Key Update, October 2018, Volume 15, Number 4

Key Update, October 2018

Volume 15, Number 4

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is now affiliated with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!

TO CONTACT THE CLEARINGHOUSE: SELFHELPCLEARINGHOUSE@GMAIL.COM   

TO CONTACT SUSAN ROGERS: SUSAN.ROGERS.ADVOCACY@GMAIL.COM             

TO CONTACT JOSEPH ROGERS: JROGERS08034@GMAIL.COM

Uber Will Offer Free Rides to the Polls on Election Day

“On November 6, 2018, Uber will offer U.S. riders the ability to quickly find their polling place and also book a free ride. Lyft is similarly offering half-priced and free rides to polling places on Election Day. ‘Decisions get made by those who show up,’” Uber ‘s CEO wrote. For more, click here.

Thanks, Yvonne Smith

Bazelon Center Offers Updated Voter’s Rights Guide in Time for 2018 Midterm Elections

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law urges everyone to register to vote—and then to vote!—in the 2018 midterm elections. “People with mental disabilities represent millions of the U.S. population and their voices should be heard, especially for this year’s midterm elections,” said Jennifer Mathis, director of policy and legal advocacy for the Bazelon Center. For more information about Bazelon’s updated 60-page voter’s guide—Vote. It’s Your Right. A Guide to the Voting Rights of People with Mental Disabilities—as well as a link to the guide, click here. For voter registration deadlines in every state (some of which have passed), click here.

“Flooding the World with Psychiatric Drugs Could Boost the Burden of Mental Disorders”

An article published online on Oct. 22, 2018, warns of the risk of increasing the use of psychiatric medications. Citing a recent report by the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development that called for an effort to “reduce the cost and improve the supply of effective psychotropic drugs for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders,” Robert Nikkel (Oregon’s commissioner for mental health and addictions from 2003 to 2008 and currently a noted author, teacher, and advocate) and acclaimed investigative journalist and author Robert Whitaker write: “While reducing the burden of mental disorders is certainly a laudable goal, we believe that implementing this plan will increase the global burden of mental disorders rather than decrease it.” For the STAT story, click here. (Note: In a summary of his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, Robert Whitaker wrote: “There is evidence that psychiatric medications may be helpful over the short-term, and there are some people who fare well on the drugs long term…” For the entire summary, click here.)

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

“Antidepressant Withdrawal Lasts Longer and Is More Severe Than We Thought”

Scientists in the UK, reviewing research comprising the experiences of around 5,000 people, “found that current guidelines vastly underestimated the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms; and, what’s more, they miss the rate at which people would experience severe symptoms,” according to a recent article in Care2. A summary of the research (in press) on the website of Addictive Behaviors notes: “More than half (56%) of people who attempt to come off antidepressants experience withdrawal effects. Nearly half (46%) of people experiencing withdrawal effects describe them as severe. It is not uncommon for the withdrawal effects to last for several weeks or months. Current UK and USA Guidelines underestimate the severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal, with significant clinical implications.” For more, click here. For another article about the same study, click here.

“Reanalysis of STAR*D Study Suggests Overestimation of Antidepressant Efficacy”

A new study by researchers at Harvard Medical school “reanalyzes primary outcome data from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study. Results of the study, published in Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, suggest inflation of antidepressant efficacy both in the STAR*D trial reports and in conventional clinical trials.” For more, click here.

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

Survey of “Secondary Traumatic Stress in Peer Advocates” Seeks Respondents

“Fielding Graduate University is conducting research on secondary traumatic stress (STS) in peer advocates,” writes researcher Ellie Peskosky, M.S. “We hope to add to the literature to allow for better support for…peer advocates to reduce STS. If you are a peer advocate and are 18 years or older, you may participate in the online study. Participation is voluntary and there is an opportunity to enter into a raffle at the completion of the study for the chance to win one of five $100 gift cards.” Questions? Please contact epeskosky@email.fielding.edu or her supervisor, Dr. Kristine Jacquin, at kjacquin@fielding.edu. To participate or to learn more, click here.

Thanks, Judene Shelley

Free Webinar on “Recovery Dialogues: An Avenue for Culture Change in Psychiatric Hospitals”

On Oct. 25, 2018, at 2 p.m. ET, the National Empowerment Center (NEC) will host a free, 90-minute webinar covering “how mental health peer leaders are partnering with hospitals through Recovery Dialogues in an attempt to shift the culture and enhance recovery. The webinar will feature the National Empowerment Center's work with the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health over the past few years.” The NEC writes: “Participants will learn the basics of Recovery Dialogues and how they were implemented at the hospital, including challenges, successes, and tips for doing the same in your state. The webinar will be interactive and include audience participation, as we would like the webinar to serve as an example of an online Recovery Dialogue in action.” For more information and to register, click here.

Lancet Commission Outlines “Blueprint for Action to Promote Mental Wellbeing”

Ten years after the 2007 Lancet series on global mental health, which sought to transform the way policy makers thought about global health, a Lancet Commission “proposes that the global mental agenda should be expanded from a focus on reducing the treatment gap to improving the mental health of whole populations and reducing the global burden of mental disorders by addressing gaps in prevention and quality of care. The Commission outlines a blueprint for action to promote mental wellbeing, prevent mental health problems, and enable recovery from mental disorders.” For more information and the Lancet reports, click here. For “Report: World Support for Mental Health Care Is ‘Pitifully Small,’” published by NPR, click here. (Note: Please also see “Flooding the World with Psychiatric Drugs Could Boost the Burden of Mental Disorders,” above, or click here.)

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Do You Hear Voices? OurVoicesRaised Wants Your Story!

OurVoicesRaised.org, “a collective of people who have found support through the Hearing Voices Movement,” is conducting “a research project investigating Hearing Voices Groups in the United States. We’re interested in gaining a better understanding of how Hearing Voices groups work and what essential elements of hearing voices groups make them effective for people who hear voices, see visions or have other unusual or extreme experiences…This project is committed to sharing its findings with the community that has generated them (and beyond), and to create opportunities for the hearing voices community to expand its work in new ways.” Gail Hornstein, a psychology professor at Mount Holyoke and author of Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness, is principal investigator. For more information and/or to participate, click here.

Lancet Plans to Include People with Lived Experience in the Peer Review Process

Lancet Psychiatry, working with the McPin Foundation in London, is launching a peer review process involving people with lived experience of mental health services—starting with 10 such individuals who have received services in the UK but “with bigger ambitions to extend the scheme worldwide.” “If psychiatry is to remain relevant and achieve the ambitions for psychiatrists to ‘stand up for the rights, dignity, and inclusion of people with mental disorders,’ then psychiatrists must recognize that service user experiential and first-hand knowledge is legitimate,” according to a challenging response to last year’s WPA-Lancet Psychiatry Commission on the Future of Psychiatry. The program is starting small, recruiting 10 people who have used mental health services in the UK as “lay reviewers.” Applications will be accepted through Oct. 19, 2018. The Lancet will review the program a year after it is in operation. For more, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Two-thirds of People Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Do Not Improve on Antipsychotic Medications, Researchers Write

“A new analysis of antipsychotic treatment of schizophrenia (published in Schizophrenia Bulletin) has found that two-thirds of patients treated this way do not experience symptom remission,” Mad In America reports. The researchers “reported finding that ‘The overall percentage of no symptomatic remission was 66.9%’—meaning that only about a third of people with schizophrenia experienced full improvement on antipsychotic medications. 19.8% of the patients in the study did not experience any improvement at all after taking antipsychotic drugs…” For the Mad In America article, which includes a link to the Schizophrenia Bulletin abstract, click here. (The abstract notes: “Nonresponse and nonremission percentages were notably high. Nevertheless, the patients in our analysis could represent a negative selection since they came from short-term RCTs [randomized controlled trials] and could have been treated before study inclusion; thus, further response may not have been observed. Observational studies on this important question are needed.”)

MePlusMe Is an Online Intervention to Help Students in Higher Education Who Need Support

Psychological and study skill difficulties can challenge students in higher education (HE) as well as institutions of higher education and their support services, according to the International Journal of Mental Health Systems. “Alternative means of support, such as online interventions, have been identified as cost-effective and efficient ways to provide inclusive support to HE students, removing many of the barriers to help-seeking as well as promoting mental health and well-being.” One such intervention, MePlusMe, “is an online multimedia system that addresses the psychological and educational needs of higher education students…Responses from almost a thousand students across the UK showed that the system was well-received and confirmed that there is a need for this kind of support.” For this case study of MePlusMe, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Free Webinar on “Community Inclusion and the Critical Role of Peers” on October 30

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free, one-hour webinar. On October 30, the topic will be “Community Inclusion and the Critical Role of Peers.” Doors to Wellbeing writes: “Exciting new research suggests that increased community participation is related to improved physical, cognitive and mental health and wellbeing. This webinar will provide mental health peer specialists and their allies a foundational understanding of the relationship between community participation and recovery and wellbeing. It will also explore the key role that mental health peer specialists can play in supporting increased community participation.” The presenter will be Mark Salzer, Ph.D., director of the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion. For more information and to register, click here.

Forbes Suggests Ways that Employers Can “Ditch Disability Bias in the Workplace”

Forbes recently noted that, according to a study by Scope—a British nonprofit that calls itself the “disability equality charity”—“people living with disabilities report that they fear telling their bosses about a mental health issue because they will be seen as weak or incompetent.” And “[a] mere 12 percent of U.S. companies have reached the Department of Labor target of 7 percent disability representation.” Among the advice to employers is to “acknowledge that disability rights are civil rights. Find opportunities to celebrate, not ‘comply with,’ the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The article also suggests consulting the 2018 Disability Equality Index (available here). For the Forbes article, click here.

Hugs May Protect Against Conflict-related Distress, Researchers Say

“A new study reveals receiving a hug on a day when you experience interpersonal conflict can be a buffer against negative mood and distress,” according to NeuroscienceNews.com, writing about a Carnegie Mellon University study. According to the article, “The researchers interviewed 404 adult men and women every night for 14 consecutive days about their conflicts, hug receipt, and positive and negative moods. Receiving a hug on the day of conflict was concurrently associated with a smaller decrease in positive emotions and a smaller increase in negative emotions. The effects of hugs may have lingered too, as interviewees reported a continued attenuation of negative mood the next day.” For more, including a link to the study, published Oct. 3, 2018, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, click here.

“How a Bench and a Team of Grandmothers Can Tackle Depression”

In Zimbabwe—with more than 16 million people and only 12 psychiatrists—an innovative program, replicated in other countries, is helping people experiencing depression. More than 400 grandmothers have been trained in “evidence-based talk therapy, which they deliver for free in more than 70 communities in Zimbabwe,” the BBC reports. “In 2017 alone, the Friendship Bench, as the program is called, helped over 30,000 people there. The method has been empirically vetted and [has] been expanded to countries beyond, including the U.S.” According to prominent Zimbabwean psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, the program “can serve as a blueprint for any community, city or country interested in bringing affordable, accessible and highly effective mental health services to its residents”: “As Chibanda puts it: ‘Imagine if we could create a global network of grandmothers in every major city in the world.’” For the BBC article, click here. For more about the Friendship Bench, click here.

Hey, “Stigma Watch”! Let’s Needle The Argyle Sweater Cartoonist!

Scott Hilburn, who draws The Argyle Sweater—which appears to be heavily influenced by Gary Larson’s The Far Side—recently published a drawing (click here) with the caption “Did you get plain or nuts?” in which he depicts M&Ms as little “nuts” in straitjackets. If you feel so inclined, you can contact the distributor, Andrews McMeel Syndication (click here) to express your thoughts about the cartoon.

“5 Key Ways Crafting Heals Us”

Crafting can heal us, according to an article in Psych Central: “It doesn’t matter which craft we engage in. As long as we are doing something creative with our hands, we begin to heal our minds.” The article lists “five common ways that crafting heals us: Crafting distracts the mind, it feels good to be productive, crafting builds self-esteem, crafting offers community, [and] crafting stirs the imagination.” For the article, click here. And, in a related story, for “The Creative Art of Quilting: This art form is good for your health, helps you stay connected and provides purpose,” click here.

Thanks, Surviving Spirit Newsletter

“Can Green Space Reduce Risk of Schizophrenia?”

Mother Nature Network recently reported on a Danish study in which “researchers used satellite images of green spaces in Denmark captured between 1985 and 2013. These maps were compared with data from the country’s national registers for people born between 1985 and 2003 and whether or not those people developed schizophrenia. Their results…found that of the 943,027 people in the study, 7,509 of them were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Furthermore, those who lived in the areas with the least amount of green space faced a 1.52-fold increased risk of developing schizophrenia compared to those who lived in areas with the most green space.” The results were published in Schizophrenia Research (click here). For the Mother Nature Network story, click here.

The October 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated (and the Key Update continues after this Digest)

Here is the October wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system. (Note: Some of the titles and other language are not politically correct but are reproduced as written.) For “21 Best Books on Prison, Incarceration, and the Justice System,” click here. For “Prison psychiatry chief’s report accuses state of misleading court on mental health care,” click here. For “Starting a dialogue over incarcerating the mentally ill,” click here. For “Where Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Measures Are on the 2018 Ballot,” click here. For “To Fight Mass Incarceration We Need to Decriminalize Trauma: At Homeboy Industries, career, education, and mental-health services are creating a way out of poverty and violence,” click here. For “How to Leak Stories to the Marshall Project: Your guide to becoming a source,” click here. For “More Than 4,000 Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness Are Held in Solitary Confinement, Study Finds,” click here. For “The Incalculable Costs of Mass Incarceration: Prisons carry enormous, perhaps impossible to measure social costs—but when assessing the system fiscally, reformers should focus on staffing salaries instead of the number of incarcerated people,” click here. For “Carceral State Project: Project seeks to grant ‘U’ degrees inside prison,” click here. For “Cruel and Usual: The History of Lethal Injection,” click here. For “More Women Are Behind Bars Now. One Prison Wants to Change That: Connecticut’s WORTH program uses therapy, classes and mentoring to try to keep women from coming back,” click here. For “Frozen in Time: What Older People Face After Prison,” click here. For “Convicts Seeking to Clear Their Records Find More Prosecutors Willing to Help,” click here. For “Five Things You Didn’t Know About Clearing Your Record: A primer on the complicated road to expungement,” click here. For “How People on the Outside Can Support the Political Work of People on the Inside,” click here. For “Why Are So Many Pa. Prison Inmates Committing Suicide?” click here. For “Incarcerated Pennsylvanians now have to pay $150 to read. We should all be outraged.” click here. For “Washington state ends ‘racially biased’ death penalty,” click here. For “Rethinking Prison, From the Inside Out,” click here. For “Cash Bail Yields a New Casualty: A Texas jail suicide involving a woman who couldn’t make bail in a shoplifting case highlights the plight of pretrial detainees with mental illness,” click here.

FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF THE KEY UPDATE BUT STILL FRESH!

International Survey on Antipsychotic Medication Withdrawal Seeks Respondents

“Have you taken antipsychotic medication (such as Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, Risperdal, Haldol, Geodon, Stelazine, and others), for any condition or diagnosis, with or without other medications? And did you ever stop taking antipsychotics, or try to stop taking them? Are you 18 years or older? If yes, you can take this survey about antipsychotic withdrawal and attempts to withdraw, including if you stopped taking them completely or if you tried to come off and still take them. The survey aims to improve mental health services by better understanding medication withdrawal. Lead researcher is Will Hall, a therapist and Ph.D. student who has himself taken antipsychotics. Service users/survivors/consumers from around the world also gave input. The study is sponsored by Maastricht University in the Netherlands; co-sponsors include the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal. Questions? Please contact will.hall@maastrichtuniversity.nl.”  For more information or to take the survey, click on www.antipsychoticwithdrawalsurvey.com

“NSF Wants to Know What You Think It Should Fund”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is about to launch a contest called the NSF 2026 Idea Machine. According to a recent article in Science, “On August 31, NSF will begin accepting online entries for the contest. Anyone can submit an idea—from individual scientists to professional societies to a high school science class…The only real restriction is that the idea must be something NSF could support. So no proposals to cure cancer, or send astronauts to Mars.” The contest will close on October 26, 2018. The winners will be announced next summer. For more information and to enter, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Did You Write Poetry While You Were in Jail or Prison? If So…

Incarceration Nations Network is seeking submissions for an international collection of poetry by incarcerated writers around the world, to be published by Akashic Press. Selected poets will be compensated for their work. All poetry must have been written during incarceration. Submit work along with a short bio and the name and country of the prison in which you were incarcerated to psalmsfrommycell@mail.com. Deadline: October 30, 2018. (Editor’s note: Although there is nothing about this poetry collection on the Incarceration Nations Network website or the Akashic Press website, Professor Baz Dreisinger has confirmed that submissions for the collection are being sought. When she was asked why Akashic Books indicates that they are “not accepting print submissions at this time, as our small staff is overwhelmed with work on our current release schedule and forthcoming titles,” Professor Dreisinger said the poetry collection is one of their forthcoming titles.)

New Virtual Group Is Launched to Advance Peer Research Capacity, Leadership, and Involvement

Nev Jones, Ph.D., and Emily Cutler, a doctoral candidate, have launched a new listserv dedicated to building research capacity, leadership, and involvement among peers, survivors, and service users.  Dr. Jones, assistant professor, Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, University of South Florida, was part of the team that developed “User/Survivor Leadership & Capacity Building in Research: White Paper on Promoting Engagement Practices in Peer Evaluation/Research (PEPPER),” published by the Lived Experience Research Network. For the white paper, click here. Anyone interested in joining the virtual group can email Nev at nev.inbox@gmail.com.

National Dialogues on Behavioral Health to Be Held in New Orleans Oct. 28-31

The National Dialogues on Behavioral Health—“the oldest ongoing annual conference on mental health and substance abuse in the United States,” its organizers say—will take place in New Orleans October 28-31, 2018. Its theme: Reinventing the Behavioral Health Workforce: Implementing Innovative Solutions. “The purpose of the conference is to bring experts, administrators, providers, consumers, family members and advocates together to discuss the cutting edge in the topic of interest with a focus on implementation and ‘how to do it.’ A distinctive feature is the opportunity for extended dialogue and interaction among the participants.” For more information and/or to register, click here.

The ISPS-US 17th Annual Meeting Will Take Place in Philadelphia!

The U.S. Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS_US) is holding its 17th annual meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia November 9-11, 2018! The conference theme is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Wholeness in Extreme States.” For conference information, click here.

First International Trauma Summit to Be Hosted by the World Federation for Mental Health

The World Federation for Mental Health is hosting the First International Trauma Summit in Houston November 28-30, 2018. “Natural disasters and violence facing the world today are occurring at a pace which far surpasses the resources and people mobilized to deal with the health and mental health effects of the trauma,” the WFMH writes. “It is time that there be a global conversation to develop policies and best practices for governments and Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) to minimize the cost in health and productivity...We will start the conversation and come up with a Call to Action to begin the process of healing for our world. As global citizens, we will unite to begin developing guidelines and build awareness of the cost we are all paying by ignoring the role governments and other global entities can play in minimizing trauma and its effects.” For more information or to register, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

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

About The Key Update

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is now affiliated with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 15, No. 4, October 2018. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com (and please note that this is a new email address). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

Key Update, September 2018, Volume 15, Number 3

Key Update, September 2018

Volume 15, Number 3

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is now affiliated with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!

TO CONTACT THE CLEARINGHOUSE: SELFHELPCLEARINGHOUSE@GMAIL.COM   

TO CONTACT SUSAN ROGERS: SUSAN.ROGERS.ADVOCACY@GMAIL.COM             

TO CONTACT JOSEPH ROGERS: JROGERS08034@GMAIL.COM

Antidepressants May Cause Antibiotic Resistance, Researchers Say

“A key ingredient in common antidepressants such as Prozac”—fluoxetine—“could be causing antibiotic resistance, according to new University of Queensland [Australia] research,” Medical Xpress writes. The researchers had previously reported that “triclosan, a common ingredient in toothpaste and hand wash, can directly induce antibiotic resistance.” That discovery led to the fluoexetine study. While calling for further studies, the researchers said, “This discovery provides strong evidence that fluoxetine directly causes multi-antibiotic resistance via genetic mutation.” Medical Xpress noted that antimicrobial resistance is estimated to cause the deaths of approximately 700,000 people a year. “Unless global action is taken now,” the article continued, the numbers are predicted to rise to 10 million people by 2050. For more in Medical Xpress, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

SARTAC Offers Free Self-Advocacy Toolkit, with Webinars on September 21

SARTAC (Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center) has published a free self-advocacy toolkit “designed to make self-advocacy groups effective advocates for people with disabilities.” With the subtitle “More Power, More Control over Our Lives,” the illustrated 115-page resource is Self-Advocacy 101. SARTAC writes: “This is a toolkit where self-advocates can learn about how to start a self-advocacy group in their area or improve their current group. You will learn about the history of the self-advocacy movement, developing your value and purpose, setting goals, leadership skills, member roles, and choosing advisors.” To download the free toolkit, click here. On September 21, SARTAC will host a free hour-long webinar about the toolkit, twice: at 10 a.m. ET and again at 3 p.m. ET. To register for either of the free webinars, click here.

Inside Our Minds Wants Your Thoughts for Radical Mental Health Week (October 7-13)

“#HearOurVoices is a social media campaign that highlights perspectives and experiences that are not currently centered in community mental health conversations,” writes Inside Our Minds, whose mission is to “elevate the voices of people with lived experience of mental illness and madness.” In honor of Radical Mental Health Week (October 7-13, 2018), Inside Our Minds invites you to “tell us what’s missing from mental health awareness, from your perspective and personal experience.” For details and to submit your comments, click here.

Free Resources for Peer Worker Supervisors Are Posted on the iNAPS Website

The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) has posted an array of resources for supervisors of peer support staff. The sources of the 18 disparate resources include the Transformation Center, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the Café TA Center, the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), the Carter Center, the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, SAMHSA-HRSA and the Center for Integrated Health Solutions, and other organizations and individual experts. iNAPS will hold its 12th Annual Peer Support Conference—Reinforcing our Roots: Designing Our Future—December 3-5, 2018, in Orlando, Florida. For more about the iNAPS conference, click here. For the peer support supervision resources, click here.

Thanks, NYAPRS E-News

You Can Nominate Someone for the AAPD Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award

“Through the AAPD Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Awards, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) recognizes outstanding emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the broader cross-disability community. Two (2) individuals will each receive $2,500 in recognition of their outstanding contributions and $7,500 to further a new or existing project or initiative that increases the political and economic power of people with disabilities. The recipients of the 2019 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Awards will be honored among national disability leaders at the AAPD Leadership Awards Gala, held in Washington, DC, on March 12, 2019.” Deadline: October 1, 2019, at 5 p.m. ET. For the application, click here.

Free Webinar on “Mental Health Peer Specialists: Ethics and Boundaries” on September 25

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free, one-hour webinar. On September 25, the topic will be “Mental Health Peer Specialists: Ethics and Boundaries.” The learning objectives are to “identify the ethical duties of peer support specialists, describe ethics and boundaries for supporting individuals with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental health diagnoses, and discuss strategies to overcome unique challenges for peer support specialists when working with people with substance use disorders and mental health diagnoses.” For more information and to register, click here.

New Virtual Group Is Launched to Advance Peer Research Capacity, Leadership, and Involvement

Nev Jones, Ph.D., and Emily Cutler, a doctoral candidate, have launched a new listserv dedicated to building research capacity, leadership, and involvement among peers, survivors, and service users.  Dr. Jones, assistant professor, Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, University of South Florida, was part of the team that developed “User/Survivor Leadership & Capacity Building in Research: White Paper on Promoting Engagement Practices in Peer Evaluation/Research (PEPPER),” published by the Lived Experience Research Network. For the white paper, click here. Anyone interested in joining the virtual group can email Nev at nev.inbox@gmail.com.

Many Psychiatric Wards Have a Culture of Sexual Assault, New British Study Reports

The idea that people, predominantly girls and women, are too mad, too bad and too sad to be believed has been used to silence people since time immemorial,” according to Independent, in an article about a new report by the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. In three months in 2017, “1,129 sexual incidents were reported— 65 per week—including 29 alleged rapes and 457 incidents of sexual harassment and assault. Two-thirds of the time the person affected was a patient. Though the figures suggest that most of the incidents were carried out by male patients, few patient groups doubt that this is a gross underrepresentation of incidents carried out by staff members, which are specifically difficult to report given the power asymmetries and gaslighting that make speaking out especially difficult once one is seen as a psychiatric patient,” the article notes. “Perhaps the most startling figure in the CQC’s report is that 97 per cent of incidents were classified by organizations as ‘no harm’ or ‘low harm.’” For the article, which includes a link to the free report, click here.

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

Free Webinar on “Creating Psychologically Safe and Healthy Workplaces” on World Mental Health Day

On October 10, 2018, World Mental Health Day, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans in Canada will sponsor a free webcast, “Creating Psychologically Safe and Healthy Workplaces in the U.S. and Canada,” featuring  presenters from the American Psychological Association and Great-West Life, respectively. For more information and to register,  click here.

Thanks, Judene Shelley

WHO Publishes a Free 99-page Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Communities

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month (September), the World Health Organization (WHO) just published “Preventing suicide: A community engagement toolkit.” WHO describes the toolkit as a free, 99-page “step-by-step guide for communities to engage in suicide prevention activities, take ownership of the process and keep efforts sustained. The toolkit is not a manual for initiating specific interventions; rather, it describes an active and participatory bottom-up process by which communities identify, prioritize and implement activities that are important and appropriate to their local context and that can influence and shape policy and services.” For the free toolkit, click here. For a related story, “Designing for suicidal users: preventing suicide the modern way,” which notes that “Every month, over half a million people in the US make suicide-related searches on Google. The automated response that is supposed to stop them and save lives feels lifeless. This needs to change now,” click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Mad in the UK—One of a Growing Number of Mad In America Offshoots—Has Been Launched

A new subsidiary of Mad in America (MIA) has been launched, joining a growing number of such sites, including Mad in America Hispano-Hablante, Mad in Asia, Mad in Brasil and Mad in Finland. “Acting in concert with MIA, it will carry UK-specific content and provide a voice for UK professionals, service users/survivors, peer activists, carers, researchers, teachers, trainers, lawyers, journalists, volunteers and others who are working for change in the field of what is usually referred to as ‘mental health,’” its website says. Its mission statement includes the following: “We believe that the current diagnostically-based paradigm of care has comprehensively failed, and that the future lies in non-medical alternatives which explicitly acknowledge the causal role of social and relational conflicts, abuses, adversities and injustices…” For more, go to the MITUK website at www.madintheuk.com.

