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The Key Update, Volume 11, Number 10 - April 2015

The Clearinghouse Will Present a Webinar on Peer Leadership in Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) Services on May 27, 2015

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is hosting a free 90-minute webinar on Peer Leadership in Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) Services: From Program Development to Outcome Evaluation on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET. While many EIP programs include (or plan to include) some element of peer support and/or family support, questions remain as to how to ensure meaningful peer involvement that significantly impacts services. The presenters – Nev Jones, PhD; Irene Hurford, MD; and Berta Britz, MSW, CPS – will discuss both the real-world challenges of robust peer involvement and the potential for such involvement to transform – rather than merely augment – services across the domains of planning, service delivery, policy, and evaluation. Nev Jones, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, and Berta Britz, who helped develop and now coordinates the Montgomery County (Pa.) Hearing Voices Network, have lived experience, including of early intervention programs; Irene Hurford is the program director for the Psychosis Education, Assessment, Care, and Empowerment (PEACE) program at Horizon House in Philadelphia. For more information and to register, click here


New Resource on Developing Welcoming Religious Communities Is Available for Free Download

A guide to help religious communities connect with individuals who have mental health conditions has been published by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse in collaboration with the Temple University Collaborative on Community inclusion. Faith communities typically value outreach and inclusion, but may not know how to connect with individuals who have mental health conditions. This new resource offers some valuable direction on the issue. You can access the guide, Developing Welcoming Religious Communities:  Inspiring Examples of Faith-Based Initiatives to Help Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Participate Fully in the Life of Religious Congregations, by clicking here. 


SAMHSA Seeks Comments on Core Competencies for Peer Workers by May 5, 2015

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), through the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS), has developed a draft set of core competencies for peer workers in behavioral health settings and is seeking feedback. SAMHSA writes: “Please review the competencies and provide your comments as appropriate. SAMHSA has also included a general comment box for overall comments on the proposed core competencies.” To read SAMHSA’s frequently asked questions about the core competencies and to comment, click here. The deadline for comments is May 5, 2015. In a related story, to review the International Association of Peer Supporters’ “National Practice Guidelines for Peer Supporters,” click here.


May 1 Is the Deadline for Two Opportunities: to Submit a Workshop Proposal for the iNAPS Annual Conference, and to Participate in an Anti-Prejudice Project Organized by NoStigmas

It’s not too late! You can still submit a workshop proposal for the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) annual conference, to be held August 20-21, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas. But there is no time to lose: Proposals must be postmarked by May 1, 2015. The theme of the conference is Advocacy, Poverty, and Peer Support. To download the application, click here. May 1 is also the date of the @NoStigmas Project for Mental Health Equality. The invitation on the NoStigmas website reads: “Join the movement for mental health equality on May 1st! Across the globe, NoStigmas volunteers will be taking to the streets and social media to share NoStigmas Project cards. Each card has an encouraging message of hope that will inspire a chain reaction of mental health awareness via social media and in the real world.” To sign up, click here.


Webinar to Focus on the Zero Suicide Movement; Website Offers Journalists Guidance on Reporting on Suicide

The NAMI STAR Center is hosting a free 90-minute webinar on The Zero Suicide Movement: How Peers and Family Members Can Get Involved on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at 3 p.m. ET. The presenters – Michael Hogan, PhD, of Hogan Health Solutions; Leah Harris, until recently the director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery; and Julie Goldstein Grumet, PhD, of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center – will highlight new national initiatives, including the Zero Suicide movement, which seeks to make health care safer; and a just-released national report, The Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience. For the report, click here. To register for the webinar, click here. In a related story, The Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide website offers guidance to help journalists do a better job of reporting on suicide. According to the website: “Some suicide deaths may be newsworthy. However, the way media covers suicide can influence behavior negatively by contributing to contagion or positively by encouraging help-seeking.” For more information, click here.


iNAPS to Host Webinar with Mary Ellen Copeland on May 15, 2015

iNAPS is hosting a free one-hour webinar on May 15, 2015, at 12 p.m. ET; Mary Ellen Copeland of the Copeland Center will present on “Moving Forward with WRAP.” Details will be forthcoming at this link.


Youth Issues Are the Focus of a Guide, a Webinar, and a YouTube Video

A guide to help young adults with lived experience of a mental health condition make the transition from being a “youth advocate” to an “advocate for youth” in a professional setting is available at this link. The guide –Youth Advocate to Advocate for Youth: The Next Transition, produced by Youth MOVE National in partnership with the Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures – includes information for the young advocate in transition and for the adults who provide professional development support, as well as a variety of links to additional resources. Pathways RTC is also sponsoring a free one-hour webinar on June 2, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET on Addressing Homelessness among Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Social Networks Approach. For more information or to register, click here. In addition, Youth Leaders Unite, created at Alternatives 2011,features youth leaders from some of the nations’ leading youth groups focused on mental health, substance abuse and foster care issues. The video was shown during the Alternatives 2011 youth plenary session, which was led by individuals from a variety of youth mental health advocacy organizations. To watch this powerful five-minute video, click here.


