September 2017

Tennessee Co-occurring Disorders Strategic Initiative:  

As part of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Strategic Initiative to work in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations, and the Tennessee Association of Drug and Alcohol Services to implement statewide co-occurring capability, Dr. Minkoff provided on-site training and technical assistance to the three regional learning communities that have been formed to help providers use their experiences with the COMPASS-EZ to make progress.

The events were held in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville, and included hands-on practice exercises that helped participants understand how to implement integrated stage-matched treatment planning, and to develop specific achievable program improvement plans.

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas – Engage and Excel Conference:

 The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute second annual Engage and Excel conference (Austin, September 20-22) was essentially designed by Drs. Cline and Minkoff as a “local system UnConvention” for Texas communities.   The event was planned and implemented this year by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute Local Systems Team:  Casie Wenmohs, Lacrica Olson, and Coby Chase, along with assistance from the entire Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute’s staff. Representatives from community collaboratives and behavioral health leadership teams from all over Texas came together with state legislators (including Senator Cornyn), state policy leaders (such as Sonya Gaines, the Assistant Commissioner for Behavioral Health from the Health and Human Services Commission), and state and national experts for three days of conversation, empowerment, and networking.

This year’s event was more than twice as large (almost 300 attendees) with many more communities represented than the first event in 2016, and was regarded as a dramatic success in terms of both content and inspiration.  Drs. Cline and Minkoff served as the inspirational masters of ceremonies for the event, helping the audience to experience the power and value of the impact that the local system “movement” is having on state policy, as well as floating to the various sessions to help coordinate the learning and impact.  For more information, go to the Engage and Excel Page.

Beaver County Behavioral Health:

 On September 26-27, as part of ZiaPartners’ long-standing consultative support to Beaver County’s recovery-oriented, trauma-informed integrated system transformation process, Dr. Minkoff spent two days providing training and technical assistance to various working groups and key stakeholder audiences.  This included one day with a primary focus on working with the Opioid Task Force and providing technical assistance to the strategic planning efforts of multiple workgroups ranging from treatment, to data collection, to law enforcement.   

The second day involved provision of technical assistance to a countywide peer movement working toward developing a “recovery-oriented system of care”, including a Recovery Community Organization working to engage individuals with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health needs. The final event was a large system training on the provision of co-occurring disorder services for transitional aged youth.

Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA): 

On September 28, Dr. Minkoff followed up his on-site visit with APAA in August, with a teleconference with the APAA leadership team to discuss the draft co-occurring program descriptions and procedures that he had written.  The leadership team was very supportive of the draft policies, and worked out a plan to share with all staff in various meetings for purpose of discussion and input, and then plan a return visit by Dr. Minkoff on November 8 to have a hands-on training about the implementation of co-occurring capable interventions in the context of peer services in a recovery community organization

Riley’s Wish Presentation – Atlanta, GA:  

Dr. Minkoff provided a keynote address on September 29 to the first “Riley’s Wish” conference on co-occurring disorders. Riley was a young man with co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder and addiction who tragically committed suicide.  His mother established a foundation in his name to raise awareness and change availability of integrated services for young people with co-occurring conditions.  Kennesaw State University in Marietta, Georgia, outside of Atlanta, is a key partner in this endeavor.

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute: Houston Endowment Substance Use Disorder System Assessment of Houston/Harris County:

 Continued work this month on researching best practices for Substance Use Disorder services, and working with the project team on beginning the creation of a framework for the “ideal Substance Use Disorder system of care” that will form the backbone of the report and recommendations for this project.

Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee: 

Following the official launch meeting on August 31, the ISMICC group (of which Dr. Minkoff is a member) has kicked into high gear by organizing five major workgroups to provide input to the first ISMICC report to Congress that is due in mid-December.  The five workgroups focus on: Access and Engagement; Continuum of Treatment and Recovery Supports; Reduction of Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice Involvement; Quality and Data; and Financing.   All workgroups focus on ALL age groups, including children, transitional age youth, adults, and older adults.   ISMICC is a highly motivated and capable group, and spent September getting organized to provide concrete and actionable recommendations by which the various federal departments can work collaboratively with each other, in partnership with states, tribes, and counties, to implement a strategic approach to transform the behavioral health system so that people with serious needs get the help that is necessary to make progress toward hopeful, meaningful lives.  The first draft of the report will be produced by SAMHSA’s writers in October and then will be rapidly iterated to a final draft by the first of November.  Stay tuned for more information as this important effort unfolds.  

ISMICC is a highly motivated and capable group, and spent September getting organized to provide concrete and actionable recommendations by which the various federal departments can work collaboratively with each other, in partnership with states, tribes, and counties, to implement a strategic approach to transform the behavioral health system so that people with serious needs get the help that is necessary to make progress toward hopeful, meaningful lives.  The first draft of the report will be produced by SAMHSA’s writers in October and then will be rapidly iterated to a final draft by the first of November.  Stay tuned for more information as this important effort unfolds.  

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