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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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April, 2018

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Effective Treatments for Opioid Use Disorders

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APNA Highlights

2018 APNA Elections: Call for Nominations is Open
Joining the APNA Board of Directors or Nominating Committee is an opportunity to hone your leadership skills, make lasting contributions, and form rewarding relationships with colleagues! To nominate yourself or a colleague, email your contact information to Nicholas Croce by Monday, May 21, 2018 at inform@apna.org.  Additional information will be provided upon receipt of your nomination.

Member News
Former APNA President Jane Ryan, RN, MN, CNAA of Dellroy, OH, passed away on March 26, 2018. Throughout her APNA Presidency (1998-2000) Jane’s leadership was integral to the advancement of the organization. Following her tenure on the Board, she continued to be a driving force for APNA and psychiatric-mental health nursing. Her legacy will continue on through the many nurses whom she mentored throughout her long professional career. Click here to view her obituary.

Earn 20+ Contact Hours in Pharmacology
At the APNA 16th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute, June 7-10, 2018 at Hyatt Regency Baltimore on the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD, you'll earn 22 pharmacology contact hours and get updates on military psychiatry, shared decision making, brain connections in substance use disorders, and more. New this year, the Program Committee will hold an Outcomes Panel each day to help you connect what you learned to your practice. Register by May 15 to save $75  |  Program

APNA Board of Directors Student Scholarship
Nursing students are invited to apply (and faculty are invited to nominate one or more students from their school) for the APNA Board of Directors Student Scholarships. This program both encourages students to join the psychiatric-mental health nursing profession and develops new leaders. These scholarships include:

  • Registration, travel, and lodging expenses to attend the APNA 32nd Annual Conference, October 24-27, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio
  • One year complimentary membership in the APNA.

The deadline to apply is May 7, 2018. Click here for more information.

Issues & Events

An article published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association proposes shifting the definition of Alzheimer’s disease in living people — for use in research — from the current one, based on cognitive changes and behavioral symptoms with biomarker confirmation, to a strictly biological construct. Full Story

In a newly published collection of research reports and essays, more than 20 experts in aging are looking to the future of science, professional education, clinical practice, and public policy to address dementia and mental health in late life. Across 10 articles compiled as a supplement to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), field leaders in geriatrics, dementia, and mental health have traced the trajectory of everything from our knowledge of neurological systems contributing to dementia to the development of new interprofessional approaches to teaching and managing late life problems in mental health. In so doing, they hope to chart a course forward for bridging the gap between science and clinical practice, which could transform the prevention and treatment of dementia and mental illness as the population ages. Full Story

The ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board seeks public comment on the proposed position statement, Nurses’ Role in the Care of Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The deadline for comments is May 24, 2018. Click here for more information.

The American Academy of Nursing is pleased to announce an ongoing initiative, generously supported by the Jonas Philanthropies to support early-career scholars who will contribute to shaping nursing practice, education, and research policy. The Academy Jonas Policy Scholars Program is a two-year fellowship program in which up to six highly qualified doctoral and post-doctoral students in nursing will be selected annually to learn about the policy work of the American Academy of Nursing while they advance their own career goals in areas emphasized by the Academy. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for its Assertive Community Treatment grants. The grants will be used to improve behavioral health outcomes by reducing the rates of hospitalization and death for people with a serious mental illness (SMI). SAMHSA expects that the program will also reduce the rates of substance use, homelessness and involvement with the criminal justice system among people with SMI. The purpose of the Assertive Community Treatment grant is to establish, expand and maintain Assertive Community Treatment programs. The Assertive Community Treatment Model provides around-the-clock support in the form of teams who are available to respond to a home or other setting and avoid crises caused by the symptoms of SMI. Full Story

New research offers hope that a noninvasive intervention can predict which individuals will or will not respond to drug treatment for depression, reported PsychCentral. Currently, 10% to 30% of individuals fail to respond to an initial course of care. Investigators found that an electroencephalogram or EEG can detect electrical activity in a brain region that corresponds to a patient’s response to an antidepressant, according to the paper which appears in JAMA Psychiatry. Full Story

Lurasidone (Latuda, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc), which received US Food and Drug Administration approval last month as the first single-agent formulation indicated for bipolar depression in children and adolescents, is also safe and effective over the longer term, new research suggests. A new interim analysis of treatment for up to 28 weeks, part of the ongoing 2-year, open-label extension of the study, was presented here at Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) 2018. Results showed continued improvement of depressive symptoms between open-label baseline and week 28 for patients who continued receiving lurasidone and improvement for those switched to lurasidone from placebo, reported MedScape. Full Story

An automated text messaging service may help to curb opioid abuse and reduce the likelihood of relapse while also decreasing treatment costs, reported PsychCentral. Investigators from Washington University School of Medicine and Epharmix, a digital health company, explain that the service provides automated text messages and phone calls to patients being treated for opioid addiction. The text messages ask patients if they’re feeling OK or struggling with potential relapse. Patients also can activate a panic button for immediate help. Full Story


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) introduced a bill to provide $100 billion in funding over 10 years to address the opioid crisis, reported The Hill. Full Story

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized polices for Medicare health and drug plans for 2019 that will save Medicare beneficiaries money on prescription drugs while offering additional plan choices. Full Story

Two new bills have been introduced in the New Jersey state Assembly that would allow advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe medication without having to enter into contracts with physicians, reported NJBiz.com. A854 would allow nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse anesthetists to prescribe and administer medication without having to sign a contract with a doctor and pay a physician fee. A3013 would allow APRNs to prescribe medications to help recovering alcoholics and addicts ease withdrawal symptoms. Full Story

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has signed two more bills designed to fight opioid abuse, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. The first bill lays out $1.5 million to treat jail inmates. The measure also directs state officials to administer $500,000 in federal grants for anti-abuse programs and establishes $1 million in grants to help fund drug investigations. Full Story

New legislation signed into law by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds creates six access centers to provide short-term care for those in crisis but not so ill to require a bed in psychiatric hospital units, while providing resources to help them return to their families. Although psychiatrists wouldn’t necessarily be on site, medical professionals such as nurse practitioners could prescribe medication, reported The Courier. Full Story

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is redirecting $2.4 million to fund eight additional nurses and 12 more psychologists and social workers for Boston Public Schools after parents, teachers and school mental health experts called for more behavioral health support for kids. Full Story


The Joint Commission has issued a new Sentinel Event Alert  to help health care workers in hospitals and other health care settings recognize violence from patients and visitors, become prepared to handle it and more effectively address the aftermath. Contributing factors associated with perpetrators of violence in health care include an altered mental status or mental illness, patients in police custody, long wait times or crowding, being given “bad news” about a diagnosis, gang activity, domestic disputes among patients or visitors, and the presence of firearms or other weapons. To help address these contributing factors, the alert provides seven actions suggested by The Joint Commission. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for Mental Health Awareness Training grants (Short Title: MHAT) totaling up to $47.4 million over the next three years. The purpose of this program is to: (1) train individuals (e.g., school personnel, emergency first responders, law enforcement, veterans, armed services members and their families) to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, particularly serious mental illness (SMI) and/or serious emotional disturbance (SED); (2) establish linkages with school- and/or community-based mental health agencies to refer individuals with the signs or symptoms of mental illness to appropriate services; (3) train emergency services personnel, veterans, law enforcement, fire department personnel, and others to identify persons with a mental disorder and employ crisis de-escalation techniques; and (4) educate individuals about resources that are available in the community for individuals with a mental disorder. 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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