Monday
Nov282016

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 5 -- November 2016

Key Update, November 2016

Volume 13, Number 5

Translations of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Pass 500—a New Record!

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, already the world’s most translated document, is now available in more than 500 translations with the addition of North Bolivian Quechua, spoken by some 116,000 people. The text is available in languages and dialects from around the world, from Abkhaz to Zulu. It has also been translated into British and Spanish sign language. “The growing number of translations underscores…the power of its words to resonate strongly across all cultures and languages,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The six-page text, including 30 Articles, was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. It begins: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” while Article 2 states, “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” For more information, click here.

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

SAMHSA-sponsored Toolkits Support Full Inclusion of Students with Early Psychosis in Higher Ed

Two new toolkits, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), are a must-read for students with early psychosis in higher education, and for their families and others who want to support them. “While ostensibly focused on early psychosis, much of the material would apply to any student with psychiatric disabilities,” writes Nev Jones, Ph.D., lead author of Back to School: Toolkits to Support the Full Inclusion of Students with Early Psychosis in Higher Education. “There is also extensive legal trouble-shooting, co-written with Karen Bower, a national expert on campus mental health law and a former Bazelon Center attorney,” Dr. Jones writes. “There is one section of the student toolkit dedicated explicitly to graduate students.” For the Student and Family Version, click here. For the Campus Staff and Administrator Version, click here.

New Online Tool to Help Workers and Employers Understand Medical and Disability-related Leave

On October 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor unveiled a new online tool to help employees and employers understand the medical and disability leave to which employees may be entitled. The launch of the Medical- and Disability-Related Leave Advisor culminates National Disability Employment Awareness Month, held in October to mark the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and to educate employers about how to effectively recruit and retain these workers. Effective stay-at-work and return-to-work initiatives for employees who experience unexpected illness or disability are among the options for employers. For more information and to download the new tool, click here.

Thanks, Keris Myrick @KeriswithaK 

SOAR Webinar on Working While Receiving SSA Benefits to Be Held November 30

 

On November 30, 2016, at 3 p.m. ET, the SAMHSA SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) Technical Assistance Center, the Social Security Administration (SSA), and SOAR leaders will present a 90-minute webinar filled with “empowering and myth-busting information” entitled Yes, You Can Work! Working While Applying for and Receiving SSA Benefits. The presenters will provide information on SSA work incentives and resources available to applicants and beneficiaries. “We will share our new Yes You Can Work flyer and conversation guide written for providers to use in the field when discussing the benefits of work,” the organizers write. “You will also hear from a local SOAR provider who will share their experience providing integrated SOAR and employment supports in the community.” For more information and to register, click here.

Webinar on Supporting Community-based Reentry Programs to be Held November 30

On November 30, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET, the National Reentry Resource Center will host a 90-minute webinar on Planning for Sustainability--Supporting Community-based Reentry Programs. "This webinar will discuss strategies and recommendations for sustaining reentry programs initiated by community-based organizations. With a particular focus on programs that incorporate mentors, presenters will discuss how to consider sustainability throughout the program-development process beginning in the planning phase. Topics will include leveraging multiple funding streams from public and private sources, asset mapping, and how to build an agency's profile in the field and community." For more information and to register, click here.

iNAPS Hosts Webinar on Hospital to Community: A Process of Inclusion on December 2

The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) will host a webinar on Hospital to Community: A Process of Inclusion on December 2, 2016, at noon Eastern Time. The presenter will be Gina Calhoun, the national director for wellness and recovery education of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. iNAPS writes: “In this 1-hour webinar, Gina shares her personal story of transitioning from long-term institutionalization to community living, including her work as a peer support specialist during the closure of Harrisburg State Hospital. Following Gina’s story, we will explore the role of peer support in downsizing, right sizing and closing institutional-based settings…” For more information and for the link to join the free webinar, click here. Gina’s first-person account of her recovery begins on Page 10 of the Spring 2009 edition of the People First newsletter, published by the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. To read Gina’s story, click on People First 2009 Spring at this link.

 Vigil to Close Rikers Island on December 4 in NYC, Outside Mayor’s Residence

There will be a vigil in front of the New York City mayor’s residence, Gracie Mansion, on December 4, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 88th Street and East End Avenue, inside Carl Schurz Park. People will gather at 86th and East End Avenue at 3:30 p.m. and will proceed to 88th Street together, or as close to Gracie Mansion as possible. The goal of the vigil is to make a statement to Mayor Bill de Blasio about the urgency of closing Rikers Island, the infamous correctional facility in New York City. Some 40 percent of individuals incarcerated in Rikers have mental health conditions. As The New York Times has editorialized, “The sensible thing to do with Rikers is to close it.” The event is organized by Just Leadership USA and is supported by faith leaders in New York City. Just Leadership USA was founded and is led by Glenn E. Martin, who served time on Rikers as well as several years in a state prison and has become a nationally known, award-winning advocate for criminal justice reform. In a long interview published by The Atlantic, Martin said, “It seems like such an abomination for us to have this facility continue to operate.” For more information about the event, click hereFor more information about the effort to close Rikers, click here.

RTP to Host Second Webinar on Psychiatric Advance Directives

On December 6, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET, SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice will host its second webinar on Psychiatric Advance Directives (PADs), following up on a webinar that took place in October. The presenters are Patricia Siebert, a staff attorney at the Minnesota Disability Law Center, and Marie Verna of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care’s Research and Training Institute. Topics will include best practices for developing and disseminating PADs, roles and approaches for direct service providers for responding to PADs, and understanding the limitations of PADs. For more information and/or to register for this free hour-long webinar, click here. Nearly two dozen additional webinars are archived at SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice Website, here.

Webinar on SSI/SSDI: A Foundation for Employment, Recovery, Self-Sufficiency, and Social Inclusion!

On December 14, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET, Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center will host a one-hour SOAR Technical Assistance Center Webinar entitled SSI/SSDI: A Foundation for Employment, Recovery, Self-Sufficiency, and Social Inclusion! “The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery Technical Assistance (SOAR TA) Center, funded by SAMHSA, seeks to end homelessness and support recovery through increased access to SSI/SSDI income supports. SOAR extends beyond simply helping people access benefits and also encourages employment as a means to increase individual income and promote recovery in line with the SAMHSA assertion that ‘to recover, people need meaningful work and the ability to enhance their skills through education.’” For more information and to register, click here.

Peerpocalypse, April 24-26, 2017, Is Accepting Workshop Proposals

Peerpocalypse, to be held April 24-26, 2017, in Seaside, Oregon, is “a conference of leaders, emerging leaders, innovators, and peers who want to become more involved in the peer community. Adopting the philosophy that peers bring with them a great deal of knowledge and expertise, the event is about bringing the community together to share information, skills, and experience. The deadline for workshop proposals is December 12.” For additional information, visit www.peerpocalypse.com or contact the organizers, the Mental Health Association of Oregon, at 503.922.2377 or at peerpocalypse@mhaoforegon.org.

White Paper on Media Coverage of Law Enforcement Use of Force Against People with Disabilities

“Disability is the missing word in media coverage of police violence,” writes the Ruderman Family Foundation in The Ruderman White Paper on Media Coverage of Law Enforcement Use of Force and Disability: A Media Study (2013-2015) and Overview. “Disability intersects with other factors such as race, class, gender, and sexuality, to magnify degrees of marginalization and increase the risk of violence. When the media ignores or mishandles a major factor, as we contend they generally do with disability, it becomes harder to effect change…” In this monograph, the Foundation reports the following patterns: “Disability goes unmentioned or is listed as an attribute without context. An impairment is used to evoke pity or sympathy for the victim. A medical condition or ‘mental illness’ is used to blame victims for their deaths. In rare instances, we have identified thoughtful examinations of disability from within its social context that reveal the intersecting forces that lead to dangerous use-of-force incidents.” They add: “Such stories point the way to better models for policing in the future. We conclude by proposing best practices for reporting on disability and police violence.” To download the free report, click here.

NARPA Issues Call for Papers for Its 2017 Conference

The 2017 Annual Rights Conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy will be held September 6-9 in Portland, Maine, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. The workshop proposal deadline is February 15, 2017. NARPA “is seeking proposals which address strategies, ideas, programs, and emerging practices that support and promote NARPA’s mission and commitment to individual rights, liberty, freedom, and dignity.” For possible topic areas, guidelines, and the application, click here.

Disability Rights WA Publishes Cruel but Not Unusual: Solitary Confinement in WA Jails

“Solitary confinement in Washington’s county jails disproportionately affects people with disabilities,” writes Disability Rights Washington, the state’s protection and advocacy agency. “Many jails go so far as to place inmates with disabilities in solitary confinement because of their disability. This report describes the harmful effects of solitary confinement on people with disabilities, provides an overview of the disproportionate and discriminatory placement of people with disabilities in solitary confinement in Washington’s county jails, and identifies best practices and recommendations for reform.” To download the report and for additional information, click here.

Save the Date! Webinar on Peer-run Organizations Serving People with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement on January 19, 2017

A webinar on Peer-run Organizations That Serve Individuals with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement will be hosted by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion on January 19, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET. The presenters will be Rita Cronise of the International Association of Peer Supporters, Ellen Healion of Hands Across Long Island, and Steve Miccio of PEOPLe, Inc. Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, will moderate. The 90-minute webinar grew out of a survey of peer-run programs serving people with behavioral health conditions and criminal justice involvement by the College for Behavioral Health Leadership’s Peer Leader Interest Group, Mental Health America, the Clearinghouse, and the TU Collaborative. A registration link will be provided in the December 2016 edition of the Key Update as well as via social media.

Surgeon General Releases Facing Addiction in America

On November 17, Facing Addiction in America, the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health was published. According to the Surgeon General’s Office, the publication “reviews what we know about substance misuse and how you can use that knowledge to address substance misuse and related consequences. The last chapter of the Report presents a vision for the future, five general messages, their implications for policy and practice, and recommendations for specific stakeholder groups.” For more information and to download the free report, click here.

Prison Activist Resource Center Publishes New Edition of Free Prisoner Resource Directory

The Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC) has just published its Fall 2016 edition of the Prisoner Resource Directory. PARC writes: “[W]e have added a re-entry resources section, a prison writing and art section, and have updated the addresses for many of our listings. Thanks to the thousands of readers who have written letters of support and encouragement, and to those who return our evaluation form enabling us to get a better idea of the true readership of the directory and let us know which direction to take when adding new categories or information. Special thanks to those who pass on the directory to others—our resource directory is widely circulated in jails and prisons with each copy viewed by an average of 15 or more persons.” For more information and to download the free 24-page directory, click here.

How to Call Your Reps When You Have Social Anxiety

"When you struggle with your mental health on a daily basis, it can be hard to take action on the things that matter most to you,” writes Cordelia McGee-Tubb in her blog, Echo Through the Fog. “The mental barriers anxiety creates often appear insurmountable. But sometimes, when you really need to, you can break those barriers down. This week, with encouragement from some great people on the internet, I pushed against my anxiety and made some calls to members of our government. Here’s a comic about how you can do that, too. (Resources and transcript below.)” For the comic blog, click here.

TU Collaborative and MHA Publish Monograph on Community Inclusion from Caregivers’ Perspective

In recognition of National Caregivers Month (November), the Temple University (TU) Collaborative on Community Inclusion and Mental Health America have published Community Inclusion from the Perspective of Caregivers, based on a 2016 survey of nearly 500 caregivers of individuals with mental health conditions. The TU Collaborative writes: “Caregivers want providers, community institutions and the public to help foster more community inclusion for their loved ones, and for themselves. They call on policy makers and legislators to address structural issues, such as poverty, lack of transportation, and entrenched discrimination, and they implore educators, employers and the general public to become more educated about mental health issues, and to be more supportive, understanding and compassionate.” For more information and to download the free monograph, click here.

10 Comics About Mental Health Conditions Range from Funny to Not-So-Funny and Back Again

“Comics don't always have the best track record when it comes to portraying [mental health conditions],” writes Lauren Davis, who compiled this collection. “In superhero stories, [mental health conditions are] often associated with violence and villainy. There are, however, other, often personal, comics that can open your eyes…Just a heads up: many of these comics deal with self-harm, suicide, and other issues that can be triggering to some individuals.” To check out the 10 comics, click here.

THE FOLLOWING TWO ITEMS ARE FROM THE OCTOBER 2016 KEY UPDATE BUT STILL FRESH:

Doors to Wellbeing Presents Webinar on Creating and Managing a Peer-run Business

As part of its monthly webinar series on the last Tuesday of every month, Doors to Wellbeing will present a free webinar on Creating and Managing a Peer-run Business on November 29 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar promises to cover “the 3 W’s (why, what, where) you want to start a peer-run or owned business,” “how to start,” and how to “identify your best supporters and what’s in it for them.” To register, click here.

Alternatives 2017 to Be Held in Boston August 18-21! Save the Date!

The National Empowerment Center (NEC) will organize and host the 2017 Alternatives Conference at the Boston Park Plaza from Friday, August 18, through Monday, August 21, 2017. “The Alternatives Conference 2017 website is in development and will have further information at www.power2u.org,” NEC writes. “Announcements will be sent when further information is available, which will include the Call for Presentations, an online submission link, hotel reservation information, and a direct link to online room reservations.)

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215.636.6312, or by phone at 800.553.4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 5, November 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peerpocalypse, to be held April 24-26, 2017, in Seaside, Oregon, is “a conference of leaders, emerging leaders, innovators, and peers who want to become more involved in the peer community. Adopting the philosophy that peers bring with them a great deal of knowledge and expertise, the event is about bringing the community together to share information, skills, and experience. The deadline for workshop proposals is December 12.” For additional information, click here or contact the organizers, the Mental Health Association of Oregon at  503.922.2377 or at peerpocalypse@mhaoforegon.org.

Sunday
Oct302016

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 4 -- October 2016

Key Update, October 2016

Volume 13, Number 4

FDA Rules Allow Medical Device Makers to Keep Injuries Under Wraps

Manufacturers of medical devices must inform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whenever they discover that one of their products may have caused an injury. But, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the FDA “has accepted late reports that cover hundreds of thousands of incidents, sometimes years after the fact, and has created a program that lets device makers keep the details out of view.” These “secret summaries” leave everyone in the dark, unless they go through a lengthy Freedom of Information Act process. In addition, allowing manufacturers to privately summarize large numbers of adverse events long after the deadline “could give them a way to hide safety issues,” according to the Star Tribune. “Whenever you have thousands of reports and you list them as one...that’s not transparency at all,” Madris Tomes, a former FDA official, told the newspaper. Tomes left the FDA to found a search engine, Device Events, that tracks device performance. “Physicians might change their minds if they knew how many problems there really were,” she said. For the article, click here. For information about a Citizens Petition filed by attorney Jonathan Emond in August 2016 to prevent the FDA from going through with its proposed reclassification of the device used to deliver electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) from Class III to Class II, click here.

Thanks, @JeanneLenzer1

Free Guide to Voting Rights for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

In time for Election Day, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the National Disability Rights Network and Schulte Roth and Zabel LLP are offering a free 55-page booklet entitled Vote. It’s Your Right. A Guide to the Voting Rights of People with Mental Disabilities. “The opportunity to participate in the democratic process is a fundamental right, yet many Americans with disabilities face barriers to exercising their rights as citizens. [This guide] explains how federal laws protect the voting rights of people with disabilities, with a chart of state laws affecting the voting rights of people with disabilities.” To download a free copy, click here.

The U.S. Takes Steps to Strengthen Parity in Insurance Coverage for Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

On October 27, the federal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, created by President Obama in March 2016, issued its final report, which includes a series of actions and recommendations to help ensure better implementation of parity, to enhance understanding of how parity works, and to ensure appropriate oversight and enforcement of parity protections. The actions include a $9.3 million allocation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help states enforce parity protections; the beta version of a new parity website to help people find the appropriate federal or state agency to help with their parity complaints and appeals; a guide from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Department of Labor to help people understand their rights; and other actions. For the government fact sheet, which includes a link to the full report, click here.

STAR Center Hosts a National Networking Call for People of Color on November 9 at 2 p.m. ET

The STAR Center has launched Equity and Inclusion in Leadership: A National Networking Call for People of Color “who are interested in increasing the number of people in organizational leadership roles who are African-American, Native American/American Indian/Alaskan Native, Latino/Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islanders.” The next call is on November 9 at 2 p.m. ET; the calls will convene every month. The STAR Center writes: “Our hope is that this opportunity for people of color to network and support each other’s leadership efforts across the country and in our target states/regions will make a measurable and remarkable difference towards eliminating the leadership and health disparities we currently experience across the country.” To register, click here.

Could Peer-run Crisis Respites Take the Place of Inpatient Psychiatric Beds?

Hospital emergency rooms are a “mental health dumping ground,” according to a recent MedPageToday article reporting on an online survey of 1,716 emergency physicians nationwide. Rebecca Parker, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, told MedPageToday that “…almost one-quarter of our poll responded that they have patients waiting two to five days for a psychiatric bed.” But many people who have experienced psychiatric hospitalization believe that there is a much better alternative: peer-run crisis respites, which have a proven track record. “I believe we have a significant opportunity to promote peer-run respites as a response to the ugly problems that ERs currently face,” said Val Marsh, executive director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, whose membership includes numerous statewide peer-run organizations and others. For a partial list of studies demonstrating the effectiveness of peer-run crisis services, click here. For a Clearinghouse publication about peer-run crisis respites, click here. For the MedPage Today article, click here.

Peerlink NTAC Offers a Free Webinar on Estate Planning and Empowerment

This free one-hour webinar on Estate Planning and Empowerment, on November 17 at 2 p.m. ET, will show how every person can benefit from having an estate plan, said Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (NTAC). “Without one,” Peerlink NTAC writes, “the laws of the state in which you live will determine who will care for your children if you die or become incapacitated, and who will get your stuff: not just money, but other belongings as well.” The webinar will show how an estate plan “ensures that your wishes will be heard and your choices followed, and how it often makes people feel empowered to take on other life challenges.” For more information and to register, click here.

Higher Rates of Substance Use and Mental Health Conditions Are Reported among LGBT Individuals

For the first time, a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) focuses on patterns of substance use and mental health conditions among adults of different sexual orientations. Overall, the report finds that adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual have a higher prevalence of substance use and mental health conditions than adults who identified as heterosexual. However, lesbian, gay or bisexual adults were significantly more likely than heterosexual adults to receive needed treatment. “This report offers unprecedented insight into the behavioral health needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans — people critical to our community whose health concerns have often been overlooked,” said SAMHSA deputy principal administrator Kana Enomoto. “SAMHSA is working on efforts to reduce the impact of substance use and mental illness among LGBTQ Americans.” For more information and to download the free report, click here.

TU Collaborative Creates Manual on Welcoming Work Environments

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has published a manual entitled Creating Welcoming Mental Health Work Environments: Recommendations for Fully Embracing and Supporting Clinical Staff with Mental Illnesses. “This document focuses on strategies for creating more welcoming work environments within mental health agencies for staff members with mental health conditions,” the TU Collaborative writes. “It provides readers — those who have been diagnosed with a mental health issue as well as agency CEOs, board members, supervisors, managers, and anyone else that might derive benefit from our suggestions — with a set of ideas and strategies that can be implemented to better support agency colleagues by creating and maintaining a positive, supportive, and welcoming work environment that enhances work life for all employees.” To download the free manual, click here.

Doors to Wellbeing Presents Webinar on Creating and Managing a Peer-run Business

As part of its monthly webinar series on the last Tuesday of every month, Doors to Wellbeing will present a free webinar on Creating and Managing a Peer-run Business on November 29 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar promises to cover “the 3 W’s (why, what, where) you want to start a peer-run or owned business,” “how to start,” and how to “identify your best supporters and what’s in it for them.” To register, click here.

SAMHSA Publishes Bulletin on Selected Community-Level Approaches to Disaster Behavioral Health

This issue of SAMHSA’s Supplemental Research Bulletin “travels across the United States and through all stages of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in examining community-level approaches to disaster behavioral health. While not meant to be comprehensive, the issue zeroes in on approaches that exemplify the benefits of a community-level approach, looking at research on how they are structured and how effective they are.” For more information and to download Stronger Together — Selected Community-Level Approaches to Disaster Behavioral Health, click here.

Recovery in the Bin Is a UK-Based User-led Group for People with a Psychiatric Diagnosis

Recovery in the Bin describes itself as “non-religious and unassociated/unaffiliated to any mental health organisation. We’d like to keep it that way.” Among the other statements on the group’s home page is the following: “We believe that there are core principles of ‘recovery’ that are worth saving, and that the colonisation of ‘recovery’ undermines those principles, which have hitherto championed autonomy and self-determination. These principles cannot be found in a one size fits all technique, or calibrated by an outcome measure.” The website’s home page, which includes a link to the group’s 20 key principles, is https://recoveryinthebin.org/

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

Tumblr Moves Ahead with Its Campaign to Promote Mental Health Awareness

The social media platform Tumblr is inviting users to participate in the creation of a Community Quilt centered on mental health awareness, through a collaboration with ThriveNYC and Chirlane McCray, first lady of New York City. The project is part of its Post It Forward campaign, whose goal is to counter the prejudice associated with mental health conditions. Tumblr users can create and submit original artistic swatches and panels to be included in a quilt installation that will be on display in New York City and online here. Mental Health Weekly writes: “Each patch represents a creative expression around changing the conversation around mental health and an individual’s relationship with mental illness, whether battling it themselves or helping others with their struggles. For every patch a user submits, Tumblr will donate $1 to one of three different charities who support mental health, up to a total aggregate donation of $20,000. The user submitting the patch will be given an option of choosing which charity — the National Alliance on Mental Illness, The Trevor Project or The Steve Fund — their original panel will benefit.” To submit a panel, click here.

In the Fight Against Demonizing People with Mental Health Conditions at Halloween, Good News and Bad News

Determined advocacy recently won some battles in the fight to stop inflaming the prejudice associated with mental health conditions around Halloween. After a concerted effort by a variety of mental health stakeholders — including people with lived experience, family members, allies and friends (and thanks to all who responded to the action alert in the September 2016 Key Update!) — two North American theme park chains either cancelled their exhibits featuring "a psychiatric patient with demonic powers" (Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.) or swapped out “grunting inmates" and "maniacal inmates" for zombies (Six Flags). But this is a fight that never seems to be won: Spirit Halloween stores said that, for this year, they will continue to sell their Asylum Wall Kits (click here); and there is a lot of additional Halloween paraphernalia out there that is just as bad or worse (click here). Even New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art got into the act, with a replica of the Bates Hotel from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho (click here), on view from April 19, 2016, through Halloween. For media coverage of the successful advocacy initiatives, see Mental Illness Is a Health Condition, Not Halloween Entertainment (click here), Mental Illness Is Not a Horror Show (click here), and Powerful Advocacy Has Shut Down Halloween “Attractions” That Ramp Up Prejudice (click here).

Alternatives 2017 to Be Held in Boston August 18-21! Save the Date!

The National Empowerment Center (NEC) will organize and host the 2017 Alternatives Conference at the Boston Park Plaza from Friday, August 18, through Monday, August 21, 2017. “The Alternatives Conference 2017 website is in development and will have further information at www.power2u.org,” NEC writes. “Announcements will be sent when further information is available, which will include the Call for Presentations, an online submission link, hotel reservation information, and a direct link to online room reservations.” The Alternatives conference is sponsored in part by SAMHSA.

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215.636.6312, or by phone at 800.553.4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 4, October 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
Sep232016

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

Key Update, September 2016

Volume 13, Number 3

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

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

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

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

HHS Issues Game-Changing Rules That Promise Increased Research Transparency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, @pdxlawgrrrl

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Fran Hazam

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

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

 

Scientific American Reports on How the FDA Manipulates the Media

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

 

Thanks, Carl Elliott @FearLoathingBTX

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

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

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

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

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

Thanks, Elizabeth Saenger

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

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

THE FOLLOWING TWO ITEMS ARE STILL RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT!

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

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

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

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215.636.6312, or by phone at 800.553.4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 3, September 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Aug312016

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

Key Update, August 2016

 Volume 13, Number 2

 

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

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

 

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

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

Thanks, Val Marsh @valncmhr

Hillary Clinton Releases Her Mental Health Agenda

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

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

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

Locked Wards Are “No Safer,” New Study Reports

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

Vera Institute Releases Report on Women in Jails

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

Researchers Seek Peer Providers for Study on Job Satisfaction

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

Thanks, Jessica Wolf, Ph.D.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reducing Incarceration by Rethinking America’s Approach to Violence

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

Planning Continues for Alternatives 2016

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

Study Says “Being Transgender Is Not a Mental Disorder”

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

Thanks, STAR Center @ConsumerStar

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

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

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

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

A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising Is Available

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, NYAPRS E-News

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215.636.6312, or by phone at 800.553.4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 2, August 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jul262016

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

Key Update, July 2016

Volume 13, Number 1

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

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

Thanks, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren @JudgeWren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prison Activist Resource Center Offers Free Prisoner Resource Directory

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

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

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

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

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

 

Café TA Center Presents New Online Peer Supervision Training

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

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

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

CDC Reports on Occupations That Have the Highest Rates of Suicide

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

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

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

Thanks, Judene Shelley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215.636.6312, or by phone at 800.553.4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 1, July 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH