Know the signs of heat-related illness

June 17th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Heat can make anyone sick, regardless of age or physical condition.  Here are some of the signs of heat illness:

  • Thirst
  • Weakness
  • Cramps
  • Headache
Heat exhaustion also may have:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse,
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
Heat stroke may include:

  • High body temperature (above 103⁰ F)
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

Watch this brief video to help you identify the signs of heat-related illness and learn what you can do to help someone experiencing them:


Learn about heat-related resources offered by your nearest Regional Behavioral Health Authority

Tragedy support available

June 12th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

ADHS extends sympathy for those affected by the tragic incident at Mother of Mercy Mission and
the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

While each person may be impacted by these types of events differently, feelings of sadness, stress, despair, strong or mixed emotions, fear, and anxiety are common.  Please know there is help available.  You are not alone!

Call our dedicated tragedy support line to speak with a trained counselor about your feelings:

1-800-203-CARE (2273)

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, please call your nearest crisis line:

  • 1-800-631-1314 and 602-222-9444 (Maricopa County)
  • 1-800-796-6762 or 520-622-6000 (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)

Additional resources:

Learn what to expect and how to deal with trauma, including tips for adults who are assisting children deal with trauma: Coping with Loss and Trauma

Learn how to recognize and respond when someone may be developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis: Mental Health First Aid.

Additional tips and information for people living in Maricopa County:

Recovery WORKS

June 11th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Our second quarterly issue of Recovery WORKS is now available!  In this issue
you will find inspiring recovery success stories, behavioral health news, resources, and/or information from our community. Our featured peer success story is about Daniel, who will share with you about going from years of  institutionalization, to homelessness, and to successful employment.

In our “Healthy Living” section you will find information and/or tips for enjoying a healthy lifestyle. This issue highlights summer safety and provides information for preventing heat-related illness. The “Dimensions
of Wellness” section in this issue highlights the “Occupational Dimension of Wellness”. Each issue explores one of the eight dimensions of wellness and provides you with ideas or resources to help address that particular dimension of wellness in your life. We hope you continue to find inspiration, encouragement, and practical knowledge through this publication.

Prevent heat-related illness this summer

June 5th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

Climate change and extreme heat cause more deaths each year than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods combined!  What can you do to reduce your risks?

 Stay COOL;


and Stay INFORMED.

One way to stay informed is to sign up for heat alerts.  You can do that HERE and follow these steps: 1) Enter your email address and click “Continue”; 2) Click the box next to “Heat Alerts”.

Our homepage also provides heat advisories as soon as they are available; likewise alerts and heat-related messages are posted on our Facebook (FB) site.

Our contracted Regional Behavioral Health Authorities (RBHAs) and providers also have information and resources to help you reduce your risks for heat-related illness this summer.  Learn more:

  • Community Partnership for Southern Arizona – online extreme heat resources - you can also obtain “surviving Arizona heat” brochures at your provider sites, shelters, and anywhere you see a CPSA booth or table at your local events.
  • Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care – heat advisories; additionally, you can attend presentations at clinics, peer support groups, and community groups where you’ll get information about water drives, hydration stations, and summer safety tips. Visit Mercy’s events website.
  • Cenpatico of AZ – “surviving Arizona heat” brochures distributed across all 8 counties at community meetings and community events and by crisis mobile teams – your provider clinics also have heat-related information available for you.  Bottled water is also available for you during extreme heat periods.
  • NARBHA - extreme heat warnings for northern Arizona will be under Member Resources and on FB.

To learn about signs and symptoms of heat related illness and how to protect yourself this summer at our website at

Keep Our Children Home

May 30th, 2014 by Cory Nelson No comments »

On Wednesday we held a summit with key stakeholders to discuss how we continue to move the children’s system forward in Arizona.  With the JK lawsuit behind us it is important that we continue to focus on delivering quality services to our children and transition aged youth.  The summit was designed to get some ideas on the table and help us strategize core components that will guide services for the next few years.  We look forward to taking the great ideas that were discussed and operationalizing them in a manner that builds on the foundation we have in place.

You can help prevent violence in your community

May 30th, 2014 by Claudia Sloan No comments »

A shooting spree this past weekend by a 22-year-old man left 6 dead and 13 wounded. The shooter, Elliot Rodger, also died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The shooting was reminiscent of many others nationally during the last few years, including the shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords in Tucson in January 2011, which also killed six people.

Rodger’s parents had tried to get their son help; they recognized his mental health was in question. They summoned police to his apartment in April, but authorities reportedly didn’t find anything alarming. However, on Friday when Rodger sent his parents and therapist a manifesto detailing his grief and plans for violence – there was little time to act. His parents drove as quickly as possible from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in a failed attempt to reach their son before he acted out. They learned of the shooting on the way; they had called 911 and tried to reportedly summon officials for help en route.

Can you help prevent this type of event from reoccurring in your community?  If you are a parent (relative or friend) of a young adult and are concerned about his/her mental health, here are a couple things you can do:

1. Call any of our Statewide Crisis Lines for help!

  • 1-800-631-1314 and 602-222-9444 (Maricopa County)
  • 1-800-796-6762 or 520-622-6000 (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)

These telephone lines can connect you to a broad array of supports including:

  • Telephone support (speaking directly with a trained counselor);
  • 24/7 outpatient access points where you can be connected to services;
  • 24/7 crisis facilities;
  • Community-based supports through mobile teams that can come to you.

2. Learn how to provide Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

This is the aid provided to a person who may be developing a mental health challenge or experiencing a mental health crisis.  Anyone can learn MHFA.  Similar to CPR, MHFA prepares you to provide help until the person is stabilized and/or appropriate professional help arrives.  Classes are available throughout the entire State and are free of charge.  View the Schedule of Classes to enroll in one near you!

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 1 comment »

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