September 24th, 2016
In This Issue
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We bring you this week's edition of the NAMI-NYS E-Newsletter on the eve of our inaugural NAMIWalks NYS. Be sure to sign up or donate today and help support NAMI-NYS in our mission to deliver support and education.

If you are reading our E-Newsletter, we are sure that NAMI-NYS has helped you. NAMI-NYS has improved the lives of individuals and families impacted by mental illness by:

-Being a national leader in offering NAMI Signature Programs at no cost to the public.


-Organizing an annual Education Conference featuring those on the forefront of research and treatment and providing scholarships to ensure as many people can attend as possible.


-Finding new ways of communicating psychiatric information such as our weekly E-Newsletter and monthly television program.


-Projecting a powerful advocacy voice striving to improve the delivery of mental health services and improve the lives of caregivers.


NAMI-NYS has helped you. Please help us and support NAMIWalks NYS by  clicking here
Many of the articles in this edition detail information being covered at this year's NAMI-NYS Education Conference
. We are also excited to detail one of the conference's featured sessions on the importance of forming recovery teams. This issue also contains ACTION ALERTS on several key issues and we encourage our readers to make their voices heard.

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!
The Need to Form Recovery to be Featured at
2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference

The need for individuals living with a mental illness to form recovery teams with their family members and service providers is central to NAMI-NYS's mission. This important subject will be one of the featured sessions at the   2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference - New Horizons in Recovery: Breakthroughs in Research and Treatment.  

The Saturday morning featured session New Horizons in Partnerships: The Importance of Forming Recovery Teams, will be a panel discussion detailing the benefits of forming recovery teams with open communication and shared goals. All members of a recovery team will be represented on the panel. We are thrilled to welcome:

-Nina Schooler, PhD, Division Chief, Schizophrenia Research Division, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
-Thomas Jewell, PhD., Project Manager, Center for Practice Innovations, New York State Psychiatric Institute
-Bill Perun, JD, President, NAMI Rochester, Board Member, NAMI-NYS
-Shelia Sutton, RN, NAMI Orange County, NAMI Provider Education Presenter

Click here to learn more about this year's conference agenda.

Click here to register.

Tell Governor Cuomo to Sign Mental Health in School Bill and Step Therapy Legislation Bill
For several years, NAMI-NYS has been working with the Mental Health Association of NYS to pass legislation to incorporate mental health education into school's existing health curricula. The bill has been delivered to Governor Cuomo's desk.  We are calling on all our members to call 518-474-8390 and choose option 3 to talk to staff and urge them to have the Governor sign S.6046.

Click here to read the letter to the editor written by NAMI Queens/Nassau President Janet Susin on this issue which was published in Newsday.

We have also continuously updated you on our advocacy efforts to advance legislation to regulate "fail first" and "step therapy" procedures by insurance companies. While the bill passed both the Assembly and Senate UNANIMOUSLY, the Governor's office has yet to request the bill for signing. Our advocacy coalition has launched a fall campaign to take the final steps to put patients first. Click here to learn how you can make your voice heard on this crucial issue.

Nominate Someone for an Award
to be Presented at the 2016 Education Conference

Nominations are now open for the awards to be presented at the 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference. We encourage all of our members to let us know about the great work you are doing by nominating your affiliate, members or program leaders for an award. We are currently accepting awards in the following categories:

- The Muriel Shepherd Award-Nominate someone for the award named in honor of our founding president. The Muriel Shepherd award is given to an individual who has demonstrated the ability to project NAMI-NYS's advocacy voice along with raising awareness of mental health issues in their community.
- Affiliate of the Year Award-Given to an affiliate that has demonstrated an exceptional ability to offer signature programs, raise awareness of mental health issues and offer diverse programs
- Small Affiliate of the Year Award-given to an affiliate with less than 75 members that has demonstrated an exceptional ability to offer signature programs, raise awareness of mental health issues and offer diverse programs as well as set the example of how to grow an affiliate's membership
- Media Award-Given to authors, directors, reporters and others who have educated the public about mental health issues and concerns
- Signature Program Award-Given to an individual who has done exemplary work in delivering NAMI Signature Programs
- Multicultural Award-given to an individual or program promoting and providing cross cultural services to mentally ill people and their families
- Young Leader Award-given to an individual 18-25 who has done an exceptional job in raising awareness of mental health issues among their peers and in their community.

Click here to access the Award Nomination Form. Nominations are due on October 7th. 

NAMI-NYS Encourages Our Members to Participate in National Voter Registration Day and 
Drive Voter Turnout

This coming Tuesday, September 27th, is National Voter Registration Day. We encourage all of you to spread this information and urge your members to register if they are not already. We also want to make sure all NAMI-NYS members get to the polls in November. You can click here to register online- we also encourage you to copy and share the link.

