Tuesday
Jul262016

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

Key Update, July 2016

Volume 13, Number 1

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

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

Thanks, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren @JudgeWren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prison Activist Resource Center Offers Free Prisoner Resource Directory

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

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

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

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

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

 

Café TA Center Presents New Online Peer Supervision Training

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

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

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

CDC Reports on Occupations That Have the Highest Rates of Suicide

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

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

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

Thanks, Judene Shelley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

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

 

 

Monday
Jun272016

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

Key Update, June 2016

Volume 12, Number 12

Tell Your Congressional Representatives: Vote No on HR 2646!

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Fran Hazam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Matt Canuteson

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

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

Thanks, @AllenFrancesMD

SAMHSA Recruits Applicants for Its Program to Achieve Wellness Grants

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

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

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

iNAPS Conference Adds a Third Day

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

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

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

 

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

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

Exposé on Johnson & Johnson to Become a Movie

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

Thanks, @KevinFitts

Webinar on “Reframing Recovery” Is on July 21

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

 

New Yorker Shares Archived Stories about Mental Health Conditions and Treatment

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

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

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

Thanks, Elizabeth Saenger

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

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

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

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

Thanks, NYAPRS E-News

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

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

 

Researchers Discover Evidence of Racial, Class Discrimination among Psychotherapists

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

 

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 12, June 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

Tuesday
May312016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 11 - May 2016

Key Update, May 2016 

Volume 12, Number 11

“New and Expanded Medical Definitions Create More Patients” (and a Lucrative Drug Market)

A May 22, 2016, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article shone a spotlight on the pharmaceutical industry’s aggressive marketing strategy to try to create a demand for their products. Listing “intermittent explosive disorder,” “binge-eating disorder” and “low testosterone” among other diagnoses, Illness Inflation: A Watchdog Report notes, “None of these conditions was considered part of mainstream medicine just 20 years ago.” The drugs sold to treat these newly defined conditions “often carry serious health risks,” the report adds. For more, click here. In a related story, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns of new, albeit rare, impulse-control problems associated with the mental health drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada). “[C]ompulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported….These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced.” For more, click here. To see another related story—Another Study Finds Link Between Pharma Money and Brand-name Prescribingclick here. And to see Failure to Report: A STAT Investigation, about how “prestigious medical research institutions have flagrantly violated a federal law requiring public reporting of study results, depriving patients and doctors of complete data to gauge the safety and benefits of treatments,” click here. (Note: The STAT investigation was included in the December 2015 edition of the Key Update.) 

Doors to Wellbeing Offers a Spring Webinar Series; the May Webinar Is Today at 2 p.m. ET!

The Doors to Wellbeing National Consumer Technical Assistance Center has been offering a Spring webinar series. In April, the topic was Workforce Integration: Why It Matters. On May 31 at 2 p.m. ET, the topic will be Peer Support with Veterans—Shoulder to Shoulder. And on June 28, the topic will be Invasion or Innovation: Peers in the Workforce. For more information, to view the archived April webinar and/or to register for the May and June Webinars, click here.

 

NIMH Seeks Feedback on “The State of Mental Illness Research and NIMH’s Role”

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is soliciting comments from the general public on “the state of mental illness research and NIMH's role in the development of this research. Your feedback will be used in developing briefing materials that will represent the full diversity of perspectives on mental illness research for the incoming NIMH director. Please provide comments by June 30, 2016. NIMH welcomes feedback from investigators, investigator-sponsors, clinicians, advocates, and any other stakeholders...” For more information and to submit your comments, click here.

Thanks, @LaurenSpiro

Deadline to Submit a Workshop Proposal at Alternatives 2016 Has Been Extended to June 3!

The deadline to submit proposals for workshop presentations at Alternatives 2016 (#AltCon16) has been extended to June 3! For more information and to submit a proposal, click here. The conference, organized by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (@PeerlinkTA), will be held at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, California, from September 19 to 23. For more information about the conference, including hotel and travel, click here.

