May 16, 2018

In This Issue
Quote of the Week:

"I'm not ashamed to stand here, in front of six hundred people in this room, and millions more online, and proudly say that I live with mental illness, and that's okay. I say "with" because even though my mental illness tries its best, it doesn't control me, it doesn't define me, and I refuse to be stigmatized by it."
-Actor Wil Wheaton

Quick Links

Follow us on Twitter

Click here to watch the latest episode focused on Mental Health Parity
Join Our Mailing List

This week's E-News once again showcases the unique activities and partnerships NAMI-NYS and our affiliates are engaging in to raise mental health awareness. We also bring you highlights from the 2018 What's Great in Our State, which celebrates children's mental health awareness. This issue has several articles about children's mental health including partnerships with affiliates, a NAMI guide to advocating for your child at school, the work being done by NAMI-NYS's 2017 Legislative Champion Rep. John Katko, an article about whether colleges should raise concerns about a student's mental health to their parents and we want to let our readers know that tonight NAMI-NYS will be participating in the Saving Lives Through Education event at Jacobi Hospital. Also featured is the impact of celebrities discussing their mental health, advancements on ECT and magnetic treatment and information about the NIH All of Us initiative.

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

Presentation by NAMI-NYS Young Adult Network Member
Dianna Paige Highlights 2018 What's Great in Our State

The 2018 What's Great in Our State-A Forum to Celebrate Children's Mental Health Awareness was held on May 8th at the New York State Museum. This year's theme was Healthy Minds, Healthy Children and Youth. Once again, NAMI-NYS served on the event's steering committee which is led by the New York State Office of Mental Health and New York State Council on Children and Families.

For many, the highlight of the event was the Young Adult Voice of Recovery presentation delivered by NAMI-NYS Young Adult Network member Dianna Paige. Dianna, who is a junior at Hobart and William Smith College, gave a compelling talk titled The Kids are Not Alright: A Push for Youth Mental Health Advocacy and Education. 

During the talk Dianna declared, "It seems that no matter how many times parents hear that one in five young adults is living with a mental health issue it translates to 'that is someone else's child's problem, not mine.' Neglecting the reality that mental health issues exist does not make them go away. This is a call to action." Dianna used her own battles with depression to put a face on all the young adults impacted by mental illness and explained that we need to do more to help her and her peers.

Click here to watch Dianna's inspiring presentation. 

The purpose of What's Great in Our State is to honor individuals and programs that are successfully addressing the issues of children's mental health. These include work on early identification, outreach, family education, providing mental health awareness in schools and successful intervention on behalf of children and their families.   This year, two individuals and five programs were honored. The honorees were:

  • Mark Laurrie, Superintendent of the Niagara Falls School District.
  • Cindy Misrock, a social worker for the Freeport School District.
Programs Honored:
  • APIC (Access to Psychiatry through Intermediate Care)
  • Children of Promise
  • The Mental Health Juvenile Justice (MH/JJ) Program of Orange County
  • The Walter Panas High School Warr;ors
  • PAX Good Behavior Game at Contact Community Services
Click here to learn more about the honorees. 
The event also saw a presentation of proclamation by Governor Cuomo declaring Children's Mental Health Awareness Week in New York State and a keynote address by Dr. Peter Gray (who appeared at the 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference).

Click here to watch a video of the whole event. 

Watch the Latest Episode of Mental Health Now and
Learn About Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Click here to watch the new episode of the NAMI-NYS produced TV show Mental Health Now. The guest for this episode is Timothy Hathaway, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse New York  (PCANY). This episode explores the issues surrounding child abuse, how to recognize potential abuse in children, the parallels between families impacted by mental illness and those impacted by abuse and the lifelong impact of abuse and trauma on one's physical and mental health.

In related news, on May 7th NAMI-NYS participated in the annual ACEs seminar hosted by the LaSalle school in Albany. The seminar featured national leaders in combating the negative outcomes generated by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) including Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris, CEO, Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco and James Redford, director of the acclaimed documentary, Resilience-The biology of Stress and the Science of Hope.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect. They may also include household dysfunction such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have mental illness or substance abuse. ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of physical and mental health problems throughout a person's lifespan.

