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

 

 

 

 

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

Key Update, March 2016

Volume 12, Number 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAMHSA Seeks Applications for Its 2016 Voice Awards

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

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

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

Webinar on Community Inclusion Policy Development Will Discuss Two New Publications

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

Free Telephone Support Group for Parents with Mental Health Challenges

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

SAMHSA Publication on Practicing Recovery Available for Free Download

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

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

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

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Change Leadership Programs Are Seeking Applicants

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

Researchers Find That Drum Circles Might Improve Mental Health

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

Thanks, Jeff Friedman @JMFriedman

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

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

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

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

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

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

VA Announces Additional Steps to Reduce Veteran Suicide

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

Can Getting Excited Help People Handle Anxiety?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

About The Key Update

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

 

 

 

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 8 - February 2016

Key Update, February 2016

Volume 12, Number 8

How to Keep People with Mental Health Conditions from Landing in Prison and “Human Toll of Jail”

“Early intervention programs may be the key to preventing people with serious mental illness from ending up in prison,” according to a new report by the Vera Institute of Justice. Examples include “programs that help homeless clients find housing, and offer enough flexibility to allow them to enroll in school or vocational training and foster a sense of empowerment,” write the authors of First-Episode Incarceration: Creating a Recovery-Informed Framework for Integrated Mental Health and Criminal Justice Responses. For more information and a link to the report, click here. The Vera Institute has also launched a website called The Human Toll of Jail, which “aims to put a human face to the uses and abuses of jails in the United States. Along with every story featured here, Vera brings information about and links to the research, policy analyses, and best practices that address the larger questions and issues.” More than a half million Americans with mental health conditions are incarcerated on any given day – about the same number of people warehoused in psychiatric institutions in the 1950s, Vera notes. For the website, click here. At the same time, the American Friends Service Committee has compiled Reports and Testimonies on the Use of Torture in U.S. Prisons, available here, and a web page on Impacts of Incarceration, available here. 

Comments Are Sought on Draft Competencies for Whole Health Peer Specialists

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

Emotional CPR Webinar to Be Presented on March 8

A webinar on Emotional CPR (eCPR)—an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by Connecting, emPowering, and Revitalizing—will be presented on March 8 at 3 p.m. ET. Its theme will be Creating a Culture of Recovery and Empowerment. The presenters will be eCPR co-developer Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., along with two other eCPR trainers, Flora Releford and Stella Archer. Dan “first imagined eCPR when he was helped out of a catatonic state by two young naval corpsmen whose authentic, caring ways restored his wish to live,” according to information posted on Facebook. He became a psychiatrist, a co-founder of the National Empowerment Center, a member of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts. To register, click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday in March Will Cover “What If I Am the Only Peer on My Team?”

On March 4, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference that answers the question What If I Am the Only Peer on My Team? Leading the Way in Traditional Behavioral or Integrated Healthcare Settings. “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 March 4 to hear about peer leadership and submit your questions to presenter LaVerne Miller of Policy Research Associates. For more information and to register, click here.

Free Guide to Using Your Employer-Sponsored Health Plan to Cover Behavioral Health Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently published Parity of Mental Health and Substance Use Benefits with Other Benefits. The guide examines “what the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act means for people with employer-sponsored health plans who need treatment for substance abuse or mental illness. [It] discusses key elements of health care legislation particularly as it relates to filing a claim, denial of a claim, and the appeals process.” To download the digital version, click here.

APA Issues Call for Papers for a Special Issue on Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Holistic Mental Health Care

The American Psychological Association (APA) is inviting submissions to Psychological Services for a special issue “devoted to all aspects of holistic care, including but not limited to culture-based approaches, evidence-based approaches, mindfulness, acupuncture, yoga, Ayurveda, traditional healing practices, nutritional and herbal approaches, meditation, physical care (e.g., exercise), indigenous approaches, mind-body medicine, religious and spiritual approaches, and ecological treatments.” The deadline for receipt of papers is August 31, 2016. For the call for papers, which includes detailed guidelines, click here.

Thanks, Mad in America

National Storytelling Network Seeks Applications for Brimstone Award

“The National Storytelling Network is accepting applications for the 2016 Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling, an annual award that recognizes the transformational properties of storytelling and the ways storytelling can promote change in individuals and communities. Grants of $5,000 will be awarded in support of model storytelling projects that are service-oriented, based in a community or organization, and are replicable (to some extent) in other places and situations….Projects may involve various kinds of stories, including traditional tales and myths as well as personal and ad hoc narratives….Areas of interest include health care, environmental education/activism, community development, law, multicultural awareness, organizational development, leadership, intergenerational initiatives, empowerment of the disabled, substance abuse prevention, and educational curriculum at all levels.” The preliminary proposal deadline is April 28, 2016. For details, click here.

Thanks, Matt Canuteson

Are Pictures Worth a Thousand Words in the Struggle Against Prejudice and Discrimination?

Cartoonists are posting online drawings to combat the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health conditions, the BBC reports. Mental Health Week: How drawings on social media are changing the conversation includes drawings by such artists as "Robot Hugs," "Sylvia Reuter," and "Ruby etc." Although they take different approaches to the subject, each has the goal of opening up the conversation, combating isolation, forging connections, and giving people hope. For more, click here. Although the BBC did not include her, Allie Brosh has been doing the same thing for a long time with Hyperbole and a Half. For Brosh's Adventures in Depression, click here. For Depression Part Two, click here.

Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism Seeks Applications for 2016-17

Applications are being accepted for six one-year journalism fellowships with the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program. The program is open to journalists who are U.S. citizens or residents working in all media forms with a minimum of three years of professional experience. “These fellowships aim to enhance public understanding of mental health issues and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses through balanced and accurate reporting,” the Carter Center writes. Each fellow is awarded a $10,000 stipend and provided with two required expense-paid trips to the Carter Center to meet with program staff and advisers. Fellows are not required to leave their employment. The deadline is April 6, 2016. The application is available at http://mhjapply.cartercenter.org.

Exercise and Meditation -- Together -- Help Beat Depression, Rutgers Study Finds

A combined program of meditation and aerobic exercise can reduce depression, according to a new Rutgers study. The study, published in Translational Psychiatry in February, found that the mind and body combination—done twice a week for only two months—reduced the symptoms for a group of students by 40 percent. “We…saw such a meaningful improvement in both clinically depressed and non-depressed students,” said lead author Brandon Alderman, an assistant professor at Rutgers. The researchers discovered that a combination of mental and physical training (MAP) enabled students with major depressive disorder not to let problems or negative thoughts overwhelm them. “Scientists have known for a while that both of these activities alone can help with depression,” said Rutgers professor Tracey Shors, who also worked on the study. “But this study suggests that when done together, there is a striking improvement in depressive symptoms along with increases in synchronized brain activity.” For the press release, click here. For the study, click here.

Thanks, Mad in America

Three Newsletters Offer In-Depth Information on Mental Health and/or Criminal Justice Reform Issues

Three newsletters that offer a wealth of information on various topics related to mental health and/or criminal justice reform are published by Mad in America, the Marshall Project, and the International Association of Peer Supporters, respectively. Mad in America’s mission is “to serve as a catalyst for remaking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad)”; the Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization that focuses on the American criminal justice system; and the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of peer support services worldwide. For the February 23rd edition of the Mad in America newsletter, click here. To subscribe, click here. For the February 26th Opening Statement from the Marshall project, click here. To subscribe, click here. For the latest edition of the iNAPS newsletter, click here. To subscribe, click here. (You do not need to join iNAPS in order to receive its free newsletter; however, membership is encouraged. Membership information is included at the bottom of the iNAPS newsletter.)

New Social Media Site Aims to Help People Deal with Stress

Koko, a new app that runs on mobile devices, “helps you navigate through stressful thoughts and find your way forward,” according to its website: http://itskoko.com/. The app “asks users to choose a topic of concern (think: school, work, relationships, family) and write, in a few sentences, the worst-case outcome of their worries….Whatever the user types into the box then shows up on a card, that other users swipe through like Tinder profiles. If someone sees a problem they can address, they click a bright pink button that says ‘Help rethink this.’ A little text box pops up and gives the user prompts like, ‘What’s a more optimistic take on this situation?’ Or ‘This could turn out better than you think because…’ [A]n algorithm watches out for trigger words that indicate someone is dangerous to themselves or others.” For a wired.com article about Koko, click here.

Virtual Reality Can Combat Depression by Fostering Self-Compassion

A study that helped individuals to step outside of their own reality has shown success in combatting depression. Researchers at University College London and the University of Barcelona developed a way for people experiencing depression to enter a virtual reality as life-size avatars. Wearing virtual-reality glasses and body sensors, the participants watched their avatars mimic their body movements, in a process called “embodiment.” First, the participant’s avatar encounters an avatar of a crying child, and says kind and compassionate things to the child, who has been programmed to respond positively. Then the adult adopts the role of the child, and hears and sees the adult avatar say these same kind things. Many of the subjects felt that participating helped reduce their symptoms of depression. “We’ve created an artificial situation which allows them to hear themselves be self-compassionate, and they think, ‘Actually this makes me feel good,’ ” said Chris Brewin, a clinical psychologist at University College London and the study’s lead author.  Although the study was small, Brewin believes that, if more research confirms the results, it could be a revolutionary way to treat depression. The study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open this month. For more, click here.

Essay Contest for Youth to Combat Prejudice and Discrimination Associated with Bipolar Disorder

The International Bipolar Foundation (IBF) is sponsoring an essay contest for young people aged 13 to 19. Participants will answer the question Are People Who Live with Bipolar Disorder Stigmatized in Your Community? IBF writes: “Chances are someone you know has this mental illness or cares for someone who does. Learning about bipolar disorder can help you understand the impact this disease has on those affected by it so you can respond to them with care and sensitivity.” The deadline is March 30. For details, click here.

Thanks, Carol Coussons de Reyes

Not Too Late to Comment on Whether ECT Device Should Be Reclassified from Class III to Class II

There is still time to submit comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on whether it should reclassify the device used to administer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a controversial procedure that even proponents admit can cause “adverse cognitive effects [that] can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” The device is currently in Class III; the proposal is to reclassify it to Class II. For information about the three classes, click here. For testimony by Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., in 2011, the last time the FDA threatened to reclassify the equipment, click here. For information about Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know about Shock Treatment, which the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine called “brilliant analysis,” click here. For additional information, click here. The comment period is open until March 28, 2016. To comment, click here.

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No.8, February 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 7 - January 2016

Key Update, January 2016

Volume 12, Number 7

FDA Seeks Comments on Whether ECT Device Should Be Reclassified from Class III to Class II

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is once again seeking comments on whether it should reclassify the device used to administer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a controversial procedure that even proponents admit can cause “adverse cognitive effects [that] can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” The device is currently in Class III; the proposal is to reclassify it to Class II. For information about the three classes, click here. For testimony by Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., in 2011, the last time the FDA threatened to reclassify the equipment, click here. For information about Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know about Shock Treatment, which the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine called “brilliant analysis,” click here. For additional information, click here. The comment period is open until March 28, 2016. To comment, click here.

Apply by February 1 for the Behavioral Health and Justice Leadership Academy

Applications are due by February 1, 2016, for Policy Research Associates (PRA) Behavioral Health and Justice Leadership Academy. “The goal,” PRA writes, “is to improve public health and public safety outcomes for people with mental and substance use disorders in the justice system by supporting leaders to implement effective strategies in their cities and counties. Twenty-five individuals will be selected to participate in the initiative, which will feature a two-day meeting in May 2016.” For more information or to apply, please download the solicitation for applications.

SAMHSA Hosts Webinar on Hospital Diversion and Alternatives in Crisis Response

On February 2, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will host a free one-hour Recovery to Practice webinar on Hospital Diversion and Alternatives in Crisis Response. The presenters are two staff members of RI International, Inc., a Phoenix-based agency, who “will present their ‘next generation crisis response services,’ which include an array of approaches for managing mental health crisis in non-hospital settings. The programs include the ‘Living Room,’ in which peers, nurses and doctors work side by side with individuals in crisis, and Recovery Response Centers that offer more intensive support and services.” For more information and to register, click here.

BRSS TACS First Friday in February Will Be on Peer-Run Respites

On February 5, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference on Peer-Run Respites. “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 February 5 to hear about peer-run respites and submit your questions to Steve Miccio, executive director of PEOPLe, Inc. To register, click here. (See the item below for more information about peer-run crisis respites.)

Live & Learn Launches Peer Respite Resource Website

In January 2016, Live & Learn launched PeerRespite.net, “a website dedicated to information and resources regarding peer respites in the U.S.” As part of the initiative, recruitment is open for the 2015 Peer Respites Essential Features Survey (click here for the survey). For more information about peer-run crisis respites, see the National Empowerment Center’s website on Crisis Alternatives (click here) and the Clearinghouse’s publication entitled Focus on Peer-Run Crisis Respite Services (click here).

NASMHPD to Host Webinar on Maximizing Medicaid Coverage for Peer Support Services

The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) will host a free 90-minute webinar on February 11, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. ET., on Maximizing Medicaid Coverage for Peer Support Services. The webinar will draw on lessons learned from the state of Georgia. NASMHPD writes: “The state of Georgia has been very successful in securing diverse Medicaid coverage for peer support services in different settings, including mental health, addiction recovery, whole‐health and parent/ youth peer support activity. The presenter will highlight strategies for: working with state Medicaid officials; certification; creating job descriptions; addressing code of ethics issues; exploring varied roles and responsibilities in behavioral health and general health settings; and other details to help facilitate the process of securing Medicaid coverage for diverse peer support services. Time will be provided for the speaker to respond to audience questions.” To register, click here.

Thanks, iNAPS Update #2, January 2016

Three More Opportunities to Contribute to Peer Support Research

The University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Detroit Mercy are sponsoring online surveys about peer supporters’ career development and their work experience, respectively. The University of Illinois at Chicago Career Development Survey “asks about peer specialists’ career development; interest in and opportunities for advancement; current work climate; and perceptions of discrimination and stigma.” For more information, visit www.bhpcd.org. For the survey, click here. Questions or comments? Cherise Rosen, Ph.D. (crosen@psych.uic.edu)  or Nev Jones, Ph.D. (jones.genevra@gmail.com ) or Jessica Wolf, Ph.D. (jwolfds@gmail.com). Next, the University of Detroit Mercy survey, Work Experiences of Peer Support Specialists, “is specifically designed to better understand peer support specialists’ experiences of supervision.” To participate, click here. For questions, email Dr. Kristen Abraham (abrahakm@udmercy.edu). In addition, Doors to Wellbeing National Technical Assistance Center has launched a survey entitled What Type of Peer Specialist Toolkit Do You Want to See? Doors to Wellbeing writes: “We want to provide you with the tools you need to complete the projects you value. We are doing this survey so you can tell us what those projects are so we can get you the information you need to help you achieve your program’s dreams.” To participate, click here.

NARPA Issues Request for Proposals for 2016 Annual Rights Conference

The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) is seeking workshop proposals for its 2016 conference, to be held August 25-28 at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. Robert Whitaker, award-winning author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic, will keynote the conference, whose theme is Rights Under Siege: Fighting Back. Proposals should address “strategies, ideas, programs, and emerging practices that support and promote NARPA’s mission and commitment to individual rights, liberty, freedom and dignity.” To submit a proposal, click here.

ODEP Website Offers Resources to Help People “Stay at Work/Return to Work”

The federal Office of Disability Employment Policy has made available a number of online Stay At Work/Return To Work (SAW/RTW) strategies to address the high unemployment rate of Americans with disabilities. ODEP writes: “Successful RTW strategies, if sufficiently promoted, can result in higher incomes for recovering workers, lower benefits costs for the American taxpayer, and lower personnel costs for employers.” The website is available here. For more information, see A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work, by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, available here.

TU Collaborative Launches New Web Page on Parenting with a Mental Health Condition and a Guide to Self-Directed Care Programming

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion recently launched a new “Parenting Tool.” The Collaborative writes: “This website will allow parents with children ages birth-to-18 to get information and strategies for improving their parenting, and, in addition, will provide you with a great deal of information about parenting with a psychiatric disability through its age-specific educational curriculum.” For the website, which includes a video introduction, click here. In addition, the Collaborative is offering A Guide to Creating Self-Directed Care Programming, available here. The manual provides “a detailed review of a novel and successful self-directed care program that is currently being offered in Pennsylvania.”

National Survey of Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists Is Available

The College for Behavioral Health Leadership recently published a report on its 2015 National Survey on Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists. “The findings of this study illustrate that there is diversity among the current national structure for the wages of peer specialists,” according to the Executive Summary. “This includes significant differences in average compensation rates between those who work all different hours ($15.42) and only full-time ($16.36).” The report addresses a number of other disparities, including among types of employers, geographically, and male vs. female (with men receiving on average more than $2 more per hour than women). For the report on the study, click here.

 

iNAPS Newsletter Offers a Wealth of Information; Deadline for Conference Proposals Approaches

The January 2016 newsletter of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is out! It includes an array of information, including the call for papers for its 10th annual national conference, to be held August 26-27, 2016, in Philadelphia. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 15, 2016. For information about the conference, including the call for proposals, click here. The conference is “also seeking peer-created art and photography related to the conference theme of Collaboration for Unity. Submit ideas only for contributions (no original artwork please) in an email with Conference Art in the subject line to info@naops.org.” The newsletter is available here.

SAMHSA’s 2015 Barometer Tracks Behavioral Health in the U.S.

On January 26, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published its annual National Behavioral Health Barometer. Among topics covered are “the prevalence rates of youth and adult substance use, serious mental [health conditions], suicidal thoughts, and people seeking treatment for these disorders,” SAMHSA writes. “The Barometer shows this data at the national level, and for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Barometer also includes analyses using several demographic categories such as gender, age, income level, health insurance status and race/ethnicity.” To view and download copies of the national or any state Behavioral Health Barometer, click here.

SAMHSA Offers Free Mobile Resources and a Podcast Series to Support Behavioral Health

SAMHSA is offering free mobile apps that address “some of the toughest mental health and substance use challenges, including suicide prevention, bullying prevention, behavioral health following a disaster, and underage drinking prevention.” To download the free resources, click here. At the same time, SAMHSA’s new podcast series, Resiliency in Disaster Behavioral Health, covers What Is Community Resilience? Behavioral Health Reactions and Ways to Enhance Resilience, Pre-Disaster Organizational Resilience, and Resiliency among First Responders. For more information, click here.

Active Minds Healthy Campus Award Seeks Applications

Active Minds writes: “The Active Minds Healthy Campus Award – the only national recognition of its kind – celebrates leadership, innovation, collaboration, and excellence in campus health. Winners have their successes shared broadly, through a concerted national media relations campaign, to inspire change across the nation. The award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that are prioritizing health and making great progress toward creating a campus that promotes the health and well-being of its students.” Applications are due February 16 by 5 p.m ET. For more information or to apply, click here.

Presidential Candidates Urged to Reveal Mental Health Policy Positions

Mental health advocate AJ French has issued a challenge to the presidential candidates to answer eight questions about their positions on mental health policy. “Campaigns have not yet addressed issues that are important to persons with psychiatric disabilities,” said French, “and this is an opportunity to engage voters regarding mental health policy.” Among groups that support this initiative are the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and Next Steps NFP, a peer-run advocacy organization in Illinois. “People who are affected by decisions should have a voice in those decisions,” said Next Steps head organizer Fred Friedman. “They also need information so they can intelligently speak on those issues. The eight questions are AJ’s attempt to gain that information.” For more information and a link to French’s website with the eight questions, click here. For additional information, click here.

Twitter Campaign Seeks to Fight Prejudice Associated with Mental Health Conditions

Composer, author, and mental health advocate Rachel Griffin recently launched a Twitter campaign whose goal is to combat the prejudice attached to mental health conditions. The campaign, #imnotashamed, quickly gained traction, attracting attention from the media, including the Washington Post (click here). Among the multitude of tweets are “If you’ve made it this far, you’re a survivor. That’s definitely a reason to celebrate. #imnotashamed”; “I suffered in silence for so long before asking for help. Don’t wait. You are worth it. #imnotashamed”; and “#imnotashamed because without all my experiences, both good and bad, I would not be me.” Griffin’s associated Twitter account, @teamnotashamed, has amassed nearly 1,800 followers. Meanwhile, Griffin is writing the book, music and lyrics for a musical set on a psych ward – We Have Apples – and she has a YouTube channel where you can see more of her music. She has also created two videos, Sh*t People Say to People with Mental Illness, and Sh*t Therapists Say, in which she acts out multiple parts. To participate in the anti-prejudice campaign, use the hashtag #imnotashamed.

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

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 7, January 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 6 - December 2015

Key Update, December 2015

Volume 12, Number 6

Many Research Institutions That Conduct Human Studies Don’t Report Their Results

Many distinguished medical research institutions routinely violate a federal law requiring public reporting of study results, according to a recent article – Law Ignored, Patients at Risk – in Stat News. As a result, people and their doctors can’t figure out if a treatment is safe and can’t accurately weigh the risk/benefit ratio. Among the worst offenders? Four of the top 10 institutions that get federal funding for medical research: Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of California, San Diego. “All disclosed research results late or not at all at least 95 percent of the time since reporting became mandatory in 2008,” Stat revealed. Meanwhile, the federal government “could have collected a whopping $25 billion [in fines] from drug companies alone in the past seven years. But it has not levied a single fine.” The federal law was passed due to concerns that the pharmaceutical industry was covering up negative results to make treatments look better. One example is Paxil’s manufacturer, sued for hiding data that the drug led to suicidal thoughts in teens. “GlaxoSmithKline was misstating the downside risks,” said Eliot Spitzer, who filed the 2004 suit when he was NY attorney general. For the Stat article, click here. (In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty and agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability.)

Thanks, @ProPublica

Deadline Extended on Forensic Peer Initiatives Survey!

 We – The College for Behavioral Health Leadership Peer Leaders Interest Group, The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, and the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse – have extended the deadline for the survey of forensic peer initiatives to Jan. 8, 2016! We want to hear from you if you work for a peer-run organization that has programs and/or services assisting people with behavioral health conditions and criminal justice histories. Using a survey format for input, we are planning a publication to share this information to learn from one another and to be a source of technical assistance. We have received 90 responses so far, but want to be sure you are included! The survey is a bit lengthy in order to capture all of the important information. If you want to see the questions before you start, they can be found if you click here. If you're ready to start, select this link to begin. Feel free to share this survey with your network for others to participate. Questions? Contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 267-507-3812 Thanks for your help!

SAMHSA Offers Recovery to Practice Winter Webinar Series on Crisis and Recovery

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Recovery to Practice (RTP) workforce development initiative is hosting a four-part webinar series “about how to integrate recovery-oriented approaches into response and support services for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The series will present approaches that illustrate the importance of a recovery orientation in these crucial periods.” Each one-hour webinar begins at 1 p.m. ET. The topics are Creating Environments of Hope and Wellness: Recovery in Hospital Settings (Jan. 12); Supporting Recovery in Acute Care and Emergency Settings (Jan. 19); Recovery-oriented Community-focused Responses to Behavioral Health Crises (Jan. 26); and Hospital Diversion and Alternatives in Crisis Response (Feb. 2). For more information about the entire series and to register for any or all of the webinars, click here.

NAMI Publishes “State Mental Health Legislation 2015”; Congress Funds Key Criminal Justice Programs

There is good news and bad news in the state and federal mental health arenas in regard to legislation. In a recent report on State Mental Health Legislation: Trends, Themes and Effective Practices, published by NAMI this month, the bad news includes the fact that more than half the states reduced mental health funding. The good news is that some states passed helpful legislation. Among these bills is AZ HB 2488, which creates a housing trust fund for rental assistance to Arizonans with serious mental health conditions; MN SFS 1458, which supplements federal dollars to support evidence-based First Episode Psychosis programs, which help young Minnesotans work toward recovery and get on with their lives; and UT HB 348, which requires the Utah departments of corrections and mental health to collaborate on providing mental health treatment to individuals in jails and prisons, developing alternatives to incarceration and implementing graduated sanctions and incentives. To download the 74-page report, click here. At the same time, Congress recently approved a $1.15 trillion Omnibus Appropriations bill that would fund three key programs championed by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center: the Second Chance Act (SCA), the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. For more information, click here.

Alternatives 2016 Conference Planning Committee Application Is Available

The Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, which will be planning and hosting Alternatives 2016, is inviting applications for the Alternatives 2016 Conference Planning Committee. “We have implemented an application process in the hopes of drawing a diverse group of applicants representing many communities, cultures, age groups and experience,” Peerlink NTAC writes. “Applications are due by Friday, January 8th 2016. Please email completed applications to: jcarroll@mhaoforegon.org.” A link to the application, in Word, is posted on the www.peerlinktac.org home page; the application can be downloaded, completed electronically, and emailed to jcarroll@mhaoforegon.org, who is also available if you have questions.

iNAPS Issues Call for Proposals for 2016 National Peer Supporter Conference in Philadelphia

The InterNational Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is seeking presentation proposals for its 10th annual national conference, to be held August 26-27, 2016, in Philadelphia at the Sheraton Society Hill, a short walk to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 15, 2016. For information about the conference, including the call for proposals, click here. The conference is “also seeking peer-created art and photography related to the conference theme of Collaboration for Unity. Submit ideas only for contributions (no original artwork please) in an email with Conference Art in the subject line to: info@naops.org.”

Hearing Voices App Is Released

The Hearing Voices Project team at the University of Chester in England has launched a Mobile App called Hearing Voices: A guide to understanding, helping and empowering individuals,” writes Mad in America. “The app is designed to simulate the experience of hearing voices and was designed ‘by pooling the expertise of a wide range of healthcare professionals, learners and voice hearers.’ As users engage in this experience, [they] are guided by reflective prompts and interactive exercises. The app also includes podcasts featuring the stories of people who hear voices.” It can be downloaded for free from the Apple app store and Google Play.” For a free promotional video, click here.

Two New Studies Offer Hope to Individuals Who Experience Depression

Two studies provide hope to individuals with depression: a model that could lead to more precise treatment, and research indicating that light may work on nonseasonal depression. In the first study, scientists at Michigan State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say their research may lead to “a method for personalizing treatment to each unique patient,” said lead investigator Andrea K. Wittenborn of MSU. Most previous research into depression focused on only one or two factors causing it, and not on how the many biological, psychological, social and environmental factors unfold over time, the researchers said. “We know depression varies widely across people,” Wittenborn said, “and we think that has something to do with why treatment [which tends to be by trial and error] is not always effective.” For more information, click here. A different study, at the University of British Columbia, found that, used alone, light therapy – often employed to treat seasonal affective disorder (in which depression descends upon someone during late fall and winter and then lifts as the days grow longer) – “was significantly better than placebo, and light therapy with medication was the most effective treatment of all,” The New York Times reported. The research is the first placebo-controlled trial that shows that light therapy is an effective treatment for depression that is not brought on by seasonal affective disorder, according to a University of British Columbia press release, available here.

