AHCCCS Employees Enjoy Works from PSA Art Awakenings Artists

Various pieces of art are on display through May in common areas at AHCCCS, thanks to artists in the PSA Art Awakenings program.  Since it began in 2000, the PSA Art Awakenings program has been nationally recognized as a leading psychosocial rehabilitation and art therapy program, annually helping more than 2000 youth and adults in Arizona work toward empowerment and recovery through creativity. The program operates 15 studios and five galleries in Arizona.

The idea to exhibit the art came from Kathy Bashor, an AHCCCS employee familiar with PSA Art Awakenings, and also familiar to life with mental illness, having herself learned to manage anxiety and depression. When she shared the idea with Health Care Advocacy Coordinator Susan Junck, Susan agreed that such an exhibit could start a dialogue with colleagues that would serve to reduce stigma and stereotypes about mental illness in the workplace. Supported by executive leadership, Susan and Kathy are planning to host an Artists’ Reception in May during Mental Health Awareness Month to continue to increase understanding and empathy within the AHCCCS community of employees.

PSA Art Awakenings is sponsored by PSA Behavioral Health Agency, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing & empowering the behavioral health community through creativity, innovation, recovery & diversity.

Behavioral Health Conference and Career Expo to Include Educational and Professional Opportunities

All are invited to attend the upcoming Mental Health and Behavior Sciences Conference, Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Glendale Community College, hosted in partnership with Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, the Department of Economic Security, and other participants.

The conference will provide information on mental health awareness and education in English and Spanish.

The career expo features more than 50 behavioral health provider agencies sharing information for college students, Maricopa residents and professionals who are interested in working in the behavioral health field.  Resume building and interview skills workshops, health and wellness activities, and information on trauma, resiliency and hope will also be offered. Continuing education units may also be earned.

The Behavioral Health Conference will take place from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Glendale Community College, 6000 W. Olive Avenue, Glendale, in the Student Union. For more information, contact Dr. Thomas E. Rojo Aubrey,  623-845-3212, Thomas.aubrey@gccaz.edu.

Free HIV Testing, Awareness Event


Ebony House is hosting a free HIV testing community event, from 4:30-7:30 pm, March 1st. In collaboration with the Arizona Community Foundation, the organization is targeting the African American community of Phoenix.

“Because We Care” will include several famous R&B artists: Ledisi, Leela James and Avery Sunshine will share their personal stories as African American women who are passionate about music and mobilizing care for those infected with HIV. Black HIV activists Phil Wilson, president/CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, and Marvelyn Brown, founder of Marvelous Connections will also be presenting.  Medical professionals will lead a conversation too, and the event includes a resource fair.

“Because We Care” will take place at the Herberger Theater: 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix.

To RSVP, visit:  Becausewecare2017.eventbrite.com


Veteran Resource Clinic Schedule for March 24th

Congressman Andy Biggs will host a veterans’ healthcare, benefits and resource clinic, Friday, March 24th. The event will take place from 1-4 pm at the Gilbert Southeast Regional Library, located at 775 N. Greenfield Road, Gilbert.

Organizations working with veterans may be included in the event’s resource guide by contacting veteran outreach representative Kathy Pearce: Kathy.Pearce@mail.house.gov

Tribal Legislative Day Next Wednesday

The Governor’s Office on Tribal Relations is hosting the annual Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day next Wednesday, January 11th. From 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, those interested are invited to attend the free event at the Arizona State Capitol.

The Office on Tribal Relations, in cooperation with representatives from the state’s Indian nations, extends this opportunity to pay tribute to the history and culture of the American Indian peoples and their contributions to the prosperity and cultural diversity of Arizona. As sovereign nations, Tribal Nations and Communities are relevant and major contributors to local economies and share a unique government-to-government relationship with the State of Arizona and the United States federal government.
For more information:


To register, visit:


Walk Scheduled for Suicide Survivors

Community members and leaders will walk to support survivors of suicide, Saturday, February 11th at the 11th Annual Jeremyah Memorial 5k. The walk is for survivors of suicide, friends, family members, and the general community to honor loved ones who have died by suicide. Also, it raises awareness for suicide prevention.

The event will be held at Kiwanis Park in Tempe at the Ruben Romero Corporate Ramada. Registration will begin at 8am, followed by a memorial ceremony. The 5k Run will start at 9:30am, and the 5k Walk at 9:40am.

