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Local Advocacy Network

October 2019

Greetings SCCPA colleagues!


Here is an interesting article on how “Doctors And Nurses With Addictions Often Denied A Crucial Recovery Option”. The author supports non-disciplinary programs, in which doctors and nurses enroll for a number of years and are closely monitored by addiction specialists and state authorities as they seek to maintain or restore their medical licenses. But, he says that he is perplexed as to why these programs and other efforts to help health care providers generally do not stress a recovery method that has long been shown to be effective: the use of drugs like buprenorphine and methadone, known as opioid agonists, to relieve cravings.

1.      New Initiatives:

·          New York lawmaker announces bill allowing mental health days for students:

·         Starbucks plans to improve US employees' mental health benefits:

·         City of Berkeley creates mental health crisis hotline:

·         NBA adopts new rules requiring teams to add full-time mental health staff for 2019-2020 season:


2.      Suicide statistics and more

·         One person dies every 40 seconds from suicide, WHO says:  

·         Want To Reduce Suicides? Follow The Data — To Medical Offices, Motels And Even Animal Shelters:

·         Turning crisis into opportunity: Son's death by suicide in college prompts mom's activism:


3.      What new studies or research data are saying 

·         Study Touts Psychotherapy As First-Line Treatment for Youth With Depression:

·         MDMA, Or Ecstasy, Shows Promise As A PTSD Treatment:

·         Most common antidepressant, sertraline, a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) barely helps improve depression symptoms, 'shocking' trial in UK finds:

·         How High Heat Can Impact Mental Health:


4.      AB5 signed into law; victory for advocacy efforts of CPA  

·         AB 5 Signed Into Law:

·         Who’s in, who’s out of AB 5?:

·         There will be no deal for gig companies such as Uber and Lyft in the California Legislature this year. California Senate Moves 'Dynamex' Worker Classification Bill Forward Without Deal For Gig Companies:


“A doctor put me on antidepressants about a decade ago. I’ve spent the last year and a half trying to get off of them,” wrote David Lazarus in LA times. In response, the author of Medical Treatment is Not Addiction states “There is a difference between side effects and withdrawal. There is a difference between taking a medication that helps you, even for lengthy periods, and being addicted to it” Continue reading at


And I’d like to leave you with an opinion piece on “How will presidential candidates prioritize mental health in 2020?” by Peggy Huppert, the executive director of NAMI Iowa;


Warm Regards


SCCPA Board member & LAN Rep

June 2019

Our Awards Gala on June 8th, 2019, featured a written speech by “Psychologist of the Year” award winner, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, whose courage is certainly inspiring.  A member of Congressman Ro Khanna’s staff received the “Outstanding Legislator of the Year” award on his behalf. 
He shared that Rep Khanna was keen on attending our event but had a 
meeting with former President Carter at the same time.  Due to a technical glitch, the full video of our meeting with Congressman Ro Khanna on May 29th could not be shown but you’ll soon find it on our website.  Here is an interesting article from SF Chronicle Balancing act makes some wary of Khanna ; thanks Dr. Jeff Becker for pointing it out to us.


1.       New developments:

  • FDA Overlooked Red Flags In Drugmaker’s Testing of New Depression Medicine: Ketamine is a darling of combat medics and clubgoers, an anesthetic that can quiet your pain without suppressing breathing and a hallucinogenic that can get you high with little risk of a fatal overdose. FDA approved a ketamine cousin called esketamine, taken as a nasal spray, for patients with intractable depression. Under the brand name Spravato, it was introduced as a miracle drug ignoring warning signs. Continue reading at

2.        Feedback-informed treatment, or FIT:

  • Big Data has transformed everything from sports to politics to education. It could transform mental-health treatment, too—if only psychologists would stop ignoring it…. Studies have shown that more important than the model being used is the skill of the therapist: Can therapists engender trust and openness? Can they encourage patients to face their deepest fears? Can they treat clients with warmth and compassion while, when necessary, challenging them? Doctors rely on a wide range of instruments—stethoscopes, lab tests, scalpels. Therapists, by contrast, are the main instruments of psychotherapy. Want to read more? Continue at

3.       Gov. Newsom’s health care policies

4.       How Presidential candidate Seth Moulton would expand mental health care for military and vets:


5.       News from Kaiser:

6.       Miscellaneous: