Welcome to NAMI-NYS E-newsletter
July is Black, Indigenous, People of Color
(BIPOC) Mental Health Awareness Month
For BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI-NYS will continue to amplify the message “You Are Not Alone.”

We will be using the term BIPOC as we move forward to build authentic and lasting solidarity among Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) impacted by mental illness. We will also be using this time to focus on the healing value of connecting in safe ways, prioritizing mental health and acknowledging that it’s okay to not be okay through NAMI’s blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements and local and virtual events.

View the NAMI-NYS July BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month Guide​ here to learn more about and how to support Black, Indigenous, People of Color Mental Health Awareness month. And visit our site here.
BIPOC Mental Health Series Part 2:
Black Mental Health & Ending the Stigma

On Tuesday, August 3rd, at 7pm, NAMI-NYS will be holding the third part of our 3-part BIPOC Mental Health Series. This session will focus on Indigenous Mental Health & Recovery.

Watch Part 2:
 Black Mental Health
& Ending the Stigma
NAMI-NYS and Partners Held HALT Solitary
Legislative Win Celebration
On Saturday, July 24th NAMI-NYS, NAMI Capital Region and partners held a celebration for the passing of Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT).

Cassandra Farrugia, NAMI-NYS Communication & Youth Engagement Specialist, stated "Ending the use of solitary confinement is a major mental health issue that NAMI-NYS has been dedicated to addressing for a long time. Too many people including our members who live with persistent mental illnesses have been incarcerated and subjected to this torturous practice. NAMI-NYS looks forward to using this event to both celebrate the monumental passage of the HALT bill as well highlight the next steps needed to ensure our loved ones with mental illness are diverted from the carceral system and towards a society where mental health crises are not met with police but with a mental health response. And again, thank you to all those whose dedication made this win possible."

The event included games, giveaways, therapeutic crafts including mask making for Off the Mask and more! NAMI-NYS would like to thank all those involved for making this a family fun event.
NAMI-NYS Board Members Present at
2021 NAMI National Convention
The 2021 NAMI National Convention-Bringing People Together for Mental Health: The Time is Now, took place online this week and the voices of several of our NAMI-NYS board members were incorporated into the convention's agenda

On Tuesday, as part of the track on Advancing the Promise of Research track, Dr. Rob Laitman gave a presentation on Optimal Treatment of Psychotic Disorders: Clozapine, Engagement, Community. Dr. Laitman will be giving a similar presentation at the 2021 NAMI-NYS Education Conference.

Yesterday, Maggie Bristol, Ed.D and Ann Canastra, LPC presented in the session, NAMi Homefront, NAMI Peer-to-Peer in Partnership with Veteran Service Organizations.
NAMI-NYS Nominating Committee is Seeking
New Members to Join the NAMI-NYS Board of Directors
The NAMI-NYS Nominating Committee is seeking qualified applicants to join the NAMI-NYS Board of Directors for a three year term starting at the end of October.

The Board of Directors shapes the policy and direction of NAMI-NYS, while providing oversight to ensure the organization runs smoothly and supports the local affiliates’ efforts to serve the community.
NAMI-NYS is looking for Board candidates who can represent their communities in various ways and offer unique perspectives based on their own backgrounds and experiences. The organization is also always looking for Board members with special skills, whether it be around NAMI mission focused “know-how” like advocacy or programs, or professional skills like finance or legal field experience.

Applications are due to NAMI-NYS by 24 August.

Off the Mask News
Off the Mask 2021 - Ending Stigma:
A Celebration of Mental Wellness

Off the Mask 2021 will take place in-person on Friday, September 10th from 6:00PM-9:00PM at Sixty State Place, Albany NY. This year’s event will feature:

Masters of Ceremonies - Benita Zahn, Producer/host of Health Beat on WNYT and certified health and wellness coach with Capital Cardiology.  

Fashion Show Co-Host - Taylor Rao, Co-Founder/Personality of Two Buttons Deep and writer of real estate & features of Albany Times Union

Special Guest Speaker - Dawn Gallagher, Supermodel, Beauty & Wellness Maven

Off the Mask is NAMI-NYS’s largest fundraiser and awareness event to end mental health stigma. We all have mental health, yet many of us choose to mask our feelings and not discuss the importance of our mental wellness. The fashion show features 25 model ambassadors, all of whom have a connection to mental health conditions. The model ambassadors share their stories, walk the runway and will take off their masks to share the true faces of mental health resiliency and recovery. This unique event encourages everyone to take off their symbolic mask to raise awareness and end the stigma around mental health.

In addition to our fashion show, the event also raises awareness with the inclusion of an art exhibit and auction featuring pieces created by people with a connection to mental health.
For more information and to register, please visit: https://www.naminys.org/offthemask/ 
Meet the Off the Mask 2021 Model Ambassadors
Maddie Canastra
Madeline (Maddie) is a 10-yr old from Cicero, NY, entering into the 5th grade. This will be her 3rd time modeling for NAMI's Off the Mask. She dances competitively, and really enjoys dancing the musical theater and lyrical styles. Maddie's goal is to one day attend Harvard Law School. She enjoys video editing and spending time with her twin brother and older brother, when she's not dancing. Maddie loves to support NAMI because, "NAMI gives people a place to be accepted no matter what. We all need that!"

Maddie would like to be a NAMI-NYS Mental Health Ambassador/Model because this event is really fun, and it gives us a place where we can talk about our feelings and be accepted. Also, she enjoys raising money for NAMI because they help people who need it the most. NAMI is a big part of Maddie's family because her mom teaches classes for them and is on the Board. Maddie's mother really helps people and she wants to do her part too.

Loki Anthony
Loki is 47 years old, has been married for 23 years and is a father of 3. He is also a professional Artist, Designer, and Barber. As an Artist & Designer, Loki has supported many nonprofit organizations over the years through his fashion and art experience-either by being involved in charity fashion shows, fundraiser auction events, or live art performances.

As a Barber, he has connected with a wide range of community members throughout the Hudson Valley and encouraged them to use their haircut experience as a step towards better self-care.

As a Veteran of the USAF, Loki has experienced the trauma from tragic moments in our country's history such as serving during the September 11th attacks. What he has witnessed both as a military member of fellow service members who lost their lives, and as a US citizen who is from NY has left him with a diagnosis of PTSD. Loki can relate to the pain others feel from the loss of loved ones in and out of the military during the attack and subsequent wars-both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He is also an artist, and his therapy for coping with those experiences is to be as creative as possible on a day to day basis. He hopes what he has shared helps others who have had similar experiences.

Loki's motto and mission is "Love Is Key." This stands for his passion to spread unconditional and universal love to others through his life's work.

Off the Mask Model Ambassador Upcoming Events & More
Shop to Support Model
Ambassador, Lacey Roy

Lacey will be presenting next Wednesday, August 4th at a virtual mini conference with the theme being: Different Perspectives on Mental Health

There is no cost to the event but a suggested donation to Lacey in support of her and her mission to participate as a model ambassador for Off the Mask 2021.

Lacey is a member of the NAMI Syracuse affiliate, so 70% of her fundraising proceeds will go directly to NAMI Syracuse. To register for this event, donate to Lacey here.

Lacey Roy also represents NAMI-Syracuse and has partnered up with the Wildflower Organization to help raise funds for Off the Mask, as well as spread mental health awareness.

For every "Stigma Free" and "Mental Wellness" item sold, 25% will go towards Lacey's mission in walking the Off the Mask runway on Friday, September 10th.

Learn more about Wildflower Organization and shop their amazing items today!
Workout for Mental Health

Returning Model Ambassador, Lisa O'Donnell Wolfe will be hosting an outdoor fitness bootcamp and indoor spin class on Saturday, August 7th at Go for Fitness: 160 Saratoga Road. South Glens Falls, NY 12803. The outdoor class will take place at 7:00AM and Indoor Spin at 8:00AM. Classes are FREE and open to all, but donations are highly encouraged to benefit Lisa and her mission to participate in Off the Mask 2021.
How Can You Get Involved?
Become a model ambassador- NAMI-NYS is currently seeking Off the Mask 2021 Model Ambassadors to walk the runway the evening of Friday, September 10th. Every model is generously donating their time and efforts in raising awareness around the importance of mental health as well as ending the stigma. 

Each model ambassador is encouraged to raise $3,000 or $500, if under the age of 18.The proceeds will go directly towards NAMI-NYS and their continued efforts in providing free mental health education, support and advocacy. All model ambassadors are required to be available all or most of the day for the September 10th event. Each model will have the option to get their hair and make up professionally done at no cost, and will have the opportunity to showcase beautiful clothing from local designers. If you or someone you know is seriously interested, please fill out the model ambassador application or contact Kate Tortora: kate@naminys.org 

Donate a Silent Auction Item-Donations are still being accepted for the Off the Mask 2021 silent auction. If you are interested in donating an item, please visit the NAMI-NYS Amazon Wish List. If you are a business interested in donating, please contact Kate Tortora:kate@naminys.org 

Submit Artwork for the Art Exhibit- Off the Mask also features an art exhibit that showcases an array of artwork that is generously donated by peers with a strong passion/connection to mental health. NAMI-NYS is currently looking for artists who are interested in donating their art work for this exhibit. All art work will be available for auction. 
If you would like to donate your personal artwork, please fill out the NAMI-NYS artwork submission form.
NAMI-NYS Education Conference
Announcing the Details of the
2021 NAMI-NYS Education Conference
Recovering Together-Achieving Mental Wellness
NAMI-NYS is excited to announce the initial details of our 2021 NAMI-NYS Education Conference-Recovering Together-Achieving Mental Wellness. The online event will bring together the NAMI-NYS family to learn, heal and recover together. This year’s agenda aims to address the stressors of the past year and a half as well as present on the latest on research and treatment of psychiatric disorders, advocacy and issues impacting the delivery of mental health services in New York State.

Registration is now open and you can click here to register
Agenda Overview
  • Opening Plenary Session: Thank You Recovery for Saving My Life-Dr. Patrick McElwaine
  • Featured Plenary Session: Looking Back, Moving Forward-Dr. Christine Crawford & Dr. Wilfred Farquharson
  • Breakout Sessions 1-Exploring Trauma and Healing in Different Communities and Settings (a-children, b-medical professional, c-medical workers, d-general public)
  • Breakout Sessions 2-Education to Action (a-Advancing mental health in the LGBTQ community, b-Addressing mental health in schools, c-Employment issues, d-Addressing mental health in multicultural communities, e-Cutting through the red tape for veterans and military families)
  • Exhibitors and poster sessions
  • Wellness Breakout Sessions (a-Moving past diet culture, b-Addressing the implications of loneliness, c-Sleep hygiene, d-Exploring different coping mechanisms, e-Journaling)
  • Major Topic Breakout Sessions (a-Crisis Response, b-Zero Suicide, c-Integrated Care, e-Self-harm vs. Suicide)
  • Excellence in Research Award Presentation
  • Where Are We Going? Shaping Our Future Breakouts (a-Research, b-Advocacy Issues, c-Next Wave in Research and Treatment, d-Making NAMI Programs More Relatable, e-How to Access Various Services)
  • Young Adult focus track.
  • Exhibitors and poster sessions
Affiliate News
The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled an undeniable rise in xenophobia and anti-Asian racism. From microaggressions to physical violence, this has an impact on mental health...on top of the effects of COVID losses and lockdowns.
In recognition of Minority Mental Health Month, please join us to better understand the effect of these societal forces on individual, family, and community mental health. We also hope to discuss how Asian-American communities can better access support and how community bonds can be strengthened.
Thursday, July 29, from 6 to 7pm ET via Zoom
NAMI Signature Programs
NAMI Buffalo and Erie Counties Family to Family
JULY 19- Family to Family. NAMI Buffalo and Erie Counties Family to Family Mondays July 19th through September 13th from 6:00pm-8:30pm at the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. To register contact Sherri Byrnes at 716-226-6264 / sbyrnes@namibuffalony.org.