New Parenting with a Disability Toolkit Is Available from the NCD

On May 5, 2016, the National Council on Disability (NCD) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation released Parenting with a Disability: Know Your Rights Toolkit. “Currently, 35 states include disability as grounds for termination of parental rights….In every state, the presence of a disability can be arbitrarily used when determining the ‘best’ interests of a child.” The new toolkit builds on NCD’s 2012 report, Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children. To download both the new toolkit and the enhanced 2012 report, click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday Will Cover Recovery-Oriented Crisis Response

On June 3, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference about Recovery-Oriented Crisis Response. “First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” Join BRSS TACS on June 3 to learn more about this important subject and to submit your questions to presenters Oryx Cohen, chief operating officer of the National Empowerment Center Technical Assistance Center, and Phillip Valentine, executive director of the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery. For more information and to register, click here.

Have You Taken Antidepressant or Antipsychotic Medication? Then Please See Below.

Internationally known researcher Dr. John Read is seeking your responses to an anonymous online survey gathering information on people’s experiences taking antidepressant and antipsychotic medication. “The information you share in the survey will be combined with the data provided by other participants and used to produce academic research articles that publicize the results,” according to the survey introduction. Dr. Read is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS); a professor at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia; and the editor of the ISPS journal Psychosis. For an article about this and other such studies, click here. To participate in Dr. Read’s new survey, click here.

To Observe Gun Violence Awareness Day, #WearOrange on June 2

On June 2—National Gun Violence Awareness Day—wear orange. “Wear Orange was created to make it easier for people to show their support for common sense solutions that will save lives,” the organizers explain on the www.wearorange.org website. The annual event began in remembrance of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed a week after she marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade.  Her friends chose orange to remember her “because that’s what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.” The organizers write: “What started in a south side high school to celebrate Hadiya has turned into a nationwide movement to honor all lives cut short by gun violence. Wear Orange is also a celebration of life—and a call to action to help save lives from gunfire.” For more information, click here.

SAMHSA Voice Award Deadline Has Been Extended to June 3

SAMHSA writes: “The deadline for submitting [Voice Award] family/consumer/peer leader nominations has been extended until Friday, June 3, 2016.” To submit a nomination, click here.

New Report Covers Criminal Justice Policy Reforms in 46 States in 2014-2015

 On May 26, 2016, the Vera Institute published Justice in Review: New Trends in Sentencing and Corrections 2014-2015. “In 2014 and 2015, 46 states enacted at least 201 bills, executive orders, and ballot initiatives to reform at least one aspect of their sentencing and corrections systems,” the Vera Institute writes. “[M]ost of the policy changes focused on three areas: creating or expanding opportunities to divert people”—especially individuals who have substance abuse or mental health conditions and/or who are homeless—“away from the criminal justice system; reducing prison populations by enacting sentencing reform, expanding opportunities for early release from prison, and reducing the number of people admitted to prison for violating the terms of their community supervision; and supporting reentry into the community from prison…this report serves as a practical guide for other state and federal policymakers looking to effect similar changes in criminal justice policy.” For more information and to download the free report, click here. Also available for free download is the American Friends Service Committee’s Inalienable Rights: Applying international human rights standards to the U.S. criminal justice system. For more information and to download a free copy, click here.

Newsletters of iNAPS and the Café TA Center Offer Many Resources

The newsletters of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) and the Café TA Center offer a variety of information on upcoming events (such as the tenth annual iNAPS conference, to be held in Philadelphia August 26-27—Early Bird Registration ends June 1!) as well as valuable resources! To download the iNAPS newsletter, click here. To download the Café TA Center newsletter, click here.

WFMH International Conference Seeks Workshop Proposals

 The World Federation for Mental Health International Conference, to be held October 17-19, 2016, in Cairns, Australia, has issued a call for abstracts. The deadline is June 17. For guidelines and details or to submit an abstract, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

Bazelon, UMass Medical School Highlight Opportunities to Promote Employment for People with Mental Health Conditions

A new brief by UMass Medical School and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law outlines policy opportunities that can be leveraged to help people with psychiatric disabilities get and keep jobs, and recommendations to address current barriers to employment. For information about the authors’ recommendations and to download a free copy of Policy Opportunities for Promoting Employment for People with Psychiatric Disabilities, click here. For A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work, published by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, click here. For additional Temple University Collaborative employment resources, click here.

U.S. DOE Urges Removal of Barriers Preventing People with Criminal Records from Pursuing Higher Education

On May 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) urged America’s colleges and universities to remove barriers that can prevent the estimated 70 million citizens with criminal records from pursuing higher education, including considering the chilling effect of inquiring early in the application process whether prospective students have ever been arrested. The Department made the recommendation in a new resource guide, Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals, which encourages alternatives to inquiring about criminal histories during college admissions and provides recommendations to support a holistic review of applicants. “The college admissions process shouldn’t serve as a roadblock to opportunity, but should serve as a gateway to unlocking untapped potential of students,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. For Beyond the Box, click here. For the DOE press release, click here. To read about someone who “found that once he attained a college education—he now holds four degrees, including a doctorate in education—he was able to overcome some of the obstacles that kept him unemployed and on the verge of returning to prison,” click here.

Webinar on Building the Foundation for Your Peer-Run Organization Is on June 15

Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center will host a free, one-hour webinar on Developing & Implementing Policies & Procedures: Building the Foundation for Your Peer-Run Organization on June 15, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET.  “It can be difficult to develop and implement policies for your peer-run organization while allowing peer workers flexibility to assist others in their recovery. This webinar will address establishing accountability, fidelity to models, and protections in and for your organization, peer workers, and those served.” To register, click here.

Quashed Report Warned of Prison Health Crisis

“A government report, blocked from publication a decade ago, presciently warned of an advancing, double-barreled health crisis of mental illness and substance abuse that has currently swamped the nation’s vast prison systems,” says a May 23rd article in USA Today. The report had “urged government and community leaders to formulate a treatment strategy for thousands of [individuals who had mental health or substance use conditions] that also would assist them after release or risk worsening public health care burdens.” It was blocked by officials of the George W. Bush administration, according to then-Surgeon General Richard Carmona. In 2014, USA Today noted that, based on Justice Department statistics, some 1.2 million individuals in state, local and federal custody reported some kind of mental health issue. This constituted 64 percent of people in local jails, 56 percent of people in state prisons and 45 percent of those in federal prisons. For the article, click here.

Thanks, @NYAPRS

“Beware of advice—even this.”

This brain-twisting guidance from acclaimed poet Carl Sandburg is just one piece of advice offered to writers on the @AdviceToWriters Twitter feed, highly recommended if you are a writer or aspire to be one. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “writer,” you may find the information useful. The concise, tweeted advice is available at greater length on the Advice to Writers website if you click here.

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 11, May 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

Thursday
Apr282016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 10 - April 2016

Key Update, April 2016

 Volume 12, Number 10

Do You Want to Present a Workshop at Alternatives 2016? Submit a Proposal!

The deadline to submit proposals for workshop presentations at Alternatives 2016 (#AltCon16) is May 23! For more information and to submit a proposal, click here. The conference, organized by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (@PeerlinkTA), will be held at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, California, from September 19 to September 23! For more information about the conference, including hotel and travel, click here.

Minority Job Applicants with Criminal Justice Backgrounds to Benefit from Landmark Settlement Against U.S. Census Bureau

On April 20, 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau settled a class action lawsuit involving discriminatory employment obstacles for minority job applicants with criminal justice backgrounds. “African American and Latino plaintiffs’ applications for more than a million temporary jobs to assist the 2010 census were rejected by the Census Bureau’s flawed screening process, which included use of an often inaccurate and incomplete FBI arrest and convictions database,” an article in Afro reported. Because African Americans and Latinos are arrested at much higher rates than whites, often for the same crimes, the plaintiffs asserted that the Census Bureau was violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. One of the goals of the lawsuit—Anthony Gonzalez, et al., v. Penny Pritzker, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce—is “to end the cycle of mass incarceration,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law. At least a million people may benefit, the lawyers said. The plaintiffs’ lead attorney said that the Census Bureau has since changed its hiring practices. For more information and a link to the lawsuit, click here.

Thanks, ReentryUSA @ReentryUSA2

SAMHSA to Present Webinar on Creating a Culture of Wellness

On May 4 at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will sponsor a free webinar on Creating a Culture of Wellness: A 360 Degree View. “Achieving health and wellness calls for a focus on integrated care,” SAMHSA writes, “but is your organization truly incorporating health and wellness into everything you do? Join this webinar to learn how to use a self-assessment tool to increase your organization’s awareness of the key components of a wellness-focused culture. Learn how to engage in a reflective process to identify what you should keep doing, stop doing, and start doing to truly have a culture of wellness, and hear from a SAMHSA Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) grantee who has used this tool to assess and implement wellness across their agency.” For more information and to register, click here.

Positive Memories Can Help Treat Mental Health Problems

Positive memories can help generate positive emotions, say researchers at the University of Liverpool. A goal was to investigate individuals’ emotional reactions to the imagery of a positive social memory using the “social Broad Minded Affective Coping (BMAC)” technique. The study found that that “safe/warm” and “relaxed” positive mood and “feelings of social safeness” increased following the social BMAC, while negative mood decreased. “These results suggest that the BMAC has the potential to be a practical and effective method for boosting mood amongst individuals with specific mental health problems such as anxiety or depression,” said the lead researcher. The study was published on April 20, 2016, in the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. For a news release and a link to the study, click here.

Thanks, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association @PsychRehab

MHA Wants Your Input to Help Develop Its National Certified Peer Specialist Credential

Mental Health America (MHA) is seeking input on the draft core competencies for its National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) credential, described by Patrick Hendry of MHA as “the first national, fully accredited certification program recognizing peer specialists qualified to work in both public and private whole health practices.” MHA, which is developing this program in partnership with the Florida Certification Board, recently released its National Certified Peer Specialist Core Competencies for public comment. The overwhelming majority of the respondents approved the draft performance domains and competencies/job tasks without changes, said Hendry, MHA’s vice president of peer advocacy, supports, and services. The remaining feedback informed the final set of Mental Health America’s core competencies for the NCPS credential. MHA now seeks individuals involved in the peer support movement to rate each of the 55 competency/job task statements for importance and frequency. “This feedback will allow us to develop the NCPS examination blueprint,” Hendry said. For the survey, click here. In a related story, the International Association of Peer Supporters has created “National Practice Guidelines for Peer Supporters.” For these guidelines, click here.

Media Shine Spotlight on Abuse of Individuals with Mental Health Conditions in Jails and Prisons

There is a growing emphasis by the print and broadcast media on covering the abuse, torture, and deaths of individuals with mental health conditions in jails and prisons. Most recently, 60 Minutes aired a piece on the horrific treatment such individuals receive in New York City’s notorious Rikers Island; for the segment, click here. In its May 2, 2016, edition, the New Yorker ran a story entitled Madness: In Florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards. For the article, click here. The New Yorker ran an online follow-up story: A Whistle-Blower Behind Bars (click here). It also covered the suicide of Kalief Browder, a young man who died by suicide after his release from Rikers Island, where he had been held for three years without being convicted of a crime (click here). The New York Times ran An Inmate Dies, and No One is Punished, about Leonard Strickland, “a prisoner with schizophrenia who got into an argument with guards, and ended up dead” (click here). Meanwhile, Just Leadership USA has launched a campaign to close Rikers Island. For more about the campaign, click here and click here.

Webinar on “Improving Relationships Between Police and the Mental Health Community” on May 25

A free two-hour webinar presented by the National Empowerment Center on Improving Relationships Between Police and the Mental Health Community will take place on May 25, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET. The webinar will include “best practices from both the police and mental health peer perspective. Research, collaboration models, and approaches to building better relationships, as well as tools and strategies for safely collaborating with police, will be offered with the ultimate goal of improving the relationship between mental health peers and police and reducing negative outcomes.” For more information and to register, click here. And for a related New York Times story—For Police, a Playbook Involving Conflicts with Mental Illness—click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday Will Cover Understanding Trauma and Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children

On May 6, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference about Understanding Trauma and Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children. “First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” Join BRSS TACS on May 6 to learn more about this important subject and to submit your questions to presenter Carmela J. DeCandia, Psy.D., director of Child and Family Initiatives with the Center for Social Innovation and a licensed clinical child psychologist with specialties in child and adolescent development, family homelessness, trauma, program development, and assessment. For more information and to register, click here.

Pathways RTC Publishes Annual Research Review on Early Psychosis Intervention

The latest issue of Focal Point, the annual research review published by Pathways RTC, is available for free download. This issue explores early psychosis intervention services. To download the free 32-page publication, click here.

 SAMHSA to Sponsor a Webinar on Crisis Services and Community Integration

On May 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will sponsor a free, 90-minute webinar on Crisis Services and Community Integration, focusing on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision regarding crisis services for people with psychiatric disabilities. Jennifer Mathis, deputy legal director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, will begin with an overview of the legal framework governing state obligations. Two other presenters will cover, respectively, the essential elements and practices of an effective mental health crisis system and an initiative to improve crisis services as part of efforts to comply with Georgia’s Olmstead settlement. For more information and to register, click here.

