February 26, 2018

In This Issue
Quote of the Week:

"Improving mental health services should be a national priority not because of violence, but because it is what is needed to help students who are struggling get their lives on track. It's time we commit to implementing strategies to engage young people in help before crises occur."-Mary Giliberti, JD, NAMI CEO  

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With the 2018 NAMI-NYS Legislative Action Day a little more than a week away, this edition of the NAMI-NYS E-News features several articles on why we must come together to project our advocacy voice in order to create a more mentally healthy New York State. Along with articles detailing our legislative priorities including housing, access to appropriate services and mental health in schools, you will also find our winter newsletter, a great project produced by one of our NAMI on Campus groups, a fascinating presentation on the genetics of mental illness and a new smoking cessation resource.

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 2018 Winter Newsletter Now Available Online

The Winter 2018 edition of the NAMI-NYS Newsletter is now available online. The Newsletter features articles and pictures from our 2017 NAMIWalks NYS and our 2017 Education Conference. You will also find a legislative advocacy summary for 2017, information about the 2017 NIMH Outreach Partners Meeting and details about the incredible work being conducted by our affiliates. 

Click here to read the Newsletter.

NAMI on Campus at SUNY Albany Sponsors Interactive Mental Health Message Board

Students at the the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY Albany) returned to campus after winter break to find a giant NAMI-themed interactive message board in the University's lecture center. The board was sponsored by the NAMI on Campus Club at the school.

"SUNY Albany is a fairly large campus and getting full outreach on the student body can be difficult at times, so we came up with an idea that we believed was the best way to reach out and affect as many students as possible," explains Esteban Ceballos, the Club's president. "We rented out a glass wall that student groups are able to write-on in the lecture center, which is located in the heart of university. On the wall we wrote out the NAMI acronym along with the logo and a wall that says nothing but, "Positive Thoughts." Over the span of one week, we received a great turnout of students that wrote down an inspiring quote, a song lyric, or simply just signed their name. It was beautiful to see numerous students come together and sign their name on the wall in the name of mental health. It was a great way to start off the semester!"

NAMI-NYS thanks Esteban and the NAMI on Campus Club for helping raise mental health awareness with in the university community.

Watch NAMI Finger Lakes Sponsored Talk on the 
Genetics of Mental Illness

In October, NAMI Finger Lakes sponsored a talk by Dr. Stephen Glatt on the genetics of mental illness. 

Dr. Glatt is a previous recipient  of the NAMI-NYS Excellence in Research Award and serves as the director of the Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology Laboratory at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. This program premiered on Community Access Television at the PEGASYS Television Center in Ithaca NY as part of the series Over the Shoulder.

Click here to watch the presentation.

NAMI-NYS's 2018 Legislative Action Day is just over a week away. We need your help 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 CEO Details Why Improving Mental Health Should Be a National Priority

Last week, NAMI CEO Mary Giliberti, JD, wrote a blog reflecting on the tragedy in Parkland, FL and the ensuing debate regarding school shootings being a byproduct of either mental illness or guns.

In the piece, Mary admits, " a small subset of people with mental illness whose symptoms are not treated may pose an increased risk of violence. These risks may increase when substance abuse or past trauma are involved. Violence towards self is particularly a concern, as suicides are the second leading cause of death for our youth." She then provides four answers to the question: " What can we do to address the mental health needs of students to keep them all safe?"

Mary concludes by stating: " As a society, we still too often isolate and avoid young people who are exhibiting signs of the possible emergence of mental illness rather than responding assertively and compassionately to help them recover. Although most situations do not end in violence, it is sad that we only seem to pay attention when violence does occur. In fact, improving mental health services should be a national priority not because of violence, but because it is what is needed to help students who are struggling get their lives on track. It's time we commit to implementing strategies to engage young people in help before crises occur."

Click here to read more. 

Click here to read NAMI-NYS's Action Sheet on Mental Health in Schools.
New York News
Operator of Notorious Flophouses Pleads Guilty to
Medicaid Fraud

The New York Times reports on a man who ran flophouses that preyed on poor addicts and the mentally ill, now faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to Medicaid fraud and illegally removing tenants from their home s.

Yury Baumblit, 67, was part of a 2015  New York Times investigation into so-called "three-quarter houses," unregulated residences in a gray area between regulated halfway houses and permanent homes. Three-quarter houses cater to people who struggle with addiction and mental illness, and to poor people who cannot afford to live in the city.

The article also reports on the horrible conditions within these "three-quarter houses."

Click here to read more.

This disturbing story speaks to the importance of NAMI-NYS's primary advocacy concern, the need for increased mental health housing with wraparound services. Click here to read our Action Agenda sheet on the housing issue.

