May 20th, 2016
In This Issue

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This week we share with you information about our involvement in  Legislative Disability Awareness Day and a workplace mental health presentation we gave at the World Trade Center. We are also excited to detail how media outlets are taking note of  the impact both our Ribbon Awareness Campaign and the Family-to-Family program is having across the state. We also are providing you with resources to get the new NAMI PSA aired in your community. 

We want to know how you are raising awareness in your community. Please email with details and pictures about your work. This way we can feature it in the E-News and the upcoming Spring Newsletter. Showcasing your work will allow others to learn from you and that's the best way we can grow together as an organization. Together, we can create a more mentally healthy New York State but remember... 

Hope Starts With You!

Communities Across New York State Engage in 
NAMI-NYS Ribbon Awareness Campaign

Everyday for the past three weeks it has been incredibly inspiring to see more pictures coming into our office showing how communities throughout New York have embraced the NAMI-NYS Ribbon Awareness campaign. 

Once again this week we are so gratified to see police and fire departments getting involved in the campaign as well as the Putnam County courthouse. It's also been interesting to see how people have gotten creative with the campaign by placing ribbons on dogs and cars. 

NAMI-NYS is tremendously grateful to all our affiliates who are working on the campaign and all the businesses, schools, medical offices, libraries and government agencies who have committed themselves to raising mental health awareness in their community. We will be highlighting the campaign  throughout  the month so keep those pictures coming. You can email all pictures to There is also still time to get involved in the campaign - you can email Alicia at the address above for more information.

 Participates in 
Legislative Disability Awareness Day
(clockwise from upper right) Assembly Mental Hygiene committee members Aileen Gunther (chair), Michael Cussick, John McDonald and David Weprin, Chair, Assembly Task Force in People with Disabilities
On May 16th, NAMI-NYS participated in the annual New York State Legislative Disability Awareness Day. The event at the Legislative Office Building is designed to inform legislators about issues impacting people with disabilities. 

NAMI-NYS had an information table which was visited by several legislators who posed with our #Act4MentalHealth sign and were presented with NAMI-NYS's Legislative Priority sheet.

You can click here to read the letters from Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Mental Health Chair Aileen Gunther which appeared in the event program.

You can click here to see all the pictures from

NAMI-NYS Gives Mental Health in the Workplace Presentation to Company in the World Trade Center  

On May 19th, NAMI-NYS Public Engagement Coordinator Matthew Shapiro gave a presentation to xAd, a global location-based marketing company located at 1 World Trade Center. Most of the employees in the NYC office attended and staff from their branches around the world participated in the discussion remotely.

All factors of workplace mental health were discussed including explaining how mental health impacts business, the roles employers and employees play in creating a culture of well being, NAMI NYC-Metro's work with various companies and their recently published Working Well: Leading a Mentally Healthy Business toolkit, as well as information on how to engage in NAMI social media campaigns. Many employees wore green for the day and the company provided everyone with stress balls with NAMI contact info.

NAMI-NYS is grateful for the opportunity to have this important conversation. If your business is interested in having such a presentation, please email

Click here to view the slides from the presentation.
NAMI Syracuse Holds Annual Children's Conference
NAMI Syracuse President, Karen Winters Schwartz with the two recipients of the 2016 Joe Gentile Memorial Award. Upper left Vice President, Spencer Plavocos, upper right Treasurer Frank Mazzotti. Below Regina Canuso of the Governor's Council on Children and Families presenting at the conference. 
NAMI Syracuse recently held their annual children's mental health conference. This year's event Addressing Challenging Behavior in Children and Youth: Climbing to Success, featured sessions on assessment, medication and treatment intervention for self-destructive and violent behavior, promoting pro-social behavior in the classroom and home through positive behavior supports, multi-system challenges in serving complex children and a panel of parents sharing what has and has not worked in their children.

The conference also saw the presentation of the Joe Gentile Memorial Award to long-time members Spencer Plavoccos and Frank Mazzotti.

NAMI on Campus at Herkimer 
County Community College Provides Mental Health Resources 
Leading up to Finals
NAMI on Campus at Herkimer partnered with the Counseling Center, Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, and the Center for Family Life and Recovery to provide awareness of mental health and stress management activities on the last day of classes May 10th.

Some of the activities included a Stress Less Rodeo with a mechanical bull, yoga, adult coloring, making Ninja stress balls, calm down jars, yoga, a visit from therapy dogs, origami art, an "I Choose" photo campaign and a free mid-night breakfast. It was a huge success with many students turning out for the activities.

Newsday Details How Family-to-Family Provides 
Help and Hope
On May 19th, Newsday columnist Anne Michaud published a piece detailing how the NAMI Family-to-Family program has provided help to countless families. In the piece she interviews the program's developer NAMI Boardmember Joyce Burland along with NAMI Queens-Nassau Family-to-Family teacher Jeanette Wells.

Click here to read the full article.

The Troy Record Details the Importance of the 
NAMI-NYS Ribbon Awareness Campaign

The Troy Record published an article about the NAMI-NYS Ribbon awareness campaign and how it has raised awareness across the city of Troy and throughout Rensselaer county. Both NAMI Rensselaer County President Paul Klein and campaign organizer Sandra Dinoto are interviewed for the piece. The article also quotes Troy mayor Patrick Madden, who said,"Thanks to the grassroots efforts of NAMI Rensselaer County, hundreds of families in Troy and surrounding communities have access to free support groups, education classes, resources and advocacy, the city of Troy is pleased to be a partner in promoting this important effort."

Click here to read the full article.

Help Get New NAMI Public Service Announcement Aired in Your Community

Last week we brought you the information on NAMI's  new Stigma Free public service announcement featuring Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik, who is also an accomplished psychologist. 

We need your help to get the PSA aired in your community. NAMI-NYS has compiled a list of contacts for people responsible for PSA at network affiliates across the state as well as a letter and email to send them.

Click here for the contact list.
Click here for the instructions and email template for contacting stations in your community..
Click here for the pitch letter 

These Take the Prize: 
Journalists and Mental Health Advocacy

The Pulitzer Prize represents the highest honor for print journalism. They are given in recognition for both professional excellence and public service. This past month marked the 100th anniversary of the awards. What is even more exciting is that several selections focused on mental health concerns, bringing attention and awareness to the movement. 

The Washington Post won the award for National Reporting for a series on fatal shootings by police-including individuals experiencing psychiatric crises. The newspaper built a detailed database to make up for the fact that few statistics existed. NAMI CEO Mary Giliberti wrote a letter to the editor noting that the proportion of fatal shootings involving people with mental illness was probably much higher than the 25% reported-and called for a nationwide expansion of police crisis interventions teams. The result was a subsequent article in the series, Distraught People, Deadly Results - Police Often Lack Training, in which NAMI Senior Policy Advisor Ron Honberg and CIT Manager Laura Usher were interviewed. 

The series has fueled administrative and legislative reform initiatives to begin collecting official data involving police shootings and broader efforts for mental health reform.

Other prize finalists focussing on mental health from the Tampa Bay Times, the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Los Angeles Times are also mentioned in this article.

Click here to read the full article.
New York State News
Join HARP/HCBS Regional Planning Consortium Events Outside NYC

NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors has been charged by OMH and OASAS with developing local plans to address and monitor the behavioral health transition through Regional Planning Consortiums (RPCs). The Conference has released the following schedule and is urging consumers, families, providers, local governments, and Managed Care Organizations to attend.

Effective July 1, 2016, Medicaid Managed Care (MMC) plans in counties outside of New York City will begin covering expanded behavioral health services for adults (21 and over). Also effective July 1, 2016, Health and Recovery Plans (HARPs) will begin enrollment of eligible recipients with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Beginning October 1, 2016 HARPs outside NYC will offer members access to enhanced behavioral health home and community-based services (BH HCBS).

This transition is based on the work of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) with the goal to promote better health, better care, greater access, and lower costs.

Through the efforts of all involved stakeholders, New York State expects to build a system that effectively delivers fully integrated, community based behavioral health and physical health for consumers, and establish a better quality experience for Medicaid recipients in New York State.

To this end, the Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors (CLMHD)  is excited to partner with the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Office of Mental Health (OMH), and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to hold a series of kick-off events to begin Regional Planning Consortiums in counties outside of New York City.

NAMI-NYS encourages our members and readers to participate in this inaugural meeting to begin the planning and work that establishes the RPC system. The agenda will include:

* An overview of Behavioral Health Medicaid Managed Care changes in NYS
* Lessons learned from the NYC implementation
* Role and goals of the RPC
* Information on available resources and next steps.

Click here for a map of the RPC regions and list of kickoff events. These events are open to all interested parties.

OMH Medical Director Lloyd Sederer Featured in 
Mental Health Channel Piece on 
How to Prevent People With Mental Illness from Becoming Violent

The Mental Health Channel's Big Thinkers on Mental Health series has focused on reducing violence in people with mental illness. The channel states that people with serious mental illness are rarely violent, in fact they're much more likely to be victims than perpetrators. But how do we reduce those rare occurrences where the mentally ill do become violent? Dr. Lloyd Sederer, Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health and Huffington Post Mental Health Editor, provides his insights on this complex issue.

Click here to watch Dr. Sederer's video.

U Albany Don't Judge Me Campaign Raising Awareness about Mental Illness

Students in a University at Albany undergraduate  Social Welfare in the U.S.  class put together a powerful video for class that they hope will begin a movement to end the stigma associated with mental illness. "The students in my class, Nina Benvenuto, Emily Noonan, Chyanne Mennell, Erik Wills and Andy Galla, went way above and beyond, and incorporated their own vulnerability, honesty and creativity in this endeavor," said Keith Chan, an assistant professor in the School of Social Welfare. 

Through the video, they seek to raise awareness about mental illness, mobilize people to end the silence around this issue, and gather allies to support those who are going through these experiences. They reached out using social media to find real people to be a part of this project. "It started as a final group assignment for my class, but this is being shared on YouTube, and the students are using this to begin a movement (#dontjudgemecampaign )," said Chan.

Click here to watch the video.

National News
Good Housekeeping Magazine Takes Readers Inside the Mind of Someone Living With Schizophrenia
Good Housekeeping recently featured an article by Rebecca Chamaa who lives with schizophrenia. Chamaa writes that people living with schizophrenia are depicted in the news, television and movies as either a mass murderer or a genius. Chamaa is neither. She had her first psychotic episode at age 28- hearing voices, becoming paranoid and experiencing suicidal thoughts. Luckily Chamaa was already successful; she had completed college and had a career as a social worker in the State of Washington. Schizophrenia often strikes people during college years, disrupting and sometimes ruining their chances at an education. Today Chamaa lives a normal life. She views her illness as any other chronic medical condition which she manages well with medication. In her 40's Chamaa had the courage to write and speak about her experience with schizophrenia, breaking the sterotypes and stigma of her illness.

Click here to read the full article. 

CNN Presents Me, My Mother and Schizophrenia

Antoine Jackson is the corporate development director with Special Olympics Michigan, a minister at Greater Mitchell Temple of Detroit and a self-published author of several books including his most recent, "Flip the Switch." In honor of mental health awareness month, he shares with CNN his personal experience of living with a mother diagnosed with schizophrenia. He details how he was ridiculed in school because of his mother's illness and how they lived in a predominantly African-American community where access to quality health care was limited and a stigma around mental illness prevailed.  He says his mother's mental illness motivated him to lead a life of service to others.

Click here to read the full article.

Most mass shooters aren't mentally ill. So why push better treatment as the answer?

