Tuesday
May312016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 11 - May 2016

Key Update, May 2016 

Volume 12, Number 11

“New and Expanded Medical Definitions Create More Patients” (and a Lucrative Drug Market)

A May 22, 2016, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article shone a spotlight on the pharmaceutical industry’s aggressive marketing strategy to try to create a demand for their products. Listing “intermittent explosive disorder,” “binge-eating disorder” and “low testosterone” among other diagnoses, Illness Inflation: A Watchdog Report notes, “None of these conditions was considered part of mainstream medicine just 20 years ago.” The drugs sold to treat these newly defined conditions “often carry serious health risks,” the report adds. For more, click here. In a related story, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns of new, albeit rare, impulse-control problems associated with the mental health drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada). “[C]ompulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported….These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced.” For more, click here. To see another related story—Another Study Finds Link Between Pharma Money and Brand-name Prescribingclick here. And to see Failure to Report: A STAT Investigation, about how “prestigious medical research institutions have flagrantly violated a federal law requiring public reporting of study results, depriving patients and doctors of complete data to gauge the safety and benefits of treatments,” click here. (Note: The STAT investigation was included in the December 2015 edition of the Key Update.) 

Doors to Wellbeing Offers a Spring Webinar Series; the May Webinar Is Today at 2 p.m. ET!

The Doors to Wellbeing National Consumer Technical Assistance Center has been offering a Spring webinar series. In April, the topic was Workforce Integration: Why It Matters. On May 31 at 2 p.m. ET, the topic will be Peer Support with Veterans—Shoulder to Shoulder. And on June 28, the topic will be Invasion or Innovation: Peers in the Workforce. For more information, to view the archived April webinar and/or to register for the May and June Webinars, click here.

 

NIMH Seeks Feedback on “The State of Mental Illness Research and NIMH’s Role”

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is soliciting comments from the general public on “the state of mental illness research and NIMH's role in the development of this research. Your feedback will be used in developing briefing materials that will represent the full diversity of perspectives on mental illness research for the incoming NIMH director. Please provide comments by June 30, 2016. NIMH welcomes feedback from investigators, investigator-sponsors, clinicians, advocates, and any other stakeholders...” For more information and to submit your comments, click here.

Thanks, @LaurenSpiro

Deadline to Submit a Workshop Proposal at Alternatives 2016 Has Been Extended to June 3!

The deadline to submit proposals for workshop presentations at Alternatives 2016 (#AltCon16) has been extended to June 3! For more information and to submit a proposal, click here. The conference, organized by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (@PeerlinkTA), will be held at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, California, from September 19 to 23. For more information about the conference, including hotel and travel, click here.

New Parenting with a Disability Toolkit Is Available from the NCD

On May 5, 2016, the National Council on Disability (NCD) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation released Parenting with a Disability: Know Your Rights Toolkit. “Currently, 35 states include disability as grounds for termination of parental rights….In every state, the presence of a disability can be arbitrarily used when determining the ‘best’ interests of a child.” The new toolkit builds on NCD’s 2012 report, Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children. To download both the new toolkit and the enhanced 2012 report, click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday Will Cover Recovery-Oriented Crisis Response

On June 3, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference about Recovery-Oriented Crisis Response. “First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” Join BRSS TACS on June 3 to learn more about this important subject and to submit your questions to presenters Oryx Cohen, chief operating officer of the National Empowerment Center Technical Assistance Center, and Phillip Valentine, executive director of the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery. For more information and to register, click here.

Have You Taken Antidepressant or Antipsychotic Medication? Then Please See Below.

Internationally known researcher Dr. John Read is seeking your responses to an anonymous online survey gathering information on people’s experiences taking antidepressant and antipsychotic medication. “The information you share in the survey will be combined with the data provided by other participants and used to produce academic research articles that publicize the results,” according to the survey introduction. Dr. Read is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS); a professor at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia; and the editor of the ISPS journal Psychosis. For an article about this and other such studies, click here. To participate in Dr. Read’s new survey, click here.

To Observe Gun Violence Awareness Day, #WearOrange on June 2

On June 2—National Gun Violence Awareness Day—wear orange. “Wear Orange was created to make it easier for people to show their support for common sense solutions that will save lives,” the organizers explain on the www.wearorange.org website. The annual event began in remembrance of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed a week after she marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade.  Her friends chose orange to remember her “because that’s what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.” The organizers write: “What started in a south side high school to celebrate Hadiya has turned into a nationwide movement to honor all lives cut short by gun violence. Wear Orange is also a celebration of life—and a call to action to help save lives from gunfire.” For more information, click here.

SAMHSA Voice Award Deadline Has Been Extended to June 3

SAMHSA writes: “The deadline for submitting [Voice Award] family/consumer/peer leader nominations has been extended until Friday, June 3, 2016.” To submit a nomination, click here.

New Report Covers Criminal Justice Policy Reforms in 46 States in 2014-2015

 On May 26, 2016, the Vera Institute published Justice in Review: New Trends in Sentencing and Corrections 2014-2015. “In 2014 and 2015, 46 states enacted at least 201 bills, executive orders, and ballot initiatives to reform at least one aspect of their sentencing and corrections systems,” the Vera Institute writes. “[M]ost of the policy changes focused on three areas: creating or expanding opportunities to divert people”—especially individuals who have substance abuse or mental health conditions and/or who are homeless—“away from the criminal justice system; reducing prison populations by enacting sentencing reform, expanding opportunities for early release from prison, and reducing the number of people admitted to prison for violating the terms of their community supervision; and supporting reentry into the community from prison…this report serves as a practical guide for other state and federal policymakers looking to effect similar changes in criminal justice policy.” For more information and to download the free report, click here. Also available for free download is the American Friends Service Committee’s Inalienable Rights: Applying international human rights standards to the U.S. criminal justice system. For more information and to download a free copy, click here.

Newsletters of iNAPS and the Café TA Center Offer Many Resources

The newsletters of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) and the Café TA Center offer a variety of information on upcoming events (such as the tenth annual iNAPS conference, to be held in Philadelphia August 26-27—Early Bird Registration ends June 1!) as well as valuable resources! To download the iNAPS newsletter, click here. To download the Café TA Center newsletter, click here.

WFMH International Conference Seeks Workshop Proposals

 The World Federation for Mental Health International Conference, to be held October 17-19, 2016, in Cairns, Australia, has issued a call for abstracts. The deadline is June 17. For guidelines and details or to submit an abstract, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

Bazelon, UMass Medical School Highlight Opportunities to Promote Employment for People with Mental Health Conditions

A new brief by UMass Medical School and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law outlines policy opportunities that can be leveraged to help people with psychiatric disabilities get and keep jobs, and recommendations to address current barriers to employment. For information about the authors’ recommendations and to download a free copy of Policy Opportunities for Promoting Employment for People with Psychiatric Disabilities, click here. For A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work, published by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, click here. For additional Temple University Collaborative employment resources, click here.

U.S. DOE Urges Removal of Barriers Preventing People with Criminal Records from Pursuing Higher Education

On May 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) urged America’s colleges and universities to remove barriers that can prevent the estimated 70 million citizens with criminal records from pursuing higher education, including considering the chilling effect of inquiring early in the application process whether prospective students have ever been arrested. The Department made the recommendation in a new resource guide, Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals, which encourages alternatives to inquiring about criminal histories during college admissions and provides recommendations to support a holistic review of applicants. “The college admissions process shouldn’t serve as a roadblock to opportunity, but should serve as a gateway to unlocking untapped potential of students,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. For Beyond the Box, click here. For the DOE press release, click here. To read about someone who “found that once he attained a college education—he now holds four degrees, including a doctorate in education—he was able to overcome some of the obstacles that kept him unemployed and on the verge of returning to prison,” click here.

Webinar on Building the Foundation for Your Peer-Run Organization Is on June 15

Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center will host a free, one-hour webinar on Developing & Implementing Policies & Procedures: Building the Foundation for Your Peer-Run Organization on June 15, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET.  “It can be difficult to develop and implement policies for your peer-run organization while allowing peer workers flexibility to assist others in their recovery. This webinar will address establishing accountability, fidelity to models, and protections in and for your organization, peer workers, and those served.” To register, click here.

Quashed Report Warned of Prison Health Crisis

“A government report, blocked from publication a decade ago, presciently warned of an advancing, double-barreled health crisis of mental illness and substance abuse that has currently swamped the nation’s vast prison systems,” says a May 23rd article in USA Today. The report had “urged government and community leaders to formulate a treatment strategy for thousands of [individuals who had mental health or substance use conditions] that also would assist them after release or risk worsening public health care burdens.” It was blocked by officials of the George W. Bush administration, according to then-Surgeon General Richard Carmona. In 2014, USA Today noted that, based on Justice Department statistics, some 1.2 million individuals in state, local and federal custody reported some kind of mental health issue. This constituted 64 percent of people in local jails, 56 percent of people in state prisons and 45 percent of those in federal prisons. For the article, click here.

Thanks, @NYAPRS

“Beware of advice—even this.”

This brain-twisting guidance from acclaimed poet Carl Sandburg is just one piece of advice offered to writers on the @AdviceToWriters Twitter feed, highly recommended if you are a writer or aspire to be one. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “writer,” you may find the information useful. The concise, tweeted advice is available at greater length on the Advice to Writers website if you click here.

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted!

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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 11, May 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

Thursday
Apr282016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 10 - April 2016

Key Update, April 2016

 Volume 12, Number 10

Do You Want to Present a Workshop at Alternatives 2016? Submit a Proposal!

The deadline to submit proposals for workshop presentations at Alternatives 2016 (#AltCon16) is May 23! For more information and to submit a proposal, click here. The conference, organized by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (@PeerlinkTA), will be held at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, California, from September 19 to September 23! For more information about the conference, including hotel and travel, click here.

Minority Job Applicants with Criminal Justice Backgrounds to Benefit from Landmark Settlement Against U.S. Census Bureau

On April 20, 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau settled a class action lawsuit involving discriminatory employment obstacles for minority job applicants with criminal justice backgrounds. “African American and Latino plaintiffs’ applications for more than a million temporary jobs to assist the 2010 census were rejected by the Census Bureau’s flawed screening process, which included use of an often inaccurate and incomplete FBI arrest and convictions database,” an article in Afro reported. Because African Americans and Latinos are arrested at much higher rates than whites, often for the same crimes, the plaintiffs asserted that the Census Bureau was violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. One of the goals of the lawsuit—Anthony Gonzalez, et al., v. Penny Pritzker, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce—is “to end the cycle of mass incarceration,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law. At least a million people may benefit, the lawyers said. The plaintiffs’ lead attorney said that the Census Bureau has since changed its hiring practices. For more information and a link to the lawsuit, click here.

Thanks, ReentryUSA @ReentryUSA2

SAMHSA to Present Webinar on Creating a Culture of Wellness

On May 4 at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will sponsor a free webinar on Creating a Culture of Wellness: A 360 Degree View. “Achieving health and wellness calls for a focus on integrated care,” SAMHSA writes, “but is your organization truly incorporating health and wellness into everything you do? Join this webinar to learn how to use a self-assessment tool to increase your organization’s awareness of the key components of a wellness-focused culture. Learn how to engage in a reflective process to identify what you should keep doing, stop doing, and start doing to truly have a culture of wellness, and hear from a SAMHSA Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) grantee who has used this tool to assess and implement wellness across their agency.” For more information and to register, click here.

Positive Memories Can Help Treat Mental Health Problems

Positive memories can help generate positive emotions, say researchers at the University of Liverpool. A goal was to investigate individuals’ emotional reactions to the imagery of a positive social memory using the “social Broad Minded Affective Coping (BMAC)” technique. The study found that that “safe/warm” and “relaxed” positive mood and “feelings of social safeness” increased following the social BMAC, while negative mood decreased. “These results suggest that the BMAC has the potential to be a practical and effective method for boosting mood amongst individuals with specific mental health problems such as anxiety or depression,” said the lead researcher. The study was published on April 20, 2016, in the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. For a news release and a link to the study, click here.

Thanks, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association @PsychRehab

MHA Wants Your Input to Help Develop Its National Certified Peer Specialist Credential

Mental Health America (MHA) is seeking input on the draft core competencies for its National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) credential, described by Patrick Hendry of MHA as “the first national, fully accredited certification program recognizing peer specialists qualified to work in both public and private whole health practices.” MHA, which is developing this program in partnership with the Florida Certification Board, recently released its National Certified Peer Specialist Core Competencies for public comment. The overwhelming majority of the respondents approved the draft performance domains and competencies/job tasks without changes, said Hendry, MHA’s vice president of peer advocacy, supports, and services. The remaining feedback informed the final set of Mental Health America’s core competencies for the NCPS credential. MHA now seeks individuals involved in the peer support movement to rate each of the 55 competency/job task statements for importance and frequency. “This feedback will allow us to develop the NCPS examination blueprint,” Hendry said. For the survey, click here. In a related story, the International Association of Peer Supporters has created “National Practice Guidelines for Peer Supporters.” For these guidelines, click here.

Media Shine Spotlight on Abuse of Individuals with Mental Health Conditions in Jails and Prisons

There is a growing emphasis by the print and broadcast media on covering the abuse, torture, and deaths of individuals with mental health conditions in jails and prisons. Most recently, 60 Minutes aired a piece on the horrific treatment such individuals receive in New York City’s notorious Rikers Island; for the segment, click here. In its May 2, 2016, edition, the New Yorker ran a story entitled Madness: In Florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards. For the article, click here. The New Yorker ran an online follow-up story: A Whistle-Blower Behind Bars (click here). It also covered the suicide of Kalief Browder, a young man who died by suicide after his release from Rikers Island, where he had been held for three years without being convicted of a crime (click here). The New York Times ran An Inmate Dies, and No One is Punished, about Leonard Strickland, “a prisoner with schizophrenia who got into an argument with guards, and ended up dead” (click here). Meanwhile, Just Leadership USA has launched a campaign to close Rikers Island. For more about the campaign, click here and click here.

Webinar on “Improving Relationships Between Police and the Mental Health Community” on May 25

A free two-hour webinar presented by the National Empowerment Center on Improving Relationships Between Police and the Mental Health Community will take place on May 25, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET. The webinar will include “best practices from both the police and mental health peer perspective. Research, collaboration models, and approaches to building better relationships, as well as tools and strategies for safely collaborating with police, will be offered with the ultimate goal of improving the relationship between mental health peers and police and reducing negative outcomes.” For more information and to register, click here. And for a related New York Times story—For Police, a Playbook Involving Conflicts with Mental Illness—click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday Will Cover Understanding Trauma and Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children

On May 6, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference about Understanding Trauma and Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children. “First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” Join BRSS TACS on May 6 to learn more about this important subject and to submit your questions to presenter Carmela J. DeCandia, Psy.D., director of Child and Family Initiatives with the Center for Social Innovation and a licensed clinical child psychologist with specialties in child and adolescent development, family homelessness, trauma, program development, and assessment. For more information and to register, click here.

Pathways RTC Publishes Annual Research Review on Early Psychosis Intervention

The latest issue of Focal Point, the annual research review published by Pathways RTC, is available for free download. This issue explores early psychosis intervention services. To download the free 32-page publication, click here.

 SAMHSA to Sponsor a Webinar on Crisis Services and Community Integration

On May 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will sponsor a free, 90-minute webinar on Crisis Services and Community Integration, focusing on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision regarding crisis services for people with psychiatric disabilities. Jennifer Mathis, deputy legal director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, will begin with an overview of the legal framework governing state obligations. Two other presenters will cover, respectively, the essential elements and practices of an effective mental health crisis system and an initiative to improve crisis services as part of efforts to comply with Georgia’s Olmstead settlement. For more information and to register, click here.

Justice Department Names April 24-30, 2016, Its First Annual National Reentry Week

As part of its commitment to reducing policy barriers to successful reentry to the community from jails and prisons, the U.S. Department of Justice has designated April 24-30, 2016, as the first National Reentry Week. Recognizing this historic occasion, the Legal Action Center calls for ensuring “that all people with conviction histories are eligible for and receive effective reentry services, not just those with offenses categorized as nonserious, nonsexual, and nonviolent.” For more about National Reentry Week, click here. For the Legal Action Center’s When Coming Home Means Being Shut Out: Expanding Reentry to All Types of Offenses, click here. (The mission of the Legal Action Center is “to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas.”)

Thanks, Fran Hazam

Café TA Center Publishes Newsletter on Supported Education

Issue 44 of Focus, the newsletter of the Café Technical Assistance Center, covers Supported Education: Examining the Evidence. It includes links to SAMHSA’s Supported Education Evidence-Based Practices Kit and a variety of other useful information on the subject of supported education. For the newsletter, click here.

 

Transitions RTC to Host Webinar on College Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities

Tools for School: College Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities, a free webinar presented by Transitions RTC, will take place on May 3, 2016 at 12 p.m. ET. The webinar will cover “getting an accommodation: what you should know; thinking outside the box on accommodations; and advocating with Disability Services Offices.” The presenter will be Laura DiGalbo, M.Ed., CRC, LPC. For more information and to register, click here.

Half of Those Killed by Police Are Individuals with Disabilities, New Report Says

A new report on Media Coverage of Law Enforcement Use of Force and Disability from the Ruderman Family Foundation notes that “Disability is the missing word in media coverage of police violence. Disabled individuals make up a third to half of all people killed by law enforcement officers. Disabled individuals make up the majority of those killed in use-of-force cases that attract widespread attention. This is true both for cases deemed illegal or against policy and for those in which officers are ultimately fully exonerated. The media is ignoring the disability component of these stories, or, worse, is telling them in ways that intensify stigma and ableism.” The report is available for free download: click here. For a New York magazine article about the report, click here.

Thanks, Disability Rights International @DRI_advocacy

ISEPP Posts Invitation to Share Your Story of Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal in a Documentary

“The producers of Middlemarch Films are looking for volunteers to share their stories of psychiatric drug withdrawal in a full-length documentary that takes a critical view of psychiatry and psychiatric drugs,” writes Chuck Ruby, Ph.D., executive director of the International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry. “As well as showing the failures of the medical model, they hope to show inspiring stories of healing outside of it. They are looking for people who are willing to share their stories, and in particular they would like to hear from people who are in the process of getting off their psychiatric medications and are seeking a different way forward. If you are interested, please contact either Lynn Cunningham at lynn_p_cunningham@yahoo.com, 917.282.0710, or Wendy Ractliffe at wenractliffe@gmail.com, 207.590.9529.” For more, click here. (Editor’s note: No endorsement of withdrawing from psychiatric medication is intended. Individuals who choose to take psychiatric medications—or, indeed, any medications—should educate themselves about the risk/reward ratio and make informed decisions in collaboration with a trusted medical professional.)

Thanks, @KevinFitts

TU Collaborative Seeks Volunteers for a Research Study

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion is seeking volunteers for a research study “to learn more about how we can support students with mental health issues to help them succeed in school.” To be eligible, you need to be between the ages of 18 and 50, “have a diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder or depression; be currently receiving mental health services; be currently enrolled full-time in a two- or four-year college, university, or tech/vocational school in the continental US, in a non-online degree program; want to get help with school related to your mental health issues in at least two areas; and have access to a computer, the Internet, and a cellphone.” Participants will receive $20 for each completed survey, for a total of $60 if all three surveys are completed. For more information, contact 215.204.3257 or kpizz@temple.edu, or click here. For the survey, click here.

Theater Company Sponsors Playwriting Competition on Mental Health Theme

The Adirondack Shakespeare Company (ADK Shakespeare) is sponsoring its first Dramatic Writing Competition, on the subject of “mental illness.” ADK Shakespeare writes: “We regard this subject as being quite broad, encompassing a wide spectrum that would include both the Prince of Denmark and Willy Loman, but would stretch well beyond…” There are two categories: full-length works and shorts/one-acts. The submission fee is $10 for short plays and $30 for full-length works. For submission guidelines and information about prizes, click here.

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

A Mental Health Blog Picks “The 25 Best Twitter Feeds to Follow.”

If you are on Twitter—and if you aren’t, why aren’t you?—here are the “25 Best Twitter Feeds to Follow,” according to a UK-based mental health blog that tweets as @EmoVoid. Among the recommendations are mainstream sites such as NIMH (@NIMHgov) and the American Psychiatric Association (@APAPsychiatric), as well as @PsychCentral and @HealthyPlace. Others are individuals’ Twitter feeds on mental health-related topics. (Disclaimer: I can’t personally recommend these sites and I only follow two of them.) To the EmoVoid list, which is available here, I would like to add (at a very bare minimum) @Mad_In_America, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Marshall Project (@MarshallProj), and the @VeraInstitute. (The latter two sites cover criminal justice issues, which often overlap with mental health issues.) And you can follow me at @SusanRogersMH.

Thanks, Café TA Center @CafeTAC

Comic Strips Capture the Experience of Depression and Anxiety

Laughter is the best medicine, as evidenced by the work of two graphic artists about what it feels like to deal with depression and anxiety. Cartoonist Nick Seluk turned Sarah Flanigan’s story into a comic after Flanigan shared her story of struggling with depression and anxiety with him. “I wish everyone knew that depression is not something that people can just ‘snap out of.’ I mean, if I could ‘snap out of it,’ I would have by now,” Flanigan wrote. For Seluk’s comic and its provenance, click here. And there is also the prodigiously talented Allie Brosh, who draws Hyperbole and a Half. For Brosh’s Adventures in Depression, click here; for Depression Part Two, click here.

 

Canadian Tattoo Artist Transforms Scars into Art to Help Heal Trauma

A Vancouver, BC, tattoo artist is helping to heal people who are scarred from suicide attempts, abuse and traumatic surgeries by designing tattoos around the scars, CBC News reported. Auberon Wolf, who herself has been tattooed to cover scars from self-harm as a teenager, says that the process can be more therapeutic than the finished product. One client, calling it “bloodletting in a really safe way,” said that having Wolf tattoo her kept her from suicide. However, a University of British Columbia nursing professor cautioned that, while inscribing art on the body to work through trauma might ground someone and be “positive” and “hopeful,” some people may react differently and “it's really good to go into it thoughtfully and to get that careful, informed consent.” For the story, click here.

Thanks, Leah Harris @leahida

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted!

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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 10, April 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Mar242016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 9--March 2016

Key Update, March 2016

Volume 12, Number 9

Sign the Petition—And Submit a Comment—to keep the ECT Device in Class III!

It’s not too late to sign the MindFreedom International petition to stop the Food and Drug Administration from “down-classifying the shock device to a Class II device.” Please sign here! And you only have until March 28 to submit a comment on the FDA website, at this link. ECT is a controversial procedure that even proponents admit can cause adverse cognitive effects [that] can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” The device is currently in Class III. For information about the three classes, click here. For testimony by Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., in 2011, the last time the FDA threatened to reclassify the equipment, click here. For information about Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know about Shock Treatment, which the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine called “brilliant analysis,” click here. For additional information, click here. Again, to comment, click here. To sign the petition, click here.

Webinar on Welcoming Work Environments Presented by TU Collaborative on March 29

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion invites you to participate in a free, hour-long webinar on March 29 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will focus on “strategies for creating more welcoming work environments within mental health agencies for staff members with mental health conditions.” For details and to register, click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday in April Will Cover The ACA and Outreach in Frontier States

On April 1, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference about The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Outreach in Frontier States. “First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” Join BRSS TACS on April 1 to hear about the ACA and outreach in frontier states, and to submit your questions to presenter Sue Bergeson, vice president of consumer affairs, OptumHealth. For more information and to register, click here.

March Newsletter of the TU Collaborative on Community Inclusion Focuses on Criminal Justice Issues

Reintegration of individuals with mental illnesses into community life following incarceration is the focus of the latest edition of the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion newsletter. Included are links to a monograph entitled Returning to the Community: Reentry Barriers following Incarceration among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses, an infographic that details the results of a study on the community participation patterns of individuals with serious mental health conditions after their release from jail compared to a control group, and much more! For the newsletter, click here.

SAMHSA Seeks Applications for Its 2016 Voice Awards

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is seeking nominations for its 2016 Voice Awards. This year, “the Voice Awards will focus on the role that family support—between parents, children, spouses/partners, siblings, and other close family relationships—plays in inspiring hope and resilience for people experiencing a mental and/or substance use disorder….Special consideration will be given to consumer/peer leaders who promote partnerships with family members as an essential part of recovery [and] to film and television productions that portray the positive impact that family members can have on their loved one’s path to recovery.” Nominations are due by April 22, 2016. For more information, click here.

New Website Is a Place to Learn About Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Information

ParityTrack “aims to be the central site for mental health and substance use disorder parity information and to offer an exclusive look at parity issues.” It works to help people understand their rights under the federal and state parity laws and to “feel empowered to exercise those rights.” The website—sponsored by a variety of organizations, including the Kennedy Forum and the Scattergood Foundation—includes three main sections: Parity Reports, Know Your Rights, and Get Support. The site is available here.

Webinar on Community Inclusion Policy Development Will Discuss Two New Publications

A webinar co-sponsored by Mental Health America and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, on April 4 at 1 p.m. ET, will discuss two new publications: Behavioral health Managed Care Entities: Important Partnerships in Promoting Community Inclusion, available here, and Community Participation and Inclusion: Shifting Perspectives on Quality Measures, available here. To register, click here.

Free Telephone Support Group for Parents with Mental Health Challenges

Child and Family Connections Inc. is hosting a free, weekly, telephone or web-based Parent Support Group for parents with mental health conditions anywhere in the U.S. “It is hosted by an experienced and caring parent and behavioral health professional with lived experience who gently guides the discussion in a healing and supportive direction with a people-first, recovery-centric approach,” according to the agency’s website. “Parents may join the call as frequently or infrequently as they’d like and may choose to remain anonymous or to introduce themselves. No registration or commitment is required, but for many parents, the group becomes a vital part of their support system and a consistent part of their lives.” The hour-long calls take place Wednesdays with Elizabeth at 6 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. CT, 4 p.m. MT, 3 p.m. ET; and Saturdays with Sue at 4 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. CT, 2 p.m. MT, 1 p.m. PT. The toll-free number is 888.601.3515 or log on by clicking here. For more information, click here.

SAMHSA Publication on Practicing Recovery Available for Free Download

This month, SAMHSA published Practicing Recovery: Implementing and Measuring a Recovery Orientation, by Larry Davidson, Ph.D. This four-page document describes “several tools have been developed to help agencies and practitioners learn about the profound changes required to implement recovery-oriented practices.” “Recovery-oriented practices move beyond the conventional policies and structures of most behavioral health agencies, necessitating a transformation of behavioral health services,” Davidson writes. “This transformation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2005), will require ‘profound change—not at the margins of a system, but at its very core.’” To download the free document, click here.

New Publication Documents the Unfair Impact of the Criminal Justice System on LGBT People

A 180-page report entitled Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People is available for free download. “The report documents how pervasive stigma and discrimination, biased enforcement of laws, and discriminatory policing strategies mean that LGBT people are disproportionately likely to interact with law enforcement and to have their lives criminalized. LGBT people are also treated unfairly once they enter the system; the report shows how they overrepresented in jails and prisons and face abuse while incarcerated. Finally, the report sheds light on the fact that LGBT people face unique and considerable challenges in the struggle to rebuild their lives after experiences with law enforcement—and particularly after time spent in a correctional facility.”  For more information and to download the free report, authored by the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress in partnership with the Advancement Project, Forward Together, and Just Leadership USA, click here.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Change Leadership Programs Are Seeking Applicants

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is looking for clinicians, researchers, doctoral students, community leaders and professionals to apply for one of four new, funded leadership opportunities to build a Culture of Health in America. Applications are due on April 19, 2016. For details, including about an information webinar to be held on March 30 at 12 p.m. ET, click here.

Researchers Find That Drum Circles Might Improve Mental Health

According to Effects of Group Drumming Interventions on Anxiety, Depression, Social Resilience and Inflammatory Immune Response among Mental Health Service Users, published on March 14, 2016, in PLoS One, “10 weeks of group drumming provided significant benefits for a group of people who had sought help for mental health issues. What’s more, the improvements persisted for at least three months after the sessions concluded.” As an article in Pacific Standard Magazine reported about group drumming, “Researchers in London have found evidence of a surprisingly effective treatment for anxiety and depression, one that even alters the inflammatory immune responses that may underlie these disorders.” For the Pacific Standard article and a link to the study, click here.

Thanks, Jeff Friedman @JMFriedman

EVER-Changing World, Fourth International Conference, to Be Held June 8-9, 2016

For the first time, the Experts Conference, held in the Netherlands for the past three years, will take place in the United States, at the College of Saint Rose, in Albany, New York, on June 8-9. The conference focus has expanded “to explore the role of the peer support movement in diverse countries as well as for those who come to the U.S. and Europe as refugees and immigrants. Speakers include those working in mental health, peer support, and/or with refugees and immigrants in Europe, Africa and the United States.” For more information and to register, click here.

Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks Documents Disparities in Care, Including Mental Health Care

In February, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, operating under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, published its 98-page Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks, a 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. The report paints a grim picture of the health care provided to African-Americans: two of its findings were that “Blacks receive [a] poorer quality of care, especially on measures of…person centeredness and care coordination” and “[s]uicide prevention and mental health care for Blacks is worsening, with many disparities and no reductions in disparities over time.” To download a free copy, click here.

Free Online Curriculum for Primary Care Providers Working in Mental Health Settings

A free online course entitled Primary Care Providers Working in Mental Health Settings: Improving Health Status in Persons with Mental Illness has been made available by the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions and the Addiction Technology Transfer Center. The goal is to acquaint primary care providers  with the importance of creating access to primary care within behavioral health settings, strategies for recognizing the physical signs of behavioral health concerns (and vice versa) and to maximize their role on the care team. For more information and to register, click here. (Continuing education credits are available for a small fee.)

VA Announces Additional Steps to Reduce Veteran Suicide

On March 8, 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced new steps to reduce veteran suicide. The steps follow a February 2 Summit, Preventing Veteran Suicide – A Call to Action. “We know that every day, approximately 22 veterans take their lives,” said VA under secretary for health Dr. David Shulkin. “We must and will do more, and this Summit, coupled with recent announcements about improvements to enhance and accelerate progress at the Veterans Crisis Line, shows that our work and commitment must continue.” For information about the VA’s plans, click here.

Can Getting Excited Help People Handle Anxiety?

A recent article in The Atlantic indicates that, instead of suggesting that people calm down, telling them to get more excited might be more helpful for people dealing with anxiety. Research on a technique called “anxious reappraisal” indicates that, because anxiety and excitement have more in common than anxiety and calmness, it’s easier for most people to move from “charged-up, negative feelings to “charged-up, positive ones” than it would be to get to the “charged-up, positive” place from a calm position. This was demonstrated by a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, also reported in The Atlantic. For more, click here.

Alternatives 2016 Will Take Place September 21-25 in San Diego!

Alternatives 2016 (#AltCon16), organized by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (@PeerlinkTA) from September 21 to 25, will be held at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, California! Check the Peerlink website for more information as it becomes available: http://www.peerlinktac.org/

The next two items were included in February but are still relevant:

Comments Are Sought until March 31 on Draft Competencies for Whole Health Peer Specialists

Mental Health America is seeking comments on its draft core competencies for Whole Health Peer Specialists, who promote physical as well as emotional wellness. The certification “is designed to build upon and enhance traditional peer specialist training and core competencies … and add the additional competencies necessary to enable peers to work alongside any other health care team(s),” such as in emergency rooms and with private practitioners, including primary care physicians, according to Mental Health America (MHA). “Whole Health Peer Specialist is not a new classification,” said Patrick Hendry, MHA’s vice president of consumer advocacy. “What is new is that this is the first national certification, it takes peer support to new levels of skills and knowledge, and it is oriented to preparing people to work in the private sector.” The core competencies, published on February 15, are available here. To provide feedback, fill out MHA’s online survey—available here— by March 31, 2016. For additional information, click here.

“Healing Voices” Documentary to Have Global Premiere on April 29, 2016

“Healing Voices,” a “new feature-length documentary which explores the experiences commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the real-life stories of individuals working to overcome extreme mental states and integrate these experiences into their lives in meaningful ways,” will have its global premiere on April 29, 2016. “The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over a period of nearly five years and features interviews with notable personalities, including Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Will Hall, Marius Romme, and others.” For more information and to see the trailer, click on the following link: www.HealingVoicesMovie.com. The film makers are planning a “One Night, One Voice” global event to mark the VOD (Video-On-Demand) release of the movie. Click here for information about screening packages. For additional information about licensing or tax-deductible donations, click here or contact pj@digitaleyesfilm.com.

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted!

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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 9, March 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

Monday
Feb292016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 8 - February 2016

Key Update, February 2016

Volume 12, Number 8

How to Keep People with Mental Health Conditions from Landing in Prison and “Human Toll of Jail”

“Early intervention programs may be the key to preventing people with serious mental illness from ending up in prison,” according to a new report by the Vera Institute of Justice. Examples include “programs that help homeless clients find housing, and offer enough flexibility to allow them to enroll in school or vocational training and foster a sense of empowerment,” write the authors of First-Episode Incarceration: Creating a Recovery-Informed Framework for Integrated Mental Health and Criminal Justice Responses. For more information and a link to the report, click here. The Vera Institute has also launched a website called The Human Toll of Jail, which “aims to put a human face to the uses and abuses of jails in the United States. Along with every story featured here, Vera brings information about and links to the research, policy analyses, and best practices that address the larger questions and issues.” More than a half million Americans with mental health conditions are incarcerated on any given day – about the same number of people warehoused in psychiatric institutions in the 1950s, Vera notes. For the website, click here. At the same time, the American Friends Service Committee has compiled Reports and Testimonies on the Use of Torture in U.S. Prisons, available here, and a web page on Impacts of Incarceration, available here. 

Comments Are Sought on Draft Competencies for Whole Health Peer Specialists

Mental Health America is seeking comments on its draft core competencies for Whole Health Peer Specialists, who promote physical as well as emotional wellness. The certification “is designed to build upon and enhance traditional peer specialist training and core competencies … and add the additional competencies necessary to enable peers to work alongside any other health care team(s),” such as in emergency rooms and with private practitioners, including primary care physicians, according to Mental Health America (MHA). “Whole Health Peer Specialist is not a new classification,” said Patrick Hendry, MHA’s vice president of consumer advocacy. “What is new is that this is the first national certification, it takes peer support to new levels of skills and knowledge, and it is oriented to preparing people to work in the private sector.” The core competencies, published on February 15, are available here. To provide feedback, fill out MHA’s online survey—available here— by March 31, 2016. For additional information, click here.

Emotional CPR Webinar to Be Presented on March 8

A webinar on Emotional CPR (eCPR)—an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by Connecting, emPowering, and Revitalizing—will be presented on March 8 at 3 p.m. ET. Its theme will be Creating a Culture of Recovery and Empowerment. The presenters will be eCPR co-developer Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., along with two other eCPR trainers, Flora Releford and Stella Archer. Dan “first imagined eCPR when he was helped out of a catatonic state by two young naval corpsmen whose authentic, caring ways restored his wish to live,” according to information posted on Facebook. He became a psychiatrist, a co-founder of the National Empowerment Center, a member of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts. To register, click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday in March Will Cover “What If I Am the Only Peer on My Team?”

On March 4, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference that answers the question What If I Am the Only Peer on My Team? Leading the Way in Traditional Behavioral or Integrated Healthcare Settings. “First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” Join BRSS TACS on March 4 to hear about peer leadership and submit your questions to presenter LaVerne Miller of Policy Research Associates. For more information and to register, click here.

Free Guide to Using Your Employer-Sponsored Health Plan to Cover Behavioral Health Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently published Parity of Mental Health and Substance Use Benefits with Other Benefits. The guide examines “what the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act means for people with employer-sponsored health plans who need treatment for substance abuse or mental illness. [It] discusses key elements of health care legislation particularly as it relates to filing a claim, denial of a claim, and the appeals process.” To download the digital version, click here.

APA Issues Call for Papers for a Special Issue on Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Holistic Mental Health Care

The American Psychological Association (APA) is inviting submissions to Psychological Services for a special issue “devoted to all aspects of holistic care, including but not limited to culture-based approaches, evidence-based approaches, mindfulness, acupuncture, yoga, Ayurveda, traditional healing practices, nutritional and herbal approaches, meditation, physical care (e.g., exercise), indigenous approaches, mind-body medicine, religious and spiritual approaches, and ecological treatments.” The deadline for receipt of papers is August 31, 2016. For the call for papers, which includes detailed guidelines, click here.

Thanks, Mad in America

National Storytelling Network Seeks Applications for Brimstone Award

“The National Storytelling Network is accepting applications for the 2016 Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling, an annual award that recognizes the transformational properties of storytelling and the ways storytelling can promote change in individuals and communities. Grants of $5,000 will be awarded in support of model storytelling projects that are service-oriented, based in a community or organization, and are replicable (to some extent) in other places and situations….Projects may involve various kinds of stories, including traditional tales and myths as well as personal and ad hoc narratives….Areas of interest include health care, environmental education/activism, community development, law, multicultural awareness, organizational development, leadership, intergenerational initiatives, empowerment of the disabled, substance abuse prevention, and educational curriculum at all levels.” The preliminary proposal deadline is April 28, 2016. For details, click here.

Thanks, Matt Canuteson

Are Pictures Worth a Thousand Words in the Struggle Against Prejudice and Discrimination?

Cartoonists are posting online drawings to combat the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health conditions, the BBC reports. Mental Health Week: How drawings on social media are changing the conversation includes drawings by such artists as "Robot Hugs," "Sylvia Reuter," and "Ruby etc." Although they take different approaches to the subject, each has the goal of opening up the conversation, combating isolation, forging connections, and giving people hope. For more, click here. Although the BBC did not include her, Allie Brosh has been doing the same thing for a long time with Hyperbole and a Half. For Brosh's Adventures in Depression, click here. For Depression Part Two, click here.

Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism Seeks Applications for 2016-17

Applications are being accepted for six one-year journalism fellowships with the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program. The program is open to journalists who are U.S. citizens or residents working in all media forms with a minimum of three years of professional experience. “These fellowships aim to enhance public understanding of mental health issues and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses through balanced and accurate reporting,” the Carter Center writes. Each fellow is awarded a $10,000 stipend and provided with two required expense-paid trips to the Carter Center to meet with program staff and advisers. Fellows are not required to leave their employment. The deadline is April 6, 2016. The application is available at http://mhjapply.cartercenter.org.

Exercise and Meditation -- Together -- Help Beat Depression, Rutgers Study Finds

A combined program of meditation and aerobic exercise can reduce depression, according to a new Rutgers study. The study, published in Translational Psychiatry in February, found that the mind and body combination—done twice a week for only two months—reduced the symptoms for a group of students by 40 percent. “We…saw such a meaningful improvement in both clinically depressed and non-depressed students,” said lead author Brandon Alderman, an assistant professor at Rutgers. The researchers discovered that a combination of mental and physical training (MAP) enabled students with major depressive disorder not to let problems or negative thoughts overwhelm them. “Scientists have known for a while that both of these activities alone can help with depression,” said Rutgers professor Tracey Shors, who also worked on the study. “But this study suggests that when done together, there is a striking improvement in depressive symptoms along with increases in synchronized brain activity.” For the press release, click here. For the study, click here.

Thanks, Mad in America

Three Newsletters Offer In-Depth Information on Mental Health and/or Criminal Justice Reform Issues

Three newsletters that offer a wealth of information on various topics related to mental health and/or criminal justice reform are published by Mad in America, the Marshall Project, and the International Association of Peer Supporters, respectively. Mad in America’s mission is “to serve as a catalyst for remaking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad)”; the Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization that focuses on the American criminal justice system; and the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of peer support services worldwide. For the February 23rd edition of the Mad in America newsletter, click here. To subscribe, click here. For the February 26th Opening Statement from the Marshall project, click here. To subscribe, click here. For the latest edition of the iNAPS newsletter, click here. To subscribe, click here. (You do not need to join iNAPS in order to receive its free newsletter; however, membership is encouraged. Membership information is included at the bottom of the iNAPS newsletter.)

New Social Media Site Aims to Help People Deal with Stress

Koko, a new app that runs on mobile devices, “helps you navigate through stressful thoughts and find your way forward,” according to its website: http://itskoko.com/. The app “asks users to choose a topic of concern (think: school, work, relationships, family) and write, in a few sentences, the worst-case outcome of their worries….Whatever the user types into the box then shows up on a card, that other users swipe through like Tinder profiles. If someone sees a problem they can address, they click a bright pink button that says ‘Help rethink this.’ A little text box pops up and gives the user prompts like, ‘What’s a more optimistic take on this situation?’ Or ‘This could turn out better than you think because…’ [A]n algorithm watches out for trigger words that indicate someone is dangerous to themselves or others.” For a wired.com article about Koko, click here.

Virtual Reality Can Combat Depression by Fostering Self-Compassion

A study that helped individuals to step outside of their own reality has shown success in combatting depression. Researchers at University College London and the University of Barcelona developed a way for people experiencing depression to enter a virtual reality as life-size avatars. Wearing virtual-reality glasses and body sensors, the participants watched their avatars mimic their body movements, in a process called “embodiment.” First, the participant’s avatar encounters an avatar of a crying child, and says kind and compassionate things to the child, who has been programmed to respond positively. Then the adult adopts the role of the child, and hears and sees the adult avatar say these same kind things. Many of the subjects felt that participating helped reduce their symptoms of depression. “We’ve created an artificial situation which allows them to hear themselves be self-compassionate, and they think, ‘Actually this makes me feel good,’ ” said Chris Brewin, a clinical psychologist at University College London and the study’s lead author.  Although the study was small, Brewin believes that, if more research confirms the results, it could be a revolutionary way to treat depression. The study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open this month. For more, click here.

Essay Contest for Youth to Combat Prejudice and Discrimination Associated with Bipolar Disorder

The International Bipolar Foundation (IBF) is sponsoring an essay contest for young people aged 13 to 19. Participants will answer the question Are People Who Live with Bipolar Disorder Stigmatized in Your Community? IBF writes: “Chances are someone you know has this mental illness or cares for someone who does. Learning about bipolar disorder can help you understand the impact this disease has on those affected by it so you can respond to them with care and sensitivity.” The deadline is March 30. For details, click here.

Thanks, Carol Coussons de Reyes

Not Too Late to Comment on Whether ECT Device Should Be Reclassified from Class III to Class II

There is still time to submit comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on whether it should reclassify the device used to administer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a controversial procedure that even proponents admit can cause “adverse cognitive effects [that] can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” The device is currently in Class III; the proposal is to reclassify it to Class II. For information about the three classes, click here. For testimony by Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., in 2011, the last time the FDA threatened to reclassify the equipment, click here. For information about Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know about Shock Treatment, which the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine called “brilliant analysis,” click here. For additional information, click here. The comment period is open until March 28, 2016. To comment, click here.

“Healing Voices” Documentary to Have Global Premiere on April 29, 2016

“Healing Voices,” a “new feature-length documentary which explores the experiences commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the real-life stories of individuals working to overcome extreme mental states and integrate these experiences into their lives in meaningful ways,” will have its global premiere on April 29, 2016. “The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over a period of nearly five years and features interviews with notable personalities, including Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Will Hall, Marius Romme, and others.” For more information and to see the trailer: www.HealingVoicesMovie.com. The film makers are planning a “One Night, One Voice” global event to mark the VOD (Video-On-Demand) release of the movie. Click here for information about screening packages. For additional information about licensing or tax-deductible donations, click here or contact pj@digitaleyesfilm.com.

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted!

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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No.8, February 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

Friday
Jan292016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 7 - January 2016

Key Update, January 2016

Volume 12, Number 7

FDA Seeks Comments on Whether ECT Device Should Be Reclassified from Class III to Class II

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is once again seeking comments on whether it should reclassify the device used to administer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a controversial procedure that even proponents admit can cause “adverse cognitive effects [that] can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” The device is currently in Class III; the proposal is to reclassify it to Class II. For information about the three classes, click here. For testimony by Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., in 2011, the last time the FDA threatened to reclassify the equipment, click here. For information about Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know about Shock Treatment, which the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine called “brilliant analysis,” click here. For additional information, click here. The comment period is open until March 28, 2016. To comment, click here.

Apply by February 1 for the Behavioral Health and Justice Leadership Academy

Applications are due by February 1, 2016, for Policy Research Associates (PRA) Behavioral Health and Justice Leadership Academy. “The goal,” PRA writes, “is to improve public health and public safety outcomes for people with mental and substance use disorders in the justice system by supporting leaders to implement effective strategies in their cities and counties. Twenty-five individuals will be selected to participate in the initiative, which will feature a two-day meeting in May 2016.” For more information or to apply, please download the solicitation for applications.

SAMHSA Hosts Webinar on Hospital Diversion and Alternatives in Crisis Response

On February 2, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will host a free one-hour Recovery to Practice webinar on Hospital Diversion and Alternatives in Crisis Response. The presenters are two staff members of RI International, Inc., a Phoenix-based agency, who “will present their ‘next generation crisis response services,’ which include an array of approaches for managing mental health crisis in non-hospital settings. The programs include the ‘Living Room,’ in which peers, nurses and doctors work side by side with individuals in crisis, and Recovery Response Centers that offer more intensive support and services.” For more information and to register, click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday in February Will Be on Peer-Run Respites

On February 5, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference on Peer-Run Respites. “First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” Join BRSS TACS on February 5 to hear about peer-run respites and submit your questions to Steve Miccio, executive director of PEOPLe, Inc. To register, click here. (See the item below for more information about peer-run crisis respites.)

Live & Learn Launches Peer Respite Resource Website

In January 2016, Live & Learn launched PeerRespite.net, “a website dedicated to information and resources regarding peer respites in the U.S.” As part of the initiative, recruitment is open for the 2015 Peer Respites Essential Features Survey (click here for the survey). For more information about peer-run crisis respites, see the National Empowerment Center’s website on Crisis Alternatives (click here) and the Clearinghouse’s publication entitled Focus on Peer-Run Crisis Respite Services (click here).

NASMHPD to Host Webinar on Maximizing Medicaid Coverage for Peer Support Services

The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) will host a free 90-minute webinar on February 11, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. ET., on Maximizing Medicaid Coverage for Peer Support Services. The webinar will draw on lessons learned from the state of Georgia. NASMHPD writes: “The state of Georgia has been very successful in securing diverse Medicaid coverage for peer support services in different settings, including mental health, addiction recovery, whole‐health and parent/ youth peer support activity. The presenter will highlight strategies for: working with state Medicaid officials; certification; creating job descriptions; addressing code of ethics issues; exploring varied roles and responsibilities in behavioral health and general health settings; and other details to help facilitate the process of securing Medicaid coverage for diverse peer support services. Time will be provided for the speaker to respond to audience questions.” To register, click here.

Thanks, iNAPS Update #2, January 2016

Three More Opportunities to Contribute to Peer Support Research

The University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Detroit Mercy are sponsoring online surveys about peer supporters’ career development and their work experience, respectively. The University of Illinois at Chicago Career Development Survey “asks about peer specialists’ career development; interest in and opportunities for advancement; current work climate; and perceptions of discrimination and stigma.” For more information, visit www.bhpcd.org. For the survey, click here. Questions or comments? Cherise Rosen, Ph.D. (crosen@psych.uic.edu)  or Nev Jones, Ph.D. (jones.genevra@gmail.com ) or Jessica Wolf, Ph.D. (jwolfds@gmail.com). Next, the University of Detroit Mercy survey, Work Experiences of Peer Support Specialists, “is specifically designed to better understand peer support specialists’ experiences of supervision.” To participate, click here. For questions, email Dr. Kristen Abraham (abrahakm@udmercy.edu). In addition, Doors to Wellbeing National Technical Assistance Center has launched a survey entitled What Type of Peer Specialist Toolkit Do You Want to See? Doors to Wellbeing writes: “We want to provide you with the tools you need to complete the projects you value. We are doing this survey so you can tell us what those projects are so we can get you the information you need to help you achieve your program’s dreams.” To participate, click here.

