NAMI NH ENews | July 20, 2020
July is Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity.

Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult.  National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month  was established in 2008 to start changing this.

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition.

Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions, health coverage and the stigma of mental illness requires all of us. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care.

NAMI’s  You Are Not Alone  campaign features the lived experience of people affected by mental illness to fight stigma, inspire others and educate the broader public. Now more than ever, the mental health community must come together and show that no one is ever really alone. NAMI supports all diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives, reminding everyone that you are not alone.

America’s entire mental health system needs improvement, including when it comes to serving marginalized communities.   Learn more about how you can get involved   with BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month.

FREE NAMI NH Annual Conference Learning Series Starts on July 23rd!
Join us starting Thursday, July 23rd at 6 PM as Ken Norton, NAMI NH Executive Director, kicks off the Annual Conference Learning Series. Opening remarks will be followed by the keynote presentation delivered by Lynda Michaud Cutrell. Lynda, a Boston area artist, will share more about The 99 Faces Project: Portraits Without Labels . Hear about the 99 striking photographs of individuals with serious mental illnesses and those who love them and the artist’s goal to normalize mental health through a series of powerful images. 
Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support:
Keynote Sponsor
Closing Sponsor
Join us Aug. 5th, 12-1 PM to (virtually) kick off 2020 NAMIWalks NH Your Way !

Zoom link will be provided by 5:00 PM the day before the event.

  • Learn more about NAMIWalks NH Your Way and how you and your team can walk virtually anywhere, any way! Register before the Kick Off so you are ready to go!
  • Take away some terrific fundraising tips and tricks.
  • Get a sneak peek at the 2020 incentive items (spoiler alert - we have some great new options this year).
  • Hear how your favorite elements of NAMIWalks NH are going virtual (don't worry, we are having the Dog Costume Contest and some Kid's Zone fun).
  • Play some games and have some laughs!
  • Bring your questions and we'll bring the answers.

The first 50 Team Captains to  register for the Kick Off by July 24th  will receive an EXCLUSIVE swag bag with a delicious treat and some surprises, and all attendees will receive a special gift.

Thank you to our generous sponsors! 
Click  here  for our Exclusive Sponsorship Opportunities and click  here  for our 2020 Sponsorship Benefits. 
Questions? Contact  Kristen Welch .
Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the NH Department of Health & Human Services, and Governor Sununu, NAMI NH is extending the suspension of all in-person support group meetings, classes, presentations, and trainings through July 31, 2020.

During this period of physical distancing, the NAMI NH team is working hard to stay socially connected to Granite Staters affected by mental illness and suicide.

To connect with resources & support, contact NAMI NH's Info & Resource Line at  or 1-800-242-6264 (press 4).

Support groups throughout the state have moved online -  contact your local leader to learn more .

Current and upcoming virtual offerings include a Family-to-Family course, webinar series on First Episode Psychosis/Early Serious Mental Illness, additional offerings in the Side-by-Side Lunch & Learn series, twice weekly Yoga & Meditation, a roundtable discussion on older adult mental health, and much more.
Public Policy Update
NAMI New Hampshire Executive Director Ken Norton has been named to the Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community, and Transparency . Learn more.
Click here  to see NAMI NH's 2020 legislative priorities, read our testimony, track bills, sign up for public policy alerts, and more. 

For more information, please contact: .
An Open Letter In Response To The President's Executive Order On Safe Policing For Safe Communities

Last week, NAMI, in partnership with CIT International and other national organizations working in mental health and policing, released an open letter responding to President Trump’s June 16th executive order, “Safe Policing for Safe Communities.” The order is the Administration’s response to the recent national outcry for police reform, following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. Addressing several areas of policing, the order also includes a focus on providing resources to law enforcement agencies to assist with responses to mental health, substance use disorder, and homelessness.

In response, the letter stresses that the President’s action does not go far enough to reduce the role of law enforcement in communities’ crisis response, especially mental health crisis response.

COVID-19 is pushing America into a mental health crisis. Social isolation, financial distress, fears about health and an uncertain future are worsening symptoms for people with mental health conditions and causing new mental health challenges for many others.
But, while need for mental health is increasing, our mental health system is struggling to meet the demand.

To ensure you, your family and friends, and all of the people you care about can access mental health care, we need your help.

Your voice makes a difference.
Yesterday in NH Emergency Departments...
12 children and 39 adults  (36 in EDs, 3 in correctional facilities) we re waiting for psychiatric hospital care.
NAMI NH can connect those impacted by long ED waits with information, resources and support.  Learn more.
NAMI NH is very concerned by the rising number of individuals in mental health crisis being boarded in Emergency Departments while waiting for inpatient beds. We are working to get information from hospitals, mental health centers/providers, and state leaders to better understand what exactly is happening now (i.e. is this COVID-related, are these folks new or known to the mental health system, etc.), and also working to identify short- and long-term solutions.

We know that COVID has dramatically slowed the ability of hospitals to discharge people needing residential placements (youth especially, but adults as well), or locate apartments and/or appropriate housing.

On a positive note, Concord Hospital reopened their voluntary inpatient unit last week, which had closed due to the COVID crisis. It is anticipated this will take a few days to ramp up, but the capacity of the unit is 15 people.

Additionally, Commissioner Shibinette from the NH Department of Health and Human Services has requested funding from the legislative fiscal committee to immediately refurbish the Philbrook Building on the grounds of New Hampshire Hospital, and open beds there for a step-down transitional housing program. They hope to have 16 beds operational during September 2020, with an additional 25 beds added by June 2021.

It’s important if folks are experiencing anxiety, depression, or signs of other mental health conditions, they seek help now from their primary care provider, local mental health center, or other provider, and not wait until the situation escalates into a crisis.

NAMI NH will keep you posted as we learn more about this situation.
NAMI NH Advocacy Sponsor:
General Federation of Women's Clubs
The General Federation of Women's Clubs  made a $10,000 donation to support NAMI NH's advocacy efforts. This donation is part of the President's Project to Nurture Good Mental Health Through Awareness, and made possible through the Candia Community Woman's Club and their "In the Bag" fundraising. Throughout the year, clubs around the state will work with NAMI NH to raise awareness and funds. 
In The News
Upcoming with NAMI NH
Suicide Prevention
The Wonders of Technology

We are thankful for the technology that made NAMI NH's recent Connect Postvention virtual out-of-state training possible with our friends at Ohio's Akron Children's Hospital.

To learn about virtual suicide prevention and postvention training offerings from NAMI NH's Connect Suicide Prevention Program, message or visit
Suicide Prevention Resources
Development News
Remembering Pa tti Szydlo

One of the original "NAMI Mommies," Patti Szydlo, a founding member of NAMI New Hampshire, was a fierce advocate for mental health in the Granite State. Below is an excerpt from her remarkable obituary .

"She ran the Peterborough AMI as facilitator for many years, taught NAMI Family to Family programs to educate families dealing with mental illness. She was an “on call” contact for families in crisis to provide resources and guidance...As a strong and powerful advocate for the mentally ill she was once physically removed from the office of Governor John Sununu during a meeting. Ironically, in a speaking engagement at a NAMI convention in Chicago she had the honor of introducing Governor Sununu to the audience. As always, she remained cordial and friendly."
Big Thanks to June's Facebook Fundraisers!
Thank you to the many generous folks who hosted Facebook Fundraisers for NAMI NH in June. You raised an astounding $1,440! Because of you, and the kindness of those who gave in your honor, Granite Staters affected by mental illness and suicide will continue to receive help and hope.  
It’s easy to get in on the Facebook fundraising fun – and, as an added bonus, there are no fees from Facebook to either the donor or to NAMI NH from these fundraisers! If you have questions or need guidance, please contact us at
Thank you to the kind and generous folks who chose to share their Facebook fundraiser contributions with NAMI NH. We are honored to do this work alongside you and are grateful for your steadfast support. 
Like burritos?

