Happy Holidays
We at NAMI CC&I wish all of you a happy and peaceful holiday. May we all find a time to reflect on the past year and to focus on the positive events.
We look forward to working together in 2016 to continue to make a difference in our Cape and Islands community.

December  2015

Next in our Challenging Child Project initiative...  

Helping Our Challenging Children
NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands is committed to providing the tools needed to help children and adolescents succeed. 
A free workshop led by:
          Elizabeth Griffin , the School Adjustment Counselor at the Upper Cape Tech in Bourne and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 
         Tina Qvarnstrom of Cape Cod Advocate. She is an Educational Advocate and Parent Consultant
       Michelle Wesley , a Parent Advocate, NAMI trained facilitator and a special education instructor. 
Get your questions answered by the experts....
  • What does your child need to succeed?
  •  Is it worth "labeling" your child?
  •  What are "504" accommodations?
  •  What is an IEP?
  •  What records do I need to keep and why?
  •  What challenging behaviors may signal the need for additional help?
It will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites
Route 28, West Yarmouth
 Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 10 am to 2pm
A light lunch will be served. Registration is required.
Call NAMI CC&I at 508-778-4277 or email: info@namicapecod.org
   Part of the mission of NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands is to help families, caregivers and professionals better understand the challenging behaviors our loved ones may demonstrate. Because of this, we have put considerable effort and resources into NAMI Family to Family Courses and the Family Support Groups. In 2015 we added a specific focus to the needs of children and adolescents which continues into 2016 as The Challenging Child Project. 

Another follow up to the Think:Kids Collaborative   Problem Solving Workshop...
We are organizing discussions and support groups focused on the book The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross W. Greene. Whether you attended the workshop or wish you had, these groups will help you better deal with your challenging child. 
First published in 1998 and now in it's 5th edition, The Explosive Child radically changed the way families, teachers, mental health professionals and anyone working with the youth looked at children and adolescents with challenging behavior.
In the preface of the most recent edition Dr. Green wrote, " To be perfectly honest, I've never been a huge fan of the term (explosive). First, explosive implies that the outbursts of these kids are sudden and unpredictable and - this may be a little hard to believe at first- that's not true most of the time. Second, while many behaviorally challenging kids explode (screaming, swearing, hitting, bitting, spitting and so forth) many others implode (crying, sulking, pouting, having anxiety attacks, and being blue and withdrawn or cranky and irritable)." If that describes a child in your life, this book will provide you insight and tools to help. 
Call or email the NAMI CC&I office if you would like to be part of a NAMI CC&I Book Discussion  Club in your area. 

Are You SAD?
Before blaming the cold winter weather on feeling down in the dumps, research done at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) shows that it doesn't matter if it is 70°F or 20°F outside, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a response to the lower angle of the sun and decreased exposure to natural sunlight. 
Symptoms of SAD or winter depression usually begin in October or November and begin to lessen in March or April. Most patients don't feel fully "back to normal" until early May.
Frequency rates vary by latitude but it is estimated that 10 % of people living in New England may have winter depression. Another 10 -20% may have mild SAD or winter "blues".
Through the fall, people affected by SAD typically start to sleep more, eat more, and become less interested in usual activities. They may not even think they are sad and often are unaware that the loss of energy and interest in life is a symptom of depression. 
A recently diagnosed 28 year old man said, "As a 17 year old I blamed how down I felt on not liking school. I started feeling sad in October and didn't feel better until the school year was almost over." Out of school and employed in northern New England the pattern continued and worsened. He eventually sought treatment. His doctor diagnosed SAD and recommended using light therapy. "With my job and lifestyle I was outside and exposed to the sun all the time but the angle of the sun was too low. I could have been outside every minute of the day and it wouldn't have helped." 
Light therapy involves daily exposure to a "light box," which artificially simulates high-intensity sunlight. It is believed that brain chemicals linked to mood are changed as a result.
For many, light therapy works faster than antidepressant medications with improvement reported two or three days into treatment. Other people may find that it takes a few weeks of daily exposure to the light before they start to feel batter. Antidepressant medications have also been found to be useful in treating people with SAD.
SAD should be diagnosed by your health care provider before beginning any treatment. If light therapy is suggested, ask for a recommendation.The effectiveness of light treatment for relief of depressive symptoms depends on using a lamp specifically designed to treat SAD and to use it properly. While more expensive, brighter boxes require less time to use each day to achieve the same effect as dimmer ones.
  This article was written by Deb Rausch and printed in "To Your Good Health"

On the Advocacy Front...
NAMI National has just released a new report: State Mental Health Legislation 2015: Trends, Themes and Effective Practices

 Here in Massachusetts, we have made progress, but there is much work to do! The Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget for the Department of Mental Health was 4%higher than the previous fiscal year ($740.5 million in FY2016 vs. $713.7 million in FY2015). This is an improvement, but it is not enough. Please join NAMI Mass in support of increased funding for the 2017 fiscal year. You can be a strong advocate for expanded access to comprehensive and high quality mental health care for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Please get involved:
  1. Read the new report: Report on NAMI State Mental Health Legislation
  2. Be on the look out for specific opportunities to contact your legislators about current legislation.
  Let's also take this opportunity to gear up for the next budget cycle and to look ahead to important legislative priorities such as Senate Bill #1280-An Act Relative to Police Training. This bill increases funding for training of police officers and requires that all future training include enhanced mental health components and specific Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). It creates an automobile insurance surcharge costing consumers less than 25 cents per month that will generate enough revenue to sustain consistent and adequate training through the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) and the State Police.

Thank you for taking action to educate policymakers about the vital need for improved mental health services across our country. Your advocacy is crucial to fulfilling NAMI's mission of building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. 

                         New At NAMI CCI
Board of Director's President Dr. Albert (Rocky) Rausch has appointed the following individuals to the NAMI CC&I Board of Directors to complete the terms vacated by former members:
Daria Hanson, MD - Medical Director and Chief, Centers for Behavioral Health
Cape Cod Healthcare
S. Elizabeth Rabideau - Director of Communications and Development
Cape Cod Child Development
Craig T. Rockwood - Counsellor at Law - Hyannis, MA
Timothy Telman - President and CEO - Bank of Cape Cod
We enthusiastically welcome these new members and look forward to utilizing their diverse talents and experience as we continue to move NAMI CC&I forward in a positive direction.
We sincerely thank former Board members Doug Bolton, Cheryl Lilly, Jud Phelps, and Peter Shea who have each contributed to the development of our institution. Each of the above have expressed their desire to stay involved with NAMI CCI in a more limited way.
Jackie Lane, Executive Director, announces a new staff position
I am very pleased to announce that we have hired Jud Phelps to fill the newly created part time position of Director of Client Services. Jud, who was serving as President of the NAMI CC&I Board of Directors, stepped down from the board to accept this position. Jud, who holds a Masters in Degree in Counseling, has twenty years of experience as a clinician and previously worked for Gosnold for several years. Jud will be handling support calls, seeking out and becoming familiar with resources, and reestablishing our downstairs library. He will be working closely with Deb Rausch, Director of Education and Programming, to provide on going support services for our Family to Family attendees.

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Support NAMI by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.  Use the link on the banner.

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Looking for a holiday gift or great tool to help start the New Year right?
Check out The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Wellness Planner - 365 days of healthy living for your body, mind and spirit by Amanda L. Smith. The planner can be used to track emotions and behavior, monitor progress and bring structure to the day. It can be started on any date and has monthly, weekly and daily calendars that can be used to practice DBT skills and self care. Designed to reinforce the value and details of mindfulness, distress tolerance and emotion regulation, it may be just the tool you or your loved one needs to lead a healthier and more balanced life in 2016. It was published in 2015 by Unhooked Books and is available on Amazon for $17.

Book reviewed by Deb Rausch

Dance In the Rain... 
    Starting Wed. Dec 16th  from 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm we will be launching a new social meeting at Panera Bread on Rte. 132 in Hyannis in the Kmart Plaza.  Everyone whose life has collided with mental health challenges is invited to come and socialize.  Peers, family members, friends, providers and the community is invited to come and engage with each other to build community support for all.

    Don't isolate and go it alone.  Let's build support for those living and working with mental health challenges.  Don't be afraid-- get many different perspectives from those who join us.  If you just want to sit and listen, then do just that.  Come as you are and where you are in your life.  Enjoy a comfortable atmosphere and chat about whatever comes to mind.  Mary will be there every Wednesday and hopes to see you there and chat with you.

    Tuesday evening January 12, 2016  Dance in the Rain and NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands will be launching our first Bridging the Gap Peer/Family Meeting.  Read more about this at



Think:Kids Workshop Followup

    We were delighted to welcome 200 participants to the free Think:Kids workshop on Dec 5, 2015.  Dr. Stuart Ablon of Mass General Hospital's Department of Psychiatry was an outstanding, engaging and entertaining speaker  who was able to address the concerns of an incredibly  diverse audience of parents, educators and mental health professionals.  One parent noted that, for her and her 'challenging child' the workshop was life-changing.  Dr. Ablon left the audience thinking about a change in paradigm--that it is not willfulness but a lack of certain skills that cause challenging children to behave as they do.


Joan Wilds

  We were saddened to hear of the death of Joan Wilds.  Joan served as President of NAMI when it was the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and remained a lifelong activist dedicated to helping affected families. "She was well known for tirelessly working to heal the emotional wounds and solve the pressing needs of many families in crisis.  She was a loyal friend, confidant and dogged ally to the mental health community."

We are pleased and grateful to be the recipients of the following grants:
(1)  The Thomas Anthony Pappas Foundation for continuing the Challenging Child Project
(2)  The Community Foundation of Nantucket for marketing NAMI on Nantucket
(3)  The Massachusetts Bankers Association Foundation, through a nomination by the Bank
      of Cape Cod, for NAMI programming
(4)  The Weny Charitable Trust for programming

Family to Family
   Teacher training has been scheduled on Nantucket in January. There will be an additional teacher training session scheduled on Cape Cod in April.  Please contact Deb Rausch at the office if you are interested in being a Family to Family teacher. There is a tremendous need for Family to Family across the Cape and Islands but we do not have enough teachers to meet the demand, especially on the lower and outer Cape.  Vetting and training are required for this important volunteer position.
We will be announcing the date for our next Family to Family class in the next newsletter.
Inclusions 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.