August 26rd, 2016
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This week's edition of the NAMI-NYS E-Newsletter looks at the need for improved engagement by communities who have traditionally not received proper mental health care. Along with several articles detailing the problem, this edition showcases how our 2016 Education Conference is addressing this issue as well as highlighting the work of two of our local affiliates who are implementing successful practices. We want to know what you are doing to reach out and engage people in mental health. Email your stories to 

The E-Newsletter also contains articles on other areas in need of improvement which the 2016 Conference will be addressing, such as mental health in the workplace, veteran's mental health issues, addressing trauma and improving the criminal justice-mental illness interface.

We also want to remind everyone that our inaugural NAMIWalks NYS is less than a month away. Be sure to sign up or donate today and help support NAMI-NYS in our mission to deliver support and education.
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 Featured Session on Engagement Comes as Media Increases Attention of Mental Health Challenges in 
Multicultural Communities 
The Friday evening Featured Session at the 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference- New Horizons in Recovery: Breakthroughs in Research and Treatment , will be
New Horizons in Effective Engagement. The session will discuss how to improve engagement in communities that have traditionally been hesitant to participate in mental health care. NAMI-NYS is honored to welcome Oscar Jimenez-Solomon, MPH, Research Coordinator at the Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University and Elise Banks, MS, LPC, Miss International 2015 and a NAMI Ambassador, to present during this session. 

NAMI-NYS and our affiliates can play a vital role in increasing engagement by traditionally under-served populations and this session is designed to provide attendees with the tools to increase their ability to engage all communities in mental health care. Click here to register for the conference. 

This is an important issue and more media is being paid to obstacles faced by the African-American and Hispanic communities in obtaining mental health care.

Click here to read an article from the Huffington Post detailing 10 Staggering Facts of How Mental Health Care is Failing People of Color.

Click here to read an article from Science Daily on How Black and Hispanic Children and Youth Rarely Get Mental Health Care.  

Click here to read an article from the International Business Times that details how Black and Hispanic Students are Less Likely to Receive Mental Health Care than White Students.

NAMI Queens/Nassau Continues to Partner With Religious Institutions to Provide 
NAMI Signature Programs
 Jeannette Wells, NAMI Q/N Family-to-Family Coordinator,  Carol Ann Viccora, Facilitator and Theresa Novella 

While the above articles explain the challenges of mental health care in multicultural communities, we are proud that many of our NAMI-NYS affiliates are already successfully reaching out and engaging mental cultural communities. One of the leaders in this effort is NAMI Queens/Nassau. They have continuously sought out partnerships with religious and educational institutions in multicultural communities to offer NAMI presentations and NAMI Signature Programs providing education and support. 

On August 18th, the Walk In Love For Jesus Church in North Bellmore, had its official grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony. NAMI Queens/Nassau was on hand with an information table as the event also coincided with the affiliate's celebration of their fifth Family-to-Family course at the church since 2014. Their course offerings have served more than a hundred families. The next class there starts on September 1st at 7:00pm. F or more information, please call (718)-347-7284 or (516)-326-0797

NAMI Staten Island Presents Their First 
NPO Media Podcast

NAMI Staten Island is another example of an affiliate who is successfully engaging diverse communities. They recently debuted their initial NPO Media Podcast. The podcast, which is hosted by NAMI Staten Island President, Peter Shiffman, is designed to provide a forum for young people impacted by mental illness to have a voice.  The first episode features an interview with a young man from Staten Island named Ricardo. He speaks of living with schizophrenia, symptoms of the disease and insights he has gained as he creatively shares his experiences and hopes for the future. 

This is an exciting endeavor as both the Hispanic and young adult communities have been reluctant to engage in mental health discussions and care. We applaud NAMI Staten Island for giving young adults such as Ricardo the platform to tell their stories. We also thank Ricardo for speaking so candidly about his disease; we are sure his story will inspire others and encourage them to get care if they need it.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

NAMI Media Watch Summarizes a Bizarre Summer

In his recent blog, NAMI's Bob Carolla summarizes what has been a strange summer of media coverage of mental health issues. Click here to read more. 

One of the things Bob looks at is the media's fascination on the mental health implications of the Pokemon Go craze that is seemingly sweeping the nation.

While the full mental health impact of Pokemon Go remains to be determined, we do want to point out that our upcoming NAMIWalks NYS is a great opportunity for Pokemon Go players. The walk site is home to six Pokemon Go stops. Learn more about NAMIWalks NYS in the section below and sign up or donate today!!! 

A Letter to My Colleagues About My Mental Illness

In another recent NAMI blog, a NAMI member details her experience returning to work after experiencing a psychotic break. The blog also mentions the Stigma Free Company  movement. Click here to read more. 

As the blog details, we have a long way to go to create true comprehension of mental health issues in the workplace. Improving workplace mental health and getting people with a mental illness back into the work force will be a major focus of the 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference, which will feature a featured session and two workshops on this topic. 

New York State News
New York Times Opinion Pages Look at 
Long-Term Effects of Trauma

The New York Times Opinion Pages this week featured a column about the impact of trauma across the lifespan and the need for a person to have insight on their traumatic experiences and properly address them in order to move forward. The column also details how not addressing trauma can have long-term negative impacts not only for that person but for their entire family.

Click here to read the full article. 

The Friday afternoon featured session at the 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will focus on recognizing and addressing trauma. 

Veteran Kills Himself in Parking Lot of 
V.A. Hospital on Long Island

Earlier this week, Peter Kaisan, a 76-year old veteran took his own life in the parking lot of the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Workers at the hospital told reporters that Mr. Kaisan had been frustrated that he was unable to see an emergency-room physician for reasons related to his mental health. "He went to the E.R. and was denied service," one of the people who currently works at the hospital said. "And then he went to his car and shot himself." Click here to read more.

The 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will feature a veterans and military family mental health focus track and the conference's Zero Suicide Initiative will feature a workshop on suicide prevention for veterans. 

New York Times Examines 
The Psychiatric Question in Presidential Politics

Box on left: c lockwise from top left: Barry Goldwater, Donald J. Trump, Lyndon B. Johnson and Thomas F. Eagleton. Right: A 1964 article in Fact magazine led to what is known as the Goldwater Rule, the American Psychiatric Association's declaration that it is unethical for any psychiatrist to diagnose a public figure's condition

The 2016 presidential campaign has certainly been of the more unique election cycles in quite some time. Psychiatric issues have played a role throughout this campaign. The NAMI-NYS E-News has featured examples of how candidates in both parties have injected mental health issues in a positive way (such as Tim Kaine citing mental health as an issue both parties must work together on and John Kasich detailing the need for enhanced mental health services) and negatively (such as Bernie Sanders making a joke about why the Republican debates demonstrate the need to improve mental health care and Mike Huckabee calling Supreme Court Justices schizophrenic). Along with these examples, lately, media coverage has focused on whether or not Donald Trump has a psychiatric disorder. Two weeks ago, the E-News featured an article by Patrick Kennedy, explaining how this type of "armchair psychiatry" is wrong.

While it may seem that the psychiatric question is more prominent than ever before, the truth is that the discussion of a candidate's mental health has been a phenomenon in presidential politics for quite some time. The New York Times this week, took a look at the psychiatric question in presidential politics since media coverage of 1964 Republican Candidate Barry Goldwater led to the American Psychiatric Association issuing a mandate that psychiatrists should not diagnose public figures in the media.   

Click here to read the article, which is a fascinating read for anyone interested in political and/or psychiatric history.

DISCLAIMER: This article is included to demonstrate the history of the discussion of psychiatric issues in elections. NAMI-NYS does not endorse political candidates or campaigns.

National News
With No Insanity Defense People With Seriously 
Mental Ill People End Up in Prison

NPR used the recent release of would be presidential assassin John Hinkley to examine how people with mental illness (especially those with serious mental illness) are mishandled by the criminal justice system, leading to many being in prison, when what they actually need are mental health services.

Click here to read the article. 

Vancouver Police Understand Mental Illness

In more positive criminal justice news.the Huffington Post recently took a look at the longtime efforts of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) to meet the needs of the 30% of their calls that deal with mental illness. A summary of their most recent and ongoing efforts was released this summer in their policy statement "Vancouver Police Mental Health Strategy." This document offers a template for what an enlightened broadly-based approach to mental illness looks like. Click here to read more. 

The 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference, will once again feature a focus track on how to improve in the interface between the criminal justice system and people with a mental illness. 

Schizophrenia, Autism Risk Gene Trajectories 
Point to Shared Causes

Findings from a study funded by NIMH suggest that risk genes for schizophrenia and autism conspicuously activate in the same neuronal neighborhood of the brain's cortex, or outer mantel, during infancy. This suggests some related underlying illness processes - even though known genetic variations associated with the disorders overlap by only 5 percent, say researchers.

Click here to learn more.

Join A Study of Schizophrenia and the Brain: 
A Six-month Inpatient Evaluation Study

Have you been diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder? Are you between 18 and 55 years of age? Would you be willing to live at the Clinical Center on the NIH campus for six months? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a study designed to understand the neurological basis of schizophrenia and to determine which symptoms are related to the illness and which are related to the medications used to treat the illness.

This six-month study has three phases: In the first phase you will participate in many comprehensive medical, neurological, cognitive, and psychiatric evaluations. In the second phase, the research phase, you will be tapered off of your medication for about 4 weeks. In the time that your medication is discontinued, research procedures will allow investigators to distinguish the effects of the illness on the brain without the interference of the medication's effects. In the third phase, you will have the opportunity to stabilize using the treatment selected to be most helpful to you.
To find out if you qualify,  email NIMH   or call 1-301-435-8970 (1-888-674-6464) [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].
Protocol Number:  89-M-0160 


NAMIWalks NYS is less than a month away. We are proud to have Keith O'Neil, former NFL player and leading Mental Health Advocate, serving 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.  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. Click here to read a press release on Keith O'Neil's involvement in NAMIWalks NYS.

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 Board Members Explain
Why I 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 7-NAMI of Central Suffolk invites you to their monthly Speaker Series at Mather Hospital Port Jefferson; Conference Rooms 1/2 at 7:30 p.m. This meeting will be on Special Needs Trusts and Estate Planning and feature Eric Cherches, a Port Jefferson attorney who focuses estate planning, trust and estate administration, and civil and commercial litigation. Hope you can join us!
September 8 -NAMI Buffalo welcomes NYS Senator Robert Ortt, Chair of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee to present an update on mental health legislation. St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4007 Main St (near Eggert Rd) in Amherst. The meeting will be in the 2 nd   floor auditorium (main entrance at back of church) and will begin at 7pm with a coffee social and Senator Ortt is scheduled to speak at 7:30pm. 

September 13- Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents; Meet the Scientist:  Living Well with ADHD: Scientific Guideposts to Improved Outcomes, presented by
Francisco Xavier Castellanos, MD, 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 14- NAMI Westchester presentation on HOLISTIC RECOVERY 7:30 to 9:00 pm at St.   Vincent's Hospital Conference Center, Harrison NY.  For more information and to register go to   
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, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and of Physiology, Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Register now:
October 19- NAMI Westchester 2 nd    Annual Educational Conference -Lets Talk...The Road Ahead.  This is an educational opportunity for parents, students and educators to receive information on how to prepare for life after high school.    Key note speaker:    Kevin Hines, author of Cracked Not Broken.  Event will be held at Westchester Community College from 4 to 7 pm (6-7 pm optional workshops) For more information and to register go to

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, MD, 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, MD.
 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 15-NAMI Huntington will offer the Family-to-Family course at the Bridgehampton National Bank Community Center, 2200 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton, NY from 6:30-9:00 PM C all: Ellen (631) 728-3082 or Carole (516) 524-0515 to register.
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 Hospital, 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 1-NAMI Rockland will offer the NAMI Family to Family at Rockland Psychiatric Center  140 Old Orangeburg Road, Bldg #57, 1st Floor classroom Orangeburg, NY  10962 from  9:30 am - 12:00 noon Teachers:  Chris Vanasse & Marie Wood-Smith. For more information and to register please call  (845) 359-8785
October 6- NAMI Rockland will offer the NAMI Basics at St. Dominic's Home / Home and Community Based Waiver Program located at  500 Western Highway Blauvelt, NY  10913 from   6:30pm to 9:00 pm Teachers:  Anne Arias & Rita Strumph. For more information and to register please call
(845) 359-8785

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