Tuesday
Feb212017

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 8 -- February 2017

Key Update, February 2017

Volume 13, Number 8

Free Webinar on How State Advocates Can Help Save Federal Health and Safety Net Programs

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is organizing a one-hour webinar on February 24 at 3 p.m. ET “to review the threats to Medicaid and provide guidance on how state advocates can defend the program against these threats.” The threats include the proposal to change the structure and financing of Medicaid by implementing a per capita cap which, similar to a block grant, would make deep cuts in federal Medicaid funds for states. “CBPP staff will also provide a brief overview of the other threats to federal health and safety net programs and the tentative timing for how these threats might play out.” The webinar is off the record and not open to the press. “It is geared primarily toward state-based advocates who are interested in, or already working on, federal health and safety net programs.” To register, click here. For questions, contact CBPP state strategies manager Deborah Swerdlow at dswerdlow@cbpp.org.

Thanks, Ray Bridge

Free Webinar: A Future for Early Intervention in Psychosis Services?

On February 24, at 1 p.m. ET, the National Empowerment Center is sponsoring a free, 90-minute webinar -- A Future for Early Intervention? Lessons Learned and the Potential Transformation of Specialized Early Psychosis Services -- that “will explore contemporary practices in specialized early psychosis services with an emphasis on service gaps in the areas of trauma, ethnic/racial disparities/cultural humility, and peer support. The presenters will cover current practice innovations and describe an agenda for increased peer leadership and transformative change within early intervention.” For more information and to register, click here.

Deadline for BRSS TACS Capacity Building Opportunity Extended to February 24 at 8 p.m. ET

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) are offering the Capacity Building Opportunity, “a free intensive technical assistance opportunity for peer-run organizations (PROs), recovery community organizations (RCOs), and family-run organizations. Up to 25 PROs/RCOs/family-run organizations will be selected to receive individualized consultation, training, and peer-to-peer support over a six-month period in one of five areas: Partnering with State Systems to Advance Recovery; Advancing the Peer and Family Support Workforce; Building Capacity to Support Peer and Family Services; Sustaining Recovery in Educational Settings; and Supporting Re-entry.” For more information on eligibility and to apply, click here. Questions?  Email BRSSTACSCapacityBuilding@center4si.com or call 781.247.1711.

Thanks, Judene Shelley

Free Training Opportunity in Collaborative Leadership Series: “Working Across the Divides”

The STAR Center is offering a free training opportunity to help people improve their collaborative leadership facilitator skills. “Up to 20 people will be chosen through an application process to learn and implement facilitation and leadership strategies in group problem solving, creating inclusive and safe spaces, participatory decision making and consensus building, designing meeting agenda and process, engaging conflict, and harnessing group memory.” Six virtual 90-minute training sessions will be followed by six months of “implementation, communication and evaluation,” including coaching by the STAR Center staff and consultants. Preference will be given to individuals in Region 2 (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas). Applications are due by March 3. For more information, including application instructions, click here.

Free Webinar Covers Creating and Sustaining a Peer Specialist Support Group

Doors to Wellbeing continues its monthly webinar series with Creating and Sustaining a Peer Specialist Support Group, on March 28 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will examine the particular challenges and barriers that certified peer specialists and other “peer workers/volunteers” face, and ways they can support each other. Also, on February 28 at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a webinar entitled Creativity Becomes You, presented by Gayle Bluebird and Meghan Caughey. (The February webinar was promoted in the January Key Update.) For details and to register for either or both webinars, click here.

AAPD Offers 2017 Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship

“The Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship, managed by Rooted in Rights and AAPD, provides the opportunity for an individual with a disability to learn and apply skills in digital media storytelling, and to connect with media professionals to prepare participants for advanced careers in media production, journalism, online advocacy, or digital design. The project combines hands-on training on cutting edge technologies with a strong foundation in developing the individual’s voice and using story-driven videos in advocacy.” Applications are due by March 15. For details, including eligibility requirements, click here.

Alternatives 2017 Call for Presentations Due March 17!

The National Empowerment Center writes: "The Alternatives 2017 Conference Committee, which includes consumer/survivor/peer leaders across the nation, is seeking proposals for presentations. We invite everyone to consider becoming a presenter. First-time presenters are especially welcome. Learning from each other is a clear example of self help, mutual support, and the principles of recovery in action!" The conference theme is Building Healing Communities Together; the conference will be held in Boston August 18-21. For the call for presentations, click here.

More Older Adults Are Taking Multiple Psychiatric Medications, Researchers Report

According to a recent report in The New York Times, “The number of retirement-age Americans taking at least three psychiatric drugs more than doubled between 2004 and 2013, even though almost half of them had no mental health diagnosis on record…The new analysis, based on data from doctors’ office visits, suggests that inappropriate prescribing to older people is more common than previously thought.” The research was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. For the Times story, click here. At the same time, goodtherapy.org has reviewed the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, published by the Icarus Project and the Freedom Center. For the review, which includes a link to download the guide for free, click here.

Thanks, @OryxCohen and @LaurenSpiro

Peer Specialist Database Launched by Doors to Wellbeing

Doors to Wellbeing has launched a Peer Specialist Database to help people find out how to become a peer specialist in every state. For the free database, which Doors to Wellbeing has said it plans to continuously update, click here. In addition, the 2016 national edition (last revised in January 2017) of Peer Specialist Training and Certification Programs, published by the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health and the University of Texas at Austin, is available for free download here.

ASAN Publishes Affordable Care Act Toolkit for Self-Advocates, Available for Free Download

The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) has just published a free, 15-page guide to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It has three parts: “A Self-Advocate’s Guide to the Affordable Care Act,” “What’s the Problem with Repeal and Delay?” and “The Affordable Care Act: What Can I Do?” ASAN writes: “The Affordable Care Act Toolkit for Self-Advocates explains in plain language all the different pieces of the ACA, what the proposed changes are, and what the impact of repealing it would be.” To download the free toolkit, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth R. Stone

Report Reveals Wide Range of State Law Enforcement Training Standards on Mental Health and De-Escalation

The Council of State Governments Justice Center recently released The Variability in Law Enforcement State Standards: A 42-State Survey on Mental Health and Crisis De-escalation Training. This survey report, completed in partnership with the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, revealed that while nearly all states have law enforcement training standards on mental health and crisis de-escalation, the required training hours, topics, and teaching methods differ widely. For instance, survey respondents reported that training on mental health and de-escalation topics ranged from two hours to 40 hours for recruits or new officers. For more information and to download the free report, click here.

Clean Slate Clearinghouse, with Re-entry Resources for People with Criminal Justice Histories, to Be Launched This Year

The Clean Slate Clearinghouse (NCSC), to be launched in 2017, will be a resource for advocates of people with criminal justice involvement who have no legal expertise, as well as policy analysts, policy makers, lawyers and lawmakers. “It will provide state-by-state rules of clearing, correcting or expunging criminal records.” The goal is to make it easier for people to find decent jobs, housing, and otherwise re-integrate into society. The Council of State Governments Justice Center will partner with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, the National Juvenile Defender Center, the National Association of Counties, and the National League of Cities on the NCSC. For more information, click here. For “How ‘Collateral Consequences’ Complicate Life after Prison,” click here.

New Toolkit to Support Behavioral Health Treatment Agencies in Integrating Peer Providers

A new toolkit, published by the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), is designed to help behavioral health care providers successfully integrate peer staff into their service settings. The four modules cover, respectively, “Preparing the Organizational Culture,” ‘Recruiting and Hiring Peer Staff,” “Service Delivery,” and “Supervision and Retention.” DBHIDS writes: “The Peer Support Toolkit incorporates many of the promising practices and resources that have emerged during the last decade of Philadelphia’s recovery-focused system transformation effort. Tools in this kit are designed to help agencies to recruit, retain, and effectively deploy people in recovery in a variety of peer support roles. The resources and information provided are relevant for executive leadership along with supervisors and peer staff.” For details and to download the free toolkit, click here.

Good Posture May Help Relieve Symptoms of Depression, New Study Says

Sitting up straight and standing up straight can help alleviate symptoms of depression, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Auckland. “This preliminary study suggests that adopting an upright posture may increase positive affect, reduce fatigue, and decrease self-focus in people with mild-to-moderate depression,” the researchers wrote. Sixty-one participants were randomly assigned to either an upright-posture group or a usual-posture group; those asked to maintain good posture were given specific instructions for tasks to complete. The study appears in the March issue of the Journal of Behavior therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. For more information, click here.

Broken Light Offers an Online Gallery for Photographers with Mental Health Conditions and Others

"Broken Light Collective is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that strives to create safe and accepting environments where photographers of all levels who are affected by mental health challenges can display their work, as well as inspire one another to keep going and keep creating...You are invited to create art for the site or come visit whenever you may be feeling low, hopeless, or just need something positive on which to focus...If you have a mental health challenge yourself, or have friends or family who do, then you qualify to be a contributor. You may also contribute if you are someone who helps other people who may be struggling...See the submission tab for details.” For the gallery and other information, click here.

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open -- including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update -- we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 8, February 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

Saturday
Jan282017

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 7 -- January 2017

Key Update, January 2017

Volume 13, Number 7

Up to 1.5M People with Disabilities Fail to Claim Valuable Earned Income Tax Credit

Special rules allow many adults with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); but as many as 1.5 million people with disabilities miss out because they fail to file a tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The EITC is a federal income tax credit for workers who earned $53,505 or less in 2016 and meet other eligibility requirements. Those who can claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a tax refund. (The EITC could put up to $6,269 into a taxpayer’s pocket.) While many non-filers fall below the income threshold requiring them to file, the only way to receive this credit is to file a return and claim EITC. Use the EITC Assistant, on IRS.gov, to determine eligibility and estimate the amount of credit. (Tax refunds are not counted as income for determining eligibility for any federally funded benefit program.) For more information, click here.

Thanks @AJFrench2013

Teenager Creates International Peer-to-Peer Suicide Prevention Site

After reading about the youth suicide clusters in Palo Alto, California, a 17-year-old in nearby Los Altos has created www.teenztalk.org, an international “platform for all teens to come together in a positive environment.” “We focus on teen mental health & harnessing peer connections as a source of strength,” the website says. Among the topics covered in videos by teens are “Battling Depression,” “From Social Anxiety to Freedom,” “Coping with Stress” and “Well-Being Strategies.” In addition, there is a resource page featuring mental health experts. For more information, click here. In a related story, www.crisistextline.org offers crisis support for teens. For the story, click here.

Free Issue Brief on Supported Education (SEd) Is Now Online

A free issue brief, Supported Education (SEd): State of the Practice, is available from Transitions Research and Training Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Transitions RTC partnered with RTI International to conduct the Feasibility Study for Demonstration of Supported Education to Promote Educational Attainment and Employment among Individuals with Serious Mental Illness (available here). This project “examined the state of the science of current SEd programs in the U.S., identified key considerations that can be used to design studies to validate SEd as an evidence-based practice, compiled evidence on SEd programs; identified gaps in the knowledge base about SEd, and looked at possible approaches for addressing unanswered questions about SEd.” To download the free issue brief, click here.

Doors to Wellbeing Continues Its Monthly Webinar Series on the Last Tuesdays of January and February

On January 31 at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a free webinar on How to Ask for a Raise: The Peer Support Compensation Survey. (Note: This webinar was promoted in the December 2016 Key Update.The webinar presenters, Allen Daniels and Peter Ashenden, were two of the authors of a National Survey of Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists, published in January 2016. For the survey, click here. Then, on February 28 at 2 p.m. ET, Doors to Wellbeing will host a webinar entitled Creativity Becomes You, presented by Gayle Bluebird. The description reads, in part: “Peers will discover multiple ways to become a creative peer specialist. Not limited to art and artistic activities, though an important part, it involves how you dress, how you communicate, and how to be a natural YOU as a creative peer specialist. Lots of ideas of tools you can use...” For details and to register for either or both webinars, click here

Groundbreaking Report on Impact of Solitary Confinement on Individuals with Physical Disabilities

The ACLU has just released Caged In: Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Harm on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities. This report provides a first-ever national ACLU account of the suffering that individuals with physical disabilities experience in solitary confinement. The ACLU writes: “Solitary confinement is a punishing environment that endangers the well-being of people with physical disabilities and often violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The report’s revelations about the particular harms of solitary on people with physical disabilities shows the urgent need for far better accounting of the problems they face and the development of solutions to those problems.” To download the free report, click here. For a related story, "Punished Twice: Prisons Basically Ignore the Americans with Disabilities Act...," click here. For "Mentally Ill Inmates Face Solitary Confinement in R.I. Prisons," click here. For “Colorado must stop using jails for people in mental health crisis, panel says,” click here.

TU Collaborative Issues Call for Papers for 2017 Summer Institute

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has issued the Call for Papers for its 2017 Summer Institute, in Philadelphia, July 24-25. “The Institute seeks 15-minute presentations—which will be grouped in 90-minute panel discussions on similar themes—that focus on research findings and effective strategies to confront the degree to which individuals with mental health conditions struggle to move beyond their engagement in mental health-sponsored activities and toward individual participation in those aspects of life that are important to them.” The deadline for submission is March 15. For details, click here.

Free Webinar on Social Security Work Incentives to Be Sponsored by Peerlink on February 15

Social Security Work Incentives: A Path to Employment, Recovery and Self-Sufficiency!—a free webinar sponsored by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center—will take place on February 15 at 2 p.m. ET. “This webinar will focus on tools created specifically to help providers start the conversation about employment with the people they serve,” Peerlink writes. “We will also provide specific concrete details about Social Security’s work incentive programs and ways to combat the myth that people with psychiatric disabilities can't or shouldn't work.” The presenter will be Kristin Lupfer, project director of the SAMHSA SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) Technical Assistance Center at Policy Research Associates, Inc. For details and to register, click here.

Pioneering Antipsychotic Medication Study Focuses on Individuals’ Experiences

A new study, Experiencing Antipsychotic Medication: From First Prescriptions to Attempted Discontinuation, reports on the firsthand experiences of 144 individuals taking such medications as Seroquel, Olanzapine, Risperidone, Geodon, Haldol or Abilify. The researcher, at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, writes: “…what is one person’s life‐saving relief or useful tool is another’s personal burden, nightmare or hell…The results support an argument for informed choice and improved supports for those who would prefer not to take antipsychotics continuously in the long-term.” Mental health advocate, author and counselor Will Hall writes: “While the majority of people still taking antipsychotics said the medications improved their quality of life, the majority of those not taking them said medications [had] made their life worse….The study shows that for all participants, quality of life was far more determined by non-medication factors such as working, going to school, coping, and having social support than it was by whether or not someone was taking antipsychotics.” For Hall’s article about the research, which includes a link to the study, click here.

Deadline Approaches for Workshop Proposals for 2017 NARPA Conference

The 2017 Annual Rights Conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy will be held September 6-9 in Portland, Maine, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. The workshop proposal deadline is February 15, 2017. NARPA “is seeking proposals which address strategies, ideas, programs, and emerging practices that support and promote NARPA’s mission and commitment to individual rights, liberty, freedom, and dignity.” For possible topic areas, guidelines, and the application, click here. (Note: This item originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Key Update.)

Copeland Center to Host WRAP Around the World in Sacramento June 5-7

The Copeland Center will host its 2017 WRAP Around the World Conference in Sacramento, California, June 5-7. The Center invites “WRAP facilitators and others from systems of care around the world to share emerging practices around the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. Network, build skills, learn about current research and innovative programs, and be part of the community!” Early bird rates are in effect until February 28. For the Call for Papers, click here. For details and to register, click here.

MHA Announces Open Call for Nominations to Its Board of Directors

Mental Health America (MHA) has issued an open call for nominations (including self-nominations) for its 2017 board of directors class (June 2017 to June 2020). Responsibilities include “attendance at quarterly in-person meetings (including the annual conference), as well as regular electronic communication and active participation on at least one committee….Board positions require a time and energy commitment that should not be underestimated. Candidates are urged to consider personal priorities for the three-year term as well as ways to contribute to the development of the organization. To nominate yourself or another individual, complete the nomination webform (click here) by February 10, 2017.” (Password: MHAboard2017.) “You may nominate as many people as you like. We encourage you to discuss your nomination with the candidate prior to submission.” Questions? Contact Sachin Doshi at sdoshi@mentalhealthamerica.net.

Gun Violence Should Be Treated as a Public Health Crisis, According to New Research

“Every year in the U.S., more than 30,000 people die from things related to guns,” according to a recent NPR piece. “Yet, the funding for research on gun violence lags far behind other leading causes of death,” according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. For the NPR article, including a link to the study, click here. In a related story, “The Hidden Gun Epidemic: Suicides,” The New York Times recently wrote about the Gun Shop Project, whose goal is suicide prevention. The connection between suicide and easy gun access demands far greater attention than it has gotten,” according to the Times editorial, available if you click here. And The Guardian recently offered a geographical analysis of the incidence of gun violence. For that story—“Want to Fix Gun Violence in America? Go Local”—which reports that poverty-stricken neighborhoods containing just 1.5 percent of the U.S. population saw 26 percent of America’s gun homicides in 2015, click here.

NARMH to Host 2017 Annual Conference in San Diego September 6-8

The National Association for Rural Mental Health will host its 2017 annual conference in San Diego September 6-8. NARMH writes that its conference “provides great information and networking opportunities regarding all aspects of rural practice, research and policy.” The theme of this year’s conference is Exploring What Works: Caring for the Country. For more information, click here.

Resources Available from Two Recent Webinars on Helping Individuals with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement Re-enter the Community

On January 19, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion hosted a webinar on Peer-run Organizations Serving People with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement. To download a PDF of the PowerPoint slides, click here. To download Reentry and Renewal, the associated free report that highlights a dozen exemplary peer-run programs that serve individuals with both behavioral health conditions and criminal justice backgrounds, click here. Then, on January 24, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration presented Peer Support and Reentry: Criminal Justice Series Webinar 2, featuring Peerstar, which provides mental health recovery, certified peer support services, and forensic peer support services in many Pennsylvania counties. For a recording of the SAMHSA webinar, click here.

Ninth Annual World Hearing Voices Congress to Be Held in Boston August 16-18, 2017

The Ninth Annual World Hearing Voices Congress will be held at Boston University August 16-18, 2017! “The Hearing Voices Movement will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary on U.S. soil!...Topics range from groups, personal testimony, and voice dialogue, to research, artistic endeavor and more! The Hearing Voices Movement consists of over 30 national networks from around the world joined by shared goals and values, including a fundamental belief that…hearing voices is not, in itself, an indication of illness [click here].” In fact, it may not be experienced as auditory at all, according to a study by Drs. Nev Jones and Tanya Luhrmann: click here. “All are welcome, with a special invitation extended to fellow voice hearers.” For more information, click here. In case you missed it, in August 2016 The New York Times recently gave respectful coverage to the Hearing Voices Network as well as Open Dialogue in “An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold.” (Note: This item appeared in the August 2016 edition of the Key Update.)

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted.

About The Key Update

The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 13, No. 7, January 2017, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Dec292016

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 6 -- December 2016

Key Update, December 2016

Volume 13, Number 6

BuzzFeed Publishes Exposé of Large Corporate Operator of Private Psychiatric Hospitals

An intensive, yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation of Universal Health Services (UHS), which operates more than 200 psychiatric facilities across the U.S., “raises grave questions about the extent to which [its] profits were achieved at the expense of patients.” UHS took in nearly $7.5 billion from inpatient care last year—with profit margins of around 30 percent—BuzzFeed reports. The corporation is also under federal investigation for possible Medicare fraud. According to a BuzzFeed article posted on December 7, 2016, “Current and former employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method—which sometimes meant exaggerating people’s symptoms or twisting their words to make them seem suicidal—and to hold them until their insurance payments ran out.” BuzzFeed noted that UHS strongly disputes allegations of civil or criminal fraud, is cooperating with the investigation, and “has not been charged with any wrongdoing.” For the BuzzFeed article about its investigation—“Locked on the Psych Ward—click here.

Do You Qualify for an ABLE Account? If So, You May Want to Set One Up Before December 31!

ABLE accounts “are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families… For the first time, eligible individuals and their families will be allowed to establish ABLE savings accounts that will not affect their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits.” ABLE accounts can be opened online. For information on eligibility, how an ABLE account might help you or someone you know, and more, click here for the ABLE National Resource Center.

Thanks, Miriam Yarmolinsky

Free Webinar on Peer-run Organizations Serving People with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement on January 19; Related Report Spotlights Exemplary Programs

A free webinar on Peer-run Organizations That Serve Individuals with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement will be hosted by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion on January 19, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET. The presenters will be Rita Cronise of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS), Ellen Healion of Hands Across Long Island, Steve Miccio of PEOPLe Inc., and Noelle Pollet of Peace Work. Harvey Rosenthal of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services will moderate. The 90-minute webinar grew out of a survey by the College for Behavioral Health Leadership’s Peer Leader Interest Group, Mental Health America, the Clearinghouse, and the TU Collaborative. The resulting report, Reentry and Renewal, highlights a dozen exemplary programs, provides recommendations, and spotlights needed policy changes and the importance of expanded funding and research. To register for the webinar, click here. To download the free report, click here.

Brennan Report Provides Blueprint for Cutting Prison Population While Maintaining Low Crime Rates

Nearly 40 percent of the U.S. prison population—576,000 people—are behind bars with no compelling public safety reason, according to a new analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. The first-of-its-kind survey provides a blueprint for how the U.S. can drastically cut its prison population while still keeping crime rates near historic lows. According to the report, approximately 79 percent of individuals who are incarcerated experience either substance use disorders or mental health conditions, and 40 percent experience both. “Alternative interventions such as treatment could be more effective sanctions for many of these individuals,” the report states. “Too many people end up in prison in the first place, when alternatives like treatment would work much better,” said Lauren-Brooke Eisen, an author of the document. “Still others are locked up for too long and research shows those sentences are ineffective. When what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time to rethink it.” For more information and to download the free report, click here.

The State of Mental Health in America 2017 Has Been Published by MHA

Mental Health America (MHA) has published a state-by-state analysis of The State of Mental Health in America. Among the findings: 56 percent of adults with a mental health conditions did not receive treatment in 2017; and, in states with the fewest mental health professionals, there is only one mental health professional per 1,000 people—and this includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses combined. Most telling, “less access to care means more incarceration. Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama had the least access to care and highest rates of imprisonment. There are over 57,000 people with mental health conditions in prison and jail in those states alone. That’s enough to fill Madison Square Garden three times.” For numerous links to all the data, click here.

Only 35% of Medical Treatments Are "Beneficial" or "Likely to Be Beneficial," says BMJ; The Risks of Psychiatric Medications Are of Particular Concern, Researchers Report

Fifty percent of medical treatments are of unknown effectiveness, according to Clinical Evidence, a program of the BMJ—the weekly peer-reviewed medical journal formerly called the British Medical Journal. The BMJ analysis indicates that only 11 percent of treatments are beneficial, with an additional 24 percent likely to be beneficial. With 7 percent, there is a “tradeoff between benefits and harms”; 5 percent are “unlikely to be beneficial”; and 3 percent are “likely to be ineffective or harmful.” People “should be much less afraid of disease & more afraid of treatments. Benefits of most treatments are exaggerated; risks are ignored,” tweeted Allen Frances, MD, author of Saving Normal. For the BMJ report, click here. For a related story, published in Scientific American—“Psychiatrists Must Face Possibility That Medications Hurt More Than They Help”—click here. For another related story—“Study Suggests Long-Term Antipsychotic Use May Result in Poorer Cognitive Functioning”—click here.

SAMHSA and RTI International Launch Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and RTI International have launched a redesigned Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) “with new designs, streamlined menus, and simplified navigation. We want to offer our users an easy way to get to the data they need for their analyses,” SAMHSA writes. “We will update and expand our resources, tools, and documentation frequently to deliver the most relevant data for your needs.” For the archive, click here.

Thanks, Amy Smith

Free SAMHSA Webinar on CIT and Provider Collaboration on January 10

SAMHSA and Recovery to Practice will sponsor an hour-long webinar on January 10, 2017, at 1 p.m. ET called Safe and Sound: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and Provider Collaboration. This webinar is the first of three that will look at specific but varied intersections of criminal justice and behavioral health. It will review the CIT model; explore how providers can support CIT initiatives before, during, and after crisis; and provide examples of how law enforcement officers, people in services, and providers have worked or can work together to create safer and more recovery-oriented outcomes. For details and to register, click here.

An Invitation from a New Research Initiative to Figure Out Why Hearing Voices Groups Work

Www.OurVoicesRaised.org is a new research initiative in which “voice hearers and allies are partnering to find out what makes our Hearing Voices groups so useful,” according to the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care Hearing Voices Research & Development Fund. “Your voice and stories are essential to answering that question. If you are a voice hearer and have been involved in these groups, please consider offering your wisdom.” For more information and/or to participate in the survey, click here.

Thanks, Elizabeth Saenger

Doors to Wellbeing Continues Its Monthly Webinar Series in January

A free webinar on How to Ask for a Raise: The Peer Support Compensation Survey will be hosted by Doors to Wellbeing on January 31, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET. Doors to Wellbeing writes: “This webinar will provide an overview of the national survey of compensation among peer support specialists. This survey provides peer specialists useful information on compensation rates across different types of service organizations and geographical locations. This webinar will use this data to help peer specialists advocate for improved compensation rates.” The webinar is part of the monthly series hosted by Doors to Wellbeing on the last Tuesday of almost every month. For details and to register, click here. The webinar presenters, Allen Daniels and Peter Ashenden, were two of the authors of a National Survey of Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists, published in January 2016. For the survey, click here.

Sustainability and Leadership Transition Bulletin Published by Café TA Center

Passing the Torch: Sustainability and Leadership Transition has been published by the Café TA Center. “One of the greatest challenges that any small nonprofit can face is maintaining its focus and momentum through times of change,” the bulletin begins. “CAFÉ TAC has created two assessment tools to help you determine how ready your organization is for a potentially disruptive transition. One provides an opportunity to review a past transition and determine what went well and what was problematic. The other offers a chance to take stock of how prepared your organization is for the next transition.” For the free bulletin, click here. In addition, the Clearinghouse published a free four-page bulletin on Sustainability in 2009, available here.

Vera Institute Announces Five Participants for Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative

On December 19, the Vera Institute of Justice announced that it had chosen the state corrections departments in Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, and Virginia to participate in its Safe Alternatives to Segregation initiative, which is helping state and local corrections agencies around the country reduce their use of solitary confinement. They join five jurisdictions that have been participating in the initiative since April 2015: Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, New York City, and Middlesex County, New Jersey. For more information, click here. According to "Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons: A Challenge for Medical Ethics," published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, "Many of the prisoners subjected to isolation, which can extend for years, have serious mental illness, and the conditions of solitary confinement can exacerbate their symptoms or provoke recurrence." For the article, click here. Solitary confinement can also generate symptoms of a mental health condition in people who previously did not have such symptoms. For more information, click here.

Want to Help a Philadelphian Who Is Homeless on the Street? There’s an App for That.

StreetChange, in Philadelphia, is a location-based smartphone tool to help people donate useful items to those who are homeless while also helping to connect them with outreach programs. The creation of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, it involves a partnership with the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP) and a startup grant from the Barra Foundation. It works like this: MHASP outreach teams engage with homeless individuals who may want to participate. The potential participants answer a few questions about themselves and mention some items they need, such as a warm winter coat, shoes, socks, or a toothbrush. And then…For the most up-to-date information about StreetChange, and to find out how the app helps people acquire the items they need and what happens when they pick them up at the nearest outreach center, click here

Alternatives 2017 to Be Held in Boston August 18-21! Save the Date!

The National Empowerment Center (NEC) will organize and host the 2017 Alternatives Conference at the Boston Park Plaza from Friday, August 18, through Monday, August 21, 2017. “The Alternatives Conference 2017 website is in development and will have further information at www.power2u.org,” NEC writes. “Announcements will be sent when further information is available, which will include the Call for Presentations, an online submission link, hotel reservation information, and a direct link to online room reservations.”

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted.

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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, 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 13, No. 6, December 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday
Nov282016

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 5 -- November 2016

Key Update, November 2016

Volume 13, Number 5

Translations of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Pass 500—a New Record!

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, already the world’s most translated document, is now available in more than 500 translations with the addition of North Bolivian Quechua, spoken by some 116,000 people. The text is available in languages and dialects from around the world, from Abkhaz to Zulu. It has also been translated into British and Spanish sign language. “The growing number of translations underscores…the power of its words to resonate strongly across all cultures and languages,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The six-page text, including 30 Articles, was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. It begins: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” while Article 2 states, “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” For more information, click here.

Thanks, Jacek Haciak

SAMHSA-sponsored Toolkits Support Full Inclusion of Students with Early Psychosis in Higher Ed

Two new toolkits, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), are a must-read for students with early psychosis in higher education, and for their families and others who want to support them. “While ostensibly focused on early psychosis, much of the material would apply to any student with psychiatric disabilities,” writes Nev Jones, Ph.D., lead author of Back to School: Toolkits to Support the Full Inclusion of Students with Early Psychosis in Higher Education. “There is also extensive legal trouble-shooting, co-written with Karen Bower, a national expert on campus mental health law and a former Bazelon Center attorney,” Dr. Jones writes. “There is one section of the student toolkit dedicated explicitly to graduate students.” For the Student and Family Version, click here. For the Campus Staff and Administrator Version, click here.

New Online Tool to Help Workers and Employers Understand Medical and Disability-related Leave

On October 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor unveiled a new online tool to help employees and employers understand the medical and disability leave to which employees may be entitled. The launch of the Medical- and Disability-Related Leave Advisor culminates National Disability Employment Awareness Month, held in October to mark the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and to educate employers about how to effectively recruit and retain these workers. Effective stay-at-work and return-to-work initiatives for employees who experience unexpected illness or disability are among the options for employers. For more information and to download the new tool, click here.

Thanks, Keris Myrick @KeriswithaK 

SOAR Webinar on Working While Receiving SSA Benefits to Be Held November 30

 

On November 30, 2016, at 3 p.m. ET, the SAMHSA SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) Technical Assistance Center, the Social Security Administration (SSA), and SOAR leaders will present a 90-minute webinar filled with “empowering and myth-busting information” entitled Yes, You Can Work! Working While Applying for and Receiving SSA Benefits. The presenters will provide information on SSA work incentives and resources available to applicants and beneficiaries. “We will share our new Yes You Can Work flyer and conversation guide written for providers to use in the field when discussing the benefits of work,” the organizers write. “You will also hear from a local SOAR provider who will share their experience providing integrated SOAR and employment supports in the community.” For more information and to register, click here.

Webinar on Supporting Community-based Reentry Programs to be Held November 30

On November 30, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET, the National Reentry Resource Center will host a 90-minute webinar on Planning for Sustainability--Supporting Community-based Reentry Programs. "This webinar will discuss strategies and recommendations for sustaining reentry programs initiated by community-based organizations. With a particular focus on programs that incorporate mentors, presenters will discuss how to consider sustainability throughout the program-development process beginning in the planning phase. Topics will include leveraging multiple funding streams from public and private sources, asset mapping, and how to build an agency's profile in the field and community." For more information and to register, click here.

iNAPS Hosts Webinar on Hospital to Community: A Process of Inclusion on December 2

The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) will host a webinar on Hospital to Community: A Process of Inclusion on December 2, 2016, at noon Eastern Time. The presenter will be Gina Calhoun, the national director for wellness and recovery education of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. iNAPS writes: “In this 1-hour webinar, Gina shares her personal story of transitioning from long-term institutionalization to community living, including her work as a peer support specialist during the closure of Harrisburg State Hospital. Following Gina’s story, we will explore the role of peer support in downsizing, right sizing and closing institutional-based settings…” For more information and for the link to join the free webinar, click here. Gina’s first-person account of her recovery begins on Page 10 of the Spring 2009 edition of the People First newsletter, published by the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. To read Gina’s story, click on People First 2009 Spring at this link.

 Vigil to Close Rikers Island on December 4 in NYC, Outside Mayor’s Residence

There will be a vigil in front of the New York City mayor’s residence, Gracie Mansion, on December 4, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 88th Street and East End Avenue, inside Carl Schurz Park. People will gather at 86th and East End Avenue at 3:30 p.m. and will proceed to 88th Street together, or as close to Gracie Mansion as possible. The goal of the vigil is to make a statement to Mayor Bill de Blasio about the urgency of closing Rikers Island, the infamous correctional facility in New York City. Some 40 percent of individuals incarcerated in Rikers have mental health conditions. As The New York Times has editorialized, “The sensible thing to do with Rikers is to close it.” The event is organized by Just Leadership USA and is supported by faith leaders in New York City. Just Leadership USA was founded and is led by Glenn E. Martin, who served time on Rikers as well as several years in a state prison and has become a nationally known, award-winning advocate for criminal justice reform. In a long interview published by The Atlantic, Martin said, “It seems like such an abomination for us to have this facility continue to operate.” For more information about the event, click hereFor more information about the effort to close Rikers, click here.

RTP to Host Second Webinar on Psychiatric Advance Directives

On December 6, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET, SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice will host its second webinar on Psychiatric Advance Directives (PADs), following up on a webinar that took place in October. The presenters are Patricia Siebert, a staff attorney at the Minnesota Disability Law Center, and Marie Verna of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care’s Research and Training Institute. Topics will include best practices for developing and disseminating PADs, roles and approaches for direct service providers for responding to PADs, and understanding the limitations of PADs. For more information and/or to register for this free hour-long webinar, click here. Nearly two dozen additional webinars are archived at SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice Website, here.

Webinar on SSI/SSDI: A Foundation for Employment, Recovery, Self-Sufficiency, and Social Inclusion!

On December 14, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET, Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center will host a one-hour SOAR Technical Assistance Center Webinar entitled SSI/SSDI: A Foundation for Employment, Recovery, Self-Sufficiency, and Social Inclusion! “The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery Technical Assistance (SOAR TA) Center, funded by SAMHSA, seeks to end homelessness and support recovery through increased access to SSI/SSDI income supports. SOAR extends beyond simply helping people access benefits and also encourages employment as a means to increase individual income and promote recovery in line with the SAMHSA assertion that ‘to recover, people need meaningful work and the ability to enhance their skills through education.’” For more information and to register, click here.

Peerpocalypse, April 24-26, 2017, Is Accepting Workshop Proposals

Peerpocalypse, to be held April 24-26, 2017, in Seaside, Oregon, is “a conference of leaders, emerging leaders, innovators, and peers who want to become more involved in the peer community. Adopting the philosophy that peers bring with them a great deal of knowledge and expertise, the event is about bringing the community together to share information, skills, and experience. The deadline for workshop proposals is December 12.” For additional information, visit www.peerpocalypse.com or contact the organizers, the Mental Health Association of Oregon, at 503.922.2377 or at peerpocalypse@mhaoforegon.org.

White Paper on Media Coverage of Law Enforcement Use of Force Against People with Disabilities

“Disability is the missing word in media coverage of police violence,” writes the Ruderman Family Foundation in The Ruderman White Paper on Media Coverage of Law Enforcement Use of Force and Disability: A Media Study (2013-2015) and Overview. “Disability intersects with other factors such as race, class, gender, and sexuality, to magnify degrees of marginalization and increase the risk of violence. When the media ignores or mishandles a major factor, as we contend they generally do with disability, it becomes harder to effect change…” In this monograph, the Foundation reports the following patterns: “Disability goes unmentioned or is listed as an attribute without context. An impairment is used to evoke pity or sympathy for the victim. A medical condition or ‘mental illness’ is used to blame victims for their deaths. In rare instances, we have identified thoughtful examinations of disability from within its social context that reveal the intersecting forces that lead to dangerous use-of-force incidents.” They add: “Such stories point the way to better models for policing in the future. We conclude by proposing best practices for reporting on disability and police violence.” To download the free report, click here.

NARPA Issues Call for Papers for Its 2017 Conference

The 2017 Annual Rights Conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy will be held September 6-9 in Portland, Maine, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. The workshop proposal deadline is February 15, 2017. NARPA “is seeking proposals which address strategies, ideas, programs, and emerging practices that support and promote NARPA’s mission and commitment to individual rights, liberty, freedom, and dignity.” For possible topic areas, guidelines, and the application, click here.

Disability Rights WA Publishes Cruel but Not Unusual: Solitary Confinement in WA Jails

“Solitary confinement in Washington’s county jails disproportionately affects people with disabilities,” writes Disability Rights Washington, the state’s protection and advocacy agency. “Many jails go so far as to place inmates with disabilities in solitary confinement because of their disability. This report describes the harmful effects of solitary confinement on people with disabilities, provides an overview of the disproportionate and discriminatory placement of people with disabilities in solitary confinement in Washington’s county jails, and identifies best practices and recommendations for reform.” To download the report and for additional information, click here.

Save the Date! Webinar on Peer-run Organizations Serving People with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement on January 19, 2017

A webinar on Peer-run Organizations That Serve Individuals with Behavioral Health Conditions and Criminal Justice Involvement will be hosted by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion on January 19, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET. The presenters will be Rita Cronise of the International Association of Peer Supporters, Ellen Healion of Hands Across Long Island, and Steve Miccio of PEOPLe, Inc. Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, will moderate. The 90-minute webinar grew out of a survey of peer-run programs serving people with behavioral health conditions and criminal justice involvement by the College for Behavioral Health Leadership’s Peer Leader Interest Group, Mental Health America, the Clearinghouse, and the TU Collaborative. A registration link will be provided in the December 2016 edition of the Key Update as well as via social media.

Surgeon General Releases Facing Addiction in America

On November 17, Facing Addiction in America, the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health was published. According to the Surgeon General’s Office, the publication “reviews what we know about substance misuse and how you can use that knowledge to address substance misuse and related consequences. The last chapter of the Report presents a vision for the future, five general messages, their implications for policy and practice, and recommendations for specific stakeholder groups.” For more information and to download the free report, click here.

Prison Activist Resource Center Publishes New Edition of Free Prisoner Resource Directory

The Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC) has just published its Fall 2016 edition of the Prisoner Resource Directory. PARC writes: “[W]e have added a re-entry resources section, a prison writing and art section, and have updated the addresses for many of our listings. Thanks to the thousands of readers who have written letters of support and encouragement, and to those who return our evaluation form enabling us to get a better idea of the true readership of the directory and let us know which direction to take when adding new categories or information. Special thanks to those who pass on the directory to others—our resource directory is widely circulated in jails and prisons with each copy viewed by an average of 15 or more persons.” For more information and to download the free 24-page directory, click here.

How to Call Your Reps When You Have Social Anxiety

"When you struggle with your mental health on a daily basis, it can be hard to take action on the things that matter most to you,” writes Cordelia McGee-Tubb in her blog, Echo Through the Fog. “The mental barriers anxiety creates often appear insurmountable. But sometimes, when you really need to, you can break those barriers down. This week, with encouragement from some great people on the internet, I pushed against my anxiety and made some calls to members of our government. Here’s a comic about how you can do that, too. (Resources and transcript below.)” For the comic blog, click here.

TU Collaborative and MHA Publish Monograph on Community Inclusion from Caregivers’ Perspective

In recognition of National Caregivers Month (November), the Temple University (TU) Collaborative on Community Inclusion and Mental Health America have published Community Inclusion from the Perspective of Caregivers, based on a 2016 survey of nearly 500 caregivers of individuals with mental health conditions. The TU Collaborative writes: “Caregivers want providers, community institutions and the public to help foster more community inclusion for their loved ones, and for themselves. They call on policy makers and legislators to address structural issues, such as poverty, lack of transportation, and entrenched discrimination, and they implore educators, employers and the general public to become more educated about mental health issues, and to be more supportive, understanding and compassionate.” For more information and to download the free monograph, click here.

10 Comics About Mental Health Conditions Range from Funny to Not-So-Funny and Back Again

“Comics don't always have the best track record when it comes to portraying [mental health conditions],” writes Lauren Davis, who compiled this collection. “In superhero stories, [mental health conditions are] often associated with violence and villainy. There are, however, other, often personal, comics that can open your eyes…Just a heads up: many of these comics deal with self-harm, suicide, and other issues that can be triggering to some individuals.” To check out the 10 comics, click here.

THE FOLLOWING TWO ITEMS ARE FROM THE OCTOBER 2016 KEY UPDATE BUT STILL FRESH:

Doors to Wellbeing Presents Webinar on Creating and Managing a Peer-run Business

As part of its monthly webinar series on the last Tuesday of every month, Doors to Wellbeing will present a free webinar on Creating and Managing a Peer-run Business on November 29 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar promises to cover “the 3 W’s (why, what, where) you want to start a peer-run or owned business,” “how to start,” and how to “identify your best supporters and what’s in it for them.” To register, click here.

Alternatives 2017 to Be Held in Boston August 18-21! Save the Date!

The National Empowerment Center (NEC) will organize and host the 2017 Alternatives Conference at the Boston Park Plaza from Friday, August 18, through Monday, August 21, 2017. “The Alternatives Conference 2017 website is in development and will have further information at www.power2u.org,” NEC writes. “Announcements will be sent when further information is available, which will include the Call for Presentations, an online submission link, hotel reservation information, and a direct link to online room reservations.)

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted.

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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, 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 13, No. 5, November 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peerpocalypse, to be held April 24-26, 2017, in Seaside, Oregon, is “a conference of leaders, emerging leaders, innovators, and peers who want to become more involved in the peer community. Adopting the philosophy that peers bring with them a great deal of knowledge and expertise, the event is about bringing the community together to share information, skills, and experience. The deadline for workshop proposals is December 12.” For additional information, click here or contact the organizers, the Mental Health Association of Oregon at  503.922.2377 or at peerpocalypse@mhaoforegon.org.

Sunday
Oct302016

The Key Update, Volume 13, Number 4 -- October 2016

Key Update, October 2016

Volume 13, Number 4

FDA Rules Allow Medical Device Makers to Keep Injuries Under Wraps

Manufacturers of medical devices must inform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whenever they discover that one of their products may have caused an injury. But, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the FDA “has accepted late reports that cover hundreds of thousands of incidents, sometimes years after the fact, and has created a program that lets device makers keep the details out of view.” These “secret summaries” leave everyone in the dark, unless they go through a lengthy Freedom of Information Act process. In addition, allowing manufacturers to privately summarize large numbers of adverse events long after the deadline “could give them a way to hide safety issues,” according to the Star Tribune. “Whenever you have thousands of reports and you list them as one...that’s not transparency at all,” Madris Tomes, a former FDA official, told the newspaper. Tomes left the FDA to found a search engine, Device Events, that tracks device performance. “Physicians might change their minds if they knew how many problems there really were,” she said. For the article, click here. For information about a Citizens Petition filed by attorney Jonathan Emond in August 2016 to prevent the FDA from going through with its proposed reclassification of the device used to deliver electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) from Class III to Class II, click here.

Thanks, @JeanneLenzer1

Free Guide to Voting Rights for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

In time for Election Day, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the National Disability Rights Network and Schulte Roth and Zabel LLP are offering a free 55-page booklet entitled Vote. It’s Your Right. A Guide to the Voting Rights of People with Mental Disabilities. “The opportunity to participate in the democratic process is a fundamental right, yet many Americans with disabilities face barriers to exercising their rights as citizens. [This guide] explains how federal laws protect the voting rights of people with disabilities, with a chart of state laws affecting the voting rights of people with disabilities.” To download a free copy, click here.

The U.S. Takes Steps to Strengthen Parity in Insurance Coverage for Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

On October 27, the federal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, created by President Obama in March 2016, issued its final report, which includes a series of actions and recommendations to help ensure better implementation of parity, to enhance understanding of how parity works, and to ensure appropriate oversight and enforcement of parity protections. The actions include a $9.3 million allocation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help states enforce parity protections; the beta version of a new parity website to help people find the appropriate federal or state agency to help with their parity complaints and appeals; a guide from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Department of Labor to help people understand their rights; and other actions. For the government fact sheet, which includes a link to the full report, click here.

STAR Center Hosts a National Networking Call for People of Color on November 9 at 2 p.m. ET

The STAR Center has launched Equity and Inclusion in Leadership: A National Networking Call for People of Color “who are interested in increasing the number of people in organizational leadership roles who are African-American, Native American/American Indian/Alaskan Native, Latino/Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islanders.” The next call is on November 9 at 2 p.m. ET; the calls will convene every month. The STAR Center writes: “Our hope is that this opportunity for people of color to network and support each other’s leadership efforts across the country and in our target states/regions will make a measurable and remarkable difference towards eliminating the leadership and health disparities we currently experience across the country.” To register, click here.

Could Peer-run Crisis Respites Take the Place of Inpatient Psychiatric Beds?

Hospital emergency rooms are a “mental health dumping ground,” according to a recent MedPageToday article reporting on an online survey of 1,716 emergency physicians nationwide. Rebecca Parker, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, told MedPageToday that “…almost one-quarter of our poll responded that they have patients waiting two to five days for a psychiatric bed.” But many people who have experienced psychiatric hospitalization believe that there is a much better alternative: peer-run crisis respites, which have a proven track record. “I believe we have a significant opportunity to promote peer-run respites as a response to the ugly problems that ERs currently face,” said Val Marsh, executive director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, whose membership includes numerous statewide peer-run organizations and others. For a partial list of studies demonstrating the effectiveness of peer-run crisis services, click here. For a Clearinghouse publication about peer-run crisis respites, click here. For the MedPage Today article, click here.

Peerlink NTAC Offers a Free Webinar on Estate Planning and Empowerment

This free one-hour webinar on Estate Planning and Empowerment, on November 17 at 2 p.m. ET, will show how every person can benefit from having an estate plan, said Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center (NTAC). “Without one,” Peerlink NTAC writes, “the laws of the state in which you live will determine who will care for your children if you die or become incapacitated, and who will get your stuff: not just money, but other belongings as well.” The webinar will show how an estate plan “ensures that your wishes will be heard and your choices followed, and how it often makes people feel empowered to take on other life challenges.” For more information and to register, click here.

Higher Rates of Substance Use and Mental Health Conditions Are Reported among LGBT Individuals

For the first time, a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) focuses on patterns of substance use and mental health conditions among adults of different sexual orientations. Overall, the report finds that adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual have a higher prevalence of substance use and mental health conditions than adults who identified as heterosexual. However, lesbian, gay or bisexual adults were significantly more likely than heterosexual adults to receive needed treatment. “This report offers unprecedented insight into the behavioral health needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans — people critical to our community whose health concerns have often been overlooked,” said SAMHSA deputy principal administrator Kana Enomoto. “SAMHSA is working on efforts to reduce the impact of substance use and mental illness among LGBTQ Americans.” For more information and to download the free report, click here.

TU Collaborative Creates Manual on Welcoming Work Environments

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has published a manual entitled Creating Welcoming Mental Health Work Environments: Recommendations for Fully Embracing and Supporting Clinical Staff with Mental Illnesses. “This document focuses on strategies for creating more welcoming work environments within mental health agencies for staff members with mental health conditions,” the TU Collaborative writes. “It provides readers — those who have been diagnosed with a mental health issue as well as agency CEOs, board members, supervisors, managers, and anyone else that might derive benefit from our suggestions — with a set of ideas and strategies that can be implemented to better support agency colleagues by creating and maintaining a positive, supportive, and welcoming work environment that enhances work life for all employees.” To download the free manual, click here.

Doors to Wellbeing Presents Webinar on Creating and Managing a Peer-run Business

As part of its monthly webinar series on the last Tuesday of every month, Doors to Wellbeing will present a free webinar on Creating and Managing a Peer-run Business on November 29 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar promises to cover “the 3 W’s (why, what, where) you want to start a peer-run or owned business,” “how to start,” and how to “identify your best supporters and what’s in it for them.” To register, click here.

SAMHSA Publishes Bulletin on Selected Community-Level Approaches to Disaster Behavioral Health

This issue of SAMHSA’s Supplemental Research Bulletin “travels across the United States and through all stages of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in examining community-level approaches to disaster behavioral health. While not meant to be comprehensive, the issue zeroes in on approaches that exemplify the benefits of a community-level approach, looking at research on how they are structured and how effective they are.” For more information and to download Stronger Together — Selected Community-Level Approaches to Disaster Behavioral Health, click here.

Recovery in the Bin Is a UK-Based User-led Group for People with a Psychiatric Diagnosis

Recovery in the Bin describes itself as “non-religious and unassociated/unaffiliated to any mental health organisation. We’d like to keep it that way.” Among the other statements on the group’s home page is the following: “We believe that there are core principles of ‘recovery’ that are worth saving, and that the colonisation of ‘recovery’ undermines those principles, which have hitherto championed autonomy and self-determination. These principles cannot be found in a one size fits all technique, or calibrated by an outcome measure.” The website’s home page, which includes a link to the group’s 20 key principles, is https://recoveryinthebin.org/

Thanks, @AnneCooke14

Tumblr Moves Ahead with Its Campaign to Promote Mental Health Awareness

The social media platform Tumblr is inviting users to participate in the creation of a Community Quilt centered on mental health awareness, through a collaboration with ThriveNYC and Chirlane McCray, first lady of New York City. The project is part of its Post It Forward campaign, whose goal is to counter the prejudice associated with mental health conditions. Tumblr users can create and submit original artistic swatches and panels to be included in a quilt installation that will be on display in New York City and online here. Mental Health Weekly writes: “Each patch represents a creative expression around changing the conversation around mental health and an individual’s relationship with mental illness, whether battling it themselves or helping others with their struggles. For every patch a user submits, Tumblr will donate $1 to one of three different charities who support mental health, up to a total aggregate donation of $20,000. The user submitting the patch will be given an option of choosing which charity — the National Alliance on Mental Illness, The Trevor Project or The Steve Fund — their original panel will benefit.” To submit a panel, click here.

In the Fight Against Demonizing People with Mental Health Conditions at Halloween, Good News and Bad News

Determined advocacy recently won some battles in the fight to stop inflaming the prejudice associated with mental health conditions around Halloween. After a concerted effort by a variety of mental health stakeholders — including people with lived experience, family members, allies and friends (and thanks to all who responded to the action alert in the September 2016 Key Update!) — two North American theme park chains either cancelled their exhibits featuring "a psychiatric patient with demonic powers" (Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.) or swapped out “grunting inmates" and "maniacal inmates" for zombies (Six Flags). But this is a fight that never seems to be won: Spirit Halloween stores said that, for this year, they will continue to sell their Asylum Wall Kits (click here); and there is a lot of additional Halloween paraphernalia out there that is just as bad or worse (click here). Even New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art got into the act, with a replica of the Bates Hotel from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho (click here), on view from April 19, 2016, through Halloween. For media coverage of the successful advocacy initiatives, see Mental Illness Is a Health Condition, Not Halloween Entertainment (click here), Mental Illness Is Not a Horror Show (click here), and Powerful Advocacy Has Shut Down Halloween “Attractions” That Ramp Up Prejudice (click here).

Alternatives 2017 to Be Held in Boston August 18-21! Save the Date!

The National Empowerment Center (NEC) will organize and host the 2017 Alternatives Conference at the Boston Park Plaza from Friday, August 18, through Monday, August 21, 2017. “The Alternatives Conference 2017 website is in development and will have further information at www.power2u.org,” NEC writes. “Announcements will be sent when further information is available, which will include the Call for Presentations, an online submission link, hotel reservation information, and a direct link to online room reservations.” The Alternatives conference is sponsored in part by SAMHSA.

National Technical Assistance and Networking Teleconferences Are on Hiatus for Now

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is no longer operating under a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although we are keeping our doors open – including publishing our monthly e-newsletter, the Key Update – we are suspending our monthly national technical assistance and networking calls for the time being. We will keep you posted.

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 srogers@mhasp.org or Susan Rogers, 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 13, No. 4, October 2016, http://www.mhselfhelp.org. To subscribe, please send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe, please send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, please contact Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org or 800.553.4539 x3812, 267.507.3812 (direct). Follow Susan on Twitter at @SusanRogersMH