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

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 or email 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


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, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at, via fax at 215.636.6312, or by phone at 800.553.4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to or 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, 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 or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH