October 24, 2017

In This Issue
Quote of the Week:

"Can you imagine spending years without having regular social interactions or without full access to basic human activities like showering and exercising? When did it become O.K. to lock up someone who is severely mentally ill and let the demons chase him around in the cell?  "
-Rick Raemisch, executive director, Colorado Department of Corrections
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Click here for more information on our 2017 Education Conference.

NAMI-NYS is excited to use this edition of the E-News to announce our 2017 award recipients; you will also find several examples of the recipients' work. This issue also takes an in-depth look at the one-year anniversary of Deborah Danner's death and the debate on how to prevent more deaths of people living with a mental illness at the hands of police. Also included is several news articles featuring NIMH Director, Dr. Joshua Gordon.

We also want to remind our readers that these are the final days to register for the conference at the early-bird rate.  

As always, we want to know about the work you are doing.
Please email  Matthew@NAMINYS.org with details and pictures about your work. This way we can feature it in the E-News and print Newsletter. Showcasing your work will allow others to learn from you, and that's the best way we can grow together as an organization. 

Hope Starts With You!

NAMI-NYS Announces  2017 Award Recipients 

NAMI-NYS has already introduced our readers to the Leaders of Mental Health Awareness who will be honored at the   Ron Powers, Keith O'Neil and Matt Butler. We are proud to now announce the full list of 2017 NAMI-NYS honorees. The 2017 NAMI-NYS Award Winners are:

NAMI NYC Staten Island
NAMI Orange County NY

United States Representative John Katko (R-NY-24) 

Sidney Hankerson, MD, New York State Psychiatric Institute
LT. Willie Flack III, Albany Police Department
Erin Billups, NY1 News
Sean Tuckey, Stratton VA
Paul Klein, NAMI Rensselaer
Stella Lemel, NAMI Westchester
Christine Vanasse, NAMI Rockland
Ceceile McIntosh Green

Click here to learn more about the tremendous work of all our 2017 award winners. All awards will be presented at the    Intervention, Engagement, Implementation: Three Pronged Approach to Sustainable Mental Health Recovery taking place November 10-12, at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.

Final Days to Receive Early Bird Registration Rates

Tomorrow, October 25th is the final day to register for the Education Conference and receive the early-bird rate.

Click here to view an updated version of the full agenda.

Click here to learn more about CEU opportunities.

Click here to register for the conference.  

NAMI Rochester's Jessica Henderson Memorial Event-
A Huge Success
Clockwise from top: Tom Henderson, NAMI-NYS President Judy Watt MSRN, NAMI-NYS's Matthew Shapiro and Kathy Henderson, Henderson Spirit Award winner Tom Wiktorski, Mike Veny, Henderson Spirit Award winner Maeve Reed with Tom Henderson

NAMI Rochester held their 16th Annual Jessica Henderson Memorial Event on October 17th. More than 300 people attended the event which honors Jessica Henderson, a young-woman who lost her life to mental illness. The evening's keynote speaker was Mike Veny, who gave an inspiring presentation. Jessica's father, Tom Henderson, presented the annual Henderson Spirit awards to Maeve Reed and the Wiktorski family, who have done tremendous work raising mental health and suicide awareness in local high schools and in the community as a whole. 

This year's event was held at Pennfield High School, which has had several student suicides in the last year and a half. NAMI Rochester has partnered with the school in the aftermath of these tragedies providing, Ending the Silence presentations and other services.

NAMI-NYS Board Member Named Woman of Distinction
by New York State Assembly
Ellen Ritz with Assemblyman Ed Ra

On October 7, New York State Assemblyman Ed Ra presented Ellen Ritz, Acting President of NAMI Queens/Nassau and NAMI-NYS Board Member, with an award proclaiming her to be a "Woman of Distinction." The award recognizes individuals who give exemplary service and help their communities grow and flourish through their vision, dedication and drive.

In presenting the award, Assemblymen Ra noted Ellen's service as Acting President of NAMI Queens/Nassau, her role as a member of NAMI New York State's Board of Directors, her teaching of Family to Family courses throughout the year, and her creating and leading the Whole Family Support Group.  In addition, the presentation cited Ellen's career as a Registered Nurse, her leadership role in Temple Beth Sholom's Sisterhood, serving as Treasurer of Roslyn Hadassah, her six years on the East Williston Board of Education, and service on the East Williston Beautification Committee.

