NAMI NH ENews | July 31, 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.

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.

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 August 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  info@NAMINH.org  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 (starting in September), monthly 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.
"Despite the fact that this has been, and continues to be, a challenging time for us all, our work continues and our folks hold onto hope for themselves and for each other."

NAMI New Hampshire Deputy Director Susan Stearns was featured in the Endowment for Health's latest newsletter...
Public Policy Update
Help us make sure mental health counts!

Participate in the 2020 census so our community gets the resources it needs to support people with mental illness. Visit www.nami.org/census to 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:  advocacy@NAMINH.org .
NH Medicaid Care Management Program
Annual Open Enrollment: Aug. 1st - 31st
 
For Medicaid Managed Care plan members:
  • Open enrollment is August 1 through August 31, 2020.  
  • If a member chooses to change Health Plans during open enrollment, coverage by the new Plan is effective September 1, 2020.
  • If a member chooses to stay with current Health Plan, no action is needed during open enrollment and coverage will continue with the current Plan.   
  • There are three Health Plans to choose from - AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire, NH Healthy Families, and Well Sense Health Plan.

 
If Medicaid Managed Care plan members have questions or would like more information, contact the Medicaid Service Center (NH Only) at 1-888-901-4999 (TDD Access: 1-800-735-2964), Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET.
HEALS Act COVID-19 Relief Package Drafted

Earlier this week, the US Senate released a first draft of the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, the long-awaited 4 th  legislative COVID-19 relief package. Like the CARES Act, which was signed into law in March, it includes important victories for mental health and substance use care. In May, the House passed their own 4 th COVID-19 relief package, the “HEROES Act” (H.R. 6800), which also included significant provisions for mental health. 
 
NAMI has been advocating to include mental health priorities in this bill. We still have work to do to get this bill – with all of our priorities – over the finish line. Below is a summary of what is in the bill and what we’re still advocating to include, but first:

Thank you!
NAMI advocates sent  over 33,000 emails  to the Senate to “make mental health a priority” in the next COVID-19 package, and many advocates had meetings with key Senators to discuss our priorities, gather intel and help inform next steps. You and the mental health advocates across the country made a real difference. 
 
What’s next?  The House and Senate bills have significant differences. Congressional leaders and the White House are negotiating differing priorities to arrive at a final bill. With the moratorium on evictions and increased unemployment benefits about to expire at the end of this week, there is increasing pressure for Congress to come to an agreement quickly.

NAMI priorities in the HEALS Act
The HEALS Act includes several provisions that will impact people with mental health conditions, including:
  • Support for state and local mental health, substance use and suicide prevention services
  • Extension of telehealth
  • Increased resources for the “provider fund”
  • Support for nonprofit organizations
 
There’s more.
In addition to the advocacy priorities noted above, the HEALS Act would provide $200 million to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and $64 million for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. 
 
What’s missing?
NAMI is grateful for the inclusion of the significant mental health priorities above. However, more is needed to address the mental health and substance use needs of our nation due to this pandemic. As a result, we continue to advocate for the following:
  • Health coverage for people reentering the community
  • Medicaid FMAP increase
  • Addressing emergency housing needs
  • Relief for nonprofits

Stay tuned for advocacy action 
We will need your advocacy firepower as this COVID-response legislation moves forward. Negotiations are ongoing, and we will keep you updated on new developments and on ways to influence the legislation. In the meantime, we are grateful for the loud voice of our NAMI advocates, and we thank you for helping mental health gain a prominent place in the HEALS Act. 
Today in NH Emergency Departments...
0 children and 34 adults  (31 in EDs, 3 in correctional facilities) are 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, or locate apartments and/or appropriate housing.

On a positive note, Concord Hospital reopened their voluntary inpatient unit earlier this month, which had closed due to the COVID crisis - 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 Trevor Project Releases 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

"Experts are just beginning to understand the mental health impacts of the multiple crises in 2020 that have deeply impacted so many. But we know that suicide is still a public health crisis, consistently the second leading cause of death among young people, and continues to disproportionately impact LGBTQ youth. The need for robust research, systematic data collection, and comprehensive mental health support has never been greater..."

Suicide Prevention Resources
Development News
Team Tommy #5 Comedy Benefit Night: August 15th

Team Tommy #5 is hosting a benefit comedy night on August 15th in support of NAMIWalks NH Your Way!

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: www.NAMIWalksNH.org
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  kwelch@NAMINH.org  or 603.235.5359 x350.
Resources
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  info@NAMINH.org  or call 1-800-242-6264 with any questions. 




OnwardNH.org 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 August 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  info@NAMINH.org  or call 1-800-242-6264 (press 4).



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.