This month’s psychiatric-mental health nursing news and updates.
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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February, 2019

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Behavioral Couples Therapy for Alcohol/Drug Dependence

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APNA Highlights

Register Now: Psychopharmacology CE in Louisville
The APNA 17th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute will be held June 6-9, 2019 in Louisville, KY. Recharge with your fellow psychiatric-mental health nurses and nurture your practice with cutting-edge neuroscience and pharmacology. With a program planned for nurses, by nurses, you get the updates you need to continue providing person-centered care informed by the latest science. Plus, earn up to 21 contact hours in Pharmacology. Click here for more information and to register.

Call for Nominations: APNA Board of Directors and Nominating Committee
The 2019 Nominating Committee is seeking thought leaders interested in serving on the APNA Board of Directors as President Elect or Member-at-Large, as well as members interested in participating on the 2020 Nominating Committee. Click here for more information.

APNA 33rd Annual Conference Call for Abstracts
This year’s conference theme is Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses: The Whole Health Connection. Submissions from all levels of practice and areas of expertise are encouraged. Abstracts undergo peer-review by 3 members of the Scholarly Review Committee (SRC). The submission deadline is Monday March 4, 2019. Click here to learn more.

Fuel Your Curiosity with an APNA Research Grant
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association Research Grants program provides funding to enhance scientific contributions that advance the knowledge and practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. Funded by the APNA Foundation Committee, these awards seed new investigators who are beginning their scholarly careers and vary from $1,000 - $10,000 per award. Priority will be given to investigators who are early in their careers and who have not previously had major intra- or extramural funding. The application deadline is Mar. 19, 2019. Click here for more information.

APNA Board of Directors Student Scholarship Now Accepting Applications
Apply now for a scholarship to receive a trip to the APNA 33rd Annual Conference, October 2-5 in New Orleans, LA, and complimentary membership for one year. The application deadline is April 8, 2019. Click here for more information.

Register Now for CPI West
CPI West, March 16-17, 2019 at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley, San Diego, CA, brings the clinically relevant sessions from the APNA Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute to the west coast! Experience two days of continuing nursing education in psychopharmacology, planned for nurses, by nurses. Earn up to 10 contact hours in pharmacology. Click here to register.

Overcoming Diagnostic and Treatment Challenges in Bipolar I Disorder

Issues & Events

In a new advisory, The Joint Commission summarizes several de-escalation models and provides guidance and resources for working with persons displaying agitated or aggressive behavior in the ED and inpatient settings. The Joint Commission’s new Quick Safety, Issue 47: “De-escalation in health care” includes techniques health care professionals can apply to reduce aggression and agitation, minimize restraint or seclusion, and ultimately prevent violence or harm to staff. Full Story

Researchers have shown that a type of magnetic resonance imaging — called neuromelanin-sensitive MRI (NM-MRI) — is a potential biomarker for psychosis. NM-MRI signal was found to be a marker of dopamine function in people with schizophrenia and an indicator of the severity of psychotic symptoms in people with this mental illness. The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Full Story

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Psychopharmacologic Drug Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee voted in favor (14 yes, 2 no, 1 abstain) of the approval of esketamine nasal spray (Spravato; Janssen) for the treatment of adult patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The decision was based on data from five Phase 3 studies assessing the safety and efficacy of esketamine, a non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist; patients in these studies had a history of inadequate response to least 2 prior antidepressants and generally had more severe symptoms than those who participated in antidepressant studies for previously approved drugs, reported Full Story

Roughly one in six U.S. kids have at least one mental health disorder, and only about half of them receive treatment from a mental health professional, a new study suggests. Nationwide, an estimated 7.7 million children ages 6 to 17 have at least one mental health disorder, or about 16.5% of school age kids, reported MDLinx Nursing. The prevalence of childhood mental health problems ranged from a low of 7.6% in Hawaii to a high of 27.2% in Maine, researchers reported in JAMA Pediatrics. Full Story

A mental health advocacy group has spearheaded a new initiative to reclassify schizophrenia as a neurologic, rather than a psychiatric, disease, reported MedScape. The action is designed to reduce stigma and ultimately obtain more research funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Full Story

A study has shed light on the neurocomputational contributions to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans. The findings, published in Nature Neuroscience, revealed distinct patterns for how the brain and body respond to learning danger and safety depending on the severity of PTSD symptoms. These findings could help explain why symptoms of PTSD can be severe for some people but not others. The study was funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health. Full Story

Veridian Behavioral Health, a multi-disciplinary mental health care center, is adding another tool to help clients in their programs — certified therapy dogs. Many of Veridian's psychiatrists, counselors and nurse practitioners serve individuals and families struggling with common life problems such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, marital problems, parent-child conflicts or grief and loss. Three dogs introduced into the program assist adult inpatient and outpatient clients at the hospital, as well as children suffering trauma and other mental health issues at Veridian's east campus, according to US News & World Report. Full Story


Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), a senior Member of the House Education and Labor Committee, introduced legislation to curb rising rates of workplace violence facing health care and social service employees such as nurses, physicians, emergency responders, medical assistants, and social workers. The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309) directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a standard requiring health care and social service employers to write and implement a workplace violence prevention plan to prevent and protect employees from violent incidents in the workplace. Full Story

The Mental Health Liaison Group wrote to Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy to extend and expand the current Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Medicaid demonstration via the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act. Click here to read the letter.

Late last year, Former Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that approved $30 million for school mental health services in Michigan schools. Michigan’s lack of school-based mental health providers and school nurses is one of the worst in the nation, according to a report by the School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan (SCHA-MI). The funding will help more than 1,500 schools with students who are not getting the mental health help that they require, reports Crain’s Detroit Business. Full Story

MassHealth will now pay for telemedicine for members who use it to access behavioral health care, reported The new benefit will let MassHealth members use secure audio or video technology to access mental health providers. Providers who offer remote consultations will be reimbursed at the same rate as for in-person visits. Full Story


Providing personalized care consultations to patients suffering from dementia helps dramatically drop nursing home admissions while also trimming healthcare spending, reported McKnight's Long-term Care News. Investigators tested the use of UCLA’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program, in which individuals with dementia and their caregivers meet for a 90-minute, in-person assessment to develop a personalized care plan for their treatment. Personalized care plans aimed to address patients’ medical needs, as well as mental health and social issues that may also impact care. Nurse practitioners then collaborated with individuals’ primary care physicians and specialists to implement the dementia care plan, making adjustments along the way. Full Story

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

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