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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
APNA Highlights | Issues & Events | Legislative | Policy
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October, 2014

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It's a Wrap! The APNA 28th Annual Conference
Thank you to the more than 1500 attendees who helped make last week's Annual Conference 'the premiere event for psychiatric-mental health nursing'! Recordings of the sessions will be online in the APNA eLearning Center in 1-2 months. In the meantime, check out the Annual Conference poster presentations in the Online Poster Gallery or see the buzz we generated on Twitter here. Attendees, remember that session evaluations must be completed by November 24, 2014 in order to earn contact hours!

APNA Annual Activity Report Released
The 2014 APNA Annual Activity Report provides a snapshot of the activities and initiatives to which our organization has devoted its resources over the past year. It celebrates the incredible work and numerous accomplishments of our membership. Click here to access the report.

Tell Us Your Story
Whether it's a pivotal moment in your career, a favorite memory, or why you chose this vocation, you have important stories about psychiatric-mental health nursing to share. Stories can be anywhere from a couple of sentences to several paragraphs and should deal with topics related to psychiatric-mental health nursing. Click here to share your story with us.

Issues & Events

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the findings of a new clinical study providing national data on the prevalence of specific mental disorders in adults. The CBHSQ Data Review: Past Year Mental Disorders among Adults in the United States  presents data from the Mental Health Surveillance Study (MHSS) on the past-year prevalence of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, adjustment disorder, and psychotic symptoms. Full Story

Beginning this year, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) will collect crucial data on the demographics, education and practice of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs). If you're a CNS, you can help by completing the online 2014 CNS Census by clicking here before December 31. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) conducted its last national sample survey of the nurse workforce in 2008. Historically, policy-makers, health care leaders and others used the data from the survey to inform a range of health care policies and practices. To ensure this data is still captured, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) and several other several national nursing organizations are working to gather this critical information.

The Red Cross has published a flyer, Managing Fears of Ebola, with tips for dealing with anxiety and stress about Ebola - Click here to view the flyer.

A small pilot study demonstrated that a common anesthetic procedure significantly helped veterans suffering from chronic, extreme post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers followed 12 patients with PTSD who had undergone a simple anesthetic procedure called a stellate ganglion block (SGB), reported PsychCentral.com. In the study, the patients each were given one SGB and followed closely with structured interviews and other psychological tests for six months after treatment. Remarkably, the positive effects of the SGB were evident often within minutes and resulted in significant improvement of scores for the Clinician Administered PTSD Score, or CAPS, the test used to measure the severity of PTSD. Symptoms improved over time, and after one month, CAPS scores registered normal to mild PTSD levels for most of the patients. Positive effects were still seen at three months, but began fading and were generally gone by six months. Full Story

Findings from a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) demonstration show early identification reduces the onset of psychosis. From 2006-2013, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported a national demonstration, known as the Early Detection and Intervention for the Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP). The demonstration is designed to identify, intervene early, and treat young people between the ages of 12-25 at risk for a psychotic episode. Schizophrenia Bulletin has published the EDIPPP findings in a peer-reviewed study entitled, "Clinical and Functional Outcomes after 2 Years in the Early Detection and Intervention for the Prevention of Psychosis Multisite Effectiveness Trial." The results of the study show evidenced-based services can prevent at-risk young people from converting to full-blown psychosis - reducing hospitalizations and enabling them to continue working and attending school. Click here to access the full report.

European psychiatrists and other health experts are calling for a change in the way mental health drugs are named. The reason for the switch is that the name of the drug prescribed may significantly influence the way one responds to the medication, reported PsychCentral.com. The new terminology shifts away from a system-based nomenclature (e.g. antidepressant, antipsychotic etc.) to pharmacologically based (e.g. focusing on pharmacological target such as serotonin, dopamine and the like and the relevant mode of action). Full Story

A review of studies of more than 6,000 patients suggests ordinary over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs may aid in the treatment of depression, when taken in combination with antidepressants, reported PsychCentral.com. The meta-analysis, recently published in JAMA Psychiatry, is the work of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark. Full Story

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is currently accepting proposals for the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (AL-TBI). The program had been slated to sunset this year, however the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 ("Choice Act") extends the program through October 6, 2017. The extension of the program offers opportunities for providers wishing to participate in the program. VA is accepting proposals through November 20, 2014. Full Story

Fewer than a quarter of U.S. children prescribed medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) get the recommended behavioral therapy along with it, according to findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics. Full Story

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has yet again postponed deadlines for the electronic health records (EHR) incentive program. The EHR Incentive Program, also called Meaningful Use, is administered by Medicare and Medicaid and is broken into three stages to incentivize the adoption and utilization of health information technology. To complete each stage, participating providers must prove to CMS that they are completing a set number of requirements and demonstrate a meaningful use of the health information technology. Full Story


The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2014, authored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), recently introduced in Congress would provide a series of resources and incentives to help states and local governments expand drug treatment, prevention, and recovery efforts. Full Story

The Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (H.R. 5587), recently introduced in Congress, would offer a number of grants to deter prescription drug abuse and assist individuals receiving addiction treatmentFull Story


A workgroup of nearly 40 Alzheimer's researchers and scientists says the research milestones in the U.S. government's National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease must be broadened in scope, increased in scale and adequately funded in order to successfully achieve this goal. A series of proposals by the workgroup to enlarge and strengthen the plan are published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed an interagency agreement to provide new behavioral healthcare capabilities to communities across the nation. Under this continuing interagency agreement, SAMHSA and USDA will build upon collaborations with regional, state, and local public service organizations to improve the gathering, analyses, and sharing of data related to a wide range of mental and substance use disorder issues. The interagency agreement will draw upon the USDA's nationwide network of over 925 cooperative extension sites to develop a better understanding of key factors involved in collecting and sharing behavioral healthcare data in communities. Full Story

The Partnership for Part D Access, recently hosted House and Senate congressional staff briefings to share patient and health care provider experiences that demonstrate the importance of protecting beneficiary access to proper care under Medicare's Six Protected Classes policy. By ensuring that Medicare Part D beneficiaries have access to all or substantially all medications in the six classes - including antidepressants and antipsychotics - this policy has protected patients' access to individually tailored, lifesaving treatments. 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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