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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Key Update, November 2016

Volume 13, Number 5

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

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

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Keris Myrick @KeriswithaK 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RTP to Host Second Webinar on Psychiatric Advance Directives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NARPA Issues Call for Papers for Its 2017 Conference

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

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

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

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

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

Surgeon General Releases Facing Addiction in America

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

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

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

How to Call Your Reps When You Have Social Anxiety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 5, November 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Key Update, October 2016

Volume 13, Number 4

FDA Rules Allow Medical Device Makers to Keep Injuries Under Wraps

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

Thanks, @JeanneLenzer1

Free Guide to Voting Rights for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peerlink NTAC Offers a Free Webinar on Estate Planning and Empowerment

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

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

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

TU Collaborative Creates Manual on Welcoming Work Environments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

Tumblr Moves Ahead with Its Campaign to Promote Mental Health Awareness

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

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

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

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 4, October 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Key Update, September 2016

Volume 13, Number 3

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

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

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

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

HHS Issues Game-Changing Rules That Promise Increased Research Transparency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, @pdxlawgrrrl

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Fran Hazam

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

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

 

Scientific American Reports on How the FDA Manipulates the Media

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

 

Thanks, Carl Elliott @FearLoathingBTX

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

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

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

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

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

Thanks, Elizabeth Saenger

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

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

THE FOLLOWING TWO ITEMS ARE STILL RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT!

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

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

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

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

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

 

 

 

 

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

Key Update, August 2016

 Volume 13, Number 2

 

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

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

 

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

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

Thanks, Val Marsh @valncmhr

Hillary Clinton Releases Her Mental Health Agenda

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

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

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

Locked Wards Are “No Safer,” New Study Reports

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

Vera Institute Releases Report on Women in Jails

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

Researchers Seek Peer Providers for Study on Job Satisfaction

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

Thanks, Jessica Wolf, Ph.D.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reducing Incarceration by Rethinking America’s Approach to Violence

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

Planning Continues for Alternatives 2016

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

Study Says “Being Transgender Is Not a Mental Disorder”

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

Thanks, STAR Center @ConsumerStar

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

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

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

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

A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising Is Available

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, NYAPRS E-News

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

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

 

 

 

 

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

Key Update, July 2016

Volume 13, Number 1

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

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

Thanks, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren @JudgeWren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prison Activist Resource Center Offers Free Prisoner Resource Directory

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

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

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

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

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

 

Café TA Center Presents New Online Peer Supervision Training

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

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

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

CDC Reports on Occupations That Have the Highest Rates of Suicide

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

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

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

Thanks, Judene Shelley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

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

 

 

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

Key Update, June 2016

Volume 12, Number 12

Tell Your Congressional Representatives: Vote No on HR 2646!

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Fran Hazam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Matt Canuteson

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

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

Thanks, @AllenFrancesMD

SAMHSA Recruits Applicants for Its Program to Achieve Wellness Grants

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

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

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

iNAPS Conference Adds a Third Day

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

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

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

 

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

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

Exposé on Johnson & Johnson to Become a Movie

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

Thanks, @KevinFitts

Webinar on “Reframing Recovery” Is on July 21

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

 

New Yorker Shares Archived Stories about Mental Health Conditions and Treatment

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

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

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

Thanks, Elizabeth Saenger

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

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

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

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

Thanks, NYAPRS E-News

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

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

 

Researchers Discover Evidence of Racial, Class Discrimination among Psychotherapists

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

 

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

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

 

 

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

Key Update, May 2016

Volume 12, Number 11

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Thanks, @LaurenSpiro

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

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

New Parenting with a Disability Toolkit Is Available from the NCD

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

BRSS TACS First Friday Will Cover Recovery-Oriented Crisis Response

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

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

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

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

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

SAMHSA Voice Award Deadline Has Been Extended to June 3

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

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

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

Newsletters of iNAPS and the Café TA Center Offer Many Resources

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

WFMH International Conference Seeks Workshop Proposals

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

Thanks, Janet Paleo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quashed Report Warned of Prison Health Crisis

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

Thanks, @NYAPRS

“Beware of advice—even this.”

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

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

 

 

 

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

Key Update, April 2016

 Volume 12, Number 10

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

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

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

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

Thanks, ReentryUSA @ReentryUSA2

SAMHSA to Present Webinar on Creating a Culture of Wellness

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

Positive Memories Can Help Treat Mental Health Problems

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

Thanks, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association @PsychRehab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pathways RTC Publishes Annual Research Review on Early Psychosis Intervention

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

 SAMHSA to Sponsor a Webinar on Crisis Services and Community Integration

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

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

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

Thanks, Fran Hazam

Café TA Center Publishes Newsletter on Supported Education

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

 

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Disability Rights International @DRI_advocacy

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

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

Thanks, @KevinFitts

TU Collaborative Seeks Volunteers for a Research Study

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

Theater Company Sponsors Playwriting Competition on Mental Health Theme

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

Thanks, Howard Trachtman

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

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

Thanks, Café TA Center @CafeTAC

Comic Strips Capture the Experience of Depression and Anxiety

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

 

Canadian Tattoo Artist Transforms Scars into Art to Help Heal Trauma

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

Thanks, Leah Harris @leahida

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

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