Friday
Jul282017

The Key Update, Volume 14, Number 1 - July 2017

Key Update, July 2017

Volume 14, Number 1

Action Alert: The Federal Government Will Not Fund Future Alternatives Conferences

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has announced that the federal government will no longer provide any funding for the annual Alternatives conferences, beginning in 2018. (Alternatives 2017 will not be affected.) “Those of us who have been diagnosed with serious mental health conditions are often told that our situation is hopeless—but the Alternatives conferences celebrate hope and success!,” according to a letter from the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery to the Department of Health and Human Services, which handed down the decision. “These annual recovery-oriented gatherings have brought together thousands of people with serious mental health conditions…to share skills relating to recovery, advocacy, peer support services, and holistic wellness practices…Please help us move forward by continuing to fund the Alternatives conferences! The federal contribution to these conferences is relatively minuscule, especially when compared to the enormous rewards reaped by those who are fortunate enough to participate.” If you believe that the Alternatives conferences are important, you can add your voice by writing to Secretary Thomas E. Price, MD, US Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201 or emailing him at Secretary@HHS.gov .

Stopping Psychiatric Medication Is Difficult but Most Are “Satisfied with Their Choice”

A recent survey of 250 long-term users of psychiatric medications who chose to discontinue the medications found that more than half succeeded in discontinuing usage, despite having little professional support while experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. The majority of respondents cited side effects and the health risks of long-term use as their main motive for quitting. Fifty-four percent managed to stay off psychiatric medication for at least one year, with few reporting relapse or rehospitalization. Eighty-two percent of those who discontinued use reported being satisfied with their choice. “Over 70% of our study sample had taken medication for more than a decade,” said principal investigator Laysha Ostrow, PhD, founder and CEO of Live & Learn, Inc. “However, these individuals reported having little to rely on when discontinuing except the Internet and social support in order to endure withdrawal.” For more information, click here. [Editor’s note: For the free Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, click here.] 

NCD Alliance Seeks Respondents for a Survey to Better Understand the Impact of NCDs

The NCD Alliance is seeking respondents for its online survey “to better understand the daily impact of NCDs”—noncommunicable diseases, including mental health conditions and a range of physical disorders, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and others—“on people’s lives and their recommendations for decision makers. NCDs are the most common cause of death and disability worldwide, accounting for 70% of all deaths and more than three out of four years lived with a disability.” Both individuals living with NCDs and caregivers are encouraged to respond. The deadline is August 31, 2017. Questions? Contact ourviewsourvoices@ncdalliance.org. To respond to the survey, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

Free Fundraising 101 Webinar to Be Hosted on August 1 by Charity HowTo

A free webinar entitled Fundraising 101: The Fundraising Cycle—What Is It, and How Do You Make It Work for Your Mission? will take place on August 1, 2017. According to Charity HowTo, which is hosting the webinar—targeted to beginners—participants will learn “the five major steps of the fundraising cycle; donor engagement opportunities at each step in the cycle; [and] tips and tricks for board, staff, and volunteers to get involved in donor engagement.” Registrants who are unable to attend the live webinar will still receive the webinar recording, slides, and bonus materials. For more information and to register, click here.  

July iNAPS Newsletter Features Information About Upcoming iNAPS Conference

The July newsletter of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) features information about its upcoming national conference, to be held in Phoenix October 16-18. The keynote speakers are Pat Deegan, Chacku Mathai and Sally Zinman. For the newsletter, click here.

Free Webinar Interview with Dr. Ed Knight to Be Hosted by the STAR Center

On August 9, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET, the STAR Center will host “An Interview with Dr. Ed Knight: Mastery Through Accomplishment in Mental Health Leadership.” Dr. Knight is the founder of the Mental Health Empowerment Project in New York “and a person whose story made headlines when he transformed what some people called ‘delusions of grandeur’ into his goals and a vision for his community,” writes the STAR Center, which will engage him in a live interview on peer leadership.  For more information and to register for the webinar, click here

In General, Individuals with Mental Health Conditions in Federal Prison Receive Little to No Treatment

On July 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ OIG) released its report examining the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) use of restrictive housing for people with mental health conditions who are incarcerated in federal prisons. “[T]he DOJ OIG concludes that while the BOP has taken a number of steps to address the mental health concerns for [individuals] in restrictive housing, significant issues remain regarding the adequacy of the BOP’s policies and its implementation efforts in this critical area.” For the press release, which includes a link to the free 103-page report and a video and podcast, click here.

PsychWardReviews.com Is a Yelp for Psychiatric Facilities

In July 2016, a 24-year-old who had spent time on more than one psychiatric ward launched a website on which people can post reviews of the care they had received in such institutions. According to a recent article in Undark, as of mid-June 2017, “the website had gathered anonymous reviews of 195 public and private psychiatric and general hospitals offering 24-hour inpatient care—about 10 percent of the U.S. total...Reviews have also come in from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, and Hong Kong.” Leah Harris, who has lived through similar experiences and who is now a nationally known mental health advocate, told Undark: “This site is absolutely needed, and there’s nothing like it.” For the article, which includes a link to the review site, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Do You Blog? Then Here Is an Opportunity Advertised in the AAPD Newsletter

If you write, or want to write, you can submit a story to Rooted in Rights, which is inviting pitches for articles between 400 and 600 words focused on disability rights. Authors of published pieces will receive $150. To submit your pitch or your story to Rooted in Rights, click here. For the AAPD newsletter, which includes other useful information, click here.

Alternatives 2017 Announces Many of the Exciting Workshops on Its Schedule

Alternatives 2017 has announced many of the important workshops that will be presented at the conference, to be held August 18-21 at the Boston Park Plaza! Among the topics to be covered are peer respites, conflict resolution, alternatives to incarceration, trauma-informed peer support, mentoring young adults, mental health human rights initiatives, grants and fundraising to sustain peer-run organizations, peer support to prevent suicide, Intentional Peer Support, and using social media to foster peer support and social change. The theme of the conference, organized by the National Empowerment Center, is Building Healing Communities Together. To learn more, click here.

World Federation for Mental Health Offers Packet of Materials for World Mental Health Day

The World Federation for Mental Health has announced the theme for World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2017: Mental Health in the Workplace. WFMH writes: “Mental health issues have been shown to the cause of employee absenteeism, lower rate of productivity and an increase in costs. This year’s packet will contribute to taking mental health out of the shadows in the workplace so that people and companies have the tools to help employees and increase the overall mental health of all their employees.” For more information and to download the free materials, click here

Thanks, Janet Paleo

Free “Bird-Dogging Guide” Can Help Advocates Make Their Voices Heard

The Friends Committee on National Legislation is offering a brief “bird-dogging guide” to help people ask questions at town halls and other events involving legislators and candidates. The tips include when to get there, how to raise the odds that you will be called on, how to take advantage of any one-on-one opportunities, why you should work with a partner or a team, and other useful information. The Friends Committee on National Legislation was founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). For the brief guide, click here.

Confirming What We Know, Optum Report Says Peer Support Services Improve Clinical Outcomes

A recent white paper published by Optum backs up what we already know: that Peer Support Services Improve Clinical Outcomes by Fostering Recovery and Promoting Empowerment. “Optum has recognized the role of peer support services as an integral part of state Medicaid plans and has promoted the development and deployment of this workforce,” the document begins. “As health care becomes better integrated serving the combined physical and behavioral health needs of individuals, there is a recognized and important role for peer support services.” To download the free eight-page document, click here. (Note: To download the paper, you will have to provide your contact information.)

Thanks, Janet Paleo

Website Promotes Writers Who Have Lived Experience with Various Disabilities

Disabled Writers is a resource to help editors connect journalists with writers who have disabilities, and to help journalists connect with sources who have lived experience of disabilities. “Our goal is specifically to promote paid opportunities for multiply marginalized members of the disability community, and to encourage editors and journalists to think of [people with disabilities] for stories that stretch beyond disability issues,” according to the website. “Mental health conditions” is only one of the many topics covered in a list of “commonly cited identities amongst our members”—which include various ethnicities, races, gender identities, nationalities, and professions—including one listing under “Ironic”; many writers cite more than one identity. For more information and a link to the website, click here.

OWH Just Released Its Free Report on Opioid Use, Misuse, and Overdose in Women

On July 19, 2017, the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) released its Final Report: Opioid Use, Misuse, and Overdose in Women. The report examines the prevention, treatment, and recovery issues for women who misuse, have use disorders, and/or overdose on opioids. It also presents findings and takeaways from OWH’s national and regional opioid meetings held in 2016. To download the free 86-page report, which includes numerous links to more information, click here.

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

“England’s Mental Health Experiment: No-Cost Talk Therapy”

“England is in the midst of a unique national experiment, the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses,” begins an article in The New York Times, published on July 24, 2017. “The rapidly growing initiative, which has gotten little publicity outside the country, offers virtually open-ended talk therapy free of charge at clinics throughout the country: in remote farming villages, industrial suburbs, isolated immigrant communities and high-end enclaves. The goal is to eventually create a system of primary care for mental health not just for England but for all of Britain.” The program is not without its critics. For example, it delivers mostly Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Peter Kinderman, president of the British Psychological Society, although cautiously optimistic, said, “If you think CBT is the end-all, then you don’t understand mental health.” It appears that the program focuses entirely on professional help and does not employ peer support. For more, click here.

July TRC and SPARC Newsletter Provides Info on a Variety of Topics

The July edition of the Transitions RTC and SPARC (Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center) newsletter offers information on “empowering youth in transition”; whether or not to let your employer know that you have a mental health condition; the Young Adult, Mental Health, and Employment Study, which focuses on Latino youth; the 2018 Youth and Young Adult Mental Health State-of-the-Science conference; and more. For the newsletter, click here.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Is Run by People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

A coffee shop in Wilmington, NC, called Bitty & Beau’s takes its name from the founders’ two youngest children, Bitty and Beau Wright, both of whom have Down syndrome. “With over 70 percent of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities unemployed nationwide, Beau’s Coffee [its original name] created a path for people with [intellectual and developmental disabilities] to become more valued, accepted and included in every community,” according to its literature. “Bitty & Beau’s Coffee currently employs 40 people with [intellectual and developmental disabilities] and has been featured on The Rachael Ray Show, Harry, Good Morning America, HLN, People Magazine and Southern Living Magazine.” The shop is “Changing the way people see/value/accept/include/love/respect other people,” says its website, available here.

Disclaimer: The Clearinghouse does not necessarily endorse the opinions and opportunities included in the Key Update.

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.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 1, July 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. If you find it of interest, you can check the following link at the end of every month, where each new issue is posted: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/the-key-update-latest/ For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org – please note that this is a new email address – or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

Monday
Jun262017

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 12 - June 2017

Key Update, June 2017

Volume 13, Number 12

Action Alert: If You Don’t Like the Senate Health Care Bill, Contact Your Senators

On June 22, the U.S. Senate released the Better Care Reconciliation Act, its version of the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives in May. Among its other provisions, the bill includes deep cuts to Medicaid, which would harm millions of vulnerable Americans if the bill is passed. Senate leaders are pushing for a vote before July 4 (although, at this writing, it appears that there are not enough votes to pass the bill). For an article in U.S. News & World Report about the potential impact of the bill, click here. For an additional analysis of the bill by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, click here. For your senators’ contact information, click here. For advocacy tips, click here.

UN Human Rights Expert Calls for Paradigm Shift in Mental Health Care

A United Nations (UN) expert on the right to health has called for reform of a mental health system built on outdated attitudes. “I am calling on States to move away from traditional practices and thinking, and enable a long overdue shift to a rights-based approach,” said Dainius Pūras, a medical doctor with expertise on mental health, child health, and public health policies, who is the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to health. “There is now unequivocal evidence of the failures of a system that relies too heavily on the biomedical model of mental health services, including the front-line and excessive use of psychotropic medicines, and yet these models persist,” he said. In his report, Pūras warns that power and decision-making in mental health are concentrated in the hands of “biomedical gatekeepers,” particularly those representing biological psychiatry. According to a UN press release, “These gatekeepers, supported by the pharmaceutical industry, maintain this power by adhering to two outdated concepts: that people experiencing mental distress and diagnosed with ‘mental disorders’ are dangerous, and that biomedical interventions are medically necessary in many cases. These concepts perpetuate stigma and discrimination, as well as the practices of coercion that remain widely accepted in mental health systems today.” Pūras called for a ‘paradigm shift’ to ensure compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” For the press release, click here. For the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, click here.

TU Collaborative to Host Webinar to Help People Record Their Stories Using New StoryCorps App

“Share Your Story: Beyond the Diagnosis,” a free hour-long webinar that will discuss how to use the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion’s new StoryCorps app to tell your story of “community participation,” will be held on June 27 at 1 p.m. ET. For more information and to register, click here. (Editor’s Note: The TU Collaborative’s StoryCorps app was described in the May 2017 edition of The Key Update.)

