May 30, 2017

In This Issue
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Thank You to Everyone Who Contributed
 to Mental Health Awareness Month
Hope Starts With You!

This edition of the NAMI-NYS E-News, comes as we wrap up another successful Mental Health Awareness Month. We want to thank all of our readers who contributed to our success raising awareness during the month of May. Whether you held a special event, helped hang ribbons as part of our Ribbon Campaign or participated in one of the four NAMIWalks during the month, your efforts helped contribute to greater understanding of mental health issues as well as letting people know that NAMI-NYS and our affiliates are a place to find help and find hope. 

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!
Albany County District Attorney Participates in the NAMI-NYS
Ribbon Campaign and We Thank All Who Contributed to 
the Campaign's Success 

We want to thank Albany County District Attorney David Soares (pictured top row second from the left) and his staff for participating in the Ribbon Campaign, posting on social media about Mental Health Awareness Month and posting a link to NAMI-NYS. 

The Ribbon Campaign once again expanded in 2017 and helped raise awareness and start conversations in communities in all corners of New York State. We want to extend our gratitude to all of those who contributed to the campaign's growth and success. The many volunteers who took the time to hang ribbons including organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and to the businesses, schools, government offices, libraries, organizations and police and fire departments who told the world that they are "stigma free" by hanging the ribbons. 

It has been incredibly inspiring seeing the pictures from across the state. Keep those pictures coming!  Send your ribbon campaign pictures to .

NAMIWalks Season Continues with the NAMI Westchester Walk

The first part of the NAMIWalks season in New York State concluded with the NAMI Westchester Walk on May 20th. The walk, which took place on the boardwalk by Rye Playland, was a big success! We want to thank everyone who participated in the four Spring NAMIWalks: Rochester, Long Island/Queens, New York City Metro and Westchester. You can still support any of the four walks by clicking above or in the NAMIWalks section towards the bottom of the E-News. In total, nearly 4,000 people participated in the Spring Walks. If you were not able to participate in a NAMIWalks yet (or if you want to do it again), you have one more opportunity to join the movement with the NAMIWalks NYS taking place September 23rd in Albany. 

NAMI-NYS Participates in CIT Training 
Organized by Albany County

On Friday, May 26th, NAMI-NYS was honored to once again be asked by Albany County to participate in a Crisis Intervention Team training. Associate Director of Public Affairs Matthew Shapiro participated in a panel that offered the perspective of individuals living with a mental illness and family members. Matthew discussed the importance of listening to family members' insights when intervening and explained that when they are interacting with family members during a crisis that they are encountering family members during a traumatic period and to be sensitive of that. Since police from the SUNY Campus attended, Matthew also discussed how symptoms of many severe mental illnesses first present during the ages of 18-25 and how coupling this fact with the lack of adequate mental health services on many college campuses may force campus police into a unique role in helping generate the best outcomes for students experiencing a mental illness. In all, 29 officers participated in the training representing the Albany Police Department, the SUNY Police, correction officers and the Watervliet and Cohoes Police Departments.

NAMI-NYS thanks Katie Flanigan from Albany County and Lt Willie Flack from the Albany Police Department for inviting us to participate.

NAMI-NYS Participates in Albany County Mental Health Fair
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy with NAMINYS Walks Manager Heide Garner

On May 24th the Albany County Department of Mental Health sponsored a county wide Mental Health fair at the County Office Building. NAMI-NYS participated by having an information table. We are grateful for this opportunity to partner with Albany County to educate the public about mental health issues.

Several NAMI-NYS Members Participate in 
NAMI Train the Trainer Event

NAMI held the national Train the Trainer event in Arlington, VA on April 28 - May 1. This weekend was full of excitement as many from across the country were trained as state trainers in various programs. Eight NAMI-NYS members, who were recommended by their local affiliate and NAMI-NYS, participated and were trained to lead Ending the Silence, Family-to-Family, NAMI Connections and NAMI Family Support Group trainings. NAMI-NYS's eight new trainers are: Laura DeToia (NAMI Westchester), Alexis Hill (NAMI Mid-Hudson), Sharon Bogart (NAMI-NYC Metro), Patti Sacher (NAMI-NYC Metro), Sharon McCarthy (NAMI Westchester), Audrey McInerney (NAMI Westchester), and Michaela Rizzuto (NAMI Westchester). Thank you for your commitment to NAMI, NAMI-NYS and your dedication to help others. 

NAMI Mid-Hudson and NAMI Rockland Join Forces for VA Event

NAMI Mid-Hudson and NAMI Rockland came together at an event at the Castle Point campus of the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System in Wappingers Falls. Pictured above is Ann Arias from NAMI Rockland, Tina Lee from NAMI Mid-Hudson and Elana Fine from the VA. We encourage all our affiliates in neighboring areas to seek out opportunities to collaborate with each other. 
NAMI Renesselaer President States "Nothing is Funny About Mental Illness"  in Letter to the Editor
Recently, memes and lawn signs have cropped up in reference to "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder," a 2006 book by conservative talk radio host Michael Savage.

