JUNE  2017


Their 24-Hour Hotline is:  1-800-981-HELP (4357)

From the desk of Jackie Lane, Executive Director  NAMI CC&I 

It Takes a Community!
Many of you may be aware of the unfortunate and violent altercation that took place last week in Hyannis between several officers of the Barnstable Police Department and a young man with long time serious mental health issues. The young man ended up in the hospital with several injuries and at least three police officers were injured in the melee.  An incident of this nature always raises many questions and some heated dialogues.
As Executive Director of NAMI CC&I, an organization whose mission is to Educate, Support, and Advocate for those with mental health issues and their families, I have had many thoughts and concerns in reading and rereading this story.  Also I would like to state that the only information I have is that which was printed in the Cape Cod Times last Friday. I have no inside information from the police department and I have not spoken to the young man or his mother.
I would like to say that the police departments on Cape Cod have been very active in seeking out training in dealing with calls which involve mentally ill individuals. CCIT (Community Crisis Intervention Team) training has been in effect in several departments for the past five years. NAMI CC&I sponsored and presented a forty hour CCIT training last winter with officers from 14 out of the 15 police departments on the Cape attending. We, here at NAMI CC&I, now have contacts in those 14 departments, specific officers we can call on or ask our clients to request in a mental health crisis where the police need to be involved. We will be sponsoring and presenting another training in the late Fall of this year and hope to have officers from all 15 departments in attendance. Also several police departments have established regular monthly meetings with community mental health workers in an effort to continue to get help for individuals rather them throwing them into the criminal justice system. The Barnstable Police Department has a very active Community Impact Unit with which we have often successfully partnered in dealing with a mental health crisis call. All this being said, every call and every situation is different and has different circumstances and different outcomes. Unfortunately, there are not always satisfactory endings, no matter how good the intentions. Did this incident fall into that category? Luckily, the person was stunned and we are not talking about a police shooting such as we are continually reading about.
The larger questions that arise as we think about incidents like this concern the lack of accessible, quality mental health services for our Cape residents. This young man, according to his mother has had severe issues all his life. What treatment is he getting? What help did the mother get when he was in school having so many problems? Is he one of the many who are falling through the cracks in an underfunded, fragmented, and broken mental health care system? Does he have DMH services and a case worker? These are the questions that we need to ask ourselves as a society. There are many others like him out there and they need consistent and accessible services.
It takes a community to address and to begin to solve these serious societal issues. We at NAMI CC&I will continue to sponsor and present training to police officers, school teachers, and health care providers with the hope of helping them to cope with the added challenges of their respective jobs. Bringing the community together for education and collaboration, and hopefully producing solutions is the only way to address this ever escalating


From the desk of Mary Zdanowicz, Esq.
On June 11, 2017, the Boston Globe published an article about private psychiatric hospitals in Massachusetts that are owned by a national chain, Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS). Most hospitals in Massachusetts are known as the Arbour Hospitals. Patients from the Cape & Islands are often sent to the hospital in Pembroke.
The seriousness of problems at these hospitals cannot be understated.  Last year, the state conducted surprise inspections that uncovered significant issues at four of seven UHS psychiatric hospitals in Massachusetts. Patient care problems were so prevalent that DHS Commissioner Joan Mikula appointed a "clinical monitor'' to be a "consistent presence" and oversee improvements. Yet problems persist.
It is hard to know where to start in addressing the issues identified in the Globe article.
One of the many serious issues involves dangerous patients. The hospitals either fail dangerous patients (which results in emergency room "boarding") or admit patients without providing adequate staffing.
One of the bills in the Legislature this year would help with this problem.
H.1065/ S.1111
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 unit.   
Sponsors: more than 40, including Representative Peake
The Issue:
There is a critical lack of state hospital continuing care beds, there has been a 24% reduction in beds since 2007.  Recently waited 90 days at the UMass Memorial acute unit  waiting to be admitted to the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital.
Compounding the problem is the fact that there are no longer any high intensity units for "difficult patients" and private acute hospitals can refuse such patients. That was the case for one of the patients highlighted in the Boston Globe Spotlight series article on March 26, 2017. James Boyd Jr. needed inpatient care, but acute psychiatric hospitals refused to admit him. He was placed in a voluntary facility, but wandered off and was killed after being struck by a car.
Mr. Boyd's sister said her brother "fell through the cracks."
The lack of inpatient care for individuals who need intensive treatment is a serious issue and H.1065/ S.1111 could help.
The bill will address just one issue. There are so many more that need to be  addressed going forward.
Advocacy Meeting
The NAMI Advocacy Network will be announcing the date and time for the next meeting.  The topic will be "Preparing to Testify and Speak to Legislators - How to communicate a complicated issue in a concise statement."
If you would like to join the Advocacy Network, send an email to advocacy@namicapecod.org
or call 774-207-0822.

