NAMI Lansing 2016 Results

February 21, 2017

Crisis Intervention Team Training

Crisis Intervention Team Training was offered to 41 officers from the Tri-county Area.

NAMI Lansing participated with the Lansing Police Department, Community Mental Health, and other partners in the CIT Steering Committee and provided volunteers and other support for the Lansing area’s first ever Crisis Intervention Training. A second training is scheduled for April 2017.

NAMI Lansing Offered the Following Programs in 2016:

  • NAMI Family-to-Family
  • NAMI Peer-to-Peer
  • NAMI Basics
  • Family Support Group – Met twice each month
  • NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group – Met weekly
  • In Our Own Voice presented to many groups around the area including nursing students, church groups, and the Crisis Intervention Training for local police officers.
  • Parents and Teachers As Allies

New Programs Ready to Launch in 2017

Volunteers are trained and ready to go for:

  • Ending the Silence – a mental illness awareness and suicide prevention program for schools
  • NAMI Homefront – A class for families of veterans or active duty service members with mental health issues.

Special Events 2016

  • Co-sponsored showing of “Thank You for Your Service”, a movie about the experiences of veterans.
  • Mental Health Update – An evening of advocacy updates on national, state and local issues.
  • NAMI Walks 2016 in Grand Rapids
  • Winter party with Jeff the Magician
  • Annual Meeting, Picnic and Potluck in Okemos
  • Seminar on how to navigate private insurance for mental illness.

Community Networking and Advocacy

NAMI Lansing was represented at:

  • Sparrow mental health services mapping.
  • Statewide steering committee for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers proposal development.
  • Ingham County Mental health court
  • Clinton-Eaton-Ingham Community Mental Health Authority board meetings and Access Committee meetings.
  • Crisis Intervention Team Training Steering Committing

The Sun Behind the Clouds

March 25, 2016

The Sun Behind the Clouds: a percussion recital that is taking a look into real stories of mental illness through music.

Saturday, April 9th at 2pm

Cook Recital Hall in the College of Music Building

Completely free to anyone!

Come to hear great music together with many voices to show the reality of mental illness-its hardships, healing and hope. There will be new compositions and poetry read by Liz Karney, and a wide variety other music for percussion. Support mental illness and enjoy wonderful music at this event!

The Silent Epidemic

January 24, 2016

The Silent Epidemic: A Conference on Suicide

Information. Intervention. Hope.

Link to conference information

April 7-9, 2016, Plymouth, Michigan

There is fee to attend. They have an impressive schedule of speakers.

View more information at or call 313-236-7109.

Help Sort Out the Genetics of Schizophrenia and Related Disorders

December 13, 2015

The Boston VA is looking for families to help study the genetics of schizophrenia and related disorders. They reached out to NAMI to try to find qualified participants:

We are searching for families with a history of schizophrenia and related disorders, that is, at least three (3) members of the extended family must have each been diagnosed with one of the following:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder
  • Bipolar disorder with psychotic features

Family members can come from multiple generations, including siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.  They must live in the U.S., be over 18 years old and be willing to participate in the study.  While our research team is based at the VA Medical Center in Brockton, Massachusetts, family members do not have to be veterans and they can be located anywhere in the continental U.S. 

The study itself is very simple: it consists of a clinical interview and donating a blood sample, which our research assistant conducts right in the family member’s home.  Once completed, each participant receives a check for $130.00.

You’ll find attached a descriptive handout and a flyer for posting on bulletin boards. I’m hoping that you’ll be willing to distribute and post these flyers so that both consumers and family members can learn about this important study. You can also read about the study online by visiting Center Watch (click here).

Your help is very much needed and greatly appreciated. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss further.

Best regards,

Paul Nelson, M.Ed.
Clinical Research Coordinator
VA Boston Healthcare System
940 Belmont St.
Brockton, MA 02301
845-981-9514 Info Hotline


MSU Study of Caregivers

December 13, 2015

Here is another research opportunity from MSU:

My name is Samantha Lewis, MSW. I am a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Detroit Mercy.

I am inviting you to participate in a research study that I am conducting as part of a required research capstone project. The primary goal of this study is to better understand the experiences of parents that have an adult child with a serious mental illness. This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Detroit Mercy (1415-60).

Participation in this study involves completing an online survey at your convenience. The survey takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. All responses will be kept confidential and de-identified so that your responses are not linked to you in any way. All participants will be entered in a raffle for an opportunity to win one of two $50 Meijer or Visa gift cards as a token of my appreciation.

In order to participate, you must be:

  •  At least 18 years of age or older
  •   Have an adult child (that is 18 years of age or older), adopted child, or stepchild that has been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, or Major Depressive Disorder.
  •   Be married to your current partner or spouse OR be in a relationship with your current partner or spouse for a minimum of five (5) years.
  •   Have a spouse/partner that is also willing to participate in this study by completing this survey

Please contact Samantha Lewis at if you are interested in participating and a link to the online survey will be sent to you.

MSU Study: Sense of Community for Persons with Psychiatric Disability

December 13, 2015

The MSU Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies is looking for participants for a study about sense of community for person with psychiatric disabilities. The information below is from the research announcement.

What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship among disability-related, personal and environmental factors in predicting sense of community for individuals with psychiatric disabilities using the strength-based holistic framework.

Who are we?

We are researchers from the Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies at Michigan State University. This research project is directed by Boyang Tong, MA and Connie Sung, PhD.


Am I eligible to participate in this study?

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are an individual:

  • who are aged 18 or older;
  • who had been diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities/severe mental illness such as major depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia; and
  • have a 6th grade or above reading level.


How can I participate in this study?

You can participate by completing an online/ hard-copy survey comprising several psychosocial questionnaires, which will take about 35-40 minutes. Upon completion of the survey, you will receive a $10 gift card within three weeks. Please use the link to complete the survey:


If you are interested in taking the hard copy format, please contact Boyang Tong


Who will be benefit from my participation?

Your participation will generate useful data to help rehabilitation professionals and researchers gain a comprehensive understanding of the predictors of sense of community so as to provide more effective intervention services for people with psychiatric disabilities. Thus, your support and assistance are extremely important for promoting sense of community for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.


If I have questions, whom should I contact?

If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to contact Boyang Tong at



Thank you very much for your participation!!!

October 27, 2015

Jeffrey Loeb, producer of A Light Beneath Their Feet, contacted NAMI Lansing about the film which will show on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 4 PM at the East Lansing Film Festival, Wells Hall Theater C, MSU Campus. Tickets at $5 at the door. Mr. Loeb’s message and description of the film is below:


I would like to suggest an event in which I believe NAMI Lansing and the community will be very interested to attend.  I have produced a feature film titled A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET revolving around a family dealing with bipolar disorder that will be screening at the East Lansing Film Festival in November.  Copied below is more detailed information about the film:


A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET stars 2015 SAG Award-winning actress Taryn Manning (Orange Is the New Black) as a young mother with bipolar disorder struggling with the looming departure of her daughter, the one force of stability in her life.  Seventeen-year old Madison Davenport (Noah, From Dusk Till Dawn, and who next plays Tina Fey’s daughter in the upcoming Sisters), gives a breakout performance as a daughter struggling with the decision whether to stay local for college where she can remain the stable rock in her mother’s life, or to detach and go to her dream college across country.  Kurt Fuller, Nora Dunn, Kali Hawk, Maddie Hasson, and Carter Jenkins give standout supporting performances.

Authentic Portrayal of Bipolar Disorder

So often in films the portrayal of mentally ill characters are overblown and played to be sensational.  That is not what we wanted from our film; it was imperative that Taryn Manning’s performance as Gloria be subtle, nuanced, and most important — authentic.  To ensure authenticity, we sought advice from psychiatric experts as well as from those living with bipolar disorder.  We studied memoirs written by authors living with bipolar disorder to get a better understanding of how the condition not only affects a person’s inner thoughts, but also how it manifests in her physicality.  Linea and Cinda Johnson, authors of Perfect Chaos, an extremely personal and detailed account of Linea’s struggle to survive bipolar disorder and her mother’s attempt to save her, were particularly gracious to speak with director Valerie Weiss and Taryn Manning and provide additional insights into specific thoughts and behaviors Linea experiences living with bipolar disorder and those leading up to her suicide attempts.

Upon watching A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET, Cinda and Linea said:

“We sat together for a long time after watching the film finding our thoughts, our words and drying our eyes.  The acting was so, so good . . . Vulnerable, open, honest, wonderful.  It wasn’t the illness alone but the illness was woven into the love and fear of a young single mom.  It opened up experiences, memories, and old pain that we had all experienced . . . and deepened our own understanding.”

