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					                                          NAMI Tarrant County

                         Tarrant County’s Voice On Mental Illness
                           PO Box 1504, Fort Worth, TX 76101-1504
                                                       (817) 332-6600

              Volume 6___________________Newsletter________________June 2009

                             Meeting, Thursday, June 18, 2009
    Location: University Christian Church, 2720 S. University Dr, Room 205, Fort Worth
                    Support Groups 6:00-7:00 pm, Light Meal 7:00 pm
       Meeting, 7:15-8:15 pm, Connection Time 8:15-8:30 pm, Cleanup 8:30-8:45 pm

                   Speaker: Melissa Gibbons, Manager NAMIWalks Fort Worth
                               Topic: NAMIWalk Fort Worth
        Bring a friend to share in the information the speaker will bring. If you need directions, call or email the office.

People with Mental Illness Enrich Our Lives: Vivien Leigh
Immortalized as the star of Gone with the Wind, Vivien Leigh was one of only a few British women to
win two Best Actress Oscars. She and her husband, Laurence Olivier, were Britain's first celebrity golden
couple. Vivien Leigh‘s astonishing beauty and willful manner landed her the part of Scarlett O‘Hara in
the film version of the best-selling novel, Gone with the Wind. Although she suffered from bipolar
disorder, she never let her illness bring her down nor stop her from doing what she loved the most –

                                   Fort Worth NAMIWalk Update
On Saturday, October 3, 2008, NAMI TC will hold its first annual fundraising walk at the Fort Worth
Botanic Garden. Exciting news on the Fort Worth NAMIWalk! We currently have three sponsors and
are looking for many more. If you, a family member or friend have contacts in the business community,
please consider asking them to become a Walk sponsor. We would appreciate your help in making
connections with key people in local and regional businesses/organizations who can support us with a
philanthropic donation. Sponsorship of the Fort Worth NAMIWALK will support mental illness
advocacy, research, education and support programs both locally and nationally. Sponsorships are
available from $250 to $10,000 and are a great way to show your community spirit. To register as an
event sponsor, go to and click on NAMIWalks. Click on Texas, click on Fort Worth
NAMIWalks. Click on Be an Event Sponsor. Alternatively, you can contact Melissa Gibbons via email
( or phone at 817-332-6600 to request a sponsorship packet.
        Gold Sponsor: MHMR of Tarrant County
        Silver Sponsor: JPS Health Network
        Kilometer Sponsor: Don Perry‘s Garage

The Fort Worth NAMIWalk Business Chair is Wayne Young, and the Family Team Chair is Dennis
Gibbons. Currently, there are two super teams (JPS Health Network and MHMR TC) which have the
ability to establish multiple teams under the name of one company, organization or affiliate. In all,
sixteen NAMI Tarrant County teams have registered online. These include the following:
Achilles Heels: Dennis Gibbons
Advocates for Children of Trauma: Michael Groomer
Divas for Recovery: Jennifer Jones
Feets for Brains: Carolyn Apodaca
Fort Worth First Congregational UCC: Marvin Vann
JPS Health Network: Basnot Phillips-Williams
        In the Spirit of Recovery: Basnot Phillips-Williams
MHMR of Tarrant County: Carolyn Ortega
        The Mentalists: Jennifer Schubert and Jennifer Thompson
        The Walk Ins: Jennifer Farquhar
        Walking in Circles: Dawn Richardson
        Zoo Croo: Stephen Cregar
Paradise Center Consumers for Recovery: John Gabel
Stigma Busters: Martha Meyer
The Mighty Brains: Martha Whitehouse
Troutman Trotters: Gene Cates
Veterans for Recovery: Doreen Krodel
Walking for Recovery: Melissa Gibbons

Currently, we are looking for more team captains and more sponsors. Each team captain will register his
team and then try to recruit 10 people to raise $100 each. There is no cost to register or to walk. To
register a team, go to and click on NAMIWalks. Click on Texas, click on Fort Worth
NAMIWalks. Click on Form a Walk Team. Alternatively, you can contact Melissa Gibbons via email
( or phone at 817-332-6600 to request a registration packet. We are
hoping you will enthusiastically join in and become a team captain. It‘s easy to do.
                                                                                               Robin Mayne

                                     Family Education Opportunities
Are you or someone you know interested in attending either a Family to Family or Vision for Tomorrow
class? The FTF class is for family caregivers of adults with severe mental illness, while the VFT class is
for parents or caretakers of a child with a brain disorder who is college age or under. These free classes
are taught by NAMI-certified instructors and provide education on mental illnesses and resources to assist
and support family members. Pre-registration is required.

FTF Classes
Fort Worth
NAMI TC will be offering Family to Family classes starting in September this year. If you are interested
in attending a future FTF class, please call 817-332-6600 and leave a message. In addition, NAMI TC is
hoping to be able to offer a Family to Family class in Spanish in the near future. Please let us also know
if you are interested in attending this class.
NAMI Johnson County will teach a Family to Family class this year. The information about time and
location will be provided later. Please call 817-295-8082 to enroll/register for the class.

VFT Classes
If you are interested in attending a future VFT class, please call 817-332-6600 and leave a message.
                                                                                             Martha Meyer

                                             Support Groups
Support groups provide assistance to families, provide insight into mental illness and how to more
effectively cope with its impact on the family and reduce the stigma of mental illness within the family.
A support group seeks to provide a place to confront fears; a place for validation; a place to learn and
practice skills related to dealing with real-life issues which impact families; a place to exchange
information about mental illness and a place to network with other families about how they have solved
problems and find help from the community that may be available.
Southlake                                                                    June 8, 2009 & July 13, 2009
Family caregivers are invited to a support group meeting the second Monday of every month, 7:00 to &
8:30 pm at White‘s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake. The meeting is held in the Re-Source
Building, 185 S. White’s Chapel Blvd. Enter the driveway off of 1709 Southlake Blvd. Parking is
behind the church. Re-Source Building is the first one on the right.
Fort Worth        ***NEW***                 NAMI Connection            June 10, 17, 24, July 1 & 8 2009
Adult consumers (Veterans only) are invited to a recovery support group meeting on Wednesdays of
every week from 1:00 to 2:30 pm at the Veterans Affairs CWT Building located at 1518 E. Lancaster
Ave, Conference Room A.
Fort Worth         ***NEW LOCATION***                  NAMI Connection                        June 18, 2009
Family caregivers and adult consumers are invited to separate support group meetings the third Thursday
of every month, 6:00 to 7:00 pm at University Christian Church located at 2720 S. University Dr, Room
205. One is advised to park on the west side of the church. The support groups are held prior to the
monthly NAMI TC informative meetings.
Arlington                                                                             Cancelled in June only
Family caregivers are invited to a support group meeting the last Thursday of every month, 7:00 to 8:30
pm across the street from Trinity United Methodist Church in Arlington. The meeting is held in the
Wesley House, 3216 W. Park Row, Room 312.
Arlington                                                                                     July 2, 2009
Family caregivers of children/adolescents are invited to a support group meeting the first Thursday of
every month 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at MHMR FAIR East Children‘s Clinic located at 410 W. Sanford St.
Burleson                                                                                      July 6, 2009
Family caregivers and consumers are invited to support group meetings the first Monday of every month,
7:00 to 8:30 pm at St. Matthew Presbyterian Church located in Burleson. The address is 380 NW
Tarrant Avenue. One is advised to enter at the ARC. Room 214
Fort Worth        ***NEW DAY***                                                               July 7, 2009
Family caregivers of children/adolescents are invited to a support group meeting the first Tuesday of
every month, 5:30 to 7:30 pm at MHMR FAIR West Children‘s Clinic located at 1527 Hemphill.

At the monthly meetings, lists for additional support groups for consumers and caregivers are also
available at the information tables.
                                                                                           Martha Meyer

                      In Our Own Voice: Presentations and Training Opportunity
"In Our Own Voice" (IOOV) presentations are a wonderful program for NAMI TC where consumers
speak to groups about their experiences living with mental illness. Giving these illnesses a human face
and imparting accurate information decreases stigma and promotes the reality that people who have a
mental illness can lead happy and fulfilling lives. These presentations are for all kinds of groups: civic,
government, police, fraternal, church, etc. Audience members learn, first hand, what it means to have a
serious mental illness and how the recovery process works. If you know of a group that might like to host
a presentation, please call 817-332-6600.

In addition, NAMI TC would like to train additional presenters for this highly successful program. If you
are a consumer and interested in sharing your personal testimony of living with and overcoming the
challenges posed by mental illness, please contact Melissa Gibbons. Training will be held in Fort Worth
in August.
                                                                                            Martha Meyer
                                       More Volunteers Needed
NAMI TC is growing and more volunteers are needed. Our immediate volunteer needs include a co-
champion for Connections programs (check with our facilitators to help with their needs). Openings are
also available on Helpline Committee (answer emails and return phone calls), Public Relations
Committee (update NAMI TC office manual and compile data for a Tarrant County resource page on the
NAMI TC website), and Membership Committee (update Etapestry database and coordinate national and
state dues). Don‘t be shy! We need your help with little and big projects. You choose.

