Happy Friday Readers!
This week's edition of the NAMI-NYS E-Newsletter is bittersweet. While we have a lot to celebrate this week, we also mourn the loss of two men of courage. We were sad to learn about the passing of former NAMI-NYS board member John Coon, II. You will find a tribute to John and his legacy in the NAMI-NYS News section. We would also be remiss not to recognize the loss of Muhammad Ali, who inspired many by his beliefs that nothing is impossible, we all can be agents of change and that we all have a duty to care for one another. These ideals are also central to NAMI's mission and the struggles of individual and families impacted by mental illness.
As we mourn their losses we also look to the future, specifically our children and their mental health. Yesterday, we sent out an Action Alert detailing the need to advocate for legislation to bring mental health education to New York's schools.
We are thrilled to report that the bill passed the Assembly, we now need you to turn your attention to telling Senate Leader Flanagan to pass this bill.
to learn more.
Children's mental health issues are featured throughout this issue, including information on how NAMI-NYS and our affiliates are working with children's groups and schools and details about a new NPR series on children's mental health. In the coming weeks NAMI-NYS will be releasing information about our new Young Adult network.
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 the upcoming Summer 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...
John Coon, II 1973-2016
It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news of the passing of John Coon, II. John served as the Consumer Chair of the NAMI-NYS Board for several years and was known for his passionate advocacy both for people living with a mental illness as well as addressing mental health issues specific to the LGBT community. John was instrumental in getting a NAMI-NYS affiliate for the LGBT community and getting NAMI-NYS involved in the Capital Pride celebration. Ironically, this Saturday is the 2016 Capital Pride and once again NAMI-NYS will be participating. It will surely be bittersweet for us, but we know John's spirit and warm smile will be with us.
The pictures above show John receiving the 2009 NAMI-NYS Muriel Shepherd Award and advocating in the Washington D.C office of Rep. Paul Tonko.
We will miss you John, rest in peace.
NAMI-NYS Participates in the Early Care and Learning Council's Annual Meeting
United to Promote Quality
On June 8th, NAMI-NYS exhibited at the Early Care and Learning Council's annual meeting. The 2016 meeting was titled
United to Promote Quality and brought together children's advocates, early child-care providers and after-school program leaders. NAMI-NYS had the opportunity to detail to participants how NAMI Signature Programs such as Ending the Silence, Parents and Teachers as Allies and NAMI Basics can assist the children and adolescents they work with, their staff and the families that utilize their services. The conference focused on how introducing early education, tools for social emotional development and best mental health practices from day one of a child's life can yield a lifetime of positive benefits.
Katherine Wallace Details the NAMI@Emma Club and Partners With NAMI-NYS to Replicate it in Other
Katherine Wallace, the high school student who founded the first NAMI high school club in New York State has been busy explaining the club to her peers and working with NAMI to replicate the club in other schools. Last week, she presented to her follow students at the Emma Willard school about how the club was her Signature Project and how it has grown.
This week, Katherine and Wendy Burch, NAMI-NYS Executive Director met with the Rensselaer City School District to discuss the possibility of creating a NAMI high school club similar to the one Katherine formed at Emma Willard. They spoke with the school district superintendent, Sally Ann Shields, Junior/Senior High School Principal Karen Urbanski, School Social Worker Heather Staszak and members of the Alumni Association of Rensselaer City School District. In fact, Lynne Beirmeister, president of the alumni association, requested the meeting after reading about the NAMI at Emma Club in the local newspaper.
The school district is eager to promote mental wellness within the student body and were enthusiastic about a campus club, as well as better educating students about mental illness. The group will be following up throughout the summer with the goal of bringing increased awareness and support for the students in the upcoming school year. We previously reported how Wendy and Katherine have met with OMH to advance the NAMI High School model.
NAMI-NYS is in the process of creating a young adult network to help advance NAMI Clubs in high schools and colleges throughout the state. We'll be providing more information about the network in the coming weeks.
2016 Team Daniel Running for Recovery
rom Mental Illness
All photos taken and copyrighted by
@domenica comfort photographs clockwise from upper-left: Bill Rodgers and Senator David Carlucci, Hakeem Rahim and Rob Laitman, group shot of Laitman family, participants and Hakeem Rahim, a participant with the NAMI "Finding Help, Finding Hope logo, Senator Carlucci and Rob Laitman completing the run.
The 2016 Team Daniel Running for Recovery from Mental Illness event took place on Sunday, June 5th at Byram HillsHigh School and despite the wet weather, the event, organized by NAMI-NYS boardmember Dr. Rob Laitman, was a great success. Marathon legend Bill Rodgers, NYS Senator David Carlucci, Hakeem Rahim and NAMI-NYS Executive Director Wendy Burch, all participated in this year's event.
The entire Laitman family got involved in the act as Rob's son Daniel did a stand-up comedy routine and his daughter Rachel sung with her band.
Proceeds from the event went to several mental health organizations including NAMI-NYS; we are grateful to all that participated and for their support.
Create for a Cause Benefits NAMI Queens/Nassau NAMI Walks
Each year, the Manhasset High School Art Honor Society holds the Create for a Cause event to benefit a charitable organization. This year, the event's proceeds went to NAMI Queens/Nassau. The students offered a wide range of unique crafts and activities for participants that included jewelry making, tattooing, and cupcake decorating.
As you will read throughout this issue, improving children's awareness of mental illness and mental health issues is critical. NAMI-NYS and our affiliates can be beneficial partners with schools to ensure students, teachers and school staff recieve information on psychiatric disorders. We encourage all our members and affiliates to reach out and build relationships with the schools in your community.
NAMI Westchester Receives
Human Development Services Award and
articipates in Westchester Comic-Con
Pictured are: (front row) Sharon McCarthy, Program Director, and Jennifer Jacquet Murray, President (back row) Marie Considine, Director of Development, and Board members: Irwin Lubell, Daniele R. Varquez, and Micheale Rizzutto
NAMI Westchester was honored by Human Development Services of Westchester at their Annual Gala on June 8. Andrea Kocsis, Executive Director, highlighted the support that NAMI Westchester provides families and those living with a mental illness as well as their community awareness events and their NAMI Walks and Ribbon Campaign.
Last week, the affiliate also exhibited at Westchester Comic-Con. Participating in events such as Comic-Con are so important as we all must strive to introduce mental health conversations in non-traditional arenas outside of the health field. Below is a picture of NAMI Westchester
Board members Eva Hale Leighton and Diana Cusumano at the event.
NAMI Rochester Holds an
In Our Own Voice Training
On June 4th and 5th NAMI Rochester held an In Our Own Voice training led by Bill Perun and Chris Wasilenko and trained six new IOOV presenters. We thank Bill and Chris for leading the training as well as to our six new presenters, we look forward to incorporating your voices to make your communities more aware of mental illness and mental health issues.
Don't Forget the Children
NAMI's Bob Carolla recently spotlighted the National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate in Washington, D.C.'s recent five-part series on children, mental health and schools. As Bob points out, "
This topic is incredibly prevalent today due to the fact that one in five teens lives with a mental health condition and approximately 50 percent of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Parents, teachers and students may not know or recognize telling symptoms, contributing to the unfortunate fact that suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youth aged 15 to 24."
A national version of the series with additional information will air later this summer on NPR's All Things Considered and Morning Edition programs
Click here to read the full story from NAMI which includes links to each episode of the series.
NAMI-NYS has been busy on this issue. You can click here to watch the episode of our TV show Mental Health Now which focused on mental health in schools and click here to view the Action Alert we sent out on Thursday to advance legislation to incorporate mental health education in schools.
NYS State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
to Receive NAMI Distinguished Service Award
NAMI will be presenting their 2016 Distinguished Service Award to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition for exceptional efforts to further NAMI's goal of improving the lives of people living with mental illness.
Between January 2014 and March 2015, Schneiderman reached five significant settlements with health insurers in an unprecedented enforcement of mental health parity. Settlements include requiring coverage of residential treatment for mental health conditions, reform of procedures for evaluating mental health claims, charging the same co-payment for outpatient visits for mental health as for primary care and more. His willingness to investigate health insurance companies, fight back against unfair practices and win large settlements is an important step forward in bringing health insurers in line with public expectations and the intent of federal law. Schneiderman's pursuit of fair coverage both inspires and offers a blueprint for other attorneys general to follow.
Time Magazine Focuses on New York City's
Mental Health Model
Time Magazine recently looked at how New York City's new initiatives are working to change attitudes and invest in prevention in mental illness. Launched in November 2015 and led by first lady of NYC Chirlane McCray,
could serve as a model for any city nationally.
Through the Mental Health Corps, New York City will hire 400 clinicians to provide services in high-need communities, where care can be fragmented and frustrating. Through the
Connections to Care
program, 15 community-based organizations serving low-income, at-risk populations will receive funding to provide mental health support services, training and referrals. ThriveNYC offers a robust mix of citywide and targeted programs to ensure that longstanding inequities in the delivery and receipt of care are finally corrected
Understanding Changes to Medicaid Behavioral Health Care in New York
New York State will be holding a series of consumer forums to provide information about the forthcoming changes to Medicaid and how that will impact behavioral health. People will have all their questions answered including what the new benefits are as well detailing what HARP is.
Watch White House Series on Making Health Care Better Focus on Mental Health
The White House is hosting a five-part series entitled, "Making Health Care Better" to highlight the significant progress made in improving the health system over the past seven years. Click here to watch the first iteration of the series focusing on advancements in mental health research, quality care, delivery of and parity in services, and coverage.
What Kimmy Schmidt Can Teach Us About Living With Mental Illness
The Netflix show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows a young woman taking back her life after spending 15 years trapped in a bunker where she was the victim of a cult leader. The writers have somehow managed to make a story about surviving kidnapping and sexual abuse actually funny. Not only is she one of a few popular characters currently on TV who are grappling with the nitty-gritty details of how trauma and mental illness can affect your life, she is at once cheerful, pleasant, well-groomed - and still has serious issues. Unlike most media portrayals of mental illness, Kimmy is neither incredibly sad (think Louis C.K.'s character in Louie), or incapable of functioning (think Diane Nguyen towards the end of Bojack Horseman). And this is important because, while certainly mental illness can look like that, for a lot of people that is a dangerous oversimplification.
The show also examines mental health issues of those who provide mental health services by focusing on a psychiatrist, played by show co-creator Tina Fey, who is struggling with a plethora of metal health issues herself.
to read more.
Loewes Hires a Man and His Service Dog
Owen Lima and his service dog, Blue, are the newest recruits at a Lowe's home improvement store in Canada. Lima suffers from a brain injury that requires him to have a service dog. Because of the injury, Lima can have a hard time understanding people when they speak too quickly. His canine sidekick helps calm him down and prevent anxiety attacks. But the benefits of the service dog came with a problem: difficulty finding a job. "It's so hard to find a job where people can accept me for the way I am and the fact that I have a service dog with me," said Lima.
The difficulty Mr. Lima had finding a job underscores the fact that many employers fail to recognize the mental health needs of their workers and how to create a mentally healthy workplace.
NAMI-NYS is working hard to increase awareness about workplace mental health.
to view the slides from a presentation NAMI-NYS recently made to a company in the World Trade Center and
to view the Working Well Toolkit produced by NAMI NYC-Metro.
Mental health in the workplace will also be a featured session at this year's NAMI-NYS Education Conference.
NIMH to Host Twitter Chat on African American Men's Mental Health
une is Men's Health Month. On June 16, NIMH be discussing African American men's mental health during a Twitter chat with the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
(NIMHD) from 11 am to 12 pm ET. Many African American men are as likely as anyone else to have a mental illness, but they are less likely to get help.
Human Connectome Project Marks its First Phase
Scans of an individual's brain activity are emerging as powerful predictive tools, thanks to the Human Connectome Project (HCP), an initiative of the National Institutes of Health. Such individual differences were often discarded as "noise" - uninterpretable apart from group data. Now, recently reported studies based on HCP neuroimaging and psychological data show that individual differences in brain connectivity can reliably predict a person's behavior. Such scans might someday help clinicians personalize diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, say researchers.
NIMH wants to hear from you!
NIMH is inviting comments from the general public on the state of mental illness research and NIMH's role in the development of this research. Your feedback will be used in developing briefing materials that will represent the full diversity of perspectives on mental illness research for the incoming NIMH Director. Please provide comments by
June 30, 2016
. Learn more about how to submit your comments by clicking here.
NIMH Looking for People to Participate in a
Bipolar Disorder (Pediatric) Research Study:
Treatment of Severe Mood Dysregulation, (SMD)
(Inpatient: 12- to 15 weeks)
This study tests the efficacy of different treatments for decreasing irritability in children with severe mood and behavioral problems. Participants have symptoms of severe irritability and are not doing well on their current medications. The child must be currently in treatment with a physician, medically healthy and not currently hospitalized, psychotic or suicidal. The study includes day or full hospitalization to discontinue medication, followed by either methylphenidate plus citalopram, or methylphenidate plus placebo. Recruiting ages 7-17.
