Thursday
Oct192017

The Key Update, Volume 14, Number 4 - October 2017

Key Update, October 2017

Volume 14, Number 4

New Report on Psychosis and Schizophrenia Challenges Old Assumptions

On October 13, 2017, the British Psychological Society published a report that challenges the conventional wisdom about the nature of mental health conditions. The report, Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia, updated from the 2014 edition, suggests that what we call “psychosis”—hearing voices, experiencing what some consider delusions, or appearing out of touch with reality—“can be understood in the same way as other psychological problems such as anxiety or shyness.” The report notes that such behaviors “are often partly or wholly a reaction to the things that can happen in our lives: abuse, bullying, homelessness or racism”; and that “mental health workers should not insist that people see themselves as ill.” Referring to the social determinants of mental health, the report notes that “we need to address poverty, racism and homelessness as well as childhood abuse, neglect and bullying.” For more information, click here. To download the free manual, click here.

60 Minutes Will Air Oprah Winfrey’s Visit to California’s Pelican Bay State Prison on October 22

On October 22, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT, CBS’s 60 Minutes will air Oprah Winfrey’s report on Pelican Bay State Prison in California. “She reports on conditions in the ‘SHU’ isolation unit that critics charge constitute torture,” CBS writes. In a related story, to read a journal article on “The Psychiatric Effects of Solitary Confinement,” click here.

Mad In America to Host Webinar Series on Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

Beginning on October 24, Mad In America will host a series of seven webinars on successful withdrawal from psychiatric medications. The series—one webinar a month through April 2018—will feature presenters with lived experience, psychiatrists, and other professionals. Mad In America plans “to present information and insights that arise from users’ experiences and their efforts to support others who want to taper from their psychiatric medications; research on drug withdrawal; the clinical experience of psychiatrists and other professionals who have supported patients tapering from psychiatric medications; and research on drug tapering programs and efforts.” For more information and to register for the $100 course, click here. To download the free Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, published by the Icarus Project and the Freedom Center, click here.

Community Psychiatry Forum on “Housing First: Options and Support for Homeless People”

On October 26, 2017, at 11:45 a.m. ET, there will be a Community Psychiatry Forum on “Housing First: Options and Support for Homeless People.” After the 75-minute forum, organized in collaboration with the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, participants will understand how mental health conditions and homelessness affect each other, “discuss models of managing homelessness in a population, describe the Housing First model and the reasons for its effectiveness, and discuss ways psychiatrists can decrease homelessness” in individuals with mental health conditions. For more information, including directions for joining the meeting, click here.

BRSS TACS to Host Free Interactive Conversation on Ethics and Boundaries in Peer Support

On October 26, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET, SAMHSA’s BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free, one-hour conversation about ethics and boundaries in peer support. “This event will include discussions of practical applications of ethics and boundaries to everyday peer-to-peer interactions,” SAMHSA writes. For more information and to register, click here.

Doors to Wellbeing to Host Free Webinar on Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers

On October 31, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host Effectively Employing Young Adult [YA] Peer Providers: A Toolkit. “In this webinar,” Doors to Wellbeing writes, “we will provide an overview of the contents of the recently developed Transitions Research and Training Center Toolkit.” The toolkit includes information on the “unique aspects of a young adult peer job; organizational framework and cultural elements; best practices for recruiting hiring, and training; effective approaches for supervising YA peers; and strategies for non-peer staff to be supporters and resources for YA peers.” For more information and to register, click here.

Three Thought-provoking Articles Are Worth Reading

Two recent articles and a third, published six months ago, cover topics ranging from institutional corruption to…institutional corruption. These include an October 12th piece in Newsweek, entitled “How the VA Fueled the National Opioid Crisis and Is Killing Thousands of Veterans,” by acclaimed journalist Art Levine, adapted from his new book Mental Health, Inc.: How Corruption, Lax Oversight, and Failed Reforms Endanger Our Most Vulnerable Citizens. For the article, click here. And, last May, distinguished author Robert Whitaker wrote “Psychiatry Defends Its Antipsychotics: A Case Study of Institutional Corruption.” To read it, click here. And on October 15, 2017, The Washington Post published “The Drug Industry’s Triumph Over the DEA.” The teaser reads, “Amid a targeted lobbying effort, Congress weakened the DEA’s ability to go after drug distributors, even as opioid-related deaths continue to rise, a Washington Post and 60 Minutes investigation finds.” For the article, click here.

