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Volume 3, Issue 2
                   September 2014 

Connectivity, Resiliency, and Resource


As we approach this third face-to-face NAMI-ID Board gathering for this year, we have a lot to look forward to, as well as a lot to be thankful for. We have asked through our annual elections for others to become involved and help champion their passions and push our state NAMI mission forward. Thank you for becoming part of our diverse and progressive NAMI team!


Each day and each day's challenge we and our loved ones face, it is important to stay focused on hope, wellness and resiliency. These three ideas are connected, but they are also important separately. Hope leads to the future, with dreams of success. Wellness follows hope in the methods we seek to stay well. Resiliency, in that no matter what path we take, we will succeed. Resources, some varied yet so necessary to locate and identify, as well as, sharing what were successful to us and our needs. 


Each of us uses time-tested methods as needed to stay well (e.g., medication, mentors, therapeutic counseling, holistic venues, spirituality, short-term in-patient services, etc.). Locally, we share these methods through our Family-to-Family and Peer-to-Peer training programs, and our support groups for individuals with a mental illness and another group for family members. Our collective efforts of sharing successful resources will help keep ourselves and our loved ones on a more resilient path to wellness.


Mental health also challenges other medical illnesses. Effects from and possible treatments for these varied combination of illnesses requires constant research funding. Success stories then give us hope for better and less evasive treatments. Annually, NAMI pulls some of the brightest success stories of the latest mental health treatments and research methods, and shares these with NAMI members attending the National Conference. This first week in September, I have the opportunity to attend the NAMI National convention in Washington D.C and will share with you in subsequent newsletters, some of the information and ideas I will have garnered.


Thank you all for what each of you do to keep yourselves well, and for what you do to support others in need!




Tom Hanson

President, NAMI-ID

Northwest Conference 
Do you live with a mental illness?
Do you have a loved one living with a mental illness?
You are not alone!


Saturday, September 20th, 2014
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

LaQuinta Inn and Suites
333 W. Ironwood Dr.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Public Meeting of NAMI Idaho's Board of Directors:
Announcement of Election of New Directors and Officers

Educational Presentations include:
State Hospital North Update
Blue Cross Dual Eligible Option
Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper - Question Persuade, Refer Training
Conduit of Care Program
NAMI National presentation
Networking and Support Opportunities

FREE lunch for all registrants
Registration is FREE!!

You MUST REGISTER by September 12th to ensure adequate food 

For more information and to register, contact Catherine Perusse: cmperusse@gmail.com 

NAMI National Day of Action - Sept 4th


Legislative Priorities


Key Priority - Funding


Research At NIMH - support $23 million increase

- Accelerate new drug discovery

- Early intervention in psychosis

- Reduce premature mortality

- Services research


Services at SAMSHA

- Children's mental health (MH)

- Suicide prevention

- Homelessness

- Primary and mental health care integration


Key Priority - Children and Youth


Mental Health in Schools Act (H.R. 628/S. 195)

- Federal support for MH training for school staff, school-based MH issues and linkages with community MH system


Keeping all Students Safe Act (H.R 1893/S. 2036)

- Prohibits seclusion, limits use of restraints in schools to emergency circumstances


Key Priority - Housing


HUD Section 811 Supportive Housing Program for Persons with Disabilities

- Increase funding to $160 million in FY 2015

- Important funding source for permanent supportive housing for people who are chronically homeless


McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Programs

- Increase funding for HUD's homeless assistance programs to $2.046 billion in FY 2015

- Most important funding source for housing and services for people who are chronicaly homeless


Key Priority - Criminal Justice


 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (H.R. 401/S. 162)

- Reauthorizes and improves Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA)

- Funding for CIT, jail, diversion, MH, and Veteran's treatment courts and reentry services


Second Chance Re-authorization Act of 2013 (H.R. 5435/S. 162)

- Supports local innovation in services for people reentering communities

- Job training, MH and SU treatment, education, housing, etc.


Key Priority - Comprehensive Mental Health Legislation


Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717)

Strengthening Mental Health in Our Communities Act of 2014 (H.R. 4574)


Both bills have many similarities (e.g., suicide prevention, criminal justice resources, protecting access to medications, etc.).  But they also have many differences (e.g., IMD exception, HIPPA, AOT, restricting SAMSHA, and PAIMI)


"Comprehensive Legislation to Improve Mental Health care is Needed"



You can find additional information and position papers at www.nami.org/convvention or tweet using #Act4MentalHealth


Kathi Garret, Chair

NAMI Idaho Public Policy and Advocacy Committee

CIT in Action
cit logo
The Idaho CIT Work Group meets quarterly using the DHW videoconference equipment in each of the seven regions and at State Hospitals North and South. Representatives from all the regional CIT programs attend, providing a venue for setting standards and sharing information.

NAMI Idaho recently funded two telephone conference calls for the 
De-escalation Train the Trainer Committee, enabling the committee to have good participation from law enforcement and mental health leaders. The committee made recommendation to the Work Group at the July 23rd meeting on setting standards for CIT Coordinators in Idaho. Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) is currently undergoing some internal re-organization. When new leadership is in place there, the proposed standards will be discussed with POST.

All 7 DHW regions continue to work actively implementing the regional CIT programs. Forty hour academies were held in all seven regions in 2013 and 2014. The Idaho Department of Corrections is in the process of reorganization in the change from a privately managed system to a state managed system so there has been some delay in implementing CIT there.  However, planning for the implementation of CIT there continues. The Work Group will meet again on October 22nd.

Ann Ferguson Wimberley, M.D. (retired)
NAMI Idaho CIT Committee Chair
Suicide Prevention

The NAMI Idaho Board has adopted a new position statement on suicide prevention. NAMI Idaho understands that suicide is a serious preventable public health problem that negatively affects families, friends and communities.


Idaho's Suicide rate has consistently been among the highest in the nation.  In 2011 (the most recent year available) Idaho had the 11th highest suicide rate, 39% higher than the national average. In 2013, 308 people completed suicide in Idaho. The tragedy of these deaths is that lives lost to suicide may have been saved through increased awareness, education, and prevention and intervention strategies. 


Not everyone who attempts or completes suicide has a mental illness, and not all people with mental illnesses become suicidal. However, mental illnesses - especially depression - are a major risk factor for suicide. "While 95 percent of individuals with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder will never complete suicide, several decades of evidence consistently suggests that as many as 90 percent of individu­als who do complete suicide experience a mental or substance use disorder, or both" (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2008).


It is NAMI Idaho's position that suicide prevention is the responsibility of the entire community and requires vision, will, and a commitment from the state, communities and individuals of Idaho. Suicide prevention should be a part of an adequately funded and supported public and behavioral health system that addresses education, awareness, treatment and community engage­ment. It should include programs for communities and families with special attention paid to protect those known to be at high risk.


NAMI Idaho encourages all Affiliates and NAMI members to have information on risk factors, warning signs and the Idaho suicide prevention hotline (1800-273-TALK).  The full text of the suicide prevention position statement will be posted on the NAMI Idaho web page in a few months.  Information about the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline can be obtained from their web page at idahosuicideprevention.org.

What can we do about depression?
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

By Ken Duckworth, NAMI Medical Director


I am one of many who would say that Robin Williams was among my favorite actors.  His portrayal of a psychologist in Good Will Hunting is my all-time favorite. A colleague of mine told me her kids said to her last night, "Mrs. Doubtfire is dead." They were crushed by this news which seemed so unbelievable based on their experience of the character. He was a figure that transcended generations. It was a very sad day for many, and my heart goes out to his family, who will bear the incredible pain of his death long after the news cycle ends.


I recalled that he had a history of struggles, but I was still shocked to hear that he had died by suicide. He was a genius and had many supports. But of course depressiondoesn't calculate those things. Severe depression distorts rational thinking and can lead to the fixed idea that hopelessness and pain are to be your experience forever. I have heard this from patients who have lived after suicide attempts. They told me they had lost all perspective and simply wanted to end their pain. They often reported simply losing a sense that they mattered to other people and forgot that they too were loved.


Depression distorts reality and causes a risk of death. It is a persistent and serious public health crisis that doesn't get enough coverage. It can happen to anyone and is associated with a great deal of the suicides in our country.

 When combined with a substance use disorder it becomes even riskier and harder to treat, and when it is part of a bipolar disorder it requires extra attention. Other public health problems like heart disease have seen great results in the past several decades-we cannot say the same about suicide.


What can we do about this public health crisis that takes so many from us?  

  • Advocate. Fight for better treatments and for research into the underlying causes of psychiatric illnesses.
  • Be proactive. Work to be sure that people get screened for this depression and that help happens earlier. National Depression Screening Day is October 9.
  • Get medical. Get checked for medical causes of depression like thyroid disease.
  • Take the long view. We can encourage people to stay with treatments as some do work even after others have failed. That is well established from the STAR*D study by NIMH.
  • Integrate. Co-occurring disorders (like depression and substance use) often are poorly integrated into a persons care plan. This needs to change as substance use can be a failed self medication strategy to treat depression.
  • Change the field. We can demand more cognitive behavioral therapy, which clearly helps with depression, but many mental health professionals aren't trained to provide it.
  • Open up. We can change the dialogue about depression-it is a condition that needs to be talked about. Isolation and silence are the dangerous traveling partners of depression.
  • Come together. Our voice is more powerful together than alone.
  • Love. Like Robin's character in Good Will Hunting we can reach out and love those we know who are struggling and let them know we are here for them.

Chances are someone you know is struggling with depression, and this is a simple way that can make a difference.


Rest in Peace Robin. We shall all miss you.


From blog.nami.org

Southeastern Conference

The Southeastern Conference was held in Idaho Falls on May 3, 2014.  Rep. Janet Trujillo opened the conference with a history of mental health legislation in Idaho. This was followed by Tracey Sessions (pictured), CEO of State Hospital South, who talked about the status of State Hospitals.  At lunch there was a panel of youth specialists from Parents Unlimited (a parent advocacy group in schools), Idaho Federation for Families, and Children's Mental Health (a division of Idaho Health and Welfare). In the afternoon, Martha Eckhoff from Optum came and talked about ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­peer specialists and how this is a major concern for health care providers and consumers.


After the youth panel, NAMI Idaho informally thought coverage of youth issues at future conferences would be beneficial and it was noted how important it is for family members of young people with mental illnesses to get involved with their local mental health boards/children's subcommittees. 

Current Trends and Helpful Info 

Consumers and their families continue to have problems with Optum cutting time for clients who have had PSR services in the past. In addition there has been a significant increase in denial of services, no transition planning, nor offering of alternative services. What we're hearing is that these clients, especially children, are not doing as well as previously when they had PSR services and there should be opportunities for services outside of the correctional system. 


Have you or a loved one been affected by cuts in these services? Are there any other issues you'd like to bring to our attention? If so, please let us know - the more we know, the better we're able to serve you. Our email address is namiidaho@yahoo.com


Here are some links to websites that can help professional and caregivers learn or fine-tune their abilities to talk respectfully:


People with Developmental Disabilities



Mental Health Part 1:



Mental Health Part 2:



People First Language in English on the DD Council Website:



People First Language in Spanish on the DD Council Website:



Any questions, comments, insights, etc, please contact us at namiidaho@yahoo.com 


Criminalization of Mental Illness: It's a Crime
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By Mary Giliberti, NAMI Executive Director


Today, 1 in 5 people in jails and prisons in this country live with a mental illness. About 70 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have a mental health condition. This criminalization of mental illness is tragic and it's wrong.

Instead of getting people with mental illness the treatment and support they need, our society too often puts them in jails or prisons, which are the worst places for recovery.


News reports almost routinely revealed cases that should shock the conscience of Americans. In California, the state was forced to adoptdetailed regulations after videotapes became public showing prison inmates with mentally illness being doused with pepper spray and violently removed from cells.


Solitary Watch, an advocacy group that focuses on solitary confinement issues in general has begun to circulate videos to document the brutal treatment of inmates with mental illness.


Two years ago, NAMI warned the U.S. Senate that putting people with severe psychiatric symptoms in solitary confinement is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It only intensifies symptoms. Today, a NAMI fact sheet on solitary confinement is being used to influence policymakers as part of the reform movement.


NAMI has worked for years to expand Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) training for police for compassionate responses to people experiencing psychiatric crises. At a Senate hearing this year, NAMI called on the federal government to vigorously promote CIT nationwide.


At NAMI's National Convention, Sept. 4-7, in Washington, D.C., NAMI will honor Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart of Chicago, a national champion for CIT and other criminal justice reforms.  His staff recently gave me a tour of the Cook County Jail- which, sadly, is considered one of the largest "psychiatric hospitals" in the country.  


Although Sheriff Dart works tirelessly to provide treatment in the jail, it still was sickening to see such a large number of individuals with mental illness confined because they did not get the help they needed. I also had the privilege to visit a community-based center for individuals with mental illness in the same city that provided extensive peer support and a place for people to feel part of a community.  I was struck by the different outcomes for people with mental illness and how much rests on access to good services and supports and diversionary programs.


Besides honoring Sheriff Dart, NAMI's convention will focus on a range of criminal justice issues. The convention program includes:

  • An "Ask a Cop" workshop.
  • A networking session on "Families and the Criminal Justice System."
  • A major topic session is entitled "Treatment, Not Jail: Diverting Veterans from Incarceration into Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment."

But criminalization is more than a policy topic. For many people, it can be an immediate, urgent crisis. Every month, NAMI's national Helpline gets hundreds of telephone calls for legal help:

  • Individuals want to know whether it is safe to call 911 if they or someone they love is in crisis.
  • Families want to know what to do if a loved one has been taken away by police.
  • Families struggle to cope with having loved ones in prison, sometimes for years, and worry about whether they are getting the help they need.

What can you do to help? Send a message to Congress to pass the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act this year to support alternatives to incarceration for youth and adults with mental illness.


If you need more information, please feel free to contact the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). NAMI stands for help and hope. We welcome your support.


From: blog.nami.org

Affiliate News

Southeast Idaho - Pocatello

In March we had a table at ISU's Health Fair and gave out a lot of pamphlets and brains with the NAMI logo and National phone number on them. On June 5th we graduated our Family to Family class with seven graduating and on June 18th we had a reunion party for our 2013 graduating class. We plan on having a combined reunion of our graduating classes from now on as it was a great success and those who came really enjoyed it.


In September we are planning on having a table at the "Recovery Fest" which is being held on Sept. 16 at Old Town pavilion, 420 N. Main St., Pocatello, from 5 to 8 p.m. The event is free. Music will be by Swifter Currents. Food and drink will be available and there will be kids' activities plus a health and information fair. Information about substance abuse disorders will be available. As a fundraiser Recovery Fest T-shirts will be sold. The event is held in conjunction with National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. 


Upper Valley - Idaho Falls

NAMI Upper Valley held their annual picnic for people with mental illness and their loved ones on Thursday, June 19th.  Almost 200 people attended to enjoy the lunch, music, games, and socializing.  Music was provided by two country music groups: Dan the One-Man Band with our own Lizetta Crockett sitting in on the steel guitar and a trio called Diamonds in the Rough. The free lunch was provided through donations from Health and Welfare, Smith's Food and Drug, Walmart, Sam's Club and NAMI Upper Valley. This year, students from the Nursing Program at Eastern Idaho Technical College joined us to provide blood pressure tests and health information. The children enjoyed the Tug of War and Potato Sack races and there were many prizes given out.


We were awarded a Faithnet grant in May and our Faithnet Team has completed the four units on building a connection with Faith communities.  We will be holding our planning meeting on September 27 to begin the next steps.


We have also been trying to expand our outreach to the Spanish-speaking community. We had an initial meeting with several groups who are very active in that community and they provided several suggestions on ways to make our Family-to-Family classes more available to people who speak Spanish. They all agreed to help get the word out that we have some resources available and, with the help of people who speak both Spanish and English and who have family members with mental illness, we can bring the Family-to-Family class to them.


We will be starting our Family-to-Family classes in Idaho Falls on Wednesday, September 10th and hope to start them in Rexburg on Thursday, September 11th. 


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






                                 City, State, Zip __________________________________________


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