From Dana McCrary, Parent & Youth Peer Specialist Coordinator, DBHDD:
Registration is now open for the upcoming Parent Certified Peer Specialist (CPS-P) training. This five-day event is scheduled for the week of December 11th – December 15th, 2017. This training is intended for enrollees who meet the lived experience expectations. Please find the application along with eligibility requirements outlined in the announcement below.
Applications along with documentation must be submitted by November 30th, 2017.
SpiritHorse is hosting its 10th Annual Special Olympic Horse Show, Saturday, October 28 and a celebration for Veteran’s/Active Military and their children/grandchildren on Sunday, October 29. Details for each event are attached below.
We recently received an updated set of criteria for IC3 (Intensive Customized Care Coordination) from DBHDD (Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities) , which required us to make some changes to the Pre-Referral Questionnaire for ages 6-21. This new set of criteria not only decreased the complexity of qualification, but it also increased the number of ways a child/youth may qualify for CME services.
It is important that referring parties use the newest form, which can be found at https://goo.gl/VXiLQ9, to prevent youth who do meet criteria from being screened out prematurely and decrease chances a referral will be delayed/denied due to being incomplete. If you have this form saved as a favorite in your browser, please delete the old form and save the new one.
From Highland Rivers Health
The Gilmer Home Again Program is staffed and ready to begin taking referrals.
As a reminder, the Home Again program is a two week, intensive out-patient program that is designed to help avert crises and keep children from having to be removed from their homes. This program can also be tailored to the family that is working to transition children back into their homes, after being in foster care, for example. For those referred, we will be designing treatment plans that will allow for children and families to be seen in school, at home, and at our facility at 1950 Old Pleasant Valley Road, Talking Rock.
Home Again provides Individual and Family Counseling, both for the youth and for the family. Family members will be assessed for substance use and mental health barriers and then provided with treatment as needed. Parents will also be assessed and provided with parenting skills classes, as needed. Families will learn where to get help with other things like food, housing, transportation, child care, utility bills, etc. Of course all problems will not be resolved in the two weeks families work with Home Again, so at the end of the two weeks, families are referred out for any ongoing services that might be needed.
Gilmer Home Again is located at 1950 Old Pleasant Valley Drive, Talking Rock, downstairs from Kids Kottage. We can be reached at 706-276-3610. Attached you will find our referral form. This form can be completed and emailed to me. I will personally be following up with all referrals within one business day of receiving it. If you are unable to email this form to me, please call the number to Home Again (above) and we will get the necessary information from you.
If you would like to schedule a presentation to your group or have questions about the Home Again program, please contact:
Melissa R. Dempsey, MSW, S/T
Highland Rivers Health
Gilmer Home Again Out Patient
Office: 706-635-2739 ext 115
Storms and natural disasters can have a profound impact on our emotional well-being, and it is natural to feel a range of emotions, from stress to anxiety or depression, after the event is over. For many, these feelings of distress are short-term and will resolve over time. However, for others, especially children and young people, these feelings could last longer and have an impact on their relationships with others, school, work, and other aspects of daily life.
Talking with someone about these feelings can often help speed the recovery process and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. The trained counselors at Disaster Distress Helpline provide 24/7, year-round crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
The deadline to choose a new CMO (Care Management Organization, such as Amerigroup, Care Source, Peach State, or Wellcare) is quickly approaching. If you want to change your CMO insurance to a new provider, you will be able to do so until September 30. After this date, you will only be able to change your provider again on your next anniversary date.
For details on how to change your provider, please see the attachment below or click here for more information.
Before changing providers, please check with your healthcare providers to be certain they accept the CMO you desire and the benefits provided by the CMO fit your needs. For benefit comparisons, click here.
Is your child watching 13 Reasons Why?
By: Erin Conaway, CPS, Outreach Specialist
This is an important question for every parent and caregiver of a young person. Whether you think your child has access to Netflix in your home or not, it is crucial that you find out the answer to this question and be prepared to respond.
This new, fictional series, which follows events that lead up to the suicide of a high school girl, is being watched by youth everywhere. They are sharing it with their friends, and it is quickly becoming one of the most popular shows online. Some young people without access at home are watching the show through borrowed accounts of friends or acquaintances. Many young people admit their parents do not even know they have seen it.
Suicide prevention experts across the nation share concern that while the series can help people understand why someone might consider taking their life, it does very little to show that there are people who care, and there is an alternative to suicide. Some of the scenes are extremely graphic. Even though they depict events that are true to the experiences of many young people, they can be highly triggering for any youth but especially for youth with previous trauma or who are emotionally vulnerable.
It is not recommended that young people watch the show. However, it is important that if they do, they do so with you and have support in processing the information they receive from the show. If your youth has already watched the show without your knowledge, don’t panic. See it as an opportunity to have a supportive conversation about the content and ensure they get help if they are experiencing emotional distress.
The National Association of School Psychologists provides the following guidance to help families begin the discussion:
Guidance for Families
- Ask your child if they have heard or seen the series 13 Reasons Why. While we don’t recommend that they be encouraged to view the series, do tell them you want to watch it, with them or to catch up, and discuss their thoughts.
- If they exhibit any of the warning signs below, don’t be afraid to ask if they have thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.
- Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs.
- Listen to your children’s comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.
- Get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional if you are concerned for your child’s safety or the safety of one of their peers.
Always take warning signs seriously. If you recognize any of these warning signs, get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional. Common signs include:
- Suicide threats, both direct (“I am going to kill myself.” “I need life to stop.”) and indirect (“I need it to stop.” “I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up.”). Threats can be verbal or written, and they are often found in online postings.
- Giving away prized possessions.
- Preoccupation with death in conversation, writing, drawing, and social media.
- Changes in behavior, appearance/hygiene, thoughts, and/or feelings. This can include someone who is typically sad who suddenly becomes extremely happy.
- Emotional distress.
See Preventing Youth Suicide Brief Facts (also available in Spanish) and Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips or Parents and Educators for additional information.1
SAVE.org and The JED Foundation have also teamed up to create 13 Reasons Why Talking Points, which can assist you to address some of the misconceptions youth may have after watching the series.
See Helpful Links & Resources for additional crisis resources and supports.
1 National Association of School Psychologists. (2017). 13 Reasons Why Netflix series: Considerations for educators [handout]. Bethesda, MD: Author.