Youth Corner
Every issue of our newsletter features a YOUTH CORNER update written by Shira Collings, our Youth Coordinator. 
Introducing Felicity Therese Krueger
In this week's Youth Corner, we would like to feature the work of Felicity Therese Krueger, an 18-year-old youth leader, co-creator of the Youth eCPR curriculum, and Youth eCPR Educator. She is a member of Kentucky Youth MOVE, Youth Best Practice Committee, and is a Kentucky youth ambassador. 

Felicity has worked in the advocacy realm since she was 11 years old starting with following her mom as she worked to be an advocate for her children. As a teenager, she attended Girl Scout camp and recently worked as a camp counselor in training, which helped her discover her passion for helping kids. "Working with kids filled me with joy as I saw them learn," she says. At 15, Felicity hosted a Youth MOVE national chapter chat which led her to connect with the youth mental health advocacy world. Her current goals and projects include teaching eCPR, working at summer camp, being as involved as she can with Kentucky Youth MOVE, and creating a Child eCPR curriculum to help children identify feelings in themselves and one another.

Felicity has been an instrumental part of the NEC team of emotional CPR trainers that secured a contract with a juvenile detention facility in Missouri to deliver four trainings to those who work closely with youth at the facility. Felicity has been able to reach these workers in a way that not many trainers could, making the first two trainings a huge success and creating ripples that are changing lives. Felicity also co-presented a webinar entitled "Youth Empowerment and Self-Discovery through Emotional CPR in Schools." You can view the recording here

Felicity's future goals include creating podcast episodes about school and youth experiences as well as possibly writing a book about the foster care system. "I hope to create a world of people prepared to spread love and understanding." 
Youth eCPR Featured on the Mad in America Podcast
NEC's COO Oryx Cohen and Youth eCPR trainer Briza Gavidia were interviewed on the Mad in America podcast. They discussed how Youth eCPR was developed and how it can be used to promote heart-centered peer support for youth experiencing emotional crisis. Click here to listen to the episode and read the transcript.
Crisis Webinar Series Continues in April with a Focus on Youth!
Please join us for a webinar presented by Dr. Nev Jones and NEC's Shira Collings, entitled "Police Involvement in Crisis Response, Involuntary Commitment and Involuntary Leaves of Absence Involving Youth and Young Adults" on Thursday, April 28th, from 2 to 3:30 pm EST.  You can register here.

We CARE Circle Update 

The We CARE Circle continued to meet biweekly to discuss how to center equity in the eCPR framework as it continues to gain traction as a peer-led public health program that can help individuals support themselves and others in emotional distress. This is a particularly important discussion as we continue to navigate a global pandemic and its compounding impact on different communities. We have been able to add several new members who represent diverse communities.
The We CARE Circle created a BIPOC Research Work Group. This is a participatory action research work group composed of people who identify as BIPOC. The group is tasked with designing a comprehensive research study on how emotional CPR impacts BIPOC communities specifically. The plan is to study trainings led by BIPOC trainers for BIPOC participants.
NEC Involvement with 988 Planning
Two months ago, NEC's CEO, Dr. Dan Fisher was invited by Assistant Secretary for MH and SA, Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon to join the SAMHSA 988 Planning Committee. A goal of the new 988 number will be to divert people in distress and their loved ones from calling 911, thereby mitigating the risk of a violent confrontation with the police. 988 is scheduled to become available July 1, 2022. Dr. Fisher pointed out that the system will only be able to divert from 911 referral when we have adequate alternatives to police involvement. His recommendations centered on three areas:
1. Development of more voluntary, peer-run respites. The opportunity to use these respites decreases the reliance on coercion.
2. Incorporating peers into mobile crisis teams as peers are often more capable of engaging persons in crisis and encouraging them to seek voluntary services.
3. Expansion of the presence and use of warmlines as people who call 911 or crisis hotlines often just need someone to listen with their heart.
The McKinsey consultants created a playbook which incorporated these recommendations. The action for implementing 988 and crisis services will be at the state level. We would urge persons with lived experience to participate in their state level 988 Planning Committee.

Emotional CPR Update
The National Empowerment Center is extremely excited to announce that 84 eCPR educators and trainers have responded to our comprehensive Trainers and Educators Survey. The responses have helped us capture vital information that will be used for our overall growth, to form and nurture committees, and to strengthen the connections between educators and trainers all over the world. The survey responses will also help us establish goals and drive us to explore fresh and new possibilities for programming. Most importantly, we need all of our educators and trainers to be recognized and counted.
Want to learn more about our emotional CPR speakers, educators, and trainers? Visit our trainers’ page.
Educators and Trainers Monthly Meetings

We kicked off the new year with Maggie Wright, Shira Collings, and Aime Hutton. By popular demand, Maggie Wright returned to present on ways to market emotional CPR (eCPR) while encouraging us to think outside the box. Maggie invited us to think about how we can promote eCPR in our own backyards and how to partner with each other as well.
Shira Collings and Aime Hutton led a presentation focusing on LGBTQIA2S+ identities, pronouns, flags, and terminology. Many attendees expressed their appreciation for this training because it allowed them to learn about the LGBT+ community and to have discussions in a safe and welcoming space. Both presentations were outstanding and set the right tone as we began 2022.
We were pleased to welcome Dr. L. A. McCrae, Director of Project: Liberation as the speaker for our February meeting. Dr. McCrae shared how they are presenting and personalizing eCPR with training participants by offering grounding techniques, self-care, meditation, poetry, quotes, movie clips, and much more.
Learning from Dr. McCrae was truly eye-opening and we are very grateful for their work. As February is Black History month, we set aside time during the meeting to acknowledge and highlight all of our incredible Black and African American eCPR educators and trainers. You Rock and Black Lives Matter!
Bridgewater Training

NEC carried out a training for Bridgewater State Hospital staff in March of 2022. The participants included direct care staff, a peer specialist, a social worker, the director of training, and a clinical supervisor. The participants were selected by Dr. Ben Cooley Hall, a psychologist who teaches eCPR as part of a broader program of culture change. During the last four years Dr. Hall has been working with the staff through recovery dialogues to shift from a corrections approach to a recovery orientation. A previous eCPR training was carried out in person in May of 2019 and was also part of the culture shift initiative.
Early sessions involved staff sharing frustrations of being understaffed and experiencing high staff turnover. These factors make it difficult to learn new ways of relating as most of the staff energy is consumed with just keeping up with the day-to-day demands. However, staff consensus was that eCPR could decrease burnout and improve staff morale. One of the participants said she understood the value of staff sharing some of their feelings because it was often “during times of heightened emotions that the strongest connection was formed with the people served.” Another staff said eCPR could build better rapport, compassion, and trust with the persons served. Participants also hoped that eCPR could be introduced to the administrative staff thereby improving communication between them and direct care staff.
This newsletter was developed [in part] under grant number SM082648 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.