Thanks, Mad in America and Café TA Center, for information about the MSU/MIT study.

John Oliver’s Year in Criminal Justice and Mental Health

A prominent – and entertaining – ally of individuals with mental health conditions and of those with criminal justice involvement is John Oliver, who hosts a show on HBO. The Marshall Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization covering America’s criminal justice system, has put together “John Oliver’s Year in Criminal Justice (available here): “A roundup of clips and one-liners from one of the most vocal critics of our prison system,” covering elected judges, bail, mandatory minimums, municipal violations, public defenders, prisoner reentry, and a bonus segment with the cast of Sesame Street. Oliver also did a great piece on how the mental health system “works or, more often than not, how it doesn’t” – available here.

Medstopper Offers a “Deprescribing Resource for Healthcare Professionals and Their Patients.”

Medstopper is a “tool to help clinicians and patients make decisions about reducing or stopping medications. By entering the list of medications a patient is receiving, www.Medstopper.com sequences the drugs from ‘more likely to stop’ to ‘less likely to stop,’ based on three key criteria: the potential of the drug to improve symptoms, its potential to reduce the risk of future illness and its likelihood of causing harm. Suggestions for how to taper the medication are also provided.” In his recent tweet of the Medstopper website, Allen Frances – chair of the DSM-IV Task Force, professor emeritus and former chair of the Duke University Department of Psychiatry, and author of Saving Normal and Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis – wrote, “Stopping multiple meds is harder than starting them. Requires caution & patience, but results often worth the effort.” The website contains multiple disclaimers, available here. In a related note, the Icarus Project website offers, for free, The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal. To download, click here.

AAPD to Host Webinar on Workplace Bullying and Harassment

According to the 2014 Workplace Bullying Institute’s U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, 27% of employees have current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work and 72% are aware of workplace bullying. The American Association of People with Disabilities will host a one-hour webinar on Workplace Bullying and Harassment on Jan. 13, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET. The session “will explore the definitional and legal differences between bullying and harassment, provide an overview of the impact of bullying in the workplace, describe the recourse available to abused workers with disabilities, and offer suggestions for how employers can foster safer, more accepting workplaces.” To register, click here.

Webinar on Social Determinants of Mental Health to Be Hosted by College for Behavioral Health Leadership

On Jan. 14, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET, Ruth Shim, MD, MPH, associate professor, Hofstra North Shore/LIJ School of Medicine, will present “The Social Determinants of Mental Health.” According to the College for Behavioral Health Leadership, “This session is focused on … those factors stemming from where we grow, live, work, learn, and age that impact our overall mental health and well-being, and those factors that contribute to mental illnesses.” The social determinants of mental health are “largely neglected with regard to their role in causing and worsening mental illnesses,” the College continues. “These underlying causes of mental illnesses are modifiable precursors to behavioral risk factors and are largely responsible for social injustice and mental health inequities.” Dr. Shim will provide an overview of important concepts and present evidence that supports the existence of these determinants. She will also discuss research, policy, and practice-based solutions. To register, click here.

Webinar on Parenting with a Mental Health Condition to Be Hosted by the TU Collaborative

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities will be holding a webinar on Jan. 21, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET to discuss Parenting with a Mental Illness. The TU Collaborative writes: “We will discuss strategies parents can use, findings from our Parenting Internet Education study, and discuss our new Parenting Online Education resource, which will allow parents from all over to get information for children under the age of 18. This topic is important for many individuals and something that needs to be discussed given the high rate of child welfare involvement that many parents face, as well as other barriers like discrimination. For registration information, click here.

“Gun Deaths in Your District: What Have Your Elected Representatives Done?”

Find out how many people near you died from gun violence in 2015, where your Congressional representatives stand on guns – and how much money they’ve received from the gun lobby. Click on “Locate Me” on the map available here, and you can find out! For example, in Missouri’s First District, there have been 230 gun deaths this year; there have been 451 gun deaths in Missouri over all. The district is represented by Rep. William Lacy Clay, who has received nothing from the gun lobby and scores an F rating from the NRA. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has also received no money from the gun lobby, and also has an NRA F rating. But Missouri’s other senator, Roy Blunt, has received $3,300 from the gun lobby and scores an A from the NRA. He has consistently voted in favor of “gun rights” and against regulation, the exact opposite of Sen. McCaskill. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a 14-page report on gun violence in Wilmington, Delaware, despite the Congressional restriction that effectively bans such inquiries. The report was not initiated by the CDC; it was requested by the City of Wilmington, The Trace reported. For more information and to download the 14-page report, click here.

Newsletters of National Organizations Offer a Lot of Great Information!

Many organizations publish free monthly newsletters that are of great interest to mental health/disability rights advocates. Three recent newsletters are those of the Café TA Center, the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, and the American Association of People with Disabilities. The latest issue of the Café TA Center’s newsletter, Focus, offers A First-Hand Perspective on Campus Mental Health and Leaves of Absence. To download the newsletter, click here. The December 2015 issue of the TU Collaborative’s newsletter, Recovering Liberty, focuses on parenting with a mental health condition, and also includes a variety of other announcements and resources. For the newsletter, click here. And the most recent edition of the American Association of People with Disabilities newsletter, Disability Download, publicizes resources such as the National Center on Disability and Journalism Style Guide and upcoming events, as well as opportunities such as the 2016 AAPD Summer Internships, with applications due Jan. 15, 2016, at 5 p.m. ET. For the AAPD newsletter, click here.

“A New Tool Drills Down on Hidden Incarceration Rates”

The Vera Institute of Justice has created a data tool that includes the jail population and jail incarceration rate for every U.S. county that uses a local jail, for what the Marshall Project calls “the essential metric that provides an empirical yardstick for the prison-reform movement.” The Vera Institute writes: “The data revealed that, since 1970, the number of people held in jail has increased from 157,000 to 690,000 in 2014 – a more than four-fold increase nationwide, with growth rates highest in the smallest counties. This data also reveals wide variation in incarceration rates and racial disparities among jurisdictions of similar size and thus underlines an essential point: The number of people in jail is largely the result of choices made by policymakers and others in the justice system. The Incarceration Trends tool provides any jurisdiction with the appetite for change the opportunity to better understand its history of jail use and measure its progress toward decarceration.” The Marshall Project writes: “A stunning fact jumps off the page. The Vera report finds that 130 small counties – those with fewer than 250,000 county residents – have jail incarceration rates that exceed 1,000 per 100,000. Because we formerly had no metric to rank jails by incarceration rate, many of these counties escaped the particular scrutiny that would come with the distinction of incarcerating such a high percentage of their residents.” For the Marshall Project article, Who Is Putting the Most People in Jail? Not New York, Chicago, or LA., click here. For information about In Our Own Backyard: Confronting Growth and Disparities in American Jails, published by the Vera Institute of Justice in December 2015, and to download the report, click here.

“Mental Health Reform Will Not Reduce US Gun Violence, Experts Say”

The title of a new article in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association” says it all! The full article is available on the JAMA website for free download. Read it here.

Thanks, Matt Canuteson.

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 6, December 2015, 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 5 -- November 2015

Key Update, November 2015

Volume 12, Number 5

Senators and Representatives Are More Inclined to Use Social Media These Days, Study Finds

A report by the Congressional Management Foundation has found that a good way to reach legislators is through social media. The findings were based on two online surveys (with 116 responses) between July and August 2014: one of House and Senate communications directors and the other of House and Senate legislative directors and legislative assistants. The surveys found that federal legislators use social media more than they used to, that staff believe social media have improved relationships between constituents and Congress, that “Thirty or fewer similar comments on a social media post are enough to get an office’s attention, but they need to be posted quickly or they may not be seen,” and that “Social media posts by constituents can influence undecided Senators and Representatives, but staff generally do not feel social media posts provide enough information to identify constituents.” For more information and links to the press release and the report, click here. For Twitter tips, click here and here.

NYAPRS to Sponsor a Two-Day Webinar on How to Get Approved to Receive Benefits

A free two-day webinar on benefits eligibility and approval will take place on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4, 2015, beginning at 9 a.m. ET. Each of the webinars is eight hours long. “Too many individuals with behavioral health conditions often have to wait for years to hear about their eligibility for benefits,” writes the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, which is hosting the two-day training. “This is unacceptable, and need not be the case. John Allen [Special Assistant to the Commissioner, the New York State Office of Mental Health] is delivering a presentation via a free two-day webinar that will teach folks how to get approved within 90 days. IMPORTANT! YOU WILL NEED TO REGISTER FOR BOTH DAYS!” For a detailed description of the webinar and to register for Day One (event number: 649 020 225; event password: nysomh123), click here. To register for Day Two (event number: 648 628 561; event password: nysomh123), click here.

Webinar on How Peer Providers Can Support Community Inclusion to Be Held December 3

The Temple University Collaborative on Community inclusion and the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery will sponsor a 90-minute webinar on “Supporting Community Participation: An Introduction to Community Inclusion for Peer Providers,” on Dec. 3, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET. “This introductory yet highly informational webinar will provide peer providers and their allies a foundational understanding of the relationship between community participation and recovery and well-being. It will also explore the key role that peers can play in supporting increased community participation. Additionally, the webinar will introduce attendees to the opportunity to participate in an intensive, two-day in-person training and a unique opportunity to pursue a new certification as a Community Inclusion Peer Facilitator.” To register, click here.

 

BRSS TACS First Friday Will Be on “Understanding the Work of the Peer”

On Dec. 4, 2015, at 12 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will host a free teleconference on “Understanding the Work of the Peer: Competencies and Challenges.” The presenters are Chacku Mathai, director of the NAMI STAR Center, and Cheryl Gagne, senior associate at the Center for Social Innovation. To register, click here.

Webinar to Be Held Dec. 9 on “Helping People to Connect to the Religious Congregations and Spiritual Groups of Their Choice: The Role of Peer Specialists”

On Dec. 9, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion will sponsor a one-hour webinar “to discuss the role that peer specialists can play in helping the people with whom they work connect to the religious congregations of their choice.

Last month, the Temple University Collaborative re-issued ‘Helping People Connect to the Religious Congregations of Their Choice:  The Role of Peer Specialists,’ which recognizes the important role that faith and fellowship play in the lives of many peers and recommends specific strategies for peer specialists to pursue to make those connections a reality. The TU Collaborative now invites peers and peer specialists into a national conversation on the topic.” For more information and to register, click here.

ACMHA Hosts Three-Session Diversity Webinar Series; Next Webinars Are in December and January

The second and third webinars in ACMHA’s Diversity Webinar Series will take place in December and January, respectively. On Dec. 10, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, Francis Lu, MD, Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry, emeritus, UC Davis, will present “Cultural Issues in the DSM-5: The Outline for Cultural Formulation (OCF) and the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI).” Dr. Kim will review the rationale for these two clinical tools to incorporate cultural issues in diagnosis and treatment, a roadmap to where cultural issues appear in DSM-5, and an overview of the OCF and CFI. To register, click here. Then, on Jan. 14, 2016, at 1 p.m., Ruth Shim, MD, MPH, associate professor, Hofstra North Shore – LIJ School of Medicine, will present “The Social Determinants of Mental Health.” She will provide an overview of important concepts and present evidence that supports the existence of these determinants. She will also discuss research, policy, and practice-based solutions. To register, click here. Also available are the slide deck (click here) and recording (click here) of the first webinar in this series, “Using My Cultural Voice: Health Activation from a Cultural Perspective.”

SAMHSA says, “You Can Play a Role in Helping Children Recover from Trauma.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers its own materials as well as information from “the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and other organizations designed to help you recognize and respond to child traumatic stress.” There are materials targeted to parents and caregivers, military families, educators and school personnel, professionals in health and other systems, technical assistance materials, and materials for the media. All the information is available if you click here.

Publish Your Story on “First Person,” Vox’s New Section Devoted to Narrative Essays

“We’ve decided to devote a section of Vox.com to thoughtful, in-depth, provocative personal narratives that explain the most important topics in modern life,” Vox.com writes. “We’re calling this section First Person. If you have a great story to tell that helps explain an important issue, send us a pitch at firstperson@vox.com. We’re looking for a wide range of perspectives from writers of every age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and political leaning. Write a paragraph or two describing a) what you’d like to write about; b) what personal experience you have that qualifies you to write about this topic; c) the basic points you want to make in your piece. We’ll also take a look at completed drafts if you prefer to pitch that way….Send your pitch or draft to firstperson@vox.com.” And, if they accept your piece, they pay! “If your pitch gets accepted, we’ll discuss specifics.” For more information, click here.

