Family Advocates of Georgia, Inc

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        CHILDREN MENTAL HEALTH ARENESS             MAY 1-7 2016


"FundaMENTAL Matters" from 
Mental Health America of Georgia

FundaMENTAL Matters


February 3, 2014                                        Issue #60


Because there is no health without Mental Health!







With so many days of freezing temperatures, dark skies, snow and of course ice, many of us feel "down" or "blue".  Is that normal?  What's the cause? What can we do about it?


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that often hits at this time of year.  It can begin in the fall and last until those first warm days of spring.   Typically, over half a million people suffer from the "winter blues" between the months of September and April.  Some symptoms can be loss of energy, unusual sleep patterns, social withdrawal, irritability and general unhappiness.   The average age of people with SAD ranges from 18 to 30 years, with women being more likely to suffer than men.  This article from the AJC outlines more about SAD and how it can affect both physical and mental health.


It is unclear exactly what causes SAD.  According to the Mayo Clinic, age, genetic makeup and your body's chemical balance are most likely to have a role, as does melatonin and serotonin levels.


Although there are no specific treatments for SAD, some suggestions include light therapy, medication and/or psychotherapy.  Your licensed physician can be helpful in diagnosing and treating SAD. 


For more information on SAD from the Mayo Clinic, please click here.   



Lately it seems that we hear of mass shootings on a regular basis.

Each time one occurs, it brings back memories of other frightening events of recent years, and the feelings of vulnerability and sadness that follow such tragedies.  Our hearts go out to all the victims and their families affected by these devastating events.




Long-awaited improvements in insurance coverage for mental health conditions and addictions are expected to become more widely available this year as a result of two major steps that the Obama administration has taken. Learn more in this NYTimes article.


"There's an app for that".   Here's an article from PsychCentral about the top 10 mental health apps.   Give them a try and let us know what you think!


Laughter can be the best medicine!  True?  This article will tell you about the health benefits of humor and laughter.  Read more...and smile!



An Evening of Wine, Cheese & Chocolate

Reception and Silent Auction

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Tee Off for Mental Health 2014

Golf Tournament at Chateau Elan

Monday, April 28, 2014


Honorary Chair:  Ralph Hudgens, Insurance Commissioner


Proceeds benefit MHA of GA's 

Suicide Prevention Trainings and Children's Mental Health Seminars


Contact Cindy Cohen for more information


Register Now for Mental Health Day at the Capitol 2014!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Mental Health Day at the Capitol 
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Join us!Capitol Image


Mental Health Day at the Capitol Registration Flyer is here.



8:00 AMRegistration at Freight Depot
65 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive 
Map here
8:30 AMBreakfast 
9:40 AMHead to Capitol Steps - Washington Street
11:00 AMOpportunity to Meet Your Legislator or
Tour the Capitol

We will be giving you information at the Freight Depot so that you can leave a personal message for your legislator.  Please come to the Freight Depot knowing who your legislator is.  To find your legislator please click here.

If you want to speak directly to your legislator, you can call his/her office and make an appointment. Use the link above to find your legislator.

The legislature will be in session during Mental Health Day at the Capitol.  Most of the legislators will be in Chambers.  To pull your legislator out of Chambers, you must know who your Senator or Representative is.  To find your Senator or Representative, click here.

Instructions for Pulling Your Representative Out of Chambers:

The Capitol is divided into two parts on the third floor of the Capitol, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  To speak with your Senator or Representative when they are in session you must fill out a form.  The form is different for each side. On the form you must give your name, the name of the Senator or Representative with whom you wish to speak, and say you're here with Mental Health Day at the Capitol.  After you fill out the form you hand it to the secretary near the entrance of the Chamber you are standing in front of.  They will give your slip to a Page who will bring it into the Chamber.  The Page will come back and either tell you the Senator or Representative is coming out to speak with you or that they are not available.  


If they are able to come out and speak with you, make sure you introduce yourself and tell them you are part of the group that is here with Mental Health Day at the Capitol.  If you are speaking to the Senator or Representative in your district make sure you give them your address so they know you are in their district.  If you are speaking to a member of a particular committee, like Health and Human Services make sure you tell them you are interested in mental health issues.


Be brief and polite.  You can leave the Mental Health Talking Points (given to you at the Freight Depot) and personal message with them if you like.

It will be a better experience for everyone if you come prepared.  We will try to have some laptops at the Freight Depot, but it will speed things along if you look up your legislators ahead of time.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Mental Health Programs See Increases in FY 2014 Funding; $1.012 Trillion Package Provides Relief from Sequestration

Mental Health Programs See Increases in FY 2014 Funding;
$1.012 Trillion Package Provides Relief from Sequestration


Contact: Steve Vetzner, (703) 797-2588 or


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (January 17, 2014)-A 2014 Fiscal Year spending bill crafted by Congressional appropriators provides important increases for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).


"Given the sustained national dialogue on mental health issues, it is encouraging that the bill includes a significant 13 percent increase in funding for mental health services and supports," said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America.


The bill, which funds the government through the end of September, includes all 12 of the individual annual spending bills packaged into one $1.012 trillion "omnibus" spending bill. It includes all government discretionary spending outside of what it is mandated for entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.


The House overwhelming approved the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 359-67, and the Senate passed the bill on Thursday by a vote of 72-26, sending it to President Obama for his signature.

The bill provides relief from across the board spending cuts that were implemented under sequestration and details funding levels for government programs under a budget agreement reached in December by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).


The budget plan increases spending to $1.012 trillion in 2014 and $1.014 in 2015-up from the $967 billion required by the across-the-board sequester cuts. It provides for about $63 billion in sequester relief, divided equally among defense and non-defense programs.

Mental Health America worked with its coalition partners, primarily through the Coalition for Health Funding and NDD United, to influence the budget negotiations. 

"Mental Health America is encouraged by the increase in funding to programs that improve the well-being of all Americans, especially those with mental health and substance use conditions," Dr. Shern said.


The legislation includes $1.1 billion for mental health programs, which is $136 million more than the 2013 enacted level, whereas overall funding for SAMHSA will be set at $3.63 billion. The spending plan provides the first meaningful increase in funding for the Center for Mental Health Services in over a decade. With respect to the National Institutes of Health, NIMH will receive $1.45 billion, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will receive $1.03 billion, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism will receive $430 million. 


The bill provides $1 billion for the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Of that amount, $831 million is available to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $62 million to SAMHSA, with $35 million directed elsewhere at the Department of

Health and Human Services.


Programmatic Funding Level Highlights-CMHS:

  • $40M for Project AWARE state grants (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education, Now is the Time)
  • $15M for Mental Health First Aid (Now is the Time)
  • $20M for Healthy Transitions (Now is the Time)
  • $50M for PBHCI - Primary and Behavioral Health Integration
  • $49M for Suicide Prevention Activities
  • $46M for National Child Traumatic Stress
  • $35M for Project LAUNCH
  • $2M for National Strategy for Suicide Prevention from Prevention Fund
  • $5M for Tribal Behavioral Health Grants
  • $8.1M for Minority Fellowship Program (CMHS only)
  • $35M for Behavioral Health Workforce
  • $2.0M for the Consumer & Consumer Support T.A. Centers
  • $5.0M for the Consumer and Family Network Grants

Sequestration Impact


Although the spending plan provides relief from sequestration in FY2014, last year's sequestration and other persistent funding cuts have directly impacted programs and services (in many cases to Bush era funding levels). To help set spending priorities and argue for increases for the next fiscal year, Mental Health America is requesting information on the impact of sequestration - such as the capacity to serve clients and fill positions - in your community or state.


Please send examples and stories to by February 17.

Reprinted from Mental Health America
Press Release 1.17.14

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