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The Key Update, Volume 11, Number 11 - May 2015

Join Us on June 25 for an Exciting Webinar on Criminal Justice Issues!

Three prominent experts in criminal justice issues will present a free 90-minute webinar on Thursday, June 25, at 2 p.m. ET. Among the topics to be covered by this webinar – which is sponsored by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion – will be 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; and 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 presenters are Glenn E. Martin, founder and president of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA); Dan Abreu, MS CRC LMHC, a senior project associate at Policy Resource Associates; and Ann-Marie Louison, the co-founder of the Nathaniel Project. For more information and to register, click here.


You Have Until June 15 to Submit a Workshop Proposal for Alternatives 2015!

The deadline to submit a workshop proposal for Alternatives 2015, the 29th annual national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers/survivors and funded in part by SAMHSA, has been extended for two weeks, until June 15! This year’s conference, organized by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, will be held in Memphis, Tennessee, Oct. 14-18, 2015. The conference theme is “Believe in Ourselves. Believe in Our Culture. Believe in Alternatives.” To submit a proposal, click here. For more information about the conference, click here.


SAMHSA Launches Free Webinar Series on Mental Illness Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Strategies

SAMHSA’s four new webinar series, jointly “Addressing Serious Mental Illness (SMI): Effective Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Strategies,” will be delivered from May through August 2015 by the partners in the Mental Health Block Grant Coalition, developed and sponsored by SAMHSA. Each series will describe new and emerging practices across a variety of mental health services, and will explore the types of outcomes sought for different approaches, how these approaches are financed, and provide state and local examples. The Peer Webinar Series will focus on peer related issues such as a recovery oriented workforce, strategies for effective supervision, crisis service providers, and the varying roles of peers. The Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Webinar Series will focus on how the mental health community can help with transition plans for the new HCBS regulations and implementing self-directed care. The Children's Webinar Series will focus on children’s related issues such as evidence-based practices and early interventions for children with SMI, expanding first episode psychosis programs and organizational approaches to effective trauma-informed services. The Criminal Justice Webinar Series will focus on issues including forensic assertive community treatment, addressing the needs of people with SMI, and strengthening partnerships with county jails and community service providers.


Three Important Reports on Criminal Justice Issues Are Available for Free Download

Three essential reports on criminal justice issues – covering the broken and inhumane criminal justice system and offering some solutions – were published this month. Human Rights Watch’s 127-page report, “Callous and Cruel: Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons,” “details incidents in which correctional staff have deluged prisoners with painful chemical sprays, shocked them with powerful electric stun weapons, and strapped them for days in restraining chairs or beds. Staff have broken prisoners’ jaws, noses, ribs; left them with lacerations requiring stitches, second-degree burns, deep bruises, and damaged internal organs. In some cases, the force used has led to their death.” To download the report, click here. The “Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,” which grew out of an Executive Order by President Obama, was published on May 18. “The task force members sought expertise from stakeholders and input from the public as they worked to identify best practices and make recommendations to the President.” The report, more than 100 pages, is available at this link. At the same time, the Vera Institute has published a report entitled “Solitary Confinement: Common Misconceptions and Emerging Safe Alternatives,” available at this link.


Results of a National Survey of Certified Peer Specialists: Job Titles and Job Descriptions

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion surveyed 275 Certified Peer Specialists in paid CPS positions across the country, and created a document covering the wide variety of job titles that CPS staff work under, and the varied descriptions – in the CPS respondents’ own words – of their job roles and responsibilities. To download the free 44-page document, click here.


New York Times Supports Transgender Individuals by Publishing Their Stories Online

The New York Times, which has been running a series of editorials promoting transgender rights and equality, now invites transgender Individuals to submit their stories to its website. “…We are featuring personal stories that reflect the strength, diversity and challenges of the community. Welcome to this evolving collection,” the Times writes. The stories, along with an invitation to participate, are available at this link. In a related story, published by ThinkProgress, a study has found that allowing transgender youth to transition improves their mental health. “This study adds to the growing research showing that affirming transgender identities at a young age yields positive results,” according to the article, available here.


Input Is Requested for Peer Support Specialist Wage and Salary Survey

A wage and salary survey for peer support specialists is being conducted in collaboration with a number of peer organizations, including the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS), the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS), and others. “The goal of this survey,” writes Allen S. Daniels, Ed.D., “is to gather timely information that will help inform and support the peer support specialist workforce on issues related to wages and salaries. All individual responses provided will be confidential. Summary information will be open and available for distribution and use, and is intended for the promotion of improved compensation for peer support specialists. There are two versions of this survey: One for individuals who are employed as peer specialists (available here) and one for organizations that employ peer specialists (available here). Please help distribute this announcement to anyone or any organizations that can complete this survey. The deadline for completion is June 26, 2015.” Questions? Write to Allen Daniels at allensdaniels@gmail.com.


Disability Visibility Project’s Social Media Campaign Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the ADA

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, on July 26, 2015, the Disability Visibility Project is partnering with the National Council on Independent Living for the #OurADAStories social media campaign. Its purpose is “to celebrate the rich diversity of the disability community and the impact of the ADA on our everyday lives and activities.” To participate, submit a photo or message from now to July 26, 2015. For information about what to consider when thinking about your ADA story, click here. The Disability Visibility Project also offers these instructions: 1) Tweet your story: It can be a written message, selfie or a photo of things you see in your community that relates to disability rights. Use the hashtags #OurADAStories and#ADA25 in any tweets. Follow @DisVisibility for updates. 2) Post an image or written message to the Disability Visibility Project’s Facebook group (you have to join first). If you do this, include a written description of your image. Questions? Email Alice Wong: alicat155@gmail.com


Your Views Are Sought on a Proposed International Peer Leadership Academy

The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership and Mind Australia are supporting the development of a proposal for an International Peer Leadership Academy, to be based at Yale University and collaborating centers in other countries. Its purpose will be to train and support emerging and established peer leaders in mental health, from low-income and high-income countries, to advocate or manage system transformation from a lived experience perspective. The group, which includes internationally known peer leaders from the U.S., Australia, Canada, England, Scotland and New Zealand, is “seeking the views of people who are involved in mental health systems in any role on the proposed Academy. Your answers will help to inform the proposal we take to funders and customers in time for the Academy to start in 2016. Please pass this survey on to anyone anywhere who has an interest in mental health peer leadership.” The survey deadline is June 20, 2015. To participate, click here.


Drucker Institute Invites Applications for 2015 Award for Nonprofit Innovation

The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University is accepting applications for the 2015 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation, which recognizes a nonprofit organization that best demonstrates Peter Drucker's definition of innovation as “change that creates a new dimension of performance.” The award, which includes an unrestricted cash prize of $100,000, recognizes an existing program that has made a difference in the lives of the people it serves, and is granted to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that best demonstrates innovation. The deadline is July 1, 2015. For complete program guidelines, application instructions, and information about winners from previous years, click here.

Thanks, Matt Canuteson


Webcast on Preventing Death by Suicide: Strategies to Help Children, Youth and Families

On June 9, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET, “KSOC-TV will explore principles of a suicide intervention-informed approach to address the prevention of suicide and to facilitate the skill building that is critical to healing, recovery and resilience for children, youth, families, schools and communities impacted by suicide.” The moderator will be Gary Blau, Ph.D., of SAMHSA’s Child, Adolescent and Family Branch. The guests will be Julie Goldstein Grumet, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and director of prevention and practice, Suicide Prevention Resource Center; Ashli Haggard, president, Active Minds at the University of Maryland and president, Active Minds National Student Advisory Committee; and Richard T. McKeon, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief of SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Branch. For more information, click here.


Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Sponsors “Ask Me Anything” Employment Series

On Tuesday, June 23, at 2 p.m. ET, the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation – as part of its “Ask Me Anything” employment series – is sponsoring an interactive question and answer webinar on “How to Achieve Financial Wellness While Working.” For example, participants can ask about developing a “financial wellness plan.” They can also find out about the services and supports in their community that might help them receive income tax credits while they work, increase income and keep some of their benefits, and save without affecting their benefits, such as through ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts. The expert is Oscar Jimenez-Solomon, a research scientist and research coordinator at the New York State Psychiatric Institute Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence at Columbia University Medical Center. For more information or to register, click here.


Three New Fact Sheets on Supported Employment from Bazelon

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has published three fact sheets following up on its report entitled Getting to Work: Promoting Employment of People with Mental IllnessGetting to Work discusses the reasons why states should expand supported employment services to increase employment opportunities for individuals with mental health conditions. These fact sheets highlight three key reasons to increase the availability of supported employment, which are discussed in more detail in the report. The first fact sheet, Supported Employment Works!, highlights the effectiveness of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment. The second, Supported Employment Saves Money, summarizes the cost and funding mechanisms for supported employment services. The third, Supported Employment and Olmstead, explains how expanding access to supported employment services helps states comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision. View Bazelon’s additional employment resources here.


Comics and Graphic Novels Raise Awareness of Mental Health Issues

Studies have shown that there is a link between creativity and recovery. Evidence of this link can be found at Broken Frontier’s website, which has reviewed nine comics and graphic novels that raise awareness of mental health issues. Among these are “Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me,” “Ellen Forney’s autobiographical account of living with bipolar disorder”;  “Special Language,” “Emma Mould’s uncompromising and compelling account of the two months she spent in a psychiatric facility in Bath in the summer of 2010”; and “I Don’t Like My Hair Neat #2,” about which the reviewer writes, “Seldom have I seen a better visual definition of the effects of depression than Julia Scheele’s remarkable strip ‘Sinking’ in this striking anthology collection of her comics work.” Missing from this list is Allie Brosh’s remarkable “Hyperbole and a Half: Adventures in Depression, available at this link. For more information, click here.


Next National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconference Will Be Held on June 15

On Monday, June 15, 2015 – at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 7 a.m. in Hawaii – the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will host its monthly one-hour national technical assistance and networking teleconference. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The agenda will be announced via eblast. 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.) The minutes for the calls on April 20 and May 18, along with recordings of these calls, will be available soon. Join us on June 15 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 at http://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 at http://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. 11, May 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH