Welcome to NAMI-NYS E-newsletter
Announcing the 2020 NAMI-NYS Award Winners
NAMI-NYS is proud to announce our 2020 Honorees:
Leader of Mental Health Awareness
Lilly Cornell Silver

Leader of Mental Health Awareness
AJ Mendez

Leader of Mental Health Awareness
Metta World Peace

Excellence in Research Award
Dr. Barbara Cornblatt

Max Gabriel Veterans Mental Health Award
Dr. Seth Kastle

Muriel Shepherd Award
Sharon McCarthy
Multicultural Award
John Johnson

Programs Award
Jo Ann Brown

Hero of CIT Award
Mark Giuliano

Young Leader Award
Arianna Lekhraj

Criminal Justice Award
Jack Beck
Join NAMI-NYS in honoring our awardees at our 2020 Education Conference, taking place this Friday and Saturday-- there is still time to register. The conference's exhibit area will have a booth featuring videos with the each of the honorees. Learn more below in our NAMI-NYS Education Conference section.
The Wall Street Journal Includes NAMI-NYS Members
in Article Explaining How COVID-19 is Leading to a Decline
in Mental Health Services
We have been updating our readers on how many hospitals are disproportionately targeting psychiatric and substance use beds to meet the state's mandate to have 30% of their beds available in case of another COVID surge. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article which features NAMI-NYS members explaining how this will impact them and their loved ones. NAMI-NYS worked with the Wall Street Journal reporter for months to explain the issue and connect her with NAMI-NYS members.

You can also click here to watch our Perspectives episode on this issue.
NAMI-NYS Education Conference

The online event will take place October 23-24th. As with many things in 2020, this year’s conference experience will certainly be different as we transition to a virtual platform, but we assure you, your experience will be no less powerful. The conference will allow the NAMI-NYS family to come together and provide resources to help us collectively take the first steps towards recovering from the traumas of 2020 as well as inspire us to rise up and start shaping our future. Read our Frequently Asked Questions document which provides details of this year's online experience.

Click here to view the conference agenda.

If you have already registered for the conference, you will be receiving your log-in information tomorrow.
Join us on Friday, October 23 at 7 pm for an evening of inspiration to celebrate the resiliency of our 2020 Leaders of Mental Health Awareness honorees and NAMI-NYS members as well the hope generated by the unique ways they are telling their stories. 

We will be presenting Leaders of Mental Health Awareness Awards to with Lily Cornell Silver, host of Mind Wide Open, AJ Mendez, former WWE Women’s Champion and author of "Crazy is my Superpower," and NAMI Ambassador and former NBA all-star Metta World Peace

There will also be performances from some of the most talented members of the NAMI-NYS family: Will Foley, Megan Moran, Caity Gallagher, Jocelyn Archer and a reflection of hope from Lashawn “Suga Ray” Marsten.

In addition, we will be introducing several of NAMI-NYS’s 2020 Off the Mask model ambassadors, who will detail why they are taking to the runway to help spread mental health awareness. This will surely be a celebration you will not want to miss!
Learn About Our Young Adult Track:

Young Adult Session 1: Managing Our New Back to School Stress
This session will explore how to address both the normal school anxieties as well as the added stressors generated by COVID-19 and the transition to virtual learning. NAMI-NYS board member Pooja Mehta will detail NAMI’s Back to School initiative and NAMI-NYS Communication Specialist, Cassandra Farrugia will detail the partnership between NAMI-NYS and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to enhance mental health supports on their campus. This session will also introduce NAMI-NYS Young Adult Advisory council.

Young Adult Session 2: How to Curate a Healthy Social Media Feed
Social media has always been a double-edge sword in that while it has positively kept people connected, it can also have many negative impacts on our mental health. This session will details ways to root out the harmful influences and cultivate a healthy social media feed. 

Young Adult 3: Addressing Anxiety (Turning Negative “What Ifs” to Positives).
Too many uncertainties can be a major cause of anxiety. Whether it is worrying about taking tests or contemplating your future, it is easy to be engulfed in negative ideas about these uncertainties. The events of 2020 have exacerbated these feelings for many. This session will guide participants in how to reframe the perspective of negative “what ifs” into positive “what ifs.” 
Young Adult 4: Act and Vote for Mental Health
Young adult voices are critically needed both in advocating for mental health services during these challenging times as well in the upcoming 2020 elections. This session will provide you with the tools to interject your voice into the important discussions shaping public policy and the elections, as well as how to expand mental wellness in your community. We will also discuss the various voting options including absentee and early-voting.

NAMI-NYS Off The Mask
This year Off The Mask will take place on Friday, November 6th, at 7:30 PM

With the many obstacles that COVID-19 has challenged us with, we have decided that it would be best and safest to go virtual and will be live streamed through Facebook

Our event will feature a professionally pre-recorded fashion show which will showcase approximately 20 of our model ambassadors. Each model is still expected to raise $2,500, in which they are all continually working hard and coming up with very innovative ways to reach this goal!

In addition, Off The Mask will include a silent auction, virtual art exhibit and raffle. Please keep an eye out in our future newsletters for more details and ways to be involved in the comfort of your own home.
Join the Challenge: End the Stigma
Join us and take your Mask Off with NAMI-NYS to help end the stigma that surrounds Mental Illness.

Get creative and make your own masquerade mask in the comfort of your own home!

Want to be a part of the contest?
Submit a photo of your mask to NAMI-NYS Community Education & Outreach Coordinator Kate Tortora no later than Monday, November 2nd for a chance to win!

Our 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be announced on November 6th during our Facebook Live Stream beginning at 7:30PM

Follow NAMI-NYS on social media:
Share your photos using the hashtags #endthestigma #offthemask to help promote our 2020 Off The Mask event and help End The Stigma around mental health.
Support our NAMI-NYS Model Ambassadors
Join Gina Schwartz, one of our NAMI-NYS Off The Mask Model Ambassador, this Thursday, October 22nd at 7 pm for this special fundraising event to support mental health awareness.

Visit Maineeventlive.com for this #throwbackthursday special edition: DJ Maine Event Live Virtual 90's Part - Live Stream Mixes with Special Guest DJ Show

Learn more and donate here to help sponsor Gina take the catwalk November 6th at 7:30 pm est on Facebook live and to learn more about our 2020 Off The Mask Event.
NAMI-NYS Affiliate News & Updates
NAMI NYC Metro Holds Virtual Gala
Join NAMI NYC Metro for SEEDS OF HOPE GALA – Celebrating the NAMI-NYC Family on November 16, at 6:30-7:30pm. The live stream event will be honoring Nathan Romano, President and COO, York Capital Management, NAMI-NYC Board President Emeritus and the NAMI-NYC Community of Volunteers, Members, and Participants.
Hosted by
Kelly Ripa
NAMI Signature Programs
NAMI Huntington Family-to-Family Online
OCTOBER 8 - Online Family-to-Family. NAMI Huntington, Thursdays October 8 2020 thru December 3 2020 from 7pm-9:30pm. To register contact Jill Ryan at 516-695-0389 /quiltanp@aol.com.

NAMI Syracuse Homefront
OCTOBER 21 - NAMI Homefront. NAMI Syracuse, Wednesdays October 21 2020- December 2 2020 from 10:00am-12:30pm at the Syracuse VA, 620 Erie Blvd. West, VA Behavioral Health, Syracuse NY 13204. To register contact Ann Canastra at 315-412-3019 / ann.canastra@va.gov.

NAMI Rockland Family -to-Family Online
OCTOBER 27 - Online Family -to-Family. NAMI Rockland, Tuesdays October 27 2020 thru December 15 2020 from 1:30 pm- 3:00pm. To register contact Heidi Vandiver at 845-359-8787 / heidi@namirockland.org.

NAMI-NYS Affiliate Support Groups
NAMI News & Updates
By July 2022, 9-8-8 Will Be The Nationwide Mental Health Crisis And Suicide Prevention Number

On October 17th, the President signed the National Suicide Designation Act of 2020 which establishes, in law, 9-8-8 as a universal number for mental health crises and suicide prevention. The law enables states to enact fees similar to those in place for 9-1-1 that will support the need for expanded services at the local level to receive and respond to crisis calls.

The need for 9-8-8 and a continuum of crisis services is greater than ever. In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing that more than one in ten adults in the U.S. had seriously considered suicide in the thirty days prior to the survey and four in ten adults experienced a behavioral health condition, like anxiety or depression.

“The need for 9-8-8 is urgent. Without appropriate care, people with mental illness end up on our streets, in jails and in emergency departments—and dying in tragic encounters with law enforcement,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., NAMI CEO. “By signing this bill into law, we are making real progress toward ensuring people in crisis get help, not handcuffs. We are grateful to Congress and the FCC for their efforts in moving this legislation forward and making 9-8-8 a reality.”

For years, NAMI has advocated for a mental health response to mental health crises. The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act becoming law is the final hurdle for the implementation of a nationwide mental health crisis and suicide prevention number. This is a groundbreaking moment and what we need right now for the future of our country. We know that lives will be saved with the creation of 9-8-8.

