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

Key Update, May 2017

Volume 13, Number 11

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

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

Virtual “Psychosis Summit” Is Launched

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

Thanks, Oryx Cohen

Free Webinar on Grant Proposal Writing on June 7

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

2017 NYAPRS Annual Conference Call for Papers Has Been Issued

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

TU Collaborative Summer Institute Announces Summer Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

Doors to Wellbeing Seeks Webinar Presenters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philadelphia Issues Recommendations for Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

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

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

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

Guide to the Federal Budget Process Clarifies a Convoluted Activity

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

Thanks, Fran Hazam

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

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 11, May 2017, 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