South Southwest MHTTC

Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health
1823 Red River St
HHS Region 6
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The South Southwest MHTTC serves U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region 6, including Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Our population of focus is mental health clinicians, supervisors, and program managers serving individuals with or at risk of serious emotional disturbances (SED) or severe mental illness (SMI); peer support providers; community mental health, health, or peer-run organizations; and single state agency administrators focused on comprehensive state public mental health systems.
Our Focus Areas: 

School Mental Health     Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health      

Provider Well-Being      First Episode Psychosis      Peer Support Workforce Project
Team Values 

Empathy         Integrity         Connection         Growth         Equity

Recent News

From the South Southwest MHTTC
Jan. 30, 2024
The South Southwest MHTTC is thrilled to be hosting its 3rd First Episode Psychosis (FEP) conference! The mission of this event is to bring together stakeholders with a commitment to improving and growing FEP services in the HHS Region 6 South Southwest area of the United States.   About our 2024 FEP conference theme Pausing […]
Jun. 26, 2023
The South Southwest MHTTC just completed our Case Conceptualization for First Episode Psychosis (FEP) series! The series brought together FEP providers, including therapists, skills trainers, and team leaders, from across the south southwest region to learn about how case conceptualization can guide team-based, recovery-oriented FEP services. The series included nine sessions and covered the basics […]
May. 26, 2023
Our partners at the Central East MHTTC are highlighting RAP (Relax, be Aware, and do a Personal rating) Club facilitated by John Hopkins University. See the article here.

Upcoming Events

Hosted by the South Southwest MHTTC
Webinar/Virtual Training
The South Southwest MHTTC is co-facilitating this training with Texas Health and Human Services. This is a closed training. AS+K About Suicide to Save a Life is a 3 workshop for adults who interact with youth or adults at risk for suicide. The program provides participants with an overview of the basic epidemiology of suicide and suicidal behavior, including risk and protective factors. Participants are trained to recognize warning signs—behaviors and characteristics that might indicate elevated risk for suicidal behavior—and how to intervene with a person they think might be at risk for suicide.
Webinar/Virtual Training
Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Psychosis (CBT-P) is an evidence-based approach to support recovery for individuals experiencing psychosis. Case conceptualization can guide CBT-P individual treatment and team-based treatment in a multidisciplinary setting, such as a First Episode Psychosis (FEP) team. In these monthly case-based learning calls, First Episode Psychosis (FEP) Team Leads and Therapists in MHTTC Region 6 will practice using case conceptualization models for young people on their FEP teams. Each month, up to two providers will have the opportunity to present their case conceptualization and receive feedback from the group. Providers will be asked to submit their case conceptualization one week in advance of the call. Samantha Reznik, PhD, will facilitate the calls. Although the calls will practice using a CBT-P case conceptualization, other modalities may be integrated as clinically indicated by the conceptualization and an emphasis will be placed on shared decision-making and recovery-oriented approaches. Participants should expect to learn basic theory of CBT-P case conceptualization rather than to be competent in provision of full CBT-P. Further CBT-P training options will be discussed during the series.   Facilitator Samantha Reznik is the current research postdoctoral fellow with the Advancing the Early Psychosis Intervention Network in Texas (EPINET-TX) project at the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health (TIEMH), University of Texas at Austin. She has specialized in providing recovery-oriented services to individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) and other underserved populations. She completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Arizona. She trained in Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Psychosis (CBT-P) at the Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICenter) in Tucson, Arizona. She completed an advanced clinical fellowship in rehabilitation and recovery for SMI at VA San Diego Healthcare System/University of California San Diego (VASDHS/UCSD), where she expanded her training in CBT-P and learned how to integrate Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R). She also completed a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded clinical internship at University of Kansas Medical Center to specialize in working with underserved populations.   Positionality statement:   I have been passionate about CBT-P since I saw how it can be used to effectively partner with young people in service of recovery. One important area of non-expertise in my use of CBT-P is that I do not have lived experience of psychosis or participating in CBT-P. Having a positionality as only provider rather than receiver of services, I am mindful that lived experiences may or may not align with the evidence base of CBT-P. I work to honor each individual’s lived experience of participating in CBT-P by sharing and collaboratively building any case conceptualizations and partnering in setting goals and techniques. I apply CBT-P flexibly and use CBT-P case conceptualization to guide therapy, which often incorporates strategies from other modalities.
The Region 6 Peer Support Advisory Committee (PSAC) to the South Southwest MHTTC meets on a monthly basis to collaborate across the states and tribal communities to identify and address common areas of need and share resources. Based on feedback from the PSAC, and needs identified by peers across Region 6, the MHTTC organizes training and technical assistance focused on peer retention and workforce development. This is a closed meeting.

Products & Resources

Developed by the South Southwest MHTTC
The South Southwest MHTTC hosted this presentation on April 8, 2024. The program, facilitated by Dr. Heather Curry and Dr. Marianne Thomas, provided the foundations of identifying human trafficking, exploring trauma-informed and trauma-responsive interventions with victims and survivors, as well as techniques used when providing healing-centered care. About the Facilitators Dr. Heather Curry, PhD  Dr. Heather Curry has over a decade of experience through her scholarship, practice, and professional commitments with many of the most impactful systems of care for victims of human trafficking. She has served as Director for the Hillsborough County Commission on Human Trafficking, during which time she and the Commission, at the behest of the NFL, developed and executed the County’s plan to address Human Trafficking before, during, and over the Super Bowl. However, her approach to the phenomenon of human trafficking is always focused on what happens before, during, and after big events. She was also the Chief Liaison for Hillsborough County’s Juvenile Justice and Equity work. She holds her Doctorate. in Communication Theory from the University of South Florida. She has had teaching and research positions at the University of South Florida, Arizona State University, and Full Sail University during which she focused on social policy and homelessness, and community responses to matters of equity and vulnerability.  Dr. Curry also works with corporations, public sector clients, and non-profit organizations to address diversity, equity and inclusion. Her commitments, personally and professionally, have always been driven toward creating healthier, more responsive communities, in which issues such as human trafficking, can be prevented. Dr. Curry lives in Tampa, Florida with her two sons and two cats in an old, sometimes-lovely moneypit of a bungalow. She has made Tampa home since 2002.   Dr. Marianne Thomas, PhD  Marianne Thomas has an MA in Mental Health Counseling and a PhD in Behavioral Psychology.  As a survivor of human trafficking, Dr. Thomas used education as a way out of the life and has devoted her career to bringing awareness about the true problem of human trafficking in the United States, educating communities on the human trafficking problem in their area, and helping organizations to create or grow their own anti-trafficking program.     Early in her career, Dr. Thomas worked with women and children who experienced homelessness and with men and women within the incarceration system who also struggled with addictions.   She noticed a common thread of women who would trade their bodies for their, and their children’s, basic needs.   This recognition propelled her into the anti-trafficking movement.  Dr. Thomas began her work in the movement with the women she met within the world of homelessness.  Since then, she has worked with trafficking survivors across numerous populations. 
Other, Print Media
These documents provide information about Peer Specialists in crisis settings, including general competencies for Peer Specialists in crisis work, Peer Run Warmlines, Peer Navigation, Crisis Respite programs, Mobile Crisis Units, and Crisis Stabilization Units. Subject Matter Experts were consulted on this project and are referenced within each document in quotes as well as recognized as contributors. The content provided in these documents is not exhaustive. Contributors provided expertise; their contribution does not imply endorsement nor does it imply opposition to the document.
Curriculum Package
The Healing & Power in Peer Support training provides an overview of Healing-Centered Engagement and its principles as ways to deepen and advance the practice of peer support. Participants will explore concepts like holding space, radical acceptance, meaning-making, and power dynamics through deep reflection, experiential activities, and facilitated discussion. This curriculum is helpful for new peer supporters or any peer supporters who are looking to refresh and deepen their skills. This curriculum should be facilitated by experienced peer specialists who are looking to support the peer support workforce in their community. Healing & Power in Peer Support is the prerequisite training for the Virtual Facilitation through a Healing-Centered Lens training, another curriculum created by the South Southwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. Learning Objectives At the end of this training, participants will be able to: Integrate the principles of Healing-Centered Engagement in peer support practice; Practice radical acceptance in relation to self and others; Employ Healing-Centered techniques when facilitating difficult conversations in peer support groups; and Analyze power dynamics within interpersonal and group relationships to promote autonomy and self-determination. This curriculum package includes: a Facilitator Manual, participant handouts, and a training slide deck. For questions about the Healing & Power in Peer Support curriculum or how to implement this training in your community, please contact the South Southwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center at [email protected].
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