Kelly Norris, President
4696 Overland Rd., Ste. 274
Boise, ID 83705
NAMI Coeur d'Alene
Susie Fischer, President
P.O. Box 2068
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816
NAMI Far North (Sandpoint)
Catherine Perusse, President
P.O. Box 2415
Sandpoint, ID 83864
NAMI Latah (Moscow)
Jane Pritchett, President
P.O. Box 8654
Moscow, ID 8384
NAMI Lewis/Clark Valley (Lewiston)
Barbara Kauffman, President
3336 16th St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
Lee Kroeker, President
will be held at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel, June 27-30.
The Sheraton is located in the heart of Seattle, an area rich with restaurants, shopping, attractions, and the world famous Pike Place Market.
The convention theme
Think, Learn and Live: Wellness, Resiliency and Recovery
highlights this year's focus on developing effective programs and resources to increase resiliency and advance recovery. Click on www.nami.org/convention to see the full convention program.
Please make sure to visit each tab for important information on hotel, travel, FAQs, program, exhibits and more! For questions, please email
4097 Bottle Bay Rd.
Sagle, ID 83860
|Volume 1, Issue 1||
Dear Members and Friends of NAMI Idaho:
This quarterly newsletter is the first state-wide electronic communication to everyone
who is interested in the work of NAMI Idaho. Its goal is to INFORM you of the activities
of the organization; INVITE your comments about our education and advocacy initiatives;
and CHALLENGE you to become involved in raising awareness and advocating with us.
With your help, we can reduce stigma and improve the access to and the quality of care
and treatment for people with mental illness. All of these activities CREATE HOPE for
better lives for individuals living with mental illness.
The Board of Directors of NAMI Idaho welcomes you to this forum for the exchange of information and ideas about how we can make things better for individuals in our state
who live with mental illness. It is our hope that you will pass this newsletter along to
friends and family members so they will know that they are not alone in dealing with
their own mental illness or that of a loved one. We believe that mental illnesses are
treatable and that recovery is possible.
Doug McKnight, President
Get To Know NAMI Idaho
The Board of Directors of NAMI Idaho met on Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Idaho Falls. Pictured
here from left to right are: Kathie Garrett, Ruth McKnight, Vinetta Ruth Spencer,
Steve Proctor, Zina Magee, Doug McKnight, John Tanner, Heather Taber, Wendy Norbom,
Ann Wimberley and Mike Sandvig. Not shown: Rick Huber, Amika Dupree,
What is NAMI?
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), the nation's largest grassroots organization devoted to improving the lives of individuals living with mental illness through education, support and advocacy, operates at the local, state and national levels. Each level of the organization is independent of the other but shares the same mission, values and
policies. All three levels provide support, education, information, referral and advocacy
to the almost 15 million Americans who live with serious mental illness and their
The strength of NAMI is in its grassroots membership. NAMI actively reaches out to all people affected by serious mental illnesses: individuals living with mental illness,
siblings, spouses, families of young children, people of diverse multicultural and ethnic
backgrounds, and mental health professionals. We look to build our strength through diversity,and to fulfill our promise of being "The Nation's Voice on Mental Illness".
The National Organization
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is an independent, national nonprofit
corporation headquartered in Arlington, VA. The national office, under the direction of
an elected Board of Directors, provides strategic direction to the entire organization,
supports NAMI's state and affiliate members, governs the NAMI corporation, and
engages in advocacy, education and leadership development nationally. NAMI has
created an array of excellent evidence-based signature education programs that are available for delivery by local affiliates.
The national office serves as a clearinghouse and coordinator of state and local activities, ideas, and products -- to provide resources and technical assistance when needed. In addition to supporting the other tiers of the NAMI organization, the national office
maintains a strong presence on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, educating legislators
and policymakers. NAMI's advocacy efforts also extend to federal agencies and the
White House. NAMI staff work on many issues involving serious mental illness,
including insurance parity, affordable housing, increases in mental health and brain research appropriations, improved work incentives and income assistance, and access
NAMI has independent state organizations in all 50 states as well as in Puerto Rico
and the District of Columbia. NAMI Idaho is an independent non-profit corporation with
its own Board of Directors that is chartered as the state organization in Idaho by NAMI. Among its many tasks, NAMI Idaho:
- determines goals and objectives in a strategic plan that reflects the mental health needs of all regions in the state;
- is developing a cadre of state-wide trainers that can train affiliate members to deliver all of the NAMI signature programs in their local communities;
- is developing a cadre of state-wide trainers that can deliver Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) through a standardized Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) approved program to law enforcement;
- advocates at the state level within the legislative, executive, and judicial branches;
- monitors the budgets and activities of state agencies; and
- supports affiliate growth and development by working with the local affiliates to provide the services and technical assistance necessary to achieve their objectives.
NAMI has more than 1,200 local affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Canada. These local affiliates are independent,
nonprofit corporations that are endorsed by state organizations and chartered by NAMI. There are currently nine local affiliates in Idaho. Members of local affiliates are
individuals living with mental illness, family members, professionals and friends
who come together to share, learn and take comfort in the commonality of their lived experience. Local affiliates encourage and facilitate outreach, education, and
membership development for individuals living with mental illness and their families and friends.
In addition to sponsoring support groups for individuals living with mental illness and
their family members, many affiliates take on an advocacy and education agenda. They work to reach out to ethnic and multi-culturally diverse populations through the NAMI signature education programs. There is a strong focus on educating members of their communities about the neurobiological basis of serious brain disorders and the
elimination of the stigma related to mental illness. Local affiliates identify and work on mental health issues that are most important to their community. The extraordinary
work of hundreds of thousands of volunteer leaders is the lifeblood of NAMI local
Idaho CIT In Action
Crisis Intervention Training for Law Enforcement is an evidence-based pre-booking jail diversion program designed to improve the outcome of inter-action between law enforcement officers and people experiencing a mental illness crisis. Begun in Memphis, Tennessee in 1988, the Memphis model remains the gold standard in CIT programs. It consists of a 40-hour educational program and a community coalition among law enforcement, mental health providers and mental health advocacy groups like NAMI. Officers receive basic information about mental illnesses and how to recognize them,
learn about the local mental health system and local laws, gain understanding of the experience of living with mental illness from people with mental illness and their families, and develop skill in how to verbally de-escalate a crisis. They have the opportunity to practice these skills in scenario-based training exercises.
The coalition works to determine how the existing community mental health resources
can most effectively be used to transfer an individual experiencing a mental illness crisis from law enforcement custody to treatment within the mental health system when appropriate. The coalition also assesses the needs for resources in the
community and explores how to meet these needs. The use of all-volunteer CIT faculty trainers, primarily mental health professionals practicing in the community, leads to increased communication between them and the officers.
Although mental illnesses are biologically based diseases, the first responders to
mental illness crises are usually law enforcement officers. People with mental illness
who are diverted from law enforcement in CIT programs have been found to receive more medications and therapy than individuals who are not diverted. Pre-booking jail diversion programs, including CIT, have been found to reduce arrests and re-arrests of people with mental illness. CIT also decreases SWAT Team call-outs and officer injuries on mental disturbance calls. CIT can save taxpayer dollars in communities by diverting people
from incarceration and involuntary commitment -- the two most expensive ways to treat mental illness -- into community treatment. CIT works in rural as well as urban areas.
The first Idaho CIT academies for law enforcement officers were held in Idaho Falls and Sandpoint in February 2009. Since then, academies have also been held in Boise, Pocatello, Twin Falls and Hailey with five DHW regions conducting CIT academies at
least yearly and two others working to implement CIT academies. The Idaho
Department of Correction recently also began planning for a CIT program.
NAMI, NAMI Idaho and many local NAMI affiliates support CIT. A NAMI list serve helps CIT programs share information nationwide and NAMI distributes an email CIT
newsletter several times a year. NAMI Idaho was instrumental in establishing the Idaho
CIT Work Group which meets quarterly via the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare video conference equipment. The next issue of this newsletter will cover what the Idaho
CIT Work Group has accomplished to date
Ann Ferguson Wimberley, M.D. (retired)
NAMI Idaho CIT Committee Chairman
Advocacy for Improvement
in Mental Health Care
|How Advocacy Works
NAMI Idaho shares NAMI's dedication to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy. Advocacy is the
act of speaking, pleading for or arguing in favor of someone else, or for a particular
cause. For NAMI Idaho, advocacy means speaking out in order to ensure that
individuals with mental illness in our state have access to high-quality care, are
treated with dignity and respect, and are able to obtain adequate housing, experience community support and live in recovery.
Advocacy for individuals and groups of people living with mental illness is important because often they are unable to speak for themselves. One in 4 Americans
experiences a mental health disorder in any given year and one in every 17 lives with serious mental illness. One in 10 youth under age 18 has a serious mental health condition. Although treatment works, less than one-third of adults and one-half of the children who need mental health care receive treatment in any one year, and the
average time between onset of mental illness and proper diagnosis is eight years. Untreated mental illness can lead to school failure, unemployment, homelessness, involvement with the criminaljustice system and early death by suicide or other
untreated health problems.
In our representative form of government, the establishment of the infrastructure that provides services, treatment, support and research is influenced by advocates who raise awareness, educate and inform policymakers, civic leaders
and lawmakers of these needs, and monitor governmental agencies and authorities to insist that these needs are met. Advocacy takes the
form of teaching these leaders about the neurobiological nature of mental illness, dispelling the fear and ignorance that feeds the stigma surrounding these disorders, and expressing concerns about the increasing financial and human costs of failing to provide adequate care. These costs are seen in increased law enforcement involvement, emergency room visits, court-ordered commitments, homelessness, hospitalizations and incarcerations, early death and suicide. Advocacy seeks appropriate levels of funding to properly treat mental illness with the same urgency and care as is applied to any other illness so that people living with mental illness can recover a productive life.
In Idaho, where health care services have been seriously underfunded for several years, advocacy for the development of a health care system that meets these needs is
critically important this election year when approximately 40% of the state legislature
will be elected.
YOU can share in NAMI Idaho's work of advocacy by informing yourself of the issues surrounding mental health care, contacting your legislator or legislative candidate, and speaking in favor of a health care system that improves the lives of individuals and
families living with mental illness. Just as treatment works for individuals with
mental illness, advocacy works to create hope, change attitudes and ensure more
knowledgeable, compassionate and equitable treatment. For more information on how
you can become an advocate click on www.nami.org/election or contact me at
Kathie Garrett, Chair
NAMI Idaho Public Policy and Advocacy Committee
Education Programs in Idaho
A free 12-week course for family and friends of individuals with serious mental illness, taught by trained NAMI family members. Provides information, insight, understanding
A presentation by individuals living with mental illness that creates awareness about recovery, reduces stigma, and provides self-confidence for individuals living with mental illness. Living proof that recovery from mental illness is an ongoing reality.
A recovery support group program for adults living with mental illness offering respect, understanding, encouragement and hope in a casual and relaxed approach to sharing
the challenges and successes of coping with mental Illness.
A free education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents
living with mental illness.
A unique, experiential learning program for people living with mental illness who are interested in establishing and maintaining wellness and recovery.
A set of key structures and group processes following clear guidelines for encouraging
full participation in support group meetings.
Inquire about the availability of these programs from your local Affiliate.
2012 NAMI Idaho Annual Meeting
NAMI Idaho 2012 Annual Meeting
The NAMI Idaho Annual Meeting will be held in Sandpoint, ID on September 15, 2012
in conjunction with the North Region Conference. The Annual Meeting will include a President's Report, a Treasurer's Report, and the formal results of the voting on election
of Directors and amendment of the Bylaws.
The NAMI Idaho Board of Directors must have a minimum of twelve but not more than sixteen Directors, with a maximum of four Regional Directors residing in each of the
state's three Regions. This year, members from each Region will elect two Regional Directors
to serve two-year terms. In addition, the West Region may elect a Regional Director for
a one-year term to fill a position that was not filled in last year's election. No more than
two Regional Directors (including those who were elected last year and are continuing
the second year of their term) can be Members of the same Affiliate.
Up to four Directors at-large may also be elected to the Board by all of the Members in
the state. In September, Members will elect two Directors at-large who will serve two
year terms and one Director at-large who will serve a one year term.
