Issue 69 | October 2018
Helping Families Work through Recovery and Cope with Substance Use and Mental Illness
A Note from the Director

Substance abuse is not only detrimental to the health and well being of the individual user, it's also detrimental to the family in terms of emotional and often financial stress. With the increasing amount of public health attention and concern being drawn to the nation's opioid epidemic, it is an important time to increase awareness around the understanding of substance use and mental health disorders and how family engagement can be used to address these issues. Studies have found that the negative effects of adverse experiences (substance abuse, antisocial behavior, etc.) can be mitigated through culturally responsive relationship education, specifically through integrating relationship programming into existing safety-net services. 

The family is critical as a support network for those battling substance abuse and mental illness. However, for families providing support, it's also critical to focus on self-care especially as it relates to mental health. Being a caregiver can leave family members exhausted and feeling defeated. Service providers need to remind families that it's okay to put their own needs first sometimes. I hope you'll find the tips and resources below helpful to you and the families you serve as we all work together to strengthen families.
Best Regards,

Robyn Cenizal

Robyn Cenizal, CFLE
Project Director
Tip of the Month
Your monthly tips to strengthen the relationships of those you serve. Share it - Post it - Pass it on!
Social Service providers can help families and the communities that they serve by reaching out to them in a way that is meaningful to their cultural context. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's webpage on Serving the Needs of Diverse Populations offers a variety of resources that providers can use to meet the unique needs of diverse populations coping with behavioral health issues:

National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health - an organization that supports information sharing, training and technical assistance among organizations and communities dedicated to the behavioral health and well-being of diverse communities.  


Center for Integrated Health Solutions - provides guidelines on how to provide culturally relevant services.


SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework - offers good guidance on culturally appropriate practices.

Using these resources can help you build a more culturally competent work force, allowing you to strengthen relationships between yourself and the communities you serve. You can find more resources like these here.
Featured Resources
The Resource Center's Virtual Library has collected more than 3,000 materials in a variety of formats including fact sheets, research-to-practice briefs, brochures, pamphlets, training resources, program reports or evaluations, and research materials.
This fact sheet provides a brief, yet comprehensive, review of the relevant research on mental health and offer strategies that safety-net service providers can use to assist couples dealing with mental distress, especially depression.
This tip sheet provides suggestions to help safety-net service providers raise consciousness and help couples start off on the path to improving their mental and physical health and well-being, benefiting individuals and promoting stability for couples and families.
This research brief highlights the unique challenges - and the strengths - of rural communities and provides suggestions for integrating culturally responsive healthy relationship education into existing safety-net services to strengthen rural families in poverty.
This source asks users five questions, developed by the Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon, that highlight parenting skills that are important in preventing the initiation and progression of drug use among youth. For each question, a video clip shows positive and negative examples of the skill, and additional videos and information are provided to help you practice positive parenting skills.
The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families  is excited to announce the launch of its revised online course Integrating Healthy Relationship Education: A Course for Stakeholders. Designed to complement the in-person Integration Institute offered by the Resource Center, the online course educates attendees on the benefits of healthy relationships and costs of unhealthy relationships; shares research about how healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) can improve family outcomes; and guides users in developing specific strategies for integrating HMRE into their service delivery.
The Resource Center's Events Calendar offers a listing of Resource Center events and other national, regional, and community-wide events that might be of interest. Upcoming events include:

The 2018 NIEA Convention theme, "Building Education Nations through Culture, Creativity, and Critical Thought", recognizes the role educators and communities play in shaping the future leaders of Native education. The three-day convention will include innovative participatory workshops, research presentations, poster sessions, and keynote addresses by prominent educators and advocates. Please attend our presentation and visit our booth in the Exhibit Hall!
The Annual Mental Health and Substance Use Recovery Training Conference is a long-standing, partner-driven conference designed to meet the professional development needs of providers in the State of Wisconsin and learn the latest trends and topics from qualified state and national experts.
Feedback and Technical Assistance
To learn more about the Resource Center, visit us at

The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families supports human service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship education skills into service delivery systems as part of a comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed to promote self-sufficiency.

If you have suggestions or wish to speak with a Resource Center staff member, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you. To learn more about free training and technical assistance available to human service agencies, visit our Training and Technical Assistance page.
This newsletter was published by ICF with funding provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FH0003. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families, 9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031