MHA News From National: April 13, 2017 | Mental Health America

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MHA News From National: April 13, 2017

A News From National: April 13, 2017

By: Mallory Pernell, MHA Associate Director of Communications and Marketing

In this update:

staff with bell

Today marks the 64th Anniversary of the casting of MHA’s Bell of Hope! In the early 1950’s, MHA issued a call for all asylums across the country to send the chains and shackles once used to restrain people with mental illnesses. On April 13, 1953, MHA melted down these iron restraints and recast them into the Bell of Hope, symbolizing the future of improving mental health. Today, the Bell rings out hope for achieving victory over mental illnesses.

2017 Annual Conference Update

New 2017 Conference Logo - Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

Early Bird Registration Ending Soon
Early Bird registration ends this month on April 30! After this date, registration to the conference will become full price. Don’t delay, register now to save big!

Session Spotlight
We are so excited about this year’s breakout sessions, that we just have to share some of them with you! Starting today, News From National will put a spotlight on some of the fascinating topics that will be covered in June. Here are some highlights from Day 2 of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll:

Innovation in Suicide Prevention Research and Practice with LGBTQ Youth
Speakers: David Bond, LCSW, The Trevor Project
Jeremy Goldbach, PhD, LMSW, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Sexual and gender minorities were recently designated as an NIH research health disparity population. Given the sensitive nature of research with LGBTQ communities, especially youth, a strong research and practice partnership is necessary. Over the last decade, the partnership between the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Colombia University has resulted in benchmark findings on the effectiveness of crisis intervention for a general population of adults. Their research does not, however, ask the sexual orientation or gender identity of callers, nor does it include participants under 18 years of age. In 2015, The Trevor Project, the leading national suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth and young adults under 25, began its partnership with USC researchers to seek to fill this void in knowledge. Findings presented will be relevant to both scholars and practitioners in LGBTQ youth suicide prevention. In this multi-year study, a diverse set of youth (12-24 years old) reported on their experiences with crisis services, suicidality and mental health characteristics, lifetime experiences of LGBTQ-related stress, and sources of resilience. Notably, more than a quarter of youth surveyed stated they would not have used any other crisis service, speaking to the need for LGBTQ specific intervention.

Very Special K - A Little Goes a Long Way
Speaker: Mason Turner, MD, Kaiser Permanente

It is estimated that up to 50 percent of persons with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) may fail to respond to treatment with conventional antidepressants (AD) which chiefly target the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.  Bipolar Depression (BPD) can be even harder to treat than MDD and high rates of suicide are associated with the severest forms of both disorders.  The anesthetic drug ketamine has been investigated for its AD effects in people suffering from treatment-resistant depression since the 1990s with growing published evidence for its rapid and robust effects on mood when given intravenously. Although the mechanism of action remains uncertain, ketamine is thought to act on the glutamate neurotransmitter system to ultimately initiate positive structural brain changes that outlast the metabolism of the drug. 

Exhibits and Sponsorship
Want to promote your organization and be seen by hundreds of mental health advocates, clinicians, and consumers? Considering sponsoring or exhibiting at the conference. Hurry, exhibit space is filling up fast! Secure your spot today.  

For more information on MHA’s 2017 Annual Conference, check out MHA’s 2017 conference website at

What's Up with Congress?

Congress went on recess last Friday for the next two weeks, so now your Senators and Representatives are back home. Take an opportunity to go visit your elected representatives or attend a town hall and share why mental health is so important to you and what more they can do to help your community act Before Stage 4.

What We're Reading

Features Paul Gionfriddo:

CNBC: Neurocrine Announces FDA Approval of INGREZZA TM (valbenazine) Capsules as the First and Only Approved Treatment for Adults with Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)
Blog Talk Radio: Mental Health America CEO Paul Gionfriddo on Mental Health News Radio  

From Around the Web:
Star Tribune: Budget cuts would deepen statewide shortage of psychiatric beds, Minnesota commissioner warns
Huffington Post: Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Launch Mental Health Film Series
ABC News: Iraqis haunted by war overwhelm mental health facilities
Star-Telegram: Texas must face need to treat the mentally ill — and not in our jails
VOA News: Sierra Leone Grapples with Mental Health Impact of Ebola
LinkedIn: Opioids, My Mom's Death, and Why People Trust Science Less
Vox: Treating depression is guesswork. Psychiatrists are beginning to crack the code.

Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?

Last week, Paul attended a reception at the home of Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae of Japan as part of the National Cherry Blossom festival. As MHA kicks off Mental Health Month events (a couple of weeks early) next week, Paul will be on the road again, speaking at the “In an Age of Violence” conference sponsored by MHAPBC. The following week, Paul will be headed to Providence, RI for a broadcast and Sirius Radio interview, and then head straight to Knoxville, TN for a B4Stage4 luncheon with MHA of Eastern TN.

Did You Know?  

Mental Health Month is Around the Corner!

MHM 2017

May is almost here! Have you downloaded the May is Mental Health Month toolkit yet?  

This year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month is Risky Business. MHA calls on all communities to educate ourselves and others about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or are signs of mental health problems themselves. Activities like unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, recreational drug use, internet/gaming addiction, excessive spending, or disordered eating can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.

The toolkit includes fact sheets, infographics, sample social media posts, and other exciting new features.

Check out to download the toolkit today!

Booster Program Surpasses Goal!

booster staff

MHA partnered with, a free crowdfunding platform that helps organizations raise awareness and funds online through the sale of customized items to launch its first campaign to inspire individuals to FIGHT IN THE OPEN

We encouraged you to take part in this campaign by purchasing a FIGHT IN THE OPEN t-shirt and wearing it during Mental Health Month in May.

Thanks to our advocates like you, we have already surpassed our goal of selling 150 t-shirts!

If you haven’t bought a shirt yet, don’t worry – they are still available. Be sure to get yours today and join our stigma-fighting community!

Additionally, for each t-shirt purchased through your local MHA affiliate, 30% of the proceeds will go directly to that specific affiliate.

To order, go to the FIGHT IN THE OPEN campaign here OR through your local affiliate’s customizable link that leads to the Booster campaign.

WQED To Premiere New Documentary Featuring MHA and Paul Gionfriddo 
You can now watch Before Stage Four: Confronting Early Psychosis online! The new documentary focuses on MHA’s Before Stage 4 philosophy, featuring personal stories including MHA's President & CEO Paul Gionfriddo's journey with his son, Tim.

Fable the Poet Named Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids
Congratulations to MHA friend and partner Marcel “Fable” Price (Fable the Poet), for being selected as Grand Falls Poet Laureate! You may remember Fable from MHA’s 2015 Conference, where he spoke on his experience with mental health conditions. Read more about Fable and this great achievement!

Affiliate News

Showcase Your Affiliate Program During Innovation Nation
Each year, MHA brings together successful affiliate programs and best practices through Innovation Nation. We are excited to announce that Innovation Nation will be held again this year during the MHA Annual Conference, to honor the 2017 Innovation in Programming Award winner and recognize influential programs from MHA affiliates. 

MHA is dedicating 10 exhibit booths –FREE of charge—to affiliates who are interested in sharing a creative and innovative program that can be replicated by other affiliates throughout the country.

In addition to displaying a poster and manning an exhibit booth, 10 affiliates including the Innovation in Programming winner (TBD) will have the opportunity to showcase their successful innovative programs, during the Affiliate Exchange Lunch during Pre-Conference Day for Affiliates on June 13.

To reserve your booth, please go to to fill out and submit the simple application.  

Questions? Contact MHA’s Valerie Sterns at 703-797-2594, or at

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces Call For Proposals
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced a new a new grant program, Consumer Advocacy for Transformation (CAT). The program will fund state-based or local consumer health advocacy projects that aim to develop and insert an organized, influential and permanent consumer voice in state and local health system changes. These health system changes should increase health care value by preserving efforts to increase access to care, improving health outcomes and lowering costs, especially for populations with disproportionately poor health outcomes. 

The program will use a two-phase, competitive Call for Proposals process to select grantees. For more information about this opportunity or to apply, please click here.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Community Catalyst will also host an optional informational webinar on Friday, April 14 at 1 p.m. Eastern. If you are interested in joining the webinar, please register here.

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