December 4th, 2015
In This Issue

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NAMI-NYS Helps Generate Positive
Mental Health Advancements

2015 is coming to an end with a great deal of legislative action impacting mental health and NAMI-NYS has been right in the middle of it.

Two weeks ago, Governor Cuomo signed the Mental Health Public Awareness/Tax Check-Off bill into law. NAMI-NYS members flooded the Governor's office urging him to sign the bill. Thank you to all who took action on this.

Earlier this week, NAMI-NYS and our colleagues at the Mental Health Association met with Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, the sponsor of bill A.2553a, which empowers community boards to block potential housing for people with mental illness. NAMI-NYS staunchly opposes this bill. After listening to our concerns Assemblyman Benedetto has agreed to kill the bill. This represents a major victory for people living with a mental illness.

This past Monday A836/S663 was delivered to the Governor's desk. This bill would mandate correction officers and prison staff receive annual training to best address inmates living with a mental illness. NAMI-NYS strongly endorses this bill and urges our readers to call Governor Cuomo and tell him to sign this bill. Click here to view our Action Alert on this.  

On Wednesday, December 2nd, NAMI-NYS provided testimony to the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Correction Public Hearing on Oversight and Investigations of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Click here to read the testimony.

With your help, we can end 2015 on a high note and set the stage for more historic reforms in 2016 which will create a more mentally healthy and just New York State. NAMI-NYS will be sending out more advocacy information in the coming weeks.

There is still time to support NAMI-NYS's advocacy efforts by donating to our Giving Tuesday Campaign. Click here to make a donation.

NAMI Queens/Nassau's Friendship Network Featured by  New York Newsday

The Friendship Network, an innovative program of  NAMI-NYS's 2015 Affiliate of the Year, NAMI Queens/Nassau, was recently featured in New York Newsday in a three-page feature. The program provides a social group for people living with a mental illness. Click here to read an online version of the feature .

NAMI Rochester Holds NAMI WALK 
Kick-Off Event 

Great food, music, a photo area and a chance to meet community partners were all a part of the kick off event for the Rochester NAMIWalks held Tuesday, December 1, at the Village Gate. NAMI-NYS Executive Director Wendy Burch and Vice-President Mary Lou Barry attended the event along with National NAMIWalks Director Charles "Ebbie" Alfree and National Walk Manager Kris Eschman.

The 2016 Rochester NAMIWalks will be held on May 7 at the Village Gate Square.  Special thanks to Premier Sponsor Stern Properties for their continued support and providing a wonderful venue for the walk!  This walk travels around the Neighborhood of the Arts, part of Rochester's cultural district, and provides walkers a chance to see some of the sights in town while supporting NAMI Rochester!

Sponsors, teams, volunteers and other participants are always needed.  To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Walk Manager Kristina Mossgraber at 585-520-8380 or by email at .

NAMI Executive Director Details 
"A Game Changer for Mental Health"
In her most recent blog, NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti discusses a game changer for mental health. She details a recent article in the magazine "The American Journal of Psychiatry" which disseminates research findings explaining how early discovery of a psychosis and subsequent treatment substantially improves the outcomes of patients. Mary explains how, unfortunately, the record for early identification of psychosis is abysmal in the U.S. compared to how it's handled in the U.K. A distinction we should not ignore.

Click here to read Mary's blog.

NAMI Wants to Know How Your Insurance 
is Working For You

In pursuit of improving mental health insurance coverage NAMI is conducting research on the quality of care people are receiving through a survey titled "Coverage 4 Care." The type of insurance you have doesn't matter.  Further research is clearly needed after NAMI previously published a report showing the extreme difficulty finding insurance for the coverage you need and it's cost, which is frequently due to the non-standardized language of various plans. Have your insurance choices been difficult? Is your coverage substandard? We need your help by completing our survey and sharing this survey via your social media links. The survey closes on December 14th.

Click here to participate in the survey.

New York State News
Mothers, Experts Plead for Oversight of 
New York's Prison System

As mentioned in the NAMI-NYS News section, on Wednesday December 2 there was a hearing on corrections. Appearing before the Assembly Corrections Committee several corrections experts and mothers of inmates testified that New York needs far better oversight of its prison system through an independent, autonomous new agency where prisoners and their families could register their concerns. Bolstering their case was testimony citing mentally ill inmates who had been abused, improperly isolated in solitary confinement and even killed. Opposition to the bill was voiced by the prison guards union by declining to have guards testify and accusing the committee chair Daniel O'Donnell of bias.

This hearing is making national news, click here to read the AP account from a newspaper in Kentucky.

National News
M ental Health Bill Collides with Guns - Again

An attempt at creating a comprehensive mental health bill is expected to run into opposition from the gun lobby. In the House of Representatives, House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to push ahead with HR.2646, The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Though the bill has bi-partisan support the attempt to combine mental health legislation with gun control could thwart its progress. 

Click here to read more.

NFL Players Talk Openly to Help Destigmatize 
Mental Illness

National Football League player Arian Foster discusses his struggle with mental illness attempting to help destigmatize mental illness. Mr. Foster, a running back with the Houston Texans, has joined forces with New York Jets' Brandon Marshall's Project 375, a nonprofit organization with the mission to destigmatize mental illnesses and disorders. Both Foster and Marshall were faced with losing their careers, family and health and were reluctant to address their illnesses due to the stigma associated with mental illness, yet have achieved improved mental health working with Project 375. Foster's passion for Project 375 is also linked through his sister who is bi-polar.

Click here to read more.

Dear Media: People With Mental Illness Are Not Monsters - Stop Making Them Look Like They Are

Rachel Griffin, Composer/Lyricist, Singer/Pianist, Educator, Student and Mental Health advocate writes a scathing blog entry in the Huffington Post that is both personally touching and frightening for many. In her blog entry Ms. Griffin illustrates the "near" criminal negligence of media in their one dimensional coverage of the mentally ill which frequently portrays the mentally as freaks, dangerous or violent. For people living with a mental illness, this stigma can make accepting their diagnosis more difficult and lead to reluctance in seeking help. Ms. Griffin makes clear that the cost of media coverage of the mentally ill too often comes at their expense.

Click here to read more.

Healing Magazine Dedicates Issue to Military Families Includes Article on Children's Mental Health

More than 700,000 U.S. children under age six have or have had an active-duty parent, and some have had two. Young children may be especially affected by a parent's deployment, because of their emotional dependence on adults and susceptibility to high levels of stress. Click here to read more about these children and how to support them in an article in Healing Magazine by Child Trends' David Murphey.


NIMH Update

Click here to read the latest Update from NIMH.

NIMH Researchers Among Those Calling for Global Response to Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

The alarming and rising health, economic and social burdens associated with mental health and substance-use disorders call for the prioritization of research that can inform a global response. Recently, global health experts, including NIMH's Dr. Beverly Pringle, recommend priorities for research - as well as guiding principles for integrative approaches that will advance knowledge and answer the most pressing local and global mental health questions and needs

Click here to read more.

Click here to view  an interactive map that shows the growth in global research on mental health and substance abuse in the past 25 years

Participate in a NIMH Research Study
Bipolar Disorder (Pediatric)

Treatment of Severe Mood Dysregulation, SMD

(Inpatient: 12- to 15 weeks) This study tests the efficacy of different treatments for decreasing irritability in children with severe mood and behavioral problems. Participants have symptoms of severe irritability and are not doing well on their current medications. The child must be currently in treatment with a physician, medically healthy and not currently hospitalized, psychotic or suicidal. The study includes day or full hospitalization to discontinue medication, followed by either methylphenidate plus citalopram, or methylphenidate plus placebo. Recruiting ages 7-17. [09-M-0034]

For more information on research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD click here

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