Family Connections

Family Connections

Actions and Detail Panel


Date and time


Virtual Event

15800 Crabbs Branch Way Suite 300

Rockville, MD 20855

View map

Family Connections: A Virtual Community for Parents and Caregivers

About this event

We invite you to join us!

Hosted by the National Family Support Technical Assistance Center, “Family Connections” is a virtual community for parents and caregivers who support loved ones facing substance use and/or mental health challenges. Families tell us they need credible resources, guidance on accessing help, and the opportunity to connect with others facing similar challenges. Monthly gatherings will focus on a specific topic, provide tips and tools, and offer the opportunity to network with other families.

Family Connections take place the first Thursday of every month at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Join us for our June discussion topic “Families Managing System Navigation” on Thursday, June 2 from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. ET.

Description: As parents and caregivers for children of any age, we know firsthand that the only constant in life is change. Whether getting a new Individualized Education Plan, managing a new diagnosis, or trying to access services, it can be confusing to know how to get exactly what you need. System navigation can be a human, personal journey, such as working with a family peer support specialist—or it can be a virtual journey, such as utilizing an online directory to find treatment services for others or help for ourselves.

Our June Family Connections event highlights the tools that are available to help you find what you need when you need it. We’ll be joined by Heidi Rochon, director of the Parent Action Network at Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), who’ll share tips on accessing personalized family peer support to help you navigate confusing systems. Gena Fitzgerald, SAFE Project’s senior director of Family Outreach & Support, will also demonstrate the first-of-its-kind online Family Support Locator, a tool designed to help families everywhere find the help they need in their own communities.


  • Heidi Rochon
  • Gena Fitzgerald


  • Gail Cormier
  • Lachelle Wade-Freeman
Family Connections image

Meet the Presenters:

Heidi Rochon

Heidi Rochon currently serves as the director of the Parent Action Network. In this role, Heidi works to ensure families and family advocacy organizations across the country have access to information on the science of marijuana, promoting health-first, smart policies and attitudes that decrease marijuana use and its consequences to children and families. Heidi has over 20 years of experience in direct family support, leadership, program development, and the implementation and management of local, regional, and statewide family peer support programs for Maryland.

Gena Fitzgerald

Gena Fitzgerald is Senior Director of Family Support & Outreach for SAFE Project, a nonprofit committed to overcoming the epidemic of addiction in the nation. She develops resources, tools, and stories to inspire and help families coping with substance use disorders and/or mental health challenges. Her portfolio includes the first national Family Support Locator launching this year to help families easily find resources. She is a recovery ally with lived experience supporting family, friends, and colleagues.

Since 2007, Ms. Fitzgerald has directed national communications and storytelling efforts in the nonprofit sector. She served as VP of Communications for the USO and Operation Homefront supporting service members and their families. As the Executive Director for the Journalism Center on Children & Families at the University of Maryland, she created training and resources on critical social issues affecting vulnerable families.

Prior to her nonprofit career, she was a journalist. Ms. Fitzgerald was Senior Washington Producer for NBC Nightly News overseeing national coverage of the White House, Capitol Hill, and breaking news. She is the recipient of many of the most prestigious honors in journalism, including the DuPont, Peabody, and Murrow awards, as well as seven Emmy awards for her work.

Family Connections image

This event is free and open to all families and to the workforce, organizations and communities that support them. Request No-Cost Technical Assistance or Training from NFSTAC at:

Providing Family Support Across the Lifespan | |

The National Family Support Technical Assistance Center of Excellence (COE) Grant #1H79F6000160-Fam-CoE is funded by SAMHSA.

The National Family Support Technical Assistance Center is led by the National Federation of Families.

Share with friends

Save This Event

Event Saved