Key Update, September 2018, Volume 15, Number 3

Key Update, September 2018

Volume 15, Number 3

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




Antidepressants May Cause Antibiotic Resistance, Researchers Say

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

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, NYAPRS E-News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

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

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

Thanks, Judene Shelley

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

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

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

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

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

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

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

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

Thanks, Nev Jones

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

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

Thanks, Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion

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

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

“Healing from Psychiatry: The Artist’s Perspective”

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

International Survey on Antipsychotic Medication Withdrawal Seeks Respondents

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Janet Paleo

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

About The Key Update

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

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