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Article on NAMI National, 01/10/13
White House Gun Task Force: NAMI Calls on President and Congress to "Do What's Right" for Mental Health Care
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2013 -- Michael J. Fitzpatrick , executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) met yesterday with Vice President Joseph Biden 's task force on gun control, along with other leaders of the mental health community, urging
action to strengthen and expand mental health care services.
Read More: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=press_room&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=149394
Article by Dr. Mark S. Komrad in Baltimore Sun, 12/18/12
Getting help for the mentally ill
Hopkins psychiatrist says we are too slow to intervene when loved ones show signs of mental illness
December 18, 2012|
By Mark S. Komrad
THE BALTIMORE SUN
Though none of us yet knows much of Adam Lanza's backstory, it doesn't take a mental health professional to suspect that a man who killed his mother before killing so many children and adults was likely suffering from a severe mental disorder. Although mental illness very rarely results in violence, let alone such heinous behavior, the fact is that so many of those who could benefit from state-of-the-art treatment do not receive it, for a variety of reasons. For example, some fear the implications of facing a condition that might limit the power of will to control thoughts, feelings or behaviors. Some are intimidated by the stigma of mental illness. Or, as with other medical conditions, financial limitations might make treatment difficult to obtain.
However, the possibility of preventing the rare violence that comes from mental illness starts with getting people in the door of treatment first. That can be the hardest part. I have spent 25 years as a psychiatrist brainstorming with people who consult me about how to get a loved one into treatment. It is close family and friends who are often in the best position to urge a troubled person to get professional help. Yet that opportunity is commonly missed. We can feel that it is impolite or insulting to approach this awkward topic. We are too easily put off or intimidated by the resistance and rejection we may encounter (e.g., "I'm not crazy!"). We give up far too easily.
Persuading a loved one to get needed treatment may take more than one approach. It might start with delicately and strategically discussing your own pain that the troubled person may be causing and your sense of helplessness in the face of his behavior or mood. This effort to persuade requires overcoming the fear of being rebuffed and bravely persisting in the message.
Many people have succeeded in creative ways, like the woman who asked her husband for a unique Christmas gift. She told him, "There is a gift I want that would be more precious to me than anything you could buy in a store: your seeing a psychiatrist — just one time — to talk about your depression. I only want to know if it's possible for you to feel better." It worked. He gave her the gift she wanted and was persuaded at that appointment to give treatment a try.
Serious conversations need to be pursued at the right time, a special time: not in a sudden, aggressive way; not when the troubled other is drinking; not at family gatherings when people want to appear at their best. If private and personal conversations are not fruitful, you might need to call on key allies for help, such as the person's primary care provider, clergy, coach or influential family members.
The problems may appear dire enough that it becomes necessary to push harder, using the power of your relationship. In counseling families about a troubled relative who has been refusing to get needed help, I have found that the greatest resource is often untapped: the power of family to steer, even to coerce, family members toward entering treatment. Sometimes the situation becomes more acute and dire. Perhaps the person is threatening suicide, or has said or written things that sound like he is contemplating violence, or she has behaved in overtly violent ways that seem to be caused by emotional illness of some sort. Then, systems to mobilize psychiatric evaluation on an involuntary basis are available. The police can explain the procedures if you call.
When you see someone in emotional trouble that goes beyond the ability of your attention and kindness to help, when you feel that more professional expertise is needed, do not remain silent. Do not avoid the subject, or let it go for fear that you might be meddling. Alone, or with the help of others, you need to say to him or her: "You need help."
Dr. Mark S. Komrad, a psychiatrist on the teaching faculty of Sheppard Pratt and Johns Hopkins hospitals, is the author of "You Need Help: A Step-by-Step Guide to Convince a Loved One to Get Counseling." Website: www.youneedhelpbook.com
Giving Tuesday, November 27, 2013
This year, on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore is part of a call to action and national movement that will change the calendar and help make history. We are celebrating a new day dedicated to giving ‐‐ when charities,
families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more will all come together to create GivingTuesday – a new movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the Holiday Season that we are proud to be part of.
GivingTuesday will create a national day of giving around the annual shopping and spending season ‐‐ giving’s “opening day”. We invite you to be part of this national celebration of our great tradition of generosity. GivingTuesday will show how Americans can do much more with our wallets than just consume.
Please help us participate by making a donation.http://www.razoo.com/story/Namibaltimore?referral_code=share
On Our Own of Maryland in association with SAMHSA's BRSS TACS is offering FREE PRESENTATIONS. (Updated 8/15/12)
Presentations about Health Care Reform are being made to any interested
organizations. The presentations are one hour in length and are for
consumers with mental health and substance use issues on Medicaid or
Medicare, the uninsured and the underinsured. Presentations are done by
peers specifically trained to educate others about Health Care Reform and
will be scheduled through mid-November. Presentations may be scheduled for
groups of 3 or more. If you would like to schedule a presentation, please
contact the HCR Project Director,
DENISE CAMP at:
410-646-0262 x25 (Phone) . 1-800-704-0262 (Toll Free)
NAMI National Executive Director, Mike Fitzpatrick, lends his thoughts on the Colorado tragedy and mental illness.
"The system is fragmented and grossly inadequate. The chasm between need and care is devastating for persons living with mental illness and their loved ones." http://networkedblogs.com/AuICN
Baltimore Police Officers Learn To Help Those With Mental Illness
Recently NAMI Metro Baltimore held a Behavioral Emergency Services Team training for Baltimore Police Officers. The training teaches new recruits exactly how to deal with people with mental illness. It is now required for all new recruits. http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2011/05/08/baltimore-police-officers-learn-to-help-those-with-mental-illness/
Baltimore City Circuit Court to launch mental health program
A Mental Health Case Management Docket will be added within Baltimore's Circuit Court with the help of grant money won by Baltimore Judge Gale Rasin. This program will be the first of its kind in the state. http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-md-ci-mental-health-circuit-court-20110412,0,4948643.story
NAMI Family Guide on Adolescent Depression Updated and Expanded
NAMI has updated and expanded its "What Families Need to Know About Adolescent Depression," which is a guide for families on diagnosis and treatment for teenagers with depression. The updated edition includes a summary of symptoms and treatment options, and information on suicide prevention, healthcare, and therapy. Click here for more information.
Mental Health Concerns Growing at Colleges
According to a survey done by the American College Health Association, mental health concerns are rising on college campuses as counselors struggle to accommodate growing numbers of students in need of psychological aid. Click here for more information.
NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore Partners with University of MarylandMedical System
NAMI Ambassadors will now have an opportunity to engage with family members in the waiting room in a Psychiatric Emergency Room and offer their own personal experiences, support, hope for recovery, and knowledge of resources in the Baltimore area thanks to a partnership between NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore and the University of Maryland Medical System.
If you are interested please contact Christine Merola at 410-435-2600.
NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore Partners with Reboot to Offer Reduced Refurbished Computers
Are you looking for a computer? NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore is partnering with Reboot, a small nonprofit that refurbishes computers while training East Baltimore residents on technology and computer repair to offer $99 Pentium 4 desktop computers. Computers are also available with a flat screen monitor at $149. Purchase a computer from Reboot and NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore receives 20% of the proceeds. For more information and to get this special offer print the Reboot flyer attached below.
Reboot Flyer (PDF File)