Russell Sage Foundation Seeks Letters of Inquiry for Social Inequality Research

The Russell Sage Foundation’s program on Social Inequality “is seeking Letters of Inquiry from investigator-initiated research projects with the potential to broaden current understanding of the causes and consequences of rising economic inequality. Priority will be given to projects that use innovative data or methodologies…All applicants (both PIs and Co-PIs) must have a Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree or a strong career background that establishes their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed scholarly research. RSF particularly encourages early career scholars to apply...” Two-year grants of up to $150,000 will be awarded to qualified organizations. To be eligible, organizations must be considered nonprofit under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Review Code. The deadline for letters of inquiry is November 30, 2017. For more information, click here.

Project to Map the History of Research, Advocacy, and Activism by People with Lived Experience

Researchers at King’s College in London have launched EURIKHA (Explorations of User Research: Impact, Knowledge, and Historical Approaches), the goal of which is “to map the history, current work, and impact of user-led research and knowledge produced by people with psychosocial disabilities, mental health service users, and survivors.” The researchers add: “We hope to collect this information using an online survey and by conducting one-to-one interviews with key people in user-led research and activism in different regions/countries around the world.” The project is led by Professor Diana Rose (Diana.rose@kcl.ac.uk). For more information, click here

AAPD Newsletter Offers Many Resources and Opportunities

The October 15, 2017, edition of the AAPD newsletter, Disability Download, has a wealth of information of interest to the disability rights community. This includes an AAPD summer internship program (applications are due by November 6); an HR 620 action alert about a bill that would weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Universal Writers Program, a one-year paid program that “develops storytellers with the intent to incorporate multicultural and global perspectives in screenwriting” (apply by November 6); and more. For the newsletter, click here.

Halloween Marketers Ramp Up Prejudice and Discrimination Connected to Mental Health Conditions

As Halloween rolls around every year, so do the same old “haunted asylums” and Halloween costumes that seem calculated to increase the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health conditions. A recent article about this phenomenon is “Mental Health Advocates Say Halloween ‘Zombie’ Hunt Still Contributes to Stigma” (click here). Pennhurst, which was called “The Shame of Pennsylvania” and was closed in 1987, now hosts “Pennhurst Asylum” (click here). And costume marketers are no better: See “A Psychotic Zombie Nympho Halloween Costume Is Being Criticised for Stigmatising Mental Illness” (click here) and “Insane Asylum/Hospital Haunt Ideas” (click here). But sometimes advocates score a victory, such as when a family member’s efforts succeeded in shutting down a “haunted” psychiatric hospital in Utah 20 years ago (click here). Last year, advocates also had an impact, as I wrote (click here). Action Alert: If you would like to see an end to such exhibits and costumes, contact the companies responsible and your local media.

Thanks, Marie Verna

A New App Calls Itself “Your Personal Assistant for Government”

Gov2Go advertises itself as “a unique new way to take care of all your interactions with government in one convenient place—saving you time, worry and frustration.” According to an October 16th article in MeriTalk, “The platform can centralize many of the interactions a citizen has with the state, local, and Federal government into one app. Citizens would no longer have to navigate multiple websites, portals, or mobile apps to engage with the government. While the app collects personal information about the user, including name, address, and potential payment information, citizens can choose how much information to give and can remove any information off the platform.” For the article, click here. For the website, click on www.getgov2go.com

Thanks, Fran Hazam

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Is November 18, 2017; House Suicide Prevention Task Force Is Launched

“Survivor Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope,” writes the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). In 2016, there were more than 350 Survivor Day events in 18 countries. This year, gatherings will screen The Journey: A Story of Healing and Hope, an AFSP-produced documentary about what it is like to lose someone to suicide. The Journey Revisited, in which six of the original Journey participants gather three years later to talk about how far they have come, will also be screened. For more information and to watch the trailer, click here. In a related story, a new bipartisan House Suicide Prevention Task Force was launched on September 14, 2017. “There is more that Congress can do to raise awareness and save lives, and that’s why we have formed this task force,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). For more, click here. For the October 2017 issue of the AFSP newsletter, click here.

Early Bird Registration for Peerpocalypse is Open!

Peerpocalypse, April 9-12, 2018, in Seaside, Oregon, is “a conference of leaders, emerging leaders, innovators, and peers who want to become more involved in the peer community,” writes the Mental Health Association of Oregon, which is organizing the event. For more information, including about registration packages and young adult scholarships, and to register, click here.

Two Conferences—One Past and One Future—Cover Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health

A recent Crime Report article entitled “Imprisoning the Mentally Ill: America’s Shameful Tragedy” reported on a forum, Closing In on Closing Rikers, that examined successful alternatives to prison for people with mental health conditions around the country. The article quotes experts such as Jonathan Lippman, chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals from 2009 to 2015; Cheryl Roberts, executive director of the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice; and Miami-Dade County Mental Health Court judge Steven Leifman, all of whom participated in the forum. For the article, click here. In addition, the Institute for Behavioral Healthcare Improvement will host a national conference sponsored by the Mental Health Foundation in Miami December 3-5, 2017. Its theme is Progress Made Possible: Better Outcomes at the Intersection of Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice. For more information, click here.

Free Booklet to Assist Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions on the Path to Employment

Transitions RTC has just published Innovative Practices to Support Careers of Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions: Helping Youth on the Path to Employment, a free 22-page booklet on providing career services to transition-age youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions. Transitions RTC writes: “Helping Youth on the Path to Employment (HYPE), a joint project with Rutgers University, is a career development intervention that aims to create a set of services that will help young adults with serious mental health conditions achieve their goals in work and school so as to gain competitive employment, enabling them to live meaningful and self-sufficient lives.” For the free booklet, click here.

Peer Coaching for College Students with Serious Mental Health Conditions

“The Peer Support for Success (PASS) coaching intervention provides a full school year of individualized academic peer coaching to freshman and sophomore college students with serious mental health conditions. The goal of coaching is to support academic success and self-efficacy. To achieve these goals, coaching is delivered by a fellow college student (with or without a serious mental health condition), and promotes effective time management; resiliency; self-advocacy; and supportive tools, resources, and technology.” For the two-page publication, click here.

Thanks, Transitions RTC

WHO Publishes a Manual for Media Professionals Writing About Suicide

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published Preventing Suicide: A Manual for Media Professionals (Update 2017), which offers guidance to the media for reporting on suicide. It is part of a series published by WHO, which includes titles such as A Resource for General Physicians, A Resource for Teachers and Other School Staff, A Resource for Primary Health Care Workers, A Resource in Jails and Prisons, and How to Start a Survivors Group, among other titles. The booklet also includes “Myths and Facts About Suicide,” on pages 17-18. For the free manual, click here.

Are You Writing About Mental Health? Here Are Some Guidelines

BuzzFeed, an independent digital media company, has published Style Guidelines for Writing about Mental Health. The guidelines are not perfect. For example, they employ the word “stigma” rather than the updated “prejudice and discrimination.” They also refer to diagnoses—such as “a person with schizophrenia” rather than the more general “a person with a mental health condition” or “a person diagnosed with schizophrenia” (if there is a reason that the diagnosis must be mentioned)—and allow the phrase “mental illness” as “a general term.” However, much of the advice is good. In addition, the University of Washington offers more comprehensive advice on Mental Health Reporting. For the BuzzFeed guidelines, click here. For the University of Washington guidance, click here.

Thanks, Kevin Fitts

Funding and Characteristics of Single State Agencies for Substance Abuse Services and State Mental Health Agencies, 2015, Available from SAMHSA

In September 2017, SAMHSA published a free 534-page report that “highlights the structure, responsibilities, policies, services, and financing of single-state agencies and state mental health agencies. The report includes discussion of efforts to integrate physical and behavioral health and efforts by state agencies to address opioid abuse and misuse.” To download the free report, click here. 

“Huddle” Offers a “Safe Space” for Sharing Mental Health Issues

Huddle is an online video platform where people can communicate openly with each other about anything and everything. The website says, “Huddle makes it easy for anyone looking for support to talk openly, ask questions, and give or receive guidance. Tech Crunch reports, “Huddle is meant as a safe space where anyone can post their inner thoughts and talk about what’s bothering them.” A cautionary note: “But with zero professionals, or even volunteers with some training, people could easily give bad or even dangerous advice to someone in a fragile state…” For the article, click here.

Thanks, Café TA Center

Social Security Benefits Will Rise by 2 Percent in 2018

“Millions of Social Security recipients and other retirees will get a 2 percent increase in benefits next year,” according to an October 13, 2017, AP article. “It’s the largest increase since 2012 but comes to only $25 a month for the average beneficiary. The COLA [Cost of Living Adjustment] affects benefits for more than 70 million U.S. residents, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees…Advocates for seniors claim the inflation index doesn’t accurately capture rising prices faced by seniors, especially for health care.” The current inflation rate for the United States is 2.2 percent for the 12 months ended September 2017, as published on October 13, 2017, by the U.S. Labor Department. For the AP article, click here.

Thanks, Sterling Johnson

Mental Health America Ranks States’ Mental Health Systems

Mental Health America writes: “The State of Mental Health in America 2018 report rankings are complete, and MHA policy staff is currently updating the MHA website with the final results.” In the meantime, the 2017 rankings and statistics are available here.

Not Broken Radio Works to Foster “Open and Honest Discussion about Mental Health and Disabilities”

Not Broken® Radio is “an international radio show and podcast” that wants “to not only stop the stigma but also instill a sense of pride in those struggling, as we believe that individuals should embrace themselves with their challenges…” The website is available at www.notbrokenradio.com.

Thanks, Janet Paleo 

“This Drug Commercial Is Going to Blow Your Mind!”

“You may have seen a lot of drug commercials, but this is not like the others; this is going to blow your mind with the kind of concept it has developed for the audience,” Tutorialous writes. To watch it, 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 14, No. 4, October 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

 

 

 

Thursday
Sep212017

The Key Update, Volume 14, Number 3 - September 2017

Key Update, September 2017

Volume 14, Number 3

There Will Be a People’s Alternatives Conference in 2018!

Great news! The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) will sponsor Alternatives 2018 without federal support. The national Alternatives conferences have been organized by and for individuals with psychiatric histories since 1985. They grew from the roots of the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement, which started in the U.S. in 1969 with the founding of a self-help and advocacy group in Portland, Oregon. “One of the most important innovations in the last 20 years is the recognition that people can and do recover to live full lives in the community after severe mental illness. [The] national Alternatives conference has played a vital role in driving this transformation,” the NCMHR Board writes. As planning for Alternatives 2018 begins, the Board continues, “we want there to be as much collaboration as possible. We need volunteers, especially for a fundraising committee.” For more information, contact Dan Fisher, info@ncmhr.org, 877-246-9058.

Doors to Wellbeing Continues Its Monthly Webinar Series with “CPSs in Crisis Services”

On September 26, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host an hour-long webinar on “Certified Peer Specialists in Crisis Services.” “Pennsylvania has begun a concerted effort to integrate Certified Peer Specialists (CPSs) into the full array of crisis programs,” Doors to Wellbeing writes. “This workshop will inform participants of the steps taken to get this effort moving, where we are at in the process currently, and future steps and aspirations.” Participants will also learn about the newly developed training that is available. To register, click here.

Coping with Mental Health Issues That Interfere with Work? “Ask Me Anything” May Help

On September 28, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET, Boston University’s National Resource Center on Employment will host a one-hour interactive question-and-answer webinar on job development. “If you are a person living with a mental health condition, an employer, a family member, an administrator of a service, a provider, a researcher, or friend—you can use the time to ask anything.” The expert is Deborah Becker, MEd, CRC, who “has more than 33 years of experience developing, researching, training and consulting on IPS (Individual Placement and Support), the evidence-based practice of supported employment.” To register, click here.

BRSS TACS Aims to Improve Peer-run Organizations’ Disaster Response & Organizational Resiliency

On September 28, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET, SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) will host a one-hour “conversation with experts on how to increase peer-run, recovery community, family-run, and youth and young adult-run organizational preparedness to continue their critical work during times of crisis or public health emergency. Our experts will offer ideas for how organizations can sustain themselves, adapt to disaster-related challenges, rebuild, and continue their support for individuals and families.” To register for this free interactive event, click here.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Those Harmed by ECT in California

On September 11, 2017, DK Law Group LLP filed a federal class action lawsuit against electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) device manufacturers on behalf of all those who have been harmed by ECT in California since May 1982. “The lawsuit is based on traditional state-law negligence principles, and the manufacturers’ failure to comply with their obligations to the FDA,” according to a post on ectjustice.com. The lawsuit alleges that ECT equipment manufacturers have dodged an FDA requirement that they report adverse events that result from the use of the equipment. The article includes an invitation for people who have been harmed by ECT in California to fill out a questionnaire to join the lawsuit. For more information and for a link to the questionnaire, click here. In a related story, on September 9, 2017, Mad In America posted an interview with prominent researcher John Read about ECT. For the interview, “What the Science and Evidence Tell Us About Electroshock,” click here.

Thanks, Fred Friedman

It’s Almost Time for the International Association of Peer Supporters Annual Conference!

The 2017 conference of the International Association of Peer Supporters, October 16-18 in Phoenix, Arizona, will feature three exciting keynotes—Pat Deegan, Chacku Matthai and Sally Zinman—and workshop presenters from at least 25 states. Among the topics covered will be innovative peer support programs, training, career development, supervision, the arts, research, veterans, spirituality, criminal justice and re-entry, and the challenges of peer support practice and implementation. For schedule and registration information, click here.

TRP Collaborative Aims to Transform R&D Aided by People with Lived Experience

The TRP Collaborative (Transforming Research through Participation / Transforming Research on Psychosis) is a new initiative “that aims at substantially increasing stakeholder, end-user or experiencer involvement in research on all aspects of ‘psychosis’…” according to its website. “Traditionally, research on experiences…thought to fall under the umbrella of ‘psychosis,’ including hearing voices, has been dictated by researchers and clinicians without personal experience of the mental health system, including coercion and hospitalization, of altered states, or social and societal responses to those considered ‘mad.’ We invite a diverse mix of stakeholders to join us in generating new ideas, challenging myths and assumptions, and ultimately transforming research and practice.” For more, visit www.trpcollaborative.org .

Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness Available for Free Download

“What does it mean to be called crazy in a crazy world?...More than 60 voices of psychiatric patients, scientists, journalists, doctors, activists, and artists create a vital new conversation about empowering the human spirit. Outside Mental Health invites us to rethink what we know about bipolar [disorder], psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, medications, and mental illness in society.” Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic and Mad in America, writes: “This is a brilliant book…Will Hall elevates the radio interview format into an art.” To download the free book, join Will Hall’s email list by clicking here.

“No, We Should Not Involuntarily Commit the Homeless During Hurricanes”

A Pacific Standard story published on September 15, 2017, makes the case for why it is wrong to involuntarily commit people who are homeless during a natural disaster rather than allowing them the freedom of their own choices. During Hurricane Irma, six people were “Baker-acted”—Florida’s involuntary commitment statute. Among those quoted are Fred Friedman, founder of Next Steps NFP, in Illinois, who said, “It's scary [that] when people make decisions that others don't like, they define it as crazy. In this case, they lock them up without any due process.” He added that it also sets a dangerous precedent. Bethany Lilly, deputy director of policy at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, told Pacific Standard, “This is an example of how constant and consistent service failures are treated in the mental health system—by blaming people with mental health conditions and forcing them into treatment.” Also cited in the story was a statement by the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy opposing the rights violation. For the story, click here.

What Are Local Governments' Responsibilities Toward People with Disabilities in a Time of Crisis?

This Yale Law Journal article, "The Right to Be Rescued: Disability Justice in an Age of Disaster," "explores the legal responsibilities that local governments have toward marginalized communities in a time of crisis and argues that people with disabilities have a 'right to be rescued': a legal right to have their unique needs accounted for and addressed in emergency planning...Such planning is not merely morally correct; it is legally required, and it is critical that local governments get their plans in order before the next storms, and lawsuits, come." For the article, click here.

Thanks, Laura Van Tosh

New NCD Report Addresses College Students’ Mental Health; Transitions RTC and Bazelon Offer Helpful Tips

A free report by the National Council on Disability about the mental health crisis on college campuses “identifies institutional barriers to mental health service on campus; identifies federal law and policy barriers to academic achievement for students with mental health disabilities; and offers solutions through targeted recommendations and best practices, to Congress, federal agencies, and colleges.” For the free 128-page report, click here. In a related story, “Outside-The-Box College Accommodations: Real Support for Real Students,” developed by Transitions RTC, “will help you to think ‘outside-the-box’ to get the educational accommodations that help you with your unique struggles.” For the tip sheet, click here. And “Campus Mental Health: Frequently Asked Questions,” by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, provides additional information. For the Bazelon Center tip sheet, click here.

Thanks, Café TA Center

New Resource: SAMHSA Knowledge Network

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has launched a new Knowledge Network website, which “provides a single, searchable portal to SAMHSA’s publicly available online training and technical assistance content with the goal of improving the design and delivery of prevention, treatment, and recovery services. This website will help health care practitioners to find specific tools and resources more easily (such as webinars, white papers, fact sheets, trainings, and videos) that span SAMHSA’s broad portfolio across many disciplines and online locations.” For a link to the website, click here.

“Talking About Spiritual and Religious Factors in Wellness” Available from SAMHSA

“Individuals who identify as being religious or spiritual report lower rates of psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety,” according to a new fact sheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Not only that, individuals who identify as being religious or spiritual report improved health outcomes with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes, which decreases risk of premature mortality.” For the free fact sheet on the theme of spirituality and religious factors in wellness, click here.

Law Enforcement—Mental Health Learning Sites Program Seeks Applicants

“In partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, The Council of State Governments Justice Center is seeking applicants for the Law Enforcement—Mental Health Learning Sites Program. This program is designed to identify and highlight agencies from across the country with successful police-mental health collaboration programs between the law enforcement and mental health systems that are willing to share their expertise with the field.” Applications are due October 27, 2017. For details, click here.

An Array of Criminal Justice Articles and Resources for Free Download

Here are a few articles and resources involving criminal justice issues: “Colorado recently outlawed using jail to detain people in a psychiatric crisis who have not committed a crime. The state delegated just over $9 million…to pay for local crisis centers, training for law enforcement and transportation programs.” For the September 20, 2017, article, “When a Mental Health Emergency Lands You in Jail,” click here. The Vera Institute of Justice has launched a new web page called “Reimagining Prison,” which “enlists justice system stakeholders, those who run our prisons and jails, people who have been incarcerated, victims, policymakers, and the general public in this conversation. It highlights promising practices, institutions, and systems—including international examples that have very different approaches to incarceration, with safer and more humane outcomes.” For the web page, click here. In a related story by the Pew Charitable Trusts, “To Reduce Recidivism, States Scrap Barriers for Ex-Offenders.” For the article, click here. Harvard University offers a free 40-page document entitled Moving Beyond Money: A Primer on Bail Reform, available here. The Reentry Project is “a collaborative news initiative about the challenges of—and solutions to—prisoner reentry in Philadelphia.” For more information, click here.

Logic Performs “1-800-273-8255” at the MTV Video Music Awards

At the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards on August 27, the rapper Logic performed his song about seeking help for suicidal feelings. The song, named after the national suicide prevention hotline—1-800-273-8255—sends the message that help is available. Accompanied by performers Alessia Cara and Khalid, Logic sang about wanting to die and then changing his mind after seeking help. At the end, the three performers are joined onstage by many suicide attempt survivors wearing white T-shirts with the hotline number on the front and “You Are Not Alone” on the back. For the performance, click here. Another song with an anti-suicide message is Billy Joel’s “You’re Only Human (Second Wind).” For the video, click here.

Thanks, Kevin Fitts

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. 3, September 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
Aug212017

The Key Update, Volume 14, Number 2 - August 2017

Key Update, August 2017

Volume 14, Number 2

New Federal Committee on “Serious Mental Illness” to Hold First Meeting August 31; Public Can Join Online or By Phone

On August 16, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the names of the 14 public members who will serve on its new committee—the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC)—which was established by the 21st Century Cures Act. The ISMICC comprises senior leaders from 10 federal agencies, along with 14 non-federal public members, who represent a range of experience and opinions. Public access to the committee’s first meeting, on August 31, 2017, will be available by webcast and phone. For the HHS press release, which includes the names of the 14 public members and instructions for listening to the meeting by phone, click here. Through August 24, ISMICC accepted comments from the public. The Department of Health and Human Services writes: "Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Email written statements to Ms. Pamela Foote, the Designated Federal Officer (DFO), at pamela.foote@samhsa.hhs.gov , or call the DFO at 240-276-1279 on or before August 24, 2017." 

Deadline Extended to August 31 to Comment on Some SAMHSA Core Competencies; Slides Available from Webinar on Improving Law Enforcement Responses to People with Behavioral Health Conditions

“The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), through SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation, recently convened a group of peer leaders to develop a draft set of core competencies for individuals providing peer support in criminal justice settings,” the GAINS Center writes. “SAMHSA would like the public to review and comment on each of the draft core competencies. We are particularly interested is getting responses from individuals providing peer support in criminal justice settings, supervisors, and those responsible for program implementation and evaluation.” For the draft core competencies, click here. For the public comment form, click here. The deadline has been extended to August 31, 2017. And the GAINS Center recently hosted a free webinar on Strategies for Improving Law Enforcement Responses to People with Behavioral Health Conditions. For the webinar slides, click here(Note: In an unrelated but relevant story, for a publication entitled Reentry and Renewal: A Review of Peer-run Organizations That Serve Individuals with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement, click here.) 

August 29: Webinar on Adding Lived Experience to Research to Be Offered by Doors to Wellbeing

On August 29, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a free webinar entitled Can I Get the Recipe? Adding Lived Experience to Research. The workshop will be presented by Laysha Ostrow, PhD, CEO of Live & Learn, Inc. The objectives of the presentation are to provide participants with real-life examples of research that supports the value of peer workers, to highlight the importance of lived experience in research, and to relate research approaches to documenting knowledge about peer support. To register, click here.

August 31 Is Int’l Overdose Awareness Day; NSC Calls States’ Prevention Procedures Inadequate

August 31 is annual International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). It aims to raise awareness that overdose deaths are preventable, and reduce the prejudice associated with such deaths. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends for those who have died or been permanently injured due to a drug overdose. For more, click here. At the same time, a report from the National Safety Council—Safety First: A State-by-State Report—says “no state goes far enough to protect its residents from the leading causes of preventable deaths and injuries, commonly known as ‘accidents’…It offers a bird's-eye view of safety policies and legislation that can help us reduce preventable deaths from things like distracted driving, prescription painkillers and falls.” For the report, click here.

There Are Two Important Conferences in September!

September 2017 will see two great conferences! The first, organized by the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA), will be held in Portland, Maine, September 6-9. For a full schedule, including several exciting keynote speakers, and two workshops by prominent rights expert Susan Stefan, JD, visit the NARPA website: www.narpa.org. Next will be the conference of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS), September 13-15 in Kerhonkson, New York. NYAPRS writes that the conference “features a timely program packed with over 60 workshops that help attendees to best address themes relating to advances in peer support, health, healing and recovery, empowerment and advocacy, cultural competence, community inclusion, healthcare integration, criminal justice reforms and trauma-informed approaches,” and more! To review the “near-final” program, click here. For more information and to register, click here.

AAPD Newsletter Includes Call for Nominations for Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards

The August 15th edition of the AAPD’s Disability Download includes a call for applications for the 2018 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards, which recognize “outstanding emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the broader cross-disability community. Two individuals will each receive $2,500 in recognition of their outstanding contributions and $7,500 to further a new or existing initiative that increases the political and economic power of people with disabilities. Applications are due by October 2, 2017.” For more about the awards and to download the application, click here. For the AAPD newsletter, click here.

A New Website on “Self-Direction” in Mental Health Has Been Launched

The Human Services Research Institute and two partners—Applied Self-Direction and the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services—have launched a new website: Mental Health Self-Direction: Choice, Recovery, Independence. “For many, the current publicly funded mental health system isn’t working,” the partners write. “But a growing body of evidence shows that a new model—self-direction, or self-directed care—can help people avoid the cycle of hospitalization and achieve better outcomes.” For more, visit the website: www.mentalhealthselfdirection.org.

Survey Seeks People Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Who Have Taken Atypical Antipsychotics

Mental Health America writes: Pillar Patient Advocates LLC is seeking individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia who have taken atypical antipsychotic medications “to participate in a survey designed to understand how negative effects of the medication have affected their physical and mental functioning and their overall quality of life.” The survey is sponsored by pharmaceutical manufacturers Otsuka and Lundbeck. To find out if you are eligible, click here. Participants who complete the 15-minute survey will receive a $40 Amazon gift card. Questions? Contact Linda Pelligra at 908.698.1038 or Lpelligra@pillaradvocates.com. The deadline is October 9, 2017, or as soon as 120 individuals complete the survey, Ms. Pelligra says. 

Are You a Leader with a Criminal Justice History? “Leading with Conviction” Training May Be for You

JustLeadershipUSA, an advocacy organization of individuals with criminal justice histories who work to reform the criminal justice system, invites applications for Leading with Conviction (LwC), “an advanced leadership training for formerly incarcerated, mid-senior-level leaders with a specific and proven track record in advocacy and community organizing…LwC trainings benefit leaders by introducing them to the people and practices closely linked to successful community and regional criminal justice advocacy efforts, enabling them to take on greater challenges and to generate quantifiable impact in their work.” The deadline to apply is September 15, 2017. For more information, click here. For a link to the application form, click here. In a related story, JustLeadershipUSA recently published a free 93-page report entitled Leading with Conviction: The Transformative Role of Formerly Incarcerated Leaders in Reducing Mass Incarceration, available for download here.

Antipsychotics “Have Limited Efficacy” in Reducing Symptoms in People with Long-Term Psychosis

According a meta-analysis of 167 clinical trials, recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, only 23 percent of individuals experiencing an “acute exacerbation” of psychotic symptoms had a “good response” to an antipsychotic, compared to 14 percent on placebo. Another 51 percent experienced at least a “minimal” response, compared to 30 percent on placebo. (A “good response” was defined as at least a 50 percent symptom reduction; a “minimal response” was at least a 20 percent reduction.) According to a blog on the Mad In America site, “…the authors noted that critics of antipsychotics have questioned whether these drugs do more harm than good, and thus the reason for further assessment of their effectiveness in clinical studies.” According to the blog, “Studies of all antipsychotics were included, except clozapine, which the researchers explain was due to it being ‘a more efficacious drug, and so pooling it with other compounds would not have been appropriate.’” For more, click here. (Note: This study is unrelated to the research described below.)

People Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Work More Effectively When Not on Anti-Psychotic Medication

A recent 20-year study of 139 individuals diagnosed with psychosis reports that, although antipsychotics were helpful during acute hospitalizations, people who had not been prescribed antipsychotics “had significantly better work functioning than those who were,” according to a Mad In America blog. In addition, “…our research has indicated a significantly higher rate of periods of recovery for [individuals] with schizophrenia who have gone off antipsychotics for prolonged intervals,” the authors write. For more about the study, which was published in Psychiatry Research, click here. (The July 2017 Key Update featured the Psychiatric Medication Discontinuation/Reduction Study, which is unrelated but relevant. For more about the study, click here.) 

New DOJ Report Notes Statistics on Mental Health Problems Reported in Prisons and Jails 2011-12

According to a June 2017 document by the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, about one in seven individuals incarcerated in state and federal prisons (14 percent) and one in four people in jails (26 percent) “reported experiences that met the threshold for serious psychological distress in the 30 days prior to a survey that was conducted between February 2011 and May 2012. Similarly,” the report continues, “37 percent of [people in prison] and 44 percent of [people in jail] had been told in the past by a mental health professional that they had a mental disorder.” For the free 16-page report, click here. For an additional DOJ report published in June 2017—Drug Use, Dependence, and Abuse Among State Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2007-2009click here.

Face to Face Initiative Challenges Elected Officials to Meet with Those Closest to the Justice System

“Governors from across the country and on both sides of the aisle took action [recently] to help launch the Face to Face initiative, a national call to action encouraging policymakers to personally engage with the people who are closest to the correctional system,” writes the Council of State Governments Justice Center. The Face to Face initiative—#MeetFacetoFace—challenges all elected officials to participate in a public activity through which they can interact with people who are, or who have been, incarcerated; corrections officers; survivors of crime; and others who have firsthand experience with the criminal justice system. The sponsors include the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Reentry Resource Center, JustLeadershipUSA, and other criminal justice reform organizations. For more, click here.

NPR Story About Nurses’ Lack of Knowledge of Postpartum Health Risks Targets Medical (Not Emotional) Risks

A recent survey of 372 postpartum nurses around the U.S.—which has the highest maternal death rate among affluent nations—found that many of the nurses lacked knowledge about the risks that women face after childbirth, according to a recent NPR story. The study, published in MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, focused on such symptoms as “painful swelling, headaches, heavy bleeding and breathing problems that could indicate potentially life-threatening complications,” NPR reported. But NPR made no mention of the emotional risks associated with childbirth. At the same time, The Washington Post recently published an article about the spectrum of psychological distress—from depression to psychosis—that new mothers may experience, and some of the steps that have been taken to help women experiencing such symptoms. For the NPR story, click here. For the Washington Post article, click here.

Thanks, J Rock Johnson

Virtual Reality May Help People Conquer Fears and PTSD

“Exposure therapy” through “virtual reality” may help people overcome their fears, according to a recent article in The New York Times. A new firm called Limbix is offering exposure therapy through Daydream View, the Google headset that operates together with a smartphone. “It provides exposure in a way that patients feel safe,” Dr. Dawn Jewell, a Colorado psychologist, told the Times. According to the article, “the service recreates outdoor locations by tapping into another Google product, Street View, a vast online database of photos that delivers panoramic scenes of roadways and other locations around the world.” For the New YorkTimes article, 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 14, No. 2, August 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

 

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