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In the news...

USPRA Conference Issues Call for Papers
Mental Health News and Salud Mental Solicit Articles and Ads
Study of Antipsychotic Drugs Reports Controversial Findings
Dangerous Lack of Data on Psychiatric Medication for Youth
NYC Police Benefit from Peer Counseling
Repeat DUI Drivers Have High Rate of Mental Illness
Walgreens Recruits People with Disabilities
The Nose Knows: Study of Olfactory Neurons Furthers Mental Illness Research
New Coalition Starts Campaign to End Stigma of Depression
Young People Don’t Understand Mental Illness
National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives
SAMHSA Offers Consumer Guide to Drugs, Alcohol and HIV/AIDS
Recovery ‘Postage’ Is Available
Clearinghouse Consumer-Driven Services Directory

Key Update, Volume 3 No. 4, October 2006

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ANNOUNCEMENTS


USPRA Conference Issues Call for Papers

The U.S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA) has issued a call for workshop proposals for its 32nd annual conference, to be held May 21-24, 2007, in Orlando, Fla. The conference theme is “Recovery – The Magic Is in Us!” The proposal submission deadline is October 30. For more information, see the link below.

Source: http://www.uspra.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3683

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Mental Health News and Salud Mental Solicit Articles and Ads

Mental Health News, a quarterly consumer-run newsletter (http://www.mhnews.org/), is soliciting articles relating to its upcoming themes, as well as advertising. The deadline for its winter 2007 edition, on “Managing Life Transitions,” is November 1. The deadline for the winter 2007 edition of Salud Mental (its sister Spanish-language publication) is December 15; the issue’s theme is “Mental Health and Latino Older Adults.” For deadlines and themes of upcoming issues, see the link below:

Source: http://www.mhnews.org/advertise.html#themes

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NEWS AND REPORTS


Study of Antipsychotic Drugs Reports Controversial Findings

A British study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in October indicates that people with schizophrenia taking older psychiatric medications rated slightly higher on a “quality-of-life” scale than did people taking the newer and more expensive medications. The year-long study of 227 people diagnosed with schizophrenia, funded by the British government, is the first such research to compare the effectiveness of older and newer antipsychotic drugs, according to a report in the Washington Post. However, the Post noted that older drugs, such as Haldol, have been criticized for causing tardive dyskinesia – disfiguring and uncontrollable movements of the face and other parts of the body; such side effects may not appear until people have been taking the drugs for some time. (Recently, antipsychotics in general and especially some of the newer drugs have sparked growing concern about metabolic side effects, the Post notes.) In a related story, the Post reported last year on a three-decade study by The American Psychological Association has identified “notable gaps” in the information that physicians use when prescribing psychiatric medications for children and adolescents, including information about their long-term effects. Among the reasons for this are a shortage of information about the treatments’ effectiveness, a lack of practitioners with expertise in treating youth, and Medicaid funding cuts. The result is that many children are receiving medications in spite of their limited effectiveness and safety, particularly for individuals in that age group. At the same time, the use of antipsychotic medications in children and adolescents increased five times between 1993 and 2002.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/02/AR2006100201378.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/26/AR2005062601091.html

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Dangerous Lack of Data on Psychiatric Medication for Youth

The American Psychological Association has identified “notable gaps” in the information that physicians use when prescribing psychiatric medications for children and adolescents, including information about their long-term effects. Among the reasons for this are a shortage of information about the treatments’ effectiveness, a lack of practitioners with expertise in treating youth, and Medicaid funding cuts. The result is that many children are receiving medications in spite of their limited effectiveness and safety, particularly for individuals in that age group. At the same time, the use of antipsychotic medications in children and adolescents increased five times between 1993 and 2002.

Source: http://www.apa.org/releases/children_meds.html

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NYC Police Benefit from Peer Counseling

New York City police who are in distress can get support from their peers through the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance (POPPA). POPPA is an independent non-profit organization that since 1996 has offered a 24-hour helpline and currently has a volunteer cadre of some 150 peer support officers (PSOs) who offer face-to-face peer counseling on a strictly confidential basis. About 40 percent of callers are referred for additional help to a roster of mental health professionals who have received POPPA training. The overwhelming majority of officers who are referred for such help continue working as police, according to the POPPA founder and director, a former officer himself. In the last few years, about 800 officers annually have called the toll-free number; nearly 70 officers have told POPPA’s clinical director that POPPA prevented their suicide.