Justice Department Names April 24-30, 2016, Its First Annual National Reentry Week

As part of its commitment to reducing policy barriers to successful reentry to the community from jails and prisons, the U.S. Department of Justice has designated April 24-30, 2016, as the first National Reentry Week. Recognizing this historic occasion, the Legal Action Center calls for ensuring “that all people with conviction histories are eligible for and receive effective reentry services, not just those with offenses categorized as nonserious, nonsexual, and nonviolent.” For more about National Reentry Week, click here. For the Legal Action Center’s When Coming Home Means Being Shut Out: Expanding Reentry to All Types of Offenses, click here. (The mission of the Legal Action Center is “to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas.”)

Thanks, Fran Hazam

Café TA Center Publishes Newsletter on Supported Education

Issue 44 of Focus, the newsletter of the Café Technical Assistance Center, covers Supported Education: Examining the Evidence. It includes links to SAMHSA’s Supported Education Evidence-Based Practices Kit and a variety of other useful information on the subject of supported education. For the newsletter, click here.

 

Transitions RTC to Host Webinar on College Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities

Tools for School: College Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities, a free webinar presented by Transitions RTC, will take place on May 3, 2016 at 12 p.m. ET. The webinar will cover “getting an accommodation: what you should know; thinking outside the box on accommodations; and advocating with Disability Services Offices.” The presenter will be Laura DiGalbo, M.Ed., CRC, LPC. For more information and to register, click here.

Half of Those Killed by Police Are Individuals with Disabilities, New Report Says

A new report on Media Coverage of Law Enforcement Use of Force and Disability from the Ruderman Family Foundation notes that “Disability is the missing word in media coverage of police violence. Disabled individuals make up a third to half of all people killed by law enforcement officers. Disabled individuals make up the majority of those killed in use-of-force cases that attract widespread attention. This is true both for cases deemed illegal or against policy and for those in which officers are ultimately fully exonerated. The media is ignoring the disability component of these stories, or, worse, is telling them in ways that intensify stigma and ableism.” The report is available for free download: click here. For a New York magazine article about the report, click here.

Thanks, Disability Rights International @DRI_advocacy

ISEPP Posts Invitation to Share Your Story of Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal in a Documentary

“The producers of Middlemarch Films are looking for volunteers to share their stories of psychiatric drug withdrawal in a full-length documentary that takes a critical view of psychiatry and psychiatric drugs,” writes Chuck Ruby, Ph.D., executive director of the International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry. “As well as showing the failures of the medical model, they hope to show inspiring stories of healing outside of it. They are looking for people who are willing to share their stories, and in particular they would like to hear from people who are in the process of getting off their psychiatric medications and are seeking a different way forward. If you are interested, please contact either Lynn Cunningham at lynn_p_cunningham@yahoo.com, 917.282.0710, or Wendy Ractliffe at wenractliffe@gmail.com, 207.590.9529.” For more, click here. (Editor’s note: No endorsement of withdrawing from psychiatric medication is intended. Individuals who choose to take psychiatric medications—or, indeed, any medications—should educate themselves about the risk/reward ratio and make informed decisions in collaboration with a trusted medical professional.)

Thanks, @KevinFitts

TU Collaborative Seeks Volunteers for a Research Study

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion is seeking volunteers for a research study “to learn more about how we can support students with mental health issues to help them succeed in school.” To be eligible, you need to be between the ages of 18 and 50, “have a diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder or depression; be currently receiving mental health services; be currently enrolled full-time in a two- or four-year college, university, or tech/vocational school in the continental US, in a non-online degree program; want to get help with school related to your mental health issues in at least two areas; and have access to a computer, the Internet, and a cellphone.” Participants will receive $20 for each completed survey, for a total of $60 if all three surveys are completed. For more information, contact 215.204.3257 or kpizz@temple.edu, or click here. For the survey, click here.

Theater Company Sponsors Playwriting Competition on Mental Health Theme

The Adirondack Shakespeare Company (ADK Shakespeare) is sponsoring its first Dramatic Writing Competition, on the subject of “mental illness.” ADK Shakespeare writes: “We regard this subject as being quite broad, encompassing a wide spectrum that would include both the Prince of Denmark and Willy Loman, but would stretch well beyond…” There are two categories: full-length works and shorts/one-acts. The submission fee is $10 for short plays and $30 for full-length works. For submission guidelines and information about prizes, click here.

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

A Mental Health Blog Picks “The 25 Best Twitter Feeds to Follow.”

If you are on Twitter—and if you aren’t, why aren’t you?—here are the “25 Best Twitter Feeds to Follow,” according to a UK-based mental health blog that tweets as @EmoVoid. Among the recommendations are mainstream sites such as NIMH (@NIMHgov) and the American Psychiatric Association (@APAPsychiatric), as well as @PsychCentral and @HealthyPlace. Others are individuals’ Twitter feeds on mental health-related topics. (Disclaimer: I can’t personally recommend these sites and I only follow two of them.) To the EmoVoid list, which is available here, I would like to add (at a very bare minimum) @Mad_In_America, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Marshall Project (@MarshallProj), and the @VeraInstitute. (The latter two sites cover criminal justice issues, which often overlap with mental health issues.) And you can follow me at @SusanRogersMH.

Thanks, Café TA Center @CafeTAC

Comic Strips Capture the Experience of Depression and Anxiety

Laughter is the best medicine, as evidenced by the work of two graphic artists about what it feels like to deal with depression and anxiety. Cartoonist Nick Seluk turned Sarah Flanigan’s story into a comic after Flanigan shared her story of struggling with depression and anxiety with him. “I wish everyone knew that depression is not something that people can just ‘snap out of.’ I mean, if I could ‘snap out of it,’ I would have by now,” Flanigan wrote. For Seluk’s comic and its provenance, click here. And there is also the prodigiously talented Allie Brosh, who draws Hyperbole and a Half. For Brosh’s Adventures in Depression, click here; for Depression Part Two, click here.

 

Canadian Tattoo Artist Transforms Scars into Art to Help Heal Trauma

A Vancouver, BC, tattoo artist is helping to heal people who are scarred from suicide attempts, abuse and traumatic surgeries by designing tattoos around the scars, CBC News reported. Auberon Wolf, who herself has been tattooed to cover scars from self-harm as a teenager, says that the process can be more therapeutic than the finished product. One client, calling it “bloodletting in a really safe way,” said that having Wolf tattoo her kept her from suicide. However, a University of British Columbia nursing professor cautioned that, while inscribing art on the body to work through trauma might ground someone and be “positive” and “hopeful,” some people may react differently and “it's really good to go into it thoughtfully and to get that careful, informed consent.” For the story, click here.

Thanks, Leah Harris @leahida

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 10, April 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Mar242016

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 9--March 2016

Key Update, March 2016

Volume 12, Number 9

Sign the Petition—And Submit a Comment—to keep the ECT Device in Class III!

It’s not too late to sign the MindFreedom International petition to stop the Food and Drug Administration from “down-classifying the shock device to a Class II device.” Please sign here! And you only have until March 28 to submit a comment on the FDA website, at this link. ECT is a controversial procedure that even proponents admit can cause adverse cognitive effects [that] can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” The device is currently in Class III. For information about the three classes, click here. For testimony by Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., in 2011, the last time the FDA threatened to reclassify the equipment, click here. For information about Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know about Shock Treatment, which the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine called “brilliant analysis,” click here. For additional information, click here. Again, to comment, click here. To sign the petition, click here.

Webinar on Welcoming Work Environments Presented by TU Collaborative on March 29

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion invites you to participate in a free, hour-long webinar on March 29 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will focus on “strategies for creating more welcoming work environments within mental health agencies for staff members with mental health conditions.” For details and to register, click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday in April Will Cover The ACA and Outreach in Frontier States

On April 1, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference about The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Outreach in Frontier States. “First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” Join BRSS TACS on April 1 to hear about the ACA and outreach in frontier states, and to submit your questions to presenter Sue Bergeson, vice president of consumer affairs, OptumHealth. For more information and to register, click here.

March Newsletter of the TU Collaborative on Community Inclusion Focuses on Criminal Justice Issues

Reintegration of individuals with mental illnesses into community life following incarceration is the focus of the latest edition of the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion newsletter. Included are links to a monograph entitled Returning to the Community: Reentry Barriers following Incarceration among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses, an infographic that details the results of a study on the community participation patterns of individuals with serious mental health conditions after their release from jail compared to a control group, and much more! For the newsletter, click here.

SAMHSA Seeks Applications for Its 2016 Voice Awards

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is seeking nominations for its 2016 Voice Awards. This year, “the Voice Awards will focus on the role that family support—between parents, children, spouses/partners, siblings, and other close family relationships—plays in inspiring hope and resilience for people experiencing a mental and/or substance use disorder….Special consideration will be given to consumer/peer leaders who promote partnerships with family members as an essential part of recovery [and] to film and television productions that portray the positive impact that family members can have on their loved one’s path to recovery.” Nominations are due by April 22, 2016. For more information, click here.

New Website Is a Place to Learn About Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Information

ParityTrack “aims to be the central site for mental health and substance use disorder parity information and to offer an exclusive look at parity issues.” It works to help people understand their rights under the federal and state parity laws and to “feel empowered to exercise those rights.” The website—sponsored by a variety of organizations, including the Kennedy Forum and the Scattergood Foundation—includes three main sections: Parity Reports, Know Your Rights, and Get Support. The site is available here.

Webinar on Community Inclusion Policy Development Will Discuss Two New Publications

A webinar co-sponsored by Mental Health America and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, on April 4 at 1 p.m. ET, will discuss two new publications: Behavioral health Managed Care Entities: Important Partnerships in Promoting Community Inclusion, available here, and Community Participation and Inclusion: Shifting Perspectives on Quality Measures, available here. To register, click here.

Free Telephone Support Group for Parents with Mental Health Challenges

Child and Family Connections Inc. is hosting a free, weekly, telephone or web-based Parent Support Group for parents with mental health conditions anywhere in the U.S. “It is hosted by an experienced and caring parent and behavioral health professional with lived experience who gently guides the discussion in a healing and supportive direction with a people-first, recovery-centric approach,” according to the agency’s website. “Parents may join the call as frequently or infrequently as they’d like and may choose to remain anonymous or to introduce themselves. No registration or commitment is required, but for many parents, the group becomes a vital part of their support system and a consistent part of their lives.” The hour-long calls take place Wednesdays with Elizabeth at 6 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. CT, 4 p.m. MT, 3 p.m. ET; and Saturdays with Sue at 4 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. CT, 2 p.m. MT, 1 p.m. PT. The toll-free number is 888.601.3515 or log on by clicking here. For more information, click here.

SAMHSA Publication on Practicing Recovery Available for Free Download

This month, SAMHSA published Practicing Recovery: Implementing and Measuring a Recovery Orientation, by Larry Davidson, Ph.D. This four-page document describes “several tools have been developed to help agencies and practitioners learn about the profound changes required to implement recovery-oriented practices.” “Recovery-oriented practices move beyond the conventional policies and structures of most behavioral health agencies, necessitating a transformation of behavioral health services,” Davidson writes. “This transformation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2005), will require ‘profound change—not at the margins of a system, but at its very core.’” To download the free document, click here.

New Publication Documents the Unfair Impact of the Criminal Justice System on LGBT People

A 180-page report entitled Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People is available for free download. “The report documents how pervasive stigma and discrimination, biased enforcement of laws, and discriminatory policing strategies mean that LGBT people are disproportionately likely to interact with law enforcement and to have their lives criminalized. LGBT people are also treated unfairly once they enter the system; the report shows how they overrepresented in jails and prisons and face abuse while incarcerated. Finally, the report sheds light on the fact that LGBT people face unique and considerable challenges in the struggle to rebuild their lives after experiences with law enforcement—and particularly after time spent in a correctional facility.”  For more information and to download the free report, authored by the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress in partnership with the Advancement Project, Forward Together, and Just Leadership USA, click here.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Change Leadership Programs Are Seeking Applicants

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is looking for clinicians, researchers, doctoral students, community leaders and professionals to apply for one of four new, funded leadership opportunities to build a Culture of Health in America. Applications are due on April 19, 2016. For details, including about an information webinar to be held on March 30 at 12 p.m. ET, click here.

Researchers Find That Drum Circles Might Improve Mental Health

According to Effects of Group Drumming Interventions on Anxiety, Depression, Social Resilience and Inflammatory Immune Response among Mental Health Service Users, published on March 14, 2016, in PLoS One, “10 weeks of group drumming provided significant benefits for a group of people who had sought help for mental health issues. What’s more, the improvements persisted for at least three months after the sessions concluded.” As an article in Pacific Standard Magazine reported about group drumming, “Researchers in London have found evidence of a surprisingly effective treatment for anxiety and depression, one that even alters the inflammatory immune responses that may underlie these disorders.” For the Pacific Standard article and a link to the study, click here.

