News and Alerts
Alternatives 2014 – or a National Mental Health Conference by Another Name: Game On!
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse has signed a contract with the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida, and will be hosting a national mental health conference there from Wednesday, October 22, 2014, through Sunday, October 26, 2014! Although the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration approval process has not yet been completed, the conference is on! A Conference Committee will soon be convened and a call for papers will be issued as soon as possible. If you are not already a member, join the Alternatives Conference Announcements Facebook page (click here) to make sure you get the most up-to-date information! If you are not on Facebook, contact Susan Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
SAMHSA Launches Free Webinar Series on Crisis Response Services
SAMHSA has announced a series of six webinars on how to expand community-based crisis response services and systems. The 90-minute webinars, all of which start at 2 p.m. ET, will begin on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, with “The Need for Crisis Response Services.” The series will continue on Tuesday, May 20, with “The Continuum of Community Based Mental Health Crisis Response Approaches.” The remaining four webinars will take place on June 3, June 18, July 1, and July 15. “These webinars will describe new and emerging crisis response practices … In addition, the webinar series will explore the types of outcomes sought for different approaches, how these approaches are financed, and provide State and local examples,” SAMHSA writes. To register for one webinar or the entire series, or for additional information, please click here.
Six More Webinars Are On Tap for May - Including One on May 1st!
Mark your calendars for six additional webinars in May! May 1, 1 p.m. ET: Join the National Empowerment Center’s 90-minute webinar on Enhancing Your Social Media Presence. To register for the May 1 webinar, click here. (For NEC’s 2012 introductory webinar on social media (as background), click here.) May 3, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Latino Mental Health in the Age of the Affordable Care Act “will spotlight and encourage up-and-coming researchers in Latino mental health and engage stakeholders in a discussion about programmatic, policy, and research priorities to address mental health disparities affecting Latinos.” To register, click here. May 6, 1 p.m. ET: Developing Your Personal Story of Mental Health Recovery, presented by the Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment. For more information, click here. May 9, 2: p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Peer Supports: What Exactly Does That Mean?, presented by Mental Health America, Youth Move and National Federation of Families, will provide a historic look at peer supports, examples of successful peer support implementation, and the latest communication from CMS regarding Medicaid reimbursement of these important supports. For instructions on how to join, click here. May 12, 1 p.m.: The final webinar in the GAINS Center five-part series of evidence-based practice (EBP) webinars will take place from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. The title is Reducing CriminalRecidivism for Justice-Involved Persons with Mental Illness: Risk/Needs/Responsivity and Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions. For more information, click here. May 29, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET: It Takes a Community: Learning Together about Tools and Strategies to Support People through Emotional Distress,presented by SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health (ADS Center). For more information and to register, click here.
As May 4 Approaches, More Cities to Hold National Mental Health and Dignity Day Events
At this writing, National Mental Health and Dignity Day (NMHDD) events are planned in nine states and 14 cities across the country; for the list of events and contact information, click here. For the NMHDD Facebook page, click here. As part of this event, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse/Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania is sponsoring a showing of “Of Two Minds,” followed by a panel discussion including one of the stars of the documentary and one of the filmmakers, at Temple University at 3 p.m. ET on May 4. For details, click here or email@example.com.
Lived Experience Research Network (LERN) Creates Dropbox for Research Access
The Lived Experience Research Network (LERN) team has created a shareable “dropbox” folder of journal articles and measures of potential use to activists, service users, survivors, students and researchers. “Our primary goal is to provide full-text access to individuals without an academic affiliation or other means of getting past journal pay-walls,” they write. “For additional open access measures, please visit the University of Adelaide's Psychiatric Scales and Measures collection (which also includes a page dedicated to Recovery and Rehabilitation measures),” LERN adds. To connect with the dropbox, click here. If you already have a password, you can go to the dropbox directly if you click here. In addition, the Boston University Disability Research Right to Know website has information on several subjects of interest to advocates, including peer-delivered services as well as supported education and supported housing.
AAS Creates Landmark Division Representing Suicide Attempt Survivors
As a result of determined advocacy by suicide attempt survivors, the American Association of Suicidology recently announced the creation of “a new division to represent people with lived experience and suicide attempt survivors and the people who love and care about them.” Another breakthrough was a recent story about suicide attempt survivors in The New York Times; for the story, click here. For a Boston Globe story on the same subject, click here. For more information about suicide attempt survivors’ organizing efforts, click here. For the AAS blog “Life after Suicidal Thinking,” click here. For a blog by attempt survivor and activist Cara Anna, click here. For Dese’rae Stage’s Live Through This website, click here. At the same time, a recent blog post in The New Yorker noted that, “between 1999 and 2010, the number of Americans between the ages of thirty-five and sixty-four who took their own lives rose by almost thirty per cent. Among young people in the U.S., suicide is the third most common cause of death; among all Americans, suicide claims more lives than car accidents, which were previously the leading cause of injury-related death.”
