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The Key Update, Volume 10, Number 6 - December 2013

News and Alerts

Scattergood Foundation Seeks Nominations for Second Annual Innovation Awards 
The Scattergood Innovation Award “is designed to help identify, promote and reward innovative programs that demonstrably improve diagnosis, treatment, de-stigmatization, or support networks” for adults with mental health conditions. The successful applicant will receive a $25,000 award, and all of the finalists will receive exposure “as leaders, innovators and champions of behavioral health,” according to the Foundation. “Individuals, teams or organizations can self-nominate or nominate someone else.” For details or to apply, see the source below. Nominations will be accepted through January 10, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Source: http://www.scattergoodfoundation.org/annual-innovation-award

SAMHSA Releases Report on Behavioral Health in the U.S.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released “Behavioral Health, United States, 2012.” This free report features national and state mental health and substance abuse statistics from 40 different sources. The report includes three chapters: “Behavioral Health Disorders across the Life Span”; “Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Impairment in Functioning”; and “Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Treatment Landscape.” There are 172 tables, with information about “the mental health status of the U.S. population and prevalence of mental illness; providers and settings for behavioral health services, types of behavioral health services provided, and rates of utilization; number of facilities providing mental health and substance abuse services, and numbers of qualified specialty mental health and substance abuse providers; and expenditures and sources of funding for behavioral health services.” The report can be downloaded byclicking here.
Source: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2012BehavioralHealthUS/Index.aspx.

LERN Publishes First Report on National Survey of Peer-run Organizations, and Launches Support Groups for Undergrads with Lived Experience
The Lived Experience Research Network (LERN) has published a report on the role peer-run organizations are playing in the mental health system. Three hundred eighty peer-run programs participated. The report is available by clicking here. In addition, LERN recently announced a support group for undergraduates “who identify as consumers, current/former service users, and/or survivors.” “We welcome those who are currently enrolled, who are about to be enrolled, or who plan on returning to an undergraduate program in the near future,” they write. LERN additionally runs support groups for current graduate and post-graduate students. For more information or to join any of these groups, click here.
Source: http://www.lernetwork.org/

Mental Health Anthology Seeks Essays about “Profound Psychiatric Challenges”
For an upcoming anthology, In Fact Books is soliciting essays “by writers with insight into the nature and experience of profound psychiatric challenges” as users and/or providers of mental health services. The editors are seeking “well-written, true narratives about the enigmatic, creative, frustrating and triumphant moments of the recovery process and the therapeutic journey.” For further information and guidelines, see the source below. Essays may be submitted online or by regular mail; the postmark deadline is March 1, 2014.
Source: https://www.creativenonfiction.org/submissions/mental-health-anthology
Thanks to Rachelle Weiss

Award-Winning Video Game Helps Teens Who Have Depression, Says British Medical Journal
Sparx, a new video game that uses cognitive behavioral therapy methods to help teens who are experiencing depression, was selected by UNESCO as one of the top 10 digital innovations from around the world in 2013. It was featured on the cover of the British Medical Journal, which noted that the game “could be used to address some of the unmet demand for treatment” of adolescents with symptoms of depression. A free beta version of the game is available by clicking on the source below.
Source: http://www.linkedwellness.com

Is There a Journalist You Would Like to Honor? Here’s Your Chance.
The Sidney Hillman Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2014 Hillman Prizes, “an annual program that honors investigative journalism and commentary in the public interest. Winners exemplify sound news judgment, resourcefulness and courage in reporting, skilled storytelling, and social impact.” The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2014. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website at the source below.
Source: http://www.hillmanfoundation.org/2014-hillman-prize-nominations
Thanks to Yvonne Smith

Socioeconomic Factors Have the Greatest Impact on Health, Says CDC 
Socioeconomic factors – such as “poverty, [poor] education, [inadequate] housing, and inequality” – have the greatest impact on population health; and “clinical interventions, counseling and education” have the least impact, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pyramid chart. In the Huffington Post, Dr. Lloyd I. Sederer, medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health, writes that “while 30 percent of our health may be attributable to our genes, we now recognize ... that genes are turned on or off by their exposure to our environment and what we do and don’t do….” He writes: “Population health … can be led by a confederation of public health advocates, organized medicine, government, independent businesses, and patients and families. What seems out of reach is possible when so many players are on the same team.”
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lloyd-i-sederer-md/health-care_b_4455582.html
Thanks to NYAPRS E-News

