February 16, 2018

In This Issue
Quote of the Week:

"NAMI-NYS calls upon the legislature to make our families a priority by funding mental health housing and services at a sustainable rate and by ensuring access to mental health services, properly prescribed medication and adequate resources such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health professionals who specialize in treating co-occurring issues such as substance use and chronic medical conditions."-Ariel Coffman, NAMI-NYS Boardmember  

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NAMI-NYS begins this E-News by expressing  our deep sorrow about the events which happened in Florida this week. The entire NAMI-NYS family extends our thoughts and prayers to the families impacted by this senseless tragedy. 

While this has certainly been a sad week, it has also been an extremely busy one for NAMI-NYS as we continue to be on the forefront of mental health advocacy. This edition features an updated version of our budget testimony, examples of NAMI-NYS staff and members discussing mental health reform in the media. On the federal level, NAMI provides insights on the president's budget proposal and Congressman Paul Tonko talks about the harm in equating people with mental illness as violent. We also have news about New York's mental health license plates.

We also want to wish all our readers an enjoyable and safe President's Day weekend.

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 Wit
h You!
NAMI-NYS Testifies to Make Our Families A Priority
at the Mental Hygiene Budget Hearing and

On Tuesday, we sent out an Action Alert detailing our testimony before the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Mental Hygiene. In the testimony we shared yesterday, it was indicated that our Government Affairs Chair, Irene Turski would be joining our Executive Director, Wendy Burch, to provide the family perspective. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency (something that often happens to caregivers of people with serious mental illness), Irene was unable to travel to Albany to give testimony. Fortunately, NAMI-NYS Board member Ariel Coffman was in Albany for an advocacy day and was able to step in and detail the family experience.

In her testimony Ariel asked the legislators to " envision a family member that you care deeply about struggling to recover from a life-changing illness that affects their ability to reason, their physical health and their ability to maintain the social ties that mean so much to them. This is what families and caregivers of people with serious mental illness face every day."

Click here to read Ariel's testimony. Click here to read the full testimony which features Irene's remarks. Both Irene and Ariel's testimony will be entered into the public record. 

Crain's New York Business News Features NAMI-NYS's Testimony  in Article on Mental Health Housing

As we have detailed, NAMI-NYS is actively engaged in the Bring it Home: Better Funding for Better Care campaign, which is calling on New York State to make investments to restore the community mental health housing system to appropriate funding levels. Crain's New York Business published an article this week on the mental health housing issue which quoted NAMI-NYS's budget testimony.

Click here to read the article.

Click here to read NAMI-NYS Action Agenda sheet on mental health housing. 

NAMI-NYS Interviewed on The Talk of the Town 
Radio Show

This week, NAMI-NYS Associate Director, Public Affairs, Matthew Shapiro was interviewed on Central New York's Talk of the Town radio show. During the show Matthew discussed the suspected abuse at the Central New York Psychiatric Center as well as the need for families to be involved in treatment and several aspects of our 2018 Action Agenda, including the importance of mental health housing, community investments and the lack of access to treatment and services.

Click here to listen to the full interview.   

As you can see from the above stories, NAMI-NYS has been out front communicating what is needed to create a more mentally healthy New York State. We need you to join us in projecting our advocacy voice and  urging legislators to address the gaps in the budget and pass legislation  to advance our 2018 Advocacy Agenda

Click here to register to participate in our Legislative Advocacy Day on March 7th. 

NAMI-NYS is committed to helping you project your advocacy voice and make the most impactful meetings with your legislators. We can help you identify your legislators and schedule meetings. You can indicate that you need help with this while registering and you can also email Bill Wallace for help with scheduling meetings. 

We also have resources to help make your meetings successful. You can click here to read how to make the most impactful meetings and  click here to review our talking points for the issues. 
NAMI-NYS Boardmember Dr. Rob Laitman Featured in Consultant 360 Podcast

Robert Laitman, MD, a member of the NAMI-NYS Board of Directors, was recently featured in a Consultant 360 Podcast. In the interview, Dr. Laitman discusses mental illness stigma and the use of Clozapine, which is the topic of his new book.  

The podcast has two segments:
Click here for part one focusing on Clozapine.
Click here for part two focusing on stigma. 

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on the podcast are those of Robert Laitman, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of NAMI-NYS. 

NAMI-NYS does not advocate for the use of specific medications. NAMI-NYS advocates for person-centered treatment and access to medications a doctor believes to be most appropriate for an individual's specific symptoms. 

Click here to read NAMI-NYS's updated 2018 Action Agenda Sheet on Access to Appropriate Treatment and Medication. 

NAMI Buffalo Holds Event with Buffalo Symphony and Participates in Radio Interview on CIT

A previous edition of the E-News explained how on January17th NAMI-Buffalo participated at a special event at Kleinhans Music Hall, featuring Dr Richard Kogan of Weil Cornell Medical College, who is also a concert pianist. The performance "Rachmaninoff & His Psychiatrist," featured Rachmaninoff's music interspersed with Dr. Kogan telling the story of Rachmaninoff's lifelong struggle with depression and the psychiatrist who helped him. Dr. Kogan is pictured above with members of NAMI-Buffalo staff and board members.

This past week, NAMI-Buffalo president, Ann Venuto, and other members were interviewed about Crisis Intervention Teams for local radio station, WBFO.

Click here to hear the radio interview

Click here to read the NAMI-NYS 2018 Action Agenda Sheet on Criminal Justice which discusses investments on CIT.
NAMI Provides Insight on President's Budget Proposal

On Monday, Feb. 12 th , the President released his proposed budget for FY 2019. As NAMI explains, the President's budget is a signal of the White House's priorities, but it is not necessarily an indicator of what the federal budget will look like, since it is Congress that passes the budget.
The President's budget request includes proposed legislative changes to Medicaid that could hurt people with mental illness, including:
  • Promoting block grant approaches and per-capita caps that could reduce funding for mental health services and supports;
  • Implementing work requirements for individuals receiving Medicaid;
  • Increasing cost-sharing;
  • Allowing "flexibility" in benefits, which could reduce coverage of mental health services and supports; and
  • Ending Medicaid expansion, which helps many people with serious mental illness who otherwise fall through the cracks.
  The President's budget also proposes to make a $83B cut to Social Security over 10 years. This includes at least  $70B in proposed cuts to disability programs .

Click here to read NAMI's full analysis.
New York News
U.S. Representative Paul Tonko Writes
Why Equating Mental Illness With Violence Harms Us All

Following the tragic school shooting in Florida this week, United States Representative Paul Tonko (NY-20) wrote a piece in the Huffington Post explaining the danger in broadly equating mental illness with violence following an act of violence in order to advance mental health reforms.

In the article Rep. Tonko states,  "The need for meaningful reforms that better serve the needs of patients and families experiencing mental illness is clear, but we cannot make unsubstantiated claims in order to scare the public into supporting reforms. That will only create a false sense of security, while ignoring the real issues and demonizing a community in the process." Rep. Tonko continues, "Members on both sides of the aisle and passionate advocates across the country desperately want to see real improvements made to strengthen our mental health system. In response, we should put in place forward looking and inclusive policies that offer the necessary services, supports, and treatments to individuals so that recovery is an option."
Click here to read the full article.

Rep Tonko is a previous recipient of the NAMI-NYS Legislative Champion Award and has long partnered with us to project our advocacy views in Washington.

Click here to watch the video on mental health advocacy issues Rep Tonko filmed with NAMI-NYS this past summer.

Click here to watch the episode of the NAMI-NYS television show Mental Health Now featuring Rep. Tonko. 

New York State Unveils New Mental Health License Plates

This week, our colleagues at the Mental Health Association of New York State (MHANYS) joined New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan and Assembly Mental Health Chair Aileen Gunther and Senate Mental Health Chair Robert Ortt in unveiling the new Mental Health License plates for New York State. 

Click here to learn more including how to order the plates. 

The Long Island Business News Details the Fight for 
Mental Health Parity

The adherence to insurance parity is a key component of NAMI-NYS's Action Agenda item on Access to Treatment and Medication. The Long Island Business News recently featured an article on this issue and the recently released Project Access report. 