Thanks to all those volunteers who have stepped forward to help with the upcoming NAMI Walk. We
still need lots more volunteers to help plan and hold a NAMI TC Walk scheduled for October 2009. We
would like to hear from volunteers interested in training and teaching FTF and VFT classes. There are
also opportunities for consumers to train for In Our Own Voice. Please contact me at 817-332-6600 or for further information.
                                                                                       DeAnne Chandler

                                            Board Meeting
The NAMI TC Board meets the first Thursday of the month at 6pm at Paradise Center, located at 505 S.
Jennings Ave in Fort Worth. All NAMI TC members are welcome to attend and hear the discussions and
learn the ―behind the scenes planning.‖ The next meeting will be held July 2.
                                                                                     Melissa Gibbons

                                      NAMI National Membership
Since the first of the year, NAMI TC has been using ETapestry, a new web-based management system
provided to us from NAMI Texas. Meanwhile, NAMI National has implemented TouchBase, a new web-
based management system for membership. These two management systems are able to communicate
with one another and will facilitate membership information among the affiliates, state and national
NAMI organizations. Unfortunately, many of you are not receiving your newsletter by personal email in
June because ETapestry is presently unavailable for NAMI TC to access while NAMI National is
uploading their data. Please bear with us and hopefully this problem will be corrected in time for the July
newsletter. Thanks for your understanding.
                                                                                             Martha Meyer

                                     NAMIWalks Committee Meeting
On June 5, the NAMIWalks Committee Meeting met at Trinity Springs at noon. If you missed this
meeting and would like to join in next time, please step forward. The focus of this part of our timeline is
generating sponsorship dollars, which cover our administrative costs of the walk so that all walker
donations can go for our education and support activities. More initial sponsorship calls and follow-up
calls and/or emails will continue to be made.

It is great having your support. This is new to many of us. Maybe that just makes it better! We are in the
right place at the right time. Our commitment to this effort is important, and the pay off will be our
ability to better serve the families and consumers who depend upon us. The community will support us if
we get the word out. Your help is needed. Remember, there are lots of ways folks can support our event.
Come join us at the next Committee Meeting. Please send me five contacts for possible sponsors as soon
as possible, and I will get the NAMIWalks information out to them!
                                                                                           Melissa Gibbons

                   Relapse Awareness and Reduction Strategies in Schizophrenia
On May 30, 2009, Dr Michael Fuller, psychiatrist from UTMB, presented a seminar at Trinity Springs
Pavilion in Fort Worth on relapse awareness and reduction strategies in schizophrenia. He pointed out
that the management of schizophrenia recovery is similar to any other mental illness. Staying on therapy
and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are keys to managing one‘s symptoms over the long term. This will
help one reduce the risk of relapse. Key points included getting plenty of rest and recognizing individual
triggers. For example, disturbed sleeping pattern is one of the earliest and easiest red flags to evaluate.

People who experience the onset of relapse may begin to experience a change in their feelings: feel
suspicious or paranoid, seem irritable, or express bizarre ideas or have altered perceptions. Outside
influences, or triggers, that jumpstart an episode are also important to identify. Common triggers include
stress, financial difficulties, arguments with your loved ones, problems at school or work, seasonal
changes, and lack of sleep.
                                                                                              Martha Meyer

                          Dual Diagnosis – Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
At the May NAMI Meeting, Sandy King and Martha Whitehouse presented a program entitled, ―Dual
Diagnosis—Mental Illness and Substance Abuse.‖ As many of us know, this is one of the most
challenging diagnoses to treat. The person with a mental illness and substance abuse actually has two
brain disorders that interact very negatively with each other. A person who is vulnerable to one type of
brain disease may also be vulnerable to another. We must remember that addiction and mental illness
involve the same pathways, molecules and chemicals in the brain.

The co-occurrence of psychiatric and substance disorders (known as COPSD) is amazingly high.
Substance abuse occurs in 10% of the average population, but 46% in those with schizophrenia, 27% with
major depressive disorder, 61% with Bipolar I Disorder and 48% with Bipolar II Disorder. For people
with severe mental illness, many negative effects can occur even with low doses of a drug. For example,
people with a mental illness may experience impaired judgment, cognitive problems or uninhibited
behavior even when they are not intoxicated, and the drug rapidly worsens these conditions.

Many times the available information is insufficient to tell whether a mental illness is primary or
secondary. In this case, the assumption should be that both the mental illness and substance abuse issues
are important. It is best to proceed with assessment and treatment of both disorders in an integrated
fashion. Prolonged drug use can lead to a downward spiral of worsening mental illness and drug
addiction, leaving many worse off than when they started. Consider a person who is already predisposed
to mental illness and then begins to use drugs. As a result, symptoms of mental illness will surface earlier
and worsen dramatically with prolonged use. We are fortunate that MHMR of Tarrant County has a
robust continuum of services especially designed to treat those with COPSD – from inpatient
detoxification and a residential program to a wide array of outpatient programs.
                                                                                               Sandy King

                                      2009 NAMI National Convention
For almost 30 years, the NAMI Convention has presented researchers whose work is on the cutting edge
of science for the diagnosis and treatment of serious mental illness. This year will be no different.

The Research Plenary at this year's convention will feature the creator of dialectical behavior therapy, Dr.
Marsha Linehan. Dialectical behavior therapy is a treatment approach that has revolutionized treatment
for chronically suicidal individuals and people with borderline personality disorder. The Health and
Wellness Plenary will include Dr. John W. Newcomer who will present the latest scientific research into
the relationship between metabolic syndrome (a set of risk factors that includes obesity, hypertension, and
unhealthy lipid levels) and psychiatric illness, its impact on the lives and lifespan of people with mental
illness, and what we can do to prevent it. In addition, Dr. Sergio Aguilar Gaxiola will discuss how mental
illness services need to be adapted to fit the cultural diversity of the community served. In addition, the
opening plenary will be presented by Paul David Wellstone, Jr. and others who will discuss Parity: A
Pathway to a Healthy Future and what it means for the future health of individuals with mental illness
and their family members and treatment professionals

Make your plans now to be there. The convention will start Monday July 6 morning and runs through
Thursday July 9 evening, with a special screening on Sunday evening (July 5) of a PBS documentary
(When Medicine Got It Wrong) which tells about NAMI‘s dramatic origins and its activism. It will be
held at the San Francisco Hilton in San Francisco, California. Hotel accommodations at the San
Francisco Hilton and Towers are $155 for single and $165 for double. The schedule for the convention is
posted online, and additional information is available at
                                                                                          Martha Meyer

                       Proteins Underlying Devastating Brain Diseases Uncovered
Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have discovered a set of brain proteins responsible for
some of the most common and devastating brain diseases. The proteins underlie epilepsy, depression,
schizophrenia, bipolar disease, mental retardation, and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer‘s
and Huntington‘s diseases. ―The reason such a remarkable number of diseases are relevant to this set of
proteins is that these proteins are at the heart of how brain cells function,‖ explains Professor Seth Grant,
Director of the Genes to Cognition Program at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Rather than taking traditional methods for studying just one protein at a time, the researchers developed a
method that finds whole sets of proteins that bind to one another and form microscopic molecular
machines. They were hunting for the ‗engine room‘ of nerve cells, which is known to be inside the
connections between nerve cells called synapses.
                                                                                  Inspiration & Information

        Social Security and Mental Illness: Reducing Disability with Supported Employment
Survey research indicates that more than half of people with psychiatric disabilities want to work and that
a sizable proportion would become steady workers if they received mental health care and evidence-based
supported employment. Furthermore, review of the literature and economic modeling suggest that
providing health insurance and evidence-based supported employment and mental health care to people
with serious mental illnesses could prevent disability for many, allow a large proportion of disabled
people to contribute to the work-force, and save millions of dollars in disability payments and public
mental health costs. Because Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are federal programs, the full force
and leadership of the federal government need to be behind these changes.

De-link health insurance from disability status. De-linking health insurance from disability status would
encourage more people with serious mental illnesses to work. Many people with psychiatric disabilities
who are unemployed cite losing health insurance as the primary barrier to working; others who are
employed part time cite fears of losing health insurance as the primary barrier to full-time employment.
Most Americans believe that health care should be a right for all, and national health insurance would, of
course, accomplish this goal. Short of that, people with serious mental illnesses could receive federal
insurance, without being required to claim total disability, until they qualify for private insurance and
could be allowed to return to federal insurance automatically if they lose private insurance. Denying
insurance or requiring continued disability is even more costly than providing insurance for this
population, and the cost is borne by individuals, families, and society.

