A Winter Stress Buster:   Knitting for NAMI CC&I 
to benefit the homeless served by the
Housing Assistance Corp (HAC) Hyannis 
NAMI CC&I is collaborating with A Great Yarn of Chatham to knit blankets for the homeless and the newly rehomed.  Owners Ron & Mary Weishaar began this very successful project last year.  This year, their goal is to knit 50 blankets.  Other community groups, such as the Brooks Free Library and the First Congregational Church of Chatham as well as two public school teachers and their classes, have signed on.  At NAMI CC&I, we are hoping to gather all NAMI-knit panels and donate them as a group to A Great Yarn.

There is a growing body of research on the health and mental health benefits of knitting.  Jane Brody of the New York Times quoted Dr. Herbert Benson, pioneer in mind/body medicine and author of "The Relaxation Response":

' the repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed
state...once you get beyond the initial learning curve,
knitting & crocheting can lower heart rate and blood pressure
and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol.'

To participate in Knitting for NAMI :  (Feb 1 through April 30)

     - Use size 8 knitting needles and medium weight yarn, any color or combination of colors
     - Cast on 50 stitches (a foot) and knit, purl or whatever stitch you wish, for 72 inches to 
        make panels that are 12 inches by 72 inches
     - The goal is to make as many panels as possible which will be stitched together to make
         the blankets
     - Drop off panels to the NAMI office or we can arrange pickup
     - Drop us an email at info@namicapecod.org to let us know that you are participating


If you would like to participate but cannot afford yarn or needles, let us know.  We can help.

So, start knitting and feel better!

                                                                ADVOCACY NEWS...

From the desk of Mary Zdanowicz, Esq.


From the State House
The 190th Session of the Massachusetts Legislature commenced in January. This month, 
the legislative committees were formed and the process of referring bills to committee 
Bills concerning behavioral health, mental illness, mental health services and Department 
of Mental Health oversight are referred to the Joint Committee on Mental Health, 
Substance Abuse and Recovery.
Based upon a review of the initial fifty-three referred bills, there are two bills that have 
significant support, which is evidenced by the fact that there are companion bills in the 
House and Senate and that a significant number of House and Senate members signed 
on to the bill.
Each bill would establish specialized psychiatric units.
H.1065/ S.1111
Petitioners: 46 Senate and House members
Summary: Establishes at least two intensive stabilization and treatment units for patients 
whose behavior requires specialized care. Comprehensive evaluation, 
stabilization and 
psychiatric treatment shall include, but not be limited to: violence assessments, behavioral
management consultation, interpersonal conflict resolution strategies, critical incident de-briefings 
and transfer evaluations. Upon stabilization, the staff on the unit shall develop a plan for 
the safe and timely transfer of the patient out of the intensive stabilization and treatment 
H. 1064
Petitioners: 42 Senate and House members
Summary: Establishes a Behavioral Health Emergency Department Relief Pilot Program 
for high acuity behavioral health and dual diagnosis patients from emergency departments in the 
Southeast region (including the Cape & Islands) when an appropriate placement cannot be located 
within four hours of admission to the emergency department. Patients admitted to the pilot program 
will be cared for until an appropriate placement is found that meets the patients' needs, which shall 
be no more than fourteen days following admission to the pilot program. The program shall be 
operated by the Department of Mental Health and located on the campus of Taunton State Hospital.
Join the NAMI CC&I Advocacy Network to stay informed about bills, committee hearings and 
other important updates. Send an email to:
To view all bills referred to the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery, 
go to:
To find your state senator and representative, go to :
The Kennedy Forum released a report "Navigating the New Frontier of Mental Health and Addiction: 
A Guide for the 115th Congress."
The report 82-page report offers dozens of recommendations for Congress, which are grouped into 
six categories:
I. Access to Services
II. Prevention and Early Intervention
III. Vulnerable Populations
IV. Behavioral Health Workforce
V. Social Determinants
VI. Research
One of the recommendations addresses parity for inpatient mental health care:
Remove Barriers to Inpatient Treatment in Medicaid and Medicare
We must remove the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion-a law from the 1960s 
meant to prevent dilapidated facilities from refilling their beds when Medicare/Medicaid was 
passed-which has instead become the single largest impediment to quality inpatient mental health 
care, by preventing many facilities from getting Medicaid reimbursement for patients between the 
ages of 22 and 64. The original purpose of the IMD exclusion was noble- preventing the snakepits 
that "treated" people with mental illness with barbarous methods from perpetuating mistreatment 
with federal funding. However, much has changed in the last five decades and it's time for the law 
to align with current realities. The IMD exclusion is a gross parity violation, there is no valid 
justification for its continued existence, and it greatly hinders efforts to secure treatment for the 
most vulnerable in our society.
For more, go to:
DMH Individual and Family Support
The Department of Mental Health's Family Support Plan FY2017 Annual Individual and Family Support Plan describes DMH services and initiatives. DMH explains the processes used to obtain input from families of individuals who receive DMH- funded services. 
The Plan includes a description of DMH community services and FY2015 funding levels.
DMH describes Community Based Flexible Supports (CBFS) as the cornerstone Community Based Flexible Supports (CBFS) community mental health system for adults. Indeed, CBFS spending was eight times more than other community services combined in FY2015.
Adult Case Management Services: $15,823,794
Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT): $ 13,485,500
Recovery Learning Communities (RLC) -$ 3,549,787
Community Based Flexible Supports (CBFS) -$269,638,673
The original DMH contracts for CBFS services expire in 2017 and DMH is in the process of re-designing the service model.
For more information go to:

