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PAR supports United Way

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Everyone had an opportunity to take part in some camp-themed crafts.

PAR is proud of our ongoing support of United Way. Last week, employees took part in our annual fundraising campaign. For more than 20 years, 100% of staff members have participated in our annual United Way drive, and this year was no different. We exceeded our fundraising goal, resulting in $123,392.95 being donated to United Way to help continue its mission of helping others in our community.

This year, our United Way week theme was Camp PAR. We took part in a host of activities, from a s’mores building contest to a tent pitching competition. Check out some pictures from our fun-filled week of activities.

Want to learn more about how you can help United Way in your community? Visit www.unitedway.org.

 

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Camp counselors Cynthia Lumpee and Vicki King (along with Smokey the Bear) helped plan a fun-filled week of activities.

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Overcoming Your Inner Critic

Beginning on September 14, PAR author Lisa Firestone, PhD, will be offering a six-week online eCourse entitled, “Overcome Your Inner Critic: How to Free Yourself from Imagined Limitations.”

Dr. Firestone explains, “Each of us has an ‘inner critic’ judging our every action and instructing us on how to live our lives. But how much are we letting this inner critic control us? Are our actions based on what we really feel and believe, or are we living our lives based on our inner critic’s negative programing? Learning to effectively overcome our ‘critical inner voice’ is central to all areas of life: personal development, healthy relationships, self-esteem, and career success.”

In the course, participants will learn about ways to counter self-critical thoughts, develop a healthy outlook, and focus on positive goals.

For an interesting visual introduction to the topic, be sure to check out Dr. Firestone’s whiteboard animation, The Critical Inner Voice. For more information about the eCourse and how to sign up, visit the PsychAlive eCourses Web site.

Dr. Firestone is the Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association and author of the Firestone Assessment of Self-Destructive Thoughts™ and the Firestone Assessment of Suicide Intent™ (FAST™-FASI™) and the Firestone Assessment of Violent Thoughts™ (FAVT™)

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Crisis Intervention Training: A New Approach to Police Work

Every day, police officers across the U.S. respond to calls involving people with mental illnesses. These individuals are often incarcerated, and nationwide jails hold 10 times as many people with serious mental illnesses as state hospitals, according to a report from Kaiser Health News.

“There are, shamefully, lots of people with public mental illness who are known to public systems, out there on the streets, very much at the risk of being victimized or engaging in conduct that could get them in trouble with the police,” says Robert Bernstein, president and executive director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, in an article in the online newsletter The Science of Us. When mentally ill persons are approached as possible perpetrators, the mental health system is failing, Bernstein says.

Michael Woody knows this scenario firsthand: on a call for the Akron, Ohio, police department several years ago, he encountered a 27-year-old mentally ill individual who threatened his life and ultimately committed suicide. This prompted him to question the small amount—just five hours—of mandatory mental health training officers were then required to take, and he pushed for more. Since then, he has become an advocate for training to help police officers de-escalate crisis situations involving the mentally ill. Today he serves as president of CIT International, a nonprofit whose primary purpose is to support mental health training for police forces across the country.

According to a recent FBI report, the expense to implement and maintain crisis intervention training (CIT) outweighs the cost of not establishing a program. Injuries to law enforcement personnel and individuals with mental illness as well as repeat calls for these issues are considerably reduced when CIT programs are in place which encourage officers to direct persons with mental illness to mental health-care facilities for treatment prior to issuing any criminal charges. This process reduces lawsuits, medical bills, and jail costs and improves the quality of life for the community, according to the FBI report.

Through the work of people like Woody and CIT International, police departments are beginning to take note and to require CIT. In San Antonio, Texas, police officers now take 40 hours of crisis intervention training, and the city has a six-person unit specially equipped to respond to 9-1-1 calls involving mental health disturbances.

The officers’ training helps them better determine whether people need to go to jail or a hospital or would be best served by being taken to the city’s Restoration Center. The centralized complex, across from the city’s homeless shelter, was built using cross-departmental resources to divert people with serious mental health illness from jail and into treatment instead. Among other things, it provides a space for police to bring arrestees to sober up, which saves them a costly trip to the emergency room. Together the CIT training and Restoration Center have saved the City of San Antonio and its police force an estimated $50 million over the past five years and at least $600,000 a year in overtime pay, according to the Kaiser Health News report.

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Helping Veterans Make the Transition to Civilian Life

The latest edition of the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal features a chapter by PAR authors Melissa A. Messer, MHS, and Jennifer A. Greene, MSPH.

The article details the development of the newest edition to our Self-Directed Search® product line, the Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™ (VMOF™), and explains how to use this new tool when counseling veterans through their transition from the military to the civilian job force. The VMOF helps clients better understand how to transition their skills to civilian occupations through use of John Holland’s RIASEC theory of career development.

The entire Fall 2014 edition of the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal focuses on helping veterans with career development and transition.

Click here to read the article by Melissa A. Messer, MHS, and Jennifer A. Greene, MSPH.

 

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PAR’s Concussion App Wins Accolades

carePAR is proud to announce that our Concussion Assessment & Response™: Sport Version (CARE) app was named the top concussion screening app by iMedicalApps.com. iMedicalApps reviewed all the concussion apps available in the iTunes App Store and compared each app to the criteria for evaluating, diagnosing, and assessing concussions developed by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Neurology, and the Zurich Consensus Working Group.

Learn more about the criteria used to judge the app, download it from iTunes, or get it on Google Play today!

The CARE app is for use by qualified health care professionals only. If you are a parent or coach, our Concussion Recognition & Response™: Coach & Parent Version app may be suitable for you.

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Soldiers Using More Mental Health Services, Stigma Down

According to new research conducted at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, the proportion of soldiers using mental health services nearly doubled between 2003 and 2011. Furthermore, researchers found a small but significant decrease in the perceived stigma associated with seeking mental health services.

In 2003, only about 8 percent of soldiers sought mental health services. In 2011, about 15 percent of soldiers did so. Even with the increase in the number of soldiers seeking mental health help, researcher Phillip Quartana stated that two-thirds of soldiers with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) or major depression symptoms did not seek treatment between 2002 and 2011. More than 25 percent of active infantry soldiers from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, dating back to the beginning of the conflicts in 2001, met self-reported criteria for these diagnoses. While the number of soldiers seeking help has increased and the stigma associated with seeking mental health services has decreased, these results demonstrate that more progress is needed to increase soldiers’ use of mental health care services.

Researchers used data from active-duty personnel who completed Health-Related Behavior Surveys between 2002 and 2011. This study is the first to empirically examine trends concerning utilization of services and stigma across multiple wars.

The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

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CAIMI Author Adele Eskeles Gottfried to Present at APA

Adele Eskeles Gottfried, PhD, author of the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CAIMI), will be presenting a paper at the 2014 APA Annual Conference in Washington, DC this week. Entitled, “From Parental Stimulation of Children’s Curiosity to Science Motivation and Achievement,” Gottfried’s longitudinal research shows that when parents encourage their young children’s curiosity, those children have higher academic intrinsic motivation in science subjects and higher science achievement across childhood through adolescence. Overall, the importance of academic intrinsic motivation for children’s subsequent academic competence is demonstrated. This study is part of Gottfried’s ongoing research on longitudinal aspects of parental stimulation’s role in children’s academic intrinsic motivation, and it highlights the importance of the CAIMI in being able to delineate these findings.

Gottfried’s presentation will be part of the “Role of Others in Promoting Students’ Motivation, Learning, and Well-Being” session on Sunday, August 10, at 1:00 p.m. in Convention Center Room 115. Please confirm dates and times in your convention program when you get to APA—and be sure to stop by the PAR booth (#438) as well!

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The RAIT vs. the TOGRA: Choosing the Right Intelligence Test

Earlier this year, PAR was pleased to announce the publication of two new tests of intelligence and reasoning ability by Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD—the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™) and the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™). But what are the differences between these two new measures?

In simple terms, the difference can be summed up as “power versus speed.”

The RAIT is a powerful, comprehensive measure that assesses crystalized intelligence, fluid intelligence, and quantitative aptitude/intelligence. Designed to help educators evaluate students’ aptitude and determine eligibility for state and federal disability programs, the RAIT can also help clinicians diagnose various forms of childhood psychopathology and evaluate intelligence as part of general and neuropsychological evaluation. The RAIT takes approximately 50 minutes to administer.

The TOGRA is a speeded measure of reasoning and problem-solving. It helps human resources personnel quickly evaluate a job candidate’s abilities; it can also be used to evaluate athletes pre- and post-injury. With two equivalent, alternate forms, re-testing and progress monitoring can be done easily, without practice effects. The TOGRA takes only 16 minutes to administer.

Of course, the RAIT and TOGRA have some things in common as well. Both are designed for either individual or group administration; both work with children and adults ages 10-75 years; and both can be used in a wide variety of settings, including corporate/human resources settings, schools, inpatient and outpatient clinics, vocational support settings, and correctional facilities. The RAIT and the TOGRA are both available through the PARiConnect online testing platform as well as in a traditional paper-and-pencil format.

For a clear, colorful, at-a-glance summary of the differences between the RAIT and the TOGRA, take a look at PAR’s RAIT/TOGRA infographic. To learn more about the individual measures, please visit www.parinc.com, where youll find everything you need to make an intelligent decision about intelligence testing!

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Unemployment Rises Among Those with Serious Mental Health Problems

According to a new report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), adults with serious mental health problems face an 80 percent unemployment rate, a rate that continues to become more dire over time.

In 2003, 23 percent of those receiving public mental health services had jobs; by 2012, only 17.8 percent did.

The survey reports that most adults with mental illness want to work, and 60 percent can be successful if they have the right support. However, only 1.7 percent of those surveyed received supportive employment services. Study author Sita Diehl says the employment problem has less to do with the workers themselves and more to do with the lack of organizations providing supportive services for individuals with serious mental illnesses. Due to decreases in funding, services have not been as available.

On a related note, people with mental illnesses are now the largest and fastest-growing group to receive Supplemental Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Income.

Unemployment rates varied greatly by state, with 92.6 percent of those receiving public mental health services in Maine being without jobs to 56 percent of those in Wyoming reporting they are without employment.

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Being Cool… Not So Cool in the Long Run?

As every adolescent knows, trying to “be cool” is the utmost priority. Whether you want to be a rebel without a cause or a mean girl, certain things never change. However, new research out of the University of Virginia claims that the effect of being cool is short-lived. In fact, “cool” teens were more likely than their peers to face certain issues as early adults.

Following teens from age 13 to age 23, researchers collected information from the teenagers themselves, as well as their parents and teachers. Many of the behaviors that led individuals to think others were cool were socially mature behaviors. Teens who were involved in dating relationships, those who engaged in delinquent activity, and those who hung out with physically attractive people were considered popular by their peers at age 13. However, by age 22, those same individuals were rated by their peers as being less competent at managing social relationships.

Those who were cool at 13 were also more likely to have addiction issues and engage in criminal activity as they aged. According to researcher Joseph P. Allen, PhD, the behaviors that made teens appear cool in early adolescence had to become more and more extreme in order to be seen as cool as they aged, leading to more serious criminal behavior and alcohol and drug abuse. By the time cool teens reached adulthood, their more extreme behaviors were no longer seen as cool, but instead led others to think they were less competent and, thus, less cool.

The full study appears online in Child Development.

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