Two New Reports on Criminal Justice Issues Are Available for Free Download

The Urban Institute and the Vera Institute of Justice recently published reports on criminal justice issues. The Urban Institute’s report, The Processing and Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System: A Scan of Practice and Background Analysis, “provides a national landscape on the processing and treatment of mentally ill individuals in the criminal justice system. It also highlights challenges involved in the reintegration of mentally ill offenders into society, the diversity of policies and protocols in state statutes to address such challenges, and promising criminal justice interventions for mentally ill offenders.” For the free report, click here. At the same time, the Vera Institute’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, in conjunction with the National PREA Resource Center (created under the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act), has developed a new resource for correctional administrators and staff about housing at-risk individuals without the use of isolation. This guide, Keeping Vulnerable Populations Safe Under PREA: Alternative Strategies to the Use of Segregation in Prisons and Jails, “will help agencies comply with the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape (PREA Standards), which place limits on the use of segregated housing for at-risk populations and victims of corrections-based sexual abuse. It also includes promising practices for managing the housing of populations at particularly high risk for sexual abuse in confinement: women; youthful inmates in adult facilities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) individuals; and people who are gender nonconforming.” For more information, click here. To download the report, click here.

Alternatives 2015 to Be Held Oct. 14-18, 2015, in Memphis, Tennessee!

Alternatives 2015, the 29th annual national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers/survivors and funded in part by SAMHSA, will be held in Memphis, Tennessee, Oct. 14-18, 2015! The organizers of this year’s conference, Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, will be sharing additional information, including the call for papers, in the near future. In the meantime, start working on your workshop proposals: There may only be some 14 days between the announcement of the call for papers and the submission deadline! For more information as it becomes available, click here.


14 Apps – Many Free – Are Available for Individuals Living with Anxiety

Buzzfeed has compiled 14 apps – many free and others of nominal cost – to help individuals who experience anxiety. Among the free apps are Pacifica, which “lets you rate and track mood over time, and provides guided deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, daily anti-anxiety experiments, and health goals.” Breathe2Relax, developed by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, “guides you through diaphragmatic breathing (or ‘belly breathing’), allows you to record your own stress level, and provides informative videos and graphics about the consequences of stress.” PTSD Coach, from the National Center for PSTD – designed specifically for veterans – “educates users about PTSD and its treatment, offers a self-assessment tool, links users up to support groups, and provides stress management tools.” And MindShift is a “teen-targeted app [that] offers strategies for facing anxieties related to socializing and school, with journaling tools, positive thinking exercises, symptom trackers, and relaxation tips.” Buzzfeed notes that the apps “are not substitutes for professional treatment.” For more information, click here.


Organization Offers Free Guide to Inspire Nonprofit Boards

Stand For Your Mission seeks to create positive change through board advocacy and offers a free discussion guide to help. According to its website, http://standforyourmission.org/, “Board members are the community leaders from whom decision-makers need to hear. Board members serve as powerful champions for our missions. We are the ambassadors who can bridge differences in opinion, turn ideas into solutions, and make good things happen. Each of us is deeply committed to our missions. Each of us has what it takes to be an advocate for our missions. As stewards of our organizations, we must find our voice.” To download the free guide, click here.

Thanks, Leah Harris


Map Depicts Homelessness in America

Stateline, a Pew Charitable Trusts reporting outlet, has compiled a map “showing how homelessness stacks up in each state.” According to the map, Hawaii has the worst rate of homelessness in the U.S., followed by New York and Nevada. Mississippi, Virginia, and Indiana have some of the lowest rates relative to their overall populations. To see the map, made available by www.vox.comclick here. (Vox notes, “How to deal with homelessness: Give people homes.”) Earlier this month, Vox published a video of homeless people reading mean tweets. The heartbreaking video is available here.


Comic Book Features Female Superhero with Bipolar Disorder

Aura, a female superhero who has bipolar disorder, was featured in RISE #2 (Comics Against Bullying) and You Are Not Alone Vol. 2.  And her creators, Marguerite Sauvage and Vasilis Pozios, were nominated for a 2015 PRISM Award. But there is still not enough diversity in the comics industry, according to at least one critic. To read more, click here.


May 16 Is International Day of Protest Against ECT

On Saturday, May 16, 2015, there will be demonstrations protesting shock treatment (ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy) in nearly two dozen cities around the world (so far), most of which are in states around the U.S., plus four more in Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Although some believe the benefits of ECT outweigh the risks, the risks of ECT – permanent amnesia and permanent deficits in cognitive abilities – have been confirmed by researchers such as Dr. Harold Sackeim, a well-known proponent of ECT, whose 2007 study in Neuropsychopharmacology concludes: "[T]his study provides the first evidence in a large, prospective sample that adverse cognitive effects can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” In addition, reviews of and information about “Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know about Shock Treatment” areavailable here. For more information about the May 16 event, click here and here and here. If you are interested in organizing or attending such an event, contact may16shockdemo@gmail.com or sources at one of the links above.


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

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#. The presenter will be LaVerne Miller, JD, Senior Project Associate at Policy Research Associates, which operates SAMHSA’s National GAINS Center for People with Co-Occurring Disorders in the Justice System.  More information will soon be posted on the Clearinghouse website and we will send an e-blast when it is available.

If you plan to participate, it would be helpful if you would email Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org; this will make it easier to provide the participants with teleconference minutes. Thanks! If you would like a copy of any of the available minutes, please write to srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Minutes” in the subject line. (The calls are held on the third Monday of the month except when that is a holiday, such as in January and February, in which case they are held on the fourth Monday.)

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


Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible athttp://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online athttp://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to info@cdsdirectory.org or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 11, No. 10, April 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org.For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct).