In This Issue
Idaho Affiliates
Talking About Mental Illness
Contact Us
Invitation: North Region Conference
NAMI Idaho Board of Directors
Idaho CIT in Action
Mental Health Care Advocacy
2013 NAMI Idaho East Region Conference Report
Around our Affiliates
Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline
Leaders Receive Award
Support and Education
Idaho Affiliates
Contact  Information

NAMI Boise  

Kelly Jennings, President 


4696 Overland Rd., Ste. 274    

Boise, ID 83705                  




Educational Programs: F2F, FSG, Basics, Connection, P2P, IOOV


NAMI Coeur d'Alene  

Bonnie Kemp, President   


P.O. Box 2068               

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816 



Educational Programs: F2F, FSG, Basics, Connection, IOOV         


NAMI Far North (Sandpoint)

Jan Burt, President  


P.O. Box 2415 

Sandpoint, ID 83864  




Educational Programs: F2F, FSG,

Basics, Connection, IOOV


NAMI Latah  (Moscow)

Jane Pritchett, President


P.O. Box 8654 

Moscow, ID 8384 


Educational Programs:  F2F, FSG 


NAMI Lewis/Clark Valley (Lewiston)

Barbara Kauffman, President


3336 16th St.

Lewiston, ID 83501


NAMI-Quad (Payette)

Lee Kroeker, President


108 W. Park Ave.

New Plymouth, ID 83655


(F2F: Jose Acosta: 301-751-5921)


NAMI Southeast Idaho (Pocatello)

Zina Magee, President


P.O. Box 6066

Pocatello, ID 83205


Educational Programs: F2F, FSG, IOOV


NAMI Upper Valley Idaho (Idaho Falls)

Jane Roberts, President


P.O. Box 2452 

Idaho Falls, ID 83401




Educational Programs: F2F, FSG,

Basics, Connection


NAMI Wood River Valley (Hailey)

Gail Miller Wray, President


P.O. Box 95

Hailey, ID 83333 




Educational Programs: F2F, Basics, Connection, P2P, FSG, IOOV


Talking about Mental Illness



The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline (ISPH) at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) provides crisis intervention, emotional support and resource referrals to all Idahoans. Says Director John Reusser, "You don't have to be suicidal to call the Hotline; anyone in crisis or needing emotional support or resources is welcome to call. We want be a resource for persons living with mental illness and their families. (See Feature Article in this Issue of NAMI Idaho's Quarterly News.) 



The Idaho Military Behavioral Healtledh Alliance will offer a workshop calIssues Surrounding Military Suicides: Making the Connection. The workshop will be held on Thursday, September 12, at Southeastern Idaho Public Health, 1901 Alvin Ricken Drive in Pocatello. The registration fee of $15.00 includes drinks, snacks and a boxed lunch from Oliver's Deli. Lunch is planned as a networking opportunity with local resources. 

The registration deadline is September 8. Register online at http://idsuicideworkshop.eventbrite.com.
The event is being organized by Sheila Warner, Idaho and Montana Community Support Coordinator for Army OneSource. For more information, contact her by telephone at 208-660-5607 or by email at sheila.schumacher@serco-na.com.



On July 23, the National Association of Broadcasters launched "OK2TALK," a Tumblr-based campaign to increase understanding and awareness about mental health issues in youth. Radio and television ads in both English and Spanish feature teens and young adults telling about their experiences with mental health, with the aim of facilitating open conservation about mental health issues. The OK2TALK site also includes resources for those seeking help. The campaign comes at a time when the White House has launched a year-long initiative designed to spur national dialogue about mental health, including a website -- mentalhealth.gov  -- with the tagline "Let's talk
about it."


Contact Us:
  NAMI Idaho
  4097 Bottle Bay Rd.
  Sagle, ID 83860
Volume 2, Issue 3
                              August 2013 
From the President's Desk

                                                                                  August 4, 2013 

Dear Members and Friends of NAMI Idaho:

Attending the NAMI National Convention has always been an opportunity for me to recharge my NAMI battery -- to be inspired by the amazing things that other NAMI state and affiliate organizations are accomplishing and to meet and discuss current mental health challenges with experts in the various fields of research and practice. The recent convention held in San Antonio, Texas was exceptional. Following are the most significant highlights for me.

The opening plenary session was entitled 'The Many Faces of NAMI" with the first presentation made by a family advocate expressing the life-saving difference NAMI had made in her family. The second presentation was by a veteran who lit a candle and led the audience in counting aloud to 22, when he blew out the candle, thus commemorating the 22 veterans who die by suicide each day. He spoke of the positive impact of NAMI on the community of veterans. Next, a young woman living with mental illness reported on the assistance she received from NAMI and her work in launching NAMI on Campus at Rutgers University and helping grow the on-campus movement across the country. Finally, an NBA player living with mental illness told of his struggle to bring the NBA to recognize and responsibly work with players living with mental illness, by being willing to forfeit the signing of his NBA contract and his salary to support his principles. It was wonderful to see the breadth and positive impact of NAMI on such a variety of situations.

One of my favorite presenters at NAMI confentions is always Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, neuroanatomist and the author of 'My Stroke of Insight' whose topic was 'Neuroscience Supports the Recovery Model'. She taught us that our brains are capable of growing new neurons (neurogenesis) and rearranging the cells among which communication takes place (neuroplasticity). One of her insightful observations was that if we treat people as though they will recover, they tend to recover better than if we treatment as they they will always be ill. This helps us understand how the brain itself supports the recovery model.



Doug McKnight, President

NAMI Idaho

North Region Conference
Fall 2013
NAMI Idaho
North Region Conference  
Please Join Us 
Saturday, September 21
at 8 a.m.
Ameritel Inn - W. 333 Ironwood Dr.
Coeur d'Alene, ID
Discover that you are not alone.
Reinforce the knowledge that recovery is possible.
Remember that there is hope.
  • Meet your NAMI Idaho Board of Directors and participate in an open meeting.
  • Hear from a representative of Optum Health, contract manager of Idaho's new system of Medicaid Managed Care for Mental Health.Learn about the state's Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Network with other individuals living with mental illness, family members, care providers and policymakers.
There is no cost to attend the conference. 
A FREE Lunch will be provided by NAMI Idaho. 
Parking is free.
You MUST register by September 16 to enable us to plan for the
appropriate amount of food for everyone. 
To register contact Ruth Spencer at 208-930-4212 or vruthsp@yahoo.com

NAMI Idaho Board of Directors 

Annual Meeting Date Set for September 21, 2013


The date of September 21, 2013 has been set by the NAMI Idaho Board of Directors for the 2013 NAMI Idaho Annual Meeting to be held in Coeur d'Alene at which the election results for NAMI Idaho Director positions will be announced, and annual reports will be made by the President and Treasurer.
NAMI Idaho Bylaws allow for the election of four Directors from each of the three Regions and four state-wide At-Large Directors. This year, two Directors from each Region and two At-Large Directors were to have been elected, however, only seven Director candidates had been nominated by the deadline of  July 23, 2013.  There will therefore be one vacancy on the Board of Directors, which, under the Bylaws, the Board may fill by appointment.
The Annual Meeting will be followed by a regular Board of Directors meeting which will include the election of NAMI Idaho officers for the next year.


  cit logo  Idaho CIT in Action


CIT international is described in its brochure as a non-profit membership organization whose primary purpose is to facilitate understanding, development and implementation of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training programs throughout the U.S. and in other nations worldwide in order to promote and support collaborative efforts to create and sustain more effective interactions among law enforcement, mental health care providers, individuals with mental illness, their families and communities, and to reduce the stigma of mental illness. CIT International works to accomplish this purpose by raising public and stakeholder awareness through education and outreach, establishing and disseminating recommended standards for developing, implementing and sustaining crisis intervention programs, providing assistance to communities interested in developing CIT programs, supporting research and evaluation of CIT programs and partnering with CIT programs in various localities to hold annual CIT International Conferences.  

Major Sam Cochran (retired) and Dr Randy Dupont, leaders of Memphis CIT, are the Co-Chairmen of CIT  International.  Lt Michael Woody, retired, is the President. The Board of Directors includes law enforcement officers, mental health providers and NAMI members from across the country.  CIT International supports the Memphis model of CIT which outlines specific core elements for the training which are then adapted by local CIT programs to fit the resources and needs of the community.  The Bureau of Justice has awarded a grant to a  partnership between the University of Memphis Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, CIT International and NAMI to help produce a national CIT model based on data from hundreds of CIT program curriculum across the country. The goals of this project are to develop a standard curriculum for CIT courses, to develop a standard class to train the trainers of CIT programs, and to create a "set of community engagement strategies," a toolkit for building community partnerships. 


On behalf of the Idaho CIT Work Group, I supplied information on contacts for CIT programs throughout Idaho to Major Cochran.  When he was in Sandpoint for the Train the Trainer class funded by the NAMI Idaho Byrne JAG grant, he evaluated the Region 1 CIT curriculum for inclusion in the data base.  Since then, I have been contacted several times with requests for more information.  Other Idaho regions have also been contacted with requests for information on their programs.

The CIT International website (www.citinternational.org) includes information on research being done on CIT.  Such information can be valuable in applying for grants to fund CIT programs and in convincing cities, counties and organizations to provide support for CIT, financial and otherwise.  The organization also distributes a quarterly newsletter.  Over 3.000 CIT programs exist world wide.  Individual memberships are $25; non-profit memberships are $100. 


The CIT International Conference 2013 will be held in Hartford, CT. October 14-16, this year celebrating 25 years of CIT.  The conference schedule each year includes many excellent workshops in addition to keynote and plenary speakers.  It also provides many opportunities for networking with individuals from other CIT programs as well as with very accessible national leaders.   Sending a local law enforcement CIT leader to the conference is an excellent way for NAMI affiliates to help keep local CIT programs up to date and encourage law enforcement participation.

Ann Ferguson Wimberley, M.D. (retired)

NAMI Idaho CIT Coordinator 

Mental Health Care Advocacy


January 27, 2014

Reserve this date on your calendar!


One of America's strongest and best-known advocates for better mental health care in America is coming to Idaho to assist NAMI Idaho in its efforts to raise awareness, provide education, create and channel energy, and promote improvements in our system of providing care and treatment for individuals living with mental illness.


Pete Earley, Pulitzer prize nominated author of

'Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Care Madness'

will be the featured speaker at the


NAMI Idaho West Region Quarterly Conference

Boise, ID

January 27, 2014


Mr. Earley will be available to meet informally with legislators, agency heads, policymakers and public officials at a breakfast reception and will address the entire community at 7 p.m. that evening in the Hall of Mirrors across from the Capitol Building.


Plan to attend, and invite everyone you know who is concerned about the care and treatment of mental illness in our state and nation. Mr. Earley is a dynamic, well-informed and influential speaker who will challenge and inspire us all to speak out with a united and effective message about appropriate treatment as the most efficient, cost-conscious, practical and humane means of preventing or mitigating the tragedy of untreated mental illness in our country. NAMI Idaho will distribute additional information about this event as plans develop.


Kathie Garrett, Chair

NAMI Idaho Public Policy and Advocacy Committee    

2013 East Region Conference


Approximately 50 members and friends of NAMI Idaho gathered at the joint-venture Health Sciences building of Idaho State University and Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls for the NAMI Idaho East Region Spring Conference. Superbly planned and hosted by NAMI Upper Valley, NAMI's Idaho Falls affiliate, with assistance by members of SE Idaho NAMI in Pocatello, this conference brought together discussions of mental illness issues that bear on veterans, children's and justice-involved individuals, spot-lighted the therapeutic benefits of recreation, and revealed the long and interesting progress of Idaho's State Hospital South psychiatric facility from 'an institution for the insane' to a holistic, progressive and effective mental health facility emphasizing dignity and respect for its patients. 



Tracey Sessions, administrator of State Hospital South, opened the Conference with slides showing it as it once was -- a farm on which its residents raised their own food and performed all the labor of maintaining the facility and walked through the years as it developed, after Idaho patients were returned to our state from having been cared for in Oregon She then described the current managerial philosophy and organizational safeguards that ensure the provision of high quality care and compassionate treatment in the Blackfoot hospital. 

The Board of Directors then convened their meeting, open to the public, summarizing NAMI Idaho's position on the recently-concluded legislative session and launching plans for action in preparation for the year ahead. These plans include an educational forum for the benefit of members, the public, legislators and agency personnel in conjunction with the West Region Conference to be held in Boise in January 2014. Possible speakers and subject matters were considered. Dates for the September North Region Conference in Coeur d'Alene and the NAMI Idaho Annual Meeting were also confirmed.


During lunch, the Honorable John Shindurling addressed the group on the development and successes of the JoAnn Wood Mental Health Court, after which the group heard a thoughtful and comprehensive presentation by veteran Rex Thornley of the Mental health Court on veterans care and PTSD. John Rainey of Portneuf Medical Center spoke about the therapeutic value of recreation, followed by Lynn Whiting, whose personal account of family need for mental health services pointed out many of the gaps in existing service for children.

 Around our Affiliates 


NAMI - Wood River Valley completed its first annual NAMIBikes Fight Stigma & Ride event on July 7th. In all, twenty three riders participated, seven of whom completed the 50-mile course and 16 who completed the 10-mile family ride. The event raised a total of $9,990, with $1,275 collected on event day.It was the first NAMIBikes event in Idaho and one of only five national NAMIBikes events during 2013.


Twenty-eight volunteers, including staff, board members and NAMIBikes National Event Manager Mat Mendel, who flew in from New Jersey to lend his expertise, made this event possible.  It was a beautiful, sunny day with enthusiastic volunteers on the bike path near the NAMI signature balloon arch to cheer the riders off and to welcome them back. Albertsons, Atkinsons' Market, Big Wood Bread, Costco, Family Dollar Store, Food Services of America, Power Engineers, and Swire Coca-Cola donated continental breakfast of muffins, bagels and cream cheese, salty nut bars, fresh fruit, juice, bottled water, coffee, tea, lemonade, and hot chocolate to all riders and volunteers. Tables, chairs, canopy tents, picnic tables, an
d bike racks were borrowed from the Church of Latter Day Saints, Hailey Chamber of Commerce, Light on the Mountains, and Power Engineers. ReMax Realty provided a truck to move equipment and supplies.  Wrap City donated lunch for riders and volunteers, many of whom remained at the event site from 5:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m.  It was a very long -- and fun! -- day for everyone.Terrific music and commentary by DJ Mike White of Dynamic Sound kept everyone going. The event site, the larger upper parking lot at River Run in Ketchum, was donated by the Sun Valley Company, and the staff of Atlantic Aviation spent the early morning hours making the coffee for the event.

NAMI Bikes finish line

Paul Fuller was the first 50-mile rider to return to the event site, shown above with DJ Mike White in the Background. Several volunteers stayed to welcome back the last 50-mile rider, Andrew Parnes, who, having raised $850, told volunteers that he would finish the ride in spite of equipment difficulties.


Executive Director Wendy Norbom raised $1,125 from Canada, and Board of Directors President Gail "Marguerite" Miller Wray raised $920.  Donations may still be made online through Christmas 2013, by visiting www.FightStigmaandRide.org and clicking on the NAMIBikes Sun Valley link on the right of the page.  NAMI Wood River Vall
ey is looking forward to its second annual NAMIBikes event in 2014.


