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Open enrollment starts today on HealthCare.gov and will run through December 15, or longer for some state exchanges. The annual open enrollment period allows people to enroll in or renew their health insurance coverage.

Why is this important for people with mental health conditions?

All health plans offered through HealthCare.gov must cover mental health and substance use services at the same level as other health conditions. Additionally, 8 out of 10 people who sign up on Healthcare.gov qualify for financial help, which can lower monthly premiums by about $50 to $100.

Play it safe

There’s also another important factor to consider this year. More skimpy health plans will be available for people to purchase than in recent years. These short-term, limited duration (STLD) plans are available during this year’s open enrollment period and some websites or insurance brokers may encourage people to buy these plans.

STLD plans do not have to comply with mental health parity

 

 

 

Did you know your purchases can make a difference? AmazonSmile donates to Nami Western Massachusetts Inc when you do your holiday shoping at smile.amazon.com

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Walk Collage 2018

Highlights from our 2018 "Journey of Hope and Recovery". Thanks for the memories! 

 

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Money Does Not Equal Recovery: Bourdain, Spade, Cobain, and the Culture of Celebrity Suicide

By: Conor Bezane

 

Read The NAMI Massachusetts Spring 2017 Newsletter

 

Massachusetts Aims to Reduce Stigma Around Mental Health

ATTORNEY GENERAL AWARDS $8 MILLION IN GRANTS TO SUPPORT BEHAVIORAL
HEALTH SERVICES ACROSS MASSACHUSETTS
22 Organizations to Receive Funding for a Range of Projects to Improve Delivery of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
NAMI-Massachusetts to receive a two year $265,000 grant
READ MORE >>

NAMI-Mass Opposes Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative

This fall, Massachusetts voters will likely have the opportunity to vote on whether the sale of marijuana for recreational use should be legalized in the Commonwealth. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Massachusetts states its strong opposition to this ballot question because the legalization of recreational marijuana will have detrimental effects for those with mental illness and for people predisposed to mental illness.
 
 

 A Road Map through the Criminal Justice System for Persons with  Mental Illness and Their Families

Presented by NAMI Massachusetts

This guide is for people with mental illness, their families and their loved ones. In times of crisis, far too often families are uninformed and lose the opportunity to help prevent arrest, jail, and even prosecution, when their loved one is experiencing a psychiatric crisis. In these instances, what may look like wrongful behavior is really a symptom of their illness and a cry for treatment rather than criminalization.

 View or Download the complete 70-page guide.

 

 

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Mary Giliberti

 

 NAMI and Advocacy: Staying United in the Face of Challenging Times  By Mary Giliberti, J.D. | Jun. 16, 2017

I would like to share this blog, from our website. For those of you coming to convention, it provides some background information to set the stage for our advocacy. For those who are not coming, it encourages virtual advocacy to serve our important mission. This will substitute for my video blog this month. Counting down to seeing many of you!!

Best,

Mary Giliberti

NAMI Chief Executive Officer

 

 

Dear NAMI Family,

NAMI views scientific research as a critical source of hope for people affected by mental illness and their families. This is why every year NAMI recognizes a leading researcher with our Scientific Research Award for contributions to the mental health community. This year, the award not only represents the hope of discovery, but also collaboration and teamwork.

The recipients are a team of groundbreaking scientists who have uncovered a piece of the puzzle that explains how people develop schizophrenia. The team includes Dr. Michael Carroll, the Director, PhD Graduate Program in Immunology and Co-director of the Masters in Medical Sciences in Immunology Program of Harvard Medical School; Dr. Steven McCarroll, Associate Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of Genetics for the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; and Dr. Beth Stevens, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

Working as an interdisciplinary team, they have been able to unlock some of the secrets of the most complex organ of them all: the brain. Learn more about their exciting discovery and their continuing work in this video: 

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Lauren Gleason

  lgleason@nami.org

 

 

NAMI Releases Video Series On College and Mental Health

May 17 2017

NAMI has released a new video series aimed at helping college bound students and their families talk about mental health. The videos are part of the “Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health” guide NAMI and the Jed Foundation released last year.

