February 17, 2017

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This edition of the NAMI E-News comes on the heels of NAMI-NYS's successful Legislative Advocacy Day. As NAMI-NYS members from across the state came together to make our voices heard, the Legislature had a busy week as the Assembly passed a series of criminal justice reforms and there was a joint hearing on health issues; you will find details of both below. This issue also contains stories on how past NAMI-NYS award winners continue to fight to advance mental health awareness and necessary reforms. There is also information about the 2017 NAMIWalks New York State. 

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  Holds Successful Legislative Action Day
Clockwise from top: NAMI-NYS board members and staff with NYS-OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan, Commissioner Sullivan addressing attendees, members of the NAMI at Emma Willard club with Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, members of NAMI Westchester with Senator George Latimer, Assembly Mental Health Chair Aileen Gunther addresses attendees.

On Tuesday February 14th, NAMI-NYS held our 2017 Legislative Advocacy Day. NAMI-NYS members from throughout the state made a true impact by engaging in almost 70 legislative meetings throughout the day. During the formal portion of the program, attendees heard from New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan and Assembly Mental Health Chair Aileen Gunther. Click here to view pictures from the event on the NAMI-NYS Facebook page; while there, be sure to like the page, if you have not already. 

NAMI- NYS thanks all of the attendees who traveled to Albany to make their voices heard. As was noted during presentations by NAMI-NYS staff, advocacy is not a one-day event. We encourage all our members to make appointments to visit with legislators and congressional representatives in their district offices. You can use the resources below for the meetings. If anyone has questions about setting up meetings, please email Matthew@naminys.org

Legislative Advocacy Materials
Click here to view our 2017 Action Agenda.
Click here to view a list of supported legislation.
Click here to view our talking points for legislative meetings.
Click here for our tips on how to make the most effective legislative

NAMI Westchester Hosts Inaugural Film Series Event

On February 16 NAMI Westchester hosted their first film series event with the showing of "People Say I'm Crazy," the story of a talented artist who suffers from schizophrenia.   This powerful story really highlighted how important family is to a person's recovery.
More than 150 people attended this community awareness event. The movie was followed up by a panel discussion  moderated by Louise Ellies, LCSW_R, NAMI Westchester Board Member and Director of Assertive Community Treatments at St. Vincent's Hospital-Westchester. The panel featured:
  •  Dr. Robert Laitman, NAMI Westchester Board Member, NAMI-NYS Board Member and Psychiatric Internist with Special Expertise in Clozapine Management
  • Dr. Sally Ricketts, Psychiatrist, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Michaele Rizzutto, LCSW, NAMI Westchester Board member and  Family Specialist, ACT Team at Montefiore Mt. Vernon Hospital
  • Kimrita Hill, Senior Care Coordinator, CHOICE of New Rochelle
NAMI Westchester plans to hold a film series twice a year and is looking forward to the next one in September.

NAMI-NYS's Tina Lee and Allie Hill Lead Ending the Silence Training for NAMI Rhode Island

On the weekend of February 10th, NAMI-NYS State Trainers for the Ending the Silence program, Tina Lee and Allie Hill, traveled to Rhode Island to host a training for members of NAMI Rhode Island. Along with the training, Tina and Allie also detailed other NAMI-NYS initiatives such as the ribbon campaign, and the trainees expressed an interest in bringing the campaign to Rhode Island. 

NAMI-NYS Participates in CIT Conference

On February 15-16 th , the Office of Mental Health along with the Institute for Police, Mental Health & Community Collaboration promoted a workshop concerning the NYS Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program Initiative. The gathering included representatives from both law enforcement and mental health agencies and emphasized the importance of collaboration within the community to effectively intervene with individuals in crisis. The goal of CIT is to promote community and statewide solutions to assist individuals with mental illness. CIT provides law enforcement-based crisis intervention training for assisting those individuals with mental illness.  It has been proven that first responders with CIT training improve the safety of patrol officers, consumers, family members and citizens within the community. NAMI Cayuga co-presidents Bart and Terri Wasilenko detailed their experience participating in CIT trainings and NAMI-NYS Executive Director Wendy Burch spoke about the importance of CIT and including family input whenever possible.

NAMI-NYS Young Adult Leader Marissa Pane
Featured in Worth Living and Proceeds from Sales from her Website to be Donated to  NAMI-NYS in February
Last week, we detailed how Marissa Pane, one of NAMI-NYS's Young Adult leaders  wrote an article for Worth Living entitled  Recovery through a Course in Miracles. You can  Click here to read the article. 

We want to remind you that Marissa runs a website SPIES Fit to Fight and during the month of February all sales of the site's merchandise will be donated to NAMI-NYS. Click here to view the site and shop.

We again express our thanks to Marissa for her dedication to supporting others impacted by mental illness and her generosity to NAMI-NYS.

N AMI CEO Explains How "Medicaid is a 
"Vital Lifeline for Mental Health Care"

NAMI CEO Mary Giliberti this week contributed to the Hill to discuss the importance of Medicaid in mental health care. Mary explains that with the 21st Century Cures Act, Congress "enacted landmark legislation to improve care for Americans with mental illness. These provisions reflected strong, bipartisan consensus that fixing the broken American mental health system must be a national priority and something we cannot ignore." Yet, barely two months later, "Congress is considering changes to Medicaid that could significantly set back the cause of improving mental health care and deny care to millions of Americans with mental illness."

Mary goes on to detail the importance of Medicaid to mental health care.

Click here to read the article.  

New York State News
NYS Assembly Advancing Criminal Justice Initiatives
Impacting People Living with Mental Illness
On February 14 th as NAMI-NYS held our Legislative Action Day, the New York State Assembly voted on a sweeping criminal justice reform package, including two initiatives in our 2017 Action Agenda; raising the age of criminal responsibility and reforming the use of solitary confinement.

A 4876  raises the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, so that youth who are charged with a crime will be treated in an age-appropriate manner. This measure would also prohibit the placement of anyone under the age of 18 in an adult jail or prison, establish a youth section in criminal court with specially trained judges for those charged with a narrow list of juvenile offenses, and other much-needed reforms, such as increased opportunities for the sealing of criminal convictions, and increased access to services in the family court system.
Additionally, the Assembly has introduced Assembly Bill  2480 , which would alter the current practices in which defendants ages 16 through 18 are considered for Youthful Offender status. This would ensure that young people do not acquire a criminal record and a label that would otherwise stay with them throughout their lives. If we want them to be productive members of our communities, we must remove these needless roadblocks. The Assembly also introduced Assembly Bill  1907 , which would prohibit the placement of inmates under the age of 18 in solitary confinement.
A1905A which would ban solitary confinement in state prisons and jails for those under 21 years of age, and those with physical or mental disabilities, was passed by a vote of 94 to 36. If this bill were to become law, it would bring New York State into compliance with United Nations recommendations regarding the use of solitary confinement.

The Legislature Holds Hearing on Health Issues

On Thursday, February 16 th , the legislature held a joint hearing on the Cuomo administration's proposed budget for health and Medicaid. Drug price controls, expanding the power of the Health Department to act unilaterally and the adequacy of Medicaid payments were among the topics discussed.

An underlying theme was uncertainty about what action the Trump administration and Congress might take on such issues as the Affordable Care Act, which could affect health insurance subsidies for New Yorkers. "Much is happening in Washington," state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told lawmakers. "If the A.C.A. were repealed, that would be a major concern, with millions of people potentially losing health care."
There was also a great deal of discussion about two elements of the Executive Branch's plan, the proposed cap prices on some drugs and imposing of a surcharge on drugmakers who exceed it and a proposal that would give the Health Department the power to act quickly, without legislative approval, in a fiscal "emergency," such as if the federal government abruptly cut off Medicaid funds.
Assembly Health Chair Richard Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat, expressed frustration over a lack of detailed information from the Health Department on how the drug price cap plan would work and Senate Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon, a Long Island Republican, called the emergency action plan proposal "an extraordinary request for powers that have hitherto not been seen with the executive."

Click here to read more,

Erie County Holding Center Video Contradicts Deputies' Claims in Death of an Inmate with Mental Illness

Matthew Spina (who won the 2014 NAMI-NYS Media Award) this week reported in the Buffalo News how a video surveillance tape obtained by the paper contradicts deputies claims about the 2012 death of Richard A. Metcalf Jr., in an Erie County Holding Center. Mr. Metcalf, had a mental illness and the article states that charges could still be filed in the case.

Click here to read more.

National News
Sheriff Thomas Dart Touts Cook County's New Mental Health Clinic 'Recidivism Rate Falls Off The Cliff'

Cook County Illinois Sheriff Thomas Dart (who received the 2015 NAMI-NYS Criminal Justice Visionary Award), recently detailed his county's new 
Strength and Wellness Center, which his office started in July, and serves as a support program  for detainees who are released for good, or who are on electronic monitoring. "There's 30 people that come here right now for their appointments. They come here for treatment and help, and the results are going to be phenomenal. We already know it. We've been studying all the other individuals who've been in our programs, and the people that have been in our programs - who we maintain in our programs - the recidivism rate falls off the cliff," he said.

"This was something we dreamed of, which was to have a thoughtful plan in place; instead of this farce where we dump mentally ill people in jails, have them there for a period of time, then throw them into the streets, and then act surprised that they're back with us," Dart said.

Click here to read more. 

The National Review Details
"A Ray of Hope for Mental Health"

The National Review this week ran an article by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey (founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center) and John Snook (the Center's current director) that explains how the mental health provisions contained in the 21st Century Cures Act will address many of the longstanding cracks in a broken system. They also detail many of the mistakes that led to such a fractured system including the fact that "under previous leadership, the psychiatrist called upon to represent SAMHSA denied that schizophrenia is a brain disease, calling it instead 'a creative experience for growth development.'"

Click here to read more. 

NIMH Update

For the second edition in a row we feature a new Update from NIMH. Click here to read the latest Update from NIMH.

Dr. Gordon in the News

NIMH has recently compiled all the news items featuring Director Dr. Joshua Gordon. Click here to view the links for Dr. Gordon's media appearances.

Sleep May Trim Neural Connections to Restore Learning Ability
Why do we sleep? Companion studies in mice by NIMH grantees add to evidence that sleep may be the price we pay for the ability to learn. The results suggest that sleep streamlines neural connections, or synapses, making them more efficient. It likely restores homeostatic balance to energy resources spent by learning during wakefulness, say the researchers. Click here to read more. 


NAMI-NYS looks forward to building on the success of our inaugural NAMIWalks NYS. The 2017 NAMIWalks NYS will be taking place on Saturday September 23rd at Jennings Landing in Albany. You can click here to start your team and/or donate to the walk.  

NAMI-NYS will be holding our first information meeting on March 7th at 6:30pm. Click here to register for the information meeting which will feature refreshments and fantastic door prizes. For more information you can email Heide@naminys.org
Save the Dates

February 22 -NAMI Queens/Nassau presents a special book discussion and signing with  Dr. Lloyd I. Sederer, Chief Medical Officer, NYS Office of Mental Health, Medical Editor, mental health for the Huffington Post. Dr. Sederer will be discussing and signing his new book, Improving Mental Health:  Four Secrets in Plain Sight. The event will begin at 7pm at the Zucker Hillside Hospital, Sloman Auditorium. Click here for more information.  

March 1st-Join NAMI of Central Suffolk at 7:30 pm at Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson, Conf Rooms One and Two for their Educational/Informational Speaker Series Program. Their March speaker is Dr Roberto Gil,  who will present Brain Imaging Research. Dr Gil is the psychiatrist in charge of the clinical assessment and evaluations of any volunteer subject enrolled in research studies with the MMTI (Multi Modal Translational Imaging Lab).  The MMTI is a research group of investigators/psychiatrists, using PET and MRI imaging, with a focus in understanding the changes in the brain that lead to symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and ultimately seeking better treatment options. The group has been working together for the past 20 years. We recently moved from Columbia University to Stony Brook University. Hope you can join us for an informative evening. 

March 7-The Panera on New Scotland Ave. in Albany will be having a fundraising night to benefit NAMI-NYS. Click here to obtain a flyer to present at the restaurant. 

March 7- Information meeting for 2017 NAMIWallks NYS.  Click here for more information..

APRIL 5- NAMI of Central Suffolk's  Educational/Informational Speaker Series offers: SAVE A LIFE WITH NARCAN TRAINING ! The free training, is given by Suffolk Co DOH and will enable participants to recognize an opioid overdose, administer intranasal Narcan and take additional steps until EMS arrives. Participants will receive a certificate of completion and an emergency resuscitation kit that includes nasal Narcan . Hope you can join us at Mather Hospital Port Jefferson Conference Rooms One and Two at 7:30 pm.

April 21-2017 "A Brighter Day" event at Glennpeter Jewelers. Click here for more information.
Signature Programs

FEBRUARY 21- NAMI NYC Metro Family-to Family. Tuesdays February 21st - May 9th 6pm-8:30pm at NY Presbyterian/Weil Cornell-Baker BLDG, 525 E 68th St. (Btw York & E River) Rm 1170. Facilitators Patti Sacher and John DeNatale, Contact NAMI Metro at (212) 684-3264, and they will have facilitator contact you for registration.

FEBRAURY 27 - NAMI NYC Metro Family-to-Family. Mondays February 27th -May 15th 6:00pm- 8:30pm at Fountain House College Re-Entry Program,437 W 47th St.( Btw 9th & 10th Aves) 1 st Flr. Facilitators: Rajene Hardeman and Bonnie Goldburg. Contact NAMI Metro at (212) 684-3264, and they will have facilitator contact you for registration.

