Category Archives: Uncategorized

California Reducing Disparities Project Phase 2 Pilot Project Survey Results

The California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity conducted a survey designed to learn the basic components of Community Based Organizations and their Community-Defined Evidence Practices including the targeted populations served, organization budget size, success in applying for and receiving grants and varying technical assistance needs.

Read the survey results here.

Portland Police Bureau Develops Policy for Mental-Illness Encounters

As an example of how other states are fostering more positive interactions between law enforcement and people experiencing a mental health crisis, the Portland Police Bureau has created a new set of policies. As required in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the city of Portland has produced new policies with increased training and oversight for police officers who encounter mentally ill persons when responding to calls.

In an article in the Oregonian, Maxine Bernstein reports that the policy emphasizes de-escalation, giving officers the choice of standing back or delaying action in incidents where they recognize characteristics of mental illness.

Read more here.

Supporting a Friend or Family Member with Mental Health Problems

New U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy took to Twitter this month to encourage everyone to learn how they can recognize and help friends and family members with mental illnesses.

Dr. Murthy’s tweet links to a webpage at that begins, “Anyone can experience mental health problems. Friends and family can make all the difference in a person’s recovery process.” The page addresses the following topics:

  • The value of learning about mental health issues
  • How to talk about mental health
  • Getting help for your friend or family member

Read more here.

Support Programs for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives

According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 18.3 percent of American Indians/Alaskan Natives age 12 or older are current users of illicit drugs. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is creating programs to help Native Americans and Alaskan Natives in the US escape the heavy toll that drug abuse causes.  The programs and policies have been designed to assist Tribal authorities using strategies of prevention, treatment, recovery support, and law enforcement and are described on the website of the ONDCP.

ONDCP has initiatives that provide support and resources. Media campaigns deliver anti-drug messages and promote cultural pride. Support programs engage Native Americans and Alaskan Natives in community efforts to reduce drug and alcohol use.  In the arena of treatment, early intervention and recovery, the President’s Access to Recovery (ATR) grant program  addresses geographic and cultural needs for the population and Tribal Drug Courts are concentrating on breaking the cycle of crime and drug use. Funds are being directed to help disrupt drug trafficking and tasks force teams are partnering with Indian Country law enforcement.

The website also features a wealth of information resources.

Access website here.

A New Look at Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use among Adults

SAMHSA has released a new report by researchers who looked at how often adults in different racial and ethnic groups sought mental health services in the past year.

The report uses combined 2008 to 2012 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to present nationally representative estimates of mental health service utilization among adults aged 18 or older within different racial/ethnic groups in the United States.

Read more here.