NAMI-NYS Participates in Albany County-Wide
CIT Training
Albany County's Katie Flanagan, Lt. Willie Flack and Matthew Shapiro

On October 20th, NAMI-NYS provided the family/consumer perspective at the CIT training conducted by Albany County and the Albany Police Department. The training was co-led by 2017 NAMI-NYS Criminal Justice Award winner Lt. Willie Flack, III. Almost 40 officers attended the training from more than five different departments. 
Listen to NAMI NYC Staten Island Podcast

One of the reasons NAMI NYC Staten Island was selected as the 2017 NAMI-NYS Affiliate of the Year relates to the new and unique ways they have developed of raising awareness of mental illness. This includes their podcast series. 

The latest features Edith Scheie, a Staten Island native, who has volunteered for NAMI for many years. With the support of NAMI NYC Staten Island, she started the first support group on Staten Island for people with psychiatric diagnoses. Since 2007, she has been doing In Our Own Voice presentations and speaking to members of the community about mental health issues. Her interests, in addition to mental health, include journal writing, reading, embroidery, and music, which she studied from the age of 7 to the age of 20.. She played Carnegie Hall, as well as other venues around the tri-state area.

Click here to listen. 

Executive Directors from New York State Attend NAMI Executive Training

Last week, NAMI held it's executive training and among those participating were the executive directors of NAMI NYC Metro, Matt Kudish and NAMI Westchester, Sharon McCarthy who are pictured above.  
NAMI-NYS Congratulates Our Newest 
Family-to-Family Training

NAMI-NYS hosted a Family to Family training session in Albany October 20-22nd, led by Pam Solomon and Geraldine Burton.  Congratulations to the participants and thank you for being willing to lend your time and talent to helping others by becoming Family to Family teachers!

Action Alert

Voice Your Support for Bipartisan Healthcare Solutions

Throughout the year, we've asked Congress to stop health reform efforts that would hurt Americans with mental illness-and we've urged them to forge bipartisan solutions to stabilize the health insurance markets.
We have good news: Congress listened.
Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) announced a bipartisan agreement to help keep insurance markets sound and more affordable. If this bill passes, it will help protect mental health coverage for Americans with mental illness.
The Alexander-Murray bill will also keep vital patient protections in place, including stopping health plans from:
  • Dropping coverage of mental health and substance use
  • Charging higher premiums if an individual has a preexisting condition, like depression or anxiety
  • Charging more simply because a person has a mental health or substance use condition
The Alexander-Murray bill will strengthen and stabilize the health care system, reducing the risk of sharp premium increases and lack of insurance options. It maintains important cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies and financial assistance, which help low- and middle-income people pay for out-of-pocket costs and insurance premiums.
Your continued advocacy matters.  TAKE ACTION!
Click here to contact your senators and tell them to support this bipartisan effort and protect mental health coverage for millions of Americans.

New York News
On the One Year Anniversary of the Death of
 Deborah Danner Questions About Police Procedures and the
Mental Health System Remain
Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Deborah Danner, a woman in the Bronx living with schizophrenia who was killed by police.  Mayor Bill de Blasio called the killing "unacceptable" and remarked that Danner "didn't have to die." However, just a few weeks ago, Miguel Richards, who had a mental illness, was also killed by officers.

CIT training arrived in NYC as part of an Action Plan issued in 2014 by Mayor de Blasio's Taskforce on Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice. Unfortunately, follow-up on most of initiatives in the Action Plan has been uneven and difficult to track. This has sparked a lot of debate about what is needed to address this issue in New York City. On the one-year anniversary of Danner's death, the New York Daily News featured two opinion pieces on the matter.

DJ Jaffe, Executive Director of MentalIllnessPolicy.org, argues that we should be focusing on the failures of the mental health system, not the failures of police. "We'd have fewer Deborah Danner-type tragedies if advocates focused their fire not on the cops, but on the chronic failures of our horribly inadequate mental health system. The reality is that police step in only after the mental health system fails. And it frequently fails. According to the NYPD inspector general, there were 157,000 911 calls for emotionally disturbed persons in 2016. A mayoral task force reported that the mentally ill now fill 38% of all city jail cells. The city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene admits 90,000 city residents with serious mental illness received zero treatment in 2015. Those are examples of mental health system failures, not police failures." Jaffe also believes an AOT order may have saved Danner's life. Click here to read the full piece

Steve Coe, CEO of Community Access argues that CIT training is not enough. "In addition to training, a crucial component of the CIT model is the establishment of community diversion centers, which are staffed with health and social service resources. Instead of a hectic ER or precinct house, people in crisis are given a chance to calm down, get some sleep, and talk to trained staff, who are often "peers" with a shared experience. When done right, these services offer expedited access to critically needed housing, as well as psychiatric, financial, and other supports... The criminal justice system should not be in the business of mental health care, but all too often it, along with the officers on the front line, becomes the "provider" of last resort. Reforming this system will save millions of dollars spent on ineffective custodial care and settlement payments to victims and their families." Click here to read the full piece.

NAMI-NYS believes both Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Coe are correct, CIT trainings alone will not fix this situation. We also agree with both that reforms are certainly needed within the mental health system. However, while Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Coe propose different solutions for the problem, NAMI-NYS does not believe their ideas are mutually exclusive. NAMI-NYS believes that we need both stronger support services such as AOT for those with the most serious and persistent forms of mental illness and we need more community services as criminal justice diversion programs can only be successful if there is a proper place to divert people to. 

The 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will have a criminal justice focus track with sessions on CIT, improving mental health inside correctional facilities and detailing how NAMI-NYS and our affiliates are serving as a resource to the criminal justice system.

URMC Expanding Child/Adolescent Mental Health Care

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) is expanding space and services for outpatient child and adolescent mental health care. Tom Golisano pledged $5 million for construction of the new Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness Center. UR Medical Center is matching Golisano's gift to pay for the $10 million building. A diverse team will staff the Center, including child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, nurses, and more. Easier access to outpatient care is expected to reduce the demand for psychiatric emergency and inpatient programs. The new space will allow for expansion of "Partial Hospital" - a program where patients spend the day in treatment but go home at night.

Click here to learn more. 

Make the Voices of Recovery Count in New York State
Friends of Recovery - New York (FOR-NY) needs your help in distributing the FOR-NY  Life in Recovery Survey. The survey will help FOR-NY identify current needs, strengths and gaps in addiction and recovery services and supports for individuals and families in recovery.

The critical information gathered will help  pinpoint resources needed by individuals, families, friends and allies to the recovery community in order to make important recommendations to legislators and policy makers to improve the quality of addiction services and recovery supports provided to thousands of New Yorkers.
Survey takers should be at least one of the following:
  • ·A person in recovery
  • ·A family member of someone with an addiction
  • ·A family member who has lost someone to an addiction
  • ·A professional in the addiction / recovery field
For additional information, please contact Allison Weingarten FOR-NY Director of Policy, by email at  aweingarten@for-ny.org or by phone at (518) 487-4395 X22. 

Click here to take the survey. 

National News
Senate Moves Ahead on Budget with 
Medicare, Medicaid Cuts

The Senate is moving ahead on a Republican budget plan, a critical step in President Donald Trump and the party's politically imperative drive to cut taxes and simplify the IRS code.

The nonbinding budget plan would permit Republicans to pass follow-up tax cuts later this year that would cost up to $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. The plan cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate on a party-line vote of 50-47. The budget plan calls for $5 trillion in spending cuts over the decade, including cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and the Obama-era health care law, though Republicans have no plans to actually impose those cuts with follow-up legislation.

Click here to read more. 

Why We Ended Long-Term Solitary Confinement 
in Colorado

In an opinion piece that was featured in the New York Times, Rick Raemisch, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, explained why the state ended long-term solitary confinement. Raemisch says he began questioning the practice of "administrative segregation," which would regularly keep someone confined to a cell the size of a parking spot for up to two and a half years, when he took office in 2013.

"Can you imagine spending years without having regular social interactions or without full access to basic human activities like showering and exercising? When did it become O.K. to lock up someone who is severely mentally ill and let the demons chase him around in the cell? What is wrong with us? I asked," said Raemisch. Colorado ended the practice this past September. 

Click here to read more.   

NIMH Director in the News

NIMH Director, Dr. Joshua Gordon has been featured in a couple of news articles in the past weeks. 

Click here to read an article from the Washington Post where Dr. Gordon discusses his thoughts on the future of the Institute.

Click here to read an article from the Huffington Post where Dr. Gordon discusses the link between Opioid overdoses and suicides.

Clinical Trial Recruitment

The primary purpose of this research study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the oral drug AV-101 (an antagonist of the glycine receptor) versus placebo. The study aims to determine if this experimental drug has antidepressant effects and fewer side effects than other novel treatments for depression.
We are enrolling moderately depressed individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 with hard-to-treat major depressive disorder. This inpatient study lasts up to 14 weeks and procedures include a medication taper, taking the research drug, taking placebo and 4 brain imaging scans. Optional procedures include a lumbar puncture and catheter placement in the spine two times. After completing the study, participants receive short-term follow-up care at the NIH while transitioning back to a provider.
The study is conducted at theNIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and enrolls eligible participants from across the USA. Travel arrangements are provided and costs are covered by NIMH (arrangements vary by distance). There is no cost to participate and compensation is provided.
To find out if you qualify,  send an email to moodresearch@mail.nih.gov ,
 or call 1-877-646-3644 (1-877-MIND-NIH [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

As is our tradition, the 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference, will once again feature an Update on NIMH research. This year, we are thrilled to welcome  Kathleen R Merikangas, Ph.D, Chief of NIMH's Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch. Dr. Merikangas will present on her landmark community-based family study of affective spectrum disorders and their overlap with other mental disorders and medical disorders such as migraine and cardiovascular disease.

Click here to register for the conference. 
   There is still time to support

If you are one of the thousands of people who received education and/or support from NAMI-NYS thus past year or if you believe in NAMI-NYS's mission of providing help and hope to communities in all corners of the state, then we ask that you please support our NAMIWalks Efforts. 

Even if you couldn't join us for the walk please consider making a donation to our NAMIWalks effort by clicking here

See Pictures from NAMIWalks NYS

Click here to see pictures from NAMIWalks NYS on Facebook.
Save the Dates

Click here to learn more and register for the 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference-
Engagement, Implementation, Internvention: Three Pronged Approach to Sustainable Mental Health Recovery, taking place November 10-12 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.

OCTOBER 26-NAMI Staten Island will be holding their 27th Annual Awards Celebration. This year's honorees are:
-Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City
-Rosanne Gaylor, MD, Executive Director of South Beach Psychiatric Center (retired)
Russell Joffee, MD, Chair, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Staten Island University Hospital Northwell Health
Pete Shiffman, RN, Nurse Administrator, South Beach Psychiatric Center, President, NAMI Staten Island

The event will begin at 6pm at LiGreci's Staaten, 697 Forest Ave. Staten Island NY, 10310 Click here for more information and Email Joan Rowley to register. 

OCTOBER 26- Capital District Psychiatric Center, Inpatient Discharge Services & Best Practices Presented By Chris Tosado, LCSW-R CDPC Social Work Supervisor. Thursday October 26th at  5:00 pm - 7:30 pm in the CDPC Family Resource Center. 75 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY.There will be time for Questions and Answers as well as support services after the presentation.For more information or to register contact: Frank Greco, Director of Family Services (518) 549-6816
Click here to download flyer

OCTOBER 27-Northern Rivers presents the second part of their two-part symposium on psychosis, Who Said the Voices Aren't Real?
Part 2: Hearing Voices: An Experiential Learning Workshop
Friday, October 27
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (If demand warrants, a 1:00 p.m. workshop will be added)
Sidney Albert Training and Research Institute (SATRI)
60 Academy Rd, Albany, NY 12208 
The workshop is limted to 40 participants.
In this 3 hour workshop, participants will learn about the experience of hearing distressing voices through didactics and using headphones to listen to a specially designed recording. During this simulated experience of hearing voices, participants undertake a series of tasks including social interaction in the community, and mock psychiatric interview. The simulation experience is followed by a debriefing and discussion period. Watch a video clip of Pat Deegan, the developer of the hearing voices simulation, describing the process.
*Please note that this training is not recommended for individuals who hear voices as the simulation experience can be triggering.
OCTOBER 28-Healthy Minds Empowerment Conference. from  8:00 AM-2:00 PM at  Medaille College 18 Agassiz Cir, Buffalo, NY 14214. For Teens (7th-12th grade), Parents & Teen Leaders.Questions about this event may be directed to Ann Venuto, President of NAMI Buffalo annvenuto@gmail.com /(716) 689-1159, or Josephine Cross, Chairman of the Health Promotion Committee of AKA Gamma Phi Omega Chapter akagpo@gmail.com / (716) 636-3014. Click here for more information. Join us for a day of free workshops to explore the emotional and mental well being of youth and to empower youth and adults who care for them. *Free Breakfast & Lunch

NOVEMBER 2nd-Join NAMI Queens/Nassau for a Conversation with Senator John Brooks, the Ranking Member of the Senate Mental Health Committee, who will be an honored guest at the Conversation and other NY State Legislators from Queens & Nassau

NAMIQN is honored and pleased to invite you to a Conversation with NY State Legislators. We have invited every State Senator and Assembly member from Queens and Nassau to attend. We will speak with legislators about such important topics as housing, Case Management, Assisted Outpatient Treatment, Revolving Door Mental Health Care, Support for people with dual diagnoses, and other topics about which the legislators need to be informed.
T he event will begin at 7:00 P.M. at The Shelter Rock Unitarian Universalist Congregation located at 48 Shelter Rock Road in Manhasset.
Please let us know you are coming to help make a difference!

NOVEMBER 8th-OMH to Host Statewide Virtual Town Hall Featuring   Commissioner Ann Marie Sullivan, M.D, from  1:00 to 3:00 p.m. She will be presenting and taking feedback on several key priorities under the OMH Strategic Plan.
The town hall will be held online via WebEx  to maximize access for public participation, with one site at OMH Central Office for attendees who are unable to access the event online.
This event will provide the public an opportunity to learn more about the OMH vision for the future, including progress on the Commissioner's top policy and planning priorities presented at last year's town hall. Comments and questions can be presented both online and live for those attending at the OMH site.
Click here to register for the Town Hall

NOVEMBER 14th -The Brain and Behaviroral Research Foundation hosts their free monthly Q&A webinar series: Research Updates: Improving Functioning in Schizophrenia
Presented by: Stephen R. Marder, M.D. University of California, Los Angeles Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Director, Section on Psychosis, 2016 Lieber Prizewinner for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research
Moderated by: Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.

2:00pm-3:00pm EST
Patients with psychotic illnesses are usually interested in treatments that relieve active symptoms and improve their abilities to function at work, school, and in their everyday lives. This webinar will provide an overview of recent research on pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to improving functioning.
Join by phone or on the web: bbrfoundation.org/novemberwebinar
DECEMBER 3-5: Better Outcomes at the Intersection of Mental Health and Criminal Justice Conference. The Institute for Behavioral Healthcare Improvement (IBHI) is hosting a national conference December 3 - 5 in Miami, Fla. With support from the Mental Health Foundation, the conference will showcase the remarkable progress that can be achieved when community leaders, public safety officials and other stakeholders work together to better coordinate efforts and integrate programs to  improve outcomes for people with behavioral health treatment needs. Full agenda  and registration at www.ibhi.net. 

DECEMBER 12-The Brain and Behaviroral Research Foundation hosts their free monthly Q&A webinar series: Robert Lowell: Courage, Genius, and Bipolar Disorder
Presented by: Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders, Professor of Psychiatry, 2010 NARSAD Productive Lives Award
Moderated by: Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.

2:00pm-3:00pm EST
Robert Lowell, one of the greatest of American poets, had particularly devastating bipolar disorder. The webinar will discuss his illness and its relationship to his genius, as well as the role Lowell's enormous discipline and courage played in his life and writing.
Join by phone or on the web:

Signature Programs

NOVEMBER 1-NAMI-NYC Metro Basics. Wednesdays, November 1st-December 6, 6:00 pm- 8:30 pm at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi (212)684-3365 x 203 / parent@naminyc.org.

NOVEMBER 2-NAMI NYC Metro Basics. Thursdays, November 2nd - December 7th, 10:00 am-12:30 pm at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi at (212) 684-3365 x 203 / parent@naminyc.org. 

NOVEMBER 3-NAMI-NYC Metro Basics (SPANISH SPEAKING) Fridays, November 3rd - December 8th, 10:00 am-12:30 pm at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi at (212) 684-3365 x 203 / parent@naminyc.org. 


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