all members under the age of 21 All AHCCCS members under the age of 21 are assigned to a Dental Home by their health plan. A Dental Home is a dental office. Your primary care doctor (PCP) will do an oral health screening as part of a routine physical examination. This screening determines dental needs and can help connect members to covered dental services available at a Dental Home. Coverage includes emergency dental services and medically necessary dental services. To learn more, click HERE for a fact sheet provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

Greatness Kid's Club
Family Involvement Center’s Greatness Kids Club children and youth (grades K-6 or ages 5-12) receive trauma-informed, strengths-based support, cultivate healthy relationships, and build skills to meet their individual behavioral health goals. The program carefully balances fun, engaging activities with routine, structure, and curriculum developed by national experts. The club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays after school until 7 pm at 5044 W. Cactus Rd., Suite A, Glendale. For a flyer to print or share, click HERE. For more information or to enroll your child today, contact Nick Irigoyen atNick@familyinvolvementcenter.org or (602) 509-4664.

Reentry Job Club for Ex-offenders
Father Matters is now offering a Reentry Job Club every Thursday. It is open to the public and there is no cost. Expand your network and obtain support as you navigate your way through a challenging job market. This job club is specifically geared to those whose criminal background is a barrier to employment. Bring copies of your resume and dress to impress. For info or to register, contact Father Matters, 602.774.3298 or visit https://fathermatters.org/event/re-entry-job-club.

Mental and Behavioral Health Information and Resources: A Free Service
MARC Community Resources provides mental and behavioral health information and resources. Their Referral Coordinator, Andy Arnowitz, enjoys helping others navigate through the Arizona mental health system, locating the professionals and organizations best able to assist the people that he serves. No matter what your need is, Andy is committed to solve the problem or point you in the right direction. Call Andy at 480.994.4407 or email Andy.Arnowitz@marccr.com for more information.

Support Groups and Help Available at No Charge
You are not alone! The Mental Health Guild offers free peer support groups for adults 18 years or older living with a mental disorder. 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!
Groups meet Monday through Friday, afternoons and evenings, at various locations across Maricopa County. There is no charge or registration requirement to attend. 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.

AHCCCS Member Resources
Applying for coverage? Need to report a change of address or income? Click HERE to get help with these and learn more about the AHCCCS programs.

The Baby Box Program: The DCS Safe Sleep Campaign
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the leading cause of infant death for babies one month to one year old. The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) Safe Sleep Campaign is working to fight this. The Baby Box Program promotes the ABS's of safe sleep: Baby sleeps safest ALONE, on their BACK, in a CRIB. Check out the DCS Safe Sleep Campaign website for details, fliers, and more information.

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.

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.

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.

Free Mental Health Peer Support Groups in Maricopa County
11 Peer Support Groups Sponsored by Mental Health Guild
The groups are located throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area (Maricopa County). For individuals 18+ diagnosed with a mental illness. Click HERE for a listing by focus, city, and day/time, or visit http://mentalhealthaz.org. There is no charge or registration requirement to attend. If this is your first time attending a group or for more information, please call Andy Arnowitz, Peer Support Group Coordinator, 480.994.4407.

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.

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.

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.

Navigating the System: Family and Other Supports Are Key to Recovery
Adult Family Support Can Help
Do you (or someone you care about) need support with a mental health or substance use disorder diagnosis? We can help you understand what a behavioral health diagnosis means and how the behavioral health care system works. Family support services are available to help you connect with others through groups or one-on-one support, better understand mental health or substance use disorders, learn about and navigate the public health system, and learn to develop coping, self-care, and advocacy skills. To learn more, click HERE for a fact sheet provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

Eating Disorders Peer Support Group: New Group in Peoria
Ed's Exes Eating Disorder Group now meets in Peoria on Sundays from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the West Valley Center for Spiritual Living, 9745 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria 85345. There is no charge or registration requirement to attend. Peer support groups are facilitated by trained mental health consumers and focus on adult (18+) consumer issues. For information on this and other support groups, visit http://mentalhealthaz.org/support-groups/. Sponsored by the Mental Health Guild.

NAMI Ending The Silence
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Valley of the Sun is seeking applications for presenters in the NAMI Signature Program, NAMI Ending the Silence. a presentation that helps audience members learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions and what steps to take if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental illness. To learn more, click HERE. To apply, click HERE.

Navigating the System: AHCCCS Works
AHCCCS Works will begin no sooner than January 1, 2020. An estimated 120,000 AHCCCS members will be required to participate in AHCCCS Works. Some members are exempt, however, including members determined to have a serious mental illness, those in active treatment for a substance use disorder, former Arizona foster youth up to age 26, full-time students, individuals who are homless and others. To learn about AHCCCS Works, click HERE for a fact sheet provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs. For answers to frequently-asked questions, click HERE.

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). HIPAA allows you to access health care with the assurance that your personal information will be kept confidential. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

Counselors Needed for Sibling Connection Summer Camp
A summer camp for brothers and sisters in foster care June 16-22 in Payson, Arizona. Siblings separated in foster care come together for a week of high country high jinks, strengthening family bonds and creating lasting memories at Sibling Connection Summer Camp. To learn more, visit www.aask-az.org/pdf/2019NewCounselorApplication.pdf. Presented by Aid to Adoption of Special Kids.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Courses 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.

Get a Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer screening reduces mortality by 40% among 50- to 74-year-olds, according to a 2015 review published in the New England Journal of Medicine. And, the risk of breast cancer increases with age. That's why it is so important for older women to get regular mammograms. Mammograms are the best weapon we have against breast cancer. They can find breast cancer early, when it is too small to be felt or seen. Early detection of breast cancer saves lives and makes treatment easier. Contact your AHCCCS Complete Care (ACC) Plan to schedule your free mammogram! Uninsured women 40 - 65 can receive clinical breast exams and mammograms through the Well Woman HealthCheck Program. Call 1.888.257.8502 or click HERE for information.

Family Education Program at 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, 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. To learn more, visit https://childcrisisaz.org/what-we-do/education-and-tools-for-families/classes-workshop.

Accessing Behavioral Health Services
Are you or someone you know looking for help with mental health and/or substance use disorders? Click HERE to see a flow-chart of how that process works.

How to Become a National Certified Peer Specialist
Mental Health America's career roadmap shows the career path from the moment you decide to become a peer specialist to the moment you earn the National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) certification, The NCPS is the first national advanced peer specialist certification. To learn more, click HERE.

Earn the National Certified Peer Specialist Certification
Thanks to Mental Health America's new partnership with Examity, a secure live-proctoring platform, peers can take the NCPS examination 24 hours a day, 7 days a week wherever they have secure internet access and a webcam. To learn more or apply, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/become-national-certified-peer-specialist-comfort-your-home.

Professional Resiliency and Compassion Fatigue Prevention
Glendale Community College's Behavioral Health Sciences department offers course BHS 155, Professional Resiliency and Compassion Fatigue Prevention. To learn more, click HERE.

Navigating the System:
Services for AHCCCS Members without an SMI Determination
If you are an adult AHCCCS member you are entitled to behavioral health services. You do not haveto 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.

Help and Hope for the Incarcerated and Their Loves Ones
Rescued Not Arrested Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that uses unique outreach methods to reduce both recidivism and incarceration. Among other services, Rescued Not Arrested Inc. provides support groups, housing partners to assist in transition, and assistance with employment upon release. To learn more, visit www.rescuednotarrested.org.

Navigating the System:
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. Click HERE for information on hospital discharge plans provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

Credit Training Hours for Foster Parents
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).The FCAC has over 150 online training courses that the foster parents can take when they want, from wherever they want. The courses are developed by professionals with extensive experience, and most hold a Masters or Ph. D. Certificates are immediately generated upon completion of the course and passing of the test. To learn more, visit click HERE or visit www.fosterparents.com.

Get Help with Your Concerns
Are you living with an SMI diagnosis, or supporting someone who does? Do you experience issues with connecting with your clinic or support team? Do you want to be a leading example of what it takes to improve our systems? If you answered, “Yes “ to all of these questions please click HERE for information about Adventure Resource Solutions, visit their website at www.ars411.org, or call 623.866.5733. They provide support and education through their services and navigation methods to help improve quality of everyday life.

Easy, Convenient Banking for Children in Foster Care
Financial responsibility is an important part of life that ALL children should learn. That’s why First Convenience Bank has made it easy for children in foster care to open an account and begin the process of financial education and freedom. So what makes this opportunity great of children in foster care? 1) Multiple locations and online banking services (e.g., bill pay, funds transfer, mobile check deposit, etc.); 2) Debit Mastercard issued with no wait, no monthly fees, and no annual fees; and 3) Open any account for just $1.00 . Also, understanding that children in foster care have unique guardian situations, First ConvenienceBank allows children to open accounts at age 15 with a valid ID, or age 14 with consent of a guardian. Check out their website or call for more information, locations, and additional details: 1stCB.com, 800-903-7490,TTY 866-390-9768.

Supervised Parenting Center for Fathers
Father Matters has a Supervised Parenting Center which facilitates positive parental contact with children and to reduce children's exposure to inter-parental conflict around parenting and visitation issues. Father Matters SPC is ONLY for fathers and their children to provide supervised parenting time and monitored exchanges. For services, fees and hours of operation, call 602.774.3298 or visit https://fathermatters.org/services/supervised-parenting-center-for-fathers.

Add Your Name to the National Peer Specialist Registry
Doors to Well Being, National Technical Assistance Center, and the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS), with the support of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), have launched a National Peer Specialist Registry. Peers from around the country can now sign up to demonstrate their training and connect with potential employers and other peers. Visit http://nationalpeerspecialistregistry.com to learn more.

Navigating the System: Be Your Own Advocate
You Have 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. You are a vital part of a service delivery team and an equal partner in the planning and delivery of services. Click HERE for more information provided by AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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/.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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/.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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/.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

‘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.

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.

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.

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 =

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.