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

 

 

Tuesday
Dec222015

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 6 - December 2015

Key Update, December 2015

Volume 12, Number 6

Many Research Institutions That Conduct Human Studies Don’t Report Their Results

Many distinguished medical research institutions routinely violate a federal law requiring public reporting of study results, according to a recent article – Law Ignored, Patients at Risk – in Stat News. As a result, people and their doctors can’t figure out if a treatment is safe and can’t accurately weigh the risk/benefit ratio. Among the worst offenders? Four of the top 10 institutions that get federal funding for medical research: Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of California, San Diego. “All disclosed research results late or not at all at least 95 percent of the time since reporting became mandatory in 2008,” Stat revealed. Meanwhile, the federal government “could have collected a whopping $25 billion [in fines] from drug companies alone in the past seven years. But it has not levied a single fine.” The federal law was passed due to concerns that the pharmaceutical industry was covering up negative results to make treatments look better. One example is Paxil’s manufacturer, sued for hiding data that the drug led to suicidal thoughts in teens. “GlaxoSmithKline was misstating the downside risks,” said Eliot Spitzer, who filed the 2004 suit when he was NY attorney general. For the Stat article, click here. (In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty and agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability.)

Thanks, @ProPublica

Deadline Extended on Forensic Peer Initiatives Survey!

 We – The College for Behavioral Health Leadership Peer Leaders Interest Group, The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, and the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse – have extended the deadline for the survey of forensic peer initiatives to Jan. 8, 2016! We want to hear from you if you work for a peer-run organization that has programs and/or services assisting people with behavioral health conditions and criminal justice histories. Using a survey format for input, we are planning a publication to share this information to learn from one another and to be a source of technical assistance. We have received 90 responses so far, but want to be sure you are included! The survey is a bit lengthy in order to capture all of the important information. If you want to see the questions before you start, they can be found if you click here. If you're ready to start, select this link to begin. Feel free to share this survey with your network for others to participate. Questions? Contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 267-507-3812 Thanks for your help!

SAMHSA Offers Recovery to Practice Winter Webinar Series on Crisis and Recovery

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Recovery to Practice (RTP) workforce development initiative is hosting a four-part webinar series “about how to integrate recovery-oriented approaches into response and support services for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The series will present approaches that illustrate the importance of a recovery orientation in these crucial periods.” Each one-hour webinar begins at 1 p.m. ET. The topics are Creating Environments of Hope and Wellness: Recovery in Hospital Settings (Jan. 12); Supporting Recovery in Acute Care and Emergency Settings (Jan. 19); Recovery-oriented Community-focused Responses to Behavioral Health Crises (Jan. 26); and Hospital Diversion and Alternatives in Crisis Response (Feb. 2). For more information about the entire series and to register for any or all of the webinars, click here.

NAMI Publishes “State Mental Health Legislation 2015”; Congress Funds Key Criminal Justice Programs

There is good news and bad news in the state and federal mental health arenas in regard to legislation. In a recent report on State Mental Health Legislation: Trends, Themes and Effective Practices, published by NAMI this month, the bad news includes the fact that more than half the states reduced mental health funding. The good news is that some states passed helpful legislation. Among these bills is AZ HB 2488, which creates a housing trust fund for rental assistance to Arizonans with serious mental health conditions; MN SFS 1458, which supplements federal dollars to support evidence-based First Episode Psychosis programs, which help young Minnesotans work toward recovery and get on with their lives; and UT HB 348, which requires the Utah departments of corrections and mental health to collaborate on providing mental health treatment to individuals in jails and prisons, developing alternatives to incarceration and implementing graduated sanctions and incentives. To download the 74-page report, click here. At the same time, Congress recently approved a $1.15 trillion Omnibus Appropriations bill that would fund three key programs championed by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center: the Second Chance Act (SCA), the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. For more information, click here.

Alternatives 2016 Conference Planning Committee Application Is Available

The Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, which will be planning and hosting Alternatives 2016, is inviting applications for the Alternatives 2016 Conference Planning Committee. “We have implemented an application process in the hopes of drawing a diverse group of applicants representing many communities, cultures, age groups and experience,” Peerlink NTAC writes. “Applications are due by Friday, January 8th 2016. Please email completed applications to: jcarroll@mhaoforegon.org.” A link to the application, in Word, is posted on the www.peerlinktac.org home page; the application can be downloaded, completed electronically, and emailed to jcarroll@mhaoforegon.org, who is also available if you have questions.

iNAPS Issues Call for Proposals for 2016 National Peer Supporter Conference in Philadelphia

The InterNational Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is seeking presentation proposals for its 10th annual national conference, to be held August 26-27, 2016, in Philadelphia at the Sheraton Society Hill, a short walk to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. 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.”

Hearing Voices App Is Released

The Hearing Voices Project team at the University of Chester in England has launched a Mobile App called Hearing Voices: A guide to understanding, helping and empowering individuals,” writes Mad in America. “The app is designed to simulate the experience of hearing voices and was designed ‘by pooling the expertise of a wide range of healthcare professionals, learners and voice hearers.’ As users engage in this experience, [they] are guided by reflective prompts and interactive exercises. The app also includes podcasts featuring the stories of people who hear voices.” It can be downloaded for free from the Apple app store and Google Play.” For a free promotional video, click here.

Two New Studies Offer Hope to Individuals Who Experience Depression

Two studies provide hope to individuals with depression: a model that could lead to more precise treatment, and research indicating that light may work on nonseasonal depression. In the first study, scientists at Michigan State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say their research may lead to “a method for personalizing treatment to each unique patient,” said lead investigator Andrea K. Wittenborn of MSU. Most previous research into depression focused on only one or two factors causing it, and not on how the many biological, psychological, social and environmental factors unfold over time, the researchers said. “We know depression varies widely across people,” Wittenborn said, “and we think that has something to do with why treatment [which tends to be by trial and error] is not always effective.” For more information, click here. A different study, at the University of British Columbia, found that, used alone, light therapy – often employed to treat seasonal affective disorder (in which depression descends upon someone during late fall and winter and then lifts as the days grow longer) – “was significantly better than placebo, and light therapy with medication was the most effective treatment of all,” The New York Times reported. The research is the first placebo-controlled trial that shows that light therapy is an effective treatment for depression that is not brought on by seasonal affective disorder, according to a University of British Columbia press release, available here.

Thanks, Mad in America and Café TA Center, for information about the MSU/MIT study.

John Oliver’s Year in Criminal Justice and Mental Health

A prominent – and entertaining – ally of individuals with mental health conditions and of those with criminal justice involvement is John Oliver, who hosts a show on HBO. The Marshall Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization covering America’s criminal justice system, has put together “John Oliver’s Year in Criminal Justice (available here): “A roundup of clips and one-liners from one of the most vocal critics of our prison system,” covering elected judges, bail, mandatory minimums, municipal violations, public defenders, prisoner reentry, and a bonus segment with the cast of Sesame Street. Oliver also did a great piece on how the mental health system “works or, more often than not, how it doesn’t” – available here.

Medstopper Offers a “Deprescribing Resource for Healthcare Professionals and Their Patients.”

Medstopper is a “tool to help clinicians and patients make decisions about reducing or stopping medications. By entering the list of medications a patient is receiving, www.Medstopper.com sequences the drugs from ‘more likely to stop’ to ‘less likely to stop,’ based on three key criteria: the potential of the drug to improve symptoms, its potential to reduce the risk of future illness and its likelihood of causing harm. Suggestions for how to taper the medication are also provided.” In his recent tweet of the Medstopper website, Allen Frances – chair of the DSM-IV Task Force, professor emeritus and former chair of the Duke University Department of Psychiatry, and author of Saving Normal and Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis – wrote, “Stopping multiple meds is harder than starting them. Requires caution & patience, but results often worth the effort.” The website contains multiple disclaimers, available here. In a related note, the Icarus Project website offers, for free, The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal. To download, click here.

AAPD to Host Webinar on Workplace Bullying and Harassment

According to the 2014 Workplace Bullying Institute’s U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, 27% of employees have current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work and 72% are aware of workplace bullying. The American Association of People with Disabilities will host a one-hour webinar on Workplace Bullying and Harassment on Jan. 13, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET. The session “will explore the definitional and legal differences between bullying and harassment, provide an overview of the impact of bullying in the workplace, describe the recourse available to abused workers with disabilities, and offer suggestions for how employers can foster safer, more accepting workplaces.” To register, click here.

Webinar on Social Determinants of Mental Health to Be Hosted by College for Behavioral Health Leadership

On Jan. 14, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET, Ruth Shim, MD, MPH, associate professor, Hofstra North Shore/LIJ School of Medicine, will present “The Social Determinants of Mental Health.” According to the College for Behavioral Health Leadership, “This session is focused on … those factors stemming from where we grow, live, work, learn, and age that impact our overall mental health and well-being, and those factors that contribute to mental illnesses.” The social determinants of mental health are “largely neglected with regard to their role in causing and worsening mental illnesses,” the College continues. “These underlying causes of mental illnesses are modifiable precursors to behavioral risk factors and are largely responsible for social injustice and mental health inequities.” Dr. Shim will provide an overview of important concepts and present evidence that supports the existence of these determinants. She will also discuss research, policy, and practice-based solutions. To register, click here.

Webinar on Parenting with a Mental Health Condition to Be Hosted by the TU Collaborative

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities will be holding a webinar on Jan. 21, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET to discuss Parenting with a Mental Illness. The TU Collaborative writes: “We will discuss strategies parents can use, findings from our Parenting Internet Education study, and discuss our new Parenting Online Education resource, which will allow parents from all over to get information for children under the age of 18. This topic is important for many individuals and something that needs to be discussed given the high rate of child welfare involvement that many parents face, as well as other barriers like discrimination. For registration information, click here.

“Gun Deaths in Your District: What Have Your Elected Representatives Done?”

Find out how many people near you died from gun violence in 2015, where your Congressional representatives stand on guns – and how much money they’ve received from the gun lobby. Click on “Locate Me” on the map available here, and you can find out! For example, in Missouri’s First District, there have been 230 gun deaths this year; there have been 451 gun deaths in Missouri over all. The district is represented by Rep. William Lacy Clay, who has received nothing from the gun lobby and scores an F rating from the NRA. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has also received no money from the gun lobby, and also has an NRA F rating. But Missouri’s other senator, Roy Blunt, has received $3,300 from the gun lobby and scores an A from the NRA. He has consistently voted in favor of “gun rights” and against regulation, the exact opposite of Sen. McCaskill. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a 14-page report on gun violence in Wilmington, Delaware, despite the Congressional restriction that effectively bans such inquiries. The report was not initiated by the CDC; it was requested by the City of Wilmington, The Trace reported. For more information and to download the 14-page report, click here.

Newsletters of National Organizations Offer a Lot of Great Information!

Many organizations publish free monthly newsletters that are of great interest to mental health/disability rights advocates. Three recent newsletters are those of the Café TA Center, the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, and the American Association of People with Disabilities. The latest issue of the Café TA Center’s newsletter, Focus, offers A First-Hand Perspective on Campus Mental Health and Leaves of Absence. To download the newsletter, click here. The December 2015 issue of the TU Collaborative’s newsletter, Recovering Liberty, focuses on parenting with a mental health condition, and also includes a variety of other announcements and resources. For the newsletter, click here. And the most recent edition of the American Association of People with Disabilities newsletter, Disability Download, publicizes resources such as the National Center on Disability and Journalism Style Guide and upcoming events, as well as opportunities such as the 2016 AAPD Summer Internships, with applications due Jan. 15, 2016, at 5 p.m. ET. For the AAPD newsletter, click here.

“A New Tool Drills Down on Hidden Incarceration Rates”

The Vera Institute of Justice has created a data tool that includes the jail population and jail incarceration rate for every U.S. county that uses a local jail, for what the Marshall Project calls “the essential metric that provides an empirical yardstick for the prison-reform movement.” The Vera Institute writes: “The data revealed that, since 1970, the number of people held in jail has increased from 157,000 to 690,000 in 2014 – a more than four-fold increase nationwide, with growth rates highest in the smallest counties. This data also reveals wide variation in incarceration rates and racial disparities among jurisdictions of similar size and thus underlines an essential point: The number of people in jail is largely the result of choices made by policymakers and others in the justice system. The Incarceration Trends tool provides any jurisdiction with the appetite for change the opportunity to better understand its history of jail use and measure its progress toward decarceration.” The Marshall Project writes: “A stunning fact jumps off the page. The Vera report finds that 130 small counties – those with fewer than 250,000 county residents – have jail incarceration rates that exceed 1,000 per 100,000. Because we formerly had no metric to rank jails by incarceration rate, many of these counties escaped the particular scrutiny that would come with the distinction of incarcerating such a high percentage of their residents.” For the Marshall Project article, Who Is Putting the Most People in Jail? Not New York, Chicago, or LA., click here. For information about In Our Own Backyard: Confronting Growth and Disparities in American Jails, published by the Vera Institute of Justice in December 2015, and to download the report, click here.

“Mental Health Reform Will Not Reduce US Gun Violence, Experts Say”

The title of a new article in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association” says it all! The full article is available on the JAMA website for free download. Read it here.

Thanks, Matt Canuteson.

“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. 6, December 2015, 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