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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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February, 2011
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Member Highlights

Registration for the APNA 9th Annual
Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute is NOW OPEN!

The APNA 9th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute will be held June 16-19, 2011 in Reston, Virginia. Conference attendees will earn up to 24.25 continuing education contact hours Thursday - Sunday. New This Year!  Popular CPI speaker Dr. Barbara Limandri will give a Pre-conference session "Guide to Rational Prescribing" on Thursday evening June 16th. For more details about this session and the conference program as a whole, click here.  Register now to take advantage of the early bird rates - $375 for members and $575 for nonmembers (no increase from last year's registration rates)!  Click here to register.

APNA 25th Annual Conference Keynotes Announced
APNA is thrilled to announce an exciting lineup of speakers for the 25th Annual Conference! Three highly regarded experts in health care will deliver keynotes at the conference in Anaheim: Jean Watson, BSN, MS, PhD; Pamela S. Hyde, JD; and Catherine Dower, JD. In addition, special guest Grayce Sills RN, PhD, FAAN will open the conference with an introductory address. Full Story

Annual Conference:  Call for Abstract Proposals Deadline March 1
Play your part in creating the APNA 25th Annual Conference program by submitting an abstract proposal to be considered for presentation. Looking for presentation ideas or collaborators?  Consider posting a message on the Member Bridge All-Purpose Discussion Forum.
Click here for information on submitting a proposal/abstract.  (Deadline: March 1, 2011)

American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Fellow Kathleen Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN, was appointed to the IOM's Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations, which is set to have its first meeting on March 7-8 in Washington, DC. Full Story

Issues & Events

States have been forced to cut mental health agency budgets by a combined total of nearly $2.2 billion over the last three fiscal years, the largest reduction to mental health spending since the 1960s, according to survey data released at a Congressional briefing on mental health budget cuts. Some states have been forced to make cuts equaling 20% of their total mental health spending. In the worst hit states, reductions approaching 40% are being contemplated. Full Story To read NASMHPD's PowerPoint slides from the briefing click here. (PDF file)

The SAMHSA budget has undergone a significant restructuring and a shifting of established programs into new line items in the agency budget, reported The National Council. For example, the Programs of National and Regional Significance in each Center at SAMHSA have been shifted under the umbrella of a new Innovations and Emerging Issues section of each Center's budget. Additionally, three new programs will have been established to provide substance abuse and mental health prevention grants to the states, tribes and territories. Overall, SAMHSA’s proposed budget is $3.387 billion, a $44 million decrease from FY 2010. Full Story

Smoking marijuana might trigger an earlier onset of psychosis, a new analysis of previously published research suggests. Among people who developed a psychotic illness, those who had smoked pot developed the illness almost three years earlier than those who hadn't, the Australian researchers said, and they speculated that marijuana may actually cause psychosis in some patients. But APNA member Michael Rice, a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, isn't convinced that smoking pot causes psychosis and said there are still several other theories that could explain the relationship. One hypothesis is that schizophrenia may be due to an inflammation in the brain, perhaps due to a virus, and that people with pre-symptomatic schizophrenia gravitate towards pot because it has an anti-inflammatory effect, said Rice, who is also associate director of Nebraska's Behavioral Health Education Center. Full Story

Serenity Place, a new 16-bed wing at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota, FL, accepts voluntary patients who are 55 and older. Like others around the country, this facility reflects Medicare's attempts to address the cost spiral of repeated, ineffective behavioral interventions among the elderly. The goal of Serenity Place is to return patients to their homes with skills for handling stress. Unlike a standard psych ward, Serenity Place almost resembles a hotel, with private rooms and muted colors, reported The Herald-Tribune. Full Story

A new UK study suggests depression can be treated effectively with psychotherapy by mental health nurses with minimal training. Although the findings are preliminary, researchers found that patients with severe depression can be treated successfully with behavioral activation - a specific psychotherapy technique for depression - by non-specialist mental health staff, reported PsychCentral.com. This specific type of behavioral treatment of depression by mental health nurses shows promise in initial studies. Unlike American medical care, health care in the UK is driven by primary care or general practice physicians with close consultations with public health specialists. If true, the new findings could lead to considerable cost-savings for the British health care system. Full Story


APNA and other members members of the Mental Health Liaison Group sent a letter to Rep. Janice Schakowsky in support of the Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act, important legislation that will assist colleges and universities in successfully addressing the growing mental health needs of campus communities. Full Story (PDF file)

Rep. Grace F. Napolitano introduced HR 751, the Mental Health in Schools Act, to the 112th Congress and hosted a panel of mental health advocates to explain the importance of increasing youth mental health services. The Mental Health in Schools Act would create a competitive grant program which would allow the receiving school districts to hire mental health professionals. By having qualified professionals working on-site in the schools, parents and administrators will be better able to detect and prevent mental illness. Full Story

A federal judge in Florida became the first to strike down the entire law that overhauled the nation's health-care system, potentially complicating implementation of the statute in the 26 states that brought the suit. The decision by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson represents a more sweeping repudiation of the law than the December ruling in a suit brought by Virginia that found the requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance to be unconstitutional, reported The Washington Post.. Full Story

More than nine of 10 leaders in health and health care policy believe the Affordable Care Act sets the right course for health reform, according to a new survey. And despite wide differences of opinion in Congress, and varied levels of support among the general public, nearly seven of 10 (68%) experts favor implementing the law with little or no change, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey, which asked respondents their views about priorities for the 112th Congress. Full Story


The Institute of Medicine announced the formation of a new consensus study, Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations. The IOM will seek to determine the mental and behavioral health care needs of Americans who are over 65 years of age and make policy recommendations for meeting those needs through a competent and well-trained mental health workforce, especially in light of the projected doubling of the aged population by 2030. Full Story

The launch of the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP) - a collaboration formed to discover and map the genes that contribute to Alzheimer's disease - was announced by a multi-national group of researchers. The collaborative effort, spanning universities from both Europe and the U.S., will combine the knowledge, staff and resources of four consortia that conduct research on Alzheimer's disease genetics. Full Story

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