MARCH  2017

                      ANNUAL MEETING
                       NAMI CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS
                             Thursday, April 20, 2017
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Cape Codder Resort & Spa
Route 132, Hyannis
                 Members will be voting on a slate of Board Members as well as proposed bylaw changes.                                                                                      

From the desk of Jackie Lane, Executive Director  NAMI CC&I 
Community Crisis Intervention Team (CCIT) Update
It has been about two months since NAMI CC&I presented the 40-hour Community Crisis Intervention Team (CCIT) training to officers from 14 Cape Cod Police Departments and a Massachusetts State Trooper assuring that the NAMI CC&I initiative "It Takes a Community" is living up to its name. The important distinguishing feature of the CCIT training comes with the first letter "C" which stands for community, and it takes a community with all its inherent elements to address the daunting issues encountered by police officers, social service agencies, and individuals when attempting to get help and to arrive at solutions in dealing with the mentally ill living in our midst.  Also, the final letter "T" in the acronym stands for team and it takes consistent and long-term team work to make the differences that we are seeking.
Since the winter training,  NAMI CC&I has organized and/or participated in several meetings, the goal being to bring groups of the community together to share in problem solving and finding solutions. The week following the training. with the help of Dr. Hanson of the Behavioral Health Centers of Cape Cod Healthcare, we organized a meeting with several police officers, the Emergency Department of Cape Cod Healthcare, and the Behavioral Health Centers to explore better and more effective ways to handle Section 12 handoffs and mental health patients in general in the ED.  Some new ideas are being tested,  and the group will reconvene in May to discuss their effectiveness.  We have also worked to organize meetings between Bay Cove and Boston Medical Center (the providers contracted and sub contracted by DMH in the Southeast and Cape Cod privatization mandate) and groups of police departments based on the geography of the Cape. I also attended a citizens' group in Wellfleet whose goal is to support the police in bringing community resources together to provide services and hopefully alleviate problems.
As a result of some of these efforts, we are seeing police departments pulling together and working in groups to try to address these issues. It is very gratifying to observe these changes which come as a natural progression as the CCIT model of training began a few years ago with officers from Barnstable, Yarmouth, and Chatham going to Taunton to train with the CCIT team and learn not only the de-escalation techniques and the aspects and manifestations of mental illness, but also how to develop the community team of support.  The ultimate goal of the program is to place those needing help into treatment and not into the criminal justice system.
The Dennis Police Department had a CCIT training with the Taunton team last year and also started building their support team of which NAMI CC&I has been a part. These support teams also conduct Case Conferences, an opportunity for the service providers to work together to try to solve the problems of a particular individual.
NAMI CC&I has scheduled its second 2017 training for November 28, 29, and 30 and December 6 and 7. We hope that each department will continue to send a few more officers. NAMI CC&I is committed to funding and sponsoring this Taunton CCIT training model continuing the tradition started when Cape police departments first began training.
The Taunton CCIT team, a service of the non- profit Community Counseling of Bristol County, consisting of a Taunton police officer, two retired probation officers, and a policeman's wife, developed the CCIT model in 2001 and have been training police officers and social service workers in Massachusetts since 2003.  Trainings have taken place in Southeastern Massachusetts as well as Cambridge, Newton, and Brookline as well as Cape Cod. Around 1000 police, social workers, and court personnel have been trained including around 80 Cape Cod police officers.


From the desk of Mary Zdanowicz, Esq.

Thursday, April 13, 2017
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Hampton Inn
99 Route 28, West Yarmouth
These are turbulent times filled with uncertainty about future availability of mental health treatment and services. But remember ... You Are Not Alone. 
NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands is organizing an effort to raise awareness of the need for high quality mental health treatment and services on the Cape and Islands, as well as the challenges that families face everyday. 
To begin actively engaging families, the NAMI CC&I Advocacy Network is holding a social event on April 13th at  Hampton Inn & Suites in West Yarmouth at 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
This meeting will be welcoming, informative and focused on organizing families, so that together we can build a stronger community of support for our loved ones and for each other.
Led by Attorney Mary Zdanowicz, Advocacy Consultant, we will discuss:
  • What it means to network and advocate.
  • The importance of building a collective voice.
  • Upcoming issues of concern to families and individuals with serious mental illnesses:
    • Keeping the 45 beds at Taunton Psychiatric Hospital open next year.
    • Monitoring the privatization of DMH emergency services programs.
    • Improving community based mental health services on the Cape & Islands.
Join us for this informative social event. We'll have refreshments. All are welcome. You do not have to be a member of NAMI.  
If you have questions, send an email to 
or call 774-207-0822.
Mary Zdanowicz Nominated 
for NAMI National Board of Directors

I would like to thank the Board of Directors of NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands for nominating me as a candidate for the National Board of Directors of NAMI.
I have been a member of NAMI for more that twenty years. In 1998, I became the founding Executive Director of the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), which was initially affiliated with NAMI.
As Executive Director from 1998 to 2007, I worked closely with NAMI members around the country. I visited NAMI affiliates and learned about issues affecting community services, housing, state psychiatric hospitals, and the criminal justice system across the country. I partnered with NAMI members to draft legislation, testify before state legislatures and coordinate with stakeholders, such as law enforcement, the judiciary and homeless advocates.
I am grateful for the opportunity to represent NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands and I will advocate for the important role of families in caring for relatives with serious mental illnesses. 
ry using case studies, success stories, testimonials or examples of how others used your product or service successfully. Solicit material from clients and vendors, or ask your readers to write. It's a win-win! You get relevant content, and they get exposure.

Boston Globe Spotlight Update:
 As patients leave state care, safety is a concern

 The latest article from the Boston Globe Spotlight team's examination of the Commonwealth's mental health system illustrates the real world consequences of the drastic reductions in services for individuals with serious mental illnesses in recent years.

James Boyd Jr., one of the individuals in the Boston Globe story 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. The lack of inpatient care for individuals who need intensive treatment is a serious issue.

One quarter of the psychiatric hospitals beds in Massachusetts were closed over the last ten years. In 2007, there were 886 state hospital beds in Massachusetts. Today there are only 671 beds. Taunton Psychiatric Hospital nearly closed in 2012. Today, there are only 45 beds left.
Mr. Boyd's sister said her brother "fell through the cracks." A longtime DMH employee explained that "too many treatment decisions are being made because of numbers, not what is clinically appropriate." Today, some of the frontline mental health workers have no formal training and make less than clerical staff in the same programs.

DMH case management funding has been reduced by more than twenty-five percent since 2009, from $20 million to $15 million.

DMH describes the importance of its case management services as follows:
Approximately 25% of adult clients live with their families, and, for those who receive case management, a significant portion of case management activity is directed to supporting the family in maintaining the client at home.

Indeed, DMH case managers are seasoned professionals who provide invaluable services to families and individuals with the most serious mental illnesses. Sadly, today there are only six DMH case managers for the Cape & Islands - half as many as in 2008.

NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands is mobilizing families to advocate for more and improved services. Join us at the Advocacy Meeting on April 13, 2017. See announcement above

Monthly Book Review


 The Teenage Brain 
by Dr. Frances E. Jensen and Amy Ellis Nutt
        When I was a practicing pediatrician, I had the pleasure of seeing adolescent patients return in a few years with their own children.  On several occasions I was amazed at how some of these teens had transformed into such responsible, level-headed adults with good parenting skills.  Gone was the drama, the sometimes questionable choices and the lack of any future orientation.  This book has taught me much about the normal brain development during the teen and early adult years.

        Neuroscience has elucidated the developmental changes that occur during the adolescent years.  Three of these changes are continuing myelination of key parts of the brain, pruning of existing neuronal connections, and development of an increasing proportion of inhibitory neurons (nerve cells).  Myelination helps connect one  nerve cell to another. It is during  adolescence that the front part of the brain (frontal cortex) connects with the other areas of the brain.   The frontal cortex is the area of "executive function."  This is the part of the brain that exerts control over the impulses and actions of other parts of the brain.  It assesses risk, weighs options and makes decisions.

        Pruning is the loss of neurons and connections that are not needed and allows the brain to be more efficient.  In the preadolescent brain most nerve cells are excitatory (stimulate other cells to react).  During adolescence more inhibitory cells develop and help better control and "tone down" the activity of the brain.  These inhibitory cells are another important aspect of how executive functioning works.

        This book is primarily aimed at parents.  However, it can be valuable to both caregivers and teens, as well.  Several timely chapters discuss the effects of marijuana on the brain, the particular risk of the adolescent brain to addictive disorders, concussions, and the issue of criminal punishment.  Much of the work described in this book has lead to the understanding that teen offenders should not be dealt with in the same manner and system as adults.  The authors also stress the need for early identification and help for teens under significant stress and those with signs of mental illness.  Based on scientific research, the book provides useful advice for parents on how to best work with teens to understand and navigate through the ups and downs of adolescence.

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
Nantucket, our Grey Lady of the Sea, lived up to her reputation as wind, snow, and sleeting rain desperately kept her in winter mode. March can be a depressing time, but there is also hope in March, because Spring is on the horizon!  That is a good picture of NAMI on Nantucket networking with other mental health support systems on this island.   Hope and Help in the midst of challenging times!
Here is a glimpse of NAMI on Nantucket in March:
  • Our Family to Family course, taught by Sandy Kendall and Connie Voges, assisted by Caroline Ellis, continues to progress, touching multiple lives in the process.  We are excited to announce that FIVE members of the current F2F class will be going to teacher-training on April 1-2, so that they, too, can teach classes here on Nantucket.  We are so pleased that this will open our services to the Hispanic community.
  • Saturday, March 4 - Ruth Blount was privileged to attend a Family to Family workshop in Marlboro.  There were around fifty F2F teachers from all over Massachusetts.  It was great to network and learn, but the greatest benefit was meeting Norma Mora, from NAMI LATINO, who will be an incredible source of insight and encouragement for our future Spanish classes and support groups.
  • Sunday, March 12 - NAMI on Nantucket had a table at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital Pediatrics Fair.  As always, the chief benefit, besides progress in making NAMI a household word, is the networking.  We were privileged to meet Randy Wight, whose sister started NAMI and wrote the F2F course, way back when....  (and to whom we will always be grateful!)  We also made valuable connections with Gosnold Clinic clinicians, who are starting substance use/ mental health treatment here on Nantucket.  We also made arrangements to leave our brochures at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital.    
  • Thursday, March 23 - Eliza Williamson, who leads IOOV (In Our Own Voice) from NAMI MA visited Nantucket and met with several of our NAMI team over lunch.   She also presented her journey of mental health challenges to the Family to Family class that evening.  We were deeply touched by her story, her passion, and her work.  We are hoping that several people from the island will take IOOV training and plan to provide more services, not only to family and caregivers, but for people who have lived experience with mental illness themselves.
  • Friday, March 24 - Resource Fair sponsored by the Healthy Community Collaborative.  Our NAMI table was next to the Samaritans.  One heart-warming service they provide, which could inspire all of us, is their Senior Outreach --- volunteers to listen to lonely elderly community members with compassion and empathy.  What an amazing and vital community service!
  • Wednesday, March 29 -  Ruth Blount, along with Bryan Frascati, a clinician on the island, talked to three Nantucket High School health classes at the conclusion of their mental health unit.  Bryan shared the technical aspects of various diagnoses, and Ruth read letters written to the students from former NHS students who struggle with mental illness and are now in recovery.  As always, the aim was to educate, show how to find help, reduce stigma, and always provide hope.
  • GREAT news... we heard from the Nantucket Island Resort committee, that NAMI on Nantucket is one of the two recipients for their charity luncheon!  The money will be used as seed money (with matching funds from NAMI CC&I) for the David Glidden Travel Fund, which will help families with travel expenses when going off-island for mental health services.  THANK YOU to the Nantucket Island Resorts and to NAMI CC&I!  Their generosity will provide much-needed support for families facing tough mental health challenges. 
That's our March.  Spring is now here!

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.  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.'

If you are participating in Knitting for NAMI, please drop knitted panels at the NAMI office by April 21 so that we can bring them to A Great Yarn  as the NAMI contribution by April 30.

NAMI Collaborates...
    Kim Lemmon attended a Wellness Fair at Monomoy High School in Harwich on Wednesday, March 8th with other Cape Cod organizations to provide educational material to their students.  NAMI provided booklets and information to students to help them understand how to maintain good mental health, recognize behaviors that may indicate the need for help, and  where to go for help if needed.  
 Family-to-Family Teacher Training on Cape Cod

We are delighted to report  a Cape & Islands sponsored Family-to-Family teacher training will be held in West Yarmouth on April 1 and 2.  We expect to certify 17 new teachers from all areas of the Cape as well as Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.  We are especially excited to be training a Spanish-speaking team from Nantucket, the first ever in this area which will allow us to reach our previously unreachable Spanish-speaking families.  Kudos to all who helped make this training possible!

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 next meeti ng is: 
          Tuesday evening April 18  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.

'                                               BUILDING WHOLENESS' WORKSHOP                                                                                                          
                                                                        BEGINNING APRIL 12, 2017
                                                                                12:30PM - 3:30PM


Come begin a new journey this April.  Challenge your existing views of mental illness and healing by joining us for this engaging workshop offered by Dance in the Rain.

This brand-new program is truly peer developed.  Written in a language that peers can relate to deepen group discussion to further their understanding of mental health challenges and true healing.
Workshop limited to 6 - 8 participants.  Workshop and all materials are free of charge.

To sign send an email to or call/text 508-364-4045 leave a message
'Healing is becoming what you were created to be and shedding what the world has made you'


   Walk for NAMI  May 13, 2017 in Boston

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. 

If you are interested in working on a committee to organize the Walk on 
May 13,  please contact Kim Lemmon at 508-778-4277. 

Sign up to be on the Cape & Islands Team at:

Transportation will be dependent upon participation.

A cake to celebrate the last class of the Hyannis Family-to-Family...because, as co- leader Karen Santos says " the participants are the real heroes"

Mark Your Calendars: 

New Support Group in Wellfleet
4 th Tuesday of the month    6:00 - 7:30 pm  at the Preservation Hall
For more information, call 508-778-4277 or email
As with all NAMI support groups, this is a drop-in--you do not have to register in advance

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!

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

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.  
Family to Family Courses
There will be a F2F class beginning  in April. in Wellfleet.   
T entative classes at this point are  Barnstable and Bourne this Summer; Ptown in the late Fall; Mashpee in the Fall and Nantucket TBD.    If you are interested, call the office or email  508-778-4277 or  508-221-6202

Save the Dates:
     + April 3 - Advocacy Day at the State House
     + MAY is Mental Health Month
     + 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!