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Volume 2,Issue 9                                                                                                    November 20, 2013

Community Engagement supported Mental Health Scholar receives prestigious two-year $100,000 Friends of Semel Award

Congratulations to Erin Kelly, PhD, one of our Community Engagement supported Mental Health Scholars, on being awarded a $100,000 two-year fellowship from UCLA's Friends of the Semel Institute Scholar Program. Dr. Kelly is currently one of four postdoctoral scholars being supported through a joint 2-year Mental  Health Scholar program supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Institutes at USC and UCLA and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Since her fellowship began in July 2013 Erin has been working with John Brekke from USC School of Social Work on a newly developed Health Navigator Project, also called "The Bridge", an intervention designed for persons with serious mental illness (SMI) to help improve their access to and utilization of physical health care services.


Dr Kelly's recent two year award will help her expand the breadth and length of her research by including an exploration of the impact of utilization of electronic medical records can have on the health and mental health of the SMI population.   The proposed pilot study is designed to test the feasibility of a peer health navigation intervention that utilizes an electronic personal health record and compare it to treatment as usual. 







Eye contact during early infancy may be a key to early identification of autism, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Published this week in the journal Nature, the study reveals the earliest sign of developing autism ever observed-a steady decline in attention to others' eyes within the first two to six months of life.


Infographic Highlights Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders Among Youth

Developed by, this infographic shows that in 2010, nearly 50 percent of adolescents met the criteria for a mental disorder and 22 percent of those young people exhibited severe impairment or distress. Of the 22 percent, 11.2 percent met the criteria for mood disorders, 8.3 percent met the criteria for anxiety disorders, and 9.6 percent met the criteria for behavior disorders.




Systematic Review: Intimate Partner Violence among Veterans and Active Duty Service Members

The Veterans Administration Evidence-Based Synthesis Program conducted a systematic review of the literature on the prevalence of interpersonal violence (IPV) among active duty service members and Veterans as well as intervention strategies to address IPV. Compared with population-based studies conducted in samples not selected for active duty or Veteran status, investigators report higher rates of 12-month IPV perpetration and victimization among active duty women service members; considerably higher 12-month IPV victimization rates for active duty men; and comparable rates of both 12-month IPV perpetration among active duty men and lifetime IPV victimization among Veteran women. This review also shows that the 12-month victimization estimate is higher among active duty men than active duty women-a pattern that also has been observed in civilian studies.


Clinical Trial Participation Update 



Find Clinical Trials by State


Nationwide Recruitment


Schizophrenia and Genetics

(Outpatient: 1-2 days) This study examines the role genes play in schizophrenia. Eligible participants have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and no serious drug or alcohol abuse. If possible, the siblings and/or parents of the individuals are invited for interviews and blood donation. Travel and lodging assistance may be available. Recruiting ages 18-55. [95-M-0150].


For more information on research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD click here




VA Meets President's Mental Health Executive Order Hiring Goal; More than 800 Veterans Hired as Mental Health Peer Specialists and Peer Apprentices

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has hired 815 Peer Specialists and Peer Apprentices, exceeding the hiring goal set in President Obama's August 31, 2012 Executive Order aimed at improving access to mental health services for Veterans, service members, and military families. On June 3, the VA announced the department met another goal established by the Executive Order by hiring 1,600 additional mental health professionals.



VA Approves $8.8 Million in Grants to Provide Transportation and Renovated Housing for Homeless Veterans

The VA has approved $8.8 million in grants to fund 164 projects in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to rehabilitate currently operational transitional housing projects and acquire vans to facilitate the transportation needs of homeless Veterans. The grants awarded through the Grant and Per Diem Program are for currently operational grantees, who will use this funding to rehabilitate their current project locations to enhance safety, security, and privacy for the homeless Veterans they serve. Additionally, funding for these organizations to acquire vans will assist homeless Veterans with transportation to medical appointments and employment opportunities, as well as enable grantees to conduct outreach within their communities. 


Press Release




Teens - and adults who care for them - can now find answers to questions about drug abuse and addiction more easily, and through smartphones and tablets. Spanish language versions of easy to understand resources on drug abuse and addiction are now also available. For teens, their parents, and teachers, NIDA has upgraded its popular teen website to a "responsive design" model that automatically adjusts to fit the viewer's screen for better viewing through smartphones and tablets. The new design is also more engaging, with larger, more vibrant buttons that link directly to resources that provide answers to questions and concerns related to drug abuse in adolescents. 


Press Release



The Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in partnership with a wide range of behavioral health and media experts, provides recommendations for media coverage of bullying. The guidelines are designed to provide journalists, members of the entertainment industry, bloggers, and others with the up-to-date, accurate information needed to cover and depict bullying issues in a factual and sensitive way.


Press Release


NIH Director Blog: Basic Science Finds New Clue to Bipolar Disorder

Heredity, along with environment, plays an important role in many mental illnesses. For example, studies have revealed that if one identical twin has bipolar disorder, the chance of the other being affected is about 60 percent. There are similar observations for autism, schizophrenia, and major depression. But finding the genes that predispose to these conditions has proven very tricky. In this blog post, NIH Director Francis Collins describes a recent research finding that provides genetic clues to manic episodes.


NIH News in Health: Video Game Training Improves Brain Function in Older Adults

This NIH News in Health article describes the results of a video game training study with older adults. Seniors who played a specialized 3-D video game improved their ability to focus and multitask during laboratory tests. The new findings show the aging brain's potential to improve certain skills.

Fact Sheet: Mourning the Death of a Spouse

The National Institute of Aging has released a newly translated "AgePage" fact sheet, Mourning the Death of a Spouse, in Spanish. It discusses: how grief may affect health; tips for how to cope with being alone; and paperwork and practical matters after a spouse's death.


Directors's Blog: Talking to the Dalai Lama about Addiction Science

NIDA Director Nora Volkow discusses her recent visit to Dharamsala, India, for a dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama about addiction science, as part of a five-day conference at his Mind and Life Institute.




Video: Bringing Families Together: Models of Hope and Recovery
This video features the 10-Element Framework: Elements of System Linkages, developed by the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) to help states, tribal, and local communities overcome barriers and identify strategies to facilitate effective partnerships between mental health services, substance use treatment, child welfare, and family courts. NCSACW is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families.
This report from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to Congress provides information on the performance of states in seven child welfare outcome categories and also includes data on contextual factors and findings of analyses conducted across states.
New Child Welfare Resources for Substance Abuse Treatment Agencies
In-depth technical assistance products have been developed by states working to meet the needs of families who are affected by substance use disorders and who are involved or at risk of involvement with the child welfare system.

Latest SAMHSA News Available

The latest issue of SAMSHA News focuses on the launch of the health insurance marketplace and Veterans courts. The issue also describes the first Community Conversations in response to President Obama's call to action for a national dialogue to increase understanding about mental health.

Behavioral Health in the United States

SAMHSA's new publication provides in-depth information about the behavioral health (mental and/or substance use disorders) of the nation. Drawing on 40 different data sources, this publication includes national and state-level trends in private and public sector behavioral health services, costs, and clients.
Quick Guide for Administrators: Clinical Supervision and Professional Development of the Substance Abuse Counselor
This guide offers tips for program administrators on developing a best-practices program for clinical supervision in the substance abuse treatment field. It presents key issues to consider, including cultural competence, supervisor ethics and values, and more.
Diabetes Care for Clients in Behavioral Health Treatment
This advisory reviews diabetes and its link with mental illness, stress, and substance use disorders, and discusses ways to integrate diabetes care into behavioral health treatment, such as screening and intake, staff education, integrated care, and counseling support.
Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction
This brochure explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse. It explains how family therapy sessions are run and who conducts them, describes a typical session, and provides information on its effectiveness in recovery.
No Longer Alone (A Story About Alcohol, Drugs, Depression, and Trauma): Addressing the Specific Needs of Women
This resource tells the stories of three women with substance abuse and mental health problems who have received treatment and improved their quality of life. Featuring flashbacks, the fotonovela is culturally relevant and designed to dispel myths around behavioral health disorders. (Available in English and Spanish)
Motivation for Change: John's Story-Consequences of His Heavy Drinking and Recovery
This resource equips people who have chronic pain and mental illness or addiction with tips for working with their healthcare provider to decrease their pain without jeopardizing their recovery. It explores counseling, exercise, and alternative therapy, as well as medications.
Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System Brief Series
The National Center for Child Traumatic Stress announced a series of briefs from the Juvenile Justice Roundtable on special topics related to trauma-informed juvenile justice systems. Topics include assessment, role of family engagement, racial disparities, and cross-system collaboration.


Updated Tip Sheets: Managing Behavioral Health Issues After a Disaster (see attached NIMH newsletter for links to tip sheets on the following topics)

  • Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Traumatic Event: Whatto Expect in Your Personal, Family, Work, and Financial Life
  • Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Traumatic Event: Managing Stress
  • Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers
  • Tips for College Students: After a Disaster or Other Trauma
  • Tips for College Students: After a Disaster or Other Trauma: R U A Survivor of a Disaster or Other Trauma? How R U Doing?




Why doesn't Use the Word "Bully" to Label Kids

The labels bully, victim, and target are used often by media, researchers, and others to refer to children who bully others and children who are bullied. This blog post discusses why these terms are not used in this way on its website. For example, rather than calling a child a "bully," the site refers to "the child who bullied."


Facebook and Cyberbullying

When using a site such as Facebook, parents need to discuss how their teen uses the site and with whom they share their posts. Is the teen communicating privately or publicly? Have they witnessed or been part of any form of online bullying? This blog post provides tips and tools for individuals being bullied, harassed, or attacked online.


Entering the World of Work: What Youth with Mental Health Needs Should Know About Accommodations

This Department of Labor fact sheet provides guidance for young adults with mental illness about a successful transition into the workforce by answering questions regarding disclosure, accommodations, and resources. 


Depression and Suicidality During the Postpartum Period After First Time Deliveries

Although suicide is a leading cause of death among new mothers during the postpartum period, there has been limited research on self-harm in the postpartum period and associated risk factors. This article in the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center Medical Surveillance Monthly Report summarizes findings from a study of risk factors for suicide during the postpartum period among women in active service and dependent spouses.




NIMH Twitter Chat on Bullying Prevention: Archived



In observance of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, NIMH and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development co-hosted a Twitter chat with pediatric psychologists. The transcript of the chat is available.




(See attached NIMH newsletter for details of posts on the following topics)



  • Combat Stress vs. PTSD: How to Tell the Difference
  • Warrior Resilience Conference: Content Available Online
  • Helping Military Parents Build Stronger Families
  • Benefits of Mindfulness: Push-ups for the Brain

MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH: News You Can Use! is produced by the SC CTSI Community Engagement program. For questions or information, please contact Holly Kiger, RN, MN, CNS.