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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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August, 2011
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Member Highlights

APNA 25th Annual Conference Early Bird Deadline Sept. 6
This year's 25th Anniversary Conference in Anaheim, CA will be an event to remember! With the opportunity to earn up to 27 continuing education contact hours, there are more than 105 exciting sessions planned throughout the conference. Come network with your fellow psychiatric nurses and get the CE you need to re-certify at the same time! Register by September 6th and save $50 on the Regular Registration rate of $475. REGISTER NOW!

Podcasts from the 2011 APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute
Now available in the APNA eLearning Center, these 16 new podcasts each offer the opportunity to earn 1.0 - 3.0 continuing education contact hours. They cover the most current information in clinical psychopharmacology and frame it within a recovery-oriented approach. Learn about psychopharmacology and recovery from pain, distress and suffering across the lifespan in sessions such as:

Free CE for Members! All APNA members have the opportunity to earn one continuing education contact hour free of charge through the podcast Migraine Headaches: An Interactive Presentation.

Visit the APNA eLearning Center for more information and to order. (Log in to see the discounted member rates. Remember, you can use your membership renewal bonus points to access CE content.)

New APNA Recovery Council Announced!
The Board of Directors has appointed Nancy Dillon, PhD, RN, CNS of Minnesota and Mary Jensen, MA, RN, CRSS of Illinois to be the co-chairs of a new Recovery Council in APNA. This council will facilitate recovery activities for APNA beyond the scope of the Recovery to Practice project funded by SAMHSA for which APNA is currently in its second year of involvement.

The Recovery Council will incorporate the work of the Recovery to Practice Task Force under the co-leadership of Mary Ann Boyd and Georgia Stevens. The Task Force will continue its work with SAMHSA in developing curriculum and training materials to help translate recovery into nursing practice and will serve as a sub-committee of the greater APNA initiative of promoting recovery-oriented care through the council. The charge of the APNA Recovery Council is as follows:

To facilitate recovery activities for APNA by:

  • Coordinating with the Consumer Advisory Panel to gain perspective of consumers regarding APNA activities
  • Reviewing and evaluating the various activities related to recovery within APNA and to recommend actions on these programs to APNA BOD
  • Identifying needs and opportunities related to recovery concepts and to recommend to APNA BOD how APNA should become involved
  • Providing a framework for recovery activities within APNA that differentiates APNA activities/programs from the Recovery to Practice project

Please look for a Call for Volunteers after the Labor Day holiday - there will be opportunities for participation on both the Steering Committee and Expert Panel levels for this new Recovery Council.

The Red Cross Needs Our Help
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, the Red Cross has reached out to APNA for help in recruiting mental health professionals for disaster relief operations. Currently hundreds of thousands of community members throughout the northeast are receiving shelter, food, and health and mental health support from the Red Cross. If you are interested joining these relief efforts or in becoming a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Volunteer in your area, please click here for more information.

Issues & Events

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded over $6.2 million to 21 colleges and university to help prevent suicide. The programs money will be provided to the schools mental health services in hopes to improve their services for students in crisis. The money will be used to develop training programs for both students and staff, create on-campus networks, conduct educational seminars, prepare and distribute educational materials and promote the National Suicide Prevention life line. Full Story

The EMDR Research Foundation is offering grant awards of up to $10,000 for post-doctoral students, university faculty or clinicians conducting research on EMDR. Also, eligible doctoral students may apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to support dissertation expenses related to research to study the effectiveness of EMDR in one of the following priority areas:

  • Combat trauma
  • Depression
  • Children & adolescents

Application deadlines are September 15, 2011. For more information, please go to www.emdrresearchfoundation.org.

Dr. Jane Pearson, researcher for the National Institute of Mental Health, outlines warning signs of suicide and the progress made in suicide prevention at a recent conference. Click here for the video.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration designed to provide states with more flexibility and resources to care for Medicaid beneficiaries with mental illnesses. This demonstration provides up to $75 million in funding to states over three years, as authorized by the Affordable Care Act, to help care for Medicaid patients (aged 21 through 64) with psychiatric emergencies, in private inpatient psychiatric facilities with 17 or more beds, also known as institutions for mental diseases (IMDs). The demonstration defines psychiatric emergencies as expressions of suicidal or homicidal thoughts or gestures resulting in a determination that the patient is dangerous to himself or to others. Full Story

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a letter to State Medicaid Directors outlining how the maintenance of effort (MOE) provisions of the Affordable Care Act apply to home- and community-based services under Medicaid. The letter and the accompanying Questions and Answers suggest ways that current law offers states "flexibility" in managing their section 1915(c) home and community-based care services (HCBS) waivers. Click here to read the letter.

Research from the Office of Inspector General shows the vast majority of nursing home residents who receive antipsychotic drug in these facilities are given them for "off label" reasons, or purposes which have not been approved for safe use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For example, common off-label uses include agitation in dementia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and autism. Not only have they not been approved for these uses, but they are often particular dangerous for those suffering from these conditions. Elderly patients with dementia in particular face serious risks if they are given these drugs. Over six years ago the FDA required drug makers to include a black-box warning (label) on these medications warning that dementia patients who are prescribed these atypical antipsychotics face an increased risk of death. Full Story

Could a blood test really diagnose schizophrenia and depression? Recently, blood tests designed to diagnose schizophrenia and depression have been gaining a lot of attention at various scientific conferences. The 15 year research, which identified 51 protein biomarkers connected to the conditions, uses a single serum to help health professionals make the diagnosis, reported Psychiatric Times. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

Scientists from California have potentially found a new target to focus on with drugs aimed to help Alzheimer's. The research says that β-amyloid - induced synaptic damage is driven by a chemical modification of the cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) and that they have found increased levels of modified Cdk5 in the Alzheimer's brain but not in the normal human brain, reported Medscape. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

In a recent study by several neurologists, the findings report that a brain imaging scan can identify individuals who are at potential risk for Alzheimer's disease. Researchers discovered that 33% of the participants in the study had significantly high levels of amyloid-beta deposits in their brains. Although the technique can't diagnosis the patient, it can be used to help identify those who are at potential risk reported Psych Central. Full Story


According to Advanced Practice Nurse Outcomes 1990-2008: A Systematic Review, a study partially funded by APNA, APRNs provide effective and high-quality patient care, have an important role in improving the quality of patient care in the United States, and could help to address concerns about whether care provided by APRNs can safely augment the physician supply to support reform efforts aimed at expanding access to care. Full Story (PDF file)

A new federal framework to assist American Indian and Alaska Native communities in achieving their goals in the prevention, intervention, and treatment of alcohol and substance abuse was announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar, and Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder. The framework, captured in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) describes how the Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse established in HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will coordinate tribal substance abuse programs across the federal government with a special emphasis on promoting programs geared toward reaching youth and offering alternatives to incarceration. Full Story

In an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, P.H.D.s Colleen L. Barry, and Haiden A. Huskamp weigh in on the current access problems, financing problems and delivery of mental illness and addiction care and explain how the Affordable Care Act will improve these problems. 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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