August 5th, 2016
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This week's edition of the NAMI-NYS E-Newsletter arrives during a week where NAMI-NYS has been active projecting our advocacy voice. We participated in a rally to urge Governor Cuomo to sign step therapy legislation as well as participating in a Congress on the Corner event. This issue provides you with the tools to project your voice both on the Step Therapy issue as well as letting SAMHSA know your thoughts on parity. The issue also highlights how the arts, expression and telling your story have a major impact on mental health.

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. 

Hope Starts With You!
NAMI-NYS Participates in Rally to Urge
Governor Cuomo to Sign 
Step Therapy Legislation

On Wednesday, August 5th, NAMI-NYS participated in the New York Step Therapy Reform Coalition rally in front of the Capitol to urge the signing of A.2834-D/S.3419-C which would regulate the use of step therapy practices by insurance providers. Along with a press conference on the Capitol steps, participants marched around West Capitol Park with signs and various chants.

Click here to watch news coverage of the rally from the local NBC affiliate.

Click here to view pictures from the rally on our Facebook page, while there be sure to like our page.

NAMI-NYS encourages our members to call the Governor's office at 518-474-8390 and urge him to sign A.2834-D/S.3419-C. Despite the fact that the bill passed BOTH houses of the Legislature UNANIMOUSLY, the bill faces an uphill battle as the insurance lobby is pushing back hard. 

Click here to read the letter of support NAMI-NYS sent to Governor Cuomo on this issue.

Click here to read a cost analysis of Step Therapy.
NAMI Rochester the 2016 Outstanding NAMI Affiliate Award Winner Details How to Build a Successful Affiliate
Pat Sine, Mary Giliberti and Bill Perun

As we have previously reported NAMI Rochester was recognized as the 2016 Outstanding NAMI Affiliate at this year's NAMI Convention. The NAMI website recently this week published a blog post by NAMI Rochester Executive Director Pat Sine offering her insights on how to build a successful affiliate. Pat gives several recommendations including:
  • Educating yourself.
  • Making your voice heard.
  • Encouraging new participants.
  • Establishing community partnerships and collaborations.
  • Promoting membership among the younger generation.
We thank Pat and her tremendous team at NAMI Rochester for the work they do and for sharing insights to help other affiliates grow. 

Click here to read Pat's blog post.

NAMI on Campus at Westchester Community College Receives 
Spring Student Leader Recognition Award

Westchester Community College (WCC) NAMI on Campus was honored at the college's Spring Student Leader Recognition Dinner.  College clubs and events are nominated and awarded for success.  Despite the fact that the NAMI on Campus at WCC only started in January 2016, they were still awarded for Event of the Year in recognition of their art therapy event.
Lauren Vogt, the NAMI on Campus president & founder was also presented with a Key Award, which is presented to students who have made consistent and outstanding contributions to the college community. The school stated, "The efforts of these individuals have positively impacted areas of student life and the educational environment of the campus. Recipients exemplify characteristics of leadership, service and an earnest desire to learn and grow from their involvement experiences in the co-curriculum."
NAMI Westchester stated that "Lauren worked very hard to get this NAMI on Campus established and we are very proud of her.  Lauren graduated from WCC last June and is now attending a 4 year college in Colorado.  She is going to be missed."

Daniel Laitman Featured in PSA to be Shown 
on Southwest Airlines
Daniel Laitman, the son of NAMI-NYS Board Member Rob Laitman, will be featured in a new public service announcement, titled "Schizophrenia is not Funny, But Daniel is," that will be shown on all Southwest Airlines from October 1 through November 30. Daniel who has schizophrenia uses comedy to advance his recovery and reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.

Click here to watch Daniel's PSA

The NAMI-NYS Nomination and Election Committee is Seeking Candidates for the Board of Directors

NAMI-NYS election season is upon us. In 2016 we will have five Board positions open for election. Those elected would serve from 2016-2019. 

Click here to read the nomination letter.
Click here for the corrected nomination form.

NAMI Featured in BuzzFeed Article on
What to do if You Can't Afford Therapy

The website BuzzFeed recently featured an article detailing how too often finances provide a serious barrier to people seeking mental health therapy. The article states even when presented with financial challenges people have options. The article includes insights from NAMI Helpline Manager manager Kate Mallow as well as clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D.

Click here to read the article.  
New York State News
August Edition of NYS-OMH Newsletter
Focuses on the Role of Expression in
Mental Health

The August edition of the New York State Office of Mental Health Newsletter explores how the arts and expression can improve a wide-array of mental health issues. As the issue states: "whether it is painting, writing, or performing,the arts have long played a valuable role in mental health therapy. Research suggests that tapping into the creative  process can help improve mental health by increasing focus, reducing symptoms of stress and depression, and improving mood. Innovative mental health professionals in  France and Germany recognized this in the early 20th century."

Among those featured is NAMI-NYS member Rachid Ottey, a Peer Specialist at South Beach Psychiatric Center who runs a music therapy program and recording studio there. Rachid says, "Music is a very powerful tool. It can guide emotions and help to stay balanced. It's a tool that I feel is sometimes overlooked but can bring much comfort to an individual. Like some forms of meditation music extends the ability to relax your mind and focus more clearly."

Click here to read the issue.

NYC Spends $4.6M to Offer Mental Health Services for Pre-K and Daycare Centers

New York City is kicking off a fresh, $4.6 million effort for added mental health services for city kids younger than six and their families, de Blasio administration officials announced on August 3rd. Beginning in October, the city's Early Childhood Mental Health Network will operate at seven new clinics across all five boroughs. Services available at the clinics will include short-term counseling and onsite mental health consultations.

New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray said the network fits into the administration's larger, ThriveNYC project to boost mental health across the city.  "Everyone will face hardship. That is a part of life," McCray said. "By acting early to help our youngest New Yorkers understand and manage their emotions, we can better equip them to handle stress, prevent or lessen the severity of future mental health challenges, and set them up for success. It is easier to grow a healthy child than to mend a broken adult."

Under the program, staffers at nearly 400 pre-kindergarten and day care sites will get added training and classroom materials to support kids' mental health.

Click here to read more.
National News
SAMHSA Wants Your Input on Parity Issues

Mental health and substance use disorder treatment is part of comprehensive medical care. Almost one in five American adults will experience a diagnosable mental health condition this year, and more than half of Americans know someone in treatment for a substance use disorder. Yet, approximately half of all Americans are not aware of the protections in place to guarantee equal insurance coverage for mental health issues, substance use disorders, and physical health care.

Mental health and substance use disorder parity means that insurance benefits for mental health care and substance use disorder treatment must be comparable to physical health benefits.

The Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force wants to hear about your experience with mental health and substance use disorder treatment services. How have parity protections affected you? What are your suggestions for improving awareness of parity protections and monitoring health plans' compliance with parity?

The comment period is open until Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

Click here to enter your comments.

Oprah Magazine Features the Beautiful Way People Are Coming Out About Mental Illness

The latest issue of Oprah Magazine discusses how mental illness has long been a topic too taboo for public consumption. The storytelling series This Is My Brave is changing that, one beautiful, painful, triumphant, true tale at a time. 

Click here to read the full article.

NIMH Update

Click here to read the latest Update from NIMH

Coping With Familial Mental Illness in Stressful Times
Former NIMH Deputy Director and Scientific Director, Dr. Richard Nakamura, discusses in a video interview how his family successfully coped with discrimination compounded by bipolar disorder during trying times for Japanese Americans.

Click here to watch the video.

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  call 1-301-435-8970 (1-888-674-6464) 
ยท        Protocol Number:  89-M-0160 

Click here for more information.

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.

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
August 9 - 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:
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 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 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 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