Here are some other voter resources:

NAMI Senior Policy Advisor Ron Honberg Participates in  Washington Post Facebook Chat

  On September 9 th , as NAMI CEO Mary Giliberti was meeting with Senate leadership to advance S.2680, NAMI Senior Policy Advisor Ron Honberg was participating in a Washington Post Opinions Facebook Live Chat. 

Ron discussed the need to reform the delivery of mental health care along with other initiatives such as Assisted Outpatient Treatment and the state of mental health legislation.

Click here to learn more and watch.

NAMI Explores the Appropriate Way to Discuss Suicide With Children

A recent NAMI Blog detailed how to discuss suicide with children. Obviously, suicide is always a difficult conversation to have, especially with children, but it is an important one. F or every suicide that occurs, there is usually at least one child impacted. For the roughly 40,000 suicides that occur annually, there are thousands of child survivors who live with the emotional consequences. The article is written by Diana Hoguet, who lost her father to suicide when she was eight.

Click here to read more. 

We also want to direct your attention to the article in the New York State News section detailing a new study about children and suicide.

The 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will feature both a children's mental health track and a Zero Suicide initiative (which includes a session on children and adolescents).

New York Times Story Discusses NAMI and 

In a recent article in the New York Times, a man named Michael Hedrick details how his schizophrenia diagnosis impacted not just him, but his entire family. He also details how NAMI helped his family. He says:

" My parents went to a class called Family to Family sponsored by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and my dad fervently pored over the class material for tips on how to deal with my situation. My mom told me that she and my dad would sit through the class and she'd cry the whole time and then come home and cry the rest of the evening. The class moved my dad, though, because when he finished he underwent the training to teach the class himself, and he did teach it for two 12-week sessions.

Click here to read the article.

New York State News
Calls to Close Down Rikers Island Are Getting Louder

The Huffington Post recently focused on the growing discussions among many to shut down  the New York City prison, Rikers Island. Many of its inhabitants suffer from mental illness. In fact, its mentally ill population constitutes more than all of New York State's psychiatric hospitals combined. The article refers to the institution as a dumping ground for many of its inhabitants, and cites how the justice system mishandles many of the inmates (many of whom committed petty crimes).

Click here to read the article. 

New York Times Details Study Finding ADD is Linked to Suicide in Children  More than Depression

The New York Times recently discussed a study examining suicide and its link to children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The article emphasizes that depression is not the only factor that is correlated with suicide, and perhaps the impulsiveness that children with ADD have can be a cause of suicide. The article also details how it is vital to pay attention to your child's behaviors, and to get help right away if you fear that they are not in the in the right place emotionally.

Click here to read the article.

Prison Conditions Drive Albany Native with 
Mental Illness to Suicide

As NAMI-NYS has continually detailed, correctional facilities do not serve as the proper environment for its inhabitants with psychiatric disorders. This article from The Daily Beast tells the story of teenager Benjamin Van Zandt, an Albany native, whose struggles with mental illness, eventually leading him to prison.  The lack of proper care, whether it be medicinal or therapeutic, compounded by mistreatment by correction officers and his time in solitary confinement, worsened Benjamin's mental health and led him to take his own life. His case is just one of many tragic examples that happen daily throughout our country. 

Click here to read the full article.

The 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference will feature a focus track on improving the mental health-criminal justice interface and the Zero Suicide initiative will include a session on preventing suicide in correction facilities.

OMH Requests Recipient and Family Input for Medicaid Managed Care Consumer Outreach and Education

The New York State Office of Mental Health discusses Medicaid's new changes and initiatives for behavioral health services. For those under Medicaid who do not feel comfortable with the changes, there are helpful ways listed in this article to inform and educate oneself on Medicaid's services. For those looking to be more involved with being the educator and advocating for others, there is a registration link located in the article for a meeting on October 5, 2016 to become more involved.

Click here to register. 
National News
First Lady Michelle Obama Stand Up to 
Mental Illness Stigma

First Lady Michelle Obama continues to speak up about the stigma against mental health that still occur despite the fact that our society has made many advancements for individuals living with a mental illness. In this Huffington Post Article, the First Lady describes some of her encounters with veterans, and how they have yet to seek help for their PTSD for fear of being viewed as 'weak'. Mrs. Obama states that Mental illness is not a sign of weakness, and seeking professional help should be seen as a sign of strength. 

Click here to read more. 

SAMHSA Awards AOT Expansion Grants

NAMI-NYS has long detailed the importance of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs which ensure that those with the most serious forms of mental illness get the help they need. 

Our colleagues at Treatment Advocacy Center recently reported that the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the 17 communities that would be receiving the first-ever federal AOT demonstration grant awards. The awardees include localities all across the nation, from Mobile, Alabama, to Chicago, Illinois, Ventura, California and Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Each award represents an opportunity - a chance to finally ensure effective treatment for the most severely ill. 

NAMI-NYS applauds this positive development. You can click here to watch the episode of Mental Health Now which discussed AOT. 

The Sunday morning Town Hall Advocacy session at the 2016 NAMI-NYS Education Conference, will include information on how New York's AOT program "Kendra's Law" is set to sunset in 2017. We are honored to be joined by Pat Webdale, the mother of Kendra Webdale, for whom the law is named, and Brian Stettin from Treatment Advocacy Center.

New Research Provides Hopes for 
Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorder

As NAMI-NYS often states, research equals hope. This week there have been reports on developments for two of the most serious psychiatric disorders; Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorder.

Click here to read about how researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have discovered a key mechanism that explains how compounds they're developing can suppress schizophrenia-like symptoms in mice without side effects.

Click here to read about how on the drug EPO (E rythropoietin) may help to improve the cognitive functioning in individuals with bipolar disorder.


NIMH Awards Zero Suicide Grants 

"Zero Suicide" is a commitment, a goal, and a campaign led by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and its partners - including NIMH. Recently, NIMH funded three new grants that support the Zero Suicide commitment to preventing suicide attempts and deaths among individuals receiving treatment within health care systems.

Click here to read more. 

Read the NIMH Outreach Partner Connection Newsletter

The Outreach Connection is the newsletter for the NIMH Outreach Partner Program and contains a sample of how the national Outreach Partners are spreading the word about research conducted by NIMH. NAMI-NYS is proud to serve as the Outreach Partner for New York State. This issue of Outreach Connection mentions our efforts on social media.

Click here to read the issue.

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 


Still Time to Sign Up to Participate inNAMIWalks NYS Tomorrow

Click here to join NAMI-NYS and Keith O'Neil, former NFL player and leading Mental Health Advocate, at 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.

Donate to NAMIWalks NYS & Help Us Provide 
Education and Support

Click here to make a donation to NAMIWalks NYS and 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 these 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.
Matthew Shapiro Explanins
Why I Walk

Click here to watch a video of our Public Engagement Coordinator, Matthew Shapiro explaining why he is walking. Click here to visit Matthew's Walks page and learn more of Matthew's story and make a donation.

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.

September 28- NAMI Rockland will be holding their Annual Awards Dinner. This will celebrate the 35th Anniversary 
of NAMI Rockland and Rena Finkelstein's 30 years of service. The event will take place at The View on The Hudson in Piermont. Click here for more info. 

October 6th- The Capital District Psychiatric Center Family Services presents "Stress, The Good, The Bad and Getting Rid of the Ugly" with Karen Laing, Health Literacy for All, Inc. The program will be held at the CDPC Family Resource Center, located at 75 New Scotland Ave. in Albany, from 5-7:30. For more information or to register contact: Frank Greco, Director of Family Services at 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. For more information and to register call 518-588-6949.

October 15th-NAMI Westchester welcomes NAMI-NYS Public Engagement Coordinator, Matthew Shapiro to present, "Moving Forward, Next Steps in Mental Health Advocacy in New York State." The presentation at St. Vincent's Hospital 275 North Street in Harrison, beginning at 1pm. For more information email

October 15 The 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

October 27 and 28th-The Mental Health Association Awards Dinner and Conference.  Register for both events and receive a discount!  Join us for a festive evening as we come together for a wonderful night to celebrate our MHA affiliate members and our colleagues across the state at our Annual Awards Dinner on October 27 th On October 28th  come to hear leading national behavioral health expert Linda Rosenberg's Keynote Address titled ' Creating Change that Matters: The Importance of Mental Health in Healthcare Reform' and more. Register today at!
  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

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 20 -The Saratoga Springs and Schenectady NAMI affiliates will be offering the NAMI Family to Family Course for family and friends of adult persons with mental illness.  The course will be taught every Tuesday from 6:15 pm to 8:45 pm at Four Winds Hospital,  30 Crescent Avenue at Rt 9 in Saratoga Springs, NY 12866  
Contact:    Dotte at 
or call 429-5047

September 26- NAMI Rensselaer County will be holding a Family to Family 12 week Education Class at the First United Methodist Church, 1 Gilligan Rd East Greenbush, NY 12061, from 6:30-8:30pm. For more information or to register please contact:
Christine Robinson-Cooley or  518-378-5864
Mary Beth Nelligan
Christine Rickeman at NAMI NYS 518-462-2000

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 6- NAMI Huntington will be offering the NAMI Basics Education Program at Northwell Health Dolan Family Health Center,  284 Pulaski Rd., Greenlawn, NY 11740.  The course will run through November 17th from 5:30-8 pm

Advance Registration Required - Please contact:
Kellie Gehrke (631) 223-5028 or
Pat Hillenbrand (631) 370-1662 or

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