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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Colleagues,

The opportunity to represent AAPC at the White House Mental Health Conference was an extraordinary experience. It was inspiring and moving to learn from others. Participants were charged to encourage their constituents "back home" to engage in similar conversations and actions. In my correspondence to you on Monday I wrote that "more would be forthcoming." This is a beginning point for you to join in the conversation in your community. Let's break the silence together regarding mental health, serious mental illness and substance use. Let's talk about it. Let's act. 

MentalHealth.gov is an online "library" for people looking for information about mental health. Be creative in utilizing the breadth of this resource. This website provides information about the signs of mental illness, how individuals can seek help, and how communities can host conversations about mental health. The website also features videos from a number of individuals sharing their stories about mental illness, recovery, and hope. Add these to your website.

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will soon release a Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health to support communities interested in holding discussions about mental health using consistent information and approaches. The Toolkit has three parts: an "Information Brief," a "Discussion Guide" and an "Organizing Guide." These components will help you, your communities and individuals start a conversation about mental health and help identify innovative and creative actions to meet the mental health needs of your community and our Nation. http://www.samhsa.gov 

So, let's talk about it and to one another about what is transpiring.

As always, thanks for the work you do on behalf of AAPC.  

Doug   doug@aapc.org 

American Association of Pastoral Counselors

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