News and Notes for December 14, 2016

We’re already halfway through December, and the holidays are closing in! It’s no secret that this can be a stressful time of year, whether or not one has a mental health condition. People deal with all kinds of expectations, from deciding what gifts to buy, for whom, and how to afford them, to trying to squeeze every party, gathering and event into a packed schedule. You also might be stressed planning a get together of your own, or sorting out some kind of travel.

One of the most popular pieces of advice you hear about dealing with holiday stress is to practice good “self-care.” It seems obvious that people need to take care of themselves, but what does that really mean? This article from Psych Central has a few of the basics included, with tips like “Make a schedule” and “Set boundaries.” It can also be helpful to return to the practices that keep you grounded throughout the rest of the year. There are lots of great articles out there with similar advice, and we encourage you to find them.

In the big picture, however, there’s one simple idea that is at the root of much of the specific advice: perspective. It’s so easy to get caught up in the urgency and pressure of the holiday season. The real challenge is to maintain perspective. Whether you cope by taking some time to yourself, sticking to your routine and wellness practices, or making a point to serve others, it’s important to find a way to step back from the pressure and chaos. So if you find yourself irritated, stressed or triggered, try to keep the holidays in perspective, and take a step back and think about the big picture. And remember to breathe!

Despite the holiday season coming around, important news continue to break, with the biggest story of the month to day being the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. We’ve gathered a handful of articles on this significant piece of legislation below. It’s critical that advocates remain connected and engaged, with this new law being enacted, a new administration in Washington, and other potential changes on the horizon in 2017. CAFÉ TAC will continue working to keep you informed. Scroll down for the latest.


The 21st Century Cures Act Set to Impact Mental Health System

Earlier this week President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. This is a large, complex piece of legislation that includes funding for cancer research, changes to the FDA drug and medical device approval process, and money intended to address the opioid addiction epidemic. In terms of mental health, it also includes a number of provisions that had been included in the Mental Health Reform Act and the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.

This link goes to the full text of the bill. It’s the best resource for a detailed cataloging of the full legislation:

The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) has a useful breakout out the bill’s provisions here:

This Psych Central article does a good job of enumerating the provisions that relate to mental health:

USA Today also provides an overview of mental health provisions here:

This article from The Hill details some of the objections to the bill raised by advocates:


Mental Health and the ACA

Throughout the campaign season, candidates for the Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives discussed the merits of the Affordable Care Act at length. These articles examine how changes to our full repeal of the ACA might impact mental health.

This NY Times opinion piece from a psychiatry professor discusses the potential impact of repeal of the Affordable Care Act for people with mental health conditions, given the ACA’s emphasis on behavioral health parity.

This US News piece examines viewpoints of several legislators and advocates.

Webinar: Secrets of Sustainability Series: Measure What Matters

Thursday, December 15

2:00 PM EST

  • Are you concerned about the sustainability of your organization?
  • Is your organization considered a peer or family run organization?
  • Are you in an executive management or governance role in your organization?

In this live and interactive Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP), executive and governance leaders for peer and family run organizations will have the opportunity to learn from each other about:

  • strategic and business planning in the current environment
  • supporting major transitions in board governance models
  • assessing organizational readiness for change
  • creating value propositions
  • anticipating and negotiating for roles in new financing opportunities

Register at


Webinar: STAR Center Collaborative Leadership Series

Friday, December 16

2:00 PM EST

Are you interested in strengthening your leadership skills?

The Collaborative Leadership Series will include a conversation to:

  • Describe the opportunities and challenges for collaboration in systems transformation
  • Identify the benefits of intersectionality as a core value for leadership development
  • Develop core collaborative leadership skills for community building across differences in social identities, values and lived experiences
  • Identify strengths and areas for improvement in collaborative leadership skills

Register at


Locked On The Psych Ward

This extensive investigate report from Buzzfeed looks at how a hospital chain drew people in with promises of free mental health evaluations, only to place them into inpatient care against their will, with the intention of maximizing their insurance benefits.


Community Psychiatry Forum: Evidence Based Practices and Practice Based Evidence

Thursday, December 15

11:45 am – 1:00 pm EDT

This forum, hosted by The Center for Public Service Psychiatry, will help attendees to evaluate the quality of evidence pertaining to the effectiveness of clinical practices, implement/incorporate evidence-based practices (EBP) in program development activities, identify benefits to psychiatrists providing primary care, and describe the various types and strengths of evidence that might be used.

Learn more at

Join the forum at with password cpsp.


Webinar: WRAP for the Holidays with Mary Ellen Copeland

December 15

1:00pm ET

In this webinar, Copeland Center founder Mary Ellen Copeland discusses how she uses her Wellness Recovery Action Plan to navigate the holiday season.

Register at


Webinar: Election Impact: What to Expect Out of Washington in 2017

Thu., December 15

1:00 ET

This National Council webinar will break down the election results and forecast what it means for your organizations, your members and your clients. Attendees will learn about opportunities to influence policy and effective techniques needed to succeed.

Register at


Funding Opportunity: Development of Psychosocial Therapeutic and Preventive Interventions for Mental Disorders

The National Institutes of Health is offering funding “to support the efficient pilot testing of novel psychosocial therapeutic and preventive interventions for mental disorders in adults and children, using an experimental therapeutics approach.” This funding would provide an opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative approaches to mental health care.


Strategies for Encouraging Staff Wellness in Trauma-Informed Organizations

This new resource from the Center for Health Care Strategies offers guidance on how organizations can bring the same focus on being trauma-informed that they weave into their services to their own staff.


Late Night with a Hero Host Yvonne Smith with Ron Manderscheid Ph.D.

In this installment of advocate Yvonne Smith’s show, she has a conversation with Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D., Executive Director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors and the National Association for Rural Mental Health, on topics including the 21st Century Cures Act.


“Navigating” Recovery

This blog post from advocate Ron Unger asserts that NIMH’s “Navigate” early intervention program fails to account for the role of trauma in psychosis.


Growing Older: Providing Integrated Care for Older Adults

This report, from the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CHIS), guides clinicians on the best approaches for providing integrated care to older adults suffering from substance use disorders and/or mental illness. The report explains the importance of assessing clients for cognitive deficits and adapting behavioral interventions to help clients gain maximum benefit from treatment.


Senators, Military Specialists Say Army Report On Dismissed Soldiers Is Troubling

This NPR story details an Army report that justifies the dismissal of some 22,000 service members for misconduct, despite their mental health issues and traumatic brain injuries.


New AI Mental Health Tools Beat Human Doctors at Assessing Patients

The debate over how valuable new technology may or may not be in a therapeutic setting continues. This article makes a positive case for the ability of artificial intelligence to make accurate diagnoses.


The Integration Edge

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) has launched a new online tool designed to promote knowledge sharing around integrated care. It outlines practical tips and examples from organizations that have been working to integrate primary and behavioral health care.

Check it out at