Webinar on “The Importance of Language” Offered by Doors to Wellbeing

On June 27 at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a free webinar on “The Importance of Language.” “This webinar will provide examples of how your word choices can deeply impact your interactions and work with peers, especially in behavioral health settings,” Doors to Wellbeing writes. For more information and to register, click here.

National Behavioral Health Barometer Now Available from SAMHSA

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released the free Behavioral Health Barometer, United States, Volume 4. Topics addressed in the report include substance use, serious mental health conditions, serious thoughts of suicide, and behavioral health treatment. The barometer uses data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services and presents findings by age, gender, racial and ethnic categories, poverty status, and health insurance status. To download the free barometer, click here. For a TIME Magazine article about the barometer, click here.

“Self-Employment Starts With You” Survey Now Open!

If you are self-employed, live in the U.S., and have lived experience of a mental health condition, you are eligible for an online survey of self-employed individuals and small business owners who identify as having a psychiatric history or disability. The survey was designed with input from individuals who meet these criteria. It takes about 20 minutes to complete the survey, and you can leave and come back. “We hope the results of this study will expand employment options for those who aspire to work for themselves, and to improve sustainability and growth opportunities for existing enterprises,” Live & Learn founder Laysha Ostrow, Ph.D., writes. Each individual may only take the survey once. According to the website, "All respondents will have the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a $25 Visa check card. There will be one winner per week until [the survey deadline of] July 5, 2017." For more information or to participate, click here.

WHO Offers Free Package of Mental Health Training and Guidance Modules

As part of the QualityRights Initiative, the World Health Organization has developed a comprehensive package of training and guidance modules. "The modules can be used to build capacity among mental health practitioners; people with psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities; people using mental health services; families, care partners and other supporters; NGOs, DPOs, and others on how to implement a human rights and recovery approach in the area of mental health in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other international human rights standards." For the free modules, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

Psychological Services Journal Solicits Manuscripts for Special Section on Peer Specialists

The editorial staff at the American Psychological Association Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) journal, Psychological Services, invites manuscripts for a special section on the impact peer specialists are having on the delivery of mental health and health services, and on outcomes in organized care settings. The deadline is October 1, 2017. “This special section will solicit and consider studies currently underway in a variety of areas of peer specialist service delivery,” according to the call for papers. For details and instructions, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

ACLU Publishes New Report on the Benefits of Hiring Formerly Incarcerated Job Seekers; Also See Free Webinar by National Reentry Resource Center and Free CSGJC Newsletter

The ACLU’s Trone Center for Justice & Equality recently issued a free report on the benefits of hiring people who were formerly in jail or prison. The report, Back to Business: How Hiring Formerly Incarcerated Job Seekers Benefits Your Company, “lays out how, by reducing barriers to employment and implementing fair hiring practices, companies can better provide employment opportunities to formerly incarcerated people to the benefit of all.” For more information and to download the free report, click here. In a related story, on June 29 at 2 p.m. ET, the National Reentry Resource Center is hosting a free webinar called “Engaging Employers—A Sectoral Approach to Employment for People with Criminal Records.” For more information and to register, click here. In another related story, the Council of State Governments Justice Center newsletter is available for free if you click here. 

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

The Ninth Annual World Hearing Voices Congress will be held at Boston University August 16-18, 2017! “The Hearing Voices Movement will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary on U.S. soil!...Topics range from groups, personal testimony, and voice dialogue, to research, artistic endeavor and more! The Hearing Voices Movement consists of over 30 national networks from around the world joined by shared goals and values, including a fundamental belief that…hearing voices is not, in itself, an indication of illness [click here].” In fact, it may not be experienced as auditory at all, according to a study by Drs. Nev Jones and Tanya Luhrmann: click here. “All are welcome, with a special invitation extended to fellow voice hearers.” For more information about the conference and to register, click here. In case you missed it, in August 2016 The New York Times recently gave respectful coverage to the Hearing Voices Network as well as Open Dialogue in “An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold.” (Note: This item appeared in the January 2017 and August 2016 editions of the Key Update.)

Alternatives 2017 Announces Lineup of Keynote Speakers

Alternatives 2017 has announced its keynote speakers: a diverse group of individuals ranging from longtime activists to youth leaders, who will cover a variety of important topics. The conference, whose theme is Building Healing Communities Together, will be held in Boston from August 18 to 21. To learn more about the speakers and the conference, organized by the National Empowerment Center, click here.

11 California Counties Adopt Mobile App to Give People with Criminal Justice Histories a Fresh Start

A mobile app called Clear My Record “helps people reduce or dismiss nonviolent convictions by submitting crime information to public defenders, streamlining a process that can take months and multiple visits to a county courthouse,” KQED reports. “The app launched one year ago in San Francisco and now operates in 11 California counties. Nearly 2,000 Californians have reduced or cleared a criminal record using the platform…‘Failure to secure sustainable employment and housing is a key reason that people re-enter prison,’” said attorney Jenny Montoya Tansey, director of safety and justice for Code for America, which developed the app. For more information, click here.

Respondents Sought for Survey to Compare Sports Programs to Peer Support Programs

Corinna West, a member of the 1996 Olympic Judo team and an award-winning social justice movement activist, has founded a business to do sports for resilience. She writes, “Do you run a sports program or peer support program? Can you take a survey to help Poetry for Personal Power compare sports programs to mental health peer support programs? Or help circulate the following survey?” For the survey, click here.

LinkedIn Group on Employing People with Psychiatric Disabilities Invites Members

Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation writes: “If you are a person in recovery, employer, or supporter of people with psychiatric disabilities, we invite you to join the Center’s new LinkedIn group. For more information or to join, please visit our LinkedIn page” by clicking here.

Whether Religion Helps Mental Health May Depend on Someone’s Relationship with God

A recent study by Baylor University researchers indicates that, although prayer in itself may not improve psychological well-being, “for people who had a certain type of relationship with God, prayer did seem to have some benefits,” according to a Psych Central blog. The operative factor was a “secure attachment to God”; such an attachment also led to increased optimism, but not higher self-esteem or greater life satisfaction, the researchers reported. Another Baylor study found that, for people who had secure attachments to God, feeling that God forgave them improved their sense of well-being.  The same was not true for people who had insecure attachments to God. In short, it’s complicated. For the article and links to the studies, click here.

“20 Comics That Capture Life with Anxiety and Depression”

“At GoComics, creators share their struggles with anxiety, depression, and more with an aim to relate to readers who may be going through the same thing. Sometimes it’s with a laugh; other times it’s with a poignant character moment…” For “relatable comics that can aid your own awareness,” click here.

