The Vermont Advocate by dfgh4bnmu


									A quarterly newsletter
                              The Vermont Advocate
for members & friends
  of NAMI-Vermont             V O L U M E   1 9 ,   I S S U E   1                            F A L L   2 0 1 0

                                            Science Sees Corner!
                              It’s Right Around the Brain as Able to Adapt
  OPPORTUNITY!                       The 27th Annual
    December 3-5
    in Montpelier
                                    NAMI-VT Conference
                                     Join us on Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th at the
 Teacher & Support
 Groups Facilitator           Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier, VT for the 2010 NAMI-Vermont
     Trainings                Annual Conference! This will be a great opportunity to learn, share
                              experiences, network, and laugh. Learn about new treatment programs
 See page 10 for more
     information!             and studies that are taking place here in Vermont and across the country,
                              and visit exhibits created by providers and other partners in mental health
                              care. Workshops will be offered to providers of mental health services,
                              consumers, family members, and others who would like to educate
Letter From the       2                                                            (continued on page 6)

Welcome New Staff!    3                                                               On a bright fall day
NAMIWalk 2010-        4
                              NAMIWalk 2010:                                  on September 11th, more
                                                                              than 350 NAMI-VT mem-
With Photos!
                      6       A Record Success!                               bers and supporters arrived
                                                                              in Burlington’s Waterfront
                                                                              Park for Vermont’s fourth
Seclusion and         7                                                       annual NAMIWalks for
                                                                              the Mind of America. We
Member                7
                                                                              gathered to enjoy live
                                                                              music, speeches, and the
                      8                                                       warmth of the NAMI
Treatment Advocacy
Center Presentation                                                           community before setting
                                                                              out on our 5K WALK
NAMI-VT               9
                                                                              beside the lake. Together,
                                                                              we were visible and made
Training                                                                      our cause known.
Opportunities                                                                 2010 has proven to be a
Support Group         10-11                                                   record-breaking year for
Schedules                                                                     the WALK. We exceeded
                                                                                    (continued on page 5)
              P AG E     2

                                                     A Letter from the President
  NAMI-Vermont is a nonprofit                                    By Connie Stabler
  membership organization that
    offers education, support,
  information and advocacy for
 persons with mental illness and             I’m beginning to believe that it’s become a myth that “things slow
           their families.          down” in the summer in Vermont. NAMI-VT has certainly continued to be
                                    busy this past summer, most notably with our preparations for our September
Board of Directors
Blaine Cliver, Brandon              11th WALK. I want to thank everyone who participated this year for what
Mary Cliver, Brandon                became our most successful Walk yet! Not only did we top our $50,000 goal,
Joanna Cole, Burlington             we had a record number of teams, walkers and sponsors and this means that we
Eileen Curtis, Charlotte
Ann Moore, So. Burlington           reached a record number of people with our message of hope and recovery. We
Cathy Rickerby, Middlebury          are looking forward to building on our success next year and I hope that you
Thomas Simpatico, So. Burlington    will join us in our efforts.
Connie Stabler, So. Burlington
Ellen Vaut, So. Burlington                   I was also fortunate to attend the NAMI National conference in
Emeritus                            Washington DC at the beginning of July where I spent four days learning and
Clare Munat, Londonderry            networking with other NAMI State Presidents and members. Along with our
Staff                               Executive Director and three other NAMI members, we spent a day on Capitol
Katina Cummings,
       Executive Director
                                    Hill meeting with our Congressional delegation and their staff to share our
Linda Anderson,                     stories and our concerns about a number of issues before Congress. We also
       Office Manager               learned more about one of NAMI-Vermont’s next tasks which is to work
Jillian Brelsford,
       Membership Coordinator
                                    toward compliance with the new NAMI “Standards of Excellence.” NAMI
Tammy McKenzie,                     National has spent the last three years working on a way to strengthen the
       Director of Programs         NAMI movement so that it becomes a “household name” and a recognized and
                                    influential force in our communities. It was motivated by NAMI’s desire to
          Newsletter                continue to be the most powerful and effective voice for people with mental
    The Vermont Advocate is a       illness and their families in the United States. In addition, current and
     quarterly newsletter for
members, donors and friends of      imminent legal requirements also demand that we do so. This process resulted
     NAMI-Vermont. Your             in a set of standards that define mutually agreed upon practices and require-
   submissions are welcome!         ments for what it takes to be a NAMI organization.
  Information published in this
 newsletter is not copyrighted,              The NAMI-Vermont Board will begin its work soon on a strategic plan
    and may be duplicated or        and these standards will help us focus our efforts on our mission and challenge
republished if credit is given to   us to develop the policies and practices we need to meet the new standards of
           NAMI - VT.
                                    excellence. We are looking forward to this challenge that will help us improve
      NAMI-Vermont                  and strengthen our organizational operations and to strive toward providing
     162 South Main Street          higher quality services to our communities. We will be reaching out to our
     Waterbury, VT 05676            members and partners for input as we put together our strategic plan.
     (802) 244-1396 Office                   I hope to see you all at our NAMI-Vermont
   (800) 639-6480 Toll-Free         Annual Meeting and conference on November 5th
       (802) 244-1405 Fax           and 6th at the Capital Plaza in Montpelier.
                                    Connie Stabler
 E-mail for general inquiries:      NAMI-VT Board President
V OLUME   18,   ISSUE    1                                                                        P AG E   3