To register and/or to make a donation, visit: www.empactsos.org

For more information about this event, contact Sandra McNally: Sandra.McNally@lafrontera-empact.org

Public Invited to Tribal Food Summit

The Arizona Department of Agriculture will host a Tribal Food Summit, from 1:30-3:30 pm, January 11th of the State Capitol Museum.  The meeting will establish an executive committee, which will make recommendations and identify best practices on indigenous farming techniques.

Other topics to be discussed include: food deserts, livestock and horticulture. For those interested, and to establish a baseline for discussion, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XGPYGSG

This event coincides with Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative day.  Registration for the free event is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-indian-nations-and-tribes-legislative-day-tickets-29285623087

AZ Veterans at Significantly Higher Risk than Civilians for Suicide

A new report from the Arizona Violent Death Reporting System (AVDRS) found from January 1, 2015-June 30, 2016, the rate of suicides among Arizona veterans was significantly higher than non-veterans. Specifically, the suicide rate among non-veterans was 21.8 per 100,000 people, compared to 74.9 veterans per 100,000.

The AzVDRS is housed at ASU. This report is the first examining veteran violent deaths, including suicide, in detail. During this time frame, researchers found 393 suicides and 38 homicides of veterans, both male and female.

Female veterans had higher rates of both suicide and homicide than non-veteran women.

Suicide prevention among veterans is a critical component to the 2017 Arizona State Suicide Prevention Plan. The plan details goals and objectives staff at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System are working on to prevent suicides among all citizens of the state. Veterans are one of several targeted populations.

If you or a loved one is considering suicide, or if you are concerned about someone’s mental well-being, please do not hesitate to contact the national suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255. There are resources available. Together, we can prevent suicide.

For more information about the AzVDRS report, visit: http://cvpcs.asu.edu/sites/default/files/content/pages/AZVDRS_2015-June2016_Veterans_FINAL.pdf

From Combat to Compost: Veterans Becoming Farmers

At 7 pm Wednesday, December 7, community leaders will gather to screen Ground Operations — an award-winning documentary film about combat veterans transitioning into agricultural careers. The filmmaker, Dulanie Eillis, and a post-film panel will discuss opportunities for veterans to find work in local food security.

Panelists include:

Mark Killian, Director of Arizona Department of Agriculture

Michael McKenzie,Veteran, Owner and Organic Farmer of Lucky Nickel Ranch

Rita French, Veteran Chef at ASU’s Engrained Cafe

Dulanie Ellis, Producer/Director of Ground Operations

The cost is $10 to attend, with proceeds supporting local and national Ground Operation programs. The screening is free for veterans and active military. A trailer for the film can be seen here.

Light refreshments will be provided by Helpings Cafe. The event will take place at the Irish Cultural Center: 1106 N. Central Ave, Phoenix. Parking is available on West Culver street.

Accessing Homeless Services in Maricopa County

A resource guide:

If you are fleeing from domestic violence and in need of shelter or safe housing, please contact A New Leaf Centralized Screening at (480) 890-3039.

For veterans and veteran families experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness in Maricopa County, please contact the VA Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC) (602) 248-6040 open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. CRRC is located at 1500 East Thomas Road, Suite 106 (in back of building). Veterans may also call the National Homeless Call Center (877) 424-3838.

For families and children experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County, please contact the Family Housing Hub (FHH) (602) 595-8700 located at 3307 E. Van Buren Street, #108 Phoenix, AZ 85008.  The FHH is open Mondays 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Tuesdays through Thursdays 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Satellite locations for the FHH include:

East Valley:

o Pat Gilbert Center (Mesa CAN) 635 E. Broadway Mesa, AZ 85204

Tuesday Only: 8:00 a.m.  – 4:00 p.m.

o Save the Family Foundation, 125 E. University Dr. Mesa, AZ 85201

Wednesday Only: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

West Valley:

o Pendergast Community Center, Family Resource Center, 10550 W. Mariposa St. Phoenix, AZ 85037

Thursday Only: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For single adults and youth on their own experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County, please contact the Brian Garcia Welcome Center on the Human Services Campus (602) 229-5155 located at 234 S. 12th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85007 on the corner of 12th Ave. and Madison.

For youth experiencing homelessness, please call Tumbleweed Youth Center for Development at: (602) 462-5611

For a complete list of emergency shelter in Maricopa County, please dial 2-1-1 or visit their website for contact information.

If you are need of services including emergency shelter, food boxes, eviction prevention, substance abuse treatment or other community based services, please dial 2-1-1 or visit their website http://www.211arizona.org/.