Mental Health e-News (February 2016)
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Minding Houston Blog XIV: House
Select Committee on Mental Health & Mayor Parker on Mental Health Funding for HPD

MHA Houston Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Bill Kelly, discusses the instrumental role of Texas House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus’ in forming the House Select Committee on Mental Health, which is the first of its kind since 1995.

Kelly also speaks with
Annise Parker, former Houston Mayor, about the shift in city policy on substance use and why city leaders must focus on funding the Houston Police Department Mental Health Division.
To listen to the latest episode of Minding Houston, visit us online at: For more information on Minding Houston or behavioral health legislative advocacy efforts, contact Bill Kelly at

Thank You Donors & Sponsors

Mental Health America of Greater Houston gratefully recognizes all gifts received between November 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016.

We strive to acknowledge all gifts presented to MHA Houston. If you have made a gift and it is not listed, please contact
Alicia Hughes, Communications & Development Coordinator, at
Mr. Steven C. Andersen
Ms. Susan A. Bailey and Mr. Peter G. Christman
Jim and Margaret Buescher
Ms. Alix CaDavid
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Cord
Ms. Mary Covington
Mr. and Mrs. Don d'Hemecourt
Mr. Benjamin Dismore
EOG Resources Inc.
Mr. James M. Ezrow
Fluor Enterprises, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. James Fordice
Mr. Carlos Garcia
Mr. Gregory Hanlon
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Howard
Mr. James B. Inglish
Mr. and Mrs. David P. Isaacs
Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. Ivany
Marjorie and Raleigh (Bill) Johnson
Sondra Kaplan, LCSW
    in honor of Katherine A. Loveland

Cecile and Samuel Keeper
Mr. Bill Kelly
Mr. Michael Kempen, LCSW
Dr. and Mrs. Daryl K. Knox
Ms. Shari Koziol
Ms. Melissa Lucas
Ms. Laura Martinez
Mental Health America
Ms. Lainie Gordon and Mr. David M. Mincberg
Mr. Brad Nyberg and Ms. Anne Loo
Mary and George Parnham
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick J. Plaeger II
Ms. Alejandra Posada
Mr. Ronald Powell
Mrs. Lauren Pursley
Ms. Amanda Rawlings
Rabbi Jack Segal
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Sklar
Mr. and Mrs. Cody Smith
Mr. Tony Solomon
Esther H. Steinberg, LMSW-ACP
Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence D. Stern
Mr. William Taunton
TPC Group Inc.
Wells Fargo Community Support
Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Wilson
Mr. Russell E. Yates
OP-ED: Boost Mental Health Care if You Really Want to Cut Gun Deaths

Bill Kelly, MHA Houston Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, featured opinion writer with The Post Newspaper of Galveston County, sheds light on facts and statistics often left out of the conversation on mental health related to gun violence. View the article, Boost Mental-Health Care if You Really Want to Cut Gun Deaths:

The Bay Area Citizen, Deer Park Broadcaster, Friendswood Journal, Pearland Journal, Pasadena Citizen, Plano Star Courier, Magnolia Potpourri, Spring Observer, Cypress Creek Mirror and the Tomball Potpourri also featured the editorial.
MHA Houston Upcoming Workshops,
Trainings and Events
MHA is your one-stop resource for mental health education and training, advocacy events and integrated health care learning opportunities. Click here to view our calendar for a monthly listing of MHA events and education programs.
Mental Health America of Greater Houston and partners are hosting the Houston premiere of the film: “Memo to Self: Protecting Sobriety with the Science of Safety,” at The Council on Recovery on February 11, 2016 at 6pm. In addition to the film, there will be a reception, free CEUs and a Q&A with the filmmaker, Dr. Kevin McCauley, co-founder of the Institute for Addiction Study. There is no cost to attend.
Here is a link to a brief film trailer ( and a link to the event invitation and registration (  Please share this invitation with members and partners in your programs and initiatives, and with members on your board. 
ABOUT THE FILM:  There is new help for millions battling alcohol and substance use addiction. Kevin McCauley, M.D., a Navy flight surgeon, is brutally honest about his past being hooked on drugs and sent to prison in Leavenworth, getting out and going to rehab, staying sober and now helping other people with addictions. In the new film, “Memo to Self: Protecting Sobriety with the Science of Safety,” Dr. McCauley focuses on the solution of how to get people with addictions into long-term recovery.  He describes what chemically happens in the brain of those addicted to alcohol or drugs, and proves it's a disease, not an issue of being bad or good. The film also shares the latest neuroscientific research on addiction and practical tools for sustaining recovery and hope. 
A Behavioral Health Awareness event in collaboration with the American Addiction Centers, Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center, Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, Mental Health America of Greater Houston, The Council on Recovery, Behavioral Hospital of Bellaire, Martin Counseling and Documentary Events.
Perinatal Behavioral Health Professionals Attend Yates Children Memorial Fund Volunteer Presenter Training

Mental health professionals from Krist Samaritan, KIPP Houston Public Schools, The Center for Postpartum Family Health, Woodlands Family Institute, Texas Children's Hospital, Parnham and Associates, as well as private practitioners attended MHA Houston’s bi-annual Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders Train the Trainer session on January 13, 2016.
The goal of the training, facilitated by Rhoda Seplowitz, M.D., P.A., and Sherry J. Duson, M.A., is to enhance the knowledge of perinatal mood disorders among behavioral health and mental health professionals. Once trained, these individuals partner with MHA Houston as volunteer instructors to deliver a minimum of two trainings throughout the Greater Houston area based on requests from non-profits, universities and federally qualified health clinics.