The Washington Post published an article that explains that while acknowledging that some of the country's worst mass shooters were psychotic - the Colorado movie theater shooter, James Holmes, with his orange-dyed hair; the Virginia Tech shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, whom a judge ordered to get treatment - experts say the vast majority of these killers did not have any classic form of serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or psychosis. Instead they were more often ruthless sociopaths whose behavior, while unfathomable, can't typically be treated as mental illness. 

The article argues that the over simplication is perpetuated by the gun industry and a society that assumes that the mentally ill are the only ones capable of vicious killing sprees. Now, with the White House and Congress prioritizing an overhaul of the mental health system to try to curtail mass shootings and gun violence, critics say the country is chasing an expensive and potentially counterproductive cure on the basis of the wrong diagnosis.

Click here to read the full article.


NIMH Update

Click here to read the latest Update from NIMH. The Update includes a review on early psychosis by the Pathways to Positive Futures Research and Training Center. NIMH staff have authored an article in this review on the expansion of Coordinated Specialty Care for First-Episode Psychosis in the U.S.


NAMI-NYS NAMIWalks-Saturday September 24th, Jennings Landing Albany. Click here for more information.

There's Still Time to Support the Affiliates Who Held Their Walks Earlier This Month!

NAMI-NYC Metro NAMIWalks-Click here for more information

NAMI Rochester NAMIWalks-Click here for more information.

NAMI Queens/Nassau NAMIWalks- Click here for more information.

This Saturday!

NAMI Westchester NAMIWalks- May 21st  at Rye Town Park. Click here for more information,
Save the Dates
May 25 -NAMI Rockland presents their Mental Health Awareness Month Film Series with a showing of Frankie & Alice at the Finkelstein Memorial Library in Spring Valley beginning at 1:00 PM. Click here for more information.

May 31-NAMI of Sullivan County will end Mental Health Awareness Month with a bang by having Mike Veny, Founder of and a sought-after mental health stigma expert, keynote speaker and high-energy interactive drumming facilitator. Mike will give a presentation on Transforming Stigma into Strength and Drumming Up Your Feelings. The event will take place at SUNY Sullivan's Seelig Theatre located at 112 College Road, Loch Sheldrake, NY, beginning at 6:30pm. Click here for more information 

June 5- Team Daniel Running for Recovery from Mental Illness invites you to join them for: Byram Hills Running for Hope. Registration: 8 am-9 am Activity starts at 9 AM. Run the 5 K Cross Country trail with marathon great Bill Rodgers Hear from mental health advocate Hakeem Rahim, State Senator David Carlucci and Stephanie Marquesano the founder of the Harris Project. The event will also feature Rachel Laitman singing Hallelujah, music by The Lagond School of Music Band and stand-up comedy Daniel Laitman.

During the entire event the TeamDaniel, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health of America, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and the Harris will have information tables.

June 8- Join NAMI Mid-Hudson for their Annual Fundraising Gala 2016.  At The Grandview, 176 Rinaldi Blvd, Poughkeepsie.  5pm to 9pm.  To Honor: Andrew O'Grady, Executive Director, Mental Health America Dutchess County and Michael P Hein, Ulster County Executive.  With Special Guest Dr. Xavier Amador author of: "I'm Not Sick.  I Don't Need Help!"  Click here for more information, please visit:

June 8 -NAMI Rockland Theater Party!!! NEXT TO NORMAL The show will be at Elmwood Playhouse in Nyack. The show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35 which includes Wine and hors d'oeuvres at intermission. There will also be a Raffle! About Next to Normal-This is a profoundly moving, shape-shifting, pop-rock musical for audiences who want to feel everything in one theatrical ride. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and three TONY Awards including Best Musical Score. Click here for more information.

JUNE 14 - Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist:  Social Learning in Borderline Personality Disorder, presented by Sarah Kathryn Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D. Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University. Register now:  

JULY 12 - Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist:  Life Elevated: Examining Altitude-Related Effects on Mental illness, presented by
Perry F. Renshaw, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine, Medical Director, Rocky Mountain Network, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Register now:
AUGUST 9 - Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist: Autism: Understanding the Causes and Developing Effective Treatments, presented by
Jacqueline N. Crawley, Ph.D. Robert E. Chason Chair in Translational Research, MIND Institute, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento. Register now:
SEPTEMBER 13- Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist:  Living Well with ADHD: Scientific Guideposts to Improved Outcomes, presented by
Francisco Xavier Castellanos, M.D. Brooke and Daniel Neidich Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Professor, Department of
Neuroscience and Physiology, Professor, Department of Radiology, Dir Rsch Green Cohen Inst Prevent Sci, New York University Child Study Center. Register now:

October 7 -NAMI Rensselaer County will hold their 3rd Annual Recognition Dinner & Consumer Art Show. This year's honoree is Philip C. Nasca, PhD, Dean of SUNY School of Public Health. The event will take place from 6:30-9:00pm at Moscatiello's Italian Family Restaurant, 99 N. Greenbush Road (Rt. 4), Troy, NY

October 15The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention presents Out Of The Darkness Walk 10am, FDR Park in Yorktown.  Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck.  They need volunteers or for more information contact Maria Idoni (914) 610-9156 or
OCTOBER 18 - Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist: Schizophrenia, presented by Herbert Y. Meltzer, M.D.Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and of Physiology, Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Register now:
NOVEMBER 8 - Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist: Could We Someday Prevent Schizophrenia Like We Prevent Cleft Palate? Presented by Robert R. Freedman, M.D. Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine. Register now:
DECEMBER 13- Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist:  Neuroinflammatory Hypotheses of Depression, presented byYvette I. Sheline, M.D.
 Register now:

Signature Programs
May 3 - June 7 - NAMI Basics by NAMI of Central Suffolk.  10am to 12:30pm, Tuesdays at the Sagamore Childen's Center in Dix Hills.  For more information or to register please contact Beth (631) 697-6097 or

May 9-July 18 - NAMI Peer-to-Peer, 6:30 to 8:30pm.  At the Patterson room in Samaritan Hospital, Troy, NY.  To register call Christine Rickeman at (518) 462-2000 or (518) 506-6484, email  Or Gregory Hitchcock (518) 921-4146, email
May 14&15 - NAMI Family Support Group training to become a Facilitator.  NAMI-NYS.  Contact your local affiliate.

May 16 - NAMI Family-to-Family classes by NAMI Greene.  Twice a week for 6 weeks on Monday & Thursday nights.  Windham Hensonville United Methodist Church, Windham, NY.  6pm to 8pm.  To Register: call Jackie at (518) 734-4383.

June 2- NAMI Family-to-Family classes by NAMI Greene.  Twice a week for 6 weeks on Monday & Thursday nights.  Windham Hensonville United Methodist Church, Windham, NY.  6pm to 8pm.  To Register: call Jackie at (518) 734-4383.
June 25&26 - NAMI Family Support Group training to become a Facilitator.  NAMI-NYS.  Contact your local affiliate.
July 16&17 - In Our Own Voice Training to become a Presenter.  NAMI-NYS.  Contact your local affiliate. This training is FULL and we are not accepting applications at this time.
July 22-24 - NAMI Family-to-Family Training to become a Teacher.  NAMI-NYS.  Contact your local affiliate.
August 27 - NAMI Ending the Silence training to become a Presenter.  St. Vincent's in Westchester.
August 28 - NAMI Parent & Teachers as Allies training to become a Presenter.  St. Vincent's in Westchester.

August 30 - Family-to-Family by NAMI AMICO.  Tuesdays from 6;30 to 9pm, for 12 continuous weeks.  At First Presbyterian Church, 33 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924.  Contact Catha Weiben (845) 551-1777.
October 7-9- NAMI Family-to-Family training to become a Teacher.  NAMI-NYS.  Contact your local affiliate.
To have your events and Signature Programs listed in the E-Newsletter contact Alicia Burns at

NAMI-NYS | 99 Pine Street Suite 302| Albany, New York 12207 | (518) 462-2000