Justice Center Publishes "Improving Responses to People with Mental Illnesses at the Pretrial Stage"

 The Justice Center of the Council of State Governments has published a report that introduces essential elements for responding to people with mental health conditions at the pretrial stage, including decisions about pretrial release and diversion. "The period between a person's arrest and his or her case being adjudicated presents a significant opportunity to safely minimize future criminal justice involvement and make needed connections to behavioral health care," according to the CSG website. "Many communities have found ways to make effective connections to treatment for some individuals as part of pretrial release or diversion programs, but policymakers and practitioners continue to struggle to identify and implement research-based policies and practices at this stage of the criminal justice system." For more information as well as the full report and the executive summary, click here

Webinar on “Understanding Trans Resiliency” Is on December 10

“Understanding Trans Resiliency: Sharing Hope and Experiences That Touch Upon Community, Whole Health, and Wellness,” a webinar sponsored by the Campbell Center in partnership with the National Empowerment Center, will take place on Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. ET. To register for the two-hour webinar, also called “Healing from Trauma by Centering Health and Wellness in Social Justice Movements,”click here. The organizers write, “Transgender movement includes the social justice movement led by and for trans and other gender non-conforming people.” The presenter will be Iden D. Campbell McCollum, CPRP, CPS, founder and Executive Director of The Campbell Center. The moderator will be Jennifer Maria Padron, Med, CPS, PHDc.

Five Things Your Congregation Can Do to Support Criminal Justice Reform

“The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) works to end mass incarceration, improve conditions for people who are in prison, stop prison privatization, and promote a reconciliation and healing approach to criminal justice issues. AFSC Friends Relations, in an effort to create a more substantial level of engagement between Friends and AFSC, is piloting a program called Quaker Social Change Ministry to support and facilitate Spirit-led, social justice work in Quaker meetings/churches.” The ideas and resource links available here are also relevant to other advocates.

Webinar on “Reframing Recovery” to Be Held on December 16

A one-hour webinar sponsored by the Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (Peerlink NTAC) on “Reframing Recovery” will be held on Dec. 16, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar, presented by Donita Diamata and Robyn Priest of the Peerlink NTAC, “challenges perceptions and ideals around mental health recovery, including how we, as a community, define it,” Peerlink writes. “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. ‘Reframing Recovery’ has been offered in several formats to a variety of audiences, including peers, peer support workers, mental health providers, and allies, all with generally high praise…. In this first-ever webinar format, we will discuss the concept of recovery in detail through story-sharing and interactive questions.” To register, click here.

Work on H.R. 2646 Is Delayed But Advocacy Is Still Essential

Although a recent article in The Hill (“GOP’s response to mass shootings delayed”) indicates that nothing more will be done on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act until early next year, advocacy is still needed. Write to your Congressional representatives (for information about this, click here) to urge that they oppose the bill. For more information, seeWashington’s Horrible Mental Health Legislation,” “Saving Congressman Murphy from Fraudulent Information,” “Mental Health Bill Caters to Big Pharma and Would Expand Coercive Treatments,” and “Misconceived Mental Health Legislation.” 

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 5, November 2015, 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 4 – October 2015

Key Update, October 2015

Volume 12, Number 4

 

Certificates of Relief Offer a Break to Job Seekers with Prison Records

 

In 14 states and the District of Columbia, job seekers who have been convicted of no more than two nonviolent crimes can be granted a Certificate of Rehabilitation. These certificates tell prospective employers not to judge people based on their forensic history. Also called Certificates of Relief, Recovery, Achievement or Employability, the documents remove obstacles to a range of licenses, including real estate, barbering, cosmetology and mortician’s licenses. The certificates also insulate prospective employers from liability suits claiming negligent hiring, according to a report by the Marshall Project. The states that offer these certificates are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont, along with the District of Columbia; requirements and impact may vary. Critics claim that nothing short of expungement is useful, but supporters say that the certificates are a good compromise since expungement may be a longshot. Some states also offer Certificates of Good Conduct, which would render an individual with a criminal justice background eligible for a range of municipal jobs, including in the public schools, the transit system, and the parks. For more information, click here.

 

New Guide to “Peer Involvement and Leadership in Early Intervention in Psychosis Services”

 

“Peer Involvement and Leadership in Early Intervention in Psychosis Services: From Planning to Peer Support and Evaluation,” by Nev Jones, Ph.D., provides information and best practices for peer support and leadership in early intervention in psychosis (EIP) services. The guide includes examples of exemplary or innovative services, projects and individuals (see “spotlights”), and a comprehensive appendix of resources. It covers “a broad range of domains in which peers might assume leadership or advisory roles. These include program development and planning, direct service delivery (including peer support), public outreach and engagement, clinician education, and quality improvement and evaluation,” its introduction notes. The free manual, sponsored by SAMHSA, is available here. In addition, click here for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors’ Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) virtual resource center

 

Free Webinar on Best Practices in Responding to Federal Funding Opportunities

 

A free 90-minute webinar on “Getting to Know the Federal Government and Funding Opportunities” will take place on November 5, 2015, beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. The webinar, featuring a federal funders panel, “will reveal best practices in responding to federal funding announcements. Opportunities for federal funding will be identified.” The webinar is sponsored by the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To register, click here. 

 

SAMHSA’s GAINS Center Seeks Communities to Develop Trauma-Informed Training Capacity

 

SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation is soliciting applications from communities interested in providing trauma-informed training. The GAINS Center is offering a series of Train-The-Trainer (TTT) events to train people to deliver its How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses training program. The target audiences are primarily community-based criminal justice system professionals, including law enforcement, community corrections (probation, parole, and pre-trial services), court personnel, as well as human service providers that serve justice-involved populations. To find out more, click here. The GAINS Center will offer the free Train-The-Trainer (TTT) events to selected communities between February 2016 and August 2016. If a TTT event is of interest to your community, please submit your completed application form to the GAINS Center no later than December 10, 2015. To download the solicitation for the How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses TTT Event, click here. 

 

TU Collaborative Newsletter Includes Self-Directed Care Resources;

Temple Is Recruiting for a Research Study on Supported Education

 

The October 2015 newsletter from the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion includes information on creating self-directed care programming, including a manual that provides a detailed review of a self-directed care program currently offered in Pennsylvania, a step-by-step guide to initiating and implementing self-directed care in local community settings, and an archived webinar on “Making Self-Directed Care a Reality.” The newsletter, which includes links to these resources, is available here. The TU Collaborative is also researching how to support students with mental health issues to help them succeed in school. “Students who enroll in the study may have a chance to work with someone who will help them to set goals related to their education, relationships, mental health and campus life, and receive encouragement and support to achieve their goals. All study communication will take place electronically (e.g., telephone, email, text message, Skype).” For more information, click here or contact research staff at 215-204-3257 or kpizz@temple.edu, or click here for the screener.

 

“Increasing Employment of People in Recovery” Is the Subject of Next BRSS TACS “First Friday”

 

On November 6, 2015, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will sponsor a free teleconference on “Increasing Employment of People in Recovery.” Len Statham, employment specialist at the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, will speak. 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.” For more information, click here. To connect, click here.

 

CMS Issues Bulletin to Help States Design Benefits to Guide Early Treatment Intervention

 

On October 16, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an informational bulletin to assist states in designing a benefit package to guide early treatment intervention options that will meet the needs of youth and young adults experiencing first-episode psychosis. The bulletin reflects a joint effort by SAMHSA, the National Institute of Mental Health, and CMS’s Center for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Services (CMCS). For the bulletin, click here.

 

NARPA Solicits Workshop Proposals for 2016 Annual Rights Conference

 

The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) has issued a call for presentations for its 2016 conference, to be held at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, Arizona, from August 25-28 (Thursday evening through Sunday noon). NARPA writes: “For more than 30 years, NARPA has provided an educational conference with inspiring keynoters and outstanding workshops. We learn from each other and come together as a community committed to social justice for people with psychiatric labels and developmental disabilities.” Social Work CEUs and Continuing Legal Education units are planned. The deadline to submit a proposal is March 1, 2016. Selected presenters will be notified via e-mail by April 1, 2016. Check www.narpa.org for conference updates. For the call for papers, click here.

 

TU Collaborative Seeks Participants for “Welcoming Environments” Survey

 

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion is recruiting mental health professionals (ranging from psychiatrists to dance/art/music therapists to case managers to peer support specialists and others) to participate in a survey about “workplace experiences of mental health professionals with mental health issues/concerns AND experiences of mental health professionals who may be working alongside people with mental health issues.” You cannot participate if you work in a setting that solely treats individuals with substance abuse problems or are a graduate student, a practicum student of an intern.) The survey will ask about diagnoses, medication, hospitalizations, relationships with co-workers and supervisors, and experiences of disclosure or concealment of mental health issues in the workplace. If you are interested in participating and you are a person with a mental health problem/concern, click here. If you are interested in participating and you do not have a mental health problem/concern, click here.

 

PRJ Seeks Papers for Special Issue on Psychiatric Disability Policy Research

 

The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal (PRJ) is soliciting papers for a special issue on behavioral health disability policy research. PRJ writes: “High-quality research is sought on the effects of federal, state, and local government disability and related policies on access to, quality, cost, and utilization of psychiatric rehabilitation services; behavioral health; quality of life; and well-being. Rigorous research with significant implications for future policy development to better support people with behavioral health challenges is also welcomed….” Papers should be submitted through the Manuscript Submission Portal, under the Instructions to Authors. For more information, click here. The deadline is February 1, 2016.

 

BU CPR Seeks Participants for Vocational Recovery Competencies Survey

 

The Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation writes that it is “conducting a study which aims to identify the competencies needed by vocational providers (for example, employment specialists, vocational counselors, among others) to help people with psychiatric disabilities to get and keep jobs. We are seeking feedback from individuals with the lived experience of a psychiatric condition who have worked with a vocational provider. We invite you to participate in the survey.” To participate, click here.

 

Transition Age Youth Are Sought for PTSD Study; Other Volunteers Are Welcome Too

 

A master’s student in psychology at the University of Bristol, UK, is conducting research that she hopes will aid in the recovery of individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her research, which has been approved by the University of Bristol Ethics Committee, will examine trauma survivors’ perceptions and experiences of online and offline support. The goal of the study is to improve the support given to individuals following a traumatic event. Interviews will be conducted through the use of Google Hangouts (an instant messaging software). Volunteers, whose traumatic experience must have been more than a year ago, may participate in individual interviews and/or a private online focus group. “I am seeking participants between the ages of 18 and 25 in particular,” Emily Godwin writes. “However, volunteers who are over 25 are also welcome….All data will be analyzed anonymously, and will be treated with strict confidentiality where possible. Respondents have the right to withdraw from the study at any point.” Interested? Contact Emily at researching.trauma@gmail.com before January 2016 to volunteer and/or to receive additional information. For concerns or complaints about the research project, contact Godwin’s supervisor: sara.meadows@bristol.ac.uk. For more information, click here.

 

Vox.com Solicits First-Person Stories Told Through Comics

 

Are you a comics artist? Vox.com, a website that publishes an eclectic array of news stories and features, is looking for “first-person stories told through comics.” Email firstperson@vox.com.

 

LinkedIn Group on “Employing People with Psychiatric Disabilities” Seeks Members

 

Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation has organized a LinkedIn group on employing people with psychiatric disabilities. The Center 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.”

 

In “Devoiced,” Human Rights Activists Share Their Experiences in the Mental Health System

 

“Devoiced: Human Rights Now” is a moving and powerful video in which human rights activists with lived experience of a mental health condition tell their stories. Created by Lauren Tenney, who presented the video as part of her Ph.D. dissertation defense, “Devoiced” is a series of “snapshots.” Among those interviewed are artist Amy Smith of Colorado, who recalls, “…They started enumerating all the things I could not do. And I believed them, because they were doctors.” David Oaks, founder of MindFreedom International, says, “I just felt like I’d taken an elevator ride all the way to the sub-basement.” “‘It’s too stressful; you should really stop having any goals, or desires, or dreams. You need to accept that your brain is broken and that you are limited in what you can do,’” recalled another activist about the system’s messages. “You can’t find work because you can’t keep your eyes open long enough because you’re so overmedicated,” said another. During this important 18-minute video, those interviewed cover topics including poverty, electroconvulsive treatment, seclusion and restraints, and how they maintained a sense of hope. The video is available here.

 

SAMHSA Disaster App Provides Easy Access to Disaster-Related Behavioral Health Resources

 

“In a disaster, it's essential that behavioral health responders have the resources they need – when and where they need them,” SAMHSA writes. “The SAMHSA Disaster App makes it easy to provide quality support to survivors. Users can navigate pre-deployment preparation, on-the-ground assistance, post-deployment resources, and more – at the touch of a button from the home screen. Users also can share resources, like tips for helping survivors cope, and find local behavioral health services. And self-care support for responders is available at all stages of deployment.” For more information, click here.

 

“People of Color & Mental Illness Photo Project” Seeks Contributors

 

“This photo project stems from the lack of media representation of POC (people of color) and mental illness,” writes Dior Vargas, who created the project. “There are tons of articles that list people with depression and other mental illnesses but you rarely see someone who looks like you. We need to change the way this is represented….This is a reality for so many people in our community. If you’re interested in being part of this project, please submit a photo of yourself holding a sign saying, ‘I’m [your name] and I have a mental illness (or the exact type).’ Whatever you feel comfortable doing.” The photo should be from the shoulders or waist up, saved as a JPEG with your first and last name, and sent to dior.vargas@gmail.com. For the website, click here. For more about Dior Vargas, 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. However, the five SAMHSA-funded national consumer and consumer supporter technical assistance centers may begin hosting such teleconferences. 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. 4, October 2015, 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 3, September 2015

Key Update, September 2015

Volume 12, Number 3

 

The Clearinghouse Doors Will Remain Open and the Key Update Will Continue Publication!