For more information or to register for the next Train the Trainer session, contact
Tiffany Ross, MSSW, Education & Training Program Manager, at or visit
YCMF Learning Community Seeking Perinatal Mental Health Professionals

Please join the Yates Children Memorial Fund (YCMF) Advisory Committee at MHA Houston on March 18, 2016 from noon to 1:30 pm at the Women’s Hospital of Texas for the Perinatal Mental Health Learning Community.

This special group is seeking the expertise of medical, mental health or social service professionals with a specialty in perinatal mental health.

As part of the YCMF Advisory Committee,  the goal is to provide opportunities for professionals to increase their knowledge of
perinatal mood disorders and improve the mental health outcomes of new mothers through networking opportunities, specialty training, online engagements and participation in case studies.

Register at: For consideration as a guest presenter at Perinatal Mental Health Learning Community Meetings, contact Tiffany Ross at
New Collaborative Provides Youth Mental Health First Aid to Youth-Serving Organizations

The School Behavioral Health Initiative (SBHI) at MHA Houston recently formed a partnership with Harris County Juvenile Probation, YMCA of Greater Houston, City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, KIPP Houston Public Schools and Children’s Protective Services.
Each organization works with youth who may have experienced trauma. Through this unique collaboration, each organization will receive certification as a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) facilitator. The need for staff to understand signs and symptoms of emerging mental health issues, and how to help, is paramount to helping youth in their care. Once trained, the new facilitators will partner with MHA Houston as instructors to train nearly 400 school and agency professionals in 2016; potentially impacting the well-being of the more than 20,000 children that they serve.

Learn more about Youth Mental Health First Aid training at or contact Program Manager Janet Pozmantier at, or visit:
Children's Mental Health and Youth Suicide Prevention Workshops Now Available for Educators

Research shows that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by the age of 14. Youth with mental and behavioral health issues may experience challenges such as academic underachievement, criminal justice involvement and even suicide.
The School Behavioral Health Initiative at MHA Houston recently announced three new workshops for educators and individuals that work closely with youth in the Greater Houston area to improve their mental health literacy. The courses include: Youth Mental Health First Aid, Are the Kids Alright?, and Youth Suicide Prevention Training. For more information about the SBHI or to schedule a workshop, contact Janet Pozmantier at or visit:
SBHI Launches Learning Community for School Professionals

Please join the SBHI Learning Community at MHA Houston on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 from noon – 1:30 p.m.

The SBHI Learning Community provides an opportunity for school districts to assess their own student behavioral health efficacy, learn from local models, share best practices, set and achieve quality goals for improving the scope and delivery of services. Whether new to the
work of school mental health or a “veteran,” the SBHI Learning Community enables all school districts to build relationships with colleagues and gain insight on enterprising ideas for systems change. For 2015-2016, each SBHI Learning Community school district will determine at least one actionable item to work on through the learning community process.  To date, the SBHI Learning Community has held two meetings with 11 school districts and charter schools participating. 

To join the SBHI Learning Community, or for additional information, contact Janet Pozmantier, at
Integrated Health Care Systems-Change Initiative Focuses on Recommendations Report for Texas

MHA Houston’s Integrated Health Care Systems-Change Initiative, which launched in August 2015, seeks to advance integrated health care (IHC) system-level solutions in Texas.  Stakeholders from collaborating organizations statewide have joined workgroups focused on financing and preparation of medical and behavioral health providers. Initial efforts have included compiling information on the current state of financing and provider preparation for IHC in Texas, and promising
practices around the country. Confidential interviews with key stakeholders across the state, data gathered from stakeholder surveys, and research regarding successful practices in other states will help to develop consensus recommendations. The workgroups will finalize recommendations in Spring 2016 and release a report outlining the recommendations in Summer 2016.

To learn more about the IHC Systems-Change Initiative, or to join a workgroup, contact
Alejandra Posada, MHA Houston Director of Education and Training, at
The Guide is Free to the Public for Distribution During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

The Guide is a listing of mental health resources in Greater Houston and Harris County that are low-cost and/or affordable.  It features resources for Children/Adolescents, Adults, Older Adults/Elderly and Veterans and identifies several resources for Spanish speakers. The Guide is widely used and distributed by schools, hospitals, clinics, mental health professionals, and call centers. 

Need FREE copies? 
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