Your monthly psychiatric-mental health nursing news and updates
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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May, 2019

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: How Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses Save Lives

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Members' Corner

President's Message: Celebrating Human Connections
As psychiatric-mental health nurses, May is our month. Between Mental Health Month and Nurses Week, is there any population better suited than us to May's festivities? Our practice incorporates the crucial mental health care that so many individuals need while also providing the unique perspective of nurses, the nation's most trusted profession. Read More

Nurses in Action: Jeannine Loucks Improves Behavioral Health Care in Emergency Department
By standardizing routine procedures, a team including emergency department and psychiatric-mental health nurses in California was able to improve quality of patient care for persons with psychiatric-mental health needs, among other benefits. They shaved 38 minutes from the average time it takes to evaluate behavioral health patients and order medication, earning praise from a national emergency nurses’ organization. Read More

Member News
Tierria McGlothin joins Lakeland Mental Health Center; Huilbrie Pieters participates in study on therapeutic effects of gardening for psychiatric patients; Krista Scorsone receives Carol A. Lindeman New Researcher Award for 2019; Brenda Stallbaum welcomed to HFM Behavioral Health; Anne Thatcher profiled by the University of Missouri - St. Louis; Kathy Tierney speaks to Richmond Magazine about her passion for nursing. Learn More

The Pivotal Role of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
As the need for mental health professionals in the US grows, psychiatric-mental health nurses are ready to fill the gaps in the system. In a new APNA report, the opportunity for psychiatric-mental health nurses to use their training, skills, and compassion to increase access to care is detailed. Read the report and see how you can spread the word here

APNA Annual Conference Program Sneak Peek
It's almost time to register for the APNA 33rd Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 2-5! Get jazzed about the premiere event for psychiatric nursing with a sneak peek of the conference program.  Start browsing sessions now.

APNA Elections
Make your voice heard by voting in this year's APNA elections! By casting your vote for the APNA Board of Directors and 2020 Nominating Committee, you can help shape the future of your profession. Click here to access the online election guide. The deadline to vote is July 1. Vote now!

Featured Resource: Mental Health Month
As Mental Health Month draws to a close, check out a variety of resources to support you and your practice. From tip sheets for new nurses to a free CE webinar, we are celebrating your role as the whole health connection this month.  View

Resource Roundup

  • APNA Advocacy: Letter to House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies requesting support for healthcare and research
  • Medication Updates: FDA releases updated Drug Safety Communication about opioids

New Members: 979 New Members since March!

Issues & Events

A recently recognized brain disorder that mimics clinical features of Alzheimer’s disease has for the first time been defined with recommended diagnostic criteria and other guidelines for advancing and catalyzing future research. Scientists from several National Institutes of Health-funded institutions, in collaboration with international peers, described the newly-named pathway to dementia, Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy, or LATE, in a report published in the journal Brain. Full Story

A drug combination helped clear out special types of protective brain stem cells that were malfunctioning, adding a new tactic to Alzheimer’s researchers’ toolbox, according to a recent NIA-supported study in a mouse model of the disease. Full Story

German researchers have developed a two-tier test which can help detect Alzheimer’s disease long before any plaques begin forming in the brain, reported In Alzheimer’s disease, the amyloid beta protein folds incorrectly due to pathological changes long before the first symptoms occur. In the new study, a research team successfully diagnosed this misfolding with a simple blood test; as a result, the disease can be detected approximately eight years before the first clinical symptoms occur. The test wasn’t suitable for clinical applications, however: While it did detect 71% of Alzheimer’s cases in symptomless stages, it also provided false positive diagnoses for 9% of the study participants. Full Story

The National Quality Forum released the NQP™ Playbook: Improving Access to High-Quality Care for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness (SMI). In response to the urgent demand for practical, proven approaches, this valuable resource provides tangible solutions, concrete strategies, implementation exemplars, and a number of resources for healthcare delivery organizations and clinicians committed to improving access to care and outcomes for individuals living with SMI. Full Story

Suicide rates have increased among all youth, but there has been a particularly sharp rise among young females, reported MedScape. Suicide rate among girls aged 10 to 14 years tripled from 1999 through 2014, revealed a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although males traditionally take their own lives at much higher rates, researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, found that this gender gap is narrowing. Full Story

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has long been associated with members of the military who have gone through combat and with first responders who may face trauma in their work. It's also associated with survivors of sexual assault, car accidents and natural disasters. But researchers have also learned it can develop in adults who have experienced chronic childhood trauma — from physical, emotional or sexual abuse by caregivers or from neglect or other violations of safety. Outside of military and veterans' health facilities, finding knowledgeable help is often difficult. A limited number of the more than 423,000 mental health counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists in the U.S. are trained in two key therapies, called cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy, reported NPR. Full Story

Scientists have identified an epigenetic hotspot which they believe is linked to the dopamine-induced psychosis found in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, reported The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, may give researchers a fresh path forward for developing more effective treatments and biomarker-based screening strategies. Full Story

Sunovion received a breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA for its investigational EP-363856 for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. The company believes the drug has the potential to be the first agent for the treatment of schizophrenia that is not a dopamine 2 receptor antagonist. Full Story


Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill that creates a system for children needing help with mental health issues, according to an AP News report. Reynolds said the new law requires core services for children, regional crisis stabilization, mobile response teams, 24-hour hotline access to services, and $1.2 million for home and community-based children’s mental health services. The goal is to eliminate the waiting list that currently exists. Full Story

State lawmakers have passed a bill in the Oregon senate that, if it becomes law, would require health care facilities to establish violence prevention plans, protect workers' right to report, and create team-based solutions, bringing nurses into the conversation, reported Full Story


Florida has an estimated 400,000 children who need behavioral-health services, but 55% of them don’t get any treatment, reported Part of the problem is a lack of availability of health providers. According to a presentation from Jeffrey Brosco, director of Florida’s “Title V” funding program, Florida has one psychiatrist who treats children and adolescents for every 100,000 children. Brosco wants to use the Title V program to help build regional collaboratives anchored by Florida universities. The state has $20 million in Title V money this fiscal year, and Brosco said he wants to target $9 million to help establish the regional collaboratives. Full Story

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American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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