NARPA Issues Request for Proposals for 2016 Annual Rights Conference

The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) is seeking workshop proposals for its 2016 conference, to be held August 25-28 at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. Robert Whitaker, award-winning author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic, will keynote the conference, whose theme is Rights Under Siege: Fighting Back. Proposals should address “strategies, ideas, programs, and emerging practices that support and promote NARPA’s mission and commitment to individual rights, liberty, freedom and dignity.” To submit a proposal, click here.

ODEP Website Offers Resources to Help People “Stay at Work/Return to Work”

The federal Office of Disability Employment Policy has made available a number of online Stay At Work/Return To Work (SAW/RTW) strategies to address the high unemployment rate of Americans with disabilities. ODEP writes: “Successful RTW strategies, if sufficiently promoted, can result in higher incomes for recovering workers, lower benefits costs for the American taxpayer, and lower personnel costs for employers.” The website is available here. For more information, see A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work, by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, available here.

TU Collaborative Launches New Web Page on Parenting with a Mental Health Condition and a Guide to Self-Directed Care Programming

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion recently launched a new “Parenting Tool.” The Collaborative writes: “This website will allow parents with children ages birth-to-18 to get information and strategies for improving their parenting, and, in addition, will provide you with a great deal of information about parenting with a psychiatric disability through its age-specific educational curriculum.” For the website, which includes a video introduction, click here. In addition, the Collaborative is offering A Guide to Creating Self-Directed Care Programming, available here. The manual provides “a detailed review of a novel and successful self-directed care program that is currently being offered in Pennsylvania.”

National Survey of Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists Is Available

The College for Behavioral Health Leadership recently published a report on its 2015 National Survey on Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists. “The findings of this study illustrate that there is diversity among the current national structure for the wages of peer specialists,” according to the Executive Summary. “This includes significant differences in average compensation rates between those who work all different hours ($15.42) and only full-time ($16.36).” The report addresses a number of other disparities, including among types of employers, geographically, and male vs. female (with men receiving on average more than $2 more per hour than women). For the report on the study, click here.

 

iNAPS Newsletter Offers a Wealth of Information; Deadline for Conference Proposals Approaches

The January 2016 newsletter of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is out! It includes an array of information, including the call for papers for its 10th annual national conference, to be held August 26-27, 2016, in Philadelphia. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 15, 2016. For information about the conference, including the call for proposals, click here. The conference is “also seeking peer-created art and photography related to the conference theme of Collaboration for Unity. Submit ideas only for contributions (no original artwork please) in an email with Conference Art in the subject line to info@naops.org.” The newsletter is available here.

SAMHSA’s 2015 Barometer Tracks Behavioral Health in the U.S.

On January 26, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published its annual National Behavioral Health Barometer. Among topics covered are “the prevalence rates of youth and adult substance use, serious mental [health conditions], suicidal thoughts, and people seeking treatment for these disorders,” SAMHSA writes. “The Barometer shows this data at the national level, and for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Barometer also includes analyses using several demographic categories such as gender, age, income level, health insurance status and race/ethnicity.” To view and download copies of the national or any state Behavioral Health Barometer, click here.

SAMHSA Offers Free Mobile Resources and a Podcast Series to Support Behavioral Health

SAMHSA is offering free mobile apps that address “some of the toughest mental health and substance use challenges, including suicide prevention, bullying prevention, behavioral health following a disaster, and underage drinking prevention.” To download the free resources, click here. At the same time, SAMHSA’s new podcast series, Resiliency in Disaster Behavioral Health, covers What Is Community Resilience? Behavioral Health Reactions and Ways to Enhance Resilience, Pre-Disaster Organizational Resilience, and Resiliency among First Responders. For more information, click here.

Active Minds Healthy Campus Award Seeks Applications

Active Minds writes: “The Active Minds Healthy Campus Award – the only national recognition of its kind – celebrates leadership, innovation, collaboration, and excellence in campus health. Winners have their successes shared broadly, through a concerted national media relations campaign, to inspire change across the nation. The award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that are prioritizing health and making great progress toward creating a campus that promotes the health and well-being of its students.” Applications are due February 16 by 5 p.m ET. For more information or to apply, click here.

Presidential Candidates Urged to Reveal Mental Health Policy Positions

Mental health advocate AJ French has issued a challenge to the presidential candidates to answer eight questions about their positions on mental health policy. “Campaigns have not yet addressed issues that are important to persons with psychiatric disabilities,” said French, “and this is an opportunity to engage voters regarding mental health policy.” Among groups that support this initiative are the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and Next Steps NFP, a peer-run advocacy organization in Illinois. “People who are affected by decisions should have a voice in those decisions,” said Next Steps head organizer Fred Friedman. “They also need information so they can intelligently speak on those issues. The eight questions are AJ’s attempt to gain that information.” For more information and a link to French’s website with the eight questions, click here. For additional information, click here.

Twitter Campaign Seeks to Fight Prejudice Associated with Mental Health Conditions

Composer, author, and mental health advocate Rachel Griffin recently launched a Twitter campaign whose goal is to combat the prejudice attached to mental health conditions. The campaign, #imnotashamed, quickly gained traction, attracting attention from the media, including the Washington Post (click here). Among the multitude of tweets are “If you’ve made it this far, you’re a survivor. That’s definitely a reason to celebrate. #imnotashamed”; “I suffered in silence for so long before asking for help. Don’t wait. You are worth it. #imnotashamed”; and “#imnotashamed because without all my experiences, both good and bad, I would not be me.” Griffin’s associated Twitter account, @teamnotashamed, has amassed nearly 1,800 followers. Meanwhile, Griffin is writing the book, music and lyrics for a musical set on a psych ward – We Have Apples – and she has a YouTube channel where you can see more of her music. She has also created two videos, Sh*t People Say to People with Mental Illness, and Sh*t Therapists Say, in which she acts out multiple parts. To participate in the anti-prejudice campaign, use the hashtag #imnotashamed.

 “Healing Voices” Documentary to Have Global Premiere on April 29, 2016

“Healing Voices,” a “new feature-length documentary which explores the experiences commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the real-life stories of individuals working to overcome extreme mental states and integrate these experiences into their lives in meaningful ways,” will have its global premiere on April 29, 2016. “The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over a period of nearly five years and features interviews with notable personalities, including Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Will Hall, Marius Romme, and others.” For more information and to see the trailer: www.HealingVoicesMovie.com. The film makers are planning a “One Night, One Voice” global event to mark the VOD (Video-On-Demand) release of the movie. Click here for information about screening packages. For additional information about licensing or tax-deductible donations, click here or contact pj@digitaleyesfilm.com.

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted!

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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 7, January 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH