Friday
Sep232016

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 3 -- September 2016

Key Update, September 2016

Volume 13, Number 3

Action Alert: Mobilize to Shut Down Horrendous Haunted House Exhibit That Inflames Prejudice

A new Halloween virtual reality (VR) exhibit at three North American amusement parks “admits visitors to a mental hospital where a psychiatric patient with demonic powers is on the loose,” the Los Angeles Times reported. At the time, the exhibit was called Fear VR: 5150—the California code for a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric commitment. “The VR experience follows a demonically possessed patient named Katie, who unleashes chaos throughout the hospital and takes mental control of the medical staff,” the LA Times reported. The three amusement parks—Knott’s Berry Farm and Great America in California and Wonderland in Canada—are operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. Responding to an email, a Knott’s Berry Farm (KBF) spokesperson wrote: “It is never our intent to be disrespectful to any individual or group. The virtual reality experience is actually built around zombie-like monsters and paranormal activity in a hospital setting.” Following additional advocacy, the KBF spokesperson wrote again to say, “Cedar Fair recognizes that the press depiction of our experience, while inaccurate, has raised concerns around the insensitivity to the stigmas surrounding mental health. Part of the confusion stems from the use of the code 5150 in the experience’s original name. For that reason, the name has been changed to FearVR.” But the “experience” is apparently unchanged. In a somewhat different take, on Google, the Great America description of the exhibit reads: “...Strapped to a hospital wheelchair, you're at the mercy of maniacal hospital staff.” But the link is dead. Advocacy works! Please email mouimet@cedarfair.com, pbender@cedarfair.comzimmerman@cedarfair.com, pr@knotts.com, investing@cedarfair.com and media@cedarfair.com and urge that they cancel or completely revamp the exhibit. Zombies would be good! For the LA Times article, click here. For a follow-up story in the Voice of OC, which highlights the power of advocates’ voices, click here.

Action Alert Part 2: PSYCHO-PATH Haunted Aslyum Created by Another Theme Park Chain

Now comes a competing theme park chain, Six Flags, with PSYCHO-PATH Haunted Asylum! “The inmates of the Asylum have broken loose and will have you screaming in sheer terror as they taunt and torture their newest victims” (click here). To contact Six Flags, click here or write Six Flags New England John Winkler, Park President, Route 159, 1623 Main St, P.O. Box 307, Agawam, MA 01001, and urge that they revamp the exhibit to a ghosts-ghouls-goblins-zombies-other-Halloween-monsters experience.

HHS Issues Game-Changing Rules That Promise Increased Research Transparency

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has taken a step toward creating more transparency in clinical research, NPR has reported. Sharing the article on Twitter, prominent psychiatrist @AllenFrancesMD, author of Saving Normal, wrote, "Wonderful new rules force much more honest reporting of clinical research so that negative results don't get buried." According to NPR, "Since 2007, scientists have been required to post results of experiments on a government website, https://clinicaltrials.gov/. But many top universities and drug companies have failed to meet those standards, according to academic studies and investigative journalists." The new rules take effect in January 2017; researchers will have 90 days to comply. For the NPR article, click here.

Participants Are Sought for Study on Peer Involvement/Leadership in Early Intervention Policy/Programs

An international peer-led study based at Stanford University is seeking participants for a survey aimed at understanding and bringing to the forefront the experiences of peers/service users who work or volunteer in early-intervention-in-psychosis settings or related initiatives (e.g., an early intervention planning or advisory council). Targeted participants include peer support specialists, peer youth workers and others, as well as individuals involved in early intervention research, program development, policy or evaluation. A lead researcher writes: “As many of you know, early intervention services are rapidly gaining tremendous traction in the U.S. (and already have in many countries around the world). Unfortunately, peer/user leadership remains (often seriously) under-supported, peer leadership limited, and no study, to date, has sought to capture the perspectives of those peers who actually work or volunteer in these services or related initiatives across national borders.” This research hopes to change that. For more information and a link to the survey, click here.

SAMHSA Makes Available Many Resources to Prevent Suicide at the Community Level

“September marks National Suicide Prevention Month,” SAMHSA writes, “but suicide is a pressing public health issue throughout the year. Disasters may increase suicidal thoughts, planning, and attempts. Individuals affected by disaster may also experience several risk factors for suicide, such as job or financial loss, loss of relationships, and lack of social support and health services. Following are resources you can use to ensure that suicide prevention is part of your disaster preparedness and response efforts; to refer people to sources of information and support; and to develop suicide prevention programs for college students, senior living communities, and American Indians and Alaska Natives.” For links to the many materials and resources, click here.

Report on Smart Solutions to Our Growing Female Prison Population Is Available

The Oregon Justice Resource Center has issued An Alternative to Women’s Prison Expansion in Oregon: Presenting Smart Solutions to Our Growing Female Prison Population and Identifying Who Has the Power to Reduce It. “The relentless growth in Oregon’s women’s prison population over the last 40 years shows why Oregonians can no longer hope to incarcerate their way out of problems such as trauma, addiction, mental illness, homelessness and poverty,” the report notes. Three of its suggested six “fixes” are “Expanding eligibility and use of the family sentencing alternative pilot program,” “Streamlining the clemency process,” and “Early release for terminally/severely ill, permanently incapacitated or elderly prisoners.” For the other solutions and the rest of the document, click here.

Thanks, @pdxlawgrrrl

New Resources, Including a Webinar, Are Available from the TU Collaborative on Community Inclusion

Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has published three new guides: Addressing Sexuality and Intimacy Interests of Persons with Mental Health Conditions: Recommendations for Program Administrators (for more information and to download, click here), Adding Recreation to Your Coping Toolbox: An 8-Week Protocol (to download, click here), and Peer Facilitated Community Inclusion Toolkit (click here). In addition, the TU Collaborative will sponsor a one-hour webinar, Supporting College Students with Psychiatric Disabilities, on October 11 at noon ET. For more information and to register, click here.