                                  NAMI-Vermont News

                                      Welcome to Our New Staff!
                                      Tammy McKenzie is not a stranger to mental illness.
                                      She developed an interest in the mental health field through
                                      helping her late brother navigate through the mental health
                                      system, and learned of NAMI through seeking resources for
                                      him. Tammy comes to us from Bi-State Primary Care
                                      Association where she served as Recruitment and Retention
                                      Coordinator since 2005. She was the primary contact for
                                      health care organizations with recruitment and retention needs
                                      and assisted in the development and implementation of strate-
                                      gies for improving the climate for the practice of primary care
                                      medicine in the state. Additionally, she chaired the Primary
             Tammy McKenzie           Care Workforce Committee to address the primary care short-
            Director of Programs      age in Vermont and coordinated a National Health Service
                                      Corps program to improve health care access to rural and un-
  derserved populations in Vermont. She holds a B.S. in Human Services from Springfield College
  and is a former board member and volunteer for Southern Dela-
  ware Therapeutic and Recreational Horseback Riding, Inc., a non
  -profit equine-assisted therapy program. Originally from York
  County, Pennsylvania, Tammy has claimed Granville her home
  since 2003 where she owns and operates a small hill-side farm
  where she raises goats, pigs, chickens, and more recently, cattle.

  Jillian Brelsford is a recent graduate of the Psychology
  Department at the University of Vermont. She has volunteered
  with several service organizations, including Women Helping
  Battered Women, Bike Recycle Vermont, and COTS Family
  Shelter. Jillian believes that universal access to information is a
  foundational condition for social change, and is planning a career
  as a librarian. She is extremely excited about this opportunity to
  help make a difference in the lives of mental health service             Jillian Brelsford
  consumers and their loved ones, and is delighted to have joined       Membership Coordinator
  your NAMI-Vermont team!

     Media Update: A New NAMI Resource on the Web!
       Joyce Burland, NAMI’s National Program Director has created a blog on NAMI’s Web
                     site. Click on NAMIBlog when you go to!
V OLUME   18,   ISSUE   1   P AG E   4
P AG E   5
                                                                                             P AG E   6

Auction News!                                         Annual Conference
                                                      (continued from page 1)
         We’re doing things differently for this      themselves about various issues. Our Friday
year’s auction! The Silent Auction will run on        keynote speaker will be Doreen Salina,
                                                      Ph. D., from Northwestern University, who will
both conference days (November 5th and 6th)
                                                      speak about Co-Occurring Disorders in Women:
with different but comparable items offered each
                                                      The Relationship between Trauma, PTSD and
day. (Our live auction has been moved to the
                                                      Substance Abuse. Our Saturday Keynote speaker
                                                      will be David Granirer, Founder of Stand Up for
         I invite past and new volunteers to help
                                                      Mental Health, whose presentation will be titled:
organize this fun annual event! We are seeking
                                                      I’m OK But You Need Professional Help: Using
quality donations of art, jewelry, gifts, decora-
                                                      Humor to Fight Stigma.
tive household items, small handmade or unique
                                                              Workshops will include NAVIGATE
articles of clothing, books, discount cards or gift
                                                      (Altering the Path of Schizophrenia) and
certificates for restaurants or shops, museums,
                                                      MHISSION-VT (Helping Veterans Access
tours, items for children or wherever your inspi-
                                                      Treatment and Service Options); Family-to-
ration leads you. It would be great to have gift
                                                      Family as an Evidence Based-Practice;
and decorative items reflective of the holidays
                                                      Supported Employment; Social Security
that we are about to celebrate.
                                                      Benefits, Work Incentives, and How to Access
         The deadline for listing donations is
                                                      Employment Services; and Special Needs
November 1st so PLEASE start your outreach
                                                      Planning and Navigating the Legal System for
now! I don’t need to have the actual item by this
                                                      Involuntary Treatment.
date—just to know that it is coming and what it
                                                              Andrew Sperling, NAMI’s Director of
is—a brief description, donor’s name and con-
                                                      Federal Advocacy, will bring us up to date on
tact information, a recommended dollar value
                                                      Health Care Reform and what it means for
and the name and contact information of the per-
                                                      mental health care providers, consumers and
son who is obtaining the items.
                                                      family members. Updates on the Connection
          I think this will be fun and an easy and
                                                      Program and Supported Employment Project will
enjoyable way for NAMI-VT supporters to
                                                      also be offered.
purchase quality items for ourselves and gifts for
                                                              The 2010 NAMI-Vermont Business meet-
others while providing necessary income to our
                                                      ing will be held Saturday November 6 at 11:45
                                                      am during the Annual Conference at which time
                                                      board members will be elected. Go to
Mary Cliver
                                             to view the list of candidates.
Conference Committee Chair

                                                      For more information or to register, go to the
                                                      NAMI-VT website at, e-mail
                                            , or call 800-639-6480.
V OLUME      18,   ISSUE    1                                                                        P AG E      7

Vermont State Hospital:                                              Award Nominations
Seclusion and Restraint Reduction                                            Traditionally, NAMI-Vermont
                                                                     gives special recognition to those who
Grant Update                                                         have contributed in a major way to
                                                                     activate our mission. We are now seek-
        In a major national initiative to reduce the use of          ing nominations for these 2010 awards,
seclusion and restraint procedures for patients in mental health     which will be presented at our Confer-
settings, SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse Mental Health                  ence and Annual Meeting on November
Services Administration) has partnered with the National             5th and 6th. There are no fixed
Association of Mental Health Program Directors                       categories but honorees in the past have
(NASMHPD). Through a three-year grant awarded to the                 included providers, volunteers, teachers
Department of Mental Health, the Vermont State Hospital and          of both Family-to-Family and Provider
Brattleboro Retreat received technical assistance to introduce       Education, advocates, legislators,
and implement evidenced-based interventions, including a             extraordinary achievement, special
special training curriculum.                                         recognition, and support group leaders.
        On September 9, 2010, VSH received its third and                     At this time, we also present the
final SAMSHSA consultant site visit, led by Nan Stromberg            Rochford Thibodeau Award for
and Pat Shea of NASMHPD. Both have also visited the                  extended service to NAMI-Vermont.
Brattleboro Retreat and conducted similar consultation activi-       Please send any nominations to Mary
ties as well. During the exit conference for this final visit, the   Cliver at
consultants shared their conclusion that significant progress        (802 247-0180) or to the NAMI-VT
had been made in achieving a reduction of these procedures,          office to Linda Anderson at
noting the more active role of physicians and the movement  (800-639-6480)
toward best clinical practices in reducing the use of seclusion
and restraint.
        According to VSH “per event” data, the number of EIP
(emergency involuntary procedures) applied from January-
August 2009 was 658. One year later and during the same                            Gifts
period, the total number of EIPs dropped to 456, or by 31% -                  By Abby Bassett
a significant and commendable reduction in coercive methods.
        This decrease is due, in part, to a lower census and less       Learning to love oneself happens
                                                                        In stages; like a hope chest,
congested units as well as Pro-ACT training for all staff, event
                                                                        Gifts are folded in layers.
analysis by the newly-formed Violence Prevention                        To open the chest, climb up
Committee, and the re-opening of an off-unit Treatment Mall             To the attic, taking one
where a positive culture of care and self-management                    Step at a time, lifting the
behavior skills is promoted.                                            Lid open to see inside;
                                                                        As light hits the contents,
                                                                        Their promise starts to
Submitted by Cathy Rickerby
                                                                        Shine, gradually unfolding.
V OLUME      18,   ISSUE   1                                                                   P AG E   8

