Mental Health

Join RCPA as it hosts its 2018 conference October 2 – 4 at the Hershey Lodge. The Conference Committee is excited to release this year’s Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Advertisers brochure, with new opportunities to get in on the action – from exhibit hall to an awards luncheon and everything in between.

Don’t miss your chance to be seen and to support the work of this dynamic organization! The event is a highlight for the Pennsylvania mental health, drug and alcohol, intellectual and developmental disabilities, children’s, brain injury, medical rehabilitation, and physical disabilities and aging provider community.

Benefits for Exhibitors
Exhibit activities take place October 3 – 4. Based on your feedback last year, we have increased the length of time exhibit hall is open and the number of activities offered. RCPA encourages all interested parties to complete the contract now! Events within Exhibit Hall include two lunch meals, a reception, breakfast, coffee breaks, and prize giveaways. Exhibit hours occur during the two busiest days of the conference, increasing the likelihood that exhibitors – an integral component to conference success – have the opportunity to interact with attendees. A “Best of Show” competition provides even more opportunities to engage guests and winners receive a discount on 2019 exhibit rates.

Interaction with conference guests outside of the exhibit area is just as important! Participating in other conference events such as receptions, meals, and educational offerings provides exhibitors greater potential and flexibility to establish opportunities for business. RCPA includes two exhibitor registrations with the exhibit fee; and since exhibitors can attend the entire conference, RCPA encourages organizations to use those registrations fully.

Exciting New Sponsorship Opportunities
The association is privileged to have the backing of the finest organizations in the field for its conference. Through the use of sponsorship circles, RCPA is able to honor all supporting organizations. Within each sponsorship circle, specific events and items such as meals, receptions, conference tote bags, attendee materials, etc. are available, providing additional “name recognition” for sponsors. Please review sponsorship materials and contact Sarah Eyster to reserve your opportunity.

Sign Up Now
The deadline for inclusion in all digital materials is July 31. Sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers who wish to be listed on the website, the mobile app, and in the online conference program must adhere to that deadline.

The association looks forward to welcoming you at the conference! Space and opportunities are reserved on a first come, first-served basis and no reservation is considered complete without payment. For additional questions, please contact Sarah Eyster, Conference Coordinator.

This statewide conference, scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 – Friday, May 4, 2018 in State College will examine responding to a crisis in the community, with a focus on trauma informed interventions. Topics will include grief, vicarious trauma, working with individuals with autism and other disabilities, LGBTQ, and lessons learned from those who have experienced or responded to a community crisis. The overall goal of the conference is to provide insight into community crisis response; it will also be an opportunity for people to interact with individuals they may not otherwise have contact with, unless a community crisis arises. View the conference agenda here. If you would like to register or have any questions, please follow this link.

Thank you to our friends at Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC) for sharing this very important announcement and opportunity with us!

House Bill 2133 was introduced at the same time that a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Caucus was created, with over two dozen members signing on in support as co-sponsors. The legislators will work together to learn more about challenges that these caregivers face and collaborate on legislation that will help. The House is now out of session until the week of April 9. The bill could move as early as that week!
What’s Next

Show your support for the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program by signing your organization onto PPC’s sign-on letter here.

PPC is working to collect the names of organizations who support HB 2133 and will be sending a joint letter to the House to express our support.

If you support HB 2133, please have your organization sign on to the letter here.

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On May 24, PA CARES will hold a training summit in Elizabethtown from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. This one-day training event will focus on considerations that are needed to promote wellness within the lives of service members (SM), veterans, and their families.

Selected topics include military culture, veterans’ employment, Pennsylvania’s Veteran Court program, veteran-certified peer specialist program, and treatment practices using a psychoeducational “mind/body” approach. In addition to an interactive panel discussing evidence-based and best practices of treatment and resources available for the SM/Veteran population, the audience will have opportunities to engage with presenters throughout the day.

Register by April 27; see flyer for details and registration information.

Doors to Wellbeing Peer Specialist Monthly Webinars – Building a Strong Mental Health Peer Specialist Workforce
Tuesday, March 27, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This webinar will discuss initiatives designed to train and provide employment opportunities for mental health peer specialists created by a peer-run program staffed by Certified Peer Specialists (CPS) who demonstrate/model recovery through education and their own lived experiences. This webinar will include an introduction to a successful internship program as well as examining the challenges and possible solutions for mental health peer specialist career development. It will also look at a unique initiative through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants for mental health peer specialists.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe effective approaches to managing mental health peer specialists in the workforce;
  2. Identify the obstacles and challenges associated with mental health peer specialists in the workforce; and
  3. Examine two initiatives that have successfully placed approximately 20 CPS in 2015 & 2016.

