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The Key Update, Volume 10, Number 1 - July 2013

News and Alerts


Registration Is Open for Alternatives 2013!

You can now register for Alternatives 2013! Alternatives – the oldest national conference organized by and for individuals active in the mental health consumer/survivor/peer recovery movement – will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas, from Wednesday, December 4, through Saturday, December 7, 2013. The theme of the conference, which is being organized by the National Empowerment Center, is “Building Inclusive Communities: Valuing Every Voice.” To register or for more information, click on the source below.

Source: http://www.power2u.org/alternatives2013/registration.  


Peerlink TAC to Host Webinar on Vocational Rehabilitation on July 25

The second in a three-part series on employment for individuals with psychiatric histories will be held on Thursday, July 25, at 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, noon MT, 11 a.m. PT. The 90-minute webinar, hosted by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center and called “Building Blocks of Peers & Employment: Voc Rehab,” will focus on “the federally funded vocational rehabilitation services program for people who experience disabilities … What is it? What does it do? What does it provide?” For more information or to register, see the source below.

Source: http://www.peerlinktac.org/events/


July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

As the result of a 2008 proclamation by the U.S. House of Representatives, July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM). Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and veterans disability appeals representation, is offering free poster downloads to promote the observance, which highlights the need for improved access to mental health services among minorities. To download a free Minority Mental Health Awareness poster, click here http://www.allsupcares.com/portals/6/2010-Minority-Health-Month-poster.pdf. Other free materials are available at the following link: https://allsupcares.com/request-materials.aspx

Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10903105.htm


Suicide Prevention Webinar for the Military July 30; and Obama Approves Condolence Letters in Military Suicides

SAMHSA is sponsoring a 90-minute webinar on “Improving Suicide Prevention for the Military and Their Families” on Tuesday, July 30, at 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, noon MT, 11 a.m. PT. “This webinar will provide an overview of the risk factors of suicide associated with service members, veterans, and their families. Resources and strategies to help those in crisis will be discussed,” among other information. To register, click here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/514603154. For questions, contact Lisa Guerin at 518-439-7415, ext. 5242, or at lguerin@prainc.com. At the same time, in what a high-ranking Army officer called a bid to help reduce the stigma of seeking mental health treatment, President Obama will send condolence letters to the families of those who die by suicide while serving in combat. “It acknowledges that the service rendered by these individuals, as well as the service and sacrifices made by their family, deserve the same recognition given to those men and women who died as the result of enemy action,” said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army vice chief of staff, in a July 6 White House blog entry about this reversal of a longstanding policy.

Sources: http://www.texvet.org/events/webinar-suicide-prevention-strategies-and-resources-smvf



Homeless People’s Rights Are Protected by 4th and 14th Amendments, Judges Rule

When Los Angeles County confiscated and destroyed the possessions of eight people who were homeless and had temporarily left their property – including IDs, birth certificates, family photos, medications, and other important items – on the street in order to use the bathroom or for other reasons, the people sued – and won. The County claimed that it needed to clear the streets in order to clean them. But the Court of Appeals ruled that “the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments protect homeless persons from government seizure and summary destruction of their unabandoned, but momentarily unattended, personal property.” Since the Supreme Court turned down the County’s request to review the case, it is bound by the lower court’s decision, which has implications for other jurisdictions. For more information, see the sources below.

Sources: http://www.care2.com/causes/can-homeless-people-own-anything-supreme-court-says-yes.html


Thanks to Fran Hazam


“Important Souls” Video Tells the Story of Anna Jennings, a Trauma Survivor and Hero

While she was a patient in Philadelphia State Hospital (also called Byberry), Anna Jennings – a survivor of childhood trauma – smuggled out inside information about beatings and other abuse. Armed with the facts Jennings provided, advocates demanded an investigation, which led to the hospital’s closing. “She saw other patients being dragged off, pulled by their hair and beaten and abused. She would do everything she could [to stop it]. Then she would get punished,” said her mother, Anne Jennings. “It was a real risk for her, but she never, ever stopped fighting.” In her daughter’s memory, Anne Jennings created the Anna Institute to educate others on “the hidden epidemic of childhood trauma and [its] horrific lifelong impacts on society, and paths to prevention and healing.” Now Susan Salasin of SAMHSA – with Andy Blanch and Joan Gillece of the National Center for Trauma Informed Care and Leah Harris of the National Empowerment Center – has created a moving and powerful six-minute video telling Anna’s story of childhood sexual abuse and years in the mental health system, including her suicide at age 32 in a California state hospital in 1992. “Important Souls” – illustrated by Jennings’ artwork – and Jennings’ bio are available for free download at the source below.  

Source: http://www.theannainstitute.org/a-bio.html

Thanks to Mike Skinner’s Surviving Spirit Newsletter 


Despite Need, Nearly 90 Percent of Community Colleges Have No On-site Psychiatric Resources, Study Reports

A new national survey by the American College Counseling Association’s Community College Task Force reports that, despite the increase in students continuing to have more severe psychiatric concerns in both four-year and community colleges, 86 percent of community colleges have no on-site psychiatric resources, as opposed to the fact that 57 percent of four-year colleges and universities have on-site campus psychiatry. And the 198 professional community/two-year college counselors who responded to the survey reported that they spend 57 percent of their time doing academic advising as well as splitting their time in other areas. For more information and a link to the complete survey, see the source below.

Source: http://www.collegecounseling.org/category/news/studies

Thanks to Mental Health Weekly


Call for Papers Available for 4th International Conference on Families with Parental Mental Health Challenges

The Fourth International Conference on Families with Parental Mental Health Challenges, to be held Friday, April 25, 2014, through Sunday, April 27, 2014, at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, California, has issued its call for presentations. The deadline is September 30, 2013. The conference will explore the “challenges of parenting for adults with psychiatric disability or mental health concerns” and the “ impact and challenges for children and young people living in families with parental psychiatric disability or mental health concerns, including those associated with being a young carer.” For more information or to submit an abstract, see the source below.

Source: http://www.interprofessional.ubc.ca/MentalHealth2014/

Thanks to the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion


New Study Examines Process of Seeking Employment After Leaving Jail

People leaving jail have a hard time seeking and obtaining employment, and having mental health challenges poses additional problems. A new study by researchers at the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion – “ ‘I’m Not Sure That I Can Figure Out How to Do That’: Pursuit of Work Among People with Mental Illness Leaving Jail” – examines how people with mental health conditions look for jobs after involvement with the criminal justice system. The abstract of the study is available for free download at the source below.

Source: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15487768.2013.789696?journalCode=uapr20#preview


Changing Gut Bacteria Through Diet Affects Brain Function, UCLA Study Shows

Women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task, according to UCLA researchers. The small study, published in the June 2013 edition of Gastroenterology, could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function, the researchers said. “Our findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment,” said lead author Dr. Kirsten Tillisch. Researchers have known that the brain sends signals to the gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a UCLA press release. This study shows what had been suspected but until now had been proved only in animal studies: that signals travel the opposite way as well. The knowledge that signals are sent from the intestine to the brain and that they can be modulated by a dietary change is likely to lead to an expansion of research to find new strategies to prevent or treat digestive, mental and neurological disorders, said Dr. Emeran Mayer, the study's senior author.

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/uoc--cgb052813.php


Duke University Press Will Begin Publishing a Transgender Studies Journal in 2014

The first non-medical journal dedicated to transgender studies will be launched by Duke University Press next year. The journal – TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly – is being financed through Kickstarter: 404 backers have pledged a total of $24,752, surpassing the $20,000 that had to be raised by June 13, 2013, in order to launch the publication. Five issues are currently scheduled. “TSQ will be instrumental in developing this growing and vibrant field and will advance the editorial mission of changing the way the world thinks about transgender issues,” Duke University Press said in a press release.

Source: http://www.dukechronicle.com/articles/2013/05/23/du-press-publish-transgender-quarterly


New Book About Psychoanalysis Invites Readers to “Marvel at the Complexities and Convolutions of the Human Mind”

A new book – called “insightful and beautifully written” as well as “deeply affecting” by The New York Times in a recent review – describes “the process of psychoanalysis, and the ways people’s efforts to connect the past, present and future reflect their capacity to change.” The author, who has been a practicing psychoanalyst for 25 years, “writes with enormous empathy for his patients, gently encouraging them to recognize patterns in their lives, while hearing out their own theories and concerns,” according to the Times reviewer. The author, Stephen Grosz, who teaches at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and in the Psychoanalytic Unit at University College London, protects his patients’ privacy by altering their names and anything that might identify them, but tells their stories, which, according to the reviewer, “read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/09/books/the-examined-life-by-stephen-grosz.html?pagewanted=all


Monthly National Networking Teleconferences Will Alternate Between Day and Evening!

Because some people have let us know that they would like to participate in the monthly national networking teleconferences of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse but they can’t do so during the workday, we will be alternating daytime (on the third Monday of the month, unless that is a holiday, in which case the call will take place on the fourth Monday of the month) and evening hours (on the third Tuesday of the month) for the teleconferences. The next teleconference will be held Monday, August 19, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the call is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! Again, the next call will take place on Monday, August 19, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT. (The September call will take place on Tuesday, September 17, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT.) If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don’t want to suggest an agenda item it would be helpful if you would email Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org; this will make it easier to provide the participants with teleconference minutes. Thanks!

Source: http://www.mhselfhelp.org


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 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 10, No. 1, July 2013, http://www.mhselfhelp.org 

For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct) or srogers@mhasp.org