Your monthly psychiatric-mental health nursing news and updates.
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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October, 2019

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Using Group Therapy to Instill Hope and Positivity in those Living with Chronic Pain and Depression

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APNA Highlights

2019 APNA Annual Activity Report
The 2019 APNA Annual Activity Report has been published. Each report was created to keep you informed of notable APNA activities from the past year. Supplemental reports in the Appendix offer a comprehensive look at council achievements, financial statements, continuing education programs, and more. Click here to access the reports.

eLearning - Motivational Interviewing
This three module online course for RNs and APRNs delivers a must-have skill for every psychiatric-mental health nurse: motivational interviewing. Through case studies, vignettes, and reflective questions, gain an understanding of how to use this person-centered approach to guide individuals through change that supports their recovery and wellness. The course is free for APNA Members. Click here to learn more and register.

APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute West
Save the date for this year's CPI West! Earn 10 pharmacology contact hours this March 14-15 in San Diego, CA. Click here to view the preliminary program, which is planned for Nurses, by Nurses.

Issues & Events

A number of research projects are underway to develop a sensitive blood test that could help screen people for Alzheimer’s disease in a less invasive and costly way than current imaging and biomarker tests. NIA-supported researchers at Washington University in St. Louis reported an advance in Neurology for their method of detecting amyloid protein in blood. The researchers are validating the method by showing an association between blood levels of amyloid and results from conventional biomarker tests for Alzheimer’s. Full Story

Artificial intelligence (AI) has identified specific brain activity patterns in depressed individuals who are less responsive to certain antidepressants, according to two new studies led by researchers from the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. The studies are part of a large national trial (EMBARC) intended to establish biology-based, objective strategies to help treat mood disorders and minimize the trial and error of prescribing treatments, reported If successful, scientists envision using a battery of tests such as brain imaging and blood analyses to increase the odds of finding the right treatment. Full Story

Children with hyperthyroidism have a higher prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), adjustment disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression and suicidality, reported Reuters. "Thyroid disorder should be considered in a patient presenting to their primary care provider with a positive screen result for anxiety or depression or symptoms suggestive of another mental health diagnosis," Dr. Melissa Buryk and colleagues from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia stated in a paper published online in Pediatrics. Full Story

Mental health stigma is back on the rise, thanks to the political response to mass shootings, according to a new study. Associations between mental illness and violence are growing, the study found, as is support for forced treatment of those conditions, reported In 2018, more than 60% believed people with schizophrenia are dangerous to others. Thirty percent characterized those with depression as likely to be violent toward others. Full Story

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a transdermal patch formulation of the atypical antipsychotic asenapine for the treatment of adults with schizophrenia, reported MedScape. The patch is applied once daily and provides sustained concentrations of asenapine over 24 hours. Full Story

The findings of the large STOP PD-II clinical trial suggest that patients with psychotic depression should continue use of antipsychotics in combination with antidepressants for at least four months following remission of symptoms, reported Full Story

A new study has found that patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) who had recovered from symptoms were able to strengthen some of their brain connections, increasing their self-esteem. The research showed that connectivity between certain brain regions — previously found to be decreased when people with a history of depression feel guilt — could be strengthened in a single session of neurofeedback training. Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), captured before and after the procedure, to measure the difference, reported Full Story

Biogen will pursue regulatory approval from the FDA for the investigational drug aducanumab based on Phase 3 clinical trial results from the EMERGE and ENGAGE studies, and other related data, after finding a reduction of cognitive and functional decline in people taking the high dose. Full Story

The third edition of the Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education (2019) is now available. This revision combines into a single document, the Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education and Clinical Nurse Specialist Competencies. Click here to access the report.

In the largest and most diverse genetic study to date of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scientists reveal that PTSD has a strong genetic component similar to other psychiatric disorders, reported Despite much research, it has remained unclear why some people go on to develop PTSD after a traumatic event while others do not. Some researchers suggest that the disorder is only a social construct, but other studies point to the fact that genetics may be involved. Full Story

Virtual reality could be used to help military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who have struggled with mainstream treatment, reported BBC. It involves patients walking on a treadmill in front of a screen which projects images depicting the type of trauma experienced. A two-year trial found some patients could see almost a 40% improvement in their symptoms. Full Story

The SMI Adviser Education Catalog provides access to dozens of free online courses that provide continuing education credits for psychiatric nursing professionals. They cover a variety of evidence-based treatments, systems-level strategies, and other topics related to serious mental illness (SMI). Click here to visit the catalog.


U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act to designate a three-digit phone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline and ensure states have the flexibility to strengthen local crisis call centers. The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis line are 10-digits, which is a barrier to Americans in crisis seeking support. Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) are leading companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Full Story


Under a new program now being rolled out by the VA, veterans may obtain health care in their own community when it can’t be obtained feasibly within the VA system. The Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) was created in response to national concerns about health care access for veterans, including long waits for appointments and lack of access to specialists and urgent care. The program was created by the VA MISSION Act, which took effect in June 2019. MISSION stands for Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks, reported Psychiatric Full Story

A seminal program for preventing delirium and loss of function for hospitalized older adults stands poised for a major expansion thanks to the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). As the soon-to-be newest addition to the AGS “CoCare” portfolio, a suite of programs helping embed geriatrics expertise in broader care for older adults, AGS CoCare: HELP™ represents a new step forward for a program that has already taken significant strides. Full Story

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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