Mental Health

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The Importance of Place in Trauma-Informed Care: A Wellness Approach
May 15, 2024
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Registration now open 

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) have announced the Dual Diagnosis Professional Conference Series, which offers presentations focused on supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism (ID/A) and mental health needs. The next presentation will focus on the connection between trauma-informed care and positive support, framed in a wellness perspective. Critical to this effort was the creation of a safe place, the wellness center, specifically selected and modified to reduce the possible re-traumatization of individuals with ID/A or a dual diagnosis.

See the announcement for a full session description, presenter biographies, and information on how to register.

The Hispanic/Latino Behavioral Health Center of Excellence has announced the Vamos por Más Hispanic/Latino Behavioral Health Empowerment and Leadership Academy 2024–2025. This innovative 12-month program aims to select up to 10 behavioral health services personnel from community-based organizations serving Hispanic and Latino populations. Participants will have the opportunity to access mentorship and leadership skill-development sessions, focusing on various behavioral health-related topics. These include fostering culturally responsive leadership, driving system changes to enhance the well-being of Latino communities, and strengthening advocacy skills for Hispanic and Latino populations. Additionally, the program emphasizes building cross-sector partnerships between communities and behavioral health systems. Healthcare providers, including those in substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery, are encouraged to apply for this unique opportunity.

Applications can be submitted here. The deadline for applications is April 30, 2024.

Hole torn in a dollar bill with medicaid text

On April 25, 2024, at 12:00 pm, a virtual statewide briefing will be conducted on Medicaid unwinding and expanded enrollment options. This event will feature Health and Human Services (HHS) Regional Director Melissa Herd, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Val Arkoosh, and Pennie Executive Director Devon Trolley.

The agenda will include a briefing on what’s happening at the federal level when it comes to Medicaid, an update on the Medicaid “unwinding” process currently wrapping up in Pennsylvania, and the expanded eligibility requirements for enrolling in Pennie coverage even when it’s not open enrollment.

To register, please visit here.

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is hosting its annual Recovery Month Kick-Off event on September 12 at Soldiers and Sailors Grove in Harrisburg. The focus of the 2024 kick-off will be total wellness in recovery. To participate in the event, complete the survey by June 28 to indicate if you or your agency would like to provide an interactive activity (such as yoga, music therapy, or meditation) or have a resource table. Space is limited, so responses will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The event will take place outdoors, with a rain date of Sept. 13. It will be held at the venue located on the fountain side of the state capitol building between Commonwealth Avenue and State Street.

The newly established Pennsylvania Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (PCC AP) is now offering certification and training for clinical supervisors and counselors who provide clinical treatment services in licensed substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities. Historically in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) has provided these certifications and trainings.

PCC AP, which also offers SUD and mental health peer certification, is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Association of Addiction Professionals and the National Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC). Both PCB and PCC AP/NAADAC offer certifications and training beneficial to those in the SUD field.

PCC AP aligns with Pennsylvania regulations and is currently providing a test-exempt period from February 1, 2024, to December 31, 2024. During this time, field licensure or certification holders can obtain PCC AP certification without a test, including certification for peers, counselors, and supervisors.

Detailed information about each certification level, including application processes and fees, can be found on the NAADAC website. Additionally, an FAQ page is available.

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Part 1: Navigating Evidence: Finding and Synthesizing Literature for Evidence-Based Practices
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT;
12:00 pm – 1:00 MDT; 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT
Register Here

Part 2: Making Evidence-Based Practices Work: Strategies and Outcomes
Tuesday, April 30, 2024
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT;
12:00 pm – 1:00 MDT; 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT
Register Here

Michael Peterson, MA, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinical Transformation Specialist

Speaker Bio:
Michael works as a Clinical Transformation Specialist, where he focuses his efforts as part of a Clinical Transformation team to promote a culture of evidence-based practice at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minnesota. Michael is also a speech-language pathologist with 12 years of clinical experience working with children and adults with childhood-onset conditions. He applies his clinical experience and advanced training in knowledge translation and implementation science to partner with and guide clinical staff to bridge the gap between evidence and clinical practice.

Objectives: At the end of these sessions, the learner will:

Part 1: Navigating Evidence: Finding and Synthesizing Literature for Evidence-Based Practices

  • Describe how to search for literature using PICOT questions
  • Identify resources to support appraisal of relevant papers
  • State the purpose of synthesis tables in supporting evidence-based practice decisions
  • Describe how to use synthesis tables to make evidence-based practice recommendations

Part 2: Making Evidence-Based Practices Work: Strategies and Outcomes

  • Describe how frameworks guide implementation of EBP
  • State how barriers and facilitators influence implementation of EBP
  • Describe implementation strategies
  • List different kinds of outcomes to monitor implementation of EBP

Audience: This webinar is intended for all interested members of the rehabilitation team.

Level: Intermediate

Certificate of Attendance: Certificates of attendance are available for all attendees. No CEs are provided for this course.

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has issued clarification on policy regarding encounter signatures for crisis services. The updated policy outlines that OMHSAS considers mobile mental health crisis services to be emergency services. While every effort should be made to obtain a signature from the beneficiary or a parent, legal guardian, relative, or friend, when such a signature cannot be obtained due to the nature of the situation, crisis intervention service providers are permitted to insert “Signature Exception” on the signature line of the encounter form.

RCPA has inquired if the encounter verification under these circumstances can be considered for similar applications to other programs under other OMHSAS licensed services. If you have any questions, please contact RCPA COO and Policy Director Jim Sharp.