— Cinda Johnson, co-author of Perfect Chaos, the mother in a memoir about a mother and daughter dealing with the daughter’s bipolar disorder

“The movie was so beautiful.  I just wanted to tell you about our viewing experience from the perspective of someone who has been there.  I do have to admit that at times it was a little difficult for me to watch because it was so accurate.  I saw for the first time what my mania looked like from the outside and it was intense and real and painful and glorious. . . . It was deeply touching to know that you really took into account real lives to make this film.  I feel that your love and honoring of all those struggling really shows through, and at no point, like so many other movies, did I feel like you were using mental illness to exploit its irresistible strangeness and scariness. . . . Thank you for all your hard work and please tell Taryn that she was amazing and so spot on.  At no point did I ever question her acting or behavior.  It was so natural and accurate.  I really felt as though I was watching myself.”

— Linea Johnson, co-author of Perfect Chaos, the daughter in a memoir about a mother and daughter dealing with the daughter’s bipolar disorder

Linea’s quote touches on another one of the film’s goals.  We hope that A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET will help facilitate discussion and help alleviate the stigma associated with mental illness.  We focused on character dialogue and action to ensure that the film was a step forward in the conversation, and not in any manner exploitive.  In acknowledgement of achieving this goal, Glenn Close’s organization dedicated to the elimination of the stigma surrounding mental illness, Bring Change 2 Mind (, is endorsing A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET because of its truly authentic portrayal of a family dealing with bipolar disorder.  Bring Change 2 Mind is partnering with the film to promote it upon release, and to tap its national network of experts and advocates to attend panels and Q&A discussions at select film festivals and special screenings.  Bring Change 2 Mind’s executive director, Pamela Harrington, said:

“[This film] is really beautiful and most endearing.  It was heart wrenching and beautiful in its authenticity, all without producing stigma against mental illness in the portrayal or the film.”

— Pamela Harrington, Executive Director of Bring Change 2 Mind, Glenn Close’s organization founded to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness

The film will screen at Wells Hall Theater C on the Michigan State University campus on Saturday, November 7, 4:00pm
People can purchase tickets in person at the festival box office.
Also, here are links to our social media sites:
We would love to see you there, and would greatly appreciate if you could pass the word along to anyone and everyone you believe would appreciate seeing the film.

Send Silence Packing

October 3, 2015

MSU Active Minds had a moving exhibit of 1,100 backpacks representing the 1,100 college students who die from suicide each year. Active Minds reminds us that seeking help shows strength.







We’re in the Lansing State Journal!

September 8, 2015

NAMI Lansing was featured in the Lansing State Journal’s Nonprofit Spotlight on Sunday, September 6, 2015! Here is scan of the article. I will update with a link when it is available.

Filling the Gap – States address mental health issues

August 17, 2015

Some states are increasing funding for mental health services due to the desperate need in many areas. State Legislatures January 2015 issue summarizes some of the effective programs being funded around the country.  Read the article “Filling the Gap” by Suzanne Weiss.  Here are some examples from the article:

  • Additional funding in Texas of $250 million over two years only brought the funding back to the 1999 level.
  • Colorado use $18.5 million to start a statewide mental health crisis hotline and established 5 mental health crisis centers.
  • Oregon added $67 million in 2013 to expand residential psychiatric treatment and juvenile mentla health services.
  • Texas requires K-12 teachers and staff to be trained to recognize mental health issues in students.
  • Several states funded suicide prevention programs.

Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: An In-Depth Report

August 15, 2015

The British Psychological Society, Division of Clinical Psychology issued a ground-breaking report:  “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia.” The quotes below are from news coverage in Science Daily.

“The report is entitled ‘Understanding psychosis and schizophrenia: why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange, or appear out of touch with reality, and what can help’. It has been written by a group of eminent clinical psychologists drawn from eight UK universities and the UK National Health Service, together with people who have themselves experienced psychosis. It provides an accessible overview of the current state of knowledge, and its conclusions have profound implications both for the way we understand ‘mental illness’ and for the future of mental health services.”


  • “The problems we think of as ‘psychosis’ — hearing voices, believing things that others find strange, or appearing out of touch with reality — can be understood in the same way as other psychological problems such as anxiety or shyness.
  • They are often a reaction to trauma or adversity of some kind which impacts on the way we experience and interpret the world.
  • They rarely lead to violence.
  • No-one can tell for sure what has caused a particular person’s problems. The only way is to sit down with them and try and work it out.
  • Services should not insist that people see themselves as ill. Some prefer to think of their problems as, for example, an aspect of their personality which sometimes gets them into trouble but which they would not want to be without.
  • We need to invest much more in prevention by attending to inequality and child maltreatment.”

Crisis Intervention Teams

August 4, 2015
It will be exciting to hear Sam Cochran speak on Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) here on October 7 and on Verbal De-escalation on October 8 during Mental Illness Awareness Week 2015. Details will be available soon. For now, consider that:
“At its core, CIT is a model of collaboration to improve how police, mental health services,
and communities respond to mental health crisis. The model brings stakeholders together to
advocate for the implementation of CIT, develop a program tailored to the community,
implement the training and supporting interagency agreements, and provide ongoing
collaboration.” from “The Crisis Intervention Team Model of Police Response to Mental Health Crises: A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners” by Amy C. Watson, PhD and

Anjali J. Fulambarker, MSW. Read the full article at this link to this excellent article on Crisis Intervention Teams.
miaw-logo 2015

“Denied”: 60 Minutes Story on Insurance for Mental Illness

August 1, 2015

Check out CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday, August 2, 2015 at 7 PM Eastern Time to see coverage of insurance problems in obtaining treatment for mental illness.


Family-to-Family Starts September 10, 2015

August 1, 2015



Family-to-Family, the most well-known of NAMI’s signature programs, will meet on Thursday nights, 6;30 to 9 PM, September 10 to November 19, 2015. The class will meet on the McLaren Campus in Lansing.

The class is taught by trained teachers who themselves have a loved one with mental illness. Learning about mental illness symptoms, coping skills, and communication methods can be very helpful, as is meeting others whose families have been affected by mental illness.

Mental illness is a brain disorder. Help is available and recovery is possible.

Register now for this FREE class by calling 517-484-3404 or emailing or submitting the Family-to-Family Registration Form.

For more information, read the Family-to-Family flyer, or give us a call at 484-3404.


NAMI Adult Ask the Doctor Call June 26th

June 12, 2015

From NAMI:

Adult Ask the Doctor Call

Save the Date: June 26th, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Topic: Strong Advocacy Effort Needed to Help Smokers with Mental Illness

Speaker: Dr. Jill Williams

Please submit questions for our speakers to and include “Adult Ask the Doctor Question” in the subject line. We will select a few questions to feature on the call before opening the lines to questions from the callers.

Friday adult conference calls with Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI’s medical director and a child and adolescent psychiatrist, take place on the fourth Friday of every month. The calls are toll free and are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. E.T. To access the toll-free call, please dial 1-888-858-6021; access number 309918#.

NAMI Ask the Doctor Call June 19th: Black Box Warning Labels

June 10, 2015

FROM NAMI:  Children’s Ask the Doctor Call

Save the Date: June 19th, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Topic: Black Box Warning Labels

Speakers: Dr. Eugene Beresin & Dr. Steven Schlozman

Please submit questions for our speakers to and include “Children’s Ask the Doctor Question” in the subject line. We will select a few questions to feature on the call before opening the lines to questions from the callers.

Friday children’s conference calls with Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI’s medical director and a child and adolescent psychiatrist, take place on the third Friday of every month. The calls are toll free and are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. E.T. To access the toll-free call, please dial 1-888-858-6021; access number 309918#.

NAMI Ask the Doctor Call May 22, 2015

May 17, 2015

Adult Ask the Doctor Call

Save the Date: May 22nd, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Please join NAMI’s Dr. Ken Duckworth in an interactive discussion on the results, described in the following article, of a special initiative in California to provide prevention and early intervention programs to improve the mental health of residents. This was evaluated by the 2014 California Well-Being Survey, which tracks mental illness stigma and discrimination, well-being and exposure to prevention and early intervention activities among Californians experiencing mental health conditions. Read more about it:

Stigma, Discrimination, and Well-Being Among California Adults Experience Mental Health Challenges

Please submit questions for our speaker to and include “Adult Ask the Doctor Question” in the subject line. We will select a few questions to feature on the call before opening the lines to questions from the callers.

Friday adult conference calls with Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI’s medical director and a child and adolescent psychiatrist, take place on the fourth Friday of every month. The calls are toll free and are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. E.T. To access the toll-free call, please dial 1-888-858-6021; access number 309918#.

Please note, there will be no Children’s Ask the Doctor call this month.