NAMI Wood River Valley volunteers (left to right) Rachel Cooper, Mat Mendel, Roger Olson, Carla Young, Cheryl Culjat, Jeff Cooper, Tom Hanson and Tamra Thrall.





NAMI Idaho has joined with NAMI Boise this year for the 7th Annual NAMIWalks in Boise on Saturday, September 28, 2013.


Blue Cross Logo

Special thanks to Blue Cross of Idaho, a Gold Level sponsor

of NAMI Boise's 7th Annual NAMIWalk.


The $5,000 Gold Sponsorship provides specific support for NAMI Idaho's Peer to Peer training goals and supports NAMI Boise in doubling the number of In Our Own Voice presentations it will deliver in the coming year.


NAMIWalks Boise and Idaho will be held Saturday, September 28, 2013, at the Albertson's/Supervalu headquarters in Boise on ParkCenter Drive and along the Boise Greenbelt.  Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the Walk starts at 10 a.m. A complimentary BBQ follows the Walk!  For more information about the NAMI Walk, please go to www.namiwalks.org/Boise.


NAMIWalks celebrates its 11th Anniversary in 2013 as the largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising event in America!  NAMIWalks' public, active display of support for people affected by mental illness is changing how Americans view persons with a mental illness. This is leading to ensuring that help and hope are available for those in need. NAMIWalks Improve lives one step at a time through its fundraising and mental health awareness program  held in communities all around the country These annual walks raise in excess of 10 million dollars every year.



NAMI Far North's June 8, 2013 Take a Seat at the Table fundraiser and celebration of 5 years of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) was a great success.  Approximately 160 guests enjoyed a catered dinner and live music as Sheriff Daryl Wheeler praised the effectiveness of CIT in the community and acknowledged the presence of CIT Champions and CIT law enforcement officers. NAMI Idaho President Doug McKnight presented NAMI Idaho and NAMI Far North Board Member Ann Wimberley with a plaque commending her leadership in promoting and sustaining CIT Training throughout the state.


        TaS AFW Plaque

         Bonner County Sheriff Darryl Wheeler                     CIT Coordinator Ann Wimberley

Thanks to the community's generous response, local artists and a challenge grant by the Stewart Family Charitable Fund, NAMI Far North raised over $19,000 to sustain the Regional CIT program and NAMI signature education and support programs.

TaS Chairs     TaS Cowboy

   Local artists turn old chairs into art works.                 High school art students made this                                                                                                  singing cowboy chair.    


This level of support is evidence that NAMI Far North is succeeding in making the community more aware of the prevalence of mental illness, and of the tragic cost of failure to properly treat and care for individuals who live with these neurobiological disorders.

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline

Idaho's suicide rate consistently ranks within the top ten in the nation. According to the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho (SPAN), Idaho ranked sixth in the US in 2010, with a rate 49 percent higher than the national average.  Studies show up to 90% of persons who complete suicide have a diagnosable mental illness at the time, most often a depressive or substance abuse disorder. The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline (ISPH) at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) provides crisis intervention, emotional support and resource referrals to all Idahoans. Says Director John Reusser, "You don't have to be suicidal to call the Hotline; anyone in crisis or needing emotional support or resources is welcome to call. We want be a resource for persons living with mental illness and their families."

ISPH has been operating for over eight months now, handling approximately 800 calls and related follow-up activities to date from throughout the state.  Prior to its launch, Idaho had been without a dedicated statewide suicide prevention hotline since 2006.  


All calls are handled by trained and supervised Volunteer Phone Responders, who receive approximately 32 hours of training and apprenticeship prior to staffing the phones.  The core of volunteer training is an intensive 2-day International best practices model- ASIST (Applied Suicide Interventions Skills Training).  ASIST addresses ambivalence in persons at risk for suicide, emphasizing making a strong connection with the individual, thoroughly exploring reasons for living and dying with them, and solid safety planning and follow-up. 


