Key Update: May 2011
Volume 7, Number 11


News and Alerts

Submit Your Alternatives 2011 Workshop Proposals by May 31!

Tuesday, May 31, is the deadline to submit your proposal to do a presentation – either a 90-minute workshop or a three-hour institute – at Alternatives 2011! The Call for Papers is available on the Alternatives 2011 website at http://www.alternatives2011.org/announcements/2011/4/25/call-for-papers.html in a downloadable version as well as a version for online submission. The website also has caucus and exhibitor applications and rules regarding service animals as well as information about the hotel, things to do in Orlando, and other useful tips. Registration information is coming soon! Alternatives 2011 will take place Oct. 26-30 at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Florida. The theme is “Coming Home: Creating Our Own Communities of Wellness and Recovery.”

Source: http://www.alternatives2011.org

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The Deadline Approaches for Campaign for Social Inclusion Awards

Applications for the 2011 Campaign for Social Inclusion Awards – which fund selected statewide peer-run organizations to promote social inclusion on the state and local levels – are due by June 6, 2011. This year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will award six $20,000 grants for statewide and community-based efforts that promote and expand the “What a Difference a Friend Makes” campaign http://www.whatadifference.samhsa.gov. Proposed activities must target 18- to 25-year-olds and provide a detailed plan to increase awareness of behavioral health issues and of mental health and addictions recovery among young adults – in particular, those who are Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and American Indian. Proposals are also encouraged that address young adults who have experienced trauma. The comprehensive Project Guide, which describes the project focus, eligibility and application requirements, and other important information, is available at http://promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/CSI/awards/2011awards.aspx. (Although the website indicates that letters of intent were due by May 20, the Project Guide notes that letters of intent are requested, not required.) For questions, please contact campaign liaison Ruth Montag at 240-744-7062 or CSI-liaison@esi-dc.com

Source: http://promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/CSI/awards/2011awards.aspx

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APA Invites Comments on Proposed Fifth Edition of DSM

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has released the organizational framework proposed for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and is inviting public comment through June 15, 2011, on the draft framework and the latest proposed revisions to diagnostic criteria, both available at http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx. According to an APA press release, “[t]he changes re-order the existing manual’s 16 chapters based on underlying vulnerabilities as well as symptom characteristics, which currently result in many individuals being diagnosed with multiple disorders within and across disorder groups.” During an initial public review and comment period last year, the APA received more than 8,000 written responses from clinicians, researchers and family and patient advocates. Publication is scheduled for 2013; the last DSM was published in 1994.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/224325.php

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Survey Respondents Sought for Study of Workplace Accommodations

Adults with disabilities who need workplace accommodations – that is, “reasonable accommodations” as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act – are being sought for a study by researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park. The purpose of this study is to examine factors related to a request for employment accommodations. The researchers write, “You are invited to share your perceptions on factors related to an accommodation request by answering a few questions about yourself, your organization, and your abilities and emotions in the course of requesting accommodations. This survey will take about 20~30 minutes. The first 100 participants completing the survey will have a 1-in-4 chance of winning a $25 gift certificate; the rest of the respondents completing the survey will have a 1-in-4 chance of winning a $10 gift certificate. In addition, you will be assisting service providers and employers to learn more about how to improve the job accommodation process for persons with disabilities.” The survey will stay active for three months or until the number of participants reaches 600. If you have any questions about the research study itself or need alternative formats for the survey, please contact Shengli Dong at 301-405-926 or by e-mail at yerliang@umd.edu. The survey can be accessed at the following link. If the link does not work, please copy and paste it into your browser: http://edu.surveygizmo.com/s3/526326/Job-Accommodation-Request-Survey

Source: Shengli Dong, Ph.D. candidate, University of Maryland

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NY’s Highest Court Upholds Privacy Rights in Victory over Kendra’s Law

The New York Court of Appeals recently ruled to enforce the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in a case where the state was seeking to compel an individual to receive mental health treatment under Kendra’s Law, a 1999 outpatient commitment law. In 2007, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tried to force-treat Miguel M., and – against his wishes and without a court order – wanted to use as evidence records of his two recent psychiatric hospitalizations. On May 10, 2011, the state’s highest court overturned the rulings of two lower courts, which had ruled in favor of the state. “To disclose private information about particular people, for the purpose of preventing those people from harming themselves or others, effects a very substantial invasion of privacy without the sort of generalized public benefit that would come from, for example, tracing the course of an infectious disease,” the Court of Appeals noted in its ruling.

Source: http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2011/05_-_May/NY_s_highest_court_rules_HIPAA_trumps_Kendra_s_law/

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Veterans Win Right to Better Treatment of PTSD and Other Mental Health Conditions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that veterans have a constitutional right to better treatment. In May, the court ruled that the “unchecked incompetence” of the Department of Veterans Affairs is resulting in the suicides of thousands of veterans annually. Although benefits claims are supposed to be handled within days or weeks, it takes an average of more than four years to handle a mental health claim, The New York Times reports. The court has ordered an overhaul of the system, which is supposed to serve 25 million veterans, including 1.6 million who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/opinion/19thu2.html?_r=1

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Combination of Drugs May Not Be Better than One Drug in Treating Long-Term Depression

A combination of two antidepressants may not be any more effective in treating long-term major depression than a single antidepressant, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. When treating depression, doctors sometimes prescribe a second antidepressant medication if an individual does not improve after several weeks. Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern aimed to determine if combination antidepressant therapy as a first step might produce a higher remission rate among those with long-term major depression. In the trial, 665 adult participants were randomly assigned to one of three antidepressant combinations, one of which involved a single medication with a placebo; the other two trials involved two different drugs. After three months, remission rates among the three groups all were around 38 percent. After seven months, remission rates continued to be similar among the three treatment groups and averaged around 45 percent. However, one of the combinations of two medications was associated with a higher risk for side effects and serious adverse events compared to the other treatment options.

Source: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2011/combination-antidepressant-therapy-may-not-improve-odds-of-remission-among-chronically-depressed.shtml

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Psychiatric Services Devotes May 2011 Issue to Coercion

Much of the current issue of Psychiatric Services is devoted to issues around coercion, including seclusion and restraint. The centerpiece of the issue is a literature review, spanning more than three decades, of the perception of coercion by individuals with psychiatric histories. In a guest editorial entitled “Coercion Is Not Mental Health Care,” Janice L. LeBel, Ed.D., of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, writes: “What is remarkable is that this is the first systematic review of research on consumers' perception of coercion. It is also remarkable that the literature spans more than 30 years. This raises the question: Why has no one conducted a comparative analysis of consumers' perception of coercion?” (For the answer, read the editorial, available in its entirety at the source below.) The author notes the progress that has been made over the last 30 years, and adds, “Recent research suggests that peer-run and peer-staffed crisis services lead to higher levels of consumer satisfaction and a reduction in psychiatric symptoms. In a service system focused on transformation, studying the facets of care that promote recovery is prudent and necessary.”

Source: http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/62/5/453

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Fifth Annual National Peer Specialist Conference to Be Held Aug. 22-24

The fifth annual conference of the National Association of Peer Specialists will take place at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel in Raleigh, N.C., August 22-24, 2011. The conference will be preceded by a free institute, offered by OptumHealth, about how peer-run organizations can achieve sustainability, on August 22 from 9 a.m. to noon. Workshop proposals must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than June 10, 2011 http://www.naops.org/id17.html . A registration form is available at http://www.naops.org/id5.html . For more information about the conference, see the NAOPS website http://www.naops.org .

Source: http://www.naops.org

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Proposal for Accountable Community Wellness Organization Wins at ACMHA 2011 Summit

A proposal for an Accountable Community Wellness Organization was chosen as the winner in an Innovation Marketplace at the 2011 Summit of ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership http://www.acmha.org/ . The competition involved six “vendor groups” presenting new “products” for treatment, support, and/or service delivery that in one or more ways were disruptive to the status quo of today’s behavioral health marketplace. The proposal was developed by peer leaders including Dan Fisher, Jen Padron, Debbie Plotnick, Harvey Rosenthal, Laura Van Tosh, and Gitane Williams, with support from incoming ACMHA president Ron Manderscheid. It involves creating a Wellness Village that would promote the health of the entire community throughout the lifetime of its members. According to the proposal, the innovation “integrates person[s] into natural networks creating a wellness community rather than paid sick care and paid supports. This will truly hold health costs down because the incentive is to create, support, and contribute to the wellness of the whole community rather than purchase sickness services.” Following the Summit, the group, which has expanded to include Hogg Foundation consultants and others, is continuing to develop the proposal.

Source: http://www.acmha.org/content/summit/2011/Wellness_Village_2011_Summit_Innovations_Worksheet.pdf
Courtesy of NYAPRS E-News

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Financial Incentives Drive Up Medicaid Costs and Exacerbate Disability

Individuals with disabilities are being unnecessarily treated because the treatment can be billed to Medicaid and can help fill the coffers of managed care organizations (MCOs), according to an MCO executive who recently left his position. Edward L. Knight, Ph.D. – now a volunteer researcher with the Veterans Administration mental health QUERI (Quality Enhancement Research Initiative) http://www.queri.research.va.gov/ committee who blogs about mental health issues at http://www.professored.com/ – singles out (among other inappropriate treatments) the improper use of atypical antipsychotic medications, either in combinations or off-label use, as driving individuals into deepening disability. “The solution?” he writes. “NO SEPARATE BILLING [original emphasis] for each service caused by the addition of services because of medically caused co-occurring medical conditions. The managed care company or large provider is responsible for all costs of care for each patient out of [the] same pot of money.” For more information, visit Dr. Knight’s blog at the source below.

Source: http://www.professored.com

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Dwindling Numbers of Male Therapists May Discourage Men from Seeking Treatment

These days, men receive only 20 percent of the master’s degrees in psychology that are awarded, down from 50 percent in the 1970s. Fewer than 10 percent of social workers under age 34 are men. And only one out of every 10 members of the American Counseling Association is male, down from 30 percent in 1982. (These figures were reported on page 1 of The New York Times on May 22, 2011.) As a result, men who would rather see a male therapist may not seek treatment, many therapists believe. “There’s a way in which a guy grows up that he knows some things that women don’t know, and vice versa,” David Moultrup, a psychotherapist in Belmont, Mass., told the Times. “But that male viewpoint has been so devalued in the course of empowering little girls for the past 40 or 50 years that it is now all but lost in talk therapy.” Although studies suggest that it doesn’t matter whether therapists are male or female as long as they are proficient, a recent study of 266 male college students by a University of Akron psychologist found that there was a direct relationship between a man’s willingness to seek therapy and how strongly he agreed with traditionally male assumptions, such as “I can usually handle whatever comes my way.” “Many men like this believe that only another man can help them, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s true or not,” the psychologist told the Times. “What’s important is what the client believes.”


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/22/health/22therapists.html?src=recg

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Do You Operate, or Know of, a Warm Line?

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 info@mhselfhelp.org or calling 800-553-4539.

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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 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 info@cdsdirectory.org or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107

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About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse Volume 7 No.11, May 2011, 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.