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

“Researchers with Disabilities in the Academic System” Seeks Solutions to Low Representation

“With 1.5 billion people with disabilities worldwide, the percentage of academic positions filled by academics with disabilities is surprisingly low,” according to a recent article published by the American Association of Geographers. “The low number/percentage of Academics with disabilities in top class universities and other research institutions is alarming, and we have to ask why this is the case and what are possible solutions to change this situation for the better.” For the article, click here.

Thanks, Nev Jones

“Disclosure of Mental Disability by College and University Faculty: The Negotiation of Accommodations, Supports, and Barriers”

In a story related to the item above, “Disclosure of Mental Disability by College and University Faculty” reports on “a first-of-its-kind cross-institutional survey of faculty with mental disabilities…Respondents self-identified as faculty with mental disabilities, mental illness or mental-health histories. Results from 267 respondents indicated that nearly 70% had no or limited familiarity with accommodations, and even fewer used them (87%)...” For the article, in Disability Studies Quarterly, click here

Thanks, Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion

“Half of Europe’s Clinical Trials Fail to Report Results Despite EU Rule,” According to Reuters

“Almost half of all European-registered clinical trials—in which scientists test drug treatments, interventions or therapies in humans—have breached EU rules by failing to report results,” Reuters recently reported. “[I]n work published in the BMJ British medical journal, researchers at Britain’s Oxford University found that around 90 percent of trials funded by non-commercial sponsors—such as universities, hospitals, governments and charities—and about 32 percent of trials sponsored by drug companies have not published results onto the register.” For the Reuters article, click here.

“Healing from Psychiatry: The Artist’s Perspective”

“Healing from Psychiatry: The Artist's Perspective is a compilation hardcover art book featuring the art and personal stories of 60 people from around the world,” artist and author Alison Page writes. “Each contributor was harmed by the institution of psychiatry in some way, whether by psychiatric medications, shock therapy, forced inpatient stays, or harmful and restrictive diagnostic labels. The emphasis of the book is on survivors of benzodiazepines…This book touches upon the struggle of recovering from psychiatry, but it also highlights the strength, creativity, and perseverance the journey can evoke. It highlights many encouraging stories of people who have walked through the trenches and reached full recovery.” For Alison Page’s website, which includes more information about her project, click here.

Did You Write Poetry While You Were in Jail or Prison? If So…

Incarceration Nations Network is seeking submissions for an international collection of poetry by incarcerated writers around the world, to be published by Akashic Press. Selected poets will be compensated for their work. All poetry must have been written during incarceration. Submit work along with a short bio and the name and country of the prison in which you were incarcerated to psalmsfrommycell@mail.com. Deadline: October 30, 2018. (Editor’s note: Although there is nothing about this poetry collection on the Incarceration Nations Network website or the Akashic Press website, Professor Baz Dreisinger has confirmed that submissions for the collection are being sought. When she was asked why Akashic Books indicates that they are not accepting print submissions at this time, as our small staff is overwhelmed with work on our current release schedule and forthcoming titles,” Professor Dreisinger said the poetry collection is one of their forthcoming titles.)

“Gone, But No Longer Forgotten: The California Memorial Project”
“More than 45,000 people, including individuals with psychiatric or developmental disabilities, died while living at a California state hospital and developmental center between the 1880s and 1960s. Many were buried anonymously in unmarked or mass graves and did not receive recognition or acknowledgment in life or in death.” For a seven-minute video about the project, click here.

The September 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated (and the Key Update continues after this Digest)

Here is the September wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system. (Note: Some of the titles and other language are not politically correct but are reproduced as written.) The top story is “Horrific deaths, brutal treatment: Mental illness in America’s jails”: “The Virginian-Pilot tracked the cases of 404 people with mental illness who have died in America’s jails since 2010. The total number is likely much larger, but it's untraceable—what little information the federal government keeps on jail deaths does not accurately track the mental health of inmates.” So begins this recent article, which continues: “These deaths are symptomatic of a bigger problem—how the country's criminal justice system treats some of its most vulnerable citizens, those with a mental illness.” For the Virginian-Pilot article, click here. A related story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is headlined “Conditions for mentally ill women at Fulton jail called ‘barbaric.’” (For the article, click here.) For “Why We Can’t Ignore the Link Between Disability and Mass Incarceration,” click here. For “Kids with Cognitive Problems Can Be Locked Up for Years Without a Trial,” click here. For “Solitary Used More Often for Inmates with Mental Illness: Study,” click here. For “Want to write fiction in US prisons? It might be censored on ‘security grounds,’” click here. For “The Growing Movement to Grant All Prisoners the Right to Vote,” click here. For “Getting to Zero: A 50-State Study of Strategies to Remove Youth from Adult Jails,” click here. For “Report: Wrongful Convictions Have Stolen at Least 20,000 Years from Innocent Defendants,” click here.

FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF THE KEY UPDATE BUT STILL FRESH!

You Are Invited to Participate in a Survey of People with Lived Experience

Researchers at the University of South Florida invite you to take part in a research study called “Polyphony in Activism: Capturing the Voices of Advocates and Activists with Lived Experience of Mental Difference and/or Mental Health Treatment.” The researchers write: “We are conducting a study that aims to capture the experiences and perspectives of advocates and activists with lived experience of ‘mental difference,’ i.e., characteristics, traits, states, and phenomena that have been categorized as symptoms of mental disorders or developmental disorders, and/or lived experience of behavioral or mental health treatment. The purpose of the study is to better understand how experiences of mental difference and behavioral or mental health treatment impact activist involvement and agendas.” The survey will be open through October 31, 2018. For more information and/or to participate, click here.

International Survey on Antipsychotic Medication Withdrawal Seeks Respondents

“Have you taken antipsychotic medication (such as Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, Risperdal, Haldol, Geodon, Stelazine, and others), for any condition or diagnosis, with or without other medications? And did you ever stop taking antipsychotics, or try to stop taking them? Are you 18 years or older? If yes, you can take this survey about antipsychotic withdrawal and attempts to withdraw, including if you stopped taking them completely or if you tried to come off and still take them. The survey aims to improve mental health services by better understanding medication withdrawal. Lead researcher is Will Hall, a therapist and Ph.D. student who has himself taken antipsychotics. Service users/survivors/consumers from around the world also gave input. The study is sponsored by Maastricht University in the Netherlands; co-sponsors include the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal. Questions? Please contact will.hall@maastrichtuniversity.nl.”  For more information or to take the survey, click on www.antipsychoticwithdrawalsurvey.com

NARPA Annual Rights Conference to Be Held in Baltimore September 26-29!

The 2018 National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) has an exciting lineup of speakers for its Annual Rights Conference, to be held September 26-29, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. Keynoters at the conference—whose theme is Rights Still Under Siege!— include Robert Dinerstein, JD, a law professor at the American University Washington College of Law, who will give updates on recent cases affecting disability rights/mental health law; Peter Stastny, MD, “a critical psychiatrist, academic, researcher and filmmaker, peer innovator, and longtime ally of the Mad Movement”; Susan Stefan, JD, “legal scholar and professor, author, and internationally recognized disability law expert,” and more! For more information, click here. Questions? Write narpa@aol.com or call 256.650.6311. Continuing Legal Education certificates and Social Work CEUs will be available.

“NSF Wants to Know What You Think It Should Fund”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is about to launch a contest called the NSF 2026 Idea Machine. According to a recent article in Science, “On August 31, NSF will begin accepting online entries for the contest. Anyone can submit an idea—from individual scientists to professional societies to a high school science class…The only real restriction is that the idea must be something NSF could support. So no proposals to cure cancer, or send astronauts to Mars.” The contest will close on October 26, 2018. The winners will be announced next summer. For more information and to enter, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

National Dialogues on Behavioral Health to Be Held in New Orleans Oct. 28-31

The National Dialogues on Behavioral Health—“the oldest ongoing annual conference on mental health and substance abuse in the United States,” its organizers say—will take place in New Orleans October 28-31, 2018. Its theme: Reinventing the Behavioral Health Workforce: Implementing Innovative Solutions. “The purpose of the conference is to bring experts, administrators, providers, consumers, family members and advocates together to discuss the cutting edge in the topic of interest with a focus on implementation and ‘how to do it.’ A distinctive feature is the opportunity for extended dialogue and interaction among the participants.” For more information and/or to register, click here.

The ISPS-US 17th Annual Meeting Will Take Place in Philadelphia!

The U.S. Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS_US) is holding its 17th annual meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia November 9-11, 2018! The conference theme is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Wholeness in Extreme States.” For conference information, click here.

First International Trauma Summit to Be Hosted by the World Federation for Mental Health

The World Federation for Mental Health is hosting the First International Trauma Summit in Houston November 28-30, 2018. “Natural disasters and violence facing the world today are occurring at a pace which far surpasses the resources and people mobilized to deal with the health and mental health effects of the trauma,” the WFMH writes. “It is time that there be a global conversation to develop policies and best practices for governments and Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) to minimize the cost in health and productivity...We will start the conversation and come up with a Call to Action to begin the process of healing for our world. As global citizens, we will unite to begin developing guidelines and build awareness of the cost we are all paying by ignoring the role governments and other global entities can play in minimizing trauma and its effects.” For more information or to register, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

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

About The Key Update

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is now affiliated with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 15, No. 3, September 2018. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com (and please note that this is a new email address). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

The Key Update, August 2018, Volume 15, Number 2

Key Update, August 2018

Volume 15, Number 2

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is now affiliated with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!

To contact the Clearinghouse: selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com

To contact Susan Rogers: susan.rogers.advocacy@gmail.com

To contact Joseph Rogers: jrogers08034@gmail.com

 

Research Confirms Peer Support’s Effectiveness in Promoting Recovery and Helping People Stay Out of the Hospital

“Training and hiring persons in recovery to provide peer support represents a win-win situation for resource-strapped systems,” according to a recent article in Psychiatric Times, whose authors include a number of distinguished researchers, including some who have lived experience. “Patients receive support from trained peers who instill hope, model self-care, and help navigate the health care system. Peer support providers are gainfully employed in a role that supports their own recovery by allowing them to do personally motivated work. Systems gain a trained, effective workforce that pushes providers beyond the basic outcomes of decreased homelessness, incarceration, and hospitalization to include other outcomes that also matter to patients and their loved ones, i.e., those associated with reclaiming a meaningful life.” To read the article, click here. In a related story, “New data, published in The Lancet, highlights the importance of peer support in reducing the risk of readmission to an acute crisis unit.” For “Peer Support Reduces Chances of Psychiatric Readmission,” which includes a link to the full text of the Lancet article at the end, click here. For a related New York Times story, “Sometimes Patients Simply Need Other Patients,” click here.

“The Effectiveness of a Peer-Staffed Crisis Respite Program as an Alternative to Hospitalization”

In a story related to those above, Psychiatric Services reported on a study that “assessed whether peer-staffed crisis respite centers implemented in New York City in 2013 as an alternative to hospitalization reduced emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and Medicaid expenditures for individuals enrolled in Medicaid.” Conclusions: “Peer-staffed crisis respite services resulted in lowered rates of Medicaid-funded hospitalizations and health expenditures for participants compared with a comparison group. The findings suggest that peer-staffed crisis respites can achieve system-level impacts.” For the abstract, click here.

Free Webinar on “Mental Health Peer Specialists and People Who Are Justice Involved” on August 28

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free, one-hour webinar. On August 28, “Mental Health Peer Specialists and People Who Are Justice Involved” will provide information about how peer-facilitated groups and peer support can reduce recidivism, how peer specialists can connect with people reentering the community after incarceration, and identify preconceived ideas and judgments of people who are justice-involved that can affect how peer specialists provide peer support. For more information and to register, click here.

Free SAMHSA Webinar on the Future of Mental Health Mobile Apps and Videoconferencing-based Telemental Health: August 29

On August 29 at 1:30 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will sponsor a 90-minute webinar on “An Evaluation Framework and the Future of Mental Health Mobile Apps and Videoconferencing-based Telemental Health.” Part 1 will drill deep into the current landscape and future of such apps, including (but not limited to) evidence for and against using them. Part 2 will provide an overview of current best practices in telepsychiatry and a summary of current telepsychiatry policy changes and implications, as well as administrative, technical, and legal considerations around telepsychiatry. To register, click here.

AAPD Offers 2017 Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship: Application Deadline Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. ET

“The Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship, managed by Rooted in Rights and AAPD, provides the opportunity for an individual with a disability to learn and apply skills in digital media storytelling, and to connect with media professionals to prepare participants for advanced careers in media production, journalism, online advocacy, or digital design. The project combines hands-on training on cutting edge technologies with a strong foundation in developing the individual’s voice and using story-driven videos in advocacy.” Applications are due by September 4, 2018, at 5 p.m. ET. For details, including eligibility requirements, click here.

Thanks, Nev Jones

You Are Invited to Participate in a Survey of People with Lived Experience

Researchers at the University of South Florida invite you to take part in a research study called “Polyphony in Activism: Capturing the Voices of Advocates and Activists with Lived Experience of Mental Difference and/or Mental Health Treatment.” The researchers write: “We are conducting a study that aims to capture the experiences and perspectives of advocates and activists with lived experience of ‘mental difference,’ i.e., characteristics, traits, states, and phenomena that have been categorized as symptoms of mental disorders or developmental disorders, and/or lived experience of behavioral or mental health treatment. The purpose of the study is to better understand how experiences of mental difference and behavioral or mental health treatment impact activist involvement and agendas.” The survey will be open at least through September 2018. For more information and/or to participate, click here.

“Mental Health Declining Among Disadvantaged American Adults,” Study Shows

“American adults of low socioeconomic status report increasing mental distress and worsening well-being, according to a new study by Princeton University and Georgetown University.” The study is “among the first to investigate if the psychological health of Americans has worsened over time, as suggested by the ‘deaths of despair’ narrative, linking rising mortality in midlife to drugs, alcohol and suicide. The results show that distress is not just a midlife phenomenon but a scenario plaguing disadvantaged Americans across the life course. The findings should be taken into account in terms of policy and advocacy efforts, the researchers said.” For the article excerpted above, click here.

Thanks, Café TA Center.

Free Webinar on “Enhancing Skills for Peer Support Providers” on September 18

On September 18 at 1 p.m. ET, Pathways RTC will host a one-hour webinar on “Enhancing Skills for Peer Support Providers: Research on the AMP+ Skills Enhancement Training.” Pathways writes: “Research on peer support in mental health consistently cites a lack of clarity around the role and its skills as a barrier to high-quality implementation. This webinar reports on a study testing the AMP+ skills-enhancement intervention for peer support providers working with youth and young adults. AMP+ provides web-based training and video coaching that is specific to the peer role. Peers reported high satisfaction, improved their skills, and reported reduced work-related anxiety.” For more information and to register, click here.

“A Simple Emergency Room Intervention Can Help Cut Suicide Risk”

A recent study “shows that a simple intervention conducted by staff in emergency departments” with someone who has attempted suicide “can reduce the risk of future [suicide] attempts. The intervention involves creating a safety plan for each patient and following up with phone calls after discharge. ‘It reduced the odds of suicidal behavior by half,’ says Barbara Stanley, a psychologist at Columbia University and the lead author of the study. ‘That's a phenomenal difference.’” The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, “included 1,200 patients at five Veterans Affairs hospitals around the country. The findings offer a way for hospitals and clinics to help reduce the rising numbers of death by suicide across the country.” For the article, click here. For the JAMA article abstract, click here. And for “Sharp Increase in Gun Suicides Signals Growing Public Health Crisis,” click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth Stone and Kevin Fitts

TU Collaborative Publishes Manual on Helping People with Mental Health Conditions Prepare for Disasters

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion and the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse have issued a training manual for certified peer specialists to help them assist the people they work with in preparing for natural or manmade disasters. “Disasters—earthquakes or floods, shootings or riots, or other such natural or man-made events—often have terrible practical and emotional impacts, which can be minimized if people are better prepared: if they have thought ahead about what they can do, what they will need, and how they can respond if they are unlucky enough to face a disaster,” the manual begins. “This document is designed to increase the degree to which individuals with mental health conditions have planned to meet their needs if a disaster should strike. It also suggests that peer specialists can play an important role in helping the people they serve be better prepared.” To download the free manual, click here.

“ ‘Diagnostic Dissent’: Experiences of Individuals who Disagreed With Their Diagnosis”

From MadInAmerica.com: “Faith Forgione, a student at Fordham University, NY, recently published part of a larger study that examined the lived experiences of individuals who have received a psychiatric diagnosis that they felt to be inaccurate and invalidating. This project…gives voice to an underreported phenomenon and asks: ‘How do individuals diagnosed with psychotic disorders experience perceived misdiagnosis?’” For more information, click here.

iNAPS to Host Webinar on “Peer Support and Community Inclusion: My Story”

On September 14, 2018, at 12 p.m. ET, the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) will host a presentation by Dr. Mark Salzer, director of the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion and professor of rehabilitation sciences at Temple University. iNAPS writes: “Dr. Mark Salzer will tell his story about how he became interested in peer support and community inclusion more than 30 years ago, and the resistance he, and others, faced in those early years. He will then provide some historical background on research and policies in both areas, including the independent living movement and disability rights orientation. He will then explain why peer support and community inclusion are essential directions for enhancing mental health systems and services. He will end by briefly describing what he will be talking about at the 2018 iNAPS conference in Orlando.” For more information and to register, click here.

“NSF Wants to Know What You Think It Should Fund”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is about to launch a contest called the NSF 2026 Idea Machine. According to a recent article in Science, “On August 31, NSF will begin accepting online entries for the contest. Anyone can submit an idea—from individual scientists to professional societies to a high school science class…The only real restriction is that the idea must be something NSF could support. So no proposals to cure cancer, or send astronauts to Mars.” The winners will be announced next summer. For more information and to enter, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth Stone

“12 Mental Health Documentaries That Should Be Mandatory Viewing,” Says Women.Com

“From bipolar disorder to anorexia, the following documentaries about mental health open up a necessary dialogue for those who need it most and for most Americans to learn more about struggles family members, co-workers, or partners may face,” according to the women.com website. Among the dozen films are “Running from Crazy,” in which Mariel Hemingway explores her family’s legacy of suicide and seeks out information on suicide prevention, and “The Bridge,” featuring interviews with suicide loss survivors; films featuring singer Demi Lovato and actor Stephen Fry, respectively; explorations of eating disorders, autism, Tourette syndrome, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia; as well as “Happy,” in which “the filmmakers travel the world to find what makes us happy.” Note: The Clearinghouse has not viewed these documentaries; they are offered without its recommendation. For the article, click here.

“Study Identifies Factors Linked to Adverse Events, Errors During Psychiatric Hospitalization”

Older adults and those with a longer length of stay are more likely to experience an adverse event or medical error during psychiatric hospitalization, according to a report in Psychiatric Services. Researchers at the University of Amsterdam and in the U.S. “analyzed a random sample of 4,371 charts from 14 inpatient psychiatric units at acute care general hospitals in urban and rural Pennsylvania. Factors associated with a higher risk of adverse events or medical errors were being 54 years old or older, admitted during the weekend, admitted to a rural hospital, and treated at very-high-volume hospitals (more than 1,280 admissions a year). People over 54, who accounted for 23.9 percent of all adverse events, were more than twice as likely to experience an adverse event compared with people aged 18 to 30 (11.5 percent). For more information, click here.

Need Some Free Technical Assistance? Better Call BRSS TACS!

“BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) offers free training, technical assistance, and learning opportunities on recovery supports and services. Training and technical assistance provided by BRSS TACS aims to transform behavioral health systems. The goal is to provide a diverse array of nonclinical supports, support person-directed treatment, increase access to recovery supports, and expand the peer workforce. Recovery-oriented systems are developed with an understanding that long-term recovery happens in the community. Training and technical assistance is provided in a variety of formats, including consultations, virtual and in-person events and meetings, and online resources.” For the online technical assistance request form, click here.

Thanks, Lauren Spiro

“Take a Walk in the Woods. Doctor’s Orders.”

“ ‘Forest bathing,’ or immersing yourself in nature, is being embraced by doctors and others as a way to combat stress and improve health.” So says a recent article in The New York Times, which notes that some small studies suggest that spending time in nature, specifically in lush forests, might have beneficial physical effects while improving one’s mood. "An analysis of studies from 2010 that focused on exercising in nature found improvements in self-esteem, particularly among younger participants. Overall effects on mood were heightened when there was a stream or other body of water nearby.” However, the article continued, “other studies have shown mixed results.” For the Times story, click here.

“12 Books about Mental Health Everybody Should Read,” The Reading Agency Suggests

The Reading Agency, a U.K.-based nonprofit that promotes reading, recommends a dozen books on mental health issues, Cosmopolitan reports. The books—fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and self-help—include memoirs and advice on coping with depression, anxiety, and addiction, respectively; help for those seeking to practice mindfulness; Sylvia Plath’s classic novel, “The Bell Jar,” Allie Brosh’s hilarious graphic novel, “Hyperbole and a Half,” and others. For more information, click here.

The August 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated (AND THE KEY UPDATE CONTINUES AFTER THIS DIGEST) 

Here is the August wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system. (Note: Some of the titles do not use politically correct language but are reproduced as written.) For “Behind Bars, Mentally Ill Inmates Are Often Punished for Their Symptoms,” click here. For “Everything You Need to Know About the Prison Strike, One of the Largest in U.S. History,” click here. For “Exclusive First Listen: 70 Million, a New Podcast about Justice Reform: Hear the trailer for this 10-part open-source series that looks at how residents are taking action locally,” click here. For “Why We Need More Journalism Courses Taught in Prison,” click here. For “Colorado Faces Growing Legal Jeopardy Over Dealing with Mentally Ill Inmates,” click here. For “The risk of replicating Rikers: Inmates with mental illness need help, not jail,” click here. For “License to Clip: A movement to let the formerly incarcerated cut hair and drive taxis is gaining ground,” click here. “Nowhere to Go: Homelessness among formerly incarcerated people,” click here. For “50-State Report on Public Safety: Tools and strategies to help states reduce crime, recidivism, and costs,” click here. For “More than 40 DC-Area Inmates Died from Suicide in Custody Since 2014,” click here. For “Police Peer Support Teams: Q&A,” click here. For “Why Silicon Valley is teaming up with San Quentin to train young people to code,” click here. For “When mental illness leads to an arrest, this court steps in,” click here. For “Inmate suicide note from Harris County jail points to systemic gaps in mental health care,” click here. “Houston’s biggest jail wants to shed its reputation as a mental health treatment center,” click here. For “Jails, prisons slowly loosen resistance to addiction meds,” click here. For “Inmates Are Getting Registered To Vote In One Of The Country’s Biggest Jails: A group in Chicago is working to extend the franchise to people detained in jail, many of whom have no idea they can vote,” click here. For “How I Befriended a Prisoner on Suicide Watch,” click here. For “Who Profits from Our Prison System?” click here. For “How Prisons Are Poisoning Their Inmates: Hundreds of U.S. prisons and ICE detention centers are built on toxic sites, and people inside are getting sick,” click here. For “Police encounter many people with mental-health crises. Could psychiatrists help?” click here. For “The Benefit of Having the Same Name as a Police Officer,” click here. For “In New York, a Harm-Reduction Organization Is Leveraging Participatory Defense to Empower Its Clients: Grassroots group VOCAL-NY is teaching people with substance use disorder how to avoid getting ensnared in the criminal justice system,” click here. For “FREE (Freedom House Reentry Education and Employment Corporation): Reentry That Works,” click on www.freereentry.org/. For “The Ballot as a Bulwark: The Impact of Felony Disenfranchisement on Recidivism,” click here. For “As we reduce the prison population, we must find ways to bring former prisoners back into our communities,” click here. For “Amid reports of sexual extortion, other horrors, feds subpoena records, tour women’s prison,” click here. For “‘Profound dehydration’: Milwaukee County sheriff’s officers charged in death of inmate denied water for a week,” click here. For “Lawmakers wrestle with prison increases, question policies,” click here. For “LAPD chief proposes a ‘radical solution’: Eliminate old bench warrants for homeless people,” click here. For “Teaching police to holster their emotions,” click here. For “A View of Tomorrow: With virtual reality, juvenile lifers practice for a world they may experience,” click here. For “‘As Long as Solitary Exists, They Will Find a Way to Use It,’” click here. For “NYC Will Stop Gouging Incarcerated New Yorkers for Calling Home,” click here. For “At Georgia’s Arrendale State Prison, women inmates forge a bond by keeping bees,” click here. For “Amazon Rekognition Falsely Matched 28 Members Of Congress With Arrest Mugshots: The false matches were disproportionately people of color, said the ACLU,” click here. For “Senators Take Aim at Bail Industry Backers: Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown, both Democrats, want answers from the insurance industry,” click here. For “Is There a Right Not to Snitch? An inmate tests a new patch of constitutional ground,” click here. For “Caught,” Reviewed: A Podcast That Captures the Voices of Incarcerated Kids,” click here. For “Cyrano Behind Bars: A prison theater program in New York offers hope for inmate rehabilitation,” click here.

FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF THE KEY UPDATE BUT STILL FRESH!

