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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
APNA Highlights | Issues & Events | Legislative | Policy
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September, 2013

APNA Highlights
APNA Member Info

APNA 27th Annual Conference
Register Now!

APNA eLearning Center
Featured Session: Recovery Oriented Prescribing

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Member Bridge Featured Discussion:
Conference Connect

APNA Member Benefits: Learn More

Treat yourself for National Recovery Month:
2 FREE Sessions / 1.5 Contact Hours

Pick one or treat yourself to both - it's up to you! Both sessions are FREE for APNA Members during the month of September.

Refresh your wellness strategies:
Fighting Stigma through Social Inclusion and a Whole-Person Approach to Wellness
0.75 Contact Hours - Target Audience: RN, APRN
Originally presented at the APNA 26th Annual Conference by Wilma Townsend, MSW and  Beverly Gallauresi, MPH, RN.
Click here to access the podcast.

Learn about healing environments:
Building a Healing Environment: Design Elements that Promote the Recovery Process and Reduce Stigma on an Inpatient Psychiatric Unit
0.75 Contact Hours  -  Target Audience: RN, APRN
Originally presented at the APNA 26th Annual Conference by Maureen Slade, MS, RN, PMHCNS-BC, NE-BC.
Click here to access the podcast.

APNA 27th Annual Conference - Pre-registration Deadline Oct. 1
Join us in San Antonio this October for the largest gathering of psychiatric-mental health nurses in the US and the opportunity to earn more than 85 continuing education contact hours! Pre-register by Oct. 1

American Psychiatric Nursing Foundation - New Film!
At the Annual Conference next month, the APNF will screen a new film: Living the History of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing through the Eyes of Shirley Smoyak. In this interview, Shirley Smoyak provides us with a fascinating perspective of what it was like as a "nurse before Thorazine". Anyone who donates $36.50 or more to the Foundation will receive a DVD copy of the film. To learn more, visit www.apna.org/Foundation.

Invitation: Join Call with VP Biden on 9/26
Join the nursing community and APNA on a conference call about the Affordable Care Act with Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this Thursday, September 26th at 4:30PM EDT. Please see the invitation here.

Issues & Events

Researchers will test promising drugs aimed at preventing Alzheimer's and identify and validate biological targets for novel therapies, with approximately $45 million in new funding from the National Institutes of Health. The initiative will support innovative new studies as part of an intensified national effort to find effective interventions for this devastating degenerative brain disease. Click here to learn about the clinical trials that received awards.

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that Veterans will have greater access to quality health care through a new initiative:  Patient-Centered Community Care (PCCC). Under PCCC, VA medical centers will have the ability to purchase non-VA medical care for Veterans through contracted medical providers when they cannot readily provide the needed care due to geographic inaccessibility or limited capacity.  Mental health care is part of the initiative. Full Story

The rate of past month nonmedical use of prescription drugs among young adults aged 18 to 25 in 2012 was 5.3% – similar to rates in 2010 and 2011, but significantly lower than the rate from 2009 (6.4%), according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Full Story

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced class-wide safety labeling changes and new postmarket study requirements for all extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics intended to treat pain. The updated indication clarifies that, because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, even at recommended doses, and because of the greater risks of overdose and death, ER/LA opioids should be reserved for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain; ER/LA opioid analgesics are not indicated for as-needed pain relief. Full Story

Mental Health America is publishing a new web resource that provides a comparative, research-based approach on complementary and alternative treatments for mental health conditions. Click here to visit the site.

The Health Resources and Services Administration has released a toolkit to help providers educate patients about their new coverage options under the Affordable Care Act. The toolkit links to a range of resources and materials that clinicians and health care administrators can use to learn more about the marketplace and educate patients about their new health care options, how insurance works, and the benefits of having insurance. Full Story | APNA ACA Resources


California Democratic State Senator Ed Hernandez, author of a defeated measure that would have allowed California's nurse practitioners to work independently of doctors, says he will re-introduced the bill within two years. Supporters of SB 491  say the measure could have helped to ease the existing shortage of primary care physicians. It's a problem  that's expected to worsen beginning Jan 1, when federal health law will require most Americans to have insurance or to pay a fine that starts out small, then grows over time. It's also when the state will extend Medi-Cal coverage  to an estimated 1.4 million low-income Californians as part of the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid, reported Southern California Public Radio. Full Story

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced legislation to extend federal incentive payments for health information technology to behavioral health facilities and providers. This important legislation would make new funds available to community providers through Medicaid for the adoption, implementation, and meaningful use of electronic health records. It corrects an oversight in the 2009 HITECH Act which established the incentives but left behavioral health providers out of the list of entities eligible to receive them, reported IHeathBeat.com. Full Story

In the wake of the Navy Yard tragedy, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has called on the President and Congress to act immediately on mental health legislation that has been stalled since the collapse of the gun debate earlier this year. Full Story


The American Psychiatric Association today released a list of specific uses of antipsychotic medications that are common, but potentially unnecessary and sometimes harmful, as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation. The list identifies five targeted, evidence-based recommendations that can prompt conversations between patients and physicians about what care is really necessary. 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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