Key Update: October 2012
Volume 9, Number 4


News and Alerts

Toolkit on the Presidential Health Care Plans Is Available

The Alliance for Health Reform is offering a toolkit to help voters sort out the positions of the presidential candidates. “The resources in this new Toolkit will help you to move beyond the rhetoric,” according to the website. The toolkit includes an explanation of the candidates’ positions; key facts about the status of health care coverage, Medicare and Medicaid; links to news articles and reports explaining and analyzing the proposals and listing advisers to the candidates; and a list of health care experts who understand the plans and their implications. The toolkit is available at the source below.

Source: http://www.allhealth.org/pubs_toolkits.asp
Thanks to NYAPRS Enews

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New ‘White Paper’ Is Published on ‘Addressing Stigma in the Workforce’

The Café TA Center’s latest publication reviews the relationship between the workplace and the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health conditions. According to the Café TA Center’s website, the white paper – “Workforce Development: Stigma in the Workplace” – “explores how stigma works, how individuals can deal with disclosure, and measures employers can take to create a stigma-free environment.” The white paper is available through a link at the source below.

http://cafetacenter.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Workforce-Development-stigma-final.pdf

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Effort to Develop National Practice Standards for Peer Specialists Gains Momentum

More than 300 people from across the U.S. have responded to an invitation to help develop national practice standards for peer supporters, according to Steve Harrington, executive director of the National Association of Peer Specialists (NAPS). “This early response has been overwhelming,” he said, adding that the project is vital because “if we don’t define our own profession now, it will be defined for us.” The long-term initiative, which begins with widespread input from the field, will result in a set of standards, based on recovery and peer support values, that will guide peer support practice and job descriptions, he explained. The standards will be sufficiently broad to apply to peer support in a variety of settings yet specific enough to be meaningful. “These will be minimum standards, and states and provider organizations will create standards that will be more specific to suit their local needs,” Harrington said. NAPS is collaborating with the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, the National Empowerment Center, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, the Development Services Group (which manages SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice Project, the stimulus for the national standards project) and many other organizations that focus on substance use and addictions recovery. NAPS is developing a strategic plan and is forming workgroups, as well as an advisory group to help guide the project. The documents, a survey, and a link to the NAPS Facebook page are available at the source below. For more information, email naps-standards@naops.org.

Source: http://na4ps.wordpress.com/national-standards/

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International Organization Launches New Website on Integrative Approach to Mental Health Treatment

The International Network of Integrative Mental Health (INIMH), which endorses an integrative approach to mental health treatment, has launched a new website (http://www.inimh.org) with links to resources on integrative mental healthcare; expert-hosted forums; a comprehensive searchable mental healthcare library; and the opportunity for clinicians, researchers and the public to network. According to a press release, INIMH, founded in 2010, brings together mental health experts who believe in improving mental health outcomes for patients by combining complementary and mainstream medicine. The practice of "integrative mental healthcare" uses an integrated approach to addressing biological, psychological, and sociological determinants of mental illness. A combination of mainstream interventions such as medications and psychosocial interventions with evidence-based non-conventional approaches (such as nutritional medicine, dietary and exercise modification, acupuncture, select herbal medicines, and mindfulness meditation) are often prescribed.

Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/worlds-first-network-on-integrative-mental-health-to-improve-patient-outcomes-173120621.html

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NCD Issues ‘Groundbreaking’ Report on Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has issued a policy study entitled “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children,” which provides “a comprehensive overview of factors that support and obstruct Americans with all kinds of disabilities from exercising their fundamental right to begin and maintain families,” according to the NCD press release. “Currently, the U.S. legal system is not protecting the rights of parents with disabilities and their children,” said NCD council member Ari Ne’eman. “Two-thirds of state child welfare laws allow courts to determine a parent is unfit solely on the basis of a parent’s disability. In fact, every state allows disability as a consideration when determining the best interest of a child in family or dependency court.” Among the report’s findings are that almost 10 percent of American children have parents with disabilities, and that these parents are the only community of Americans who must struggle to retain custody, with removal rates as high as 70 percent to 80 percent. The full report is available on the NCD website at the following link: http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Sep272012/.

Source: http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/09272012

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Online Game Tool Helps Build Personal Resilience

A free online tool advertised as having been “created by game designers and backed by science to help build personal resilience even in the face of difficult challenges” is available at https://www.superbetter.com. Superbetter.com is the creation of game designer Jane McGonigal, who created it in 2009 after a traumatic brain injury, in order to help herself heal. Now, with the collaboration of experts at Stanford, UC Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and the Ohio State University Medical Research Center, she has made it available to the public. “Every aspect of the game is designed to harness the power of positive emotions and social connection for living, feeling and acting better,” according to the promotional material, which adds that the game provides “a powerful boost when you need it most.”

Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/1778673/gamer-heal-thyself-jane-mcgonigals-superbetter
Thanks to NYAPRS Enews

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Exercise May Prevent Brain Shrinkage

Exercising as you grow older may keep parts of your brain from shrinking and thus slow or prevent declines in cognitive and memory skills, The New York Times reports. In fact, physical exercise may provide more such protection than activities that are mentally and socially stimulating, according to findings published in the journal Neurology by researchers at the University of Edinburgh who followed more than 600 people, beginning at the age of 70. After three years, using imaging scans, the researchers – who controlled for such factors as age, health status, social class and I.Q. – found that the more physical exercise the subjects engaged in, the less shrinkage and damage they had in the white matter of the brain. Because the researchers were only able to see an association, not a causal relationship, between exercise and decreased brain shrinkage, they said it was possible that the findings only meant that people with less deterioration in their brains were more likely to be physically active. But they still advise that people adopt a program of physical exercise, no matter how old they are.

Source: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/exercise-may-protect-against-brain-shrinkage/

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Addiction Professional Sponsors Free Webinars

Addiction Professional is sponsoring two webinars, one on trauma resolution and the other on issues faced by military families. Both are targeted toward treatment professionals and offer CEUs but are available to the public. “Understanding and Treating Unique Issues in Military Families” will take place on Nov. 7, 2012, 1 p.m. ET. “Attendees will learn practical clinical guidelines for working with this special population and come away with tips, strategies, and expert knowledge that you’ll be able to put into practice immediately,” the website says. “Rapid Trauma Resolution: An Advanced Model of Healing,” Nov. 21, 2012, 1 p.m. ET, will cover the Connelly Method of Rapid Trauma Resolution, which “provides emotional freedom to survivors of sexual violence, incest, child abuse and other traumatic events,” according to the promotional material. For more information or to register, click on the source below.

Source: http://www.addictionpro.com/webinars

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Yale Arts and Literary Magazine Seeks Submissions

The Perch, a publication of the Yale University Program for Recovery and Community Health, is seeking to publish “original, creative work in a variety of genres, including but not limited to essays, poetry, fiction, and personal narratives. In addition, we welcome visual artwork and multi-media contributions for publication in our Parachute Factory section. The Perch is a venue for individuals – whether living with a mental illness themselves, friends or family of someone who has a mental illness, working in the mental health field, or simply interested in exploring issues related to mental health – to share their work.” For information about specifications and guidelines as well as how to submit your work, see the source below.

Source: http://www.yale.edu/PRCH/about/documents/ThePerchCallforSubmissions.pdf
Courtesy of NYAPRS Enews

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“Quitline” Can Benefit Smokers with Serious Mental Health Conditions, Researchers Find

Telephone counseling, or “Quitlines,” can be particularly helpful for individuals with serious mental health conditions who want to stop smoking, according to the results of focus groups recently presented by researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “The Quitline approach overcomes transportation and cost barriers for smokers with serious mental illness and that’s a great benefit,” said researcher Marc L. Steinberg, Ph.D., who was quoted in a UMDNJ press release. “Unfortunately, there are other barriers that may be unique to this population. For example, several of the smokers with serious mental illness did not like the idea of a ‘Quit Coach’ calling them on their phones. They wanted to be the ones to initiate the calls and were uneasy with the idea of being re-contacted.” According to Dr. Steinberg, many of the identified barriers are addressable, and information on how that can be accomplished is available at www.tobaccofreenj.com. For more information, see the source below.

Source: http://www.umdnj.edu/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/hpappweb/newsroom.cgi?month=10&day=10&year=12&headline=+Quitline++Use+Can+Benefit+Smokers+with+Serious+Mental+Illness,+UMDNJ+Robert+Wood+Johnson+Medical+School+Research+Finds
Thanks to NYAPRS Enews

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New Study Confirms Link Between Creativity and Mental Health Conditions

A long-term Swedish study of almost 1.2 million individuals with mental health conditions and their relatives has found that bipolar disorder was more frequent among people in the artistic or scientific fields, such as dancers, photographers, authors and researchers. In addition, the researchers found a higher incidence of schizophrenia in particular, along with depression and anxiety and substance use conditions, among writers. And the families of those diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anorexia nervosa and autism were also more likely to be employed in creative professions. “If one takes the view that certain phenomena associated with the patient's illness are beneficial, it opens the way for a new approach to treatment," said an author of the study, published online in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. “In that case, the doctor and patient must come to an agreement on what is to be treated, and at what cost.”

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_130381.html

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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, which 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. (If the third Monday is a national holiday, the call will take place 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 leaders from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! The next call will take place on Monday, November 19, 2012, 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

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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 e-mailing info@mhselfhelp.org or calling 800-553-4539.

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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/contact, 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.

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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.4, October 2012, http://www.mhselfhelp.org

To subscribe send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, contact Susan Rogers at 215-751-1800 x288 or srogers@mhasp.org.