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 2 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.

Is your drinking getting in your way?

April 6th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

How do you know if you have a drinking problem? If alcohol is causing issues in your relationships, school, work or social life you may want to consider consulting with your health care provider. Visit www.cdc.gov/alcohol for more information on alcohol prevention.

alcohol awareness month poster

Arizona resources for service members, veterans and their families

April 4th, 2014 by Cory Nelson No comments »

We sympathize with the families and friends affected by Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood military base in Texas.  In the words of Albert Einstein, “Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us. Our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life“.  While we can’t change this tragic event, we can look forward to a safe and quick recovery for those 16 persons that have been injured and send condolences to the families for their loss.

If you or anyone you know needs help in dealing with the many emotions arising from this tragedy, please call the Disaster Distress Helpline here in Arizona at 1-800-203-2273.  Callers will be connected to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center.

Service members and veterans (and their family members) seeking help for depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder or other behavioral health concern have a variety of options for accessing care in Arizona.

If in a crisis, please call your nearest crisis line right away:  800.273.8255 and select option 1

The National Veterans Crisis Line is available 24/7 to any service member, veteran, family member or concerned person. You can also call any of these crisis lines statewide for assistance:

  • 1-800-631-1314 (Maricopa County)
  • 1-800-796-6762 (Pima County)
  • 1-866-495-6735 (Graham, Greenlee, Cochise and Santa      Cruz Counties)
  • 1-800-259-3449 (Gila River and Ak-Chin Indian      Communities)
  • 1-866-495-6735 (Yuma, LaPaz, Pinal and Gila Counties)
  • 1-877-756-4090 (Mohave, Coconino, Apache, Navajo and      Yavapai Counties)

If not in a crisis, you could call for a referral for services in Arizona, or anywhere in the nation!  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.  You can also call your nearest VA facility, regional behavioral health authority or a tribal behavioral health authority. The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services also has benefits counselors, the Military Family Relief Fund and other resources available to veterans and their families.

Arizona has a Military/Veteran Resource Network for service members, veterans and their families to access local resources in a variety of topics including mental health, physical health, spirituality, employment and others.

Please know that you are not alone.  Everyone has mental health and is susceptible to encounter challenges from time to time.  Mental health challenges are preventable, treatable, and just like diabetes or heart disease, when they are noticed and treated early chances of recovery are increased.

For persons interested in helping veterans and their families get the help they need: ADHS is a partner with the Arizona Coalition for Military Families in rolling out a new Military/Veteran Resource Navigation training for persons employed in healthcare settings in positions that include intake, reception, customer service, case management and peer support specialists among others (the training is open to anyone who would potentially interact with veterans seeking services)!  Interested?  Learn more and register online. You can also attend a Mental Health First Aid training near you where you’ll learn to identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness and key strategies to provide aid (both in crisis and non-crisis situations).

Arizona is home to more than 625,000 service members, veterans and their families. The strength and resilience of these individuals and families contributes a great deal to our community and they have given much to protect and defend our country. In return, we can ensure that they are connected to the right resource at the right time when they are in need of support.

Alcohol Free Weekend: April 4-6, 2014

April 3rd, 2014 by Claudia Sloan 1 comment »

An integral part of Alcohol Awareness Month is Alcohol-Free Weekend (April 4-6, 2014), which is designed to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting individuals, families, and the community.

During this seventy-two-hour period, the Division joins NCADD extending an open invitation to all Arizonans, young and old, to participate in three alcohol-free days and to use this time to contact local NCADD Affiliates and our local behavioral health service providers to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms.

If you feel you may be experiencing a crisis, please know 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.


April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April 2nd, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) sponsors NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.

The Division joins NCADD this month in this effort to highlight the important public health issue of underage drinking, a problem with devastating individual, family and community consequences.

This year’s theme is ”Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.

Please join your local behavioral health services providers, your nearest regional behavioral health authority (RBHA), schools, and communities in their events where you can learn about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism…or visit this blog regularly where we’ll be having month-long messages about this topic.

For your convenience, here are the online calendars for the RBHAs serving:

Southern Arizona areas

Northern Arizona areas

Maricopa County

Pima County

AND…because mental health first aid is a great way to learn how to identify signs and symptoms of alcohol use and what to do to help someone having a challenge with it, this month we’ll be having additional classes throughout the state – visit the online course schedule for classes at:

Phoenix downtown (capitol area): http://bit.ly/1nqFbGJ

Anywhere else in the State: www.mentalhealthfirstaidaz.com

Mental Health First Aid: a CPR-like course

March 17th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan 1 comment »

MHFA helps you to provide assistance to someone with a behavioral health need. Like CPR and other type of physical first aid, anyone can learn and apply the concepts soon after training. You’ll be prepared to help someone experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental health challenge.  The class provides you the tools to quickly respond and act when concerned about someone’s mental health.  There are two primary types of MHFA courses.  The original MHFA is designed for providing aid to adults.  Youth-MHFA is designed for adults who would like to provide aid to youth.  Attend your nearest training course today!

Attend a class at:

Seeking a Fidelity Reviewer

March 7th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

You may recall that we recently entered into an agreement for the Arnold v. Sarn suit that requires use of four of SAMHSA’s Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) and their implementation in Maricopa County. As part of the full implementation of these EBPs, providers in our State’s behavioral health care system will need to be evaluated according to SAMHSA’s fidelity tools to determine their fidelity adherence and future support needs. ADHS is seeking Fidelity Reviewers to conduct the provider reviews over a two year contract period.

View details about this contract position (and how to apply).

Arnold v Sarn Lawsuit

February 27th, 2014 by Cory Nelson No comments »

This morning a Superior Court judge approved the exit agreement that was signed in January and will bring a close to the 30+ year old lawsuit.  The Plaintiffs, Defendants and the Court all commented about how getting to this point has been a major accomplishment but that additional work will need to be done to maintain the level of services that have been developed to this point and that have been agreed to in exit agreement.  The dismissal of the suit is scheduled to occur later this year after.  Governor Brewer attended the hearing and addressed the Court affirming her commitment to the class members and the exit agreement.  Without the Governor’s leadership over the last few years in particular the agreement would not have been possible.