News & Announcements

Learning Community Opportunity: Implementation of National CLAS Standards in Behavioral Health

Posted: April 16, 2014

The National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at Georgetown University is seeking 20 individuals from state, territorial, and tribal level behavioral health systems who are committed to making a difference by implementing cultural and linguistic competency. Applications are due by Friday April 25, 2014 at 5 pm EDT.

Members of state, territorial, and tribal level behavioral health organizations are invited to apply to participate in a free, interactive Learning Community on the implementation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health’s (OMH) National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care or the National CLAS Standards. The Learning Community begins in May, 2014 and ends in May, 2015.

This Learning Community will provide you with an opportunity to engage in collaborative learning about implementing the National CLAS Standards in a behavioral health setting. Through participating in interactive learning sessions, you will gain an in-depth understanding of each Standard and work together with other Learning Community members to develop strategies for implementation. You will then have the opportunity to try out the strategies and share your outcomes and experiences during subsequent learning sessions.

As a participant in the Learning Community, you will:

  • Develop a detailed knowledge base of the National CLAS Standards,
  • Generate and learn valuable implementation strategies to meet the unique needs of the behavioral health systems,
  • Identify common barriers, challenges, and practical solutions to implementation of the National CLAS Standards, and
  • Strengthen your capacity to meet SAMHSA grant expectations regarding National CLAS Standards.

The Learning Community will use distance technology to convene via interactive, web-based learning sessions, seven (7) times on a bimonthly basis over 12 months (May 2014 – May 2015).

Read more about this Learning Community opportunity.

Frequent Involvement in Spiritual Activities Helps Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Posted: April 15, 2014

Frequent involvement in spiritual activities appears to help in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse in young people, a new study suggests.

Previous studies have found young people who regularly attend religious services and consider themselves religious are less likely to try drugs and alcohol, according to The Wall Street Journal. The reasons could include support from congregations, religious instruction or the belief that using drugs and alcohol violates a person’s religious beliefs, the article notes.

The new findings, which will be published in May in Alcohol Treatment Quarterly, included 195 juvenile offenders. The researchers, from Baylor University and Case Western Reserve University, say fewer teens today are involved in religious organizations. In their study, the researchers found juvenile offenders appear to lack purpose, and feel they don’t fit in. At the same time, they have easy access to both prescription and illegal drugs.

Experts are divided about whether it is appropriate to include Alcoholics Anonymous, which aims to help participants connect to a “higher power” in treatment planning, according to the article. The researchers say their study suggests AA may be helpful for teens.

“There are two key elements of the 12-step program AA uses: helping others and God-consciousness. Those who help people during treatment—taking time to talk to another addict who is struggling, volunteering, cleaning up, setting up for meetings, or other service projects—are, according to our research, statistically more likely to stay sober and out of jail in the six months after discharge, a high-risk period in which 70 percent relapse,” the researchers said.

They found daily spiritual experiences was associated with increased abstinence and social behavior, and decreased narcissistic behavior. The researchers say even teens who start addiction treatment without a religious background can benefit from a group that encourages them to seek a higher power and serve other people.

Read more at The Partnership at

2014 Georgetown University Training Institutes of Children’s Mental Health Systems of Care!

Posted: April 14, 2014

The National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development is offering Training Institutes on improving services and supports for children, adolescents, and young adults with or at risk for mental health challenges and their families.

The Training Institutes will provide in-depth, practical training on innovative approaches, and how lessons learned from systems of care can guide efforts to improve service delivery in a dramatically changing environment. The Institutes are designed for a wide range of individuals, including:

  • State, tribal, territorial, and local policy makers, administrators, planners, leaders, and advocates
  • Providers, clinicians, care managers, peer support providers, health and behavioral health managed care organizations
  • Family members, youth, and young adults
  • Educators, technical assistance providers, and evaluators
  • Individuals from all partner child-serving agencies, such as mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, education, substance use, primary care, early care and education, and systems for transition-age youth and young adults

Read more about the 2014 Training Institutes! Submit Poster Presentations.


April is Alcohol Awareness Month: Faith Community Bulletin Insert

Posted: April 11, 2014

The Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (Pacific Southwest ATTC; HHS Region 9) has adapted a 2014 version of the Alcohol Awareness Month Faith Community Bulletin Insert developed by the Mid-America ATTC. This new version targets persons who may be drinking at risky or harmful levels rather than focusing on just those who have substance use disorders. This product can be easily downloaded and used by churches, temples and mosques for their Sunday/Sabbath-day bulletins, newsletters or bulletin boards. The 5½" X 8½" double-sided informational sheet provides:

  • Low-risk drinking limits established by NIAAA
  • Standard drink size
  • Costliness to society of risky and harmful levels of drinking
  • Negative consequences associated with risky and harmful drinking
  • Ways to cut down on alcohol use                             

Directions for printing: Download a color PDF bulletin insert. Feel free to print, post, and distribute the bulletin insert, as well as share this with friends and colleagues in your local faith community. This bulletin insert is designed as a two-sided 5.5”w X 8.5”h sheet. The document has been set up to print 2 double-sided inserts per 8.5” X 11” sheet.  Once printed, the 8.5” X 11” sheets should be cut in half to create the 5.5”w x 8.5”h inserts. It is in color, but will also print well in black & white.

Feel free to share this with faith communities in your region. For more information about these inserts, contact Beth Rutkowski at

Download the Bulletin Insert in English (pdf). Download Bulletin Insert in Spanish (pdf).

Campaign Aimed at Engaging the Gay Community, Confronts Stigma around HIV

Posted: April 10, 2014

Greater Than AIDS was onsite at the 26th annual Creating Change Conference to promote the new ‘Speak Out’ campaign aimed at engaging the gay community and confronting the silence and stigma around HIV. Held this year in Houston, January 29 through February 2, Creating Change brought together thousands of organizers, activists, and leaders of the community to discuss LGBT equality.

Together with conference hosts the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Greater Than AIDS, the Task Force, and organizations such as the Black AIDS Institute captured the voices of the LGBT community in a series of interviews with conference attendees. At least one theme surfaced: HIV is still an LGBT issue and something the community needs to talk about. Greater Than AIDS compiled the interviews into a new video, “Creating Change with Our Own Voice.”

Watch the video

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