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eNewsletter or Blog
The Great Lakes Current is the e-newsletter of the Great Lakes ATTC, MHTTC, and PTTC. The May 2024 issue features content celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Hepatitis C Awareness Month, and National Prevention Week. You will also find links to upcoming trainings focused on the therapeutic benefits of humor in treatment and recovery, prevention efforts in rural communities, and trauma-informed care for transition-age youth. Make sure you're subscribed to our email contact list so you never miss a month of The Great Lakes Current newsletter, and thank you for reading!  
Published: May 10, 2024
Interactive Resource
  The South Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (SSW ATTC) collaborates with Faith Partners, Inc. a non-profit 501©3, which was founded in 1995 by religious leaders seeking ways to mobilize faith communities’ resources to address alcohol and drug issues in their communities. Faith Partners provides the leadership, training, educational materials and consultation to initiate, develop and sustain a faith communities’ efforts to address drugs and alcohol and its impact on their members. Faith Partners provides an individualized plan to start an effective team effort to address the needs of the whole faith community. As part of the process of building capacity and identifying the unique needs and goals of each faith community around the development of their ministry, Faith Partners utilizes community surveys at several points in time. Following is a practical guide developed by the South Southwest ATTC with best practices for engaging the entire faith community in the survey process.
Published: December 18, 2023
Multimedia
Recovery is defined as a ‘process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential’ (SAMHSA Definition). A key dimension of the recovery process is the engagement with supportive relationships and with networks that may be available to respond to and encourage an individual’s recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs). It has been documented that rural communities experience a range of social, economic, health disparities that can, at times, limit access to needed supports by individuals in recovery and their family members. However, groups and networks do exist and can be drawn upon to assist/support those in recovery and their family members. This webinar will provide highlight some of the challenges but more importantly strengths of rural communities that can be used to promote recovery. Strategies that could be employed to enhance support for those in recovery will be shared, particularly those that engage with faith supports and faith-based communities.   Supporting Recovery in Rural Communities: Engaging Faith Supports     Learning Objectives: Define the recovery process and the 10 guiding principles of recovery. Recognize the prevalence of SUDs in rural communities. Describe how providers can engage with faith communities to assist individuals and their family members in recovery. Identify strategies for developing responsive approaches to respond to community recovery needs.   Presenter: Kenneth Flanagan, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW is a Curriculum Developer for the Mountain Plains ATTC and an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of North Dakota.    
Published: October 5, 2021
Presentation Slides
  New England ATTC team members Raymond Sanchez and Mika Salas have developed a new training, "Transitioning to Effective Online Training: Parts 1 – 3" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic requiring the workforce to transition to training virtually. This 3-part training is designed to help trainers use Zoom effectively to engage participants in virtual learning. It may be especially useful to ensure that trainings and technical assistance activities are accessible for individuals living in rural and underserved communities.  Part 1, “Getting to Know Zoom” is a pre-recorded session focused on basic to intermediate Zoom functions in order to build the foundational skills necessary to host, facilitate, and provide technical assistance for any virtual training, meeting, and/or conference. Part 2, “Advanced Zoom Functions and Best Practices” builds the specialized skills necessary to host and facilitate an engaging and secure virtual training. This training describes strategies, techniques, and resources to manage and engage participants in their ‘virtual classroom’ internal to Zoom. Part 3, “Engagement Strategies and Application” explores techniques and best practices to manage and engage participants in their virtual training sessions using both internal and external resources. Participants also have the opportunity to practice integrating these changes into their current curriculum. Due to the evolving nature of the Zoom platform, please note that these presentation slides are current as of May 26, 2021.  After this date, there may be updates to Zoom that are not reflected in these materials.  
Published: May 3, 2021
Toolkit
These are the supplemental handouts from the Transitioning to Effective Online Training series. Provided in these handouts are general tools, tips, and best practices to help guide you (or your organization) in transitioning to and delivering online training. Most of the information included in this document comes from anecdotal experiences from the New England ATTC staff and trainers that have successfully transitioned their in-person training(s), national and regional conferences, webinars, and programs to a virtual format.
Published: March 31, 2021
Multimedia
This training session and panel discussion were provided to the Fargo-Moorehead YWCA, and their partners, in response to a technical assistance request received by the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center and Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center. Panel Discussion: Trauma in the Context of Interpersonal Violence: A Systems Response Marvis Doster, CARN, Tracy Evanson, Ph.D., Chris Harsell, ANP, Thomasine Heitkamp, LCSW, Kim Miller, LMAC/LPCC, and Maridee Shogren. This panel will explore the intersection of trauma, substance use, and intimate partner violence and share decades of experience providing substance use and mental health services to individuals with a history of trauma and intimate partner violence. The new product Rural Intimate Partner Violence Survivors and Substance Use Disorders: Implications for SUD Treatment and Recovery Providers will be unveiled.
Published: March 26, 2021
Print Media
This document is a primer for providers of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services to gain a deeper understanding of the intersection of intimate partner violence (IPV) and SUDs. It provides background information on IPV, describes how IPV and SUDs intersect, suggests how providers may integrate screening for IPV into their practice, provides suggestions for brief intervention with survivors, suggests further practice recommendations, and highlights multiple resources for further information on the subject matter. The material underscores the unique dynamics of working with survivors residing in rural areas and presents a case scenario of a woman living in a rural community with recommendations that are based on the limitations of available resources in rural areas.
Published: March 23, 2021
Print Media
  The Southeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center (Southeast ATTC) is preparing an in-depth monograph on the power of spirituality in SUD recovery, scheduled for release in Summer, 2021. Meant for treatment, recovery, and faith audiences, the monograph will offer data on effectiveness, wisdom from history, and an abundance of suggestions for treatment, recovery, and faith leaders. Meanwhile, we are releasing two issue briefs, each offering a look at one facet of the monograph.   Written by: Pamela Woll, MA, CPS Document Design by: Celene Craig, MPH, MS Southeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center (January 2021)  
Published: March 22, 2021
Multimedia
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 10% of people aged 12 or older in Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) had a substance use disorder in the past year, which is higher than the national average. In addition, data from this survey show that 403,000 people in the Region had an illicit drug use disorder, with stimulants, opioids, and cannabis named as three of the major illicit drugs used. Certainly, stimulant use (especially methamphetamine) rates are increasing nationally as well as in Region 8. A recent study by Jones, Compton, and Mustaquim (2020) found that 1.6 million adults (over 18) reported past-year use of methamphetamine; over a quarter reported using methamphetamine on more than 200 days; over half had a methamphetamine use disorder; and over 1/5 had injected methamphetamine. In response to these stimulant use trends, representatives from the regional Addiction Technology Transfer Centers (ATTCs), led by the ATTC Network Coordinating Office, created a day-long curriculum titled <i> Stimulants and their Impact on Brain and Behavior: Best Practices and Approaches for Effective Treatment and Recovery. Due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE), this day-long curriculum was re-packaged into a three-part webinar series by the ATTC Stimulant Workgroup. The MPATTC is pleased to sponsor the following events:   • Part 1: Stimulants: What Are They and Who Uses Them?, March 9, 2021 • Part 2: Impact of Stimulant Use on the Brain and Body, March 16, 2021 • Part 3: Effective Treatment Approaches and Recovery Supports, March 23, 2021
Published: March 9, 2021
Multimedia
Join the Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center (Mountain Plains ATTC) and Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (Mountain Plains MHTTC) for a three-and-a-half-hour presentation on professional ethics for mental health professionals. Professionals across the Mountain Plains region face unique challenges when providing care in rural and remote settings and when using televideo services. During this session, Dr. Mita Johnson, President of the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), will share insights and best practices from her 30-plus years of professional counseling practice. This training is available only to individuals working in HHS Region 8 States (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, and WY). Registration is free and required. You must register and attend a live session to claim a certificate of attendance.   Topics Boundary issues and dual relationships Maintaining scope of practice Safe and ethical use of technology Appropriate referral to treatment Being an ethical professional Maintaining a culture of ethical practice   Certificates of Attendance No pre-approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for this session. Certificates of attendance are available for this session and will reflect 3 hours of training attendance. Certificates of attendance can be self-submitted to attendee's licensing boards as appropriate. In order to receive a certificate of attendance, you must register and attend the entire live training session. Training attendance will be tracked by the email address used during registration using the Zoom Webinar platform. Please do not share your registration link with colleagues. If you have a colleague interested in attending this training please encourage them to register and attend this session using their own email address.   Trainer Dr. Mita JohnsonDr. Mita Johnson, EdD, LPC, MAC, SAP Dr. Mita M. Johnson has been practicing in the world of counseling, and addictions counseling, for the past 30 years. Dr. Johnson has extensive experience as an addiction counselor and brings that expertise and leadership in advancing ethical practice. She is the President of NAADAC and is a member of the Executive Committee. Her academic background includes an Ed.D in counselor education and supervision. Dr. Johnson is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Masters Addiction Counselor, and Substance Abuse Professional.  
Published: February 18, 2021
eNewsletter or Blog
Monthly electronic newsletter of the Great Lakes ATTC, MHTTC, and PTTC.  Great Lakes Current December 2020 features an article on maintaining recovery over the holidays and a spotlight on Wisconsin, along with new products and training events coming up in January 2021.       
Published: December 15, 2020
Multimedia
At the beginning of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery support providers had to shift service delivery from a mostly in-person structure to virtual. This swift uptake in the use of telebehavioral-health may be transformative not only for the healthcare system but for the behavioral health field as well. Support derived from clinical and peer group services is essential especially during a PHE when access to services may be limited. SUD treatment and recovery providers have made great strides in virtualizing service delivery especially individual-based services. However, group counseling services, a mainstay in many SUD treatment and recovery support programs, has been more difficult to implement. This two-part webinar series will: review recent research regarding patient satisfaction,  group cohesion, and effectiveness of online group services identify challenges typically associated with online group facilitation and how to address them provide specific recommendations for online group facilitation and how it differs from in-person groups (e.g., tips and techniques, group agreements, etc.) discuss safety protocols, and issues related to ethics and privacy/security and confidentiality in the context of online group case scenarios This webinar series will highlight online group counseling services and will demonstrate its viability as an alternative to traditional in-person groups requiring new facilitative, alliance building, and administrative skills for both counselors and peers.   Telebehavioral Health Group Service Delivery Part 1   Telebehavioral Health Group Service Delivery Part 2
Published: December 4, 2020
Multimedia
On October 27, 2020, Region 8 SAMHSA Administrator, Dr. Charlie Smith, the Mountain Plains ATTC, the University of Colorado National Mental Health Innovation Center, TRACKTech, and the State of Colorado Office of Behavioral Health brought together Region 8 leaders, innovators, and change agents to: 1) discuss evidence-based behavioral health technology to prevent and treat behavioral health disorders; 2) highlight new innovations in behavioral health technology; 3) pinpoint challenges to behavioral health technology enactment; and 4) identify implementation strategies, resources, and partnerships that can advance evidence-based behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery across Region 8. This virtual event was five hours in length and featured twelve different speakers. A recording of the event with close-captioning will be available and posted on the MPATTC website.
Published: November 24, 2020
Multimedia
At the New England ATTC Advisory Board Meeting, guest speaker Lisa Sockabasin, Director of Program & External Affairs at Wabanaki Public Health, presented an inspirational look into the Wabanaki Tribe. Lisa discussed the plans to build two indigenous wellness centers in Main to serve the indigenous population made up of four tribes in the most rural areas in Maine that would connect the population with their culture to support their recovery efforts while integrating their culture and language that is just as important to them as their connection to nature and outdoors.
Published: October 5, 2020
Multimedia
Intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization can result in numerous physical and behavioral health conditions. IPV cuts across all demographics and all geographical locations. However, rural communities experience unique concerns that may contribute to IPV, and IPV survivors living in rural areas face unique challenges. This presentation will describe these factors specific to rural populations experiencing IPV and implications for behavioral health practitioners regarding service delivery.   Presenter: Tracy A. Evanson, Ph.D., RN, PHNA-BC is a Professor at the University of North Dakota and member of the Mountain Plains ATTC team. Dr. Evanson has an extensive background in intimate partner violence (IPV), working with women and children victims in shelters, corrections, and home settings.  
Published: September 28, 2020
Multimedia
  Recovery Happens in the Mountain Plains It is estimated that 22.35 million (9.1%) Americans are in recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD) (Kelly et al., 2017). Thirty-one years ago SAMHSA designated September as Recovery Month with the goal of changing the public face of recovery by educating Americans that SUD treatment and recovery support services help individuals live healthy and rewarding lives in their communities.  Recovery Month celebrates these millions of people in recovery from substance use and mental health issues, reminding us that behavioral health is an essential component to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can, and do, recover. Peer recovery support services and Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) are designed to help individuals with substance use and mental health issues enter into and navigate systems of care and stay engaged in the recovery process.  Recovery Happens in the Mountain Plains was a series of virtual recovery support events created by participants and staff of RCOs located in the HHS Region 8 states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. With the support of the Mountain Plains ATTC, the events were conducted in September to "Celebrate Connections" with recovery events featuring speakers in recovery, live music from musicians in recovery, and an opportunity to learn more about how to connect with the RCOs in Region 8 including: Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness; Advocates for Recovery Colorado; Springs Recovery Connection; Face It Together; Recover Wyoming; and The Phoenix. The recovery support events were conducted virtually on September 14, 16, 17, and 21, 2020. Each event was recorded and is accessible for download below.     Recorded Sessions: Monday, Sept 14: Joseph Hogan-Sanchez, Faces & Voices of Recovery   Wednesday, Sept 16: Cuica Montoya, Colorado Village Collaborative   Thursday, Sept 17: We are CloudGang, The Movement of Musicians in Recovery   Monday, Sept 21: Sparrow Goudey, White Bison Wellbriety Movement   Recovery Happens in the Mountain Plains was in collaboration with:            
Published: September 14, 2020
Presentation Slides
This slide deck provides a brief overview of the use of videoconferencing to deliver assessment and treatment services to individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental health conditions. It is designed to be used by behavioral health academic faculty, trainers, and state agency staff members for a variety of audiences. Each slide has notes for the presenter to provide guidance if necessary. References are included on the slides and in the notes. If you require further information on this topic, please contact the Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center (MPATTC). You are free to use these slides and pictures but please give credit to the MPATTC when using them by keeping the branding and referencing the ATTC at the beginning of your presentation.