NAMI Rensselaer County President Paul Klein wrote a letter to the Editor of The Daily Gazette, a local newspaper based in Schenectady. Klein's letter underlined that stereotyping mental illness in this way only contributes to its stigmatization. Klein reinforced that mental illnesses require treatment, in the form of therapies and medications, in the same manner as physical illnesses do. Imploring readers to "choose [their] words (and lawn signs) wisely," Klein warned against using mental illness as fodder for political satire. Klein said that doing so only serves to "create confusion and further stigmatize mental illness." 

Click here to read the letter.
Last Days to Support NAMI-NYS During Mental Health Awareness Month Through Yankee Candle

We want to remind everyone that tomorrow is the final day to support NAMI-NYS through the Yankee Candle in a fundraising initiative.   Click here  to visit their fundraising store, which includes candles and other gifts, use the code 999968124 where it says "start shopping" and 40% of your purchase will go to NAMIWalks NYS. If you purchase $100 or more you receive free shipping. 

NAMI Reports How the President's FY2018 Budget Request Slashes Support for People with Mental Illness

In a recent article, NAMI outlined cuts to mental health services proposed in President Trump's FY2018 budget. Among the proposed changes, the President's budget would cut $600 billion from Medicaid over the next ten years, a $356 million drop in funding for the National Institute on Mental Health, and a nearly $400 million reduction for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ($116 million of which affects mental health services directly). In addition to cuts for healthcare and research, President Trump's budget proposed deep cuts to housing subsidy programs and the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA).

Mary Giliberti, the CEO of NAMI, said that " this budget will put more people with mental illness out of work, on the streets, and in our jails and emergency rooms." Giliberti went on to advise that Congress should not approve Mr. Trump's proposals.

Click here to read more, 

New York State News
Understanding the New York's ABLE as Enrollment is Set to Begin

Set to accept enrollment starting in Summer 2017, New York State's Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) program will allow New Yorkers receiving SSI or SSDI disability benefits to save money for qualifying expenses without jeopardizing their eligibility for services.

NAMI-NYS offers the following as a breakdown of the ABLE program:
  • ABLE allows SSI/SSDI beneficiaries (or their legal guardians/representative payees) to save money
  • ABLE accounts are either checking/savings-style accounts or investment accounts, but an individual may have only one account
  • Contributions up to $14,000 a year and a total balance of $100,000 are tax-exempt, and will not affect eligibility for Social Security (the NYS ABLE website makes the exception that transfers from a 529 College Savings Fund are taxable)
  • ABLE account balances do not affect Medicaid eligibility
  • In the case of investment accounts, the investment portfolio may be changed twice per year
  • Anyone may contribute funds to an ABLE account: the money does not have to come from the beneficiary's SSI or SSDI benefit
Click here to learn more about ABLE Accounts. 
National News
60 Minutes Profiles Sheriff Tom Dart

The CBS News program 60 Minutes recently profiled Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, recipient of the 2015 NAMI-NYS Criminal Justice Visonary Award.

Responsible for the care of more than 7,500 inmates, many of them simply awaiting trial in Metropolitan Chicago courtrooms, Sheriff Dart is revolutionizing the way his department handles low-security inmates. This is especially true for inmates with a mental illness. Sheriff Dart makes treating those mental illnesses a central focus and aims to provide similar treatment to what they would receive in a hospital setting.

The profile also details the criticism he gets from some for being "soft on inmates," and Sheriff Dart reinforces that many under his care, yet to be convicted, are still considered innocent in the eyes of the law and many need treatment not punishment.

Click here to watch.

It's Not Just Chris Cornell: 
Suicide Rates Highest Among  Middle-Aged Men

In the wake of Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell's suicide, NBC's Mary Emily O'Hara penned an article regarding a "silent epidemic" of suicide in middle-aged men. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the 121 deaths by suicide in America daily, 93 are done by men. Dr. Julie Cerel, a professor at the University of Kentucky College Of Social Work, stresses that men are often reluctant to seek treatment, especially in matters pertaining to mental health. Cerel cites societal norms of stoicism and "machismo" as central contributors to this unrecognized public health crisis. 

Click here to read more. 
Watch Mental Health Now Featuring
NIMH's Dr. Robert Heinssen

Click here to watch the episode of the NAMI-NYS produced television program  Mental Health Now  featuring Dr. Robert Heinssen, , Director, Division of Services and Intervention Research, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The episode was recorded when Dr. Heinssen was one of the featured speakers at our 2016 Education Conference. In the episode, Dr. Heinssen discusses several NIMH initiatives, the road ahead with new director Dr. Joshua Gordon and how New York State took findings from the NIMH Recovery After Initial Schizophrenic Episode (RAISE) study to introduce the progressive early intervention program OnTrackNY.

Several NIMH Studies on Irritability in Children 
Looking for Recruits

Why study irritability? During the 1990s, there was a significant increase in the number of children being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After years of studies, NIMH researchers concluded that, although children with severe irritability were being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, severe irritability and bipolar disorder are not the same. However, irritability, like bipolar disorder, can be very impairing for children, and little is known about what causes it or how to treat it. Therefore, today, NIMH clinicians continue to investigate severe irritability and the related diagnosis of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD).

Children pass through many phases of development as they grow up. It can be hard to know if a child is going through normal development or showing signs of something more serious. Occasional outbursts are a normal outcome of being tired, uncomfortable, or frustrated. In some children it can be chronic and explosive.

Children who enroll in NIMH studies have irritability that signi´Čücantly impacts their functioning at home, in school and with other children.

Click here to learn more about the current studies and how to participate. 


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 Park-Rye

Save the Dates
MAY 31st- NAMI Montgomery-Fulton- Hamilton Family Wellness Series. New York State Office of Mental Health-presenter John Stenson.            5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. #2390 Riverfront Center, Amsterdam,N.Y. 12010. For more information (518)843-3261

JUNE 4th- NAMI Sullivan County 9th Annual "Tee it Up" for Mental Health. Sunday June 4th 12:30 Registration. Tarry Brae~ Golf Course 387 Pleasant V alley Road, South Falls NY 12779.

Click Here for registration Flyer

June 13-Join the Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation for their latest Meet the Scientist webinar. The topic is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the presenter will be Carolyn I. Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine. The webinar will take place from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. EST. Click here for more information.

Signature Programs
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 Family-to-Family. Saturdays June 3rd - August 26th  1:30 pm- 4:00 pm at  The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, 110-31 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11433. To register call (718) 347-7284 or (516) 326-0797 or email Co-Leaders Rev. Val Gittens, Theresa Stahling, Jeannette Wells. This class is full, please contact Jeannette Wells for future Family -to-Family Class information.(646)-483-3885.

JUNE 6- NAMIRockland Bases Y Fundamentos. Tuesday's June 6th - July 18th (off July 4th)  6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at  St. Dominic's Home, Community Waiver Program, 500 Western Highway, Blauvelt NY.Facilitators Marilyn Matos and Barbara Martinez-Silva, to register contact:  NAMI Rockland (845) 359-8784
JUNE 8-  NAMI Rockland Basics. Thursdays, June 8th-July 6th 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at St. Dominic's Home, Community Waiver Program
500 Western Highway, Blauvelt NY. Facilitators  Rita Strumph and  Kate Johnson. To register contact:  NAMI Rockland (845) 359-8784

JULY 12-NAMI-NYC Metro Basics PROFESSIONAL CLASS (for professionals only). Wednesdays, July 12th - August 16th at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi (212)684-3365 x 203 /

JULY12th-NAMI Central Suffolk Basics. Wednesday evenings July 12th- August 23rd from 6:00 pm-8:30 pm at the Farmingville Mental Health Clinic, 15 Horseblock Place Farmingville, NY 11738. Registration is required. Contact: Andrea Stolz, (631) 223-5030 

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

SEPTEMBER 12- NAMI-NYC Metro Basics. Tuesdays, September 12 - October17, 6:00 pm- 8:30 pm at    505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.   To register contact Deniece Chi (212)684-3365 x 203 /

SEPTEMBER 13- NAMI-NYC Metro Basics (SPANISH SPEAKING). Wednesdays, September 13th-October 18th, 6:00 pm- 8:30 pm at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi (212)684-3365 x 203 / 

SEPTEMBER 14 - NAMI-NYC Metro Basics. Thursdays, September 14th- October 19th 10:00 am-12:30 pm at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi (212)684-3365 x 203 /

NOVEMBER 1 -NAMI-NYC Metro Basics. Wednesdays, November 1st-December 6, 6:00 pm- 8:30 pm at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi (212)684-3365 x 203 /

NOVEMBER 2 - NAMI NYC Metro Basics. Thursdays, November 2nd - December 7th, 10:00 am-12:30 pm at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi (212)684-3365 x 203 / 

NOVEMBER 3-NAMI-NYC Metro Basics (SPANISH SPEAKING) Fridays, November 3rd - December 8th, 10:00 am-12:30 pm at 505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.  To register contact Deniece Chi (212)684-3365 x 203 / 

Please contact your local affiliate program leaders for more information and how to enroll.
NAMI Support Group Facilitator Training
June 3rd-4th, 2017
Trainers: Deniece Chi & Nancy Parker
Location: NAMI-NYS Office Albany

NAMI Family-to-Family Teacher Training
June 9th-11th, 2017
Trainers: Patti Sacher & Bonnie Goldberg
Location: NAMI-NYS Office Albany
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
July 14th-16th, 2017
Trainers: Ann Canastra & Cheri Caiella
Location: Comfort Suite Cicero-Syracuse
NAMI Homefront Teacher Training
September 16th-17th 2017
Trainers: Pam Solomon & Jerry Burton
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

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