MARCH 2 - NAMI Queens Nassau Family-to-Family. Thursdays March 2nd - May 18th 7:00 pm- 9:30 pm. Walk in Love for Jesus Church, 906 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore,L.I. NY 11710. Contact namiqn@aol.com / (516) 326-0797 or (718) 347-7284 or Carol Ann Viccora (516) 221-6168 / Elizabeth Janow (516) 742-8413.
MARCH 3- NAMI Huntington Basics. Fridays March 3rd - April 3rd 10:00am -12:30pm at Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Library, 407 William Floyd Parkway, Shirley, NY 11967. Contact Beth Ramme at (631) 673-6097/  BethSRamme@gmail.com to register.  
MARCH 4 - NAMI Rockland Basics. Saturday's March 4th, 11th & 18th
9:00 am to 2:00 pm at  Rockland Psychiatric Center  140 Old Orangeburg Road, Bldg #57, 1st floor Classroom, Orangeburg, NY  10962. Teachers:  Anne Arias and Rita Strumph, Contact:  (845) 359-8787

MARCH 6 - NAMI NYC Metro Peer -to- Peer. Mondays March 6th - May 22nd 11:00am - 1:00pm at NAMI-NYC Metro 505 Eighth Ave. @ 35th St. Suite 1103. Facilitators : Angel Rodriguez and Donna Israel. Contact NAMI Metro at (212) 684-3264, and they will have facilitator contact you for registration. 

MARCH 8 -NAMI Rochester in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs will be offering a NAMI Homefront course through April 12th. The course will be offered on Wednesday's from 6-8:30pm at Vet Center located at Crossbridge Office Park, 2000 S. Winton Rd, Bldg 5, Suite 201 Rochester, NY 14618.

Click here to register. 

MARCH 9-NAMI Rensselaer  Basics Class. Thursdays March 9th-April 13th from 6:00pm-8:30pm at the NAMI-NYS Office 99 Pine St. Suite 105. Please Contact Paul Klein at (518) 209-2812
   kleincox@yahoo.com or Mary Crowley at (518)227-6701 
mcrowley@nysid.org to register.

MARCH 9 - NAMI NYC Metro Peer -to- Peer. Thursdays March 9th - May 25th 12 pm-2 pm at NAMI-NYC Metro 505 Eighth Ave. @ 35th St. Suite 1103. Facilitators: Alice Morris and Fredricka Weinstein. Contact NAMI Metro at (212) 684-3264, and they will have facilitator contact you for registration.

MARCH 11 - NAMI NYC Metro Family-to-Family. Saturdays March 11th-MAY 27th 2:00pm - 4:30pm at NAMI-NYC Metro - SPANISH LANGUAGE Class 505 Eighth Ave. @ 35th St. Suite 1103. Facilitators: Edelmira Ventura and Dora Pozzi. Contact NAMI Metro at (212) 684-3264, and they will have facilitator contact you for registration.

MARCH 13 -NAMI Buffalo Family-to-Family.Monday's from 6:00-8:30 pm at St. Pauls Church, 4007 Main St, Eggertsville, NY . Contact Jackie Thompson at  (716) 208-5016

MARCH 13-NAMI Buffalo Family-to-Family. Mondays March 13-June 29 from 6:00pm - 8:30pm at the Elma United Methodist Church, 2991 Bowen Rd. Elma NY 14059 contact information is 
 Liz Carone (716) 481-4386 

MARCH 15 - NAMI NYC Metro Family-to-Family. Wednesdays March 15th - May 31st 11:00am -1:30pm at NYC Metro 505 Eighth Ave. @ 35th St. Suite 1103. Facilitators: Almarie Tulloch and Cynthia Scott. Contact NAMI Metro at (212) 684-3264, and they will have facilitator contact you for registration.

MARCH 16-NAMI Huntington and the Northport Veterans Administration Family-to-Family.Thursdays March 16th-June 1st at 7:00pm at the Northport Veterans Administration in Northport NY. Contact Jill Ryan 
(516) 695-0389 or Jayette Lansbury at (631) 385-0754

MARCH 16 - NAMI Rockland Family-to-Family.  Thursday Evenings,
 March 16th to June 1 st 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Rockland Psychiatric Center
140 Old Orangeburg Road, Bldg  #57, 1st floor Classroom, 
Orangeburg, NY  10962. Teachers:  Chris Vanasse & Marlene Becker. Contact: (845) 359-8787

March 21-NAMI Mid-Hudson will be offering a Family-to-Family course at MidHudson Regional Hospital, 
241 North Road in Poughkeepsie. The course will run through June 6th from 6:30-9pm. To register, please call :845-206-9892 or

MARCH 25 - NAMI NYC Metro Peer -to- Peer. Saturdays March 25th - June 24th 11:00am -1:00pm at NYC Metro 505 Eighth Ave. @ 35th St. Suite 1103. Facilitators: Lyle Braxton and Robert Potter. Contact NAMI Metro at (212) 684-3264, and they will have facilitator contact you for registration.

MARCH 27 - NAMI NYC Metro Family-to-Family. Mondays March 27th - June 19th 6:00pm -8:30 pm at NYC Metro 505 Eighth Ave. @ 35th St. Suite 1103. Facilitators: Chantay Reid and Rosemarie Woods. Contact NAMI Metro at (212) 684-3264, and they will have facilitator contact you for registration. 
APRIL 4 - NAMI Queens Nassau Family-to-Family. Tuesdays April 4th - June 27th, 6:30 pm-9:00 pm. Unitarian Universalist Congregational at Shelter Rock, 48 Shelter Rock Road, Manhasset, NY 11030. Contact: namiqn@aol.com / (516) 326-0797 or Ellen Ritz RN  el.ritz@yahoo.com / (516)330-9778
Rev. Val Gittens valgittnes@aol.com / (516) 749-4432 

APRIL 4-NAMI Orange Family-to-Family. April 4th - June 27th, 6:30pm -9:00 pm. First Presbyterian Church, 33 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924. Contact Dhanu Sannesy 
( 845)294-2749 /  namiorangeny@warwick.net
APRIL 6-NAMI Rochester Family-to-Family.  Thursdays, April 6th - June 22nd, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm.  
NAMI Rochester Office, 320 N. Goodman Street, Suite 103, Rochester, NY 14607.  Contact Beth Winslow-D'Amico at (585) 423-1593 or beth@namirochester.org.

SEPTEMBER 6- NAMI Rochester Family-to-Family. Wednesdays, September 6th -November 29th, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm.  
NAMI Rochester Office, 320 N. Goodman Street, Suite 103, Rochester, NY 14607.  Contact Beth Winslow-D'Amico at (585) 423-1593 or beth@namirochester.org.
Please contact your local affiliate program leaders for more information and how to enroll.

NAMI Ending the Silence
March 4th, 2017
Trainer: Jodie Terhune
Location: NAMI Rochester Office
NAMI Family-to-Family Teacher Training
July 14th-16th, 2017
Trainers: Ann Canastra & Cheri Caiella
Location: Comfort Suite Cicero-Syracuse
NAMI Basics Teacher Training
April 1st-2nd, 2017
Trainers Almarie Tulloch & Karen Alvarez
Location: NAMI Rockland Office
NAMI Peer-to-Peer Mentor Training
April 21st-23rd, 2017
Trainers: Cynthia Scott & Donna Israel
Location: NAMI-NYS Office Albany
NAMI Family-to-Family Teacher Training
May 19th-21st, 2017
Trainers: Patti Sacher & Bonnie Goldberg
Location: NAMI-NYS Office Albany
NAMI Homefront Teacher Training
May 20th-21st, 2017
Trainers: Pam Solomon & Jerry Burton
Location: NAMI-NYS Office Albany
NAMI Support Group Facilitator Training
March 25th-26th, 2017
Trainers: Pat Sine & Jack Goldstein
Location: NAMI Rochester Office
NAMI Support Group Facilitator Training
June 3rd-4th, 2017
Trainers: Deniece Chi & Nancy Parker
Location: NAMI-NYS Office Albany
NAMI In Our Own Voice Presenter Training
June 3rd-4th, 2017
Trainers: Bill Perun & Chris Wasilenko
Location: NAMI Rochester Office
NAMI In Our Own Voice Presenter Training
June 24th-25th, 2017
Trainers: Cynthia Scott & Lady Charmaine Day
Location: NAMI-NYS Office Albany
NAMI Family-to-Family Teacher Training
October 20th-22nd, 2017
Trainers: Patti Sacher & Bonnie Goldberg
Location: NAMI-NYS Office Albany
NAMI Homefront Teacher Training
October 21st-22nd, 2017
Trainers: Pam Solomon & Jerry Burton
Location; NAMI-NYS Office Albany

To have your events and Signature Programs listed in the E-Newsletter contact Christine Rickeman at christine@naminys.org.   

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