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 or contact the organizers, the Mental Health Association of Oregon, at 503.922.2377 or at

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.


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,” 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, 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. 5, November 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







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