Kristine's Journey: From Coping to Serving and Leading 

May 13, 2024

Kristine's Journey: From Coping to Serving and Leading 

By Kristine Irizarry, Education Manager, New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

Growing up in Puerto Rico, where discussions about mental health were often avoided, I never questioned this cultural norm. Even with both parents facing mental health challenges, I just learned to tread carefully through life—always wary of potential issues related to the mental health and well-being of my parents/family. In many ways perhaps my professional journey as a peer support specialist helping young adults in managing their mental health struggles, was informed by concerns around the issue my parent faced in a space where seeking help was frowned upon/not an option.

Amid the COVID 19 pandemic, I was dealt a devastating blow when one of the young adults I worked with died from an overdose. The loss left me questioning the impact of my efforts. I found myself spiraling into anxiety and depression. Fortunately, I was equipped with the perspective and tools to know that I needed to seek help. I visited my doctor who confirmed the diagnosis and prescribed medication. Initially, I was hesitant to take medication because of my father's history with addiction. But once I started the prescribed regimen, I began to feel relief and I was able to experience moments of laughter and joy I had not felt in a long time. With newly found clarity and hope, I explored new opportunities and accepted new challenges, which led me to the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (Yale PRCH).

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May 13-15

2024 Innovations Regional Training Event: Cultivating Inclusion and Engagement with Communities of Color

Learn more about innovative approaches to supporting better outcomes for those who provide care as well as those seeking and receiving behavioral health care in communities of color in New England!

Join us and...

  • Take a dive deep into the stats around the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities of color.
  • Hear from thought leaders, researchers, practitioners, faith and community-based leaders, people with lived experience, and family advocates to discuss innovative approaches to fostering inclusion and engagement.
  • Take away tools, resources, and actionable solutions to build a positive, inclusive, and transformational culture in your community/workplace.

This regional training event will take place daily from 11 am - 1 pm ET, Monday, May 13 - Wednesday, May 15, 2024. More info on the agenda, speakers, and CE credits available. Participants are eligible to receive attendance certificates and up to 6 CE credits upon confirmation of attendance and participation. Learn more about the event and register today!

Join us on Monday, May 13 to Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 11 am ET.

Register Here!

May 15

Person-Centered Recovery Planning Consultation Corner: Webinar 3

The Person-Centered Recovery Planning (PCRP) Consultation Corner is a 6-month learning series featuring a monthly webinar on the “FAQs” of PCRP; offering practical tools and resources to support quality PCRP at the level of both individual service delivery and organizational systems change; and providing follow-up “office hours” through smaller-group technical assistance for webinar participants who wish to take a “deeper dive” on a given topic. Join one, two, or all of the monthly webinar sessions!

The topic of webinar session 3 is "Peer Specialist Roles in PCRP-Aligning with Peer Ethics & Values."

Participants will be able to:

  • Define PCRP and its essential elements 
  • Increase familiarity with existing and emerging state and federal requirements regarding PCRP
  • Articulate a minimum of three differences between traditional methods of treatment planning and best-practice PCRP
  • Learn more about how the MHTTC PCRP Consultation Corner series can provide tools and resources to support the implementation of PCRP at your organization

This series is co-sponsored by the New England and South Southwest MHTTCs. More information about the series and registration info for all webinars. 

Join us on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 2 pm ET.

Register Here!

May 21

Partnering with Families in Behavioral Health: The FAMILY Approach

Join us to learn about person-centered, family-driven partnerships to support the recovery journey for individuals with mental health and/or substance use challenges and their families—the focus of a new, free, online course module Partnering with Families in Behavioral Health, developed by the National Family Support Technical Assistance Center and the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University. The course's focus is to present an approach that teaches the behavioral health workforce how to partner with families.

The 6 lessons present strategies to put evidence-based partnership principles into action using the “FAMILY” approach: Facing Personal and Professional Attitudes; Acknowledging Family Identities and Expertise; Making Meaningful Partnerships; Identifying Solutions to Conflict; “Letting Go” to Support; and Yielding to Outside Resources.

The presentation will provide opportunities for participants to engage in reflection exercises, as well as opportunities to ask questions of the course developers, so that they can increase their understanding of the strategies involved in family partnerships.

Join us on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 1 pm ET.

Register Here!

May 28

Reclaiming Native Psychological Brilliance: Wise Practices- May Event

United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. and New England MHTTC would like to invite you and your staff to attend "Reclaiming Native Psychological Brilliance: Wise Practices,"a Tribal Behavioral Health ECHO webinar series. Native psychological brilliance refers to the intelligence, strengths, balance, innate resources, and resilience of Native people.  

May's topic is titled "National Bridge Overview: Bridging Emergency Care and Community Health."

This no-cost telehealth series is held on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 11 am Pacific/12 pm Mountain/1 pm Central/2 pm Eastern. The concept of Native psychological brilliance will be celebrated through Native music video and Native spoken word performances as part of each session.

Join us on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at 2 pm ET.

Register Here!

Mental Health Awareness Month
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