News and Alerts
Register Today for SAMHSA Seminar/Webcast on “Assisted Outpatient Treatment”!
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is hosting a free seminar on Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) on Monday, December 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. SAMHSA writes: “The seminar is designed to educate and improve the understanding of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), also called Outpatient Commitment.” Seating and webcast lines are limited so SAMHSA advises registration by November 25 – today! And, if you are in the Washington/Rockville area, try to attend in person! For more information or to register, click here.
iNAPS Presents Free Webinar on Recovery Relationships
On Monday, December 2, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) is presenting a free webinar on “Recovery Relationships: The Art of Creating and Maintaining Supportive Relationships.” Designed for peer specialists and recovery coaches, it is based on a recovery curriculum from the SAMHSA-funded Recovery to Practice Project. No pre-registration is required. For more information, click here.
The Alternatives 2013 Conference Program Is Available Online!
The conference program for Alternatives 2013 – Dec. 4-7, at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas – is now available online: click here! The theme is “Building Inclusive Communities: Valuing Every Voice.” More than 700 people are already registered; click here for complete registration information.
Have You Ever Been Suicidal? Your Input Is Sought!
AttemptSurvivors.com reports the following: renowned mental health lawyer Susan Stefan is “writing a book about laws and policies around the world related to people who are suicidal, and she wants to hear your experiences. What works? What doesn’t? What makes things worse? You can help her by taking this short, anonymous survey. And if you’re willing to do an in-depth interview . . . please contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org. If the survey link has any hiccups, please let her, or us, know.” At the same time, AttemptSurvivors.com wants to know how you have helped to shift the conversation about suicide in your community in 2013! Cara Anna, editor of What Happens Now?, will share the results in early January 2014. To participate, click here.
Thanks to Leah Harris
Café TA Center Launches Video Project at Alternatives 2013
Are you attending Alternatives 2013? If so, you may want to take 10 to 15 minutes to share your thoughts on recovery with the Café TA Center as part of their new video project. “The end result will be a short video that promotes Recovery,” which advocates can share to explain “why [Recovery] is so essential to changing the way the world thinks about mental health.” You can sign up for a time slot at the Café TAC’s booth in the Exhibit Hall. For more information, see the source below.
Tools for Change Conference Issues Call for Papers
The Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment is organizing the 2014 Tools for Change Conference, to be held March 6-8, 2014, at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco. The theme of the conference is “Freeing Our Communities from the Stigma of Mental Illness.” For more information and a link to the Call for Papers, click on the source below.
NELP Issues Resource Guide to Fair Hiring Policies for Individuals with Criminal Justice Histories
The National Employment Law Project – a national advocacy organization promoting the employment rights of lower-wage workers – recently published “Ban the Box: Major U.S. Cities and Counties Adopt Fair Hiring Policies to Remove Unfair Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records.” The guide provides information on the cities and counties that have banned employment history questions on job applications. According to the Guide, “Endorsing the value of a policy that allows workers to be judged on their merits, not on an old or unrelated conviction, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a revised guidance (click here) in April 2012 on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the guidance, which applies to all public and private employers, the Commission recommended as a “best practice . . . that employers not ask about convictions on job applications and that, if and when they make such inquiries, the inquiries be limited to convictions for which exclusion would be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.” To download the guide, click here.
Journal Issues Call for Papers for Issue on User/Survivor Research and Co-Production
The journal Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology is inviting submissions for a special edition on the “Critical Underpinnings of User/Survivor Research and Co-Production.” (Academic co-production involves more than token participation.) “The goal of the current call for papers is to solicit proposals aimed at tackling the ‘hard’ questions implicated in processes of user/survivor inclusion, exclusion and co-production.” The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2014. For more information, click here.
Voices of Victory Project Seeks Stories of Those Who Have Overcome
Survivors Pay It Forward (SPIF) – an online advocacy community of individuals who have experienced trauma, including traumatic brain injuries, life-threatening illnesses, and/or other kinds of trauma and hardship – is seeking stories for its Voices of Victory project: “We are looking for survivors who have survived multiple traumas, disease, brain injury, natural disasters, war and tragedy and/or hardship who pay it forward in the community. Share your secrets to success, how you found courage and discovered wisdom. What single situation changed your life? Who or what situation inspired you beyond the pain to be kind? Why do you pay it forward?” The site also has information about nominations for its Survivor Super Hero Awards. For more information and submission instructions, click here.
Thanks to Mike Skinner and Surviving Spirit
Special U.S Edition of Asylum Magazine Seeks Submissions
Asylum Magazine – “a forum for free debate, open to anyone with an interest in psychiatric or mental health” – is soliciting “sketches, comics, first-person accounts, collages, drawings, photographs, essays, poems, stories, paintings, interviews, excerpts from your memoirs and graphic novels, and other works in this special U.S.-based edition. The deadline is March 4, 2014. Send works to AsylumEditor@gmail.com and.or U.S. Asylum Editors, P.O. Box #8603, Delray Beach, FL 33484. For more information, click here.
Curing Insomnia May Help Cure Depression, Researchers Say
If individuals with depression were no longer plagued by insomnia, their chances of a complete recovery from depression could double. “A study of 66 patients by a team at Ryerson University in Toronto found that the cognitive therapy for insomnia, a brief and less intense form of talk therapy than many psychiatric patients are accustomed to, worked surprisingly well,” The New York Times reported. “Some 87 percent of the patients whose insomnia was resolved in four treatment sessions also had their depression symptoms disappear, almost twice the rate of those whose insomnia was not cured.” Other studies are expected to be published in 2014. In a related story, The Washington Post recently published a map showing depression rates around the world. The findings – which indicate that Afghanistan is the most depressed country, Japan the least depressed – suggest that environmental causes of depression are significant. “A 2010 paper by the Inter-American Development Bank found, for instance, that unemployment, low incomes and high income inequality correlate with high depression rates,” researchers noted. For the article, click here.
Many Veterans Who Are Prescribed Psychiatric Medications Lack a Psychiatric Diagnosis
Nearly a third of U.S. veterans who receive prescriptions for psychiatric medications do not have a psychiatric diagnosis, according to a new Yale study of 1.8 million veterans, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Veterans over 65 years old were more likely than younger veterans to get such prescriptions without a diagnosis, the study found. Dr. Ilse Wiechers, the lead author, told the Yale News, “As a geriatric psychiatrist, I kept running into patients with psychiatric drug prescriptions and no diagnosis of mental illness. The question was, how often is this happening?” She noted that the study could not determine whether the results were generated by overprescription of medication, underdiagnosis of mental health conditions, or incomplete documentation. However, she said, the findings were a cause for concern. For the study’s abstract, click here.
The Pictures-Speak-Louder-than-Words Department
Now from Germany comes a two-minute commercial promoting the benefits of having a psychiatric advance directive: “the Patverfu, an advance directive with a built-in representation agreement, in which any unwanted psychiatric treatment and any deprivation of liberty whatsoever resulting from a psychiatric diagnosis is prohibited by law.” The video shows what would have happened to a man and a woman if they had not had an advance directive, and then rewinds for a happy ending when the couple, armed with the document, avoid forced treatment. Caveat: part of the “before” scene, although very brief, may be difficult to watch if you have gone through similar trauma. But the ending makes up for it!
Thanks to Rita Cronise
Monthly National Networking Teleconferences Will Alternate Between Day and Evening!
Because some people have let us know that they would like to participate in the monthly national networking teleconferences of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse but they can’t do so during the workday, we will be alternating daytime (on the third Monday of the month, unless that is a holiday, in which case the call will take place on the fourth Monday of the month) and evening hours (on the third Tuesday of the month) for the teleconferences. The next teleconference will be held Monday, December 16, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT. The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the call is for peer movement activists from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! (The January call will take place on Tuesday, January 21, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT.) If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers email@example.com with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don’t want to suggest an agenda item it would be helpful if you would email Susan Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org; this will make it easier to provide the participants with teleconference minutes. Thanks! If you would like a copy of the July, August, September, October and/or November 2013 minutes, please write to email@example.com with the word “Minutes” in the subject line.
Consumer-Driven Services Directory
The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php , via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
About The Key Update
The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Volume 10, No. 5, November 2013, 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 800-553-4539 x3812, 267-507-3812 (direct) or email@example.com.