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Family Picnic

The following resources were created by the National Family Support Technical Assistance Center (NFSTAC).


Be sure to check out additional resources on our Resource Database.


NFSTAC Family and Caregiver Toolkit 

This is an easy to access family / caregiver focused toolkit that will provide parents and caregivers with resources for children of any age and other family members across the lifespan.  These resources are intended to provide parents and caregivers with knowledge that supports learning about mental health, substance use services, and best practices.  This toolkit was created with family voice because we believe families are the experts of their families, they understand the environment and the dynamics in which their children and family members live, children will always be a parent’s child regardless of their age. SAMHSA is committed to improving prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for mental and substance use diagnoses. 


Supporting Family Members of LGBTQ+ People

The Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity in collaboration with NFSTAC have created a valuable resource to support your LGBTQ+ community and/or family member. Research has shown that when families support and affirm their LGBTQ+ loved ones, it reduces anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, harmful substance use, and other negative life and health outcomes for the LGBTQ+ person (Ryan, 2009). It is imperative that we provide non-judgmental spaces for families to seek support while also offering them resources that will improve their abilities to affirm their LGBTQ+ family member. 


Family Partnership Checklist for the Behavioral Health Workforce


A tool for members of the behavioral health workforce to reflect on the beliefs, skills, and strategies they possess for effectively partnering with families about their loved one’s mental health and/or substance use support.


Tips for Families, Parents, & Caregivers to Address Bullying Behaviors

This tip sheet provides vetted resources and links for family, school, and community leaders to address school culture and climate. What can families, parents, caregivers, individual educators, family peer specialists, and mental health providers do to address the young person engaging in bullying behavior while school and family leaders address school culture—and climate, and support the child being bullied?


TAC Talk Series

Short informational topics are discussed in a “Ted Talk” style that are approximately 10 minutes or less. Topics include “My Loved One Is Self-Medicating: What Should I Do?”, “What Can I Do to Manage Loss?", “Harm Reduction: Reducing the Risk of Substance Use”, and “Are They Drinking? Recognizing the Signs of Teen Alcohol Use.”


Family Engagement: Families and Schools Working Together Toolkit

This toolkit offers resources and a roadmap from the National Family Support Technical Assistance Center, the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, and the National Center for School Mental Health to move schools from the tokenism that often comes with family involvement to authentic family engagement. Learn how incorporating Family Peer Specialists on school-based mental health teams can move schools towards family-driven partnerships and support for youth experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges.


NFSTAC Glossary of Terms

The NFSTAC Glossary of Terms is a person-centered, family-driven glossary of terms that explains key words and phrases used in behavioral health that reflect language created and preferred by family members.



The Combined Reframing Language Guide


The Reframing Language Guide for best practices when partnering with families was created by the National Family Support Technical Assistance Center and the National Federation of Families. It was designed to inspire new thinking and change the way we talk about mental health and individuals who experience mental health and/or substance use challenges. In addition, our SAMHSA Center of Excellence partners created language at the African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, the E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging and Center of Excellence for LGBTQ Behavioral Health Equity. This document represents a combined cross centered guide that the four centers acknowledge as a best practice language guide. It includes Guidance for Choosing Language to Refer to Black and African American Populations, Reframing Aging Language, and Language Guidance When Serving LGBTQ+ Populations



Harm Reduction Through the Family Lens - Online Course

Harm Reduction Through the Family Lens is an online self-paced training course that offers an introduction to harm reduction, including tips for how families can incorporate these principles with loved ones. This course features educational content, learning exercises, and personal narratives. It takes about 1-1.5 hours to complete, including a brief pre-test and post-test.




Supporting Organizational Well-Being and Leader Success Through Mentorship: A Guide to Sustainability


This program guide was designed to enhance leadership skills through a tailor-made mentorship—supported by our 2022-2023 Office Hour series of videos from subject matter experts in organizational well-being and sustainability. In this guide, you'll find tools to guide you and a mentor/mentee along a journey of co-learning that includes:


  • Links to 8 videos to introduce the series' topics and share strategies to improve skills.

  • An action plan for each topic to assist you in developing your goals and breaking them into actionable steps.

  • A discussion guide for each topic to spark conversation in your mentorship.

  • Additional resources aligned with each video.



Partnering with Families in Behavioral Health: The FAMILY Approach - Online Curriculum Module

This self-paced online curriculum module teaches the behavioral health workforce family-driven language, skills, strategies, and knowledge of resources that will enhance their ability to partner effectively with families in behavioral health settings.


Family, Youth, and Adult Peer Support Differentiated 


While lived experience is a common thread in peer support roles, there are differences among the lived experiences of family peers, youth peers, and adult peers. Additionally, each peer workforce supports a different audience. Use this infographic to explain the differences among these peer workforces. 


Tips for Supervisors Supporting Family Peers in Writing Lived Experience Narratives


Learn how leaders of family-led organizations and supervisors can support family peers in writing their lived experience narratives. Many certification programs require that candidates submit a written lived experience narrative to demonstrate the essential family peer support skill of telling one's story.



A Week of Well-Being for the Holiday Season Toolkit

Practical Tips, Strategies, and Resources to Support Bliss and Peace for You and Your Family during the Holiday Season. Learn how to:

  • Create a blissful holiday season

  • Connect with yourself and others

  • Plan for a peaceful season

  • Pause for inner peace


Virtual Resource Library

We provide up-to-date information related to the provision of evidence-informed and community-defined practices for mental health and substance use support with an emphasis on supporting the caregivers of individuals receiving care. Our virtual resource library will host comprehensive resources for families, system administrators, policymakers, clinical providers, and family-run leadership to ensure organizations understand that best practices include partnering with families as they support their children throughout the lifespan. The library includes training modules, toolkits, self-paced online courses, and other materials and information that can help meet the goals of families. 

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