We know a readily accessible crisis response system is an essential component of our nation’s strategy for mental health intervention and suicide prevention. A 24/7 crisis hotline is the gateway to any crisis system and is a core service that will connect people in crisis to mobile crisis services, crisis stabilization programs and peer support services. Bolstering crisis services in every community will provide an alternative to calling police and by providing access to the right services at the right time people struggling can get the help they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives in a community that cares.

Important Note: The three-digit number will not be operational until July 2022. If you are experiencing a crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “NAMI” to 741741.
President Signs Major Veterans’ Mental Health Bill

On October 17th, the President signed The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act into law. Named in memory of retired Navy SEAL Commander John Scott Hannon, the bill will help former service members through more research and better access to care for mental health conditions.

The law will help connect more veterans with the life-saving mental health care they need and deserve by:
  • Providing suicide prevention services through veteran-serving community organizations
  • Increasing accountability of mental health and suicide prevention programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Helping rural veterans by expanding access to VA telehealth care
  • Boosting research, including creating a Precision Medicine for Veterans Initiative to identify biomarkers for mental health conditions

“Every day we lose 17 veterans to suicide. We are thankful that this law, named in memory of Commander John Scott Hannon, a NAMI Montana member, will help veterans who struggle with the invisible wounds of war,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., NAMI CEO. “We need to do more to support those who have sacrificed on behalf of our country.”

NAMI is proud to have helped pass this bipartisan legislation for improving veterans’ mental health care.
NAMI Hosting Free, Virtual Inspiring Hope Through Research Event

Every year at the Inspiring Hope Through Research event, NAMI honors the work of researchers who move our scientific understanding and treatment of mental illness forward. This year’s award honoree, Dr. David C. Henderson, is the Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Boston Medical Center and Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. He is also co-director of the NIMH T32 Boston University School of Medicine/Massachusetts General Hospital Global Mental Health Clinical Research Fellowship.

Scientific research brings us closer to a time when everyone affected by mental health conditions will be able to get the help, support and resources they need. NAMI remains strongly committed to research as part of our mission and will honor the work of Dr. Henderson at this special virtual event Thursday, October 22, 2020, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET, register here. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Henderson’s research interests include treatment-resistant schizophrenia and, for the past 25 years, he has worked internationally conducting research and training programs. He has led more than 30 randomized clinical trials in the U.S. Dr. Henderson’s work shows a tireless dedication and commitment to improving the lives of those affected by mental illness.

We hope you will join us to pay tribute to our honoree and recognize his outstanding contributions and achievements. This virtual event format will provide a unique opportunity for increased nationwide participation among the NAMI community.

The NAMI Scientific Research Award is supported by the Peter Corbin Kohn Endowment.
New York State News
The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports and the New York State Office of Mental Health Announce
Integration Listening Sessions 
The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) jointly announce a series of public listening sessions regarding the potential integration of OASAS and OMH into a new single agency.

OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez and OMH Commissioner Ann Sullivan invite service recipients, providers, members of the public, and other key stakeholders to provide feedback on integration, and the ways in which a unified State behavioral health agency could better support New Yorkers with substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental illnesses.

During these listening sessions, which will be jointly moderated by Commissioners González-Sánchez and Sullivan, New Yorkers are invited to provide testimony that will be reviewed and utilized by the two agencies during future integration discussions. The agencies would like to hear feedback that includes but is not limited to the following questions:

1. The outcome of the last series of agency integration sessions, held in 2015, was that NYS wait to see the results of managed care and other system transformation implementation efforts, which were in process at that time. How have these transformation efforts worked or not worked to integrate services and systems, and to support the treatment of people who access both addiction and mental health services in the following:
  • Integrated treatment program development
  • Recovery outcomes
  • Service and program efficiencies
2. What are the organizational strengths, and/or growth opportunities among the two agencies?  
3. What could be the advantages and disadvantages of a unified behavioral health services agency?
4. How do people seeking treatment for addiction, mental health concerns, or both access services now? What would be the ideal?
5. How would agency integration impact delivery of or access to services, if at all? Should service delivery and access remain the same, or change, and in what ways?
6. Local Governmental Units already combine administrative oversight and operation of mental health and SUD services. What can be learned from this organizational structure and how it supports integrated service planning, delivery, and access? 
7. Should some types of specialty or unique services/programs go unchanged?
8. Discuss “prevention” approaches between mental health and addictive disorders. Are they unique to each field? Where are their commonalities?

OASAS and OMH will host four two-hour virtual Listening Sessions, and New Yorkers are invited to provide up to three minutes of verbal testimony directly to the Commissioners. The agencies also welcome written testimony, which can be submitted at https://www.ny.gov/programs/reimagining-behavioral-health. Any person planning to testify is requested to limit their testimony to only one of these sessions.