Thanks, Jeff Friedman @JMFriedman

EVER-Changing World, Fourth International Conference, to Be Held June 8-9, 2016

For the first time, the Experts Conference, held in the Netherlands for the past three years, will take place in the United States, at the College of Saint Rose, in Albany, New York, on June 8-9. The conference focus has expanded “to explore the role of the peer support movement in diverse countries as well as for those who come to the U.S. and Europe as refugees and immigrants. Speakers include those working in mental health, peer support, and/or with refugees and immigrants in Europe, Africa and the United States.” For more information and to register, click here.

Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks Documents Disparities in Care, Including Mental Health Care

In February, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, operating under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, published its 98-page Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks, a 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. The report paints a grim picture of the health care provided to African-Americans: two of its findings were that “Blacks receive [a] poorer quality of care, especially on measures of…person centeredness and care coordination” and “[s]uicide prevention and mental health care for Blacks is worsening, with many disparities and no reductions in disparities over time.” To download a free copy, click here.

Free Online Curriculum for Primary Care Providers Working in Mental Health Settings

A free online course entitled Primary Care Providers Working in Mental Health Settings: Improving Health Status in Persons with Mental Illness has been made available by the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions and the Addiction Technology Transfer Center. The goal is to acquaint primary care providers  with the importance of creating access to primary care within behavioral health settings, strategies for recognizing the physical signs of behavioral health concerns (and vice versa) and to maximize their role on the care team. For more information and to register, click here. (Continuing education credits are available for a small fee.)

VA Announces Additional Steps to Reduce Veteran Suicide

On March 8, 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced new steps to reduce veteran suicide. The steps follow a February 2 Summit, Preventing Veteran Suicide – A Call to Action. “We know that every day, approximately 22 veterans take their lives,” said VA under secretary for health Dr. David Shulkin. “We must and will do more, and this Summit, coupled with recent announcements about improvements to enhance and accelerate progress at the Veterans Crisis Line, shows that our work and commitment must continue.” For information about the VA’s plans, click here.

Can Getting Excited Help People Handle Anxiety?

A recent article in The Atlantic indicates that, instead of suggesting that people calm down, telling them to get more excited might be more helpful for people dealing with anxiety. Research on a technique called “anxious reappraisal” indicates that, because anxiety and excitement have more in common than anxiety and calmness, it’s easier for most people to move from “charged-up, negative feelings to “charged-up, positive ones” than it would be to get to the “charged-up, positive” place from a calm position. This was demonstrated by a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, also reported in The Atlantic. For more, click here.

Alternatives 2016 Will Take Place September 21-25 in San Diego!

Alternatives 2016 (#AltCon16), organized by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (@PeerlinkTA) from September 21 to 25, will be held at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, California! Check the Peerlink website for more information as it becomes available: http://www.peerlinktac.org/

The next two items were included in February but are still relevant:

Comments Are Sought until March 31 on Draft Competencies for Whole Health Peer Specialists

Mental Health America is seeking comments on its draft core competencies for Whole Health Peer Specialists, who promote physical as well as emotional wellness. The certification “is designed to build upon and enhance traditional peer specialist training and core competencies … and add the additional competencies necessary to enable peers to work alongside any other health care team(s),” such as in emergency rooms and with private practitioners, including primary care physicians, according to Mental Health America (MHA). “Whole Health Peer Specialist is not a new classification,” said Patrick Hendry, MHA’s vice president of consumer advocacy. “What is new is that this is the first national certification, it takes peer support to new levels of skills and knowledge, and it is oriented to preparing people to work in the private sector.” The core competencies, published on February 15, are available here. To provide feedback, fill out MHA’s online survey—available here— by March 31, 2016. For additional information, click here.

“Healing Voices” Documentary to Have Global Premiere on April 29, 2016

“Healing Voices,” a “new feature-length documentary which explores the experiences commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the real-life stories of individuals working to overcome extreme mental states and integrate these experiences into their lives in meaningful ways,” will have its global premiere on April 29, 2016. “The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over a period of nearly five years and features interviews with notable personalities, including Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Will Hall, Marius Romme, and others.” For more information and to see the trailer, click on the following link: www.HealingVoicesMovie.com. The film makers are planning a “One Night, One Voice” global event to mark the VOD (Video-On-Demand) release of the movie. Click here for information about screening packages. For additional information about licensing or tax-deductible donations, click here or contact pj@digitaleyesfilm.com.

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 9, March 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH