Get an Exclusive Look | Mental Health e-News (November 2016)
View this email in your browser
From the President & CEO

So many people feel broken and suffer, while so many others just hide. It’s such a big issue, the mental health issue. We’re all connected to it and are part of a larger story.  Mental health conditions and concerns affect our ENTIRE COMMUNITY. 

At Mental Health America of Greater Houston, we offer hope and inspire change in the areas of mental health as related to children and education, integrated health care, chronic illnesses, women’s health, suicide prevention, veterans, and aging. 
Our work in education, training, public policy, peer support and awareness enriches the lives of people with mental illnesses, their families, and communities.  Together, we work through problems in public systems and find solutions for change. We reach out and connect to our community to create opportunities where mental health and mental illness is recognized and normalized—not stigmatized. 

We collaborate and invest in opportunities to make access to care available to those who need it and to make communities mentally healthy and strong for all who live and work here. 

Your gift is crucial.  It offers immediate peer service to a veteran returning from war experiencing depression or PTSD,  resources to a new mother coping with postpartum depression, school-based care to a child struggling with ADHD or anxiety, training and certification to a teacher learning to recognize and appropriately respond to signs of a student experiencing behavioral health issues.

Please give to support stigma reduction initiatives including the Your Child’s Emotional Backpack Awareness Campaign; the #HTXMentalHealth Children’s Art Contest; the annual School Behavioral Health Conference; and mental health public policy representation at the State Capitol.

When we work together to improve mental health options for people and communities for generations to come.

Join in our vision of building a society with thriving children, strong families, and healthy communities.  Thank you for your support.


Susan Fordice
President and CEO
Make A Year-End Donation Today

2016 Conference Sells Out 

The first Center for School Behavioral Health conference, Educator Strategies for Addressing Student Trauma, was a great success. On Friday, October 21, nearly 350 Texas educators gathered at the Region IV Education Service Center for the sold-out training to learn about working with children that have a history of trauma.
Conference highlights include keynote addresses by Dr. Marleen Wong from the USC School of Social Work and Steve Graner from Child Trauma Academy, 16 breakout sessions by local experts on a variety of trauma-related topics, and an interactive conference app that allowed participants to engage in all aspects of the presentations.  

Pictured Top: Dr. Marleen Wong
Below: Attendees participate in a classroom-friendly breathing (pranayama), meditation and mindfulness exercise led by Dr. Elizabeth B. Reese, Founder and CEO, Yogiños: Yoga for Youth® (YYY)
Top: Attendees in the #TraumaSafeZone photo booth
Middle Left: Elizabeth G. Love, Senior Program Officer, Houston Endowment 
Middle Right: Afternoon Keynote Speaker Steve Graner, Fellow, ChildTrauma Academy shares his journey toward a trauma-sensitive classroom
Bottom: The transference of knowledge at the Keeping Kids in School: Strategies to End the School to Prison Pipeline morning breakout session

New Report:
Financing and Provider Preparation for Integrated
Health Care

On October 19, MHA of Greater Houston officially released its new report, Integrated
Health Care
Initiative: A Recommendations Report on Financing and Provider Preparation for Integrated Health Care.

This report is the culmination of more than a year's work conducted by MHA of Greater Houston and 30 collaborative partners.

The report outlines recommendations to advance integrated health care in Texas, with a particular focus on payment and workforce issues.

The 18 consensus recommendations in the report provide a framework for the next phase of MHA of Greater Houston’s work in integrated health care.

MHA of Greater Houston will continue to work with its collaborative partners and additional stakeholders to
operationalize, advocate for, and implement the recommendations over the coming months and years.

For more information about this work, or to participate in the Integrated Health Care Initiative, contact Alejandra Posada at

Picture 2: Dr. McClain Sampson, Assistant Professor, G.L.O.B.E. Project Director & Director, Center for Latina Maternal and Family Health Research- University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work
Picture 3: Dr. Stephen Linder, Professor & Director, Institute for Health Policy-University of Texas School of Public Health, Board Member & Chair of the Programs and Planning Committee for MHA of Greater Houston
Picture 4: Dr. Lia Rodriguez, Medical Director of Utilization Management-Texas Children’s Health Plan

Harris County Investigators Learn
to De-Escalate
Mental Health
Crisis Situations

On October 26, Lauren Pursley, Program Coordinator at Mental Health America presented,
"De-Escalating a Mental Health Crisis Situation," to Investigators with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
Pictured Above: Lauren Pursley with Celeste Byrum, Harris County Assistant District Attorney 
Veterans Court Graduation
On November 2, the Harris County Veterans Treatment Court graduated four more veterans from its two-year intensive program.  Veterans Treatment Courts and all who work and volunteer with them are forever changing the way this nation treats veterans. The Harris County Veterans Treatment Court continues work to meet the needs of veteran service men and women by making certain our veterans are cared for when they need it most. Every day, Mental Health America of Greater Houston works alongside the Harris County Veterans Treatment Court and Judge Marc Carter to advocate for programs and peer mentors for veterans in need. 

Judge Marc Carter announced during the graduation ceremony that due to the success of participants accepted into the program from Montgomery County, they are now the next location in Texas to offer the second felony-level, Veterans Treatment Court in Texas. 

For more information on the Veterans Treatment Court or to become a volunteer, contact T’Liza Kiel at

Pictured Above: T'Liza Kiel, Manny Satarain, Susan Fordice, Rep. Sarah Davis, Judge Marc Carter, Anne Ritchie, Annalee Gulley, Valerie James and Carlos Garcia.
Pictured Top: T'Liza Kiel, Program Manager, Veterans Behavioral Health, Mental Health America
of Greater Houston 

Middle Left: T'Liza Kiel and Heidi Bray, Director of Education, Arclabs/Sparc Academy 
Middle Right: Jamay M. Fishback, Executive Director, Career Gear Houston and Geoffrey Schardien, USAF, Director of Client Services, Career Gear Houston
Bottom Left:  Manny Satarain,  Peer Mentor, Veterans Treatment Court
Bottom Right: Anne Ritchie, Peer Mentor, Veterans Treatment Court
National Summit on Best Practice Military and Veteran Peer Programs

The Bob Woodruff Foundation invited Tony Solomon, Director of Veterans Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston, to attend and participate in the University of Michigan’s, National Summit on Best Practice Military and Veteran Peer Programs. 
The National Summit provided a two-day interdisciplinary forum to stimulate discussion of the latest research on military and veteran peer programs, identify best practices for evaluation, and foster collaboration among attendees—all of which are critical to improving services for military and veteran populations and advancing the field. Over 200 attendees from military leadership, university and VA researchers, military and veteran-focused non-profits, veteran peers, and funders participated in the Summit.
COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER -- State mental health funding avoids cuts in 2017 following $298M budget increase in 2015. Read the Story >>
Community Advocacy
City of Houston Mayor LGBT Advisory Board: Tiffany Ross, Director of Education & Outreach at MHA of Greater Houston has been selected to join the City of Houston Mayor LGBT Advisory Board. The Advisory Board serves as a direct link between the mayor’s office and the LGBT community, providing advice and recommendations on issues pertaining to the health and wellness of individuals who identify as LGBT. Tiffany serves
on the Racial & Criminal Justice Committee that focuses on community advocacy relating to minorities and justice-involved individuals with mental and behavioral health concerns.
Workshops, Trainings & Events

A Children's Agenda:
Legislative Briefing in Houston

United Way of Greater Houston
November 17, 2016

CHILDREN AT RISK will host a Legislative Briefing on opportunities and challenges in preparation of the 85th Texas Legislative Session. Issue areas include education, food access, health, and human trafficking.

Annalee Gulley, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, MHA of Greater Houston is among the guest speakers. 

    and Co-Sponsors        

Become A Volunteer
Veteran Peer Mentor

Volunteer peer mentors are valued and vital to Veterans in our community. 

Veteran Peer Mentors have an opportunity to learn front line intervention techniques and tools to address the immediate basic
needs of individual service members, Veterans and their families. And, after training, they will become certified, state-sponsored volunteer peer mentors.

We Need You.

This is a great way to give back and to support, guide, and be a trusted friend to a Veteran in need.

 Register for the November 18th
Interest Meeting at

For More About Becoming A Mentor Contact: 
T’Liza Kiel, Program Manager at
Learn More, Register or Participate in an Event

MHA of Greater Houston is your one-stop resource for mental health education and training, advocacy events and integrated health care learning opportunities. 
November 7-9:  TCOLE Training Houston
November 10:  Workshop Integrated Health
     Care:  Children and Adolescents
November 11:  Adult Mental Health First Aid      
with Jewish Family Service
November 11:  Veteran's Day Presentation at
     Yeager Elementary
November 11:  Veteran's Day Celebration
     at Lakewood Church
November 12:  Veteran's Day Service Project
     with The Mission Continues
November 14-16:  TCOLE Training Humble
November 16:  Harmony Public Schools Youth Mental Health First Aid
November 18:  Volunteer Peer Mentor Interest Meeting
November 29:  YMCA Youth Mental Health First Aid
November 30:  MVPN Basic Training
December 7-9:  VCAMP

December 14:  YMCA Youth Mental Health First Aid
December 16:  Yates Children Memorial Fund Legislative Briefing with Rep. Senfronia Thompson 
Community Resources

New Toolkit Promotes Collaboration Between Law Enforcement and Providers

The Bureau of Justice Affairs has developed the Police-Mental Health Collaboration (PMHC) Toolkit, a go-to resource for behavioral health providers and law enforcement to improve their collaboration efforts. The toolkit contains best practices and resources to help officers respond appropriately and safely to people with mental illness.

Highlights of the toolkit include Mental Health First Aid, crisis intervention team training, and behavioral health-informed resources and procedures. 
Houston Police Department and Mental Health Division Training Officer Rebecca Skillern, LPC-S is featured in the toolkit.  
See HPD and Officer Skillern at work:

Full Toolkit:

7 Ways Mental Health is
Changing in Houston

Pearls of Wisdom Highlights • School Behavioral Health Initiative Milestones • The Center for School Behavioral Health • Children’s Mental Health Art Contest • Educator Strategies for Addressing Student Trauma • The Center for School Behavioral Health • BridgeUp at Menninger

Read The Advocate Summer/Fall '16 >>

Print, Order and Share Mental Health Resources 

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.  
Click on a Logo Below for More Resources and Help
Making A Difference in Mental Health

Mental Health America of Greater Houston,
a United Way of Greater Houston agency since 1958, enhances the mental health of all Houstonians and improves the lives of those with mental illnesses through collaborations, education, outreach and advocacy. 
Copyright © 2016 Mental Health America of Greater Houston, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences