American Psychiatric Nurses Association Honors Seven Nurses for Outstanding Contributions to Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

American Psychiatric Nurses Association Honors Seven Nurses for Outstanding Contributions to Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

Barbara Drew, PhD, APRN, BC and Shirley Smoyak, PhD, RN, FAAN

Arlington, VA (PRWEB) June 14, 2011

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association announces the recipients of its 2011 APNA Annual Awards. These awards honor individuals who exemplify a superior dedication to and passion for the psychiatric mental health nursing profession. Awards recipients were nominated by their peers and chosen by a committee of their APNA colleagues. The awards will be presented to seven psychiatric mental health nurses at the APNA 25th Annual Conference in October.

This year’s recipient of the prestigious APNA Psychiatric Nurse of the Year award is Barbara Drew, PhD, APRN, BC. The Psychiatric Nurse of the Year award recognizes a psychiatric mental health nurse who demonstrates vision, perseverance, dedication, initiative and facilitation in the delivery of mental health services to individuals, families and their communities. Dr. Drew is a past president of APNA and an Associate Professor at Kent State University’s School of Nursing, where she established a successful child and adolescent psychiatric nursing program. Most recently, she has been heavily involved as Chair of the APNA/ISPN LACE Implementation Task Force, working to create a framework for the implementation of the Consensus Model for Advanced Practice Nursing within psychiatric mental health nursing. “Barb demonstrated her ability to visualize a need for a future where the public would have a clear understanding of what advanced nursing practice is, who advanced practice psychiatric mental health nurses are, and a more coherent conception of what to expect from these practitioners,” says Jeanne A. Clement, one of the psychiatric nurses who recommended her for the award. “She is…a leader who leads and inspires by her ability to have a vision of the future.”

APNA is also honoring Shirley Smoyak, PhD, RN, FAAN with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her commitment, initiative, loyalty, integrity, and exceptional and meritorious service to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. “Perhaps more than any other living individual, Dr. Smoyak has helped shape, teach and preserve the body of knowledge that is psychiatric nursing. Truly, our profession owes her a debt of gratitude because of her long standing advocacy; she truly represents distinguished service and is deserving of this award,” says nominator and mentee Teena McGuiness, PhD, CRNP, FAAN. Dr. Smoyak, a professor at Rutgers’ College of Nursing and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, is a respected researcher and author in the field of mental health. She is known internationally as an advocate for psychiatric mental health nursing as well as for her pioneering work on the relationship between family systems and the patient with mental illness. A charter member of APNA who has served on its Board of Directors in the past, Dr. Smoyak continues to be an active and vocal member in the association.

APNA further honors the following psychiatric mental health nurses for excellence in practice, education, leadership, and innovation in the field of PMHN:

Award for Excellence in Education:

M. Jane Suresky, DNP, PMHCNS-BC

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, OH

Award for Innovation – Individual:

Michael Terry, DNP, FNP, PMHNP

Hahn School of Nursing & Health Sciences, University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

Award for Excellence in Leadership – Advanced:

Lisabeth Johnston, PhD, APRN, CS

Independent Practitioner

West Hartford, CT

Award for Excellence in Practice – APRN:

Patricia Cunningham, DNSc, APN PMHNP/CNS-BC, FNP-BC

Memphis, TN

Award for Excellence in Practice – RN-PMH:

Marcia Melby, RN-BC, PMH

Community Mental Health Center

Fresno, CA

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is a national professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. APNA’s membership is inclusive of all psychiatric mental health registered nurses including associate degree, baccalaureate, advanced practice (comprised of clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric nurse practitioners), and nurse scientists and academicians (PhD). APNA serves as a resource for psychiatric mental health nurses to engage in networking, education, and the dissemination of research.


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Mental Health Advocacy Group NAMI Issues Statement on Psychiatric Bed Shortage Report

Mental Health Advocacy Group NAMI Issues Statement on Psychiatric Bed Shortage Report

Arlington, VA (PRWEB) March 20, 2008

National Alliance on Mental Illness statement: “Significant reductions in inpatient psychiatric beds, coupled with shortages of appropriate community services and supports for people with the most severe mental illnesses, has led to a crisis in America. Today, in many parts of the country, people with severe mental illness do not have access to necessary treatment either in hospitals or in the community. This has contributed significantly to increases in homelessness, criminalization, suicides, and other adverse consequences of neglect. On March 19, 2008, The Treatment Advocacy Center released a report focusing on one important dimension of this crisis – sharp decreases in public hospital beds for persons with mental illness.”

This report can be accessed at

NAMI’s Grading the States 2006 report also describes the crisis in America’s public mental health system and the reasons for this crisis, including the non-existence of evidence based mental health services in many communities and major shortages in qualified mental health professionals throughout the country. This report can be accessed at

NAMI national experts are available for media interviews on this and related mental health issues upon request.

About NAMI:

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.

NAMI Web Resources:

NAMI newsroom

NAMI state & local offices


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Parental Alienation Disorder Leaps into Mental Health History with the American Psychiatric Association

Parental Alienation Disorder Leaps into Mental Health History with the American Psychiatric Association

2009 CSPAS Conference

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 14, 2010

Psychological research and studies have been investigating the phenomenon known as Parental Alienation for the last 60 years. Today, most mental health professionals regard it as a form of child abuse. During the year parental alienation also leaped into mental health history, as the American Psychiatric Association announced it is now considering – Parental Alienation Disorder for inclusion in DSM-5. There are 3 possible ways for P.A.D. to get into DSM-5: in the main body of Appendix A as a mental dis-order, in Appendix B as a relational problem or in Appendix A in one of the appendices of DSM-5 under Criteria Sets and Axes for further study.

The inclusion of Parental Alienation Disorder could help 200,000 children in American every year who suffer from this condition. It could also help abate this form of child abuse and bring families better treatment solutions along the way. In one of the American Journal’s of Family Therapy, Dr. William Bernet defined parental alienation as a mental condition in which a child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a high conflict divorce- allies himself or herself strongly with one parent and rejects a relationship with the other parent without legitimate justification. “

In NYC an international conference on parental alienation will be taking place at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine – October 2nd and October 3rd in the Stern Auditorium. Joseph Goldberg, Founder of the CSPAS conference said, ” The conference is important to every mental health professional involved in helping children and families. It also presents an opportunity for many family lawyers to educate themselves in ways that can help their clients obtain court interventions that are appropriate to helping these children.”

If you are interested in attending the conference please visit and register online at or call 647-476-3170. For all media list inquiries about and for the event please contact 646.370.3458.

About C.S.P.A.S

Founded in 2008 by Joseph Goldberg, The Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome is an educational organization assisting mental health professionals, family law lawyers, family mediators and other professionals to better understand parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome / disorder. Their goal is to assist children and families in need of educational information and referrals to professionals with a specialized expertise for counseling, psychological or psycho-educational services. Parents and professionals in both the family law and mental health communities will be able to locate a number of experts in parental alienation by simply visiting their website. C.S.P.A.S also disseminates information and literature to professionals and to parents. They maintain a strictly educational position and have no political affiliations. The C.S.P.A.S. does not accept funding from any organization affiliated with parental rights, nor do they take a position in favor of or in opposition to equal parenting. For more information visit


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American Psychiatric Association to Spotlight Symposium on ‘Hot Topics in Afro-American Mental Health’

American Psychiatric Association to Spotlight Symposium on ‘Hot Topics in Afro-American Mental Health’

New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) March 10, 2010

Dr. Smith and his team will present challenges in treating blacks in mental health, HIV and other taboo topics including, HIV and African American men ‘on the down low.’ The Center for Disease Control defines the phrase, ‘on the down low’ or ‘on the DL,’ as the ‘behavior of men who have sex with other men as well as women and who do not identify as gay or bisexual.’ The risks associated with this activity present widespread challenges for HIV prevention professionals. The stigma of homosexuality and the secretive nature of this problem results in a number of women showing up in clinics around the country diagnosed with HIV.

In the general population, “there is an alarming over-representation of Afro-Americans in the United States living with HIV and a large number have critical mental health needs as well,” says Dr. Smith. Mental health concerns in African Americans are supported by the frequently misdiagnosis for schizophrenia rather than a more accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder or other affective disorders in non-HIV patients.

William Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., DFAPA, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Howard University College of Medicine and Hospital, Washington, D.C., will address the unique psychopharmacological findings in the black community. One of the common challenges in treating and identifying mental disorders, according to Dr. Lawson is the ‘lack of research participation by African American patients and investigators in treatment development.’ Patients are suspicious and providers fail to engage the patient in discussions of these problems.

There is a glaring deficit in the use of mental health services by African Americans in the United States. According to a 1999 Surgeon General’s Report:

    Overall, only one-third of Americans with mental illness or a mental health problem get care. Yet, the percentage of African Americans receiving needed care is only half that of non-Hispanic whites. One study reported that nearly 60% of older African American adults were not receiving needed services.

    Nearly 1 in 4 African Americans is uninsured, compared to 16% of the U.S. population. Rates of employer-based health coverage are just over 50% for employed African Americans, compared to over 70% for employed non-Hispanic whites. Medicaid covers nearly 21% of African Americans.

Another expert presenter on the team, Janet Taylor, M.D., Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry at Columbia University affiliated Harlem Hospital in New York, and frequent contributor to CBS “The Early Show,” and NBC “The Today Show.” Dr. Taylor will discuss Women’s Mental Health issues. African American women are least likely of all subgroups to seek help in mental health issues. Their reasons may include; lack of insurance, mistrust of the medical community or reliance on family and religious support instead of seeking medical help. As a contributor to O, the Oprah Magazine, Dr. Taylor’s involvement from a grassroots effort is where she makes the most impact in the community. “Being on the frontline with individuals and their families battling the emotional and economic impact of mental illness is where I can make a difference,” says Dr. Taylor.

Harriet Washington, award-winning bioethics journalist and author of “Medical Apartheid,” will discuss the Impact of Past and Current Prejudices. In her book, Washington dissects the dark history of medical experimentation on African Americans from colonial times to the present. She discusses the past and present ethical issues in the treatment of individuals suffering from mental illness and chemical dependency in America. Medical Apartheid clearly paints a vivid, yet disturbing, picture of why African Americans have an innate mistrust of the medical establishment. Washington chronicles the history of African Americans being used as human guinea pigs in experiments from, Thomas Jefferson exposing hundreds of slaves to an untried smallpox vaccine before using it on whites, to the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which black syphilitic men were observed, but not treated in order to document the long term effects of the disease.

Although most of the symposium will focus on African American mental health issues, a segment headed by Zack Cernovsky, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, will discuss the issues from a Canadian perspective. Dr. Cernovsky will describe the attempt of the current head of the infamous Pioneer Fund, J.P. Rushton, to influence physicians and psychiatrists, to believe in the genetic inferiority of blacks. The Pioneer Fund is a non-profit organization, established in 1937, to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences. Scientific scrutiny shows that Rushton’s methodology (e.g., measuring head circumference by tape as a substitute for IQ tests) and his generalizations from inadequate samples discredit his work. According to Cernovsky, “his books have probably misled at least some physicians.” These physicians may resort to discriminatory practices in their clinical decisions about black patients.

Mental health professionals and psychiatrists are uniquely positioned to assist patients in improving mental and physical health. The overall goal of the symposium is to provide a better understanding and awareness of the inimitable challenges in treating the African American mental health patient.

For information or the availability of any the above speakers, please contact Rhonda Daley, Pacificus Marketing Group, LLC at (707) 812-4380, For a fact sheet pertaining to this release, please visit:


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