Published: August 7, 2020
Multimedia
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive health problem. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) data indicate that one in four women and one in nine men have been victims of sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking in their lifetime. Substance use disorders (SUDs) commonly co-exist with IPV. Among people with SUDs, researchers have consistently found high rates of both current and lifetime IPV.  Similarly, studies have also shown that victims of IPV are more likely to have a SUD, compared to those who have not experienced IPV. This presentation will discuss the intersection between IPV and SUDs, how the dynamics of IPV contribute to SUDs, and the needs of clients who experience both.   Learning Objectives: Examine the intersection between IPV and SUDs Identify the needs of clients/patients who are experiencing IPV and SUD Identify strategies for engagement   Presenter: Dr. Tracy A. Evanson, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC    
Published: July 27, 2020
Print Media
The Mountain Plains ATTC wishes to share an Executive Summary that provides a review of the findings from a study conducted among service providers in Region 8 in 2020. The focus of the study was on examining best-practices to expand service collaborations and partnerships with providers of substance use disorder treatment and recovery services. The findings include the themes of Coming Together, Working Together, Keeping the Collaboration Going, Benefits of Collaboration, and Effects of Lack of Collaboration. The findings also provide statements from participants in the study and inform providers of what ensures successful collaborations. A full report of the finding is also available in the Download button above including support in the literature for the findings and expanded access to the voices of the participants and themes. Author: Dr. Tracy Evanson, Staff with Mountain Plains ATTC and University of North Dakota Faculty.
Published: July 10, 2020
Print Media
This guide provides resources specific to screening for co-occurring disorders experienced by farmers, farmworkers and farm families in rural communities. Healthcare providers, behavioral health professionals, and social workers are facing increasing pressure to respond to a host of unmet substance use and mental health needs of rural communities. In response, with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Mountain Plains ATTC and the Mountain Plains MHTTC have collaborated to release a resource guide to assist rural healthcare providers with screening and assessment of alcohol use disorder and depression.  The guide uses a case scenario to illustrate the most common barriers encountered in identifying co-occurring disorders and underscores the unique needs of rural communities that are home to agricultural producers.   If you would like to request a hardcopy version of this product please contact Susan Mickelson   Following the release of a new product (Depression, Alcohol and Farm Stress: Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders in Rural America) by authors at the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) and the Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC). MHTTC and ATTC team members from two regions contacted key stakeholders in May 2020 to assess the impact of the farm crisis and perceptions regarding next steps. Feedback from these providers and key stakeholders is included in this brief along with updated data related to farm stress and mental health implications. These interviews and data will guide future activity for both the Mountain Plains and Mid-America ATTCs and MHTTCs. Read Farm Stress: Facts, Impact of COVID-19, and Resource and Training Needs of Mental Health Care Providers or download above.
Published: April 16, 2020
Presentation Slides
The Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center (Mountain Plains) is offering a new product line for stakeholders called Best Science Slide Decks for Behavioral Health Professionals, or slideDecks4U for short.  These Decks are intended to highlight a topic in 10 slides or less (similar to ‘pitch decks’ used in the business world to give a short summary of a company and its start-up vision). Unrestricted slide decks that include presenter notes and references will be available. Additional learning resources (e.g., original research articles, case studies, and learning exercises) will also be included when possible. The goal of slideDecks4U is two-fold:      1. Help trainers and academic faculty easily infuse new research and evidence-based practices into existing curricula; and     2. Increase student and behavioral health practitioners’ interest in emerging behavioral health research on treatment and peer support topics in a brief and easy to use format.  This slide deck provides information on overcoming barriers to opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment in rural areas updates as of 8.7.19
Published: April 8, 2020
Presentation Slides
This 12 slide presentation focuses on the rural impact on stigma and how it relates to substance use disorders. If you require further information on this topic, please contact the Mountain Plains ATTC.  slideDecks4U are unrestricted PowerPoint slide decks intended to highlight a topic in 10 slides or less (similar to ‘pitch decks’ used in the business world to give a short summary of a company and its start-up vision) that include presenter notes and references and designed to be used by academic faculty in behavioral health programs, trainers, and state agency staff members for a variety of audiences.
