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The Key Update, Volume 9, Number 9 - March 2013

Extended Deadlines for Award Nominations Approach

Four award deadlines have been extended. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has pushed the deadline for 2013 Voice Award nominations to this Friday, March 29: “If you know a consumer/peer leader who has led efforts to promote the social inclusion of people with behavioral health problems; personally demonstrated that recovery is real and possible; and made a positive impact on his/her community, workplace, or school, please nominate him/her for a 2013 Voice Award.” The nomination form is available at the first source below. (Additionally, you can nominate a TV or film production that contains “a dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayal of people with mental health and/or substance use disorders.” The deadline for these nominations is April 15, 2013.) Meanwhile, Mental Health America (MHA) has just extended the deadline for its 2013 Sandy Brandt Volunteer, Youth Advocacy, and Clifford Beers awards to April 15. For more information about MHA’s awards, go to the second source below.

Sources: http://www.samhsa.gov/voiceawards/ 


TU Collaborative Publishes Guide to Help People Find and Keep Jobs

“A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work” has been published by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion. The Guide, available athttp://tucollaborative.org/pdfs/Toolkits_Monographs_Guidebooks/employment_circles_of_support/Facilitators_Manual.pdf, offers “encouragement and vital information on the importance of work, the availability of rehabilitation programs, the ins and outs of the Social Security Administration's work incentives, the challenges of starting a new job and grappling with disclosure, and strategies for long-term success at work – and more.” The TU Collaborative has also published a “Facilitator’s Manual,” available athttp://tucollaborative.org/pdfs/Toolkits_Monographs_Guidebooks/employment_circles_of_support/Facilitators_Manual.pdf

Source: http://tucollaborative.org/resources/resources.html#employment


BRSS TACS Offers Peer-Run Reorganization/Recovery Community Organization Awards

SAMHSA’s BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) initiative is offering six Peer-Run Organization/Recovery Community Organization Awards. Six applicants will be chosen to receive $25,000, six-month subcontracts to develop/adapt and disseminate information to promote best practices and emerging practices in peer-driven recovery supports, provide training and educational activities, or plan/develop infrastructure to establish peer-delivered recovery supports. In addition, BRSS TACS will provide the six recipients with technical assistance and training. Information about the award opportunity is available at the following link: http://brsstacs.center4si.com/PeerRunOrgAward_2013_RFA.doc. The deadline for applications is April 25, 2013.

Source: http://brsstacs.center4si.com/PeerOrgAward_2013_Letter.pdf


SAMHSA Offers Reports on Incidence of Smoking among Individuals with Mental Health Conditions

Adults with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders account for some 40 percent of all cigarettes that are smoked, despite being roughly a quarter of the general population, studies show. In February 2013, SAMHSA issued a joint “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (available here: http://smokingcessationleadership.ucsf.edu/mmwr_vital_signs_mental_illness_2-5-2013_cdc.pdf?utm_source=Special+Commentary+SAMHSA+Report+March+21+2013&utm_campaign=SAMHSA+NSDUH+SAS+commentary&utm_medium=email) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the high prevalence of smoking among those with mental health conditions. A new report – published on March 20, 2013, and available here http://smokingcessationleadership.ucsf.edu/Downloads/samhsa_nsduh_march2013.pdf?utm_source=Special+Commentary+SAMHSA+Report+March+21+2013&utm_campaign=SAMHSA+NSDUH+SAS+commentary&utm_medium=email – adds additional information.

Source: http://smokingcessationleadership.ucsf.edu/


Mental Health America Seeks Stories About Parity Violations

Mental Health America (MHA) is asking behavioral health care consumers or providers who have experienced a parity violation – that is, insurance plans denying or more strictly managing behavioral health treatment services than other services covered in the plan – to submit their stories via email. MHA writes: “Although the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) was enacted over four years ago, a final rule implementing the law has not yet been issued.” MHA is hoping to make sure these practices are clearly prohibited in the final rule by asking those who have experienced parity violations to report them to the Administration. For more information, see the source below. 

Source: https://secure2.convio.net/nmha/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=740


Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Offers Free PowerPoint on Photovoice

The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation (CPR) is offering a free PowerPoint presentation on PhotoVoice, http://www.photovoice.org/, which the PhotoVoice website describes as “Participatory Photography for Social Change.” PhotoVoice helps people make their voices heard by giving them cameras and inviting them to produce statements consisting of pictures and words that communicate their experience. The February/March 2013 edition of the CPR e-newsletter also offers links to publications entitled “Predictors of financial self-sufficiency among Social Security beneficiaries with psychiatric disabilities” and “A Synthesis of the Research Literature on Job Accommodations for People with Psychiatric Disabilities (1990-2010).” Both of these documents are available at the source below.

Source: http://www.bu.edu/cpr/resources/ecast/archive/2013/CPR_eCast_feb_2013.pdf


AP Stylebook Adds Progressive Entry on Mental Illness

In a step toward better mental health reporting, the Associated Press (AP) has added an entry on mental illness to its widely used stylebook. “The Newtown tragedy was certainly among the reasons we considered adding this entry, as well as the other mass shootings where the state of the shooter was an issue,” AP spokesperson Paul Colford told Mental Health Weekly. Among other things, the new guidelines state, “Do not assume that mental illness is a factor in a violent crime, and verify statements to that effect.” For the entire entry, see the link at the source below.

Sources: http://www.ap.org/content/press-release/2013/entry-on-mental-illness-is-added-to-ap-stylebook
Mental Health Weekly, March 18, 2013


While Acknowledging Discrimination, Americans Have “Mixed Feelings” About Individuals with Mental Health Conditions

A new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that, of 1,209 Americans polled, 76 percent acknowledge that individuals with mental health conditions experience prejudice and discrimination. At the same time, according to Kaiser Health News, the poll found that “66 percent of parents said they would be ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ uncomfortable if a person with a serious mental illness worked in their child’s school. Forty-seven percent said they would be uncomfortable living next door to someone with a serious mental illness, and 41 percent said they were uncomfortable working with someone who has a serious mental illness.” 

Source: http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/index.php/2013/02/americans-uncomfortable-around-mentally-ill-despite-acknowledging-discrimination/


SAMHSA-HRSA Center Offers Research Supporting Integrated Health Services

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) – which “promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral health services to better address the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use conditions” – offers “a variety of new, notable, and seminal research related to integrated health services design and provision, consumer experience, and cost,” according to its website, available at the source below.

Source: http://www.integration.samhsa.gov/research


APHA Devotes an Entire Issue to Discrimination and Stigma

The American Journal of Public Health is devoting an entire issue to covering stigma and discrimination against people with mental health conditions, a topic that the American Public Health Association (APHA), which publishes the journal, calls “traditionally under-researched and under-reported.” Among the research and commentaries that will be included in the issue are the following: “Global public understanding of mental illness high, yet social stigma persist”; “Commentary: Anti-stigma programs needed to supplement laws made to protect persons with mental illness”; “Public stigma can lead to psychological distress among transgender populations; peer support may be the remedy.” These articles (not yet posted) will be available online athttp://ajph.aphapublications.org/toc/ajph/0/0, and are currently scheduled to appear in the May 2013 print issue of the Journal. If you are not a member of the press or of APHA, or a subscriber, online single issue access is $30 and online single article access is $22. 

Source: http://www.newswise.com/articles/mental-health-stigma-addressed-in-historic-am-jrnl-of-pub-health-issue


DBSA Offers Two New Video Series on YouTube

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has developed two new video series. “Out of the Blue: The Many Faces of Depression” includes interviews with six individuals about their experiences with depression. “Bipolar Disorder Education Video Library” covers such topics as “Triggers and Warning Signs,” “Stigma and Disclosure,” “Medication and Side Effects,” and “Coping Skills for Family and Friends.” The two series are available at the sources below, respectively.

Sources: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkEyLB5TkXVK8ioW0K0v2tAfZvSXSbxcD


New York Times Offers Tips for Finding a Helpful Therapist

A March 25, 2013, article in The New York Times identifies a problem called “therapist drift”: that many therapists use “a kind of dim-sum approach” derived more from the therapists’ “biases and training” than from the latest research. “A large number of people with mental health problems that could be straightforwardly addressed are getting therapies that have very little chance of being effective,” one researcher told the Times. According to the article, experts recommend asking prospective therapists about their training; the professional associations they belong to (so that, for instance, if you are interested in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), you can find out if the therapist belongs to the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, to which most top CBT researchers belong, according to the Times); how they keep up with research for treating the condition in question; how they know that their treatment works; whether they consider their approach eclectic (because therapists with an eclectic approach are “less likely to adhere to evidence-based treatments”); what manuals they use; and what data they can provide about their outcomes. “A clinician who can’t tell you how many patients get well isn’t going to care that much if you get well,” the researcher told The Times.

Source: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/looking-for-evidence-that-therapy-works/?ref=health


You Are Invited to a Monthly National Networking Teleconference!

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse invites you to participate in our monthly national networking teleconferences. The next teleconference is Monday, April 15, at 1 p.m. ET. The calls usually take place the third Monday of every month at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, noon Central Time, 11 a.m. Mountain Time, and 10 a.m. Pacific Time. However, if the third Monday is a national holiday, the call takes place on the fourth Monday. 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! Again, the next call will take place on Monday, April 15, 2013, 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.

Source: http://www.mhselfhelp.org


Do You Operate, or Know of, a Warm Line?

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is assembling a list of warm lines around the country. If you operate or know of a warm line, please share this information with us by emailing info@mhselfhelp.org or calling 800-553-4539.


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/, 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 9 No.9, December 2012, http://www.mhselfhelp.org