Nurses Decry Mental Health Treatment Budget Cuts

Last week, members of the New York State Nurses Association marched to the offices of the State Department of Health demanding a stop to the budget cuts against mental health treatment. They say the cuts are devastating to patients, their families, and the healthcare system.
"The worst crisis that we're facing is the mental health crisis," said Judy Sheridan Gonzalez, President of the NYS Nurses Association. "We're seeing a big upsurge in violence because people who are mentally ill are not getting the care that they need. People are frustrated. They're depressed. There's a lot of problems. And now they're closing beds and cutting more services because it's not profitable."

Click here  to read more. 

Click here to read NAMI-NYS's Action Agenda sheet on Access to Services.

Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement Produces New Tool-Kit to Help Make NYS Tobacco-Free 

Tobacco related illness is the number one cause of death in New York State (NYS), and persons suffering from behavioral health disorders tend to use tobacco at much higher rates than the general public. According to the NYS Department of Health, the adult cigarette smoking prevalence rate in NYS as of 2016 was 14.2%, and rates among adults self-reporting poor mental health (>14 days/year) were almost twice as high as the overall prevalence rate (26%).

We used to think that smoking cessation might impede progress of psychiatric treatment - but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Quitting smoking has been found to be associated with decreased depression and anxiety, and increased positive mood and quality of life when compared with continuing to smoke (Taylor et al, BMJ, 2014).
Although it's not easy to make changes in systems to identify and support our clients through the process of quitting, your organization doesn't have to do it alone. Ten agencies that serve as regional Grantees have been funded by the NYS Department of Health specifically to work with organizations within their respective regions to increase access to, and utilization of, evidence-based TDT, especially for populations who are disproportionately impacted by tobacco use. 

These regional Grantees are supported by the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement for a Tobacco-Free New York (COE for HSI), and they are available to provide free Technical Assistance to behavioral health organizations to help put systems into place to ensure that every client is screened for tobacco use, and offered evidence-based counseling and treatment if they choose to quit.  

We know behavioral healthcare staff need new knowledge and skills to support this change. To help you do this, the COE for HSI is happy to share the new Supporting Evidence-Based Tobacco Dependence Screening and Treatment - Behavioral Health Settings Training Toolkit with you and your organization. The training modules within the Toolkit focus on and explore the burden of tobacco use, screening and assessment, effective treatment planning, counseling, and prescribing. Quality Improvement tools to measure, monitor, and enhance implementation activities are also included. Additional tools and links to helpful websites are located within the "Resource" section.

The modules were developed by content experts and comes pre-equipped with training slides, sample agendas, and handouts to be distributed to trainees.

Click here to download the electronic version of the toolkit, or email COE at HSI for a free color binder copy or USB drive containing the Toolkit. .

National News
Doctors Blast Trump Administration's Mental Illness 
Focus to Fight Violence

Last week, CBS News reported how frustration is mounting in the medical community as the Trump administration again points to mental illness in response to yet another mass shooting. "The concept that mental illness is a precursor to violent behavior is nonsense," said Dr. Louis Kraus, forensic psychiatry chief at Chicago's Rush University Medical College. "The vast majority of gun violence is not attributable to mental illness."
The article states how "mental health professionals welcome more resources and attention, but they say the administration is ignoring the real problem - easy access to guns, particularly the kind of high-powered highly lethal assault weapons used in many of the most recent mass shootings."
The American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and four other medical associations issued a joint statement Friday urging comprehensive action by President Trump and Congress, including labeling gun violence a national public health epidemic.
Click here
to read more. 

NIH Releases First Dataset from Unprecedented Study of Adolescent Brain Development

The National Institutes of Health today released to the scientific community an unparalleled dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. To date, more than 7,500 youth and their families have been recruited for the study, well over half the participant goal. Approximately 30 terabytes of data (about three times the size of the Library of Congress collection), obtained from the first 4,500 participants, will be available to scientists worldwide to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development. The ABCD study is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States.

This interim release provides high-quality baseline data on a large sample of 9-10-year-old children, including basic participant demographics, assessments of physical and mental health, substance use, culture and environment, neurocognition, tabulated structural and functional neuroimaging data, and minimally processed brain images, as well as biological data such as pubertal hormone analyses.

Click here to read 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 3- NAMI Westchester Peer to Peer. Saturdays, March 3rd through May 12th  with no class on March 31st ,  from 9:30a.m.-11:30a.m. at the NAMI Westchester Office, 100 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, NY 10523. Co- teachers Patrice Wiley and Laura DeToia, to register contact Patrice Wiley at 914-592-5458.

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