News and Alerts
February 3 Deadline to Apply for New E-Learning Opportunity on Trauma-Informed Peer Support
SAMHSA’s National Center on Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC) is soliciting applications for a free, intensive, six-month Virtual Learning Community on Trauma-Informed Peer Support and Trauma-Informed Organizational Change. Five organizations across the country will be selected to participate. The deadline to apply is February 3, 2014, at 5 p.m. ET. For the application, click here. For more information, email Darby Penney at email@example.com.
CMS Proposes Eliminating Medicare Access to Mental Health Treatments; Comments Are Due by March 7
On January 6, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed removing antidepressants and immunosuppressants from the protected class status they received under Medicare Part D in 2015, and to remove antipsychotics from that status in 2016. “Despite growing public concern for the nation’s unmet mental health crisis, and a supposedly strong commitment to addressing this pressing need, the Administration stunned the mental health advocacy community by suddenly tacking in the opposite direction,” according to a National Council for Behavioral Health press release. You can submit comments on the proposed rule to CMS until March 7 by clicking here. At the same time, as of January 1, 2014, (as a result of the 2008 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, which required Medicare to start covering more of the cost of outpatient mental health services), seniors now only have to pay 20 percent of the cost of outpatient psychotherapy; Medicare now pays 80 percent (after a $147 deductible). This is the same percentage Medicare covers for most medical services, The New York Times reports.
Thanks to NYAPRS E-News
New from SAMHSA’s GAINS Center: Webinar Series on Evidence-Based Practices for Justice-Involved Persons, and Guidelines to Help These Individuals Rejoin the Community
SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation is offering a five-part webinar series on “Evidence-Based Practices for Justice-Involved Persons.” The first webinar took place on January 21; it is archived on the GAINS Center website. The four remaining webinars will take place February 18 (3 p.m. ET), March 11, April 8, and May 12. For more information, including a link to the archived January webinar and links to fact sheets on each of the topics, click here. In addition, SAMHSA’s GAINS Center has published “Guidelines for the Successful Transition of People with Behavioral Health Disorders from Jail and Prison.” To download a free copy, click here.
Individuals in Mental Health Crisis May Be Better Served in a Homelike Environment than in an ER, New Study Confirms
A new study by DePaul University researchers suggests that people experiencing a mental health crisis are better off receiving help in an alternative, recovery-oriented, homelike environment than in a traditional emergency department. "Hospital emergency departments are not set up for people with emotional problems. Most people with emotional distress come from a chaotic environment and need a safe or calm space to receive proper attention and treatment," said Mona Shattell, a co-author of the paper “A Recovery-Oriented Alternative to Hospital Emergency Departments For Persons in Emotional Distress: ‘The Living Room,’” published January 7 in Issues in Mental Health Nursing. The study interviewed participants in the Living Room, an outpatient, voluntary program “staffed with peer counselors who have experienced mental health issues and are specifically trained to treat the patients, who have responded well to that type of care because they see that recovery is possible," said Shattell. “The experiences of (emergency departments) for persons in emotional distress were characterized by feelings of insecurity, loneliness, intimidation, fear, and discomfort,” the study noted. Shattell added, “We need more facilities like The Living Room to help provide the care and attention people with emotional distress need to fully recover.”
BRSS TACS Offers a Webinar Series, and a Series of “First Fridays” to “Meet the Expert”
BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) is hosting a series of webinars on recovery-related topics, as well as a “Meet the Experts” teleconference series on the first Friday of every month. The 90-minute webinars, all beginning at 1 p.m. ET, will cover such subjects as “Ethics & Boundaries for Peer Leaders” (February 13), “Lessons Learned from 2013 BRSS TACS Awardees (April 10), “Support and Services for LGBT Youth in Recovery (May 8), “Why Should You Hire a Peer Specialist/Recovery Coach?” (July 17), and “Recovery-Oriented Services for Veterans” (August 14). The next three “Meet the Experts” teleconferences, each an hour long and beginning at noon ET, will feature Sandra Spencer of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (February 7), Phillip Valentine of the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (March 7), and Dan Fisher of the National Empowerment Center (April 4). For more information, click on the source below.
Virtual Career Fair to Help Job Seekers Who Have Disabilities Connect with Employers
Students, post-docs and alumni of two- and four-year colleges across the country are invited to attend the Bender Virtual Career Fair, on March 20, 2014; the event will help job seekers meet employers online in a time-efficient way. Click here to review the Virtual Job Fair Tutorial. “Get interviews without ever leaving your computer,” the sponsor says. Register before February 21 by clicking here.
ADS Center Offers Webinar on Affordable Care Act
On February 12, 2014, at 3 pm. ET, SAMHSA’s ADS Center will offer a free webinar entitled “Time to Get Insured: Learn the Who, What, Why, and How to Enroll in Health Insurance Through the Medicaid Expansion or the State or Federal Marketplace.” The ADS Center writes: “Join us to learn how to navigate the new insurance landscape and better equip yourself to enroll yourself, your family, your clients, or your loved ones in the new coverage available under the Affordable Care Act.” For more information, click here. To register, click here.
2014 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards Seek Nominations
The Viscardi Center has issued a “Call for Nominations” for the 2014 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards, which honor “exemplary leaders in the disability community who have had a profound impact on shaping attitudes, raising awareness and improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.” “Despite our significant contributions, people with disabilities continue to face considerable barriers,” said John D. Kemp, president and CEO of The Viscardi Center. “Our Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards are designed to recognize the tireless efforts being made on a daily basis to better integrate people with disabilities into everyday life and allow every person to achieve to their fullest potential.” Individuals of any age, with any type of disability, are eligible. Nominations are being accepted until February 28, 2014. For more information or to submit a nomination, click on the source below.
Free “Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators” Is Available
The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD), which recently launched its 12-month Affordable Care Act National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) website, has published a free technical assistance guide. The “Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators” will instruct navigators and other enrollment specialists about the special needs of people with disabilities who are shopping for health care insurance. To download the free guide, click here.
Mental Health Weekly, Jan. 20, 2014
Share Your Writing with 40,000 Readers
Social Justice Solutions – an organization born out of the Stony Brook School of Social Welfare’s commitment to active participation in creating a socially just world – wants to hear from you: “Submit blogs, news and news summaries, or just suggest a story you think we should cover. Please remember to include a link to the original story if you summarize. Click ‘Choose File’ under the ‘Send a text document’ box to send a file as your submission. Our editing staff will edit your submission and contact you with the time and link for your post.” For more information, write firstname.lastname@example.org. SJS also accepts submissions via its Facebook page: Facebook.com/socialjusticesolutions.
Thanks to the Surviving Spirit newsletter (Mike Skinner)
Five Upcoming Conferences to Mark on Your Calendar
As you are making plans for 2014, here are five conferences to keep on your radar screen. In chronological order, they are: The Tools for Change conference (March 7-8 at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco) is offering early registration until February 7. For more information (including about scholarship opportunities) or to register, click here. Registration is open for the Fourth International Conference on Families with Parental Mental Health Challenges, to be held April 25-27 at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, California. For more information or to register, click here. To submit a scholarship application (due by February 11, 2014), click here. The Eighth Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media will take place August 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. For more information, click here. The annual conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA), September 3-6, will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, SeaTac Airport, Seattle. A featured plenary session speaker will be award-winning civil rights attorney and author Susan Stefan. And the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) will host its annual conference in Atlanta October 13-14, with pre-conference institutes on October 11-12.
Sources: See the links above.
Do You Have Good Videos About Places Where People Recover?
If you have good videos about peer-run services that help people recover, share them with your U.S. senators and representatives, urges Ray Bridge, policy director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. “Right now,” Bridge said, “we need to educate people in Congress, as well as the public, [about] what our organizations and peers do and why recovery matters.” Bridge offered a video about Friends 4 Recovery Whole Health Center in North Chesterfield, Virginia, as an example. The video is available by clicking here. (It is the first segment of a longer PBS television program.)
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). Because the third Monday of February is Presidents’ Day, the February call will take place on the fourth Monday, February 24, 2014, 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 March 2014 call will be on Tuesday, March 18, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 pm. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT. The purpose of the call 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 Rogerssrogers@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 email@example.com; 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 and January minutes, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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. 7, January 2014, http://www.mhselfhelp.org.