Tuesday
Dec222015

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 6 - December 2015

Volume 12, Number 6

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

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

Thanks, @ProPublica

Deadline Extended on Forensic Peer Initiatives Survey!

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

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

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

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

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

Alternatives 2016 Conference Planning Committee Application Is Available

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

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

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

Hearing Voices App Is Released

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

Two New Studies Offer Hope to Individuals Who Experience Depression

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

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

John Oliver’s Year in Criminal Justice and Mental Health

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

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

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

AAPD to Host Webinar on Workplace Bullying and Harassment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newsletters of National Organizations Offer a Lot of Great Information!

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

“A New Tool Drills Down on Hidden Incarceration Rates”

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

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

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

Thanks, Matt Canuteson.

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible 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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 6, December 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

Monday
Nov302015

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 5 - November 2015

Key Update, November 2015

Volume 12, Number 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Dec. 9, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET, the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion will sponsor a one-hour webinar “to discuss the role that peer specialists can play in helping the people with whom they work connect to the religious congregations of their choice. Last month, the Temple University Collaborative re-issued ‘Helping People Connect to the Religious Congregations of Their Choice:  The Role of Peer Specialists,’ which recognizes the important role that faith and fellowship play in the lives of many peers and recommends specific strategies for peer specialists to pursue to make those connections a reality. The TU Collaborative now invites peers and peer specialists into a national conversation on the topic.” For more information and to register, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Webinar on "Understanding Trans Resiliency" Is on December 10

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

Five Things Your Congregation Can Do to Support Criminal Justice Reform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible 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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 5, November 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

Thursday
Oct292015

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 4 – October 2015

Key Update, October 2015

Volume 12, Number 4

 

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

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

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

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

Free Webinar on Best Practices in Responding to Federal Funding Opportunities

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

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

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

TU Collaborative Newsletter Includes Self-Directed Care Resources;

Temple Is Recruiting for a Research Study on Supported Education

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

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

On November 6, 2015, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) will sponsor a free teleconference on “Increasing Employment of People in Recovery.” Len Statham, employment specialist at the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, will speak. First Fridays with BRSS TACS is “a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery-related topics in an open and informal setting.” For more information, click here. To connect, click here.

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

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

NARPA Solicits Workshop Proposals for 2016 Annual Rights Conference

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

TU Collaborative Seeks Participants for “Welcoming Environments” Survey

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

PRJ Seeks Papers for Special Issue on Psychiatric Disability Policy Research

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

BU CPR Seeks Participants for Vocational Recovery Competencies Survey

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

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

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

Vox.com Solicits First-Person Stories Told Through Comics

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

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

Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation has organized a LinkedIn group on employing people with psychiatric disabilities. The Center writes: “If you are a person in recovery, employer, or supporter of people with psychiatric disabilities, we invite you to join the Center’s new LinkedIn group. For more information, or to join, please visit our LinkedIn page.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

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

 

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

 

About The Key Update

 

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 4, October 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

Tuesday
Sep292015

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 3, September 2015

Key Update, September 2015

Volume 12, Number 3

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Hotline Run by and for Transgender People Is Free

 

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

 

Disability Equality Index Survey Unveiled in Preparation for December 2015 Launch

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

SAMHSA Offers Behavioral Health Disaster Response Mobile App

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Bard Prison Initiative Participants Beat Harvard Undergrads in Debate

 

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

 

Thanks, @pdxlawgrrrl

 

Advocates Topple Billboard Falsely Linking Mental Health Conditions and Gun Violence

 

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

 

 “Banned Books Week” Celebrates the Freedom to Read!

 

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

 

Alternatives 2015 Announces Completes Keynote Speaker Lineup!

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

 

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

 

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

 

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

 

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

 

About The Key Update

 

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 3, September 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

Monday
Sep142015

The Key Update, Volume 12, Number 2 - August 2015

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

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

 

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

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

 

CDC Sponsors #VetoViolence to Honor Suicide Prevention Month

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

 

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

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

Thanks, @viscidula (Nev Jones)

 

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

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

 

Web Page Offers Criminal Justice Statistics and Other Pertinent Information

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

 

SAMHSA Publishes Cultural Competency Toolkit

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Four Upcoming Webinars Will Focus on Youth with Mental Health Conditions

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


Alternatives 2015 Announces Keynote Speakers!

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

 

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

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


 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Consumer-Driven Services Directory

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

 

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 12, No. 2, August 2015, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH