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The Key update, Volume 10, Number 12 - June 2014

Deadline for Submitting Alternatives 2014 Presentation Proposals Extended to July 7!

Register Now for the Conference!

The deadline to submit proposals for Alternatives 2014 workshops and institutes has been extended to Monday, July 7! If you have not yet submitted your proposal(s), this will give you another week! To submit proposals, click here. To register for the conference, click here. The deadline for Early Bird registration ($375) is August 8! Alternatives 2014 is the oldest national conference organized by and for individuals with psychiatric histories. The conference will be held at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 22-26, 2014. To book a room at the Caribe Royale, click here. The conference theme is “Creating the Future: Change, Challenge, Opportunity.”



“The Myth of Mental Illness and Gun Violence” Appears in Forbes

A piece published on June 28 in Forbes (click here) reports on a new article in the Annals of Epidemiology (click here) that “pulls together the facts we need to consider if we really want to adopt evidence-based policies to reduce random gun violence.” The Forbes piece quotes Jeffrey W. Swanson, a Duke University School of Medicine professor of psychiatry and lead author of the Annals of Epidemiology article, saying “but even if schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression were cured, our society’s problem of violence would diminish by only about 4 percent.” Said the Forbes author, “That is not very much. When people with mental illness do act violently it is typically for the same reasons that people without mental illness act violently. If you take comfort … in the myth we can attenuate gun violence by fixing our broken mental health care delivery system then it is time once again to be afraid.” The Forbes piece is also available at the source below.



Webinar on Successful Implementation of Peer Support Services to Be Hosted by MHA

Mental Health America (MHA) is hosting a webinar entitled “Organizational Considerations for Successful Implementation of Peer Support Services” on Friday, July 11, at 3 p.m. ET. MHA writes: “Please join us as we explore the evolution of this emerging workforce. We will look at the growth of Peer Support since its inception and track through to the present day status of adult, family, and youth Peer Support. Participants will gain a broad understanding of the organizational considerations that are crucial to the successful implementation of these three unique models of Peer Support.” For more information and for instructions for joining the webinar, click on the source below.



StoryCorps Seeks to Record the Experiences of Individuals with Disabilities

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2015, StoryCorps is launching a project to encourage individuals with disabilities to record and share their lived experience. The initiative, called the Disability Visibility Project, will allow people in San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta to record their stories; the StoryCorps MobileBooth will make it possible for individuals in communities across the country to participate. The project will operate between July 10 and Dec. 13, 2014. “The history of people with disabilities rarely appears in textbooks,” Alice Wong, who is in charge of the initiative, told Disability Scoop. “I’ve had the good fortune to meet so many fascinating and amazing people with disabilities who have been fighting for disability rights for decades. I believe their stories and the stories of everyday Americans with disabilities should be preserved.” For information about how to participate, click here. NPR’s “Morning Edition” frequently features StoryCorps recordings.



AAPD Offers Interfaith Guide to Promote Inclusion in Faith-Based Organizations

AAPD has published an online edition of “That All May Worship,” which the organization describes as “an interfaith guide to transforming any congregation into a place that values, includes, and enjoys children and adults with all types of disabilities.” According to the AAPD website, “Over 70 thousand printed copies of this guide have been sold since the first edition was published 20 years ago. We are proud to now offer a free updated electronic edition of this popular guide.” The guide is available by clicking here.



Bazelon Publishes Report on Health Care Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Strategies

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has released a report on effective outreach and health care coverage enrollment strategies for individuals with serious mental health conditions. “Making the Connection: Meeting Requirements to Enroll People with Mental Illnesses in Healthcare Coverage” explains how these strategies help individuals with serious mental health conditions get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. States can use the strategies outlined in this report to help people enroll. The report is available for free download by clicking here.



Seclusion and Restraint in Schools May Be Underreported

According to an analysis by the nonprofit news agency ProPublica, schools in the U.S. reported more than 267,000 instances of seclusion and restraint. However, this figure may be low, especially since the three largest school districts in the U.S. – New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – reported no instances in the 2011-2012 school year (the year analyzed). Three-quarters of the students who were restrained had disabilities, according to federal officials. The ProPublica article – which includes numerous links to additional information, including suggestions for reporters on how to cover seclusion and restraint, is available by clicking here.



