News and Alerts
Save the Date for Alternatives 2014!
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is currently negotiating with a hotel in Orlando, Florida, to hold a national mental health conference on the dates of Wednesday, October 22, 2014, through Sunday, October 26, 2014, with the potential for a pre-conference institute on October 20-21, 2014. The Alternatives conference approval is in process with SAMHSA and it is expected that it will be completed soon. We wanted to make sure everyone knew about the great location and the October dates! We hope to see you there! If you are not already a member, join the Alternatives Conference Announcements Facebook page (click here) to make sure you get the most up-to-date information!
Plans Are Under Way for a March for Dignity on May 4, 2014!
A March for Dignity is being organized on May 4, 2014. Specifically, a number of events (not all of them marches) are being organized around the country. Click here for the Facebook page. 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.” As part of this event, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse/Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania is sponsoring a showing of “Of Two Minds,” followed by a panel discussion including one of the stars of the documentary and one of the filmmakers, at Temple University at 3 p.m. on May 4. For details, contact email@example.com.
Employment Issues to Be Covered by BRSS TACS Teleconference
On April 4 at noon until 1 p.m. ET, BRSS TACS is offering an opportunity to speak with Dan Fisher, M.D., Ph.D, a founder of the National Empowerment Center and the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, about “Hiring Persons with Lived Experience within the Behavioral Healthcare System.” Participants can join by clicking here and by calling 888-407-5039; PIN 556-82-342.
Exciting Video Documentary About the Movement for Social Justice Seeks Backers!
The following comes from documentarian Patrick Hendry: “Help Mental Health America fund our exciting video documentary, From Asylums to Recovery – The Fight for Civil Rights and Humane Treatment for People in the Mental Health Care System…. The documentary is a compelling history of the consumer/survivor movement in the United States from 1960 to the present … Please visit our project pages on Kickstarter and donate whatever you can to ensure that this important story is brought into the light. Please share the link with friends and family and urge them to join us in producing this incredible documentary. This project will only be on Kickstarter for 45 days … On the Kickstarter site, you can watch our 90-second trailer and also link to the first 24 minutes of the overall project.”
Too Many Recovery Stories? No Such Thing!
The more stories of mental health recovery that can inspire us, the better! Now comes the Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fremont, Calif., with Stories of Recovery: a video series featuring real, honest, and inspirational stories of mental health recovery. Among the story-tellers are such leaders of the movement for social justice as Sally Zinman, Jay Mahler and Linford Gayle. The site also links to other video collections of recovery stories, such as MindFreedom International’s I Got Better campaign and the Recovery Stories webpage at the Douglas Mental Health Institute, McGill University in Montreal. The website also includes links to non-video recovery stories. Stories of Recovery is a project of PEERS (Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services). For inquiries, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You Artistic? Here Are Two Outlets for Your Creativity!
The Painted Brain, “a peer-driven arts organization,” is seeking reporters, photographers, videographers, cartoonists and critics. Click here for the elevator pitch. You can submit your work to email@example.com. “Submissions need to include an image with a caption, and credit to go with your story, and a title for your piece,” depending on your medium. The Painted Brain is an online publication as well as a printed magazine. At the same time, the Mad Ms. Video Project – open to “all American women artists who have experience with mental illness and a flawed American mental health system” – are invited to participate in a group video project by New York City artist Marni Kotak “to talk about their experiences with psychiatric drugs, voluntary or involuntary treatment in public or private hospitals or community psychiatric facilities, and/or private psychiatrists; as well as how their illness effects their lives, and what they do to stay happy and healthy.” Kotak will edit the final work, to be presented at an upcoming New York City exhibition. Interested? Contact Marni Kotak at firstname.lastname@example.org before April 30, 2014.
Thanks to NCMHR for the Mad Ms. Video Project item
“Text, Talk, Act to Improve Mental Health” on April 24
An “hour-long event that uses text messaging to get people talking about mental health and encourage them to take action” will take place on April 24. “Text, Talk, Act,” organized by Creating Community Solutions, encourages young people to discuss mental health issues with their peers; however, it is open to people of any age. The instructions say: “At any time on April 24th, gather 3-4 of your friends, family, classmates, students, and/or colleagues; text ‘start’ to 89800.” You will receive polling and discussion questions via text messaging while engaging in a face-to-face dialogue with your group; the process takes one hour. Creating Community Solutions is part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health. For more information, click here.
EEOC Creates an Exception to the Americans with Disabilities Act
New regulations will require federal contractors to ask employees if they have a disability. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), new U.S. regulations “require for the first time that federal contractors [with 50 or more employees or more than $50,000 in government work] – a group that includes Boeing Co., Dell Inc. and AT&T Inc., among some 40,000 others – ask their employees if they have a disability. Those that don’t employ a minimum of 7% disabled workers, or can’t prove they are taking steps to achieve that goal, could face penalties and, in the most extreme cases, the loss of their contracts, according to a government official.” (The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has made an exception to the Americans with Disabilities Act for this purpose, the WSJ reports.) For more information, click on the source below.
Nominate Someone for a 2014 SAMHSA Voice Award and/or the 2014 Lienhard Award and Sarnat Prize
Two awards programs are seeking nominations. SAMHSA’s Voice Awards Program is soliciting nominations for “consumer/peer leaders and television and film professionals who educate the public about behavioral health,” SAMHSA writes. The focus this year is on young adults, so both individual and media nominees that involve young adults will receive special consideration. The nomination deadline for both awards is April 18. For more information about the peer leadership awards, click here. For more information about the television and film awards, click here. Meanwhile, the Institute of Medicine is accepting nominations for The Gustav O. Lienhard Award and The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health. The Lienhard Award “recognizes individuals for outstanding achievement in improving health care services in the United States.” The Sarnat Prize “recognizes individuals, groups or organizations for outstanding achievement in improving mental health.” Nominations will be accepted through May 5. For more information, click here.
FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Distributing “Publications on Unapproved New Uses” of Drugs and Medical Devices; Comments Welcome
The Food and Drug Administration is accepting comments on its draft “Guidance for Industry: Distributing Scientific and Medical Publications on Unapproved New Uses – Recommended Practices,” available at this link. The comment page is available at this link. According to the FDA website, “This draft guidance revises the final guidance titled ‘Good Reprint Practices for the Distribution of Medical Journal Articles and Medical or Scientific Reference Publications on Unapproved New Uses of Approved Drugs and Approved or Cleared Medical Devices’ published in January 2009.” Comments are due by May 2, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
SAMHSA Offers Free Access to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data
“Did you know you have free access to substance abuse and mental health data from major data collection systems through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive?” For more information, click on the source below.
“Coming Out Proud to Eliminate the Stigma of Mental Illness” Available for Free Download
The National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment has made available a variety of resources on eliminating the discrimination and prejudice associated with mental health conditions. Most recently, they have published an 83-page manual, available for free download by clicking here. For more information on this and related subjects, click on the source below.
Thanks to Cheryl Sharp
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 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 call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The May call will take place on Tuesday, May 20, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. 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 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 2014 minutes, or would like to pre-order the January and March 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 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 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. 9, March 2014, http://www.mhselfhelp.org.