2024 | NAMI

Mother of Former Miss USA turns pain into purpose

Posted on May 22, 2024


April Simpkins is the mother of the late Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst. Kryst battled persistent, depressive disorder for years and unfortunately died by suicide on January 30th, 2022 at the age of 30. The final chapter of (her new) book includes notes from April Simpkins. She details the pain she felt from the moment she realized her daughter was no longer with her but also how she is managing her grief and helping others to do the same. Simpkins is a national ambassador for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Health.


Watch CBS Mornings: Cheslie Kryst’s book debuts posthumously

Posted on April 22, 2024


Former Miss USA and Extra correspondent Cheslie Kryst shared her excitement about writing her first book, finishing the manuscript shortly before she died by suicide in 2022, at age 30. Her family says she battled severe depression for years. Now, her mother, April Simpkins, is honoring her daughter's wish by publishing her book. It's called "By the Time You Read This: The Space Between Cheslie's Smile and Mental Illness." April Simpkins joins us first on "CBS Mornings." For more information on Cheslie Kryst go to cheslieckrystfoundation.org


Suicide Is On The Rise For Young Americans, With No Clear Answers

Posted on April 11, 2024


In December 2021, the US surgeon general issued a rare public health advisory on the rising number of youth attempting suicide, singling out social media and the pandemic, which had "exacerbated the unprecedented stresses young people already faced". The Covid pandemic could be a contributing factor, says Dr Christine Crawford, a psychiatrist and associate medical director at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. "It caused this significant hit on our young people in terms of acquiring the social skills and tools that they need," she says. "They were at home, they were disconnected from their peers and from the elements that are so critical for healthy development in a young person."


Schizophrenia Stages: What to Know About Progression

Posted on January 5, 2024


For many people, a key point in the progression of schizophrenia is known as the first episode of psychosis and tends to occur between ages 16 and 30. While the episode may trigger medical intervention and a psychiatric evaluation, an early-in-life psychotic episode does not always merit a diagnosis on its own, according to Christine Crawford, MD, MPH, NAMI associate medical director. “Prodromal symptoms can occur way before a person starts to develop the typical (active stage) symptoms that we tend to talk about when it comes to schizophrenia,” says Dr. Crawford. During this period, people tend to experience what are referred to as “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia. They become more withdrawn socially, wanting to spend more time alone, or they are unmotivated to do things that they typically enjoy, says Dr. Crawford. They may tend to be less vocal or not speak as much, or not express emotions in the same way as they typically would, or they seem more emotionally flat, she says.


How to Find a Great Therapist You Can Actually Afford

Posted on January 3, 2024


It shouldn’t have to be so hard, but there are things you can do to make it a little easier. Explore your insurer’s directory of in-network therapists first, then browse online databases. You can check your insurance company’s online directory to start or call them directly to ask for a list of in-network therapists in your area. “Tell them exactly what you need,” Ken Duckworth, MD, NAMI CMO, tells SELF. “You’re paying them, and [helping you find a provider] is part of their obligation.” Some providers operate on a sliding scale with some of their clients. This means that the amount they charge varies based on factors like a person’s income, Dr. Duckworth explains, although how much of a discount they offer is totally up to them. So, if you’re drawn to someone you believe is an especially good choice for you, but they’re not covered by your insurance, this may be an option.


Proposal expands Medicaid coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment

Posted on January 3, 2024


As cities from coast-to-coast grapple with addiction and homelessness, there is now a push in Congress to expand access to mental health treatment for low-income people. “We hear from families everyday who have a loved one who’s in a mental health crisis and there’s no bed available,” said Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI CAO. “There’s no place for them to get in-patient care.” That’s in large part because of a 1965 law that banned federal money from paying for mental health treatment in a hospital with more than 16 beds. “If somebody is in crisis, they go to an ER. There’s no bed available. Often, they’re discharged back on to the street. How is that helping the person and how is that improving the community?” said Wesolowski. Last month, the House overwhelmingly passed a measure to change the nearly 60-year-old rule. A similar measure is being considered in the Senate. “It’s the only piece of Medicaid law that restricts the type of care based on a person’s illness,” said Wesolowski


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text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).