Now Available: Online Guide to Nonpartisan Election Activity for 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organizations

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As the 2016 election season enters high gear, Nonprofit VOTE has released a comprehensive online guide for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations on nonpartisan ways to promote voting and engage candidates in the 2016 election
. Called Nonprofits, Voting and Elections, the online guide reviews the prohibition on partisan political activity. It provides topic by topic advice on how nonprofits and their staff can promote voter registration, conduct voter education, talk to candidates, work on ballot measures and encourage the people they serve to participate and vote.

“Being nonpartisan doesn’t mean staying on the sidelines in an important national election,” said Brian Miller, Nonprofit VOTE’s Executive Director. “Nonprofits can take advantage of opportunities to engage their communities and talk to candidates with the knowledge of how to do so on a nonpartisan basis.” 

Nonprofits, Voting and Elections distills advice from Nonprofit VOTE’s legal partners and extensive library of nonpartisan voter engagement resources. It cites factors nonprofits need to consider when carrying out nonpartisan election activities.  Each section links to practical ideas and common examples of nonpartisan nonprofit activities such as voter registration, candidate forums, voter education or what staff may do in their personal time vs. representing their nonprofit.  

“Nonprofits want to – and legally can – help people in their communities exercise their right to vote, but historically some nonprofits have lacked guidance on what it means to be nonpartisan at election time,” remarked Tim Delaney, CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. “Nonprofit VOTE’s comprehensive and timely guide is a terrific resource that illuminates clear pathways for nonprofits to promote civic engagement so every American participates in democracy.” 

The Hidden Harm of Antidepressants

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An in-depth analysis of clinical trials reveals widespread underreporting of negative side effects, including suicide attempts and aggressive behavior

Antidepressants are some of the most commonly prescribed medications out there. More than one out of 10 Americans over age 12—roughly 11 percent—take these drugs, according to a 2011 report by the National Center for Health Statistics. And yet, recent reports have revealed that important data about the safety of these drugs—especially their risks for children and adolescents—has been withheld from the medical community and the public.

In the latest and most comprehensive analysis, published last week inBMJ (the British Medical Journal),a group of researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen showed that pharmaceutical companies were not presenting the full extent of serious harm in clinical study reports, which are detailed documents sent to regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) when applying for approval of a new drug. The researchers examined documents from 70 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of two common types of antidepressants—selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI)—and found that the occurrence of suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior doubled in children and adolescents who used these medications.

Continue reading on the Scientific American website.

Study Finds Group Drumming Bangs Away at Anxiety and Depression

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Researchers in London have found evidence of a surprisingly effective treatment for anxiety and depression, one that even alters the inflammatory immune responses that may underlie these disorders. Prozac? Actually, percussion. An “exploratory examination” found 10 weeks of group drumming provided significant benefits for a group of people who had sought help for mental-health issues. What’s more, the improvements persisted for at least three months after the sessions concluded.

Continue reading on the Pacific Standard website.

Behavioral Health Coverage Under MHPAEA: A Nationwide Expansion

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~ Announcement from SAMHSA ~ 

Do you have questions about what your health insurance covers for mental health or substance use disorder services?

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 requires health insurers and group health plans to provide the same level of benefits for mental and/or substance use treatment and services that they do for medical/surgical care.

The final MHPAEA regulations published in 2013 applied parity protections to the commercial market, and final regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on March 29, 2016, applies parity rules to Medicaid managed care and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. As a result, parity requirements now apply to most health plans in the United States.

Download these resources about parity for mental health and substance use disorder benefits:

Webinar: Mental Health Disparities Research at NIMH

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August 31, 2016, 2:00-3:00 PM ET 

The NIH recognizes the importance of reducing and eliminating mental health disparities in communities across the country. This webinar will present exemplary studies that highlight the strategic objectives of the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research. NIMH-funded researchers who have investigated mental health disparities will present their preliminary findings.

Sign up for the webinar here.

Webinar: Shared Decision Making Dialogues: Engaging Individuals and families in Decision Making

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August 30, 2016, 1:00-2:00 PM ET

This SAMHSA webinar will draw from examples at two different service settings—a peer-run recovery center and a program that serves young adults experiencing psychosis—and to illustrate ways to help individuals and families make the most of health care conversations. The presenters will highlight how they use the framework of shared decision making to guide services delivery and engage people using their services to become active in all aspects of their healthcare. '

Sign up here.

