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.

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.


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 askthedoctor@nami.org 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 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 info@namilansing.org.
Thanks for your work as an advocate for mental health. We forward to seeing you May 5.

NAMI’s Exec. Director Mary Giliberti Interview 12/14

December 13, 2014

NAMI let us know to watch C-Span on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 9 a.m. for a discussion of mental health reforms in the wake of the Newtown tragedy 2 years ago. Here is the announcement:

C-SPAN’s Washington Journal is scheduled to interview NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti by telephone on Sunday, Dec. 14 at approximately 9 a.m. ET

The topic is the 2nd anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy in Newtown, Conn. and NAMI’s report on State Mental Health Legislation 2014 that was released this week. The USA Today story about the report and a link to a full copy of it are below.

Post-Newtown momentum on mental health has slowed
USA Today 12/9/14

State Mental Health Legislation 2014
Full report

Bob Carolla, J.D.
Director of Media Relations
National Alliance on Mental Illness ( NAMI)
3803 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203

Partners in Crisis Free Conference

November 23, 2014

From Michigan Partners in Crisis, the annual conference will cover Assisted Outpatient Treatment and the Aramark prison food contract.  Please see details and registration (FREE!) details below:

Michigan Partners in Crisis Annual Conference

Friday, December 12, 2014
Michigan State University Kellogg Center
East Lansing

8:45 – Registration

9:15 to Noon – Presentations

*Welcome & Review of 2014 Partners in Crisis (PIC) Initiatives and Accomplishments

* Results of a 2014 Statewide Survey of Courts & CMHSPs on Assisted Outpatient Treatment (“Kevin’s Law”)

*The Aramark Food Service Situation in State Prisons (DOC and Michigan AFSCME Council 25 both invited to present)

Noon – Luncheon
Remarks from PIC co-founder Mark Reinstein, who is retiring from the Mental Health Association in January

To register (there is no cost), contact PIC Coordinator Greg Boyd at ghb1@acd.net or 517-802-8285.

Luncheon selections include chicken, fish or vegetarian. Please indicate your choice above or include in your email response. If you request vegan, we’ll ask the kitchen to adapt the vegetarian to your choice.

Call to Action is published monthly by MHAM. The primary mode of distributing the newsletter is electronic mail, but we will postal-mail copies to persons lacking Internet access. If you’ve come across this issue through a friend or colleague and wish to subscribe (there is no charge), kindly let us know. If at any point you wish to unsubscribe, simply contact our office.

Mental Health Association in Michigan
Mark Reinstein, Ph.D., President & CEO ~ Michael Reagan, Board Chair
New Address, Phone, Fax:
27655 Middlebelt, Ste. 170, Farmington Hills MI 48334~Phone: 248/473-3143~Fax: 248/473-3146
e-mail: mhamich@aol.com ~ web: www.mha-mi.com
A United Way-Supported Agency

NAMI Walks on Saturday, Sept. 27

September 25, 2014


National Day of Action Webinar Series

September 14, 2014

From NAMI—Webinar Opportunity Sept. 17

Topic: Following Up on NAMI’s National Day of Action

Date: September 17th, 2014
Time: 3 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time
NAMI’s final webinar in the series will follow up on our National Day of Action, provide guidance on how to continue to work with your Congressional members on the issues you presented and why your advocacy matters.

Speakers: Laura Usher, CIT Program Manager

Jessica Hart, State Advocacy Manager

Registration Instructions:
To register for the webinar you need to click on the link below or copy and paste the link in to your Internet Explorer browser:
Immediately after you complete the registration you will receive a confirmation from ecepla@nami.org. If you do not immediately receive a confirmation email please 1) double check to make sure you input your email address correctly when registering and/or 2) check you SPAM mail to see if it went there. If you still are unable to find it, please email me directly and I will send you the log-in information for the webinar.
You will also receive an automatic reminder from Live Meeting one day in advance of the webinar, just in case you misplace the original confirmation notice.
Follow the step-by step instructions sent to you from LiveMeeting to successfully join the webinar.
Step 1. Join the Live Meeting
Join the Live Meeting by placing your mouse cursor and clicking on Join the meeting in the body of the email reminder.
Step 2. Join the Audio Portion
You can hear the presentation by phone or computer:
Computer Audio
To use computer audio, you need speakers and/or a headset.
Phone Audio
Dial the (888) 858-6021 and enter your participant code from your reminder email followed by #
First Time Users: You must install Microsoft Office LiveMeeting on your Computer at least one day in advance of the meeting. Click here for more information.
MAC Users: Download internet browser called Safari at least one day in advance of the meeting and Microsoft Office LiveMeeting on your computer. Click here for more information.
Registration: You must register for the webinar in order to participate. Click here for more information on how to register.
Need Help with downloading LiveMeeting? Contact LiveMeeting Support at 877-283-7062 or http://www.conferencevisuals.net

Public Forum: Sentencing and Justice Reinvestment, Tuesday, July 1, Lansing

June 28, 2014

Are you dissatisfied with the legal system’s handling of people with mental illness?  This is an opportunity to be heard, on that or other concerns with the way our state funds are spent on prisons and criminal sentences.  As State Representative Joe Haveman puts it in an editorial column in the Lansing State Journal:

When I first came to the Legislature in 2009, I never imagined that changing our corrections system would be one of my foremost priorities as a state representative. I come from a very conservative community, and came to Lansing to work on the principles of limited government and restrained government spending. What I quickly learned is that reforming corrections is paramount to both of those goals.

While chairing the House Appropriations Committee, I have worked to ensure that every dollar of taxpayer money is well spent (or saved). That challenge is never more critical, or more challenging, than when we budget for our criminal justice system. Public safety is the central purpose of our government, and not a good area for shortcuts or half-measures.

Michigan spends one of every five general fund dollars on corrections, totaling a $2 billion budget. We need to ensure that we have adequate prison capacity for our needs, that only the necessary people are sent to prison and that they stay an appropriate amount of time. But 86 percent of felons go to probation or jail, and we need to be just as careful to ensure that what our corrections system ultimately does is correct criminal behavior.

Read House Appropriations Committee Chair Joe Haveman’s Lansing State Journal editorial “Michigan Must Rethink Corrections Spending” on the work of this commission to change the way our corrections money is spent.

Here is the report of the Council of State Government’s Justice Center report on Michigan’s sentencing policy.

Michigan Law Revision Commission/Council of State Governments Justice Center (MLRC-CSG)
Sentencing and Justice Reinvestment Public Forum

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

9:00 a.m.

Senate Hearing Room
Boji Tower Building – Ground Floor
124 W. Allegan
Lansing, MI


Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis: Proposed Federal Law

May 29, 2014

The Treatment Advocacy Center requests our help in supporting the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR3717).  Here is their announcement:

To improve the lives of individuals with untreated severe mental illness and families, please join us in supporting the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR3717).

Please send the following letter to your representative TODAY and urge him or her to support the

Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 3717)

Sample Letter:

Dear Congressman (insert last name),

Please support HR 3717 because it addresses the obstacles families face when trying to save loved ones from untreated serious mental illness. This bill will expand access to treatment for individuals who miss out on mental health services because they are too ill to seek them. It will lead to treatment before tragedy. 
We desperately need HR 3717 to help us appropriately care for our loved ones, who while in crisis, cannot care for themselves. It truly is a matter of life and death.

Thank you for your support!

Click here to find your Representative

Important Features of HR 3717:

  • Requires states to authorize assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) in order to receive Community Mental Health Service Block Grant funds.
  • Clarifies HIPAA to permit a “caregiver” to receive protected health information when a mental health care provider reasonably believes disclosure to the caregiver is necessary to protect the health, safety or welfare of the patient or the safety of another. (The definition of “caregiver” includes immediate family members.)
  • Establishes a new National Mental Health Policy Laboratory in the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Prevents federally funded Protection and Advocacy organizations from engaging in lobbying activities and counseling individuals on “refusing medical treatment or acting against wishes of a caregiver.”
  • Requires the US comptroller general to submit a report to Congress detailing the costs to the federal and state government of imprisoning people with severe mental illness.
  • Increases congressional oversight of SAMHSA programs and seeks improvements to the programs it supports.

A Video for Mental Health Month

May 5, 2014

Check out this video from Bring Change 2 Mind, Glenn Close’s foundation to end stigma related to mental illness:



Walk a Mile in My Shoes — Detailed Info on the May 14 Rally

April 30, 2014

Walk a Mile in My Shoes, the rally at the State Capitol, will be held Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

Here is the brief schedule.  The organizers suggest arriving early to get parked and pick up materials, or coming in the morning to call on your legislators.  The complete packet of information is available here:  Walk a Mile in My Shoes 2014

12:20 p.m.:  Line up for the advocacy walk around the Capitol

12:30 p.m.:  Advocacy Walk

1:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.:  Rally


Samba Advocacy

March 3, 2014

A Brazilian carnival block, a club that prepares music, dance, and costumes for the pre-lenten carnival celebration, unites professionals and persons with mental illness.  Preparing for and performing for carnival offers social integration, destigmatizes the illnesses, and provides outlets for dancers, singers, and performers at all levels.  Workshops are held throughout the year.  Read the article in the New York Times (“At Carnival, Where Challenging Normal Is the Norm” by Nadia Sussman and Taylor Barnes, March 2, 2014, ) and view the video about the club whose name translates roughly as “We’re Freaking Out, We Keep Freaking Out!”


Photo from New York Times, Daniel Barahulak Photo by Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

Notes from America’s Mental Health Madness: Issues and Answers

January 6, 2014

Summary of the Presentations and Discussion on November 20, 2013
Hannah Community Center, East Lansing


Mark Reinstein, PhD, CEO of the Mental Health Association in Michigan
Lois DeMott, President and Co-Foundation of Citizens for Prison Reform
Mark Phillips, Certified Peer Support Specialist, Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties

Here is a brief list of the Issues and Answers that were discussed, followed by notes from the presentations.


  • Insufficient funding.
  • Community Mental Health Authorities (CMHs) are not paid on a fee-for-service basis, but have a budget (primarily funding from Medicaid) that is allocated locally.
  • Lack of definition of “severity” in mental illness and developmental disability leads to variations in accessibility of treatment.
  • Shortage of psychiatrists.
  • Lack of external accountability for CMHs.
  • Access to medication.
  • Gaps in access to treatment for those who are not eligible for CMH but are too ill for private practices.
  • Waiting until people are very ill to provide access to treatment.


  • Additional health care providers.
  • Additional mental health courts.
  • Federal parity for mental health coverage in insurance plans.
  • Coordination between CMHs and criminal justice system.
  • Peer Support.
  • Holistic approach to the health of consumers.
  • Advocacy for changes to prison treatment to place limits on use of seclusion and loss of visits.
  • Improve prisoner re-entry.
  • Training of law enforcement and correctional staff to deal with mental illness.
  • Law changes to provide accountability for CMHs.
  • Improved funding.

Summary of Remarks

 Dr. Mark Reinstein

Why aren’t more people with mental illness served by CMH?

  • Not enough funding to meet the demand.
  • There are many variations in access between communities across the state.
  • The is little external accountability for the CMHs, who have the last word on who they choose to serve.

CMHs are required to spend at least 50% of their funding on priority clients.  This includes persons with serious mental illness, emotional disturbance, or developmental disability.  Emergency and urgent situations are defined in state law.  Priority clients also include persons with the most severe forms of serious mental illness, emotional disturbance, or developmental disability, however, this is not defined by the state.  Each CMH decides this locally.  As a result, services are uneven and unequal across the state.  Second opinions on eligibility are still done by CMH-selected providers.  Grievances are heard by CMH employees.  Only in the case of a Medicaid Fair Hearing is there an outside reviewer.

Mental health courts are expanding and may help divert more people from prison.  Senate Bill 558 would require that each county maintain an agreement between the CMH, prosecutor, sheriff and court to describe how they will keep persons with mental illness out of jail including serving those at risk of incarceration, providing services to persons in jail, and supporting those coming out of jail into the community.

Lois DeMott

Her son entered the adult prison system at age 15, after having been diagnosed with mental illness at the age of 11.  The local CMH advised calling the police as a way to secure resources, however, this was not the result.  After experiences in juvenile detention and then state prison, the family learned the challenges facing prisoners with mental illness and their families.  Letter writing campaigns have been successful in raising this issues and getting some results such as a new family resource guide on the Corrections website to explain the phone and banking systems for prisoners.  Citizens for Prison Reform is working to have all prisoners offered a Release of Information form at intake so family members can be informed if an inmate is hospitalized, for example.  Citizens for Prison Reform is bringing other issues to the Department of Corrections and the Legislature to address issues of training for correctional officers, use of punishments and restraints, and variations in policies among prisons.  They also are working on issues with prisoner re-entry, including access to medications.

Mark Phillips

Peer Support Specialists are people with lived experience with mental illness who now work in the mental health system.  Personally, he has had a variety of diagnoses over the years, but the diagnosis isn’t the main issue.  Peer supports also have experienced and come through severe disruptions such as hospitalizations and homelessness.  They are able to communicate with fellow consumers in a way that other providers can’t, and can help motivate changes that lead to recovery.  CMH has a variety of programs that consumers can ask for.  Peer Support Specialists receive training and offer programming, such as teaching the Mental Health First Aid classes.  People with severe mental illness on the average die 25 years earlier than the general public.  A holistic health approach is necessary to treat the whole person.


A Phrase to Renounce for 2014: ‘The Mentally Ill’

January 5, 2014

This article from WBUR, a Boston NPR station, has an interesting discussion of the language that is used in describing mental illness.  In the story, consumers and physicians discuss the impact of phrases such as “the mentally ill” in news articles and conversation.  This terminology tends to perpetuate the idea that persons with mental illness are separate and “other” than most people, and that one diagnosis can define a person.  The movement toward Person First language such as “persons with mental illness” is considered a step in the right direction, although some feel that it continues the idea that there is a split between mental and physical illnesses.  The Associated Press announced a move to using phrase such as “a person diagnosed with schizophrenia” instead of “schizophrenic”.

Michigan Lacks Mental Health Facilities

December 11, 2013

The Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT) in Ann Arbor has issued a report “Access to Mental Health Care in Michigan” which demonstrates the severe lack of mental health services in some part of the state and the statewide lack of hospital beds for persons with mental illness.  Michigan ranks 42nd in terms of hospital beds for mental illness per population.  This report looked at several key measures:  the prevalence of mental illness in Michigan, the impact of mental illness compared with other chronic illnesses, a survey of physicians on the adequacy of mental health services by region, and the availability of hospital beds compared with other states.

Read the Michigan Radio article here or view the report.

A Sister’s Call: Follow up on a great event

September 13, 2013

Panelists for A Sister’s Call

Panelists from A Sister's Call

Left to right:  Rebecca Stanley, Director; Margaret Keeler, NP and President of NAMI Lansing; and Jen Stanley, MD.

Nearly 100 people attended the showing of A Sister’s Call, the honest and moving film by Rebecca Schafer presented on September 11 by Community Mental Health in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act. The film follows Rebecca as she tries to assist her brother who has mental illness and who appears again after 20 years on the road.  The movie explores the impact of mental illness on family relationships.  It traces with openness and honesty the effect of mental illness in the family over several generations and reveals the different ways that it was handled over time, as the family could be increasingly open and direct in discussing and dealing with these difficult issues.

Attendees enjoyed pizza and then watched the film.  After the movie, Rebecca Schafer, the director of the autobiographical film, appeared on a panel with Jen Stanley, MD, and Margaret Keeler, Nurse Practitioner and President of NAMI Lansing.  The panelists responded to many questions from the audience.  The discussion was moderated by  Jim Geisen.

Mental Health Courts Works in Washington DC Area

August 18, 2013

The Washington Post today had a detailed article about he workings of the mental health court in Prince George’s county in the Washington, D.C. area.  The court aims to move defendants into treatment for mental illness instead of incarceration.  I highly recommend reading “Pr. George’s mental health court aims to treat, rather than jail, defendants” by Stephanie McCrummen, August 17, 2013.