NAMI Orange County NY Peer to Peer Online September 1
SEPTEMBER 1- Peer to Peer. NAMI Orange County NY Peer to Peer, Wednesday September 1st through October 27th from 7:00pm - 9:00pm. To register contact Dhanu Sannesy at info@namiorangeny.org

NAMI Orange County NY Family to Family Online September 11
SEPTEMBER 11- Family to Family. NAMI Orange County NY Family to Family, Saturday September 11th through October 30th from 10:00am - 12:30pm. To register contact Dhanu Sannesy at info@namiorangeny.org

NAMI Columbia County Family to Family
SEPTEMBER 11- Family to Family. NAMI Columbia County NY, Saturday's September 11th through October 30th from 6:00pm-8:30pm at Apogee Center, 160 Fairview Ave. Hudson, NY. To register contact Sabrina McWhirt  at 518-610-1087 / smmcwhirt@mhacg.org 

NAMI Westchester Family to Family Online September 13
SEPTEMBER 13- Family to Family. NAMI Westchester Family to Family, Monday September 13th through November 1St from 9:00am - 11:30pm. To register contact Sharon McCarthy 914-598-3869 / sharonm@namiwestchester.org

NAMI Mid-Hudson Family-to-Family Online September 13
SEPTEMBER 13-Family-to-Family. NAMI Mid-Hudson Family-to-Family, Mondays September 13th thru November 8th from 6:30pm-9:00pm. To register contact Heather Pitcher at 845-206-9892 / contact@namimidhudson.org

NAMI Westchester Family to Family Online September 18
SEPTEMBER 18- Family to Family. NAMI Westchester Family to Family, Saturday September 18th through November 6th from 9:00am - 11:30pm. To register contact Sharon McCarthy 914-598-3869 / sharonm@namiwestchester.org

NAMI Mid-Hudson Peer to Peer Online October 1
OCTOBER 1 -Peer to Peer. NAMI Mid-Hudson Peer to Peer, Fridays October 1st through November 19th  from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. To register contact Heather Pitcher at 845-206-9892 / contact@namimidhudson.org

NAMI-NYS Affiliate Support Groups

Online Peer to Peer State training will be held on July 31st & August 1st.
Online NAMI Connections State training will be held on August 28th & 29th

Please contact your local affiliate program leaders for more information and how to enroll.
Register For Upcoming SAMHSA-Sponsored Webinars In August

On Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, 1:30 p.m. there will be a SAMHSA-Sponsored Webinar on Integrating Peers in Crisis Response Services.

  • Kaitlin Gazi, Peer and Family Member Volunteer, NAMI HelpLine; Cognitive Skills Trainer and Personal Care Aide
  • Keris Myrick, MBA, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate, Co-Director, S2i; Executive Committee Board Member, National Association of Peer Supporters
  • Paula Verrett, MSW, CPS, Director, Iris Place Peer Run Respite Program of NAMI Fox Valley
On Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, 1:30 p.m. ET there will be a SAMHSA-Sponsored Webinar on Providing Team-Based Services to Youth in Crisis.

  • Angela Kimball, National Director, Government Relations, Policy & Advocacy Team, NAMI
  • Roshni Lani Koli, M.D., Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist; Medical Director for Pediatric Mental Health Services, Dell Children’s Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Luanne Southern, Executive Director, Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium

New York State News
NYS OMH and the Suicide Prevention Center are Looking to Speak with Parents of Latina Adolescents for Research Study
The New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH) is seeking feedback on the mental health and wellness needs of Latina adolescents. Parents in Monroe, Montgomery, Suffolk or Rockland County are invited to participate in a research study and attend a virtual Focus Group session to provide feedback and input concerning the mental health needs of and barriers to care for Latina adolescents. Feedback will be used to identify needs and guide recommendations.

Sessions are expected to last 90 minutes. A $15 Amazon e-gift card will be provided.

Participant Criteria:
• Must be 18 years of age or older
• Parent of a Hispanic/Latina adolescent (between the ages of 13-18)
• Live / work in Monroe, Montgomery, Suffolk or Rockland County
• Speak English or Spanish
If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact:  518-402-1236

Click here for more information in English
Click here for more information in Spanish
2021 Regional Advisory Committee Meetings

The Regional Advisory Committee is a public meeting for consumers/survivors/ex-patients and their families to provide actionable advice to the divisions within the NYS Office of Mental Health. If any of the information changes, you will be notified via webex if you have registered.

Register below:
July 26
September 20
November 15
National News
You Don't Have To Be An Olympian To Prioritize Your Mental Health
Simone Biles' decision to withdraw from the team competition and the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics came as a surprise to many. Biles, largely viewed as the greatest gymnast of all time, says mental health concerns were at the forefront of her mind.

Her decision has been celebrated by many. It's the latest example of high-profile athletes publicly talking about the pressures they face and putting their mental health first. Tennis star Naomi Osaka has also made public statements about her struggles with depression. She pulled out of the French Open and Wimbledon this year to focus on her mental wellbeing.

But it's not just superhuman athletes who deal with pressure from work. Things like anxiety and depression can affect everyone. So whether you're trying to take care of your own mental health or looking to support those around you, here are six Life Kit episodes from NPR that can help along the way.
Research, Opportunities & More
BBRF Presents - Self-Control Gone Awry:
The Cognitive Neuroscience Behind Bulimia Nervosa

On Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at 2:00pm, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation will be holding an Meet the Scientist Webinar on the Cognitive Neuroscience Behind Bulimia Nervosa.
Every day, our brains bring together information from our bodies and environments to control our eating behavior. In turn, eating, or not eating, influences our brains' self-control circuitry. Extremes in the control of eating behavior, as well as other non-food-related behaviors, characterize individuals with bulimia nervosa. Dr. Berner will discuss how self-control goes awry in bulimia nervosa; describe how these disturbances could promote symptoms like binge eating, purging, and dietary restriction; and review how disruptions in self-control circuitry may help us predict clinical outcome and develop new treatments. 

Research Opportunity

This study is an online survey for adults with psychosis and their caregivers. The goal of this study is to understand the experiences of individuals currently being treated with a long-acting injectable medication and their caregivers. The survey contains questions about different factors of health and well-being, including productivity, social functioning, and treatment outcomes.  
 Participants may be eligible for this study if they meet the following conditions:
• Experience of psychosis, or caregiver of person with experience of psychosis
• Currently being treated with a long-acting injectable medication
• Living in and being treated in the U.S. and able to read English 
• 18 years of age or older at the time of first dose with a long-acting injectable medication
Up to 100 individuals with psychosis and up to 100 caregivers may participate in this study. Participants will answer a series of screening questions to ensure they meet eligibility criteria before completing the survey. Total participation time is estimated at 10-12 minutes. Participants who complete the survey will receive compensation for their time. Contact information will be required and collected by a third-party vendor but will not be associated with survey answers.
The online survey will be administered by HealthiVibe. Respondents are informed about uses and disclosures of the information they provide through a consent statement. HealthiVibe applies strong technical security measures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of survey respondents.

To participate, please click on the appropriate link below: 
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact recruitment@healthivibe.com.
The New York State Psychiatric Institute’s Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence is Seeking Peer Providers and Mental Health Clinicians to Advise on From Hardship to Hope Initiative

NAMI-NYS is helping our partners at the New York State Psychiatric Institute’s Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence promote an exciting new initiative From Hardship to Hope.
The program, which will be launching in the fall, will be a peer-led financial wellness program for people experiencing financial hardship and recent thoughts of suicide and aims to address financial hardship as a social determinant of mental health and recovery.
The Center will be holding focus groups with peer providers and mental health clinicians in June-July. The focus groups will help the Center develop a program that is as feasible, acceptable, culturally appropriate, and effective as possible.
Click here for more information for peer providers.
Click here for more information for clinicians.
Mental Health Resources
BIPOC Health Resources

There are a variety of mental health resources available for people of color, but we have provided a few examples below.