                    How Vermont Law Thwarts Efficacious
                        Treatment of Severe Mental Illness
        “Vermont is unique” offered Brian Stettin,       and shares that goal for the majority. However,
Policy Director of the Treatment Advocacy Center         sometimes voluntary treatment does not work for
(TAC) at the September 10th UVM Department of            a small population which lacks decision making
Psychiatry Grand Rounds, which convened to dis-          capacity because of anosognosia, a phenomenon
cuss Vermont laws and legal system related to the        which occurs when areas of the brain are
treatment of severe mental illness. The TAC is a         damaged in a way that prevents the patient from
national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminat-   being able to perceive that they are sick.
ing barriers to the timely and effective treatment of    Understandably, patients are unable to accept
severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and        services and medication that they think they
bipolar disorder. Mr. Stettin was in Burlington          don’t need. This is the reason why we need to
discussing the impacts of Vermont mental illness         exercise “caring coercion” for some patients.
treatment laws that govern involuntary treatment.                Some unintended consequences of the
        In many other states, the time between           Vermont laws relevant to patients suffering from
admission to a psychiatric hospital and receiving        mental illness-induced anosognosia include:
standard-of-care treatment, which is usually
antipsychotic medication, is two weeks or less. In        long periods of “warehousing” while patients
Vermont, this time period ranges from two to three          suffer from psychosis and become sicker,
months, with a mean of 82 days. Moreover, in                often increasing the risk of harm to self and
contrast with most other states, Vermont law requires       others;
two separate hearings before patients who suffer          vulnerability to the damaging effects of
from psychotic diseases can be legally treated              untreated psychosis on the brain and thus to
involuntarily: the first for involuntary hospitaliza-       worse long-term outcomes; and
tion, followed by a second hearing for involuntary        longer hospitalizations, which increase costs
medication.                                                 for Vermont taxpayers.
        Mr. Stettin compared and contrasted Vermont
laws with those of other states, noting that:                     A lively question and answer period
                                                         followed Mr. Stettin’s presentation. The relevant
 treatment happens faster in other states because      statute, Act 114, which covers mental-health law
   they operate with one hearing for involuntary         and was passed in 1998 and implemented in
   hospitalization and medication, while                 2003, was discussed. An open forum organized
   maintaining rights to due process; and                and led by NAMI-VT followed the meeting and
 decisions about initial treatment are made by         provided participants with an opportunity to ask
   psychiatrists (with legal recourse available), not    Mr. Stettin questions and discuss controversial
   by judges, as is the case in Vermont.                 concerns about Vermont mental health law and
                                                         its implementation.
       Stettin went on to explain that the TAC fully
appreciates that voluntary treatment is always better    Submitted by Ruth Kennedy Grant, MD
                                                                                                       P AG E   9

                               NAMI Vermont Connection:
                              Peer Recovery Support Group

         The NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group Program is a peer based, mutual recov-
ery support group program for adults living with a mental illness. Connection groups provide a
place to share experiences and use them to encourage, support and empower others. Groups are
a safe place to confront the challenges that all consumers face, regardless of diagnosis, and are
led by trained facilitators who are in recovery themselves.
         Connection groups maintain a positive atmosphere through sincere, uncritical accep-
tance modeled by the facilitators, the guideline to “keep it in the here and now,” and the invita-
tion for group members to share “what has worked” for them. These groups provide a place that
offers respect, understanding, encouragement, and hope.
         Connection groups should add to, and not replace, the treatment plans determined by
individuals and their mental health care provider. The vision of the NAMI Connection program
is that every person in this country who lives with a mental illness will have, within reasonable
traveling distance, a Connection group to attend.

Each confidential group:
 Meets weekly for 90 minutes
 Is offered free of charge
 Uses a group process without an educational format
 Does not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies.

“At my first Connection group, when we started to read the principles of support , I almost cried. It
reads "we will see the individual first not the illness." Before the group even started, I knew that I was
home; that I was with people who were going to look at me for the person I am and listen to what I had
to say, people who would not judge anything . . . and who could help me get through the biggest
challenge of my life.” -Hannah in St. Albans

“The Connection Program has given me self esteem I didn’t know I would ever have again. I feel loved
and respected, cared for and happy; heard and acknowledged for my struggle with mental illness. I
have gotten good ideas, coping skills, and wonderful stories – windows on other lives. I wouldn’t miss

      November 5, 2010. 4:00 pm at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier

 Please join us for an eventful evening of celebrating and learning! Dorm rooms are available ($25
 shared). Please reserve a room early! RSVP by October 28th by contacting Ann Moore, Connection
 State Coordinator, at (802)-951-9154 or via email
                                                                                                       P AG E    10

                          FACILITATOR TRAININGS
         December 3rd-5th, 2010 at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Noble Lounge, Montpelier.
                       Space is limited so apply soon; deadline is November 15th, 2010.
Family-to-Family Teacher Training: December 3rd, 4th, and 5th (starts 12 noon Friday, ends 2:00 pm
Sunday). This free three-day intensive workshop presents the full curriculum of the Family-to-Family class
and is designed to help you develop the skills you need to teach a NAMI Family-to-Family class. Partici-
pants must be a family member and agree to teach the class twice. Please contact Sarah Chamberlain,
Teacher Training Coordinator, at 802-985-2345 or Tammy McKenzie, Director of Programs, at
1-800-639-6480 for more information and an application.
Family Support Group Facilitator Training: December 4th (9 am to 5 pm with lunch included). This
free, one-day training is designed to help you develop the skills you need to facilitate a NAMI Family
Support Group. Please contact Ann Cummins, Family Support Group State Coordinator at 802-297-0199
or Clare Munat at 802-824-3909 for more information and an application.
Connection Support Group Facilitator Training: December 4th and 5th. This free two-day training is
designed to help you develop the skills you need to facilitate a NAMI Connection Recovery Support
Group. Connection facilitators are individuals living with mental illnesses who are at a point in recovery at
which they want to give back to others. Applications can be downloaded from You can
also email us at or call Ann Moore, Connection State Coordinator, at

Connection Peer Recovery Support Group Meetings
If you are interested in attending a group in your area or would like more information about becoming a
            trained facilitator, please contact us at 1-800-639-6480 or

Bennington                                              Newport
Every Tuesday 6-7:30 pm                                 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of the Month 6-7:30 (starting in
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church                            June) Medical Arts Building (attached to North Country
200 Pleasant Street                                     Hospital) Second Floor Conference room

Burlington                                              Randolph
Every Thursday 4-5:30 pm                                2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month 5-6:30 pm
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral                          United Church
2 Cherry Street (enter from parking lot)                18 North Main Street
Essex Junction                                          Rutland
2nd Saturday of the month 2-3:30pm                      Every Monday 7- 8:30 pm
(2nd & 4th Saturday starting in June)                   Starting Jan. 4 , 2009
Congregational Church, 39 Main Street                   Wellness Center (Rutland Mental Health)
Take elevator to 2nd floor Youth Lounge                 78 South Main St.
                                                        Turn on Engram Ave (one way toward S. Main); parking
Hartford                                                is on left side of road. Wellness center first door off the
2nd & 4th Fridays of the month 4-5:30 pm                parking lot.
Hartford Library Rte 14 in Hartford
A block north of Irving gas station                     St. Johnsbury
Call Barbara at (802) 457-1512 for more information     First Thursday of the month 6:30–8 pm
                                                        Universalist Unitarian Church
1st & 3rd Thursdays of the month 6-7:30 pm              47 Cherry Street (follow the signs)
Kellogg-Hubbard Library
East Montpelier Room (basement)
                                                                                                                           P AG E        11

                  NAMI-VT Family Support Group Meetings
   Call the group leader listed, or 1-800-639-6480 for more information (All meetings start at 7 P.M. unless otherwise noted).

