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Helping Families Work through Recovery and Cope with Substance Use and Mental Illness

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.
Tip of the Month
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:
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.

The Events Calendar offers a listing of national, regional and community-wide events that might be of interest to our targeted safety-net stakeholders. This includes conferences, webinars, policy forums, etc. You may submit events for consideration and inclusion on the Events Calendar.

Submitted events will be reviewed, and once approved, the event and its details will be posted on the calendar. Supporting documents, registration information, and flyers can also be posted and downloaded with each event.

Submit an event.

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