This month's top stories for psychiatric-mental health nurses.
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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December, 2018

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: The Newest Risk Factor for Pediatric Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidal Ideation: Cyberbullying

Hot Topic:
Cell Phones on Inpatient Units

Career Center


APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits

APNA Highlights

Register Now for CPI West
This March 16-17, come to San Diego, CA for a weekend of psychopharmacology continuing education planned for nurses, by nurses. At the APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute West, earn up to 10 continuing education contact hours in pharmacology while connecting with members of your psychiatric-mental health nursing community. Register now and save $50!

Your Future is Bright
As a New Year fast approaches, we're thinking of you. Here is a quick video message to wish you a dazzling 2019.

Improve Patient Access to Care with Mental Health Parity Resources
With this newly updated section of the APNA Resource Center, you are empowered with evidence and tools to educate stakeholders about the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA or Parity Law). This legislation ensures that insurance coverage and access to services and care for mental illness and substance use is equal to the services and care provided for physical illnesses. Find out more.

What Do You Want in a Conference?
Your educational needs are important and APNA would like you to share them with us. By completing this survey, you can help APNA create relevant educational programs and plan future conferences. Whether you were able to attend the APNA 32nd Annual Conference in Columbus or not, we need to hear from you. Please take a moment to share your perspective by clicking here.

Issues & Events

Changing access to mental health care from an appointment-based model to a walk-in model—where patients receive on-demand treatment without an appointment and gain immediate access to treatment—increases and maintains access to care, new research shows. When doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital's West End Clinic in Boston changed from an "appointment only" to a "walk-ins welcome" model, they increased patient numbers, retained more of them in treatment, and sped up their access to needed medications, reported MedScape. Full Story

Beacon Health Options, a behavioral health company based in Boston, has launched Beacon Care Services, which offers outpatient mental health therapy in places like retail stores. The first practice is at a Walmart in Carrollton, TX, a city about 20 miles from Dallas, reported Full Story

Current theories of depression suggest that sleep problems, low energy, and low activity levels result from depressed mood, but a new study looking at interactions among these factors in people with bipolar disorder or depression suggests that the opposite may be true—that instability in activity and sleep systems could lead to mood changes. The findings, published online December 12 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, suggest new targets for depression treatment. Full Story

In a new study, patients with moderate to severe depression reported significant improvements in mood when researchers stimulated the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), reported Researchers at the University of California San Francisco say the study’s finding are “an important step toward developing a therapy for people with treatment-resistant depression, which affects as many as 30 percent of depression patients.” Full Story

Lithium demonstrated tolerability and safety as a maintenance treatment in pediatric patients with bipolar disorder for 28 weeks, study findings showed, reported “There are limited prospective long-term pharmacological treatment data for bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. Previous prospective data in the pediatric age group have generally been restricted to combination pharmacotherapy studies,” Robert L. Findling, MD, MBA, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues wrote. “Only a modest amount of information exists based on double-blind, placebo-controlled data regarding the treatment of pediatric patients with lithium beyond 8 weeks.” Full Story

The incidence of dementia increased by 117% between 1990 and 2016, according to data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016. In addition, the data showed that the number of dementia-related deaths increased by 148% in this 26-year period, making dementia the fifth-largest cause of death in 2016, reported Full Story

Under Liberty University's new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Psychiatric Mental Health students are being trained in telehealth (using robotic technology to connect with patients who may not otherwise have immediate access to a specialist). The university acquired two telepresence robots, made by Double Robotics, which students can control remotely from any location through an app on a computer or mobile device. Students appear on the screen and can stage real-life scenarios in Liberty’s nursing facilities with standardized patients (people who portray patients for the purpose of medical training). Full Story

Burnout, overwork and harassment continuing to affect nurses and impact patient care in 2018, due in large part to the national nurse shortage, according to a new study from travel nurse staffing provider RNnetwork. According to the study, 49% of all respondents have considered leaving nursing in the past two years, a number that has not changed since RNnetwork's 2016 survey. Sixty percent of nurses feel they spend the right amount of time at work. That is a slight decrease from 63% in 2016, indicating hours and expectations are increasing. Full Story


The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256) was passed by the U.S. Senate. Introduced in November 2017, the bipartisan BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act is important legislation that, if signed into law, will create an Alzheimer's public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer's interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations. Full Story


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the Departments of the Treasury and Labor, the Federal Trade Commission, and several offices within the White House, has released a report titled Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition. The report includes recommendations to improve the health care workforce and labor markets, health care provider markets, health care insurance markets and consumer-driven health care. The report recommends broader scope-of-practice (SOP) statutes for all health care providers, including advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), that allow them to practice to the top of their license and full skill set. Full Story

The Joint Commission has announced revisions to its National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) addressing suicide prevention to improve quality and safety of care for patients treated for behavioral health conditions and those identified at high risk for suicide. Applicable to all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and behavioral health care organizations, the revised requirements are based on more than a year of research, public field review and analysis with multiple panels convened by The Joint Commission and representing provider organizations, experts in suicide prevention and behavioral health care facility design, and other key stakeholders across the U.S. NPSG 15.01.01 - Reduce the risk for suicide becomes effective July 1, 2019. Full Story

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is Accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the
American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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