National Drug Court Institute Issues Report on Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts, Others

The National Drug Court Institute recently issued Painting the Current Picture: A National Report on Drug Courts and Other Problem-Solving Courts in the United States. Besides drug courts, the 88-page report covers DUI courts, veterans treatment courts, mental health courts (MHCs), and other specialized courts. According to the report, “Evidence is convincing that MHCs significantly reduce criminal recidivism compared to probation and other community-based dispositions for offenders with mental health disorders (DeMatteo et al., 2013; Goodale et al., 2013; Heilbrun et al., 2012).” However, critics have raised such concerns as forced medication and/or civil commitment requirements, lack of referral sources/mental health agencies for treatment mandates, stigmatization, longer “sentence” mandates, overcriminalization of individuals with mental health conditions, and coercion to plead guilty. For the report, click here. For criticism of mental health courts, click here.

CBT Is as Effective as 2nd-Generation Antidepressants in Relieving Mild to Severe Depression

Comparing Talk Therapy and Other Depression Treatments with Antidepressant Medicines: A Review of the Research for Adults is a new “plain language”publication available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It is “based on an AHRQ systematic review that found cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] is as effective as second-generation antidepressants in relieving symptoms of mild to severe major depressive disorder. Second-generation antidepressants generally lead to a higher risk of adverse events (including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, insomnia and weight gain) when compared with behavioral therapy.” The publication can be downloaded here. A publication for clinicians is also available (click here).

Thanks, Fran Hazam

Announcing Early Career Data Connections via Live & Learn and the TU Collaborative

Live & Learn writes: “This [Early Career Data Connections] initiative facilitates connections between early career investigators and researchers at the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities to provide those early in their careers access to large, federally funded data sets to conduct publishable analyses that can advance the research agenda…Our focus is on promoting opportunities for researchers with lived experience of the topics they study, or those who incorporate such perspectives into their research.” For more information, click here.

 

Scientific American Reports on How the FDA Manipulates the Media

A recent report in Scientific American notes that the “U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has been arm-twisting journalists into relinquishing their reportorial independence.” “[T]he FDA assures the public that it is committed to transparency,” the article continues, “but the documents show that, privately, the agency denies many reporters access—including ones from major outlets such as Fox News—and even deceives them with half-truths to handicap them in their pursuit of a story. At the same time, the FDA cultivates a coterie of journalists whom it keeps in line with threats.” For the story, click here.

 

Thanks, Carl Elliott @FearLoathingBTX

Report on Segregation of People with Mental Health Conditions in Prison Recommends Solutions

A report by the AVID (Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities] Prison Project, published on September 8, 2016, focuses on the work of the protection and advocacy (P&A) system to promote the rights of individuals with mental health conditions in solitary confinement, including both non-litigation and litigation strategies. The report, Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness, includes “federal and state recommendations to build on the momentum gained by the P&As and their partners.” For the free report, click here.

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

New Rules Granting People in MA Psychiatric Hospitals Daily Outdoor Access Spark Some Resistance

Despite rules recently issued by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health requiring hospitals to allow people with mental health conditions access to the outdoors, up to 20 hospitals (about a third of psychiatric hospitals statewide) plan to seek waivers, citing lack of space. “The rules present a tug-of-war over patients’ rights, doctors’ judgment, and the logistical demands of running a hospital in an urban environment,” according to a STAT News article. An interviewee who had been confined on a psych unit and had repeatedly been denied outdoor access told STAT, “I feel like my stay would have been cut in half if I had had access to fresh air.” For the article, click here. In related research, scientists have found that contact with nature has a positive physical impact, resulting in better mental health (click here).

Thanks, Elizabeth Saenger

An Opera Based on the Life of Elyn Saks Can Be Viewed for Free Online

An opera about Elyn Saks, the MacArthur Award-winning law professor whose memoir chronicled her recovery from a diagnosis of schizophrenia, is available for free viewing on the Mental Health America website. Saks co-wrote the libretto for “The Center Cannot Hold” with composer/psychiatrist Kenneth B. Wells. “I am delighted and just a little overwhelmed to have Ken make an opera out of my story,” Saks told MHA. “I feel as if Ken has captured my experience and my voice.” To view the opera, click here and scroll down to “View the Full Opera.”

THE FOLLOWING TWO ITEMS ARE STILL RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT!

Time and Location Change for March and Rally to Close Rikers Island Tomorrow, September 24, in NYC

Tomorrow, September 24, at 1 p.m., people will gather at a march and rally with the goal of shutting down Rikers Island, an infamous correctional facility in New York City. As The New York Times has editorialized, “The sensible thing to do with Rikers is to close it.” Just Leadership USA, which is organizing the event, is helmed by Glenn E. Martin, who served time on Rikers as well as several years in a state prison and has become a nationally known advocate for criminal justice reform. In a long interview published by The Atlantic, Martin said, “It seems like such an abomination for us to have this facility continue to operate.” For the revised details about the event, click here.

Save the Date! March for Dignity & Change in Mental Health in Washington, DC, October 10!

Join the march against the dehumanization of, and discrimination and prejudice against, people living with mental health conditions on October 10 in Washington, DC. To learn more, see www.DestinationDignity.org.

 

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 13, No. 3, September 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

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Aug312016

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 2 -- August 2016

Key Update, August 2016

 Volume 13, Number 2

 

Action Alert: Urge Your Senators to Support S. 2680 Without Amendments or Changes!

 Please contact your U.S. Senators by this Friday, September 2, and urge them to support S. 2680 (the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016) without amendments or changes. H.R. 2646 (the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016) recently passed the House of Representatives nearly unanimously. The Senate bill is better than the House bill and it is important that it pass “as is,” according to the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR). NCMHR notes that, among its provisions—and unlike H.R. 2646—S. 2680 does not expand forced treatment; includes representation of people with lived experience; does not mention “anosognosia”; incorporates mental health recovery language throughout the bill; and calls for better education about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rather than providing a path to relaxing HIPAA confidentiality protections, as does H.R. 2646. Numerous other disability rights advocacy organizations support S. 2680. These include the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (click here), the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (click here), and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (click here). For more about what is wrong with mandated outpatient treatment (also known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment or Involuntary Outpatient Commitment), see “Forced Mental Health Treatment Will Not Prevent Violent Tragedies,” by Phyllis Solomon, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania (click here). For information about how to contact your Senators, click here. (For the most recent text of S. 2680 that is available online, click here and then scroll down past Sec. 608 of the version that is largely crossed out until you get to the clean text.)

 

“National Restraint Data Are Riddled with Errors,” Report Says

Although seclusion and restraint are now understood to be traumatizing and only to be used as a last resort “when less-restrictive measures have failed and safety is at severe risk” (to quote the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), restraint is actually used much more frequently, a recent exposé by MedPage Today/VICE News asserts. However, because of the many problems and inconsistencies with the data, it seems to be impossible to tell what is really going on. According to the MedPage Today article, the latest figures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), covering 2014, indicate that the national average is 0.41 hours of restraint per 1,000 patient hours. Meanwhile, MedPage Today reports that the “restraint rates shifted drastically across hospitals nationwide from the last six months of 2013 to the full 2014 data, ranging from decreases of 800 hours for every 1,000 (Park Ridge Health in North Carolina) to increases of 60 hours for every 1,000 (Frisbee Memorial Hospital in New Hampshire). And CMS now says these [figures] are likely wrong.” For the article, click here. For SAMHSA’s Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint, click here.

Thanks, Val Marsh @valncmhr

Hillary Clinton Releases Her Mental Health Agenda

On August 29, Hillary Clinton released her “comprehensive plan to support Americans living with mental health problems and illnessesby integrating our healthcare systems and finally putting the treatment of mental health on par with that of physical health.” The plan includes progressive statements about the importance of peer support to recovery, and promises “a full range of housing and employment support for individuals with mental health problems, to help them lead independent and productive lives.” It also includes increasing crisis intervention training for police officers, and expanding funding for the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program. (It is not perfect, and you are invited to form your own judgment. However, as Voltaire said, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”) To read Hillary’s plan, click here. (Note: We will share Donald Trump’s mental health platform as soon as it is available.)

Updated Directory of Peer Specialist Certification and Training Programs Is Available for Free

“As of July 2016, 41 states and the District of Columbia have established programs to train and certify peer specialists and two states are in the process of developing and/or implementing a program,” according to a newly revised directory published by the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health and the University of Texas at Austin. The directory—Peer Specialist Certification and Training Programs, National Overview 2016—continues: “A review…is needed so that states developing training/certification programs may look to those that are more established for advice and guidance, while established programs may benefit from understanding the similarities and differences between existing programs. This information may also be useful to policymakers and program developers as they create the infrastructure necessary to support the peer specialist workforce to remain relevant and financially sustainable in a changing healthcare environment.” To download the free document, click here.

Locked Wards Are “No Safer,” New Study Reports

Locked inpatient wards do not reduce suicide attempts or unauthorized absence among individuals with mental health conditions, according to a 15-year observational study of some 145,000 people in 21 German psychiatric hospitals from 1998 to 2012. “In fact, a locked-door policy probably imposes a more oppressive atmosphere, which could reduce the effectiveness of treatments, resulting in longer stays in hospital,” said the lead author of the study, published online in Lancet Psychiatry. “The practice may even lend motivation for patients to abscond.” For more information, click here.

Vera Institute Releases Report on Women in Jails

 According to a new report from the Vera Institute of Justice, women in jail are the fastest growing correctional population in the U.S. The number of women in prison has increased 14-fold in 44 years, from under 8,000 in 1970 to nearly 110,000 in 2014. The report examines the “surprisingly little research” on women in jail, “explores how jail can deepen the societal disadvantages they face, and provides insight into what drives women’s incarceration and ways to reverse the trend.” For more information and to download a free copy of the report, Overlooked: Women and Jails in an Era of Reform, click here. For an article in Marie Claire entitled “The Number of Women in Jail is Up 1,260%--What Are They Doing wrong?” click here.

Researchers Seek Peer Providers for Study on Job Satisfaction

Are you a peer provider working in a mental health setting? Researchers from the Department of Disability & Addiction Rehabilitation at the University of North Texas are conducting a confidential half-hour Internet survey to better understand your job satisfaction. You must be over age 18, living in the community, and employed either part time or full time as a peer provider. Participants will receive a $10 gift card. “Your participation may help to improve training programs and other services for peer providers,” the researchers say. Questions? Contact Jessica Brooks, Ph.D., 940.565.4938, jessica.brooks@unt.edu. To participate, click here.

Thanks, Jessica Wolf, Ph.D.

March and Rally to Close Rikers Island Planned for September 24 in NYC

On September 24 at 2 p.m., people will gather at a march and rally with the goal of shutting down Rikers Island, an infamous correctional facility in New York City. As The New York Times has editorialized, “The sensible thing to do with Rikers is to close it.” Just Leadership USA, which is organizing the event, is helmed by Glenn E. Martin, who served time on Rikers as well as several years in a state prison and has become a nationally known advocate for criminal justice reform. In a long interview published by The Atlantic, Martin said, “It seems like such an abomination for us to have this facility continue to operate.”  For details about the event, click here.

Ninth Annual World Hearing Voices Congress in Boston August 16-18, 2017

It’s not too soon to start planning to attend the Ninth Annual World Hearing Voices Congress, to be held at Boston University August 16-18, 2017! “The Hearing Voices Movement will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary on U.S. soil!...Topics range from groups, personal testimony, and voice dialogue, to research, artistic endeavor and more! The Hearing Voices Movement consists of over 30 national networks from around the world joined by shared goals and values, including a fundamental belief that…hearing voices is not, in itself, an indication of illness [click here].” In fact, it may not be experienced as auditory at all, according to a study by Drs. Nev Jones and Tanya Luhrmann: click here. “All are welcome, with a special invitation extended to fellow voice hearers. Stay tuned for more information by subscribing to our newsletter at http://www.hearingvoicesusa.org. Interested in sponsoring or underwriting this event? Email 2017Congress@hearingvoicesusa.org.” In a related story, The New York Times recently gave respectful coverage to the Hearing Voices Network as well as Open Dialogue in “An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold.”

Researchers Describe a “New Zero-Risk Treatment for Mania” 

A Norwegian study reported in Psychiatric Times notes that people who experience mania may benefit from darkness. More than 20 years ago, the National Institute of Mental Health found that, in a very small sample—one person—darkness was able to replace the need for medication as treatment for mania. Subsequently, researchers found that it is “blue light” that needs to be blocked in order to get the darkness effect. Wearing amber-colored safety glasses is one way to accomplish this. For the Psychiatric Times story, with links to more information, click here.

Reducing Incarceration by Rethinking America’s Approach to Violence

On August 23, The Justice Policy Institute (JPI) published Defining Violence: Reducing Incarceration by Rethinking America's Approach to Violence. “While the national conversation and policy reforms have focused on reducing the incarceration of people convicted of nonviolent offenses, just under half the people in prison have been convicted of a violent crime. In Defining Violence, JPI says it's impossible the U.S. will be able to lower its incarceration rate significantly without changing how the justice system treats violent crimes. Defining Violence surveys the current debate in state legislatures and Congress on criminal justice reform...” For more information and to download the free report and other documents, click here.    

Planning Continues for Alternatives 2016

Keynote speakers at Alternatives 2016, the 30th annual conference organized by and for individuals with mental health conditions, range from seasoned veterans to youth leaders. The speakers during Monday evening’s History Panel will be Mike Finkle, executive director of On Our Own of Maryland (the state where the first Alternatives conference was held, in 1985); Joseph Rogers, the founder and executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, the first national technical assistance center serving the movement for social justice of individuals with psychiatric histories; and Sally Zinman, a founder of the California Network of Mental Health Clients (the first statewide consumer/survivor network) and currently executive director of the California Network of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO). For details about the other plenary session speakers, click here. For more information about the conference, to be held in San Diego September 19-23, click here.

Study Says “Being Transgender Is Not a Mental Disorder”

Although some influential sources continue to categorize being transgender as a mental disorder, a new study has found that “the social rejection and violence that many transgender people experience appear to be the primary source of their mental distress, as opposed to the distress being solely the result of being transgender,” Time magazine reports. “Stigma associated with both mental disorder and transgender identity has contributed to the precarious legal status, human rights violations and barriers to appropriate care among transgender people,” said the study’s author, quoted in Time. The study, involving interviews with 250 transgender people, was published in Lancet Psychiatry in July. For the Time article, click here. For an article in The New York Times entitled “Transgender on the Force,” about New York City police officers, click here.

Thanks, STAR Center @ConsumerStar

Baltimore Police Department Cited for Unreasonable Force Against People with Mental Health Conditions

In a report that is harshly critical of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division cited the Department for using “unreasonable force against individuals with a mental health disability and those in crisis.” On page 80 of the 164-page report, it said that the BPD “fails to make reasonable modifications when interacting with individuals with mental health disabilities.” To download a free copy of the report, published on August 10, click here.

SAMHSA Sponsors Free Webinar for Peer Recovery Coaches Helping People Who Have Opiod Use Disorders

On September 9, 2016, at noon ET, SAMHSA will sponsor a free 90-minute webinar called “What Peer Recovery Coaches Need to Know about Medication-Assisted Recovery for People with Opioid Use Disorders.” For more information and to register, click here.

A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising Is Available

UnderDeveloped—A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising “reveals that many nonprofit organizations are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed…The question is how do nonprofits break the cycle and begin laying the groundwork for sustainable fundraising success.” For this free 36-page document, which includes suggested solutions (beginning on page 23), click here. For another document on the same subject, Fundraising Bright Spots: Strategies and Inspiration from Social Change Organizations Raising Money from Individual Donors, click here.

Lobotomy Files: Forgotten Soldiers Is a Special Report by the WSJ

“The U.S. lobotomized some 2,000 veterans.” So begins a special report by The Wall Street Journal. It continues: “The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals.” For the report, click here.

Researchers Seek Study Participants Who Live With, or Care for Someone With, Tardive Dyskinesia

The Tardive Dyskinesia Group writes: “We are looking for people who live with tardive dyskinesia or loved ones who care for someone with tardive dyskinesia. We are looking for 25+ people to provide information and talk about their experiences with this movement disorder. It will be a 3-part study with a professional opinion research company. Compensation may be available for full completion. Please email us at TardiveDyskinesiaGroup@yahoo.com or message us at https://www.facebook.com/TardiveDyskinesiaGroup/ or call 703.398.3713 and leave us a message.”

Thanks, NYAPRS E-News

NYAPRS 34th Annual Conference to Be Held September 14-16

The 2016 annual conference of the New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) will be held September 14-16, 2016, at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa in Kerhonkson, N.Y. The theme is “Advancing Whole Health & Healthy Communities: The Pathway to Population Health.” To register and for more information, click here.

Save the Date! March for Dignity & Change in Mental Health in Washington, DC, October 10!

Join the march against the dehumanization of, and discrimination and prejudice against, people living with mental health conditions on October 10 in Washington, DC. To learn more, see www.DestinationDignity.org.

 

Gun Violence Archive Provides Information about Gun-Related Violence in the U.S.

The Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is a not-for-profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States. GVA will collect and check for accuracy, comprehensive information about gun-related violence in the U.S. and then post and disseminate it online at www.gunviolencearchive.org.

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 13, No. 2, August 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

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jul262016

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 1 - July 2016

Key Update, July 2016

Volume 13, Number 1

New UN Resolution on Mental Health and Human Rights Has Been Adopted

The United Nations Human Rights Council recently adopted a Resolution on Mental Health and Human Rights; it highlights the prejudice toward, discrimination and violence against, and forced treatment of “persons with mental health conditions or psychosocial disabilities,” and “the right of everyone to full inclusion and effective participation in society.” Portugal and Brazil led the effort to pass the resolution, which was cosponsored by at least 61 countries. Calling the resolution “good news,” Professor Peter Kinderman, president of the British Psychological Society, said: “If we used a ‘rights’ approach rather than a ‘disease’ approach to mental health, we would come to some very different decisions about involuntary detention, forcible treatment, the use of inappropriate diagnoses and excessive reliance on the use of medication, and even on the relationship between mental health and welfare systems.” For the resolution, click here. For more information, click here.

Thanks, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren @JudgeWren

Doors to Wellbeing Continues Its Monthly Webinar Series: Next One Is Today (July 26)!

Doors to Wellbeing is continuing its monthly webinar series with three free webinars, all at 2 p.m. ET. On July 26, the topic is “Supporting CPS Staff in Direct Advocacy Work,” presented by Elisha Coffey, Fran Hazam and Yvette Pate, all of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. On August 30, the subject is “Mental Wellness During Unemployment for Peers,” presented by Rachelle Weiss of Doors to Wellbeing. And on September 27, Lori Ashcraft of Recovery Innovations Recovery Opportunity Center will present “The Spirit of Bouncing Beyond.” For more information and to register, click here. For a link to archived webinars, click here.

33,000+ Annual Gun Deaths in the U.S. Are Analyzed; Washington Post Tracks Fatal Shootings of Civilians by Police

FiveThirtyEight—a website that focuses on opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging—has created an interactive graphic “exploring the more than 33,000 annual gun deaths in America and what it would take to bring that number down. See our stories on suicides among middle-age menhomicides of young black men and accidental deaths, or explore the menu for more coverage.” For the analysis, click here. In a related story, The Washington Post is documenting “shootings in which a police officer, in the line of duty, shoots and kills a civilian…The Post is not tracking death of people in police custody, fatal shootings by off-duty officers or non-shooting deaths.” According to the Post, 537 people have been shot and killed by the police so far in 2016. For the story, click here. At the same time, the Marshall Project recently published “13 Important Questions About Criminal Justice We Can’t Answer—and the government can’t either.” For that article, click here.

Recommendations Are Published for Ending Discrimination Associated with Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

The National Academies has published a 138-page manual—Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change—that includes recommendations for how to reduce discrimination and prejudice against individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders. The sixth and final recommendation is that the “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration should work with partners to design, support, and assess the effectiveness of evidence-based peer programs to support people with mental and substance use disorders along the path to recovery and to encourage their participation in treatment.” To download the manual, click here.

A Rich Variety of Pre-Conference Institutes Will Precede the iNAPS Conference

From August 22 through 25, prior to the 2016 conference of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS)—in Philadelphia at the Sheraton Society Hill August 26-28, 2016—an array of pre-conference events will take place in and around Philadelphia. For more information about the conference, click here. For information about the pre-conference institutes, click here. Among the institutes is Bluebird’s Flying Arts Fest on August 23: click here.

Prison Activist Resource Center Offers Free Prisoner Resource Directory

A 24-page resource directory is available for free download from the Prison Activist Resource Center, “a prison abolitionist group…committed to exposing and challenging the institutionalized racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, and classism of the Prison Industrial Complex.” Each of the resources includes a mailing address and phone number. PARC’s contact information is PO Box 70447, Oakland, CA 94612, 510.893.4648, and they try to respond to individual requests. The directory is organized under such headings as nationwide and state-based organizations; groups that focus on the death penalty, LGBT issues, health care issues, religious/spiritual issues, and other topics; and prison-based newsletters and prisoner magazine services. It includes United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also called the Mandela Rules. To download the directory, click here. For the Mandela Rules, click here.

Call for Submissions: Essays by Individuals with Disabilities on Rites of Passage

Award-winning author Belo Miguel Cipriani, who wrote Blind: A Memoir and Midday Dreams, is seeking submissions for a collection of essays by individuals with disabilities that focus on rites of passage. He offers “first kiss, first day of school, getting married, and parenting” as examples but is “open to whatever first experience someone is willing to share.” Essays must be between 5,000 and 7,000 words and focus on one event. They should not be about “overcoming a disease.” The deadline is September 1, 2016. For additional guidelines, submission information, and other details, click here.

Free Media Guide to Help Reporters Cover Stories That Have a Mental Health Angle

If you are a journalist, have connections to journalists, or are seeking such connections, here is a guide “to raise awareness among news organizations, journalists, journalism students and professors, and news story informants on how to improve reporting on mental health issues. If you write entertainment reviews or sports stories that sometimes involve people with mental illness, this guide is relevant for you too.” For the guide, click here. For more information, click here.

 

Café TA Center Presents New Online Peer Supervision Training

The Café TA Center is offering a free slide show on Peer Supervision, which “provides information for both peers managing other peers, as well as non-peer professionals and clinicians tasked with supervising peer specialists. Through a series of modules, it provides foundational information on peer support and its growth out of the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement, training for non-peers supervising peers support workers, information for peers supervising other peers, advice on group supervision, and a series of scenarios to help illustrate how various concepts work in practice.” For more information and to download the training, click here.

August 1 Is the Deadline to Apply to Help Develop the MHA National Peer Specialist Credential

Mental Health America (MHA) and the Florida Certification Board (FCB) are looking for volunteer subject matter experts to help develop the written exam for MHA’s new National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) credential. “This credential has been peer initiated, conceived, and developed, including peer staff at FCB,” writes Patrick Hendry, MHA’s vice president of peer advocacy, supports, and services, who is himself a peer. In a response to questions about why an organization that is not peer-run was leading this project, Hendry wrote, in part: “One of the leading criticisms about MHA creating a national peer credential is that many people feel this should be done by a peer-run organization. For many years I thought that this would be the case. Unfortunately no peer organization has accomplished this yet.” He also wrote: “All of our staff members who have worked on this certification are peers,” and “We started this project using the iNAPS National Standards, the SAMHSA Core Competencies and the Canadian standards as our starting place and we believe we have stayed true to those well-conceived documents.” Download the MHA National Certified Peer Specialist RDS Report for details. To volunteer, complete the MHA-FCB Item Writer Nomination Form by August 1, 2016.

CDC Reports on Occupations That Have the Highest Rates of Suicide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new report about which occupational groups have the highest suicide rates. According to one of the authors of the report, “Knowing suicide rates by occupation provides employers and other prevention professionals with an opportunity to focus on suicide prevention programs and messages.” The CDC says that manual laborers, farmers, lumberjacks and fishermen have the highest suicide rates, along with carpenters, miners, electricians and construction workers, followed closely by mechanics. The report covered only 17 states, reviewing about 12,300 of the more than 40,000 deaths by suicide in the U.S. in 2012. According to CBS News, “Dentists, doctors and other health care professionals had an 80 percent lower suicide rate than the farmers, fishermen and lumberjacks. The lowest rate was in teachers, [other] educators and librarians.” From 2000 to 2012, suicide rates increased 21 percent for Americans who are least 16 years old. For the CBS News report and a link to the CDC research, click here.

Free SAMHSA Webinar on “Effectiveness of Peer Support Services: Highlights from the Research”

On August 18 at 2 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will sponsor a free 90-minute webinar on the “Effectiveness of Peer Support Services: Highlights from the Research.” “We anticipate attendees to be those who have a stake in understanding the evidence base for peer recovery services and in making the case to funders and decision-makers for the value and effectiveness of these services as well as researchers,” SAMHSA writes. For more information or to register, click here.

Thanks, Judene Shelley

JLUSA Fellowship Opportunities for Advocates with a Background of Criminal Justice Involvement

Just Leadership USA is seeking applications for its 12-month Leading with Conviction (LwC) fellowships. LwC is “an advanced leadership training for formerly incarcerated, mid-senior level leaders with a specific and proven track record in advocacy and community organizing…Fellows must have at least three to five years [of] post-criminal justice involvement…All Fellows MUST have demonstrated a minimum three-year track record of leadership with a specific commitment to advocacy and community organizing, not only social services.” Applications are due by September 16, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. ET. For more information or to apply, click here. Questions? Write to applications@justleadershipusa.org.

2016 NARPA Annual Rights Conference to Be Held in Phoenix August 25-28

The 2016 annual conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy will take place at the Pointe Hilton Squeak Peak Resort in Phoenix, Arizona, August 25-28. The conference theme is “Rights Under Siege: Fighting Back.” Among the keynote speakers is Robert Whitaker, author of Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform and Mad in America. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) units are available. The registration form is on the NARPA website at www.narpa.org or email narpa@aol.com for more information.

Report on Mental Health Advocacy in California: Perspectives of Advocates and Decision-Makers

In partnership with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO), Live & Learn Inc. conducted a survey on the impact of stakeholder advocacy on decisions affecting public mental health systems in California. The California Mental Health Stakeholder Advocacy Survey was designed by people with personal experience of the mental health system and related advocacy work from CAMHPRO, Live & Learn Inc., and Shifa Consulting. The objective was to pilot an approach to help CAMHPRO evaluate the impact of consumer advocacy in the state and to document the activities that advocates engage in (e.g., legislative testimony, demonstrations, campaigns). For the report, click here.

NYAPRS 34th Annual Conference to Be Held September 14-16

The 2016 annual conference of the New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) will be held September 14-16, 2016, at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa in Kerhonkson, N.Y. The theme is “Advancing Whole Health & Healthy Communities: The Pathway to Population Health.” To register and for more information, click here.

Save the Date! March for Dignity & Change in Mental Health in Washington, DC, October 10!

Join the march against the dehumanization of, and discrimination and prejudice against, people living with mental health conditions on October 10 in Washington, DC. To learn more, see www.DestinationDignity.org.

 

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 13, No. 1, July 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
Jun272016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 12 - June 2016

Key Update, June 2016

Volume 12, Number 12

Tell Your Congressional Representatives: Vote No on HR 2646!

Important! On June 15, the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” (H.R. 2646) was unanimously voted out of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, 53-0. The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) writes: “The House leadership has indicated that they will take up H.R. 2646 in July. This is the time for every advocate to recruit other advocates and to call their representatives in Congress…. Tell them to oppose H.R. 2646 because it will do more harm than good.” Joseph Rogers, executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, adds: “This is a great opportunity to educate your legislators. Let them know about your local organizing efforts, that you are part of a movement for social change, and that H.R. 2646 significantly fails to reflect social justice.” To read the NCMHR’s Call to Action, go to www.ncmhr.org. To read an action alert by Intentional Peer Support, click here. To read the version of H.R. 2646 that was passed by the Energy & Commerce Committee, click here.

Boston Globe Article May Inflame Public’s Fears of Individuals with Mental Health Conditions

Please consider writing a letter to the Boston Globe in response to its June 23rd article that ran under the heading “The Desperate and the Dead: Families in Fear” followed by “Closing psychiatric hospitals seemed humane, but the state failed to build a system to replace them. Families are living with the tragic consequences.” The article sensationalizes the extremely rare tragedies involving individuals with mental illnesses and seems designed to exacerbate the discrimination and prejudice associated with mental health conditions. For the article, click here. For the guidelines to submit a letter to the Boston Globe, click here. The sooner you respond, the better your chances of publication.

Report Published on Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System, and President Obama Announces Plans to Help Justice-Involved Individuals

A new report from the Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities (AVID) Prison Project of Disability Rights Washington (DRW), a protection and advocacy (P&A) agency, aims to highlight the difficulties that individuals with disabilities face as they seek to access programs and services in state prison systems. “By no means exhaustive, this report provides an overview of the protections afforded to [justice-involved individuals] with disabilities under the ADA as well as examples in which P&As have advocated effectively on behalf of [such individuals]. This advocacy is multi-modal, ranging from routine monitoring, to informal and individual advocacy, to systemic litigation.” For more information and to download the report—which was a collaboration involving a number of other state P&As along with the National Disability Rights Network—click here. Also, on June 24, President Obama announced “new actions to reduce recidivism and promote reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals.” For more information, click here. In addition to read an amazing Mother Jones report, “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard,” click here.

Thanks, Fran Hazam

Free Webinar on “Peers in the Workforce: Invasion, Innovation, or Integration?”

On June 28 at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a free webinar on “Peers in the Workforce: Invasion, Innovation, or Integration?” “Over the past decade, there has been significant growth in peer services in the behavioral health workforce. Has this growth been perceived as an invasion or innovation to the recovery workforce? This session will illustrate varying perspectives, including certification through education and training, workforce development, organizational readiness and structure, and accreditation, and volunteerism…Join this session to gain new perspectives on how to grow and enhance the recovery workforce.” To register, click here.

Two Free 90-Minute Webinars on June 30 Will Cover Justice-Involved Individuals

On June 30 at 2 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Reentry Resource Center and Coalition for Juvenile Justice will host two different webinars on justice-involved individuals. SAMHSA is offering “Recovery after Incarceration: Peer Supports as a Critical Re-Entry Service.” “This webinar will review emerging evidence about the value of peer specialists and recovery coaches in supporting individuals transitioning from incarceration. It will highlight effective approaches to help individuals develop and advance towards their recovery and wellness goals, access services, navigate systems, and achieve successful community integration.” For more information and to register, click here. “Addressing the Housing Needs of Youth and Young Adults in Contact with the Justice System” will cover “current data and trends on youth and young adult homelessness, how homelessness intersects with the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems, and lessons learned and promising strategies to connect youth and young adults in contact with the justice system to safe, stable, and affordable housing.” For more information and to register, click here.

Psychiatric Medication Discontinuation/Reduction Study Seeks Survey Participants by July 1

Have you come off, or tried to come off, psychiatric medications in the past five years? A research study on the experience of stopping psychiatric medications, conducted by Live & Learn, is seeking participants. The deadline for participation is July 1. “[The] study aims to understand the process of coming off psychiatric medications in order to better support those who choose to do so,” the researchers write. They are hoping for broad participation from a variety of individuals. “We need to make sure there is racial and ethnic diversity of respondents so the research results can reflect the experiences of all our communities,” said project director Laysha Ostrow, Ph.D. Like the rest of the project team, Ostrow has lived experience with psychiatric treatment and coming off psychiatric medications. Questions? Please contact Ostrow at contact@LiveLearnInc.net, or call her at 213.373.3850. For more information or to respond to the survey, click here. For an article about the survey, click here

July 5 Is the Deadline to Comment on an Ill-Conceived SSA Rule

The Social Security Administration has set July 5, 2016, as the deadline to comment on a proposed a change in its regulations that would result in entering into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System anyone who needs financial help from a representative payee. As a result, these individuals would be prohibited from gun ownership, despite the fact that people with mental health conditions are much more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators, and that “only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness.” For more information or to comment, click here.

Thanks, Matt Canuteson

Researchers Publish “Corruption of Clinical Trials Reports: A Proposal”

“There is a disconnection between the FDA’s drug approval process and the reports we see in medical journals,” according to a June 22 Health Care Renewal blog. “Pharmaceutical corporations exploit this gap through adulterated, self-serving analyses, and the FDA sits on its hands. I suggest we need a new mechanism to fix the problem—by independent analyses of clinical trials data. When they analyze and publish their clinical trials in medical journals, pharmaceutical corporations have free rein to shape the analyses…. [T]he FDA does not challenge the reports that flood our medical journals, both before and after FDA approval. It is no secret that these publications are routinely biased for marketing effect, but the FDA averts its gaze….Now, a detailed example of deliberate corporate bias has finally been documented, through materials released in litigation….This example concerned a clinical trial of an antidepressant drug in children and adolescents.” To read more, click here.

Thanks, @AllenFrancesMD

SAMHSA Recruits Applicants for Its Program to Achieve Wellness Grants

SAMHSA is inviting applications from programs that have demonstrated exceptional achievements in integrating effective wellness practices into services for people in recovery from behavioral health disorders. Three programs will be selected and highlighted as models that other communities can adopt and implement. “The goal…is to identify and showcase innovative programs and practices that put the concept of wellness into action. Recognized programs will be those that create meaningful improvements in the lives of people in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders and effectively work to address the increased rates of chronic illness and premature death experienced by this population.” Among eligible applicants are “national organizations, community-based organizations (including providers, peers, and peer providers), communities, states, and tribes in the United States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories.” Applications are due by July 6, 2016. For more information, click here.

Newsletter on Practicing Recovery: The Importance of Family in Diverse Communities Is Available

The latest edition of a newsletter published by SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice Initiative offers articles on “Practicing Recovery: The Importance of Family in Diverse Communities.” It includes articles entitled “Honoring Diverse Families,” by Chacku Mathai, director of the STAR Center;  “Combining Evidence-based Practice with Cultural, Spiritual, and Traditional Interventions,” by D. Joel Beckstead, PhD, APBB, clinical director, Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center; and “Family Support Is Key to Whole Health in African American Families,” by Deidra Dain, guest writer. To download the free newsletter, click here.

iNAPS Conference Adds a Third Day

The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) has added a third day! The conference, whose theme is “Collaborating for Unity,” will be held in Philadelphia at the Sheraton Society Hill from August 26-28, 2016. It will be preceded by pre-conference events from August 22 through August 25. For more information, click here. For the latest edition of the iNAPS newsletter, click here.

SAMHSA Publishes “Know Your Rights: Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits”

A brand-new brochure entitled “Know Your Rights: Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits,” published in June 2016, gives an overview of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, lists some of the common limits placed on mental health and substance use disorder benefits and services, and includes resources for additional information on parity. To download SAMHSA’s free fact sheet, click here.

 

Webinar on Supporting Recovery with the Cultural Formulation Interview to Be Sponsored by NYAPRS

On July 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET, the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) will sponsor a 90-minute webinar called “Using the Cultural Formulation Interview to Support Recovery Outcomes.” NYAPRS writes: “Don’t miss this very timely presentation by experts Dr. Roberto Lewis-Fernandez and Oscar Jiménez-Solomon MPH of the Center for Excellence in Cultural Competence at NYS Psychiatric Institute, who will inform us about the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI), a new research-based tool that helps practitioners and people in recovery to have conversations about cultural identities, preferences, care expectations. This webinar is hosted by Luis O. Lopez of the Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia University.” For more information or to register, click here.

Exposé on Johnson & Johnson to Become a Movie

A Huffington Post article detailing Johnson & Johnson’s scandalous marketing techniques for one of its medications—the antipsychotic Risperdal—will become a movie called, like the article, “America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker.” The article, by muckraking journalist Steven Brill, outlined how, “[o]ver the course of 20 years, Johnson & Johnson created a powerful drug, promoted it illegally to children and the elderly, covered up the side effects and made billions of dollars.” According to the article about the new movie in The Hollywood Reporter, “The drug company was investigated and agreed to pay more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements but made a reported $30 billion in sales of the drug worldwide.” For Steven Brill’s article, click here. For the article about the movie, click here.

Thanks, @KevinFitts

Webinar on “Reframing Recovery” Is on July 21

Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center will host a free, one-hour webinar on “Reframing Recovery” on July 21, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET.  “Reframing recovery challenges perceptions and ideals around mental health recovery, including how we, as a community, define it. Too often, our ability to recover is questioned, challenged, and defined by others. With visuals, frank discussion, narratives, and thought-provoking statements, participants are challenged to reframe how they see recovery from mental health challenges.” The presenters will be Robyn Priest and Donita Diamata of Peerlink. To register, click here.

 

New Yorker Shares Archived Stories about Mental Health Conditions and Treatment

The New Yorker writes: “This week, we bring you some of the best New Yorker writing about the complexities of psychoanalysis. In ‘Man Goes to See a Doctor,’ Adam Gopnik shares what he learned during his years of Freudian analysis; in ‘The Impossible Profession,’ Janet Malcolm profiles a psychoanalyst, seeing the process from his point of view. In other stories, Evan Osnos chronicles the rise of psychoanalysis in China; Andrew Solomon recalls his personal struggle with depression; Joan Acocella reads Adam Phillips, Britain’s foremost psychoanalytic writer; and Louis Menand explores the perplexing and enlightening intellectual history of psychiatry.” For links to these stories, click here.

Brave New Fellows Program Offers 1-Year Paid Fellowship for Social Justice Activists Who Can Relocate to California

The Brave New Fellows Program “is a one-year paid fellowship for activists from communities of color and/or economically marginalized communities. The fellowship offers on-the-job training and work experience in creating and distributing films for social justice activism. Each fellow receives $772 a week for the duration of the fellowship, medical and dental insurance, and holidays/hiatus pay.” Fellows work full time (M-F, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) in the Culver City, California, office of Brave New Films. Completed applications are due by 6 p.m. PT on August 5. For more information or to apply, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth Saenger

NYAPRS 34th Annual Conference to Be Held September 14-16

The 2016 annual conference of the New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) will be held September 14-16, 2016, at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa in Kerhonkson, N.Y. The theme is “Advancing Whole Health & Healthy Communities: The Pathway to Population Health.” To register and for more information, click here. (The deadline to apply for a scholarship (for New Yorkers only!) is August 1. For the application, click here.

SAMHSA/NIDILRR Offer Free Online TA on Employment from the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Thanks to funding support from SAMHSA and NIDILRR, the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University is offering free online technical assistance to organizations that want to build capacity to address organizational and individual barriers around employment. This is an opportunity for providers to work with national subject matter experts from across the country. For more information, click here or contact Rick Forbess, project director, at rforbess@bu.edu.

Thanks, NYAPRS E-News

Save the Date! March for Dignity & Change in Mental Health in Washington, DC, October 10!

Join the march against the dehumanization of, and discrimination and prejudice against, people living with mental health conditions on October 10 in Washington, DC. To learn more, see www.DestinationDignity.org.

 

Researchers Discover Evidence of Racial, Class Discrimination among Psychotherapists

“Psychotherapists discriminate against prospective patients who are black or working class, a new study shows. Among middle-class people who contacted a therapist to schedule an appointment, the study found that 28 percent of whites and 17 percent of blacks received appointment offers. Appointment offer rates for both black and white working-class therapy seekers were 8 percent.” To read more, click here.

 

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

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. 12, June 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

 

 

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