Disclaimer: The Clearinghouse does not necessarily endorse the opinions and opportunities included in the Key Update.

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.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 12, June 2017, 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@mhphope.org -- please note that this is a new email address -- or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

Tuesday
May302017

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 11 - May 2017

Key Update, May 2017

Volume 13, Number 11

Revised American Health Care Act Is Even Worse Than Previous Version, Experts Say

On May 25, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law issued the following statement on the Congressional Budget Office’s score of the version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that passed the House of Representatives: “ ‘Sadly, this CBO score just confirms that the final version of the bill was even worse for people with mental illnesses than the prior version,’ said Jennifer Mathis, the Center’s director of policy and legal advocacy. This version, like the original bill, severely cuts Medicaid, caps the coverage it provides to each person, and repeals the Medicaid Expansion, eliminating Medicaid coverage for 14 million struggling Americans and annihilating a quarter of Medicaid's budget. Medicaid is the largest payer for mental health services in the United States and the only payer for the intensive community-based services that many people with serious mental illnesses need...” Bethany Lilly, Bazelon’s deputy director of policy and legal advocacy, added, “The CBO analysis underlines why we oppose this bill so strongly and why the Senate needs to reject the AHCA.” For the rest of Bazelon’s statement, click here. For “The American Health Care Act Undermines Medicare,” click here.

Virtual “Psychosis Summit” Is Launched

A virtual “Psychosis Summit,” available for free, consists of interviews and talks aimed toward “raising awareness on treatment methodologies, and support approaches, for helping peers dealing with psychosis, and their families.” The first six interviews (to be supplemented every few months) include “A Close Look at the Conventional Approaches on Psychosis,” by Dr. Nev Jones; “Food, Nutrition, and Psychosis," by Drew Ramsey; “Wounded Healer,” by Oryx Cohen; “A Psychologist’s Perspective on Psychosis and Trauma: A Personal Story,” by Noel Hunter; “Open Dialogue and Psychosis: How Does It Differ from Standard Practice?” by Sandra Steingard; and “Culture and How It Shapes and Protects Against Stigma: Insights from Chinese Immigrants with Experiences of Psychosis,” by Dr. Lawrence Yang. To read the interviews, click here.

Thanks, Oryx Cohen

Free Webinar on Grant Proposal Writing on June 7

“So You Want to Write a Grant?”—a free webinar on proposal-writing—will be hosted on June 7 at 1 p.m. ET by Charity Howto, a consulting firm. The 45-minute webinar, intended for beginners, will be presented by Diane Leonard, GPC, who has “raised millions of competitive grant funds for nonprofit organizations for more than a decade.” Charity HowTo writes: “Join us for this free webinar as we discuss how grants can help your organization and the common pitfalls and challenges encountered for many first-time grant writers. You’ll learn what grant writing can and cannot do for your organization, what you can do to become successful at writing a grant proposal, and more.” To register, click here.

2017 NYAPRS Annual Conference Call for Papers Has Been Issued

The annual NYAPRS (New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services) conference—September 13-15, Hudson Valley Resort & Conference Center, Kerhonkson, NY—has issued its call for papers. The theme of this year’s conference—the 35th—is Stand Up for Recovery! The conference, which attracts participants from around the country, always features nationally prominent presenters. For the call for papers (deadline June 16), click here. For New York residents only: To apply for a scholarship (deadline: July 31), click here.

TU Collaborative Summer Institute Announces Summer Schedule

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion's Summer Institute, to be held July 24-25 on the university's campus in Philadelphia, will include half-day presentations on "The Evidence Base for Community Inclusion"; "It's Not Just Fun & Games: The Necessity of Leisure & Recreation Activities"; "The State-of-the-Science in Identifying and Overcoming Environmental Barriers to Inclusion"; and "Cutting-Edge Roles for Peer Specialists in Promoting Community Inclusion: What Works." Other presentation topics will include Congregational Connections, Self-Directed Care, Education, Re-entry from Incarceration, Wellness, Young Adults, Environmental Enrichment, Employment, Policy, and Welcoming Communities. For more information and to register, click here.

New Guidebook for Peer Respite Self-Evaluation Is Available for Free Download

A new tool to document peer respite program operations and outcomes, and to build evidence for the efficacy of peer respites, is available for free download from Live & Learn, which created the Guidebook for Peer Respite Self-Evaluation: Practical Steps and Tools in partnership with Human Services Research Institute. “We created this guide in response to frequent requests for practical, low-cost or no-cost tools that can be used by programs to evaluate themselves,” writes Live & Learn founder and CEO Dr. Laysha Ostrow. The guidebook—an updated version of a 2014 edition—“is focused on establishing a shared framework for self-evaluation that can be used by peer respite staff on an ongoing basis without extensive hands-on involvement of researchers.” For the new Guidebook, click here. For the 2014 guidebook and other peer respite manuals, click here.

An Invitation: Share Your Story Using the TU Collaborative’s StoryCorps App

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion is welcoming individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition and providers of mental health services to share their stories using the new TU Collaborative StoryCorps app. “We invite you to join us in our mission to spread the word that people with disabilities are more than their diagnoses,” the TU Collaborative writes. “We want to hear about what you do in your community and how it benefits you: the love, laughter and joy. Use the StoryCorps app to share your story and to join this revolution in the way society views [mental health conditions]. Please help us to collect real stories of real people, beyond the diagnosis.” For the steps to record and share your story using the StoryCorps mobile app, click here.

Doors to Wellbeing Seeks Webinar Presenters

Doors to Wellbeing (D2W) conducts monthly webinars “dedicated to bringing ideas, topics and methods to improve the work of peer specialists. We are looking for new, exciting and innovative presenters for our monthly Peer Specialist Webinar Series. This is a great way to reach the peer community. If you have never presented a webinar, we can provide technical assistance.” (D2W adds that webinar selection is not guaranteed.) To apply, click here.

STAR (Supervision to Aid Reentry) Program Fights Recidivism in Philadelphia; Other Cities Take a Different Approach

A program in Philadelphia is helping people coming out of jails and prisons to find housing and stay out of the criminal justice system. “One of the city’s most successful reentry programs, STAR (Supervision to Aid Reentry), has developed a multifaceted approach to tackling the housing challenge…STAR is designed to connect participants to job opportunities, internships, professional courses, skills training, family therapy, couples counseling and housing. It is voluntary and accepts around 40 former offenders at a time.” For more information, click here and click here. Other cities take a different approach; for “A Fresh Take on Ending the Jail-to-Street-to-Jail Cycle,” click here. And for the most recent newsletter of the National Reentry Resource Center, a project of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, click here. (Editor’s note: Although a couple of the webinars advertised in the National Reentry Resource Center newsletter have already taken place, there are other items that are still timely.)

USAFacts Is a New Data-Driven Portrait of the American Population and More

USAFacts, which provides “federal, state and local data from over 70 government sources,” is “a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society…We provide this information as a free public service…Whether government money is spent wisely or not, whether our quality of life is improving or getting worse—that’s for you to decide. We hope to spur serious, reasoned, and informed debate on the purpose and functions of government.” For more information: www.usafacts.org. And for Raising Hell: A Citizen[’]s Guide to the Fine Art of Investigation, click here.

“Analysis of Restraint and Seclusion Legislation and Policy Across States: Adherence to Recommended Principles”

A review published in the Journal of Disability Policy Studies on March 27, 2017, “examines each state’s educational legislation and policies on restraint and seclusion in relationship to their alignment with the U.S. Department of Education’s (U.S. DOE) Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document. Although the Resource Document is not a federal mandate, it provides the U.S. DOE’s recommendations for policy and legislation to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion in schools and create safe learning environments for all students.” For the article, click here. For National Review of Restraint Related Deaths of Children and Adults with Disabilities: The Lethal Consequences of Restraint, published in 2011 by Equip for Equality, the federally mandated protection and advocacy agency in Illinois, click here.

Free Report on Transformative Role of Formerly Incarcerated Leaders in Reducing Mass Incarceration

Just Leadership USA, a national organization of individuals with criminal justice histories, has issued Leading with Conviction: The Transformative Role of Formerly Incarcerated Leaders in Reducing Mass Incarceration. The free report, published in collaboration with the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School, “documents the roles of formerly incarcerated leaders engaged in work related to reducing incarceration and rebuilding communities, drawing on in-depth interviews with 48 of these leaders conducted over a period of 14 months. These ‘leaders with conviction’ have developed a set of capabilities that enable them to advance transformative change, both in the lives of individuals affected by mass incarceration and in the criminal legal systems that have devastated so many lives and communities.” For the free 90-page report, click here.

Philadelphia Issues Recommendations for Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

The Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Philadelphia has issued its final report and recommendations. “This report and its recommendations offer a roadmap as to how, together, we can take action and adequately address this problem to reduce use and the devastating loss of life this epidemic is causing,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. The 23 Task Force members agreed on 18 recommendations and accompanying metrics to increase prevention and education efforts while enhancing treatment opportunities for those affected by the opioid crisis. For more information, click here. To download the free 40-page report, click here.

County Mental Health Administrators’ Toolkit for Promoting Community Inclusion Available for Free

The Temple University (TU) Collaborative on Community Inclusion has published the County Mental Health Administrators’ Toolkit for Promoting Community Inclusion. The TU Collaborative writes: “The 27-page document addresses the roles that mental health administrators at the county level can play in promoting community inclusion, with an emphasis on policy development, establishing funding priorities, encouraging system-wide and staff training, and evaluating outcomes. The document…draws on the experiences of county mental health decision makers from across the country. A useful Appendix to the toolkit provides additional resources, checklists, and references.” For more information and to download the free toolkit, click here.

Guide to the Federal Budget Process Clarifies a Convoluted Activity

“To receive funding,” according to a free guide to the federal budget process recently published by Politico, “federal agencies must begin developing their budgets 18 months ahead of the next fiscal year. They must also monitor the progress of their requests as they are pushed and pulled through the White House, House of Representatives and Senate…Social Security, National Defense and Medicare are the top three spenders of the federal budget.” For the guide, click here.

Thanks, Fran Hazam

Illustrator Draws Comics About Her Mental Health Condition to Help Fight Prejudice

Illustrator Gemma Correll draws mental health comics “as a coping mechanism for her own depression and anxiety.” “I think that [mental health issues are] a lot more prevalent than people realize,” Correll told Mashable. “I know that I would have felt a little better as an anxiety-ridden teenager if I knew that I wasn’t completely alone in my fears.” For more, click here.

Disclaimer: The Clearinghouse does not necessarily endorse the opinions and opportunities included in the Key Update.

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.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 11, May 2017, 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
Apr282017

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 10 - April 2017

Key Update, April 2017

Volume 13, Number 10

Report Finds Adults with Disabilities Remain Outside the Economic Mainstream

On April 25, the National Disability Institute (NDI) released a new report called Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. “The report finds that, in the 27 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, ensuring all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve ‘economic self-sufficiency,’ this population still faces numerous financial hurdles and roadblocks to financial inclusion,” the NDI writes. “Based on data mined from the 2015 FDIC National Survey on Unbanked and Underbanked Households, this insightful report highlights the financial choices and banking habits of adults with disabilities.” For more information and to download the report, click here.

Advocates: You Can Help Counties Cut Numbers of People with Mental Health Conditions in Jails

Research estimates that approximately 15 percent of men and nearly one-third of women in jails have a serious mental health condition, according to the Vera Institute. The Stepping Up Resources Toolkit is designed to help counties reduce those numbers. “Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask serves as a blueprint for counties to assess their existing efforts to reduce the number of people with mental health conditions in jail by considering specific questions and progress-tracking measures. The report also informs the Stepping Up technical assistance that will be offered moving forward.” For more information and to download the toolkit, click here. For the Vera Institute’s Incarceration’s Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America, click here. For the 2017 Stepping Up technical assistance opportunities, click here.

May 4 is the Deadline for Early Bird Registration for Alternatives 2017! May 19 Is the Caucus Deadline!

The deadline for Early Bird registration ($375) for Alternatives 2017, to be held in Boston August 18-21, has been extended to May 4! (The rate rises to $425 after that date.) In addition, the deadline to apply to host a caucus is May 19. The theme of the conference, organized by the National Empowerment Center, is Building Healing Communities Together. For more information and to register, click here.

Community Psychiatry Forum on Ethical Issues in Community Mental Health

A telephone forum on Ethical Issues in Community Mental Health will be held on May 4 at 11:45 a.m. ET. The forum is sponsored by the Center for Public Service Psychiatry of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, in collaboration with the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. The discussion will include the past, present, and future of ethical challenges in the mental health field; how diagnostic eligibility criteria may create ethical dilemmas; how pharmaceutical influences may affect clinical practices and create conflicts of interest; and how psychiatrists’ experience and training can help them navigate these challenges. To join the meeting, click here, enter the meeting password (cpsp) and click “Join Now.” Or join by phone: 415.655.0002, Access Code/Meeting No. 732 767 020.

May 5 Is New Deadline for Abstract Proposals for National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media

The 11th Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media, to be held August 15-17, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, has extended the deadline for abstracts to May 5. The National Public Health Information Coalition invites abstracts for both oral and poster presentations in addition to panel sessions focusing on the areas of health communication, social marketing, media, partnerships, public health policy communication, and other topic areas that relate to the multi-disciplinary nature of this conference. Abstracts will be considered for oral, poster, or panel presentations. For more information, click here.

Registration Is Open for TU Collaborative Summer Institute!

Registration is open for the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion’s Summer Institute, to be held July 24-25 on the Temple University campus in Philadelphia. The conference will cover state-of-the-science research findings about community inclusion of individuals with mental illnesses.The sessions will focus on “the theoretical and research justifications for community inclusion programming, the expanding roles of peer specialists in promoting community inclusion, the effectiveness of leisure and recreation activities, the impact of educational and employment initiatives of community connections, strategies for confronting the environmental barriers to community inclusion, the role of mainstream neighborhood organizations in developing welcoming communities—and more.” For more information and to register, click here.

Deadline for Voice Award Nominations Has Been Extended to May 12

The deadline to nominate an individual or a film for a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Voice Award has been extended until May 12. “The Voice Awards program honors consumer/peer/family leaders and television and film professionals who educate the public about behavioral health.” For more information and to nominate someone, click here.

Free SAMHSA Webinar: Get to Know Your National Technical Assistance Center

On May 16 at 2 p.m. ET, SAMHSA will host a free 90-minute webinar entitled Get to Know Your SAMHSA-Supported National Consumer & Consumer-Supporter Technical Assistance Centers (NTACs). “What are they?  What do they do? What can they do for you?...Discover your regional NTAC and meet the peer leaders; learn of the activities, accomplishments and initiatives; and find out how your NTAC can support you and your organization to strengthen peer-provided mental health services.” To find the National Technical Assistance Center assigned to your state/territory and to learn each center’s national focus, click here. To register, click here.

Study Finds Mental Health Conditions Are More Common Than Expected

Eight-three percent of the nearly one thousand participants in a recent study experienced some kind of mental health condition between childhood and middle age, researchers have reported. Just 171 of 988 participants, all New Zealanders, “experienced no anxiety disorders, depression or other mental ailments from late childhood to middle age,” according to the study, published in the February 2017 Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Of the rest, half experienced a “transient” mental health condition. The remaining 408 individuals (41 percent) had “more severe conditions, such as bipolar and psychotic disorders,” according to the researchers. The study indicated that “mentally healthy participants tended to possess advantageous personality traits starting in childhood…These participants rarely expressed strongly negative emotions, had lots of friends and displayed superior self-control.” For more information, click here.

iNAPS Spring 2017 Newsletter Is Out! Deadline for Conference Proposals Extended to June 16!

The latest edition of the interNational Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) newsletter is out! Among the topics covered is the 2017 iNAPS conference, to be held October 16-18 at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix, AZ. The conference theme is Recovering and Sustaining Peer Support: Creating a Path for Our Future. The deadline for conference proposals has been extended to June 16! For the newsletter, which includes links to information about the conference and the call for proposals, as well as articles by the new iNAPS executive consultant, Beth Filson, along with Lori Ashcraft, Andy Bernstein, Howard Diamond, Terrence Smithers, and Jenn Cusik, click here. (Editor's Note: iNAPS recently extended the deadline for conference proposals to June 16! When the Key Update was published, on April 28, the deadline was May 26. Sorry for any confusion!) 

Exit Right Video, About Reentry from Federal Prison, Is Offered by US Department of Justice

Exit Right, a video about reentry to the community after incarceration, was developed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys in concert with the Bureau of Prisons, the Deputy Attorney General’s office, and Second Chance Fellow Daryl Atkinson. The video was created for those who are incarcerated in federal prison and encourages people to seek assistance, treatment, education, and training while incarcerated. For the video, click here.

Accessing Behavioral Health Services: Can Peer Support Help? Free Webinar on May 24

On May 24 at 3 p.m. ET, Mathematica will host a free 90-minute webinar on Accessing Behavioral Health Services: Can Peer Support Help? “The webinar will discuss the findings from an evaluation of Health Care Innovation Awards (HCIA)-funded projects that focused on mental health services. Representatives from two of the projects will offer their perspectives on the peer role in their innovative service models and address the challenges, successful strategies, and benefits associated with incorporating peers into the workforce. The two HCIA sites represented in our discussion are the Center for Health Care Services (CHCS)—which provides integrated services to people who are homeless in San Antonio, Texas—and the Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY), which implemented crisis respite services that led to lower Medicaid costs and fewer hospitalizations.” For more information and to register, click here.

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

SAMHSA Sponsors Webinar Series on Trauma-informed Innovations in Crisis Services

SAMHSA’s monthly webinar series, sponsored by its National Center for Trauma-informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint, “will highlight the innovative work of crisis service providers employing a trauma-informed approach.” The series will take place through September 2017 on the fourth Monday of each month, 3 p.m.–4 p.m. ET. The first webinar, on April 24, covered Safety: Common Ground. Upcoming webinars include Empowerment, Voice, and Choice: Pierce County Recovery Response Center (May 22); Peer Support: Freise Hope House (June 26); and Collaboration and Mutuality: Harbel Community Organization (July 24). Two more webinars are planned. For more information and to register, click here.

Doors to Wellbeing to Host Free Webinar on the DBSA Leadership Center

On May 30, at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host the latest webinar in its free monthly webinar series. The topic of the one-hour webinar will be DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance] Leadership Center: Online Resource for Peer Workforce and Organizations. The presenters will be the DBSA director of programs, Mary Dean, and the DBSA vice president of chapters and programs, Ingrid Deetz. To register, click here.

SAMHSA eBooks Are Available for Free Download

Eight eBooks are now available from SAMHSA’s Knowledge Application Program (KAP). “These digital resources can be downloaded at no cost to any device, including a Kindle, Nook, or tablet,” SAMHSA writes. The books cover topics including Managing Chronic Pain in Adults with or in Recovery from Substance Use Disorders; Spice, Bath Salts, and Behavioral Health; Gambling Problems: An Introduction for Behavioral Health Services Providers; Take Action Against Hepatitis C: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction; People Recover; and three versions of Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women, for different audiences. To download the eBooks, click here.

Star-studded Video Series Combats the Prejudice Associated with Mental Health Conditions and Learning Disabilities

For Mental Health Month (May), actors Emma Stone and Rachel Bloom, producer Brian Grazer, and other celebrities, including Lena Dunham, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Phelps and Jay Leno, will share brief personal videos to raise mental health awareness, in the #MyYoungerSelf campaign sponsored by the Child Mind Institute. The videos, premiered daily over the course of the month, will include nearly three dozen actors, athletes, writers, politicians and fashion designers who will share their accounts of growing up with mental health issues or learning disorders, as well as childhood photos, and offer advice and hope to children dealing with similar issues across the globe. In a trailer for the campaign, one unidentified voice, accompanied by a childhood picture, says, “What I would tell my younger self is, you didn’t do anything wrong.” “You’re not the only one who feels this way—not by a longshot,” says another. And a third says, “I have depression but, look—talking to you, I feel better already.” For a different video every day in May, click here. For more information and the preview, click here. Editor’s Note: It is important to exercise caution in seeking treatment of children for mental health conditions. For example, studies have shown that children are often given powerful psychotropic drugs with unintended consequences. For Still in a Crib, Yet Being Given Antipsychotics, click here.

Disclaimer: The Clearinghouse does not necessarily endorse the opinions and opportunities included in the Key Update.

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.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 10, April 2017, 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
Mar302017

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 9 - March 2017

Key Update, March 2017

Volume 13, Number 9

Cultivating Positive Emotions Can Boost the Immune System and Counter Depression, Research Confirms

More than one recent research study has confirmed what people already know—that cultivating a sunny disposition can improve your health and combat depression. In one study, a researcher at Northwestern University developed a list of eight skills to help people feel more positive. Participants were urged to learn at least three and practice one or more every day. The skills are (1) recognize a positive event every day; (2) “savor” the event and write it down or tell someone about it; (3) start a daily gratitude journal; (4) list a personal strength and how you used it; (5) set an achievable goal and keep track of your progress; (6) report a relatively small stress and make a list of ways to re-frame the event in a positive way; (7) recognize and practice small acts of kindness every day; and (8) practice mindfulness by focusing on the present, not the past or future. Predictably, the participants who practiced the skills did better than those in the control group. “None of this is rocket science,” the researcher said. For the story, click here.

SAMHSA Publishes New Guidelines for Successful Transition from Jail and Prison; Webinar Planned

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a new implementation guide, Successful Transition of People with Mental or Substance Use Disorders from Jail and Prison. SAMHSA writes that the resource provides “10 guidelines to effectively transition people with mental or substance use disorders from institutional correctional settings into the community, as well as examples of local implementation of successful strategies for managing this transition.” On April 20 at 2 p.m. ET, SAMHSA will host a 90-minute webinar on the key elements of the guide. The webinar will also provide examples of successful implementation of the guidelines in local jails. To download the free guide and to register for the free webinar, click here.

BRSS TACS Policy Academy Issues Call for Applications, Due April 7

The BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) Policy Academy has released its 2017 Call for Applications. BRSS TACS writes: “This year’s theme is ‘Building a Strong Recovery-Oriented Workforce’ and it is open to all states, territories, and tribal entities; past participants are eligible.  Applications must be submitted by state, territorial, or tribal behavioral health entities and they are required to include diverse stakeholders as part of their team. If you work with state, territorial, or tribal governments, please share with them. Questions may be directed to policy.academy@center4si.com. Note: There is no funding attached to the Policy Academy this year; it is more of an intensive technical assistance opportunity. The deadline is April 7.” For the application, click here.

MHA Has Launched “First-Ever National Peer Specialist Certification”

On March 15, 2017, Mental Health America (MHA) announced its new MHA National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) credential. “Peer-initiated and conceived, the MHA NCPS credential recognizes peers with the lived experience, training, and job experience to work alongside health care teams,” MHA notes. “With MHA’s Center for Peer Support,” said Patrick Hendry, MHA vice president of peer advocacy, supports, and services, “our mission is to promote peer support in all aspects of health care; to provide access to the latest information on programs and evidence in peer support; to offer resources for peers; and to help grow and expand the peer workforce.” The MHA NCPS credential was developed in partnership with the Florida Certification Board, and piloted with national HMO Kaiser Permanente (KP). For the MHA press release, click here. For the MHA email announcement, which includes a link to a scholarship application and other details, click here. (At this writing, 40 scholarships of the original 100 offered are still available.)

A Growing Body of Evidence Supports the Effectiveness of Peer-run Crisis Respites

More and more research supports the effectiveness of peer-run crisis respites, which are run by people with lived experience of a mental health condition and offer a nonmedical, trauma-informed environment where people can live for a while during a mental health crisis. The Peer Respites Action and Evaluation website offers a number of studies on this topic, available for free download at this link. The National Empowerment Center also has information on this vital service (click here). For a Clearinghouse Key Assistance Report on peer-run crisis respites, click here.

Thanks, Lauren Spiro

SAMHSA-sponsored Webinar to Focus on Peer-run Crisis Respites

On April 26 at 2 p.m. ET, there will be a free 90-minute webinar sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on Peer-Run Respites: Effective Alternatives to Hospitals. SAMHSA writes: “Leaders of peer-run respites from around the country will provide an overview of peer-run respites and how they voluntarily engage people and offer a continuity of care which is often unavailable with traditional care and hospitalization. Success stories will be shared, along with reports from the latest research on peer-run respite effectiveness.” To register, click here.

Free SAMHSA Webinar on First Episode Psychosis: Where to Begin Improving Your Practice?

On 4/19 at 1 p.m. ET, SAMHSA will host a free, one-hour webinar entitled A Primer on First Episode Psychosis: Where to Begin Improving Your Practice? This is the second webinar in SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice series on recovery-oriented clinical treatment and support for transition-age youth. The featured presenter will be Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, among her other positions. For details and to register, click here. In addition, the Clearinghouse hosted a 90-minute webinar on Peer Leadership in Early Intervention in Psychosis Services: From Program Development to Outcome Evaluation in 2015, presented by Nev Jones, Ph.D.; Irene Hurford, MD; and Berta Britz, MSW, CPS. To view the webinar, click here.  

Free Webinar on National Accreditation for Peer Specialists: How Canada Makes It Work

Doors to Wellbeing will host a free, one-hour webinar on National Accreditation for Peer Specialists:  How Canada Makes it Work on April 25 at 2 p.m. ET. This workshop will examine the Canadian Peer Support Certification process from start to completion, along with the internal organizational structure and supports needed for the process. The presenter will be Shaleen Jones, executive director of Peer Support Accreditation and Certification Canada. To register, click here.

Doctors Could Prescribe Houses to People Who Are Homeless under Radical Hawaii Bill

A state senator in Hawaii has introduced a bill that would classify homelessness as a medical condition, The Guardian reports. State Senator Josh Green, who is also a physician, said that he got the idea from his work in the emergency room, where he saw many people who were homeless seek treatment for basic medical issues at great expense but no real, long-term benefit. Daniel Cheng, an emergency room doctor in Honolulu, says that people whose wounds he treats often come back re-infected a week later. “Instead of paying for an antibiotic, let’s take that $5,000 visit and pay for housing,” Cheng told The Guardian. “We’d be way more ahead.” The Hawaiian House Committee on Human Services passed the measure with amendments on March 22. For the Guardian article, click here. For an update and a link to the bill, click here.

Thanks, Kevin Fitts

Online SOAR Training Provided for Staff who Help People Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness

SAMHSA is offering an online SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery) training for staff. Its goal is to help staff assist individuals who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness and have a mental health condition, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder to apply for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability programs. These programs are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). “The techniques taught in this course can improve the quality and completeness of any application for SSI/SSDI. Individuals who complete the course are encouraged to use what they learn to improve SSI/SSDI applications for themselves or others.” For more information, click here.

Publications Focus on Importance of Competitive Employment for People with Mental Health Conditions

Several publications by the Temple University (TU) Collaborative on Community Inclusion “outline opportunities not only for policy makers and program managers but also for direct service personnel and peer specialists to support individuals to establish and maintain fulfilling lives within their communities.” The publications include Creating Welcoming Mental Health Work Environments, A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work, Employment Programming: Addressing Prevailing Barriers to Competitive Work, and The Past and Future Career Patterns of People with Serious Mental Illness. To download the free documents, click here.

SAMHSA Spotlight Series Highlights Approaches to Building Trauma-informed Communities

The SAMHSA Spotlight series “explores strategies for developing trauma-informed communities and discusses the consequences of trauma and adversity for clients,” SAMHSA writes. “A setting is trauma informed if the people in that setting realize the widespread prevalence of trauma, recognize the signs and symptoms, respond in an understanding and supportive manner, and resist doing further harm.” Included are reports on exemplary programs in Philadelphia; Kansas City, KS and MO; Worcester, MA; Tarpon Springs, FL; San Francisco; and Walla Walla, WA. For details and to download the free documents, click here.

Special Double Issue of Journal Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology Is Available for Free Download

Nev Jones, Ph.D., writes: “I'm thrilled to announce that a massive double special issue of the journal Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology on service user/survivor research is now out…It features the work of leading emerging and established voices from around the world. The journal’s format includes formal exchanges, so for each ‘lead article’ there are two commentaries by different researchers/activists and then a response from the original author.” Dr. Jones guest-edited the issue with British survivor researcher Jayasree Kalathil, Ph.D. To download all of the articles for free, click here

SAMHSA Promotes National Prevention Week, May 14-20, 2017

SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week (NPW) “is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or substance use disorders.” The theme for NPW 2017 is “Making Every Day Count.” The goals are “to involve communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues and in implementing prevention strategies, to foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health, and to promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications.” To learn more, click here.

Pioneering Activist Judi Chamberlin’s Papers Are Available Online

Pioneering mental health activist Judi Chamberlin’s papers are now available for free online! They are housed as part of the Special Collections & University Archives of the UMass Amherst Libraries. The website notes: “An important record of the development of the psychiatric survivors’ movement from its earliest days, the Chamberlin Papers include rich correspondence between Chamberlin, fellow activists, survivors, and medical professionals; record of her work with the Mental Patients’ Liberation Front [which she helped found in 1971] and other rights organizations, conferences and meetings; and her efforts to build the movement internationally.” For free access to the archive, click here.

Thanks, Dan Fisher

April 24 Is Deadline for SAMHSA Voice Awards Nominations, Focused on Military and Veterans

Nominations are due by April 24 for SAMHSA’s 2017 Voice Awards, which are “putting the spotlight on individuals and entertainment productions that provide hope and support to those past and present service members who have faced mental health and addiction challenges.” The Awards “honor people in recovery and their family members who are community champions seeking to improve the lives of people with mental illnesses and addictions. The Voice Awards also recognize television and film productions that educate the public about behavioral health and showcase that recovery is real and possible.” For more information and the nomination forms, click here.

In a Groundbreaking Initiative, Norway Promotes Medication-Free Psychiatric Treatment

The Norwegian Ministry of Health has ordered its four regional health authorities to pioneer medication-free treatment. Award-winning journalist Robert Whitaker reports: “The title—medication-free treatment—does not precisely capture the nature of the care provided here. This is a ward for psychiatric patients who do not want to take psychiatric medications, or who want help tapering from such drugs. The governing principle on this ward, which has six beds, is that patients should have the right to choose their treatment, and that care should be organized around that choice.” Whitaker quotes Merete Astrup, director of the medication-free unit: “We were used to saying to patients, ‘This is what is best for you.’ But we are now saying to them, ‘What do you really want?’” For Whitaker’s report, click here.

NOS Magazine, “a Publication for the Neurodiversity Community,” Seeks Submissions

NOS Magazine, whose website banner reads “Neurodiversity Culture + Representation,” is seeking submissions, with preference given to “people who identify as a part of the neurodiversity community and/or who are neurodivergent in some fashion…to ensure that this publication is a voice of the community.” Articles should be commentary or news reports about popular culture, current events, history, and other larger topics. The editors add, “Please do not send personal narratives about self-acceptance or what it is like to [live with a disability].” For editorial guidelines and information about how to submit articles, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Hilarious World of Depression Podcast Features Comedians Who Have Dealt with Depression

"The Hilarious World of Depression is a series of frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with [depression], hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe. Join guests such as Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Jen Kirkman to learn how they’ve dealt with depression and managed to laugh along the way….[I]t is a chance to gain some insight, have a few laughs, and realize that people with depression are not alone and that together, we can all feel a bit better.” For the podcast, click here.

Alternatives 2017 Early Bird Registration Is Available Through April 20!

The early bird registration rate of $375 for Alternatives 2017 is available through April 20! The conference theme is Building Healing Communities Together. The conference, organized by the National Empowerment Center, will be held in Boston August 18-21. For the registration brochure, which includes a link to online registration, click here.

Disclaimer: The Clearinghouse does not necessarily endorse the opinions and opportunities included in the Key Update.

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.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 9, March 2017, 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