The dates and times for the listening sessions are listed below. Each session is associated with recommended regions to help manage registration volume and allow sufficient time for attendees across New York State. To register for a Listening Session or submit written comments please go to https://www.ny.gov/programs/reimagining-behavioral-health.

Date, Time, Recommended Region(s) and Direct Registration Links :
October 16 from 10:00am – 12:00pm
Western NY, Finger Lakes, Central NY

October 26 from 10:00am – 12:00pm
Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Capital District
October 30 from 10:00am – 12:00pm
New York City
November 2 from 1:00pm –  3:00pm
Southern Tier, Tug Hill Seaway, North Country, Mohawk Valley
Mental Health Resources
Suicide Prevention Resources
BIPOC Mental Health Resources
NAMI's Black Mental Health Resources
AFSP Holds A Town Hall Series:
Elevating Voices for Long-Lasting Change

Through an ongoing town hall series, Elevating Voices for Long-Lasting Change, AFSP is convening leading experts in mental health and suicide prevention from diverse communities to help elevate voices, improve public understanding of their range of experiences, and support their unique needs. AFSP is finding the most effective ways to support and engage communities in education, advocacy and public understanding to close the gap and ensure we are meeting the needs of diverse backgrounds.

The Town Hall series takes a closer look at “Mental Health in the Black Community,” “Supporting Mental Health in Communities of Color: Ways Forward,” and “Preventing Suicide in BIPOC Communities: Ways Forward.” 

APA's Stress & Trauma Toolkit for Treating African Americans 
in a Changing Political and Social Environment

Both overt and covert acts of racism influence the psyche of African Americans. Historical trauma occurs when there is a collective agreement that members of a certain group have been mistreated, and this understanding helps shape their identity. Throughout American history, African American people have suffered from physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological trauma during enslavement, the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights Movement.

Acts of covert racism can take the form of microaggressions or slights that leave the recipient with a perceived sense that an act of prejudice occurred toward them during the interaction. Experiencing frequent microaggressions may cause chronic stress and/or adverse health behaviors, either of which can lead to mental and physical health consequences.

COVID-19 Resources
NAMI-NYS encourages everyone to continue practicing social distancing and other lifesaving preventive measures. And please continue reaching out and finding ways to engage with your loved ones, support systems and community members. Remember you are not alone, NAMI-NYS and other mental health services and resources are available.

We will continue to provide numerous updated resources, information and tools to help ensure that everyone is addressing their mental health needs as we cope with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 Emotional
Support Helpline:
Please note that if you are in a crisis please text the word "NAMI" to 741-741, The Crisis Text Line.
NAMI-NYS Temporary Helpline:

NAMI NYC Metro Helpline:
Research & Research Opportunities
NAMI Research Opportunity
What is the study?
This study is an anonymous online survey about the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus). The goal of the study is to learn more about how the pandemic, stay-at-home orders, financial and social changes may affect your mental health and wellbeing. Participants will be asked questions about their experiences in the past three months, any physical or mental health symptoms, and how they are feeling and coping. Participants who report significant mental health difficulties, including suicidal ideation, will be offered online and virtual support resources. The survey will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Who can participate?
Individuals may be eligible for this study if they: Are aged 18 or older  
There will be approximately 2,500 people participating in this study. 

How to participate:
Participants can access the survey using this link:  

If you have questions or would like more information, please refer to the study consent form available at the survey link or contact the study coordinator at Jenelle.Richards@mountsinai.org

Research Opportunity for Loved Ones of People Living with Borderline Personality Disorder or an Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder

Are you caring for or supporting a relative or significant other with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder?

Would you like to participate in a research survey that will help the researchers better understand the experience and impact of supporting a person with Borderline Personality Disorder? 

Purpose of the Research:
Understanding more about the experience of family (e.g. parents, spouses, adult children, adult siblings) and significant others (e.g. partners, friends, ex-spouses, ex-partners) who care for and support people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). The aim of the research is to better understand the experiences of English-speaking adults who care for and support people with BPD or EUPD.

What Participation Involves:
If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to answer some questions about yourself, the person with BPD or EUPD, your relationships and your caregiving experience. The survey will take approximately 40 minutes to complete. You do not have to complete the survey in one sitting. However, your data will be deleted if you do not return to the survey within one week of your last entry. Your data will only be included in the research when you have submitted your responses at the end of the survey.

Participation Requirements:
English speaking adults (aged 18 years or older) who are caring for or supporting a relative (e.g. parent, spouse, child, sibling) or significant other (e.g. friend, partner, ex-partner/spouse) with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD).
Please note that this study has obtained ethical approval from the University College Cork (UCC) Clinical Psychology Research Ethics Committee and is not affiliated with NEABPD.

Find Help. Find Hope.

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