From the desk of Jackie Lane, Executive Director  NAMI CC&I 

As we come to the end of another year, we at NAMI CC&I see December as a time for reflecting on the events of the past year and a time of planning for the new year.
In reviewing our activities of the past several months, we see our programming and services moving forward in two distinct ways; one which I will call reactive programming and support and the other being hopefully proactive. Our traditional NAMI CC&I programs and support groups are directed toward and serve families and friends who are dealing with loved ones exhibiting serious mental/behavioral health challenges. We are very pleased with the success of our Family-2-Family and Borderline Personality Disorder programs as well as our nine support groups. Our support calls are constant and everyone in the office is becoming comfortable with picking up the phone as our knowledge of resources and our abilities to help clients navigate the fragmented system grow. We are also investing time and energy in developing the resources to furnish and monitor out- patient services for individuals in an effort to decrease hospital readmissions. Empathetic and positive support will always be the heart of the NAMI CC&I mission.
That being said, living in a society where one in five will experience a mental health issue at any given time, but also a society which stigmatizes mental illness, we feel that it is imperative to attempt proactive community programming in an effort to divert crises. Over the past year we have obtained funding to initiate three major programs impacting three very important groups who serve our community:  public school teachers, local police officers, and home health care providers. 

First, the introductory session of Think:Kids, a collaborative problem-solving(CPS), evidence-based program from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University was held this October with around 1000 educators in attendance including the entire staff of the Barnstable Public School system. The program will continue with a 2 ½- day intensive training of 150 mentors who will provide support and guidance as classroom teachers as they implement CPS in their respective classrooms. 

Second, we are in the midst of our second 5-day Community Crisis Intervention Team (CCIT) police training. We have 27 police officers from 13 out of the 15 Cape towns in this training. We have already seen positive results from our first CCIT training presented last February. We also had participants from community agencies such as the Homeless Prevention Council, Housing Assistance Corp, Baybridge Clubhouse, Relief Home Health and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

Third, we have been fortunate to obtain funding to present a Mental Health First Aid (a one-day comprehensive class) teacher training in 2018. We will be able to train 30 people to teach Mental Health First Aid to the many caregivers and home health aides who work with the elderly and the physically challenged people in our community.
With these three important programs, we feel that we have the ability to make a significant impact on the mind set and the skill sets of thousands of people who serve our community in their respective capacities. Hopefully, with the addition of these skill sets and techniques, these groups will have a better understanding of mental health issues and will treat them with compassion and understanding, helping to decrease the stigma related to mental health.

      Senator Julian Cyr and Jackie Lane welcome participants at Community Crisis                     Intervention Team training, funded by the Weny Charitable Trust
                                                                                                                         Photo credit:  Judith Selleck


From the desk of Mary Zdanowicz, Esq.
The second of our Advocacy programs was held on November 15, 2017
                   "Securing the Future for Loved Ones with a Disability"
                              Presented by Robert P. Mascali, Esq.
 This was a very informative presentation.  For those of you who were unable to attend, you can read the powerpoint notes at:  Click here


  Welcome Jennifer Ellis...newest member of the                 NAMI CC&I Board of Directors

Sergeant Jennifer Ellis of the Barnstable Police Department Community Impact Unit will be filling in for the remainder of the term of Carolyn Witt who recently resigned from the Board.  Sergeant Ellis is committed to community policing and to Community Crisis Intervention Team training.  She recently was awarded an Official Citation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Senate for The Excellence in Behavioral Service Award.  The Community Impact Unit works tirelessly and with tremendous compassion on issues of homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse.

     We have worked with Jen on many individual issues in Barnstable, and we are delighted to have her on the Board and to have her perspective and help.  As the police have become the front lines of mental health, their willingness to work with NAMI CC&I has greatly benefited the families who look to us for help for their loved ones.

Monthly Book Review

  Sunshine and Shadow:
My Battle with Bipolar Disorder  

by Mahalia Busselle Bishop
Sunshine and Shadow offers a unique opportunity to share the personal account of one person's intense thoughts, feelings, and perceptions during mania and the depression that follows.  The author shares her view of her illness in describing her thoughts during episodes of both, her behavior as viewed by herself and others while manic, as well as the pain her illness has had on the people who care for and support her.  First person accounts from those supportive friends not only communicated the fear and anxiety that came from witnessing a loved one in the throes of mental illness, but also highlight the factors that exacerbate the difficulty in getting effective care and treatment.  
A Cape Cod resident, Polly Bishop's life has had its challenges.  The majority of individuals who suffer from a debilitating mental health issue are typically unable or unwilling to share with others the pain and suffering they have endured.    Stigma for such illnesses continues to be a factor in our society and is the major reason for the silence on the subject.  In Sunshine and Shadow, Ms. Bishop exposes the challenges individuals and their families face.   Often there is an inability to get psychiatric care for an individual who doesn't understand they need it; the system is often not equipped to provide either inpatient care long enough to be effective or long term outpatient care; side effects of psychiatric medications; disjointed patient follow-up; stigma and shame over being ill; losing friends who don't understand; fractured relationships with family members........   Readers who have a personal experience will feel a sense of validation; readers who do not will gain an understanding of the challenges the mental health system and society together need to address.

Book reviewed by Kim Lemmon
Suzanne Fronzuto
NAMI on Nantucket Program Coordinator

On November 4th, the baton for NAMI on Nantucket Program Coordinator passed from Ruth Blount to me.  While Ruth is stepping away from the administrative side of NAMI, she continues to be a fierce advocate and guiding light for people with mental health concerns.  Big shoes to fill, but knowing Ruth is only a phone call away and willing to answer "just one more question" speaks volumes to her dedication and commitment.
I first became involved with NAMI through a Family-to-Family training and shortly after went on for teacher training.  After 21 years as a special educator at the middle and high school level, I recently retired and now spend my time working in my dance studio and as a child advocate.

November in review:

Though the cold winds of November have blown many of the leaves from the trees, we have been blessed with a few unseasonably warm days that make walking on the beach a little piece of heaven on Nantucket.  Many of the stores and a few restaurants have closed their doors for the season, and the Christmas Stroll is only days away, but here at NAMI on Nantucket we are busy!

A few of the highlights...

- Graduated a class of 5 in NAMI Basics for parents
- Partnered with Bryan Frascati, Crisis clinician and Anthony Suppa, Health teacher at Nantucket High School to present letters and case studies from former students
- Received a $15,000 grant from the Community Health Initiative for the David Glidden Memorial Travel Fund.  Funds will soon be available to assist those traveling off-island for mental health related needs.  Thank you to Ruth Blount for writing this grant request.

Nantucket Cottage Hospital's Community Health Initiative Partnership recently awarded a $55,000 media grant for the entire behavioral health community on the island.  NAMI CC&I will administer the grant on behalf of the local community.  Thank you NAMI CC&I and Jackie Lane for your tireless efforts to make this happen!

I  look forward to continuing the effort to better serve the needs of this important constituency.



 And From NAMI on Martha's Vineyard 

Many of you have voiced interest in having NAMI become more present on MV.  Behind the scenes we are working to make that happen. We have applied for some local grants to increase funding that can be used for additional programming and service for our island community. 
We've been working with our MV School Administration to bring the MGH Think Kids program to our teachers and staff. We've gained interest from our Police Departments in the Community Crisis Intervention Training being held at the end of November. 
Attendance at our monthly support groups (held first Sunday of month at 6:00 pm at IWYC) is up by more than 50%. We've scheduled our free 12-week Family to Family class beginning in March (more details to follow). 
All this with just a few strong and steady volunteers. 
Now I would like to ask for your help. Please consider making a donation specifically to NAMI Cape Cod and Islands and earmark it specifically to Martha's Vineyard. You can do this by clicking on the link below, make your donation, and mention specifically for MV in the comments section.  Or simply write a check to NAMI CC&I and put MV in the memo section and send to NAMI CC&I,
5 Mark Lane Hyannis MA 02601-3792
With this increased funding we can increase our outreach efforts and family support. 
My best for a wonderful holiday season.  
Cecilia Brennan
MV Representative

Please contact Cecilia at 201-981-5123 with questions or interest in becoming involved. 

November 2017 Research Roundup  
(November 29, 2017) Research Roundup is a monthly public service of the Office of Research and Public Affairs. Each edition describes a striking new data point about serious mental illness and summarizes recently published research reports or developments.

DATAPOINT of the Month
  • More than 34% of individuals with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders did not receive any treatment in 2016.
The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration, reports that only 12% of the 2.6 million individuals with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders received both mental health and substance use treatment in 2016. More than 34% of the 2.6 million, or 884,000 individuals, did not receive any treatment whatsoever. 
RESEARCH of the Month
  • Medicaid enrollment to increase service use in released prisoners with serious mental illness
Mental health service use is increased for three years post-release from prison for people with serious mental illness who receive a referral for expedited Medicaid enrollment, according to a Psychiatric Services report. Brigid Grabert and colleagues studied the long-term effects from Washington State's policy to expedite Medicaid enrollment for released prisoners with severe mental illness, comparing the long-term results to their previously-published short-term outcomes at 12 months. The results show that the short-term outcomes of improved Medicaid enrollment and increased service use is sustained at the three-year time point, having some indications of success in the policy. However, expedited Medicaid enrollment had no effect in reducing criminal recidivism among released prisoners with serious mental illness, according to the results. The authors conclude more research is needed into factors influencing criminal recidivism among this population.
Psychiatric Services
  • Vitamin D and cognition in individuals with schizophrenia
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a decrease in cognition in individuals with psychotic disorders, according to a new analysis published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Dr. Mari Nerhus and colleagues from the University of Oslo, Norway, analyzed the effect of vitamin D deficiency on cognition, including verbal memory and executive functioning, on 225 patients with a psychotic disorder. Cognitive impairments are a core feature of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and have very few effective treatment approaches, according to the study authors. The authors conclude that evidence of an association between vitamin D and cognition in psychotic disorders indicates more clinical research is needed to explore the potential benefit of vitamin D on improving cognition.
Nerhus, S. et al. (2017, July/August). " Vitamin D deficiency associated with cognitive functioning in psychotic disorders." The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
  • Treatment for adults with schizophrenia, a comparative review by the US government
Comparative evidence of pharmacotherapies for treatment of schizophrenia finds differences in effectiveness between pharmaceutical treatments including both first and second generation antipsychotics in a new systematic review published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. More than 150,000 trials of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments for adults with schizophrenia were included in the review. The results included findings such as haloperidol had greater adverse outcomes than olanzapine or risperidone despite similar effectiveness, and the long-acting injectable version of risperidone improved social functioning to a greater degree than quetiapine. In addition, many psychosocial interventions improved quality of life compared to usual care in adults with schizophrenia, including assertive community treatment and intensive case-management, according to the results.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2017, October). " Treatments for schizophrenia in adults: A systematic review." US Department of Health and Human Services.  

By Elizabeth Sinclair, Research Asscoiate, TAC 


Families for Depression Awareness

                                       FREE WEBINAR

Bipolar Disorder: Beyond the Basics
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
7 PM         

What do you do when you feel like you've tried everything?

Family members and caregivers want the best for their loved ones with bipolar disorder. You support them emotionally, physically, financially, and more. But what happens when your help is refused or your loved one's behaviors begin to negatively affect you or your family's well-being?

On Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 7pm ET, during our free Bipolar Disorder: Beyond the Basics webinar, Dr. Martha Tompson and Dr. Pata Suyemoto discuss how families can manage difficult situations when a loved one lives with bipolar disorder.

Join us to learn
  • practical ways to address difficult situations related to symptoms of bipolar disorder
  • factors to consider when determining treatment options including legal issues and strategies
  • the importance of caregiver self-care and boundaries.
The webinar is free and registration is now open!
Can't watch the live broadcast?

