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

I was delighted to be part of a discussion "Exploring the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning" led by Mindy Todd of WNPR radio station, along with Stuart Ablon, Gina Hurley from the Barnstable School System and Melissa Maguire from the Monomoy School System.  Below is a link to hear the program.

Dr. Stuart Ablon of MGH Department of MGH Department of Psychiatry presented Think: Kids  Collaborative Problem Solving to a rapt audience of over 1,000 educators primarily from the Barnstable School System as part of a 3-year grant funded by the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation to enable educators to more effectively cope with the 15-20% of children in the Cape school districts who are challenged by social, emotional and behavioral issues.  

A group of 150 of those educators will advance to Tier I and Tier II training to learn the skill sets needed in applying this method.  This group will be trained to be facilitators for their respective school systems in order to sustain the model.  The program also includes  Parent Mentor training which prepares them to provide Parent-to-Parent CPS Overview and Support Groups.  Over the 3-year period of the grant, all of the 12 school districts will have the training available to them.

The key concept of Collaborative Problem Solving is that "children will if they can."  Problematic behaviors are the result of a lack of certain skills rather than of wilfulness.  This philosophy changes the paradigm of how educators and children interact and leads to a greater likelihood of success.

From the desk of Mary Zdanowicz, Esq.
Our next Advocacy event:
          Estate Planning & Special Needs Trusts
          November 15, 2017    5:30 pm
          Hampton Inn, Route 28, West Yarmouth
                    Registration not required
Robert P. Mascali, Esq. will discuss recent developments in estate planning for individuals with special needs. 

       Notes from the meeting on "How to Tell Your Story More Effectively"
It is important to pick out salient facts and tell your story in a logical way because:
  • Mental health is complicated
  • The mental health system and laws are impossible to understand
  • The person to whom you are trying to communicate has limited time for you
Identify the immediate problem and give brief timeline/history
Liz Tucker from the Dennis Police Department:  How to relate to law enforcement
  • 911 is no longer just for criminal issues-it is also to get help and to connect people to services:  Don't be afraid to call.  Sometimes, it is your best course of action.
  • They need to know:  what is going on right then with just a little history; does the person have a weapon; what does the person look like (in case they leave the scene and police have to look for them); stay on the line until the officer gets there.
  • Calling 911 does not necessarily lead to an arrest.  Police will first try to de-escalate the situation; handcuffs also do not mean an arrest-they are just to restrain an out-of-control person.
  • Police will not leave until everyone is safe.
Rachel Hodgman, Esq.  of Brown & Barbosa, P.C.:  How attorneys can help
  • Commitments are either voluntary, conditional voluntary or involuntary-if conditional voluntary, they must give 3-day notice to leave.  The hospital can file a petition for involuntary commitment if there is likelihood of serious harm because of their mental illness.
  • Keep a timeline of when notified and when committed
  • Need to know what community supports they have in place
  • Guardianship can help someone manage their medication and medical care.  The crux of the guardianship is the medical certificate.  You can petition the court and ask for an independent evaluation.  You can also ask for counsel to be appointed.
Jud Phelps, NAMI CC&I Director of Client Services
  • He is the gateway to connect people to resources they need - call him at NAMI
You have to know who your legislators are, and who to call for which issues.  Don't be upset if you get a staffer-they are the conduit to the legislator.  Call if you have a personal issue and you are stymied about what to do or there is a policy you want to support or oppose.
When talking with legislators and policy makers, you must capture their attention-tell your story powerfully but succinctly.  If it is written, no more than a page.  If you are testifying at a hearing, you have three minutes to tell your story.  Practice!
HIPPA is intended to protect patient's privacy, although it more often hampers communication.  If a doctor does not respond to calls or emails, go to their office!  They can't tell you anything without a signed consent; however, they can and should listen to you.  You have no rights to sue under HIPPA but you can file a complaint.
Telling Your Story Effectively - Part II
In this meeting, we will follow-up on the tips presented by the panel of experts at our meeting on October 18. This will be an interactive meeting in which we will engage in discussion about how to tell your story effectively to legislators and policymakers. You may participate by preparing a written statement, which you can present orally in three minutes, explaining the facts and identifying the problem your are facing. Or you may just want to attend and learn as we discuss tips for communicating effectively with policymakers and lawmakers. We will also identify two to three themes that represent the key issues that we will discuss with legislators in future sessions.   
Date to be announced.