Consider grabbing dinner from Chipotle in Concord at 265 Loudon Rd., Ste 2 on Saturday, August 8th, 4-8 pm to support Team RUOK's fundraiser to benefit NAMIWalks NH.

Register to join us virtually on Sat. 10/10 for NAMIWalks NH Your Way:
Despite the current situation, we want to share some key changes for the 2020 tax filing year that may be beneficial to you and your family during these difficult times.
The U.S. Congress has passed the CARES Act to provide economic assistance and there are some important changes that may make a difference for you this year.
Additional Income Tax Charitable Deduction: You can deduct up to $300 above the standard deduction for individuals in charitable contributions. This is for everyone, even if you have no other itemizations.  
No "RMDs" from your IRA, but Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) are still a smarter way to give: For individuals with IRA accounts, there are no Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) this year. However, giving pre-tax funds out of your IRA will still lower your future tax burden compared to giving cash. If you are interested in this method of giving, please contact your IRA custodian for more information.
We hope you find this information useful as you make important decisions about how to best support NAMI NH and other charities this year. If you have any further questions about the CARES Act or just want to reach out, please  contact Kristen Welch, CFRE, Director of Development  or call 603-225-5359 ext. 350.
We are grateful for your steadfast and generous support of NAMI NH.
NAMI NH Corporate Sponsor Partners
NAMI New Hampshire is grateful to our Corporate Sponsors and Members for their steadfast commitment to improving the lives of Granite Staters affected by mental illness and suicide.  #hopestartswithyou

For information on  Corporate Sponsorship , or to discuss additional partnership opportunities, contact Kristen Welch, CFRE, Director of Development, at  or 603.235.5359 x350.
Resources is home to a wealth of information, videos, resources, and personal stories about first episode psychosis (FEP) and early serious mental illness (ESMI) in the Granite State - from the perspectives of individuals, family members, educators, and practitioners. The website now also features an Education page , where you can access videos from the FEP webinar series, including those highlighted below.
Understanding and Supporting Individuals Experiencing a First Episode of Psychosis and Their Loved Ones — Ideas for Clinicians and Researchers  
Dr. Shirley Glynn, PhD, UCLA
NH FEP Series #2 – July 16, 2020
Identifying First Episode Psychosis: A Critical Moment
Douglas N. Noordsy, MD, Stanford University
NH FEP Series #1 – June 18, 2020
Online Support & Resources

The NAMI NH office is closed to the public and in-person support group meetings and trainings are suspended through July 31st. However, staff members continue their work remotely, and with the exceptional assistance of NAMI NH volunteers, most support groups and other activities have moved online.  Please reach out , and take good care.

Crisis Support - if you, or someone you know, is struggling emotionally - you are not alone. 

NAMI NH's Info & Resource Line continues to operate! 
To connect with support, message  or call 1-800-242-6264 (press 4).

NAMI NH's Online Groups

NAMI New Hampshire offers four unique online groups - they're places to find peer support, share experiences, offer encouragement, and pass along resources. Click each link below to learn more and request membership. 

Don't hesitate to contact  or call 1-800-242-6264 with any questions. 

Veteran & Military Families
NAMI Homefront Online
NAMI Homefront is a free class designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country.

NAMI Homefront Online classes meet weekly in a virtual classroom. Learn more and register.
Mark Your Calendar
Webinar Series from American Public Health Association
APHA is hosting a webinar series to give an in-depth look at racism as a driving force of the social determinants of health and equity. The series will explore efforts to address systems, policies and practices designed to limit and shape opportunities for people of color. Presenters will highlight collective and individual actions we can take to advance racial equity and justice.

The preparation of this newsletter was financed under an agreement with the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health, with funds provided in part or in whole by the State of New Hampshire and/or the United States Department of Health and Human Services.