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We hope all of our readers had a happy Thanksgiving. This week's edition of the E-News comes at a historic juncture as mental health reform is advancing as part of the federal 21st Century Cures Act. The House passed the bill earlier this week and a Senate vote is expected shortly. You can read more about this in the NAMI News section. This edition also has pictures from our 2016 Education Conference and information about the 2016-2017 NAMI-NYS Board of Directors.
As always, we want to know about the work you are doing. Please email
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.
Thank You to All Who Made the 2016 NAMI-NYS Education
A Tremendous Success!!!
The 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference was a huge success. Attendees were treated to an informative and inspiring weekend, which not only provided the latest information on psychiatric research and treatment but also showcased the incredible work being done by NAMI-NYS affiliates and members. It was also gratifying to see increased diversity at the conference both through multicultural perspectives as well as a broader young adult voice.
to view an album of photographic highlights from the conference on Facebook. You don't need a Facebook account to view the album, but we do encourage all readers to like and follow our Facebook page.
NAMI-NYS Names New Board Officers
Following the Educational Conference, which also included elections for the NAMI-NYS Board of Directors, the new Board met to elect officers. The Board selected:
- Judith Watt, MSRN-President
- William Perun-1st Vice President
- Evelyne Tropper, PhD-2nd Vice President
- Ceceile McIntosh Green-Secretary
- Sue Gagne-Treasurer
Jayette Lansbury was also welcomed back to the Board at Sunday's meeting. NAMI-NYS would like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing Board members Sigfrido Benitez, Annie Romero Wright and Mary Lou Barry for their three years of service to NAMI-NYS. Their contributions to NAMI-NYS as members of the Board of Directors are much appreciated and will continue to be felt well into the future.
NAMI-NYS to Co-Host Screening of Buried Above Ground
On December 14
, NAMI-NYS, in conjunction with the Stratton VA, will be screening the film Buried Above Ground, a documentary about PTSD. Following the film, we will be presenting a panel of experts to discuss PTSD, with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. The event is free to the public and will take place at the Albany Barn at 56 Second Street in Albany, beginning at 1:30 pm.
NAMI-NYS Holds NAMIWalks NYS Appreciation Dinner
(top) Three of the four leading NAMIWalks NYS Fundraisers, Dawn Balek, Matthew Shapiro and Pam Slotsky receive their NAMIWalks fleece jackets (bottom) attendees at dinner.
On December 1st, NAMI-NYS held an appreciation dinner for the leading NAMIWalks NYS fundraisers and volunteers. NAMI-NYS is tremendously grateful to all who participated and volunteered to make the inaugural NAMIWalks NYS a success. We look forward to building on this success with our 2nd Annual NAMIWalks NYS scheduled for September 23rd.
NAMI Reports on Mental Health Reforms Contained in 21st Century Cures Act Legislation
On Wednesday November 30th, the House passed H.R. 34 by a stunning vote of 392-26. Widely referred to as the 21st Century Cures Act, the bill includes provisions from the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016 (H.R. 2646) and from S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. It also contains language from S. 2002, the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 and from S. 993, the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, promoting de-escalation training and diverting people with mental illness to treatment instead of incarceration.
Mental health reform legislation (H.R. 2646) passed the House in July of this year, but the Senate's bill (S. 2680) had stalled. In recent weeks, the House and Senate negotiated compromise language on mental health and
criminal justice reform that was incorporated into H.R. 34. Because of this, the Senate is expected to vote on the new language with little or no changes.
"One out of five Americans experience a mental health condition each year and at least half of them do not get the care they need," said NAMI Chief Executive Officer Mary Giliberti. "Mental illness affects
everyone - individuals, family members, veterans, first responders. We applaud the passage of HR 34 as a solid start to advancing mental health care for all Americans and call on the U.S. Senate to swiftly
follow with a strong bipartisan vote to send this legislation on to the President."
to read NAMI's full memo on the legislation and
to read NAMI's press release of the House passage.
You can also
to send a letter to your Senators urging them to pass the bill.
Report: Bellevue Restrains Mentally Ill Patients
Excessively & Erratically
Lawyers from a watchdog agency and the state Mental Hygiene Legal Service say they've found that patients on the psychiatric units at Bellevue hospital in Manhattan are physically restrained and forcibly injected with sedatives at dramatically higher rates than patients at other public hospitals in the city. They also found that the hospital allegedly under-reports these incidents, in apparent violation of state policy directives and federal law.
Disability Rights New York, a federally mandated watchdog, released a report earlier this month showing the rates of restraint use and forced intramuscular sedative injections at Bellevue.
Pete Earley Reports on Congressional Reaction to 21st Century Cures Act
Reporter and leading mental health advocate Pete Earley detailed how Senators & House Members are reacting to the mental health reforms contained in the 21st Century Cures Act. One of the most interesting quotes comes from Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) who authored the
Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act which spearheaded federal mental health reform. Among other things, Rep. Murphy said
"We didn't get everything we needed but we needed everything we did get."
Click here to read the latest Update from NIMH.
Molecular Tool Parses Social Fear Circuit Intertwined with Aggression Hub
In its debut performance, a powerful new genetic engineering tool has revealed secrets of functionally distinct brain circuits for social fear and aggression in mice. This, even though these sets of neurons seem hopelessly intertwined. The tool, called CANE (Capturing Activated Neuronal Ensembles), helps trace distinct pathways embedded within the brain's spaghetti-like wiring.
NIMH's Francis McMahon, M.D., Awarded Prestigious
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is pleased to announce that Francis McMahon, M.D., has been named a recipient of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation's 2016 Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research. Dr. McMahon is Chief of the Human Genetics Branch at NIMH. He came to the Institute in 2002 to establish a new genetics unit within the Intramural Research Program. Dr. McMahon's mission at NIMH has been the identification of genes that contribute to the risk for mood and anxiety disorders so that better methods of diagnosis and treatment can be developed.
Research Study Recruitment: Depression in Teenagers
Study seeks to understand the causes of depression in teenagers. As part of a larger study looking at mood dysregulation, this part of the study is currently recruiting , medically healthy teenager ages 12 to 17, who meet the criteria for major depressive disorder, and are in treatment with a physician. Study participation begins with an initial 1-day evaluation. Research visits may include annual outpatient visits up to age 25, and/or a 4- to 15-week inpatient treatment. Call 1-301-496-8381 For more information Email
to visit the study webpage.
DECEMBER 13-Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist: Neuroinflammatory Hypotheses of Depression, presented byYvette I. Sheline, MD.