Tuesday
Apr282015

The Key Update, Volume 11, Number 9 - March 2015

#NoModernAsylums: Numerous Rebuttals to Controversial JAMA and NY Times Articles Calling for Return to Asylums

Following the publication of two controversial pieces – in JAMA and The New York Times, respectively – calling for a return to psychiatric asylums, articles and letters flooded the Internet. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has devoted a webpage to many of the letters, including a number that were submitted to but not published in the Times. Clearinghouse executive director Joseph Rogers debated Dr. Dominic Sisti, lead author of the JAMA piece, on WHYY’s “Voices in the Family” – to listen to the archived show, click here – and a Mad in America blog reported on the show. (Subsequently, Sisti and Rogers were among the co-authors on aPhiladelphia Inquirer piece seeking common ground.) At the same time, the Twittersphere lit up with posts to #NoModernAsylums. The National Council’s president and CEO, Linda Rosenberg, weighed in: “The [JAMA] piece is dismissive of programs like Fountain House and of psychiatric survivors – the very places and people that taught us recovery is possible and should be expected.”

 

British Guide to “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia” Is Available for Free Download

The British Psychological Society has published a guide entitled “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia.” Its subtitle is “Why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange, or appear out of touch with reality, and what can help.” The authors write, “We hope that this report will contribute to a fundamental change that is already underway in how we as a society think about and offer help for ‘psychosis’ and ‘schizophrenia.’ ” With subheads such as “Everyone’s experiences are different,” “Many ‘normal’ people have unusual experiences,” and “Are mental health diagnoses meaningful? Do they refer to real ‘things’?,” this guide is enlightening. To download it for free, click here.

Thanks, Leah Harris

 

Newsletter Focuses on How to Help Individuals with Mental Health Issues Who Have Been Incarcerated Rejoin Society

RECOVER-e Works, an electronic newsletter of the Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies’ Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery, devoted its February 2015 edition to the intersection of forensic and mental health issues.” The issue includes “the case for integrating formerly incarcerated peers (people with a psychiatric diagnosis) into society, what providers can do to facilitate that process, and a few resources to help them.” The resources include how individuals who have been incarcerated can protect themselves from employment discrimination, how to gather evidence of rehabilitation, and more. To download a free copy, click here.

 

3 FAQs from People with Disabilities About Their Taxes

A blog on the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work website answers three questions of importance to individuals with disabilities: Are my disability benefits taxable?Do I need to report an Earned Income Tax Credit payment to Social Security?, and Do I need to report income tax refunds to Social Security? For the answers, click here.

Thanks, Transitions RTC

 

March 31 Is the Deadline for Two Important Opportunities

The deadline to apply to present a workshop at the NARPA (National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy) conference – to be held August 20-23, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Washington, DC, Convention Center – has been extended to March 31. For more information, click here. And Mental Health America 2015 awards nominations, including for the Clifford W. Beers Award, are also due by March 31. All award recipients will be honored during events held at Mental Health America’s 2015 Annual Conference, June 3-5, 2015, in Alexandria, Virginia, at the Hilton Mark Center. For more information, click here.

 

SAMHSA Extends Deadline for Voice Awards Nominations to April 10

SAMHSA’s Voice Awards program “honors consumer/peer leaders and television and film professionals who educate the public about behavioral health. Through their work and personal stories of resilience, both groups of leaders demonstrate that people with mental and/or substance use disorders can and do recover and lead meaningful lives.” To nominate a consumer/peer leader click here. To nominate a television or film productionclick here.

 

May 16 Is International Day of Protest Against ECT

On Saturday, May 16, 2015, there will be demonstrations protesting shock treatment (ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy) in nearly two dozen cities around the world (so far), most of which are in states around the U.S., plus four more in Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Although some believe the benefits of ECT outweigh the risks, the risks of ECT – permanent amnesia and permanent deficits in cognitive abilities –have been confirmed by researchers such as Dr. Harold Sackeim, a well-known proponent of ECT, whose 2007 study in Neuropsychopharmacology concludes: "[T]his study provides the first evidence in a large, prospective sample that adverse cognitive effects can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” In addition, reviews of and information about “Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know about Shock Treatment” are available here. For more information about the May 16 event, click here and here and here. If you are interested in organizing such an event, contact may16shockdemo@gmail.com or sources at one of the links above.

 

Two Free Webinars on Advocacy Will Be Hosted by BoardSource in Early April

BoardSource, which describes itself as “the only national organization focused exclusively on nonprofit governance,” writes: “… BoardSource and the Alliance for Justice invite you to join us for a series of free webinars on advocacy. In webinar #1, we’ll discuss what advocacy is – it’s much more than lobbying – and how it can help public charities accomplish their goals.” “Making the Case” Why Advocacy by Nonprofits Is So Important,” will take place on April 2, 2015 at 2 p.m. ET. Then, on April 9 at 2 p.m. ET, BoardSource will present “You CAN Advocate: Overview of the Legal Rules.” “Contrary to popular myth, 501(c)(3) public charities can lobby,” BoardSource writes. “In this webinar … we’ll provide an overview of what counts as lobbying…and how much you can legally do.” To register for one of these BoardSource webinars and to get information about their other webinars as well as other resources, Google BoardSource.

 

“Recovery Is Breaking Through,” Says New Café TA Center Publication

“While the concept of recovery has more and more become a permanent fixture in the mental health world, it has yet to gain similar traction among the general public. However, the process of introducing the larger population to mental health recovery is happening now, with different groups working on multiple fronts to move recovery into the mainstream,” according to the latest edition of the Café TA Center’s free publication, “Focus.” “The consequences of these efforts have the potential to determine the shape of the mental health system for years to come.” To download the free publication, click here.   

 

Free Webinar on Motivational Interviewing for Peer Support Providers

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery is hosting a free webinar on “Motivational Interviewing for Peer Support Providers” on April 9, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. Motivational interviewing is “designed to strengthen an individual’s motivation for and movement toward a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.” To register for the webinar, click here.

 

“Say It Out Loud” Campaign Addresses Depression in Teens

NAMI has launched a campaign to “get teens talking about mental health.” More than half of teens who have a mental health condition are not getting the help they need, according to NAMI’s Say It Out Loud web page. Citing prejudice as a major barrier to teens getting needed help, NAMI writes, “Raising awareness by sharing information and starting conversations about mental health is key in reducing these [negative] perceptions and increasing the likelihood that teens will seek mental health care when they need it.” NAMI’s “Say It Out Loud” web page offers links to a toolkit to help adults talk to faith-based or community youth groups about mental health issues. For links to the toolkit and other information, click here.

 

Second Annual Mental Health & Dignity Day to Take Place May 3, 2015

The second annual national Mental Health & Dignity Day is being planned for the first Sunday in May, May 3, 2015, in part as a way to commemorate Mental Health Month. On their Facebook page, the organizers write, “Help us to set the agenda for 2015 by providing input on what issues you think are most important as it relates to mental health, dignity, human rights, that can be addressed at our events. Are you interested in seeing an event happen in your community? Would you like to recognize National Mental Health & Dignity [Day] as a part of your existing activities in May? Get in touch with us; we would love to ‘hear’ from you!” The Facebook page is available here.

 

Are You a Journalist or Do You Know One Who Might Be Interested? Applications for Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowships Are Due by April 17

“As part of an international effort to reduce stigma and discrimination, The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism provide stipends to journalists ... to increase accurate reporting on mental health issues and decrease incorrect, stereotypical information; help journalists produce high-quality work that reflects an understanding of mental health issues through exposure to well-established resources in the field; and develop a cadre of better-informed print and electronic journalists who will more accurately report information through newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film, and online and social media, influencing their peers to do the same.” Applications should be submitted no later than April 17, 2015. To apply, click here.

 

Strange But True: “Psychoanalysis” Comics from the 1950s

“Psychoanalysis,” which only lasted for four issues, was published by Entertaining Comics in 1955. It was approved by the Comics Code Authority, “but newsstands were reluctant to display it,” according to a blog in the UK. “The comic featured three patients, Freddy Carter, Ellen Lyman and Mark Stone, who were undergoing psychoanalysis. The analyst was the central character. He was never named, simply listed as The Psychiatrist. Ellen Lyman did not appear in the fourth and final issue, having been cured in the third issue,” the blog reports. To view the comics for free online, click here.

Thanks, Keris Myrick

 

Special National TA and Networking Teleconference on April 20 Will Feature a Presentation on Career Development for CPS

The next monthly national technical assistance and networking teleconference of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will be on Monday, April 20, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 7 a.m. in Hawaii. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. It will feature a presentation on career development for certified peer specialists followed by a discussion. Thousands of trained and certified behavioral health peer workers are now employed across the country in most states with Medicaid reimbursement.  Efforts are also underway to develop national peer worker standards. As this new peer workforce grows, it’s essential to identify and create peer career development and promotion opportunities so that certified peer workers earn salaries consistent with their skills and are able to move ahead in their careers. Accomplishing this will require numerous strategies, including enabling certified peer workers to obtain academic credit and educational credentials. During our April 20th call, Jessica Wolf, founder of the Facebook Group “Education Pays! Peer Career Development,” will facilitate a discussion on individual and systemic peer career development strategies. We hope you will join us!

The presenter, Jessica Wolf, Ph.D., is principal of Decision Solutions, a behavioral health workforce consulting practice emphasizing peer education, training, and employment. She is also an assistant clinical professor in the Yale University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. Her extensive administrative and educational experience includes 16 years as coordinator of the Housatonic Community College MERGE Mental Health Certificate Program. She has personal and family experience of mental health conditions.

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.)

 

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. 9, March 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).

Monday
Mar232015

The Key Update, Volume 11, Number 8 - February 2015

Advocates Launch Recovery Now! to Promote Hope and to Advocate for Helpful Mental Health Reforms 

A campaign to "address the crisis in our mental health service system and the personal crises faced daily by individuals and families in great distress" has been launched by several mental health advocacy organizations. The campaign, called Recovery Now!, "promotes the hope and promise that people can and do recover from even the most serious mental health conditions when they are provided a full array of both treatment and recovery supports." "Together we can shift our current climate of fear and despair to one of hopefulness and possibility," said Leah Harris, Recovery Now! campaign coordinator and director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, one of the founding organizations. Others include the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors, the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Mental Health America, and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. For more information, click here.


Nominations Are Sought for SAMHSA's Voice Awards

SAMHSA's Voice Awards program "honors consumer/peer leaders and television and film professionals who educate the public about behavioral health. Through their work and personal stories of resilience, both groups of leaders demonstrate that people with mental and/or substance use disorders can and do recover and lead meaningful lives." To nominate a consumer/peer leader - nominations are due by March 13, 2015 - click here. To nominate a television or film production - nominations are due by March 27, 2015 - click here.


Two Websites Offer Resources and Information about Peer Support Services

Two websites, one of which was recently launched, offer resources and other information about peer support services. Most recently, the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community created Peer Support Resources "as a way to share resources with those interested in understanding, implementing or working in peer-to-peer support roles (particularly those that exist within mental health services and/or that are intended for individuals who are [experiencing] or have experienced trauma, emotional distress, psychiatric diagnosis and other significant life challenges." The site's URL is http://www.psresources.info/. In addition, Disability Research Right to Know, http://www.bu.edu/drrk/, created by Boston University's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, offers research syntheses and information tools on several subjects, including peer services (click here). 


New Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 Hotline for Teens and Others

For those who would rather text than phone, Crisis Text Line offers round-the-clock help via text. Those who text to 741741 get an automatic reply welcoming them to the service and explaining the ground rules. Their message is then routed to a trained counselor, one of up to 50 who are available at any given time. The system, created by DoSomething.org, receives an average of 15,000 texts a day, The New Yorker reported. According to a recent study, texting may aid mental health recovery better than smartphone apps. That said, the Huffington Post recently ran a story on "8 Ways To Use Your [Smart] Phone To Benefit Your Mental Health," which included information about the Crisis Text Line as well as apps - some free, others not -that might be helpful. 


"The State of Sentencing 2014" Highlights Some Prison Reforms; 
"Incarceration's Front Door" Addresses the Misuse of Jails 
Two free recent reports on the criminal justice system provide some good news and some bad news. While the U.S. still has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, at least 30 states and the District of Columbia have taken steps to incorporate some reforms, a new survey reports. "The policy changes highlighted in this report represent approaches that lawmakers can consider to address state sentencing policy and collateral consequences," according to the Sentencing Project, a national non-profit engaged in criminal justice research and advocacy, which published the report. "The State of Sentencing 2014: Developments in Policy and Practice" includes a little good news about reforms involving prisoners with mental health conditions. For example, California's AB 1468 established "a three-year reentry pilot program that offers intensive case management to address homelessness, joblessness, mental disorders, and developmental disabilities." Such programs are vital: A 2006 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that "more than half of all prison and jail inmates, including 56 percent of state prisoners, 45 percent of federal prisoners and 64 percent of local jail inmates, were found to have a mental health problem." In a related story, the Vera Institute of Justice has just released a report entitled "Incarceration's Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America." "For the disproportionately high number of those who enter jails from minority communities, or who suffer from mental illness, addiction, and homelessness, time spent in jail exacerbates already difficult conditions and puts many on a cycle of incarceration from which it is extremely difficult to break free," the report notes.


Alternatives 2014 Plenary Session Videos Are Available!

The videos of the plenary sessions recorded at Alternatives 2014 are available for viewing! The speakers include the Hon. Patrick Kennedy, a former member of Congress and mental health advocate (Wednesday); as well as the nationally and internationally known mental health activists Gina Calhoun, Erme Maula and Sharon Wise (Thursday); Khatera Aslami-Tamplen, Leah Harris and Harvey Rosenthal (Friday); and youth activists Lacy Kendrick-Burk, Sean Campbell and Letty Elenes (Saturday). Also available is a video of the Friday awards luncheon. To view the videos, either Google MHASPtube or click here

Public Memoir Roundtable on "The Art of Slow Writing" on March 5 at 7 p.m. ET

The National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) is sponsoring a roundtable on "The Art of Slow Writing" on March 5, 2015, at 7 p.m. ET. The roundtable features Louise DeSalvo, author of "Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives." Among the topics covered will be a series of techniques to facilitate the writing process. To sign up, click here. More than one study has shown that writing about yourself and your experiences can improve mood disorders and cure a variety of other ills, according to a recent blog in The New York Times. For the New York Times blog on "Writing Your Way to Happiness," click here. (Note: This New York Times blog was featured in the January 2015 Key Update.)


NARPA Issues Call for Proposals

The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) has issued a call for presentations for its 2015 conference, to be held at the Embassy Suites Washington, D.C., Convention Center August 20-23, 2015. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2015. The application may be downloaded at http://www.narpa.org in pdf or doc format or directly in pdf format by clicking here.


Café TA Center Looks at Depression in the Workplace

"Recent surveys have determined that up to a quarter of American workers have experienced depression at some point, and nearly two-thirds have dealt with some kind of difficulty resulting from their mental health," the Café TA center writes. "Despite the prevalence of this issue, many employers fail to deal with it directly. Policies and procedures regarding workplace mental health are lacking, and managers are not trained in how to deal with their employees' issues.
In Focus 39: Depression in the Workplace, Café TAC looks at some of the recent statistics about workplace mental health, while also examining steps that employers can take to accommodate their workers, and things workers can do to maintain their mental wellness."


SAMHSA's New Report Tracks the Behavioral Health of the U.S.

"A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) illuminates important trends - many positive - in Americans' behavioral health, both nationally and on a state-by-state basis. SAMHSA's new report, the 'National Behavioral Health Barometer,' provides data about key aspects of behavioral healthcare issues affecting American communities, including rates of serious mental [health conditions], suicidal thoughts, substance use, underage drinking, and the percentages of those who seek treatment for these disorders. The Barometer shows this data at the national level, and for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia." To view and download copies of the national or any state "Behavioral Health Barometer" for free,click here.


New Resources from the Pathways Transition Training Partnership

Pathways RTC has made available the next three online modules in its training series for providers working with youth and young adults. These modules focus on increasing cultural awareness, fostering resilience and promoting cross-cultural and intergenerational relationships. The modules were prepared for The Technical Assistance Network for Children's Behavioral Health under contract between the University of Maryland and SAMHSA. To download the modules, click here


2015 Edition of Early Psychosis Intervention Projects National Directory Is Available

The Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) Center for Excellence, which has a research project with Pathways, and the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Healthcare recently published the second edition of the National Directory of Early Psychosis Intervention Programs. It contains updated contact and basic program information for 70 early psychosis intervention projects in 18 states.


Two New Initiatives Are Aimed at Justice Reform

Two new initiatives have been launched to promote justice reform. First, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have announced "an initial five-year, $75 million investment that seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. The Safety and Justice Challenge will support cities and counties across the country seeking to create fairer, more effective local justice systems that improve public safety, save taxpayer money, and lead to better social outcomes." For more information, click here. Second, unlikely allies from the left and the right have formed the bipartisan Coalition for Public Safety. "The coalition plans a multi-million dollar campaign on behalf of emerging proposals to reduce prison populations, overhaul sentencing, reduce recidivism and take on similar initiatives," The New York Times reports. The MacArthur Foundation is among the "core supporters" of the Coalition.


Guide to Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Mental Health Conditions Is Released

The International Guide to the World of Alternative Mental Health has compiled and publicly released "Codex Alternus: A Research Collection of Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Associated Drug-induced Side Effects." "The document includes hundreds of pages citing research and providing summaries of non-pharmacological treatments ranging from nutrient and herbal interventions to mind-body therapies and psychotherapeutic techniques," Mad in America reports. The guide includes the following disclaimer. "This paper is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of health care practitioners." For the guide, click here.


Mental Health Advocate Locates Man Who Prevented His Suicide 12 Years Earlier

When Mark Henick was 15 years old, he was standing on an overpass ready to jump to his death when a stranger appeared and started to talk him out of it, ultimately pulling him back to safety. Twelve years later, Henick launched a campaign to find that concerned stranger who had set him on track to "a happy and fulfilled life," Henick said. He now works as a mental health advocate and "I really owe it all to that couple of minutes with that stranger." Through Twitter, he was able to find the stranger, Mike Richey, and they have made plans to meet. Henick said that Richey's actions made him realize that he could be "the person who reaches out."


Next National TA and Networking Teleconference Is Monday, March 16, at 1 p.m. ET;
The Call on April 20 Will Feature a Presentation on Career Development for Certified Peer Specialists

The next monthly national technical assistance and networking teleconference of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse will be on Monday, March 16, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 8 a.m. in Hawaii. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the calls is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and "network." Join us! If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers srogers@mhasp.org with the word "Agenda" in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don't want to suggest an agenda item it would be helpful if you would email Susan Rogers atsrogers@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 tosrogers@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.)
The call on April 20 at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 8 a.m. in Hawaii will feature a presentation on career development for certified peer specialists followed by a discussion: Thousands of trained and certified behavioral health peer workers are now employed across the country in most states with Medicaid reimbursement. Efforts are also underway to develop national peer worker standards. As this new peer workforce grows, it's essential to identify and create peer career development and promotion opportunities so that certified peer workers earn salaries consistent with their skills and are able to move ahead in their careers. Accomplishing this will require numerous strategies, including enabling certified peer workers to obtain academic credit and educational credentials. During our April 20th call, Jessica Wolf, founder of the Facebook Group "Education Pays! Peer Career Development," will facilitate a discussion on individual and systemic peer career development strategies. We hope you will join us! 

The presenter, Jessica Wolf, Ph.D., is principal of Decision Solutions, a behavioral health workforce consulting practice emphasizing peer education, training, and employment. She is also an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University. Her extensive administrative and educational experience includes 16 years as coordinator of the Housatonic Community College MERGE Mental Health Certificate Program. She has personal and family experience of mental health conditions.


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 toinfo@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. 8, February 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). 

 

Thursday
Feb262015

The Key update, Volume 11, Number 7 - January 2015

Responses Needed to Debunk Controversial JAMA Piece Calling for Return to Asylums

Three University of Pennsylvania bioethicists are calling for a return to psychiatric asylums in an opinion piece published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In “Improving Long-term Psychiatric Care: Bring Back the Asylum,” the authors write that the “financially sensible and morally appropriate way forward includes a return to psychiatric asylums that are safe, modern, and humane.” Responses are needed to let JAMA readers – and, since this article has been widely circulated, the general public – know that what is needed are community-based services that are in compliance with the community integration mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision. To download the JAMA article for free, click here. For a Philadelphia Inquirer article about the JAMA piece, click here. For complete JAMA letters guidelines, click here. Responses must be received within four weeks of the piece’s Jan. 21, 2015, publication date.

 

“Self-Care Is Primary Care” Webinar Is Tomorrow, Jan. 27

On Jan. 27, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET, the STAR Center will host a 90-minute webinar entitled “Self-Care Is Primary Care.” The STAR Center writes: “When we think of primary care, we think of the office, nurses and physicians we visit for our annual physical and routine health needs. In this webinar Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D., will flip the notion of primary care and argue that self-care is primary care. Using examples from her own recovery and that of others, she will explain how flipping health care in this way defines new roles for individuals, families and staff. New skills and new measureable outcomes will also be described.” To register, click here. 

 

Feb. 3 Deadline for ACMHA Peer Leadership Interest Group Opportunity

The ACMHA Peer Leadership Interest Group (PLIG) has just received funding “to support the development of a program or product that collects and shares information about how peers are supporting At Risk Individuals.” (For how such individuals are defined for these purposes and for more information, click here.) Peers who are interested in being a part of the At Risk Individuals PLIG work group must complete an application and return it to innovations@acmha.org no later than Feb. 3, 2015. “This is a hard deadline as all applications will be sent to the reviewers at the same time. We could not act sooner as funding just became available and the board approved the project.” To apply, click on application .

 

SAMHSA to Host Webinar on Motivational Interviewing for Peer Support Providers

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will host a free 90-minute webinar on Feb. 12, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET. SAMHSA writes: “Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, person-centered form of guiding to elicit and strengthen motivation for change. It is a way of working with people to assist them in accessing their intrinsic motivation to change behaviors that contradict their essential values and interfere with the achievement of their life goals. Motivational Interviewing is both a philosophy and a set of strategic techniques.”  For more information and to register, click here.

 

ACMHA to Host Webinar on Its New Toolkit about Increasing the Role of Peer Support in Behavioral Health

ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership will host a one-hour webinar on Feb. 4, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET to introduce its new “Peer Services Toolkit: A Guide to Advancing and Implementing Peer-run Behavioral Health Services.” According to ACMHA, the toolkit “looks at the nature of peer support, its origins, essential elements, core values, training and certification, outcomes, providing services within peer-run and traditional agencies, state-level advocacy for peer support services, working with managed care companies, and much more.” The toolkit, made possible by a grant from Optum, comes out of the work of the College’s Peer Leaders Interest Group (PLIG). For the ACMHA press release, click here. To download the free toolkit, click here. To register for the webinar, click here.

 

Webinar on “Creating Trauma Informed Programs, Organizations and Systems” on Feb. 3

A free, hour-long webinar on methods of assessing a program’s or organization’s approach to creating trauma-informed programs, organizations and systems will be hosted by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and Youth MOVE on behalf of Pathways RTC on Feb. 3, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET. The presenters will also highlight practices and strategies that enhance a program’s ability to create a physical and psychological space that is safe for youth, families and staff who have experienced trauma. For more information, click here. To register, click here.

 

Mindfulness Treatment Works as Well as CBT, Study Shows

Group mindfulness treatment – which involves learning to be fully aware in the present moment – was as effective as individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in persons with depression and anxiety, according to researchers in Sweden. The study, involving 215 people at 16 primary health care centers, randomly selected people to either be involved in structured group mindfulness treatment or regular treatment (mainly individual CBT). Based on self-reports of symptoms before and after the eight-week treatment, there was no statistical difference between the two treatments. For more information about the study, click here. In a related article in the Huffington Post entitled “How Mindfulness Is Revolutionizing Mental Health Care,” mindfulness research pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn was quoted as follows: “We've seen this in the clinical domain for many years. People, in concert with their physicians ... actually going off their medications for pain, for anxiety, for depression, as they begin to learn the self-regulatory elements of mindfulness. They discover that the things that used to be symptomatically problematic for them are no longer arising at the same level.”

 

Webinar Will Explore Barriers and Solutions to Helping Youth Find Employment

A one-hour webinar on “The Employment Market for Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions: Barriers and Solutions,” sponsored by Transitions RTC, will be held on Feb. 10, 2015, at noon ET. According to the webinar description, “Many young adults with serious mental health conditions want to find employment that can lead to a secure financial future and employment of which they can be proud. Interviews with employment specialists, recovered employees, and employers found several major barriers to such employment. This presentation will discuss both those barriers and some possible solutions.” To register, click here.

 

New MHA Report Ranks States’ Mental Health Status and Access to Care

Mental Health America recently released a report ranking the 50 states and the District of Columbia on mental health status and access. According to an MHA press release, more than 8 million adults who have a mental health condition are uninsured, and one out of every three adults with a disability report an inability to see a doctor due to costs. In addition, more than 6 million children reportedly have an emotional, behavioral, or developmental problem and more than 8 percent of youth have attempted suicide. Also, one of every three families said that their child’s insurance was inadequate. For the MHA press release, which includes a link to the report, entitled “Parity or Disparity: The State of Mental Health in America 2015,” click here.

 

Scattergood Foundation Solicits Applications for Third Annual Innovation Award

The Scattergood Foundation and the Kennedy Forum are accepting applications for their third annual Innovation Awards, which recognize innovations that advance behavioral health policy and practice. “The winner receives The Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation Innovation Award and a $25,000 cash gift for their program. The top five finalists will be recognized and the Scattergood Foundation and The Kennedy Forum will work to promote and share all finalists’ work nationally.” The application deadline is March 12, 2015, at 5 p.m. ET. To submit a nomination and for links to more information, click here.

 

Updated Employer Guide to the Mental Health Parity Act Is Available for Free Download

The American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) and its Partnership for Workplace Mental Health recently released an updated version of its “Employer Guide for Compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act.” APF writes: “This publication provides employers a concise guide to the parity law, its final regulations and how it is affected by the Affordable Care Act.” The guide “is designed to help employers assure compliance with the law by their health plan vendors.” For more information, click here. To download the free guide, click here. The APF is a subsidiary of the American Psychiatric Association.

 

New Article on Peer Career Development Is Available for Free Download

An article recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, entitled “Peer Career Implications of an Academic Credential: Report from the Field,” “reports on peer and non-peer educational and employment outcomes following completion of a credit-bearing community college mental health certificate program. Implications and recommendations for peer workforce development are identified.” To download the article, click here. The author – Jessica Wolf, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor, Yale Department of Psychiatry – has also established a Facebook group that aims to identify, develop, share and implement ways for behavioral health peer staff members to obtain educational credentials for career development and promotion. The group – Education Pays! Academic Credit and Peer Career Development – is also exploring ways for peer training and certification entities, behavioral health providers, educators and peer workers to collaborate toward achieving this goal. To join the group, go to  www.facebook.com/groups/educationpays/ and ask to join by email (lower right corner of banner) or contact the group’s founder, Jessica Wolf, Ph.D., directly at jwolfds@gmail.com. To download the handouts from Jessica’s presentation at Alternatives 2014, click herehere, and here. (Information about the Facebook page and Alternatives 2014 handouts was included in the November 2014 edition of the Key Update.)

 

You Can Write Your Way to Happiness, Studies Show

More than one study has shown that writing about yourself and your experiences can improve mood disorders and cure a variety of other ills, according to a recent blog in The New York Times. “Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health,” writes Tara Parker-Pope in her New York Times “Well” blog. She quotes the lead author of one such study: “These writing interventions can really nudge people from a self-defeating way of thinking into a more optimistic cycle that reinforces itself." For the New York Times blog on “Writing Your Way to Happiness,” click here.

 

Next National TA and Networking Teleconference Is Monday, February 23, at 1 p.m. ET

The next monthly national technical assistance and networking teleconference of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will be on Monday, February 23, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 8 a.m. in Hawaii. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the calls is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don’t want to suggest an agenda item 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 tosrogers@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.)

 

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. 7, January 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). 

Monday
Jan262015

The Key Update, Volume 11, Number 6 - December 2014

SAMHSA Issues RFA for Statewide Consumer Network Grants 

“The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2015 Statewide Consumer Network grants. The purpose of this program is to improve mental health service delivery to people with serious mental illnesses. In so doing, it seeks to enhance statewide mental health consumer-run and -controlled organizations to promote service system capacity and infrastructure development that is consumer-driven, recovery-focused and resiliency-oriented. Toward that end, the program goals are to enhance consumer participation, voice and empowerment statewide and to promote activities related to: partnership development; peer support; training and skills development; trauma-informed peer support; integrated care and wellness; and/or health reform as part of the recovery process for consumers.” Applications are due by Feb. 2, 2015. For more information and to download the RFA, click here.

 

The Center for Social Innovation Offers Subcontracts for Health Reform Education Efforts

The Center for Social Innovation is providing up to eight subcontracts for $40,000 each to Peer-run Organizations/Recovery Community Organizations (PRO/RCOs) in states, territories and tribal jurisdictions. The Center, which operates the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS), is offering these subcontracts “to carry out health reform education efforts specific to PRO/RCOs and individuals with addiction and mental health needs.” The period of performance is six months, beginning when the subcontract agreement is signed. “Capabilities statements” must be received by 5 p.m. ET on January 23, 2015. To access the Request for Capabilities Statements, click here. For more information, click here.

 

National Institute on Drug Abuse Seeks Input on 2015-2020 Strategic Plan

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is revitalizing its Strategic Plan to provide a framework for the research it will support over the next five years, and is inviting “input from researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested members of the public.” For the current (2010) strategic plan, click here. For the Request for Information with the draft 2015-2020 strategic plan, click hereYour responses must be received by January 30, 2015, and should be emailed toNIDAOSPCPlanning@mail.nih.gov.

 

“Ask Me Anything”: A Free Webinar on Employment Will Provide Some Answers

Dr. Kim T. Mueser, a clinical psychologist whose expertise includes employment issues, will answer questions related to “how mental health issues interfere with getting a job, doing your best, or achieving your work goals” in a free, interactive webinar on January 21, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET. For more information and to register,click here. To subscribe to the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation “ecast,” which was the source of this information, and to view the ecast archive, click here. 

 

ABLE Act Is Signed into Law

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law the ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act, which is a financial game changer for individuals with disabilities (as long as the onset of their disability occurred before age 26). The new law will let people who have disabilities open tax-free savings accounts where they can save up to $100,000 while still being eligible for Social Security and other government benefits, and they can hold on to their Medicaid coverage no matter how much money is in an ABLE account. Up to $14,000 annually can be deposited. Now, the states have to create regulations so that financial institutions can offer the accounts. For more information and “frequently asked questions,” click here.

 

Café TA Center Offers Information about Higher Education for Students with Mental Health Needs

“The Café TA Center takes a look at a pair of efforts to help both students who are transitioning to college for the first time, as well as those seeking to return to school after a health-related absence. While each of these approaches takes a different tack, both hold promise for helping students with mental health needs to succeed in higher education and enjoy the same benefits as their typical peers.” For the Café TA Center’s “New Models for Transition to Higher Education for Students with Mental Health Needs,” click here.

 

Researchers Find More Evidence That Guns, Not Mental Health Conditions, Cause Violence

An extensive new study by two Vanderbilt University researchers challenges the general public’s assumptions about gun violence and mental health conditions. “Fewer than 5 percent of the 120,000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness,” they write. The study debunks the myths connecting mental illness and gun violence that arise in the aftermath of mass shootings. The researchers also note that individuals with mental health conditions are far more likely than the average person to be the victims of violent crime, rather than the perpetrators. For more information, click here. For the study, click here.

 

SAMHSA Issues Its Leading Change Accomplishments Report

On December 18, 2014, SAMHSA released its “Leading Change Accomplishments Report,” which highlights some key accomplishments SAMHSA has achieved through its Strategic Initiatives. “Through these initiatives,” SAMHSA writes, “SAMHSA has helped local behavioral health care providers take advantage of new opportunities under the Affordable Care Act and worked with states to ensure that SAMHSA block grants complement expanded Medicaid and private insurance coverage. In addition, SAMHSA launched new enrollment efforts to assist people with mental health and substance use disorders [to] get health coverage.” To download the free report, click here.

 

SPRC Announces Launch of New Video Series on Suicide Prevention

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has launched a new video series, “SPARK: Suicide Prevention, Innovation, and Action.” According to the SPRC, “SPARK Talks are Short, Provocative, Action-oriented,Realistic, and Knowledgeable videos of leaders in the suicide prevention movement. Each of these innovators describes a new development or direction in the field that can have an impact on suicide and issues a call to action. SPRC invites you to spark conversation by sharing your own comments – along with the videos – via social media, newsletters, and websites, or by showing them as part of a presentation. You could spark innovation by using the videos and the associated resources to inform your own implementation. And you could spark action by submitting your success story via a form on the SPARK Talks website.” To access the videos and for more information, click here.

 

Condensed Version of “Sick,” Performed by Elizabeth Kenny, Is Available Online

A 15-minute version of “Sick,” a one-woman show performed by award-winning actor and playwright Elizabeth Kenny, is now available online at this link. To quote from her website, “Elizabeth was a healthy 32-year-old woman who went to the doctor for a common ailment. A year and a half later, she was being escorted by hospital orderlies to a coffee shop along with the rest of the level 5 patients from the psych ward. Her gripping – and often hilarious – story unfolds into a visceral, penetrating look at one patient’s collision with the medical industrial complex. It investigates how the intricate threads woven between healthcare providers, pharmaceutical makers, insurance companies, and medical educators unknowingly conspire to undermine patient care. This is the story of everyone trying hard to get it right…but getting it wrong anyway.”

 

Letter Outlines Home Care Rule Obligations of Public Entities under the ADA and Olmstead

On December 15, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a “Dear Colleague” letter describing public entities’ obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision as they are implementing the Department of Labor’s new home care rule. “This new Olmstead guidance gives consumers and advocates an important tool to prevent harm to people with disabilities and seniors as states are developing policies to implement the home care rule,” said Alison Barkoff, director of advocacy for the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. “They should advocate for state policies that fund worker overtime and have the least impact on consumers and their workers. If their state is considering any policies that limit, cap, or restrict worker hours, advocates should ensure that the state is putting in place a process for people who could be placed at serious risk of institutionalization to be exempted from these policies.” For more information and to read the letter, click here.

 

Gravedigger at a Psychiatric Institution Will Finally Be Memorialized

Lawrence Mocha dug more than 1,500 graves for others who, like him, were inpatients at a state hospital in upstate New York, and he was buried there in a numbered grave when he died in 1968. But Mocha will soon receive a plaque bearing his name, The New York Times reports. This comes from the efforts of the Willard Cemetery Memorial Project, which has worked to restore the names of those who had been buried in anonymity at the state hospital. Many mental health advocates around the U.S. are engaged in the same initiative – arguing that it helps to reduce prejudice and discrimination – and have had some success. But the Office of Mental Health in New York has countered that, without the consent of family members, it would violate confidentiality to use individuals’ names on tombstones. Mocha’s family now having given their consent, the state will proceed with the memorial, potentially in a multidenominational ceremony to honor all those buried there.

 

Next National TA and Networking Teleconference Is Monday, January 26, at 1 p.m. ET

The next monthly national technical assistance and networking teleconference of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will be on Monday, January 26, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 8 a.m. in Hawaii. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#.The purpose of the calls is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don’t want to suggest an agenda item 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.orgwith 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.)

 

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. 6, December 2014, http://www.mhselfhelp.org.  For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct) orsrogers@mhasp.org.

 

Monday
Dec292014

The Key Update, Volume 11, Number 5 - November 2014

SAMHSA to Host Listening Session about the National Technical Assistance Centers

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is holding a 90-minute “Listening Session” on Dec. 4, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, noon MT, 11 a.m. PT. “SAMHSA is preparing to issue a new Request For Applications (RFA) based on funding availability for the National Consumer and Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Centers (TACs) and is seeking input and feedback about the best strategies to meet the needs of consumers. The Listening Session will be held via conference call and interested parties can participate by using the following dial-in number: 1-800-857-9830; passcode: 8546198. We look forward to your input!”

 

Clearinghouse to Sponsor Webinar on Psychiatric Advance Directives

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is sponsoring a 90-minute webinar on Psychiatric Advance Directives (PADs) on Dec. 18, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, noon MT, 11 a.m. PT, 9 a.m. in Hawaii. The webinar, entitled “Psychiatric Advance Directives: Why and How to Use this Vital Recovery Tool,” will feature presentations by Sue Walther, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania, and Adam Nester, public policy manager at the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. PADs are a legal health care tool that outlines the preferences of an individual with a mental health condition in regard to treatment, and designates a trusted advocate to make decisions on their behalf if they are incapacitated. This webinar will help individuals with a mental health condition, family members, and mental health providers to understand and utilize this important recovery tool. For more information or to register, click here.

 

Alternatives 2014 Presentation Handouts Are Available Online

A number of the handouts from workshops presented at Alternatives 2014 are available online on the Alternatives 2014 website: click here. The Clearinghouse encourages all workshop presenters to provide a pdf of their presentation handout and we will post it on the website. In addition, to buy CDs of the workshops that were recorded, click here for the order form. Video recordings of the plenary sessions will be available in the near future.

 

You Are Invited to Comment on the Draft 2015 NIMH Strategic Plan

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is revising its 2008 Strategic Plan to guide the Institute’s research efforts and priorities over the next five years (2015-2020). The draft Plan may be downloaded for free until Dec. 11, 2014 – which is the deadline for comments – at this link. NIMH writes: “We ask that you consider the draft plan in the context of the current scientific landscape, as well as within the context of broader federal, for-profit, and not-for-profit stakeholder perspectives. We are particularly interested in receiving your ideas for scientific advancements, new technical capabilities or tools, or major challenge topics that promise substantial change to mental health research if pursued.” Comments should be submitted electronically – by Dec. 11, 2014 – to NIMHSTRATPLAN@mail.nih.gov. Written responses may be mailed to the Science Writing, Press, and Dissemination Branch, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6200, MSC 9663. Bethesda, MD 20892-9663. For more information, click here.

 

Calling All Peer Staffers Who Want Educational Credentials!

A Facebook group has been established that aims to identify, develop, share and implement ways for behavioral health peer staff members to obtain educational credentials for career development and promotion. The group – Education Pays! Academic Credit and Peer Career Development – will also explore ways for peer training and certification entities, behavioral health providers, educators and peer workers to collaborate toward achieving this goal. To join the group, go to www.facebook.com/groups/educationpays/and ask to join by email (lower right corner of banner) or contact the group’s founder, Jessica Wolf, Ph.D., directly at jwolfds@gmail.com. To download the handouts from Jessica’s presentation at Alternatives 2014,click hereherehere and here.

 

Two Webinars Offered on Best Practices for Effectively Integrating Peer Staff in the Workplace

Two webinars on “Best Practices for Effectively Integrating Peer Staff in the Workplace” are being offered by the New York State Office of Mental Health Office of Consumer Affairs. Part 1 is on Dec. 8, 2014, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET; Part 2 is on Dec. 16, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. NYAPRS E-news writes: “Understanding how to hire, train, and supervise persons with lived mental health experience may be challenging to employers and managers who have never done so before. Anyone who is considering hiring peers into their workplace, or would like to more fully integrate peers into their workplace, should take part in this training. Both presentations will be archived for later viewing.” For details, including how to register,click here.

 

“Is There a Link Between Mental Health and Gun Violence?”

An article in The New Yorker debunks the myth that there is a strong connection between mental health conditions and violence. The article – “Is There a Link Between Mental Health and Gun Violence?” – reports on a study indicating that mental health conditions were a factor in only four percent of violent incidents, and that this included any kind of violent behavior, “from minor incidents, like shoving, to armed assault.” Yet “more people believe that mass shootings result from a failure of the mental-health system than from easy access to guns.” Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, quoted at length, also made the point that it is very difficult to predict violent behavior; past violence is the single biggest predictor. The article, available at this link, includes links to several studies.

 

More Power at Work May Cause Depression in Women, Reduce It in Men, Researchers Say

Power at work – the ability to hire, fire, and influence pay – increases symptoms of depression among women, but decreases such symptoms among men, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. This is in spite of the fact that women in positions of power “are advantaged in terms of most characteristics that are strong predictors of positive mental health,” such as more education, higher incomes, and other such factors, lead researcher Tetyana Pudrovska said. The findings indicate that “we need to address gender discrimination, hostility and prejudice against women leaders to reduce the psychological costs and increase the psychological rewards of higher-status jobs for women,” she said. The study, “Gender, Job Authority, and Depression,” appears in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. For more information, click here.

 

Pathways RTC Offers Webinar on “Engaging Youth and Young Adults Through Social Media” and Tip Sheets to Help Young Adults Find Employment; Mental Health Resources for College Students Are Also Available

Pathways RTC is hosting a one-hour webinar on Dec. 9, 2014, beginning at 1 p.m. ET, on “Engaging Youth and Young Adults Through Social Media.” Pathways writes: “Social media continues to be an important tool for youth and young adults to connect with the world and with each other. Get the latest research and statistics on how youth and young adults are using social media, and how your organization can strategically use social media to engage with youth and young adults. Learn what platforms youth and young adults are using and how you can create a simple social media strategy to more effectively reach this audience.” To register, click here. Pathways has also made available a companion tip sheet to its recently released publication “What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?” The two documents are designed to help young adults navigate vocational rehabilitation services. The tip sheet is available here; “What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?” is available here. In a related story, a list of mental health resources for college students is available here.

 

SAMHSA Offers “A Mental Health Recovery Self-Help Educational Program” and “Tip 59: Improving Cultural Competence”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is offering, for free download, two useful documents. First is “a recovery educational curriculum that offers self-help concepts, skills, and strategies for adults with mental illness, including those dealing with substance use disorders. Promotes wellness, stability, recovery, and life transformation.” To download the curriculum, click here. Second is “Tip 59: Improving Cultural Competence,” which “assists professional care providers and administrators in understanding the role of culture in the delivery of substance abuse and mental health services. Discusses racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations and the core elements of cultural competence.” For “Tip 59,” click here.

 

 

CMS Releases New Data Demonstrating Increased Choice, Competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2015

CMS writes, “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) [has] released new data giving consumers and researchers the tools and information they need to review 2015 health insurance plan information.  Because of new choices and more competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace, consumers will have even more affordable options during Open Enrollment this year.  With 25 percent more issuers participating in the Marketplace in 2015, more than 90 percent of consumers will be able to choose from 3 or more issuers – up from 74 percent in 2014.  Consumers can choose from an average of 40 health plans for 2015 coverage – up from 31 in 2014, based on data at the county level.” Open enrollment began on Nov. 15. “Consumers should shop around; with new options available this year they’re likely to find a better deal.” For more information, click here.

 

Walking Workstations Improve Physical and Mental Health

Walking workstations – i.e., treadmills hooked up to computers at eye level – can improve both physical and mental health during the workday, according to researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. “Even if you don’t exercise or if you are overweight, you’ll experience both short-term physical and psychological benefits,” said researcher Michael Sliter, who wrote the paper about the benefits of walking workstations entirely while using one. One hundred eighty participants were evaluated on boredom, task satisfaction, stress, arousal, and performance while completing work-related computer tasks across four randomly assigned workstations:  seated, standing, cycling or walking. The researchers found walking workstation participants had higher satisfaction and arousal, while experiencing less boredom and stress than the standing and sitting workstation participants. Those using the cycling workstation had reduced satisfaction and performance. For more information, click here.

 

Next National Networking Teleconference Is Monday, December 15, at 1 p.m. ET

The next monthly national technical assistance and networking teleconference of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse will be on Monday, December 15, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT, 8 a.m. in Hawaii. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the calls is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don’t want to suggest an agenda item 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.

 

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. 5, November 2014, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct) orsrogers@mhasp.org.

 

SAMHSA Offers “A Mental Health Recovery Self-Help Educational Program” and “Tip 59: Improving Cultural Competence”The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is offering, for free download, two useful documents. First is “a recovery educational curriculum that offers self-help concepts, skills, and strategies for adults with mental illness, including those dealing with substance use disorders. Promotes wellness, stability, recovery, and life transformation.” To download the curriculum, click here. Second is “Tip 59: Improving Cultural Competence,” which “assists professional care providers and administrators in understanding the role of culture in the delivery of substance abuse and mental health services. Discusses racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations and the core elements of cultural competence.” For “Tip 59,” click here.