Source: http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/41/17/21

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Repeat DUI Drivers Have High Rate of Mental Illness

Nearly 60 percent of men and women with at least two DUI offenses in the past decade, participating in a program offering reduced jail time in exchange for intensive probation and monitoring, reported having experienced at least one mental illness during their lifetimes, a new study has reported. (The mental illnesses included major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.) The data suggest that the courts and treatment programs should include psychiatric screening and assessments in DUI evaluations, according to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest in Albuquerque, N.M., which did the research. The study, published in September in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol, was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Sources: Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation http://www.pire.org/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=52450&nfid=crss

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Walgreens Recruits People with Disabilities

Walgreens is recruiting people with sensory, physical and mental disabilities to work at its planned distribution center in Anderson, S.C., through a new Web site: http://www. Walgreensoutreach.com. The large drugstore chain has announced a goal of at least a third of the new center’s workforce to consist of employees with various disabilities working alongside people without disabilities. The Web site describes available positions, from low-level jobs to management positions. It also addresses other issues, including concerns about transportation, housing and the impact of employment on financial benefits. Plans are to staff the center, slated to open in 2007, with more than 600 workers.

Source: http://www.walgreens.com/about/press/press_releases/070706_outreach.jsp

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The Nose Knows: Study of Olfactory Neurons Furthers Mental Illness Research

Researchers are beginning to study olfactory cells with the goal of developing more effective treatments for mental health disorders, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The nose’s sensory cells – which are easy to remove for study and which grow back – resemble neurons in the brain, and they apparently act differently in people with certain mental illnesses. For example, researchers discovered that various odors caused a drop in calcium levels in the olfactory neurons of individuals with bipolar disorder but a rise in such levels in similar cells in healthy people. The Inquirer reported on such research in Philadelphia at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University.

Source: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/15488776.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

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New Coalition Starts Campaign to End Stigma of Depression

Seven nonprofit organizations have launched a public education campaign to educate the general public about depression and counteract the myths associated with it, such as the mistaken impression that depression is the same as “the blues.” The Depression Is Real Coalition – including the educational arm of the American Psychiatric Association; the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance; the League of United Latin American Citizens; the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); the National Medical Association; the National Mental Health Association; and the National Urban League – hopes to convince the public that depression is real but treatable and that recovery is possible. For more information, see http://www.depressionisreal.org/.

Source: Mental Health Weekly, 9/25/06

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Young People Don’t Understand Mental Illness

According to a recent Harris poll, it’s easier for children and adolescents between 8 and 18 to understand physical illness than mental illness. A Harris Interactive survey of 1,318 U.S. youth discovered that, although 76 percent of youth realize that asthma is a physical illness, only about half understand that depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are mental illnesses. Asked whether they understood the meaning of someone having depression, 42 percent said they understood it “not at all” or somewhat,” while only 17 percent said they understood asthma “not at all” or “somewhat.” The questionnaire was developed by Harris Interactive in collaboration with the Portland State University Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health.

Source: http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=MTU1MTk5

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RESOURCES


National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives

A new online national resource center providing comprehensive information on psychiatric advance directives (PADs) was launched in September. According to Duke University Medical Center and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, which developed the center (called the National Resource Center for Psychiatric Advance Directives), it is the largest collection in the country of information about PADs, which are legal documents in which people with mental illnesses can specify in advance how they want to be treated in a mental health crisis. One of the goals of the center is to increase PAD usage.

Source: http://www.nrc-pad.org/

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SAMHSA Offers Consumer Guide to Drugs, Alcohol and HIV/AIDS

The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published “Drugs, Alcohol and HIV/AIDS: A Consumer Guide,” in English and Spanish versions. The publication is for people with substance abuse disorders who may take risks that could lead to HIV/AIDS. Free copies are available from SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) at www.ncadi.samhsa.gov or by phone toll-free at 800-729-6686 (English-speaking); 877-767-8432 (Spanish-speaking); or 800-487-4889 (TDD hearing impaired). Ask for publication order number PHD1126 (English) or PHD1134 (Spanish).

Source: ncadi-web@samhsa.hhs.gov

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Recovery ‘Postage’ Is Available

The Institute for Recovery and Community Integration has its own “postage”! The “Embrace Recovery” image, which can be used as postage for mailing letters but which is “not approved or endorsed in any way by the U.S. Postal Service” – how’s that again? – can be ordered from the site below. Seven percent of sales go to the Institute. Please note that there is a surcharge.

Source: http://www.zazzle.com/product/172246449559193739

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Clearinghouse 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.

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The Key Update
The free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse
Volume 3 No. 4 – October 2006 http://www.mhselfhelp.org/

To subscribe send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, contact Susan Rogers at 215-751-1800 x288 or srogers@mhasp.org.