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August 1, 2006
by root
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Mental Health Family History Tool

A Web site ( launched by the nonprofit organization Families for Depression Awareness enables people to track their family's mental health history. The site's Mental Health Family Tree builder helps map family behavior patterns that may be associated with bipolar disorder (Bipolar disorder often runs in families). The site provides a printout people can use to start conversations with their doctors or family members.

Online Behavior Change Interventions

HealthMedia, Inc.'s suite of Internet-based tools provides tailored communications that address lifestyle issues and readiness and motivation to change. HealthMedia and APS Healthcare have announced a strategic partnership to integrate HealthMedia's lifestyle and disease management programs into APS's health management offering. APS's product offering will include HealthMedia's health risk assessment (HRA), lifestyle management programs, chronic condition management programs, and online support tools and resources. These online capabilities will augment the health management programs currently being provided by APS health coaches via telephonic and community-based activities. For more information, visit

Eating Disorders Conference

The Renfrew Center Foundation, the nonprofit arm of The Renfrew Center (an eating disorders and women's mental health treatment facility), is hosting its 16th Annual Conference for mental health professionals and dietitians November 9-12 at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott. The featured keynoter is author and feminist Erica Jong. Conference topics include genetic, psychological, and cultural variables; obesity and binge eating; alternative and complementary treatments; trauma; somatic transference and countertransference; psychoeducation and primary prevention; and spirituality. For more information, visit

Addiction Treatment Facilities

The Right Step, a private chemical dependency treatment services provider in the Southwest, has acquired Focused Recovery, Inc.'s substance abuse and mental health treatment facilities in Santa Fe, Taos, Las Cruces, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Focused Recovery offers a variety of treatment programs, such as intensive outpatient programs, individual and family programs, and continuing care. The Right Step offers a full continuum of care, from detoxification and residential treatment through intensive outpatient and transitional living. For more information, visit

Software Systems

Healthcare Management Systems, Inc.® (HMS) develops, sells, and supports integrated clinical and financial hospital information systems and services. HMS recently entered into a new and extended contract with Tampa-based Oglethorpe, Inc. The new contract increases HMS’ role of providing an integrated hospital information system to three Oglethorpe behavioral facilities. For more information, visit

Practice Management Program

VantageMed Corporation's Therapist Helper has earned a “Best in KLAS” rating from KLAS Enterprises for the behavioral health market segment. KLAS is a source of information on healthcare information technology vendor performance. Therapist Helper is a practice management and billing solution for small practices. For more information, visit

Mental Health Conference

The 19th Annual U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress is November 16-19 in New Orleans. More than 120 educational sessions will be offered across 12 specialty tracks, featuring the latest mental health breakthroughs. This year 31 new speakers and 68 attendee-requested speakers join the faculty, and a precongress workshop on bipolar disorder will be offered. Local experts will be tapped as medical advisers and faculty so attendees can learn from their experiences related to Hurricane Katrina. For more information, visit

Seclusion and Restraint Training Guide

SAMHSA has released a new training curriculum with the latest information on prevention strategies and alternative approaches to avoid and reduce the use of seclusion and restraints. A Roadmap to Seclusion and Restraint Free Mental Health Services for Persons of All Ages is organized in seven modules and emphasizes the importance of creating cultural change within organizations to impact seclusion and restraint reduction. The curriculum employs a consumer-driven approach that was successfully pilot-tested prior to publication. It is offered in CD-ROM format and provides complete lesson plans and handouts for each training module. The curriculum is available through SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center at

EAP Conference

The Employee Assistance Professionals Association Annual World EAP Conference is October 4-8 in Nashville. Attendees will learn about new trends, technology, best practices, and the latest EA research. Nine preconference professional development trainings will be offered, along with more than 45 presentations throughout the three days of the conference. Attendees can earn more than 33 PDHs and CECHs. For more information, visit