Volume III, Issue III - September 2021 Newsletter

From:  David T. Jones, Director
Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery

Welcome New SUPR Staff

Mark Wheeler

Mark Wheeler has joined the SUPR team as the Administrator of the Bureau of Legislative and Administrative Review.

Kathleen Monahan

Kathleen Monahan has joined the SUPR team as the Administrator of Grants Administration in the Bureau of Planning, Performance Measurement and Federal Programs.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has joined the SUPR team and will serve in the Bureau of Licensure, Compliance and Monitoring.

Yadi Lazcano

Yadi Lazcano has joined the SUPR team as an intern and will work with the Bureau of Planning, Performance Measurement, and Federal Programs.

Nick Galla

Nick Galla has joined the SUPR team as an intern and will work with the Chief of Staff's office.

We are excited to welcome new members to our SUPR family!

International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month 2021

The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) invites all Illinois residents to participate in local International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) and National Recovery Month (September) events. IOAD is recognized worldwide and aims to raise awareness about drug overdose and reduce the stigma associated with substance use-related deaths. In 2020, we lost more than 2,900 residents to overdose. Their deaths leave a hole in the lives of their loved ones and in their communities. People dying of an overdose are parents, children, siblings, significant others, and friends. Their lives should be remembered and not hidden due to stigma. It is important for us, friends, families, and communities to grieve those Illinoisans that we have lost to drug overdose and bring awareness to the continuing crisis claiming lives.

Upcoming Gambling Training

Registration for the first American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Gambling Training of SFY 2022 is now open on the We Know the Feeling website. In the Admission and Discharge Assessment section of this year's IDHS/SUPR Contractual Policy Manual, new language has been added regarding the administration of the ASAM gambling criteria for gambling screens that have a positive result.

Admission and Discharge Assessment

The assessment is a distinct service and is separately reported and billed using the assessment unit/program number, along with the site number where the service was delivered. The admission assessment is delivered using the ASAM criteria to determine the need for services and the level of care placement for those services. NEW: This includes the administration of a gambling screening, which each funded treatment organization shall administer. If the gambling screen is positive, the assessment will incorporate the ASAM gambling criteria to diagnose and identify treatment goals. Please note, that the gambling screening is not a Medicaid covered service and can be billed for 15 minutes at the assessment rate to the SUPR grant using the L tag. Please see Section 7 of the Service Requirements for additional details. The discharge assessment is delivered to assess progress and any further needs with the patient once the episode of care has been completed (Source:  SUPR Contractual Policy Manual - State Fiscal Year 2022, pg. 8).

Click on the workshop title below to register!

Applying ASAM Guidelines and Levels of Care to Gambling Disorder

Registration is also open for the Register for 30 Hour Gambling Disorder Clinical Training (Sept/Oct).

Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) Training

The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health (DHS/DMH) has announced that registration is now open for Virtual Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) Fundamentals Training: Parts One and Two! There are two options for completing Part 1 and Part 2. CEU's will be provided through the Illinois Certification Board (2.75 CEUs for each part = 5.5 total).

Attendance will be limited to those who do not yet have their CRSS credential. This will allow the capacity to be limited and will help provide sufficient opportunities for new trainees to participate in the interactive learning exercises.

Participants are encouraged to watch the CRSS Orientation Video before the training to become more familiar with the credential and the credentialing process. These topics are NOT covered in the training.

Please see WebEx Registration Frequently Asked Questions.

Register by clicking on your preferred date and time below:

September 20, 9:00am - Part 1

September 22, 1:00pm - Part 1

September 27, 9:00am, Part 2

September 29, 1:00pm, Part 2

Day2Day Website Launch

On August 12, 2021, the Day2Day website went live to provide support to youth as they transition into adulthood and out of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) systems. Day2Day was created by youth to support youth with resources to address all their emerging needs during this important stage of their lives. The Day2Day Website provides resources and links to address needs focused on housing, work, education, health, youth's rights, life and youth in care.

Additional information can be found in The Journey Home report, a documentation of a two-year project listening to the voices of young people and those who work directly with young people to understand their experiences of housing (in)stability. The report focuses on answering how transition planning from DCFS and DJJ in Illinois influences housing stability among young people post-transition and includes a journey map, findings, and programmatic recommendations as well as overarching recommendations.

Heartland Alliance/The Social IMPACT Research Center received initial funding to support this work through IDHS/SUPR under the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant #SM063343 to review and document young people's experiences with housing after transitioning out of the child welfare and the juvenile justice systems. The Day2Day website will be maintained and supported by the Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY).

Heartland Alliance has also initiated a social media campaign called 'Home Is' to ask people what home means to them you can follow the handles below:

  • Twitter @HeartlandPolicy
  • Instagram @heartlandalliance

Rental Assistance Toolkit

The federal government is conducting an all-out push to make sure tenants and landlords take advantage of the historic funding for emergency rental assistance to help cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs and keep people in their homes.

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, billions of dollars in federal rental assistance is reaching renters behind on housing costs, as well as landlords who have struggled during the pandemic. These programs are run locally, and right now emergency rental assistance is available across the country.

We are putting out a call to action to government agencies, companies, advocates, nonprofits, the faith community, and more to make sure that renters and landlords can take advantage of the relief available to them. Please see TOOLKIT: Rental Assistance Call to Action for additional information.

COVID-19 Exceptions

A gentle reminder that COVID-19 exceptions are still in effect and have no expiration date currently. Services delivered through Telehealth are still acceptable.

Please review the Provider Notice from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) dated March 20, 2020, "Telehealth Services Expansion Prompted by COVID-19".

IDHS/SUPR has also sent several communications regarding the COVID-19 Exception that you can review.

Recovery Residences Registry

The IDHS/SUPR Recovery Residence Registry has been moved to the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances to streamline searches, rather than looking in a separate place for recovery residence information. Information in the registry helps IDHS/SUPR better understand recovery residences' capacity and support for Medication Assisted Recovery. If you partner with a residence that is not listed, please invite them to register and/or contact Kimberly.Sriner@illinois.gov to list the organization. Search the Recovery Residences Registry at any time.

Overdose Response Funding Updates

SUPR publishes a monthly report summarizing funded projects in response to the overdose crisis. We invite you to review the Overdose Response Funding Report at your convenience.

Smart Alerts and Other Communications

DHS Coronavirus

SAMHSA COVID-19:  The health, safety, and well-being of all those we serve are amongst our highest priorities. Please visit the State of Illinois Coronavirus page.

Summary of SUPR Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic (pdf)

Smart Alerts

SUPR COVID-19 Communications

WebEx Registration Frequently Asked Questions

How do I download the needed materials before the training session?

After you have registered for a training date/time you will receive an email that confirms your registration. Within this email there is the link to access the training, if you click that link before the training date/time you can download all material at the bottom of the page it opens.

How do I cancel my registration for a training session?

You can cancel your own registrations. On the email you received to confirm you registration there is a link towards the bottom of the email. Click on it and follow the instructions on the page that appears.

What do I do if I lose, did not receive, or delete my registration confirmation email?

First, look in your junk or deleted email folders. Second, I do send out a reminder email to all registrants the day before and 15 minutes before the start of every training date/time.

How do I add the training session to my Outlook or google calendar?

At the bottom of the registration confirmation email, there is a link to add the training to your calendar.

What if we have more than one person in the room watching the training?

There will be an Eval/Poll question at the end of the training that asks for the name and email address of anyone viewing the training with you. You do not need to put your own name, only complete the question if there is someone who is watching the training with you. We do need first name, last name, and email address for that individual. We need a registration for each person, so please register for the training even if you are sitting in with someone else.

What do I do if I do not have an email address?

You will need to put something in the email address area. You may set up a free email address at yahoo.com or Hotmail.com if you want. If you are registering for someone who does not have an email account, you may put their name and yours in the email field. Example, if I'm registering John Doe for a training and I am also on the training I would put John.Doe@Tanya.Cooley as the email address on his registration.

TOOLKIT:  Rental Assistance Call to Action

Purpose:  The purpose of this toolkit is to provide stakeholders with information about how to raise awareness about the rental assistance resources available to tenants and landlords.

Toolkit Table of Contents:  The toolkit includes the following resources for partners:

  1. Background on the Call to Action
  2. Information on the CFPB rental assistance look up tool
  3. Sample messages and materials:  Social media, email, web text, fliers, press release, graphics

Important Resources for Social Media Amplification:

1.  Background on the Call to Action:  Help renters and landlords recover from the financial distress of the pandemic

The federal government is conducting an all-out push to make sure tenants and landlords take advantage of the historic funding for emergency rental assistance to help cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs and keep people in their homes.

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, billions of dollars in federal rental assistance is reaching renters behind on housing costs, as well as landlords who have struggled during the pandemic. These programs are run locally, and right now emergency rental assistance is available across the country.

We are putting out a call to action to government agencies, companies, advocates, nonprofits, the faith community, and more to make sure that renters and landlords are able to take advantage of the relief available to them.

On July 28th the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) debuts a new look up tool that allows renters and landlords to find information on rental assistance in their area. Help us spread the message: Rental assistance is available. We can prevent evictions-benefiting renters and landlords.

While we are encouraging people to help get the word out on July 28th to connect people to CFPB's new tool, these resources will continue to be valuable to renters and landlords beyond the 28th, and we welcome any and all continued outreach efforts.

2.  New CFPB Rental Assistance Finder

CFPB has developed a new look up tool that allows renters to find information on rental assistance in their area. The Rental Assistance Finder designed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help renters and landlords find their local program and apply for assistance.

For more general information about the Emergency Rental Assistance program, visit the unified federal housing assistance portal hosted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

3.  Sample Messages and Materials:  Social media, email, web text, fliers, press release

The sample messages and resources below can be used to help get the word out via social media, your email newsletter, or in outreach you may be doing in your community. These tools direct the renter or landlord to the Rental Assistance Finder. You can insert the content pieces below into newsletters, blogs, email blasts, and social media posts to help get the word out about these resources. There are also fliers that you can send digitally or even print and share directly with renters and landlords.

High Level Messages

At a high level the following short message can be used across various platforms:

New Resources Available for Renters and Landlords:  Renters and landlords who don't know where to turn can use a new website from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This website makes it easy to find rental assistance provider in your area. Spread the word that people can go to the consumer finance webpage to find help paying rent.

Sample Email Text

Subject:  Rental assistance is available to help renters and landlords

If you're a renter having trouble paying your rent, utilities, or other housing costs - or if you're a landlord trying to stay afloat with tenants in this situation - help may be available. State and local programs are distributing billions of dollars in rental assistance to help renters stay housed during the pandemic.

Visit the CFPB's Rental Assistance Finder to find out what this means for you and what you can do. The CFPB's site also includes resources to help renters and landlords understand other resources to help navigate various financial hardships related to the pandemic.

For Renters

  • Worried about missed rent payments or eviction? Federal assistance is available to help cover your rent, utilities, or other housing-related costs. Visit consumer finance to find a program near you. #RentHelp
  • Worried about making the rent? Get help with 12 months or more of rent and utilities. Visit consumer finance to find financial assistance in your area. Ask your local program about the total amount of help available to you. #RentHelp
  • Are you behind on your rent? Federal assistance for rent and utility debt is available. Visit consumer finance to find a program near you. Ask your local program about the total amount of help available - depending on the program's funding, it could be up to 12 months or more. #RentHelp

For Landlords

  • Squeezed between missed rental income and bills you owe because of the pandemic? Help is available. Government rental assistance programs can help you and your tenants cover missed payments. Visit consumer finance for more information. #RentHelp
  • When the rent comes in short, you've still got bills to pay. Apply for direct payments of federal rental assistance, based on your tenants' eligibility. Find your local program and get started today. #RentHelp
  • Landlords are feeling squeezed by the loss of rental income. State and local programs are delivering billions of dollars in federal financial assistance to landlords based on tenant eligibility. Find a program near you and apply today to recover lost rent. #RentHelp
  • State and local programs are making billions of dollars in direct payments of federal rental assistance to landlords. Eligibility is based on your tenant's household finances. As a landlord, you may need to apply. Find a program in your area. #RentHelp

Sample Web Text

If you're a renter having trouble paying your rent, utilities, or other housing costs - or if you're a landlord trying to stay afloat with tenants in this situation - help may be available. State and local programs are distributing billions of dollars in rental assistance to help renters stay housed during the pandemic.

Visit the CFPB's Rental Assistance Finder to find out what this means for you and what you can do. The CFPB's site also includes resources to help renters and landlords understand other resources to help navigate various financial hardships related to the pandemic.