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!

Monthly Book Review

Knit for Health & Wellness
How to knit a flexible mind & more...
by Betsan Corkhill

Women throughout the ages have been knitting blankets and articles of clothing.  That they enjoyed the process or the camaraderie if they knit with others, was a side benefit not to be taken seriously.
In her book "Knit for Health & Wellness" Betsan Corkhill, a trained physiotherapist, has given these women scientific justification for their enjoyment and feelings of relaxation.  Findings from a study which surveyed 3,514 knitters from 31 countries were the same regardless of the different cultural, educational and health backgrounds of the knitters.  Knitting provided a therapeutic tool to help manage anxiety, panic, depression or chronic medical illness.   In their study, 81% of those with clinical depression who responded said they usually or definitely felt happier after knitting:

"Knitting calms me down when I'm stressed, gets me excited 
        when it feels like there's no point in living, gives me something 
                         to think about that is outside myself, a reason to get up in the morning"
This book explains how you can knit to benefit your health and wellbeing as well as improve your relationships, friendships and community.  "It is about embracing the complexity of how and why our brain processes experiences."
The book is filled with illuminating and thought provoking quotes from both knitters and clinicians.  In addition, there is a website (www.stitchlinks.com) which provides free access to information, research and a community of fellow knitters.

                                                                ADVOCACY NEWS...

From the desk of Mary Zdanowicz, Esq.

                    Understanding HIPAA Laws & Recent HIPPA Reform

T he concepts of privacy and confidentiality are cornerstones in the relationship between a patient and doctor. Generally, privacy refers to an individual's interest in maintaining control over health care information and confidentiality refers to a health care provider's obligation to maintain a patient's privacy.

Each state has medical privacy laws and regulations covering a variety of topics, such as rules governing release of medical information to an insurance carrier. Massachusetts has more than fifty specific legal provisions governing privacy and confidentiality of medical information.
However, most people associate this topic with "HIPAA," the Health Information Portability and Privacy Act. Fifteen years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) established federal guidelines for privacy and security of personal health information (the "HIPAA Privacy Rule"). Most patients are familiar with the "HIPAA release form," which must be signed in order for a doctor to release information to an insurance company, other providers, family, friends, etc.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not distinguish mental health information from information about other medical conditions. However, in practice, mental health providers tend to be more vigilant when it comes to sharing mental health information with a patient's family. According to one study, relatives caring for an adult with a serious to moderate mental health condition were 77% more likely to be told that a healthcare provider or professional was unable to speak with them.
In February 2014, DHHS issued guidance about health care providers sharing information about a patient's mental health condition. It is a good resource for family members, friends or others involved in a patient's care, who are having difficulty obtaining information about the patient's condition.

For example, a health care provider may:

Listen to family members about their loved ones receiving mental health treatment - HIPAA in no way prevents health care providers from listening to family members or other caregivers who may have concerns about the health and well-being of the patient, so the health care provider can factor that information into the patient's care.

Consider the patient's capacity to agree or object to the sharing of their information - Under certain circumstances, such as a patient who is suffering from temporary psychosis or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a provider may share information with the patient's family. If a provider believes the patient cannot meaningfully agree or object to sharing the patient's mental health information, the provider is allowed to discuss the patient's condition with a family member, if the provider believes it would be in the patient's best interests. The provider should take into account the patient's prior expressed preferences regarding disclosures of their information, if any, as well as the circumstances of the current situation. Once the patient regains the capacity to make these choices for herself, the provider should offer the patient the opportunity to agree or object to any future sharing of her information.

Involve a patient's family members, friends, or others in dealing with patient failures to adhere to medication or other therapy- If a doctor knows from experience that, when a patient's medication is not at a therapeutic level, the patient is at high risk of committing suicide, the doctor may believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen the threat of harm to the health or safety of the patient who has stopped taking the prescribed medication, and may share information with the patient's family or other caregivers who can avert the threat.
For more information visit: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/mental-health/

HIPAA Reform

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, signed by President Obama in December 2017, recognized that confusion about HIPPA with respect to the treatment of serious mental illness. Misunderstanding "may hinder appropriate communication" with families and caregivers."
Among other things, the law requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to clarify the circumstances under which a health care provider may share information with a family of caregiver. For example, based on the exercise of professional judgment, a doctor may communicate with family when it is "in the best interest of the patient when the patient is not present or otherwise incapacitated."

In a recent interview, Congressman Tim Murphy, the sponsor of the bill, discussed HIPAA's privacy rules and how he believes the stringent regulations hurt people suffering from mental illness rather than help protect them. He explained that HIPAA is a problem because "some patients might be too incapacitated to make a decision, leaving them alone to deal with medical or psychological issues while family members are unaware there is a problem." Furthermore,
"For the patient themselves, we know that when a family member is engaged and involved, the success rate is very, very high," Murphy said. "When a family member is not involved, it declines considerably, so it's good for someone's health."

For more, see "Congressman Murphy wants to revamp HIPAA privacy rules."

                                     Governor Baker's Budget & Mental Health

In the State of the Commonwealth address on January 24, 2017, Governor Baker identified a priority issue with respect to mental health:

"For decades, mental health advocates have urged the Commonwealth to redesign the way it serves those who are committed to Bridgewater State Hospital. Little has changed, and the results, in many cases, have been disastrous for all involved.

"We propose to do two things to address this longstanding and unacceptable situation.

"First, move Corrections Officers out of the hospital. And instead deploy them outside the facility to provide security.

"Second, the size and scale of the clinical program offered inside the hospital will be significantly expanded. This reform will not come cheap, as spending on clinical services will increase by $37 million. It's the right thing to do and we ask the legislature to support it.

Presumably, increases in the Department of Correction budget for FY2018 will fund the initiative.

With respect to the Department of Mental Health budget, the Governor is proposing a significant increase ($8 million) in adult mental health services for the budget beginning July 1, 2017. Most of the increase is for the Safety Net, which covers acute inpatient and community health center services for the uninsured. The FY2018 budget for the Safety Net is a $7 million increase over the current year.


                                  J oin 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 advocacy@namicapecod.org to join.
NAMI CC&I Community Crisis Intervention Training (CCIT) 
    14 Out of 15 Cape Cod Police Departments Participated
NAMI CC&I in collaboration with the CCIT (Community Crisis Intervention Team) training team from Taunton, Massachusetts has been conducting an intensive five-day training program in crisis intervention and community collaboration in the handling of mental health calls. This program incorporates the de-escalation skill sets taught in the basic CIT training with a plan to build a network of community resources with the goal of getting help for the mentally disturbed person rather incarceration. We have worked with the Taunton team to make our training very Cape specific with several Cape presenters as well as the professionals that they bring to the table. The reaction from the police officers in attendance has been very positive. One officer said that they often have training that says "how things are done in Boston", but that this training helps them here on the Cape.
Cape specific speakers and resources have included representatives from Duffy Health Center, the Barnstable Police Department, the Hyannis Vets Center, the Behavioral Health Centers at Cape Cod Health Care, the Cape Cod court systems, the Community Health Center, Gosnold, Barnstable and Falmouth school departments, Elder Services of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Hoarding Task Force, and Hope Dementia. The segment with Dr. Daria Hanson and the Behavioral Health Center at Cape Cod Health Care was especially productive as the police have had frustrations when trying to get people through the procedures at the hospital emergency room to get treatment. Dr. Hanson suggested that an ad hoc committee be formed to work together to implement some procedures to help ease this problem. This committee is being formed and will be meeting in the near future. Hopefully new lines of communication have been opened.
This ambitious project was made possible through a generous donation from the Weny Charitable Trust and Roger Ludwig, Trustee of the Trust. We hope to continue this program with another training in the late fall of this year. We are also going to invite EMS personnel and pastors to join the training as they are often on the front line when there is a mental health crisis.
It has been very gratifying to see both the police officers from all the diverse communities of the Cape and so many of the local and regional resources come together in an educative and supportive dialogue. Thank you to all of you who have been participants and to Ed Kulhawick, Vice President of the Cape Cod Law Enforcement Council for his tremendous support.


Read the excellent coverage of the first 3 days of the program in the Cape Cod Times:

Read Cape Cod Times Reporter Cynthia McCormick's report on the boarding of psychiatric patients in the Emergency Room:

Ruth BlountNAMI on Nantucket Program Coordinator
January is traditionally a month of new beginnings and renewed hope.  January of 2017 has been the exception for much of the world.  NAMI on Nantucket is here to provide a safe space in the midst of fear, turmoil, and disillusionment.  Together we can make a difference!
The biggest achievement in January for NAMI on Nantucket has been the launch of a strong Family to Family course, taught by Sandy Kendall and Connie Voges, assisted by Caroline Ellis.  Education is empowerment, and learning together provides support.  We are so happy that some of the participants are eager to be trained as teachers in Spanish F2F classes.  We hope that will be the case as we plan for a Basics class (program for family caregivers of children and adolescents with mental health issues) in the Fall, also. 
Plans are being made for a therapist-guided support group for people struggling with mental illness, and word being spread about our Family Support Group.  Healing and support are needed both for struggling individuals and the caregivers who love them. 
Elise Pillion wrote a wonderful article about NAMI on Nantucket for the Inky Mirror's New Year/ New You series... it was thoughtfully written and was a great help in spreading our mission. 
We continue to be an active part of the Behavioral Health Task force on the island.
We have been invited to participate in a Resource Fair sponsored by Fairwinds on March 24th.  We are thankful for the opportunity to make NAMI a household word and resource. 
As always, support calls to NAMI on Nantucket (508-221-6202) remain a top priority.
Our motto:  "You are not alone."  Let's work together to prove that to be true!

       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!

NAMI Collaborates...
  • Jackie and Jud made a presentation to the staff at Gosnold of Cape Cod
  • Jud spoke with Karen Ready of St. Joseph's Shelter, formerly the Noah Shelter and now under the auspices of Catholic Charities
  • Jud & Jackie met with Edye Nesmith of the Council of Churches to discuss future collaborative efforts
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 February 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.

NOTE:  For the month of February only:  The Falmouth Support will not be meeting in Falmouth on Feb 27  but will instead be meeting in Mashpee on Feb 8.

Mark Your Calendars: 

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 Down Cape!   
We are pleased to announce a new support group will be offered for the first time starting the end of February in Wellfleet.  The details are still being worked out, but will be available on the website soon. 

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!