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What is MS-MHP?

After many years of discussion and brainstorming, on May 29, 2013, the CMSC MS Mental Health Professionals (MS-MHP) Special Interest Group (SIG) held its first annual meeting. Previous Chair Roberta Winter and Co-chair Alicia Sloan led this fearless group and facilitated discussions around the future goals for the group and subcommittee formations. The MS-MHP SIG elected Allison Fine, a clinical social worker in private practice in Seattle, Washington, as Secretary. While the group's goals will surely change over time, the initial all-inclusive foundation will focus on best practices for all professionals interested in the mental health of patients with MS.

The 20 participants in the initial meeting held at the recent May 29th conference were from all over North America. From New York to Washington State, the group’s demographics covered nine US states and one Canadian province, Alberta. Professionals attending the meeting were trained psychologists, social workers, nurses, and speech language pathologists, all with a common interest in better helping those with MS and co-existing mental health concerns and diagnoses. Some of these individuals were first-time attendees, while others have been coming to CMSC Annual Meetings since the 1990s. The group hopes that the diversity of professional backgrounds and areas of practice will allow for a broader range of ideas, experiences, and growth of learning at each Annual Meeting.

While the MS-MHP’s overall goal will include the development of best practices for MS mental health professionals, the group will also focus their energies in the first year on a number of other projects. Rosalind Kalb, Vice President of the Professional Resource Center at the National MS Society in New York City, will spearhead a subcommittee to review the current mental health professional trainings published in the past by the National MS Society. Others will work toward getting CEUs for psychologists who attend the yearly meeting. And all members will continue to try and define what it means to be an MS mental health professional. Longer-term goals for the group include seeking further cultural competency for MS professionals, potential for multiple research site opportunities for psychosocial studies, and mentorship for new MS professionals working in the mental health field.

Since the May meeting, Ms. Winter, Ms. Sloan, and Ms. Fine have been focused on getting the MS-MHP’s portal on the CMSC website up and running. The site promises to be somewhat like a more private Facebook page where MS mental health professionals can interact between Annual Meetings, share mental health resources for MS patients, and brainstorm about how best to work with challenging patients. 

 

Mission of MS-MHP

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) is proud to represent the comprehensive approach to multiple sclerosis.  As such, the CMSC has established special interest groups for our unique membership categories: rehabilitation specialists, nursing professionals, PAs, pharmacists, and mental health experts.  MS-MHP represents clinicians such as psychologists, social workers, patient advocates, physicians, and nursing professionals who focus on mental health issues that are seen in multiple sclerosis.  This unique group contributes to the CMSC's educational activities, research, and program development throughout the year.

The mission of the MS Mental Health Professionals (MS-MHP) Special Interest Group (SIG) is to provide a milieu in which mental health professionals with a special interest in MS care may access valuable clinical resources and network with one another.

The MS-MHP Group seeks to:

  • Develop and sustain a network of international MS mental health professionals.
  • Provide education and training opportunities to enhance MS mental health services.
  • Develop, share and disseminate clinical tools and resources.
  • Provide a platform for networking and exchange of ideas among health professionals.
  • Facilitate research and adoption of best practices related to mental health in MS.
  • Engage in advocacy efforts to improve access and quality of mental health care for people living with MS.

 

MS-MHP Membership

MS-MHP is a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Consortium of MS Centers.  As a member, you will have access to all the benefits offered through the CMSC and be part of the pre-eminent North American organization of MS healthcare professionals.  As an international clearinghouse for research, latest treatments and emerging therapies, clinical trials and professional education programs, CMSC provides the most current information about MS in order to optimize care for those living with MS.

CMSC member may join the MS-MHP at no cost.  If you are not currently a member of CMSC, please consider joining the organization in order to access the benefits of the MS-MHP.  To join CMSC, please click here.

Join Now

Anyone who is interested in learning more or being a part of this group can go to the new MS-MHP webpage. All MS professionals interested in mental health issues are encouraged to join. 

To join the MS-MHP Group, please Click Here

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers

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info@mscare.org