Welcome to February, where the Year of the Tiger and Black History Month has begun. In addition to our articles, we would like to highlight some of the other offerings in this newsletter.
The CASRA 2022 Spring Conference is coming! Save the dates of May 4th, 11th, and 18th on your calendar. The Conference Committtee is busy designing three days of learning, connection and meaning making. More to come.
There is a Supported Education survey sponsored by SAMHSA and being conducted by a coalition of national technical assistance centers. The survey is looking for organizations that provide supported education services. The announcement provides the link for more information and to participate in the survey.
Finally, we want to spotlight our member agencies and their challenges in staffing their programs. As we all know, staffing is challenge not only in our industry but also many others. If you know someone who has the heart and soul to work in behavioral health and are considering work in our field, please forward this newsletter to them. Ask them to check out the employment opportunities by clicking on our members agencies listed below.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
Who We Are
CASRA is a statewide organization of private, not-for-profit, public benefit corporations that serve clients of the California public mental health system.
Member agencies provide a variety of services that are designed to enhance the quality of life and community participation of youth, adults and older adults living with challenging mental health issues.
A benefit of membership in CASRA is receiving 4 hours of training for your staff. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
New model needed to meet mental health needs of our communities
by Ruqayya Ahmad and Asantewaa Boykin, Guest Commentators, January 31, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably shown all of us that the “normal” of deep inequity is not a normal to which we should return.
Instead, it’s time to tap into our imagination, our ability to think of a better world, one different than our own reality, one where white supremacy and patriarchy don’t exist, and racial justice and equity prevail. Read More
Honoring Black History While Honoring Mental Health
By Minaa B. with Respect Your Struggle
Trigger Warning: Content discussed addresses suicide and suicidal thoughts.
For more than twenty years of my life I struggled with major depression and suicide ideation. Thought after thought, I was consumed with the idea of death and sadness and how to eliminate myself from the rest of the world. I grew tired of carrying my burdens, and when my back could no longer stand up straight from the weight of my pain that I carried in silence - I attempted suicide.
The cuts on my wrists were indicators that this brown girl was not okay. I hid myself. Learning how to be bold and brave about my struggles was a behavior that I was never taught. Instead, I was constantly reminded through television, music, the church and conversations, that weak-minded people don’t get far in life. The stigmas of society told me that black women didn’t complain - they pushed through. Black women didn’t get tired - they worked hard. And black people don’t struggle with depression - we pray. Then carry on. Read More
Gifts from my two mothers: One Korean, one Black
By Saundra Henderson Windom, Special Correspondent, Jan. 27, 2022
Family legend has it that I was found tied to a tree. The circumstances are unclear, but it appears my birth mother had left me there in a South Korean coastal town so I could be taken to an orphanage.
My adoptive mother told the tree story to my godmother, who later told me, but the story is incomplete and so typical of my childhood in Korea. Fragmented memories, broken narratives, legal documents and my birth country’s history are all I have to piece together what brought me, a child of war, from Asia to a new home in Compton, California, USA. Read More
Here’s Why Many Asian Americans Don’t Get Mental Health Care—And How to Help
from California Health Report
by Grace Gallette, February 2, 2022
Growing up, Tony remembers feeling like an orphan, even though he had two parents. Wherever he went, even with his own family, he felt like he didn’t fit in.
Tony, who did not want his last name included because of stigma around mental illness, immigrated from China to the Bay Area 40 years ago. At age 12, he began to struggle with depression and anxiety. He had a hard time talking to his family about it, which left him feeling isolated. His family’s uncommon dialect also made it hard for him to talk to other Chinese immigrants. And the enormous pressure he felt to succeed meant he was too busy studying to make many friends.
“If I had bad grades, I felt suicidal,” said Tony, who is now 46. “For me, it was like, life or death,” Read More
Statement from Patrick J. Kennedy regarding the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act report by US Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury
From The Kennedy Forum, January 25, 2022
“When it comes to the ability of Americans to access affordable mental health care for their children, today is an important day. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an existing mental health and addiction crisis in this country that is actively changing the trajectory of countless young lives. Parents are often forced to wait months for mental health appointments due to inadequate provider networks in their health plans, or go into debt paying for out-of-pocket treatment instead.
“A new report from the Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Department of the Treasury provides damning evidence that health plans continue to be out of compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires them to cover mental health and addiction treatment no more restrictively than physical health treatment. Read More
Choice and self-determination are foundational principles of recovery-oriented practice. But if a person is making a choice that steers their life away from recovery, how should staff respond? Patricia E. Deegan, PhD, an internationally renowned speaker and founder of Pat Deegan & Associates, provides training to help you answer this question and others related to the topic. Learn More and Register
Discover your purposeful path
Help others discover theirs
Your Core Gift is an offering that is uniquely yours to give. It is connected to and strengthened by your life experiences - particularly your challenges.
Knowing your Core Gift means you can better share it with others. It also strengthens your sense of purpose and well-being and can help to guide your decision-making.
Your Core Gift develops throughout your lifetime, touches all parts of your life, and becomes more impactful each time you face new challenges or give it to others. Learn More
Supported Education Survey
Do you provide dedicated supported education services for individuals with psychiatric disabilities/mental illness? Want to strengthen dissemination of information about your supported education program to regional and national stakeholders? Learn More and Take the Survey
Happy Black History Month to all the states where it’s not a felony to say that.