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Weekly Meetings

NAMI Connection is a weekly support group for people living with a diagnosed mental illness. Attendees learn from each others' experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding. Every Monday, 7 pm, Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano (Solano at Wofford) in the white Religious Education building.

Twice-Weekly Meetings

NAMI FAMILY SUPPORT is a peer-support group for friends, family members and caregivers of people with a diagnosed mental illness. 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, Peace Lutheran Church, Missouri and Walnut, Las Cruces. First meeting is Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

Monthly Meeting

3rd Tuesday, 6:30 pm, Peace Lutheran Church at Missouri & Locust

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NOTE! NAMI Connection has been rescheduled from Thursday to Monday nights beginning with the meeting on Monday, June 30. All meetings are at 7 pm. There will be no meeting on Thursday, June 26.

Schozophrenia’s Genetic Skyline is Rising!

New findings bring us a little closer to identifying the genetic markers for schizophrenia, which may make diagnosing and treating faster and easier. Read entire National Institute of Mental Health article here.

Mental health: New schizophrenia research offers hope

Probably no brain disorder has been as poorly understood and sensationalized than schizophrenia. First recognized by Dr. Emil Kraepelin in 1898, people suffering from schizophrenia have been said to have split personalities or schizophrenic mothers who caused it. They are portrayed as violent, dangerous people with a low I.Q., when just the opposite is often true. It has been widely understood by the scientific community that schizophrenia has a genetic predisposition to it, that people who have it are no more violent than the general population, and that often the person may be above average in intelligence. New technologies and understanding about the illness are currently in the forefront in treating schizophrenia. Read Pam’s entire article.

Pamela Field: County needs to come to terms with operation of Crisis Triage Center

I watched the last discussion of the Crisis Triage Center at the County Commission meeting on June 10, and I said, “It really is not worth it to go over this again.” This is political side-stepping at its finest. When the discussion of this center became front and center, when the building was built (now empty for two years), I heard a therapist say, “Hopefully this will expose the mental health needs of this county.” I believe it has, and this is why nothing has happened.  Read entire Sun News opinion.

Lessons From HIV/AIDS Treatment

What can we take away from the HIV/AIDS story for the treatment of mental illness? For mental disorders, we do not know the cause, we lack a biomarker that is 100 percent accurate for diagnosis, and there is no treatment equivalent to ART for HIV. The lesson from the HIV/AIDS care continuum, however, is that, even if we have all these advantages, there are no magic bullets. In the real world of care, whether the problem is HIV or psychosis, even a life-saving medication is of limited value if people don’t take it. Read the entire article.

NAMI Statement: The Santa Barbara Tragedy; What Can Communities and Families Do?

ARLINGTON, Va., May 27, 2014 – Mary Giliberti, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has issued the following statement about the May 23 tragedy in Santa Barbara:

“NAMI shares the sadness of other Americans over the Santa Barbara tragedy and extends our sympathy to the families of all who were killed or wounded. NAMI is an organization of individual and families affected by mental illness and we also recognize the pain experienced by the family of Elliot Rodger, who was responsible for the tragedy.

Clear facts in tragedies often emerge slowly. It is especially important not to speculate about diagnoses through the news media or rush to judgment about what went wrong. However, it does seem clear that Mr. Rodger received some mental health treatment and at least one welfare check by police.

When tragedies occur, it often is because something in the mental health care system went terribly wrong. It is important to closely examine each case and determine what contributed to the tragedy.  In this case, police officers served as first responders and were required to make determinations that should have been made by mental health professionals.  This is often the case in communities across the country, but no matter how compassionate or well trained police officers are, they are not mental health professionals.  It is not fair to place them in that role.

Families and communities want to know how to prevent future tragedies. Basic steps include:

  • Fill the gaps in our community mental health care systems. That includes the creation and promotion of crisis services and partnerships between mental health professionals and all first responders.
  • Improve communications between mental health professionals, individuals receiving care, and their families. Mental health privacy is important, but health care privacy laws should not stand in the way of coordinated information and action in a crisis.
  • Talk about it—within families as well as with teachers, clergy, students and community leaders. Encourage conversation about mental health, about what we are experiencing and what we can do to help. By doing so, we create and promote the space for open and honest dialogue that saves lives.”

Stunning USA Today article: “The cost of not caring: Nowhere to go tells the story of “the financial and human toll for neglecting the mentally ill” with personal narrative, video and graphics. Click here to learn more.

Mental Health Care Debate Continues —  Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in the course of week, mental health care has had a high profile in the nation’s capital, including legislative action.

10 Tips for Managing Mental Health in the Workplace – Work can play a vital role in recovery–it gives the day purpose.  As a volunteer or employee finishing a project, meeting new people, learning new skills and sharing ideas can give us a feeling of accomplishment. All of these things work to boost our self-esteem and motivate us to stay well and enjoy recovery. However, there will be difficult days and some jobs are stressful. Read this article to find some tips for making every day a good day.

NAMI Calls on Congress — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is calling for nationwide expansion of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) to reduce fatal events involving police and people living with mental illness. “CIT saves lives,” wrote NAMI Policy Director Ron Honberg and NAMI CIT Program Manager Laura Usher in testimony submitted to a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on April 29 on “Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans.”

A Misfortune Not a Crime — According to a new report, there are now 10 times more people with serious mental illness in state prisons and county jails than there are in state mental hospitals. How can this be acceptable care for people with mental illness? NIMH Director Dr. Insel discusses this issue.

NIH-funded Brain Atlas Offers Clues to Psychiatric Disorders

Most Individuals Receive Health Services a Year Before Suicide Death

NAMI Joins with Saddleback Church and Catholic Diocese to Bring Together Religious Leaders and Health Experts for Mental Health Education—Event Has National Significance

Dr. Carlos Zarate Carries the Torch toward FDA Approval of Rapid-Acting Antidepressant

Scalp EEG Test May Be Able to Predict Future Psychosis

Bipolar Disorder – a Complex Illness

Read an article in the March “Healthy U” magazine about bipolar disorder. The article was written by Pamela Field, a psychiatric nurse and dedicated NAMI-DAC supporter.

NAMI Celebrates Victory in Preserving Medicare Part D Access to Psychiatric Medications

“The Most Important Thing is Hope:” One Woman’s Story of Recovering from Bipolar Disorder

Hyperbole and a Half — Draws a Unique Picture of Depression, By Brendan McLean, NAMI Communications Manager

At first glance, Allie Brosh’s drawings look like nothing more than a collection of crudely drawn stick figures. But the true effort she puts forth into each drawing is astounding. For example, in a video from the New York Times, the 28-year-old blogger describes how her artwork comes to life, such as the difference moving the pupils half a millimeter can make. This attention to detail—and her humor—allows Brosh’s collection of drawings and text in her debut novel to become expressive depictions of her life experiences.

Brosh’s new book, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, and Other Things That Happened, chronicles many of her rocky days as a child, adventures with her dogs and thoughts on her traits and troubles. While the humorous anecdotes are what gave life to her blog, it was her posts on her experience with depression that often resonated most with her readers.

In October 2011, Brosh posted an online comic called “Adventures in Depression,” detailing the sadness, self-loathing and other thoughts that she experienced with the illness. She then went silent on her blog for a year and a half, before making another post this past May that depicted her downward spiral and thoughts of suicide.

“No, see, I don’t necessarily want to KILL myself …” the comic version of Brosh explains to her mother. “I just want to become dead somehow.”  Read rest of article here.

Going Somewhere Over the Rainbow to Learn about Bipolar Disorder

Taking Charge of ADHDDerek Thompson’s book offers a personal look into what it’s like to live with a mental illness.

Several of my friends and coworkers live with bipolar disorder and I thought that I was pretty knowledgeable about the condition. But after reading Derek Thompson’s book Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I’ve Lost My Damn Mind: A Manic’s Mood Chart, I gained an even deeper insight into what it means to live with the illness.

As opposed to being written in a chronological time sequence and instead organized by mood states, the book is actually a series of journal entries and revealing conversations between Thompson, who lives with bipolar disorder, and his therapist.

Through revealing and brutally honest entries, Thompson shares the rollercoaster of his condition through the lens of his mood states. Through this method, the reader is able to dive into the condition with him and gain insight into the experience. Sometimes this is unsettling, but it is always revealing. Read more