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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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December, 2014

APNA Highlights
APNA Member Info

APNA eLearning Center
Featured Webinar: Texture Layering, We See a Sea Story, and 55 Word Stories: Building Geropsychiatric Nursing Competencies and Enhancing Quality of Life through Creative Arts Programming

Hot Topic on Member Bridge:
Engagement and Nurse Satisfaction

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30 Annual Conference Sessions Now Online
30 session recordings from the APNA 28th Annual Conference are now online! Conference attendees can use their attendee bonus points to access the podcasts and APNA members can use their membership renewal bonus points to order the content at little to no cost. Stay tuned for updates as more sessions are made available. Click here to view and access the sessions.

Call for Abstracts Opens in January
What you will submit this year? The Call for Abstracts for the APNA 29th Annual Conference will open next month. Whether it's an abstract covering a clinical topic, original research, or the implementation of a change in administration, education, or practice, you have knowledge and expertise to share! Looking for ideas?

Board of Directors Seeks your Input
This February the Board of Directors will meet to update the APNA Strategic Plan. Member input is essential to this process and helps shape the future of our association. If you have not completed the 2014 Strategic Planning Survey, we urge you to do so as soon as possible. Please take a few minutes to answer our 7 questions here: www.apna.org/StrategicPlanSurvey

November/December Issue of JAPNA Available
In this issue, find original, peer-reviewed articles on topics such as the attitudes of patients with Bipolar Disorder towards the Life Chart Methodology, the feasibility of a physical activity intervention delivered by phone for persons with serious mental illness, and assessing the health and functioning of parent caregivers for children with special needs. View the Current Issue

What's in the future for APNA conferences?
We're looking to gain an even better understanding of how APNA can best meet your educational needs. If you were not able to come to the conference, please take a moment to tell us what kept you from attending. If you did join us in Indianapolis, please take 10 minutes of your time to let us know what worked and what we can build upon in the future. Click here to take the survey.

Issues & Events

Primary care that includes mental health screenings and treatments that take into account a patient's language and cultural background can help address mental health care disparities among ethnic minorities, according to psychologists, physicians and other health care experts writing in a special issue of Psychological Services, published by the American Psychological Association. Thirteen years since a U.S. surgeon general's report declared that African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and Native Americans receive lower quality mental health care in general than whites, there are still significant barriers to mental health services. These inequities include cost, stigma and poor quality, according to the special issue's leading article, "Toward Culturally Centered Integrative Care for Addressing Mental Health Disparities Among Ethnic Minorities." Full Story

People who suffer from Parkinson's disease (PD) have a different set of microbiota in their intestines than those without the disease, according to a new study conducted by the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Central Hospital. The researchers hope that these new findings on gut bacteria will lead to the development of a diagnostic test for PD; they could also pave the road for the development of better treatment strategies, and possibly even prevention, reported PsychCentral.com. Full Story

Talk therapy significantly reduces suicide attempts and deaths among people who have previously attempted suicide, a new study finds. The new research included more than 5,600 people in Denmark who underwent six to 10 talk therapy sessions after they attempted suicide. The study also included more than 17,000 people who attempted suicide but received no treatment afterward, reported HealthDay.com. Full Story

Our country is failing those in need of mental health services, according to a new report released by Mental Health America (MHA). MHA for the first time has provided overall rankings for all 50 states and the District of Columbia on mental health status and access, and calls on the country to address mental health before Stage 4. The new report, Parity or Disparity: The State of Mental Health in America 2015, provides a more complete picture of mental health status in America, and indicates the country has a long way to go to adequately address critical mental health care needs. Full Story

A pilot study has found that nitrous oxide, or "laughing gas," may be a potential treatment option for treatment resistant severe depression. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, believe their study is the first in which patients with depression were given laughing gas. In a group of 20 patients who had treatment-resistant clinical depression, the researchers found that two-thirds experienced an improvement in symptoms after receiving nitrous oxide, reported PsychCentral.com. Full Story

UConn has recently established a new collaboration to improve health care for a vulnerable population with complex medical issues. The Center for Correctional Health Networks (CCHNet) is the first national center to focus solely on correctional health with an inter-professional and practice-based network approach, according to Deborah Shelton, a professor in the School of Nursing and CCHNe''s director. Full Story

A surge in baby boomers has driven up the number of elderly people abusing drugs or alcohol, bringing more attention to the sometimes-delicate problems involved in treating addiction in the aging. Last summer, the Jewish Home Lifecare nursing home in the Bronx, NY set out to address those issues. Patients 60 and older who come in for rehab after a hospital stay are also screened for addiction and offered a chance at recovery, reported StarTribune.com. Full Story

Join Margaret Hegge, EdD, MS, RN, FAAN, Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. ET, in the webinar "Keeping the Code: Every Nurse's Ethical Obligation," as she shares how the Code of Ethics for Nurses supports nurses in their daily practice. Discover new frameworks and policies for ethical analysis and decision-making and everyday strategies nurses should use to create ethical work environments. Learn More

In a recent podcast hosted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Dr. Peggy Richter describes how CBT and various medication options can help treat people with OCD. Click here to listen to the podcast.

In Johnson & Johnson's new documentary, "Nurses: Their Vital Role in Transforming Healthcare," seasoned nurses discuss how fellow nurses can be leaders in transforming today's health care system for the better. Click here to view the video.

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.


Recent acts of violence against health care employees are leading more states to take action to protect medical workers' safety. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law in September that requires hospitals to implement plans to protect workers from aggressive and violent behavior. Illinois and New Jersey are among states with similar laws. More than 25 states, including California and New York, already have tougher criminal penalties for people who assault health care workers, reported BusinessInsurance.com. Full Story

Minnesota Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, plans to introduce a bill, the Nurse Protection Act, in the spring legislative session that would increase fines and prison sentences for anyone who assaults nurses, doctors or other emergency personnel, reported Minnesota Daily. Full Story

In an effort to reduce the growing number of inmates with mental health and substance abuse problems in New York City's jails, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to significantly expand public health services at almost every step of the criminal justice process, reported The New York Times. City officials, who are allocating $130 million over four years to the project, said their goal was to break the revolving door of arrest, incarceration and release that has trapped many troubled individuals in the system for relatively minor, quality-of-life offenses. Full Story


The American Nurses Association (ANA) calls for stronger collaboration between registered nurses (RNs) and their employers to reduce the risks of nurse fatigue for patients and nurses associated with shift work and long hours, and emphasizes strengthening a culture of safety in the work environment in a new position statement. 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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