To view the DMH FY2017 Annual Individual and Family Support Plan:

NAMI CC&I Community Crisis Intervention Training (CCIT) 
 It Takes a Community!
A NAMI CC&I Community Education Initiative
The first Cape Cod regional CCIT (Community Crisis Intervention Team) training for police officers took place in late January and early February. We were very pleased that this Cape-specific training was attended by representatives of 14 out of 15 of the Cape Cod departments and the Massachusetts State Police. The program is based on more than 15 years of training done by the CCIT team from Taunton, MA.  The three trainers (two retired probate officers and a Taunton police officer) led the class though exercises and demonstrated police de-escalation techniques.  Sergeant Jennifer Ellis of the Barnstable Police Department, who had previously taken the course and is very active in policing the downtown Hyannis area with its many issues, joined in the training. This program was funded with a generous grant from the Weny Charitable Trust.
The second training has been scheduled for the last week of November and the first week in December 2017. We hope that each department will send one or two more officers to this training, ensuring that all departments will have the availability of CCIT trained officers whenever there is a mental health crisis to which they have to respond. We plan to make this a continuing initiative of NAMI CC&I as a part of our community outreach.
The training, including presentations by representatives from many Cape resources, is designed to bring front line responders (police) together with the appropriate resources in addition to teaching and demonstrating the de-escalation skills. The course also has several segments on the nature of serious mental illness, the symptoms, and the resulting behavior, hopefully enabling the police to view the person in a mental health crisis in a more understanding and compassionate way. It was agreed that we all want to get people with mental health issues the treatment they need and avoid getting them into the criminal justice system whenever possible.
We feel that this program is an effective way to take the understanding of the mentally ill to the grass roots level and to help reduce the stigma. We hope all of you will encourage your respective police departments to continue to participate. Mental health is health!


                        Rep. Randy Hunt with Jackie Lane & Atty. Mary Zdanowicz

              Communication, Communication,                                                   Communication!!
As we have been actively reaching out to the many "players" involved in the treatment of mental health, it has become obvious that so many of the potential and real issues lie in the lack of communication between agencies, resources, and those seeking help. We at NAMI CC&I are making it an organizational priority to bring people together for constructive discussions and problem solving.  The CCIT training is a great venue for encouraging and implementing interaction between providers as well as the people seeking the services.
The need for better communication leading to better understanding of respective roles and policies between the police departments and the Behavioral Health Care Unit at Cape Cod Hospital became evident at the CCIT training session featuring Cape Cod Hospital staff.  It became evident that there was a great deal of frustration on the part of the police when trying to work with the hospital in getting help for those whom they have sectioned. (Police use the Section 12 procedure to bring unwilling people into the hospital for treatment if they deem them a threat to themselves or others.)
Dr. Daria Hanson, the Medical Director and Chief of the Behavioral Health Care unit, suggested that an ad hoc committee be formed to address and hopefully solve these issues. We at NAMI CC&I organized the first meeting which included several police officer volunteers, the management team of the Emergency Department and Dr. Hanson and her department. Some new procedures were put into place including additional information at intake, advance notice of arrival with a special phone number to call, and follow up back to the police on disposition of the patient. The minutes of the meeting and the new form have been distributed to all police departments. Another meeting is planned for June when the new Bay Cove services should be in place. (See article on privatization.)
Hopefully we can continue to encourage and implement better communications between parties to help everyone concerned better navigate a difficult and fractured mental health care system.

From the Desk of Jackie Lane, Executive Director
            Privatization Will Bring Changes In Mental Health Services on Cape Cod
As many of you probably know, Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands, is the last area of the state to face the privatization of emergency mental health services. The Department of Mental Health awarded a contract to Bay Cove, an independent supplier active in the Boston metropolitan area, enabling them to provide services that are now being handled directly by DMH.
We at NAMI CC&I immediately reached out to the new provider and also had the Vice President of this region as a presenter at our CCIT police training that took place a few weeks ago. We have also had input from the management of the Behavioral Health Center at Cape Cod Hospital on the upcoming changes.
If handled effectively, the changes could be positive for those families who have to seek emergency help with a mental health crisis. There are two important changes, one at the hospital level and the other out in the field.  Under the new system, a DMH case worker will no longer do evaluations and placements at the hospital. If someone is taken into the Emergency Department at Cape Cod Hospital either by family or by the police, after medical clearance and being designated for a psych evaluation, those with MassHealth/Medicaid or no health insurance will be evaluated and placed by a Bay Cove worker. (Those with private insurance will continue to be evaluated by the CCHC staff.)  Also, if the police are called to a home or location where a mental health crisis is occurring, they can call the Bay Cove mobile crisis unit to meet them at, or come to the location and the evaluation can be done on location, perhaps bypassing the hospital.
In theory, the above has some positive applications. Avoiding the ED at the hospital can be a positive thing as it is not the best place (although much improved and still improving) for someone in a mental health crisis. The ED staff is not generally mental health trained and often and logically, the person with the mental health issue is given a lower priority than the person who is in immediate danger of dying, e.g. heart attack or serious accident. Our concern at NAMI CC&I is how effective can the mobile crisis team be on the Cape with its unique geography and transportation issues? How many crisis centers is Bay Cove willing to establish?  Certainly one center in Hyannis is not going to be very effective for Provincetown or even Falmouth most of the year. We will be watching all this carefully and will continue to communicate with Bay Cove management as they develop and plan their facilities.
DMH will continue to manage the Pocasset facility. Speaking of the Pocasset hospital, we were sorry to hear of the retirement of Steve Jokum, but we do wish him the best. He has been a great resource for us.  Jud and I have met with the interim director, and we will continue to cultivate our relationship with that important facility. Jud visits Pocasset and talks to families and patients on a bi-weekly basis. He also visits the inpatient ward at Cape Cod Hospital to offer our services and support.
We will keep you posted as these changes develop. The changeover is now scheduled to take place in May or the beginning of June.

Ruth BlountNAMI on Nantucket Program Coordinator

Definition of support (Merriam-Webster dictionary) 

. to endure bravely or quietly :   bear;  
. to promote the interests or cause of ; 
. to uphold or defend as valid or right :  advocate  
. to argue or vote for ; 
. to act with 
. to bid in bridge so as to show support;
. to provide with substantiation :  corroborate;  
. to pay the costs of :  maintain; 
. to provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of  
. to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop; 
. to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage : comfort;
. to keep (something) going
 Here are three ways NAMI on Nantucket provides support:
    1)    Support calls - 508-221-6202 This is not a hot-line, but call when you need help,                 information, or just someone to listen.  You are not alone.
    2)    Family Support Group - 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7 pm
            at Sherburne Commons - for family caregivers.  You are not alone.
    3)    Dragonfly Recovery Support group - starting soon!  A safe, therapist-led place to             join fellow journeyers in mental health recovery.  You are not alone



                            NCH Pediatrics Fair  - Sunday, March 12, 1 - 4:30 pm 

                               at the Great Harbor Yacht Club

                           Fairwinds Resources Fair on March 24     Details to come

                           NAMI Walk -Saturday, May 13 in Boston   Details to come


                            Dragonfly Fundraiser - 2nd Annual fundraiser for NAMI on Nantucket

                               Thursday, Sept. 21 - Nantucket Hotel and Resort



From a Nantucket mother - 
About six years ago I was looking for services to help me and
my two children who struggle with mental illness. At that time,
there were few services available on Nantucket so I called the
Cape and Islands NAMI office and asked for help.
The NAMI Director recommended that I take the NAMI Family
to Family Course on Nantucket that winter. While I was
looking for something more specific for my kids, I signed up for
the 2 ½ hour course that met once a week for 12 weeks. I was
worried about the time commitment, but it was the best thing I
could have hoped for.
The course was run by two seasoned peer teachers who spoke
from their own knowledge and experience. Over time, we
learned about mental illness, the mental health system and,
most importantly, about each other. There was a wonderful
camaraderie in the class and, for the first time, I felt I was not
After graduating from F2F, many of us trained to become
teachers so we could continue to offer the course on Nantucket.
From the initial class, two support groups were formed: one
for caregivers and another for the peers who struggle with a
mental illness. The groups meet monthly and it's a great
opportunity to share our stories and support one another. It is a
 a caring and safe place to talk, and I personally leave with a lighter heart.


NAMI Collaborates...
  • Jackie and Jud spoke with the new administration at Pocasset
  • Jackie spoke with the Monomoy School administration to discuss providing Think:Kids for their schools
  • Kim & Ruth attended the webinar on Caregivers for People with Mental Health issues
Monthly Book Review

I Don't Need Help!
How to Help Someone With Mental Illness Accept Treatment by Xavier Amador, Ph.D.

I t is heartbreaking and thoroughly frustrating to know that your loved one is suffering from a mental illness but be unable to convince them that they are ill and need treatment including medication.  It feels like denial to you, but new research on anosognosia shows that it is actually part of the illness:
                "a majority of individuals with schizophrenia lacked insight into having a psychotic
                  Illness" and that this problem is "a manifestation of the illness itself rather than a
                  coping strategy."
Knowing this, however, rarely stops the caregiver from trying to convince their loved one which often becomes adversarial , rarely engages the patient and ultimately harms the relationship.
Inspired by his efforts to help his schizophrenic brother, Dr. Amador has devised a program called "The LEAP Approach" for better communication skills which will lead to better adherence to treatment:
   Listen, Empathize, Agree and Partner. 
This book teaches you how to apply each of these skills along with many helpful examples of how this can lead to better compliance with prescribed medication.  He also reviews other stumbling blocks to adherence along with additional methods of improving treatment results.
This landmark book is very readable for both families and professionals.  Dr. Amador also explains his method in many you-tube videos.

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 be held on the third Tuesday of the Month.   The next meeting is: 
          Tuesday evening March 21 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.


New Support Group in Wellfleet
4th Tuesday of the month beginning February 28th, 2017
6:00 - 7:30 pm  at the Preservation Hall
For more information and to regsiter, please call 508-778-4277 or email 

NAMI membership makes your voice stronger.  
Effective July 2017, a new membership category as been added:  The new dues will be:
               Household:              $60
               Regular Individual:  $40
               Open Door:               $5

Join now and avoid the increase for the year!

Saturday, May 13th is the NAMI Walk.  
This event is a fundraiser for NAMI MA with a percentage of the money raised by our affiliate benefiting our affiliate.  Last year we raised money to support peer programs on the Cape and Islands.  A full bus went to the Walk to join other affiliates in Massachusetts  showing support and raising awareness.
If you are interested in working on a committee to organize the Walk on May 13th, please contact Kim Lemmon at 508-778-4277.  Please note:  If a volunteer planning committee is not formed, our affiliate will not participate this year.
Annual Golf Tournament- September 11, 2017  
This event raises the money to support all of our educational programs each year.  Please consider helping us prepare for the auction.  All you will need to do is ask merchants to donate items or services that will be part of the auction baskets.  Donations are tax deductible and support the mission of NAMI Cape & Islands to educate, support and advocate for our citizens coping with the challenges mental health issues have on our families.  If you are able to help prepare for the auction, please call the office at 508-778-4277 and we will send you the tax donation forms you will give to supporting merchants.  
Borderline Personality Disorder/Family Connections Course
Family Connections, through the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorders (NEA-BPD),  will be offered in Barnstable starting in April.  If you are struggling with how to communicate with a loved one who is highly emotional, this course is for you.  The course is 12 weeks and will be on Wednesday evenings.  Course is free but registration is required.  Please call Kim Lemmon at 508-778-4277 or email info@namicapecod.org
Family to Family Teacher Training:  
If you have taken Family to Family and would like to consider becoming a teacher, please call Kim Lemmon to find out more about the training being planned for this Spring.
Family to Family Courses
Family to Family classes began in January on  Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Barnstable and Hyannis .  We will have a new serries of classes beginning this spring.    If you are interested, call the office or email    klemmon@namicapecod.org  508-778-4277 or
 namionnantucket@gmail.com  508-221-6202

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 located 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

Save the Dates:
     + April 3 - Advocacy Day at the State House
     + NAMI National Convention, Washington D.C.  June 25- July 1

  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.



 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!