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In the news...Registration for Alternatives 2006 Available Online
Consumer Scholarships Available to National Conference on Community Integration
MindFreedom Radio Show Airs on the Internet
Summary of Anticipated 2007 SAMHSA Grant Opportunities Posted Online
Some Medicaid Recipients Are Exempted from New Requirement to Provide Proof of Citizenship; Advocates Lay Out the Facts
Arizona May Limit Insanity Defense, U.S. Supreme Court Holds
Forced Drugging Called Unconstitutional by Alaska Supreme Court
Huge Increase Noted in Prescription of Antipsychotic Drugs to Youth
Sylvia Caras wins NMHA’s Highest Honor
Texas County to Establish First Free Legal Clinic for People with Mental Illnesses
Six States Selected for National Effort to Improve Health Care for Consumers with Disabilities
Clearinghouse Director in the News
SAMHSA Publishes Curriculum to Help Reduce Use of Seclusion and Restraint
ADS Center Offers Online Video on Practitioner-Consumer Alliances
Provider Handbook on Employing Consumers Is Published
Clearinghouse Consumer-Driven Services Directory
The Key Update, Volume 3 No. 1, July 2006
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An online registration form has been made available for this year’s Alternatives Conference, to take place Oct. 25-29 at the Portland (Ore.) Marriott Downtown Waterfront Hotel. The annual conference provides a forum for consumers/survivors from around the country to exchange information and ideas on peer-driven services, self-help, and recovery.
For registration and hotel reservations, visit http://www.alternatives2006.org/. Those who register by August 15 pay a reduced rate.
The UPenn Collaborative on Community Integration is offering consumer scholarships to its conference, Sept. 19-21 in Philadelphia, on the “National State of the Knowledge Conference on Increasing Community Integration of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities.” The collaborative is conducted in partnership with Horizon House, Inc.; and the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP), umbrella organization for the Clearinghouse, which produces this newsletter. The five-year collaborative is the first of its kind to focus on community integration of people with psychiatric disabilities.
Applications for a limited number of scholarships are available at http://www.upennrrtc.org/consumerscholarship.pdf. Applications must be submitted by July 28, 2006.
Source: http://www.upennrrtc.org/* * *
MindFreedom International, formerly Support Coalition International, has launched a free public Internet radio show. The program airs Tuesdays at 1 p.m. ET at http://www.theprn.org/.
Source: http://www.mindfreedom.org/* * *
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has announced a new “at a glance” listing of upcoming grant opportunities at http://www.samhsa.gov/Grants/2007/fy2007opps.aspx.* * *
NEWS AND REPORTS
Some Medicaid Recipients Are Exempted from New Requirement to Provide Proof of Citizenship; Advocates Lay Out the Facts
The Bush administration announced on July 6 that it would exempt more than 8 million of the 55 million people who receive Medicaid from a new law requiring Medicaid recipients to document their U.S. citizenship or lose their public health coverage. The 8 million people affected by the administration’s action are those who had established their citizenship during the application process for Medicare or Supplemental Security Income, such as older adults and people with disabilities. The vast majority of Medicaid recipients would still need to provide documentation.
According to The New York Times, the administration’s action may be in response to a class-action lawsuit filed June 28 that challenges the constitutionality of the new law. Until the law took effect on July 1, only those whose citizenship was in doubt were required to provide documentation. Experts estimate that three million to five million people may lose their Medicaid coverage because they are unable to document their citizenship. The suit was brought by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, the National Health Law Program, and the Chicago law firm Goldberg, Kohn, Bell, Black, Rosenbloom and Moritz.
To help people affected by the change, the National Mental Health Association has published a fact sheet to help Medicaid recipients understand the guidance provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The fact sheet is available at http://www.nmha.org/shcr/community_based/medicaid_citizenship.cfm.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on an Arizona case involving a man who argued that delusions caused by schizophrenia led him to shoot and kill a police officer gives states the power to limit use of the insanity defense. The ruling in Clark v. Arizona will allow states to preclude defendants from presenting some evidence related to the defendant’s mental state. In his June 29 opinion for the majority, Justice David H. Souter wrote that the insanity defense was “substantially open to state choice” and that Arizona’s rule would “avoid confusion and misunderstanding on the part of jurors.” A dissent by justices Kennedy, Stevens and Ginsburg said that restricting the evidence may not allow jurors in the Arizona case to receive information needed to “make sense” of Eric M. Clark’s claims of mental illness. Clark, who was a teenager when he shot the officer, is serving 25 years to life.
In a June 30 decision, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in favor of a woman who argued that the state could not force-medicate someone when less restrictive alternatives exist or unless it has proved that the treatment is in the individual’s best interests. The Court’s long-awaited decision in Myers v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute affirms Faith Myers’ argument that forcing her to take mind-altering drugs would violate Alaska’s constitutional rights to “privacy and liberty.”
According to a press release, Myers has not taken psychotropic medication since 2001.
“By requiring the least intrusive alternative to forced psychiatric drugging, this decision has the potential to change the face of current psychiatric practice,” her attorney, Jim Gottstein of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, Inc., stated in the release.
Between 1993 and 2002, there was a more than fivefold increase in the use of antipsychotic medication to treat children and adolescents, according to a recent report in the Archives of General Psychiatry. A national survey found that such medications were prescribed to about 1,400 out of 100,000 youth in 2002. By comparison, from 1993 to 1995, 275 children of every 100,000 received such prescriptions. While experts have argued insufficient research exists on the effects of antipsychotic medication on young people to justify their use, others say that antipsychotics are the best treatment currently available for children who desperately need help.
A recent USA Today survey of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records between 2000 and 2004 found that atypical antipsychotic medications were listed as the “primary suspect” in the deaths of at least 45 children and adolescents. About 1,300 other serious side effects, some of which were life-threatening, were also reported. According to OpEdNews.com, fewer than 10 percent of side effects and deaths are captured by the FDA reporting system, so the actual numbers may be a lot higher.
Sylvia Caras, a longtime consumer/survivor activist who created People Who–an Internet “community” of “people who experience mood swings, fear, voices and visions”--has received the 2006 Clifford W. Beers Award from the National Mental Health Association. In her published acceptance speech, Caras stated that the Internet, access to peers, access to ideas, and access to information empower her “to make my own life choices, to take pride in the results of the good choices and to learn from the unintended consequences.” She urged others to “give that chance of learning from mistakes, that chance for wisdom, to all people who experience mood swings, fear, voices and visions.”Other 2006 NMHA award winners are:
Travis County, Texas, will use a $500,000, four-year state grant to create the Mental Health Public Defender Office, which will handle misdemeanor cases involving people with mental illnesses. Its goal is to divert clients from jail, although this may not always be possible, County Judge Sam Biscoe told the (Austin) American-Statesman. Biscoe added that the office expects to handle about 500 misdemeanor cases a year. Staff attorneys will evaluate whether clients can receive probation and placement into programs, depending on their history of criminal activity and their degree of mental illness. The program--expected to be up and running by November--is the first of its kind in the country, according to Texas Appleseed, a public interest law center.
New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services e-news * * *
A recent UPI article on the benefits of peer support services quoted Joseph Rogers, president and CEO of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP) and executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, which produces this newsletter. Speaking at the National Mental Health Association conference, Rogers said, “Peer specialists give hope to people about recovery because they are walking, talking examples of recovery.” He added that peers fill gaps in the mental health service system, which is often not recovery-oriented. The article addressed the success and cost-effectiveness of peer support, and cited the Certified Peer Specialist program that MHASP has developed in Pennsylvania, and an initiative in Georgia, which was the first state in which peer support services became reimbursable by Medicaid.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
has published a curriculum that offers strategies for reducing the use of
seclusion and restraint. The agency’s “A Roadmap to Seclusion and
Restraint Free Mental Health Services for Persons of All Ages” is intended
for direct-care staff. It is offered in CD-Rom format and includes
complete lesson plans and handouts for each training module. The
curriculum is available at the link below:
An 18-minute online video that is designed to improve mental health professionals’ skills in forming therapeutic relationships, as well as giving viewers insight into consumers’ feelings about their relationships with their therapists, is available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma Associated with Mental Illness (ADS Center). In the video, psychiatrists and people who have mental illnesses talk about what helps and what hinders in creating therapeutic relationships that foster recovery. To view the program, visit http://www.stopstigma.samhsa.gov/partnersinrecovery.htm* * *
“Consumers in the Mental Health Workforce: A Handbook for Providers,” by Wilma Townsend, M.S.W., and Grisetta Griffin, provides direction on how to effectively recruit, manage, integrate, and retain people with mental illnesses as staff in behavioral healthcare agencies. Among the topics it covers are the benefits of hiring consumers, the hiring process, and questions about management, including reasonable accommodations and professional development.
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/contact, via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.***
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