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How widespread is mental illness?

Mental illness results in more disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. In 2004, an estimated 25% of adult Americans reported having a mental illness within the previous year.

Scientists open the ‘black box’ of schizophrenia with dramatic genetic discovery  BREAKING NEWS!

Glenn Close talks about ending the stigma associated with mental illness

Medicaid to Cover New Treatment for First Episode Psychosis

A Major Victory for Mental Health Reform

Now accepting registrations for January 21, 2016,
Family to Family classes

Contact Family to Family instructor Lyn Pearson at

Tune In! The Mental Health Channel is Here

Violence and Guns

NAMI recognizes that when dangerous or violent acts are committed by persons with serious mental illnesses, it is too often the result of neglect or ineffective treatment. Mental health authorities must implement and sustain policies, practices and programs that provide access to early diagnosis, crisis intervention, appropriate treatment (including integrated treatment when there is co-occurring substance abuse) and support that saves lives. NAMI strongly advocates that people with mental illnesses not be stigmatized and subjected to discrimination by being labeled “criminal” or “violent.” There is very rarely correlation between mental illness and violent behavior and mental illness must not be confused with sociopathic behavior.

NAMI recognizes that epidemic gun violence is a public health crisis that extenuates risks of lethal harm by others, self-harm and harm to others for people with mental illnesses. Gun violence is overwhelmingly committed by people without mental illness. NAMI believes that firearms and ammunition should not be easier to obtain than mental health care. NAMI supports reasonable, effective, consistently and fairly applied firearms regulation and safety as well as widespread availability of mental health crisis intervention, assistance and appropriate treatment. In the absence of demonstrated risk, people should not be treated differently with respect to firearms regulation because of their lived experience with mental illness.

Excerpt from Public Policy Platform of NAMI The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Tenth Edition,
September 2014. Pg. 74

Changes Announced for Monitoring Clozapine to Improve Delivery of Treatment, Increase Access

By Ken Duckworth | Sep. 25, 2015

What makes clozapine a unique and effective antipsychotic? As I detailed in my recent Advocate piece, Clozapine is the only FDA-approved medicine for treatment resistant schizophrenia. It’s been found to be effective in treatment resistant schizophrenia and in reducing the risk of suicide in people who have schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia. I feel it is underutilized, and have seen many good outcomes on this medication. The one caveat of this medication is that it requires vigilance to monitoring of medical side effects.

A recent announcement by the FDA stated that beginning October 15 it will change the approach to monitoring clozapine. There are two key areas that are being changed, which both strike me as substantial improvements. The changes address a rare but serious side effect of clozapine, which is the reduction of a specific type of white cells called neutrophils. For those taking clozapine, having their blood drawn on a structured schedule monitors their neutrophil counts (the schedule is not changing as a result of these changes). Greatly reduced neutrophil counts can lead to risk of infection or death, which is why monitoring for this risk is incredibly important. This is especially true during the first six months of treatment when the risk is greatest.

– See more of this article at:

AIR (Anonymous. Inspiring. Relatable) is Here

AIR (Anonymous. Inspiring. Relatable) is the new NAMI app, a free, mobile-based social network designed for individuals living with mental health conditions and their family members/caregivers.

NAMI AIR is intended to provide another way for people to find and give support, to connect with others through smart phone and computer tablet.

AIR encourages users to anonymously share their stories and receive feedback in the form of social interactions such as “like,” “hug” and “me too.”

Also allows users to access information on how to get help, learn more about NAMI and connect with the NAMI HelpLine.

AIR facilitates personal connections with others who may be going through, or have been through, similar situations. Users are anonymous but not alone.

– See more at:

“A lot of times I feel I can’t talk to people about the way I’m feeling. NAMI AIR is like an anonymous Facebook…you can find support and home.”  Dylan

Dear NAMI Supporter,

Anyone who has wrestled with mental illness, or loves someone with mental health conditions, understands the isolation Dylan expresses. There are days you would give anything for a supportive shoulder or a reassuring hug.

But while millions of Americans have been touched by mental illness, fear often stands in the way of reaching out to others. Too many walk this difficult road alone.

Today, thanks to Philosophy, Inc., you have a special opportunity to provide help and comfort.

Philosophy, Inc., a major beauty company, has challenged us to match their gift of $75,000 by raising an additional $75,000 from supporters like you. If we meet this challenge, we will have a total of $150,000 to build a stigmafree movement to embrace support and awareness for mental health and help lift the painful stigma of mental illness.

Your tax-deductible gift helps provide support for millions of people affected by mental illness. Whether through our toll-free HelpLine, or our newly launched AIR (Anonymous, Inspiring, Relatable) app, or any of our other programs, people with no one else to turn to are looking to us.

Every dollar we raise means one less person facing tomorrow alone. Please, give generously.

P.S. — This special challenge from Philosophy, Inc. can’t be missed. Help us meet this challenge to raise $75,000 to erase the stigma of mental illness.


Prison is Not Treatment

“Imagine putting people in jail when they experience a heart attack. Imagine a family being told that a spouse, son or daughter has suddenly experienced a psychiatric crisis and as a result faces a prison term.”
-Mary Giliberti, Executive Director, NAMIAccording to the Human Rights Watch report, Callous and Cruel, “unnecessary, excessive, and even malicious force” is used in jails and prison to control inmates with mental illness. And the Vera Institute of Justice found as many as 2 million people are incarcerated each year with mental illness and more than 80% do not receive mental health treatment.

This is not an isolated issue. When mental health budgets are repeatedly cut and we trade incarceration for treatment, we bleed our economy, we deprive individuals of necessary care and we ignore the problem.

With your support, NAMI was able to participate in the #31Stories31Days project, which highlighted struggles and successes from all sides of the justice system, such as Crisis Intervention Teams trained to respond humanely to individuals in mental health crises, sheriffs who want to divert people from prisons to treatment and individuals making a difference by sharing their experiences.

NAMI is committed to ending these kinds of abuses. But we need your help. With your gift today, you can do your part to ensure that our prisons and jails don’t continue to be our largest mental health care centers.

Be inspired: 31 Stories, 31 Days

 New Mexico Mental Health Care

If you think the state’s service are adequate, watch this movie. If you think services are inadequate, watch this movie. Remember, many people who experience mental illness first exhibit problems in youth, just as they are entering their most productive years. Since many of these illnesses can be treated effectively enabling many people with those illness to lead happy and very productive lives with minimal support, why can’t New Mexico families find the resources they need to help their loved ones? We should ask why our government considers the mentally ill as a “throw-away” population.