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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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June, 2016

APNA Highlights
APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured CE: Understanding Non-Pharmacological PTSD Treatments

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Register for the APNA 30th Annual Conference
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: Inspiring Leadership Every Day
October 19-22, 2016, Hartford, CT

Join 1600+ colleagues in Hartford to earn up to 28 continuing education contact hours on-site and an additional 100+ contact hours online after the conference. New this year, we’ll have daily networking events for attendees. Register by September 7 to save $75 with Early Bird Registration! Click here learn more and register.

Veteran’s Health Administration Proposed Rule
The Veteran's Health Administration (VA) is requesting comments on a regulatory proposal which would permit full practice authority of all VA advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) when they are acting within the scope of their VA employment. APNA has submitted comments supporting the rule and emphasizing the shared scope of practice of psychiatric-mental health CNSs and APRNs. The most direct way to advocate on this issue is to post your comment on the Federal Register before the deadline of July 25.

Announcing the 2016 APNA Annual Awards Recipients
The APNA Annual Awards recognize APNA members who demonstrate excellence in psychiatric-mental health nursing practice, education, research, leadership, community efforts, and more. This year's recipients will be recognized in person at the APNA 30th Annual Conference, online and more. Click here to learn more about each of the recipients.

APNA Elections: Vote Now!
Elections are now open for the APNA Board of Directors and 2017 Nominating Committee. Click here to learn more about the candidates and vote. All votes must be cast by July 25, 2016.

APNA Seeks an Associate Editor for JAPNA
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is seeking an Associate Editor to work with Editor-in-Chief Geraldine Pearson, PHD, PMH-CNS, FAAN for the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Information about the position, and application process, can be found here. Applications should be sent to APNA Executive Director, Nicholas Croce at ncroce@apna.org by August 8, 2016.

Issues & Events

By the end of July, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore hopes to have six behavioral health teams working side-by-side with physicians and nurses to help manage the mental health of patients. The ambitious plan aims to prove that investing in behavioral health specialists is good for patients and the bottom line, reported HealthLeadersMedia.com. Full Story

Prescribing antidepressants to children and teens appears to be ineffective at best and can increase the risk of suicide among users, leading authors of a new study to conclude that the drugs do "not seem to offer a clear advantage." The analysis, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, examined 14 antidepressants given to young people in various randomized trials conducted through May 2015, reported U.S. News & World Report. Full Story

The NACNS 2016 CNS Census, which opened June 1, will provide information on how nurses with CNS education and experience are contributing to the health care system. The results will be published and NACNS plans to make an infographic available on its website. This survey is open to all nurses who identify themselves as or who were educated as Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs).  If you are a student, you are welcome to take the CNS Census. NACNS is encouraging all nurses who meet those criteria to complete the survey before December 31 of this year. Click here to participate.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Probuphine, the first buprenorphine implant for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Probuphine is designed to provide a constant, low-level dose of buprenorphine for six months in patients who are already stable on low-to-moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine, as part of a complete treatment program. Full Story

A safety warning issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advising clinicians not to prescribe the antidepressant citalopram (multiple brands) at dosages higher than 40 mg/day resulted in worsening depressive symptoms and more psychiatric hospitalizations among patients whose conditions had previously been stabilized with higher doses of the drug, reported Medscape. Full Story

The March of Dimes is honored to pay tribute to the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout the community. Nurse of the Year Awards (NOTY) is an awards event and fundraiser that brings together the health care community to recognize nursing excellence and achievements in research, education, quality patient care, innovation and leadership. Awards will be presented to the most outstanding nurse within each category. Nurse of the Year events honor those who make a difference in the lives of so many. To nominate a nurse or for event details please click here.

Atomoxetine may be an effective and safe nonstimulant alternative drug for children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), new research hints, reported Medscape. "Atomoxetine demonstrates comparable safety and tolerability to stimulant medications and should be considered a valid treatment alternative for those who do not tolerate or respond to stimulants," said lead author Dr. M.M. Naveen, child and adolescent psychiatry fellow in the University of Maryland Sheppard Pratt program in Baltimore. Full Story

Video-based mental health therapy plays a vital role by bridging the treatment gap for children who have little access to psychiatric care, according to a new study at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. The researchers found that most patients who choose this form of “tele-psychiatry” come from rural counties and other underserved areas, reported PsychCentral.com. Full Story

Mental disorders cost more than $200 billion a year in the U.S., topping the list of the most costly conditions, according to an estimate of annual health spending for a variety of common medical conditions, reported Medscape. Full Story

The Turkish Psychiatric Nurses Association is organizing the 4th International and 8th National Psychiatric Nursing Congress which will be held on September 1-3, 2016 at Celal Bayar University Suleyman Demirel Cultural Center, Manisa, Turkey. The theme of the congress has been identified as ‘Ideals and Realities: What we could not achieve’. Click here to learn more.


The House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved a revised version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646). Introduced and championed by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), the bill now heads to the House floor where it awaits consideration from the full chamber, reported The Augusta Free Press. Full Story

Key members of the U.S. Congress said June 10 they had reached a compromise to shift more than $1 billion to try to keep struggling families together, including those with babies born dependant on opioids. The proposal is driven in part by an opioid crisis that threatens thousands of families. The bill would allow mental health, substance abuse and parenting assistance whenever a child is deemed at “imminent risk” of entering foster care. The measure also offers support for relatives who unexpectedly assume responsibility for a child when a parent cannot, reported Reuters. Full Story

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill crafted to curb Colorado's soaring suicide rate. The bill created a Colorado suicide prevention plan within the Office of Suicide Prevention in the Department of Public Health and Environment, with a nod to the zero suicide model, reported The Coloradoan. Full Story

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $400 million increase in Alzheimer’s disease research funding at the NIH and included the Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 857) in its funding bill. If signed into law, the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act will ensure newly diagnosed Medicare beneficiaries receive comprehensive care planning services. Full Story


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is issuing a new set of quality measures – in the form of a resource manual, technical specifications and data reporting templates – all designed to help states and behavioral health clinics (BHCs) better assess and document their performance and effectiveness in providing treatment to people with mental and/or substance use disorders. Full Story

Antipsychotic prescribing rates for children in foster care and for other Medicaid-insured children have leveled off following a period of rapid growth in the early and mid 2000s. However, guideline-recommended practices are frequently still not followed, new research shows. Current guidelines and treatment recommendations highlight the importance of care processes, including the use of psychosocial mental health interventions as first-line treatment; the monitoring of antipsychotic-treated children at baseline and after treatment initiation for metabolic side effects, and the avoidance of antipsychotic polypharmacy, among other measures of quality. The new study, however, found that among children treated with antipsychotics, more than one third of foster children and more than two thirds of other Medicaid children failed to receive psychosocial mental health interventions during the 3 months preceding and the month following the start of antipsychotic treatment, reported Medscape. 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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