Click here to read our Action Alert on ACES, which features articles on ACES and a quiz to find out your ACES score. Knowing your ACEs score is important as any score over three can lead to a myriad of health issues and knowing your score can help you address these issues. 

Highlights From Week Two of the Ribbon Campaign

This week's highlights from the NAMI-NYS Ribbon Campaign include (clock wise from upper left): Members of the NAMI at Emma Willard club displayed the ribbons throughout the school's campus. NAMI Cayuga hung the ribbons at the Auburn Police Department. Click here to read an article from the Auburn newspaper which details the affiliate's work to raise awareness and combat stigma. NAMI-NYS's Helpline Coordinator Christine Rickeman hung ribbons outside our office building. You'll also see ribbons displayed in businesses in Rockland and Rensselaer Counties. 

There is still time for you to participate in the Ribbon Campaign and raise awareness in your community. Click here to learn more.  

NAMI-NYC Metro Holds Their NAMIWalk

This past Saturday, NAMI-NYC Metro held their 12th annual NAMIWalk, which started at the South Street Seaport and continued over the Brooklyn Bridge. Rain couldn't dampen the spirits of the walkers who came out in droves to support the affiliate and raise awareness. 

You can click here to support NAMI-NYC Metro's NAMIWalk and click here to see pictures from the event. 

NAMI Westchester Actively Raising Awareness

NAMI Westchester has been busy during Mental Health Awareness Month spreading the information about NAMI across the county. 
They began Mental Health Awareness Month alongside Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, council officials and representatives from the Westchester County Department of Mental Health for the annual NAMI flag raising at Yonkers City Hall. At the event, the affiliate also received a proclamation for the Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Along with hanging ribbons throughout the county, several cities in Westchester are displaying banners and they have put an ad on county buses throughout the month of May.

NAMI Westchester Executive Director Sharon McCarthy, also appeared on Mount Vernon's Mayor Richard Thomas' radio show on May 4 to discuss NAMI and the affiliates May activities, which culminates with their NAMIWalks taking place this weekend.

NAMI Syracuse Works With Various Community Partners to Raise Awareness and Fight Stigma

NAMI Syracuse has been busy engaging new community partners is their mission to raise mental health awareness. (Clockwise from top left): The affiliate has entered into a collaborative effort with the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
(ESF) to fight stigma. The affiliate will be working with ESF to offer educational presentations to students and faculty over the next year. Two students at Cicero - North Syracuse High School (CNS) took upon themselves to raise awareness among their peers. They passed out hundreds of brochures and raised over $200 for NAMI Syracuse by sponsoring a badminton tournament at CNS. Finally, musician
John McConnell gifted NAMI Syracuse with $6,000 from the January Music for Mental Health event held in Oswego. He presented the check at the monthly NAMI Syracuse board of directors meeting. The affiliate wants to express their appreciation to John and all the musicians, businesses, and people of Oswego who supported this effort to fight stigma and educate the community about mental illness.

NAMI Rensselaer Celebrates Peer-to-Peer Graduation
On April 30th a Peer to Peer Graduation took place with mentors Mary Beth Honsinger and Christine Rickeman from NAMI Rensselaer County. Mary Beth and Christine said of the class, "We may have been small, but we were mighty! It was a great privilege to teach this class."

Nominations for NAMI-NYS Board of Directors 
Are Now Open
The NAMI-NYS Nominating and Election Committee is looking for qualified candidates for the NAMI-NYS Board election taking place October 27th, 2018 for a three year term (2018-2021). If you are a NAMI member or know a NAMI member who would be interested in serving on the Board, please contact the NAMI-NYS office for more information or click the links below for the application and nominating instructions.  The deadline for nominations is August 27, 2018.

Click here to read the call for nominations letter.
Click here to read the NAMI-NYS Board of Directors agreement
Click here to obtain a nomination form.

Two Events of Note Today

NAMI-NYS wants to make our readers aware of two events happening later today. Tonight at 6pm, NAMI-NYS's Associate Director, Public Affairs Matthew Shapiro will be joining NYS-OMH Commissioner Ann Sullivan and NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia as well as our colleagues from the Mental Health Association in presenting at Jacobi Hospital's Saving Lives Through Education event. Matthew will be detailing NAMI-NYS programs for schools and parents of young children. Click here to view the event's program. The event is free and open to the public and you can RSVP by calling 718-918-3906.