International Survey on Antipsychotic Medication Withdrawal Seeks Respondents

“Have you taken antipsychotic medication (such as Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, Risperdal, Haldol, Geodon, Stelazine, and others), for any condition or diagnosis, with or without other medications? And did you ever stop taking antipsychotics, or try to stop taking them? Are you 18 years or older? If yes, you can take this survey about antipsychotic withdrawal and attempts to withdraw, including if you stopped taking them completely or if you tried to come off and still take them. The survey aims to improve mental health services by better understanding medication withdrawal. Lead researcher is Will Hall, a therapist and Ph.D. student who has himself taken antipsychotics. Service users/survivors/consumers from around the world also gave input. The study is sponsored by Maastricht University in the Netherlands; co-sponsors include the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal. Questions? Please contact will.hall@maastrichtuniversity.nl.”  For more information or to take the survey, click on www.antipsychoticwithdrawalsurvey.com

NARPA Annual Rights Conference to Be Held in Baltimore September 26-29!

The 2018 National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) has an exciting lineup of speakers for its Annual Rights Conference, to be held September 26-29, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. Keynoters at the conference—whose theme is Rights Still Under Siege!— include Robert Dinerstein, JD, a law professor at the American University Washington College of Law, who will give updates on recent cases affecting disability rights/mental health law; Peter Stastny, MD, “a critical psychiatrist, academic, researcher and filmmaker, peer innovator, and longtime ally of the Mad Movement”; Susan Stefan, JD, “legal scholar and professor, author, and internationally recognized disability law expert,” and more! For more information, click here. Questions? Write narpa@aol.com or call 256.650.6311. Continuing Legal Education certificates and Social Work CEUs will be available.

National Dialogues on Behavioral Health to Be Held in New Orleans Oct. 28-31

The National Dialogues on Behavioral Health—“the oldest ongoing annual conference on mental health and substance abuse in the United States,” its organizers say—will take place in New Orleans October 28-31, 2018. Its theme: Reinventing the Behavioral Health Workforce: Implementing Innovative Solutions. “The purpose of the conference is to bring experts, administrators, providers, consumers, family members and advocates together to discuss the cutting edge in the topic of interest with a focus on implementation and ‘how to do it.’ A distinctive feature is the opportunity for extended dialogue and interaction among the participants.” For more information and/or to register, click here.

The ISPS-US 17th Annual Meeting Will Take Place in Philadelphia!

The U.S. Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS_US) is holding its 17th annual meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia November 9-11, 2018! The conference theme is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Wholeness in Extreme States.” For conference information, click here.

First International Trauma Summit to Be Hosted by the World Federation for Mental Health

The World Federation for Mental Health is hosting the First International Trauma Summit in Houston November 28-30, 2018. “Natural disasters and violence facing the world today are occurring at a pace which far surpasses the resources and people mobilized to deal with the health and mental health effects of the trauma,” the WFMH writes. “It is time that there be a global conversation to develop policies and best practices for governments and Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) to minimize the cost in health and productivity...We will start the conversation and come up with a Call to Action to begin the process of healing for our world. As global citizens, we will unite to begin developing guidelines and build awareness of the cost we are all paying by ignoring the role governments and other global entities can play in minimizing trauma and its effects.” For more information or to register, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

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

 

About The Key Update

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is now affiliated with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 15, No. 2, August 2018. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com (and please note that this is a new email address). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

Key Update, July 2018, Volume 15, Number 1

Key Update, July 2018

Volume 15, Number 1

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is now affiliated with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!                                                                           

To contact the Clearinghouse: selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com                                                 

To contact Susan Rogers: susan.rogers.advocacy@gmail.com                                                     

To contact Joseph Rogers: jrogers08034@gmail.com

 

There’s Still Time to Register for Alternatives 2018!

Don’t miss the exciting keynote speakers (click here) at Alternatives 2018, July 29-August 3 at The Catholic University in Washington, DC! This year’s conference will be the first to organize a Hill Day—on July 31, with advocacy training on July 30! In addition, there will be more than 70 exciting workshops; for the complete list, click here! To nominate peer leaders who have contributed to the movement for social justice (deadline July 10), click here. Don’t miss the chance to attend! For registration information and other important details, click here. Questions? Write info@ncmhr.org. Follow @AltCon_2018 on Twitter; the hashtag is #Alternatives2018. For the Alternatives 2018 Facebook page, click here.

Psychiatric Times Publishes Call to Action to Deal with Social Determinants of Mental Health

On June 29, 2018, three psychiatrists issued a call to action. “There is a long history of professionals telling people in poverty what they need, without carefully listening to the creative ideas and strengths present in poor communities,” they wrote in “Addressing Poverty and Mental Illness,” published in Psychiatric Times. “…[T]he voices of those directly impacted need to be at the front and center. For psychiatrists, this can mean listening closely in clinical encounters, asking for community input and partnership for any new local programs, and ensuring that all advocacy efforts involve the leadership of people with lived experience, with clinicians as allies,” the three noted, and concluded: “To break the complex links between economic inequality, poverty, and poor mental health, providers need to take a multi-level, prevention-oriented approach that addresses upstream causes…” For the article, click here.

Common Drugs May Contribute to Depression, Researchers Say; Other Medications May Increase Risk of Dementia

“Over one-third of Americans take at least one prescription drug that lists depression as a potential side effect, a new study reports, and users of such drugs have higher rates of depression than those who don’t take such drugs.” A New York Times article about the study continues: “About 200 prescription drugs can cause depression, and the list includes common medications like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used to treat acid reflux, beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, birth control pills and emergency contraceptives, anticonvulsants like gabapentin, corticosteroids like prednisone and even prescription-strength ibuprofen. Some of these drugs are also sold over-the-counter in pharmacies.” For the New York Times article, click here. And, in 2015 (covered in the Key Update then), researchers reported that common anticholinergic drugs—such as Benadryl, tricyclic antidepressants, and other medications—were linked to an increased risk of dementia. For that article, click here.

SAMHSA Sponsors Three July Webinars in Its Program To Achieve Wellness (PAW)

SAMHSA will host three free webinars in July. The first, “Learning to Use Social Media to Create and Measure Behavior Change in Public Media Campaigns,” will take place on July 11 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. (Register here.) It will be followed by “Making the Shift: From Patient Activation to Community Activation,” on July 12 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. (Register here.) And, on July 24, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET, “Fostering Community Wellness: Addressing Toxic Stress and Adverse Community Events” will round out the trio. (Register here.)

“How Would We Know if We Really Reformed the Mental Health System?” & Multnomah County, OR, Evaluates Its Mental Health System

A 25-question scorecard to evaluate a community’s mental health system was created by Robert Nikkel, MSW, Oregon’s commissioner for mental health and addictions from 2003 to 2008. It begins: “Here are 25 indicators that, if fully implemented, would represent a comprehensive system reform.” The scale is “(0) Haven’t even thought of it; (1) It is in planning documents and scheduled for implementation; (2) It has started in operation; (3) It has been implemented so that 50% or more are gaining access to or benefitting from it; (4) It is fully implemented...” The first indicator is “1. No one is ever told they have a ‘chronic mental illness.’ Everyone is told they can expect to recover, i.e., get a life back that will be reasonably happy and productive.” For the scorecard, click here. Meanwhile, Multnomah County, Oregon, recently released a report on its mental health services. For the free 132-page report (courtesy of Kevin Fitts), click here.

TU Collaborative Publishes Free Social Media Toolkits

The Temple University on Community Inclusion has published two free social media toolkits. Building an Online Presence “examines how agencies can use websites, newsletters, and various social media platforms to: (1) connect individuals to mainstream community resources; (2) highlight instances of community participation; and (3) stay active in producing community inclusion related content on their online media.” Using Social Media to Enhance Community Participation “examines ways in which individuals with mental [health conditions] can use social media networks to enhance community participation. Social media features and functions are examined, as well as specific networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, MeetUp, and Yelp. Also reviewed are considerations and risks when using social media.” For the free toolkits, click here.

NARPA Annual Rights Conference to Be Held in Baltimore September 26-29!

The 2018 National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) has an exciting lineup of speakers for its Annual Rights Conference, to be held September 26-29, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. Keynoters at the conference—whose theme is Rights Still Under Siege!— include Robert Dinerstein, JD, a law professor at the American University Washington College of Law, who will give updates on recent cases affecting disability rights/mental health law; Peter Stastny, MD, “a critical psychiatrist, academic, researcher and filmmaker, peer innovator, and longtime ally of the Mad Movement”; Susan Stefan, JD, “legal scholar and professor, author, and internationally recognized disability law expert,” and more! For more information, click here. Questions? Write narpa@aol.com or call 256.650.6311. Continuing Legal Education certificates and Social Work CEUs will be available.

“Including People with Disabilities in Your Political Campaign: A Guide for Campaign Staff”

The National Council on Independent Living has created a guide—Including People with Disabilities in Your Political Campaign: A Guide for Campaign Staff—“to help campaign staff understand why and how to include people with disabilities in their staff and volunteer positions. The knowledge in this guide comes from many interviews with persons with disabilities, including political candidates with disabilities, who have had to work around barriers in the campaign process by engineering creative and engaging ideas.” NCIL adds, “The ingenuity of people with disabilities is a resource that should not be underestimated, something you”—legislators and aides—"will learn for yourself if you include them in your campaign.” For the free 23-page guide, click here.

“John Oliver’s Guardianship Segment Picks Apart the Disturbing System So Many Senior Citizens Face”

In a recent segment on Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver demonstrated how the guardianship system “can strip people of their rights and resources…As Oliver explained, guardians have a significant amount of control over the affairs of their wards and, thus, have access to a myriad of very personal entities, like bank accounts and health records. Moreover, being placed in a guardianship often means that senior citizens are stripped of many of their rights. As Judge Steve King of Tarrant County, Texas, explained in a clip played on Oliver's show, ‘Guardianship is a massive intrusion into a person’s life…They lose more rights than someone who goes to prison.’” To watch the segment, click here.

AJPM Publishes Open-Access Issue on Behavioral Health Workforce, Including Articles on Peer Providers

The June 2018 edition of the open-access American Journal of Preventive Medicine is devoted to “The Behavioral Health Workforce: Planning, Practice, and Preparation.” Articles include “The Future of the Behavioral Health Workforce: Optimism and Opportunity,” “Peer Workers in the Behavioral and Integrated Health Workforce: Opportunities and Future Directions,” “Emerging Roles for Peer Providers in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders,” and more. For the June 2018 edition and to download the free articles, click here.

Thanks, Laysha Ostrow

Free Webinar on “Avoidable Costs & Risks Associated with Siloed Healthcare”

On July 18 at 1 p.m. ET, the Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Healthcare will sponsor a free webinar on “The Avoidable Costs & Risks Associated with Siloed Healthcare.” The Institute writes: “Not only does the over-utilization of emergency department services for behavioral health or addiction treatment mean higher costs for consumer care, it creates risk of 30-day readmission penalties and further pressures already strained high-value resources…Fortunately, health systems and behavioral health organizations can partner to provide value-based services that address these impacts. This integration enables providers to harness the power of networks and direct consumers to the most effective and cost-effective care.” For more information and/or to register, click here.

Free SAMHSA Webinar on "Unique Housing Needs of People with Criminal Justice Histories"

“Individuals returning to the community from jail or prison must overcome significant barriers in obtaining and maintaining housing in the community,” NYAPRS writes. “The final webinar of the People with Lived Experience Spotlight Series…will discuss strategies for stable housing. The webinar features peers with a history of involvement in the criminal justice system identifying what strategies and supports were most helpful to them in their efforts to obtain permanent and affordable housing.” The webinar is scheduled for July 25 from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET. For more information and/or to register, click here.

National Dialogues on Behavioral Health to Be Held in New Orleans Oct. 28-31

The National Dialogues on Behavioral Health—“the oldest ongoing annual conference on mental health and substance abuse in the United States,” its organizers say—will take place in New Orleans October 28-31, 2018. Its theme: Reinventing the Behavioral Health Workforce: Implementing Innovative Solutions. “The purpose of the conference is to bring experts, administrators, providers, consumers, family members and advocates together to discuss the cutting edge in the topic of interest with a focus on implementation and ‘how to do it.’ A distinctive feature is the opportunity for extended dialogue and interaction among the participants.” For more information and/or to register, click here.

Mental Health Self-Direction Modestly Boosts Employment and Housing Outcomes, Researchers Say

“What effect does self-direction have on functional outcomes like housing and employment?” A study, conducted by HSRI, Boston College, and other local universities, “looked into outcomes of housing independence and employment between individuals who participated in self-direction and those who did not. Compared with nonparticipants, self-directing participants were more likely to improve, or maintain at high levels, engagement in paid work and independent housing. The study, published online in Psychiatric Services (available in brief here), is part of a Demonstration and Evaluation of Self-Direction in Mental Health study that explores mental health self-direction in six states...” For an HSRI research brief about the study, click here. For the short article from which the above was excerpted, click here.

SAMHSA Publishes Free Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit

The SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit—2018 “equips health care providers, communities, and local governments with material to develop practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. It addresses issues for health care providers, first responders, treatment providers, and those recovering from opioid overdose.” To download the free toolkit and other information about opioid abuse, click here.

WARM Network Offers Support Groups for People Hoping to Taper, and Recover from the Effects of, Drugs

“The Withdrawal and Recovery Meeting (WARM) network of groups are confidential support groups for people interested in tapering and recovering from the effects of prescribed medications. While we recognize that drugs have their place, our focus here is on the awareness of risks, on reducing dosages, and on utilizing various alternatives. Many of us have taken medications as prescribed only to experience problems as a result. Some of us are still on medication, while others are tapering, or have finished tapering…The only requirement for participation is a desire to learn about the effects of prescribed medications and how to safely manage withdrawal.” For more, go to https://warmnetwork.net/

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

“Criminalizing Homelessness Violates Basic Human Rights”

“In December [2017], Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty, toured the United States to observe and report on poverty in the world’s richest country,” a recent article in The Nation begins. “Alston released his report last week, and his assessment was unsparing. He said the ‘immense wealth’ in this country ‘stands in shocking contrast with the conditions in which vast numbers of its citizens live.’ In the United States, he writes, about 40 million people live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million in ‘absolute poverty.’ He described conditions, including high infant-mortality rates, exposure to raw sewage, lack of basic medical care and sanitation, and malnutrition. He said that deliberate policy decisions by local, state, and federal governments are part of the cause.” For the article, click here.

“Peer Specialists’ Techniques for Suicide Prevention, Crisis, and Transformation” Is Doors to Wellbeing’s July Webinar

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free, one-hour webinar. In “Peer Specialists’ Techniques for Suicide Prevention, Crisis, and Transformation,” on July 31, the learning objectives are to “understand the connections of crisis, suicidality, personal growth and recovery; describe the expanding role of mental health peer support and lived experience in suicide prevention nationally; and identify the key concepts related to suicide prevention practices.” To register, click here.

Coffee and Psychosis, A Mental Health Podcast, May Not Be Everyone’s Cup of Tea

“This [British] podcast is an exploration of where the human mind can go. The fathomless rabbit hole. ‘Coffee and Psychosis’ is a collection of human stories around the subject of madness. What society neatly calls ‘mental health.’ Should you lend your feet, the path is lit with curiosity for what lies behind the doors labelled: Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Bipolar, depression, anxiety—and so forth. This is an attempt to unearth a deeper humanity behind the sometimes saccharine view of ‘unwell-being.’ The story behind the script. The death of metaphor. This has nothing to do with coffee.” It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but noted British psychologist Anne Cooke, editor of Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia, called it “Brilliant.” To listen, click here.

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

“How Do We Design Workplaces That Support Mental Health and Well-Being?”

“Physical design has been shown to affect our mental health and happiness,” according to a June 24 article in Forbes. A review of existing research and literature in design of workplaces to support mental health and well-being…showed that there is still a huge gap in literature that explicitly measures and analyses workplace design...Research in Environmental Psychology has long argued that physical environments play a key role in promoting mental and physical health.” For the Forbes article, click here.

“8 of the Best TED Talks for Understanding and Discussing Mental Illness”

“From psychologists who treat mental illness to those struggling with it themselves, speakers have been appearing on stages across the country to inform others of the realities of psychological disorders and to encourage those grappling with them to hold onto hope,” writes Michelle Dreyer of Southern New Hampshire University. Dreyer has compiled what she believes are “8 of the Best TED Talks for Understanding and Discussing Mental Illness.” To find out if you agree, click here.

“Drexel Student Combats Suicide by Pairing People with Online ‘Buddies’”

Responding to the need she saw to help people who were contemplating suicide, Gabby Frost established “Buddy Project, a peer support system that provides companions to people seeking to make friends. The idea was to pair people with an online ‘buddy’ who shared similar interests, with the broader goal of preventing suicide and self-harm…Five years later, the nonprofit Buddy Project has paired more than 219,000 people and raised more than $40,000 to support mental health facilities across the United States.” For more, click here.

Is Someone You Care About Very Depressed? Here Are Some Ways to Help, as Well as Additional Articles About Suicide

“What do you do when a friend is depressed for such a long time that you’ve started to feel that that nothing you can do will make a difference, and your empathy reserves are tapped out?” The New York Times writes. “There are no easy answers. But here are some tips from experts: Don’t underestimate the power of showing up…Don’t try to cheer him up or offer advice…It’s O.K. to ask if she is having suicidal thoughts…Take any mention of death seriously…Make getting to that first appointment as easy as possible…Take care of yourself and set boundaries…Remember, people do recover from depression.” For “What to Do When a Loved One Is Severely Depressed,” which includes more about each of these suggestions, click here. And for “How to Talk About Suicide Without Adding to Mental Health Stigma,” click here. Other articles about suicide include “How Cognitive Therapy May Help Suicidal People,” click here; “This teen, who attempted suicide seven times, builds apps that saved her life and others,” click here; “Suicide Rates Are Rising. What Should We Do About it?” click here; “Five Takeaways on America’s Increasing Suicide Rate”—including that “[s]tates with the lowest suicide rates have stricter gun laws”—click here; “Kate Spade’s suicide: Another example of how the media fails people with mental health issues,” click here; “Why Predicting Suicide Is a Difficult and Complex Challenge,” click here.

The Latest Edition of the Prisoner Support Directory Is Available for Free Download

The Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC) writes: “PARC corresponds with and mails this resource packet to [people incarcerated in the criminal justice system], their friends and family members. We are often the first point of contact for people to connect with prisoners’ rights organizations, community organizations, prison literature and arts projects, family and visiting resources, health care and legal resources, parole and pre-release resources, and the prison abolition movement. If you are an organization that will use this directory to support [people who are incarcerated] who contact you, please send us a 65 cent stamp with your request and we will send you an original copy.” Or to download a free copy of PARC’s latest 24-page directory, published in June 2018, click here.

The July 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated

Here is the July wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system. (Note: Some of the titles do not use politically correct language but are reproduced as written.) For “Empowering People with Criminal Records to Change Policy: A Legal Advocate’s Guide to Storytelling,” click here. For “Reimagining Prison,” click here. For the 113-page “The Prison Industrial Complex: Mapping Private Prisons,” click here. For the 44-page “The New Dynamics of Mass Incarceration,” click here. For “For journalists covering prisons, the First Amendment is little help,” click here. For “Prison Abolitionists Rally for Human and Environmental Health at Pittsburgh Polluters’ Offices,” click here. For “The solution to stopping stop-and-frisk problems in Philly: Abolish it,” click here. For “CAP’s Neera Tanden, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA), and Co-Founder of the Players Coalition Malcolm Jenkins on Enactment of Pennsylvania’s Bipartisan Clean Slate Legislation,” click here. For “Everywhere and Nowhere: Compassionate Release in the States,” click here. For “The Silencing of Prison Legal News,” click here. For “The Human Toll of Jail,” click here. For “A Dumping Ground for the Poor, the Criminal, and the Mad,” click here. For “Another Hurdle for Former Inmates: Their Teeth,” click here. For “What life is like for the U.S.’s increasingly aging prison population,” click here. For “Vermont becomes first state to Include 18- and 19-year-olds in youth court: Research indicates new law will improve public safety,” click here. For “The Danger of Automating Criminal Justice: Advocates in Philadelphia say a new tool to assist judges in sentencing could perpetuate bias,” click here. For “Peace Officers: How One American city chose to tackle crime, combat racism, and reckon with the legacy of police brutality,” click here. For “Training the Brain to Stay out of Jail: How one ambitious program aims to reduce crime by changing how repeat offenders think,” click here. For “Not Guilty—But Not Free,” click here. For “Prisoners Endure a Nightmare ‘Gulag’ in Lower Manhattan, Hidden in Plain Sight,” click here. For “The Long Way Home: Each step in the transition from prison to community is an opportunity for either social integration or isolation,” click here. For “David and Goliath: A Small City Police Department Takes Aim at a Monster Epidemic,” click here. For “Supreme Irrelevance: The Court’s Abdication in Criminal Procedure Jurisprudence,” click here.

FROM THE JUNE 2018 KEY UPDATE BUT STILL FRESH!

iNAPS Is Seeking Proposals for Presentations at Its 12th Annual Conference

The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is seeking proposals for its 12th annual international peer support conference. The theme of the conference—to be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels in Orlando, Florida, December 3-5, 2018—is Reinforcing our Roots: Designing Our Future. “We will be looking ideally for proposals on advanced-level approaches to peer support and innovative programming,” the organizers write. “We are always seeking diverse experiences and fresh ideas. ‘Repeat’ workshops on the same or similar topics given by the same individual(s) from previous years are not likely to be selected. If you have presented before, we welcome your offering of something new.” All proposals must relate to the National Practice Guidelines, available here. The deadline for submissions is August 10. For details and the call for proposals, click here.

5th World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry to Explore Unjust Mental Health Disparities

The Fifth World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry will be held at Columbia University in New York City October 10-13, 2018. The theme is Achieving Global Mental Health Equity: Making Cultural Psychiatry Count. “At a time of increasing awareness about the unjust mental health disparities in developing and developed countries, researchers, practitioners, and advocates will come together to exchange experiences on how best to implement culture-focused interventions and policies to overcome health and healthcare disparities and promote global mental health equity in access, engagement, and quality of care for diverse populations.” For more about the Congress or to register, click here.

The ISPS-US 17th Annual Meeting Will Take Place in Philadelphia!

The U.S. Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS_US) is holding its 17th annual meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia November 9-11, 2018! The conference theme is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Wholeness in Extreme States.” For conference information, click here.

First International Trauma Summit to Be Hosted by the World Federation for Mental Health

The World Federation for Mental Health is hosting the First International Trauma Summit in Houston November 28-30, 2018. “Natural disasters and violence facing the world today are occurring at a pace which far surpasses the resources and people mobilized to deal with the health and mental health effects of the trauma,” the WFMH writes. “It is time that there be a global conversation to develop policies and best practices for governments and Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) to minimize the cost in health and productivity...We will start the conversation and come up with a Call to Action to begin the process of healing for our world. As global citizens, we will unite to begin developing guidelines and build awareness of the cost we are all paying by ignoring the role governments and other global entities can play in minimizing trauma and its effects.” For more information or to register, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

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

About The Key Update

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is now affiliated with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion!

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 15, No. 1, July 2018. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com (and please note that this is a new email address). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Update, June 2018, Volume 14, Number 12

Key Update, June 2018

Volume 14, Number 12

NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is moving to the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion! To keep receiving the monthly Key Update, please write to selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com with the subject line SUBSCRIBE.

 

Alternatives 2018 to Host Pre-conference Advocacy Training Followed by First Hill Day! For Inspiration and Information, There’s a Free Webinar on June 13!

“This year, we have an opportunity to make our voices heard in our nation’s capital—at the first Alternatives conference Hill Day, on July 31!” says the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), which is organizing and hosting Alternatives 2018. The 2018 “people’s Alternatives”—July 29-August 3 at The Catholic University in Washington, DC—offers an exceptional opportunity for legislative advocacy in the national arena. And to inspire and inform you, NCMHR is hosting a free webinar June 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET! To register for the webinar, click here. To help prepare participants, NCMHR is hosting a pre-conference advocacy training on Monday, July 30. “On Monday, we will agree on several primary objectives of our movement for social justice, and we will provide coaching (including role plays) and logistical support on how to convince legislators and their staff,” the organizers write. “On Tuesday, we will put it all into practice!” In addition, there will be more than 70 exciting workshops on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! For the complete list of workshops, click here. Don’t miss the chance to attend! Award nominations are due June 30: To nominate someone, click here. For registration information and other important details, click here. Questions? Write info@ncmhr.org. Follow @AltCon_2018 on Twitter; the hashtag is #Alternatives2018. For the Alternatives 2018 Facebook page, click here.

Promoting Biological Nature of Mental Health Conditions Inflames Prejudice, Some Experts Say

If you call mental health conditions “illnesses,” does it combat prejudice—or promote it? In a June 2nd piece in the Baltimore Sun, Patrick D. Hahn of Loyola University, Maryland, takes the latter view. He writes: “Teaching people that mental illness is an illness like any other makes attitudes toward it worse, Professor [John] Read, of the University of East London, told me. [Dr. Read said,] ‘These approaches are not evidence-based. They are ideologically based. It’s not an accident that a lot of them are funded by drug companies.’” For “Prejudice and Schizophrenia: A Review of the ‘Mental Illness Is an Illness Like Any Other’ Approach,” by J. Read et al., click here. For the Baltimore Sun article, click here.

NYAPRS Is Seeking Proposals for Its 36th Annual Conference: Deadline, June 20

NYAPRS is seeking proposals for its 36th Annual Conference: Dignity, Recovery and Social Justice for All! The NYAPRS Annual Conference—to be held September 12-14, 2018, at Honor’s Haven Resort, Ellenville, NY—“is widely regarded as one of the nation’s finest training opportunities and a unique celebration of advances in personal and professional strategies and public policies that advance the recovery, rehabilitation, rights and full community inclusion of people with psychiatric disabilities and/or diagnoses,” the organizers write. For conference information and the call for papers (deadline: June 20), click here.

