Alternatives 2011 Scholarship Applications Are Due May 16!
NAMI STAR Center to Host Teleconference on Spirituality
SAMHSA ADS Center Offers Training Teleconference on Social Inclusion
NCMHR Seeks Nominations to a Transitional Board of Directors
A New Cultural Competency Tool Is Available Free from the NAMI STAR Center
NCMHR Releases Guidelines for Promoting Recovery Through Choice and Alternatives
SAMHSA Outlines New Strategic Initiatives for Advancing Behavioral Health Recovery
Mini-conference Preceding USPRA Conference Covers Creating Connections
Altered States Website Has Been Updated and Is Seeking New Artists
SAMHSA Releases New Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide
Anti-Smoking Program for Individuals Diagnosed with Mental Illnesses May Serve as Model
A Bad Job Is Just as Bad for Your Mental Health as No Job, Study Finds
Do You Operate, or Know of, a Warm Line?
Consumer-Driven Services Directory
Scholarship applications to Alternatives 2011 are due May 16! To apply, you can download the application in Word or PDF format from the conference website http://www.alternatives2011.org. To be eligible for this scholarship, you must submit a completed application by U.S. Mail, postmarked on or before the deadline of May 16, 2011. NO FAXED OR E-MAILED SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Also on the website are applications to present a workshop or institute (due May 31), to facilitate a caucus (due August 22), and to be an exhibitor (due September 15). The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is organizing and hosting this year’s Alternatives conference, whose theme is “Coming Home: Creating Our Own Communities of Wellness and Recovery.” More information will be provided as it becomes available, at http://www.alternatives2011.org. Questions? Please e-mail the Clearinghouse at email@example.com. Also see http://www.mhselfhelp.org/resources/view.php?resource_id=697 for suggestions about alternative ways to obtain funding to attend the conference, since scholarships are limited.
On Wednesday, May 4, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET, the NAMI STAR Center will offer a teleconference on “Diverse Religious and Spiritual Perspectives on Mental Distress/Illness, Mental Wellness, and Healing.” The session will cover the following questions: How is the experience of mental or emotional distress, commonly called “mental illness,” understood from diverse religious and spiritual perspectives? What can we learn from these perspectives about mental wellness and the healing process? How may cultural competence, social inclusion, diversity, and self-help and program/service practices be enhanced for greater effectiveness? Presenters will include a Tibetan Buddhist assisting mental health consumers in community and inpatient settings to connect with their spirituality, an indigenous Shaman from Ecuador, and a Christian Pastor leading a ministry to serve people living on the streets of Oakland, California. To register, write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, e-mail address and phone number, or call 866-537-7827 and leave a message with your name and phone number. After you register, you will be provided with call-in information.
The SAMHSA ADS Center invites you to a free teleconference training on May 9, 2011, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET, to learn about three innovative community programs that are improving lives, changing communities, and transforming systems through social inclusion. The training – “Social Inclusion in Action: Innovative Community Programs” – will highlight the promising practices of the 2010 Campaign for Social Inclusion Award recipients, including SC SHARE’s Dream Team, Heartland Consumer Network’s Poetry for Personal Power, and Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. All three programs are focused on reaching young adults aged 18-25. “Each of our presenters has a wonderful, inspiring story to tell of how they are changing lives, communities, and systems within their states,” said ADS Center manager Ruth Montag. “We believe these program presentations can serve as a touchstone to inspire other organizations to bring projects like these to their states.” Participants will also learn how they can apply for the 2011 Campaign for Social Inclusion Awards. Registration will close on May 8. Information about the presenters and their projects and a link to register can be found on the SAMHSA ADS Center website at http://promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/teleconferences/default.aspx.
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) http://www.ncmhr.org – comprising 32 statewide consumer/survivor-run organizations and the three consumer national technical assistance centers as well as associate and supporter members and friends – is seeking nominations for a transitional Board of Directors. Board members will participate in building and coordinating grassroots coalition development, advancing NCMHR education and advocacy activities, recruiting and retaining NCMHR membership, and disseminating information related to advocacy efforts to its members and to other stakeholders. The Board will ensure that the NCMHR continues to develop and become an independent corporation. For more information, see the links below. Please e-mail email@example.com with any questions. For the nomination process and guidelines, click here. Click here for a nomination form. Click here for a ballot and elections calendar. All nominations are due June 10, 2011, to Bryce Hewlett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new cultural competency tool is available from the NAMI STAR Center for free download, along with a peer-reviewed research article about the tool’s development. “Cultural Competency in Peer-Run Programs: Results of a Web Survey and Implications for Future Practice”, by Jessica A. Jonikas et al., “explored perceptions of adults with psychiatric disabilities regarding cultural competency of peer-run mental health support groups and programs. . . . Study findings informed development of a cultural competency tool that was pilot-tested among peer-run programs.” The tool, “Cultural Competency in Mental Health Peer-run Programs and Self-help Groups: A Tool to Assess and Enhance Your Services”, was created to help mental health consumer-operated programs and self-help groups assess their own cultural competency: “By using it, you’ll identify the ways in which your activities are already responsive to culturally diverse peers and areas where you could use some improvement. You’ll also create specific action plans to enhance your cultural competency in five important areas,” the STAR Center says.
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCHMR) has released guidelines to educate people about the values-based needs of individuals with mental health challenges. The guidelines – “Enhancing the Effectiveness of Psychiatric Care and Other Services and Supports: Guidelines for Promoting Recovery Through Choice and Alternatives” – were developed by a diverse group of people with the lived experience of mental health recovery from across the United States. “It is our intention that these guidelines be used as a tool for training and education of all community members interested in improving the provision of mental health services and supports,” said NCMHR director Lauren Spiro. “It is our hope that the guidelines will be incorporated into current efforts at mental health systems reform.” The guidelines are available at the following link: http://www.ncmhr.org/press-releases/4.28.11.htm
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently published its strategic initiatives paper: an overview of SAMHSA’s goals, priorities and action steps for accomplishing its mission of reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. The eight strategic initiatives address how SAMHSA will maximize its resources in an environment that promises improvements in the nation’s behavioral health care system over the next few years as a result of a variety of forces – most notably the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The strategic initiatives include Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness; Trauma and Justice; Military Families; Recovery Support; Health Reform; Health Information Technology; Data, Outcomes, and Quality; Public Awareness and Support. "These initiatives are data driven, overarching in purpose and will help SAMHSA work in an unprecedented way across health, justice, social service, education and other systems to improve health care services to all Americans," said SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. SAMHSA’s strategic initiatives paper, Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and Actions 2011-2014, is available at http://store.samhsa.gov/product/SMA11-4629.
A two-day mini-conference – “Creating Connections Through Dialogue” – will take place June 10-12, 2011, at Endicott College (on the ocean) in Beverly, Mass., independent of but directly preceding USPRA’s Annual Conference in Boston. (USPRA is encouraging its conference attendees to attend.) Topics include dialogue in difficult situations, medication optimization, intentional peer support, trauma-informed practice, family perspectives, and others. Speakers will include Robert Whitaker, whose latest book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” was selected by the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association as its winner in the category of Best Investigative Journalism of 2010. Ample opportunity will be provided for interactive discussion and networking. The conference is organized by the National Empowerment Center and the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. For details, see www.power2u.org/events or call 978-685-1494 or 800-POWER2U.
The Altered States of the Arts is seeking new artists in order to showcase their work. Its website has been updated to include art from Kayla Karissa Scott and Liz Zawisza, as well as a new Pillows of Unrest project from Magnolia House in North Carolina. “The Pillows of Unrest project has spread across the international line now with work from Taiwan and, soon to be shown, from South Africa,” said Altered States coordinator Ed Pazicky. If you would like to submit your artwork for consideration, contact Ed Pazicky at email@example.com.
New recommendations for reporting on suicide, based on more than 50 research studies, are now available for journalists. “Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide” was developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), among others. It is available at www.ReportingOnSuicide.org. “Research show that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is through safe media reporting,” said Dr. Dan Reidenberg, executive director of SAVE. “So in developing these recommendations it was vital to work with not only suicide prevention experts, but also journalists to create a useful, straight-forward tool that reporters and news media organizations can turn to when reporting on suicide.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than a million suicides annually.
A New York City outpatient psychiatric clinic is piloting a new approach to help individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses stop smoking. Since the program started in January 2011, the clinic – called the International Center for the Disabled – has so far helped 35 of the 500 individuals it serves to either stop smoking completely or to work on quitting. The program helps people “smoke by the clock” – that is, at set times – which helps them learn that they have some control over their habit. They also set a firm date to quit, and receive nicotine patches, gum, lozenges and inhalers to forestall withdrawal symptoms. Studies show that nearly half of all the cigarettes sold in this country are smoked by individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness.
It’s not enough to have a job; it has to be a decent job in order to be good for your mental health, according to a seven-year study of more than 7,000 people in Australia. Researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra found that people who went from being unemployed to working in a job that was unsatisfying due to low pay or high stress actually experienced a decline in their mental health. The factors studied were how “high-stress” and demanding the job was, how much control employees reported that they had over their work, their job security and whether the job was fairly paid. Those employed in good jobs improved their mental health scores by an average of three points. But taking on a low-quality job worsened their mental health scores by 5.6 points, leaving those who remained unemployed throughout the study in better shape than those in bad jobs. (The researchers called a difference of just a few points statistically significant in this particular study.)
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is assembling a list of warm lines around the country. If you operate or know of a warm line, please share this information with us by e-mailing or calling 800-553-4539.top
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 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, 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
The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse Volume 7 No.10, April 2011, http://www.mhselfhelp.org
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