 

As of September 30, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will no longer be operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. However, we are seeking new sources of funding and we are keeping our doors open, albeit in a simplified fashion; and we hope to continue publishing the Key Update every month, among other initiatives. Thanks, everyone, for your support over the last 29 years! Please direct all inquiries to Clearinghouse director Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org.

 

States That Aren’t Expanding Medicaid Could Harm Their Ability to Provide Mental Health Care

 

The 19 states that have declined to accept Medicaid expansion could be making it more difficult for themselves to provide services for individuals with mental health conditions because they are thereby turning down significant federal revenue, according to a recent report, available here. “If all the states undertook an expansion by 2020, health centers would have nearly $230 million in additional revenue,” reported Washington Health Policy Week in Review on August 18 (available here). “On top of that, the study found nationwide expansion could provide an estimated $11.3 million for mental health services and $1.6 million for substance abuse services that year.” As of September 1, 2015, the 19 states that have decided against Medicaid expansion are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. A map of all 50 states’ Medicaid expansion status is available here.

 

SAMHSA Offers Publications to Help Prevent, and Recover from, Suicide Attempts

 

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has published two handbooks on the subject. The first, “A Journey Toward Health & Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt,” “is designed to help people who have attempted suicide take their first steps toward healing and recovery.” To download the free 40-page guide, click here. The second, “Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for Senior Centers,” available here  – a companion to “Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for Senior Living Communities” (available here) – “offers strategies senior centers can use to integrate suicide prevention into activities that support the well-being of older adults” and “describes activities that increase protective factors and explains how to recognize the warning signs of suicide.”

 

Free Guide to “Amazing Fundraising Appeals” Tells How to Inspire Donations

 

Network for Good is offering “How to Write Amazing Fundraising Appeals: A quick guide to inspiring more donations with a compelling message.” According to its introduction, “To raise more money online, you need a great appeal that grabs donors’ attention and inspires them to give. How do you create fundraising letters that stand out and get results? We’ve got you covered. This short guide will give you practical tips for focusing on the key things donors want to know, how to tell a compelling – and effective – story, crafting an irresistible call to action, and simple tactics for improving donor conversion and increasing your average gift size.” The 18-page guide is available for free download here. For Network for Good’s Free Fundraising Resources Library, click here.

 

Hotline Run by and for Transgender People Is Free

 

Trans Lifeline is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. “Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of our community might have,” according to the website: www.translifeline.org. “This line is primarily for transgender people experiencing a crisis. This includes people who may be struggling with their gender identity and are not sure that they are transgender. While our goal is to prevent self harm, we welcome the call of any transgender person in need. We will do our very best to connect them with services that can help them meet that need. If you are not sure whether you should call or not, then please call us.” In the U.S., call 877.565.8860. In Canada, call 877.330.6366.

 

Disability Equality Index Survey Unveiled in Preparation for December 2015 Launch

 

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) recently unveiled the second annual Disability Equality Index (DEI), a national, transparent, online benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of zero to 100, on their overall disability inclusion policies and practices. The inaugural DEI was successfully completed with 80 “Fortune 1,000 scope companies” earlier this year. The second annual DEI is scheduled to launch this December. “We have already heard from many companies that they are using their learnings from the inaugural DEI to improve their policies and procedures,” said chief DEI strategy officer Keith Wiedenkeller. For more information, click here.

 

Survey of Best and Worst States for Workers with Disabilities Is Published

 

A survey of the best and worst states for workers with disabilities was published this month by Respectability USA, a nonprofit advocacy group. The survey, available here, reported that individuals with disabilities in some states are twice as likely to be employed as their counterparts in other states. Nationwide, approximately 70 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed. According to the survey, based on 2013 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, North Dakota leads the nation in creating more job opportunities for individuals with disabilities; 52 percent of its 34,800 working-age people with disabilities are employed. Rounding out the list of the best 10 states are (in rank order) Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Utah, Colorado, and New Hampshire. “The states with the consistently lowest workforce participation rates are West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama and Arizona. When taking into consideration the gap between the employment rate of people with disabilities and those without disabilities, Maine and Vermont are added to the list, with Maine coming in dead last in the country.” For more information, click here.

 

SAMHSA Offers Behavioral Health Disaster Response Mobile App

 

“In a disaster, it’s essential that behavioral health responders have the resources they need – when and where they need them,” SAMHSA writes. “The SAMHSA Disaster App makes it easy to provide quality support to survivors. Users can navigate pre-deployment preparation, on-the-ground assistance, post-deployment resources, and more – at the touch of a button from the home screen. Users also can share resources, like tips for helping survivors cope, and find local behavioral health services. And self-care support for responders is available at all stages of deployment.” The SAMHSA Behavioral Health Disaster Response App received a Silver Mobile Web Health Award from the National Health Information Center. For more information, click here.

 

Vera Institute Creates Website That Aims to End Abuse Against Individuals with Disabilities

 

This month, the Vera Institute of Justice announced its launch of what it calls “the first website exclusively dedicated to ending abuse against people with disabilities.” The website aims to raise awareness of the enormity of the problem: “In 2013 alone, 1.3 million violent crimes were committed against people with disabilities,” who are three times more likely than people without disabilities to be the targets of violence. The site’s guidance and resources are also aimed at “enhancing services for people with disabilities who have been victimized, fostering accountability for those responsible for these crimes, strengthening prevention efforts, and increasing research on the issue and evaluation of potential solutions. It features a first-of-its-kind interactive and searchable map of all of the people, programs, and projects across the country working in this area, as well as the best practice materials each project has created.” For more information and a link to the End Abuse website, click here.

 

You Are Invited to Contribute a Selfie to an Anti-Stigma/-Discrimination Video!

 

You are invited to participate in a video whose goal is “to show that we may have these [mental health] diagnoses but we are also people with full lives who do and are so much more!” writes composer/lyricist/librettist Rachel Griffin. The video will illustrate a selection from Griffin’s musical-in-progress, “We Have Apples” (click here), which will highlight the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health conditions as well as the lack of high-quality and accessible health care. Griffin, who also has lived experience of a mental health condition, writes, “Take a picture of yourself holding a sign that says something you accomplished or something you are proud of in your life. Examples: ‘I graduated college.’ ‘I’m a mother.’ ‘I’m an artist.’ ‘I’m married to the love of my life!’ ‘I’m a volunteer.’ ‘I’m an advocate.’ ‘I’m a sister.’ If you want (but you don’t have to), you can take another photo of yourself with a sign saying your diagnosis: ‘I have anxiety.’ ‘I have depression.’ ‘I have bipolar disorder.’” The video will accompany a selection from the musical entitled “I’m Different” (click here). This is the second such video Griffin has created. The first video, “I’m an Apple, Too” (click here), offered positive messages from individuals with mental health conditions and their supporters to others who may be struggling. Send your selfies to rachelgriffinmusic@gmail.com.

 

Mental Health America Creates Petition to Combat Stigmatizing Halloween Costumes; Advocates Succeed in Getting Rid of “Dorothea Dix Psych Ward” Costume

 

Mental Health America has launched a petition to “Tell Retailers: ‘Gone Mental’ Halloween costumes are offensive and stigmatizing. “Costumes such as ‘Gone Mental’ serve only to perpetuate stigma and discrimination” against individuals with mental health conditions, said MHA spokesperson Casey Dillon. “Costumes like Gone Mental,’ ‘Happy Hill Asylum,’ and ‘Psycho Ward’ contribute only to stereotypes and misunderstandings that all individuals living with mental health conditions are violent and scary,” she said. “In fact, people living with mental health conditions are more likely than those without to be the victims of violent crime than the perpetrators.” Such stereotypes discourage people from seeking help, she continued. To read more and to sign the petition, click here. At the same time, advocates have succeeded in getting stores in North Carolina to remove a blood-spattered Halloween costume labeled “Dorothea Dix Psych Ward.” Dorothea Dix Hospital, named after the 19th century reformer who tried to improve conditions for individuals with mental health conditions, opened in 1856 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and closed in 2012. To read more, click here.

 

Thanks, Keris Myrick (@KerisWithaK) and Martha Brock (@StarGazerNC3)

 

Bard Prison Initiative Participants Beat Harvard Undergrads in Debate

 

Debaters who are serving time for violent crimes trounced Harvard undergraduates in a recent contest held at a maximum-security prison in the Catskills. This was in spite of the fact that the winning team, participants in a rigorous Bard College program for incarcerated individuals, had to argue a resolution they did not support: “Public schools in the United States should have the ability to deny enrollment to undocumented students.” The Bard team was further hampered by its inability to use the Internet for research and the fact that requested books and articles can take weeks to arrive. “Their academic ability is impressive,” said a veteran judge, noting that no bias was involved in the decision as the judges have to adhere to specific standards. After the event, a Bard debater expressed his gratitude for the college program. “They make us believe in ourselves,” he said. To read more, click here.

 

Thanks, @pdxlawgrrrl

 

Advocates Topple Billboard Falsely Linking Mental Health Conditions and Gun Violence

 

A relentless effort by a coalition largely comprising individuals diagnosed with mental health conditions convinced the upscale apparel designer Kenneth Cole to remove a billboard in New York City perpetuating the myth that links “mental illness” with violence. The billboard, in the shadow of Riverside Church, read: "Over 40M Americans suffer from mental illness. Some can access care…All can access guns. –KennethCole #GunReform #AreYouPuttingUsOn.” Responding to a week-long campaign of emails, voicemails, and tweets, the Kenneth Cole organization sent an email which read in part: "In hindsight, we were overly ambitious with our attempt to address two complex issues in a medium designed for brevity, and regret any confusion it has caused. The billboard on the West Side Highway will be replaced…” The billboard has since been taken down. “It was our collective effort that effected this change,” said Doris Schwartz, MA, LCSW-R, chief operating officer of the Mental Health Association of Westchester, who launched the campaign against the billboard after she spotted it on the Henry Hudson Parkway on September 2. The American Psychiatric Association was an ally in this initiative. To read more, click here.

 

 “Banned Books Week” Celebrates the Freedom to Read!

 

September 27 to October 3, 2015, is Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week supports the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. BBW began in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. To support Banned Books Week, stay informed: Help local schools and libraries support free and open access to books; speak out: Write letters to the editor, your public library and your local school principal supporting the freedom to read; and exercise your rights! Check out or re-read a favorite banned book. Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association: read more here.

 

Alternatives 2015 Announces Completes Keynote Speaker Lineup!

Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, which is organizing Alternatives 2015 – the 29th annual national conference organized by and for individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition, to be held October 14-18 in Memphis, Tennessee – has announced its final keynote speaker: Vanessa Frias, communications and training specialist for Youth M.O.V.E Oregon and an advocate for youth voice. She says “her favorite part of being a young adult leader is giving hope back to those young people who are lost just as she once was.” For bios of all nine keynote speakers, click here. To view an inspirational video about the goals and themes of the conference, click here. To register, click here. This year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided a limited number of scholarships, which were awarded on the basis of nominations from the field. For ideas about other ways to obtain funding to attend the conference, click here.

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

 

As of September 30, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will no longer be operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. For this reason, we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. However, the five SAMHSA-funded national consumer and consumer supporter technical assistance centers may begin hosting such teleconferences. 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. 3, September 2015, 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 2 - August 2015

U.S. Government Upholds the Rights of Parents with Disabilities

This month, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services issued a document warning that the government would not tolerate discrimination against individuals with disabilities who have children or would like to start a family. “This guidance will help ensure that parents and prospective parents are not discriminatorily deprived of custody of their children, or denied the opportunity to adopt or serve as foster parents, because of stereotypes and unfounded assumptions about persons with disabilities, which we have seen in our complaints,” said Jocelyn Samuels, director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, quoted in Disability Scoop. An 18-page document, available here, offers guidance to child welfare agencies and courts throughout the U.S. about how to safeguard parents’ legal rights while protecting children.

 

“Career Development for Peer Support Workers” Is Topic of BRSS TACS’ September “First Friday”

On Sept. 4, 2015, at noon ET, BRSS TACS – Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy – will host an hour-long webinar on “Career Development for Peer Support Workers.” 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. The presenters will be Tanya Stevens of the New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services and Neil Campbell of the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse. No registration is required but for more information, click here. Or, on Sept. 4 before the event, click here, choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name. You can get audio through your computer speakers and closed captioning will be available. 

 

CDC Sponsors #VetoViolence to Honor Suicide Prevention Month

In recognition of September as Suicide Prevention Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sponsoring a social media campaign. The federal agency is encouraging people to use the hashtag #VetoViolence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and “compose six words and take a photo or create a unique image that promotes an action that supports people and helps prevent suicide, educates others about how to save lives, or honors National Suicide Prevention Month.” Among the messages posted on Twitter are “Your story does NOT end here,” “Stay connected with coworkers & friends,” and “Volunteer to give hope and support.” For more information about the CDC campaign, click here. For more information about World Suicide Prevention Day – Sept. 10 – click here.

 

Have You Experienced Psychosis? Tell Your “Work and School Story” Online!

The Stanford University-based Voices Outside project is gathering “work and school stories” from people who have experienced psychosis and consider themselves “successful,” on their own terms. According to the Voices Outside website, “Working adults and graduate/professional students with psychosis are more or less invisible…Instead, the message that most of the public hears – and that those with lived experience and their family members all too often come to believe – is that psychosis and success are incompatible. We want to change this.” The goal is to inspire young people (and others). “Once we have a ‘critical mass’ of profiles, we’ll post them publicly in a searchable database and disseminate as widely as possible….Profiles will include helpful and concrete information about individuals’ use of accommodations, experiences of disclosure and other forms of ‘career impact’ and/or challenges.” The survey can be filled out anonymously or not. To participate, click here. For the project flyer, click here. Raw versions of the first 60 stories are posted here.

Thanks, @viscidula (Nev Jones)

 

“U.S. Police Killed Someone in Mental or Emotional Crisis Every 36 Hours This Year, Report Says”

In the first six months of 2015, the Washington Post tracked “every fatal police shooting in the country” – 462 in all – and found that, during that period, “police killed someone in mental or emotional crisis every 36 hours,” according to a Time magazine article about the Post’s research. “In most cases, police were called not because of a crime but by a concerned bystander or loved one,” the Time magazine story noted. The executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum told the Post, “We have to get American police to rethink how they handle encounters with the mentally ill. Training has to change.” For the Post’s report, click here.

 

Web Page Offers Criminal Justice Statistics and Other Pertinent Information

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency has launched a web page that offers numerous links to information about the criminal justice system. A few of the links are Pennsylvania-specific; the rest are to a broad array of national justice organizations, sources of crime data, agencies that are part of the U.S. Department of Justice, and other organizations. For the web page (pacrimestats.info), click here.

 

SAMHSA Publishes Cultural Competency Toolkit

“Cultural Competence in Mental Health Peer-run Programs and Self-help Groups” has been published by SAMHSA to help peer-run programs and self-help groups assess and enhance their own cultural competency. “It contains sample surveys and action plans to determine if programs are meeting the needs of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and groups.” The toolkit, prepared by the NAMI STAR Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago, is available here.

 

Two Sept. 11 Webinars Will Cover C/S/X Movement History and Peer Support in State Prisons, Respectively

Mark your calendars for two webinars on the same date but at different times! On Sept. 11, at noon, iNAPS is hosting a free webinar on the history of the movement for social justice of individuals with lived experience. The hour-long webinar, made possible by the support of Optum, will feature two longtime movement leaders: Gayle Bluebird and Sally Zinman.  At this writing, access information was unavailable; check here for more information as the date approaches. Then, at 3 p.m., SAMHSA’s GAINS Center and the Association of State Correctional Administrators are hosting the second of their two-part webinar series focusing on peer support in state correctional facilities. “Attendees will learn about the innovative use of peers and successful collaborations between correctional facilities and peer-operated programs in providing a wide array of reentry services,” they write. The first webinar, on August 20, highlighted three exemplary programs. The second, on Sept. 11, will focus on how to develop, implement, fund, sustain and expand peer reentry programs and services in state correctional facilities. For more information and to register, click here.

 

The College Experience for Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Is the Subject of Three Publications

The Café TA Center and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion are offering publications focusing on the college experience. In its latest Focus newsletter, the Café TA Center examines the phenomenon of “suicide clusters” in college and university communities, and how they might be prevented. “A ‘postvention’ plan can make all the difference,” they write. “Postvention: How Colleges and Universities Can React to Suicide Clusters” is available here. In two related publications, the TU Collaborative on Community Inclusion offers “A Practical Guide for People with Disabilities Who Want to Go to College,” available here, and “How People with Psychiatric Disabilities Can Make the Most of Their College Experience,” available here.

 

SAMHSA to Sponsor Webinar on “Financing Care Transitions for Individuals at Risk for Suicide”

On Sept. 16, 2015, at 12:30 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will sponsor a 90-minute webinar on “potential financing mechanisms for post-discharge care services aimed at individuals who are at risk of suicide.”  SAMHSA writes: “The speakers will discuss current financing models as well as expected changes that will alter the national health services payment landscape. The discussion will focus on three case studies – an accountable care organization, a behavioral health plan, and a county-led crisis program – as examples of innovative financial models that support services for individuals in crisis. The audience will have an opportunity to participate and ask questions during the webcast.” To register, click here

 

Peer Advocates Plan Monument to Memorialize Individuals Who Died in Delaware State Hospital

Around the U.S., there have been ongoing efforts – almost always spearheaded by advocates with lived experience of a mental health condition – to restore names to the numbered graves of those who died in psychiatric institutions. Most recently, the Delaware Consumer Recovery Coalition (DCRC) has unveiled plans to build a monument to the hundreds of individuals who were buried in unnamed graves at the former Delaware State Hospital. “Just being able to put the names of the people who have passed away and are now buried in a place that's recognizable is very significant to bring dignity to the people buried here,” said DCRC director Bryce Hewlett. The monument, which will list all the names of those buried in the hospital’s cemetery, is scheduled to be unveiled next spring. Donations to help fund the monument are being accepted at DelawareRecovery.org. For more information, click here. For information about several other such initiatives, click here. For information on OptumHealth’s “Recovered Dignity” traveling exhibit, click here.

 

Four Upcoming Webinars Will Focus on Youth with Mental Health Conditions

Four webinars, in September and October 2015, will deal with youth with mental health conditions. Three are sponsored by Transitions RTC and the Center on Transition Innovations (CTI) of Virginia Commonwealth University; one is sponsored by Pathways RTC. The three CTI webinars are on the following topics: “Overview: What are the challenges for youth with psychiatric disabilities as they transition to adulthood?” (Sept. 17, 2015); “Needs and supports for pursuing postsecondary education and training for youth with psychiatric disabilities” (Oct. 1, 2015); and “Research-based employment supports for youth with chronic mental health disabilities” (Oct. 8, 2015). All three will begin at 3 p.m. ET, and all will be presented by Maryann Davis, “an internationally recognized expert on services for transition-age youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions.” For more information and to register for the CTI webinars, click here. The Pathways RTC webinar, on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. ET, will cover “Family Support for Transition-Aged [14-29] Youth.” For more information and to register, click here.


Alternatives 2015 Announces Keynote Speakers!

Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, which is organizing Alternatives 2015 – the 29th annual national conference organized by and for individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition – has announced eight of the nine keynote speakers (click here)! Meanwhile, the organizers write that scholarships from SAMHSA are never guaranteed and haven't been announced yet for 2015. “We encourage everyone to utilize local partnerships, fundraising and other strategies for conference attendance. Updates regarding the availability of any scholarships with pertinent information will be posted here, and announced on Facebook and [the] Peerlink website!” For funding suggestions, click here. To register for the conference, click here.

 

Two New Resources Will Help Faith Leaders Better Understand Mental Health Issues

The American Psychiatric Association Foundation has produced two new resources to help faith leaders better understand mental illness and treatment, and better help individuals and families in their congregations who are facing mental health challenges. The Foundation now offers a 20-page booklet, “Mental Health: A Guide for Faith Leaders,” and a companion two-page “Quick Reference on Mental Health for Faith Leaders.” For further information and to download the two documents, click here. In addition, the Clearinghouse recently researched and wrote a guide entitled “Developing Welcoming Religious Communities:  Inspiring Examples of Faith-Based Initiatives to Help Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Participate Fully in the Life of Religious Congregations,” published in collaboration with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion.


 

Ever Been Suicidal? “Now Matters Now” Wants to Help!

“Have you had suicidal thoughts? Problems that felt unsolvable? You are in excellent company – we’ve been there. Here we offer strategies to survive and build more manageable and meaningful lives….” So reads the home page of Now Matters Now, a website that promotes Dialectical Behavior Therapy, developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, the creator of DBT and a person with lived experience, who is a member of the Now Matters Now team. Sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the website is available at http://www.nowmattersnow.org/

 

Next National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconference Will Be Held on September 21

On Monday, September 21, 2015 – at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 7 a.m. in Hawaii – the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will host its monthly one-hour national technical assistance and networking teleconference. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. If you would like to suggest an agenda item, please write to Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. Join us! Again, the call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#.

 

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 info@cdsdirectory.org or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

 

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 2, August 2015, 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 1 - July 2015

Two Recent Webinars Hosted by the Clearinghouse Are Available Online!

Two recent Clearinghouse webinars – on early intervention in psychosis services and on criminal justice issues, respectively – are now available online! In “Peer Leadership in Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) Services: From Program Development to Outcome Evaluation,” the presenters discussed both the real-world challenges of robust peer involvement and the potential for such involvement to transform – rather than merely augment – services across the domains of planning, service delivery, policy, and evaluation. The topics covered in “How Do We Create a Truly Just Criminal Justice System for Everyone, Including Individuals with Mental Health Conditions?” include the movement for social justice whose goal is to cut the incarceration rate in half by 2030 while reducing crime; how to support individuals with mental health conditions who are incarcerated and how to help them transition successfully into the community; and diversion models to prevent or minimize incarceration. “Peer Leadership in Early Intervention in Psychosis Services” is available here; “How Do We Create a Truly Just Criminal Justice System for Everyone…” is available here.
 

Join the March for Dignity and Change in Mental Health on August 24, 2015, in DC!
 
Destination Dignity is organizing a march for the dignity and human rights of individuals with mental health conditions. Among its demands are to safeguard the human rights of individuals with mental health conditions, to promote their valued place in the community, and to ensure that they receive the right kind of help when and where they need it and want it. “The Destination Dignity March will bring together people from around the nation and the world, with individuals affected by mental health conditions in the lead, to create energy and solidarity for a more supportive nation,” the organizers say. It will begin with a kick-off rally at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 400 New Jersey Avenue NW, at 11 a.m., followed by a march on the National Mall, gathering at noon at 3rd Street and Madison Drive NW. For more information: Facebook.com/MHDignityMarch, @MHDignityMarch, #MHDignityMarch, www.DestinationDignity.org. Questions? Writedignitymarch@mentalhealthsf.org
 

GAINS Center to Host Two Webinars on Successful Use of Peer Support in State Prisons
 
SAMHSA’s GAINS Center and the Association of State Correctional Administrators are hosting a two-part webinar series focusing on peer support in state correctional facilities: “Attendees will learn about the innovative use of peers and successful collaborations between correctional facilities and peer-operated programs in providing a wide array of reentry services. The first webinar will highlight three exemplary programs and the second will focus on how to develop, implement, fund, sustain and expand these programs in state correctional facilities.” Part I will be held on August 20, 2015; Part 2 will take place on Sept. 11, 2015. Both 90-minute webinars will begin at 3 p.m. ET. For more information and to register, click here.
 

Summer Recovery to Practice (RTP) Webinar Series Begins Today!
 
SAMHSA is offering a series of 12 webinars, from July 27 through September 3, which will make Recovery To Practice – a SAMHSA initiative that “supports the expansion and integration of recovery-oriented care delivered by mental health providers” – accessible to all behavioral and general health practitioners working in multidisciplinary and integrated practice settings. All events will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET, and all will be recorded for future access. For the dates and topics and/or to register, click here.
 
 
A Webinar on “Improving Health through Trauma-Informed Care” Will Take Place Tomorrow!
 
On July 28, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is sponsoring a webinar, targeted at treatment providers, on “Improving Health Through Trauma-Informed Care.” “How can you embed trauma-informed approaches into the practice of your integrated primary care clinic?” SAMHSA writes. “Join this webinar to walk through what a trauma-informed clinic looks like and simple steps you can take to ensure your services and clinic environment are trauma-informed.” Among the presenters are Leah Harris, trauma-informed care specialist and coordinator of consumer affairs for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, and Mary Blake, public health advisor at  SAMHSA. To register and for more information, including SAMHSA’s primer on trauma-informed care, click here.



NEC to Sponsor Webinar on Evaluation of Peer Programs on August 5
 
A 90-minute webinar presented by the National Empowerment Center on “We Are the Evidence: Evaluation of Peer Programs” will take place on August 5, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET.  The presenters are Jean Campbell, PhD, who helped establish Consumer-Operated Service Programs (COSPs) as evidence-based practices; Laysha Ostrow, PhD, of Live and Learn; and Bevin Croft, MPP, of Human Services Research Institute (HSRI). The webinar will stress the importance of good evaluation of peer programs, offer helpful tips, and use peer respites as a case study.  Click here to register.
 
 
Videos Help Behavioral Health Providers to Successfully Integrate Peer Support Staff
 
Two videos and corresponding tip sheets for behavioral health providers have recently been produced by the Lewin Group in partnership with the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO), which is part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These products describe success stories of peer support staff, and advise organizations on how they can best use peer support staff to improve their care delivery. For the videos, click here and here. If you have any questions, please contact brigit.kyei-baffour@lewin.com, 703-269-5762.
 

“Our Stories, Our Lives” Seeks Stories about What Helps and What Hurts Recovery

Recovery Now! – composed of people in recovery, advocates, family members of individuals with mental health conditions, and concerned community members – is looking for stories about what helped people recover and what set them back in their recovery journey. “Far too often, people with mental health and substance use conditions are portrayed in negative ways in the media, which contributes to stereotypes and discrimination. The ‘Our Stories, Our Lives’ project seeks to gather and share stories of triumph and struggle from everyday people living with mental health and substance use conditions, to help shift the public perception towards recovery and hope.” To contribute your story, click here.
 

Three Surveys Are Recruiting Participants, Including Students, Other Youth, and Professionals

 
Three surveys (two in the U.S. and one in the U.K.) are recruiting participants. First, the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities is seeking to learn more about how to support students with mental health issues to help them succeed in school. “Students who enroll in the study may have a chance to work with someone who will help them to set goals related to their education, relationships, mental health and campus life, and receive encouragement and support to achieve their goals,” the researchers say. For more information, click here, contact kpizz@temple.edu or go directly to the survey byclicking here. The second survey, by the Copeland Center, involves seeking the opinions of youth between the ages of 14 and 30 for a proposed youth documentary “to be used nationally for the advancement and expansion of wellness strategies.” For the survey, which will be open until August 31, 2015, click here. For more information, write Letty Elenes at lelenes25@gmail.com. The third opportunity involves a study that is recruiting “people working or studying in the field of mental health or mental health research.” This study, entitled “Professionals’ Understanding of Mental Health Problems,” is examining how such individuals “understand mental health problems (for example, depression and anxiety).” For more information, click here.


How to Stop the Overuse of Jails for Individuals with Mental Health Conditions
 
A new white paper from Policy Research Associates “examines factors contributing to the incarceration of people with serious mental illness and approaches to reform. Redesigning financial incentives for institutions, integrating state and local requirements and opportunities, and creating a skilled and adequately sized workforce in local justice systems are identified as priority areas. The report also points to the importance of coordination among health care, community, and justice organizations to establish practices and protocols” to help individuals with mental health conditions. For more information and to download a free copy of the report – “When Political Will Is Not Enough: Jails, Communities, and Persons with Mental Health Disorders” – click here.
 
 
“Medicaid at 50: Its Impact in Your State”
 
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has analyzed state-by-state data on how Medicaid improves access to health care for millions of families and individuals, and has provided a map so that everyone can learn more about what Medicaid is doing in their state. For example, in California, which has the largest population of any state, 28 percent of individuals with disabilities received access to critical care through Medicaid that helped them live independently. In Wyoming, the state with the smallest population, the corresponding figure is 18 percent. CBPP, a nonpartisan research and policy institute founded in 1981, pursue[s] federal and state policies designed both to reduce poverty and inequality and to restore fiscal responsibility in equitable and effective ways. To find out the impact of Medicaid in your state, click here.
 
Thanks, Leah Harris (@LeahIda)


 
Higher Education Can Transform the Lives of Individuals with Criminal Justice Histories
 
“Higher Education and Reentry: The Gifts They Bring,” a study by researchers at CUNY Graduate Center, “considers a number of important questions: What does it take for people with criminal justice histories to successfully transform the trajectory of their lives? What are the obstacles they face? What affirmative steps can we take to make our public and private colleges and universities more welcoming to this growing population of students?” For the press release and complete document, click here. According to a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2006, “At midyear 2005…56% of State prisoners, 45% of Federal prisoners, and 64% of jail inmates” had a mental health problem. For the BJS report, click here.

Thanks, @RiversideHouse
 

Registration Is Open for Alternatives 2015!

The planning is in high gear for Alternatives 2015, the 29th annual national conference organized by and for individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition! To view an inspirational video about the goals and themes of the conference, click here. To register, click here. (The organizers, Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, write that scholarships from SAMHSA are never guaranteed and haven't been announced yet for 2015. “We encourage everyone to utilize local partnerships, fundraising and other strategies for conference attendance. Updates regarding the availability of any scholarships with pertinent information will be posted here, and announced on Facebook and [the] Peerlink website.  We will also be posting helpful information and tools to help you in your fundraising efforts very soon!”) 

 
Report Calls for Strengthening Psychosocial Interventions for Behavioral Health Conditions

On July 15, the National Academy of Medicine released a plan to ensure that evidence-based psychosocial interventions are routinely used in clinical practice and made a part of clinical training for mental health professionals. “Psychosocial interventions are a huge component of how mental and substance use disorders are treated,” said an author of the report. “Yet they have been largely left out of health care reform. This report [“Psychosocial Interventions for Mental and Substance Use Disorders”] describes how to incorporate these interventions into the mainstream, outlining how treatment decisions can be made at both a clinical and policy level, to increase the likelihood that people will receive evidence-based care.” To download a copy of the “Report in Brief,” click here. For more information, click here.

Thanks, Leah Harris (@LeahIda)
 
 
SAMHSA Offers Recovery Month Toolkit
 
National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. Each year, Recovery Month creates a toolkit to help individuals and organizations increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides tips and resources for planning Recovery Month events and distributing information in communities across the nation. For the complete 2015 Recovery Month Toolkit in English, click here. For the Spanish-language version, click here.


NCD Progress Report Celebrates 25 Years of ADA, Envisions Next 25
 
In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the National Council on Disability has dedicated the 2015 edition of its annual progress report – “National Disability Policy: A Progress Report” – “to exploring how the ADA and other federal legislation has been put into practice by five specific state and local agencies….The report focuses on employment, education, health care, transportation, and housing, and demonstrates the impact of federal legislation and the critical role that disability advocates and state and local officials have played who translate the spirit and letter of the ADA and other federal legislation into practice. It also lays out NCD’s vision for the next 25 years of the ADA with specific policy recommendations.” To download the free report, click here.

Thanks, Howard Trachtman


The Semicolon Project Offers Hope to Those with Behavioral Health Conditions
 
“Thousands of people across the globe are getting semicolons tattooed on their bodies in a bid to raise awareness about mental health,” according to a UK publication. “The simple punctuation mark – used to divide sentence clauses – has been adopted by the non-profit group ‘Semicolon Project’ (www.projectsemicolon.com) to help raise awareness over depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. The organization hopes that persuading people to have semicolon tattoos – permanent or temporary – will help break down the stigma associated with mental illness.” To read more, click here.


Next National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconference Will Be Held on August 17
 
On Monday, August 17, 2015 – at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 7 a.m. in Hawaii – the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will host its monthly one-hour national technical assistance and networking teleconference. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. If you would like to suggest an agenda item, please write to Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. (The calls are held on the third Monday of the month except when that is a holiday, such as in January and February, in which case they are held on the fourth Monday.) Join us on August 17 at 1 p.m. ET! Again, the call-in number is 866-906-0123. The passcode is 5037195.

 
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 athttp://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 athttp://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 info@cdsdirectory.org or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 1, July 2015, /. 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 11, Number 12 - June 2015

There’s Still Time to Register for an Exciting Webinar on Criminal Justice Issues on June 25!

Three prominent experts in criminal justice issues will present a free 90-minute webinar on Thursday, June 25, at 2 p.m. ET. Among the topics to be covered by this webinar – which is sponsored by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion – will be the movement for social justice whose goal is to cut the incarceration rate in half by 2030 while reducing crime; how to support individuals with mental health conditions who are incarcerated and how to help them transition successfully into the community; and diversion models to prevent or minimize incarceration, including the Nathaniel Project, the first alternative-to-incarceration program in Manhattan Supreme Court for adults with serious mental health conditions convicted of felony offenses. The presenters are Glenn E. Martin, founder and president of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA); Dan Abreu, MS CRC LMHC, a senior project associate at Policy Resource Associates; and Ann-Marie Louisonthe co-founder of the Nathaniel ProjectFor more information and to register, click here.

 

Stand Up for Human Rights by Signing the Byberry Declaration for Human Rights of Persons with Mental Health Conditions

For half a millennium, individuals with mental health conditions were warehoused in institutions in an unbroken line that stretches from Bedlam (the infamous Bethlem Royal Hospital in London) to Byberry (the name by which the notorious Philadelphia State Hospital was known). June 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the closure of Byberry. To affirm the Byberry Declaration for Human Rights of Persons with Mental Health Conditions with your signature, click here.

 

Free Manual for Eliminating Barriers for Individuals with Forensic Histories Is Available

The Center for American Progress recently published One Strike and You’re Out: How We Can Eliminate Barriers to Economic Security and Mobility for People with Criminal Records. According to the guide, “One recent study finds that our nation’s poverty rate would have dropped by 20 percent between 1980 and 2004 if not for mass incarceration and the subsequent criminal records that haunt people for years after they have paid their debt to society.” In addition, they write, “people are treated as criminals long after they pose any significant risk of committing further crimes – making it difficult for many to move on with their lives and achieve basic economic security, let alone have a shot at upward mobility.” The guide provides recommendations for increasing opportunities for individuals with criminal records in the areas of employment, housing, public assistance, education and training, and economic security and financial empowerment. The manual is available for free download by clicking here.

 

Study Seeks Participants Who Have Experienced Hospitalization in Acute Psychiatric Units

Harvard University researchers are seeking a better understanding of important factors that influence staff and service-user satisfaction within acute psychiatric wards. Co-investigator Morgan Shields, a student at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, writes: “If you have experienced being a patient within an acute psychiatric unit, I would appreciate it if you would participate in a series of questionnaires available by clicking here. The questionnaires will take about 20 minutes to complete….Participants will be entered into a raffle to win a $25 gift certificate. All responses will be kept anonymous.” Participants in the Boston area may be contacted for a follow-up interview, but participation in such an interview is not required. The deadline for the study, which is being conducted under the auspices of Massachusetts General Hospital, is September 15, 2015. Questions? Please contact Morgan Shields at Morgan.Shields@mail.harvard.edu.

 

“Career Services Guide” Is Offered to Help Employment Counselors Assist People with Mental Health Issues

The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counseling (CERIC) is offering a free guide intended for career service workers, employment counselors and career practitioners working in non-mental-health-specific employment settings. CERIC writes that the guide “builds on emerging ‘best practices’ in employment support, recovery-oriented practices, and draws on the wisdom of experts in the field of career counselling and the ‘experiential expertise’ of people who access counselling services. Featuring five chapters, the guide, along with supporting videos, will help practitioners to consider beliefs that may limit opportunity, build awareness of recovery-oriented practices, and acquire the skills needed to better serve the one in five … who experience mental health issues.” For more information, click here. To download the free guide, click here.

Thanks, Leah Harris

 

Writers’ Colony Offers Fellowship for a Nonfiction Project on Mental Health Issues

The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is offering a fellowship to an emerging or established writer working on a nonfiction project concentrating on mental health issues, focusing particularly on recovery from, and reconstructing aspects of a healthy life while living with, mental health challenges. The Fellowship entitles the recipient to a two-week stay at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. Each resident has a private suite with writing space, private bath, bedroom and wireless Internet. The residency provides uninterrupted writing time, with dinner prepared and served five nights a week, and breakfast and lunch supplies available. Residents also share the camaraderie of other professional writers and artists when they want it. Fellowship applications, which must be accompanied by two references and a non-refundable $35 application fee, must be postmarked by July 31, 2015. Click here to apply online. The recipient will be announced in early September. Residencies must be completed by July 31, 2016. For more information, please contact Jill Slane at (479) 244-6054.

 

Hearing Is Held on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646)

On June 16, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on HR 2646, the 2015 version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, sponsored by Rep. Tim Murphy, who introduced an earlier version in 2013 (HR 3717). Among those who testified were Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Mental Health America president Paul Gionfriddo,  and New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services executive director Harvey Rosenthal. The archived hearing, along with links to everyone’s written testimony, is available online. The bill, available here, would have a major impact on individuals with mental health conditions, and it is important to keep abreast of developments. Among those who have commented (including outside of the hearing) are the Bazelon Center (click here), former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (click here) and the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (click here). 

Thanks, Jeremy Countryman

 

ProPublica Invites You to Steal Their Stories. No, Really! 

ProPublica, an award-winning source of “Journalism in the Public Interest,” writes that, “Unless otherwise noted, you can republish our articles and graphics for free.” It’s true that there are a few hoops to jump through and a few restrictions. For example, they write, “You have to credit us — ideally in the byline. We prefer ‘Author Name, ProPublica.’” Also, “if you’re republishing online, you have to link to us and to include all of the links from our story, as well as our PixelPing tag.” And “you cannot republish our photographs or illustrations without specific permission (ask our Communications Director Nicole Collins Bronzan if you’d like to).” But it’s still a very generous offer! The rules are available here.

 

“A Good Hire” Helps Individuals with Felony Convictions Seeking Employment

A Good Hire: Resources for Finding Undiscovered Talent – a project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the National Employment Law Project – writes: “This is part of a public education campaign to raise awareness among hiring decision-makers about the untapped talent that is overlooked when employers screen out people with past records of arrests or convictions. A Good Hire provides information about ‘fair chance’ hiring practices that will help employers reach this untapped pool of talent. A Good Hire is one part of a larger effort to engage the employer community as a means of affecting the overarching economic environment in which people with records are struggling to succeed.” For more information, please contact A Good Hire at info@agoodhire.com.

 

New Publication on Trauma-Informed Care for Youth and Young Adults Is Available

Pathways Research and Training Center at Portland State University in Oregon has published Trauma-Informed Care, a 40-page magazine with a variety of articles focusing on “Youth, Young Adults and Mental Health.” “It is estimated that nearly half of all youth in the United States have been exposed to at least one adverse childhood experience, and that the occurrence of multiple trauma exposures is common within specific populations,” the Introduction notes. Among the articles are “The Impact of Toxic Stress on the Developing Person: Becoming a Trauma-Informed Service Provider,” “Through a Darker Lens: The Trauma of Racism in Communities of Color,” “Trauma Informed Method of Engagement (TIME) for Youth Advocacy,” and “SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach in Youth Settings.” The publication is available for free download by clicking here.

 

National Survey Provides Comprehensive Look at Employment of Individuals with Disabilities

On June 3, 2015, the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) unveiled the results of the Kessler Foundation 2015 National Employment and Disability Survey on Capitol Hill. The survey, which was conducted by UNH, identifies strategies that Americans with disabilities use to search for work and navigate barriers, accommodations that are helpful to obtain and maintain employment, and factors that contribute to unemployment. According to the Kessler Foundation website, this is “the first national survey to examine the workplace experiences of people with disabilities and identify successful strategies that people with disabilities have used to find and maintain employment….The survey revealed that more than 68 percent of people with disabilities are striving to work….Importantly, Americans with disabilities are also overcoming barriers to employment, such as not enough education or training, employers assuming that they cannot do the job, lack of transportation, and family discouragement.” For more information, click here. The executive summary is available here; the full report is available here. More than 3,000 individuals with disabilities nationwide were surveyed between October 2014 and April 2015, according to an article in The New York Times, available here.

 

Facebook Group Established to Honor Late Leaders of the C/S/X Movement for Social Justice

A public Facebook group has been created to commemorate leaders of the c/s/x movement for social justice who have died. The group, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, was created by Jennifer Constantine, executive director of South Dakota United for Hope and Recovery, South Dakota’s statewide peer-run organization. She writes, “This is meant to be a place to honor the memory of those who have passed, and to share the wisdom we gained through connection with them.” The group, which is open to everyone, is available at this link.

 

AP Stylebook Adopts New Guidelines for Writing about Suicide

The Associated Press stylebook, which many consider the journalist’s bible, has issued new rules for covering suicide. The new guidelines ban the phrase “committed suicide” in favor of using “killed himself, took her own life or died by suicide.” The guidelines note that “generally, AP does not cover suicides or suicide attempts, unless the person involved is a well-known figure or the circumstances are particular unusual or publicly disruptive. Suicide stories, when written, should not go into detail on methods used….” The guidelines have garnered some criticism: One blogger wrote that “the policy of not covering suicides codifies an ongoing and puzzling refusal by news media to deal with suicide as a health and education issue in the belief that to mention a suicide, the second-leading cause of death of Minnesota young people, is to encourage more suicides.” However, the revisions have been embraced by the American Copy Editors Society, whose president noted, “These changes to the Stylebook are a good reminder that editors of all kinds need to keep sensitivity at the top of the editing checklist.”

 

Next National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconference Will Be Held on July 20

On Monday, July 20, 2015 – at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 7 a.m. in Hawaii – the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will host its monthly one-hour national technical assistance and networking teleconference. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. If you plan to participate, it would be helpful if you would email Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org; this will make it easier to provide the participants with teleconference minutes. Thanks! If you would like a copy of any of the available minutes, please write to srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Minutes” in the subject line. (The calls are held on the third Monday of the month except when that is a holiday, such as in January and February, in which case they are held on the fourth Monday.) Join us on July 20 at 1 p.m. ET! Again, the call-in number is 866-906-0123. The passcode is 5037195.

 

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 athttp://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 athttp://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 info@cdsdirectory.org or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

 

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 11, No. 12, June 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. 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 11, Number 12 - June 2015

There’s Still Time to Register for an Exciting Webinar on Criminal Justice Issues on June 25!

Three prominent experts in criminal justice issues will present a free 90-minute webinar on Thursday, June 25, at 2 p.m. ET. Among the topics to be covered by this webinar – which is sponsored by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion – will be the movement for social justice whose goal is to cut the incarceration rate in half by 2030 while reducing crime; how to support individuals with mental health conditions who are incarcerated and how to help them transition successfully into the community; and diversion models to prevent or minimize incarceration, including the Nathaniel Project, the first alternative-to-incarceration program in Manhattan Supreme Court for adults with serious mental health conditions convicted of felony offenses. The presenters are Glenn E. Martin, founder and president of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA); Dan Abreu, MS CRC LMHC, a senior project associate at Policy Resource Associates; and Ann-Marie Louisonthe co-founder of the Nathaniel ProjectFor more information and to register, click here.

 

Stand Up for Human Rights by Signing the Byberry Declaration for Human Rights of Persons with Mental Health Conditions

For half a millennium, individuals with mental health conditions were warehoused in institutions in an unbroken line that stretches from Bedlam (the infamous Bethlem Royal Hospital in London) to Byberry (the name by which the notorious Philadelphia State Hospital was known). June 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the closure of Byberry. To affirm the Byberry Declaration for Human Rights of Persons with Mental Health Conditions with your signature, click here.

 

Free Manual for Eliminating Barriers for Individuals with Forensic Histories Is Available

The Center for American Progress recently published One Strike and You’re Out: How We Can Eliminate Barriers to Economic Security and Mobility for People with Criminal Records. According to the guide, “One recent study finds that our nation’s poverty rate would have dropped by 20 percent between 1980 and 2004 if not for mass incarceration and the subsequent criminal records that haunt people for years after they have paid their debt to society.” In addition, they write, “people are treated as criminals long after they pose any significant risk of committing further crimes – making it difficult for many to move on with their lives and achieve basic economic security, let alone have a shot at upward mobility.” The guide provides recommendations for increasing opportunities for individuals with criminal records in the areas of employment, housing, public assistance, education and training, and economic security and financial empowerment. The manual is available for free download by clicking here.

 

Study Seeks Participants Who Have Experienced Hospitalization in Acute Psychiatric Units

Harvard University researchers are seeking a better understanding of important factors that influence staff and service-user satisfaction within acute psychiatric wards. Co-investigator Morgan Shields, a student at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, writes: “If you have experienced being a patient within an acute psychiatric unit, I would appreciate it if you would participate in a series of questionnaires available by clicking here. The questionnaires will take about 20 minutes to complete….Participants will be entered into a raffle to win a $25 gift certificate. All responses will be kept anonymous.” Participants in the Boston area may be contacted for a follow-up interview, but participation in such an interview is not required. The deadline for the study, which is being conducted under the auspices of Massachusetts General Hospital, is September 15, 2015. Questions? Please contact Morgan Shields at Morgan.Shields@mail.harvard.edu.

 

“Career Services Guide” Is Offered to Help Employment Counselors Assist People with Mental Health Issues

The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counseling (CERIC) is offering a free guide intended for career service workers, employment counselors and career practitioners working in non-mental-health-specific employment settings. CERIC writes that the guide “builds on emerging ‘best practices’ in employment support, recovery-oriented practices, and draws on the wisdom of experts in the field of career counselling and the ‘experiential expertise’ of people who access counselling services. Featuring five chapters, the guide, along with supporting videos, will help practitioners to consider beliefs that may limit opportunity, build awareness of recovery-oriented practices, and acquire the skills needed to better serve the one in five … who experience mental health issues.” For more information, click here. To download the free guide, click here.

Thanks, Leah Harris

 

Writers’ Colony Offers Fellowship for a Nonfiction Project on Mental Health Issues

The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is offering a fellowship to an emerging or established writer working on a nonfiction project concentrating on mental health issues, focusing particularly on recovery from, and reconstructing aspects of a healthy life while living with, mental health challenges. The Fellowship entitles the recipient to a two-week stay at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. Each resident has a private suite with writing space, private bath, bedroom and wireless Internet. The residency provides uninterrupted writing time, with dinner prepared and served five nights a week, and breakfast and lunch supplies available. Residents also share the camaraderie of other professional writers and artists when they want it. Fellowship applications, which must be accompanied by two references and a non-refundable $35 application fee, must be postmarked by July 31, 2015. Click here to apply online. The recipient will be announced in early September. Residencies must be completed by July 31, 2016. For more information, please contact Jill Slane at (479) 244-6054.

 

Hearing Is Held on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646)

On June 16, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on HR 2646, the 2015 version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, sponsored by Rep. Tim Murphy, who introduced an earlier version in 2013 (HR 3717). Among those who testified were Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Mental Health America president Paul Gionfriddo,  and New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services executive director Harvey Rosenthal. The archived hearing, along with links to everyone’s written testimony, is available online. The bill, available here, would have a major impact on individuals with mental health conditions, and it is important to keep abreast of developments. Among those who have commented (including outside of the hearing) are the Bazelon Center (click here), former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (click here) and the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (click here). 

Thanks, Jeremy Countryman

 

ProPublica Invites You to Steal Their Stories. No, Really! 

ProPublica, an award-winning source of “Journalism in the Public Interest,” writes that, “Unless otherwise noted, you can republish our articles and graphics for free.” It’s true that there are a few hoops to jump through and a few restrictions. For example, they write, “You have to credit us — ideally in the byline. We prefer ‘Author Name, ProPublica.’” Also, “if you’re republishing online, you have to link to us and to include all of the links from our story, as well as our PixelPing tag.” And “you cannot republish our photographs or illustrations without specific permission (ask our Communications Director Nicole Collins Bronzan if you’d like to).” But it’s still a very generous offer! The rules are available here.

 

“A Good Hire” Helps Individuals with Felony Convictions Seeking Employment

A Good Hire: Resources for Finding Undiscovered Talent – a project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the National Employment Law Project – writes: “This is part of a public education campaign to raise awareness among hiring decision-makers about the untapped talent that is overlooked when employers screen out people with past records of arrests or convictions. A Good Hire provides information about ‘fair chance’ hiring practices that will help employers reach this untapped pool of talent. A Good Hire is one part of a larger effort to engage the employer community as a means of affecting the overarching economic environment in which people with records are struggling to succeed.” For more information, please contact A Good Hire at info@agoodhire.com.

 

New Publication on Trauma-Informed Care for Youth and Young Adults Is Available

Pathways Research and Training Center at Portland State University in Oregon has published Trauma-Informed Care, a 40-page magazine with a variety of articles focusing on “Youth, Young Adults and Mental Health.” “It is estimated that nearly half of all youth in the United States have been exposed to at least one adverse childhood experience, and that the occurrence of multiple trauma exposures is common within specific populations,” the Introduction notes. Among the articles are “The Impact of Toxic Stress on the Developing Person: Becoming a Trauma-Informed Service Provider,” “Through a Darker Lens: The Trauma of Racism in Communities of Color,” “Trauma Informed Method of Engagement (TIME) for Youth Advocacy,” and “SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach in Youth Settings.” The publication is available for free download by clicking here.

 

National Survey Provides Comprehensive Look at Employment of Individuals with Disabilities

On June 3, 2015, the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) unveiled the results of the Kessler Foundation 2015 National Employment and Disability Survey on Capitol Hill. The survey, which was conducted by UNH, identifies strategies that Americans with disabilities use to search for work and navigate barriers, accommodations that are helpful to obtain and maintain employment, and factors that contribute to unemployment. According to the Kessler Foundation website, this is “the first national survey to examine the workplace experiences of people with disabilities and identify successful strategies that people with disabilities have used to find and maintain employment….The survey revealed that more than 68 percent of people with disabilities are striving to work….Importantly, Americans with disabilities are also overcoming barriers to employment, such as not enough education or training, employers assuming that they cannot do the job, lack of transportation, and family discouragement.” For more information, click here. The executive summary is available here; the full report is available here. More than 3,000 individuals with disabilities nationwide were surveyed between October 2014 and April 2015, according to an article in The New York Times, available here.

 

Facebook Group Established to Honor Late Leaders of the C/S/X Movement for Social Justice

A public Facebook group has been created to commemorate leaders of the c/s/x movement for social justice who have died. The group, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, was created by Jennifer Constantine, executive director of South Dakota United for Hope and Recovery, South Dakota’s statewide peer-run organization. She writes, “This is meant to be a place to honor the memory of those who have passed, and to share the wisdom we gained through connection with them.” The group, which is open to everyone, is available at this link.

 

AP Stylebook Adopts New Guidelines for Writing about Suicide

The Associated Press stylebook, which many consider the journalist’s bible, has issued new rules for covering suicide. The new guidelines ban the phrase “committed suicide” in favor of using “killed himself, took her own life or died by suicide.” The guidelines note that “generally, AP does not cover suicides or suicide attempts, unless the person involved is a well-known figure or the circumstances are particular unusual or publicly disruptive. Suicide stories, when written, should not go into detail on methods used….” The guidelines have garnered some criticism: One blogger wrote that “the policy of not covering suicides codifies an ongoing and puzzling refusal by news media to deal with suicide as a health and education issue in the belief that to mention a suicide, the second-leading cause of death of Minnesota young people, is to encourage more suicides.” However, the revisions have been embraced by the American Copy Editors Society, whose president noted, “These changes to the Stylebook are a good reminder that editors of all kinds need to keep sensitivity at the top of the editing checklist.”

 

Next National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconference Will Be Held on July 20

On Monday, July 20, 2015 – at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 7 a.m. in Hawaii – the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will host its monthly one-hour national technical assistance and networking teleconference. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. If you plan to participate, it would be helpful if you would email Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org; this will make it easier to provide the participants with teleconference minutes. Thanks! If you would like a copy of any of the available minutes, please write to srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Minutes” in the subject line. (The calls are held on the third Monday of the month except when that is a holiday, such as in January and February, in which case they are held on the fourth Monday.) Join us on July 20 at 1 p.m. ET! Again, the call-in number is 866-906-0123. The passcode is 5037195.

 

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 athttp://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 athttp://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 info@cdsdirectory.org or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

 

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 11, No. 12, June 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. 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