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  Archived Posts From: 2017


Family Partners Empowers Families

Written on: July 28th, 2017 in FamilyMental IllnessPeer Support

Raising children is a major, and often challenging, responsibility for every parent and guardian. When childhood mental illness is added to the mix, it can become even more demanding. It is important for every Delaware parent and guardian, regardless of their circumstance, to know that help is available.

One evening every month families gather in each county for a free casual dinner and support. Each Family Partner gathering begins with adults and children sharing a meal and a question: “What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?”


When the meal is finished, the adults and children separate into two distinct groups.

The adults share their experiences in a relaxed, informal and non-judgmental environment with a facilitator. It’s a peer-to-peer kind of support group where parents and guardians can speak openly about their situations, ask questions and discuss ideas on ways to improve whatever circumstances they’re dealing with at any given time. It’s a safe space where families with lived-in experience lift each other up and connect.

The children move to another space for fun activities, which might include games, puzzles, arts and craft projects, etc. The children are doing more than playing though. Just like the adults, they are making connections with their peers. For example, some children who had shared experiences in residential and day treatment at common facilities talk among themselves about their treatment, goals, friends they made, how they were treated, their diagnosis, the medicine they were prescribed and their experiences.

We all need a helping hand sometimes and Family Partners can be an empowering experience for adults and children. Family Partners is a free event open to all parents and guardians statewide. The atmosphere is welcoming; the food is delicious; and the support is exceptional!


Learn More

To learn more about times and locations for Family Partners in your area contact Anne Marie Gromis, 302-212-7444 or You can also review the upcoming meeting schedule here: Family Partners Meetings Jul-Dec 2017

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August Events for Delaware Youth

Written on: July 26th, 2017 in CommunityPrevention

The Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families (DSCYF), is sponsoring several events the first week in August. These events are sure to fill August with fun and excitement for Delaware’s young people.

The Delaware Independent Living Program invites current and former foster youth aged 14 years and older to attend the 15th Annual Youth Advisory Council Conference on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. The conference will be held at Delaware State University (Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Center), in Dover.  There is no cost to attend.

Workshops will focus on communication, anger management, conflict resolution, building self-esteem, team building and much more.  It will be a fun day!

For more information, please visit:



The popular Delaware Teen Idol competition returns to downtown Wilmington’s Playhouse on Rodney Square on Friday, August 4, 2017.  Youth from all over the state will sing and dance their hearts out as they perform original songs, poetry, rap, dance, and spoken word.  All performances at this family friendly event will encourage youth to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors, and to stay away from drugs, violence and criminal behavior.  This year’s special guest judge is Delaware’s own Nadjah Nicole, who was a contestant on NBC’s The Voice.  For tickets and more information, please visit


The Delaware Prevention Coalition will present Teen Summit – Hollywood Invades Delaware on Saturday, August 5, 2017, 8:30am to 4:00pm at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. The Summit is free for youth to attend, and is geared toward ages 13-17 for a day of workshops, fun, and celebrities. Youth attendees will participate in work groups to discuss contemporary issues affecting today’s adolescents.  Workshops will focus on bully prevention, building self-esteem, gun violence, and a variety of additional hot-button issues.  Please visit for more information.





The week wraps up Saturday night, August 5, 2017 with the Duffy’s Hope 15th Annual Celebrity Basketball Game.  Held this year at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, the annual game promotes the importance of adult involvement in the lives of youth and the need for continual financial support of youth based programs.

Over the years, the star-studded event has featured celebrity guests including singer/actress Brandi; teen sports star Mo’Ne Davis; actress/singer Zendaya; singer LeToya Luckett; actor Wesley Jonathan; media personality Quincy Harris; actress Raven Simone; actress Nia Long; actor Lance Gross; and actor/author Hill Harper. For tickets please visit Tip off is at 5:00pm.

We hope you join us, and our community-based partners, for one or more of these exciting events!


Defining Behavioral Health Terms: Evidence-Based Practice

Written on: July 17th, 2017 in Early InterventionPreventionResearchTreatment

You may hear the term Evidence-Based Practice, or EBP, to describe a skills-development or treatment program and wonder what that really means. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines Evidence-Based Practice as a practice that based on rigorous research that has demonstrated effectiveness in achieving the outcomes it is designed to achieve.