Follow-up calls by Phone Responders are integral to the ISPH model of service.  Phone Responders attempt to schedule follow-ups with all suicidal callers and whenever requested/deemed appropriate.  Follow-up calls following discharge from emergency departments inpatient psychiatric units have been correlated with decreased readmissions and suicide attempts. The Hotline has a database of nearly 5,000 up-to-date referrals ranging from food banks to counseling and low cost medication providers.

The Hotline's current hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with plans to expand incrementally to 24/7.  Outside those hours all calls to 1-800-273-TALK (8255) are handled by Lifeline Network crisis centers outside of Idaho. No call goes unanswered. 


To make a donation to ISPH, request marketing materials or inquire about volunteering, call 208-258-6990, or visit www.idahosuicideprevention.org or www.facebook.com/idahosuicideprevention.


John Reusser, Executive Director

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline


Jim Payne, Member of the Board of Directors of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

presents the Outstanding Member Award for 2013 to Doug and Ruth McKnight

of NAMI Idaho and NAMI Far North.

On June 30, 2013 at its national convention in San Antonio, Texas, NAMI presented Doug and Ruth McKnight with NAMI's  2013 "Outstanding Member Award" for their work together to improve the lives of individuals and families in Idaho affected by mental illness. This award is the highest honor NAMI gives to a member in recognition of long and effective work toward accomplishing NAMI's goals. When NAMI Idaho lost its funding, the McKnights led a core of volunteers committed to the task of rebuilding NAMI Idaho. NAMI Idaho is the only NAMI state organization to have secured a charter agreement with the national organization without any paid staff.

Doug McKnight is President of NAMI Idaho, the organization with responsibility for training, coordination, support of local affiliates and state-level policy-making and advocacy, as well as Treasurer of NAMI Far North, which provides education and support to individuals and families touched by mental illness in Bonner and Boundary Counties. Ruth McKnight serves on the NAMI Idaho Board of Directors as Educational Programs Coordinator, is Vice President of NAMI Far North and edits NAMI Idaho's quarterly e-newsletter and NAMI Far North's monthly newsletter. 


In accepting the award, the McKnights thanked the national NAMI organization for recognizing the difficulty of creating a sustainable all-volunteer mental health advocacy organization in a geographically large and sparsely populated state and expressed delight that national leaders looked to NAMI Idaho as 'the little engine that could'. "We couldn't have won this award without the hard work and dedication of NAMI Idaho's Board of Directors and its members."


Support and Education
Family-to-Family Coming to NAMI-Quad Area.
If you or anyone you know in the Payette/New Plymouth/Ontario, OR area needs information, insight, understading and empowerment in the struggle to cope successfully with the challenge of the mental illness of a family member or loved one, this FREE 12-week class is for you. Gain empathy by understanding the lived experience of a person with mental illness. Acquire strategies for handling crises and relapse. Locate appropriate supports and services within your communty.
The class, taught by residents of New Plymouth, ID  will begin on September 2 and meet for the next 12 Mondays in Ontario, OR from 6:30 - 9 p.m.  Registration is required. For more information and to register, contact NAMICLASS@gmail.com or Jose at 301-751-5921.
Affiliate Forming in Twin Falls.
Participate in the formation and establishment of NAMI's newest Idaho affiliate in the Magic Valley. You are not alone in the challenges you face living with a mental llness or having a loved one with mental illness. NAMI affiliates provide education, support and practical help in dealing with the every day problems of everyone affected by mental illness. This new affiliate needs YOUR support if you live in the Twin Falls area. Contact Keith Earles at  kaearles@yahoo.com for more information and to volunteer to help.

Join NAMI|Idaho
ecome a member of NAMI, NAMI Idaho and your local affiliate 






                                 City, State, Zip __________________________________________


                                 Phone ____________________________





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.


 Optional Information:

I am:    ___An Individual Living with Mental Illness 

   ___A Family Member

   ___A Friend

   ___A Mental Health Professional

   ___Other ___________________


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