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News (Page 4)

Children’s Mental Health Awarenes Week Highlights

Stories of Resiliency: Youth & Family Share Powerful Messages of What Works Best AUGUSTA — Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week got off to a great trauma-informed start in Maine! On May 3, at the Hall of Flags, Augusta, more than 30 service providers heard seven youth and family members share inspiring stories of resiliency and the stabilization of emotional wellness in the face of challenges ranging from abuse and teen pregnancy, juvenile incarceration and autism, to a learning disability and depression.  Adults spoke of the difference a family organization can make and family-strengthening intergenerational resiliency. Resiliency from within nurtured by family and other natural supports, as well as youth-guided, family-driven and culturally competent treatment goes a long way towards countering research that children, even as young as 18 months old, who are  exposed to traumatic events, can develop serious problems as they mature, including substance abuse, depression, anxiety and stress management issues. May has been  Mental Health Awareness month since Congress established it in the late 1960s. Seven years ago, the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health declared the […]

System of Care

In 1992  the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program began funding “Systems of Care“— local networks of community-based services and supports collaborating to meet the needs of children and youth with serious emotional and behavioral health challenges and their families. Public and private organizations work in partnership with families and youth who build on their individual strengths while honoring their cultural and linguistic needs to help themselves function better at home, in school, in the community and throughout life. The following System of Care Guiding Principles support young people’s mental well-being and recovery: Family driven means families have a primary decision-making role in the care of their children, as well as the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community, state, tribe, territory and nation. This includes: choosing supports, services and providers setting goals designing, implementing and evaluating programs managing funding for services, treatments and supports determining effectiveness of all efforts to promote overall well being of youth Youth guided means youth have the right to empowerment, education, and a decision-making […]

THRIVE Evaluates Trauma-Informed Services in Maine

Findings Show Need for Trauma-Informed Services        LEWISTON –  To celebrate Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, THRIVE System of Care Initiative today released its first-round evaluation results for trauma-informed services in Maine. In partnership with Maine’s Children’s Behavioral Health Services and Hornby-Zeller Associates, THRIVE developed, administered and validated a Trauma-Informed Agency Assessment (TIAA) of how well mental health agencies are meeting principles of: physical and emotional safety; youth and family empowerment, choice and control, trauma competence, trustworthiness and cultural competence. “The results show the positive effects of trauma-informed services on children and why they are needed by their  caretakers, as well as by youth who may be on their own,” says THRIVE director, Arabella Perez. Future objectives include Continuous Quality Improvement plans for agencies that have completed TIAAs, and continued development and/or support of youth and family organizations’ peer partner programs. THRIVE plans to expand its trauma-informed training and technical assistance to 150 child-serving mental health agencies and the juvenile justice system in Maine. In 2009, researchers found […]

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2011

Save the date – Tuesday, May 3, 2011! All across the United States during the month of May, and especially on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, children and youth with serious mental health challenges and their families will celebrate positive youth development, resilience, recovery and the transformation of mental health service delivery. Stay tuned for more on Maine’s special day of celebration and related conferences and activities in May. Calls To Action Integrate mental health and model resilience skills in every environment that has an impact on child development from birth. Enhance resilience and nurture social and emotional skills in young children from birth. Provide information to the public and teach them to recognize the signs of traumatic stress. Raise awareness that treatment for trauma is critical to achieving the milestones of a child’s social and emotional development from birth. Promote trauma-informed services and supports in all child-serving settings.


Next Steps Toward A Trauma-Informed System of Care November 30, 2010, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm WHO:  All staff of agencies in receipt of letter dated August 23, 2010, from  Maine’s Children’s Behavioral Health Serivces stating that the agency had obtained an insufficient number of responses from one or more groups  must participate or view a recorded version. If an agency serves only early childhood and would not expect a youth response, please email Doug Patrick. WHAT: The webinar further explains the Trauma-Informed Agency Assessment and System of Care principles, including: -the importance of active principles within Maine’s Children’s Behavioral Health Services system -how and why the principles benefit provider agencies -Continuous Quality Improvement planning as it relates to principles -available resources and support for implementation -Q & A time HOW: To register, click here. We can accommodate 100 log-ins, so please gather in groups at one computer. Click here to check for system compatability.  A web browser will open with links to three (3) media options. Click on each of the three links. If you see […]

SMPA Honors THRIVE Mover and Shaker

Lisa Preney Honored for Behind the Scenes Work for Family Organizations SANFORD – Southern Maine Parent Awareness (SMPA) honored Lisa Preney, Social Marketing Coordinator, THRIVE System of Care, Lewiston, with its Behind the Scenes Mover and Shaker of the Year Award. Preney, who lives in Falmouth, received the award at SMPA’s Annual Awards Luncheon October 4. “Lisa hung in there with seven sometimes cantankerous family organizations to help us define the public face of the Maine Alliance of Family Organizations (MAFO),” says Sue Henri-MacKenzie, SMPA Executive Director. “She kept us focused on creating an identity statement and image, which sustained our forward momentum.” Over a year ago, SMPA, Learning Disabilities Association of Maine, Maine Parent Federation, G.E.A.R. Parent Network, Autism Society of Maine, Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Maine began forming an alliance to help families of children with disabilities and special health care needs and to strengthen family voice. “This year, it was about choosing words and an […]

Maine 2010 Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

“Mother and Child” (c) 2009 Naomi Janine, winner of G.E.A.R. Parent Network Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week poster contest Joan Smyrski, MS, Director, Children’s Behavioral Health Services, Office of Child & Family Services and the Department of Health & Human Services Cordially invite Legislators, Community Members, Mental Health Providers, Parents, Youth and Family Organizations to CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DAY May 6, 10:30-12:30 pm, Hall of Flags State House, Augusta, Maine Please remember…         Mental health is essential to children and youth’s overall well being. Serious emotional and behavioral issues are real and treatable. Children and youth seeking support and their families deserve access to services that are family driven, youth guided, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate. Endorsed by the Statewide Quality Improvement Council, Maine’s Mental Health Planning Council For information at the national level click poster

5th Annual Inspired Voices Benefit Concert and Art Exhibit

Tickets go on-sale May 5th! SNEAK A PEEK at Inspired Voices art… June 14-24, Community Art Exhibit, Five County Credit Union Public reception, June 16 Inspired Voices June 26, 2010, Franco-American Heritage Center 6 pm: catered reception and art exhibit 7 pm: Showtime! Inspired Voices is a powerful celebration of hope and recovery through music, poetry, dance and art. The gala event also raises vital funds to support Tri-County Mental Health Services. TCMHS Program Director, Catherine Ryder, directs the show for the fifth straight year, and L/A Arts Executive Director Andrew Harris joins fellow Brit and TCMHS Executive Director Chris Copeland on stage as Emcee. Inspired Voices includes the people TCMHS serves and the community in a creative partnership that has a profound effect on everyone involved in it.  The consumer participants realize lifelong dreams.  The performers volunteer hours of time and considerable talent to support the consumers and share in their triumphs.  The audience is part of the healing process. Youth or family consumers of services who would like […]

Youth MOVE Maine Shifts Into Gear

Youth Advocates, NASCAR Pro Series Driver Launch Awareness Campaign at Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day             Click here for Sun Journal story and photo caption AUGUSTA — Maine’s premiere youth aadvocacy group, Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (“Youth MOVE Maine”) launched its 2010 public awareness campaign at the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day celebration, May 6, State House, Hall of Flags, Augusta. Youth MOVE joined a line-up of youth and family speakers that also included James VanOver, a Morse High School senior, who credited his biological mother’s hard choice, adoptive family’s love, group home’s perseverance and teachers’ supports with getting him to graduation day and a focused future.  Twelve-year-old Kala Grant, a Girl Scout with her troop mate at her side, spoke of her efforts to educate and build awareness in Scouts and middle school about being the sibling of “My Very Special Brother” who is autistic. Youth MOVE speakers were: operations lead Ryun Anderson, who explained the history of this youth movement in Maine; Jenn McLaughlin who introduced the public service […]

Thrive is NASW Maine Agency of the Year

National Association of Social Workers Honors Trauma-Informed Initiative LEWISTON – Thrive System of Care received the National Association of Social Workers – Maine Chapter 2010 Agency of the Year award in an awards ceremony during the NASW Maine annual conference, Friday, April 9, at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.     Read Sun Journal announcement… “We chose Thrive based on how it improves the lives of people in Maine,” says Bonnie Swartz, LCSW and NASW Maine Chapter President, “and for its excellence in promoting social work values as defined in the NASW Code of Ethics for employees, clients and the community.” “Social workers value the inherent dignity and worth of a person,” says Thrive Director Arabella Perez. “At Thrive we know that treating each other in a caring and respectful manner mindful of our cultural and individual differences leads to growth, health, engagement and empowerment.” Thrive, in the fifth year of its six-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provides training, technical […]