Key Update: June 2011
Volume 7, Number 12


News and Alerts

Registration Opens for Alternatives 2011!

To register for Alternatives, 2011 – to be held Oct. 26-30 at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Florida – go to the Alternatives 2011 website at http://www.alternatives2011.org and click on “Registration” in the left-hand navigation bar, or go directly to: http://www.alternatives2011.org/announcements/category/registration-july. Register by August 15 and get the Early Bird rate of $375! From August 16 through October 3, the rate is $425. From October 4 through onsite registration, the fee is $450. One-day registration is also available. If you would like a paper copy of the registration brochure sent to you and you have not received one in the mail by July 8, please contact Lisa Gallo at lisa.gallo@horizonmeetings.com or 888-776-1286, ext. 105. Alternatives 2011 is organized by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services. The theme of this year’s conference is “Coming Home: Creating Our Own Communities of Wellness and Recovery.”

Source: http://www.alternatives2011.org

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Disability Rights Groups to Rally for Medicaid Reform on Sept. 21 on Capitol Hill

ADAPT, a national disability rights organization, is working with disability, aging and civil rights groups to hold a rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21, 2011. According to its website, “ADAPT and the other campaign organizers are urging disability, senior and civil rights organizations in every state to hold their own events this summer and immediately begin working to bring people with disabilities and older Americans to the capital in September. We have identified proposals that contain Medicaid spending while supporting our right to live in the most integrated setting and control our lives.” These proposals include expanding the use of community-based services, demedicalizing services, expanding consumer-directed service options, and reorganizing Medicaid services to eliminate wasteful bureaucracy.

Source: http://www.adapt.org/main/medicaid_rally

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DBSA Launches 2011 “Facing Us” Video Contest

Through its “Facing Us” Video Contest (which offers prizes for the best recovery stories), DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) is hoping to provide inspiration to individuals living with depression or bipolar disorder – “to acknowledge that, though there may be dark times, there is also hope, and they are not alone,” said a DBSA spokesperson. “One visitor to the Facing Us Clubhouse shared that, while in the depths of depression one dark night, he found comfort and hope in the personal story video of one of his peers – and that it saved his life!” Until September 5, 2011, you can submit your video online at http://www.FacingUsContest.org and have a chance to win cash prizes of $500 (First Place), $300 (Second Place) and $200 (Third Place). Deliver a personal monologue, sing a song, recite a poem, act out a play with friends, use illustration or animation, or create a comedy act. Judging will be based on the impact of submissions rather than the quality of filming. Visit www.FacingUsContest.org or download the flyer for more information.

Source: http://www.dbsalliance.org

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Cross-Disability Student Organization Is Created to Help Youth Achieve DREAMs

DREAM (Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring) is a national cross-disability organization created by and for students with disabilities. “If you know of any college students with any sort of disability, definitely send them our way,” writes DREAM founder Nev Jones, a young Ph.D. candidate with lived experience of a psychiatric disability. According to its website, “DREAM is an organization-in-process, initiated in the hopes of promoting a national (United States-based) disabilities agenda for post-secondary students and their allies and serving as an educational resource and source of support for both individuals and local campus-based groups. A genuinely cross-disabilities effort, DREAM aims to fully include students with the full range of disabilities – psychiatric, cognitive, developmental, mental, physical, intellectual, sensory, and psychological – explicitly including groups who have been traditionally marginalized or under-represented within the larger Disability Community. We advocate for the continued development of disability culture and disability pride as well as related sub-cultures and movements (e.g., autistic culture/pride, mad culture/pride) and strongly value physical, mental and neurodiversity.” The DREAM website is available at the source below:

Source: http://dreamforpostsecondarystudents.weebly.com/

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Peers Are Crucial to Engaging Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System

An award-winning pilot project in Ohio adds to the evidence of the importance of peers in any effort to engage incarcerated individuals with psychiatric disabilities, Mental Health Weekly reports. Beginning in 2008, the Center of Vocational Alternatives (COVA) in Columbus – working with Columbus Area Inc., a local provider of mental health services – operated a two-year, federally funded pilot in six Ohio prisons whose goal was to help inmates with mental health conditions obtain employment. The program employed a forensic peer specialist and a vocational specialist to counsel inmates before and after their release. According to Mental Health Weekly, the recidivism rate among the 165 program participants was a stunningly low 3 percent over the course of the pilot, compared to the more than 50 percent rate typically found in the general prison population. Although the federal funding ended in 2010, the program is continuing locally in the Franklin County jail. COVA’s president, Judy Braun, M.S.W., told Mental Health Weekly that the forensic peer specialist’s involvement was a key factor in the pilot’s success: “It wouldn’t have had near the success it did without that.”