Registration is free – but you must register to attend.

Dr. Renee Turchi was recognized today by her fellow pediatricians and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics as the Pennsylvania Pediatrician of the Year for 2017. Dr. Turchi serves as Medical Director of The Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and Director of the Pennsylvania Medical Home Initiative. For more than a decade, Dr. Turchi has collaborated with RCPA staff and members to advance collaborative and integrated mental health and pediatric care for children and adolescents. She has worked with RCPA staff, families, and other stakeholders in statewide efforts to improve the care and treatment of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, children in foster and kinship care, and children with mental health conditions related to their complex health care needs in Pediatric Medical Homes across the state. RCPA is pleased to offer our congratulations to Dr. Turchi, a friend to RCPA, and champion for children with complex physical and mental health care needs!

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is in the process of reviewing state regulations for inpatient levels of care. The services included in the review are: private psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric units in hospitals, extended acute care (EACs), residential treatment facilities for adults (RTF-As), and residential treatment facilities for youth under 21 (PRTF).

There is interest in involving individuals and stakeholders in the process. A variety of surveys have been developed in order to get input from individuals who may not have the opportunity to participate on statewide work groups and planning meetings. The surveys below are for the following groups:

Thank you in advance for circulating the surveys to the groups listed above. If you have any questions or concerns related to the surveys, please contact Sherry Peters.

Lynn Kovich, Deputy Secretary at OMHSAS, held a budget briefing webinar for stakeholders. Topics included state mental health facilities, Community/Hospital Integration Projects Program (CHIPPs) / Southeast Integration Projects Program (SIPPs) summary, regulations overview, 1115 Waiver, Community HealthChoices (CHC), and more. Please see the PowerPoint presentation for details; thank you.

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To more formally recognize the value of peers in the workforce, Pennsylvania is moving to a new full peer certification offered by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). This new formal certification will be necessary to provide Medicaid billable peer support services.

To make this transition as easy as possible for current Pennsylvania Peer Specialists, there will be a time-limited grandparenting process for those who wish to obtain the new full certification during the grandparenting period.

The grandparenting period began March 1, 2018, and ends August 31, 2019. The requirements for the grandparenting process must be met but no additional exam will be required.

The requirements to become grandparented are:

  • Peer must have completed the two-week peer specialist training from one of the recognized training vendors. Those two vendors are the Institute for Recovery and Community Integration and RI Consulting.
  • Complete the Certified Peer Support (CPS) grandparenting application and sign and date a peer-specific code of ethical conduct.
  • Signed and notarized release form.

There is no initial cost to peers for obtaining the credential as the grandparenting fee is being underwritten by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). The new CPS certification will be valid for two years.

This new formal certification through the PCB is designed to help strengthen the profession and give CPSs a stronger voice, while maintaining the essence of peer support in delivering recovery oriented services. We urge you to complete the process now, during the grandparenting period, to ensure you can continue to do the great work that you do.

This new formal certification will be necessary to provide Medicaid billable peer support services. The CPS grandparenting application can be found at this link.

The Children’s Division is interested in increasing the level of participation with Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) training. ABFT is an evidence-based therapy with demonstrated positive outcomes for adolescent suicide prevention.

Drexel University (Suzanne Levy and Guy Diamond) has agreed to offer the DAY ONE prerequisite training via webinar on Wednesday, March 14. Day One is a mandatory training day for those who plan to practice the ABFT principles. After completing the Day One webinar event, you will be prepared to participate in the trainings offered on March 20 and March 21 (Day 2 and Day 3).

We received feedback that travel and lodging costs associated with the original Day One in-person event was an issue; therefore, we are fortunate to offer this webinar option to members and non-members. Please consider taking advantage of the opportunity. Please contact Robena Spangler with any questions.

Registration information is as follows: 

Day One Webinar Important Information – Please Review Before March 14

  1. Schedule
  2. Slide handouts for Day 1 presentation
  3. Book Flyer
  4. Therapist Certification Process
  5. Instructions for CEUs
  6. Instructions for logging onto Zoom

Thank you for your interest!