Youth Corner
Every issue of our newsletter will feature a YOUTH CORNER update written by Shira Collings, our Youth Coordinator. 
Youth Leadership Series
NEC is hosting a Youth Leadership webinar series on different organizations' approaches to developing youth peer leaders. In November, Youth MOVE leaders Madeline Zielinski and Jasmine Boatright shared Youth MOVE National's approach to developing leadership capacity of youth and young adults with lived experience and discussed how lived experience shapes our understanding of leadership. In February, Sean Perry and Miranda Todt from We R H.O.P.E. discussed their organization's approach to building leadership among youth, with a specific focus on the importance of self-care for youth leaders. They described how youth leaders can be encouraged to create space for themselves, thereby building resilience and connection. These webinars can be viewed here: and Upcoming webinar topics include the leadership roles youth took in adapting NEC's Emotional CPR curriculum for youth, and youth leadership roles in peer-led mental health research. The Youth eCPR webinar will be taking place on May 19th. You can register here:
Youth eCPR
NEC's Emotional CPR training has now been adapted for youth and young adults! NEC recently gathered together youth peer leaders and peer leaders who work with youth to engage in a collaborative process to tailor the eCPR curriculum to the unique needs of youth. The Youth eCPR curriculum includes more interactive exercises and learning activities and is spread out over a period of 5 days. Youth also receive an eCPR journal to assist them in reflecting on their experiences during the training. NEC has now hosted two youth eCPR trainings led entirely by and for teens and young adults ages 16-26. One participant said, "I felt hope bubbling up within me that our tribe of young adults not only appreciated but celebrated everyone."
Another exciting development is that Youth Emotional CPR is now being taught to 10th graders at a high school in Vermont as a part of the curriculum, with the goal of these 10th graders being able to teach younger students these skills in future years.
WeCARE Update
Every issue of this newsletter will feature an WeCare (Cultural Awareness and Racial Equity) update.  As an organization, we recognize we have a long way to go and we have been meeting regularly to learn from each other on how we can become more inclusive, equitable, and diverse.  Because of the COVID crisis, we have all been struggling, especially more marginalized communities. We are in the process of adding members to the WeCARE Circle, and the Circle continues to meet biweekly.
Emotional CPR Reaches Out to Different Communities
As a group, we recognize the importance of developing more diverse Emotional CPR leadership, trainers, and reaching out to more diverse communities. The photo above was taken from a training led by Sean Perry and sponsored by Reform in Arkansas.
In addition, late last year, Maria Ostheimer led two trainings in Spanish for Latinx women, many of whom are part of the Promotoras group in California. Maria and Flora Releford also led a training for a diverse group of family members, many from Louisiana.
Maria and Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia will be presenting three trainings in San Luis Obispo for the Promotoras in April: one in English, one in Spanish, and one in Mixtec.  Maria will also continue working with a group of Catholic nuns in LA through the organization Nuevo Amanecer Mujer Integral to assist vulnerable Latina women in the community.  Maria continues to support people in Puerto Rico to organize more Emotional CPR trainings and Community of Practice.  Finally, Maria is organizing a training for African-American and Latina providers in Orange County and different states in the coming months with eCPR trainers Flora Releford and Lois Brooks. You can check for details of these and other upcoming trainings. 
Compassionate Approaches to Crisis Webinar Series
NEC is hosting a webinar series on compassionate approaches to crisis. Each webinar covers a peer-run or peer-informed approach to mental health crises that can be utilized as an alternative or supplement to psychiatric hospitalization or other traditional approaches. Past webinars have covered services including peer respites, warmlines, and groups for those who struggle with suicidal thoughts. This past August, Keith Scott of Advocates presented on the Living Room, a welcoming space where people experiencing emotional distress can walk in and connect with a peer specialist on the spot. The most recent webinar in the series was presented by Max Huber, who discussed his research on consumer-run crisis alternatives and its implications for policy and practice. You can view the webinar here:
Emotional CPR for Law Enforcement
Wisconsin police lieutenants Jeff Miller and Aaron Pynenberg have finished writing our Emotional CPR for Law Enforcement manual.  Please contact us at if you know of any police departments, Departments of Corrections, etc., that may be interested in receiving this training.
Working with Your Psychiatrist
Our CEO, Dr. Dan Fisher, participated in an hour-long coaching of psychiatrists last month, sponsored by the National Council for Behavioral Health, to assist psychiatrists in how they can improve therapeutic alliances by being person-centered, trauma-informed, and connecting using the intentions of Emotional CPR. Dr. Fisher is in the process of developing a training for folks on how they can best work with their psychiatrists around medications and treatment in general that will include the following: 1. How to develop a list of questions to ask your psychiatrist; 2. How to research and select the best psychiatrist for you; 3. How to identify the qualities of a good working relationship with your psychiatrist based on the principles of recovery; 4. Learn the importance of collaboration, transparency, informed choice, and advanced directives; 5. Learn how to select a health proxy as your advocate; and 6. Learn how to safely optimize medication use, including reducing medications, in collaboration with your psychiatrist.
Town of Hudson Receives Grant to Implement Emotional CPR
In the wake of COVID, the town of Hudson, Massachusetts received a grant to provide Emotional CPR to their community as a way to improve the public health of the entire town. Initially the police, schools, and members of the Portuguese speaking community will be trained with materials that have been translated into Portuguese, along with representatives from other community organizations.  Trainings are scheduled to begin in April.
Supporting Organizations to Hire and Retain Peer Workers
Judene Shelley has worked with two peer-run organizations to maintain their IRS nonprofit status: Consumer Action Network (CAN) which has done significant work with consumers in Washington, DC for 18 years, and Meaningful Minds of Louisiana (MMLA) which has recently reorganized after beginning its work after Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact in 2005. The work has included assisting these organizations to complete their annual 990 IRS tax filings. This work has enabled them to stay open and retain their employees. After Executive Director Effie Smith’s untimely passing in 2020, Judene has been working with Deborah Gribbin, CAN Board President, and the employees to complete CAN’s 990 Forms, maintain their nonprofit status, and improve financial literacy, which has resulted in the ability to keep all of their employees.
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.