In practical terms, this means a treatment or program is provided to children and families in a way that was successful for other people with similar needs. When agencies implement a program as designed, children and families are more likely to see positive results. Many evidence-based practice programs can help children and families learn skills and strategies that help them manage challenges their family faces and improve communication.

Program models need time before they can become an evidence-based practice. Researchers review information reported during program participation, including outcome data. They also consider how long changes last after the program ends. Improvements and change must match the goals of the program. If a practice does not achieve the intended goals, changes may be made to the model. When others provide the same program, the results should be similar to show that the program model does what it says it does.


EBPs Are Available through DPBHS

Delaware has been increasing use of evidence-based practices in the child and adult serving systems. There is a lot of research about prevention, early intervention, treatment, and skills development programming. This information helps agencies, like ours, and community-based providers choose effective programs that will be helpful to Delawareans.

The Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services offers a number of evidence-based practices. We are working to improve our ability to deliver evidence-based services and add new research-proven methods into our system.

You can learn more about our treatment services here: and our prevention programs here:

To learn more about evidence-based practices, visit the following web-based resources:


Alcohol Facts and Statistics

Written on: July 12th, 2017 in Health and WellnessPreventionSubstance Abuse/Addiction

Our Medical Director, Richard Margolis MD, helps us make sense of new information in psychiatry, addiction, and behavioral health. This article provides Alcohol Facts and Statistics across a range of areas that impact functioning and mortality.

Alcohol Facts and Statistics

According to the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism an estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually. This sobering statistic makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).

Family Consequences
• More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study.

Prevalence of Underage Drinking
• According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 33.1 percent of 15-year-olds report that they have had at least 1 drink in their lives.
• About 7.7 million people ages 12–20 (20.3 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month (19.8 percent of males and 20.8 percent of females).

Prevalence of Underage Binge Drinking
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, approximately 5.1 million people (about 13.4 percent) ages 12–20 (13.4 percent of males and 13.3 percent of females) reported binge drinking in the past month.

Prevalence of Underage Heavy Alcohol Use
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, approximately 1.3 million people (about 3.3 percent) ages 12–20 (3.6 percent of males and 3.0 percent of females) reported heavy alcohol use in the past month.

Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use
• Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years could interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing Alcohol Use Disorders.
• In addition, underage drinking contributes to a range of acute consequences, including injuries, sexual assaults, and even deaths—including those from car crashes.

Alcohol and College Students
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, 58.0 percent of full-time college students ages 18–22 drank alcohol in the past month compared with 48.2 percent of other persons of the same age.

Prevalence of Binge Drinking among College Students
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, 37.9 percent of college students ages 18–22 reported binge drinking in the past month compared with 32.6 percent of other persons of the same age.

Prevalence of Heavy Alcohol Use among College Students
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, 12.5 percent of college students ages 18–22 reported heavy alcohol use in the past month compared with 8.5 percent of other persons of the same age.

Consequences of Alcohol Use among College Students
• Researchers estimate that each year 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.
• 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
• 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
• Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder
• About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.

Alcohol and Pregnancy
• The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the United States was estimated by the Institute of Medicine in 1996 to be between 0.5 and 3.0 cases per 1,000.
• More recent reports from specific U.S. sites report the prevalence of FAS to be 2 to 7 cases per 1,000, and the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) to be as high as 20 to 50 cases per 1,000.

Alcohol and the Human Body
• In 2013, of the 72,559 liver disease deaths among individuals ages 12 and older, 45.8 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 48.5 percent of the 46,568 liver disease deaths involved alcohol. Among females, 41.8 percent of the 25,991 liver disease deaths involved alcohol.
• Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2013, 47.9 percent were alcohol related. The proportion of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (76.5 percent) among deaths of persons ages 25–34, followed by deaths of persons ages 35–44, at 70.0 percent.
• In 2009, alcohol-related liver disease was the primary cause of almost 1 in 3 liver transplants in the United States.
• Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, and breast.


References: NIAAA Alcohol Facts and Statistics, National Survey on Drug Use and Health


Children’s Psychiatric Services Needed

Written on: July 10th, 2017 in Mental IllnessPsychiatryTreatment

Request for Proposals to Provide Children’s Psychiatric Services Issued

The State of Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families (DSCYF) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for licensed medical practitioners to provide psychiatric services to children served in the following settings:
• two residential mental health treatment centers (RTCs), which also provide outpatient day treatment,
• staff-secure and secure care juvenile justice settings (two detention centers, one secure rehabilitative treatment facility, and three staff-secure cottage programs), and
• outpatient Bridge Psychiatric Services.*

The deadline to submit proposals for this solicitation is August 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm. You can view the bid information and status details here: CYF17005-PSYCHIATRY

This solicitation is open to any qualified provider of psychiatric services, including:
• sole proprietors,
• partnerships, corporations,
• limited liability corporations,
• either for-profit or not‐for‐profit.

Regardless of the type of contractor, direct treatment services under this RFP may be provided by a Delaware-licensed psychiatrist experienced with children and adolescents, or Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (PMHNP-BC) with active prescriptive authority.

Bid Solicitation and Contracting Process Information

To sign up to receive notification about solicitation opportunities and to review this solicitation, visit the State of Delaware Bid Solicitation Directory:

If you would like more information about our Request for Proposal and contracting processes, please visit the following webpages:

The Children’s Department wants all interested parties to have an opportunity to submit proposals in response to this RFP. Please share this information with agencies and practitioners you know who might be interested in providing psychiatric services to children served by DSCYF.

*Bridge Psychiatric Service, for purposes of this RFP, is defined as transitional psychiatric care needed when a DPBHS client temporarily has no current provider relationship, e.g., after leaving inpatient hospital care but before a first appointment with a new outpatient practitioner, in order to continue medications.


Mobile Response and Stabilization Services Now Available!

Written on: July 1st, 2017 in Health and WellnessMental IllnessSubstance Abuse/AddictionSuicide and Prevention

When a family is in the midst of an emotionally charged situation involving a child who is struggling emotionally or behaviorally, it can be hard to decide what to do and how to calm things down. Our Mobile Response and Stabilization Services (MRSS) are here to help. MRSS is available to address the needs of children through age 17 and their families anytime, day or night, including weekends and holidays. Family members and other concerned people can access MRSS by calling 1-800-969-HELP.

We expanded how we define a crisis to meet the needs of young Delawareans and their families. This approach will make it easier for children and families to get help when they need it to defuse situations that affect family functioning. MRSS provides timely assistance that assesses risk/safety and works collaboratively with children and families to identify their needs, strengthen their support network, and make connections to community resources.

The goals of our Mobile Response and Stabilization Services are to
• determine if emergency services, such as ambulance or police, are needed
• assess risk and plan for safety
• defuse emotionally charged crisis situations
• connect young people and their families with helpful resources
• help families develop plans to safely maintain children in their homes, schools, and community
• refer children and families to treatment services based on risk and needs ranging from outpatient treatment to hospitalization for psychiatric or crisis stabilization needs

DPBHS has contracted with two provider agencies to deliver this new service throughout the State. Legacy Treatment Services maintains the statewide call center and provides mobile response services in Kent and New Castle Counties. Delaware Guidance provides mobile response services in Sussex County.

Attend a Community Meeting

You can learn more about our Mobile Stabilization and Response Services by attending an upcoming community meeting:

Sussex County on July 12, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm 
Delaware Technical and Community College Owens Campus
Theater in the Arts and Science Center
21179 College Drive
Georgetown, DE 19947

New Castle County on July 20, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Rockford Center
100 Rockford Drive
Newark, DE 19713

Kent County on July 27, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Dover Behavioral Health
725 Horsepond Road
Dover, DE 19901

If your child is injured, has a medical emergency, or there is immediate threat of harm to themselves or someone else; call 911 before calling the MRSS hotline.

For mental health or substance use emergencies involving people who are 18 years of age or older, contact the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) Crisis Intervention Services as follows:
In Northern Delaware: 800-652-2929
In Southern Delaware: 800-345-6785

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