A New Year's Message from the Staff of NAMI 
Cape Cod & The Islands
As 2016 draws to a close , the staff, at NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands want to thank each of you for your interest and support throughout the year. It is our sincere hope that together we are making a difference in the lives of those who reside on the Cape and the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
May 2017 bring a sense of hope, peace, and joy!
J acqueline Lane, Executive Director
Arlene Hoxie, Office Administrator
Jud Phelps, Director of Client Services
Kim Lemmon, Outreach Coordinator
Ruth Blount, Nantucket Services Coordinator
Mary Zdanowicz, Esq., Advocacy Consultant


From the desk of Mary Zdanowicz, Esq.
                                  Mental Health Reform

Thisweek, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which incorporates monumental bipartisan reform of our nation's mental health system
Long overdue and years in the making, an overwhelming bi-partisan majority of Congress finally passed monumental legislation to overhaul the country's fractured mental health system. 

The legislation will address several significant areas of mental health treatment that have long eluded advocates and families struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders, such as increasing the number of psychiatric beds nationwide, elevating the topic of mental health by creating a federal position of assistant secretary for mental health and substance use disorders - that will require its chief have a clinical background - and requiring private insurers cover mental health care on an equal footing with physical health.

The Act will also fundamentally change the foundation for how the federal government prioritizes severe mental illness by:
  • Reforming SAMHSA:
o   Creates a new Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders to be presidentially appointed with Senate confirmation, who will oversee SAMHSA and coordinate related programs and research across the federal government, with emphasis on science and evidence based programs, and with the aid of a newly established Chief Medical Officer.

o   Establishes a new federal policy laboratory for mental health and substance use, to elevate and disseminate policy changes and service models that work based on evidence, research, and science. 
  • Funding and Strengthening Evidence Based Treatment Programs for SMI:
o   Strengthens and expand critical Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs to help break the revolving-door cycle through a grant reauthorization and funding increase for states to implement AOT, and permit states to use grant funding for AOT in civil courts as an alternative to incarceration.

o   Establishes, hand in hand with AOT, a grant program for Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams to provide critical wrap around services in the community to people with SMI. 

o   Provides states with new innovative opportunities to deliver much-needed care in IMDs to adult Medicaid patients with SMI.

o   Strengthens community response systems with a grant program to create databases on psychiatric beds, crisis stabilization units, and residential treatment facilities.

o    Directs CMS to outline for states innovative opportunities to use Medicaid 1115 waivers to provide care for adults with serious mental illness
  • Decriminalizing mental illness
o    Allows DOJ funding to be used for civil AOT programs to provide treatment opportunities before incarceration.
o    Allows DOJ funding to be used for Forensic Assertive Community Treatment Programs (FACT) for individuals with severe psychiatric disorders in the criminal justice system.

o   Creates federal mental health courts, and provides avenues for better screening and assessment of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system.

o   Provides law enforcement and the court system with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and programs to divert people with SMI from the criminal justice system.
  • Mandating data collection on the role of SMI in public issues
o   Requires federal databases on psychiatric beds, crisis stabilization units, and residential treatment facilities.

o   Requires government reporting on federal, state, and local costs of imprisonment for individuals with serious mental illness, including the number and types of crimes committed by mentally ill individuals

o   Requires Attorney General data collection and dissemination regarding the involvement of mental illness in all homicides, as well as deaths or serious bodily injuries involving law enforcement officers
  • Clarifying the HIPAA quagmire and train health care providers so providers and families understand the circumstances under which they can share and provide protected information about a loved one with SMI. 
  • Establishing a federal adult suicide prevention program.
The Treatment Advocacy Center will continue to work with its partners and advocates to ensure that people with serious mental illness and their families get the best care and support they need to avoid repeated incarcerations, hospitalizations and putting an end to stigma.

