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The Key update, Volume 11, Number 7 - January 2015

Responses Needed to Debunk Controversial JAMA Piece Calling for Return to Asylums

Three University of Pennsylvania bioethicists are calling for a return to psychiatric asylums in an opinion piece published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In “Improving Long-term Psychiatric Care: Bring Back the Asylum,” the authors write that the “financially sensible and morally appropriate way forward includes a return to psychiatric asylums that are safe, modern, and humane.” Responses are needed to let JAMA readers – and, since this article has been widely circulated, the general public – know that what is needed are community-based services that are in compliance with the community integration mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision. To download the JAMA article for free, click here. For a Philadelphia Inquirer article about the JAMA piece, click here. For complete JAMA letters guidelines, click here. Responses must be received within four weeks of the piece’s Jan. 21, 2015, publication date.


“Self-Care Is Primary Care” Webinar Is Tomorrow, Jan. 27

On Jan. 27, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET, the STAR Center will host a 90-minute webinar entitled “Self-Care Is Primary Care.” The STAR Center writes: “When we think of primary care, we think of the office, nurses and physicians we visit for our annual physical and routine health needs. In this webinar Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D., will flip the notion of primary care and argue that self-care is primary care. Using examples from her own recovery and that of others, she will explain how flipping health care in this way defines new roles for individuals, families and staff. New skills and new measureable outcomes will also be described.” To register, click here. 


Feb. 3 Deadline for ACMHA Peer Leadership Interest Group Opportunity

The ACMHA Peer Leadership Interest Group (PLIG) has just received funding “to support the development of a program or product that collects and shares information about how peers are supporting At Risk Individuals.” (For how such individuals are defined for these purposes and for more information, click here.) Peers who are interested in being a part of the At Risk Individuals PLIG work group must complete an application and return it to innovations@acmha.org no later than Feb. 3, 2015. “This is a hard deadline as all applications will be sent to the reviewers at the same time. We could not act sooner as funding just became available and the board approved the project.” To apply, click on application .


SAMHSA to Host Webinar on Motivational Interviewing for Peer Support Providers

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will host a free 90-minute webinar on Feb. 12, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET. SAMHSA writes: “Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, person-centered form of guiding to elicit and strengthen motivation for change. It is a way of working with people to assist them in accessing their intrinsic motivation to change behaviors that contradict their essential values and interfere with the achievement of their life goals. Motivational Interviewing is both a philosophy and a set of strategic techniques.”  For more information and to register, click here.


ACMHA to Host Webinar on Its New Toolkit about Increasing the Role of Peer Support in Behavioral Health

ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership will host a one-hour webinar on Feb. 4, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET to introduce its new “Peer Services Toolkit: A Guide to Advancing and Implementing Peer-run Behavioral Health Services.” According to ACMHA, the toolkit “looks at the nature of peer support, its origins, essential elements, core values, training and certification, outcomes, providing services within peer-run and traditional agencies, state-level advocacy for peer support services, working with managed care companies, and much more.” The toolkit, made possible by a grant from Optum, comes out of the work of the College’s Peer Leaders Interest Group (PLIG). For the ACMHA press release, click here. To download the free toolkit, click here. To register for the webinar, click here.


Webinar on “Creating Trauma Informed Programs, Organizations and Systems” on Feb. 3

A free, hour-long webinar on methods of assessing a program’s or organization’s approach to creating trauma-informed programs, organizations and systems will be hosted by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and Youth MOVE on behalf of Pathways RTC on Feb. 3, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET. The presenters will also highlight practices and strategies that enhance a program’s ability to create a physical and psychological space that is safe for youth, families and staff who have experienced trauma. For more information, click here. To register, click here.


Mindfulness Treatment Works as Well as CBT, Study Shows

Group mindfulness treatment – which involves learning to be fully aware in the present moment – was as effective as individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in persons with depression and anxiety, according to researchers in Sweden. The study, involving 215 people at 16 primary health care centers, randomly selected people to either be involved in structured group mindfulness treatment or regular treatment (mainly individual CBT). Based on self-reports of symptoms before and after the eight-week treatment, there was no statistical difference between the two treatments. For more information about the study, click here. In a related article in the Huffington Post entitled “How Mindfulness Is Revolutionizing Mental Health Care,” mindfulness research pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn was quoted as follows: “We've seen this in the clinical domain for many years. People, in concert with their physicians ... actually going off their medications for pain, for anxiety, for depression, as they begin to learn the self-regulatory elements of mindfulness. They discover that the things that used to be symptomatically problematic for them are no longer arising at the same level.”


Webinar Will Explore Barriers and Solutions to Helping Youth Find Employment

A one-hour webinar on “The Employment Market for Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions: Barriers and Solutions,” sponsored by Transitions RTC, will be held on Feb. 10, 2015, at noon ET. According to the webinar description, “Many young adults with serious mental health conditions want to find employment that can lead to a secure financial future and employment of which they can be proud. Interviews with employment specialists, recovered employees, and employers found several major barriers to such employment. This presentation will discuss both those barriers and some possible solutions.” To register, click here.


New MHA Report Ranks States’ Mental Health Status and Access to Care

Mental Health America recently released a report ranking the 50 states and the District of Columbia on mental health status and access. According to an MHA press release, more than 8 million adults who have a mental health condition are uninsured, and one out of every three adults with a disability report an inability to see a doctor due to costs. In addition, more than 6 million children reportedly have an emotional, behavioral, or developmental problem and more than 8 percent of youth have attempted suicide. Also, one of every three families said that their child’s insurance was inadequate. For the MHA press release, which includes a link to the report, entitled “Parity or Disparity: The State of Mental Health in America 2015,” click here.


Scattergood Foundation Solicits Applications for Third Annual Innovation Award

The Scattergood Foundation and the Kennedy Forum are accepting applications for their third annual Innovation Awards, which recognize innovations that advance behavioral health policy and practice. “The winner receives The Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation Innovation Award and a $25,000 cash gift for their program. The top five finalists will be recognized and the Scattergood Foundation and The Kennedy Forum will work to promote and share all finalists’ work nationally.” The application deadline is March 12, 2015, at 5 p.m. ET. To submit a nomination and for links to more information, click here.


Updated Employer Guide to the Mental Health Parity Act Is Available for Free Download

The American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) and its Partnership for Workplace Mental Health recently released an updated version of its “Employer Guide for Compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act.” APF writes: “This publication provides employers a concise guide to the parity law, its final regulations and how it is affected by the Affordable Care Act.” The guide “is designed to help employers assure compliance with the law by their health plan vendors.” For more information, click here. To download the free guide, click here. The APF is a subsidiary of the American Psychiatric Association.


New Article on Peer Career Development Is Available for Free Download

An article recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, entitled “Peer Career Implications of an Academic Credential: Report from the Field,” “reports on peer and non-peer educational and employment outcomes following completion of a credit-bearing community college mental health certificate program. Implications and recommendations for peer workforce development are identified.” To download the article, click here. The author – Jessica Wolf, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor, Yale Department of Psychiatry – has also established a Facebook group that aims to identify, develop, share and implement ways for behavioral health peer staff members to obtain educational credentials for career development and promotion. The group – Education Pays! Academic Credit and Peer Career Development – is also exploring ways for peer training and certification entities, behavioral health providers, educators and peer workers to collaborate toward achieving this goal. To join the group, go to  www.facebook.com/groups/educationpays/ and ask to join by email (lower right corner of banner) or contact the group’s founder, Jessica Wolf, Ph.D., directly at jwolfds@gmail.com. To download the handouts from Jessica’s presentation at Alternatives 2014, click herehere, and here. (Information about the Facebook page and Alternatives 2014 handouts was included in the November 2014 edition of the Key Update.)


You Can Write Your Way to Happiness, Studies Show

More than one study has shown that writing about yourself and your experiences can improve mood disorders and cure a variety of other ills, according to a recent blog in The New York Times. “Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health,” writes Tara Parker-Pope in her New York Times “Well” blog. She quotes the lead author of one such study: “These writing interventions can really nudge people from a self-defeating way of thinking into a more optimistic cycle that reinforces itself." For the New York Times blog on “Writing Your Way to Happiness,” click here.


Next National TA and Networking Teleconference Is Monday, February 23, at 1 p.m. ET

The next monthly national technical assistance and networking teleconference of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will be on Monday, February 23, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 8 a.m. in Hawaii. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the calls is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don’t want to suggest an agenda item 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 tosrogers@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.)


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. 7, January 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).