Published: April 8, 2020
Presentation Slides
This presentation offers 11 slides specific to stigma and substance use disorders to include definitions and strategies to avoid stigma.  If you require further information on this topic, please contact the Mountain Plains ATTC.  slideDecks4U are unrestricted PowerPoint slide decks intended to highlight a topic in 10 slides or less (similar to ‘pitch decks’ used in the business world to give a short summary of a company and its start-up vision) that include presenter notes and references and designed to be used by academic faculty in behavioral health programs, trainers, and state agency staff members for a variety of audiences.
Published: April 8, 2020
Multimedia
The Mountain Plains ATTC introduces a new product based on a series of consultation groups developed to train behavioral health professionals on the use videoconferencing to deliver clinical services. The original series, Advancing Clinicians’ Videoconferencing Skills: An Audio-Consultation Series, was developed and delivered in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, this series offered a live platform for learning and consultation related to videoconferencing case reviews, legalities and ethics, rules and regulations, and understanding clients through the lens of the evolving digital world. In addition, it explored a variety of topics and activities that promoted learning about the potential successes, challenges, and pitfalls of using videoconferencing to offer clinical services in a behavioral health setting, as well as enhancing participants’ videoconferencing skills. Highlights are now available as eleven separate audio-recorded excerpts from the original series, including the PowerPoint slides, that can be downloaded. Accompanying slides for each session can be downloaded above.   Session 1 Topic/Title: The ins and outs of reimbursement in today’s virtual world Description: Learn about the process of getting reimbursed for providing videoconferencing services.   Session 2 Topic/Title: Thinking outside the virtual box Part I: Appropriate documentation when providing videoconferencing services to clients Description: Explore documentation related to: Client Rights, Informed Consent, Treatment Agreements\   Session 3 Topic/Title: Thinking outside the virtual box Part II: Appropriate documentation when providing Clinical Supervision Description: Social Media and Telehealth-Specific Policies and Procedures, and Electronic Communication Consent Forms will be highlighted and discussed.   Session 4 Topic: Choosing a videoconferencing platform: What you need to know prior to committing to a service Description: Facilitators will review key questions to ask and factors to consider when choosing a HIPPA compliant platform.   Session 5 Topic: Managing an emergency when providing videoconferencing services: Role play Description: Facilitators and/or participants will role play what to do when an emergency arises and explore proactive steps and real time measures to handle the situation.   Session 6 Topic: Employing our “virtual eye”: Taking an objective look around your office before a videoconferencing session Description: During this interactive session, participants and facilitators will provide feedback to each other on the visible office environment, including lighting, sound, and ambiance.   Session 7 Topic: Digital immigrants and digital natives: Understanding our clients through the cultural lens of today’s digital world Description: Interactive discussion of the concept of digital immigrants vs. digital natives and how these concepts tie into behavioral health provider and client experiences using technology.   Session 8 Topic: Avoiding landmines: Understanding HIPAA/42CFR Part 2, texting, emailing, and synchronous vs. asynchronous communication Description: This session will present two - three hot topic scenarios for discussion and improved understanding in dilemmas that may arise as a behavioral health provider offering videoconferencing services.   Session 9 Topic: Using technology when working with adolescents Description: Interactive participant discussion on tips, dos and don’ts, when working with children and adolescents.   Session 10 Topic: So, you love groups: Using videoconferencing to provide group counseling sessions Description: Role play and practice with facilitators using a videoconferencing platform in a group setting.   Session 11 Topic: Providing videoconferencing services: How to implement in your agency and gain provider “buy-in”. Description: Discussion of participant’s own experiences in this area. Facilitators and agency representatives dialogue about potential barriers and challenges and how to work these into the change process.
Published: April 3, 2020
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The ATTC Network understands that words have power. A few ATTC products developed prior to 2017 may contain language that does not reflect the ATTCs’ current commitment to using affirming, person-first language. We appreciate your patience as we work to gradually update older materials. For more information about the importance of non-stigmatizing language, see “Destroying Addiction Stigma Once and For All: It’s Time” from the ATTC Network and “Changing Language to Change Care: Stigma and Substance Use Disorders” from the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS).

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