News & Alerts


The National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date information on mental health and consumer issues. In an effort to keep you informed and to respond to your needs, we update our Web site regularly. Look here first to find the latest additions to our site.

Thursday
Jul162015

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities is doing a research study to learn more about how we can support students withmental health issues to help them succeed in school. Students who enroll in the study may have a chance to work with someone who will help them to set goals related to their education, relationships, mental health and campus life, and receive encouragement and support to achieve their goals. All study communication will take place electronically (e.g. telephone, email, text message, Skype).
If you are interested in participating in this study, youmay contact research staff at 215-204-3257 or kpizz@temple.edu, or visit this website: http://bit.ly/1KNYGJZ
Monday
May182015

Please join us for an exciting free webinar hosted by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse in partnership with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!

Learn about the movement to reduce incarceration, including imprisonment of individuals with mental health conditions!

To register, click here.  For more information, please see below.

Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Time: 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, noon MT, 11 a.m. PT, 8 a.m. in Hawaii (90 minutes)

This webinar – presented by three prominent experts in criminal justice issues – will cover an array of topics, including:
  • the movement for social justice whose goal is to cut the incarceration rate in half by 2030 while reducing crime;
  • how to support individuals with mental health conditions who are incarcerated and how to help them transition successfully into the community;
  • diversion models to prevent or minimize incarceration, including the Nathaniel Project, the first alternative-to-incarceration program in Manhattan Supreme Court for adults with serious mental health conditions convicted of felony offenses, 
The U.S. has the highest prison population rate in the world. The reason for such high incarceration rates is not serious crimes but misguided policies such as mandatory minimums, three-strikes laws and reductions in the availability of parole and other early release mechanisms. The high incarceration rate is significant to individuals with mental health conditions because persons with mental health conditions are disproportionately incarcerated when compared to persons who do not have mental conditions. In fact, more than half of all those incarcerated in prison and jail had a mental health problem according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report issued in 2006 – the most recent BJS information available. Once incarcerated, they are more likely to incur disciplinary infractions, and Human Rights Watch recently reported that individuals with mental health conditions in jails and prisons are routinely physically abused by guards. They are also less likely to be released on bail, and they have longer jail and prison terms. In addition, they are more likely to incur technical probation violations once released. 
The presenters:
  • Dan Abreu, MS CRC LMHC has been a senior project associate at Policy Resource Associates since 2005. A senior technical assistance specialist for SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation, Mr. Abreu provides technical assistance and support to the states that received Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery – Priority to Veterans grants, as well as the communities that were awarded SAMHSA Adult Treatment Court Collaborative grants. He also serves as a senior technical assistance specialist for PRA’s SAMHSA-funded Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF)Technical Assistance Center. Mr. Abreu is a former associate director of operations at Central New York Psychiatric Center (CNYPC) and oversaw discharge planning activities for individuals with mental health conditions, as well as development and implementation of the Sing Sing Community Orientation and Re-entry Program (CORP). He formerly held positions with CNYPC as regional supervisor and chief of mental health services at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Previously, Mr. Abreu coordinated jail mental health services in Albany and Rensselaer counties in New York State. 
  • Ann-Marie Louison joined CASES in 1999 and is the co-founder of the Nathaniel Project, the first alternative-to-incarceration program in Manhattan Supreme Court for adults with serious mental health conditions convicted of felony offenses, which received the 2002 Thomas M. Wernert Award for Innovations in Community Behavioral Healthcare. In June 2003, the Project was licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide evidence-based Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services. Ms. Louison became Director of Mental Health Programs in 2002, overseeing Nathaniel ACTand subsequently launching the EXIT and Transitional Case Management programs. In 2011, CASES merged its Criminal Court and Mental Health programs into a new program group, Adult Behavioral Health, which Ms. Louison currently co-leads. She is also a consultant to the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. Frequently sought as a national expert on jail diversion, in 2010 she participated on a panel of national experts convened by the National GAINS Center to reflect on conclusions from SAMHSA’s Targeted Capacity Expansion Jail Diversion cross-site evaluation. 
  • Christa Burkett, technical assistance coordinator of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, will facilitate.
Friday
May082015

Alternatives 2015 Call for Presentations available now! 

Proposals due June 1, 2015

Announcement from

Mental Health America of Oregon

Peerlink Technical Assistance Center

Good news, everyone! We are happy to be sending you a link to the Alternatives 2015 Call for Presentationshttp://altcon2015.jimdo.com/call-for-proposals/.

Alternatives 2015 will be held October 14-18, 2015, at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Alternatives 2015 website is in development and more information is being added as it becomes available.  You will find hotel reservations information and a direct link to make your room reservation online as well as other valuable conference information.  Registration information will be available soon.
 
Again, here is the link to the Call for Presentations:

http://altcon2015.jimdo.com/call-for-proposals/
 
The deadline for submitting workshop and institute proposals is June 1, 2015.
 
We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Wednesday
May062015

JAMA Publishes Several Letters Responding to Misguided Article Calling for a Return to Long-term Psychiatric Institutions

Among the letters published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 313, No. 17, May 5, 2015) is a letter by Susan Rogers, director of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse. The letters begin at the top of the second column on page 1755; Rogers' letter begins at the bottom of page 1755 and continues on page 1756. The letters are in response to an article entitled "Improving Long-term Psychiatric Care: Bring Back the Asylum," by Dominic A. Sisti, PhD, Andrea G. Segal, MS, and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, which was published in JAMA, Vol. 313, No. 3, Jan. 20, 2015. The authors' response to the letters begins at the bottom of page 1757.

Read Letters Here

Thursday
Apr302015

Criminal Justice Issues for Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Will Be the Focus of a Special Clearinghouse Teleconference on May 18, 2015. Join us

On May 18, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will host a special one-hour national technical assistance and networking teleconference featuring a presentation on how to support individuals with mental health conditions who are incarcerated and how to help them transition successfully into the community. This will be followed by a discussion.

The call – part of the Clearinghouse’s monthly teleconference series – will be on Monday, May 18, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 7 a.m. in Hawaii. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#.

According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report issued in 2006 – the most recent BJS information available – more than half of all those incarcerated in prison and jail had a mental health problem. This included 705,600 (56 percent) of individuals in State prisons, 78,800 (45 percent) in Federal prisons, and 479,900 (64 percent) in local jails. The number of individuals who had received mental health treatment – usually prescription medication – during their incarceration was only about one in three in State prisons, one in four in Federal prisons and one in six in jails.

 

At the same time, a number of state and local authorities have supported the development of a new forensic peer specialist workforce, which involves individuals with a history of mental health and/or incarceration who are in recovery and can provide support to others with criminal justice involvement. For example, beginning on June 22, 2015, the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association will be hosting a three-day forensic peer support training for certified peer specialists and veteran certified peer specialists. In addition, the Behavioral Health Training and Education Network (BH TEN) in Philadelphia provides forensic peer support training. The Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania runs the Forensic Targeted Case Management project, which helps individuals coming out of prison obtain community services, including housing, outpatient treatment, medical care, and connection to benefits/entitlements. And New York City’s Nathaniel Project is an alternative to incarceration for individuals with serious mental health conditions who have committed felonies. But much more is needed.

The presenter will be LaVerne Miller, JD, Senior Project Associate at Policy Research Associates, Inc., which operates SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation. Previously an Assistant District Attorney in New York County, Ms. Miller has since devoted her career to ensuring that the voices of individuals with mental health conditions, family members and youth – particularly individuals with histories of involvement with the Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice systems – are included in the planning, implementation, service delivery and evaluation of grant-supported projects. She is also deeply committed to addressing disparities and ensuring that individuals from underserved communities are partners in the design, planning and implementation of services in their communities. Before joining PRA, Ms. Miller was Director of the Howie T. Harp Peer Advocacy Center in New York City for more than 10 years. She has lived experience of a mental health condition.

Join us on May 18th at 1 p.m. ET! Again, the call-in number is 866-906-0123. The passcode is 5037195.