NAMI Smart Advocacy Training

April 14, 2015

NAMI Smarts for Advocacy – Prepare to the Walk-a-Mile in My Shoes Advocacy Event at the Michigan Capitol

May 5, 2015 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Ingham County Human Services Building
5303 S Cedar, Enter Door #3
Lansing, MI 48910
Have you ever  thought of yourself as an advocate? Do you want to learn the basics of advocacy for mental health policies and practices?
Grassroots advocacy is simple; you don’t have to know about policies or politics. It’s about using your voice to influence policy makers and making a difference.
Make your voice heard. NAMI Smarts for Advocacy will enhance your advocacy skills and help you shape a powerful and personal story that will move policy
Whether you are new to advocacy or have years of experience you will leave the training with messages,step-by-step tools and the practice you need to feel informed, confident and ready to make a difference.
You will learn advocacy from the first of three modules called Telling Your Story. (Save the date for the full 3-session Smarts Training which will occur the day before the NAMI Michigan Conference, May 13).
Dinner and refreshment will be provided. RSVP 517-484-3404 or
Thanks for your work as an advocate for mental health. We forward to seeing you May 5.

March 24, 2015


A New NAMI Signature Program
Starts March 30!

Do you live with a mental illness?

Peer-to-Peer Is a Mental Health Education Course.

It is for you if you are ready to take any of these steps:
— Understand more about your illness.
— Discover new coping strategies.
— Reduce stigma.
— Gain knowledge that will empower you.
— Connect with others who share your experience.

The FREE class meets 2 hours each week for 10 weeks.

Led by trained NAMI peer mentors who also live with mental illness, Peer-to-Peer is a supportive, safe, and confidential environment to learn about diagnosis, coping skills, relapse prevention, and more.

Next NAMI Lansing Peer-to-Peer class begins:

Monday, March 30, 2015
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. REVISED TIME! (food provided)
Meets at Sparrow Behavioral Health – St. Lawrence Campus

Registration is required and space is limited so please call NAMI Lansing for details:

(517) 484-3404 or email us at

View the Peer-to-Peer flyer!

Free Concert March 20 Featuring Artistic Interpretations of Schizoaffective Disorder

March 17, 2015

Special Event: A Free Concert

Travis Scott, Euphonium/Tuba
Friday, March 20, 2015  at 8:00 p.m.
Cook Recital Hall, Music Building
MSU School of Music
333 W. Circle Dr, East Lansing

Featuring Art by Meggie Rahm

Meggie Rahm, an artist and a volunteer from NAMI Toledo, will be visiting Lansing for this special, free recital, that will include music performed by MSU graduate student Travis Scott against a backdrop of Meggie’s original artwork that depicts aspects of  mental illness. Meggie has shared her story with us and the program notes below. Thank you Meggie Rahm and Travis Scott for this invitation!


Program Notes Courtesy of Meggie Rahm:

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder about 10 years ago, and many of my
drawings and paintings have been influenced by my struggle with this illness.
Having schizoaffective disorder is actually like having two illnesses; it is the
combination of symptoms of schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder.  My
main symptoms are mania, depression, and visual and auditory hallucinations.

When I was younger I had my heart set on being a musician one day, and when I
first went to college I was a music major. However, a few years down the road when
I reached out for help with my mental illness, things changed. I was in a residential
treatment facility and found myself using their art supplies to pass time. I tried to
see how many different ways I could draw or paint a flower, and then I hung up my
flowers in my room at the facility. The staff nicknamed my room the “botanical
garden”. Soon my art took on a deeper meaning for me. The staff encouraged
patients to keep journals, but I decided to keep a sketchbook instead. I used my
drawings to document everything I was experiencing. During my stay at the facility I
discovered what a powerful tool art could be in my recovery. I found it especially
helpful to draw my hallucinations. It was my way to show what was going on when
it was sometimes hard to put into words.

In the past ten years since I have been at the facility, I have created many works and
have participated in solo and group exhibitions across North America. In 2014, I
finished my degree in commercial art. I still occasionally have symptoms of
schizoaffective disorder, but with the help of a great doctor, the right medications,
and a loving and supportive family, I live a pretty normal life. I have been married to
Jason for just over 5 years now and have been working full time for several years as

Here are a couple descriptions of some of the pieces in the recital slide show:

Slide 2 is called “Brainstorm”. This piece is about being manic where your head just
won’t shut up and it’s extremely difficult to sleep.

Slide 4 is called “Don’t Let Me Sleep”. I often call my hallucinations “ghosts”. This
piece is about not wanting to go to sleep because I’m not sure what the ghosts are
going to do when I finally drift off.

Slide 29 is called “All Eyes On Me”. It is another piece about the ghosts. I wanted to
show what it’s like to always be watched by them.

Slide 33 is called “Silence is Paralyzing”. This piece is about what it is like to see
ghosts and not want to talk about them. I’m afraid they will hear me sometimes and
make things even worse.