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The Key Update, Volume 10, Number 2 – August 2013

News and Alerts



New Clearinghouse Report Published on Peer Organizations Partnering with MCOs

The latest edition of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse’s Key Assistance Report is available for free download. “Focus on Peer Organizations Partnering with MCOs” includes interviews with experts on the role of peers inside MCOs and the pros and cons of such partnerships, and provides links to additional resources. To download the publication, please see the source below. 

Source: http://www.mhselfhelp.org/storage/publications/key-assistance-reports/Focus%20on%20Peer%20Organizations%20Partnering%20with%20MCOs.pdf


Three Exciting Conferences Are Coming Up; A Fourth Issues a Call for Papers

Three important conferences in September and November – in New York, Connecticut and Australia, respectively – offer exciting opportunities to learn, grow, and network. And a fourth conference (in Canada) has issued a call for papers. NYAPRS is hosting its 31st annual conference, “Keeping the Focus on Recovery and Rights,” Sept. 10-12 at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa in Kerhonkson, N.Y. The Annual Rights Conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) will take place Sept. 26-28, 2013, at the Hilton Hartford (Conn.). The World Hearing Voices Congress will be held Nov. 20-22, 2013, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Meanwhile, Canada’s First National Conference on Peer Support – to be held April 30-May 2, 2014, at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia – invites presentation proposals. For more information about all of these conferences, please see the sources below.

Sources: https://registration.nyaprs.org/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/event/info&id=8&reset=1





“Wellness Works” Initiative Seeks Submissions

You are invited to share your personal experience of wellness and inspire others in their recovery journey: As part of National Wellness Week (Sept. 16-22, 2013), Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, the National Empowerment Center, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, NAMI Star Center, and the Family Café TA Center invite you to submit a piece of original creative work expressing what wellness means in your lives and for your communities. “Your submissions will help raise public awareness about the importance of embracing a wellness-based perspective, in mental health services as well as our communities at large.” The deadine for submissions is Sept. 9, 2013. For guidelines and instructions, please see the source below.


Thanks to Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center for taking the lead!


New Resources Are Available to Educate Congregations and Mental Health Professionals About Suicide

In conjunction with Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 8-14, 2013), Mental Health Ministries has produced two resources to help educate congregations about suicide. A video – “Suicide: Healing After the Death of a Loved One” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbdYc88YSBc&feature=youtu.be – and a brochure – “Suicide: How Faith Communities Can Provide Hope and Promote Healing” http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/resources/brochures.html – are available for free online. World Suicide Prevention Day is Sept. 10. Meanwhile, SANE Australia has released a guide to help mental health professionals support someone who may be at risk of suicide. The guide is available for free download at the following link: http://www.sane.org/images/stories/media/SuicidePreventionAndRecoveryGuide.pdf 

Sources: http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/



Vanguard Communications Releases “Purple Paper” on Branding for Social Change

“Before you can get people to buy into your mission … before you can get people to donate … before you can build a community around an issue, you have to put yourself out there.” So begins Vanguard Communications’ new publication, “Branding for Social Change.” “Building a strong brand is just as critical for social change-focused entities as it is for the corporate world,” said Vanguard president Maria Rodriguez. “We want this second Purple Paper to help ‘cause communicators’ apply branding principles that can strengthen membership, advocacy, fundraising and programs.” To download the document, see the source below.

Source: http://www.vancomm.com/2013/08/vanguard-communications-releases-purple-paper-on-branding-for-social-change/


SAMHSA’s BRSS TACS and CSG Justice Center Launch New Websites

SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) and the Council of State Governments Justice Center have launched new websites. SAMHSA writes: “Here you can learn about BRSS TACS funding opportunities, how to request training and technical assistance, scan the ever-growing Recovery Library or learn more about what other organizations, states and systems are doing to implement recovery concepts, policies practices and surveys.” And the Council on State Governments Justice Center has announced that its overhauled site “embodies the Justice Center’s efforts to provide data-driven, consensus-based strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities. The homepage is organized into eight program areas: Corrections, Courts, Justice Reinvestment, Law Enforcement, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Reentry, and Youth. Each of these programs includes rich content developed by staff and experts from around the country.”

Sources: http://www.samhsa.gov/brss-tacs/



Report on Needless Segregation of Individuals with Disabilities Issued by U.S. Senate

A report detailing the ways in which state service systems continue to support the needless segregation of individuals with disabilities has been issued by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, chaired by Sen. Tom Harkin. The report, called “Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” reveals that almost a quarter of a million working-age Americans remain unfairly segregated in nursing homes, and the number of working-age Americans with disabilities confined to nursing homes is actually growing. According to a press release, “While progress has been made nationally, by 2010 only 12 states spent more than 50 percent of Medicaid funds on community-based care instead of institutional care.” The report is available at the following link http://www.harkin.senate.gov/documents/pdf/OlmsteadReport.pdf.

Source: http://www.help.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=909ecec1-4c87-4891-8314-7b35e5316a35&groups=Chair


Disability Community Unveils Key Principles of Community Integration

The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has unveiled consensus principles – signed by 26 major national organizations comprising and/or representing individuals with disabilities – which lay out a vision in which individuals with disabilities are afforded opportunities to live in their own homes, work in regular, non-segregated employment, and make their own choices. “While most states have expressed a desire to do the right thing,” said Bazelon’s legal director, Ira Burnim, “they have failed to implement these principles on a large scale.” The document – “Community Integration for People with Disabilities: Key Principles” – is available at the following link: http://bazelon.org/portals/0/ADA/7.30.13%20Key%20Principles%20-%20Community%20Integration%20for%20People%20with%20Disabilities.pdf

Source: http://bazelon.org/News-Publications/Press-Releases/7.31.13Key-Principles-Press-Release.aspx


ProPublica Compiles the Best Reporting on Mental Illness in Prisons

ProPublica – “Journalism in the Public Interest” – has compiled eight articles about individuals with mental health conditions in prison, links to which are provided at the source below. According to ProPublica, “The Department of Justice estimated in 2006 that over half of all U.S. inmates suffer from a mental health problem.” Four of the eight articles were published in 2012 or 2013.

Source: http://www.propublica.org/article/the-best-reporting-on-mental-illness-in-prisons


HHS Investigates Psych Drug Use in Children; Use of Antidepressants Has Skyrocketed

The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing the use of atypical antipsychotic medications by Medicaid recipients age 17 and under, the Wall Street Journal reports. In 2008 (the most recent year for which complete data are available), Medicaid spent $3.6 billion on antipsychotic drugs, an increase from $1.65 billion in 1999 – and the number of those under age 20 receiving Medicaid-funded antipsychotic medications tripled during that period. A Rutgers University study found that children who receive Medicaid are prescribed antipsychotic medications at four times the rate of children with private insurance. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal quoted a pediatric psychiatrist who said that many children could benefit from trauma-centered therapy “but there is no budget for it.” At the same time, a Johns Hopkins study found that “nearly two-thirds of a sample of more than 5,000 patients who had been given a diagnosis of depression within the previous 12 months did not meet the criteria for major depressive episode” as described in the DSM. And the vast majority of those who receive that diagnosis are given medication, the study found.

Sources: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323477604578654130865747470.html


Thanks to NYAPRS Enews


SAMHSA Provides “Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health”

SAMHSA writes: “The Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health is designed to support communities interested in holding conversations about mental health using consistent information and approaches. . . . [It] will help communities and individuals start a conversation about mental health and help identify innovative and creative next steps to address the mental health needs of our Nation.” The toolkit is available for free download at the source below.

Source: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USSAMHSA/bulletins/84b053


Former Harvard Grad Student Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Tells Her Recovery Story on Huffington Post Website

The Huffington Post has posted a video in which a young Duke University graduate who was attending Harvard grad school when she was diagnosed with schizophrenia talks about her recovery. She is now director of recovery services at Vinfen. Such stories are an important way to educate the public and to offer hope to individuals struggling with mental health challenges. Toward this end, MindFreedom International launched its “I Got Better” campaign some time ago. For more information or to post a video, see the second source below.

Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/schizophrenia_n_3761478.html



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 Tuesday, September 17, 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#. 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 Tuesday, September 17, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT. (The October call will take place on Monday, October 21, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.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