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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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April, 2017

APNA Highlights
APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured CE: Safety Monitoring - One Size Does Not Fit All

Hot Topic on Member Bridge:
Psychosis vs. Delirium

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Keep up-to-date on APNA happenings!

Find out about APNA events in your area.

APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits

APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute Early Bird Registration Ends May 15
Join your colleagues this June 8-11 to earn up to 23 contact hours in psychopharmacology at the APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute in Baltimore, MD. Register by May 15 to save $75 and get ready for a program planned for nurses by nurses.

Comment on National Patient Safety Goal Related to Suicide
The Joint Commission is seeking comments on its proposed revisions to the National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) Related to Suicide for the hospital accreditation program. APNA encourages all nurses to make their voices heard on this important issue. The Joint Commission is accepting comments through May 1st, but we ask that you share your comments with APNA by Friday, April 28th so that we can incorporate your feedback into our organizational response to the Joint Commission. Click here to access a quick guide (and some suggested text) to help you make your voice heard.

NASN Partnership to Enhance School Nurses’ Foundational Knowledge of Psychiatric-Mental Health
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) and National Association of School Nurses (NASN) announced their partnership to provide a continuing nursing education certificate program in psychiatric-mental health to school nurses. Members of NASN have access to APNA’s Transitions in Practice Certificate Program (ATP). NASN members can purchase and complete the self-paced course, which offers 15 continuing nursing education contact hours, online. Click here to learn more.

2017 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 30 APNA Board of Directors Student Scholarships available this year. These scholarships include:

  • Registration, travel, and lodging expenses to attend the APNA 31st Annual Conference, October 18-21, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona
  • One year complimentary membership in the APNA.

The application deadline is May 8, 2017. Click here to learn more.

Issues & Events

Health and Human Services will soon provide $485 million in grants to help states and territories combat opioid addiction. The funding, which is the first of two rounds provided for in the 21st Century Cures Act, will be provided through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Full Story

The Health Resources and Services Administration is accepting applications for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program. The purpose of the BHWET Program is to develop and expand the behavioral health workforce serving populations across the lifespan, including in rural and medically underserved areas. The BHWET Program places special emphasis on establishing or expanding internships or field placement programs in behavioral health that include interdisciplinary training for students/interns, faculty and field supervisors to provide quality behavioral health services to communities in need. Applications are due by by June 12, 2017. Click here for more information.

At the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin detailed six ideas that the Bluegrass State is trying in order to combat the opioid crisis, reported Hospitals & Health Networks. Full Story

Opioid treatment programs for low-income Americans are in short supply in areas where they're needed the most, a new study contends. Lack of affordable access is particularly apparent across the Southeast, reported Health Day. "In the midst of an escalating opioid epidemic, treatment in opioid treatment programs are almost nonexistent for low-income Americans -- (meaning) Medicaid enrollees -- in a majority of the country," said study lead author Amanda Abraham, an assistant professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia. Full Story

High patient dropout rates and poor medication adherence in psychiatry could be turned around by focusing on factors that affect patient satisfaction and engagement with therapy, new research suggests. A new meta-analysis identifies dozens of patient- and provider-related factors that affect patient satisfaction and engagement in psychiatry, many of which are related to patients' self-efficacy and knowledge and the quality of their relationship with their healthcare provider, reported MedScape. Full Story

The ANA Enterprise announced that it will launch the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ (HNHN) Grand Challenge, a new initiative designed to transform the health of the nation by improving the health of America’s 3.6 million registered nurses, on May 1. The HNHN Grand Challenge will connect and engage individual nurses, employers of nurses, state nurses associations, and specialty nurses associations to take action to improve their health in five key areas:  physical activity, rest, nutrition, quality of life, and safety.  Full Story

The University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing is using a $2.1 million grant to expand mental health services to underserved parts of the state, reported SCTimes.com. The nursing school will partner with the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Touchstone Mental Health and Northern Pines Mental Health Center to train students as well as provide mental health and primary care to rural Minnesota and those with limited access. Full Story

The American Psychiatric Association’s Psychiatric Service Award is presented to innovative programs that deliver services to the mentally ill or disabled, that have overcome obstacles, and that can serve as models for other programs. For more information about submitting an application (due June 1) for the 2018 Psychiatric Services Achievement Awards click here.

Each year, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) presents the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health which recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations worldwide for their outstanding achievement in improving mental health. This award includes a medal and $20,000. You can nominate a friend or colleague now through May 23. Click here for more information.


In Pennsylvania, the Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee passed Senate Bill 25, which, along with House Bill 100, would enable NPs to provide primary and specialized care patients across the state, especially those living in rural and underserved communities, by modernizing the state’s licensure rules. SB25 and HB100 have bipartisan support from legislators and numerous statewide and national organizations, reported WeAreCentralPa.com. Full Story

Recently, the Kansas House voted to send legislation to Gov. Sam Brownback aimed at increasing the number of qualified mental health nurses in the state. The Nursing Service Scholarship Program already existed, but the Legislature’s move would prioritize candidates who commit to working in the mental health field – and specifically within Kansas – after graduation, reported the Hutchinson News. Full Story


A "massive and growing" mental health burden across the world can only be tackled successfully with a major expansion of online psychiatric resources such as virtual clinics and web-based psychotherapies, according to specialists speaking at the European Congress on Psychiatry (ECP). With resources tight and the global mental health system only serving around 10% of patients even now, the web is the only option for significant extra treatment capacity, reported Reuters. Full Story

A training program that teaches nursing home staff better understand cognitively impaired residents' behavior may help reduce the use of antipsychotic medications within facilities, according to a new study. Researchers with the University of Massachusetts Medical School set out to assess the impact a communication-focused training program, dubbed “OASIS”, could have on nursing facilities' off-label antipsychotic use. OASIS helps workers such as nursing assistants, nurses and dietary staff identify residents' challenging behaviors through the lens of unmet needs. Those needs range from physiological, such as food and comfort, to safety and social needs, reported McKnight's. 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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