Register and watch it on demand after it airs.

Dance In The Rain 

Dance in the Rain Whole Person Approach is a non-profit organization that supports peers who struggle with mental illness. Located in the heart of Hyannis, we provide this population with an opportunity to expand their lives, despite their condition, to grow, engage and heal. The staff, from executive director to volunteers, live with a history of mental illness as well. Our staff is well vetted to work with other peers who wish grow and seek to define themselves beyond mental illness. We are the only program in New England to have an organization that is conceived, developed and designed by peers for peers. Daily programs are offered to enhance self-esteem and positive identity.
Mary E. Munsell
Founder/Executive Director/Peer
Dance in the Rain Whole Person Approach
Peer to Peer Mental Health Center
501 c 3 Non Profit Public Charity

   Transportation Services....

  The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority provides a daily general public demand service called Dial-A-Ride Transportation (DART) that is a door-to-door ride by appointment transportation service.  It is available to all 15 Cape towns, runs from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays and more limited hours on weekends.  It is easy to access and use.  

For more information, call them at 800-352-7155 or visit their website at:

If you shop at the Orleans Stop & Shop, take a closer look at your shopping cart after November 1.  NAMI CC&I will have its signature sunset ad posted on the cart.  We hope this will bring more awareness of NAMI to that area.

Mark Your Calendars: 

The Falmouth Support Group December Meeting will be cancelled due to the fact that it falls on Christmas Day and the previous week is the height of Christmas Parties and Shopping, etc.

T he Family-to-Family class at the YMCA just completed its 12-week program.  New classes will begin after the first of the year.  If you are interested, or know someone who could benefit from this course, call Kim Lemmon at 508-778-4277.

Parent Support Group
Parent Information Network in collaboration with Cape Cod Family Resource Center
     Tuesday, December 5, 2017     5:30 pm - 7:00 pm  Light Dinner will be served
     Cape Cod Family Resource Center
     29 Basset Lane, Hyannis

Parents are invited to meet the new Crisis Team on the Cape and learn how their services can help Cape families.

RSVP to Tresa Salters
774-517-7007  cell
Free DIY Art Projects for Teens 
Second Tuesday of each month, drop-in, no registration required       
                     2:30 - 4:30 pm   29 Bassett Lane, Hyannis
C ome to the Cape Cod Family Resource Center for a time of Do It Yourself art projects for all teens!  Supplies will be provided for your teen to exercise and develop their creativity with other peers
                       For more info, call the Family Resource Center at 508-815-5100
In case you missed this last month...
We Need to Talk About Kids and Smartphones
This is an excellent article for all parents

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Legal Advice
Grandparents with questions about guardianship/options can visit the Probate Court on the 3rd Thursday of the month between 8:30 AM-1:00 PM.
They can also call the Bar Association (508-362-2121) or Susan at the courthouse (508-375-6730) for an appointment with Kathleen Snow on  Mondays between 10:00 AM-1:00 PM.
There is no fee for either of these consultations.

Lawyer For A Day--Free Legal Advice
Held daily at the Barnstable Probate Court.  It is advisable to arrive promptly when it opens at 9:00 am as it is first come, first served and fills up quickly.
I nclusions in the Newsletter
We have recently been asked for last minute inclusions of events in our newsletter.  We have instituted a new policy:  It is at the discretion of the Executive Director to determine whether content being submitted for distribution to the membership is aligned with our mission.  If the content is determined to be appropriate, it may be included in the monthly e-newsletter if it is submitted prior to the first of the month.


When doing your holiday shopping, think NAMI CC&I and Amazon Smile.
 Every dollar you give to NAMI CC&I goes to help support, educate and advocate for the residents of Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.  

AmazonSmile is a simple way to give when you are shopping on Amazon

Amazon donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases. 
It's so easy, you can still use your Amazon Prime and you still collect points.  All you need to do is:  When you are going to make a purchase on Amazon, first enter
in your internet browser. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization .  
Select NAMI Cape Cod Inc.
Thank You!