This week's edition of the E-News comes at a historic juncture as the Senate passed the federal 21st Century Cures Act. This is the culmination of years of advocacy to reform the mental health system. NAMI-NYS members have played a pivotal role projecting our advocacy voice calling for federal action. However, as this edition also detail, many challenges lay ahead on the federal level as threats to Medicaid and Obamacare loom and could severely impact those with mental illness.
This issue also details work done this week by the NAMI-NYS 2016 Affiliate of the Year (NAMI Mid-Hudson), Small Affiliate of the Year (NAMI-Cayuga) and the NAMI 2016 Outstanding Affiliate (NAMI-Rochester) all demonstrating why they received these respective honors.
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.
You Can Still Support NAMI-NYS's Giving Tuesday Campaign, Click here to Donate
On Wednesday, December 14th, NAMI-NYS will be moving to the first floor of our current building. Our phone system will be down that day so please do not try to call us on that day. We assume are phone's will be back on Thursday. We appreciate your understanding. Also note that our new suite will bill 105.
NAMI-NYS Welcomes Two New Board Members
NAMI-NYS is pleased to announce that Stamatia Pappas of NAMI Westchester and Irene Turski of NAMI Rochester have joined our board of directors. Irene is a past NAMI-NYS president and Stamatia is also a past board member. We welcome both back and look forward to working with them both.
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 Mid-Hudson Has a Busy Week Spreading
Mental Health Awareness
NAMI-NYS's 2016 Affiliate of the Year, NAMI Mid-Hudson was busy this week demonstrating why the received the honor. They gave an Ending the Silence presentation at Ellenville High School
where Dylan Gilsenan the affiliate's newest young adult speaker detailed his story of recovery from mental illness and heroin addiction. The town of Ellenville is experiencing a serious heroin epidemic and Dylan's presentation really resonated with the students and school staff. They also participated in a pre-finals health fair. Finally, they partnered with a local Panera restaurant, who donated part of the day's proceeds to the affiliate. Along with the financial support, this opportunity also allowed the affiliate to put up their banner and provide NAMI and mental health resources to customers.
NAMI CAYUGA Participates in Community Craft Fair
On Saturday and Sunday (12/3-12/4) NAMI CAYUGA (recipient of the 2016 NAMI-NYS Small Affiliate of the Year Award) participated in a community craft fair at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, NY. This is a yearly event that draws people from Cayuga county and neighboring counties. We reached our goal of making sock monkeys, and related sock monkey items such as hats, mittens blankets etc.
This event is ideal for starting conversations concerning mental health. As people came to our booth to look at the monkeys and pottery many NAMI CAYUGA business cards were handed out.
Money raised will be used to create Christmas bags for consumers in the behavioral health unit, scholarships to attend conferences, the purchase of educational materials and a Christmas meat tray for the support group on 12/6.
NAMI CAYUGA wishes to thank the NAMI NYS staff for its support and donation of 6 sock monkeys for the fundraising.
NAMI Rochester Presents to Alpha Kappa Alpha
Kristina Mossgraber (Special Event Coordinator) and Beth Winslow-D'Amico (Program Coordinator) of NAMI Rochester spoke to the University of Rochester's Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha on December 8. The cold weather and looming finals didn't stop over a dozen amazing members of this group from coming out to talk about mental health, warning signs, helping friends and coping skills. The discussion was so engaging for everyone that it went way past it's scheduled time! NAMI Rochester is proud of the partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha both at the local and national level, and look forward to continued collaboration in the future.
NAMI Celebrates the Senate Passage of the
21st Century Cures Act
hears firsthand from people and families struggling to access mental health services and supports. The consequences of lack of mental health care are frequently tragic, including homelessness, hospitalizations, suicides and unnecessary incarceration. This is why we are celebrating the passage of HR 34 the 21st Century Cures Act.
"This is a pivotal milestone on the road to mental health reform," said Mary Giliberti, NAMI's Chief Executive Officer. "By passing HR 34, the House and Senate have shown that they consider fixing our nation's broken mental health system to be a national priority. We are grateful for their dedication to getting this important legislation passed. This momentum must be sustained and strengthened as Congress moves forward."
New York Receives Five-Year Renewal of Major Medicaid Waiver
Along with the passage of 21st Century Cures Act, on Wednesday, the Cuomo administration announced that it received
federal approval to extend its Medicaid waiver for five years, taking it beyond the first term of a Trump administration and providing much sought-after security to health policymakers who fear that Medicaid funds may soon diminish.
Jason Helgerson, the state's Medicaid director, said last week that locking up a deal, which he had been negotiating with the federal government for the past two years, was one of his top priorities for the remainder of 2016.
New York Jets' Brandon Marshall Continues to Raise Mental Health Awareness
Through NFL's My Cause Program
The NFL is allowing players to highlight worthy causes through its My Cause, My Cleats campaign, and NY Jet Brandon Marshall has seized the opportunity to highlight mental illness and his Project 375 Foundation. If watching the Jets this weekend, be sure to check out the custom designed cleats, which sport the names of the player's loved ones with mental illness.
US News Reports: In Obamacare Repeal Efforts,
Mental Health Care Poised as a Flashpoint
U.S. News reports that despite the excitement generated by the passage of the 21
Century Cures Act, there remains a great deal of concern among Democrats and mental health advocates that its mental health provisions will be outweighed if Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump are successful at repealing Obama's signature health care law.
The article quotes Andrew Sperling, NAMI's director of federal legislative advocacy who states he expects NAMI to oppose the law's repeal, though it hasn't made an official statement as it waits to see what legislation is introduced.
"NAMI is already working on a series of positions about what we need to work to protect and retain in a replacement bill. We have allies on both sides of the aisle," Sperling says. "But there is still a fairly wide political divide between Republicans and Democrats about the (Affordable Care Act)."
NPR Reports on the 21st Century Cure Act
NPR states that
the 21st Century Cures Act that gained congressional approval on Wednesday has been championed as a way to speed up drug development, but it's also the most significant piece of mental health legislation since the 2008 law requiring equal insurance coverage for mental and physical health.
Click here to read the article which features NAMI's Ron Honberg and details many of the mental health provisions in the bill.
NIMH Director's Message: A Push for Suicide Prevention
In a recent message, NIMH Director Joshua Gordon discusses suicide prevention, both what has been enacted and research methods currently being studied. He cites studies that identify the risk factors and discusses some of the more effective tools being used and researched. He states, "
We now have a chance to bend the curve on suicide rates, to save the lives of thousands of individuals,
" offering hope to those grappling with severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
NIMH To Host a Series of Research Webinars
The NIMH Intramural Research Program is hosting three webinars in January to share both research developments and what trials are being conducted at NIMH, including a new study on depression in teenagers (see below) during a January 19 webinar. In addition, Kalene Dehaut, will provide an overview of the basics of clinical research, covering the process and why it is important in the January 23 webinar.
The webinars are open to the public and we encourage all our readers to participate,
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.
NAMI-NYC Metro presents "Thought Leaders at the Intersection of the Mental Health, Public Health and Criminal Justice Systems from 6-8pm at Kramer Levin 1177 6th
Ave. The event will a presentation by the Chief Medical Officer for the NY State Office of Mental Health, Dr. Lloyd Sederer on his new book, Improving Mental Healthcare: Four Secrets in Plain Sight. Improving Mental Healthcare provides a unique springboard for a dynamic discussion, moderated by Dr. Lisa Dixon, on the intersection of the criminal justice system and mental health care.
NAMI Westchester will be holding their 2017 Advocacy Event featuring NAMI-NYS Associate Director for Public Affairs Matthew Shapiro and other speakers. The event will be taking place from 7-9pm at St. Vincent's Hospital
275 North Street, Harrison, NY 10528
February 16-NAMI Westchester will hold a screening of "People Say I'm Crazy" at the Picture House, 175 Wolfs Lane, Pelham, NY 10803
Doors open 6 p.m. -- Screening begins at 6:15 p.m.
Panel Discussion to follow screening with leading professionals
in the field of schizophrenia and individuals living in recovery.
Tickets $15 per person
Tickets must be purchase in advance by February 12, 2017
Click here for more information.