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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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May, 2016

Members' Corner
APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: APNA eSeries: Bipolar Spectrum Disorders

Hot Topic on Member Bridge:
Teaching Therapeutic Communication

APNA Newsfeed
Keep up-to-date on APNA happenings!

Find out about APNA events in your area.

APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits: Learn More

President's Message: What are We Celebrating?
Originally distributed in honor of 2016 Nurses' Week: I love being a nurse. More specifically, I love being a psychiatric-mental health nurse. As we join our colleagues from across nursing in celebrating Nurses Week, I think it’s important to also celebrate our remarkable contributions as psychiatric-mental health nurses. (Cont'd)

In Your Own Words: Psych Nurses' Stories
This month, we hear from a nurse who has been a psychiatric-mental health nurse for 39 years: I had always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and I don't recall what changed my mind. However, one summer, my life direction became obvious. I worked as a nursing assistant on an inpatient medical unit, really enjoying the patients and spending time with them. (Cont'd)

Member News
Dr. Susan Calloway discusses the new PMH program at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center; Cindy Cunningham named nurse practitioner at Fellowship Health Resources; Marcella J. Echternacht honored by Nebraska Legislature for her nursing career; Pamela Heiple honored with Highland Hospital Advanced Practice Provider Award; Jenny Kleinert profiled by the Herald Independent; Bernadette Melnyk to head landmark national institute on evidence-based practice; Dawn Salyards develops Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic at the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center; Jessica Walker named a Founder's Medalist for the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. (Learn More)

Educating and Empowering Nurses During a National Epidemic
"Just talking about this crisis isn’t enough – we need to get treatment to more people who need it,” said President Obama during his May 14th weekly address, in which he shed light on the current opioid addiction and heroin use epidemic. APNA, in response to an invitation from the White House, is working to empower the largest segment of the healthcare workforce to raise awareness of assessment tools and intervention options for persons with substance use disorders, specifically opioid misuse. (Cont'd)

Free CE in Honor of Mental Health Month
Just in time for Mental Health Month, APNA has released the third and final issue of its free eSeries on Bipolar Spectrum Disorders, Bipolar Spectrum Disorders: Counseling, Psychoeducation, & Psychotherapy - Evidence-Based Components in the Therapeutic Relationship. You can now access all 3 issues and earn up to 5.25 CE contact issues at no cost. (View)

Just Announced! Save 10% on your Professional Liability Insurance with CPI
When you attend at least 6 contact hours at the APNA 14th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute next month, you will be eligible for a 10%, non-cumulative credit to your base professional liability premium through NSO and HPSO. (Learn More)

APNA Institute Explores Role of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse in Emergency Department
As patients with psychiatric and substance use issues increasingly use emergency departments to meet their acute and chronic health care needs, emergency departments are grappling with how to best meet this populations’ health care needs. During the Institute for Safe Environments’ Interactive Panel at the 2013 APNA Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, a group of nurses expressed an interest in discussing the issues related to caring for psychiatric patients in hospital emergency departments. (Cont'd)

Resource Roundup

  • Traumatic Events Resources: New toolkit, Helping Victims of Mass Violence & Terrorism, available
  • Military & PTSD Resources:Veterans Online Self-Help Resource Center added
  • Organizational Responses: Letter from the Nursing Community about Nurses Week
  • Medication Updates: FDA warns of impulse-control problems associated with aripiprazole and adds new warning to all olanzapine-containing products
  • Safety Toolbox: Resources for creating safe environments in honor of Nurses Week 2016
  • Free CE: Free webinars available through ANA and CDP on engaging patients in mental health crises and responding to an infectious disease outbreak

New Members: 487 New Members since March!

Issues & Events

Mental Health America (MHA) announced a new national collaboration with Walgreens to help connect more people with critical mental health screening tools and information. Working with MHA, Walgreens launched a new, dedicated mental health “answer center” on its website to help connect people to MHA’s Online Screening Program - free, scientifically-based online screenings for a number of conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD and others. Full Story

A chemical byproduct, or metabolite, created as the body breaks down ketamine likely holds the secret to its rapid antidepressant action, National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and grantees have discovered. This metabolite singularly reversed depression-like behaviors in mice without triggering any of the anesthetic, dissociative, or addictive side effects associated with ketamine. Clinical trials have shown that ketamine can lift depression in hours, or even minutes – much faster than the most commonly used antidepressant medications now available, which often require weeks to take effect. Further, the antidepressant effects of a single dose can last for a week or longer. However, despite legitimate medical uses, ketamine also has dissociative, euphoric, and addictive properties, making it a potential drug of abuse and limiting its usefulness as a depression medication. Full Story

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that compulsive or uncontrollable urges have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics). These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced. These impulse-control problems are rare, but they may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized. Full Story

More young children 2 to 5 years of age receiving care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could benefit from psychological services – including the recommended treatment of behavior therapy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest Vital Signs report urges healthcare providers to refer parents of young children with ADHD for training in behavior therapy before prescribing medicine to treat the disorder. Full Story

ICN is now accepting online abstract submissions for the ICN 2017 Congress. The theme for the May 27- June 1, 2017 meeting taking place in Barcelona, Spain is "Nurses Transforming Care". Instructions for the submission of abstracts and details on the themes to be addressed can be accessed at www.icncongress.com. ICN invites nurses and others around the world to share their ideas, research and expertise by submitting abstracts for the scientific program. The deadline for abstract submission is October 10, 2016. Click here to learn more.

A new report shows that behavioral health treatment and supports provided through systems of care can have far-reaching benefits for children and adolescents who experience mental disorders. Some of these benefits include a reduction in rates of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. Approximately 10% of children and adolescents in the U.S. experience a serious emotional disturbance (SED) that impacts their ability to function at home, in school, or in the community. Yet according to the National Institutes of Mental Health and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only about half of all children and adolescents in need of behavioral and emotional services receive them. SAMHSA’s new report – Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Services and Supports Through Systems of Care – examines how services provided through community-based systems of care positively impact behavioral health outcomes for children and adolescents with SED. A system of care is a collaborative approach to providing behavioral health services to children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. Full Story

Canadian researchers have incorporated real-time analytics to better determine the risk for violence in psychiatric patients. The tool was developed for risk management in the forensic psychiatric setting but has been adapted for use in general psychiatry and in the community, reported MedScape. Full Story

The American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) convened more than 100 experts from the health care, academia and professional certification industries for a National Convening – The Value of Certification: Building the Business Case for Certification. Through a work group-based discussion facilitated by Stratford Managers, the attendees built consensus on four research priorities relevant to the value of specialty certification for patients, health care providers, employers, educators, and multidisciplinary health care teams. Full Story


Click here for the May State Legislative Activity Report, made available as a part of APNA's legislative tracking system.

The Veteran’s Health Administration's proposed rule that allows for full practice authority for APRNs in VA was published in the Federal Register May 25th.  The proposed rule  can be seen here. The comment period on the rule has a deadline of July 25, 2016.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule to advance health equity and reduce health care disparities. Under the rule, individuals are protected from discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and gender, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and gender stereotyping. The final rule also enhances language assistance for people with limited English proficiency and helps to ensure effective communication for individuals with disabilities. The protections in the final rule and Section 1557 regarding individuals’ rights and the responsibilities of many health insurers, hospitals, and health plans administered by or receiving federal funds from HHS build on existing federal civil rights laws to advance protections for underserved, underinsured, and often excluded populations. Full Story


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) released new evidence-based recommendations on the use of antipsychotics to treat agitation or psychosis in patients with dementia. The guidelines include recommendations for assessment of psychological and behavioral symptoms of dementia, development of a comprehensive treatment plan, assessment of the benefits and risks of antipsychotics, and judicious use of antipsychotics, including specifics for dosing, duration and monitoring. Full Story

The Joint Commission is implementing new behavioral health care standards, effective July 1, 2016, to better address the care, treatment or services of eating disorders programs. The new standards impact Joint Commission-accredited behavioral health care organizations providing outpatient or residential eating disorders programs. 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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