NAMI Snohomish Cty. logo

Find Help, Find Hope . . .
The Beacon banner
News from NAMI of Snohomish County, WA
October 2019
The Invisible Impact
Many of us are called to action. Most of us are motivated by the belief that we are making a difference. We often look for that validation but sometimes it eludes us. It is important to just know it and believe it without any tangible evidence. The little gesture can cause a shift in another’s experience. A smile can be just the expression that sends a surge of energy to someone in their time of need. Opening up, sharing yourself, and being willing to be vulnerable can result in an exchange that sticks with someone for eternity. More often than not, the impact is invisible but rest assured that each and every one of us is an instrument of influence and change in the world. Harness it - embrace it.
Keith Binkley
Annual Membership Meeting Coming Up
Want to become a board member?

The Snohomish County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will be holding its Annual Membership Meeting on the evening of November 4, 2019. The meeting will be held at the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) offices in downtown Everett (2320 California Street). The meeting will begin promptly at 6:30 pm and end at 8:00 pm. A light meal will be provided.

During this meeting, you will get an update on what has been accomplished over the past year, the challenges we have faced, and what we envision for the future in alignment with our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. We will also be electing new board members and will continue to receive applications through October 15, 2019. Interested in becoming a board member? Fill out an application.
Seattle Times Investigative Reporting on Private Psychiatric Hospitals

For over a year Seattle Times investigative reporting teams have been researching private psychiatric hospitals in Washington State. Reporters asked local NAMI families and individuals about their experiences at Smokey Point Behavioral Health among other area hospitals. Their comprehensive research project has been published in three separate extended articles between August and October. The gravity of the findings has resulted in comments from Governor Inslee, Times editorial recommendations and responses from the national private hospital provider HealthVest. Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

The gravity of the findings has resulted in comments from Governor Inslee, Times editorial recommendations, and responses from the national private hospital provider HealthVest.

If you prefer reading an overview of the Seattle Times' major findings, here is a brief article.
Mental Illness Awareness Week

Since 1990, when Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), NAMI advocates have held activities to increase awareness and reduce stigma of mental illness. This year it is October 6 through 12. You can share educational materials and graphics from the NAMI "Why care?" campaign at this website.
Emma Volesky to Speak at Brainpower Chronicles

NAMI Snohomish volunteer Emma Volesky will be featured at the November 9, 2019 Brainpower Chronicles state NAMI fundraiser at the Seattle Museum of Flight at 7:00 pm. Here is an excerpt from the NAMI Washington website about the series:

NAMI Washington launched The Brainpower Chronicles: Mental Health Stories to bring people together in their experiences of mental illness and recovery. Mental health crises can be some of the most isolating health events one may experience in this lifetime, with a ripple effect that impacts entire families. The Brainpower Chronicles is our way of creating community and breaking down the stigma that keeps people silent, while raising funds for NAMI Washington’s critical mission to improve the quality of life of all people affected by mental illness.

Strength. Hope. Vulnerability. Because recovery is real, and we're going to talk about it in the realest terms. You'll laugh, you'll cry...and you'll leave the Brainpower Chronicles knowing you're not alone.

Intrigued? Thanks to our friends at KUOW, you can hear some of our incredible storytellers from 2018 here. Buy your tickets now to see the 2019 cast of storytellers live and in person.
Everett clubhouse logo
Everett Clubhouse Open House

Now open with limited hours, Everett Clubhouse welcomes inquiries from both providers and potential members living with mental illness at its new location of 1901 Wetmore in Everett. At this time, the hours are temporarily Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm until it begins later all week and with social activities on the weekends. All are welcome to the Open House on Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 11:00 to 7:00 pm to see a day-in-the life of a Clubhouse and meet staff and volunteers.

Furnishings and supply donations are still needed. Please contact program director Soozee McNamara at or telephone 425-389-9510.
Google Alerts: A Good Source of Information

By subscribing to Google Alerts for news articles on various psychiatric diagnoses, you can follow stories and research from around the world. Some recent articles regarding treatment of mental illnesses range from acupuncture to broccoli!
A September 2019 article from Healthcare Medical Institute describes a study showing that adding acupuncture to the healthcare of patients already taking the antipsychotic Clozapine was effective in reducing positive and negative effects in refractory cases of schizophrenia. 
Medical researchers from Johns Hopkins noted in a 2019 issue of JAMA Psychiatry that a compound of broccoli sprouts may help restore brain chemistry.
Washington's Ranking Falls

Mental Health America has again published their report ranking states in mental health provision and access to community based behavioral health. According to this report, Washington now ranks 45th overall.  The 56 page report is available to view or download.

Lauren Simonds, Executive Director of Washington State NAMI, commented that when she began with NAMI in 2014, Washington was rated 48th. Following some investments from the state, the state went up to 34th for several years, until now when we have gone down again to 45th.
Suicide Prevention

As a follow-up to Suicide Prevention Month in September, here is an excellent USA Today article titled, " Suicide Prevention Experts: What You Say (and Don't Say) Could Save a Person's Life." The resource list at the end is particularly noteworthy.
Everett Chief of Police presents at state NAMI Conference
Following the passage of Initiative 940 last fall, the Snohomish County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness hosted a public input meeting April 30, 2019 at the Federal Campus of Compass Health. The new law is intended to ensure police are trained to use deadly force only when it’s unavoidable through strategies such as the 40-hour training in CIT (Crisis Intervention Training). 
At the NAMI State Conference held October 5 and 6 in Yakima, Everett’s Chief of Police, Dan Templeman, presented at the I-940 panel which included Leslie Cushman and Dan Christman. Keith Binkley attended that session and commented that Everett is a model for other law enforcement agencies. He stated that participation by NAMI Snohomish members in the Crisis Intervention Trainings has been instrumental in bringing about change. Keith said that Chief Templeman stated that statistics are indicating a reduction in the use of force. Others in the state have noted other positive factors such as Everett’s embedded social workers and 24/7 access to Designated Crisis Responders or DCR’s. DCR is the new job title for what was previously called a CDMHP or County Designated Mental Health Professional. 
New Role for Jim Bloss

Previous long-time president of NAMI Snohomish County Jim Bloss is NAMI Washington's Veterans’ Affairs representative for Washington State and wishes to let affiliate members know that he is available for guidance or assistance related to behavioral health issues for veterans and their families.
The NAMI Beacon banner
The Beacon Goes Quarterly

The next issue of The Beacon will come out in January as we are transitioning to a quarterly publication instead of monthly. From then on, you can expect issues in January, April, July, and October.

NAMI Snohomish offers an array of free classes and support groups throughout the month. Here is the Full Schedule for October, and below are descriptions of each group with links to more information.

NAMI Connection is a recovery support group for adults with a mental health diagnosis that offers respect, understanding, encouragement, and hope led by trained facilitators living in recovery themselves.

NAMI Family and Friends Mental Health and Spiritual Support Group is for individuals who wish to share their life experiences, spirituality, and coping skills in living with a mental illness. 

NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for any adult with a loved one who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.

NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a recovery-focused educational program for adults who wish to establish and maintain wellness in light of their mental health challenges.

In Our Own Voice provides an opportunity for a person living with mental illness to speak with community groups and share what it is like to live with mental illness.

NAMI Basics Class is a free, six-session education program for parents, guardians, and other family members who provide care for youth (age 22 or younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms.
24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-800-584-3578

When you believe in yourself, you have 100% of the
people you need on your side.
~ Anima Vitam
Banner photo of Mukilteo Lighthouse courtesy of David R. Irons Jr.