March 17, 2017

In This Issue
Quick Links

Follow us on Twitter

Click here to watch the latest episode discussing PTSD and featuring author Diane Cameron

Join Our Mailing List

As we reach the final weeks of negotiations for the New York State, this edition of the NAMI E-News once again contains a strong emphasis on the need for our readers to project their advocacy voices. This week, the New York State Senate and Assembly released their one-house budget bill and neither properly addressed NAMI-NYS's main priority investing in housing programs for people living with a mental illness. We urge you to make your voice heard and tell the key decision makers how important housing is. Below, you will find an Action Alert on this issue. We know we have asked a lot of you these last few weeks but the threats to our community are scary and we must all do our part to let our leaders know that the needs of people with mental illness must be met. 

In other budget news, on Thursday President Trump released his budget proposal which includes massive cuts. Most alarming for NAMI-NYS is the cuts to Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, you'll find more about this in the National News section and NAMI has released more information and talking points on the American Health Care Act which can be found in the NAMI News section. 

We also want to again draw your attention to the new NAMI-NYS Ribbon Campaign section of the E-News. The campaign is another opportunity for our members and readers to raise awareness of mental health in your community.

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. 

Hope Starts With You!
The need for housing for people with mental illness is NAMI-NYS's top legislative priority. As our action sheet on housing details, providers of housing services through the Office of Mental Health have received flat-funding since the early 1990s. Because of inflation over the last two and a half decades, these providers are currently operating at 43% of where they should be. This deficit is leaving these vital services in tatters and have made virtually impossible for providers to hire and retain caring and qualified staff. A stable workforce is key to providing our loved ones with continuity of care that is essential for recovery. NAMI-NYS and our advocacy coalition have called on the state to provide $48 million for the next three years to simply return providers to the appropriate funding levels thus allowing them to stabilize their workforce and provide the best care possible for our loved ones with mental illness whom they serve.  

As explained in the intro, this week  t he Assembly and Senate have released their one-house budget bills. To our disappointment our calls to support the mental health housing workforce have fallen on deaf ears and the $48 million investment we have been calling for was not in either bill. What's more disappointing is that both the Assembly and Senate are providing additional funding to provide these types of supports for the 
 developmental disability community ($59.9 million in the Senate bill and $78.3 million in the Assembly bill). 
While NAMI-NYS and   our advocacy coalition doesn't begrudge the OPWDD community, it is difficult for us to understand how the  state  can invest in one community with special needs   while totally ignoring the needs of another. 

As family members, we and our loved ones have been subjected to a great deal of misunderstanding and stigma and it's disturbing to see the governor and legislators align themselves with these prejudices by providing for people with developmental disabilities while ignoring the needs of our families. We need to make our voices heard about this injustice. 

NAMI-NYS and advocacy partners met with the Assembly Ways and Means Committee yesterday and we will be meeting with Program and Counsel and other leaders next week to discuss this disparity. We urge our readers to call the leaders listed above and tell them the following message:

As a family member of someone living with a mental illness, I believe that housing with wrap around services is essential for recovery. This is especially true as the state is determined to reduce the use of psychiatric hospitals. These programs cannot operate without qualified and caring staff. These programs through the Office of Mental Health have received flat funding for almost three-decades. 

Mental Health advocates have called for the state to invest $48 million to address this serious workforce issue. I was disappointed to learn that these types of investments have been made for similar programs serving people with developmental disabilities in both one-house bills , while the needs of those who care for people with mental illness have been ignored. 

Please understand that I think those with developmental disabilities need these services, but I fail to understand how the state can address their needs and disregard the needs of those with mental illness. I urge Governor/Assemblyman/Senator_______ to rectify this lack of parity and support the workforce who care for people with mental illness  by providing $48 million for workers in OMH housing programs. 

NAMI-NYS Partners with Panera Bread for Fundraising Event

In conjunction with our NAMIWalks Information meeting on March 7 th , NAMI-NYS also held a fundraiser at the Panera in Albany to help support the walk.   NAMI members and supporters stopped by the Panera on New Scotland Avenue between 4 and 8 pm that evening for dinner, and it was fun to get together and enjoy each other's company! In addition to the percentage of the sales donated to NAMI-NYS, Panera was generous enough to allow NAMI-NYS to have an Information table at the venue.  NAMI-NYS staff members Christine Rickeman and Shaniqua Jackson, with help from volunteer Mary Beth Honsinger, manned the table and were able to educate many in the community about the important work NAMI does. Several NAMI-NYS affiliates have participated in similar events with Panera restaurants in their communities and we encourage all affiliates to look into this opportunity to raise funds and awareness. 

NAMI Westchester Participates in CIT Training
On March 9th, NAMI Westchester participated in a Crisis Intervention Team training held by Westchester County. Thirty-six officer attended the training representing several communities in the county, MTA and the postal service. NAMI Westchester's executive director Sharon McCarthy presented on how NAMI Westchester is a beneficial resource for families especially during times of crisis. Sharon provided the trainees with a business size card that the officers can carry with them with NAMI Westchester contact information and a list of emergency numbers. NAMI Westchester also provided the participants with certificates of completion.
NAMI-NYS encourages all of our affiliates to contact your local law enforcement leaders and request to participate in CIT trainees. You can find more information on NAMI partnering with law enforcement in the NAMI News section.

NAMI NYC Staten Island Partners with the NYS Nurses Association and Presents at Staten Island Mental Health Council Legislative Breakfast

Last week, NAMI NYC Staten Island Executive Director Linda Wilson spoke at the
Staten Island Mental Health Council Legislative Breakfast. The affiliate has also partnered with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) who helped facilitate NAMI issues incorporated at the event.

NAMI Offers More Information on the AHCA and Medicaid 
The American Health Care Act (AHCA), Congress' bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), would result in massive cuts to Medicaid that will affect people with mental illness and families-and law enforcement. On March 13th, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that Medicaid would cover 14 million fewer people over the next 10 years. In total, an estimated 24 million more Americans would be uninsured by 2026 if the bill becomes law.

House Set to Vote on AHCA on Thursday

Click here to read about this development. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
  Click here to read NAMI's revised information and talking points on the AHCA and mental illness.

Click here to participate in this week's NAMI advocacy campaign on the AHCA and Medicaid. 

New NAMI Resource:  
Medicaid and Mental Illness: What's at Stake for Law Enforcement

Police often serve as the first responders to mental health crises and jails are the largest mental health facilities in many communities. These situations will only get worse if fewer people can get mental health services through Medicaid. To help law enforcement learn what is at stake with proposed reductions to Medicaid in the American Health Care Act, NAMI has developed a new fact sheet about the role of Medicaid in keeping people with mental illness off the streets and out of jails.
Click here to read the fact sheet.
Click here to view the document NAMI produced to help spread the word to law enforcement. NAMI-NYS will be sending this to law enforcement leaders around the state. If you plan on contacting your local law enforcement officials please email and let him know who you are contacting. 

New York State News
State Senate Agrees to Include Raising Age of Criminal Liability to 18 in Budget

Raising the age of criminal liability has been one of the main planks in NAMI-NYS's advocacy platform of improving the criminal justice-mental illness interface. This year, for the first time, the New York State Senate has agreed to include raising the age of criminal liability in New York State to 18.

 "We have to make sure that nonviolent offenses, as well as misdemeanors, are heard in family court for 16- and 17-year-olds," said Jeff Klein, the leader of the state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference. "We have to move toward rehabilitation, not incarceration."

New York and North Carolina are the only two states in the nation that currently try 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

Governor Andrew Cuomo first proposed raising the age two years ago, but it fell short in the Senate. Now, Senate Republicans indicate they are willing to try and get it done.

Click here to learn more from NY1.

Office of Mental Health Regional Advisory Committee Scheduled 
for This Tuesday

The next New York State Office of Mental Health Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) will be held on Tuesday, March 21st. RAC is essential to The Office of Consumer Affairs, (OCA), in its mission to obtain broad, grassroots input into how to foster activities that promote recovery, growth and autonomy in environments that are respectful of the rights and dignity of the individual. NAMI-NYS encourages our members to participate in these meetings and share your thoughts and concerns. 

People can participate in the meeting by going to host sites throughout the state. Lunch will be provided.

The Agenda for the meeting which begins at 9:00am includes:
Updates from Central Office
Presentation on Jobzone and Careerzone
Question and Answer
End at 12:30. Lunch will be provided for the host sites.

Click here to learn more and click here to register to attend at a specific site.

The New York Times Interviews Glenn Close and Patrick Kennedy to Discuss
The Weight of Mental Illness
In last Sunday's edition, the New York Times featured an interview with leading mental health advocates Patrick Kennedy and Glenn Close. The pair discussed their work, especially their advocacy for mental illness awareness and treatment; their families, in which such illness flourished in silence; and the healing that comes with bringing truth to light.
During the interview an interesting parallel is drawn between the collaborative nature of theater and recovery from mental illness.
In the theater Close said, "you work so tightly with people in theater, even if they (reviewers) say wonderful things about me, but something unkind about my incredible collaborators, that would be just as upsetting." On the collaborative nature of recovery, Kennedy said, "When you are emotionally connected to your peers in recovery, you stand the best chance of being protected from the compulsion to use and do things that get you into trouble with your illness."
NAMI-NYS believes that family also plays an important role in the recovery collaboration. 
Click here to read the full interview. 
National News
President Trumps' Executive Budget Proposal Would Make Drastic Cuts to
Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health

On March 16th, President Trump released his budget proposal. The President's budget would increase military funding and make stark cuts across much of the rest of the government including the elimination of dozens of long-standing federal programs that assist the poor and fund scientific research.

Most concerning for our readers would be the $12.6 billion (roughly 16%) to Health and Human Services which includes a  $5.8 billion (roughly 20%) reduction to the National Institutes of Health, which houses the National Institute of Mental Health.

The budget would also abolish the Community Development Block Grant program, which provides roughly $3 billion for targeted projects related to affordable housing, community development and homelessness programs.

Click here to read more,

Pete Early Reports on Rep. Murphy Withdrawing His Mental Health Amendment and Voting in Favor of AHCA

In last week's E-News we reported how Representative Tim Murphy, author of the
 Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act planned to introduce an amendment to address the lack of mental health parity in AHCA. As Pete Early reports, not only did Rep. Murphy withdraw his amendment, but he voted in favor of the bill in committee. Early comments on how this is disappointing as Murphy has been the leading voice in mental health reform.

Click here to learn more.

 NIMH Update

Click here to read the latest Update from NIMH.

Teenage Depression Study

This research study seeks to understand the causes of depression in teenagers. It is part of a larger study looking at irritability and mood dysregulation. This part of the study's goals are to improve our knowledge of which treatments work best in depression, and will compare teenagers with depression to those with severe irritability. The research will also study teenagers with depression as they grow up.

This study is currently recruiting participants who:
* are ages 12 to 17, and medically healthy
* meet the criteria for major depressive disorder
* are currently in treatment with a physician and not currently hospitalized, psychotic, or suicidal 
* are able to perform research tasks that include brain imaging, computer tasks and behavioral & psychological testing

Click here for more information or call 301-496-8381


2017 NAMIWalksNYS September 23rd

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.  
For more information you can email

Information on Other NAMIWalks in New York 

May 6th- NAMIWalks Rochester, Village Gate Square-Rochester
May 6th- NAMIWalks Long Island/Queens, Jones Beach-Zach's Bay, Wantagh
May 13th- NAMIWalks New York City Metro, South Street Promenade-Brooklyn Bridge-Manhattan
May 20th- NAMIWalks Westchester , Rye Town Par-Rye
2017 NAMI-NYS Ribbon Campaign

As May (which is Mental Health Awareness Month) is fast approaching it is time to begin preparing for this year's NAMI-NYS Ribbon Campaign. The statewide campaign allows NAMI-NYS and our local affiliates to partner with businesses, local governments, police and fire departments and schools in spreading mental health awareness and letting people know that NAMI is a place to find help and find hope. 