Please note: The resources included here are not endorsed by NAMI, and NAMI is not responsible for the content of or service provided by any of these resources.

Group aimed at removing the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. They do this through education, training, advocacy and the creative arts.
Limited and selective free mental health service opportunities for Black men.
Black Mental Health Alliance - (410) 338-2642
Provides information and resources and a “Find a Therapist” locator to connect with a culturally competent mental health professional.
Provides access to evidence-based information and resources about mental health and behavioral health topics from a Black perspective, as well as training opportunities for students and professionals.
Organization advancing health equity and social justice for Black women through policy, advocacy, education, research and leadership development.
BLHF has launched the COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign to raise money for mental health services provided by licensed clinicians in our network. Individuals with life-changing stressors and anxiety related to the coronavirus will have the cost for up to five (5) individual sessions defrayed on a first come, first serve basis until all funds are committed or exhausted.
An initiative launched by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and NIMHD to raise awareness of the mental health challenges associated with depression and stress that affect Black men and families. Website offers an online toolkit that provides Omega Psi Phi Fraternity chapters with the materials needed to educate fellow fraternity brothers and community members on depression and stress in Black men.
List of Black-owned and focused mental health resources by state as compiled by Ebony magazine.
Provides culturally sensitive self-care support and teletherapy for Black men and their families. Currently in pilot program available only to residents of MD, VA and DC. Residents of other states can join their waiting list and will be notified when Henry Health is available in their state.
Connects individuals with culturally competent clinicians committed to serving the mental health needs of Black & Latinx/Hispanic communities. Promotes the growth and healing of diverse communities through its website, online directory and events.
Provides information on promoting mental health and developing positive coping mechanisms through a podcast, online magazine and online discussion groups.
Contains readings on the importance of self care, mental health care, and healing for people of color and within activist movements.
Organization that provides mental wellness education, resource connection and community support for Black women.
Online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. Offers listing of mental health professionals across the country who provide high quality, culturally competent services to Black women and girls, an informational podcast and an online support community.
Non-profit dedicated to promoting mental health awareness throughout the global Black community.
Organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.
Online community for Black women to seek support.

Self-Care For People Of Color
We recognize that many mental health conditions are being triggered as a result of the coronavirus, the economic crisis and repeated racist incidents and death.
  • Article on coping with anticipatory grief
  • Article on coping with traumatic stress
  • Article on Racial Battle Fatigue
Treatment Directories

Educational Resources On Racism And Inequality Understanding The Context Of Racism And Recent Events
  • Video on understanding racism and the reactions to the death of George Floyd and many others
  • Video on understanding the perspectives of your colleagues of color
  • Article on “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”
  • List of Anti-Racism resources

Understanding The Context Of Racial Inequality That Impacts Mental Health

Understanding And Addressing The Social Determinants Of Health That Impact Mental Health
  • Article on improving the health of Black Americans and the overdue opportunity for social justice
  • Video on understanding the social determinants of health and toxic stress
  • Video on the social determinants of toxic stress, specifically race and ethnic toxic stress
  • APA Stress & Trauma Toolkit for treating Black Americans in a changing political and social environment
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Page on Achieving Health Equity – Information about why health equity matters and what you can do to help give everyone a fair shot at being as healthy as they can be.

Ways To Take Action As An Ally Or Champion For People Of Color

Books To Read
NAMI Ask the Expert:
Promoting Mental Health Equity in Black Churches
Suicide Prevention Resources
Mental Health Helplines
Learn more on the NAMI-NYS COVID-19 Resource page.
Find Help. Find Hope.

NAMI-NYS invites you to participate in this wonderful giving opportunity!
Thank You for Reading!
If you have questions, concerns, and/or submissions please contact
NAMI-NYS Communication Specialist, Cassandra at Cassandra@naminys.org.