Quote of the Week:
While the suicide statistics in America are daunting, and it is one of the few causes of death in the United States that is on the rise, we cannot let ourselves be overwhelmed into inaction. We must all play a role in preventing suicide. In an America that is becoming increasingly divided, it is crucial that we focus more on what unites us than divides us. One unifying factor is that every one of us will face mental health challenges at some point and the unfortunate truth is that there are not enough mental health services available. This means we all must take it upon ourselves to be there for each other, we must dedicate ourselves to being better family members, better friends, better neighbors and better co-workers. If you see people struggling, be there for them, ask if they are ok and let them know that you are here for them and that you will listen. We also need people to join us in appealing for increased and improved mental health services in all parts of New York State.
-From NAMI-NYS statement on the passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain
It has been a busy couple of weeks here at NAMI-NYS and we have not published an E-News since the end of May. So we want to start this week's E-News by thanking all of our members who helped make this year's Mental Health Awareness Month so meaningful. Whether you hung a NAMI-NYS awareness ribbon, participated in one of the four NAMIWalks which took place in May, met with your local leaders, made an advocacy phone call, told your story, shared information on social media, produced a show, participated in a community event, participated in a Signature Program or hosted a community event, you made an impact and were part of the solution. We all play a role in supporting and educating each other and together these efforts will guide the public toward help and hope as well as contribute to the eradication of stigma.
Sadly, the events of last week and the loss of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef and media personality Anthony Bourdain, reminds us why this work is so important and that we need to increase our efforts to let people know that NAMI-NYS is a place to find help and find hope. Last week, NAMI-NYS put out a
on these loses and this week's edition of the E-News features two news stories that incorporate the NAMI-NYS perspective.
We also want to let you know that the next edition of the E-News will come out following the NAMI National Convention.
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.
NAMI-NYS Participates in Legislative Disability Awareness Day and Criminal Justice Advocacy Efforts
UPDATE: NYS Assembly Passes HALT Bill
NAMI-NYS Public Policy Intern Ilana Blumstein at the Legislative Disability Awareness Day Table and meeting with Senator LeRoy Comrie. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Mental Health Chair Aileen Gunther at Legislative Disability Awareness Day.
NAMI-NYS concluded Mental Health Awareness Month the same way we began it, by being in the Capitol to raise awareness and advocate towards a more mentally healthy New York State. On May 30th, NAMI-NYS participated in the annual Legislative Disability Awareness Day and an advocacy for criminal justice issues including the HALT Solitary Confinement Bill. Along with having an information table in the Well of the Legislative Office Building, which allowed NAMI-NYS to talk with legislators, staff and with other advocates, Associate Director, Public Affairs Matthew Shapiro and public policy intern, Ilana Blumstein also participated in four legislative meetings about the need for criminal justice reform.
As an update, on June 12th, the Assembly passed the HALT bill. Click here to read NAMI-NYS's Statement on the bill's passing.
NAMI-NYS Featured in Print and TV News Stories
The deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have brought increased media attention to the need for mental health awareness and mental health services. NAMI-NYS's voice has been incorporated in a couple of news stories about mental health.
Tina Lee, Community Education and Outreach Manager, was featured on a Capital Region CBS News story on women and suicide. Click here to watch.
Matthew Shapiro, Associate Director, Public Affairs, was featured alongside Dr. Lloyd Sederer in an article in the New York Post about bipolar disorder. Click here to read.
Thank You to All Who Participated in the
NAMI-NYS Ribbon Campaign
Once again, communities across New York State were adorned with NAMI-NYS Ribbons, informing communities that NAMI-NYS and local NAMI affiliates are a place to find help and find hope. Thank you to all of you who helped make the campaign a success.
to view a photo album on Facebook highlighting the campaign.
NAMI-Finger Lakes Active During
Mental Health Awareness Month
NAMI Finger Lakes was busy during May. Together with the support of Ithaca's Mayor Svante Myrck, Buffalo Street Book Store, Tompkins County Public Library, Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT), and local high school students, they raised awareness throughout the community by breaking the silence and stigma surrounding mental health issues.
On May 2nd the Mayor read a proclamation declaring May "Mental Health Awareness Month" in the city of Ithaca at the May 2nd Common Council meeting and invited members of NAMI Finger Lakes to stand with him and share some words. They were also active in the NAMI-NYS Ribbon Campaign with ribbons and NAMI informational displays in book stores and libraries. In addition, people riding one of the 50 TCAT buses will see large NAMI Mental Health Awareness posters.
They also held meetings with Ithaca High School and New Roots Charter School students to initiate a connection with NAMI Finger Lakes and were extremely inspired by the thoughtful reception from the high school students.
NAMI Mid-Hudson M
ember Receives Scholarship
Bennett Karas received the Mallory Scholarship from Mental Health America of Dutchess County. The scholarship is given to an individual that exemplifies MHADC's dedication to recovery, perseverance, and empowerment. Senator Sue Serino presented Bennett with a certificate of recognition at the MHADC's annual meeting. Bennett's father Brian is a former NAMI Mid-Hudson board member and an active speaker at Dutchess County's Crisis Intervention Trainings.
NAMI-NYS Basics Training
NAMI-NYS, along with State trainers Pat Hillenbrand and Almarie Tulloch, are happy to present the graduates of the NAMI Basics teachers training held June 2nd-June 3rd at the NAMI-NYS office.
NAMI Montgomery, Fulton and Hamilton County represented NAMI at the at the MHA Annual Dinner
NAMI Montgomery, Fulton and Hamilton County represented NAMI at the at the MHA Annual Dinner on May 31, 2018. Minerva Ortiz, NAMI-MFH Program Coordinator, Emily Deering, from Icebreakers, Theresa Fitzgerald Board Member and Hilda Maldonado from the Spanish Support Group.
NAMI-NYS Member Allie Quinn Details How You Can't Plan for Mental Illness in New NAMI Blog
Allie Quinn, a member of our NAMI Mid-Hudson affiliate, just authored a new NAMI blog telling her story about coming to terms with her mental illness and her decision to put her mental health first. In the blog, Allie recounts how when she was finishing high school, she had her perfect five-year plan in her head. However, those plans derailed beginning in her
junior year in college when she began experiencing symptoms which would lead to severe panic attacks, paranoia and anxiety that made it impossible for her to drive, work or stay home alone. Despite her crippling symptoms, Allie was reluctant to get up as she feared the results of disrupting her five-year plan.
She would regret not addressing her mental health sooner. She concludes the blog with this plea: "Please, if you're experiencing symptoms or warning signs of a mental illness, seek help as soon as possible. Your mental health is far more important than your 5-year plan. I've learned that college can wait-treating mental illness cannot."
|Opposition to New York Presbyterian Allen Hospital's
Plan to Eliminate Psychiatric Beds Intensifies
Make Your Voice Heard!
Last week, Politico reported on how doctors, medical students, patient advocates and politicians have come together to protest the planned closing.
The article states, "Doctors and students, who have taken the lead in protesting the closure, charge that NewYork-Presbyterian is simply seeking to replace the uninsured and underinsured patients with those who have better insurance in pursuit of higher-paying specialty services. And the closures come, critics say, as New York City faces dwindling capacity to administer to behavioral health patients." As the staff continually argue, "If these beds were not needed, why are they always full?"
Click here to read the full article.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Sign the Petition and/or Attend June 13th Rally
We need as many voices as possible to come together in an effort to save these beds. Please note, that unlike the closure of public psychiatric beds, the Allen Hospital bed closures are not a part of the movement towards community services and the saving would not be reinvested towards other psychiatric services. The elimination will leave another gaping hole in the nation's largest city after a wave of psychiatric bed reductions. We want to make you aware of two opportunities to make your voice heard on this. We encourage our readers to sign the aforementioned petition.
We also want to let our readers know that today, there will be a rally outside Allen Hospital to protest the elimination of psychiatric beds. Click here to view a flyer for the event and click here to view the website for the rally.
New York State Announces New Suicide Prevention Initative
Last Friday, Governor Cuomo announced New York will be the first state in the nation to launch an innovative pilot program aimed at reducing new suicide attempts among individuals who had previously attempted suicide. Funded through the $3.5 million federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant, the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP) reframes how suicide attempts are examined in order to develop individualized prevention strategies.
NAMI-NYS is very excited by this new person-centered approach.
Of the new initiative New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Ann Sullivan said, "The initial studies of ASSIP have been very promising, and ASSIP patients saw the risk of repeat suicide attempts reduced greatly. OMH and our Office of Suicide Prevention have implemented a number of effective and successful programs, and are working with advocates and stakeholders to prevent suicide. ASSIP will provide another effective tool in our mission."
NYC's First Lady Is Addressing the Intersection Between Incarcerated Women and Mental Illness
Recently, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray was in Chicago for a panel on the criminalization of mental illness alongside Nneka Jones-Tapia, executive director of the Cook County, Ill., Department of Corrections; and Alexa James, executive director of the local NAMI. Ms. McCray said, "We want people to recognize that [the state of] our jails, our prisons, our emergency rooms-these are the results of untreated mental illness" and she hopes to disrupt the link between mental illness and incarceration" through the ThriveNYC initiative.
Pete Davidson Opens Up About Dating With
Borderline Personality Disorder
Rolling Stone magazine reports how Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson opened up about his dating life as a person with mental illness. Davidson was diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder in 2016 and has spoken candidly both during his bits on Saturday Night Live and in interviews about his struggles with the illness.
In responding to online comments about his rumored relationship with singer Ariana Grande, Davidson said, "Just because someone has a mental illness does not mean they can't be happy and in a relationship. It also doesn't mean that person makes the relationship toxic," he wrote. "I just think it's (expletive) up to stigmatize people as crazy and say that they are unable to do stuff that anyone can do. It's not their fault and it's the wrong way for people to look at things."
Click here to read the full story. Warning the story contains explicit language.
New Processing Technique Helps Researchers Use Electronic Health Records to Study Biological Contributors to Mental Illnesses
Researchers have found a way to scan electronic health records (EHRs) that helps identify associations between broad dimensions of behavioral function and genes relevant to mental disorders. Use of the technique opens an enormous source of data to researchers who are interested in taking a dimensional approach to the study of mental illnesses instead of using traditional diagnostic categories. The study, funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
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 is 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 genetics, 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.
Hope Starts With YOU
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
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.
-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 email@example.com.
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 www.naminys.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 NAMI-NYS TRAINING SCHEDULE
Please contact your local affiliate program le
aders for more information and how to enroll.
Location: NAMI-NYS Office
NAMI Family Support Group and NAMI Connections
June 22nd -24th
Location: NAMI-NYS Office