Click here to view a two-page brochure which details the campaign, which can be printed as a double-sided sheet to give to perspective ribbon campaign partners. 

Click here to download the ribbon order form.
Save the Dates

The 2017 A Brighter Day event will be taking place on Friday, April 21st. 
Click here for more information and to register. 

March 21 -   NAMI -NYC Metro presents a workshop and discussion about WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), which is a personalized coping strategy designed by the client, for the client. Gina Calhoun, the National Director for Wellness and Recovery Education at the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, will run an afternoon workshop about what a WRAP is, as well as how to create and use your very own WRAP. In the evening, Gina, her mother, and her sister, will share their stories. Go to for more info and to RSVP.

March 23-24-   The New York State Office of Mental Health will be offering a two-day seminar on how to quickly get approval for SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and other entitlement programs. Many people with disabilities wait years before they are determined to be eligible for benefits. This free OMH seminar will show you that, with the correct documentation, it should take no more than 90 days to get approved.

The two-day seminar will be held at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center-400 Forest Ave. Butler Building Auditorium on March 23 from 9am-4:30pm and March 24 from 9am to 2pm. John B. Allen Jr., Special Assistant to the Commissioner, NYS OMH will be leading the seminar. Click here for more information. 

March 29-NAMI Huntington is proud to host "Prison Through Art" a collection of photos by a former Corrections Officer from Rikers Island who will also be presenting about life inside one of Americas' most brutal jails. He will be explaining about those suffering with serious mental illness inside Rikers Island. The program starts @ 7 pm.

Please contact Jayette Lansbury (631)385-0754 or for more info and to RSVP

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 "A Brighter Day" event at Glennpeter Jewelers. Click here for more information.

May 18 - Annual Mental Health Conference Living With Stability and Dignity at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi.  The conference focuses on the challenges and need for housing with featured speakers Toni Lasicki, Executive Director, Association for Community Living, Ralph Fasano, Executive Director, Concern for Independent Living and Denise Bauer, Director, Beacon of Hope, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. Program starts at 6 pm. Light dinner served. Building 4, 2nd Floor,1400 Pelham Parkway, Bronx, NY. RSVP 718-918-3906.
Signature Programs
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 1st 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 23-NAMI Rockland will begin there next Family-to-Family class. To learn more or register call NAMI Rockland 845.359.8787 or email:

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: / (516) 326-0797 or Ellen Ritz RN / (516)330-9778
Rev. Val Gittens / (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 /

APRIL 4- NAMI Staten Island Peer-to-Peer. April 4, 2017 Tuesdays at 6 pm at our office building, 930 Willowbrook Road, Bldge 41A Staten Island

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

APRIL 17-NAMI Staten Island Family-to-Family. April 17th 2017 Mondays at 7 pm at Fr. Dominic Epifano Parish Center at Holy Rosary Parish - 85 Jerome Ave. Staten Island, NY 10305.

APRIL 19-NAMI Rochester Peer-to-Peer. Wednesdays, April 19th through June 21st ,
From 6:00 pm - 8"00 pm, Location: NAMI Rochester Office To registrar call

June 1-NAMI Queens/Nassau will hold a Family-to-Family class at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock 48 Shelter Rock Rd. Manhasset, NY 11030 from 10am-12:30.

Register: (718) 347-7284 or (516) 326-0797 or email

June 3-NAMI Queens/Nassau will hold a Family-to-Family class at The Greater Allen A.M.E., Cathedral of New York 110-31 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11433 from 1:30-4:00pm

Register: (718) 347-7284 or (516) 326-0797 or email

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

Please contact your local affiliate program leaders for more information and how to enroll.

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   

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