News from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

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State Estimates of Major Depressive Episode Among Adolescents: 2013 and 2014 (click here)

The combined 2013–2014 data indicate that across the United States, about 1 in 9 (11.0 percent) or 2.7 million of the 24.9 million adolescents in the nation had a major depressive episode in the past year.

One-Third of Young Adults With Any Mental Illness Received Mental Health Services in the Past Year (click here)

Among adults with any mental illness, young adults aged 18 to 25 are less likely to receive mental health services than adults aged 26 to 49 or adults aged 50 or older (33.6 vs. 44.2 or 49.9 percent, respectively).

Alcohol's Effects on the Brain (AlcoholFX) (click here)

AlcoholFX is a free, science-based app for tablets that teaches students aged 10 to 12 how alcohol can harm their brains if they drink.

Traumatic Events, PTSD, & Adult Health Challenges (click here)

A new report finds that traumatic events can be associated with illicit drug use, heavy and binge drinking, and substance use disorders.

SAMHSA Supports Service Men and Women
Resources for Veterans and Military Families

Service members are known for being both resilient and resourceful, but at times some may face behavioral health care needs due to the unique demands of military life and combat exposure. Researchers have found that about 18.5% of service members returning from Afghanistan or Iraq have post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, and 19.5% report experiencing a traumatic brain injury.

SAMHSA's website has more information about behavioral health resources for service men and women and their families. Free resources and publications include:

Resources for Military Families
Federal Resources for Providers

Learn more about SAMHSA’s work to support veterans, active service members, and their families.

Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line offers confidential around-the-clock support to veterans, active military members, and family and friends by phone, online chat, or text message. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Helping Children Recover and Thrive during National Mental Health Awareness Month 2017

Two out of every three children experience a traumatic event by their 16th birthday1. In May, as the nation recognizes National Mental Health Awareness Month, we have an opportunity to speak up about child traumatic stress and connect families with the resources and supports they need to help their children.

Approaches in Implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: Best Practices from the States

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a new resource, Youth Engagement Guidance. This publication details strategies, tools, and tips for supportive and meaningful youth engagement in federal Government-sponsored meetings and events. It includes resources regarding a youth services approach, youth development, youth leadership, civic engagement, and youth organizing.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 through October 15, and celebrates the "diverse histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America" (Library of Congress, 2016). The Office of Minority Heath page provides a number of tips for those interested in commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month.

The brief, Treatment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the EPSDT Benefit, highlights information from the 2014 CMS Informational Bulletin to provide clarification on services for Medicaid-eligible children with ASD and, specifically, the expected adherence to the EPSDT benefit, along with examples of strategies currently being used by multiple states. 

SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative
This initiative aims to boost public awareness of health disparities between people with serious mental and substance use disorders and the general population—and, ultimately, to improve health outcomes. By supporting people with serious mental and substance use disorders in improving their health, SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative may also increase their resilience during and after disasters. The initiative is based on a model of wellness involving eight dimensions extending into all areas of life. It features resources for people with lived experience of serious mental and substance use disorders, as well as treatment and service providers, practitioners, and the public.

Resiliency in Disaster Behavioral Health Podcast Series
These audio podcasts from the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) highlight ways for local behavioral health agencies and individuals to build and enhance resilience. Episodes cover community resilience, coping with disaster stress, organizational resilience, resilience for first responders, planning to support resilience in people with substance use disorders, and resilience as part of long-term disaster recovery.

Stress Management and Self-Care
This issue of The Dialogue highlights how important it is for disaster responders to manage the stress that is an inevitable part of their work so they can support others more effectively and enjoy greater well-being. Articles describe how responders bolstered one another's resilience as they helped survivors of flooding in Texas, offer stress management tips from an experienced responder, and explain how a team in South Carolina incorporated stress management into disaster response.

Resilience and Stress Management Resource Collection
This collection features resources for disaster responders, program planners, parents and families, and others on building resilience before, during, and after disasters. The installment includes articles, tip sheets, guidebooks, presentations, podcasts, and organizations that provide additional information and support.

Stronger Together: An In-Depth Look at Selected Community-Level Approaches to Disaster Behavioral Health
This issue of the SAMHSA DTAC Supplemental Research Bulletin focuses on several efforts to build community resilience to help residents fare better in disasters. One such effort is the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience (LACCDR) Project aimed at boosting preparedness and resilience in several communities in and around Los Angeles, California. The LACCDR has made many community resilience tools and informational materials available through its website.

Fostering Resilience in Children Webinar    MAY 06 2016, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
In this webinar, presenters from nonprofits and academic medicine discuss ways to build resilience in children and promote their disaster behavioral health. Provided by the American Public Health Association, the webinar covers resilience at physical, emotional, and community levels. Content may be useful to parents and families, schools, medical and mental health care providers, public health officials, and disaster responders.

Substance use disorders affect millions of adolescents each year. In January 2015, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) and SAMHSA issued a joint informational bulletin to guide states in designing a benefit to meet the needs of youth with substance use disorders (SUD) and their families and help them comply with their obligations under Medicaid's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) requirements, Coverage of Behavioral Health Services for Youth with Substance Use Disorders. a new resource from the TA Network, highlights the joint informational bulletin, and provides examples of how SUD services are operationalized in states within Medicaid, to help guide planning, design and implementation efforts in other states and jurisdictions across the country.

In partnership with Relias Learning, the National Council is pleased to offer a Children's Services Certificate of Excellence to better prepare the juvenile justice, child welfare, educational, healthcare, and behavioral health care workforce to provide easy access to affordable, comprehensive care for children experiencing mental illness and addiction.

The latest KSOC-TV webisode, “Diverting to Treatment: Community Policing and Supporting Youth with Mental Health Needs” is now available on-demand!

On November 15, the Branch Chief of SAMHSA’s Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Gary Blau, Ph.D., moderated a panel discussion on the changing role of law enforcement in supporting youth and young adults with mental health needs.

SAMHSA PSAs Support Mental Health in Our Communities

One in five people in the United States has a mental health condition, so it's important that we learn the five signs of emotional suffering and how to help individuals in need. SAMHSA, along with its partner Give an Hour, is proud to release a new collection of public service announcements (PSAs) for the Campaign to Change Direction. These PSAs aim to change the culture of mental health in America by raising awareness about the signs of emotional distress and addressing common barriers to understanding these conditions.

Watch the PSAs