- See more at: https://www.nami.org/Press-Releases-and-media#sthash.7hKjmUBw.dpuf

 

 

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 FEATURES ON BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BPD)

 

 

New CBO Score for AHCA
The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan governmental agency, released updated numbers on the impact of the amended American Health Care Act (AHCA). The House passed the bill earlier this month without having an analysis of how the amendment impacted the previous estimate. The new CBO report estimates that 14 million Americans will lose Medicaid coverage by 2026 and a total of 51 million people under age 65 will be uninsured. The CBO also estimates that Medicaid funding will be decreased by $834 billion dollars over the next 10 years, which will significantly affect services for people with mental illness.

 

President’s Budget
On May 23, President Donald Trump released his proposed 2018 federal budget.

The President’s Budget slashes:

  • Over $600 billion from Medicaid over 10 years
  • $356 million from NIMH research in FY 2018
  • Nearly $400 million from SAMHSA, including $116 million from the MH block grant
  • Eliminates funding for new Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers for homeless veterans and $25 million to Section 811 housing
  • Strips millions from the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) and other criminal justice/mental health grants

Read NAMI’s press statement on the President’s budget.

 Medicaid_Coverage_Loss_under_AHCA.pdf                                            AHCA_Governor_letter_template.pdf

 

Tell your Senators to stand up for Medicaid and mental health

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 Email Your Senator using NAMI's legislative tool 

https://nami.quorum.us/action_center/

 

 

 

Stigma Affects Everyone, Even Doctors

Doc with MI

 

Signs of Self-Stigma: Do You Stigmatize Yourself?

Stigma is the prejudicial and negative treatment we face when others see us for our mental health condition rather than for who we are as a whole person. Facing stigma from others can be damaging and hurtful. But what about self-stigma? Do you ever stigmatize yourself? Can you recognize the signs of self-stigma in yourself?

Self-stigma is the biased, negative judgment that we impose on ourselves. You might have stigmatized yourself if you’ve ever

  • Paid more attention to the symptoms and effects of mental illness than you do on other aspects of yourself
  • Caught yourself overthinking the words, actions, and nonverbal behavior of others, “knowing” that you’re not measuring up
  • Noticed self-derogatory thoughts running through your mind
  • Found yourself agreeing with your derogatory thoughts
  • Felt that you’re not good enough for someone or something
  • Felt worthless

These are just some of the signs of self-stigma. As others do when they stigmatize you, when you stigmatize yourself, you’re seeing yourself unevenly. (A Guide to Overcoming Self-Stigma)

 

 

Engagement: A New Standard for Mental Health Care

To understand what effective engagement in mental health care looked like, NAMI invited experts, advocates and individuals with diverse perspectives and backgrounds to weigh in.

 What emerged again and again was that to improve the lives of people with mental illness and their families, we must shift to a culture that embraces engagement as a new standard of care.

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Read the Report

 Not Just a Childhood Disorder: How ADHD Affects Adults

When you hear of people living with ADHD, is your first thought of a child struggling to sit still in a classroom? Probably. But while hyperactivity usually diminishes, inattentiveness and impulsiveness will likely persist into adulthood. It’s a common misconception that ADHD is only a childhood condition and does not affect individuals after adolescence. READ MORE>>

Top 10 Fitness Motivation Tips.

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1987 when I was 22 years old. Taking medication and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has enabled me to achieve a better recovery and a better life; I have been living in recovery for over 28 years. So here are my Top 10 fitness motivation tips. These keep me on track and help me train for life. READ MORE>>

A Letter to My Colleagues About My Mental Illness

I still remember my first day of work after my psychotic break. I was so scared. I laid out all my clothes and took a shower the night before to be as ready as possible. I woke up extra early to have time to “just be ready.” My mental illness caused the psychotic break two years earlier. Since then, I have been rebuilding myself, overcoming a gauntlet of “first” fears. READ MORE>>

 Promoting Mental Health at 30,000 Feet

About a week ago, I hopped on a Southwest Airlines flight in Denver, following NAMI’s annual Convention. I work remotely in Columbus, Ohio as a Senior Manager at NAMI, overseeing two of our education programs. Other NAMI members from Ohio were also on the flight and a member of the NAMI Ohio Board, Dave Morrow, happened to be wearing a NAMI cap and t-shirt. As we took our seats, flight attendant Lynda Lassiter recognized the NAMI logo and mentioned how much she appreciates all that NAMI does. As her captive audience prepared for departure, Ms. Lassiter announced that her son has a mental health condition and “without the NAMI Family-to-Family class,” she wouldn’t have known what to do.        READ MORE>>

 Tips For Adult Smokers with Mental Illness

Rebecca, age 57, started smoking cigarettes at age 16. All of her family members smoked, and once she started smoking, she was hooked. Rebecca kept smoking into adulthood and tried to stop but soon discovered she had trouble quitting. At age 33, Rebecca was diagnosed with depression. She smoked frequently when she felt depressed because she thought smoking might help her cope with her feelings.

 

Personal Stories: The Weather is Not Bipolar

So many people have equated the weather in my state with bipolar disorder. When it’s a high of 80 one day and snowing the next. I’ve fought this sentiment, because it negates the devastation of this serious illness. But I can see many ways in which extreme weather events are like mental illness. READ MORE>>

 

Showing What it Means to Have Bipolar Disorder

Comedian Believes that Mental Health is No Laughing Matter. READ MORE>>

Comedian Believes that Mental Health is No Laughing Matter - See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/July-2016/Comedian-Believes-that-Mental-Health-is-No-Laughin#sthash.hKvX8655.dpuf
Comedian Believes that Mental Health is No Laughing Matter - See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/July-2016/Comedian-Believes-that-Mental-Health-is-No-Laughin#sthash.hKvX8655.dpuf

 Riding the Shark: Surviving Crisis/Catastrophe.READ MORE>>

 

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Police Perspective: The Man in the Mirror

A dedicated police officer experiences intense psychological pressures of his job and learns that, as a cop,

your strength shouldn't be only physical. READ MORE>>

 

Hearts and Minds: NAMI Highlights Meditation, Yoga and other "Mindfullness" Practices for Mental Illness.

READ MORE>>

 

SHARE YOUR STORY
 Sharing your story about your personal experience with mental health challenges is a great way to encourage others to talk about what they’re experiencing. When more people share stories of recovery, struggle or hope, it lets all of us know that we're not alone.
 
Be Kind
"I just wanted to remind people of the importance of being kind. My family has several members living
with mental illness, but none of them are treated quite like my Grandaddy."

 

Mass Tragedies, Police and Mental Health: NAMI Releases Guide for Law Enforcement Leaders; "Preparing for the Unimaginable” 

READ MORE>>

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Video: “NAMI Ending the Silence” is a national mental health education program for high school students, based on real-life experiences.

 "Ending the Silence" of Mental Illness in High School

 

Ask a Cop: What Should I Say When I Call 911 for a Family Member. READ MORE>>

  

 

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BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $1.4 MILLION TO EXPAND JAIL DIVERSION PROGRAMS

New funding brings the number of towns with trained first responders to 67

READ MORE>>

 

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Local Providers to Join Together, Increase Service-delivery Options

SPRINGFIELD (July 2016) — The boards of directors of two area nonprofit organizations, Friends of the Homeless Inc. (FOH) and Clinical & Support Options Inc. (CSO), have voted to pursue a merger.

READ MORE>>

 

Researchers Identify Brain Circuits That Help People Cope with Stress

READ MORE>>

 

NAMI Western Mass. Offers Mental-illness Support Groups

READ MORE>>


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Refer to our links page for more mass violence resources

 

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Behavioral Health Coverage Under MHPAEA

A Nationwide Expansion

Do you have questions about what your health insurance covers for mental health or substance use disorder services?

