SEPTEMBER  2016

  Mental Illness
Awareness Week
October 2-8, 2016

Stay tuned for an email next week announcing how NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands will commemorate this important week.

We are delighted to announce
the return of Dr. Stuart Ablon...

The next Workshop with Dr. Stuart Ablon will be  Saturday, October 22, 2016  9:30 am
 Nauset High School

Call the NAMI CC&I office for more info and to register:  508-778-4277
or email at info@namicapecod.org

Register now!  The last workshop filled quickly!


ADVOCACY NEWS...

From the desk of Mary Zdanowicz, Esq.

Department of Corrections
Bridgewater State Hospital Overhaul

Since the 2009 death of a young man with schizophrenia at the Bridgewater State Hospital, the state has been working on a plan to better serve inmates with mental illnesses.  Bridgewater is run by the Dept. of Corrections.  Advocates want the Dept. of Mental Health (DBH) to take over the facility, but at a hearing on Sept 13, 2016, Marylou Scudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services explained, 

     "it would be difficult for DMH to take control of a Dept of Correction site in the short
      term.  But she said the state is studying the possibility of creating a new facility in 
     the long run."

Under the plan,
     "every inmate would receive an individualized treatment plan within 10 days of
      admission.  Those on psychiatric medications would quickly see a psychiatrist.
      And electronic recordkeeping would allow for easier evaluations of past care."

NOTE:  Forensic patients in DMH Facilities:  Continuing care state psychiatric hospital beds provide forensic services for individuals with criminal charges (competency evaluation, restoration to competency and long term commitment for those found not guility by reason of insanity).


Spotlight: The Broken Covenant
 
The third in a series of articles by the Boston Globe Spotlight Team
(featured in the movie "Spotlight"), about the Massachusetts mental health system,
delves into the broken promises of deinstitutionalization. The article entitled "The
Broken Covenant" explains that:
 
"Governors from Francis Sargent to Deval Patrick, House speakers, Senate presidents,
and other legislative leaders, and federal officials together cut hundreds of millions of
dollars in mental health spending over the last 50 years. They closed psychiatric hospitals
but funneled comparatively little of the savings into community treatment programs -
once successfully defying a federal court order requiring that they spend millions more.
They stood by as community service providers withered and shrank, and as counseling, psychiatric prescribing, and other services grew harder to access. They allowed state
oversight to erode to dangerous levels."
 
Note: Despite the documented failures, deinstitutionalization continues in the
Commonwealth. In a 2005 study of state psychiatric bed shortages, Massachusetts
rated in the "severe bed shortage" category. Since then, 25% of beds have closed and
Massachusetts now has a "critical bed shortage." In the past 10 years, two state psychiatric
hospitals have closed, and Taunton Psychiatric Hospital is nearly closed.
"Massachusetts - with its culture of civil rights activism, vocal community of
people in recovery from mental illness, and influential voices such as Marylou Sudders,
                the state secretary of health and human services - has gone further than most in
                safeguarding the right to decline mental health care."
 
Note: One result of these policies is that Massachusetts is one of only four states that
does not have a law allowing for court-ordered outpatient treatment before an individual
is in the criminal justice system. Massachusetts General Court Mental Health Advisory
Committee (Mental Health Advisory Committee) reported that "prior studies have
demonstrated that mandatory mental health treatment in an outpatient setting
(e.g., involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC)) can 'reduce hospital readmissions
and total hospital days when court orders are sustained and combined with intensive
treatment, particularly for individuals with psychotic disorders,' and can reduce the
probability of re-arrest among individuals with SMI and 'with a prior history of multiple hospitalizations combined with prior arrests and/or violent behavior' as well as the
'severity' of said re-arrest. Such treatment also stands to reduce individuals' 'criminal
victimization indirectly by increasing [their] long-term participation in community
treatment and services [which improves] their mental health and social functioning
and eventually lower their risk of exposure to crime and violence.'"
 
"Nearly a third of community mental health providers in Massachusetts
reported closing clinics from 2013 to 2015, according to one study, a trend
that has continued this year. Two intensive day programs for adults in the
Boston area with severe mental illness closed in recent months, displacing
100 more people."
 
Note: "Massachusetts has a complex mental health system shaped by multiple regulators,
payers and providers " according to a study, commissioned by the Mental Health Advisory
Committee. The report identified seven state and federal agencies that regulate mental
health care and at least eight state, federal and private funding sources. The report
concluded that the DMH "does not have the authority or resources to manage and
coordinate care for people across these complex payer and provider boundaries."
 

                          
                            Public Hearing - DMH Proposed Regulations
 
The Department of Mental Health will hold a public hearing on proposed revisions to
regulations for Licensing and Operational Standards for Community Standards. The
regulations govern community mental health care and  licensed programs that provide
residential care and treatment for mental health conditions. The proposed revisions
address the use of restraints, administration of medication and decision making capacity/guardianship, among other topics.

The proposed revision to 104 CMR 28.00 Licensing and Operational Standards for Community Services can be found at:
 
 
TIME AND PLACE OF PUBLIC HEARING  
October 13, 2016 at 2:00-4:00 at DMH Legal Office Boston Room, 25 Staniford St, Boston
METHOD OF COMMENT:  Written comments may be mailed to the Office of the General Counsel, address DMH-regulations@state.ma.us  NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 13, 2016
Period ends at 5:00 on October 13, 2016


                                       T reatment Advocacy Center Website
 
The Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) website has been updated and includes
information about advocacy, research and other issues related to eliminating barriers
to treatment of serious mental illnesses  
 
 
Find Massachusetts specific information at:
 
 

 

Register for the 
2016 NAMI Mass Annual Convention!

 Saturday, October 29, 2016, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Journey of Hope and Recovery

K eynote Speaker: Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI Medical Director
"First Episode Psychosis, New Technologies for Mental Health Recovery; and Smoking Cessation"
 
Breakfast buffet will be available
Registration: 8:00 - 11:00 am
Welcome: 9:00 am
2-Minute Speeches by Board Candidates: 9:15 am
Morning workshops: 10:00 - 11:30 am
Luncheon, Awards & Keynote Speaker 12 - 2pm
                            Afternoon workshops: 2:30 - 4:00 pm
 
For more information or to register:   www.namimass.org 

 
  



National Day of Prayer 
for Mental Illness Awareness Recovery and Understanding 
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The First Congregational Church of Chatham is commemorating the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding with an "In Our Own Voice" presentation followed by a time of prayer and reflection on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 starting at 7 pm.

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI's (National Alliance on Mental Illness) efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.

The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding is Tuesday, October 4.  The prayers and actions of both faith communities and secular organizations are needed to restore mental wellness in America-- we can recommit ourselves to replacing misinformation, blame, fear and prejudice with truth and love in order to offer hope to all who are touched by mental illness.

NAMI In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program in which two trained speakers share compelling personal stories about living with a mental illness and achieving recovery. Come and enter into the dialogue!  All are welcome.  Call the church office at 508-945-0800 for more information or go to our website: http://www.chathamcongregational.org



NAMI CC&I Collaborates...

W e are pleased to report that Jacqueline Lane, CC&I Executive Director and Kim Lemmon, Outreach Coordinator had a very productive meeting with the principal of Falmouth High and members of the Guidance Department finalizing plans for a collaborative effort in the formation of a student led Mental Wellness Club at the high school.
 
Sierra Abbott, a junior at the high school is the driving force behind this project. She envisions the club as being a venue for students to learn about and discuss stress and depression in an open and safe forum. One meeting per month is slated for education and NAMI CC&I will provide that programing. The second meeting of the month will be devoted to stress relieving activities of either a physical or creative nature.
 
We at NAMI CC&I are hoping that this endeavor will develop a model that we can present to other schools on the Cape and Islands. There appears to be a lot of interest in mental health and wellness education in the schools. On Wednesday, September 28th an article in the Boston Globe by Megan Scudellari stated that: "Two-thirds of parents said schools definitely should cover emotional and mental health issues, such as bullying, depression, and stress in their health classes."
                                                       
It is encouraging that the need to discuss mental health is becoming recognized by the general public. Perhaps this is another sign that mental health is coming out of the closet and needs to be treated with the same openness as other health issues.

                                           ____________________


We have a new collaboration with Family and Children's Services of Nantucket on some of the school programming that we are developing as well as programming  on depression for the adult male.  The suicide rates on Nantucket exceed other areas of the state.


  A full field of golfers played at the magnificent Oyster Harbors Club on Monday, September 12, 2016 for the Siobhan Leigh Kinlin Memorial Golf Tournament.  Afterwards, participants gathered for dinner, poignant speeches and, of course, fundraising.  All in all, a highly successful and fun event.


              The winners

Dinner & Auction

Cape Cod Health Care Behavioral Health Team

 


We are thrilled to announce that our 1st fundraiser in Nantucket  on September 21 at the Nantucket Hotel & Resort was a great success.
 
Thanks to Kate Kling for her hard work and her inspiration to make this happen.


 
 
 


Dance in the Rain 
Whole Person Approach
                  Peer to Peer Services

Individuals with mental health challenges helping and supporting one another and the families that support them.

Dance in the Rain is presenting it's 3rd Annual coffeehouse fundraising event 'Underground Asylum'  Tuesday evening November 15, 2016 at the Doubletree Inn Vine Room.

We are looking for people willing to donate their time and talent for our 'open mike'.  Singers, musicians, digital art displays, comedians, expressive readings, expressive storytellers, poetry or any other coffee house open mike performance.  Please go to our webpage:  http://www.danceintherain-wpa.org/underground-asylum-2016.html to see how you can become involved in Underground Asylum 2016.

                    
                         Bridging the Gap Peer/Family Program

Helping to bridge the gaps in family relationships that develop when there is a mental health challenge within the family unit.

Come as a family or come alone.  Learn from persons' with mental illness at all stages of healing and learn from families at all levels of experience.  Begin learning how to open dialogue within the family to promote healing and understanding.

I n coalition with NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands,  Dance in the Rain is offering this program to help family and mentally challenged individuals (peers)  learn to understand each other.  Ask questions, bring up concerns, thought and emotions in an anonymous way.  Hear both sides of the story to gain better understanding of the family dynamics and sometimes dysfunctional family dynamics that develop.

The meeting is always the second Tuesday of the Month.   The next meeting is: 
          Tuesday evening October 11 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Location: Dance in the rain Office - Upstairs at 145 Barnstable Road last office down the hall on the left.   Bring a dessert to share and let the healing and understanding of living as a family with a mental health challenge within the family unit.
 
www.danceintherain-wpa.org 

Tidbits...
    
New Family to Family Course 
Begins in Mashpee on Friday afternoons.  There is still space available.  If you are interested, call the office or email:   klemmon@namicapecod.org


New Support Group to Begin in Mashpee.  
More details to follow.

            
  Lawyer For A Day--Free Legal Advice

  Held daily at the Barnstable Probate Court.  It is advisable to arrive promptly when it opens at 9:00 am as it is first come, first served and fills up quickly.
 
 
Inclusions in the Newsletter
We have recently been asked for last minute inclusions of events in our newsletter.  We have instituted a new policy:  It is at the discretion of the Executive Director to determine whether content being submitted for distribution to the membership is aligned with our mission.  If the content is determined to be appropriate, it may be included in the monthly e-newsletter if it is submitted prior to the first of the month.