John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, said, "It has been a long fight, and we are thrilled to see the Senate join their colleagues in the House today to pass reforms and send this bill to President Obama for his signature."
                    The above report was taken from the Treatment Advocacy Center Newsletter
                                             Mary Zdanowicz is the former Executive Director of TAC


               Join the NAMI CC&I ADVOCACY NETWORK

The NAMI CC&I ADVOCACY NETWORK is focusing on the needs of adults with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and their families.

The Network will:
  • identify priority topics to form the foundation of the advocacy program;
  • monitor legislation, regulations, and policy developments; and
  • develop a strategy for effective communication with NAMI CC&I members, stakeholders, policymakers and the public.
Send an email to  to join.

NAMI CC&I Community Crisis Intervention Training (CCIT) Scheduled
We are very excited to have set the dates for our first NAMI CC&I CCIT training session. This five day training is being supported by a generous grant from the Weny Charitable Trust. The training will take place January 24-26 and on February 1st and 2nd at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis.
We at NAMI CC&I are especially supportive of the CCIT model of police training as, in addition to training police officers in de-escalation and understanding mental illness (CIT model), the CCIT model includes a community approach that extends beyond the initial police intervention. EMT personnel, court officers, and firemen are among those included in the program. The participants will also have an opportunity to become familiar with many of the medical services and the social services available for support through presentations by key personnel including Cape Cod Health Care.
This program also includes 12 months of consulting services for the police departments to help them to organize a committee of community resources for support. The result of this fifteen-year old model has been jail diversion and an increase in treatment for the mentally ill.
NAMI CC&I is fully committed to helping to bring the needed resources together including police, hospitals, outpatient programs, and family support. Our involvement in this effort is essential as we strive to have accurate and effective information and answers for the many families and friends in our Family-to-Family classes, support groups, and for those who call in for assistance.
The final installment of the mental health series in the Boston Globe (see below for link) addresses the San Antonio model of community cohesiveness and support. We could do well to emulate that model on the Cape and islands. CCIT training and the education and development of community policing within each department in a good start! We have nine Cape departments interested in the program. Several of these departments have gone off Cape for the training and are planning to send additional officers for this training. It is very encouraging to see this interest in this approach to community policing.

Read the December 16, 2016 article in Inspire Health for how NAMI has been working with Barnstable police:

Boston Globe Spotlight Series
                   The Desperate and the Dead
                  Part 7:  The San Antonio Way
Fifteen years ago, the city of San Antonio and surrounding Bexar County, Texas, committed to fixing their mental health care system. The result? A creative, constantly evolving treatment and jail diversion program that's widely considered a national model. Their collaborative, integrated approach has reduced the jail population, cut downtown homelessness, trained thousands of law enforcement officers in crisis response, and saved taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Massachusetts could learn a lot from San Antonio. 

Read about San Antonio in Part 7:

Monthly Book Review

J ust Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So:  A Memoir
by Mark Vonnegut
When I talk to the National Alliance on
Mental Illness (NAMI) and other patient
support groups, I take questions at the
end. At one talk I was asked, "What's
the difference between yourself and
someone without mental illness?"

At another talk I was asked, "How do
you make the voices be not so mean?"

"I wish I knew."  

Mark Vonnegut, M.D., son of Kurt and Jane Vonnegut, grew up in Barnstable with his sisters and four orphaned cousins.  The Vonneguts, prior to Kurt Vonnegut's literary success, struggled financially as well as socially on Cape Cod.
Vonnegut recounts his journey through childhood into adulthood; navigating life challenged by mental health issues.  He recalls with candor and wit events in his life that include getting into Harvard and becoming a pediatrician, during which there are periods lost to hospitalizations and battles with alcoholism.    
This is Mark Vonnegut's second memoir, following The Eden Express.  It is enjoyable, funny and wise, as well as quotable.  Through his unique perspective, Vonnegut offers the reader the insight of a person battling an illness most of us cannot comprehend, while achieving a successful and ambitious professional life.  He is an example of how one takes their experiences and becomes a caring and compassionate physician, husband and father; while not allowing the stigma of mental illness to define their life.
Mark Vonnegut has many insightful, as well as entertaining thoughts.   His ideas hold wisdom that most people often overlook, but are delivered to the reader so well.
"Medical care has become a lot of crust and precious little pie." 

Book Reviewed by Kim Lemmon

Ruth BlountNAMI on Nantucket Program Coordinator
 December - the holiday season which brings a mixture of anticipation, joy, family time, traditions, but often stress, busyness, sadness, loneliness, and depression...   It's a time of reflection on the past year and dreams for the year ahead.  How can we move forward in our personal emotional, spiritual, and physical health and how can we be a support to others on the way?  NAMI on Nantucket is here to support our islanders with a full agenda for 2017.  Our mission is to support, educate, and advocate so that every person in our community can experience mental wellness.  Our most valued asset is that we are a team of people who have "lived experience" and who can give a listening ear.
Here are some principles of support we remember during our monthly family support group.  It pretty well could sum up our goals for 2017:

       We will see the individual first, not the illness.
       We recognize mental illnesses are brain disorders.
       We aim for better coping skills.
       We find strength in sharing experiences.
       We reject stigma in ourselves and others.
       We won't judge anyone's pain as less than our own.
       We forgive ourselves and reject guilt.
       We embrace humor as healthy.
       We accept we cannot resolve all problems.
       We expect a better future in a realistic way.
       We will never give up hope!
And here is a recap of December, 2016:
  • NAMI on Nantucket received a $5000 grant from the Community Foundation's Nantucket Fund.  It was a privilege to be one of the thirty-one non-profit organizations honored at the 2016 Grant Recipient Breakfast at the Nantucket Hotel.  Hearing stories told by each grant recipient was heart- warming and proof of both great need and great compassion here on the island.  This grant will help fund THINK KIDS, a well-known and respected program developed by Mass General Hospital to train teachers, clinicians, and parents in Collaborative Problem Solving.  The basic premise of the program is that children with challenging behavior are not "bad kids", but that they lack the necessary skill sets needed to behave otherwise.  Evaluating and teaching the appropriate skill sets can have life-changing results.  The workshop will provide a staff in-service day for educators, as well as an evening presentation for parents. 
  • Petticoat Row Holiday Shop Crawl -  On Dec. 8th,  the Great Harbor Yacht Club was decorated and filled with exuberant shoppers attending the Petticoat Row Holiday Shop Crawl.  I was again amazed by the beautiful wares (many of them made on Nantucket) of our local shops and businesses, and the strong voice that women-owned businesses have on Nantucket!  NAMI on Nantucket was honored to be the not-for-profit organization represented, and the benefits received from the silent auction will be used on Nantucket to support mental wellness.  Even more beneficial than any financial support was the exposure of our services to local families.  Important contacts were made, furthering our goal that NAMI becomes a household word in 2017.  Thank you, Angel and Susan and all the Petticoat Row businesses! 
Networking is one of the most important keys to providing support and education services, and reducing stigma.  To share what NAMI on Nantucket will offer in 2017 and to learn what other organizations provide is an on-going effort.  Together we can make a difference.
    • Sandy Kendall and I met with the clinicians and staff of Fairwinds.  We were amazed by the full spectrum of services they offer, as well as their enthusiasm and compassionate hearts.  They welcomed us and gave us the gift of focused time.  We look forward to serving together to meet the needs on Nantucket.
    • ASAP -  Nantucket Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention is doing impressive work here, including Janina Keane's workshops and radio program.
    • BHTF - Behavioral Health Task Force - networking to further the cause of mental wellness and think-tank to fill in the gaps where needed. 
    • NANTUCKET STAR -  Nantucket's Sports and Therapeutic Accessible Recreation - reaching out to add fullness to every individual, regardless of challenges.
We look forward to 2017 with faith, hope, and determination
-Ruth Blount

A large part of mental wellness is expression through creativity.  We would like to celebrate that light within ourselves by publishing poetry, essays, short stories, and visual medium from members of Nantucket who identify with our mental wellness community.  Please submit your entry to     Please note that not all submissions will be chosen to be featured. All submissions remain the creative property of the artist/writer.
Portion of "Struggle to Achieve Steady"
     I'm lost, lost in this age of consumption and production. 
     I long to create. Something.  Anything.  What will be meaningful?  
     I do not know or know how. Will this unknowing reap beauty and truth? 
            When I look at the success of others, I feel insignificant.  This feeling               reaches its pinnacle on social media.  Selling yourself and building a platform of false reality does not inspire me; it grinds me down.  Instead of reading for pleasure and forming my own opinions, I adopt the views of others in short bursts of shared information.  The glamorous, or outdoorsy, or artsy, or rich lives of these networked and beautiful people make me fearful.  I fear failure.  The internet lets you inhabit seven different places at once when you are really nowhere at all.  As I scroll down the Facebook pages of beautiful people with picturesque lives, I worry about the brave and lonely real people who get no attention.  Do they feel worthless?  This world provides many incentives for people to exercise, or paint, or pray, or sing or laugh, but the constant onslaught of social media images hold me back.  For someone struggling or affected by mental illness like me, this onslaught makes me overly self-critical and prevents me from living my life freely and creatively.  
           When I am unsure of myself, or manic, or depressed, I scroll down these social media pages and focus on the lives of others without paying any attention to my own. F ear of failure is always there, but waking up, loving my family and living in this moment keeps me steady.  Steady is not failure.

Writer:  A Nantucket Graduate

NAMI Collaborates...
  • Jackie spoke at the Island Wide Youth Collaborative on Martha's Vineyard on programming and resources
  • Jud and Kim attended the Parent Summit at the Cape Codder with keynote speaker Dr. Ruth Potee on the brain and addictions.  She has a number of you-tube videos on this subject.  Here is one of them:
  • Jud was on a panel discussion at HAC
  • Jud spoke at the Community Network of Cape Cod
NAMI gives to the Clubhouses...

In the spirit of the season, NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands donated to the Baybridge, Cove and Fairwinds Clubhouses.

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.

                                               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.

The meeting WILL CHANGE to the third Tuesday of the Month.   The next meeting is: 
          Tuesday evening January 17 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. 


Blast Off Into the New Year
  Join the Hyannis RCC for their 2017 celebration!
45 Plant Road, Suite 119
Saturday, 12.31.16 from 12 - 4 pm
Free food, games, karaoke---lots of fun, bring a friend

New Family to Family Courses
Family to Family classes will begin in January in  Martha's Vineyard  (Thursdays), in Barnstable (Wednesday evenings) at the YMCA and on Nantucket.   If you are interested, call the office or email:   

Barnstable:  508-778-4277
Nantucket:  508-221-6202
Martha's Vineyard:    Daryl Knight 508 627 5249
                                 Peggy Burke 508 693 5872

New Support Group in Mashpee.  
A new support group, led by Hope Freeman and Terri Huff,  has formed on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.  Next meeting will be December 14 at the Mashpee Chamber of Commerce, 5 Market Street (next to Capeway Cleaners), 7:00 - 8:30 pm.

Support Group In Sandwich New Location
The Sandwich support group has moved from Merchant Square to Spaulding Rehab Hospital, 311 Service Road, 1st floor conference room, 2nd Tuesday of the month,  6:30 - 7:50 pm

Borderline Personality Disorder

Kim Lemmon and Arlene Hoxie completed leadership training at the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorders (NEA-BPD) and will be leading a 12-week Family Connections course for families with a loved one who has Borderline Personality Disorder. The course will begin this spring.  For more information or registration, email: 


  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.


Think of NAMI for your end of year giving
 Every dollar you give to NAMI CC&I goes to help support, educate and advocate for the residents of Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.  

AmazonSmile is a simple way to give when you are shopping on Amazon

Amazon donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases. 
It's so easy, you can still use your Amazon Prime and you still collect points.  All you need to do is:  When you are going to make a purchase on Amazon, first enter
in your internet browser. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization .  
Select NAMI Cape Cod Inc.
Thank You!