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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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January, 2018

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Novel Treatments to Overcome Clinical Challenges in Treating Major Depressive Disorder

Hot Topic:
Treatment Teams

APNA Newsfeed

Career Center


APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits

Members' Corner

President's Message: Scope of Practice
Is this within my scope of practice? Recent discussions amongst members and an excellent session coming up at the APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute West this March have reminded me that there are many tools out there to help you ensure that you are operating within your scope of practice. (Read Linda Beeber's tips)

Nurses in Action: Launching a Research Career with the APNA Research Grant
In 2017, Jenna Brager, PhDc, BSN-RN, MS and Allison McCord, BSN, RN were awarded APNA Research Grants to fund their innovative research. Hear from them about their work, what they hope to bring to the field, and what receiving this grant means to them: Read More

Member News
Diane Allen named Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives; Diane Allen and Richard Ray discuss workplace safety; Jacob Creviston in New York Times male nurses profile; Cheryl Giscombe pens tips for beating the holiday blues; Shauna Richardson profiled for holistic health care to bridge mental health gap; Cynthia Rochon named Nursing Director of Behavior Health & Oasis. (Learn More)

Make APNA Transitions in Practice Work For Your Nursing Community
Nurse Educators know it can be a challenge to find training that maintains a baseline of psychiatric-mental health knowledge across a dynamic nursing team. Diane Swengros, Senior Education Coordinator for the INOVA Learning Network observes, “Many nurses come with medical expertise yet lack skills necessary to care for those diagnosed with mental illness. Nursing schools provide very little psychiatric experience to students due to lack of available psychiatric placements. The APNA Transitions in Practice (ATP) online training has been the solution.” (Read More)

2018 Calendar of Continuing Education
March 17-18: APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute West in San Diego, CA
June 7-10: APNA 16th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute in Baltimore, MD
October 24-27: APNA 32nd Annual Conference in Columbus, OH
Ongoing: APNA Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention & APNA Chapter Conferences in various locations.

Bylaws Amendments Pass
After feedback from APNA members about opportunities for involvement in leadership and support for APNA Chapters, the APNA Board of Directors proposed several amendments to the APNA bylaws. These amendments were passed with 96% of voters in favor of them on January 26, 2018.  Click here to view the full amended bylaws.

Call for Abstracts and Reviewers
Have you had a breakthrough in your nursing practice that you want to share? Do you want to make a difference in mental health and substance use care? Submit an abstract for the APNA 32nd Annual Conference and share your expertise with 1600+ psychiatric-mental health nurses from all areas of practice. The deadline for submission is March 5.You can also help identify the sessions you want at the APNA 32nd Annual Conference by joining the APNA Scholarly Review Committee. (Deadline to apply is February 19.)

Featured Resource: New Free Psychopharmacology Webinar
Earn 1.25 contact hours in pharmacology with a new webinar, Novel Treatments to Overcome Clinical Challenges in Treating Major Depressive Disorder. Explore recently approved and investigational agents that can work alongside individualized therapies for the care and treatment of persons with major depressive disorder. This webinar is free for all nurses courtesy of educational grants from Alkermes, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A, Inc, and Lundbeck. (Learn More)

Resource Roundup

New Members: 458 New Members since November!

Now Hiring - RN Outpatient Psychiatry

Issues & Events

Many young people at risk for psychosis show a disturbance in flow of meaning during speech. In a new study, researchers used a software program to analyze speech transcripts gathered from oral interviews with at-risk young adults. They discovered that the software was able to predict which of these individuals would develop psychosis within two years, with an accuracy of up to 83%, reported PsychCentral.com. Full Story

The world's first mental health ambulance has arrived in Sweden after more than 1,500 suicides and 15,000 suicide attempts were reported annually. Stockholm introduced the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PAM), specifically designed to assist in emergency response therapy. Although it looks like a conventional ambulance, patients are greeted with comfortable seats and warm, inviting lights inside, reported InTouchWeekly.com. Full Story

In a new study, researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have solved the first high-resolution crystal structure of the dopamine 2 receptor (DRD2) bound to the antipsychotic drug risperidone, resulting in a long-awaited tool for drug developers, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists. The finding will allow scientists to selectively activate DRD2, thus potentially reducing a large number of serious antipsychotic drug side effects such as weight gain, anxiety, dizziness, severe digestive problems, agitation, involuntary muscle movement, and many others, reported PsychCentral.com. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for up to $52 million in grants under its Treatment for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness program. The money will be used to help local service providers offer behavioral health and recovery support services to people experiencing homelessness. Full Story

Federal officials are targeting telemedicine programs to improve mental health counseling and tackle the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic in the latest round of Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grants. In all, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is issuing 72 grants worth almost $24 million to programs in 28 states through the DLT Grant Program, reported MHealthIntelligence.com. Full Story

For the 16th consecutive year, Americans' ratings of the honesty and ethical standards of 22 occupations finds nurses at the top of the list. More than eight in 10 (82%) Americans describe nurses' ethics as "very high" or "high." Full Story

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is considering five changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) in an add-on supplement that should be released later this year, reported MedScape. Full Story

Incoming American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) President Karen Dineen Wagner, MD, PhD, presented her Presidential Address: Depression Awareness and Screening in Children and Adolescents at AACAP’s 64th Annual Meeting. Click here to read her speech or click here to listen to JAACAP’s January 2018 podcast to learn more about Dr. Wagner’s initiative.


A new law will require the federal government to develop a national strategy to address the needs of family caregivers, including those supporting people with developmental disabilities. President Donald Trump signed legislation this week known as the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage, or RAISE Family Caregivers Act. The law calls for the secretary of health and human services to establish a national plan to “recognize and support family caregivers” within 18 months, reported DisabilityScoop.com. Full Story

Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (MO) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) to expand veterans’ access to peer counseling specialists recently passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Peer specialists can be particularly effective in combating the risks of suicide and addressing other mental health needs amongst veterans. Full Story

Veterans will soon be able to access healthcare no matter where they live through a telehealth connection, reported MHealthIntelligence.com. The Senate has unanimously passed The Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act of 2017 (S.925), following the House’s unanimous approval of H.R. 2123 in November. Because the Senate bill is slightly different from the House bill – it bars states from denying or revoking a physician’s license for using telemedicine across state lines - the two chambers of Congress will have to agree on one bill before sending it to the White House for the President’s signature. Full Story

President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order titled, “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life.” This Executive Order directs the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security to develop a plan to ensure that all new Veterans receive mental health care for at least one year following their separation from service. The three departments will work together and develop a Joint Action Plan to ensure that the 60 percent of new Veterans who currently do not qualify for enrollment in healthcare — primarily due to lack of verified service connection related to the medical issue at hand — will receive treatment and access to services for mental health care for one year following their separation from service. Full Story

Many state lawmakers say Washington needs more mental health facilities to unclog backups for psychiatric services, reported The News Tribune. To help fix that, a group of legislators have proposed asking voters later this year to approve $500 million in bonds to pay for a variety of mental health projects such as crisis centers and transitional housing. Full Story


Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas implemented a quality improvement program to help identify patients with such undetected risk through a universal suicide screening in the inpatient, outpatient and emergency care settings. How Parkland developed the program and its outcomes over six months is the focus of a new study in the January 2018 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Click here to read the study.

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