Webinar: Integrated Service Settings Open Doors for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

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August 4, 2016, 12:00-1:30 PM ET

Join this SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions webinar to enhance knowledge and skills for working with youth experiencing homelessness, and with the social service agencies key to securing housing and other supports. After this webinar, participants will appreciate the risk factors for homelessness among youth and understand its life cycle; understand the complex array of health, behavioral, and social issues that need to be addressed during clinical encounters with youth experiencing homelessness; have the knowledge of how to engage homeless youth and earn their trust; identify and collaborate with partners at the community and/or state level that can facilitate access to shelter, housing, and other key supports for youth experiencing homelessness; and use specific tools and interventions to identify, and improve outcomes for, youth experiencing homelessness.

  • Sign up for the webinar here.

HHS Office of Minority Health Awards $2.8 Million to Help Children Exposed to Trauma

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The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced new grant awards totaling approximately $2.8 million to seven organizations to promote healthy behaviors in minority and/or disadvantaged children who have been exposed to trauma. The Communities Addressing Childhood Trauma initiative will promote healthy behaviors for youth, ages five to 15 years at the start of the five-year program, who are at risk for poor health and life outcomes because of childhood trauma.

  • Read the Press Release here

Texas Among States That Siphons Federal Dollars To Balance Budget, Book Argues

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povertyGovernment aid doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to. Foster care agencies team up with companies to take disability and survivor benefits from abused and neglected children. States and their revenue consultants use illusory schemes to siphon Medicaid funds intended for children and the poor into general state coffers. Child support payments for foster children and families on public assistance are converted into government revenue. And the poverty industry keeps expanding, leaving us with nursing homes and juvenile detention centers that sedate residents to reduce costs and maximize profit, local governments buying nursing homes to take the facilities’ federal aid while the elderly languish with poor care, and counties hiring companies to mine the poor for additional funds in modern day debtor’s prisons.

In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America’s most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue. The poverty industry is stealing billions in federal aid and other funds from impoverished families, abused and neglected children, and the disabled and elderly poor. As policy experts across the political spectrum debate how to best structure government assistance programs, a massive siphoning of the safety net is occurring behind the scenes.In the face of these abuses of power, Hatcher offers a road map for reforms to realign the practices of human service agencies with their intended purpose, to prevent the misuse of public taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that government aid truly gets to those in need.

Listen to the interview between the author of The Poverty Industry, Daniel Hatcher, Professor of Law at Baltimore University, and radio host, David Martin Davies, host of "The Source" on KSTX, San Antonio, Texas. Former Governor Rick Perry is highlighted in the book. Hatcher argues that despite an open disdain publicly, Governor Perry diverted more than a billion dollars from Texas Medicaid programs to the state general fund between the years of 2008-2013.

  • Listen to the interview here.

Seeking Young Adults to Participate in the Transition Age Youth Psychotherapy Experiences (TYPE) study!

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~ A message from our friends at the Transitions RTC ~

The TYPE Study:

Now Recruiting Young Adults from across the U.S.!

The Transition-age Youth Psychotherapy Experiences (TYPE) study is designed to gain a better understanding of the experiences, including the good, bad, and everything in-between, of Transition Age Youth (TAY) receiving outpatient psychotherapy treatment. 

Results of the study will be used to improve therapy so that it fits better with what young adults want or need.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • young adult who is 18-25 years old
  • has a self-identified mental health condition
  • receiving outpatient psychotherapy for 12 months or less (can be brand new to therapy)

Study Format:

  • Participation includes two interviews scheduled two months apart.
  • Interviews will last roughly 1 hour and will include a web survey and qualitative portion.
  • Interviews will take place over the phone/computer.
  • Participants located within 30 miles of Worcester, MA have the option of in-person interviews at a location of convenience.

Compensation:

  • Young adults will be compensated up to $50 for their involvement in this study ($25 gift card for each completed interview) 
  • If you are a provider and would like to learn more about this study, please click here 
  • If you are a young adult and would like to learn more about this study, please click here
  • Sign Up Now
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