August 14, 2017

In This Issue
Quote of the Week:

"Health care should be about health and care, not profits"
-Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Quick Links

Follow us on Twitter

Click here to watch the latest episode featuring Dr. Robert Heinssen of NIMH
Join Our Mailing List

This week's edition recounts what was another busy week for NAMI-NYS and our affiliates. NAMI-NYS continues to project our advocacy voice, this week by participating in a town hall with Senator Kirstin Gillibrand. We also welcomed two new staff members and you can learn more about them below. Many of the articles in this edition relate to topics featured at our 2017 Education Conference. Along with information about the conference, this edition also highlights major events being held by NAMI-NYS Affiliates across the state during the fall season.
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!
NAMI-NYS Participates in a Town Hall
with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
NAMI-NYS volunteer Cindy Pang, Executive Director Wendy Burch, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Associate Director, Public Affairs
 Matthew Shapiro

On August 9th, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a town hall in Troy. Health care dominating much of the conversation. Senator Gillibrand said that health care should be about "health and care and not profits." She also stated that health care "should be a right, not a privilege," while arguing that we need to move towards a Medicare buy-in, single payer system. Another important issue to NAMI members the Senator spoke about in great length was paid leave, how it should be for more than just new parents and be used for people to care for sick family members. NAMI-NYS was active in the advocacy that led to New York State's Paid Family Leave initiative.  

Following the town hall discussion, NAMI-NYS had the opportunity to talk to Senator Gillibrand and her staff. We thanked her for fighting against the budget cuts to NIMH, detailed the need to invest in housing with wrap around services and jail diversion programs and gave them the NAMI Federal Advocacy Folder. 

The 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will have a session detailing Paid Family Leave and other New York State initiatives as well as a criminal justice focus track. 

NAMI-NYS is thrilled to announce the addition of Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD, as a featured speaker at our 2017 Education Conference. Dr. Fruzzetti is the program director of the 3East Boys Intensive Program and the director of Family Services for 3East Continuum at McLean Hospital which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School. He has adapted and implemented dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for underserved populations, and developed many successful DBT programs for people with borderline personality disorder and other problems with emotion regulation. His research focuses on the connections between severe psychopathology and interpersonal/family processes and their interplay with emotion dysregulation.

Dr. Fruzzetti is on the Board of Directors of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, the International Society for DBT, and the Linehan Institute. He has authored more than 100 research and clinical papers and book chapters and has lectured and trained professionals in more than a dozen countries on BPD, DBT, and family interventions.

The addition of Dr. Fruzzetti completes an exciting lineup of presenters who are sure to provide a dynamic and informative Saturday morning exploring the latest advances in self-care, clinical approaches and research. Click here to learn about the Saturday morning plenaries. 

Click here to register for the conference. Click here to obtain a scholarship application and click here to nominate someone for an award. 

NAMI-NYS Welcomes New Staff Members

NAMI-NYS is excited to welcome our two new staff members:

Walks Manager-Nicole Bulanchuk
Nicole is very excited to be this year's Walk Manager. She is working to ensure this Walk is the best it can be. Currently, Nicole is a senior at University at Albany studying Psychology, Human Development and Neuroscience. Nicole is passionate about the field and aspires to help as many people as she can through her work with NAMI and beyond. You can read more about Nicole and NAMIWalks NYS in our NAMIWalks section below.

Office Assistant - Jeanne Ryan
Jeanne comes to NAMI as our part-time office assistant.  Jeanne has many years of HR and Finance background which will be put to good use as she does Accounts Receivable for NAMI.  Jeanne is the wife of a pastor and does her own worship ministries at the Capital City Rescue Mission as well as many other area churches.  She grew up with a family member who was bipolar so is very supportive of the NAMI mission.

NAMI Westchester Accepts a Winning Prize from Westchester Toyota

NAMI Westchester members and friends voted NAMI Westchester as their favorite charity from April to July, and Westchester Toyota donated $750 to NAMIWalks Westchester at a ceremony on August 9, 2017 Executive Director Sharon McCarthy and Director of Development Marie Considine graciously accepted the check at the dealership on Central Park Avenue in Yonkers, NY.

Major Fall Events for NAMI-NYS Affiliates

Fall is a busy time for NAMI-NYS and many of our local affiliates. Along with the NAMI-NYS NAMIWalks and Education Conference, several of our affiliates also have major events planned. 

On September 13th, NAMI Mid-Hudson will be hosting their annual gala. Keynote speaker will be Kevin Hines,  an award-winning global speaker, best-selling author, documentary filmmaker, and suicide prevention and mental health advocate who has reached millions with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. Click here for more information.

On October 4th, NAMI Syracuse will be holding their annual Education Conference. This year's conference: Mind, Body, Spirit: A Complete Approach to Mental Health and Wellness, will include sessions on trauma, transmagnetic stimulation, mindfulness and holistic approaches to mental health. Click here for more information. Click here for more information.

On October 11th, NAMI NYC Metro will be holding their annual Seeds of Hope gala. This year's event will honor the work of legendary hip-hop artist Darryl "DMC" McDaniels and New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray. 

Darryl is a founding member of Run-DMC, an author and mental health advocate. He recently published his memoir, Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide.Ms. McCray created ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the nation, and she is recognized nationally as a powerful champion for mental health reform. Ms. McCray created ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the nation, and she is recognized nationally as a powerful champion for mental health reform. Click here for more information. 

On October 17th, NAMI Rochester will be holding their 16th Annual Jessica Henderson Memorial Event. This year's keynote speaker is Mike Veny. Mike is one of the premier thought leaders on mental health. His dynamic and energetic approach to discussing this topic engages audiences and helps break down stigma. He will be delivering his program "Transforming Stigma in to Strength," a 60-minute lecture. Drumming and other interactive exercises will add to the excitement of the evening. Additionally, the Jessica Henderson Spirit Award will be presented prior to the performance.

For more information on how you can get involved or sponsor and attend the event, please contact Kristina Mossgraber at or 585-520-8380.

Hakeem Rahim to Launch Next Leg of
I Am Acceptance College Tour

The I Am Acceptance College Tour is a college campus initiative designed to decrease stigma, promote mental wellness and ensure that every student has full control of his or her mental health. The cornerstone of the tour is a 75-minute presentation delivered by Hakeem Rahim, a nationally and internationally recognized mental health speaker, educator and advocate.

During the 2016 - 2017 school year, the tour visited ten colleges in seven states and one in Jamaica, West Indies. Over 1,500 students experienced the I Am Acceptance presentation. The feedback for the presentation has been excellent, students have opened up to the presenter, visited the counseling center and provided positive reflections on the post presentation survey about the impact of the presentation on their attitude around mental health and wellness overall. The tour continues this 2017 - 2018 academic year and is booking now. Please see attached for information about the Tour and here for the tour website:

To find out more information or to book a tour visit, call Hakeem at at 516-984-2927 or email him at

Click here to watch the episode of Mental Health Now featuring Hakeem discussing the I Am Acceptance tour. 

Hakeem will also be a featured speaker at the 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference. He will be presenting as part of the Recovery is Possible session on Saturday afternoon. Click here to register today. 

NAMI Queens/Nassau Partners with wit & whim to 
Raise Funds and Awareness

This August, wit & whim, in Port Washington, NY celebrates NAMI Queens/Nassau by donating all their August profits to the affiliate. A wine and cheese reception was held on Thursday, August 3 to kick-off the shopping month.

"wit & whim is a wonderful community resource combining a unique shopping experience with an opportunity to give back. It's truly a shop with a big heart. We are grateful for the financial support and visibility this offers our cause," shares Janet Susin, NAMI Queens/Nassau Board Member.

wit & whim, featuring an eclectic mix of vintage, contemporary, Americana and global goods, is committed to donating all profits to organizations that benefit individuals, communities and our world. Click here for more information.

NAMI Provides an Update on Genetic Research

NAMI advocates to ensure that mental health research gets the funding it deserves. One of the more recent and complex areas of research is genetics. NAMI Medical Director, Ken Duckworth, MD recently provided an update on genetic research. As he explains, "Like me, you probably learned in your sixth-grade science class that genes are made of DNA, and they code for human traits like eye and hair color. They also code for many disease-risk states, and the field of genetics is now trying to understand what causes human illness-including mental illness. The field has advanced a great deal, but we have a very long way to go."

Click here to read Dr. Duckworth's full update.

New York News
New York State's Path to
Behavioral Health Integration

Drs Lloyd Sederer and Jay Carruthers recently detailed NYS's implemntation of a Collaborative Care Model (CoCM). As they explained, "Despite compelling evidence (more than 80 randomized, controlled trials showing CoCM to be significantly more effective than treatment as usual), despite the widely acknowledged gaps in access to behavioral health services, and despite the fact that most patients prefer to receive services in a primary care setting rather than a behavioral health specialty setting, very few primary care sites were practicing CoCM in New York state (NYS) as recently as five years ago."

That changed when the NYS Office of Mental Health, in partnership with the NYS Department of Health, began the largest state-based program in the nation to fully integrate behavioral health detection and treatment into primary care settings.

Click here to read more.

The New York Achieving a Better Life Experience 
(NY ABLE) Program is Open for Enrollment

The New York Achieving a Better Life Experience (NY ABLE) Program is now open for enrollment. The NY ABLE Program:
  • encourages and assists individuals and families to save private funds in accounts in the program to support individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence and quality of life.
  • is intended to supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, private insurance and other sources.
  • is exempt from tax on its earnings and distributions, provided the funds are used to pay for qualified disability expenses.
Click here to learn more. 

The Sunday morning of the 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will feature both a Town Hall with Dr. Sederer, who will be discussing integration and other programs aimed at improving mental health care. The morning will also feature a session on other state-wide initiatives including ABLE Accounts. Click here to register today.

National News
To Prevent Youth Suicide
We Must Address More Than Bullying

While a definite link exists between bullying and suicide in school-age children, the data suggest that we must look beyond bullying to solve the epidemic of suicide in our youth. Between 2007 and 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a twofold increase in youth suicides. In that same period, data show a decline in rates of bullying. In support of these findings, the same CDC statistics implicate relationship troubles, mental health issues at a far greater rate than bullying alone.

In short, a single-pronged campaign to reduce bullying has not and will not curb suicides in our country's youth. While strides against bullying are important, only a broader approach to children's mental wellness can effectively tackle suicidality in children and adolescents.

Click here to learn more. 

The 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will feature both a plenary session on Zero Suicide as well as a focus track on children's mental health. Both will take place on Friday, November 10th. Click here to register.


Mood Stabilizing Medications an Effective Option for Older Adults with Bipolar Disorder


2017 NAMIWalksNYS September 23rd

Read the First Edition of the NAMIWalks NYS Newsletter

Click here to read the first edition on the NAMIWalks NYS Weekly News. This edition features new contests and prizes for this year's walk. 

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  

Save the Dates

Click here to learn more and register for the 2017 NAMI-NYS Education Conference- Engagement, Implementation, Internvention: Three Pronged Approach to Sustainable Mental Health Recovery, taking place November 10-12 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.

AUGUST 14 - Join SAMHSA's Program to Achieve Wellness for part four of our four-part series on Monday, August14, from 12pm to 1pm ET. Register for Enhancing Personal Capacity for Wellness: Incorporating Refelctive Practices Click here to register

AUGUST 25- NAMI Schenectady Annual Summer Chicken Barbeque. Friday August 25, 2017 from  3:30p.m. - 8:00p.m. at the Niskayuna Community Center: 2682 Aqueduct Rd., Niskayuna, NY. Tickets are $20 ($10 for consumers).  Send  ticket reservation order and payment to NAMI Schenectady, PO Box 974, Schenectady NY 12301 . Dinner reservations should be purchased in advance. Contact Flora Ramonowski (372-6771) Roy Neville (377-2619) or Cindy Seacord (374-8071) for info.Click here for Flyer
- NØpiates Supports International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, 2017.   Please consider joining the N Ø piates Committee at West Sand Lake Elementary School Parking lot, August 31st at 6pm.  We will rally and walk to the WSL Fire House for a memorial ceremony and light refreshments.     All are welcome to attend the next N Ø piates Committee open meeting, scheduled for Monday, August 7th at 6pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church in West Sand Lake.  For more information, or to participate in our memorial event, contact The N Ø piates Committee at .

SEPTEMBER 7-CDPC Presents "Controlled Medication and their Potential for Addiction" presented by Dr. Arif Shahabuddin, C.D.P.C. Thursday September 7, 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm in the CDPC Family Resource Center, 75 New Scotland Ave, Albany NY. For more information or to register contact: Frank Greco, Director of Family Services (518) 549-6816.

SEPTEMBER 13- Annual NAMI Mid-Hudson Gala 2017. Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM at The Grandview, 176 Rinaldi Blvd. Poughkeepsie, NY. Gala 2017 Keynote Speaker Kevin Hines, who in 2012 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding work suicide prevention advocate and speaker by the National Council of Behavioral Health, Click here to learn more about Gala. If you have any questions, please contact Tina Yun Lee at

SEMPTEMBER 14- NAMI Westchester, SECOND ANNUAL EDUCATIONAL FILM SERIES:THE IMPACT OF SUICIDE ON THE SURVIVING FAMILY MEMBERS. Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at The Picture House, 175 Wolfs Lane, Pelham, NY 10803. 

OCTOBER 11- NAMI NYC Metro Seeds of Hope: Ending the Silence. Wednesday October 11th from 6:00pm to 9:30pm at the Metropolitan Pavilion West. For more information regarding Sponsorship or Ticket/Table Sales, please email Sarah Sheahan or call her at 212.684.3365 x 207.Click here to purchase Tickets/Tables

OCTOBER 28-Healthy Minds Empowerment Conference. from  8:00 AM-2:00 PM at  Medaille College 18 Agassiz Cir, Buffalo, NY 14214. For Teens (7th-12th grade), Parents & Teen Leaders.Questions about this event may be directed to Ann Venuto, President of NAMI Buffalo /(716) 689-1159, or Josephine Cross, Chairman of the Health Promotion Committee of AKA Gamma Phi Omega Chapter / (716) 636-3014. Click here for more information. Join us for a day of free workshops to explore the emotional and mental well being of youth and to empower youth and adults who care for them. *Free Breakfast & Lunch

Signature Programs

SEPTEMBER 5 - NAMI Orange Family-to-Family. Tuesdays, September 5Th, 6:30 pm -9:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 33 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924. Teachers: Dhanu Sannesy and Marcy Felter.  Contact: Dhanu Sannesy, (845) 956-6264; (866) 906-6264 or

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 - Stratton VA Medical Center &  NAMI Rensselaer Homefront.  Education and Support for Military & Veteran Families. Tuesdays, September 12 - October 17, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00p.m. at the VA Network Office on corner of New Scotland Ave and Veterans Way, Albany NY. Please call to register : Elizabeth Donovan (518) 626-5347.  Click here for Flyer

SEPTEMBER 12-NAMI Saratoga/NAMI Schenectady NAMI Family-to-Family. Tuesdays,  September 12th  through November  28th  from 6:15p.m. - 8:45 p.m. at Four winds, 30 Crescent Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, Contact: Dotte Coon 518-429-5047 or Cindy Seacord 518-344-9177

SEPTEMBER 12-NAMI Rockland Basics (Spanish Speaking)Tuesday's September 12th - October 17th from  6:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Location: St. Dominic's Community Waiver Program, 500 Western Highway, Blauvelt, NY. Contact: (845) 359-8784 / to register . Teachers: Marilyn Matos and Barbara Martinez-Silva

SEPTEMBER 12-NAMI-NYC Metro Basics. Tuesdays, September 12 - October 17, 6:00 pm- 8:30 pm at    505 8th Avenue, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10018.   To register contact Deniece Chi at (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 at (212) 684-3365 x 203 /

SEPTEMBER 14-NAMI Rockland Basics. Thursdays September 14 - October 26, 2017 (No class Thursday, September 21st) from  6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Location: St. Dominic's Community Waiver Program, 500 Western Highway, Blauvelt, NY 10913. Contact:  (845) 359-8784 or to register. Teachers: Rita Strumph and Kate Johnson.

SEPTEMBER 17 - NAMI Orange Basics. Sundays, September 17th, 6:30 pm-9:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 33 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924. Teachers: Dhanu Sannesy and Marcy Felter. Contact: Dhanu Sannesy, (845) 956-6264; (866) 906-6264 or

SEPTEMBER 20-NAMI Mid-Hudson Family-to-Family. Wednesdays, September 20th- December 13th, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm at The MidHudson Regional Hospital, 241 North Road, Poughkeepsie NY. Contact: Tina Lee or (845) 206-9892.

SEPTEMBER 27- NAMI Mid-Hudson Peer-to-Peer. Wednesdays, September 27th- December 6th, 4:00 pm-6:00 pm at the SUNY Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie NY. Contact: Tina Lee,  or (845) 206-9892.

OCTOBER 21-NAMI Mid-Hudson Basics. Saturdays, October 21, 28, November 4th, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm at the Arlington High School,  1157 State Route 55, Lagrangeville NY. Contact: Tina Lee,  or (845) 206-9892.

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 at (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 at (212) 684-3365 x 203 / 

Please contact your local affiliate program leaders for more information and how to enroll.
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: Pam Soloman & Geraldine Burton
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