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The Key Update, Volume 11, Number 1 July 2014

New Deadline for Alternatives 2014 Early Bird Registration: August 15!

Plenary Session Speakers Are Announced! Spanish Registration Form Is Available!

The deadline for Early Bird registration ($375) for Alternatives 2014 has been extended to August 15! The 28th annual Alternatives conference will be held at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida, October 22-26, 2014. And something new: Alternatives 2014 is launching AlternaTalks – lively and inspiring 18-minute presentations from the speakers during the morning plenary sessions. These speakers, all of whom have lived experience, and have national and international reputations in the mental health advocacy arena, include (alphabetically) Khatera Aslami-TamplenGina CalhounLeah HarrisErme MaulaHarvey Rosenthal and Sharon Wise. There will also be a youth plenary, which will highlight the great work being done by the nation’s youth advocates to improve systems, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and help other young people experiencing mental health challenges. To register for the conference, visit https://sites.google.com/a/mhasp.org/alternatives-2014/registration. For the Registration Form in Spanish, click here. Suggestions for seeking funding are available on the conference website if you click here. (In addition, SAMHSA will be awarding some scholarships, and the application process will be announced soon.) The deadline to apply for a caucus is August 15. For the caucus application, click here. The deadline to sign up for an exhibit table is September 15: click here. For more information about the conference, please visit the Alternatives 2014 website: http://alternatives2014.mhasp.org.


Provide Feedback on SAMHSA's "Leading Charge 2.0" by August 18, 2014

" 'Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015-2018’ is ready for your feedback,” the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration writes. “This strategic plan outlines work to increase the awareness and improve understanding about mental and substance use disorders, promote emotional health and wellness and the prevention of substance abuse and mental illness, increase access to effective treatment, and support recovery. An important component of the plan is the prioritization of six Strategic Initiatives and the linkages between these initiatives and SAMHSA’s policy, programmatic, and financial planning. At its core, this plan offers a framework for planning around common categories of initiatives that enable cross-collaboration and organization of SAMHSA’s work.” To download “Leading Change 2.0,” click here. To provide feedback, click here.

BRSS TACS Offers First Friday Technical Assistance Calls with Experts

BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) hosts a monthly “Adobe Connect” technical assistance call on the first Friday of each month. The next call will take place TOMORROW, August 1, 2014, on “Gender-Responsive, Trauma-Informed Supports for Women.” Participants can join by calling the phone number provided and entering the “Adobe Connect Room” online by clicking the link provided. You need to download Adobe Connect on your computer prior to the event. For more information or to register, click here.


iNAPS Seeks Responses to its Survey of Education, Compensation, and Satisfaction

The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is conducting a survey of peer support provider education, compensation, and satisfaction. There are two versions of the survey: one for peer support practitioners and the other for agencies/organizations that provide peer support services. “Peer support,” the iNAPS website notes, “is being provided in many different ways in different states, in different settings, and at different organizational levels for different populations. It has evolved so quickly and in so many different directions that it is hard to get a clear picture of what peer support is really like in the workforce in 2014.” The survey has been created to get a clearer picture. For more information or to help disseminate or participate in the survey, click here. Responses are due by Aug. 31.


National Wellness Week Initiative Seeks Creative Work

As part of National Wellness Week, Sept. 15-21, 2014, you are invited to submit a piece of original creative work expressing what wellness means in your life and for your communities. Submissions are due by August 29. This initiative is hosted by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center. For more information, click here.


Suicide Attempt Survivors Publish Recommendations on Reducing Suicide Attempts and Deaths

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has published a white paper written by the Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force. It’s called “The Way Forward: Pathways to hope, recovery, and wellness with insights from lived experience,” and it covers recommendations based on evidence-based practices for ways to reduce suicide attempts and deaths. “The Way Forward,” according to the group’s co-leaders, “is an opportunity to benefit from the lived experience of suicide attempt survivors. Many of its recommendations are derived from evidence-based practices, and several are aspirational. All are grounded in the evidence of recovery and resiliency that is clear in the lives of our Task Force members. Viewing suicide prevention through the lens of the eight core values presented in ‘The Way Forward’ can help us enhance safety while also bringing hope and meaning to those in suicidal despair.” The document is available for free download at this link.


Two Upcoming Webinars in August Focus on Youth and Asian Communities, Respectively

On August 6, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, SAMHSA’s ADS Center will host a webinar entitled “Diverse Promising Practices for Engaging Youth Before and During Times of Emotional Distress: Youth, Family and School Perspectives.” “How do we create safe and supportive communities that engage youth? How can young people, their parents, and school districts support student well-being? These questions and others will be explored as we hear diverse perspectives on creating communities where youth feel safe and accepted.” For more information or to register, click here. And, on August 27 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET, the STAR Center will host a webinar entitled “Engaging Asian, South Asian & Pacific Islander Communities.” The presenters will be Chacku Mathai, CPRP, director of the STAR Center; Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS, founder and president of ASHA International, and Can Truong, consultant, Can Consulting. For registration information, please contact tnaranjo@nami.org.


New Initiative Seeks to Spread Messages of Hope

The Project Hope Exchange is collecting 30-second messages of hope from survivors of various kinds of adversity to share with others in the same boat. According to the Project Hope Exchange website, “We at the Adversity 2 Advocacy Alliance and Life Vest Inside [are] thrilled to be partnering to offer you this unique and powerful opportunity. Through Project Hope Exchange, we are collecting, aggregating and sharing 30-second audio messages FROM individuals who have survived some kind of adversity to others who are currently facing that same adversity. And at the heart of our exchange are real human voices. We hope you’ll add yours!” Click here for a video to see how it works. To leave a message of hope, call the Project Hope Exchange HopeLine: 1-855-975-HOPE (4673).


“The Myth of Mental Illness and Gun Violence” Appears in Forbes 

A piece published on June 28 in Forbes (click here) reports on a new article in the Annals of Epidemiology (click here) that “pulls together the facts we need to consider if we really want to adopt evidence-based policies to reduce random gun violence.” The Forbes piece quotes Jeffrey W. Swanson, a Duke University School of Medicine professor of psychiatry and lead author of the Annals of Epidemiology article, saying “but even if schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression were cured, our society’s problem of violence would diminish by only about 4 percent.” Said the Forbes author, “That is not very much. When people with mental illness do act violently it is typically for the same reasons that people without mental illness act violently. If you take comfort … in the myth we can attenuate gun violence by fixing our broken mental health care delivery system then it is time once again to be afraid.”


Mark Your Calendars for Five Upcoming National Conferences!

Following is information about three national conferences coming up in September and two in October! First is the Annual Rights Conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA), to be held Sept. 3-6, 2014, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, SeaTac Airport, in Seattle. The registration form, including a list of the conference keynote speakers, is available if you click here. Mental Health America will hold its annual conference Sept. 10-12, 2014, at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta. For more information, click here. NYAPRS will hold its annual conference at the Hudson Valley Resort & Conference Center in Kerhonkson, N.Y., Sept. 17-19, 2014. For more information, click here. And the 2014 national conference of the International Association of Peer Supporters will take place at the Sheraton Airport Gateway Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, Oct. 13-14, 2014. For more information, click here. For more information about Alternatives 2014, Oct. 22-26, see the first item of this newsletter.


New White Paper on Employment and Mental Health Conditions Recommends Policy Fixes

This month, NAMI came out with a white paper making recommendations to improve the employment rate for individuals with mental health conditions. The document, Road to Recovery: Employment and Mental Illness, which notes that the national unemployment rate for individuals receiving public mental health services is approximately 80 percent, highlights model programs around the country and proposes model legislation for states. To download a free copy of the report, cut and paste the following link into your browser: http://tinyurl.com/ksumkl5 or enter “Road to Recovery: Employment and Mental Illness” into Google.


Partnership Between the Mental Health and Faith Communities Is Launched

On July 11, more than 40 national mental health and religious leaders launched the Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership, which will help train the religious community about behavioral health issues and educate psychiatrists about the role that spirituality may play in recovery. “This partnership recognizes that what’s important is the health of the whole person,” said former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a participant in the dialogue. “With this partnership, faith and mental health leaders will be better equipped to understand the totality of an individual’s needs and values.” For more information, click here.


Monthly National Networking Teleconferences Alternate Between Day and Evening

The monthly national networking teleconferences of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-HelpClearinghouse 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 August 2014 call will be on Monday, August 18, 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 September call will take place the third Tuesday, September 16, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT. The purpose of the calls 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 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, November and/or December 2013 minutes and/or the February, April, May, June or July 2014 minutes, please write to srogers@mhasp.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 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 11, No. 1, July 2014, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct) or srogers@mhasp.org.