Deadline Nears for Alternatives 2012 Call for Presentations! Scholarship Application Available!
Monday, May 7, is the deadline to respond to the Alternatives 2012 Call for Presentations! Everyone is invited to submit a proposal – which you can do online! First-time-time presenters are especially welcome! The theme of Alternatives 2012 – to be held Oct. 10-14, in Portland, Oregon – is “Honoring Our History, Building Our Future.” For more information, see the following link: http://www.alternatives2012.info/call-for-presentations/. A limited amount of scholarship money is available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Scholarship applications – via the U.S. Postal Service only – must be postmarked on or before June 5, 2012. For more information and an application, see this link: http://www.alternatives2012.info/scholarships/. Alternatives 2012 is organized by the Peerlink Technical Assistance Center.
Nationwide Survey of Peer-Run Organizations and Consumer-Operated Services is Under Way
A Johns Hopkins School of Public Health researcher is conducting a study that will provide evidence of the impact of peer-run organizations and consumer-operated services on the mental health system and the community. The study will yield data for planning, reimbursement, and sustainability, and will be important for spreading the peer-run model and educating the government and the field, said Laysha Ostrow, MPP, an NIMH Services Training Fellow at Johns Hopkins. “It will also allow us to understand the challenges faced by peer-run organizations as the system changes and reforms are implemented,” she said. “Participation by organizations in all states is necessary. Results will be shared with peers, advocates, and government agencies that support mental health.” For progress so far, click on the following link; the page will be updated as the numbers increase: http://www.peersri.org/project-updates.html. Ostrow is also hoping to increase survey response rates.
Suicide Attempt Survivor Task Force Seeks Members
The Suicide Attempt Survivor Task Force http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/task-force/suicide-attempt -survivors of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA01-3517/SMA01-3517.pdf, is seeking additional members to serve on its task force. “The goal of this task force is to identify and promote evidence-informed strategies for empowerment, recovery, care and continuing support for suicide attempt survivors – the persons at the highest risk of suicide,” according to a letter at the following link: http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/system/files/SAS-Solicitation-on-Letterhead-edited%20PDF.pdf. If you or someone you know would be a good candidate, please respond to the online questionnaire (a link to which is embedded in the letter) by May 18.
DBSA Positive Six (+6) Campaign Kicks Off May 1st
The following comes from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: “In celebration of May as Mental Health Month, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) . . . invites you to be part of the DBSA ‘Positive Six Campaign’ – six months of positive actions to connect to your health and community. Each month – May through October 2012 – DBSA will feature a new +6 challenge aimed at building new connections with your health, relationships, and community. . . . DBSA +6 was designed to help anyone, with or without mental health issues, to live a happier life. Whether it’s incorporating a new habit, reconnecting with old friends, sharing kindness, or simply making someone smile, little things can make a big difference – in your life and in the lives of others. Visit http://www.positive6.org/ to learn how you can be a part of DBSA +6.”
SAMHSA Releases Free Report on Mental Health Statistics
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released Mental Health, United States, 2010, the latest in a series of publications issued biannually by SAMHSA since 1980. Modeled after the annual report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health, US, “this new report includes mental health statistics at the national and state levels from 35 different data sources. The report is organized into three sections: People: the mental health status of the U.S. population and prevalence of mental illness; Providers: providers and settings for mental health services, types of mental health services, and rates of utilization; and Payers: expenditures and sources of funding for mental health services.” The 350-page report is available for free download at the source below.
NYAPRS Issues Call for Presentations for its 30th Annual Conference
The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) is seeking proposals for its 30th annual conference, whose theme is “Keeping the Integrity in Integration.” The conference will be held Sept. 19-21, 2012, at the Hudson Valley Resort & Conference Center. More information, including the call for presentations, is available at the source below. The organizers write, “The NYAPRS Annual Conference is widely regarded as one of the nation’s finest training opportunities promoting the recovery, rehabilitation and rights of people with psychiatric disabilities.”
New California-based Center Works to Reduce Prejudice and Discrimination
The California Center for Dignity, Social Inclusion and Stigma Elimination is working to identify promising practices and promote best practices of programs that address stigma and discrimination reduction through two three-year contract projects funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63). “Stigma, prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health are not generally seen as public health concerns. But their effects are devastating to lives and communities everywhere,” said Eduardo Vega, executive director of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco and the Center’s director. One project focuses on “bringing leading-edge research in stigma-reduction strategies into practice statewide. The other will engage with California's culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse communities to examine strengths, resources and culturally specific attitudes,” according to a press release. “This Center has the potential to make a huge difference in people's lives by working in partnership with communities across California to advance what we know works to counter these stigmatized views," said Dr. Patrick Corrigan, an internationally known researcher in the area of stigma/discrimination reduction.
SAMHSA Seeks Applications for “Million Hearts Social Marketing Programs”
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for the “Wellness Initiative’s Million Hearts Social Marketing Programs for Peer-Run Recovery Community Organization Awards.” As SAMHSA’s literature notes, “The awards will enable consumer-run and peer recovery community organizations to conduct community-based social marketing activities to increase awareness about the importance of prevention and management of cardiovascular disease and stroke among adults with behavioral health challenges and the providers that serve them.” Twenty awards of $15,000 each will be distributed. Applications are due on May 14 by 5 p.m. ET. The full RFA is available at the source below:
Madness and Motherhood Project Calls for Contributors
The Madness and Motherhood Project is seeking contributions by mid-July, 2012, for a print campaign in September 2012 that will feature “narrative work from people who have lived experience in a family that is affected by mental health [conditions].” According to its website, “Madness and Motherhood is a flagship collaborative writing project that invites contributors to take a hard look at the way that our thinking about mental health shapes the way that we see mothers with ‘mental health disorders,’ or expressed challenges in our lived experience, and the way that these perceptions forge our families and ultimately frame our stories. . . . Please submit mixed-genre contributions or any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.” More information is available at the source below:
Veterans with PTSD May Have a Brain Injury Called CTE, Autopsies Suggest
Veterans struggling with symptoms that have been diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may actually have a syndrome called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative condition that may result from repeated blows to the head, and possibly from blasts from bombs or grenades, whose shock waves cause the brain to crash into the skull. “PTSD in a high-risk cohort like war veterans could actually be a physical disease from permanent brain damage, not a psychological disease,” according to a neuropathologist quoted in The New York Times. The Times story noted that this might explain the elevated suicide rates of Iraq and Afghan veterans compared to Vietnam veterans, since the former are more likely to have experienced blasts. The Defense Department is studying the issue, the Times reported.
Problems Persist in Financial Conflicts of Interest Among DSM Panel Members, Study Reports
According to a recently published essay in PLoS Medicine.org, although the American Psychiatric Association (APA) put in place a financial conflict of interest disclosure policy for the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), “The new disclosure policy has not been accompanied by a reduction in the financial conflicts of interest of DSM panel members.” The authors, who identify gaps in the APA’s disclosure policy, recommend such safeguards as prohibiting financial conflicts of interest on the part of all DSM task force members and prohibiting those who have participated in pharmaceutical manufacturers’ speakers’ bureaus from serving on DSM panels, as well as other measures to protect against pharmaceutical industry influence. The article is available at the source below. In a related story, activists are gathering in Philadelphia on May 5 to hold a peaceful protest on the first day of the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting. For more information, click on the following link: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/news/view.php?news_id=1146
You Are Invited to a Monthly National Networking Teleconference!
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse invites you to participate in our monthly national networking teleconferences, which usually take place the third Monday of every month at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. (If the third Monday is a national holiday, the call will take place the fourth Monday.) The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the call is for peer movement leaders from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! The next call will take place on Monday, May 21, at 1 p.m. ET. If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers email@example.com with the words “National Teleconference Agenda” in the subject line.
Do You Operate, or Know of, a Warm Line?
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is assembling a list of warm lines around the country. If you operate or know of a warm line, please share this information with us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800-553-4539.
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/contact, via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to email@example.com or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
SAMHSA Announces New Health Insurance Enrollment Website
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has launched a website that offers information on access to health insurance. According to the website, “Starting January 1, 2014, an estimated 32 million people will have access to health insurance, with an estimated 11 million having a mental or substance use disorder, but that does not mean there is not a health insurance option for you today. Right now, you, your family members and your friends have a number of options for health insurance. Below are some public and private health insurance resources. Do not wait until 2014; get covered today!” The website is available at the source below.