Click here to read the article.
National News
New Report Shows About 77,000 Young LGBTQ People
Will Be Subjected to Conversion Therapy
Conversion therapy, which the Human Rights Campaign describes as "a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression," is banned for minors in a handful of states, and is discouraged in others. Beyond that, a number of top medical and psychological associations have called conversion therapy ineffective and potentially harmful. 

Despite all that, conversion therapy is still a reality for young LGBTQ people across the country, and a new report illustrates just how widespread it is. According to a new report from the Williams Institute, about 698,000 LGBTQ adults in the United States have received conversion therapy, around half of which underwent the potentially harmful practice before the age of 18. And even though it's been discredited as ineffective, the report also indicates many more will be subjected to conversion therapy as well.

Click here to read more.


NIMH Update

  Click here to view the latest Update from NIMH.

NIMH Director Joshua Gordon Discusses Latest Suicide Research in Washington Post Article on How Suicides Increased Following Robin William's Death

The Washington Post recently published an article on how research demonstrates a sharp rise in "copy-cat" deaths following comedian Robin William's suicide. The online article features a video of NIMH Director Joshua Gordon detailing the latest research being done to combat suicide. 

Click here to read more. 

Participate in NIMH Twitter Chat

The  National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the  National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) are co-hosting a Twitter chat to discuss  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The chat will take place Tuesday, February 20, 2018, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET.
SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. This chat will cover SAD signs and symptoms, risk factors, and treatments and therapies. Two experts will be available to answer questions:
  • Matthew Rudorfer, M.D., Somatic Treatments and Psychopharmacology Program Chief, NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research
  • David Shurtleff, Ph.D., Acting Director, NCCIH
Click here to learn more. 

Clinical Trial Recruitment
Depression in Teenagers

Join a research study seeking to find causes and treatments of   depression in teenagers. The study is recruiting participants ages 11-17 who are depressed and have a pediatrician or medical provider. The study begins with an outpatient evaluation (clinical assessment, interviews, and questionnaires). Outpatient study visits include a clinical assessment, research tasks, and brain imaging, up to age 25. Eligible participants may receive treatment of evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and if indicated, standard medicines. Enrollment is from across the United States. Transportation expenses to NIH in Bethesda, MD are reimbursed. There is no cost to participate, compensation is provided.

For more information you can  Call 1- 301-827-1350 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010] email: depressedkids@mail.nih.gov or by clicking here

Save the Dates

Click here to register.  

March 13 -CAIC Advocacy Day 2018
On any given day, as many as 4,000 people are locked in isolated confinement in New York's prisons and jails. This practice is ineffective, unsafe, and inhumane. It causes people detained in terrible conditions to deteriorate psychologically, physically, and also harms their families and communities. On March 13th 2018, people will come together from across the state in Albany to demand an end to this torture! Meet with legislators, learn, and rally to get the Humane Alternatives for Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act [A. 3080/ S. 4784] passed.

April 20th- NAMI-NYS Young Adult Network member Olivia Case will be hosting a screening of Suicide The Ripple Effect at the Regal Theatre in Victor, NY. The film chronicles Kevin Hines, who at age 19 attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Seventeen years later, he still struggles with many of the same symptoms that led him to attempt to take his life, but he is on a mission to use his story to help others stay alive. The screening will benefit NAMI-NYS

Click here to learn more and register. 

Signature Programs

MARCH 1- Nami Queens Nassau Family-to- Family. Thursdays March 1-May 17 2018, 7:00 pm -9:30 pm at the Walk in Love for Jesus Church, 906 Newbridge Rd, North Bellmore NY 11710. To register: Please contact NAMI Queens Nassau at (516) 326-0797 or ( 718) 437-7284 or www.office@namiqn.org, or www.Namiqn.org, or www.facebook.com/namiqn. Co-leader Carol Ann Viccora ( 516) 221-6168 Elizabeth Janow.

MARCH 5- NAMI-NYC METRO Peer to Peer. Mondays,March 5 - May 21 2018 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the NAMI-NYC Metro Office, 505 Eighth Ave. @ 35th St., Suite 1103, New York, New York. Co-teachers: Angel Rodriguez and Donna Israel. To register for upcoming classes, contact the helpline at 212-684-3264.

MARCH 6- NAMI Queens Nassau Family-to-Family. Tuesdays March 6- May 23 2018, 4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. atThe LaGuardia Community College, ECLC 31-10, Room MB09, Thomson Ave.  LIC, NY 11101.To register: Please contact NAMI Queens Nassau at (516) 326-0797 or (718) 347-7284 or office@namiqn.org. or www.namiqn.org or ww.facebook.com/namiqn Co-Leaders: Sonya Evariste (718) 482-5217John Johnson.

MARCH 8-NAMI Rockland Family-to-Family. Thursdays, March 8, 2018 - May 24, 2018, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM. Location: NAMI Rockland Rockland Psychiatric Center, 140 Old Orangeburg Road, Bldg. #57, 1st Floor Meeting Room, Orangeburg, NY 10962.Co-Teachers: Chris Vanasse & Marlene Becker. To register call NAMI Rockland at (845) 359-8787 or email: familysupport@namirockland.org.

MARCH 17- Nami Queens Nassau Family-to -Family. Saturdays March 17 -June 2, 2018,1:00 -3:30 pm at The Greater Springfield Community Church, 177-06 129th Ave.  Jamaica, NY 11434 To register please contact NAMI Queens  Nassau at (516) 326-0797 or ( 718) 437-7284 or www.office@namiqn.org, or www.Namiqn.org, or www.facebook.com/namiqn, Co-leader Susan Gambler  (718) 297-0024 Sharon Ecke.

March 19- Nami Queens Nassau Family-to-Nassau. Mondays March 19-June 18, 2018, 6:30 pm -9:00 pm at Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock 48 Shelter Rock Road,Manhasset, NY 11030. To register: Please contact NAMI Queens Nassau at (516) 326-0797 or (718) 347-7284 or www.office@namiqn.org. or www.namiqn.org or www.facebook.com/namiqn. Co-Leaders:Ellen Ritz RN (516) 330-9778 or el.ritz@yahoo.com.

MARCH 20- NAMI-NYC METRO Peer to Peer. Tuesdays March 20 - June 5 2018, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., at the NAMI-NYC Metro Office, 505 Eighth Ave. @ 35th St., Suite 1103, New York, New York. Co-teachers: Alice Morris and Ida Shaw-Forbes. To register for upcoming classes, contact the helpline at 212-684-3264.   

MARCH 28- NAMI Huntington Family-to-Family. Wednesdays, March 28th-June 13th  7:00p.m. -9:00 p.m.  at the Northport VA Medical Center, Building 200-A1-5, 79 Middleville Rd. , Northport, NY 11768. To register contact: Jill Ryan 516-695-0389( quiltanp@aol.com), Barry Goggin 631-261-4400 Ext 2785 ( Barry.goggin@va.gov), Jane Dovi  631-835-2277 ( janedovi@icloud.com).

APRIL 3-NAMI Orange County Family-to-Family .Tuesdays, April 3rd - June 19th , 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 33 Park Place, Goshen, 10924.To register contact NAMI Orange County namiorangeny@warwick.net  / (845)956-6264.

APRIL 9 - NAMI Staten Island Family-to-Family. Mondays, April 9th -June 25 from 7:00p.m. -9:30p.m. at the Holy Rosary Parish, 85 Jerome Ave., Staten Island, New York 10305.   Paulette and Keith will be teaching. Please contact us to register(718)477-1700.

MAY 8- NAMI Orange County Family-to-Family. Tuesdays, May 8th -July 24th  , 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 145 Benkard Ave., Newburgh, NY 12550. To register contact NAMI Orange County namiorangeny@warwick.net  / (845)956-6264.

JUNE 3- NAMI Orange County Basics. Sundays, June 3rd -July 8th , 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 33 Park Place, Goshen, 10924. To register contact NAMI Orange County namiorangeny@warwick.net  / (845)956-6264.

Please contact your local affiliate program le aders for more information and how to enroll.
NAMI Family-to-Family
April 6th -8th
Location: NAMI-NYS Office
NAMI Homefront
April 20th -22nd
 Location: NAMI-NYS Office
NAMI Peer-to-Peer
June 8th-10th
Location: NAMI-NYS Office

NAMI-NYS | 99 Pine Street Suite 105| Albany, New York 12207 | (518) 462-2000