August 19th, 2016
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Click here to watch the latest episode on #Act4MentalHealth featuring Congressman Paul Tonko.

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This week NAMI-NYS announced the details about our 2016 Education Conference and we are excited to use this edition of the E-Newsletter to showcase how the conference will be addressing many of the issues currently being discussed about how to improve the lives of people and families impacted by mental illness. We hope you join us for what is sure to be an inspirational and educational weekend.

The E-Newsletter also details how NAMI-NYS is working to forge new partnerships to expand our ability to educate and support people in the Capital Region. This edition also looks at some key advocacy issues and includes the newest NAMI advocacy resource,  the Spark. Finally, for all the fans of the Olympics you will find an interesting article detailing how depression all too often impacts Olympians.
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!
2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference
On Thursday we announced the details of our 2016 Education Conference  New Horizons in Recovery: Breakthroughs in Research and Treatment , which will be taking place November 11-13 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center.  

We are very excited about this year's conference as it will delve into four of the of the most crucial elements impacting people living with a mental illness and their families in a more in-depth manner than any previous NAMI-NYS Conference has before. These issues are:
  • Recognizing and Addressing Trauma. This will be addressed during Friday afternoon's featured session which will explore trauma in children, multicultural communities, in veterans and military families and the criminal justice system.
  • Suicide Prevention. Friday afternoon will also feature the Zero Suicide Initiative with four concurrent workshops on suicide prevention. 
  • Mental Health in the Workplace and Broader Employment Issues. This will be a major focus on Saturday with a panel during lunch and workshops in the afternoon.
  • The Need for Recovery Teams This core issue for NAMI's families will be explored by discussing the importance of individuals' insight on their illness and the need to work with their families and providers as a recovery team. This will be addressed Saturday morning with a presentation by Dr. Donald Goff and a panel discussion on the benefits of forming recovery teams.
Click here to view highlights of the conference agenda. We have updated this since the email which went out yesterday.

Click here to REGISTER! Click here for a scholarship application. 

Click here to learn about marketing opportunities at the conference.

The Latest Episode of Mental Health Now
Features Congressman Paul Tonko and Focuses on the need to #Act4MentalHealth

Click here to watch the latest episode of the NAMI-NYS television show  Mental Health Now   featuring Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY-20). The episode discusses many of the issues impacting the delivery of mental health care and the necessary reforms needed on the federal level to improve mental health care. Among the issues discussed are: 
the federal mental health reform bills, HR2646/S.2680, the need for insurance parity, reforming the IMD exclusion, the need to care for caregivers and decriminalization of people living with a mental illness.

Earlier this week, we sent out an Action Alert with a link to the episode and information  how to  TAKE ACTION by urging Senator Schumer to support S.2680 and how to engage candidates during this election season. Click here to view the alert if you have not already. 

Register to Vote! 
Obviously, the most important way to make your voice heard is by voting. Today is actually the deadline to vote in September primaries in New York State. If you are not registered to vote, you can click here  to do so. DISCLAIMER: NAMI-NYS does not endorse political campaigns or candidates. We do encourage all our members to project their advocacy voice, engage candidates from all parties in discussions on mental health issues and most importantly by voting. 

NAMI-NYS Working to Broaden Partnerships in the Capital Region
(top) NAMI-NYS's Matthew Shapiro with Congressman Paul Tonko and staff at the La Salle School (bottom) NAMI-NYS's Heide Garner and Christine Rickeman at the YMCA CEO Health Fair

Throughout the summer, NAMI-NYS has worked to establish partnerships with various providers of mental health services throughout the Capital Region to demonstrate how NAMI-NYS, our affiliates and Signature Programs can help augment the services provided to their clients and their families. The past two weeks have been especially busy with NAMI-NYS making several presentations, participating in partnership meetings and awareness initiatives. 

Last week, NAMI-NYS was one of the exhibitors at the YMCA of NYS's CEO Health Fair. You can click here to read about the event in an article in the Troy Record. This week NAMI-NYS made two presentations at the psychiatric department at Samaritan Hospital in Troy. The first presentation was made to patients where we discussed how NAMI Signature Programs such as Connection, Peer-to-Peer and In Our Own Voice can help advance and support their recovery following discharge from the hospital. That evening, we presented to the families to discuss NAMI Family Support Groups, Family-to-Family and NAMI Basics. Earlier this year, Samaritan Hospital began offering Signature Programs onsite and we look forward to expanding our offerings there.

This week, NAMI-NYS also met with leaders at Four Winds in Saratoga Springs. This fall, Four Winds will begin offering Family-to-Family onsite and we have been asked to give quarterly presentations to their staff. NAMI-NYS also gave a presentation at Equinox PROS services in Albany.

Finally, NAMI-NYS was invited to participate in a discussion with how to address trauma in children with Congressman Paul Tonko and the staff of the La Salle School in Albany, which educates students who are in jeopardy due to special needs, many of which result from trauma. NAMI-NYS explained our programs to staff, and we have been invited to present at the school's family night. 

We are very excited about these new partnerships and opportunities. If you provide mental health services and want to learn more about how NAMI-NYS can help your clients and their families, contact Alicia Burns at 518-462-2000 or by email at

Starting College? 
Don't Let Distress Affect Your Success

As summer comes to an end and college semesters begin, NAMI takes a look at the difference between stress and distress and how students can avoid distress derailing their college success. Click here to read the full article.

The 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will once again feature a Young Adult track. This year, the track has been curated by young adults via the NAMI-NYS Young Adult Steering Committee. Details of the track will be announced shortly, but young adults interested in attending the conference can click here for a Young Adult Scholarship application.

Introducing the 
NAMI Spark Policy Newsletter

Earlier this week, NAMI published the first edition of
the Spark, their new advocacy and public policy newsletter.
The Spark is designed to keep members up to date on what's going on in mental health advocacy. It is called
the Spark as NAMI knows it only takes one spark to ignite a national movement.

Click here to read the first edition of the Spark, you can also sign up for future editions. 

Sunday morning of   The  2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference  will feature a special Town Hall session on advocacy issues on the state and national level as well as housing issues.
New York State News
Newsday Editorial Board Writes 
Governor Cuomo Should Sign 
Mental Health Education Bill

For the last few years, we have informed you how we have worked with the Mental Health Association of New York State and other organizations to advocate for a bill calling for the incorporation of mental health into school's existing health education courses. At the end of the session, the Legislature passed the bill.

Today, Newsday's editorial board published an editorial explaining why this incorporation is important and why Governor Cuomo should sign the bill. As they state: "Making sure young people learn about mental health will make them more likely to recognize the signs in themselves and others, and they will know better how to get the right help. Open discussion will reduce the stigma of mental illness and the likelihood that people who are suffering will hide in the shadows, afraid of seeking help. This is a lesson whose time has come."

Click here to read the full article.

NYU Study on Early Brain Development
A new study funded by NIMH and conducted by scientists at New York University's Center for Neural Science on infantile memory formation in rats points to the importance of critical periods in early-life learning on functional development of the brain. The research reveals the significance of learning experiences over the first two to four years of human life; this is when memories are believed to be quickly forgotten-a phenomenon known as infantile amnesia.

"What our findings tell us is that children's brains need to get enough healthy activation even before they enter pre-school," explains Cristina Alberini, a professor in NYU's Center for Neural Science, who led the study. "Without this, the neurological system runs the risk of not properly developing learning and memory functions."

Negative factors in early brain development, can also have damaging long-term effects. 

Click here to read more.

As both these articles demonstrate, understanding how children's brains develop, the need to introduce mental health education, the influence of trauma and early-intervention strategies can can address and prevent some of the long-term effects of certain types of mental illness. Children's mental health issues will once again be a major focus at this year's NAMI-NYS Education Conference which will feature information on recognizing and addressing trauma in children as well as workshops exploring other issues impacting children's mental health during a focus track on Friday. 
National News
For These Olympic Athletes, 
Depression Is The Major Hurdle

If you are like many in our office, you currently have a case of "Olympic Fever." The Huffington Post recently published an interesting article on how post-career strife and post-career depression are common among athletes, who experience a higher level of psychopathology overall than the general population, due to physical strain and public and media pressures. They site many examples of this, including the story of one Olympic gold-medalist, Jerry Heidenreich, who was unable to transition to a post competitive situation and took his own life.

As swimmer Alison Schmidt described about her post 2012 Olympic depression, "I've had success in the sport that I wanted. I went back to school, finished my degree. I was like, what could possibly be wrong with me? I know I was grateful for all those times but at the same time, I wasn't happy. But I couldn't really understand why I was unhappy. I was like, why would I be depressed? I have no reason to be depressed."

Scott Goldman, a sports psychologist at the University of Michigan, explains feelings of loss, which can contribute to depression, are common after major sporting events. When months' or years' worth of effort end in a grand, adrenaline-fueled finish, it's natural to emerge underwhelmed or even confused by what lies ahead.

Click here to read more.

Exploring Mental Health in the Workplace and Getting People With a Mental Illness Back to Work

As we have detailed, a major theme of this year's NAMI-NYS Education Conference is looking at how to improve mental health in the workplace and finding employment when you have a mental illness.  Michael Thompson, President and CEO of National Business Coalition on Health, will lead a panel during Saturday's lunch session on mental health in the workplace and this will be followed by two workshops detailing various employment issues for people living with a mental illness. There have been several stories published during the last few weeks detailing why this is such an important issue.

Click here to read how the mayor of  Albuquerque, New Mexico has come up with a way to get homeless people, many of whom have a mental illness back to work.

Click here to read an article from the SAMHSA newsletter on accommodating mental illness in the workplace.  

Click here to read a story published in the New York Post, which details how a woman's bosses at a Manhattan firm mocked her ADHD and accidentally copied her on the e-mails.

Traumatized Rape Victim Sent to Jail After Failing to Complete Testimony

In one of the most disastrous examples of how the criminal justice system fails to properly handle people with trauma, a mental illness or both, a woman who had a breakdown while testifying against her alleged rapist was jailed for nearly a month because prosecutors wanted to ensure her future testimony, according to a federal lawsuit filed in Houston.

District Attorney Devon Anderson of Harris County, Texas, issued a videotaped statement defending the prosecutor who sought to jail the woman as a material witness. Anderson said the rape victim, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, was going through a "life-threatening mental health crisis" and told prosecutors she would not give future testimony. "If nothing was done to prevent the victim from leaving Harris County in the middle of trial, a serial rapist would have gone free-and her life would have been at risk while homeless on the street," Anderson said.

The woman, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was homeless in Houston when she was assaulted by a serial rapist, her mother told the Houston Chronicle.

Click here  to read more.

The 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will examine both the importance of recognizing trauma in the criminal justice system as well as how to improve the mental illness-criminal justice interface.

NIMH Update

Click here to read the latest Update from NIMH.

A Step Forward in Big Science: U.S. News Interviews Incoming NIMH Director Dr. Joshua Gordon

This week the U.S. News and World Report published an interview with incoming NIMH Director Dr. Joshua Gordon,  who details how he looks forward to advancing nueroscience in his new role. NAMI-NYS is excited to work with Dr. Gordon (who comes to NIMH from NYS- OMH's New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University) in our role as an NIMH Outreach Partner. 
Click here to read the interview.

Forbes Reports on the Importance of the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative in Mental Health

Forbes Magazine recently ran a piece explaining how a "one-size fits all approach to mental health has never worked and never will." It goes on to detail how the National Institutes of Health's Precision Medicine Initiative can have a tremendous positive impact on tailoring mental health care to an individual's specific set of needs.

Click here to read more.

Dr. Robert Heinssen to be Among the Featured Speakers at NAMI-NYS Education Conference 

NAMI-NYS is honored to welcome Robert K. Heinssen, PhD., ABPP, the Acting Branch Chief of NIMH's Adult Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research Branch, to provide an update on research conducted by NIMH on Saturday morning of the 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference.


We are proud to announce that Keith O'Neil, former NFL player and leading Mental Health Advocate, will serve as the Grand Marshal of NAMIWalks NYS.

Keith was the special teams captain of the Super Bowl Champion 2007 Indianapolis Colts and also played for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. During his NFL career he began to notice his symptoms of bipolar disorder; following his retirement his disease become worse. He has become a leading mental health advocate appearing on the cover of BP Magazine and speaking at many events including the 2015 Brain and Behavior Research Foundation symposium.

Keith and his family live in Buffalo, NY and NAMI helped his wife and family understand his disease by providing the type of education and support we deliver to thousands of people living with a mental illness and their families across New York State everyday.

NAMIWalks NYS will help us meet the growing requests we receive for our Signature Programs such as Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, In Our Own Voice and Ending the Silence, all of which we offer at no cost to the public. Please help us meet the demands for this unique programs by supporting NAMIWalks NYS.

NAMIWalks New York State
Saturday September 24th, Jennings Landing Albany

Click here   to visit our  NAMIWalks New York State Page.
  • Start a team or join an existing team.
  • Become a virtual walker if you can't make it to the Capital Region on September 24th.
  • Donate to the NAMIWalks NYS-Your support is crucial to NAMI-NYS's ability to continue meeting the demand for NAMI programming from communities throughout New York State.
NAMI-NYS's Ashley McDuffie Takes New York Spirit to  Louisville

Ashley McDuffee, a member of NAMI Montgomery, Fulton, Hamilton, who has presented at the NAMI-NYS Education Conference and What's Great in Our State events, recently began a doctorate program at Spaulding University in Louisville, Kentucky for Childhood Psychology. Ashley found the NAMI in Louisville and joined them in their NAMI Walk last Saturday. She also recruited classmates and a professor to join. We are all proud of Ashley and encourage other college students to participate in our upcoming walk.

Click here to learn about sponsorship opportunities


Click here 
to watch a short video providing tips on how to be a successful team captain.

Save the Dates
Click here to register for the 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference taking place November 11-13 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany.

August 26th-
NAMI Schenectady will hold their annual picnic beginning 
at  3:30 pm at the  Niskayuna Town Community Park off Aqueduct Road. The picnic will feature an all you can eat chicken barbecue, music and games. The cost to attend is $20 and $10 for consumers. You can call Roy Neville at  377-2619  to RSVP.

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:
September 22-
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  

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 1-4-The Association of  Community Living Agencies in Mental Health (ACLAIMH) will host its 37th Annual Conference - Housing is Healthcare (Open to All) - on Tuesday, November 1st-Friday, November 4th at The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, NY. There will be many sessions that provide social work continuing education credits.  Association of Community Living Agencies in Mental Health, Inc., (ACLAIMH), SW CPE is recognized by the New York Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. 
Click here for more information.
November 3 - NAMI Staten Island will be holding their 26 th Annual Awards Celebration at Li Greci's restaurant beginning at 6pm.  

The Honorees are:
Deborah Bostwick OTR, MPS: Program Supervisor, Anna Erica CDT & Clinic Richmond University Medical Center
Kenneth Cybulska:  NAMI Connections facilitator & NAMI In Our Own Voice presenter
Danielle Douglas:  Detective Specialist, NYPD Patrol Borough S.I. Community Affairs 122 Precinct
David Hughes:  NAMI Connections facilitator & NAMI Peer -To- Peer mentor

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:
NOVEMBER 11-13-2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference-
New Horizons in Recovery: Breakthroughs in Research and Treatment. The Desmond Hotel, Albany. More details coming soon!
DECEMBER 13- Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist:  Neuroinflammatory Hypotheses of Depression, presented byYvette I. Sheline, M.D.
 Register now: 
Signature Programs
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.
September 1- NAMI Queens Nassau presents Family to Family classes September1st - November 17 th 2016. 7:00-9:30 pm at Walk in Love for Jesus Church. 906 Newbridge Road, Long Island NY 11710. To register email  or (516) 326-0797 or (718) 347-7284

September 6- NAMI Rochester begins theirPeer-to-Peer class which will run through 11/15 (with no class on 10/25) from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the NAMI Rochester office, 320 Goodman St N # 102, Rochester. For more information or to register, please call Beth Winslow-D'Amico at 585-423-1593 or email at 

September 7- NAMI Rochester begins the first of their two fall Family-to-Family classes which will run through 11/30 (with no class on 11/23), 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm at the NAMI Rochester office, 320 Goodman St N # 102, Rochester. For more information or to register, please call Beth Winslow-D'Amico at 585-423-1593 or email at
September 8- NAMI Rochester begins the second of their two fall Family-to-Family classes which will run through 12/1 with no class on 11/24), 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm at the NAMI Rochester office, 320 Goodman St N # 102, Rochester. For more information or to register, please call Beth Winslow-D'Amico at 585-423-1593or email at

September 8-NAMI Queens Nassau presents Family-to-Family classes September 8-December 1st at Congregational At Shelter Rock, 18 Shelter Rock Road Manhasset, NY 11030 and the classes will take place from 6:30-9:00. 
To register email  or (516) 326-0797 or (718) 347-7284

September 10-NAMI Queens/Nassau begins the next Family-to-Family course at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, 110-31 Merrick Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11433. The courses will be held on Saturdays from 1:30-4pm. To register email or (516) 326-0797 or (718) 347-7284. Click here for more information..

September 24- NAMI Rochester begins their NAMI Basics class which will run through 10/29 from 10am-12:30pm at the NAMI Rochester office, 320 Goodman St N # 102, Rochester. For more information or to register, please call Beth Winslow-D'Amico at 585-423-1593or email at

September 26-NAMI Queens Nassau presents Family to Family classes at North Shore Zucker Hillside Hospital Ambulatory Care Pavilion, room 1237. 263rd St. and 74 Ave. Glen Oaks, NY 11004. Classes will be from 7-9:30pm. To register email or (516) 326-0797 or (718) 347-7284

September 19-NAMI Cayuga County presents Family to Family classes at Auburn Community College, 17 Lansing Street Auburn, NY 2nd Floor Assembly Room. Classes will be from 6-8:30pm. Please contact to register.

September TBD- NAMI Westchester will be starting a Family-to-Family class in Westchester, dates and location are to be determined. To enroll call Sharon McCarthy at 914-592-5458 or email her at

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