News and Alerts
Plans for the National Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Conference Gear Up!
If you are not already a member, please 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. The national mental health conference to be hosted by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida, from Wednesday, October 22, 2014, through Sunday, October 26, 2014, has a theme, created via a Survey Monkey process. (Thanks to all who participated!) The theme isCreating the Future: Change, Challenge, Opportunity. A call for papers will be issued very soon, and will be followed by the link to a registration website. Stay tuned!
Disability Equality Index Survey to Be Unveiled on June 26, 2014
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) have announced the public release of the first Annual Disability Equality IndexSM (DEISM), an online benchmarking tool that offers businesses the opportunity to receive an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices. AAPD and the USBLN will be releasing the DEI survey questions publicly on June 26, 2014, before opening up the first Annual DEI survey to Fortune 1000 scope companies for participation in October 2014. Those interested in attending the DEI survey public release call must register here by June 19, 2014. “We are confident the DEI is going to be a game changer for all companies who are interested in enhancing their disability inclusion efforts regardless of where they are at in their journey,” said Jill Houghton, executive director of the USBLN.
New Code Expected to Boost Peer Support Profession
A major step was recently taken to incorporate peer specialists as integral parts of the healthcare industry: The National Uniform Coding Committee (NUCC) – comprising major health care providers and insurance industry members, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – approved coding of peer specialist services, effective Oct. 1, 2014. This coding, specific to peer specialists, will enable state and federal agencies to bill peer support services more effectively and facilitate better tracking of such services. The coding is especially important for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the largest single employer of peer specialists, as it will allow that department to more efficiently bill and track peer specialists’ work. “This classification puts peer specialists on par with other mental health professionals,” said Daniel O’Brien-Mazza, director of peer support services for the department. “It is a measure of respect and recognition of the important and valuable services peer specialists provide.” (Note: This piece has been excerpted from an article that ran on page 8 of the April 2014 edition of the iNAPS newsletter.)
Comments Invited on Proposal to Allow Service Animals in National Parks
Through June 17, the National Park Service (NPS) is inviting public comment on a proposed rule to revise regulations governing service animals in national parks. “The NPS is proposing to define and differentiate service animals, from pets, domestic animals, feral animals, livestock, and pack animals, and describe the circumstances under which service animals would be allowed in a park area,” according to the comment website. Although federal agencies are not governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the NPS policy is to align its regulations with the ADA and make NPS facilities, programs, and services accessible to and usable by as many people as possible, according to an NPS press release. The NPS will accept public comment on the proposed rule – 36 Code of Federal Regulations § 2.15 – through June 17, 2014, through the Federal Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (search service animals) or click here.
Anthology of Art, Poetry, Prose, Photography, and More Is Available for Free Download
Based on the groundbreaking study The Well-Being Project, "People Say I’m Crazy" is an anthology of amazing art, poetry, prose, photography and testimony of mental health clients and is the compendium book to the award-winning documentary of the same name. This exciting 137-page anthology is available for free download by clicking here. For more information, contact Madness Network News Redux manager David Gonzalez at MadnessNetworkNews@gmail.com.
16th International Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering Issues Call for Papers
The 16th International Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering, to be held Nov. 5-7, 2014, at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, is soliciting presentations. The conference “will highlight proposals that are dynamic and interactive and best fit the conference theme, Bridging Communities: Education, Support, and Services. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum to strengthen and empower the voice of individuals and communities, increase awareness and education of hoarding disorder, and engage new and non-traditional stakeholders via culturally responsive, person-first, evidence-based support and services.” The deadline for proposals is July 18, 2014. For more information, see the source below.
Scattergood Foundation Invites Comments on Its Consensus Project
The Scattergood Foundation Consensus Project is inviting comments on two papers – “Privacy Discussion” and “Liberty and Recovery” – that are posted on the Scattergood website and are available by clicking here. The Foundation writes: “We want your voice to join others in developing meaningful solutions. Please … add your thoughts, comments, and recommendations to the work under way. Reader recommendations will be analyzed during a 60-day commenting period [which ends July 1, 2014] and then synthesized by the authors for the purpose of incorporating the recommendations into the paper. Please keep in mind that the purpose of this project is to build consensus. Oppositional viewpoints are welcomed and expected, but progression towards solutions requires cooperation and respect. If you haven't already, you must create a [free] user account to view the papers. Click here to login or create an account.”
