News and Alerts
Plans Are Under Way for a March for Mental Health and Dignity on May 4, 2014!
A March for Mental Health and Dignity is being organized on May 4, 2014. Specifically, a number of marches – some of which may take the form of teach-ins or other events – are being organized around the country. According to Scott Spicer, one of the organizers, “So far we are looking at organizing events in California, Utah, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, and Texas.” There is a Facebook page where more information is available by clicking here. Scott writes: “Let us know if you want to organize something in your community. Organizers are welcome to use the logo and press release we have on here. I am willing to offer a website I run as a central space: www.riseforsocialchange.org. We are looking for national organizations to support this day to help get the word out about our events.”
Deadline Alert: Petra Foundation Award Nominations Are Due on March 3, 2014
The Petra Foundation “seeks out and champions unsung leaders who are making distinctive contributions to the rights, autonomy and dignity of millions who are marginalized in America.” According to the Foundation’s website, “individuals nominated for a Petra Foundation Award should display a combination of activism and thought, force of character, independence of judgment, and clarity of expression. The nominee’s activities should be devoted either to the cause of racial equality, with special emphasis on Native Americans and people of color; or to the autonomy of persons, groups, families, and communities; or to freedom of speech, expression, and thought.” To nominate someone for the 2014 Petra Foundation Award, click here.
Thanks to Mike Skinner and the Surviving Spirit Newsletter
Three Exciting Conferences Issue Calls for Presentations
Three upcoming conferences are soliciting presentation proposals. To apply to present a workshop at the next annual conference of NARPA (National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy) – in Seattle, at theDoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, SeaTac Airport, Sept. 3-6, 2014 – click here. Suggested topics include rights issues, strategies against forced treatment, seclusion and restraint, forensic issues, and more. The deadline for proposals is April 15, 2014. For more information or for questions, contact Ann Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-650-0311).For more information about applying to present at the Seventh Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media (Aug. 19-21, 2014, in Atlanta), click here. Submissions focusing on the areas of health communication, social marketing, media, partnerships, public health policy communication, and other topic areas that relate to the multi-disciplinary nature of this conference are sought. The deadline for submissions is March 16, 2014. And to apply to present at the 20th Annual Zarrow Mental Health Symposium (Sept. 18-29, 2014, in Tulsa, Oklahoma), click here. The deadline for applications is March 10.
Upcoming Webinar to Focus on Connecting Justice-Involved Individuals with Benefits
The Council of State Governments Justice Center is offering a 90-minute webinar on “SSI/SSDI and Medicaid: Powerful Tools for Reentry Success” on March 12, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET. “Connecting individuals with serious mental illnesses and other disabilities who are involved with the criminal justice system to benefits and programs for which they are eligible through Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Medicaid can ease the reentry process and has been demonstrated to lower recidivism rates. This webinar will provide an overview of eligibility criteria and the enrollment process for these benefits; discuss the federal SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) training program as a way to improve enrollment; and offer success stories and lessons learned from the field." To register, click here.
Voting for 2014 Scattergood Innovation Award Finalists Is Open Through March 17
The judges for the Scattergood Foundation 2014 Innovation Awards have selected 15 finalists out of a field of more than a hundred nominees. You can help choose the winner by voting (until March 17, 2014) – and you can vote for more than one finalist! Two contenders seem especially worthy: The National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment’s Coming Out Proud initiative, and LERN (Lived Experience Research Network). The project that receives the most votes will get the prize, accompanied by a check for $25,000.
Historic Newspaper of the Mental Patients’ Liberation Movement Is Now Available!
The entire archive of Madness Network News (MNN), an iconic newspaper published by the psychiatric survivor movement beginning in 1972, is now available for review and purchase, thanks to two longtime movement activists. With the support and approval of MNN co-founder Leonard Roy Frank and the help of fellow activist Ron Schraiber, David Gonzalez resized the original 11”x17” format to 8.5”x11”, assembled the complete collection of 45 issues into seven soft-cover books, and then transformed each of the issues into an e-book. Click here to visit the archive, view the covers and read sample pages, request specific articles and/or covers for review or citation, view videos of movement leaders describing their experiences with psychiatric hospitalization, and leave your comments on the site’s blog. Click here for more information about how to purchase all or parts of the Madness Network News archive. Hard-copy volumes cost $19.95 each; single issue e-books are $1.99.
Lived Experience and Work Seniority Improve Outlook of Mental Health Professionals
A recent University of Washington survey of 731 mental health professionals found that mental health workers who had at least a four-year college degree, a job with greater seniority, and a mental health condition themselves had more positive attitudes about people with mental health problems than did those who did not share these qualifications. “The finding that stands out the most is that almost a third of mental health professionals disclosed that they received a diagnosis of mental illness in the past,” said Jennifer Stuber, the study’s lead author. “This . . . has implications for how we think of the relevance of that experience in recruiting for a mental health workforce.” Overall, mental health workers held more positive attitudes about individuals with mental health conditions than did the general public, the study found. However, “stigmatizing attitudes still exist,” Stuber said.
Three More Great Conferences Are on the Agenda!
Mark your calendars for March, April and June 2014 for conferences in Santa Fe (New Mexico), Albany (New York), and Baltimore, respectively. ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership will host its annual summit, “Leading the Future of Health,” March 26-28. For more information, click here. The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) is presenting its 10th Annual Executive Seminar on Systems Transformation – “Managing Care: Managing Change” – April 24-25 at the Hilton Albany in Albany, New York. For more information, click here. For the full program, click here. And the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association is hosting its Recovery Workforce Summit: PRA 2014 Annual Conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Baltimore June 22-25. For more information, click here.
These Websites Showcase Stories of Courage, Empowerment and Change
Three websites offer a broad spectrum of individuals sharing their stories of recovery. On OC87 Recovery Diaries, you can view mini-documentaries, video diaries, articles and posts through which individuals in recovery tell “brave, honest and inspiring stories that embrace the drama of everyday life, and reveal the thoughts and passions of people living with mental health challenges.” “Thirty years after mental illness interrupted his dream of a film-making career, Bud Clayman created OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie – a “feature-length documentary of pain and vulnerability, empowerment, and Bud's quest for belonging.” OC87 Recovery Diaries “wants to continue that conversation.” Recovery stories can also be viewed on MindFreedom International’s I Got Better website, as well as on Optum’s website. According to the latter (click here), “… we offer the following video testimonials by real consumers sharing their experiences in treatment and how they have benefited from peer support. These heart-felt stories offer encouragement and hope, and demonstrate that people in recovery can and do live fulfilling lives.”
National Suicide Prevention Plan Has Been Released
In February 2014, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force (RPTF) released A Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention: An Action Plan to Save Lives, available by clicking here, which outlines the research areas that show the most promise in helping to reduce the rates of suicide attempts and deaths in the next five to 10 years, “if optimally implemented,” according to the Task Force’s website. As a companion piece to the Prioritized Research Agenda, the RPTF also developed a Suicide Research Prioritization Plan of Action, which outlines the research pathways and short- and long-term objectives presented in the full Prioritized Research Agenda. These documents are available for download by clicking on the above links or from the source below. The Action Alliance is also seeking feedback on its “Comprehensive Blueprint for Workplace Suicide Prevention.” For more information, click here.
MHA Publishes Affordable Care Act Toolkit
Mental Health America has published a “toolkit” to help people understand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how it affects them. MHA writes: “Significantly, ACA compels equal coverage of mental health and addiction services that were borne out of the enactment of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act. Mental health and addiction services are among the 10 categories that serve as components of the “Essential Health Benefits (EHB)” package that must be offered in the marketplace. With the enactment of ACA, America has the ability to create a reformed health care system that provides comprehensive, culturally, and linguistically appropriate behavioral health services and supports. Furthermore, ACA provides the behavioral health services on par with physical health services; and it allows for the availability of preventive services at no cost to the beneficiary.” To download the toolkit, visit the source below.
Two Fashion Retailers Suspend Sales of Controversial Garments After Public Outcry
Two popular retailers have come under attack as a result of selling clothing imprinted with slogans related to behavioral health conditions. Urban Outfitters pulled a top imprinted with the word “depression” in bold letters from its shelves and apologized after a barrage of complaints that the store was “making mental illness a fashion statement.” And Kitson, a retailer in Los Angeles, was selling sweatshirts and jerseys designed to look like sports uniforms with the names of such drugs as Adderall, Vicodin and Xanax accompanied by a two-digit number – until the manufacturers of these drugs threatened to sue.
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 March call will take place on the third Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 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 April 2014 call will be on Monday, April 21, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.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 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, and/or November 2013 minutes and/or the February 2014 minutes, or would like to pre-order the December 2013 and January 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. 8, February 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.