Through May 8, SAMHSA Invites Young Adults to Share Stories of Peer Support
To celebrate National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2014, SAMHSA is highlighting the importance of peer support, “which is critical in making the transition to adulthood easier for young adults with mental health and substance use challenges.” Through May 8, SAMHSA is hosting a “hashtag showcase,” during which the federal mental health authority is inviting “young adults across the country who have faced mental and/or substance use disorders to share their personal stories of resilience and peer support. Using the hashtag #IGetSupportFrom, please share photos, videos, tweets, and status updates showing how peer support has helped you tackle challenges related to: housing, education, employment, and health care. You can post messages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr.” To learn more about how to participate, click here.
Bazelon Center Releases Free Report on How the ACA Can Help States Develop Supported Housing
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has released a free report about how the Affordable Care Act can help states expand their integrated housing opportunities for people with mental health conditions. The 21-page report, When Opportunity Knocks…How the Affordable Care Act Can Help States Develop Supported Housing for People with Mental Illnesses, is available by clicking here. The new report “is designed to provide guidance and thought leadership to nationwide stakeholders about the new tools available through the Affordable Care Act that help states to expand supported housing for individuals with disabilities, in addition to helping states comply with the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act],” Bazelon writes. At the same time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a report indicating that the Affordable Care Act will cost $5 billion less than originally projected for 2014. From 2015 to 2024, the law is now expected to cost $1.38 trillion, or $104 billion less than prior projections, with a $36 billion cost in 2014. For the complete CBO report, click here.
Twitter Chat Will Explore How Society Can Support Suicide Attempt Survivors, Who Are Also Invited to Share Their Stories in a Planned Book
Josh Rivedal, an activist and author, will host a one-hour Twitter chat for WEGO Health on May 6 at 3 p.m. ET about how society can best support suicide attempt survivors/persons with lived experience. The hashtag to participate is #hachat. The topics will include what helps and what hurts when someone is feeling suicidal, what kinds of resources exist for attempt survivors, and what kinds of resources they would like to see. In addition, Rivedal is inviting individuals who have survived suicide attempts to share their stories for his book project, on #suicide attempt survivors. For more information, click here. This will be the second volume of Rivedal’s “The Good News Project”; the first volume will be published in October. “The concept [of the first book] is similar to ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ but grittier, covering topics that aren’t typically brought to light in the mainstream,” writes Rivedal. The second volume, to be released in February 2015, will include only the stories of suicide attempt survivors. “It’s a way for us to share our stories, create a community, help other people and show the world that we don’t just struggle — we can survive and thrive as well,” he writes. For more information, contact him firstname.lastname@example.org.
VA Has Launched “Make the Connection” to Help Veterans Connect
The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new campaign, Make the Connection, to help veterans and their family members connect with the experiences of other veterans, and with information and resources to help them confront the challenges of transitioning from service, help them face health issues, or help them navigate the complexities of daily life as a civilian. The campaign’s central focus is a website, www.MakeTheConnection.net, where veterans and their families can view the candid testimonials of other veterans “who have dealt with and are working through a variety of common life experiences, day-to-day symptoms, and mental health conditions.” The website also connects veterans and their family members with services and resources that may help them live more fulfilling lives. Make the Connection is on Facebook and YouTube. Downloadable and printable outreach information to distribute or display can be found here. In a related story, prescription drugs are said to be endangering U.S. soldiers. For the International Business Times story, click here. (Thanks to Maxine Hayden for the IBT story.)
“I’m Good” Campaign Celebrates Those Who Have Overcome and Those Who Are Trying!
In celebration of Mental Health Month, PeersNet has launched the “I’m Good” blog campaign, which “encourages people to take care of their emotional and mental health, as well as their wellness. It’s also a celebration of those who are working to, or have, overcome obstacles to wellness through support from family, friends, peers, loved ones and the community.” Combatting the stigma that can be associated with a mental health condition, the campaign says, “There is nothing to be ashamed of. Know why? Well, because no matter where you’re at, you’re good…” For more information, click here.
Café TA Center Releases the Second Video in Its Recovery Series
The Café TA Center has announced release of the second video in its ongoing series, Recovery Stories. This series of videos, all of which were assembled from interviews of people with lived experience of mental health challenges at Alternatives 2013, provides a platform for people to share their individual experience of mental health recovery. This installment, The Road to Recovery, features individuals sharing their stories of how they first encountered mental health issues, and the fears, hopes and assumptions with which they began their recovery journeys. For Episode 2, click here.
For more information and for Episode 1, click here.
Monthly National Networking Teleconferences Alternate Between Day and Evening
The monthly national networking teleconferences of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse alternate between 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). The May 2014 call will be on Tuesday, May 20, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. This call will feature a short presentation by Joseph Rogers, founder and executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, followed by Q&A. The June call will take place on Monday, June 16, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT. The purpose of the calls is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; this will make it easier to provide the participants with teleconference minutes. Thanks! If you would like a copy of the July, August, September, October, November and/or December 2013 minutes and/or the February or April 2014 minutes, or would like to pre-order the January and March 2014 minutes, please write to email@example.com with the word “Minutes” in the subject line.
Consumer-Driven Services Directory
The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible athttp://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online athttp://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php , via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.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.