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 requires health insurers and group health plans to provide the same level of benefits for mental and/or substance use treatment and services that they do for medical/surgical care.

The final MHPAEA regulations published in 2013 applied parity protections to the commercial market, and final regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on March 29, 2016, applies parity rules to Medicaid managed care and the Children's Health Insurance Program. As a result, parity requirements now apply to most health plans in the United States.

Download these resources about parity for mental health and substance use disorder benefits:

Parity of Mental Health and Substance Use Benefits With Other Benefits: Using Your Employer-Sponsored Health Plan To Cover Services

Know Your Rights: Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits

 

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 Richard Dreyfuss—Brash, Bold and Proudly Bipolar

 The movie star speaks candidly on Hollywood greed, civics education, how living with bipolar disorder has been good for him,

and why stigma is “stupid.”

READ MORE>>

 

 

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 Golden Jubilee

Hope & Harmony Headlines: Celebrating bp Magazine’s 50th Issue!

 Patrick Kennedy shares his struggles with bipolar and addiction and why he decided to break the Kennedy code of family secrets.

READ MORE and WATCH THE VIDEO>>

 

7 Ways to Manage Depressive Thoughts

Here are seven techniques that can help you improve your mood when living with depression.

READ MORE>>

 

Belief that things can change for the better is called hope, and it’s crucial to living well with bipolar disorder.

READ MORE>>

Integrating mental health and primary care

Integrating Mental & Physical Health Services Through Primary Care Teams Results in Better Outcomes & Lower Costs, New Study Finds

READ MORE>>

 

 Esperanza Magazine:

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Mom to Mom: 5 Ways to Get Through Depression and Guilt

For the mothers who are in charge of taking care of everyone else, we’re here to remind them that taking
care of their mental health is also a top priority.

READ MORE>>

 

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15 Ways To Support a Loved One with Serious Mental Illness - READ MORE>>

 Supporting a loved one with mental illness presents many challenges. But one of them isn’t blame. It’s important for families “to learn that they didn’t cause [their loved one’s disorder] and they can’t cure it,” according to Harriet Lefley, Ph.D, professor at the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine who’s worked with families for 25 years.
Linked Article by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Copyright 2016 PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved. Reprinted here with permission.

 

Pulitzer Prizes represent the highest honors for print journalism. They are given in recognition for both professional excellence and public service.

This past month marked the 100th anniversary of the awards. What is even more exciting is that several selections focused on mental health concerns, bringing attention and awareness to the movement.

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/These-Take-the-Prize-Journalists-and-Mental-Healt?utm_source=naminow&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=naminow#sthash.PbTTf3XX.dpuf

Pulitzer Prizes represent the highest honors for print journalism. They are given in recognition for both professional excellence and public service.

This past month marked the 100th anniversary of the awards. What is even more exciting is that several selections focused on mental health concerns, bringing attention and awareness to the movement.

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/These-Take-the-Prize-Journalists-and-Mental-Healt?utm_source=naminow&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=naminow#sthash.PbTTf3XX.dpuf

Pulitzer Prizes represent the highest honors for print journalism. They are given in recognition for both professional excellence and public service.

This past month marked the 100th anniversary of the awards. What is even more exciting is that several selections focused on mental health concerns, bringing attention and awareness to the movement.

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/These-Take-the-Prize-Journalists-and-Mental-Healt?utm_source=naminow&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=naminow#sthash.PbTTf3XX.dpuf

Pulitzer Prizes represent the highest honors for print journalism. They are given in recognition for both professional excellence and public service.

This past month marked the 100th anniversary of the awards. What is even more exciting is that several selections focused on mental health concerns, bringing attention and awareness to the movement.

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/These-Take-the-Prize-Journalists-and-Mental-Healt?utm_source=naminow&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=naminow#sthash.PbTTf3XX.dpuf

Pulitzer Prizes represent the highest honors for print journalism. They are given in recognition for both professional excellence and public service.

This past month marked the 100th anniversary of the awards. What is even more exciting is that several selections focused on mental health concerns, bringing attention and awareness to the movement.

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/These-Take-the-Prize-Journalists-and-Mental-Healt?utm_source=naminow&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=naminow#sthash.PbTTf3XX.dpuf

Pulitzer Prizes represent the highest honors for print journalism. They are given in recognition for both professional excellence and public service.

This past month marked the 100th anniversary of the awards. What is even more exciting is that several selections focused on mental health concerns, bringing attention and awareness to the movement.

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/These-Take-the-Prize-Journalists-and-Mental-Healt?utm_source=naminow&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=naminow#sthash.PbTTf3XX.dpuf

Pulitzer Prizes represent the highest honors for print journalism. They are given in recognition for both professional excellence and public service.

This past month marked the 100th anniversary of the awards. What is even more exciting is that several selections focused on mental health concerns, bringing attention and awareness to the movement.

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/These-Take-the-Prize-Journalists-and-Mental-Healt?utm_source=naminow&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=namino

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 MMS Launches Public Education Campaign on Opioids during New England Football Broadcasts

 


 

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 Distraught People, Deadly Results: Police Officers often lack the training to approach the mentally unstable, experts say.

 Read article here.

 

 

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Survey: Mental health patients turned away from treatment in Mass. over insurance issues

Low insurance reimbursement rates and administrative challenges are affecting the way mental health professionals are practicing in Massachusetts, according to a survey of mental health professionals released Wednesday by the UMass Donahue Institute and commissioned by a group of mental health clinicians. Christina Citino, a UMass Donahue Institute senior research manager, said the survey results suggest that issues related to the insurance company-doctor relationship, such as low reimbursement rates, "are affecting quality as well as access" to mental health care.

 Read the rest of the article on MassLive.com here.

 


  

Know your discharge rights from a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts.

 

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Office of the Attorney Establishes a New Hotline to Report Threats and Harassment

 

Our job in the Attorney General's Office is to protect people's rights, fight discrimination, and keep people safe. In recent weeks, we've seen reports from around the country and our state of harassment and intimidation of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women, LGBT individuals, and immigrants. Such conduct runs against our values as a society, and we are acting to ensure that our residents are protected.

 

In just over two weeks, our Office has received over 400 calls from the public reporting issues of hate and harassment. As you might know, Attorney General Healey established a new 1-800 hotline for residents to report bias-motivated threats, harassment, and violence managed by attorneys and staff in the AG's Office. The hotline number is 1-800-994-3228.

 

The Attorney General's goal is to make it as easy as possible for residents to contact us. Any Massachusetts resident who has witnessed or experienced bias-motivated threats, harassment or violence may call the Attorney General's hotline or fill out a civil rights complaint form at this link. Residents may also contact the AG's Office through our Facebook and Twitter.

 

 


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Article from the Social Security Administration: When People Need Help Managing Their Money

https://ssa.gov/payee/


Article from the Social Security Administration: Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)

https://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/pass.htm


Click the image below for the Mass.gov Department of Health and Human Services

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Article: Cash Assistance in Massachusetts. READ MORE>>

 

Office of The Secretary of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: CLICK HERE>>

 


 

Back from the Edge: A video about Borderline Personality Disorder

 by New York Presbyterian Hospital

 

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Click here to watch

 

 

 A Police Officer Who Did The Right Thing: Helped My Son When I Couldn't

 

By Laura Pogliano on the Pete Earley blog 

My 22 year- old son, Zac, has schizophrenia, the paranoid type. Since February, he has phoned emergency services five times to ask for help for problems that he's imagining. Sometimes it's a heart attack, sometimes his throat is closing, and yesterday, it was to report a gunshot wound to his head. Read More>>   

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Article appears in New Scientist: READ MORE>>

 

 

 Mental Illness In The Oval Office

By Laura Greenstein / Feb 12, 2016

READ MORE>>

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