The Regional Directors serving the second year of their two-year terms are:
Ruth McKnight - NAMI Far North
Vinetta Ruth Spencer - NAMI Coeur d'Alene
Wendy Norbom - NAMI Wood River Valley
John Tanner - NAMI Upper Valley Idaho
Kim Jardine-Dickerson - NAMI Southeast Idaho
A Director at-large serving the second year of her two-year term is:
Amika DuPree - NAMI Coeur d'Alene
Directors can be nominated by Members, local Affiliates or self-nominated. Nominations must be submitted on a Board of Directors Nomination form that will be provided to local Affiliates by the end of May and will be available on the NAMI Idaho website.
Are you interested in being a Director of NAMI Idaho? Do you know of someone who you think would make a good Director? If so obtain and complete a Board of Directors Nomination form and send it to the Elections Committee of the Board to be received
before July 17, 2012. The Elections Committee will confirm that each nominee is a
qualified NAMI member, is willing to serve as a Director,andhas been nominated by a qualified Member or local Affiliate.
Amendment of the NAMI Idaho Bylaws
In the course of being re-chartered by NAMI as the state organization in Idaho, a review
of the NAMI Idaho bylawa revealed three items that needed to be changed:
- The legal name of the national organization is NAMI and the Bylaws used the
- term NAMI National.
- Standardized annual dues are established by NAMI and not by NAMI Idaho.
- Only NAMI can charter local Affiliates and terminate Affiliate status. The Bylaws
- had allowed NAMI Idaho to terminate the status of an Idaho Affiliate.
In order to correct these issues and to make a number of minor wording changes to
clarify other sections of the Bylaws, the Board will propose the amendment of the
NAMI Idaho Bylaws and ask the Members of NAMI Idaho to approve these changes
by their positive vote at the Annual Meeting.
Do you know the difference between SSI and SSDI? SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- A monthly payment to people, up to the maximum amount allowed by the federal government. This money to help people comes from general tax revenue. In 2012 the maximum federal payment amount is $698.
- Some states choose to use state tax revenue to add additional money to the federal limit. In Idaho some people get an extra $53 in their SSI check.
- To get SSI, adults must be 65 or older, determined disabled by the Social Security Administration, or blind. A person must have very limited income and resources too.
- In Idaho, folks with SSI will be automatically eligible for full Medicaid Health benefits if they apply at the Department of Health and Welfare.
- Folks with SSI who can work will have their payment amount reduced if they earn over a certain amount a month.
SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)
- A monthly payment amount that is based on the work record of the person who is 'insured', after they have been determined blind or disabled by the Social Security Administration. The payment begins 6 months after the date the disability is determined to have started.
- The benefit is usually paid to a person who has worked but may be paid to a worker's widow, child, or adult disabled child in some circumstances.
- Folks with a limited SSDI benefit amount (below the maximum SSI amount) might still be eligible for SSI payments to bring their income up to the SSI maximum amount.
- Nationwide, after 2 years of SSDI payments, a disabled worker or the eligible dependent of the disabled worker will become eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance program.
- Folks with SSDI who want to work should contact SSA about the work incentives programs, and how to get help with education and training.
Heather Taber, Secretary
NAMI Idaho Board of Directors
For more information about SSI and SSDI,
or to apply, go online to www.ssa.gov
or visit your local Social Security Administration office.
Tell them NAMI sent you!
MENTAL ILLNESS is TREATABLE.
RECOVERY is POSSIBLE.
Become a member of NAMI, NAMI Idaho and your local affiliate
City, State, Zip __________________________________________
My local NAMI Affiliate is____________________________________
Membership Type (Check One)
____ Individual/Family Membership ($35 Annual Dues.)
____ Open Door Membership ($3 Annual Dues.)
(Full membership for individuals and/or families on limited income. )
____ I want to make a tax-deductible donation to NAMI Idaho.
I am: ___An Individual Living with Mental Illness
___A Family Member
___A Mental Health Professional
Print Application and mail with check payable to NAMI Idaho to:
NAMI Idaho * 4097 Bottle Bay Rd. * Sagle, ID 83860
Treasurer, NAMI Idaho * 1985 E. 25th Street * Idaho Falls, ID 83404
NAMI Idaho is a 501(c)(3) corporation