A Message from the President

APNA President Susie AdamsSusie Adams, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, FAANP
March 2015

Recently, I’ve been invited to represent psychiatric nurses on an Entertainment Industries Council / SAMHSA Webcast concerning substance use disorders, mental health and primary care depictions in the media (March 26, 2015). Through a panel discussion with a mental health nurse, a dentist unknowingly pulled into prescribing opiate pain medication, and a person in recovery, we will highlight the importance and potential for integrated health care models to screen and offer early interventions for both substance use and mental health disorders. I’ve long been an advocate for “embedding” a mental health provider such as a psychiatric nurse in primary care as well as targeted specialty clinics to reduce the stigma and increase the access of receiving services within a primary care setting. My own practice of 17 years provides mental health services within an OB/Gyn practice where I see women, their partners, sometimes their children, and other extended family members. Given the impact of the Adverse Childhood Events Study, “embedding” a mental health provider in pediatric offices offers the promise of early screening, identification, and intervention for children, as well as assessment and intervention with parents. Consider the potential impact of a mental health provider offering parenting skills classes, support groups and individual counseling. Sharing this perspective offers a positive image of integrated health care delivery and the role of mental health nurses. The intent of this webcast is to shape positive images of recovery and how an integrated health care approach can be portrayed in the media. Accepting opportunities to share positive stories with others is an invaluable way to take “a seat at the table”.

And now for some APNA updates!

We’ve got tons of activities underway here at APNA, which means tons of opportunities for you to dive in and get involved. For those interested in developing their leadership skills, there is the Call for Nominations for the upcoming APNA elections. I can personally speak to the rewarding and fulfilling experience that is serving on the APNA Board of Directors. We are also looking for you to let us know about the best and brightest in psychiatric-mental health nursing so that we can honor them through the APNA Annual Awards program. It’s important for us to not only let exceptional psych nurses know that we recognize and appreciate what they do for our profession, but also to share their stories with the public as examples of the great difference that we make through our work. For those of you who are students or who know students who are interested in entering our field, there is the APNA Board of Directors Student Scholarship program. This program provides a year of APNA membership as well as travel, lodging, and registration to the APNA Annual Conference this October for 10 undergraduate and 10 graduate students who show passion and promise. In this issue of APNA News you’ll find a blog by Valeria Dworkowitz about her experience as a Board of Directors Scholar last year.

I’m delighted to let you know that a record number of abstract proposals were submitted this year to be considered for presentation at this year’s Annual Conference. Our Scholarly Review Committee is busy reviewing them and I, for one, cannot wait to see the program that emerges. It is wonderful to know that so many of you are willing to share your expertise and knowledge. For those of you in need of psychopharmacology contact hours, remember that registration for the Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute this June is open. The program is chock full of scientific presentations that, as CPI Program Chair Julie Carbray says so well, “speak to exciting new discoveries and the translation of these discoveries into the realities of psychopharmacologic nursing practice”.

I hope that you will continue to embrace opportunities to “share your stories” with others, and remember that you have a support network of nearly 10,000 like-minded colleagues here at APNA.


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