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

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Psychopharmacology for Persons with Alzheimer's and Other Dementias

Hot Topic:
Assessment for Contraband

Career Center


APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits

APNA Highlights

APNA Announces New Executive Director
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome Lisa Deffenbaugh Nguyen, MS, CAE as its new Executive Director. Lisa Deffenbaugh Nguyen, MS, CAE has more than a decade of experience in association management, is a Certified Association Executive, and possesses a keen understanding of APNA’s mission and purpose. She will officially assume her role as Executive Director on January 1, 2020. Read More

APNA Annual Conference Call for Abstracts Opens January 2
You have a just under a month to reflect on your content expertise, innovative practice, or initiative and how you can share it at the APNA 34th Annual Conference this fall at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The APNA Scholarly Review Committee is seeking submissions from all levels of practice and areas of administration, education, practice, and research. The submission deadline is Monday March 2, 2020. Click here to learn more.

Register Now for CPI West
Come to San Diego, California on March 14-15 for a weekend of psychopharmacology and connection with your psychiatric-mental health nursing community! Planned for nurses, by nurses, the APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute West offers up to 10 contact hours in pharmacology. Register now and save $50!

Ketamine Infusion Therapy Resources Available
Resources include a checklist providing considerations for prescribing or providing care to persons undergoing ketamine infusion therapy. Click here to access the resources.

Issues & Events

Staff at psychiatric hospitals are frequently exposed to violence and physical threats that often lead to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reported MedScape. In a cross-sectional survey of clinical staff working in adult psychiatric units, 16% met or exceeded the cut off score on a self-report measure of PTSD symptoms. Full Story

In the UK, a new trial which tested a computerized version of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) suggests it may be an effective option for addressing depression in children and young adults, especially those who are reluctant to seek help, and may reduce long waiting lists for treatment, reported Full Story

Digital and mobile technology might offer a path to improved care for patients with serious mental illness (SMI), including severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. During a session at this year’s IPS: The Mental Health Services Conference, a trio of researchers described some digital tools they developed to help support patients with SMI and their doctors. Full Story

The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (JCR) have published a new book titled “Health Care Worker Safety Checklists: Protecting Those Who Serve.” The book includes a collection of 62 checklists designed to keep health care workers safe. Full Story

Alzheimer’s disease remains difficult to treat, but researchers are exploring new nanotechnology solutions that might help improve the quality of life of those afflicted, reported An international research team led by scientists from the British University of Bath in the U.K. has created the first artificial neurons in the laboratory, miniature devices designed to repair nerve circuits and restore lost functions. Scientists plan to use such bionic chips to treat both heart-related and neurodegenerative diseases. Full Story

Older adults with a weaker handgrip were more likely to be cognitively impaired than those with a stronger grip, according to an NIA-funded study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The findings suggest that handgrip strength may be a potential low-cost, easy way to help detect cognitive impairment and, in combination with other measures, to identify people who may benefit from early interventions. Full Story

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the Usona Institute breakthrough therapy designation for psilocybin for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), reported This marks the second time the FDA has granted breakthrough designation for psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in "magic mushrooms." Full Story

A new analysis of health survey data from more than 24,000 Canadians, suggests cannabis may be helping residents cope with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reported Researchers found that people who have PTSD but do not medicate with cannabis are far more likely to suffer from severe depression and have suicidal thoughts than those who reported cannabis use over the past year. Full Story

With support from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), the National Quality Forum (NQF) released Enhancing Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment, a practical guide that provides concrete strategies, implementation examples, tools, and resources to assist healthcare delivery systems, practitioners, and payers in expanding the use of MAT. Full Story


The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1309, the "Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act", sending the bill to the Senate for a second vote, reported This bill requires the Department of Labor to address workplace violence in the health care and social service sectors. Specifically, Labor must promulgate an occupational safety and health standard that requires certain employers in the health care and social service sectors ... to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for protecting health care workers, social service workers, and other personnel from workplace violence. Full Story

A new bill before Congress aims to expand telehealth opportunities for mental health providers, reported The Telemental Health Expansion Act (HR 5201), sponsored by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH), would waive geographic restrictions in Medicare’s reimbursement guidelines for mental health services delivered via telehealth, and include the patient’s home as an eligible originating site. Full Story

The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to proceed with a proposal to set up a new hotline, 988, which will connect callers to experts in suicide prevention and mental health. Callers will be linked to an already existing network of crisis centers around the country set up by the Department of Health and Human Services. That network, comprised of 163 such call centers around the country, is already accessible at 1-800-273-TALK, reported Full Story


The Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Workgroup is a coalition of 10 national organizations that work together to address the intersection of the criminal justice system and mental health and substance use conditions. Recently the workgroup released a consensus document outlining policy recommendations to Congress and the administration. The document highlights where they found common ground on policy issues that impact people with mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice system. 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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