The National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse (NHCVA) is comprised of more than 30 national professional health associations, dedicated to reducing and addressing the health consequences of violence, in all forms, and abuse. Learn more about NHCVA and view a list of member associations. NHCVA offers free resources and  webinars featuring experts on key topics in health and domestic/sexual violence. For more information, please contact us.

Updates and Action Alerts

Virtual Briefing on Mental Health and Substance-use-related Effects of Violence :: June 1, 2023

Congress has allocated historic funding for behavioral health programs and victim services in the past few years. In this briefing we heard from our panel about how to better utilize these funds to prevent the impacts of this violence and abuse with effective health interventions, including in the primary care and school-based health settings, and timely policy solutions.

Experiencing violence and abuse is associated with a wide range of mental health and substance use-related consequences. It places people at significantly higher risk for depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use, and suicide attempts, whether or not they have suffered physical injury.

The need is growing.

1. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports 25% more contacts received in 2022 than the
prior year; providing over 200,000 referrals to shelter and domestic violence service providers.

2. In separate survey, over 70% of domestic violence programs saw an increased need for mental health and substance use services within domestic violence programs, yet the vast majority felt unprepared to meet this critical need.

The briefing featured health providers, including mental health providers, and advocates who shared insights into effective interventions and policy recommendations to better address the nexus of abuse, violence, and behavioral health.

Focused on finding solutions, the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse (NHCVA) reaches more than 850,000 health and allied health professionals among its 30 member organizations and professional disciplines it represents.

Policy Recommendations

Safe Recovery Resource

Speakers Bios:

Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, DrPH, MPH (CAPT U.S. Public Health Service), is the director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Prior to becoming the director of NCIPC, Dr. Jones served as deputy director of NCIPC. In this role, he served as the primary scientific advisor to the NCIPC director and other senior staff on science issues in public health, clinical care implementation, epidemiology, biostatistics, economics, and behavioral science. In addition, he provided scientific leadership and strategic direction by overseeing the refinement of the scientific research agenda and coordinating the NCIPC strategic priorities of drug overdose, suicide prevention, and adverse childhood experiences. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Reinhardt College, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University, a Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College, and a Doctor of Public Health in Health Policy from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Jones is a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on the topics of substance use, drug overdose, adverse childhood experiences, and mental health.

Karen Gentile, LCSW-C, JD is the Director of the Office of Policy Coordination and Innovation in the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She is also SAMHSA’s senior subject matter expert in intimate partner violence and other forms of gender-based violence.  Karen is a licensed clinical social worker and attorney with nearly 30 years of professional experience in both disciplines, emphasizing policy, clinical and victim advocacy work, prevention education, and legal representation.  Prior to this position, she worked in policy and grants management positions in SAMHSA and the Office of Minority Health in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.   Prior to entering SAMHSA in 2015, she worked for 10 years as the Director of Education and Clinical Services in the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office of the U.S. Naval Academy, where she led efforts around primary prevention, response and clinical treatment of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and other forms of interpersonal violence and abuse.  She also held a variety of direct clinical care, advocacy and legal positions before that time, with a focus on interpersonal violence and abuse.  She holds a Masters in Social Work and a law degree from University of Maryland.

Carole Warshaw, M.D., is the Director of the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health. Dr. Warshaw has been at the forefront of developing collaborative models and building system capacity to address the mental health, substance use, and advocacy concerns of survivors of DV and other trauma and to create accessible, culturally responsive, domestic violence- and trauma-informed services and organizations. Over the past 40 years, Dr. Warshaw has written and spoken extensively on these topics both nationally and internationally and has served as an advisor to numerous health, mental health and advocacy organizations and federal agencies. Dr. Warshaw has maintained a private practice in psychiatry since 1989 and is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois.

Shawndell N. Dawson is the director of the Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services (OFVPS) at the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that addresses domestic violence as a public health issue and strives to partner with the continuum of social service agencies, families often turn to for help. Director Dawson has over 28 years of experience working on local, state, and national levels as an advocate for children, youth, and families experiencing domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and trauma.  She began her federal career in 2010 as Senior Program Specialist for the FVPSA Program managing training, technical assistance, research, and inter-agency collaborations with over 15 federal agencies addressing systemic responses to domestic violence. Prior to joining the civil service, Director Dawson worked for state domestic violence coalitions and national organizations, coordinating community responses to domestic violence, offering technical consultation to domestic violence programs, and serving as a trainer and public educator.

Christina Mullins serves as the Commissioner for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health.  She previously served as the Director of DHHR’s Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health and worked in a variety of maternal and child health programs.  In her nearly 20-year tenure with DHHR she has worked to establish West Virginia’s youth anti-tobacco campaign, collaborated with a multitude of partners to launch a surveillance system for neonatal abstinence syndrome, and co-authored the 2016 West Virginia Overdose Fatality Analysis. Christina graduated from Marshall University with a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.  

Ana M. Caskin, MD serves as the Associate Medical Director for Community Pediatrics at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital and as Medical Director of the School Health Center at Anacostia Senior High School. For over 20-years, she has worked with a wide range of pediatric populations across the Washington DC area, including privately insured patients, Medicaid patients, undocumented children and children with special needs. She has been committed to ensuring that all children have access to the best and most comprehensive medical care in their own neighborhoods. In that work she has explored non-traditional delivery models such as mobile medicine and school-based healthcare. Ana is a native Washingtonian and earned her BA and MD from University of Virginia. She trained as a resident in pediatrics at Georgetown University Hospital.

Jennifer Rohlf, is the Director of Empowerment for the YWCA Northeast Indiana. Jennifer works to uphold the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women through overseeing the YWCA’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocacy programming. Jennifer has been with YWCA since 2013. She has ensured that high quality advocacy services are provided to survivors of domestic and sexual violence throughout YWCA’s 6 county service area. She has been actively involved in providing a variety of educational trainings to the community on the topics of domestic violence, diversity, cyberbullying, and healthy/unhealthy relationships. She is currently a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Domestic Violence, Rape, and Sexual Harassment, as well as a member of several Domestic Violence Taskforces.  Jennifer is a 2015 New Professional Journey Fellow, a 2016 award recipient of Fort Wayne Business Weekly’s 20 Millennials Making A Difference, and a 2017 graduate of the Foellinger Leadership Lab. Jennifer is a graduate from Purdue University, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health Promotion.

Kiersten Stewart leads FUTURES’ Washington, D.C. Office. In that capacity, she guides our legislative strategy and serves as a source of information to Members of Congress, their staff and our federal partners on how to prevent and reduce violence against women and children in the United States and globally. Prior to joining FUTURES, Stewart served as the campaign manager and Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey. In her free time, Kiersten is most likely to be found on a soccer field or baseball diamond chasing after her two amazing children.

Lisa James (moderator) is Director of Health at Futures Without Violence. As part of a National Health Initiative on Domestic Violence, Ms. James has collaborated with health care providers, domestic violence experts, and health policymakers in over 25 states across the U.S. to develop statewide health care responses to domestic violence through training, health policy reform, and public education. She collaborates with national medical and nursing associations to enact effective health policy and programmatic health care responses to abuse and was the recipient of the American Medical Associations’ Citation for Distinguished Service for her efforts to train health care providers on domestic violence. Ms. James coordinates the biennial National Conference on Health Care and Domestic Violence. During her 20 years Futures without Violence, Ms. James has also worked with the international program, collaborating with leaders from non-governmental and health care organizations in Russia, Mexico, India, and China to build the capacity of health systems, providers, and community members to identify and help victims in reproductive health settings. She is the mother of two and lives in Berkeley, CA.

Click Here to Watch Briefing

For additional information, please contact Sally Schaeffer, consultant, at sally@uncorkedadvocates.com, or Lisa James, Director of Health at Futures Without Violence, at ljames@futureswithoutviolence.org

Surgeon General’s Advisory on Mental Health

A Surgeon General’s Advisory is a public statement that calls the American people’s attention to an urgent public health issue and provides recommendations for how it should be addressed. Advisories are reserved for significant public health challenges that need the nation’s immediate awareness and action. This Advisory offers recommendations for supporting the mental health of children, adolescents, and young adults.  While many of these recommendations apply to individuals, the reality is that people have widely varying degrees of control over their circumstances. As a result, not all recommendations will be feasible for everyone. That’s why systemic change is essential. The Advisory includes essential recommendations for the institutions that surround young people and shape their day-to-day lives—schools, community organizations, health care systems, technology companies, media, funders and foundations, employers, and government. They all have an important role to play in supporting the mental health of children and youth. For additional background and to read other Surgeon General’s Advisories, visit SurgeonGeneral.gov.

Academy of Violence and Abuse (AVA) statement on Gender Affirming Care for Children and Adolescents

“The Academy on Violence and Abuse strongly opposes the actions by the State of Texas, or any State, to withhold, or to criminalize, gender-affirming care for children and adolescents. Countless studies and peer-reviewed articles have shown the benefits of this care.  To withhold it is medical neglect, and constitutes emotional child abuse, by the state’s own definition; the emotional harm to persons denied care is well documented…” View Statement.

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Learn more about priorities for the 2022 legislative session. Check back for updates or get an email from NCTE when there is an urgent action needed in your state. Jump to your state by clicking below: Alabama || Arizona || Florida || Georgia || Indiana || Mississippi || Missouri || South Dakota || Tennessee || Virginia Alabama SB 184 / HB 266Type of Bill: Trans Youth Health
Legislative Tracker: Anti-Transgender Legislation – Freedom for All AmericansFreedom for All Americans freedomforallamericans.org View a list of legislation, organized alphabetically by state, in the below chart. Click on the bill to read more information about it.