Mark Your Calendars for Three National Conferences in September

Three national conferences in September are approaching fast! First is the Annual Rights Conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA), to be held Sept. 3-6, 2014, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, SeaTac Airport, in Seattle. The registration form, including a list of the conference keynote speakers, is available if you click here. Mental Health America will hold its annual conference Sept. 10-12, 2014, at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta. For more information, click here. And NYAPRS will hold its annual conference at the Hudson Valley Resort & Conference Center in Kerhonkson, N.Y., Sept. 17-19, 2014. For more information, click here.



Two New Offerings Come from Pathways Research and Training Center 

Pathways Research and Training Center, which aims to improve the lives of youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions, is offering a webinar and a new publication. The one-hour webinar, “Bridging Service Gaps: System Integration Strategies for Service Providers Working with Young Adults with Mental Health Issues,” will be held Aug. 26, 2014, at 1 p.m. ET. It will feature a young adult perspective on involvement in services and will include recommendations for bridging service gaps as well as strategies for meeting the cross-system needs of transition-age youth with mental health conditions. To register, click here. Pathways has also recently come out with a publication on youth with co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions, available by clicking here.



White Paper on Peer Leadership and Workforce Development Is Available for Free Download

A 31-page white paper by Pamela Hardin, Jen Padron and Dr. Ron Manderscheid suggests that creating “a national Lived Experience Workforce Development plan can establish and legitimize the lived experienced service provider as a healthcare occupation and should be recognized by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) as a billable healthcare provider category through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and managed care organizations (MCO).” To read more and to download the paper, click here or on the source below.



Café TA Center Completes Its Recovery Stories Series, All Available for Free Download

The Café TA Center has completed its seven-part series of interviews with individuals with lived experience talking about recovery. All of the videos are available for free by clicking here. “The Café TA Center is pleased to release the seventh and final video in its Recovery Stories series. In this segment, people with lived experience speak out about what they think the world needs to know about recovery. While recovery is a familiar concept for people in the peer support movement, those outside the behavioral health community might not understand the value and effectiveness of the recovery model, and how the notion of recovery can provide the hope and empowerment that more traditional treatment approaches lack.”



USA Today Has Released a Major Series Covering Mental Health Issues

“Stigma against the mentally ill is so powerful that it’s been codified for 50 years into federal law and few outside the health system even realize it.” So begins a multi-part story, entitled “Cost of Not Caring: Stigma Set in Stone,” published by USA Today on June 25, 2014, and available by clicking on this link. This story follows another long piece, entitled “Cost of Not Caring: Nowhere to Go,” published on May 12 and available by clicking here. According to the source below, the series will conclude with “solutions that have the potential to dramatically improve patients’ lives.” The publication invites readers to join the conversation at #mentalhealthstigma.



Mad in America to Host International Film Festival

Mad in America (MIA) will host an International Film Festival, which “will bring together an international collective of voices, perspectives, and artistic presentations that explore, question, and challenge psychiatric care today, and highlight promising alternative treatment approaches from around the world,” according to information on the MIA blog (click here). The festival, at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass., Oct. 9-12, 2014, will also feature Elizabeth Kenny’s acclaimed one-woman play, “Sick,” live musical performances, and other events. For more information, see the source below.



Monthly National Networking Teleconferences Alternate Between Day and Evening

The monthly national networking teleconferences of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse alternate between daytime (on the third Monday of the month unless that is a holiday, in which case the call will take place on the fourth Monday of the month) and evening hours (on the third Tuesday of the month). The July 2014 call will be on Tuesday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The August call will take place the third Monday, August 18, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT. The purpose of the calls is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don’t want to suggest an agenda item it would be helpful if you would email Susan Rogers at; this will make it easier to provide the participants with teleconference minutes. Thanks! If you would like a copy of the July, August, September, October, November and/or December 2013 minutes and/or the February, April, or May 2014 minutes, please write to with the word “Minutes” in the subject line.



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, 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 , via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to or NMHCSH 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 10, No. 12, June 2014, For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct) or

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