From Our Summer Intern...

In June, I had the  opportunity to visit the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital located in Worcester, MA with Jud Phelps and Arlene Hoxie. While my co-workers have had numerous visits to psychiatric hospitals, this was my first time. I was not quite sure what to expect as society and stigmas have continuously depicted psychiatric facilities in a negative light. Despite the fact that I had read horror stories about some hospitals not very far from home, I wanted to start this trip with little to no bias. After the hour and a half drive, we finally pulled into the facility and were overwhelmed by how many cars were parked in the various parking lots. The hospital itself looked enormous and right off the bat, I was impressed with the security of the building.  

The front-desk staff was friendly and helpful while checking us in and soon enough, Jackie DuCharme and a peer specialist began the tour.   One of the most impressive areas of the hospital was the "downtown" area. This space was designed to simulate the downtown of a small town or city. It had stores, a bank, library, and even an outdoor courtyard area. Patients were free to roam this area and do what they wish. We saw many getting some exercise walking the courtyard and several others taking advantage of the stores. The hospital had many other facilities such as a gym, a business center, fashion store, support groups and more. There was even a dedicated NAMI office.  We definitely got the feeling that the patients were very well treated at Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, and that they have the chance to lead somewhat normal lives even though they were in a hospital. Due to confidentiality, we were not able to visit any of the patient units but overall, we were thoroughly impressed with both the facilities and the caring and concern of the staff.

Although the facility was quite remarkable and unquestionably one of the best and newest in Massachusetts, it is extremely hard to become a patient. We were told 83% of the patients are forensic (from the criminal justice system) and that two units are dedicated to solely children and adolescents. This leaves a very small number of beds available to non-forensic patients. Since my internship at NAMI has started, one crucial fact that I have learned and continue to hear throughout meetings: there is a significant shortage of psychiatric beds, especially long term beds. Though we visited a  state of the art facility, this problem was especially encountered there. 

As I continue my internship and studies in the field of psychology, I am hopeful and curious as to how this urgent obstacle will be tackled in the future. 

"You Are Not Alone" 
Mental Health Primer 
is Coming...

NAMI CC&I is producing a concise, user-friendly, free 60-page booklet containing 10 chapters on the most common issues facing families, friends and caregivers who are dealing with a loved one with a mental illness including:  what to do in a crisis, how to deal with the police, what happens when you go to the hospital, myths of mental illness, medication and treatment options, how to apply for DMH services, how to navigate the legal system and much more.  It will also have an up-to-date Resource List of inpatient and outpatient resources on Cape Cod.  The lack of this kind of written information was seen as a crucial missing piece by many mental healthcare professionals as well as members of our classes and support groups.  The goal of the Primer is to help allay fears, foster understanding and provide concrete information and education to those who need it so that they will be better able to deal with and help their loved one.

We are grateful to grants from Cape Cod Healthcare, The Edward Bangs Kelley & Elza Kelley Foundation and The Cape Cod Five Charitable Foundation to cover printing costs.

We expect to have the Primer available in July 2017,
Monthly Book Review

Option B:  Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy

by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Nearly twenty-five years ago my office secretary's husband died after a yearlong battle with cancer.  A month later I was seeing her daughter for a sick visit after which I told her, "Every day must be so hard."  Her reply was, "Every hour."    Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook.  Two years ago her husband died suddenly from a heart attack while they were on vacation.  Adam Grant is a family friend and a psychologist at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  This book combines the personal story of Sheryl Sandberg's tragic loss with Adam Grant's research and insights in facing such adversity.  The book not only shares thoughts on facing such tragedy but also on building our own resilience since "We all live some form of Option B."
 I will focus on just a few points that they make but the book covers a wide range of issues and I think many will find different chapters helpful.  The authors discuss the "Three Ps" that form barriers to healing and recovery.  These are personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence.  Personalization means that it's entirely my fault.  As is so often the case, while her husband's death came out of the blue, Sandberg couldn't help but think she was at fault.  Pervasiveness means that every aspect of one's life is affected.  And permanence means that the effects and despair will last forever.  Part of the healing process is to address these three Ps. 
A chapter that I found very helpful was "Kicking the Elephant Out of the Room."  How very difficult it is to know how and what to say.  Sandberg describes a number of instances in which people avoided any mention of her circumstances.  However, avoiding possibly painful conversations deprives the other person of our caring and our connection. Staying silent isolates people.  Sandberg writes, "We find our humanity- our will to live and our ability to love- in our connections to one another."
        Sandberg and Grant also have a chapter on "Raising Resilient Kids."  They describe four core beliefs important for children to develop resilience.  First is that a person has some control over their life and situation.  Second, we learn from our mistakes and failures.  Third, whatever may happen each one of us matters.  The authors mention that in Denmark all children from the first grade on spend an hour a week discussing problems and how they can help each other.  The children learn how each of them can affect the feelings of others.  The fourth core belief is that each of us have strengths that we can use and rely on in difficult situations and times.
 This book is full of suggestions and insights.  It includes a chapter on self-compassion.  That is showing kindness to ourselves and responding to ourselves with compassion and care , not shame and criticism.  It also discusses building resilient communities and makes me think of NAMI.  Communities of people with a shared identity can lead to new possibilities and a better future.  Human connection is so important when faced with loss or difficulties. Such "collective resilience can foster real social change."
        Finally, the authors invite you to their website optionb.org or to join the Option B community at facebook.com/OptionBOrg.  There you will find many additional resources and a connection to others who have faced or are facing difficult times.
Written by Dr. George Vitek, retired pediatrician who practiced for 28 years in Wilbraham, MA.  Educated at MIT and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  Trained in pediatrics at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester.  Married father of four and grandfather of 8 and 1/2.                                                                                  
Ruth Blount
NAMI on Nantucket Program Coordinator
Despite rain, fog, wind, and chilly weather, tourists did make their way to Nantucket this month.  As of this writing, though, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and it is 75 degrees out!  There is always hope for a brighter future, as we like to say in our support groups!

A highlight this month was the Nantucket Book Festival, where Dr. Kay Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, was one of the guest speakers.   She is author of An Unquiet Mind:  A Memoir of Moods and Madness and Touched with Fire:  Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.  Dr. Jamisonspoke of her personal life experience with bipolar disorder and observations from her professional life.   As the Washington Post Book World says in its review:  "Jamison's [strength] is in the gutsy way she has made her disease her life's work and in her brilliant ability to convey its joys and its anguish... extraordinary."   My personal response in hearing her speak was profound respect and renewed hope.   I look forward to reading  An Unquiet Mind, and we now have a copy in our NAMI on Nantucket library. 

We are spreading the word about our new peer-driven support group, the Dragonfly Emotional Wellness Group, meeting July 10 and August 14 for its summer schedule.  We are excited to provide this needed community here on the island where it is easy to feel isolated.  Dragonfly Emotional Wellness Group is a peer-driven group for adults facing all levels of behavioral health and recovery challenges.  It is a safe, confidential, and free place to build community, learn coping skills, and share interests.  The group will meet once/ month during the summer, and then twice/ month starting in the Fall.  A therapist will be present in an advisory capacity.  Activities may include yoga, meditation, film discussions, outdoor activities, art, and story-telling.

We are working on raising more seed money for the David Glidden Memorial Travel Fund, so that it can be launched and utilized, and considering applying for a grant that would be a mass media project for the entire behavioral health community on Nantucket. 

I remain very thankful for our entire NAMI family, and for the camaraderie amongst the mental health and substance use organizations here on the island.  We need each other!


 And From NAMI onMartha's Vineyard 

Martha's Vineyard NAMI is always working quietly behind the scenes.  This winter Peggy Burke and Daryl Knight facilitated another successful Family to Family class with 20 graduates. We sent two of our NAMI members to Hyannis for teacher training. Our support groups continue every other Sunday at Island Wide Collaborative at the Martha's Vineyard Community Services in Vineyard Haven from 
6:00-7:30 pm. 
In the Fall the group will begin work to better educate our island community on the mission and programs of NAMI to increase visibility and offer more support. 

Cecilia Brennan is a new member of the NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands Board of Directors.   
Please contact Cecilia at 201-981-5123 with questions or interest in becoming involved. 
The Buddha & The Borderline
                                 by Kiera Van Gelder

I just finished reading The Buddha & the Borderline by Kiera Van Gelder. Reading this book gave me a better understanding of someone living with BPD. Van Gelder writes in a way that lets you get inside her head. She explains what it's like to live with BPD; how people, therapy, and life affect her. She refers to her constant need for validation and how important it is for her, as well as how she can't tolerate criticism - both very common and troubling symptoms of BPD.

Van Gelder's memoir is very entertaining and often funny especially when she's writing about her impulsive and reckless behavior. She is descriptive about her cutting episodes and explains why she does it. The book starts out with her BPD diagnosis after 20 years of mental health issues, and she takes us through her process of recovery.
Van Gelder is very insightful about her illness which helps the reader to get inside her head and her suffering. There are many references to Marsha Linehan and her Dialectic Behavior Therapy that helps her to develop coping skills.  She refers to her toolbox; however, she doesn't take us into the details of either her therapy or her group sessions.  She currently lives in a Buddhist Monastery and continues to be a work in progress.  Aren't we all!

I recommend this book for anyone who wants a better understanding of a borderline's struggle, and anyone suffering from BPD that can relate. I can't wait for her next book!

"Yet I also recognize this: Even if everyone in the world were to accept me and my illness and validate my pain, unless I can abide myself and be compassionate toward my own distress, I will probably always feel alone and neglected by others." - Kiera Van Gelder

Book Reviewed by Karen Santos
Peer Services

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Cape Cod (DBSA-CC)
meets every Wednesday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm 
at the Cape Cod Medical Center, 40 Quinlan Way, Hyannis
(across the parking lot from Cape Psych Center) 
Enter at the white portico and take the elevator to the conference room in the basement

DBSA-CC is a non-profit, self help organization run by and for people with bipolar and depressive illness.  Family and friends are also welcome.  There are no membership fees.  We come together to share support and information with other members in similar situations.

For further information, contact Lois at 508-681-8598 
or Paul at 508-221-5174 or email poconnell780@gmail.com

Dance In The Rain 

Every Thursday Morning 11:00AM - 12:00PM.  Come join women like yourself who live with mental illness.  Find acceptance, understanding and discover friendships at Dance in the Rain Peer to Peer Collaboration 145 Barnstable Rd. Hyannis, MA (Upstairs from Procuts).

Mary E. Munsell
Founder/Executive Director/Peer
Dance in the Rain Whole Person Approach
Peer to Peer Collaboration
501 c 3 Non Profit Public Charity

   Transportation Services....

  The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority provides a daily general public demand service called Dial-A-Ride Transportation (DART) that is a door-to-door ride by appointment transportation service.  It is available to all 15 Cape towns, runs from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays and more limited hours on weekends.  It is easy to access and use.  

For more information, call them at 800-352-7155 or visit their website at:


Mark Your Calendars: 

The Sandwich support group which meets on Tuesday, July 11 at the Spaulding Rehab Center will be led this month by Barbara Meehan instead of Carolann Gillard.

FAQ About Household Membership and Dues Increases Starting July 1, 2017

Overview of New Dues Structure:
  • What are the new dues rates?
    • $60 for Household Memberships; $40 for Individual Memberships; $5 for Open Door Memberships.
  • What does NAMI consider a "household"? Is this rate for families only?
    • A household consists of any individuals living at the same address. This could be a family in the "traditional" sense (spouses plus children) or even roommates. The NAMI Board chose "Household" to be more inclusive and to simplify the distribution of benefits. Keep in mind that this is not "Family" membership.
  • What is a Household Membership?
    • A Household Membership is a membership that is intended to allow all individuals living at the same address to be counted as members in NAMI with the benefits of membership being applies to each member listed as part of the household. The household membership will only receive one copy of the NAMI Advocate, but all other member benefits are granted to each listed member. While each member is counted as a member of NAMI, the paid household membership counts as ONE when determining Affiliate vote weight for NAMI Elections.
  • What is an Individual/Regular Membership?
    • This member is intended for one person to become a member of NAMI. We recognize there are two different names for this membership. NAMI is moving to call this an Individual Membership, but understand there many NAMI members know this as Regular Membership so that transition will happen over the next couple months.
  • What is an Open Door Membership?
    • Members may become members through an "Open Door" policy that allows for a reduced dues payment. Open Door members are defined by income or economic necessity, at the discretion of the Affiliate member or State Organization. Open Door members shall have all the rights and privileges of members who pay full dues.
  • Are there any differences for the membership benefits between the three different rates?
    • No, every membership is with the national, state and local levels and includes from the national NAMI office:
      • One copy of the Advocate magazine, mailed twice per year
      • Access to members-only areas of the NAMI.org website
      • Discounts on National Convention registration rates
      • Discounts on items in the NAMI Store
    • Each NAMI Affiliate and NAMI State Organization offers additional
    • membership benefits that vary depending on which group the member is a part of.
  • Can an individual living in a household have their own, separate membership or do they have to be part of a Household membership?
    • Yes, that person can still have their own Individual or Open Door membership even if they are living in the same household as a group with a Household membership.
  • Is everyone in a household counted as a NAMI member if someone at the household paid for a Household membership?
    • The person who pays the Household membership will need to list the specific individuals in the household for them to be counted as members. Someone is not considered a member if they were not listed on the Household membership, or does not have a membership of their own.
  • Can a child who is away at college be part of the Household Membership? Can an adult child or elderly family member who is living in a care facility and supported by a parent/caregiver in the household be part of the Household Membership?
    • Yes, but that member of the household membership will not be assigned a separate address in NAMI 360. NAMI will not send the magazine to additional addresses.
  • Can we add someone else to our Household membership prior to paying our renewal?
    • Yes, as long as each person is considered living at the same address.
  • The $60 Household membership costs too much for some families in my area-how can they still become members?
    • Each individual who wishes to become a NAMI member is welcome to pay the Individual or Open Door rate to have their own membership. That person's membership would not cover anyone else in their household, however. There is not a low-income Household membership rate.
  • How many people can a Household membership cover?
    • Right now, the system is set up to include up to 10 members in a Household Membership. Contact Member Services at memberservices@nami.org to discuss adding more members than 10. There may be exceptions to this rule.
  • I have decided I want to my own Individual Membership but am currently part of a Household Membership. Is that possible?
    • Yes. At any time, an individual may purchase an Individual or Open Door membership if they no longer want to be included as a household member but want their own instead.
Family to Family 
There is currently a Family-to-Family program in Falmouth; however, we will have several new classes beginning in the fall in various areas of the Cape.

If you or anyone you know is interested in taking Family-to-Family, please call or email 
Kim Lemmon at 508-778-4277 or klemmon@namicapecod.org

Siobhan Leigh Kinlin Memorial 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 to give to supporting merchants.  

  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.
I nclusions 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!