Mental health begins with you!

May 19th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Stigma against persons who have a mental health challenge is often cited as the number one barrier to seeking help or treatment.  Overcoming stigma starts with YOU and everyone in our communities.  A critical but easy step to take is to learn and use language that properly and respectfully addresses mental illness and those impacted by it.

Below is a brief list of disrespectful, stigmatizing language along with a list of respectful language you can use as a reference. …Because language matters!  Click here for a more comprehensive and printable handout.  For additional mental health month resources, click here.

 Disrespectful Language:

•   Crazy, lunatic, deficient, wacko, loony tune, psycho etc.

•   Manic depressive (when referring to a person.)

•   Schizophrenic.

•   Handicapped person.

•   Slow, low functioning.

•   Normal.

Respectful   Language:

•   Mental illness or psychiatric disability.

•   Person with bipolar disorder or manic depressive illness.

•   Person who has schizophrenia.

•   Person with a disability.

•   Person who has cognitive difficulties.

•   Nondisabled person.

Webisode coming up on May 12

May 7th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Monday, May 12, 2014 from 3 p.m. Eastern Time is when the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Authority (SAMHSA) will address the unique needs of young adults with mental health and substance use challenges on the Knowledge Network for Systems of Care Television (KSOC-TV) - during their premier webisode of the 2014 KSOC-TV season.  This online event will be held in observance of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) 2014.  The Awareness Day webisode will present best practices that support the transition to adulthood for young adults, including young parents and young veterans, with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Join the tweetup to be held during the webisode using the hashtags #IGetSupportFrom or #HeroesofHope.

Watch the KSOC–TV Webisode

Learn more about mental health or things you can do to support mental health month.

Happy Children’s Mental Health Week

May 4th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

May 4 – 10 is this year’s observance of Children’s mental health week.  This year’s theme is “Building a Circle of Wellness.” This week celebrates children’s mental health and also serves as a great opportunity to debunk myths, spread awareness and promote positive mental health and overall health for all of our nation’s children. This will take a combination of national, state and local efforts (and every single one of us!) to bring about our collective vision for healthy children and families.

Would like to know a simple way to show your support for children’s mental health this week: wear a green ribbon.  …and most importantly, tell anyone who asks about your ribbon, why you’re wearing it!

Just like physical health, mental health needs be a priority in every person’s wellness plan and it all starts early in life.

Mental Health Month begins today!

May 1st, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »
2014 Mental Health Month - Mind your health

2014 Mental Health Month – Mind your health



Complimentary seats for the AZ survivor’s of suicide conference

April 28th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

ADHS/DBHS is a partner for the AZ Survivors of Suicide Conference, with speaker Stuart D. Smith, LPC, MA, NCC, Clinical Coordinator at The Link Counseling Center.

●Gain support and assistance in dealing with survivor grief

●Learn from fellow survivors through our Survivor Panel Discussion

The conference will focus on Hope and Healing, utilizing a lecture format, panel discussion, and experiential exercises designed to deepen and expand the understanding of grief, specifically as it relates to loss by suicide.

Conference Objectives:

●To increase knowledge about the dynamics of grief after suicide.

●To explore opportunities in the grieving process for personal growth, which can lead survivors out of a tunnel of despair, into a journey of hope and acceptance.

●To provide a forum for survivors to learn new coping skills.

Our partnership includes several complementary seats to attend this event.  We would like to offer these seats to YOU, in our community.   If you are interested in participating, please email .  Available seats will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis until we run out.

Event information:

Date: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 from 8:15-3:30; includes a luncheon buffet.

Location: Black Canyon Conference Center, 9440 North 25th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

Phone: (602) 944-0569.

Update on implementation of fidelity tools

April 22nd, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Staff from the Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS or the Division) continues to work on the implementation of four SAMHSA evidence based practice fidelity tools. This implementation plan was discussed in February 2014 at a three-day kickoff event led by SAMHSA contractor, David Lynde and Division staff. During the kickoff, participants asked to be kept up to date with the progress of the project.

The four tools – examining ACT teams, supportive housing, supported employment and peer services in the community — will be implemented in the Summer of 2014. Each provider of these services will be reviewed at least once annually with the fidelity tool. Division staff members, in collaboration with partners at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), are currently interviewing candidates for the reviewer positions. We had a strong response to the job posting; the first round of phone interviews was completed last week. In-person interviews are scheduled for mid-May. The four strongest candidates will be hired by the end of May; as reviewers, they will be responsible for working with providers, implementing the tool, and reporting to the Division and WICHE the findings.

The findings, along with a provider response, will be made available on the ADHS website.

If you have any questions concerning the project, please email Kelli Donley at


Alcohol and energy drinks

April 11th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

This is nothing new but is quite common these days to serve alcohol mixed with energy drinks.  So much hype about them, let’s take a look at what’s happening in your body:

Energy drinks contain caffeine, plant based stimulants, simple sugars, and many other additives. When alcohol is mixed with energy drinks, the depressant effects from the alcohol can be masked by the energy drink’s content. This can cause you to consume more alcohol without realizing the true impact that the consumption has taken on your body.  This is something to take seriously because your alcohol levels may be much higher than expected.

Research has shown that drinkers who consume alcohol with energy drinks are three times more likely to binge drink.  Having 4 or more drinks during a single occasion (i.e. social event) is called “Binge Drinking”. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08% or above. This usually means about 5 drinks for men and 4 for women.

Bottom line, it’s important to know what exactly you are consuming, specially if you’re needing to drive afterwards and/or if you’ll be engaged in activities that may require you to be alert.

If you need help to reduce or quit your drinking, please know that you are not alone!  Call 1-800-662-HELP which offers 24-hour free and confidential information (in English and Spanish) on substance use disorder issues and referral to treatment.

If you are in a crisis, please call any of our crisis hotlines in Arizona and nationwide.

There are also some self-help and similar resources available online.

Who do you trust with your child

April 10th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Who Do You Trust With Your Child?is a campaign through the Arizona Department of Economic Security. This campaign is utilized to assist parents in choosing a safe caregiver and to prevent child maltreatment.  Think before you trust. A little planning could save a precious child.  It can also prevent many long-term behavioral health challenges and severe illnesses including mental illness.

This brief video tells some of the do’s and don’ts for choosing a caregiver:

This brochure is a great resource with information and tips for planning the care of your child – preventing abuse starts with you. 

Child maltreatment often is done by the very people you know – it is a community issue that you can help resolve.  That’s why National Child Abuse Prevention Month is all about raising awareness about this issue and empowering parents, guardians and whole communities to learn how to choose safe care givers.  This month is also about acknowledging the significance of people working together to prevent child abuse…and most importantly, YOU can be one of these people by engaging in awareness and prevention activities in your community; a place to start is your nearest child abuse prevention council.

The Regional Child Abuse Prevention Councils are primarily voluntary groups of child welfare workers, community members, school personnel and other professionals located in 15 different areas of the state of Arizona. The Councils organize public engagement campaigns to heighten public awareness of child abuse and neglect, and most of all, what the community can do to assist in prevention.

What birth defects can be caused by alcohol?

April 8th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan 3 comments »

Alcohol is a known teratogen, meaning that it is a substance that can cause abnormal development in a growing fetus. Infants affected by alcohol exposure in the womb may have obvious skeletal anomalies such as a small head or poorly formed limbs. Many are born small for their gestational age, a result of fetal growth restriction.  They may also have defects in the formation of major organs such as the heart, eyes, or the brain.  Here’s a visual resource about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy:


Do you know if your teen is drinking?

April 8th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

If you have a teenager you may want to pay attention to signals that could indicate alcohol use or abuse. The following signs are most common:

  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Declining grades or problem in school
  • Problems with coordination or memory loss
  • Frequent mood changes
  • Defensive behavior

For more of these signs click here.

Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous—both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors. Annually, over 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD):

  • Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America’s young people, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
  • More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year—about 4.65 a day—as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
  • 25% of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
  • Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.

YOU CAN HELP reduce underage drinking and get started this month by simply learning about and looking for the signs of alcohol use in those you care about.

If you identify the need for additional help, you’re not alone!

Call 1-800-662-HELP which offers 24-hour free and confidential information (in English and Spanish) on substance use disorder issues and referral to treatment.

Or call any of our crisis hotlines in Arizona and nationwide.