 Meet Raffaella Almeida

I was delighted to provide a collaborative partnership with NAMI to develop a program translated into Portuguese and to present the programs in module form to the community.  I am actively developing a series of additional modules for NAMI, in Portuguese, to further assist the non-English speaking communities.
The parent module was just concluded a couple of weeks ago, and I am extremely grateful to NAMI for this initiative. We were able to serve over 30 families and had about 70 people participate in the program. I received several thankful messages from families and from community leaders sharing their experience and support and describing how the program gave them an opportunity to significantly change their view of mental health and expand their knowledge of effectively addressing the issue of substance abuse within their families.
Feedback from a Brazilian priest:  "The value of the support from NAMI in providing this free training to reach this community is priceless. As we know, this is a well- known issue among the Brazilian community, and to have the education, support, and understanding about mental health issues, including a parent program module that incorporates mental issues and substance use prevention, can make a substantial change in the future of these families."
The non-English speaking communities have unique cultural values.  To have the opportunity to be engaged in this community as a clinician is an essential element to continue to provide information and strategies to encourage caregivers, community leaders, community churches, and the general population to engage in open discussions about the challenges associated with mental health and substance use prevention support.
I am confident that these modules will continue to positively change lives and open many new paths to advocacy and support among non-English speaking communities on Cape Cod. I am honored to be part of this initiative and to be able to assist NAMI in developing these programs.
Raffaella Almeida is a bilingual MA licensed LCSW who works as a school-based and outpatient clinician. She has an MSW  from Boston University and is also licensed as pre-k to grade 12 school Social Worker/ Adjustment Counselor and a Guidance Counselor from DESE.

Monthly Book Review

  In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction  

by Gabor Mate, M.D.
               In this review I return to the topic of drug addiction.  Today 150 people will die from overdoses or direct consequences of drug addiction.  The rate of drug overdose deaths continues to increase.  And where is the outcry?  This is not a new book.  The latest edition was published in 2010.  However, its insights have direct bearing on our current epidemic. The author is a Canadian physician working directly with drug addicts in Vancouver.  Much of his book describes the actual lives of several of his patients.
        In thinking about addiction there are several fallacies that skew our thinking.  One of the biggest is that people with substance abuse disorders are making a life-style choice.  Why help these people?  They 're just choosing to get high.  The scientific evidence strongly refutes this view, yet, many people continue to look at it as a moral issue.  Another fallacy is that the drug itself causes addiction.  Certainly some drugs are more likely to become addictive than others, but we know that many people use the same drugs and do not become addicted. Addiction is a different animal and until we understand that, we will not be successful in treating it.
        One of the strongest points that Mate makes is that addiction is often preceded by and abetted by developmental and traumatic experiences early in life.  Brain circuits relating to emotions and stress reactions develop during early childhood.  Critical experiences during that developmental period can affect the brain's subsequent vulnerability to addictive drugs. 
        Mate also makes a strong argument for "reducing harm."  Reducing harm means that while our focus should be on stopping addiction, we must also reduce the harms that come from addiction.  One hundred fifty deaths each day!  This is an emergency and reducing these deaths is a priority.  Harm reduction includes reducing the medical consequences of addiction and the social consequences. Harm reduction includes such things as availability of naloxone to counteract drug overdoses, availability of clean syringes to prevent AIDS and other infections, supervised injection sites, decriminalizing drug use, and providing medication assisted treatment.  Harm reduction "reduces misery and prevents death and disease."  He writes further that for his patients "harm reduction has been their entry point to the possibility of recovery."
        Mate also addresses behavioral addictions such as gambling, overeating, overworking and compulsive shopping.  He discusses his own behavioral addiction, as well. 
        He concludes with a discussion about healing which goes beyond just treatment.  How does one deal with the multiple factors that have led to and prolonged a substance use disorder.  High on the list is to provide respect and encourage autonomy.  Medication and therapy have a role but so does social support and relief from stress.
        This book looks at the human side of addiction.  It is valuable because it points
out the glaring deficiencies in our current approach.  It focuses on reducing the suffering from addiction and moving toward treatment, recovery and meaningful prevention.  A recent article in The New York Times (9/22/17 google How to Win a War on Drugs) describes such an approach in Portugal.  The time is long overdue for a new approach.
Written by Dr. George Vitek, retired pediatrician who practiced for 28 years in Wilbraham, MA.   Married father of four and grandfather of 9.                                                                                  
Ruth Blount
NAMI on Nantucket Program Coordinator

Here we are in October, the month we have all been waiting for!  School is in session, fewer crowds on the island, the air is clear and crisp, and we "locals" are beginning to have time to connect with each other again.  We have so much to be thankful for!

October in review:
  • The Dragonfly Emotional Wellness Group has had a small but steady attendance.  We have decided to have one meeting per month during November and December, since the second meeting would be right around the holidays.  This is not a support group restricted to people with mental illness.  It is for anyone who desires to connect with people in a caring and confidential community.  Dragonfly meets the 2nd Monday of the Month at 6:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House.  Please come and bring a friend!
  • Family Support group meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month at Sherburne Commons at 7 pm.  This remains my personal favorite time.  Heavy burdens are lifted by sharing the journey.  I am so grateful for all who come and participate.
  • NAMI is regularly represented at the BHTF (Behavioral Health Task Force) where we share what is offered by other behavioral health organizations on the island and figure out what is lacking in our services.  One chief concern is the ambulance issue and extremely complicated challenge of transporting a behavioral health patient to a care facility off-island. 
  • Family to Family course will be offered in January in both English and Spanish.
  • NAMI's Basics course will be finishing up on Nov. 2, with five participants and three facilitators:  Barbara Dale, Suzanne Fronzuto, and Ruth Blount.  What strikes me each time I teach Basics is the steadfast love and devotion to their children by the moms attending.  The education we offer is helpful to their lives, but what seems to be the main gift is the bonding they feel as they share their stories.  It is absolutely true that "You are Not Alone" is the right slogan for NAMI
  • Nantucket Cottage Hospital's 2017 Health Fair was held on Saturday, Oct. 21.  It was a wonderful opportunity to share a table with Fairwinds Counseling Center (of which I have the greatest respect) and be part of the island's mental health resources.  For a small island, we have an impressive number of services available.  Some day NAMI will truly be a household word.    
  • I am so pleased to introduce Suzanne Fronzuto, who is going to be taking over the position of NAMI on Nantucket project coordinator, and therefore will be writing this newsletter section in the future.  I am so thankful for the privilege of serving in this capacity for the past year, and I pass it on to someone highly qualified and ready to take our services to the next level. (I will continue to be actively involved with NAMI in different capacities).  Suzanne is a long-time Nantucket resident, a newly-retired special needs teacher, foster and adoptive parent, special needs child advocate, peer leader/ mentor, active in church and community... I could not think of a better person to hold that position.  Thank you, Suzanne, for your service to NAMI on Nantucket and to our island.  I look forward to working right beside you and the rest of our local team!  

 And From NAMI on Martha's Vineyard 

October is a wonderful month on the island. With the tourists departing and the beautiful weather, now we can all enjoy all the island has to offer!

Two grants were submitted specifically for the Vineyard. If awarded, the grant money will be earmarked for expansion of programs and increased visibility of NAMI on Martha's Vineyard.

Cecilia Brennan is a new member of the NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands Board of Directors.   
Please contact Cecilia at 201-981-5123 with questions or interest in becoming involved. 

Beyond BedsThe Vital Role of a Full Continuum of Psychiatric Care
  October 2017A Joint Report with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors

Beyond Beds is a joint report with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and represents the introductory paper in a 10-part series on the inpatient psychiatric treatment capacity in the United States.


Nearly 10 million individuals in the United States are estimated to live with a diagnosable psychiatric condition sufficiently serious to impair their personal, social and economic functioning. Hardly a day goes by without a study, headline, court case or legislative action calling for reform of the mental health system to better serve this population. Often, these calls to action end in two words: "More beds."
What is largely missing from the outcry are answers to broader questions like,
  • What do we mean by "beds"? More precisely defined, what types of beds are needed: acute, transitional, rehabilitative, long-term or other?
  • Are there differences in the needs of different age groups-youth, adults, older persons-and diagnoses that need to be reflected in the bed composition?
  • What are the evidence-based outpatient practices that would reduce bed demand by reducing the likelihood of crisis developing or by diverting individuals in crisis to appropriate settings outside of hospitals?
Beyond Beds: The Vital Role of a Full Continuum of Psychiatric Care addresses these questions and offers 10 public policy recommendations for reducing the human and economic costs associated with severe mental illness by building and invigorating a robust, interconnected, evidence-based system of care that goes beyond beds. Each recommendation is drawn from data and observation and is illustrated by the story of Taylor, a representative young adult whose journey toward mental health recovery illustrates both the failings and the potential of the current continuum of psychiatric care.

"A full continuum of care includes a sufficient number of beds to meet the acute, intermediate and long-term needs of those individuals with mental illness who require more intense or specialized services than are available in the community."
- Beyond Beds

Families for Depression Awareness
                               FREE WEBINAR

                        Wednesday, November 1
                         7  PM (ET) / 4  PM (PT)

Did you know that stress may cause you to hold your breath?
It's true. When you are under stress, your body reacts. You may feel your heart rate spike, blood pressure rise, and muscles tense. Tense muscles can restrict breathing and make it difficult to respond calmly. This is why mindfulness practices encourage you to focus on your breath as a way to manage stress.
On November 1, 2017 at 7pm ET, during our Coping with Stress and Depression webinar, Dr. Elisha Goldstein discusses ways you can begin practicing mindfulness right away.
Learn ways to 
  • recognize the signs of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • respond to stress using mindfulness techniques
  • get help if stress becomes too much
  • find the resources available to you and your family
The webinar is free and registration is now open! 
Can't watch the live broadcast? 
Register and watch it on demand after it airs. 
About Our Presenter
Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.  is a licensed psychologist and co-founder of the Center for Mindful Living in West Los Angeles. His work synthesizes the pearls of traditional psychotherapy with a progressive integration of mindfulness to achieve mental and emotional healing. In 2015, he published Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion. 
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.
Join us Thursday, November 2nd for a wonderful community event!
                     5:50pm - 9:30pm
Vine Room DoubleTree Inn,  Rt. 28 Hyannis   
Join us for an evening of fun and socialization and those mini Italian Pastries from Montillios Bakery! 
We are collecting some interesting items for our silent auction. Come bid on some early Christmas Presents.
Hear what Dance in the Rain Peer to Peer Mental Health Center has been up to this past year. Take a peek at our vison for 2018. Meet the staff and volunteers.
Tickets $25.00 per/person available at the door. #undergroundasylum2017

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:


       Cape Cod:  Making It The Best Place For All Of Us

On Saturday, October 28th NAMI Jackie Lane, Kim Lemmon, Beverly Arnett and a some of our local NAMI members attended an event at Cape Cod Community College that addressed some of the current challenges the Cape Cod Community and its Law Enforcement face.

"Cape Cod:  Making It The Best Place For All Of Us" was sponsored by the Martin Luther King Action Team of the Nauset Interfaith Association, the Criminal Justice Program at CCCC, and Community Police Leaders. 
Dr. George Kelling, Criminologist, was the Keynote Speaker and addressed the changing roles and impact throughout history of the Police and the Communities they serve.   Citizens throughout the Cape attended, as well as representatives from many of the Cape Cod Police departments, social service agencies, clergy, community leaders, educators and students.

Dr. Kelling's address was followed by a panel discussion comprised of a court representative, law enforcement, educators, ministers, students, and social service personnel.  The topics of the day focused on the issues of Homelessness, Mental Health, Opioids & Addiction, Youth Issues, and Community/Police Relations.  Following the panel discussion, attendees broke out into smaller groups to discuss these issues.

NAMI members will not be surprised that the discussions around mental health focused on the issues of a fragmented mental health system and the challenges faced when attempting to secure services.    The need to advocate for legislative change was also discussed.  This group agreed that it is essential for law enforcement to be present at legislative sessions to communicate the issues they face on a regular basis.

Communication is integral in making positive change.  The event on Saturday started a conversation with the Cape Cod community that should move us in a direction of addressing some serious community issues.  Bringing community members together to understand all perspectives is a positive road to solving, or at least positively affecting, community issues that impact all of us.

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 Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry invites you to attend a patient and family education program  15th Annual Schizophrenia Education Day. 
Now in its 15th year, this exciting event will offer an update on new research findings and important clinical topics for patients with schizophrenia and their families. In the morning, participants will learn about risk and resilience pertaining to vulnerable youth, as well as early intervention for first episode psychosis.  The afternoon will feature a talk on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Schizophrenia, we will also feature a panel of families who will share their experience with, helping loved ones recovering from psychosis.  Our last talk will be on, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, which is a new treatment approach for psychiatric disorders. 
This program is made possible by an anonymous donor who has given generously to support this program.
Presented by: 
  • Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry
  • The Freedom Trail Clinic
  • The Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy
This free educational program is designed exclusively for patients, families and friends. This program is not offered for continuing education credit. 
  • Risk and Resilience: Tipping the Balance in Vulnerable Youth
  • Intervening Early and Well in First Episode Psychosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder and Schizophrenia: Shared Traits and Treatment
Saturday, November 4, 2017
9:15 am - 3:00 pm, with check-in from 9:15-10:00 am
Complimentary coffee, tea, and lunch will be served.

Massachusetts General Hospital
The Starr Center Auditorium 
Charles River Plaza, 185 Cambridge Street, 2nd floor
Second door down after Whole Food and right after CVS Pharmacy, Boston

Transportation and Parking:   
Due to the increasing demands of patient and patient visitor parking, MGH is no longer able to support event parking in the Fruit Street, Parkman Street, Yawkey, or Charles River Plaza garages. Because of the hospital's close proximity to the Charles/Mass General Red Line Station, the use of public transportation whenever possible for this event is highly recommended. Parking will no longer be discounted or validated free of charge.
Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To learn more about the program and register, call 866-644-7792. 
The program is offered at no charge for patients and their families.  
For more information about the patient and family education series,                        visit  www.mghpatientfamily.org.

My Choice Matters:  Building Parent Muscle  - Free Parent Summit
      Growing Grit & Resiliency--Teaching Children Positive Coping Skills
     Understanding the Secret Life of Teens
                Sunday, November 5, 2017    11:00 am - 3:00 pm
                 Cape Codder, 1225 Iyannough Road, Hyannis
                                    Free childcare and lunch
                  Registration required:

World Diabetes Day
Featuring talks with specialists in the medical field along with screenings and tables.  Top experts will answer your questions, speak on both type 1 and 2 diabetes, as well as prediabetes and give you useful information for daily life.
                 2245 Iyannough Rd, West Barnstable
             Tuesday, November 14, 2017  10 am - 3 pm
                                 No registration required

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
Bullying in Schools Today Workshop
       Tuesday, November 28 at 6-7 p.m.
      Bridgewater State University
      1175 Route 28, South Yarmouth
This free workshop will discuss recognition, prevention, and intervention of bullying in schools today. Participants will gain an understanding of the most common forms of social cruelty kids are engaging in online and off. They will learn about tools and tips for intervention. Practical strategies for preventing bullying will be provided and participants will leave with a deeper understanding and higher level of confidence in dealing with issues that arise. 
BSU Cape Cod | (508) -531-1844 | BSUCapeCod@bridgew.edu |  
RSVP suggested but not required.  www.bridgew.edu/capecod

About our Presenter:
Meghan K. McCoy, Ed.D. is the Manager of Programs at the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, at Bridgewater State University. Dr. McCoy is also a Part time Instructor of Psychology at BSU.  She has a BA in Psychology, a M.Ed. in School Counseling 5-12, and an EdD in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership from Northeastern University. Her work focuses on adult learning, social and emotional learning for secondary and college students, bullying, cyberbullying, and digital behaviors among children, teens, and college students. In working with the MARC program, she provides and conducts training, research, and consultation about bullying and cyberbullying prevention, recognition, and intervention for students, faculty, administration, and parents. Ms. McCoy has presented her work and the work of the MARC program at many state, regional, national, and international conferences. McCoy has also published work in peer reviewed journals. 
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.


 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!