Program Develops Tribal Community Leaders

May 5th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

Some 15 slots are currently available for the 2015 class of the 4 Directions Development Program, offered by National Relief Charities. The six month program, intended for tribal members and those who work with tribes, grooms emerging leaders on personal and professional development goals.

The program is free, and includes four retreat sessions. Nominations for the program are now open. For more information, contact Shane Burnett:   1-877-281-0808,

For more information about National Relief Charities, visit:

Primary Care Visits Could Prevent Suicide

May 5th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

New research from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit shows many people who attempt suicide have recently visited their primary care physician. The study examined medical records of more than 22,000 Americans who attempted suicide between 2009-2011. Some 38% had a health visit within a week of the attempt.

Another 64% had a health visit within a month prior to the attempt, and 95% had seen a physician within a year.

The results show primary care physicians and health workers have a golden opportunity to discuss suicide and depression with patients. Speaking with patients about their mental health, and knowing what suicide prevention resources are available in their communities for referral, could be key to preventing suicide. More than 1 million Americans attempt suicide annually.

For more information about the Arizona state plan to prevent suicide, click here. The plan includes activities related to outreaching Arizona’s health care work force to have such conversations.

For more information about the Henry Ford study, visit:



Students Invited To Tour State Lab

May 5th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

High school and college students are invited to learn about public health and tour the state-of-the-art Arizona Department of Health Services Lab.

The event will take place from 9 am-4 pm, Thursday, June 11 at the state lab: 250 N. 17th avenue, Phoenix.

Students will have the chance to learn about the many interesting careers public health has to offer, meet with public health professionals and have free lunch.

For more information, contact: Susan Levy 602-279-5262,


Behavioral Health Beds Added in Phoenix

May 5th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) recently opened a new behavioral health unit, adding 11 beds. MIHS now has a total of 201 licensed behavioral health beds between their two centers: Desert Vista in Mesa and Behavioral Health Annex in Phoenix.

“This is good news for the residents of Maricopa County,” said Steve Purves, President and CEO of MIHS. “Behavioral health services are deeply needed in our community. The expansion of the Behavioral Health Annex on the Maricopa Medical Center campus will help more people get access to high-quality, specialized care. And just as importantly, they’ll be able to get care close to home.”

In 2014, MIHS treated 3,257 patients needing acute psychiatric care and provided more than 5,000 hour of outpatient counseling services. The new unit offers voluntary and involuntary care.

For more information, visit:



ASU Changemakers Prevent Suicide

April 29th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

A group of students from Arizona State University has won the $10,000 Changemaker Challenge prize for their work creating a technology that scans Twitter for messages referring to suicide and self-harm. ARKHumanity, which was initially created during a hackathon, filters Twitter messages, linking the authors with immediate support.


“It is an unfortunate reality that messages indicating distress in social media often receive no reply. This failure to respond can greatly exacerbate feelings of worthlessness and isolation that contribute to suicidal thinking,” said Jordan Bates, ARKHumanity’s team leader and an ASU PhD student. “Technology is rapidly changing how we interact, and we should make sure we don’t lose our humanity along the way. Every person matters. No call for help should go unanswered.”

Team members say they’ll use the prize money to help with server costs, legal expenses and conference presentations to introduce it to local, state and national organizations. The group’s goal is to make the technology available to select mental-health professionals by October 2015 and to update the technology as necessary to be able to expand response capacity. Ultimately, the team wants to develop an impactful platform that can be adopted by mental-health organizations locally and globally.


The five-member team of ASU graduate and undergraduate students and community members came from varying backgrounds. For more information, visit:


New Suicide Prevention Training Offered

April 15th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care (MMIC) is hosting a new LivingWorks Education suicide prevention  training, offered for the first time in the Phoenix region. Suicide to Hope: A Recovery and Growth Workshop is a one-day workshop primarily designed for clinicians and other professional caregivers who work with persons recently at risk of and currently safe from suicide. It provides tools to help caregivers and persons with experiences of suicide work together to develop achievable and significant recovery and growth goals.

The training will take place at 8 am – 5 pm, Thursday, May 7 at 9801 S 51st St, Phoenix, AZ 85044. The cost is $150 to attend. For more information and to register, email Karen Krell at


Tribal Members Invited to Suicide Prevention Talks

April 9th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

DBHS, in partnership with the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs, invites tribal leaders and tribal community members to attend upcoming conversations on suicide prevention and supportive housing resources.

Attendees will learn specifically how tribal members can access behavioral health services, what signs to look for to prevent suicide and about an innovative suicide surveillance system created by the White Mountain Apache Tribe.  Information will also be shared on HUD programs that may be used for group homes, child care facilities and domestic violence shelters.

These events take place:

Thursday, May 7th

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Casino del Sol  5655 W. Valencia Road, Tucson, AZ 85757


Thursday, May 21st

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Twin Arrows Casino 22181 Resort Blvd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

A light breakfast and lunch are included. There is no fee to attend, but registration is limited to 50 individuals at each event.  To attend, please Kelly Hedman at or call 602.542.4426.

Cash Prize Offered For Development of Alcohol Biosensor

April 8th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. With that in mind, a brief in the Federal Register from researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) caught our eye.

They are proposing two considerable cash prizes toward the development of a wearable and “discreet” device capable of measuring a person’s blood alcohol level in real time.

Two cash prizes – one for $200,00 for first place and $100,000 for second –  will be awarded in February 2016. Officials hope the prize offering will encourage the public and private sector to develop such a technology. The biosensor would help advance the mission of the NIAAA in research, treatment and rehabilitation from alcohol abuse.

The submission deadline for the contest is December 1. For more information, visit: The competition contact is: M. Katherine Jung, Ph.D., Program Director, NIAAA Division of Metabolism and Health Effects:

Register Today for Free Substance Abuse Intervention Training

April 7th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

Mark Your Calendars! Advancing “Advancing Substance Use Disorder Interventions for Adolescents and Transition-Age Youth” is a series of free trainings for behavioral health providers and stakeholders who work with adolescents and transition-age youth, including probation, education and child welfare. These trainings will be held in Tucson, AZ on May 6th and 14th with follow-up booster session June 10th.


Skills-based and culturally competent workshops focused on adolescents and transition-age youth including:

  • This is Your Brain on Adolescence: Enhancing Skills and Knowledge with Adolescent Clients (May 6)
  • Trauma Informed Practice with Adolescent Clients (May 6)
  • Enhancing Youth’s Motivation for Service Engagement (May 14)
  • Motivational Interviewing (May 14)

Travel scholarships are available. Trainings are sponsored by the State Youth Treatment (SYT) grant, which is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The SYT grant promotes implementation of evidence-based practices and a data-driven approach to policy and workforce development in the field of substance use disorder treatment for adolescents and transition-age youth.

Please feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues.

For more information and to register, visit

Grants Awarded to Prevent Substance Abuse with Criminal-Justice Involved Kids

April 6th, 2015 by Kelli Donley No comments »

A partnership between ADHS and the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) has opened a door to better ensure the provision of appropriate substance abuse prevention services among a vulnerable population: Arizona’s youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Through funds provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), ADHS and ACJC worked together to award more than $600,000 in grants to various Arizona coalitions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and criminal justice agencies to implement evidence based programs and approaches.

The partnership includes projects that are designed to prevent and/or reduce substance abuse that are cost-effective, and result in increased public safety, proactively address substance abuse before its inception to thwart negative consequences related to safety, health, and academic achievement, and build collaborative relationships between public health and criminal justice organizations to better address substance abuse.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 77% of criminal justice-involved youth reported substance use in the past 6 months, and nearly half of male and female juvenile detainees had a substance use disorder (NIDA, 2014). NIDA reports that of the estimated 2.1 million juvenile arrests in 2008, approximately 10% were for drug abuse or underage drinking violations (NIDA, 2014).

Additionally, ADHS is further partnering with ACJC to provide resources to develop and implement an adult substance use prevalence survey. The goals of this effort include the filling of a data gap that currently exists relative to adult substance abuse, consumption patterns and consequences, and laying out an infrastructure to guide decisions about effective substance abuse prevention programs and strategies. The results of this statewide survey’s implementation will provide an evaluation to ensure Arizona’s efforts related to substance abuse prevention are effective, as well as highlight any unmet service needs amongt Arizonans.

Survey results will also highlight other areas of collaboration between agencies that will in turn provide a more united front against substance use and abuse in Arizona.