At 3pm today NAMI board member Carlos Larrauri along with our partner in advocating for research Luke Kramer of the STARR Coalition will be participating in a webinar on Stigma, Language, Ethics and Recruiting. Click here to learn more and to register. 
Ensuring Your Child is Supported in School

At least 1 in 5 school-aged children is affected by a mental health condition. The two most common conditions among children and adolescents are anxiety followed by depression, but children can have other difficulties that affect their ability to fully take part in and benefit from their classroom experiences. These include attention deficit-hyperactivity, autism spectrum disorder and eating disorders.

NAMI offers tips for parents of children with mental health conditions on how to approach their child's school and advocate for the proper support services. 

Click here to read more. 

New York News
2017 NAMI-NYS Legislative Champion Rep. John Katko and Mental Health Caucus Holds Briefing on
 Childhood Depression
On May 8th,  the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, led by Co-Chairs John Katko (R-NY-24) (recipient of the 2017 NAMI-NYS Legislative Champion Award and pictured with NAMI-NYS members during the 2017 NAMI Hill Day) and  Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32), in conjunction with leading mental health organizations, held a bipartisan briefing on childhood depression and the importance of identifying and treating problems early in life.

"We are erasing stigma one briefing at a time, but this fight goes far beyond the halls of Congress," said Co-Chairs Katko and Napolitano. "Mental health continues to draw more national attention, yet it remains severely underfunded and misunderstood. We need greater investment at all stages of life, especially early on. Every child in America, regardless of ZIP code or socioeconomic status, must be provided the services he or she needs. We thank all presenters, attendees, and the partnering organizations who participated in the discussion and for their ongoing efforts to promote children's mental wellness." Click here to learn more. 

Congressman Katko has demonstrated a true dedication in advocating for children's mental health. He has partnered with NAMI Syracuse on a bi-partisan, federal and state task force on children's mental health. Click here to learn more about this effort. 

New York Times: His College Knew of His Despair. His Parents Didn't, Until It Was Too Late

In a compelling article the New York Times tells the story of a student at Hamilton who completed suicide in 2016 and how this incident raised questions about about whether colleges should inform parents when students are in distress. Click here to read more. 

National News
NAMI-NYS Applauds Celebrities Making a Big Bang by Talking 
About Their Mental Illness
as We Also Mourn the Loss of a Mental Health Superhero 

It is encouraging to see an increase of celebrities raising awareness for mental health issues by talking about their struggles with mental illness. NAMI recently wrote about this phenomenon. C lick here to read.   

Two stars of the hit television series The Big Bang Theory are the latest to discuss how mental illness has impacted them. Actress Mayim Bialik (who is also an accomplished  neuroscientist) has long been a mental health advocate and has filmed a PSA for NAMI, which you can click here to watch, but recently she opened up about her own mental illness. In a video for the Child Mind Institute, Bialik said, "I think what I would have liked to tell my younger self about my mental health is that there are answers.For me, some of those answers I had to wait years to find and I needed to get different help, which ended up being really the right kind of help." Click here to read more.

Actor Wil Wheaton recently spoke at the NAMI Ohio conference and stated, "I'm not ashamed to stand here, in front of six hundred people in this room, and millions more online, and proudly say that I live with mental illness, and that's okay. I say "with" because even though my mental illness tries its best, it doesn't control me, it doesn't define me, and I refuse to be stigmatized by it." Wheaton posted his full remarks on his website which you can click here to read. 

While we applaud these celebrities, we must also remember that is was not so long ago that celebrities and people in general were reluctant to discuss their mental illness and suffered in silence. One of those was actress Margot Kidder, best known for playing Lois Lane in the Superman movies of the 70's and 80's. Ms. Kidder, who passed away on Sunday, had bi-polar disorder which led her to infamously being temporarily homeless. However, she was able to establish her recovery and resume her acting career. People Magazine wrote a piece chronicling Kidder's mental illness and her recovery, which you can click here to read. CNN also wrote an interesting piece titled  How Lois Lane Became her own Superhero, which details the many contradictions in her life, including how she handled her illness and advocacy around mental illness. Click here to read. 

60 Minutes Features Advances in ECT and Magnetic Therapy

Last Sunday's episode of 60 Minutes contained an exceptional piece on the advancements in ECT and the emergence of magnetic treatment. It featured NIMH's Dr. Sarah Lisanby and the five year study NIMH is conducting comparing the two treatments aimed at treating drug-resistant depression and other mental illnesses. Former Massachusetts First Lady Kitty Dukakis is interviewed in the story and details how ECT helped her overcome serious depression. Mrs. Dukaks also allowed the crew to film her ECT treatment to demonstrate that it is not the cruel practice many believe it to be. Another woman interviewed, Sharyn Jakab, allowed her magnetic treatment to be filmed in order to remove the fear and stigma people have about the treatment. Click here to watch. 
Study Finds That States Aren't Meeting Residents' 
Mental Health Needs

As states continue to grapple with the opioid epidemic, which claims the lives of more than 115 people every day, lawmakers are working to better address the nation's mental health and substance abuse issues.
"I think states are finally starting to admit in a meaningful way just how big of an issue mental health care is and mental health care needs are," says David Radley, a senior scientist at The Commonwealth Fund, which released its annual Scorecard on State Health System Performance last week.

The report, authored by Radley and two of his colleagues, evaluates states across a number of health-related topics, including how well states are supporting residents with mental illnesses.
Radley says mental health care has traditionally not received the attention it deserves, in part because of the stigma associated with admitting to having a mental illness. But the opioid crisis, he says, has forced states to acknowledge the problem.

Click here to read more.


NIMH Update 

Click here for the latest Update from NIMH.

NIH Launches the All of Us Research Program

The Update above has a lot of details about the new NIH All of Us Research program. The mission of the All of Us Research Program is to speed up health research and medical breakthroughs. To do this, NIH is asking one million people to lead the way to provide the types of information that can help NIH create individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all of us.

What Does This Mean?

NIH creating a research community of one million people who will share their unique health data. This will include answering survey questions and sharing electronic health records (EHR). Some participants may also be asked to provide blood or urine samples. The program will ask participants to answer more questions from time to time. It's up to you to decide how much information you want to share.

The health data gathered from participants will be stored in a database. Approved researchers can access this data to explore how factors like environment, lifestyle, and genes, can impact health. This may help develop new medical treatments that are unique to individuals, and enable a future of precision medicine for all of us.

Click here to learn more. 

Hope Starts With YOU

NAMI Walks

Click here to sign up for NAMIWalk NYS and start your team today!

NAMIWalks NYS: Strong Body, Strong Mind 2018
NAMI NYS invites You to join the movement...
Helpline Coordinator Christine Rickeman Provides Update 
on Her Strong Mind, Strong Body Challenge 

NAMI-NYS challenges you to participate in our Strong Body, Strong Mind Fitness Challenge. Every week the NAMIWalks section of the E-News will feature Strong Body, Strong Mind tools including healthy recipes, fitness challenges, and mindful exercises.

Christine's weekly report: This week marks 6 weeks into my strong body strong mind challenge and I am happy to say that I've lost 11lbs! My main focus has been choosing healthier foods and journaling everyday which includes art therapy! So far so good...I have included the 8 week plan that I have been following: 

We also encourage you to post on your social media why you support NAMI-NYS and are participating in the walk. Send in your posts and we will feature the posts in our upcoming newsletter.
Start your walk team now and join us to change attitudes and save lives!
Come Walk for Wellness on Saturday, September 29th, at Jennings Landing, Albany NY. This inspirational community event will have a full day of live music, informational tabling, and family friendly activities.
Healthy Minds = Healthy Communities

Learn More About the Other NAMIWalks 
Taking Place in New York State

Click here to support NAMIWalks Rochester, which took place May 5th at Village Gate.

Click here to support NAMIWalks Long Island/Queens, which took place May 5th at Jones Beach.

Click here to NAMIWalks New York City Metro which took place May 12th at the South Street Seaport. 

Click here for NAMIWalks Westchester taking place May 19th at Rye Town Park.
Save the Date

JUNE 5 -Capital District Psychiatric Center, An Overview of Community Integration as a Discharge Planning Tool presented by John Stenson, Family Advocacy Specialist Office of Mental Health and Christopher Coyle, Family Support Specialist Office of Mental Health. Tuesday, June 5, 2018 from 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm in the CDPC Family Resource Center. As usual, there will be time for Questions and Answers as well as support services after the presentation. For more information or to register contact: Frank Greco, Director of Family Services (518) 549-6816

OCTOBER 9- The National Alliance on Mental Illness Champlain Valley will be sponsoring a free one day conference at Clinton Community College on October 9th titled, "Stand Up 2 Stigma." The conference will have a variety of workshops for peers, families, providers, and interested community members.
     Our keynote speaker for the event is David Granirer, a counselor, stand-up comic, mental health keynote speaker, and author of The Happy Neurotic: How Fear and Angst Can Lead to Happiness and Success. He founded Stand Up For Mental Health, a program that teaches stand up comedy to people with mental illness or mental health issues as a way of building confidence and fighting public stigma. Additionally, the NYS Office Of Mental Health Commissioner, Mental Hygiene Legal Services and many other speakers will be joining us. 
     The event is expected to provide education & awareness around the effects of stigma, opportunities for reducing stigma, and a chance to become a proactive community member that supports mental health; like one supports cancer and diabetes.
     Consider joining us! For those who may remember in 2014 we sponsored Keys to Recovery - 250 were in attendance creating one of the largest mental health conferences in our community. This time, we ask you to take a stand, be the hero, and Stand Up 2 Stigma.
     We sincerely hope that you will be able to attend. Registration can be done by going to our  website at and clicking the Stand Up 2 Stigma tab. When you sign up for the conference you will receive periodic updates.  Feel free to forward this information to your friends, family, and colleagues.
Any questions regarding the conference can be addressed to 

Signature Programs
JUNE 2 -NAMI Queens Nassau Family-to-Family. Saturday's, June 2, 2018 through August 18, 2018 from 1:30p.m. - 4:00p.m. at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, 110-31 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11433. To register contact Theresa Stahling 516-285-7546 or Jeannette Wells 347-441-0572 or online . Registration and phone interview required. Classes limited to 25 Participants. Sponsored and funded by NAMI New York State and NAMI Queens/Nassau

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 (  / (845)956-6264.

JUNE 5- NAMI Queens Nassau Family to Family. Tuesday's June 5 thru August 21, 2018 no class July 3rd, from 6:00 pm-8:30 pm at the Queens Hospital Center Pavilion Building, Security will direct to room 82-68 164 street, Jamaica, NY 11432. To register: email or call (718) 347-7284 or (516) 326-0697, Co-Leaders Valerie Newman 516-514-5183, Camelle Charles 646-283-9272.

JUNE 6-NAMI Delaware and NAMI Otsego Family to Family. Wednesdays, June 6th - August 29 , 6:00p.m.-8:30p.m. at the Fox Care Center, Oneonta, NY. Contact Shari Stallone to register: sstallone / (607)433-1714

JULY 11-NAMI Rochester Basics. Wednesday's July 11th -August 15th, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM at NAMI Rochester (320 N. Goodman Street, Suites 102/103, Rochester, NY 14607). To enroll, contact Beth Winslow-D'Amico at (585) 423-1593 or

JUNE 13-Stratton VA Medical Center & NAMI Homefront . Mental Health Education and Support for Military & Veteran Family Members. Classes will meet six weeks for 3 hours each class. Upcoming class at Stratton VA starts June 13, 2018 at 9:30am. Free of Charge. Call to Register now: Mary Jo Gibson (518) 626-5344 or Elizabeth Donovan (518) 626-5347. Find online classes at

SEPTEMBER 5-NAMI Rochester Family-to-Family .Wednesday's September 5th - November 28th, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM at NAMI Rochester (320 N. Goodman Street, Suites 102/103, Rochester, NY 14607). To enroll, contact Beth Winslow-D'Amico at (585) 423-1593 or
Please contact your local affiliate program le aders for more information and how to enroll.

NAMI Basics
 June 2nd-3rd
 Location: NAMI-NYS Office

NAMI Peer-to-Peer
June 15th-17th
Location: NAMI-NYS Office

NAMI Family Support Group and NAMI Connections
 June 22nd -24th
Location: NAMI-NYS Office

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