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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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January, 2015

Members' Corner
APNA Member Info

APNA eLearning Center
Featured Session: Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

Hot Topic on Member Bridge:
PMHN Certification Exam

APNA Newsfeed
Keep up-to-date on APNA happenings!

Find out about APNA events in your area.

APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits: Learn More

President's Message
My family members have long chided me for "having perfect strangers start telling me their personal problems"...while waiting in line at the grocery store or asking for help from a shelf stocker at a big box store or standing at a crosswalk...(Cont'd)

In Your Own Words: Psych Nurses' Stories
This month we hear from someone new to nursing: J.M. has been a psychiatric-mental health nurse for just four months. Entering nursing school, I had my sights set on working in the operating room.  I was extremely nervous for my psychiatric-mental health nursing rotation. (Cont'd)

Member News
Dustin Adams quoted in "Friendship helps in addressing Dementia"; Carol-Ann Cenac honored as 2014-2015 VIP Professional Woman of the Year by NAPW; Noelia Citialin featured in "New study says sleeping late could lead to mental disorders"; Nancy Hanrahan highlighted in "UPenn nursing professor investigates transitional care model for treating seriously mentally ill patients"; Amy Kirsch featured in "Swedish American Center for Mental Health's use of soothing rooms gains national recognition"; Annette Maruca featured in "Breaking Down Barriers to Healthcare for the Incarcerated"; Bernadette Melnyk President of National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities; Sean Murphy featured in "What happened to HIV prevention?";  Elizabeth Varcarolis awarded 3rd Place, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Category and Kathleen Wheeler awarded 2nd Place, Advanced Practice Category, in American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards. (Learn More)

Mental Health Parity Updates
The Mental Health Liaison Group (of which APNA is a member) is a coalition of mental health organizations that monitors mental health policy issues and provides periodic updates. View Recent Updates

Continuing Education
Annual Conference Call for Abstracts: Don't miss the opportunity to share your expertise with 1500+ of your colleagues at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort this October. Deadline: March 9  |  Learn More
Online CE: Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, a podcast recording of Andrew Solomon's keynote at last October's Annual Conference, is available for free with the opportunity to earn 0.75 contact hours. Plus, 82 session recordings from the conference are now also available in the APNA eLearning Center.
Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute: Plan to join us this June 11-14 in a BRAND NEW location for three to four days of continuing education specific to psychopharmacology. Where is this new location? You can find out here.

Council News: Addictions & Tobacco Dependence
“I'm thrilled to be working with Dr. Carol Essenmacher in chairing the newly blended Addictions Council and Tobacco Dependence Council,” says Matt Tierney, PMHNP-BC, ANP-BC, Chair of the APNA Addictions Council. On January 1st the Tobacco Dependence Council integrated with the Addictions Council, now operating as a branch within the Addictions Council. (Cont'd)

Resource Roundup
  • Medication Updates: New SAMHSA Guidance on Clinical Use of Extended-Release Injectable Naltrexone in the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorders;FDA reports Ziprasidone associated with rare but potentially fatal skin reactions.
  • Ebola Resources: Ebola response updates from the FDA; Recording and transcript from November 24th COCA Call - Caring for Patients with Ebola in U.S. Hospitals: A Nursing Perspective
  • Substance Use Resources: Data from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
  • Integrated Care Resources: SAMHSA Guide - Advancing Behavioral Health Integration Within NCQA Recognized Patient-Centered Medical Homes
  • Free CE: ANA 1/29 Webinar on Values-Based Leadership & 2/18 Webinar on Nurse Fatigue, free to APNA members as a part of their ANA eMembership;  Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity (0.75 Contact Hrs)
  • Grants & Scholarships: Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program now accepting applications; HRSA Advanced Nursing Education (ANE) Funding Opportunity Announcement
  • Health Care Reform Resources: Tools for consumers from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Get Covered America Tools for consumers

New Members: 356 New Members Since November!

Issues & Events

A new clinical index accurately predicts psychiatric inpatients' risk for readmission to hospital within 30 days and may help inform treatment plans that better facilitate transition to community care, new research shows. The READMIT clinical risk index quantifies selected patient characteristics to produce a validated score in which a 1-point increase was found to correspond to an 11% increase in the odds of requiring readmission within 30 days of discharge, reported MedScape.com. Full Story

The National Council for Behavioral Health is launching a six-part webinar series in collaboration with the Action Alliance and National Institute for Mental Health featuring the Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention. Click here for more information.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for a fiscal year 2015 Suicide Prevention Resource Center grant. The purpose of this program is to build national capacity for preventing suicide by providing technical assistance, training, and resources to states, tribes, organizations, SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith grantees and others to develop suicide prevention strategies (including programs, interventions, and policies) that advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The overall goal is to reduce suicides and suicidal behaviors in the nation. SAMHSA expects that one grantee will be awarded up to $28.1 million for five years. The actual award amount may vary, depending on the availability of funds. Full Story

Nearly 40% of patients experiencing their first episode of schizophrenia receive drug treatment that is inconsistent with recommendations for first episode patients. Schizophrenia is usually a chronic illness, so early treatment can set the stage for long-term outcome. Consensus guidelines emphasize that treatment of the first schizophrenia episode differs from medication for established illness. Inappropriate prescribing can lead to metabolic problems or make treatment intolerable for patients, leading them to stop taking the medication. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for up to $163.2 million in Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) grants over the next four years. The purpose of this program to provide coordinated and integrated services by co-locating primary and specialty care medical services in community-based mental and behavioral health settings. Full Story

A partnership between the Connell School of Nursing and the VA Boston Healthcare System has established a new program to enhance the training and professional development of nurse practitioners who work with veterans and their families, reported the Boston College Chronicle. A grant from the Veterans Health Administration has established a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Residency Program; VA Boston Healthcare System-CSON is one of only four partnerships in the country chosen to pilot the new program. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2015 Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success State and Tribal Initiative grants (SPF-PFS grants). The program is designed to address two of the nation’s top substance abuse prevention priorities: 1) underage drinking among persons aged 12 to 20; and 2) prescription drug misuse and abuse among persons aged 12 to 25. The SPF-PFS program is also intended to bring SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) to a national scale. Full Story

Many individuals in state and federal prisons who suffer from mental illness get no treatment, according to new research by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, reported PsychCentral.com. Mental health disorders among prisoners have consistently exceeded rates of disorders in the general population. In fact, 26% of prisoners in the study reported a mental health condition, compared to 18% in the general population in 2012, according to the National Institutes of Health. Full Story

Amid several local developments in nursing education, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was given a grant of more than $142,000 to help establish the Valley’s first nursing program focused on psychiatric health. reported The Monitor. The grant, awarded by Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, will be used by the university to finish developing a post-master’s certificate program for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners in hopes to increase the number of specialized nurses in the area. Full Story

Over the last decade, the ranks of licensed nurse practitioners have nearly doubled in the U.S., increasing from 106,000 in 2004 to 205,000 by the end of last year, according to data from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Full Story

In 2014, Americans say nurses have the highest honesty and ethical standards. Eighty percent of Americans say nurses have "very high" or "high" standards of honesty and ethics, according to a Gallup poll. Full Story


Recently, the House of Representatives passed the Save American Workers Act of 2015, H.R. 30 which would change the current definition of full-time work under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), raising it to 40 hours per week from the current definition of 30 hours. the legislation would negatively impact those in jobs where full-time work involves less than 40 hours per week. This would include the 1.69 million RNs and APRNs who are employed by general medical and surgical hospitals, other specialty hospitals, and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals. Typically, RNs who work in a hospital setting work a three day, 12 hour shift, with a workweek of 36 hours. If enacted, employers subject to the employer mandate would no longer be required to offer health insurance benefits to those working the regularly scheduled 36 hour work week. The legislation is now in the Senate and the American Nurses Association is asking nurses to share your stories so we can demonstrate the negative impact this bill would have on nurses. Full Story

Twenty eight states, three territories and the District of Columbia will receive over $665 million in Affordable Care Act funding to design and test health care payment and service delivery models that will improve health care quality and lower costs. Some of the initiatives will focus on Improving primary care through patient centered medical homes, building upon current Accountable Care Organization models or integrating primary care and behavioral health services. Full Story

On Jan. 1, Minnesota joined 18 other states in authorizing its most highly educated nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training. Until now, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists and nurse anesthetists in Minnesota were required to maintain a collaborative agreement with a physician in order to practice, reported the Austin Daily Herald. Full Story


Continuing their successful collaboration to accelerate reform of juvenile justice system responses to youth with behavioral health needs, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (MacArthur Foundation) announce the launch of their 2015-16 Improving Diversion Policies and Programs for Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Disorders: An Integrated Policy Academy-Action Network Initiative. Up to four states will be selected to participate in this opportunity to improve policies and practices for these youth – an opportunity proven very successful for the 12 previous Policy Academy participants. Full Story

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is Accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the
American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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