“Living Well with the Trauma of Chronic Illness” Is Doors to Wellbeing’s June Webinar

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free, one-hour webinar. In “Living Well with the Trauma of Chronic Illness,” on June 26, “learn about how people with chronic illnesses use wellness planning to overcome the issues and challenges associated with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other life-threatening illnesses. In addition, learn how mental health peer specialists are best able to support people with chronic illness and the associated trauma.” For more information and to register, click here.

iNAPS Is Seeking Proposals for Presentations at Its 12th Annual Conference

The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is seeking proposals for its 12th annual international peer support conference. The theme of the conference—to be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels in Orlando, Florida, December 3-5, 2018—is Reinforcing our Roots: Designing Our Future. “We will be looking ideally for proposals on advanced-level approaches to peer support and innovative programming,” the organizers write. “We are always seeking diverse experiences and fresh ideas. ‘Repeat’ workshops on the same or similar topics given by the same individual(s) from previous years are not likely to be selected. If you have presented before, we welcome your offering of something new.” All proposals must relate to the National Practice Guidelines, available here. The deadline for submissions is August 10. For details and the call for proposals, click here.

International Survey on Antipsychotic Medication Withdrawal Seeks Respondents

“Have you taken antipsychotic medication (such as Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, Risperdal, Haldol, Geodon, Stelazine, and others), for any condition or diagnosis, with or without other medications? And did you ever stop taking antipsychotics, or try to stop taking them? Are you 18 years or older? If yes, you can take this survey about antipsychotic withdrawal and attempts to withdraw, including if you stopped taking them completely or if you tried to come off and still take them. The survey aims to improve mental health services by better understanding medication withdrawal. Lead researcher is Will Hall, a therapist and Ph.D. student who has himself taken antipsychotics. Service users/survivors/consumers from around the world also gave input. The study is sponsored by Maastricht University in the Netherlands; co-sponsors include the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal. Questions? Please contact will.hall@maastrichtuniversity.nl.”  For more information or to take the survey, click on www.antipsychoticwithdrawalsurvey.com

National Forum on the Human Right to Housing on June 27 in Washington, DC

The National Forum on the Human Right to Housing, organized by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, will take place at Sidley Austin LLP, 1501 K Street NW, Washington, DC, on June 27, 2018, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The organizers write, “It is imperative to have those with lived experience leading the fight to end homelessness and poverty. If you are unable to purchase a ticket due to your income level, please register for a complimentary ticket here.” For the agenda or to register, click here. For “Tent City USA: The Growth of America’s Homeless Encampments and How Communities Are Responding,” a 124-page report by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, click here.

TU Collaborative Publishes Free Leisure Education Toolkit for Parents with Mental Health Conditions

“This toolkit is an evidence-based guide that will help parents better understand the importance of family leisure and develop strategies to participate in meaningful family leisure,” the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion writes. “This user-friendly guide provides worksheets and activities that parents can use with their children to make the most out of family leisure. For individuals who want to receive additional support, each section also provides an opportunity to summarize goals and issues that can be shared with a mental health professional. Download now to learn more about: (1) the benefits of family leisure; (2) core and balance family leisure; (3) strategies to assess family leisure interest; (4) barriers to and facilitators of family leisure; (5) planning and making time for family leisure; and (6) using leisure to talk with your kids about mental illnesses.” To download the free 111-page toolkit, click here.

“Self-Employment for People with Psychiatric Disabilities: Advantages and Strategies”

The latest Live & Learn newsletter highlights an article on self-employment for people with psychiatric disabilities: “…Advantages of self-employment for people with psychiatric disabilities, who may have disrupted educational and employment histories, include opportunities for self-care, additional earning, and career choice…This commentary elucidates the positive aspects of self-employment in the context of employment challenges experienced by individuals with psychiatric disabilities and provides recommendations based on larger trends in entrepreneurship.” For the article, click here. For the Live & Learn newsletter, click here.

“U.S. Mental Health Industry Should Embrace Choices Beyond Medication,” Says Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health

“The current public mental health system has evolved to a place that it’s very heavily weighted with a medical model. We miss the story behind what happened to the person and how they got there,” says Yana Jacobs, LMFT, of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health in a recent three-minute video. Urging informed consent, she says, “We’re never against somebody wanting to take medication. It’s really more the educational piece that often is missing.” Jacobs also stresses the importance of input from people with lived experience. Calling them “our experts,” she says, “If we don’t include them and build programs with their leadership and their voice at the table, we’re going to go off in the wrong direction.” For the video, click here.

Don’t Ask “What Happened to You?” Instead, Ask “What’s Right with You?”

“A healing-centered approach to addressing trauma requires a different question that moves beyond ‘what happened to you’ to ‘what’s right with you’ and views those exposed to trauma as agents in the creation of their own well-being rather than victims of traumatic events.” This is the provocative thesis of an article by Shawn Ginwright, Ph.D., in “The Future of Healing: Shifting from Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement.” For the article, click here.

Thanks, Karen Escovitz

“Mad Studies: An Introduction to Philosophical, Social, and Cultural Perspectives on Madness

In this series of eight online webinars, hosted by Mad In America (for a registration fee of $100) “participants will be exposed to a variety of perspectives within the mad studies field, including Mad Pride, which embraces and celebrates the traits and states categorized as madness, as well as neurodiversity, which views mental and neurological differences as forms of human diversity, rather than disorders that need to be cured. Participants will learn how they can incorporate the ideas of mad studies into their practice as mental health providers.” For more information or to register, click here.

5th World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry to Explore Unjust Mental Health Disparities

The Fifth World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry will be held at Columbia University in New York City October 10-13, 2018. The theme is Achieving Global Mental Health Equity: Making Cultural Psychiatry Count. “At a time of increasing awareness about the unjust mental health disparities in developing and developed countries, researchers, practitioners, and advocates will come together to exchange experiences on how best to implement culture-focused interventions and policies to overcome health and healthcare disparities and promote global mental health equity in access, engagement, and quality of care for diverse populations.” For more about the Congress or to register, click here.

“Right to Emotional Support Animals in No-Pet Housing” from the Bazelon Center

“Emotional support animals provide therapeutic nurturing and support and have proven extremely effective at ameliorating the symptoms of psychiatric disabilities, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder,” according to a fact sheet by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. The fact sheet includes tips about reasonable accommodations for people with emotional support animals, relevant laws, and other useful information. For the fact sheet, click here.

“Americans with Serious Mental Illnesses Die 15 to 30 Years Earlier than Those Without”

“Americans with depression, bipolar disorder or other serious mental illnesses die 15 to 30 years younger than those without mental illness—a disparity larger than for race, ethnicity, geography or socioeconomic status,” according to a May 30, 2018, New York Times column, citing a study published in 2006. (Editor’s note: This information has been widely reported.) “It’s a gap, unlike many others, that has been growing, but it receives considerably less academic study or public attention. The extraordinary life expectancy gains of the past half-century have left these patients behind, with the result that Americans with serious mental illness live shorter lives than those in many of the world’s poorest countries.” For the New York Times column, click here. At the same time, suicide rates continue to surge. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Suicide rates increased significantly across most states during 1999–2016. Various circumstances contributed to suicides among persons with and without known mental health conditions.” For the CDC report, “Trends in State Suicide Rates—United States, 1999–2016 and Circumstances Contributing to Suicide—27 States, 2015,” click here.

“A Cartoonist’s Playful and Pragmatic Mental Health Guide”
“When cartoonist Ellen Forney published Marbles, her 2012 graphic memoir on bipolar disorder, readers reached out in droves thanking her for the insights her story provided into mental illness. In response, Forney started working on Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life…which explains what happens when a person starts to recover, or at least stabilize, from mental illness.” For a review and a preview, click here.

The June 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated

Here is the June wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system. (Note: Some of the titles do not use politically correct language but are reproduced as written.) For “The ‘Insane’ Way Our Prison System Handles the Mentally Ill,” click here. For “For Mental Health Month, a New Initiative Focused on Serving Safely: In their role as first responders, police officers interact frequently with people with mental illnesses and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities,” click here. For “U.S. County Jails Step Up Mental Health Screening to Keep Inmates from Coming Back,” click here. For “‘Human Frailty’ is a Byproduct of Mass Incarceration,” click here. For “Special Report: In Louisiana Jail, Deaths Mount as Mental Health Pleas Unheeded,” click here. For “This Place Is Crazy: Our mental-health-care system is broken. Ten of every eleven psychiatric patients housed by the government are incarcerated. Here’s what this crisis looks like from the inside—a series of lost lives and a few rare victories—as reported by a prisoner-journalist,” click here. For “Is the ‘First Step Act’ Real Reform? Congress and criminal justice, a score card,” click here. For “When inmates die: Georgia’s jails fail mentally ill: Dozens of jail deaths tied to mental illness, and many are preventable,” click here. For “Illinois DOC Keeps People with Disabilities in Prison Beyond Release Dates,” click here. For “The Prisoners Who Care for the Dying and Get Another Chance at Life,” click here. For “America’s Shadow Criminal Justice System: How the ‘supervised release’ program pulls tens of thousands of former inmates back into prison without a fair trial,” click here. For “Meet Our Prisoners: A study lingers on the lives of those we incarcerate,” click here. For “US State of Connecticut sees success implementing Germany-style prison reform,” click here. For “The $580 Co-pay: In prison, seeing the doctor can cost up to a month’s salary,” click here. For “Despite His Mental Illness, Devon Davis Spent 1,001 Days in Solitary at Central Prison,” click here. For “Rethinking Restrictive Housing: Lessons from Five U.S. Jail and Prison Systems,” click here. For “After prisoners debate parole before Illinois lawmakers, state halts class,” click here. For “Strategies to Engage Employers in Conversations about Hiring Applicants with Criminal Records,” click here. For “Connecticut Will Be the FIRST State to Officially House Trans Inmates by Gender Identity,” click here. For “Larry Krasner: Time to Rethink Probation and Parole,” click here. For “Columbia Justice Lab: Probation and Parole,” click here. For “Impacted Advocates Use Their Experience to Raise Awareness Around Female Incarceration,” click here. For “People in Prison 2017, a collection of year-end 2017 prison population data,” click here. For “Report Calls Out ‘Nickel-and-Diming’ at Prison Commissaries,” click here. For “They’re Out of Prison. Can They Stay Out of the Hospital?” click here. For “How the Push to Close Rikers Went from No Jails to New Jails,” click here. For “Help Crime Victims by Committing to Restorative Justice,” click here. For “Black defendants receive longer prison terms from Republican-appointed judges, study finds,” click here. For “Transforming Juvenile Justice Systems to Improve Public Safety and Youth Outcomes,” a 36-page page white paper published in May 2018 by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Council of State Governments Justice Center, click here. For “States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2018,” click here. For “We Are Witnesses” a video project by the Marshall Project, click here. For the “Safety and Justice Challenge” by the MacArthur Foundation, click here. For the May 2018 edition of the National Reentry Resource Center Reentry and Employment Roundup, click here.

FROM THE MAY 2018 KEY UPDATE BUT STILL FRESH!

Applications for SAMHSA's Recognition of Excellence in Wellness Are Now Due on June 22

SAMHSA’s Recognition of Excellence in Wellness “recognizes organizations and communities for their exemplary wellness efforts that improve the health and wellness of those living with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. If your organization works to improve the health of individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders, [SAMHSA] encourage[s] you to apply for the 2018 Recognition of Excellence in Wellness! To learn more…stream our past honoree announcement webinars!” For the 2017 webinar, click here. For the 2016 webinar, click here. For more information and to apply, click here.

First International Trauma Summit to Be Hosted by the World Federation for Mental Health

The World Federation for Mental Health is hosting the First International Trauma Summit in Houston November 28-30, 2018. “Natural disasters and violence facing the world today are occurring at a pace which far surpasses the resources and people mobilized to deal with the health and mental health effects of the trauma,” the WFMH writes. “It is time that there be a global conversation to develop policies and best practices for governments and Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) to minimize the cost in health and productivity...We will start the conversation and come up with a Call to Action to begin the process of healing for our world. As global citizens, we will unite to begin developing guidelines and build awareness of the cost we are all paying by ignoring the role governments and other global entities can play in minimizing trauma and its effects.” For more information or to register, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

The ISPS-US 17th Annual Meeting Will Take Place in Philadelphia!

The U.S. Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS_US) is holding its 17th annual meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia November 9-11, 2018! The conference theme is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Wholeness in Extreme States.” For conference information, click here.

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

 About The Key Update

NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is moving to the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion! To keep receiving the monthly Key Update, please write to selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com with the subject line SUBSCRIBE.

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 12, June 2018. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at selfhelpclearinghouse@gmail.com (and please note that this is a new email address). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

 

The Key Update, May 2018, Volume 14, Number 11

Key Update, May 2018

Volume 14, Number 11

Alternatives 2018 to Host Its First Hill Day!

Located in our nation’s capital, this year’s “people’s Alternatives”—July 29-August 3 at The Catholic University in Washington, DC—offers an exceptional opportunity for advocacy. To take advantage of this opportunity, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, which is hosting the conference, is holding a pre-conference advocacy training day on July 30, followed by the conference’s first Hill Day, on July 31. “On Monday, we will agree on several primary objectives of our movement for social justice, and we will provide coaching and logistical support on how to convince legislators and their staff,” the organizers write. “On Tuesday, we will put it all into practice!” In addition, there will be more than 70 exciting workshops on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! For the complete list of workshops, click here. Don’t miss the chance to attend! Early Bird registration has been extended through May 23! Award nominations are due June 30: To nominate someone, click here. For registration information and other important details, click here. Questions? Write info@ncmhr.org. Follow @AltCon_2018 on Twitter; the hashtag is #Alternatives2018. For the Alternatives 2018 Facebook page, click here.

“Is Shock Therapy Making a Comeback?”

On May 13, 2018, “60 Minutes” on CBS-TV aired a segment about electroconvulsive treatment (ECT): shock treatment. The segment only presented one side of the debate about the serious risks and potential benefits of this controversial procedure; it largely focused on individuals who felt that they had benefited from ECT, and on a psychiatrist who works at the National Institute of Mental Health, who recommends it. The psychiatrist is also working on an alternative to ECT: Magnetic Seizure Therapy. (“60 Minutes” correspondent Anderson Cooper gamely tried it out on the show.) In one of the few allusions to the possible dangers of ECT, the show noted that “[o]ne study in 2015 that compared ECT and the magnetic treatment found that ‘ECT-induced acute memory disruption…is absent after MST.” For the “60 Minutes” segment on ECT, click here. For testimony about the dangers of ECT by Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., presented to the FDA in 2011, click here. For information about “Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know About Shock Treatment”—called “brilliant analysis” by the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicineclick here.

“Ask Me Anything” Employment Webinar, Hosted by National Resource Center on Employment, on May 16

On May 16, 2018, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, in a free, online, interactive webinar, employment expert Lou Orslene, co-director of the Job Accommodation Network, will answer questions related to disclosure and accommodations. “For example, you could ask: When do I need to disclose to an employer that I need an accommodation? How do I disclose? Verbally? In writing? Who do I disclose to at work? What mental health accommodations do employers typically approve? How do I know if a company is progressive and will respond positively to my disclosure?” For more information or to register, click here.

“Empowering Youth as Mental Health Peer Specialists” Is Doors to Wellbeing’s May Webinar

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free, one-hour webinar. In “Empowering Youth as Mental Health Peer Specialists,” on May 29, “you will hear from leaders in the youth movement about how to engage youth as mental health peer specialists.” The presenters will also “explore the history and development of the youth-to-youth peer support movement led by transitional age youth (TAY) leaders from around the country. Participants will be offered interactive activities that are appropriate for mental health peer specialists to use with youth and young adults, as well as ideas for implementing innovative approaches into various youth peer support programs. This webinar will include a preview of the Peer Generation Curriculum developed by the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery.” For more information and to register, click here.

Free Webinar: “Reconnecting with the Earth for Personal and Global Healing”

“We are at a pivotal time in human history. Please join the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) and the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) in the first in a series of webinars where we explore the relationship between ecology, how we relate to one another and the Earth, and healing from crisis. We have gathered experts from around the globe, including indigenous peoples, to speak to this topic, share best practices, and propose some solutions to the very complex problems we face.” Date: June 8, 2018. Time: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. To register, click here.

First International Trauma Summit to Be Hosted by the World Federation for Mental Health

The World Federation for Mental Health is hosting the First International Trauma Summit in Houston November 28-30, 2018. “Natural disasters and violence facing the world today are occurring at a pace which far surpasses the resources and people mobilized to deal with the health and mental health effects of the trauma,” the WFMH writes. “It is time that there be a global conversation to develop policies and best practices for governments and Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) to minimize the cost in health and productivity...We will start the conversation and come up with a Call to Action to begin the process of healing for our world. As global citizens, we will unite to begin developing guidelines and build awareness of the cost we are all paying by ignoring the role governments and other global entities can play in minimizing trauma and its effects.” For more information or to register, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo

“Mental Health Care on College Campuses Is Broken—This Group Aims to Change That”

“…By training peers—students who have experienced mental [health conditions] themselves—to help students access resources, Project LETS is creating student networks of support and advocacy, rather than relying on already unreliable campus services or expensive and inaccessible off-campus aid. With 10 college chapters across the country, Project LETS aims to make it easier for students with mental-health issues to get the help they need.” For the article, click here. In a related story, for “Planning Ahead for Your Mental Health Care as You Transition to College” (via the CAFÉ TA Center), click here.

“Should We Bring Back Asylums?” Airs on Public Radio

On May 2, 2018, WNPR in Connecticut aired a debate about whether asylums should play a role in the mental health service continuum. “Should we bring back institutions to care for the seriously mentally ill (sic) who otherwise bounce between emergency rooms, prison, and the streets? Some think so. Others fear a return of the abuses that led to their destruction. Today, we talk about the history and future of asylums and a person who spent time in one and doesn't want to go back.” Joseph Rogers, founder and executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and a guest on the show, opposes the return of asylums. “The thing that we find that helps,” Rogers said, “and what we do here in Pennsylvania…[is] outreach in the community, working with people where they’re at, not forcing them into treatment, finding ways to engage.” To listen to the archived broadcast, click here.

Two Upcoming Free Webinars Are Sponsored by SAMHSA

Two free SAMHSA-sponsored webinars are coming up in early June. “Peer Specialists and Police as Partners Preventing Behavioral Health Crises,” a Mental Health America webinar, will take place June 5, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. ET. For more information and to register, click here. And “Enhancing Recovery through Lived Experience,” hosted by NAMI, will take place on June 7, 2018, at 2 p.m. ET. For more information and to register, click here.

Thanks, Judene Shelley

“Cultural Confusion: The Shifting Line between Sane and ‘Unsane’”

In an article published by STAT on May 8, 2018, the author raises the question of where “sanity” ends and “mental illness” begins. She writes:  “It’s a shifting boundary, one based as much on culture as it is on our understanding of the brain and mental health…In the U.S., academics and the public have begun expressing concern that diagnostic categories like depression and anxiety are more and more often being used to organize and label ordinary behaviors and characteristics that are deemed socially undesirable. In their 2012 book, ‘The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder,’ Allan Horwitz and Jerome Wakefield assert that not being happy all the time has become depression, and worrying or feeling stressed is quickly labeled anxiety. Renowned Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan recently joined the debate on ADHD, a diagnosis shared by 6.4 million children in the U.S, questioning whether the disorder is even ‘real.’” For the article, click here.

“Workshop on Women’s Mental Health across the Life Course through a Sex-Gender Lens”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC, recently hosted a workshop that explored how environmental, sociocultural, behavioral, and biological factors affect women’s mental health across the life course and across different racial/ethnic groups. Presentations and archived video from the workshop are now available for viewing”: click here. For more information about this project, click here.

Applications for SAMHSA’s Recognition of Excellence in Wellness Are Now Due on June 22

SAMHSA’s Recognition of Excellence in Wellness “recognizes organizations and communities for their exemplary wellness efforts that improve the health and wellness of those living with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. If your organization works to improve the health of individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders, [SAMHSA] encourage[s] you to apply for the 2018 Recognition of Excellence in Wellness! To learn more…stream our past honoree announcement webinars!” For the 2017 webinar, click here. For the 2016 webinar, click here. For more information and to apply, click here.

Vermont Psychiatric Survivors Seeks an Executive Director

“Vermont Psychiatric Survivors Inc. (VPS) seeks a dynamic, visionary Executive Director with proven experience in advocacy, financial management, and inspiring staff. The Executive Director is responsible for managing day-to-day operations to fulfill VPS’s mission...Candidates should have personal, lived experience of mental health issues/diagnosis and an understanding of the resulting losses and marginalization. Political advocacy, administrative, management, financial and budgeting experience and understanding of peer values and peer organizations are crucial. An ability to integrate conflicting perspectives, foster collaboration and inspire participation across diverse viewpoints and stakeholder interest is also essential. This is a full-time, exempt position with a salary between $50,000 and $60,000, plus benefits. Some travel required. To apply, send a cover letter, resume and references to vpsexecutivesearch@gmail.com by May 31, 2018.” For a complete job description, click here.

Many Older Adults Are Admitted to Psychiatric Hospitals Due to Alcohol or Drugs

About 10 percent to 15 percent of people don’t start to drink heavily until they are older in age, according to research—and the number of people with alcoholism who are also older adults is expected to rise as the senior population grows to 80 million by the year 2050, according to a guide on alcohol abuse among older adults. The guide notes that 20% is the rate at which older adults are admitted to psychiatric hospitals due to alcohol or drugs. For the guide, click here.

“Psychiatric Medication Withdrawal: Survivor Perspectives and Clinical Practice”

“New understandings of madness and medications support an emerging reconsideration of what constitutes the very definition of ‘health,’ where measuring the absence of disease symptoms gives way to a systems-based focus on self-management, social relationships, and adaptability.” For a link to the complete article, click here. For a related story, “Is Society or Psychiatry to Blame for the ‘Seriously Mentally Ill’ Dying 25 Years Prematurely?” (via @_innercompass), click here.

“Can Peer Health Coaches Boost Patient (sic) Engagement in Drug Recovery?”

“Boston Medical Center (BMC) has launched a new program to improve patient (sic) engagement during opioid abuse recovery. The program, titled Project RECOVER (Referral, Engagement, Case management and Overdose preVention Education in Recovery), will use peer wellness coaches to help better engage [individuals] during the various aspects of substance abuse disorder treatment…Specifically, peer wellness coaches will be in charge of developing recovery plans, [individual] engagement, and addressing the social determinants of health, including housing and food security and child care.” For the article, click here. For three related stories: “Text Messaging Tool May Help Fight Opioid Epidemic,” click here. “More Than 4 Million People Left the Workforce Because of Opioid Addiction, According to Study,” click here. “Doctors Receive Opioid Training. Big Pharma Funds It. What Could Go Wrong?” (via Elizabeth R. Stone), click here.

“‘Failing Patients’: Baltimore Video Highlights Crisis of Emergency Psychiatric Care”

“A viral video from Baltimore is drawing attention to a crisis that’s unfolding in emergency rooms across the country: Surging numbers of [individuals] with psychiatric conditions aren’t receiving the care they need…Imamu Baraka's video, which has been viewed more than 3 million times, shows security guards walking away from a bus stop next to the emergency room of University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus. One is pushing an empty wheelchair. The woman they left there is wearing a thin yellow hospital gown and socks. ‘Wait, so you're just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes on?’ Baraka asks the guards. They continue walking away…” To listen to the archived NPR story, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

“7 Webcomics about Mental Health We Can All Relate To”

“These artists have used webcomics as platforms to help connect with viewers to tell them that [mental health conditions]—whether depression, anxiety, addiction, or even everyday stress—can be difficult to deal with, as we often feel alone in our struggle to feel better. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many people who have experienced the same struggles you have, and some have even taken the time to share their stories—some funny, some sad—online. These artists have used webcomics as platforms to help connect with viewers to tell them that [mental health conditions]—though tough to handle—can be overcome, and life can get better through the power of perspective (among other things).” For the webcomics, click here.

The May 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated

Here is the May wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system: For “Using the Americans with Disabilities Act to Reduce the Incarceration of People with Mental Illness,” click here. For “N.J. Bill Calls for Treatment over Jail Time for Criminal Defendants with Mental Illness,” click here. For “Deadly Force: Police and the Mentally Ill,” click here. For “Allegheny Co. Jail Partnership Continues to Be a Success,” click here (via Fran Hazam). For the “National Reentry Resource Center Funding and Training Opportunities,” click here. For “What Care for the Criminally Insane (sic) Can Teach Us about Mental Health Treatment,” click here. For “Big Jump Seen in Number of Inmates Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs in California,” click here. For “The Connecticut Experiment: Young brains are still evolving. One prison is trying to take advantage of that,” click here. For “‘Insane’” America’s 3 Largest Psychiatric Facilities Are Jails,” click here. For “Is There Such a Thing as ‘Good’ Prison Design?” click here. For “Report Finds San Diego Jails Are Failing Inmates with Mental Illness,” click here. For “More Criticism of Prison-Reform-Only Efforts, While Failing to Explain a Path Forward for Broader Federal Sentencing Reforms,” click here. For “Sentencing Reform Is Moving in the Wrong Direction,” click here. For “A New Approach to Incarceration in the U.S.: Responsibility,” click here. For “‘Human Frailty’ Is a Byproduct of Mass Incarceration,” click here. For “Solitary Injustice: Solitary Confinement in Virginia” (a 67-page report on “the negative impacts of solitary confinement as practiced in Virginia…and the State’s failure to exclude individuals with serious mental health problems from solitary confinement despite the existing law and science establishing the especially damaging impacts of isolation on this vulnerable group of people”), click here. For “Why Meek Mill’s Release Matters More Than You Think,” click here. For “How Over-Incarceration Is Driving a Push for Criminal Justice Reform,” click here. For “‘If We Let Everybody Go, There’d Be Nobody in Prison,’” click here. For “Jared Kushner’s Prison Reform Plan Has Some Glaring Flaws: Civil Rights Groups Are Not Impressed,” click here. For “The Cursed Island Before Rikers: Learning from the Story of Blackwell’s Island,” click here. For “LJAF Awards $4.1 Million for ‘Frequent Utilizer’ Initiative” (via Elizabeth Stone), click here. For “From Bondage to Bail Bonds: Putting a Price on Freedom in New Orleans,” click here.

“This Post Is For You, the You Who Might Feel Broken and As Though You Don’t Shine.”

“…You're not broken; you’re finding your feet. And you do shine! Your kindness, support and encouragement shine brighter than the twinkliest of stars. We appreciate you; thank you for being you.” For the rest of the message and the illustrated Instagram post, click here.

FROM THE APRIL 2018 KEY UPDATE BUT STILL FRESH!

You Are Invited to Apply to Present at the ISPS-US 17th Annual Meeting, in Philadelphia!

The U.S. Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS_US) is holding its 17th annual meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia November 9-11, 2018! The conference theme is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Wholeness in Extreme States.” The deadline for the call for proposals is May 21, 2018. For conference information and a link to the call for proposals, click here.

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

The Clearinghouse Is No Longer Operating under a Grant from SAMHSA

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). However, for the time being we are continuing to publish our monthly e-newsletter (the Key Update) and answer queries by email and phone.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 11, May 2018, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. If you find it of interest, you can check the following link at the end of every month, where each new issue is posted: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/the-key-update-latest/ For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org – please note that this is a new email address – or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Update, April 2018, Volume 14, Number 10

Key Update, April 2018

Volume 14, Number 10

“Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit,” The New York Times Reports; Readers Tell Their Stories

“Many who try to quit [antidepressants] say they cannot because of withdrawal symptoms they were never warned about,” writes Benedict Carey in The New York Times. “…Yet withdrawal has never been a focus of drug makers or government regulators, who felt antidepressants could not be addictive and did far more good than harm.” For the article, which includes links to more information, click here. For “Readers Tell Their Stories,” click here. At the same time, as reported in the July 2017 edition of the Key Update, a survey by Live & Learn Inc. of 250 long-term users of psychiatric medications who chose to discontinue the medications found that more than half succeeded in discontinuing usage, despite having little professional support while experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Eighty-two percent of those who discontinued use reported being satisfied with their choice. For more information, click here. For “The Corruption of Evidence Based Medicine—Killing for Profit,” click here. [Editor’s note: For the free Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, click here.] 

Alternatives 2018 Early Bird Registration Deadline Has Been Extended! And You Can Still Nominate Keynote Speakers and Enter the Logo Design Contest!

If you have been kicking yourself for missing the Alternatives 2018 Early Bird registration deadline, you’re in luck: The deadline has been extended through May 23! To register, click here. Even better, there’s a Group Discount: If you register 10 people, you get one free registration! And would you like to see your design on the Alternatives 2018 T-Shirts and bags? Then enter the Alternatives 2018 Logo Design Competition! The winner will be acknowledged at the conference and will receive one free registration, currently a $295 value (at the Early Bird rate)! Submit your design to info@ncmhr.org by April 30, 2018. For more information, click here. And do you know someone who would make a great keynote speaker? To nominate that person—deadline April 30—click here! (You must contact your nominee in advance to ensure that they are available on the scheduled dates.) The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery will host the conference July 29-August 3 at The Catholic University in Washington, DC. For more information, click here

“Understanding Cultural Inequalities for Mental Health Peer Specialists” Is Doors to Wellbeing’s April Webinar

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free, one-hour webinar. “Understanding Cultural Inequalities for Mental Health Peer Specialists,” on April 24, “will focus on cultural inequalities, individual human rights, and how these topics intersect from the perspective of mental health peer specialists. This webinar will discuss strategies that are being used in Arlington County, Virginia. Participants will learn how to help peer clients understand cultural inequalities and how to navigate the mental health and criminal justice systems by understanding their rights and using self-advocacy.” For more information and to register, click here.

Protest Planned at the APA Annual Convention on May 6! Come to NYC to Make Your Voice Heard!

An array of human rights advocacy organizations and individual activists invite you to participate in the 2018 Protest of the American Psychiatric Association. When? Sunday, May 6, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Where? The Javits Center, 11th Avenue between West 36th and West 37th Streets, in New York City. Among the organizers are MindFreedom International and its affiliates in New York, Florida, and Ireland; The Network Against Psychiatric Assault; The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights; The Opal Project; and others. “The theme of the protest is #FirstDoNoHarm,” the organizers say. “We demand that psychiatry be held accountable to truth and science.” The speakers—all of whom have lived experience and have had psychiatric labels—include Dan Fisher, M.D., Ph.D.; Laura Delano; Dorothy Dundas; Nikomeh Anderson; and Jim Flannery; others will be announced when they are confirmed. You are also invited to participate in the next planning call, on April 29, 2018, at 4 p.m. ET: phone 218.339.7808, access code 5104044#. For more information, join the Facebook group (click here) and/or write mindfreedomny@gmail.com.

Virtual Forum on “Peer Support and Working with Peer Professionals” on April 26

On April 26 at 11:45 a.m. ET, the Center for Public Service Psychiatry, in collaboration with the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, will host a virtual 75-minute forum on “Peer Support and Working with Peer Professionals.” The learning objectives are to describe: “challenges that peer professionals encounter in mental health settings, specific ways in which peer professionals contribute to mental health services, obstacles to peers’ full integration into mental health teams, and approaches that can be taken by clinicians and team leaders to facilitate peer integration.” For more information, click here.

“Can You Get Mentally Healthier Simply by Willing It to Happen?” Researchers Say Yes

“In a study recently published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, researchers analyzed data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey of more than 2,500 people and found that rating your mental health as ‘good’ or ‘positive’—even if you meet the criteria for having a condition like depression— could mean you’ll have strong mental health down the road. And the coolest part? Those positive thinkers didn’t even need treatment to get those results. During the study, 62 percent of those who screened positive for depression or psychological distress said their mental health was good. Then, during a follow-up a year later, those individuals were 30 percent less likely to have a mental health problem than those who rated their state as ‘poor.’” For an article about the study, click here.

Virtual Event on Supporting Underrepresented College Students Experiencing or at Risk of Serious Mental Health Conditions or Substance Use Disorders; and Bazelon Offers Free Fact Sheet on Rights

On April 26 at 2 p.m. ET, SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Strategy (BRSS TACS) invites you to join national leaders in a one-hour conversation about treatment and recovery supports for the approximately 1.8 million of the nation’s college students who meet the medical criteria for substance misuse or dependence, and the increasing numbers of students who report high levels of anxiety, hopelessness, and other symptoms of a mental health condition.  Presenters will review data on the prevalence of serious mental health and substance use conditions among college students, highlight an array of collegiate recovery support models to help these students, and discuss opportunities for colleges and communities to provide recovery support services to help at-risk students. To register, click here. And for “Campus Mental Health: Frequently Asked Questions,” from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, which covers the legal rights of students with mental health challenges, click here.

You Are Invited to Apply to Make a Presentation at the ISPS-US 17th Annual Meeting, in Philadelphia!

The U.S. Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS-US) is holding its 17th annual meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia November 9-11, 2018! The conference theme is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Wholeness in Extreme States.” The deadline for the call for proposals is May 21, 2018. For conference information and a link to the call for proposals, click here.

Free Resource Guide for Parents of Students with Disabilities

The Community for Accredited Online Schools offers a free online “Resource Guide for Parents of Students with Disabilities.” “Students with disabilities face unique challenges, and there are laws in place to ensure that school districts give them the assistance they need,” according to the guide. “To determine if these needs are being met, parents should familiarize themselves with the laws and know their rights if their children aren’t being given the protections they’re entitled to. In this guide, readers will find information about the rights of students who have disabilities and what schools are required to provide so they have equal opportunity for academic success.” For the free guide, click here. In a related story, for the proceedings from the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research 2018 State of the Science conference, click here.

Presentations from 2017 HHS Federal Partners Integrated Care Meeting

“Now available, presentations from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 2017 virtual meeting, ‘State of the Art: Research, Models, Promising Practices, and Sustaining Integrated Care.’ National experts from HHS and federal grantees spoke about best practices in primary and behavioral care integration, including presentations on key topics such as models of integrated care, key findings from the research community, examples of diverse grantee practices regarding service delivery, and resources to support and build integrated systems of care. To watch the presentations, click here.

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

MHA Offers Free “May Is Mental Health Month” Toolkit; SAMHSA Also Offers Free May Materials

Mental Health America writes: “Since 1949, Mental Health America and our affiliates across the country have led the observance of May Is Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings. We welcome other organizations to join us in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the May Is Mental Health Month toolkit materials and conducting awareness activities.” To download the free toolkit, click here. For more information about May Is Mental Health Month, from SAMHSA, click here.

AAPD’s April Newsletter Includes a Rich Variety of Resources and Action Alerts

The April edition of the AAPD newsletter, Disability Download, includes a wide array of useful information, including resources such as the National Disability Voter Registration Week (July 16-20) Toolkit, scholarship opportunities, action alerts, and conference announcements! For the AAPD newsletter, click here.

Free “Bikeshare Intervention: Improving Wellness and Community Access” Manual and Webinar

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion just published a manual called “Bikeshare Intervention: Improving Wellness and Community Access.” To download the free 64-page manual, click here. The TU Collaborative writes: “On May 3, 2018, at 1pm EST, we will host a [free] webinar to discuss bike programming and ways to encourage [people] to ride for health and transportation. This webinar will outline the benefits of bike programming and how to design and run a similar bike program in your community.” To sign up for the webinar, click here.

National Stepping Up Day of Action Planned for May 16

“Stepping Up was launched in May 2015 to address the prevalence of people who have mental [health conditions] in jails and provide counties with resources to create sustainable, data-driven plans to impact this crisis…On May 16, 2018, Stepping Up is hosting a national Day of Action, during which counties are encouraged to hold an event or participate in local activities to share with constituents the progress they have made toward reducing the number of people who have mental illnesses in their jails, raise public awareness and understanding of this important issue, and emphasize their commitment to creating data-driven, systems-level changes to policy and practice to achieve their Stepping Up goals…More details and a toolkit to help you plan your Day of Action are available at StepUpTogether.org.” For more information, click here.

Webinar: “The Value of a Peer Workforce in the Homelessness System”

On May 23 at 1 p.m. ET, SAMHSA’s Homeless and Housing Resource Network will host a 75-minute webinar on “The Value of a Peer Workforce in the Homelessness System.” SAMHSA writes: “The May 23 webinar will feature three members of the peer workforce talking about their experiences working in the homelessness system, along with the transformative roles peers play in supporting housing and reducing homelessness…It is immensely valuable for individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders who are experiencing homelessness to receive support from someone who has walked in their shoes.” For more information and to register, click here.

Gentrification May Be Bad for Your Mental Health

“Gentrification can be hazardous to your health, according to a team of New York City researchers. Their recently published study finds that hospitalization rates for mental illness—including schizophrenia and mood disorders—are two times as high in displaced people versus those who remain in their neighborhood. It is one of the first U.S. studies to quantify the hidden mental health consequences of gentrification. According to the conclusions of a recently published study, ‘These findings suggest negative impacts of displacement on healthcare access and mental health, particularly among adults living in urban areas and with a history of frequent emergency department visits or hospitalizations.’” For the story, with a link to the study, click here.

Does the Way the Media Report on Suicide Have an Impact on Suicide Rates? A Researcher Says Yes

A study of the impact of a bridge barrier that limited access to one particular way to die by suicide found that “[i]n the long run, barriers can reduce suicide rates,” according to a report by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The study also found that “[n]egative media coverage related to suicide can increase suicide rates,” and that “[h]opeful messages in the media can help reduce suicide rates.” For an article about the study, click here. [Editor’s Note: For “The Gun Lobby Is Hindering Suicide Prevention,” in which the AFSP is criticized for its partnership with the gun lobby (reprinted from the March 2018 edition of the Key Update), click here. For the AFSP’s position on this issue, click here.]

Police and Firefighters Are More Likely to Die by Suicide than in the Line of Duty, Researchers Say

“A white paper commissioned by the [Ruderman Family] Foundation has revealed that first responders (policemen and firefighters) are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. In 2017, there were at least 103 firefighter suicides—which the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance estimates may be only 40 percent of the total number—and 140 police officer suicides. In contrast, 93 firefighters and 129 police officers died in the line of duty…The white paper also goes on to lay out several barriers that prevent first responders from accessing necessary mental health services to help them cope with trauma…Additionally, of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States, approximately 3%-5% have suicide prevention training programs.” For more information and to download the report, click here.

P&A/CAP Annual Conference in Baltimore June 18-21

The National Disability Rights Network conference will be held in Baltimore June 18-21, 2018. “Each year P&A staff, board members, PAIMI Council members, colleagues, disability advocates, attorneys and our federal partners gather together for a week of intense training, hard work, collaboration….and a bit of fun!” For more information, click here.

Remembering Tragedy, Celebrating Resilience: Coping with Disaster Anniversaries

“Anniversaries of traumatic events are a time for remembrance and reflection and to celebrate the resilience of a community,” SAMHSA writes. “They also can revive feelings of unease, anxiety, and sadness among disaster survivors. Even the anticipation of the anniversary may cause some people to worry about how they will react when the day arrives. The following resources offer insights and practical tips for supporting survivors, responders, and others affected by natural and human-caused disasters and their anniversaries.” For the resources, click here.

“Measures for Justice” Seeks to Support Criminal Justice Reform; U.S. Sentencing Commission Issues Report on 2017 Federal Sentencing Statistics

“Missing data is at the core of a national crisis,” writes Amy Bach of Measures for Justice in The New York Times. “With nearly 5 percent of the planet’s population and almost a quarter of its prison population, the [U.S.] has invested a tremendous amount of money in the corrections system without the statistics necessary to tell us whether that money is actually reducing crime, improving fairness or lessening recidivism.” Measures for Justice aims to assess and compare the performance of the entire U.S. criminal justice system. For The New York Times article, click here. At the same time, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has issued a report on 2017 federal sentencing statistics. “These reports examine federal sentencing statistics from each judicial district, the districts within each judicial circuit, and the districts within each state. Each report compares the statistics from the respective district, circuit, or state to the nation as a whole.” For the report, published in April 2018, click here. (Editor’s note: Someone once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” This quote has been attributed to both Mark Twain and Benjamin Disraeli. However, whoever said it or wrote it did so in a different era.)

The Arts Help People Heal from Trauma, Mental Health Conditions, and Other Challenges

Two recent stories are a powerful testament to the healing power of the arts. “Jacksonville [Florida] advocates: arts, peer support crucial to help mentally ill (sic)” reports on “TheStudio:Jax, which will be Jacksonville’s first arts-based peer support center for mental health wellness…It will focus on providing meaningful activity, escape from isolation and to encourage advocacy and volunteerism in a community of peers, according to Jeanine Hoff and Carmen Joyce, the respective founders of Where is the Sunshine and I Still Matter,” both of whom are peer supporters. For the article, via @JudgeWren, click here. The second story is a first-person video about the Creative Vision Factory (CVF), in Delaware, in which Michael Solomon talks about finding CVF when he was struggling after his wife’s death. In his powerful monologue, he talks about being asked to take the lead on a CFV mural project and all that that entails: “It’s a really good feeling to know that I can give back.” For the video, via @CI_Salzer, click here.

The April 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated

Here is the April wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system: For “A ‘Hellish World’: The Mental Health Crisis Overwhelming America’s Prisons,” click here. For “Prisons and Jails Are Not a Mental Health System,” click here. For “Short Book Excerpt: Prisons Are the New Asylums,” click here. For “ABA launches clemency information clearinghouse for death penalty cases,” click here. For “Shutter Island: At Rikers, People with Mental Illness Fall Through the Cracks Over and Over Again,” click here. For “Rikers Island jail complex could be closed by 2024,” click here. For “A Lesson from Camden: Fixing Jails and Health Care Together,” click here. For “Integrated Health Care and Criminal Justice Data: Lessons from Camden, New Jersey,” click here. For “Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform 2017,” click here. For “If I hadn’t called [911], he would be here,” click here. For “Philly to close crumbling House of Correction as jail population declines,” click here. For “Rikers Doesn’t Put Teens in Solitary. Other New York Jails Do,” click here. For “When Bail Feels Less Like Freedom, More Like Extortion,” click here. For “How to Keep Innocent People Out of Prison: Limit Mistaken IDs,” click here. For the “Second Chance Act Statewide Recidivism Reduction Program,” click here. For “Second Chance Act Grantees: Highlights and Successes,” click here. For “The Epidemic of Wrongful Convictions in America,” click here. For “The high cost of taking away prisoners’ (sic) Medicaid coverage,” click here. For “Vague Criminality and Mass Incarceration: Will Dimaya End the Insanity?” click here. For “The Formerly Incarcerated (sic) Are Becoming Opioid-Overdose First Responders,” click here. For “Inside a Private Prison: Blood, Suicide and Poorly Paid Guards,” click here. For “The Uncertain Fate of College in Prison,” click here. For “Churches Take on Prison Reform, Remembering That Jesus Was a Convict (sic),” click here. For “‘Smarter Justice,’ Bail Reforms Make Headway Across U.S., Advocates Say,” click here. For “California’s Prison Education System Is Yielding Impressive Results,” click here. For “Beyond ‘law and order’: Criminal justice reform looks like a winning issue in 2018,” click here. For “Instead of focusing on Starbucks, Philly politicians should look to fix police practices,” click here. For the most recent edition of the Council of State Governments Justice Center’s Justice Reinvestment Roundup newsletter, click here. For the most recent edition of the National Reentry Resource Center newsletter, click here. For “How businesses can help reduce recidivism,” click here. For “Cascade of Overturned Cases May Emerge in Wake of Philly DA’s ‘Bad Cop’ List,” click here.

“Sometimes, my mind can be a dark and scary place…

…But then my friends show up with flashlights and help me to build a blanket fort. There’s this really horrible side of depression which makes us pause before we reach out for help. So even if we’re lucky enough to have friends who rock up and make a blanket fort with us, we may never let them know that they’re needed. At the same time, we know that we wouldn’t hesitate to help someone who was in need; after all, we’d hate to think of someone else going through the pain we’re going through. Asking for support when we need it, whoever that support may be from (friends, family, GP, The Samaritans) is absolutely not a sign of weakness. When we’ve recovered, recuperated and recharged, we’ll give again too.” To see this on Instagram, click here.

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 10, April 2018, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. If you find it of interest, you can check the following link at the end of every month, where each new issue is posted: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/the-key-update-latest/ For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org – please note that this is a new email address – or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

Key Update, March 2018, Volume 14, Number 9

Key Update, March 2018

Volume 14, Number 9

Psychiatric Labels Can Do More Harm than Good, Researchers Say

Labeling people with psychiatric diagnoses can lead to less effective treatments, according to researchers at the University of Bath in the UK. Tagging people with conditions such as schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, which could exacerbate symptoms and impede recovery. Such labels can lead professionals to “wrongly judge a book by its cover”—offering treatments based on diagnoses without considering someone’s specific needs. The lead researcher urged treatment providers “to be extremely cautious both in the use of diagnostic labels to describe a patient and mindful of the influence that such labels can have on their own clinical judgments.” For more information, including a description of the research, click here.

Enter the Alternatives 2018 Logo Contest! And/or Nominate Keynote Speakers! And the Workshop Application Deadline Has Been Extended!

The Alternatives 2018 Planning Committee is offering two great opportunities: Design the official logo and/or nominate keynote speakers! (And the workshop application deadline has been extended to March 21!) Would you like to see your design on the Alternatives 2018 T-Shirts and bags? Then enter the Alternatives 2018 Logo Design Competition! Your creation should convey the conference theme, “On Our Own: Transforming the Future Together,” and include the name of the conference: Alternatives 2018. The winner will be acknowledged at the conference and will receive one free registration, currently a $295 value (at the Early Bird rate)! Submit your design to info@ncmhr.org by April 30, 2018. For more information, click here. And do you know someone who would make a great keynote speaker? To nominate that person, click here! (You must contact your nominee in advance to ensure that they are available on the scheduled dates to attend the conference.) The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery will host the conference July 29-August 3 at The Catholic University in Washington, DC. For the Call for Presentations (deadline extended to March 21!) and an online submission link, registration information, and other important details, click here

PCORI Is Accepting Applications for 2018 Advisory Panels

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is accepting applications for its 2018 advisory panels. Applications and third-party nominations are due March 30 by 5 p.m. ET. To find out which panels are seeking applications, how to submit an application, the review and selection process, and how to apply, click here. Consumers United for Evidence-Based Healthcare (CUE) offers resources to help people understand what is expected of advisory panel members and how to communicate effectively on the panels. For the CUE resources, click here.

SAMHSA-sponsored Webinar on “Diversion & Access to Mental Health Services in Prisons & Jails" on March 20!

A free SAMHSA-sponsored webinar, “Diversion and Access to Mental Health Services in Prisons and Jails,” developed by the National Disability Rights Network, will take place March 20, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. ET. The webinar description reads in part: “Recently there has been an increased focus on diversion of individuals with mental illness to community services rather than incarceration. One part of this webinar will discuss this change in focus and ways systems have changed to accommodate diversion.  In addition, while we have seen increased access to mental health services in prisons and jails, there are still times where problems occur...A second part of this webinar will focus on processes that police departments can have in place to address these problems, how advocates can be involved, and ways to improve the system.” To register, click here.

SAMHSA Solicits Applications for Statewide Consumer Network Grants

SAMHSA has issued a request for proposals for statewide consumer network grants. “The goals of the SCN [Statewide Consumer Network] Program are [to] improve quality of and access to statewide peer support and recovery-oriented, integrated, and coordinated treatment, services, and supports; emphasize and build statewide consumer leadership within consumer-operated organizations and in the community; [and] build capacity and sustainability of statewide consumer networks.” Up to nine grants will be awarded. “Eligibility is limited to domestic public and private non-profit entities, tribes, and Urban Indian organizations that are mental health consumer-operated organizations for at least two years and are not operating under the umbrella of another organization.” The deadline to apply is April 23, 2018. For more information, click here

The TU Collaborative Offers a Free Toolkit for “Promoting Participation in Community Life”

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion is offering a new publication entitled “Jump-Starting Community Inclusion: A Toolkit for Promoting Participation in Community Life.” “This toolkit contains 66 practical first steps that community mental health providers can take to more effectively support their service recipients’ participation in everyday community life,” the TU Collaborative writes. “This compendium of simple strategies—drawn from 15 years of research and training activities…—focuses on policy changes, programming shifts, and practice innovations that can quickly give new life and relevance to your agency’s operations.  The Toolkit offers a set of do-able strategies, along with links to over 100 publications and products to support your work.” To download the toolkit, click here. To register for a webinar about the toolkit on April 12 at 1 p.m. ET, click here.

“Do Antidepressants Work? A People’s Review of the Evidence”

In response to a new “meta-analysis” recently published in Lancet which purported to prove, “once and for all,” that “antidepressants work,” award-winning investigative journalist Robert Whitaker has published “Do Antidepressants Work? A People’s Review of the Evidence.” Whitaker writes: “Psychiatry relies on a particular slice of evidence—RCTs [randomized controlled trials] in a carefully selected group of patients—to support its ‘antidepressants work’ message. But a review of the evidence regarding their effectiveness in real-world patients, over both the short term and long term, tells a different story, and this is precisely the evidence most germane to patients.” To read more, click here. Another writer, published in Frontier Psychiatry, notes, “The strong reliance on industry-funded research results in an uncritical approval of antidepressants. Due to several flaws…the efficacy of antidepressants is systematically overestimated, and harm is systematically underestimated. Therefore, I conclude that antidepressants are largely ineffective and potentially harmful.” For the article, click here. For a third article on the same subject, click here.

British Psychologists Introduce the “Power Threat Meaning Framework”

The “Power Threat Meaning Framework” has been developed by leading British psychologists “as an alternative to more traditional models based on psychiatric diagnosis.” According to the British Psychological Society News, the Framework, which is rooted in the social determinants of mental health, has “important implications for social policy and the wider role of equality and social justice.” “The Power Threat Meaning Framework can be used as a way of helping people to create more hopeful narratives or stories about their lives and the difficulties they have faced or are still facing, instead of seeing themselves as blameworthy, weak, deficient or ‘mentally ill,’” said Dr. Lucy Johnstone, one of the lead authors. “…It also shows why those of us who do not have an obvious history of trauma or adversity can still struggle to find a sense of self-worth, meaning and identity.” For more information and to download the free materials, click here.

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

New York Times Covers Debate on Call for Building More “Asylums”

On March 5, 2018, The New York Times published “Trump Wants More Asylums—And Some Psychiatrists Agree,” which covered both sides of the debate. “When people are going back and forth from prisons to hospitals, that’s a sign they might have benefited from longer-term treatment options,” said Dominic Sisti of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. But Jennifer Mathis of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law took strong exception. “Locking people up long-term is no treatment at all. The idea that we could be going back to those days—we did this before, and it failed and failed badly—it’s crazy and discriminating,” she said. Joseph Rogers, founder and executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, who has been locked up in state hospitals for up to six months at a time, said, “It is hard to describe the smell. I guess it is the smell of caged humans. Someone once told me that part of the smell comes from the medication everyone is on.” He added: “You’re told when to go to bed, where to go, what to eat and when. They take all your freedom away, and in my eyes they’re not placed where you get any help.” For the article, click here.

“Building a Strong Mental Health Peer Specialist Workforce” Is Doors to Wellbeing’s March Webinar

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free, one-hour webinar. “Building a Strong Mental Health Peer Specialist Workforce,” on March 27, “will include an introduction to a successful internship program as well as examining the challenges and possible solutions for mental health peer specialist career development. It will also look at a unique initiative through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants for mental health peer specialists.” For more information and to register, click here.

ICYMI, the Bazelon Center’s Webinar on Criminal Justice, the ADA & People with Mental Health Conditions Is Available

If you missed the Bazelon Center’s SAMHSA-sponsored webinar “Criminal Justice, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and People with Mental Illnesses,” which took place on February 26, 2018, you’re in luck! The recording, transcript and PowerPoint slides are now available! The webinar covered how mental health, criminal justice, and correctional programs can work together to meet ADA obligations and ensure an array of services that reduce the likelihood that people with mental health conditions will enter the criminal justice system. To view the webinar, click here.

The National Empowerment Center Has Launched a New Website

The National Empowerment Center writes that they “are pleased to launch what is hopefully a more contemporary website, logo, and look that is much more accessible and easy to navigate via smart phones.  Please take a look at www.power2u.org.” The new Featured Video section of the Home Page—you have to scroll down—offers a link to a five-minute “Introduction to Emotional CPR” video. Or you can access the video directly if you click here.

Free Report on a Survey of Attitudes toward Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Is Available

A recent survey of people’s attitudes toward direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising seems to report conflicting results. “The survey’s findings show that investment in DTC may be increasing but its effectiveness is decreasing,” the Executive Summary notes. “Pharma’s approach to DTC is also decoupled from patient needs, causing patients to disengage from traditional tactics and, in some cases, become actively hostile to the medium.” However, the survey later notes, “An overwhelming majority of respondents (76%) reported feeling positive or neutral on the question of whether DTC was helpful to them. Only 24% reported that they believed DTC to be harmful.” You can download the free 24-page publication and draw your own conclusions if you click here.

Thanks, Fran Hazam

2017 Report Counters Prejudice about People Who Use Drugs

The Global Commission on Drug Policy has issued a free 44-page report entitled “The World Drug (Perception) Problem.” “For too long, drugs have been considered as substances that must be avoided at all cost; people who use drugs have been rejected by society and perceived as asocial, depraved or deviant,” the Foreword states. Adding that “[g]overnments waste great amounts of public money on repression rather than financing efficient prevention, treatment and harm reduction measures,” it continues: “Prejudices and fears surrounding drugs are expressed in stigmatizing language, stigmatization leads to social discrimination and repressive laws, and prohibition validates fears and prejudices. This vicious cycle must be broken.” To download the free report, click here. For a state-by-state overview of opioid prescribing guidelines, click here.

French Documentary Portrays People in a Psychiatric Institution Asking for Their Freedom

“12 Days studies the hearings that anyone involuntarily institutionalized in a mental hospital in France is entitled to after twelve days of treatment,” the Village Voice writes. “[M]ost of them [are] trying to project calmness and certainty. By the end of their interviews, however, many are swallowing back outrage. They have lives to get back to, jobs and kids and cats.” For an article about the documentary, click here. For the trailer (in French), click here.

Excellent AFSP Article Debunking the Myth of Violence Is Undercut by AFSP’s Connection with NRA

On March 7, 2018, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) published an excellent article entitled “Debunking the Myth of Violence and Mental Illness.” “…it must be pointed out that the linkage between mass violence and mental illness is a red herring—misleading and grossly distorted,” the AFSP’s chief medical officer writes. The article, which includes many good resources, makes a number of important points, such as that “[s]tudies have found that of all violent acts in the U.S., less than five percent of violence in the U.S. is attributable to mental illness,” and that “[p]eople with mental health conditions are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of violence.” For the article, click here. However, a story published on December 26, 2017, in The New York Times—“The Gun Lobby Is Hindering Suicide Prevention”—shows the AFSP in a different light. The latter story reveals a connection between the AFSP and the National Shooting Sports Foundation—a gun industry trade association—that the AFSP is spinning as an educational partnership. However, according to the writer, after the AFSP announced the partnership, “AFSP staff told the board that volunteers who wanted to talk about the documented higher risk for suicide deaths for those who keep firearms in the home had to keep quiet about gun control…” For that article, click here. At the same time, a Reuters press release, “Strict state gun laws linked to fewer suicides and murders,” makes the importance of gun control to suicide prevention (and prevention of homicides) clear. For the press release, click here.

The March 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated

Here is the March wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system: For “The State of Justice Reform 2017” by the Vera Institute, click here. For “Dwindling Oversight Heightens Concern over Medical, Mental Health Care for Inmates,” click here. For “How iPads Changed a Police Force’s Response to Mental Illness,” click here. For the Brennan Center’s “Charging Inmates Perpetuates Mass Incarceration,” click here. For “A Revolution of Values in the U.S. Criminal Justice System,” published by the Center for American Progress, click here. For “How much do incarcerated people earn in each state,” by the Prison Policy Initiative, click here. For the recent Juvenile Justice Roundup published by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, click here. For “North Dakota Launches Recovery Services Program,” click here. For “Anxiety for People in Prison: A Self-Help Guide,” a 30-page manual published by the National Health Service Foundation Trust in the U.K., click here. For “Mass incarceration: The whole pie (2018)—Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial?...” click here. For “Philadelphia’s New Top Prosecutor Is Rolling Out Wild, Unprecedented Criminal Justice Reforms,” click here. For “Radically Reforming America’s Parole and Probation Systems,” published by NPR’s “The Takeaway,” click here. For the National Reentry Resource Center’s “Reentry and Employment Roundup,” click here. For “Heated floors and pillow-top mattresses…in prison,” click here. For “How Lenders Are Turning Low-Level Courts into Dickensian ‘Debt Collection Mills,’” click here. For “Back to Nothing: Prisoner Reentry and the ‘Virtual City’ of the Disenfranchised,” click here. For “Inside the Deadly World of Private Prisoner Transport,” click here. For “The Treatment Industrial Complex: As California transitions away from mass incarceration, a notorious private prison company has landed a multimillion-dollar state contract to provide inmate reentry services,” click here. For “New tool helps juvenile lifers navigate reentry to a dramatically different world,” click here.

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 9, March 2018, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. If you find it of interest, you can check the following link at the end of every month, where each new issue is posted: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/the-key-update-latest/ For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org – please note that this is a new email address – or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

 

Key Update, February 2018, Volume 14, Number 8

Key Update, February 2018

Volume 14, Number 8

Peers Can Help Others with Mental Health Conditions Manage Their Physical Health, Research Shows

A randomized study of 400 individuals with serious mental health conditions and at least one long-term general medical condition has found that those involved in the Health And Recovery Peer (HARP) program, a self-management program for general medical conditions led by certified peer specialists, achieved better results than those in the “business as usual” group. According to the study, published online by Psychiatric Services on February 1, 2018, the HARP program was associated with improved physical and mental health-related quality of life. This suggests the potential benefits of more widely disseminating peer-led disease self-management for people with mental health conditions. For more information, click here.

Thanks, @HarveyRosenthal

Webinar on “Redefining Risk in Peer Support Relationships” This Friday, February 16, at 12 p.m. ET

The InterNational Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) and Optum are sponsoring a one-hour webinar on “Redefining Risk in Peer Support Relationships” on February 16 at noon ET. The presenter is Chris Hansen, director of Intentional Peer Support (IPS). The webinar will be interactive and will include a demonstration role play. At the appointed time, click here to join the meeting. The meeting number (access code) is 642 950 604; the password is optum. Or you can join by phone: 763.957.6300.

Alternatives 2018 Is the People’s Alternatives! Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Present a Workshop!

Applications for workshop presentations at Alternatives 2018 are now being accepted! For more than 30 years, the Alternatives conference has been organized and hosted by peers for peers (people with lived experience of the behavioral health system, emotional distress/crisis, trauma, or substance use/addiction). The conference is famous for offering the latest and best information in the peer recovery movement, and provides an invaluable opportunity for peers to network with and learn from one another. “This will be a ‘people’s Alternatives,’ funded entirely through registration fees and donations. We will be ‘on our own’ again, connecting to the roots of our movement,” said a representative of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR). The NCMHR is organizing this year’s conference, July 29-August 3 at The Catholic University in Washington, DC; the theme is “On Our Own: Transforming the Future Together.” For the Call for Presentations and an online submission link, registration information, and other important details, click here. To go directly to the Call for Presentations page, click here. The deadline for submitting proposals is March 16, 2018. (Last month’s Key Update included a later date in error; we apologize!) Want to help plan the conference? Fill out the Alternatives Planning Interest Form, available here. Questions? Write info@ncmhr.org. Follow @AltCon_2018 on Twitter; the hashtag is #Alternatives2018. For the Alternatives 2018 Facebook page, click here.

New, Free Online Platform Helps Mental Health Advocates Connect with Each Other

“ICI Connect is a simple, free online platform that is designed to help people who are asking questions or thinking critically about the mental health system find and connect with each other in person,” according to the ICI Connect web page. “After creating basic profiles, members can search by location and/or interest for other members who live nearby in order to connect, share information, spark new friendships or collaborations, provide mutual support or advocacy, organize public learning events or groups, set up crisis networks, or begin to build grassroots community alternatives to the mental health system.” For more information and to connect, click here. For more about the Inner Compass Initiative, click here: www.theinnercompass.org

NARPA Invites Workshop Proposals for Its Annual Rights Conference

The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) is seeking workshop proposals that address strategies, ideas, programs, and emerging practices that support and promote NARPA’s mission and commitment to individual rights, liberty, freedom, and dignity. The conference will be held September 26-29, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. The proposal deadline is February 28, 2018; selected presenters will be notified via e-mail by April 15. For more information, including possible topic areas, and for the application for presentations, click here. Questions? Write narpa@aol.com or call 256.650.6311. Electronic submissions via narpa@aol.com are preferred, or mail proposals to NARPA, P.O. Box 855, Huntsville, AL 35804.

SAMHSA’s VOICE Awards Are Seeking Nominations

“The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Voice Awards program honors people in recovery and their family members who are improving the lives of people with mental [health conditions] and substance use disorders in communities across the country. The awards program also recognizes television and film productions that educate the public about behavioral health, and showcase that recovery is real and possible through treatment and recovery supports. In 2018, the Voice Awards will pay special attention to individuals and entertainment productions that are raising awareness about serious mental [health conditions] and opioid use disorders. All nominations are due by Friday, March 16…There is no limit to the number of nominations an individual can submit, and self-nominations are welcome.” For more information or to make a nomination, click here.

Live & Learn Launches New Peer Respite Program Directory

Live & Learn Inc. has just launched its newly updated PeerRespite.net Program Directory. The Directory contains a listing of individual peer respites organized by state, with a “profile” of each peer respite. The profiles include a picture, map, information about staff training, guest eligibility, and links. Peer respites—operated and staffed by people with psychiatric histories and/or who have experienced trauma and/or extreme states—are voluntary, short-term residential programs that provide community-based, non-clinical crisis support. They operate 24 hours a day in a homelike environment. For the Directory, click here.

How WIOA Supports Employment and Training Programs, and How Social Enterprises Can Benefit

“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is the largest source of federal funding for workforce development activities in the United States,” writes REDFworkshop. Their learning guide includes information about WIOA’s predecessor, WIA (Workforce Investment Act of 1998), about WIOA and the changes it implemented, how funding flows from the federal to local level, and how social enterprises can benefit from WIOA funding. To learn more and to download the free guide, click here.

Thanks, @LayshaOstrow

“Video Game” Helps People with Auditory Hallucinations Control Their Voices

A small study by British researchers has found that people who hear voices can learn to control the voices by practicing with a “video game.” The researchers asked the dozen participants to use an MRI scanner to monitor and control the activity in the part of the brain that is responsible for auditory hallucinations, while devising techniques to move a cartoon rocket, floating in the sky, back down to earth. “If they were reducing brain activity in this brain region, then the rocket would move down with it,” said one researcher. Almost every one of the participants were able to devise techniques to control the rocket—and were subsequently able to use the same techniques to control their voices. Although the research is still in its early stages, “…the potential of a non-medical intervention to manage verbal hallucinations will offer hope to many,” said one mental health advocate. For an article about the study, click here. And for another approach to helping people who hear voices—avatar therapy—click here.

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

“Decisions in Recovery” Website and Handbook Aim to Help People with Opioid Use Issues

“Are you finding it difficult to stop using?” a SAMHSA website asks. “If you’ve thought about cutting down or stopping, this site can help. If you are using narcotics, prescription pain medications, heroin, or any other opioid drug, this site has information about some of your treatment options and ways to locate a provider who can help. You can also watch videos of people who have been where you are. They found a way to succeed in recovery and reclaim their lives. So can you.” For the website, click here. SAMHSA also offers a free, 68-page handbook called “Decisions in Recovery: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder,” available here.

“In Our Own Voice—African-American Stories of Oppression, Survival and Recovery in Mental Health Systems”

“ ‘In Our Own Voice: African-American Stories of Oppression, Survival and Recovery In Mental Health Systems’ is a revolutionary act of self-love and a demand for visibility for African-American psychiatric survivors,” writes the author, Vanessa Jackson. “As we listen to the voices of the men and women who shared their stories we will hear the profound pain caused by mentalism and discrimination in our most important relationships, including our relationships with mental health providers. This guide and the sharing and connections that I hope will emerge from its use, will provide us with an opportunity as survivors to own our wounding and recovery and offer our experiences as lessons to our community on survival and triumph.” To download the free 37-page publication, click here.

Thanks @Fred_Friedman

“Why Underlying Causes of Emotional Distress Are Often Unexplored”

In a podcast, Dr. Lucy Johnstone, a clinical psychologist and author, discusses “our reliance on the concept of diagnosis and how that doesn’t fit well with psychological or emotional distress, and how a predominantly biomedical view of [mental health issues] tends to lead to a purely medication-centered approach to mental health care.” Among the topics covered are “why a psychosocial approach to mental distress would reduce psychiatric prescribing,” and “that there is more and more evidence to suggest that, overall, psychiatric drugs lead to disability in the long term rather than fix any problem.” For more information and to listen to the podcast, click here.

Thanks, @AnneCook14

SAMHSA’s “Spring Training” Covers Sleep’s Impact on People with Mental Health Conditions

As part of its Program to Achieve Wellness, SAMHSA is hosting three one-hour webinars, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET, on the importance of sleep and how to get more of it. “Creating Environments for a Good Night’s Sleep” is on March 7 (click here to register); “The Intersection of Chronic Pain, Serious Mental Illness, and Trauma on Sleep…and What to Do About It” is on March 14 (click here to register); and “Putting It All Together: Sleep Habits, Rituals, and Routines for Health and Wellness” is on March 21 (click here to register). Also, according to a 2017 study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, “Sleep deprivation is an effective anti-depressant for nearly half of depressed patients.” For more information, click here.

Free VOICE Award-Winning Comedy Documentary

Until March 1, 2018, you can get a free copy of “Cracking Up,” the VOICE Award-winning documentary about Stand Up For Mental Health (SUFMH), which teaches stand-up comedy to people with mental health conditions as a way of building confidence and fighting prejudice and discrimination. SUFMH was founded by award-winning counselor and stand-up comic David Granirer, who himself has depression. For more information about how to get your free copy, and to see a preview, click here. To watch dozens of SUFMH comics “find the funny side of their recovery journeys,” click here. “These vid[eo]s are a great source of laughter and inspiration for anyone dealing with a mental health issue,” Granirer said.

Radio Podcast Provides Information on Harm Reduction to Help People with Substance Use Issues

On February 4, 2018, “In Your Right Mind” (a radio show available on demand at www.InYourRightMind.com) aired a program on how harm reduction can help people with substance use conditions. According to the Harm Reduction Coalition, “Harm reduction incorporates a spectrum of strategies, from safer use, to managed use, to abstinence, to meet drug users ‘where they’re at,’ addressing conditions of use along with the use itself.” To listen to the radio show, click here. For more information about harm reduction, click here.

Memoir Magazine Accepts Unsolicited Submissions Year-Round

Do you have a story to tell? Memoir Magazine wants to hear from you! "Memoir Magazine is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability. All writers are encouraged to submit." For more information, including guidelines, and to submit your story, click here.

International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) is an interdisciplinary field of philosophy and practice that examines the therapeutic and anti-therapeutic properties of laws and public policies, legal and dispute resolution systems, and legal institutions. TJ values psychologically healthy outcomes in legal disputes and transactions, without claiming exclusivity in terms of policy objectives. The International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence (ISTJ) is a non-profit, learned organization dedicated to advancing TJ by supporting legal and interdisciplinary scholarship; identifying and promoting best professional and judicial practices; sponsoring conferences, workshops, and seminars; engaging in continuing professional education and public education activities; and hosting and participating in print, electronic, social media platforms. For more information, click here.

Librarians Get Trained to Help People with Mental Health Conditions

Because libraries have become a kind of refuge for individuals with mental health conditions who are homeless, about 35 librarians in California have completed a course on how to respond to signs of a mental health or substance use condition, a Pittsburgh TV station has reported. The library hopes to train at least 50 librarians by 2019. “There’s kind of a good way and bad way to handle any situation, and the more tools we give our staff, the better off they’re going to be able to keep things positive,” said Christie Hamm, manager of youth and literacy services at the Sacramento Public Library. To watch the video, click here.

Johnson & Johnson Is Using the Prospect of Jail Time to Market an Antipsychotic Drug

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson recently received FDA approval to promote “an unusual benefit” of an antipsychotic medication delivered by a monthly injection: “The medication, the FDA concluded, could potentially keep people with schizophrenia out of prison or jail.” Although a study of a potential side effect of the medication, Invega Sustenna—generic name paliperidone palmitate—indicated that the risk of tardive dyskinesia is low (click here), it is worth noting that this is the same company Steven Brill reported on in “America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker: Over the course of 20 years, Johnson & Johnson created a powerful drug [Risperdal], promoted it illegally to children and the elderly, covered up the side effects and made billions of dollars” (click here). For the Marshall Project story about Invega Sustenna, click here.

The February 2018 Digest of Articles about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated

Here is the February wrap-up of stories about the criminal justice system: For the most recent newsletter of the National Reentry Resource Center Reentry and Employment Roundup, click here. For “Nation’s Leading Corrections Administrators Call for 50% Reduction of People on Probation & Parole to Save Money and Increase Public Safety,” a Columbia University Justice Lab press release which includes links to two new reports, click here. For the Council of State Governments Justice Center Juvenile Justice Roundup (including “Assessments Often Miss Mental Health Issues for Youth on Probation”), click here. For “Helping Moms, Dads & Kids Come Home: Eliminating Barriers to Housing for People with Criminal Records,” click here. For “Redemption for Offenders and Victims,” click here. For “National Prison Rate Continues to Decline Amid Sentencing, Re-Entry Reforms,” click here. For “How Mass Incarceration Harms U.S. Health, in Five Charts,” click here. For a selection of the Vera Institute’s “favorite justice-related podcasts, books, documentaries, and social media influencers from 2017,”click here. For “Kids in psych center say staff sexually, physically abused them. Why didn’t officials listen?” click here. For “California's mentally ill inmate population keeps growing. And state money isn't enough to meet needs, lawmaker says,” click here. For “Grand jury clears Cleveland cops in Tanisha Anderson’s death…who died while being arrested during a mental health episode in 2014,” click here. For “Is Life in Solitary Inhumane? Lawsuit Seeks to End ‘Death Row’ in Pennsylvania,” click here. For “The Effects of Pretrial Detention on Conviction, Future Crime, and Employment: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Judges”—Spoiler Alert: “Pretrial detention has no net effect on future crime, but decreases formal sector employment and the receipt of employment- and tax-related government benefits. These results are consistent with (i) pretrial detention weakening defendants’ bargaining positions during plea negotiations and (ii) a criminal conviction lowering defendants’ prospects in the formal labor market”—click here.

ICYMI: From the January 2018 Edition of the Key Update (Still Relevant)

 Recovery to Practice to Host Final Webinar (as Part of a Four-Part Series)

The remaining webinar in the four-part Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R) Webinar Series will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET on February 21 (“Implementation of CT-R Across a System, Lessons of Success.” The previous three sessions were held on January 3, January 7, and February 7, respectively. “While this is a four-part series, you may attend one or all of the sessions. Registration will be necessary for each session,” the organizers write. For more information and to register, click here.

Doors to Wellbeing’s Monthly Webinar Series Continues

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free webinar. The learning objectives for “Building Community Support Groups for Improved Mental Health,” on February 27, are “to outline steps to create a community support group for mental health and wellness, to identify key leadership roles in the community to support efforts to create support groups, and to explore the benefits of healthy relationships created through support groups.” For more information and to register, click here.

Two Upcoming SAMHSA-sponsored Webinars Cover the ADA and Self-Direction, Respectively

On February 26 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law will present Criminal Justice, the Americans with Disabilities Act and People with Mental Illnesses. For more information and to register, click here. And on February 27 at 2 p.m. ET, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery will present Self-Direction through Personalized Budgeting. For more information and to register, click here.

Thanks, Judene Shelley

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 8, February 2018, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. If you find it of interest, you can check the following link at the end of every month, where each new issue is posted: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/the-key-update-latest/ For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org – please note that this is a new email address – or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

Key Update, January 2018, Volume 14, Number 7

Key Update, January 2018
Volume 14, Number 7

 

Federal Government Publishes Report of ISMICC Committee Recommendations

The Way Forward: Federal Action for a System That Works for All People Living With SMI and SED and Their Families and Caregivers, which comes out of the work of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC), “describes key advances in research and strategies to improve services to [individuals with serious mental health conditions and individuals with serious emotional disturbances] based on presentations given by the members at the first ISMICC meeting.” To download the free 120-page report, click here. For more information about ISMICC, including a link to view the December 14, 2017, press conference, click here. To read a Medpage Today analysis of the ISMICC report, click here.

 

Alternatives 2018 Call for Presentations and Registration Information Are Now Available!

Applications for workshop presentations at Alternatives 2018 are now being accepted—and you can register for the conference too! The Alternatives conference has a more than 30-year history as a national gathering of mental health consumers/survivors to share resources for recovery, innovative peer-run programs, and strategies for advocacy. “The Alternatives conferences have been a beacon of hope for thousands of people living with mental health challenges, motivating and empowering them to live their best lives,” said a representative of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR). The NCMHR is organizing this year’s conference, which will be held July 29-August 3 at The Catholic University in Washington, DC; the conference theme is “On Our Own: Transforming the Future Together.” For the Call for Presentations brochure and an online submission link, registration information, and other important details, click here. The deadline for submitting proposals is March 16, 2018. To get involved in planning the conference, fill out the Alternatives Planning Interest Form, available here. Questions? Write info@ncmhr.org. Follow @AltCon_2018 on Twitter; the hashtag is #Alternatives2018. For the Alternatives 2018 Facebook page, click here.

 

Three Websites Offer Expertise in Disparate Spheres

Three websites offer guidance in fact-finding, recovery from substance use issues, and countering the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health conditions, respectively. The first, Verrit.com, calls itself a portal that “contextualizes noteworthy facts, stats, and quotes for politically engaged citizens.” For instance, currently on its home page are the following facts (among others), with backup: “A quarter of Americans get their drinking water from untested or contaminated systems”; “In 2017, at least 99 bills to restrict voting access were introduced in 31 states”; and “Just eight men possess as much wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity.” A second site, Start Your Recovery, offers what it describes as “Reliable substance abuse information and support,” including links to a number of people telling their recovery stories. The site does not purport to be comprehensive: It’s Substance Abuse 101, but the stories make it worthwhile. A third site, “Mind Your Language,” from the UK, is “A guide to language about mental health and psychological wellbeing in the media and creative arts.” Written by Peter Kinderman and Anne Cooke—both distinguished clinical psychologists, professors, and authors—it is a good basic guide to person-first language. (Dr. Cooke edited the British Psychological Society’s 180-page manual “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange, or appear out of touch with reality, and what can help,” available for free download here.

 

“Parents with Disabilities Face an Uphill Battle to Keep Their Children”; TU Offers Resources to Help

“Nearly one in 10 children in the United States are at risk of being removed from their home by a child welfare agency simply because their parent has a disability,” according to an article in Pacific Standard. “While parents with disabilities make up only 6.2 percent of all parents in the United States, a recent study found that 19 percent of children in foster care have a parent with a disability,” the article notes. “Bias toward parents with disabilities transcends all disability types—physical, sensory, intellectual, and psychiatric.” However, the article continues, parents who have intellectual or psychiatric disabilities experience more child custody challenges than parents with other disabilities. For the Pacific Standard story, click here. For resources from the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion about parenting with a mental health condition, click here.

 

“Ask Me Anything” Employment Series Continues on January 24

The National Resource Center on Employment at Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation is hosting a free, interactive Q&A webinar on January 24, 2018, at 2 p.m. ET. During the one-hour session, an employment expert will answer questions related to funding and policies supporting employment in mental health systems of care. Potential questions might include barriers and supports to employment in mental health systems, the respective roles of vocational rehabilitation and mental health systems in developing and funding employment for people with mental health conditions, or anything else on the topic. The expert, Joe Marrone, is a senior program manager for public policy at the Institute for Community Inclusion/UMASS Boston. For more information and to register, click here.

 

Volunteers Needed for C/S/X-Initiated Study of Helping-related Stress in Peer Supporters

“We hear a lot about stress in the peer workforce, but there hasn’t been much research about it,” writes researcher Stephania Hayes. “You can help change that!” She is “interested in hearing from peer support providers whether they experience stress at work or not—all responses benefit the research. Results have implications for training and service environments, as well as future research on stress experiences of mental health professionals. Everyone who completes the survey may opt to be included in a prize drawing.” The study was designed by a certified peer support specialist with input from peers and allies. It involves an online questionnaire, which takes about 30 minutes to complete. Recruitment will end once 800 responses are collected, or May 1 (whichever comes first).  For more information, click here. Questions? Contact stephania@berkeley.edu.

 

Two Online Forums Provide Safe Spaces for Mental Health Support

Two online forums, one for youth and the other for adults, provide support for people with mental health challenges. “We have a simple mission: to provide a safe space in IRC for mental health support and information as well as just general chat,” writes the IRC Village. “We welcome those who have any form of mental illness and those who care for people who do. We are not professionals and can only offer information based on our personal experiences...” To learn more or to get started, click here. At the same time, Voice Collective, “a UK-based project supporting children and young people who see, hear or sense things others don’t, has launched the first-ever online forum dedicated to supporting young people…aged 25 and under who hear voices, see visions or have other unusual sensory experiences or beliefs, as well as their parents, carers and supporters…regardless of geographical location.” For information about Voice Collective, click here.

 

“If You Are a Supervisor of Peer Workers, We Want to Hear from You!”

Researchers are seeking peer support supervisors for a 16-question survey whose results will be used to create guidance on supervising peer workers. The survey—which will close on February 28, 2018—takes, on average, seven minutes to complete. If you supervise peer supporters in a behavioral health setting and would like to participate, click here. Questions? Contact Dana Foglesong at DFoglesong@magellanhealth.com.

 

Sci-Fi Magazine Welcomes Submissions from Writers with Disabilities

The deadline is February 15, 2018, for submissions “from writers who identify themselves as disabled” to Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. “What kinds of disabilities? All of them.” Fiction should be between 750 and 6,000 words, and is paid at $.08 a word. “We do not require stories to explore issues relating to disability,” the fiction editor writes, “but we do encourage them.” For nonfiction, “We are looking for essays which explore the relationship between disability and SFF…” Length for nonfiction: between 1,000 and 2,500 words; payment: $50 an essay. For both, writers must submit their stories (or, in the case of nonfiction, either their essay or pitch) via Uncanny’s “Moksha” submission system, not via email. For details and a link to the submission system, click here.

 

Survey on “Uncovering Potential Talent: Non-apparent Disabilities” Seeks Respondents

The Working Mother Research Institute writes: “The survey is being conducted…to understand how people with non-apparent disabilities (including autism, ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder], PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder] and other cognitive and mental disabilities) feel about their experience in the workplace (or, if they are not employed, their experience in looking for employment). The results of the survey will be used to improve employers’ ability to recruit and retain members of this critical talent pool. Your participation is completely voluntary and your responses will be confidential. Results will be reported in aggregate only. The survey is intended for participants who have a disability, rather than for a relative or caregiver of a person with a disability. The survey could take up to 30 minutes to complete. You will have the ability to save your results and finish the survey at a later date if you are unable to complete it in one sitting. To participate, please click here. If you experience technical problems with the survey software, please email us at disabilitysurvey@workingmother.com. Thank you in advance for your participation.”

 

An Array of Information about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated

Here is the January roundup of stories about the criminal justice system: The Collateral Consequences Resource Center has published a new report that shows that states across the country are continuing to expand opportunities to avoid or mitigate the adverse effects of a criminal record. For more information and a link to the report, click here. The Beyond the Bars conference, organized by the Center for Justice at Columbia University, has issued a Request for Proposals for the third day of its 2018 conference, March 1-4. The deadline to apply is January 26. For more information, click here. For “The Decline of Mass Incarceration Is Good for Everyone,” click here. For “California Examines Prison Guards’ High Suicide Rate,” click here. For “For Survivors of Prison Rape, Saying ‘Me Too’ Isn’t an Option,” click here. For “Goodbye Bail: Alaska Switches to New System of Criminal Justice,” click here. And for “The New Reformer DAs: As cities grow more progressive, a new breed of prosecutors are winning office and upending the era of lock-’em-up justice…” click here.

 

Two Publications Offer Help for Students with Disabilities

Two publications from the Community for Accredited Online Schools offer, respectively, information to help students with disabilities obtain scholarships and financial aid, and to help them succeed in trade school. “There are…special financial aid and scholarship opportunities for students with disabilities,” according to “Scholarships & Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities.” “The purpose of this guide is to focus on these financial aid opportunities and discuss how to take advantage of them.” For the guide, click here. “Thriving in Trade School with a Disability” notes that “[s]ome students find vocational programs to be a viable post-secondary option as they lead to meaningful, independent work in a skilled trade. The following guide highlights the benefits of vocational education, potential careers, and laws that protect both students and employees with disabilities. Employers can also find simple steps for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.” For the guide, click here.

 

Recovery to Practice to Host Two Webinars (as Part of a Four-Part Series)

The two remaining webinars in the four-part Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R) Webinar Series will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET on February 7 (“Team-based CT-R for Building Empowerment and Resilience”), and February 21 (“Implementation of CT-R Across a System, Lessons of Success.” The first session was held on January 3, the second on January 17. “While this is a four-part series, you may attend one or all of the sessions. Registration will be necessary for each session,” the organizers write. For more information and to register, click here.

 

New Reports Cover “State of Mental Health Care in 2018” and Americans’ Use of Drugs and Behavioral Health Services

Two recently released surveys shed light on “the state of mental health care” in the U.S., and Americans’ use of drug and behavioral health services, respectively. Mental Health America (MHA) recently released its annual collection of national “mental health facts, stats, and data.” And a SAMHSA-funded survey covers “The National Survey on Drug Use and Health [NSDUH],” which “has taken on new significance during the current opioid epidemic sweeping the United States,” according to a recent newsletter published by Development Services Group, Inc. “The annual survey of households tracks the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs among Americans 12 years and older, providing researchers and policymakers with extensive national data on drug use and mental health,” DSG writes. For the MHA report, click here. For the newsletter, which summarizes the 2016 survey results and includes links to more information, click here.

 

New Guide Promotes Supportive Academic Environments for Faculty with Mental Health Conditions

Promoting Supportive Academic Environments for Faculty with Mental Illnesses: Resource Guide and Suggestions for Practice, published by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, “focuses on ways to make college and university campuses more accessible for faculty with mental disabilities. It provides concrete suggestions for creating a ‘culture of access’ by offering effective strategies for promoting inclusive language, managing accommodations, and revising policies around recruitment, hiring, and leaves of absence.” For more information and to download the free manual, click here.

 

Want to Be a Guest on Not Broken Radio?

Not Broken Radio, “an international radio show and podcast that was initiated to have open and honest discussion about mental health and disabilities,” is inviting people to apply to be guests on the show. “Not Broken Radio has already helped thousands in overcoming mental health barriers, disabilities, anxiety and stress, difficulties in business, entrepreneurship, relationships, life and health with its fluent discussion about mental health without worrying about the stigma, walking on eggshells, or political correctness.” To apply to be a guest, click here, click here.

 

Doors to Wellbeing’s Monthly Webinar Series Continues

On the last Tuesday of almost every month at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing hosts a free webinar. The December 2017 edition of the Key Update highlighted the January 30, 2018, webinar, on “Self-Care for the Peer Specialist.” The learning objectives for “Building Community Support Groups for Improved Mental Health,” on February 27, are “to outline steps to create a community support group for mental health and wellness, to identify key leadership roles in the community to support efforts to create support groups, and to explore the benefits of healthy relationships created through support groups.” For more information and to register, click here.

 

Four Upcoming Webinars Cover a Range of Behavioral Health Topics

Four SAMHSA-sponsored webinars in January and February 2018 will cover a range of topics of interest to the behavioral health community. On January 26 at 2 p.m. ET, the National Council for Behavioral Health will present Peer Support: A Critical Component in Supported Housing. For more information and to register, click here. On February 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) will present Successfully Employing Peer Specialists: A Framework and Tools. For more information and to register, click here. On February 26 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law will present Criminal Justice, the Americans with Disabilities Act and People with Mental Illnesses. For more information and to register, click here. And on February 27 at 2 p.m. ET, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery will present Self-Direction through Personalized Budgeting. For more information and to register, click here.

Thanks, Judene Shelley

 

“Would You Like to Contribute to an Alternative Understanding of ‘Psychosis’?”

The HUMANE—Hope/Understanding/Meaning/Acceptance/Noos (human spirit)/Empowerment— Clinic in Australia “is preparing to provide an alternative to the challenging and often unfounded perceptions of what is called psychosis in our society: Voices, visions and other realities: Psychosis 365. The intention: to share compassionate and humane ideas, views and thoughts on how we understand common human realities, often referred to as psychosis…We are asking people to record a one-minute video with their understanding of voices, visions, and other realities: Be part of the change.” For the project’s website, click here. For guidance on the content and other information required in order to participate in Psychosis 365, click here. Questions? Write to info@humaneclinic.com.au .

Thanks, Oryx Cohen

 

BU Program Helps Students with Mental Health Conditions Thrive; TU Collaborative Continues Recruiting for Supported Education Research Study

Programs at two universities (Boston University and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion) are working to help students with mental health challenges. “For the past three years, Boston University has offered one of the few programs in the nation dedicated to teaching students who have had to leave college the coping skills that will give them a shot at getting back into school or work while managing severe anxiety, depression, and other serious mental health conditions,” according to a recent STAT article. “The semester-long program takes its name from the Latin word niteo: to thrive.” A recent New York Times article reports: “Niteo is a one-semester program that offers resilience, wellness and academic skills classes, as well as coaching to students from all over the county on leave for mental health reasons. It costs $8,500 per semester, and some scholarships are available.” For the STAT article, click here. For the New York Times article—most of which is a first-person “as told to” piece by a Niteo student—click here. For a BU story about the program, click here. At the same time, the Temple University (TU) Collaborative is continuing to recruit for its online study about students with mental health issues. For the TU Collaborative survey, click here.

 

SAMHSA’s Evidence-Based Program—NREPP—Is Terminated

SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), launched in 1997, has been terminated by order of the federal government, a STAT article reports. STAT describes NREPP as follows: “Its website lists 453 programs in behavioral health—aimed at everything from addiction and parenting to HIV prevention, teen depression, and suicide-hotline training—that have been shown, by rigorous outcomes measures, to be effective and not quackery.” For the STAT article, click here. But a statement from Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, assistant secretary for mental health and substance

use, presents a different picture. She writes: “We at SAMHSA should not be encouraging providers to use NREPP to obtain EBPs, given the flawed nature of this system. From my limited review…I see EBPs that are entirely irrelevant to some disorders, ‘evidence’ based on review of as few as a single publication that might be quite old and, too often, evidence review from someone’s dissertation.” For her statement, click here.

Thanks, Janet Paleo.

 

ICYMI: From the December 2017 Edition of the Key Update (Still Relevant)

ResilienceCon2018 Issues Call for Conference Submissions

ResilienceCon 2018, organized by Life Paths Appalachian Research Center, is inviting presentation submissions. The goals of the conference, to be held April 29-May 1, 2018, in Nashville, include “shifting research, prevention, and intervention on violence and other adversities to a focus on strengths and resilience; and ‘disrupting’ the usual conference format to create a more interactive, forward-looking, think-tank approach.” The deadline for conference submissions is February 9, 2018. For more information and to submit a proposal, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

 

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

 

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 7, January 2018, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. If you find it of interest, you can check the following link at the end of every month, where each new issue is posted: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/the-key-update-latest/ For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org – please note that this is a new email address – or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

The Key Update, Volume 14, Number 6 - December 2017

Key Update, December 2017
Volume 14, Number 6

 

Save the Date! Alternatives 2018 Is Planned for July 29-August 3 in Washington, DC!

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) is proud to host Alternatives 2018, which will be held July 29 through August 3, 2018, at Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC. “Catholic University was chosen as the location because it is in our nation’s capital, is economical, and is known to have a commitment to justice and the common good,” said conference chair Anthony Fox. The conference theme is “On Our Own, Transforming the Future Together”—as both an homage to the seminal work by the late movement leader Judi Chamberlin and in recognition of the fact that this will be a “people’s Alternatives,” funded entirely through registration fees and donations. “We will be ‘on our own’ again, connecting to the roots of our movement,” Fox said. “We will be free and empowered to express our unique voices, to learn from each other in the spirit of self-help, mutual support, and the principles of recovery in action, with the goal of living full and independent lives in the community.” College dorm rooms (with single beds and private bathrooms) will be available for an affordable price, and three buffet-style meals a day will be in the college dining hall. All meeting rooms are ADA-accessible; some accessible dorm rooms can be reserved. There is a Metro stop on campus; parking is also available. There are several hotels a few Metro stops away. More information will be available soon at www.ncmhr.org! Questions? Write info@ncmhr.org

 

New Issue of Journal of Humanistic Psychology Covers Alternatives to Psychiatric Diagnosis

The “current issue of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology is entirely given over to alternatives to psychiatric diagnosis. Paywall, sadly, but an open access version of our paper (on the furor surrounding the DSM-5) is available here,” writes Anne Cooke, editor of the British Psychological Society’s manual Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia. To quote from the abstract, “The idea and practice of ‘diagnosis’ in psychiatry has always been controversial. Controversy came to a head in the period preceding and immediately after publication of the latest version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. There was widespread international discussion and debate…This article documents that process and outlines the issues that provoked, and continue to provoke, most controversy, from the (admittedly personal) perspective of those involved. It ends with suggestions of alternatives to diagnosis, which avoid some of these problems and outlines how these are being taken forward.” For the free article, click here. To download Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia for free, click here. In a related story, the deadline is December 22, 2017, to comment on proposed changes to the DSM-5. The changes seem a little like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, but they were approved by the DSM Steering Committee and are being posted for a 30-day public comment period. To read the five proposals and comment on any or all of them, click here.

 

BRSS TACS Sponsors “Gender-Responsive Approaches to Supporting Behavioral Health Recovery”

SAMHSA’s BRSS TACS invites you to “a conversation with experts about gender-responsive approaches to supporting behavioral health recovery. Research suggests that the experience, prevalence, and trajectory of mental and substance use disorders differ between gender groups, as does the effectiveness of different forms of treatment. This event will include discussions of practical approaches to providing gender-responsive recovery supports such as frameworks and vocabulary for understanding the different dimensions of gender and how to engage different gender groups.” To register for this free, 60-minute interactive virtual event, to be held December 28, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET, click here.

 

New Research Briefs Highlight Results of Surveys of Self-employed Individuals with Psychiatric Diagnoses

The NIDILRR-funded project on Self-Employment Starts with You has published a series of research briefs highlighting the results of surveys of self-employed individuals with mental health conditions. “Characteristics of Businesses and Business Owners” describes the survey participants, their experiences with barriers to and supports for self-employment, and the types of businesses they run. “Being and Becoming Self-Employed” provides insight into the experience and challenges of self-employment, and strategies for overcoming the challenges and reclaiming employment. The third brief, “Planning for the Future: Growth-Oriented Entrepreneurship,” presents findings related to growing a business and planning for the future. More research and resources for entrepreneurship are available from www.ReclaimingEmployment.net.

 

CHTI to Host Free Webinar on “Engaging Elected Officials in Your Work”

On January 17, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. ET, the Community Health Training Institute (CHTI) is offering a free 90-minute webinar on “Engaging Elected Official in Your Work: Tips, Tools, and Talking Points.” “Engaging a variety of people who can champion your work in places you may not be able to reach is an important strategy for implementing PSE (policy, systems, and environmental) change,” they write. “This webinar will explore why it is important to engage elected officials in the community work you do, and different strategies for how to engage them. The presenter will provide a brief overview of the structure of local governments, and strategies for preparing talking points that members of your coalition can use in phone calls, emails, or visits to elected officials.” For more information and to register, click here.

 

Temple University Offers Resources on Storytelling for Individuals with Mental Health Conditions

In July 2017, the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion hosted a storytelling event, attended by 250 activists, academics, professionals, and researchers. “The storytelling session invited nine people with lived experiences to share their stories of life in their communities,” the TU Collaborative writes. “Storytellers discussed family, friendships, volunteer work, and travels. The event was filled with laughter and excitement, which we invite you to share by watching videos captured at the session…We have developed materials which offer suggested ways to gather the stories of people, not patients. We hope this will inspire you to encourage consumers to share their stories using the StoryCorps app, hosting a storytelling event, and/or running storytelling workshops.” For links to an array of storytelling resources, click here.

 

Doors to Wellbeing to Host Free Webinar on “Self-Care for the Peer Specialist”

On January 30, 2018, at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a free webinar on “Self-Care for the Peer Specialist.” “Workshop participants will learn to define mental health and wellness for themselves, understand how their mental health and wellness affects their work as a peer specialist, and develop personal tools for improving and maintaining mental health and wellness.” For more information and to register, click here.

 

ResilienceCon2018 Issues Call for Conference Submissions

ResilienceCon 2018, organized by Life Paths Appalachian Research Center, is inviting presentation submissions. The goals of the conference, to be held April 29-May 1, 2018, in Nashville, include “shifting research, prevention, and intervention on violence and other adversities to a focus on strengths and resilience; and ‘disrupting’ the usual conference format to create a more interactive, forward-looking, think-tank approach.” The deadline for conference submissions is February 9, 2018. For more information and to submit a proposal, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

 

Full Disclosure: When Mental Health Professionals Reveal Their Mental Illness at Work

“Results from a survey conducted by Temple University Collaborative associates suggest that mental health staff who have mental health issues and work as therapists, counselors, case managers, etc. (i.e., non-peer-specialist roles) report positive and supportive responses from their colleagues following disclosure,” the TU Collaborative writes. “However, many also acknowledged their own fears of and/or experiences with workplace discrimination and a ‘social distancing’ of colleagues following disclosure or after requests for workplace accommodations. Take a look at this publication to review the survey results and see what policy, program, and practice initiatives you can implement to build even more welcoming work environments within our mental health community for all.” To download the free eight-page publication, Full Disclosure: When Mental Health Professionals Reveal Their Mental Illness at Work, click here.

 

Defective Magazine Seeks Submissions

Defective Magazine, which calls itself “an irreverent rocknroll approach to mental health awareness, peer support, arts, music, articles, resources, blah, blah, blah,” is inviting submissions. The e-zine has “no popups and no spam. No cookies and no tracking. No ads and no metrics. No Java and no Flash.” “Why use the offensive term ‘Defective’? Because we have a sense of humor and don’t take it all so seriously. Because we're a bit irreverent.  Because when people use these types of playfully self-deprecating terms, we identify and think (and sometimes blurt out) ‘Me too…’” The website is www.defectivemagazine.com/. Any questions? Write defectivemagazine@gmail.com.

Thanks, Laura Van Tosh

 

Bail Bloc Lets You Provide Bail for People Caught in the Bronx Criminal Justice System

“Can a Social Justice App Be Art?” is about Bail Bloc, “a cryptocurrency scheme against bail.” According to the Bail Bloc website, “When you download the app, a small part of your computer's unused processing power is redirected toward mining a popular cryptocurrency called Monero, which is secure, private, and untraceable. At the end of every month, we exchange the Monero for US dollars and donate the earnings to the Bronx Freedom Fund.” For a New Yorker article about Bail Bloc, click here. For an article about the app in The Nation, click here. For the Bail Bloc website, click here.

 

An Array of Articles and Resources about the Criminal Justice System, in Which Many Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Are Incarcerated

The criminal justice system—and, in some of the pieces, the connection between the criminal justice and mental health systems—was the focus of the following articles and resources. Most are recent; two are from 2015: “Improving Outcomes for People with Serious Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders in Contact with the Criminal Justice System” (click here); “It’s Time to End Mass Incarceration” (click here); “Why We Should Stop Calling People Who Commit Crimes ‘Criminals’” (click here); “Criminalization of Poverty” from Harvard Law School (click here); “Let’s Make 2018 the Year to Step Up for Persons with Disabilities” (click here); “Our Prison Population Is Getting Older and Older” (click here); “Reaching Inside the Jails to Break the Cycle of Homeless Arrests” (click here); “Mental Health Advisory Board Report: A Blueprint for Change” (Los Angeles, 2015) (click here); “Paroling the Mind: A College Program Opens New Doors…” (click here); “Our Criminal Justice System Perpetuates Poverty” (2015) (click here); “Screening and Assessment of Co-occurring Disorders in the Justice System” (click here); and “Demographic Differences in Sentencing: An Update to the 2012 Booker Report” (click here).

Contributors to the above include @JudgeWren and @WaqarVick; thanks!

 

“Selected Papers of William L. White”: A Rich Resource for People Interested in Substance Use Issues

“This site contains the full text of more than 300 articles, eight monographs, 30+ recovery tools, nine book chapters, three books, and links to an additional 17 books written by William White and co-authors over the past four decades, as well as more than 100 interviews with addiction treatment and recovery leaders. The purpose of this site is to create a single location where such material may be located by those interested in the history of addiction treatment and recovery in the United States. Those papers selected for inclusion contain all of the articles and monographs authored by William White on the new recovery advocacy movement, recovery management and recovery-oriented systems of care.” For the website, click on www.williamwhitepapers.com.

Thanks, @BrookeM_Feldman

 

New and Revised Webpages on Trauma, Suicide Prevention, and Intimate Partner Violence Are Launched

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions has launched new and revised webpages on trauma, suicide prevention, and intimate partner violence. “Each page is full of updated content and many of the best nationwide resources on these topics, tailored to behavioral health and primary care organizations. For the Trauma page, click here. For the Suicide Prevention page, click here. For the Intimate Partner Violence page, click here. Questions? Email the Center for Integrated Health Solutions at Integration@TheNationalCouncil.org .

Thanks, Judene Shelley

 

“The Challenge of Higher Education” Provides a Firsthand Perspective

The Café TA Center has published a new Focus, entitled “The Challenge of Higher Education for Mental Health Consumers—A First Hand Perspective.” The Café TA Center writes, “In this issue of Focus, Paul Thornton, a consumer from Alabama, shares his own experience trying to find dedicated education funding for people with mental health conditions, discusses some of the potential sources of support, and proposes his own initiative to develop funding that specifically provides for the higher education of mental health consumers.” For the publication, click here.

 

View the Winning Films of Changing Minds’ 2017 Young Filmmakers Competition!

Changing Minds, which organizes the New York City Mental Health Film Festival, “got more than 300 submissions from filmmakers throughout the U.S. and beyond” for its 2017 Young Filmmakers Competition. “After much careful deliberation, we settled on one winning film, and five other films that more than deserve Honorary Mentions. We’re delighted to showcase all six of these films here!” For more information and to view the films, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth Leonard

 

Newsletters Offer Information on Mental Health and Criminal Justice Issues, Respectively

Two recent Mad In America newsletters and a newsletter of the National Reentry Resource Center include many resources and opportunities. For the December 3, 2017, edition of the Mad In America (MIA) newsletter, click here. For the December 10, 2017, edition, click here. For a recent newsletter of the National Reentry Resource Center of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, click here.

 

ThisInsider.com Highlights “7 TV Shows That Actually Get Mental Illness Right”

ThisInsider.com writes: “Not only do those who deal with mental illness have to face a society that villainizes them and prevents them from receiving adequate health care, they also have to deal with visual media that mock them or degrade them. But these seven shows are encouraging to those who may struggle with their own mental health issues, making sure that their characters are portrayed accurately and without perpetuating the stigma.” For the TV shows, click here.

 

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

 

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 6, December 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. If you find it of interest, you can check the following link at the end of every month, where each new issue is posted: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/the-key-update-latest/ For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org – please note that this is a new email address – or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

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

Key Update, August 2017

Volume 14, Number 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There Are Two Important Conferences in September!

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

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

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

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

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

Survey Seeks People Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Who Have Taken Atypical Antipsychotics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, J Rock Johnson

Virtual Reality May Help People Conquer Fears and PTSD

“Exposure therapy” through “virtual reality” may help people overcome their fears, according to a recent article in The New York Times. A new firm called Limbix is offering exposure therapy through Daydream View, the Google headset that operates together with a smartphone. “It provides exposure in a way that patients feel safe,” Dr. Dawn Jewell, a Colorado psychologist, told the Times. According to the article, “the service recreates outdoor locations by tapping into another Google product, Street View, a vast online database of photos that delivers panoramic scenes of roadways and other locations around the world.” For the New YorkTimes article, click here.

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 14, No. 2, August 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. If you find it of interest, you can check the following link at the end of every month, where each new issue is posted: /the-key-update-latest/ For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org – please note that this is a new email address – or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

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

Key Update, July 2017

Volume 14, Number 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Janet Paleo

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

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

July iNAPS Newsletter Features Information About Upcoming iNAPS Conference

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

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

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

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

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

PsychWardReviews.com Is a Yelp for Psychiatric Facilities

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

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

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

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

Alternatives 2017 Announces Many of the Exciting Workshops on Its Schedule

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

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

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

Thanks, Janet Paleo

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Janet Paleo

Website Promotes Writers Who Have Lived Experience with Various Disabilities

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

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

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

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

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

 

 

 

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

Key Update, June 2017

Volume 13, Number 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Behavioral Health Barometer Now Available from SAMHSA

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

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

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

WHO Offers Free Package of Mental Health Training and Guidance Modules

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

Thanks, Janet Paleo

Psychological Services Journal Solicits Manuscripts for Special Section on Peer Specialists

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

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

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

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

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

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

Alternatives 2017 Announces Lineup of Keynote Speakers

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Group on Employing People with Psychiatric Disabilities Invites Members

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

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

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

“20 Comics That Capture Life with Anxiety and Depression”

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 12, June 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhphope.org -- please note that this is a new email address -- or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

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

Key Update, May 2017

Volume 13, Number 11

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

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

Virtual “Psychosis Summit” Is Launched

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

Thanks, Oryx Cohen

Free Webinar on Grant Proposal Writing on June 7

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

2017 NYAPRS Annual Conference Call for Papers Has Been Issued

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

TU Collaborative Summer Institute Announces Summer Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

Doors to Wellbeing Seeks Webinar Presenters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philadelphia Issues Recommendations for Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

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

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

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

Guide to the Federal Budget Process Clarifies a Convoluted Activity

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

Thanks, Fran Hazam

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

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 11, May 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

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

Key Update, April 2017

Volume 13, Number 10

Report Finds Adults with Disabilities Remain Outside the Economic Mainstream

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

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

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

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

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

Community Psychiatry Forum on Ethical Issues in Community Mental Health

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

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

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

Registration Is Open for TU Collaborative Summer Institute!

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

Deadline for Voice Award Nominations Has Been Extended to May 12

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

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

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

Study Finds Mental Health Conditions Are More Common Than Expected

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

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

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

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

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

SAMHSA eBooks Are Available for Free Download

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

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

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 10, April 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

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

Key Update, March 2017

Volume 13, Number 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Lauren Spiro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Kevin Fitts

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

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

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

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

SAMHSA Spotlight Series Highlights Approaches to Building Trauma-informed Communities

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

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

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

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

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

Pioneering Activist Judi Chamberlin’s Papers Are Available Online

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

Thanks, Dan Fisher

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

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

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

Alternatives 2017 Early Bird Registration Is Available Through April 20!

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 9, March 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 8 -- February 2017

Key Update, February 2017

Volume 13, Number 8

Free Webinar on How State Advocates Can Help Save Federal Health and Safety Net Programs

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is organizing a one-hour webinar on February 24 at 3 p.m. ET “to review the threats to Medicaid and provide guidance on how state advocates can defend the program against these threats.” The threats include the proposal to change the structure and financing of Medicaid by implementing a per capita cap which, similar to a block grant, would make deep cuts in federal Medicaid funds for states. “CBPP staff will also provide a brief overview of the other threats to federal health and safety net programs and the tentative timing for how these threats might play out.” The webinar is off the record and not open to the press. “It is geared primarily toward state-based advocates who are interested in, or already working on, federal health and safety net programs.” To register, click here. For questions, contact CBPP state strategies manager Deborah Swerdlow at dswerdlow@cbpp.org.

Thanks, Ray Bridge

Free Webinar: A Future for Early Intervention in Psychosis Services?

On February 24, at 1 p.m. ET, the National Empowerment Center is sponsoring a free, 90-minute webinar -- A Future for Early Intervention? Lessons Learned and the Potential Transformation of Specialized Early Psychosis Services -- that “will explore contemporary practices in specialized early psychosis services with an emphasis on service gaps in the areas of trauma, ethnic/racial disparities/cultural humility, and peer support. The presenters will cover current practice innovations and describe an agenda for increased peer leadership and transformative change within early intervention.” For more information and to register, click here.

Deadline for BRSS TACS Capacity Building Opportunity Extended to February 24 at 8 p.m. ET

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) are offering the Capacity Building Opportunity, “a free intensive technical assistance opportunity for peer-run organizations (PROs), recovery community organizations (RCOs), and family-run organizations. Up to 25 PROs/RCOs/family-run organizations will be selected to receive individualized consultation, training, and peer-to-peer support over a six-month period in one of five areas: Partnering with State Systems to Advance Recovery; Advancing the Peer and Family Support Workforce; Building Capacity to Support Peer and Family Services; Sustaining Recovery in Educational Settings; and Supporting Re-entry.” For more information on eligibility and to apply, click here. Questions?  Email BRSSTACSCapacityBuilding@center4si.com or call 781.247.1711.

Thanks, Judene Shelley

Free Training Opportunity in Collaborative Leadership Series: “Working Across the Divides”

The STAR Center is offering a free training opportunity to help people improve their collaborative leadership facilitator skills. “Up to 20 people will be chosen through an application process to learn and implement facilitation and leadership strategies in group problem solving, creating inclusive and safe spaces, participatory decision making and consensus building, designing meeting agenda and process, engaging conflict, and harnessing group memory.” Six virtual 90-minute training sessions will be followed by six months of “implementation, communication and evaluation,” including coaching by the STAR Center staff and consultants. Preference will be given to individuals in Region 2 (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas). Applications are due by March 3. For more information, including application instructions, click here.

Free Webinar Covers Creating and Sustaining a Peer Specialist Support Group

Doors to Wellbeing continues its monthly webinar series with Creating and Sustaining a Peer Specialist Support Group, on March 28 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will examine the particular challenges and barriers that certified peer specialists and other “peer workers/volunteers” face, and ways they can support each other. Also, on February 28 at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a webinar entitled Creativity Becomes You, presented by Gayle Bluebird and Meghan Caughey. (The February webinar was promoted in the January Key Update.) For details and to register for either or both webinars, click here.

AAPD Offers 2017 Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship

“The Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship, managed by Rooted in Rights and AAPD, provides the opportunity for an individual with a disability to learn and apply skills in digital media storytelling, and to connect with media professionals to prepare participants for advanced careers in media production, journalism, online advocacy, or digital design. The project combines hands-on training on cutting edge technologies with a strong foundation in developing the individual’s voice and using story-driven videos in advocacy.” Applications are due by March 15. For details, including eligibility requirements, click here.

Alternatives 2017 Call for Presentations Due March 17!

The National Empowerment Center writes: "The Alternatives 2017 Conference Committee, which includes consumer/survivor/peer leaders across the nation, is seeking proposals for presentations. We invite everyone to consider becoming a presenter. First-time presenters are especially welcome. Learning from each other is a clear example of self help, mutual support, and the principles of recovery in action!" The conference theme is Building Healing Communities Together; the conference will be held in Boston August 18-21. For the call for presentations, click here.

More Older Adults Are Taking Multiple Psychiatric Medications, Researchers Report

According to a recent report in The New York Times, “The number of retirement-age Americans taking at least three psychiatric drugs more than doubled between 2004 and 2013, even though almost half of them had no mental health diagnosis on record…The new analysis, based on data from doctors’ office visits, suggests that inappropriate prescribing to older people is more common than previously thought.” The research was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. For the Times story, click here. At the same time, goodtherapy.org has reviewed the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, published by the Icarus Project and the Freedom Center. For the review, which includes a link to download the guide for free, click here.

Thanks, @OryxCohen and @LaurenSpiro

Peer Specialist Database Launched by Doors to Wellbeing

Doors to Wellbeing has launched a Peer Specialist Database to help people find out how to become a peer specialist in every state. For the free database, which Doors to Wellbeing has said it plans to continuously update, click here. In addition, the 2016 national edition (last revised in January 2017) of Peer Specialist Training and Certification Programs, published by the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health and the University of Texas at Austin, is available for free download here.

ASAN Publishes Affordable Care Act Toolkit for Self-Advocates, Available for Free Download

The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) has just published a free, 15-page guide to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It has three parts: “A Self-Advocate’s Guide to the Affordable Care Act,” “What’s the Problem with Repeal and Delay?” and “The Affordable Care Act: What Can I Do?” ASAN writes: “The Affordable Care Act Toolkit for Self-Advocates explains in plain language all the different pieces of the ACA, what the proposed changes are, and what the impact of repealing it would be.” To download the free toolkit, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Report Reveals Wide Range of State Law Enforcement Training Standards on Mental Health and De-Escalation

The Council of State Governments Justice Center recently released The Variability in Law Enforcement State Standards: A 42-State Survey on Mental Health and Crisis De-escalation Training. This survey report, completed in partnership with the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, revealed that while nearly all states have law enforcement training standards on mental health and crisis de-escalation, the required training hours, topics, and teaching methods differ widely. For instance, survey respondents reported that training on mental health and de-escalation topics ranged from two hours to 40 hours for recruits or new officers. For more information and to download the free report, click here.

Clean Slate Clearinghouse, with Re-entry Resources for People with Criminal Justice Histories, to Be Launched This Year

The Clean Slate Clearinghouse (NCSC), to be launched in 2017, will be a resource for advocates of people with criminal justice involvement who have no legal expertise, as well as policy analysts, policy makers, lawyers and lawmakers. “It will provide state-by-state rules of clearing, correcting or expunging criminal records.” The goal is to make it easier for people to find decent jobs, housing, and otherwise re-integrate into society. The Council of State Governments Justice Center will partner with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, the National Juvenile Defender Center, the National Association of Counties, and the National League of Cities on the NCSC. For more information, click here. For “How ‘Collateral Consequences’ Complicate Life after Prison,” click here.

New Toolkit to Support Behavioral Health Treatment Agencies in Integrating Peer Providers

A new toolkit, published by the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), is designed to help behavioral health care providers successfully integrate peer staff into their service settings. The four modules cover, respectively, “Preparing the Organizational Culture,” ‘Recruiting and Hiring Peer Staff,” “Service Delivery,” and “Supervision and Retention.” DBHIDS writes: “The Peer Support Toolkit incorporates many of the promising practices and resources that have emerged during the last decade of Philadelphia’s recovery-focused system transformation effort. Tools in this kit are designed to help agencies to recruit, retain, and effectively deploy people in recovery in a variety of peer support roles. The resources and information provided are relevant for executive leadership along with supervisors and peer staff.” For details and to download the free toolkit, click here.

Good Posture May Help Relieve Symptoms of Depression, New Study Says

Sitting up straight and standing up straight can help alleviate symptoms of depression, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Auckland. “This preliminary study suggests that adopting an upright posture may increase positive affect, reduce fatigue, and decrease self-focus in people with mild-to-moderate depression,” the researchers wrote. Sixty-one participants were randomly assigned to either an upright-posture group or a usual-posture group; those asked to maintain good posture were given specific instructions for tasks to complete. The study appears in the March issue of the Journal of Behavior therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. For more information, click here.

Broken Light Offers an Online Gallery for Photographers with Mental Health Conditions and Others

"Broken Light Collective is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that strives to create safe and accepting environments where photographers of all levels who are affected by mental health challenges can display their work, as well as inspire one another to keep going and keep creating...You are invited to create art for the site or come visit whenever you may be feeling low, hopeless, or just need something positive on which to focus...If you have a mental health challenge yourself, or have friends or family who do, then you qualify to be a contributor. You may also contribute if you are someone who helps other people who may be struggling...See the submission tab for details.” For the gallery and other information, 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.

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. 8, February 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 7 -- January 2017

Key Update, January 2017

Volume 13, Number 7

Up to 1.5M People with Disabilities Fail to Claim Valuable Earned Income Tax Credit

Special rules allow many adults with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); but as many as 1.5 million people with disabilities miss out because they fail to file a tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The EITC is a federal income tax credit for workers who earned $53,505 or less in 2016 and meet other eligibility requirements. Those who can claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a tax refund. (The EITC could put up to $6,269 into a taxpayer’s pocket.) While many non-filers fall below the income threshold requiring them to file, the only way to receive this credit is to file a return and claim EITC. Use the EITC Assistant, on IRS.gov, to determine eligibility and estimate the amount of credit. (Tax refunds are not counted as income for determining eligibility for any federally funded benefit program.) For more information, click here.

Thanks @AJFrench2013

Teenager Creates International Peer-to-Peer Suicide Prevention Site

After reading about the youth suicide clusters in Palo Alto, California, a 17-year-old in nearby Los Altos has created www.teenztalk.org, an international “platform for all teens to come together in a positive environment.” “We focus on teen mental health & harnessing peer connections as a source of strength,” the website says. Among the topics covered in videos by teens are “Battling Depression,” “From Social Anxiety to Freedom,” “Coping with Stress” and “Well-Being Strategies.” In addition, there is a resource page featuring mental health experts. For more information, click here. In a related story, www.crisistextline.org offers crisis support for teens. For the story, click here.

Free Issue Brief on Supported Education (SEd) Is Now Online

A free issue brief, Supported Education (SEd): State of the Practice, is available from Transitions Research and Training Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Transitions RTC partnered with RTI International to conduct the Feasibility Study for Demonstration of Supported Education to Promote Educational Attainment and Employment among Individuals with Serious Mental Illness (available here). This project “examined the state of the science of current SEd programs in the U.S., identified key considerations that can be used to design studies to validate SEd as an evidence-based practice, compiled evidence on SEd programs; identified gaps in the knowledge base about SEd, and looked at possible approaches for addressing unanswered questions about SEd.” To download the free issue brief, click here.

Doors to Wellbeing Continues Its Monthly Webinar Series on the Last Tuesdays of January and February

On January 31 at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a free webinar on How to Ask for a Raise: The Peer Support Compensation Survey. (Note: This webinar was promoted in the December 2016 Key Update.The webinar presenters, Allen Daniels and Peter Ashenden, were two of the authors of a National Survey of Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists, published in January 2016. For the survey, click here. Then, on February 28 at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a webinar entitled Creativity Becomes You, presented by Gayle Bluebird. The description reads, in part: “Peers will discover multiple ways to become a creative peer specialist. Not limited to art and artistic activities, though an important part, it involves how you dress, how you communicate, and how to be a natural YOU as a creative peer specialist. Lots of ideas of tools you can use...” For details and to register for either or both webinars, click here

Groundbreaking Report on Impact of Solitary Confinement on Individuals with Physical Disabilities

The ACLU has just released Caged In: Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Harm on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities. This report provides a first-ever national ACLU account of the suffering that individuals with physical disabilities experience in solitary confinement. The ACLU writes: “Solitary confinement is a punishing environment that endangers the well-being of people with physical disabilities and often violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The report’s revelations about the particular harms of solitary on people with physical disabilities shows the urgent need for far better accounting of the problems they face and the development of solutions to those problems.” To download the free report, click here. For a related story, "Punished Twice: Prisons Basically Ignore the Americans with Disabilities Act...," click here. For "Mentally Ill Inmates Face Solitary Confinement in R.I. Prisons," click here. For “Colorado must stop using jails for people in mental health crisis, panel says,” click here.

TU Collaborative Issues Call for Papers for 2017 Summer Institute

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has issued the Call for Papers for its 2017 Summer Institute, in Philadelphia, July 24-25. “The Institute seeks 15-minute presentations—which will be grouped in 90-minute panel discussions on similar themes—that focus on research findings and effective strategies to confront the degree to which individuals with mental health conditions struggle to move beyond their engagement in mental health-sponsored activities and toward individual participation in those aspects of life that are important to them.” The deadline for submission is March 15. For details, click here.

Free Webinar on Social Security Work Incentives to Be Sponsored by Peerlink on February 15

Social Security Work Incentives: A Path to Employment, Recovery and Self-Sufficiency!—a free webinar sponsored by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center—will take place on February 15 at 2 p.m. ET. “This webinar will focus on tools created specifically to help providers start the conversation about employment with the people they serve,” Peerlink writes. “We will also provide specific concrete details about Social Security’s work incentive programs and ways to combat the myth that people with psychiatric disabilities can't or shouldn't work.” The presenter will be Kristin Lupfer, project director of the SAMHSA SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) Technical Assistance Center at Policy Research Associates, Inc. For details and to register, click here.

Pioneering Antipsychotic Medication Study Focuses on Individuals’ Experiences

A new study, Experiencing Antipsychotic Medication: From First Prescriptions to Attempted Discontinuation, reports on the firsthand experiences of 144 individuals taking such medications as Seroquel, Olanzapine, Risperidone, Geodon, Haldol or Abilify. The researcher, at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, writes: “…what is one person’s life‐saving relief or useful tool is another’s personal burden, nightmare or hell…The results support an argument for informed choice and improved supports for those who would prefer not to take antipsychotics continuously in the long-term.” Mental health advocate, author and counselor Will Hall writes: “While the majority of people still taking antipsychotics said the medications improved their quality of life, the majority of those not taking them said medications [had] made their life worse….The study shows that for all participants, quality of life was far more determined by non-medication factors such as working, going to school, coping, and having social support than it was by whether or not someone was taking antipsychotics.” For Hall’s article about the research, which includes a link to the study, click here.

Deadline Approaches for Workshop Proposals for 2017 NARPA Conference

The 2017 Annual Rights Conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy will be held September 6-9 in Portland, Maine, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. The workshop proposal deadline is February 15, 2017. NARPA “is seeking proposals which address strategies, ideas, programs, and emerging practices that support and promote NARPA’s mission and commitment to individual rights, liberty, freedom, and dignity.” For possible topic areas, guidelines, and the application, click here. (Note: This item originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Key Update.)

Copeland Center to Host WRAP Around the World in Sacramento June 5-7

The Copeland Center will host its 2017 WRAP Around the World Conference in Sacramento, California, June 5-7. The Center invites “WRAP facilitators and others from systems of care around the world to share emerging practices around the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. Network, build skills, learn about current research and innovative programs, and be part of the community!” Early bird rates are in effect until February 28. For the Call for Papers, click here. For details and to register, click here.

MHA Announces Open Call for Nominations to Its Board of Directors

Mental Health America (MHA) has issued an open call for nominations (including self-nominations) for its 2017 board of directors class (June 2017 to June 2020). Responsibilities include “attendance at quarterly in-person meetings (including the annual conference), as well as regular electronic communication and active participation on at least one committee….Board positions require a time and energy commitment that should not be underestimated. Candidates are urged to consider personal priorities for the three-year term as well as ways to contribute to the development of the organization. To nominate yourself or another individual, complete the nomination webform (click here) by February 10, 2017.” (Password: MHAboard2017.) “You may nominate as many people as you like. We encourage you to discuss your nomination with the candidate prior to submission.” Questions? Contact Sachin Doshi at sdoshi@mentalhealthamerica.net.

Gun Violence Should Be Treated as a Public Health Crisis, According to New Research

“Every year in the U.S., more than 30,000 people die from things related to guns,” according to a recent NPR piece. “Yet, the funding for research on gun violence lags far behind other leading causes of death,” according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. For the NPR article, including a link to the study, click here. In a related story, “The Hidden Gun Epidemic: Suicides,” The New York Times recently wrote about the Gun Shop Project, whose goal is suicide prevention. The connection between suicide and easy gun access demands far greater attention than it has gotten,” according to the Times editorial, available if you click here. And The Guardian recently offered a geographical analysis of the incidence of gun violence. For that story—“Want to Fix Gun Violence in America? Go Local”—which reports that poverty-stricken neighborhoods containing just 1.5 percent of the U.S. population saw 26 percent of America’s gun homicides in 2015, click here.

NARMH to Host 2017 Annual Conference in San Diego September 6-8

The National Association for Rural Mental Health will host its 2017 annual conference in San Diego September 6-8. NARMH writes that its conference “provides great information and networking opportunities regarding all aspects of rural practice, research and policy.” The theme of this year’s conference is Exploring What Works: Caring for the Country. For more information, click here.

Resources Available from Two Recent Webinars on Helping Individuals with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement Re-enter the Community

On January 19, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion hosted a webinar on Peer-run Organizations Serving People with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement. To download a PDF of the PowerPoint slides, click here. To download Reentry and Renewal, the associated free report that highlights a dozen exemplary peer-run programs that serve individuals with both behavioral health conditions and criminal justice backgrounds, click here. Then, on January 24, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration presented Peer Support and Reentry: Criminal Justice Series Webinar 2, featuring Peerstar, which provides mental health recovery, certified peer support services, and forensic peer support services in many Pennsylvania counties. For a recording of the SAMHSA webinar, click here.

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 7, January 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 6 -- December 2016

Key Update, December 2016

Volume 13, Number 6

BuzzFeed Publishes Exposé of Large Corporate Operator of Private Psychiatric Hospitals

An intensive, yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation of Universal Health Services (UHS), which operates more than 200 psychiatric facilities across the U.S., “raises grave questions about the extent to which [its] profits were achieved at the expense of patients.” UHS took in nearly $7.5 billion from inpatient care last year—with profit margins of around 30 percent—BuzzFeed reports. The corporation is also under federal investigation for possible Medicare fraud. According to a BuzzFeed article posted on December 7, 2016, “Current and former employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method—which sometimes meant exaggerating people’s symptoms or twisting their words to make them seem suicidal—and to hold them until their insurance payments ran out.” BuzzFeed noted that UHS strongly disputes allegations of civil or criminal fraud, is cooperating with the investigation, and “has not been charged with any wrongdoing.” For the BuzzFeed article about its investigation—“Locked on the Psych Ward—click here.

Do You Qualify for an ABLE Account? If So, You May Want to Set One Up Before December 31!

ABLE accounts “are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families… For the first time, eligible individuals and their families will be allowed to establish ABLE savings accounts that will not affect their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits.” ABLE accounts can be opened online. For information on eligibility, how an ABLE account might help you or someone you know, and more, click here for the ABLE National Resource Center.

Thanks, Miriam Yarmolinsky

Free Webinar on Peer-run Organizations Serving People with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement on January 19; Related Report Spotlights Exemplary Programs

A free webinar on Peer-run Organizations That Serve Individuals with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement will be hosted by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion on January 19, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET. The presenters will be Rita Cronise of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS), Ellen Healion of Hands Across Long Island, Steve Miccio of PEOPLe Inc., and Noelle Pollet of Peace Work. Harvey Rosenthal of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services will moderate. The 90-minute webinar grew out of a survey by the College for Behavioral Health Leadership’s Peer Leader Interest Group, Mental Health America, the Clearinghouse, and the TU Collaborative. The resulting report, Reentry and Renewal, highlights a dozen exemplary programs, provides recommendations, and spotlights needed policy changes and the importance of expanded funding and research. To register for the webinar, click here. To download the free report, click here.

Brennan Report Provides Blueprint for Cutting Prison Population While Maintaining Low Crime Rates

Nearly 40 percent of the U.S. prison population—576,000 people—are behind bars with no compelling public safety reason, according to a new analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. The first-of-its-kind survey provides a blueprint for how the U.S. can drastically cut its prison population while still keeping crime rates near historic lows. According to the report, approximately 79 percent of individuals who are incarcerated experience either substance use disorders or mental health conditions, and 40 percent experience both. “Alternative interventions such as treatment could be more effective sanctions for many of these individuals,” the report states. “Too many people end up in prison in the first place, when alternatives like treatment would work much better,” said Lauren-Brooke Eisen, an author of the document. “Still others are locked up for too long and research shows those sentences are ineffective. When what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time to rethink it.” For more information and to download the free report, click here.

The State of Mental Health in America 2017 Has Been Published by MHA

Mental Health America (MHA) has published a state-by-state analysis of The State of Mental Health in America. Among the findings: 56 percent of adults with a mental health conditions did not receive treatment in 2017; and, in states with the fewest mental health professionals, there is only one mental health professional per 1,000 people—and this includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses combined. Most telling, “less access to care means more incarceration. Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama had the least access to care and highest rates of imprisonment. There are over 57,000 people with mental health conditions in prison and jail in those states alone. That’s enough to fill Madison Square Garden three times.” For numerous links to all the data, click here.

Only 35% of Medical Treatments Are "Beneficial" or "Likely to Be Beneficial," says BMJ; The Risks of Psychiatric Medications Are of Particular Concern, Researchers Report

Fifty percent of medical treatments are of unknown effectiveness, according to Clinical Evidence, a program of the BMJ—the weekly peer-reviewed medical journal formerly called the British Medical Journal. The BMJ analysis indicates that only 11 percent of treatments are beneficial, with an additional 24 percent likely to be beneficial. With 7 percent, there is a “tradeoff between benefits and harms”; 5 percent are “unlikely to be beneficial”; and 3 percent are “likely to be ineffective or harmful.” People “should be much less afraid of disease & more afraid of treatments. Benefits of most treatments are exaggerated; risks are ignored,” tweeted Allen Frances, MD, author of Saving Normal. For the BMJ report, click here. For a related story, published in Scientific American—“Psychiatrists Must Face Possibility That Medications Hurt More Than They Help”—click here. For another related story—“Study Suggests Long-Term Antipsychotic Use May Result in Poorer Cognitive Functioning”—click here.

SAMHSA and RTI International Launch Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and RTI International have launched a redesigned Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) “with new designs, streamlined menus, and simplified navigation. We want to offer our users an easy way to get to the data they need for their analyses,” SAMHSA writes. “We will update and expand our resources, tools, and documentation frequently to deliver the most relevant data for your needs.” For the archive, click here.

Thanks, Amy Smith

Free SAMHSA Webinar on CIT and Provider Collaboration on January 10

SAMHSA and Recovery to Practice will sponsor an hour-long webinar on January 10, 2017, at 1 p.m. ET called Safe and Sound: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and Provider Collaboration. This webinar is the first of three that will look at specific but varied intersections of criminal justice and behavioral health. It will review the CIT model; explore how providers can support CIT initiatives before, during, and after crisis; and provide examples of how law enforcement officers, people in services, and providers have worked or can work together to create safer and more recovery-oriented outcomes. For details and to register, click here.

An Invitation from a New Research Initiative to Figure Out Why Hearing Voices Groups Work

Www.OurVoicesRaised.org is a new research initiative in which “voice hearers and allies are partnering to find out what makes our Hearing Voices groups so useful,” according to the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care Hearing Voices Research & Development Fund. “Your voice and stories are essential to answering that question. If you are a voice hearer and have been involved in these groups, please consider offering your wisdom.” For more information and/or to participate in the survey, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth Saenger

Doors to Wellbeing Continues Its Monthly Webinar Series in January

A free webinar on How to Ask for a Raise: The Peer Support Compensation Survey will be hosted by Doors to Wellbeing on January 31, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET. Doors to Wellbeing writes: “This webinar will provide an overview of the national survey of compensation among peer support specialists. This survey provides peer specialists useful information on compensation rates across different types of service organizations and geographical locations. This webinar will use this data to help peer specialists advocate for improved compensation rates.” The webinar is part of the monthly series hosted by Doors to Wellbeing on the last Tuesday of almost every month. For details and to register, click here. The webinar presenters, Allen Daniels and Peter Ashenden, were two of the authors of a National Survey of Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists, published in January 2016. For the survey, click here.

Sustainability and Leadership Transition Bulletin Published by Café TA Center

Passing the Torch: Sustainability and Leadership Transition has been published by the Café TA Center. “One of the greatest challenges that any small nonprofit can face is maintaining its focus and momentum through times of change,” the bulletin begins. “CAFÉ TAC has created two assessment tools to help you determine how ready your organization is for a potentially disruptive transition. One provides an opportunity to review a past transition and determine what went well and what was problematic. The other offers a chance to take stock of how prepared your organization is for the next transition.” For the free bulletin, click here. In addition, the Clearinghouse published a free four-page bulletin on Sustainability in 2009, available here.

Vera Institute Announces Five Participants for Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative

On December 19, the Vera Institute of Justice announced that it had chosen the state corrections departments in Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, and Virginia to participate in its Safe Alternatives to Segregation initiative, which is helping state and local corrections agencies around the country reduce their use of solitary confinement. They join five jurisdictions that have been participating in the initiative since April 2015: Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, New York City, and Middlesex County, New Jersey. For more information, click here. According to "Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons: A Challenge for Medical Ethics," published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, "Many of the prisoners subjected to isolation, which can extend for years, have serious mental illness, and the conditions of solitary confinement can exacerbate their symptoms or provoke recurrence." For the article, click here. Solitary confinement can also generate symptoms of a mental health condition in people who previously did not have such symptoms. For more information, click here.

Want to Help a Philadelphian Who Is Homeless on the Street? There’s an App for That.

StreetChange, in Philadelphia, is a location-based smartphone tool to help people donate useful items to those who are homeless while also helping to connect them with outreach programs. The creation of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, it involves a partnership with the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP) and a startup grant from the Barra Foundation. It works like this: MHASP outreach teams engage with homeless individuals who may want to participate. The potential participants answer a few questions about themselves and mention some items they need, such as a warm winter coat, shoes, socks, or a toothbrush. And then…For the most up-to-date information about StreetChange, and to find out how the app helps people acquire the items they need and what happens when they pick them up at the nearest outreach center, click here

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 6, December 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