Creative Vision Factory Video Lights Up the Web
The Creative Vision Factory, a peer-run drop-in arts studio in Wilmington, Delaware, that is funded by the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, has posted an inspirational video that highlights its work fostering “the creative potential of individuals on the behavioral health spectrum in a studio art environment that cultivates integration with the local art community through a program of exhibitions, workshops, and communal workspace.” The video includes interviews with several of the artists and with the director, Michael Kalmbach. “If you get people who have been challenged by the same issue, you get them in the same room around some coffee, they will probably start to solve their own problems,” said Kalmbach. “People can be self-directed, find some mastery over something, have some purpose, and connect with people. It’s those relationships that really matter and what really promote recovery.” The artists, some of whom have sold their work, talk about what the CVF means to them. Said one, “When I’m doing my artwork, I’m handling my life. . . . When I draw, I live.” To view the video, click on the source below.
SAMHSA Offers Recovery Month Toolkit
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is offering a Recovery Month Toolkit. SAMHSA writes: “Get a jumpstart on your 2014 event planning with the newly launched Recovery MonthToolkit. This year’s toolkit, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Recovery Month, highlights the theme ‘Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out.’ The theme encourages people to openly discuss – or speak up about – mental and substance use disorders and the reality of recovery. The observance also promotes ways first responders, faith leaders, youth and young adults, and policymakers can recognize these issues and intervene – or reach out to help others, as well as themselves. As with past toolkits, you will find resources and tools for working with the media, planning and promoting a Recovery Month event, targeted outreach materials, and current and updated fast facts, resource listings, and information on commonly misused drugs and mental health disorders.” The 2014 toolkit is available online to view or download in English and in Spanish by clicking here.
Mark Your Calendar for Three Webinars at the Beginning of June
Deadline alert: Three webinars during the first week in June address transitional age youth, eCPR, and crisis response services, respectively. On June 3, 2014, at 1 p.m. ET, a one-hour webinar on “Building Cultural Competence: Strategies for Engaging Effectively with Transitional Age Youth,” hosted by the Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment, will address youth perspectives on mental health treatment and stigma, cultural competency, youth engagement strategies, and tips and tricks for successful youth programs. For more information or to register, click here. On June 4, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. ET, a 90-minute webinar hosted by the National Empowerment Center will cover “Using Emotional CPR (eCPR) to Implement Systems Transformation.” NEC writes, “This webinar will provide administrators, managers, and providers of mental health services with essential communication tools needed to transform their systems to being recovery-based and empowerment focused. Presenters will share about the components of eCPR, a public health education program developed by people with lived experience of mental health recovery.” For instructions on joining the eCPR webinar, click here. The April edition of the Key Update highlighted a SAMHSA webinar series on how to expand community-based crisis response services and systems. The third webinar in this series will take place on June 3 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET on the topic of “Identifying the Outcomes and Financing of Crisis Response Services and Supports.” The fourth webinar, on June 18 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET, will cover “Innovative State and Local Crisis Response Systems.” To register for one webinar or the entire series, or for additional information, please click here.
Two Resource Books Are Designed to Help People Find and Keep Competitive Employment
Two resource books on the topic of employment are available for free download to help individuals with mental health conditions who are thinking of going back to work or who already have a job and want to keep it. The Employment Resource Book – published by the Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and available at this link – “is based on the principles and practices of effective employment services that help people seek work independently. This resource book does not recommend lengthy pre-work activities, because they have not been shown to help people find competitive employment. Instead, this is an action-oriented book, meaning that it encourages you to make thoughtful choices and then consider taking steps toward finding and keeping a job that’s right for you.” The second guide, entitled A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work and available at this link, was published by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion. “The Guide offers encouragement and vital information on the importance of work, the availability of rehabilitation programs, the ins and outs of the Social Security Administration’s work incentives, the challenges of starting a new job and grappling with disclosure, and strategies for long-term success at work – and more.” A Facilitator’s Manual is available at the followinglink.
SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions Website Offers a Wealth of Resources
“The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) continually updates its website to present the best and newest resources and information relevant to integrated primary and behavioral healthcare.” To visit the site, click here. Among the many resources are SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS), a National Resource Directory for veterans, a Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse Toolkit – and much more.
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 June 2014 call will be on Monday, June 16, 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 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 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 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, March, and May 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. Volume 10, No. 11, May 2014, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct) email@example.com.