Your monthly psychiatric-mental health nursing news and updates.
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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September, 2021

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: The Lived Experience of Stigma by Suicide-Attempt Survivors

Hot Topic: Trauma Informed Care Policy

Career Center


APNA Resource Center
Featured Resource:
Suicide Prevention Competencies

APNA Member Benefits

Members' Corner

President’s Message: Making Things Better
We didn’t choose PMH nursing because we thought it would be easy – I suspect most of us entered this profession with the hope that we could make things better for others. And we do. Keep Reading

Nurses in Action: Unlocking Telemental Health for Student Nurses
APNA Annual Conference Presenter Gabrielle P Abelard, DNP, PMHNP, PMHCNS-BC, RN, BSn, shares her thoughts on this topic.  Keep Reading

Member News
Congratulations to the distinguished APNA Members who will be inducted as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing! View Members

Suicide Prevention Month: Free Session for APNA Members
As a nurse dedicated to hope, healing, and recovery, thank you for all you do to prevent suicide and facilitate meaningful lives. In honor of Suicide Prevention Month, here is a free CE session, just for APNA members: The Lived Experience of Stigma by Suicide-Attempt Survivors: A Phenomenological Study

Suicide Prevention Month: Highlighted Resource
The groundbreaking Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Essential Competencies for Assessment and Management of Individuals at Risk for Suicide were developed by APNA member experts for inpatient PMH nurses. According to Dr. Jane Pearson, Special Advisor to the Director on Suicide Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), "APNA was among the first groups of healthcare providers that sought to improve their competencies in suicide prevention. They exhibited leadership in developing, implementing, and evaluating competencies in suicide prevention." View Competencies

APNA Annual Conference Spotlight: Kevin Hines
In 2000, APNA Keynote Speaker Kevin Hines jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in a suicide attempt. Many factors contributed to his survival, including a sea lion which kept him afloat until the Coast Guard arrived. Kevin now travels the world sharing his story of hope, healing, and recovery. Don’t miss his Keynote Presentation on October 15th! Register Now

Now Online: Pandemic Fatigue
In this editorial, Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Editor in Chief Geraldine Pearson, PhD, PMH-CNS, FAAN explores the impact of pandemic fatigue on psychiatric-mental health nurses. Read Editorial

Sizewise Behavioral Health Bed

Issues & Events

The cost of treatment and access to quality, affordable care, along with stigma, are major barriers to Americans seeking help for mood disorders, according to a new national survey. The 2021 Mood Disorder Survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Among people who have a mood disorder, about half (52%) say cost prevents them from trying a treatment they’re interested in — a proportion that is much higher among the uninsured (74%). In addition, 61% of those without insurance report stopping a treatment because they could no longer afford it. The vast majority of all adults, 84%, agree that stigma is a major barrier to people accessing treatment for mood disorders, and 87% believe that mood disorders — if left untreated — have significant economic and social impacts. Full Story

National Quality Forum (NQF) has released a new report from the Opioids and Behavioral Health Committee, which was developed to improve the prevention and monitoring of SUD, opioid-related overdoses, and opioid-related mortality, specifically in individuals with co-occurring behavioral health conditions. It outlines opportunities for coordination and partnerships across care settings and enables stakeholders to adapt and improve their readiness in a rapidly changing landscape. Full Story

More than 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, costing the world $1.3 trillion a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a recent report. With populations ageing, the number of sufferers is projected to rise to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050, reported Reuters. Full Story

As students head back to school, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is awarding grants that will strengthen the structures that serve the mental health needs of our nation’s youth. The first raises awareness of mental health issues for youths and trains school personnel. The second coordinates treatment for young people who have emotional disorders.  The first-year awards for the two programs total $74.2 million. Full Story

A new review article published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry is suggesting a number of different psychiatric disorders share common gut microbiome perturbations. The meta-analysis found depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety all present with similar gut microbial abnormalities, including higher amounts of pro-inflammatory bacteria, reported News Atlas. Full Story

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has received funding to create 10 new Youth Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams across the state. Youth ACT teams support children ages 10 to 21 with mental illness and their families in the home and community settings. Youth ACT teams are composed of psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, mental health clinicians, and peer advocates. They are highly responsive and flexible to meet the individualized, changing needs of the child and family, and they offer support 24/7, reported Full Story

Using data from medical registries in Denmark, researchers found that patients who received an intervention for first-episode psychosis had shorter and fewer hospital stays compared with patients who received the intervention in a controlled clinical trial. Full Story

The Biden-Harris Administration announced a $2.1 billion investment to improve infection prevention and control activities across the U.S. public health and healthcare sectors. The Biden-Harris Administration, working through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investing American Rescue Plan funding to strengthen and equip state, local, and territorial public health departments and other partner organizations with the resources needed to better fight infections in U.S. healthcare facilities, including COVID-19 and other known and emerging infectious diseases. Full Story

A new study from The Ohio State University College of Nursing quantifies how the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with variable workplace wellness cultures and long shifts caring for patients, has severely impacted nurses working on the front lines. Among the findings, the vast majority reported physical health (74.6%) and mental health (80.7%) at a five or lower on a 10-point scale, reported Full Story

A majority of parents say their children’s mental wellbeing worsened during the past year and a half because of remote learning and social isolation due to COVID-19, according to a new poll from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Parents also expressed anxiety about their children returning to schools for the 2021-2022 school year. The poll, conducted by Morning Consult and released by the National Council, highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and the increasing need for mental health and substance use information, resources and support for families and schools. Full Story



In order to meet an increased demand for mental health care services, Congresswomen Lizzie Fletcher (TX) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA) introduced the Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner (COCM) Act This legislation invests in the Collaborative Care Model, a specific care delivery model that integrates behavioral health care within the primary care setting for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders that require regular follow-up, like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Full Story

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced her MI Healthy Communities plan, a $1.4 billion proposal to expand care for families, build up facilities, and invest in local public health with federal relief dollars from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, reported Radio Results Network. The plan will address many of the deficiencies in Michigan’s health infrastructure that were revealed during the pandemic and provide resources to meet Michigan families’ mental health needs, expand access to behavioral care and telemedicine, upgrade nursing homes, and bolster local public health departments. Full Story


The American Nurses Association (ANA) urges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to declare the current and unsustainable nurse staffing shortage facing our country a national crisis. In a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, ANA calls for the Administration to acknowledge and take concrete action to address the current crisis-level nurse staffing shortage that puts nurses’ ability to care for patients in jeopardy. Full Story

The Alzheimer’s Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) have announced the inaugural cohort of the Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map Strategists. The first nation-wide effort focused on addressing dementia at the local level, the Road Map Strategist Initiative will increase eight local public health departments’ capacity to address cognitive health and dementia in their communities. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is awarding more than $123 million in funding through six grant programs to provide multifaceted support to communities and health care providers as the Nation continues to combat the overdose epidemic. These SAMHSA grant programs reflect the agency’s and Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing mission to connect people who have substance use disorders (SUD) to culturally appropriate, evidence-based treatments and supports. Full Story

Click here to see letters APNA has signed on to as a part of its participation in coalitions that further policy for nursing and mental health.

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

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