                                              Middlebury: 3rd Thursday                         St. Johnsbury: 1st Tuesday
Barre-Montpelier: 4th Monday                  CSAC at 109 Catamount Park, rm. 137              North Cong. Church (starts at 5:30 p.m.)
Room 3 - Central VT Hospital, Berlin          Caryn Etherington 388-9669                       Sid Burton 626-3707
Roberta Downey 223-3376                       Kelly Palmer 877-6550
                                                                                               Waterbury: 2nd Monday
Brattleboro: 1stst Thursday                   Newport: 3rd Wednesday                           Vermont State Hospital (starts at 5:30
(starts at 6:00 pm)                           (starts at 6:30 pm)                              p.m.) Clare Munat 824-3909
1st Congregational Church                     North Country Hospital
880 Western Avenue76                          Chris Wolf 754-2649                              White River Junction: Last Monday
                                                                                               VA Hospital (starts at 6:00 p.m.)
Burlington: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays                Rutland: 3rd Monday                              Rose C. Hewes 763-8030
HowardCenter - Pine St. Counseling Ctr.       Trinity Church, West Street
Corner of Pine St. & Flynn Avenue             Mary Cliver 247-0180
Jim & Pat Johnson 872-956                     Marcia Bassett 345-3016

Manchester-Londonderry: 1st Monday Springfield: 3rd Wednesday
South Londonderry Library          HCRS, 390 River St. (starts at 6:30 pm)
Ann Cummins 297-0199               Sandy Vincent 875-3036

                              YES ! I Want To Join NAMI-VERMONT!
                                                                                      Sign me up as:

                                                                                         Individual / Family Member                    $ 30.

                                                                                         Professional Member                             40.

                                                                                         Corporate Member                               100.
                                                                                         ‘   Open Door’ member (limited income)           4.
                                                                                         Additional donation:                       ________

       Email address                                                                                                     Total: $
                               Check enclosed. Check payable to: NAMI-Vermont.
                                                                                               Mail to: NAMI-VT
        Visa                  Credit Card #                                                    162 South Main Street
        MasterCard                                                                             Waterbury, VT 05676
        Discover              Signature                         CID (3-digit # on
        Amex                                                    signature panel, on

                              Exp. date
                                                                back of your card)  
With your membership, you will receive the NAMI-Vermont Advocate, the quarterly NAMI national news magazine, and reduced
        registration fees to the NAMI-VT Annual Meeting and other special events. For more info: call 1-800-639-6480.
                                                                         U.S. Postage Paid
                                                                            Permit #20
                                                                        Waterbury, VT 05676

   NAMI - Vermont
  162 South Main Street
Waterbury, Vermont 05676

                     NAMI-VT Calendar of Events
                           Make sure to mark your calendars now!

November 5th, 2010 - Connection Facilitator Reunion, Celebration and Workshop
(Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier)
November 5th—6th: 2010 NAMI-Vermont Annual Conference (Capitol Plaza Hotel, Montpelier)

November 13th: Board of Directors Meeting (CVMC, Berlin)

December 3rd-5th: NAMI Connection Facilitator Trainings
(Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier):
      * Family-to-Family Teacher Training: December 3rd, 4th and 5th.

      * Family Support Group Facilitator Training: December 4th

      * Connection Support Group Facilitator Training: December 4th and 5th
January 22nd: Board of Directors Meeting (Central Vermont Medical Center)
February 2nd: Advocacy Day (tentative)
September 24th, 2011: NAMI-VT Annual WALK (tentative)

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