Join NAMI Staten Island for a free film, "When Medicine Got it Wrong" 6:30pm at The Regina McGinn Education Center, SIUH. 475 Seaview Ave. Staten Island. A film by Katie Cadigan and Laura Murry, telling the story of mental illness 50 years ago and the amazing families who started NAMI.
- Legal Issues In Mental Health Care --
Free public education event. Discussion and information about assisting our loved ones with mental health-related medical and legal decisions, including psychiatric advance directives and health proxies. 5pm to 6:45pm, at the 67th Street Library, located at 328 E. 67th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues, New York, NY. Call our Helpline at (212) 684-3264 for more information.
- 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:
Unlocking the Facts About Mental Illness in the Jail featuring Mark Farsetta, Coordinator. Behavioral Health Program Rockland County Correctional Unit. Wednesday, June 15th at 7:30 pm at Dr Robert L. Yeager Health Center. 50 Sanatorium Road, Bldg F., Room 119 Pomona, NY 10970
Capital District Psychiatric Center Family Services presents, Overview of mental Hygiene Legal Services (M.H.L.S.) featuring Attorney Jeff May at 5:30 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
June 29-NAMI Rockland Family Support Group (Day) 11:30am- 1:00pm Rockland Psychiatric Center, 140 Old Orangeburg Road, Bldg. #57 Orangeburg, NY 10962
June 29- NAMI Rochester presents Mental Illness & Criminal Justice - Collaborative Efforts: How the Systems Work Together.
:30 - 8:00 pm Rochester Psychiatric Center Auditorium
1111 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620.
Deadline: Monday, June 27, 2016
Register by calling Tammy at (585) 325.3145, ext. 100
To register online, or learn more about this event
- 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:
- NAMI-NYC Metro's second annual NAMI C.A.R.E.S. Community Mental Health Fair. The goal of the NAMI C.A.R.E.S. (Community Advocacy, Resources, Education & Services) Community Mental Health Fair is to highlight mental health issues that specifically face communities of color. Noon to 4 pm, at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center, located at 530 W. 166th St. at Audubon Ave., New York, NY.
July 21-Capital District Psychiatric Center Family Services presents, Overview of Crisis Services. Thursday at 5:30 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
August 4- Capital District Psychiatric Center Family Services presents, Mental Health Legal Matters. Thursday at 5:30 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
- 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:
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:
Capital District Psychiatric Center Family Services presents The Power of Laughter. Thursday at 5:30 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
-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 15- The 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 email@example.com.
- 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:
- 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:
2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference-
New Horizons in Recovery: Breakthroughs in Research and Treatment. The Desmond Hotel, Albany. More details coming soon!
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist: Neuroinflammatory Hypotheses of Depression, presented byYvette I. Sheline, M.D.
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 2 - July 7- NAMI Basics classes at NAMI-NYC Metro. Thursdays, 10am to 12:30pm, NAMI-NYC Metro, 505 Eighth Ave., Room 1103, New York, NY 10018. To Register: Call our Helpline (212) 684-3264.
June 6 - July 18 - NAMI Homefront classes NAMI-NYC Metro. Mondays, 6 to 8:30pm, James J. Peters VA Medical Center, 130 W. Kingsbridge Road, Room 1B-07, Bronx, NY 10458. To Register: Call our Helpline (212) 684-3264.
June 7 - July 12:
NAMI Basics classes at NAMI-NYC Metro. Tuesdays, 6pm to 8:30pm, NAMI-NYC Metro, 505 Eighth Ave., Room 1103, New York, NY 10018. To Register: Call our Helpline (212) 684-3264.
June 15 - August 31 - NAMI Peer-to-Peer by NAMI-NYC Metro. Wednesdays, 1 to 3pm, NAMI-NYC Metro, 505 Eighth Ave., Room 1103, New York, NY 10018. To Register: Call our Helpline (212) 684-3264.
June 25&26- NAMI Family Support Group training to become a Facilitator. NAMI-NYS. This training is FULL and we are not accepting applications at this time.
In Our Own Voice by NAMI Staten Island. 2:30-4:30 pm. The Jewish Community Center of Staten Island Bernikow 1466 Manor Road
- 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.
- NAMI Family-to-Family Training to become a Teacher. NAMI-NYS. Contact your local affiliate.
- NAMI Ending the Silence training to become a Presenter. St. Vincent's in Westchester.
- NAMI Parent & Teachers as Allies training to become a Presenter. St. Vincent's in Westchester.
- 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.