Source: “Peer involvement seen as pivotal to re-entry effort for offenders,” Mental Health Weekly, June 6, 2011
http://www.nyaprs.org/e-news-bulletins/2011/2011-06-06-MHW-Peer-Involvement-Pivotal-To-Re-Entry-Effort-For-Offenders.cfm
Thanks to NYAPRS

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SAMHSA Offers Consumer-Operated Services EBP Kit

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently released the SAMHSA Consumer-Operated Services Evidence-Based Practices Kit. The kit includes 10 booklets, provides tools for developing mental health services that are owned and operated by individuals with lived experience of psychiatric disabilities, and offers guidance grounded in evidence-based practices (EBP). It can be downloaded for free at the following link: http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Consumer-Operated-Services-Evidence-Based-Practices-EBP-Kit/SMA11-4633CD-DVD

Source: http://www.samhsa.gov

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TU Collaborative on Community Inclusion Conference Has Opened Registration

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has opened registration for its Second International Research Conference on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, Sept. 18-21, 2011, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Philadelphia. “This will be an exciting opportunity for individuals in recovery, researchers, providers, and policy makers interested in learning about cutting edge research and groundbreaking policies, programs, and practices that advance knowledge about the promotion of community participation,” said a TU Collaborative spokesperson. For more about the conference and the agenda, click here.

Source: http://www.tucollaborative.org

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CAFÉ TA Center Publishes Paper on Supported Education

The CAFÉ TA Center, a consumer-supporter national technical assistance center funded by SAMHSA, has published a paper on supported education that provides some basic information on what supported education is, how it works and what it can do for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. “Many individuals with mental illness have had their education disrupted, or faced difficulties in achieving their academic goals,” said a CAFÉ TA Center spokesperson. “Supported education is a systematic approach that connects individuals with the accommodations they need to succeed, and gain both the sense of personal fulfillment and the professional opportunities that come with educational success.” Download the paper for free at http://cafetacenter.net/2011/05/supported-education-for-consumers-of-mental-health-services/, For more information about supported education, see Boston University’s Disability Research Right to Know website http://drrk.bu.edu/ , which provides research syntheses http://drrk.bu.edu/research-syntheses/psychiatric-disabilities/supported-education and information products http://drrk.bu.edu/information-products/psychiatric-disabilities/supported-education/ about supported education, as well as other topics, such as supported housing and peer support.

Sources: http://cafetacenter.net/
http://drrk.bu.edu

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Families Can Influence Recovery Process, Researchers Say

A new study shows that while family members often provide vital support, they also can sometimes be the source of prejudice that impedes the recovery of individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Over an 18-month period, Northern Illinois University researchers studied 129 mothers of adult children diagnosed with schizophrenia. “We found that when those with mental illness exhibited greater levels of initial symptoms, lower self-confidence and quality of life, their mothers tended to view them in more stigmatized terms – for example, seeing them as ‘incompetent,’ ‘unpredictable’ and ‘unreliable,’ ” said lead NIU researcher Fred Markowitz, quoted in a press release. “When mothers held these views, their sons and daughters with mental illness were more likely to come to see themselves in similar terms – what social psychologists call ‘the reflected appraisals process.’ Importantly, when the individuals with mental illness took on these stigmatizing views of themselves, their symptoms became somewhat greater and levels of self-confidence and quality of life lower.” The findings were published in the June issue of Social Psychology Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Sociological Association.

Source: http://www.niu.edu/mediarelations/news/2011/06/what_mom_thinks.shtml

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PTSD Smartphone Application Has Helped Thousands, VA Reports

The PTSD Coach Smartphone application (app), launched in April by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), has already helped more than 5,000 users connect with important mental health information and resources, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs press release. “This new tool is about helping veterans and servicemembers when and where they need it,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. Since its launch, the PTSD Coach app has been downloaded by thousands of individuals, including in 25 countries other than the United States (where the vast majority of the users are located). The app lets users track their PTSD symptoms, links them with public and personalized sources of support, provides accurate information about PTSD, and teaches helpful strategies for managing PTSD symptoms, the press release notes. Information on the PTSD Coach app is on the VA’s National Center for PTSD website: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/PTSDCoach.asp. More apps from DoD's National Center for Telehealth and Technology can be found at: http://www.t2health.org/apps.

Source: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2102

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Study Notes High Prevalence of Alcohol Dependency Among Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities

A new nationwide survey has revealed that adults diagnosed with mental illnesses are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependency than adults who do not have such a diagnosis (9.6 percent compared to 2.2 percent), according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The rate of alcohol dependency increases as the severity of the mental illness increases, the report found. “This SAMHSA study adds to the evidence” of the connection between mental health and substance use disorders, said SAMHSA administrator Pam Hyde. The full report is available at http://oas.samhsa.gov/spotlight/Spotlight027AlcoholDependence.pdf. For related publications and information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/.

Source: http://www.samhsa.gov

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Time Magazine Zeroes In on Horrific Abuse in Residential Care

An investigative reporter at a major news weekly recently published a blueprint for preventing the terrible abuse and neglect that routinely occur in institutions that are supposed to serve individuals with disabilities. Citing investigations by The New York Times and the Miami Herald, which uncovered ongoing violations – including those leading to deaths – in such institutions, Time magazine’s Maia Szalavitz came up with a template for putting an end to such abuse. Her suggestions include intensive oversight and “redundant checks on power,” frequent and unannounced inspections, a reduction in stigma, and adequate funding. “If we want the elderly, disabled and others living in institutions to be safe and well cared for, we need to value them both emotionally and financially,” Szalavitz writes. “That’s not what’s going on now.”

Source: http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/07/why-so-much-abuse-is-allowed-to-continue-in-residential-care/

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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.12, June 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.