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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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June, 2012

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Registration is NOW OPEN for the APNA 26th Annual Conference!
Register now to join us November 7-10 in Pittsburgh, PA at the premier event for psychiatric-mental health nursing! We've got a stellar and diverse program lined up this year: More than 110 exciting educational sessions and interactive panels are available for you to earn up to 27 continuing education contact hours. Click here for more information.

Army Medicine Experience 2012
APNA member Jaclyn Engelsher, DNP attended the Army Medicine Experience Tour on behalf of APNA. Click here to read what she had to say about the experience.

Announcing the 2012 APNA Janssen Student Scholarship
Graduate and Undergraduate Nursing Students interested in psychiatric-mental health nursing are invited to apply and Deans and Directors of nursing schools are invited to nominate one or more students for the 2012 APNA Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC Student Scholarship Program. The APNA Janssen Student Scholarship Program includes registration, travel and lodging expenses to attend the APNA 26th Annual Conference and a one year complimentary membership in the APNA. Application Deadline: July 11, 2012 Click here for more information.

Congratulations to the APNF Grants Recipients!
The American Psychiatric Nursing Foundation has awarded grants of $5,000 each and complimentary Annual Conference registration to two exceptional nurse researchers. Learn about them and their research at www.apna.org/Foundation

2012 APNA Annual Awards Recipients
Each year, through the APNA Annual Awards, we celebrate psychiatric-mental health nurses who inspire us with their excellence and dedication to our profession. Click here to view the honorees, who are leaders, visionaries, scientists, and much more, but who are first and foremost PMH nurses. Learn more about them in upcoming issues of APNA News.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses are Paving the Way in Providing Mental Health Care and Hope to Our Veterans!
Recently, PBS's weekly program "Need to Know" examined the increasingly prominent role that nurses are playing in the treatment of wounded veterans and their families. The program highlighted three PMH nurses, including APNA member Jill Bormann, PhD, RN. Dr. Bormann is currently conducting research at the VA on an alternative therapy for Vietnam veterans with PTSD. You can check out the episode online here: Need to Know, June 22, 2012: Homecoming for Veterans

In addition, the "American Voices" portion of the program featured Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program Scholar Lt. Commander Pamela Herbig-Wall, a psychiatric nurse set to deploy with the Marines to the Middle East. The video of this portion can be seen here: American Voices: June 22, 2012

APNA Elections - Remember to Vote!
Don't forget to visit www.apna.org/elections and cast your vote for one of your colleagues! If you need more information you can also find the Election Guide and The Steps to Vote pages which will guide you through the voting process. Paper ballots and postage paid reply envelopes were mailed in May. All ballots must be submitted online or postmarked no later than July 16, 2012.

Issues & Events

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to add approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce to help meet the increased demand for mental health services. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has developed an aggressive national recruitment program to implement the hiring process quickly and efficiently. Full Story

A recent Nurse.com article examines how facilities are attempting to foster interest in behavioral health nursing. Full Story

Researchers are investigating if commonly available over-the-counter medications can work in combination with prescribed medications to improve clinical outcomes. In one study, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are analyzing aspirin as an add-on therapy. Aspirin has known anti-inflammatory properties, a characteristic that may reduce inflammation in the brain that may be involved in the development of symptoms in bipolar disorder. Investigators will also test N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an over-the-counter antioxidant, to see if the drug may improve treatment for a variety of conditions such as bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and diabetes, reported PsychCentral.com. Full Story

The National Council has created an infographic, showing facts and stats about mental illness and the economic and disability burden they impose. Click here to view the infographic.

The Department of Veterans Affairs opened a state-of-the-art, 80-bed acute mental health center at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. The new center will provide a continuum of mental health services, from inpatient to outpatient, with an additional research component. The 90,000 square-foot facility will house four units, each with 20 inpatient acute psychiatric beds. Full Story In related news, the Department of Veterans Affairs has selected University Corporate Park of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, to build a new mental health clinic for Veterans in Tampa, FL. Full Story

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced the schools of nursing that have been selected to participate in RWJF's prestigious New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). During the 2012-2013 academic year, the schools will receive grants to support students in their accelerated baccalaureate and master's degree nursing programs, who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing and are pursuing a second career in nursing. The NCIN Scholarship Program was launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to expand enrollment in accelerated degree programs in schools of nursing while increasing diversity in the nursing workforce. Click here to view the schools which were awarded the grants.


Two new bills focusing exclusively on improving care for Americans with behavioral health needs were recently introduced. Excellence in Mental Health Act (H.R. 5989), companion to S. 2257, would establish national standards and oversight for Federally Qualified Community Behavioral Health Centers (FQCBHCs). Mental Health First Aid Higher Education Act (H.R. 5996 / S. 3325) will authorize a demonstration program to train college faculty and staff in Mental Health First Aid, a community education program that helps people identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and addictions and deal with psychiatric crises. Full Story


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, an initiative to ensure appropriate care and use of antipsychotic medications for nursing home patients. This partnership - among federal and state partners, nursing homes and other providers, advocacy groups and caregivers - has set a national goal of reducing use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home residents by 15% by the end of 2012. Full Story

SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) has proven success in identifying, reducing, and preventing problematic use, abuse, and dependence on drugs and alcohol. Designed for easy use by any trained healthcare professional, SBIRT is a simple screening approach that can be used in a variety of healthcare settings such as community health centers and hospitals. Cost benefit analyses have indicated that it can lower healthcare costs; severity of drug and alcohol use; risk of trauma; and the percentage of at-risk patients who go without specialized substance use treatment. The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) has developed an issue brief on SBIRT for primary care and behavioral health professionals. Click here to download SBIRT: Opportunities for Implementation and Points to Consider. (PDF file)

In its 2012 Outpatient Prospective Payment System/Ambulatory Surgical Center Final Rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services established a process to obtain independent advice regarding the appropriate supervision levels for individual hospital outpatient therapeutic services. CMS charged the panel with recommending the supervision level that will ensure the appropriate quality and safety for delivery of a given service. CMS's preliminary decisions in response to the panel's recommendations were published in early April, and the agency solicited public comments. CMS has now issued its final decision on the panel's recommendations, taking into consideration the comments received from the public. These changes will take effect July 1, 2012 and affect a number of mental healthcare services, particularly psychotherapy. To see a full list of the affected services and their levels of required supervision, click here. (PDF file)

The final public comment period for the draft diagnostic criteria of the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) drew 2,298 responses from across the country and abroad. The six-week comment period ended June 15. Full Story (PDF file)

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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