Updated S & R Position Paper + Member Highlights + More
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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May, 2018

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Whole Health Begins with Mental Health

Hot Topic:
Time with Patients

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Career Center


APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits

Members' Corner

President's Message: Happy Nurses Week & Mental Health Month!
I drove a beat up old pickup truck when I first started my research on maternal mental health. I am of quite small stature. So, getting into that pickup truck required a pretty big physical leap up on my part. Where that old pickup truck took me was also a leap, some people would say. Read more on the unique perspective of psychiatric-mental health nurses.

Nurses in Action: PMH Nurse Superheroes
You are a psychiatric-mental health nurse: that's your superpower. In December, we asked for stories from nurses about times they used this superpower to make a difference, find a solution, or provide care to those who needed it most. Hear from a few of these nurse superheroes.

Member News
Crystal Brightwell on the new adult behavioral health unit at BRMC; Diane Forsyth on new post-graduate psychiatric-mental health nursing students to WSU Rochester; Andi Hemesath joins Regional Health Services of Howard County; Wanda Lancaster on ECU’s strategies for the opioid epidemic; Bernadette Melnyk accepts gift to establish Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, receives the AACN Pioneering Spirit Award; Rick Pessagno receives Clinical Practice Award and named 2018 Certificant of the Year for Perinatal Loss Care; Jennifer Smith receives Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing; Michael Wolf on his experience of losing his son to suicide. Learn More

New Updates in the Seclusion & Restraint Position Paper
You regularly monitor seclusion and restraint use as a psychiatric-mental health nurse committed to safety for staff and patients. Your knowledgebase positions you to take a leadership role in ensuring best practices are being followed regarding seclusion and restraint. Thankfully, you have an ally in this work. The APNA Council for Safe Environments keeps apprised of the latest in research so that you can stay informed and provide appropriate guidance. (Read more about the APNA Seclusion & Restraint Position.)

Impact of the Costco Connection Outreach
APNA members engaged in an email writing campaign this past February which was aimed at an article published in January edition of The Costco ConnectionSee what they accomplished.

Get Free CE and Goodies for Mental Health Month
Celebrate Nurses Week & Mental Health Month with free continuing education and other goodies. The psychiatric-mental health nurse perspective is in the spotlight with a video, flyers, and more. (Access Now)

Psychopharmacology & Neuroscience in Context
How will the APNA 16th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute (CPI) impact your care? With up to 22 contact hours in pharmacology, a lineup of interdisciplinary speakers, and a network of psychiatric-mental health nurses, CPI provides you with the science and meaningful interactions you need to provide the most up-to-date care to your patients in a variety of scenarios. Here are a few examples.

Start Planning for the APNA 32nd Annual Conference
It's almost time to register for the APNA Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio this October 24-27! Get excited for the premier event for psychiatric-mental health nursing with these sneak peeks and info to help you plan your trip to Columbus.

Resource Roundup

  • Medication Updates: FDA warns about immune system reaction with Lamictal (lamotrigine); FDA approves Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride) for the mitigation of withdrawal symptoms to facilitate abrupt discontinuation of opioids in adults
  • Traumatic Events Resources: A toolkit offered by SAMHSA to assist schools in implementing a coordinated response to the suicide death of a student
  • APNA Advocacy: Nursing Community letters in response to the The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 and appropriations for Nursing Workforce Development programs and the National Institute of Nursing Research
  • Substance Use Resources: Training video series offered by Providers Clinical Support System; Report: CMS Aims to Lower Medicare Prescription Cost
  • Recovery Resources Upcoming Educational Opportunities: Spring 2018 Series offered by SAMHSA

New Members: 584 New Members since March!

Issues & Events

A new study in the July 2018 issue of Psychiatric Services shows that hospitals reporting inpatient psychiatric services measures to The Joint Commission demonstrated improved performance on measures related to admission screening, multiple antipsychotic medication justification, discharge planning, and restraint and seclusion use. The study, “Trends in Results of HBIPS National Performance Measures and Association With Year of Adoption,” examines performance by hospitals reporting on seven measures collectively known as the Hospital-Based Inpatient Psychiatric Services (HBIPS) measure set. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Expansion Grants totaling up to $95.9 million over the next two years. The purpose of this program is to increase access to and improve the quality of community behavioral health services through the expansion of CCBHCs. CCBHCs provide person- and family-centered services and are available in the 24 states that participated in the FY 2016 Planning Grants for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (SM-16-001). The CCBHC Expansion program grantees must provide access to services for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) or substance use disorders (SUD), including opioid disorders; children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance (SED); and individuals with co-occurring disorders (COD). Full Story

About half of mental health (49%) and a third of substance abuse treatment facilities (35%) reported having smoke-free campuses in the 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). People with mental and/or substance use disorders are more than twice as likely to smoke cigarettes as people without such conditions, and are more likely to die from a smoking-related illness than from a behavioral health condition. Yet, many individuals are not screened for tobacco use in behavioral health facilities. The study also found that in 2016, nearly 1 in 2 (49%) mental health treatment facilities and 2 in 3 (64%) substance abuse treatment facilities reported screening patients for tobacco use. Full Story

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and H. Lundbeck A/S announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a supplemental new drug application for TRINTELLIX® (vortioxetine). TRINTELLIX is the first FDA-approved treatment for MDD where the U.S. labelling now includes data from the largest replicated clinical studies on an important aspect of cognitive function in acute major depressive disorder (MDD, depression). The FOCUS and CONNECT studies showed TRINTELLIX had a positive effect on processing speed, an important aspect of cognitive function that may be impaired in adult patients with acute MDD. Full Story

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride) for the mitigation of withdrawal symptoms to facilitate abrupt discontinuation of opioids in adults. While Lucemyra may lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms, it may not completely prevent them and is only approved for treatment for up to 14 days. Lucemyra is not a treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), but can be used as part of a broader, long-term treatment plan for managing OUD. Full Story

The improper use of anti-psychotic drugs is growing for seniors with dementia in assisted living or who live with family, according to a new study published by AARP. Using Medicare Advantage data, the study found that 13.4% of seniors with dementia outside of nursing homes were prescribed an anti-psychotic in 2015, even though they didn’t have the mental health conditions those drugs are intended to treat. That’s up from 12.6% in 2012. Click here to access the study.

A growing body of evidence suggests that including mental health services in a pain care program significantly improves patient outcomes, reported MedScape.com. One study showed access to a pain psychologist improves pain outcomes and boosts function and mood. Full Story

A specific brain abnormality may indicate a person’s general risk for mental illness, according to a new study at Duke University. The signature abnormality involves a reduced efficiency between the brain’s visual areas and certain networks important for integrating sensory information and suppressing distracting information, reported PsychCentral.com. This reduced efficiency is found among people at risk for various types of mental disorders. Full Story

The American Nurses Association’s Gerontological Nursing Scope and Standards Revision Workgroup seeks public comment on the Draft Gerontological Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, Second Edition. The deadline for submission of all comments is 5 pm ET on Monday, June 11, 2018. Click here to access the document.


Utah governor Gary Herbert signed eight suicide prevention bills into law at a recent ceremony reported KSL.com. The bills signed will help improve the state’s crisis line, add elementary school counselors and a pilot program for students, among other things. Full Story

House lawmakers this week advanced a bill that would make it easier to share information about patients' substance-abuse treatment within the healthcare system, along with proposals to address the national opioid epidemic through changes to Medicare and Medicaid payment policies, reported MedScape.com. The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved 32 bills; 28 uncontroversial measures moved forward by voice votes. But a bipartisan bill meant to allow broader sharing of substance-abuse records opened a divide within the committee, with both Democratic and Republican opposition and support for the measure. Full Story

After two hearings, a subcommittee dedicated to looking at what mental health supports North Carolina students need to increase school safety is recommending increased staffing to address mental and behavioral health needs in the state’s schools, reported North Carolina Health News. Full Story


NAMI announced the launch of Serving Safely, a national initiative to help police and sheriffs’ departments effectively respond to mental health crises. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, “Serving Safely: The National Initiative to Enhance Policing for Persons with Mental Illnesses and Developmental Disabilities” will be a one-stop shop for communities—specifically law enforcement agencies—to request training and technical assistance. Through the initiative’s work, law enforcement agencies will be better prepared to interact with people experiencing mental illness or developmental disabilities and their families. 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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