Gen Ys Are More Accepting of Individuals with Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace Than Are Baby Boomers
New research on employers’ attitudes has found that Gen Ys are more inclined to hire and support an employee who has a mental health condition than are their Baby Boomer counterparts. The detailed report, which surveyed 276 small and medium enterprises across Australia on their willingness to employ job seekers with a mental health condition, found that 42 percent of Gen Ys would be likely to hire someone with a mental health condition, compared to 16 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed. “This stark contrast in attitudes from generation to generation is a significant finding, offering new hope to people with a mental illness as more Gen Ys gain roles with hiring authority,” said a spokesman for WISE Employment, which provides employment services under Australia’s Disability Employment Services and Job Services Australia (JSA) programs.
Source: http://www.wiseemployment.com.au/en/community/case-studies/gen-y-more-accepting-of-mental-illness-in-the-workplace-than-baby-boomers/

Psychiatrists Are Less Likely than Other Specialists to Accept Insurance
Psychiatrists are a lot less likely to accept insurance than are doctors in other specialties, according to a recent study by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers. The study found that only 55 percent of psychiatrists take private insurance, as opposed to 89 percent of other doctors, The New York Times reported. Similarly, 55 percent of psychiatrists took Medicare, compared with 86 percent of other doctors. Worst, the percentage of psychiatrists who accept Medicaid was only 43 percent, compared with 73 percent of other doctors. Although there is a push to expand mental health coverage, “unless patients have deep pockets, they may have a hard time finding a psychiatrist who will treat them,” the study’s lead author told the Times.
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/us/politics/psychiatrists-less-likely-to-accept-insurance-study-finds.html?_r=0

“150 Stories for 150 Years of Change” Project Seeks Submissions
A Civil War battleground memorial national park in Georgia seeks written experiences of significant social advancement in the areas of emotional, physical or intellectual disabilities/impairments; race and ethnicity; religion; gender and sexuality; and immigration experiences/issues. Stories will be displayed on the park’s website during the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Afterwards, the stories will be archived for the general public. “The ‘150 Stories’ project attempts to collect and curate stories that recount social change within our society,” according to a spokesperson for Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. Stories may be personal or “recollections of other’s experiences that you have witnessed,” from the past or present. The deadline for submissions is February 7, 2014. For more information or to submit a story, click on the source below.

Source: http://www.nps.gov/kemo/historyculture/stories.htm
Thanks to AJ French

GlaxoSmithKline Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Medications
GlaxoSmithKline, maker of the antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin, has agreed to stop paying doctors to promote its products, and will stop rewarding sales representatives based on how many prescriptions doctors write for its medications, The New York Times reports. This appears to be a “first” for a major drug manufacturer, the Times adds. The new protocol will go into effect worldwide by 2016. This announcement comes some 18 months after the giant drug manufacturer pled guilty to illegally promoting Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved and unsubstantiated off-label uses and failing to report safety data about Avandia, a diabetes drug, to the Food and Drug Administration. The company agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve federal criminal and civil inquiries.

Study Shows That “Affective Touch” May Be Vital to Mental Well-Being
A study by U.K. researchers, published online in Frontiers in Psychology, suggests that slow, light touch – which is perceived by the body as loving, or affective, touch – may be the key to creating and maintaining a healthy sense of self. The study, involving 52 “healthy adults,” tested four types of touch – synchronized and asynchronized slow, affective touch and a faster, neutral touch – using a common experimental technique called the “rubber hand illusion,” involving tricking participants’ brains into believing that a rubber hand is their own. When the participants were asked to report on their experience during the experiment, the results confirmed that participants were more likely to believe that the rubber hand was their own with affective touch than they were with the faster, neutral touch. “As affective touch is typically received from a loved one,” the lead researcher said, “these findings further highlight how close relationships involve behaviors that may play a crucial role in the construction of a sense of self.”
Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267237.php

Monthly National Networking Teleconferences Are Alternating 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 are 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, January 21, 2013, 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! (Because the third Monday of February is Presidents’ Day, the February call will take place on the fourth Monday, February 24, 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! If you would like a copy of the July, August, September, October and/or November 2013 minutes or would like to pre-order the December minutes, please write to srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Minutes” in the subject line.
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/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 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. 6, December 2013, http://www.mhselfhelp.org