Link supported employment services to mental health services. Linking supported employment to mental
health services could enable a sizable proportion of people with serious mental illnesses to become
employed. Evidence strongly supports combining these. Aligning Medicaid and Medicare with these
services could ameliorate the problem of limited adoption of evidence-based practices. Congress could
decide which agencies should pay for the services, mandate the services, and allocate sufficient funds to
serve the population. States could be mandated to monitor implementation, organization, quality, and
outcomes. Valid monitoring would require attention to electronic records, quality of services, and

Align incentives for people who qualify for disability (SSI or SSDI). An alignment of incentives could
help beneficiaries move as rapidly as possible back into the workforce. The rules for disability payment
reductions in relation to work could be more gradual, and people could be allowed to return to disability
payments easily when they encounter difficulties. The goal should be to help people return to work, not
necessarily to leave the SSA rolls.

Provide supported employment and mental health services early in the course of mental illness. Doing
this could help many people avoid entering the disability system. International early intervention studies,
including one in the United States, support this proposal. Early insurance provision or universal health
care, combined with evidence-based practices for early episodes of serious mental illnesses, would move
the mental health system toward preventing disability, with state mandates to encourage the provision of
such services.

Wide-scale implementation and recruiting of people with serious mental illnesses to evidence-based
supported employment and mental health care would improve financial security for participants and could
even save the government money. The economic model is, however, clearly sensitive to assumptions,
and educated estimates regarding many key assumptions are being made. This weakness points to the
need to conduct research to answer key questions, such as the following: How many clients would
participate in supported employment if the incentives were different? How much would they work, and
what would they earn, if regulatory constraints were lessened? To what extent could we prevent
disability status by providing insurance and prevention services? That these services could be provided
with cost-neutrality or, more likely, with cost savings is a secondary benefit but a finding that should
encourage health and disability policy officials to act.
                                                    Health Affairs: The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere

                       Melbourne Researchers Claim Schizophrenia Breakthrough
Scientists in Melbourne, Australia have made a critical breakthrough in understanding the differences in
the brains of people with schizophrenia. At the Mental Research Health Institute, scientists have
discovered that 25% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia can be separated from other people with the
same diagnosis. Professor Brian Dean, who is leading the research, likened the breakthrough to the
advances made with diabetes, when scientists found a split in Type 1 (insulin deficient) and Type 2
(insulin resistant) diabetes. ―It was the first step in developing different treatments used for the two
disorders,‖ he says. ―The same will be true for schizophrenia, a syndrome that affects one in 100 people.‖

The team is now working to understand the differences in the brains of people with Muscarinic Receptor
Deficit Schizophrenia (MRDS), the form of the disease they have identified, and other forms of
schizophrenia. ―Now we can study a form of schizophrenia in isolation, it makes it much easier to see
what is changed in the brains of subjects with MRDS,‖ Dean says. ―This significant step forward is
helping us to unravel the potential causes of the MRDS disorder, so that we are able to develop better

With no blood test or other marker available currently to diagnose schizophrenia, the illness is currently
diagnosed by the presence of other specific symptoms that cannot be accounted for, unlike psychiatric
illnesses induced by brain tumors or brain injury. Dean and his team focused their work on the brain
tissue of 154 deceased people. The scientists made very thin sections (14 thousands of a millimeter thick)
of the brain tissue to measure the levels of the Muscarinic M1 receptor using a radioactive drug that binds
to the receptor. The next phase of the research will be undertaken by Professor Christos Pantelis and his
group at the University of Melbourne, completing a neuroimaging study to identify living people with
MRDS. ―What we are hoping for is to come up with a marker to diagnose schizophrenia over the next
two years,‖ Dean explains.
                                                                           Inspiration & Information

                                Welcome Visitors and New Members
Visitors are always welcome at our meetings. Please welcome our newest members: Dale and Jan Putrino
and Liz Buchanan from Euless, and Hilary Fox from Arlington. It‘s wonderful to see NAMI TC
membership growing and the interest in the FTF and VFT classes. Please let the Board members or
Program Committees know what you are interested in learning more about and become involved in one of
the numerous committees. NAMI TC needs you!!
                                                                                       Martha Meyer

                                Tom Thumb Good Neighbor Program
NAMI TC’s Good Neighbor account number is 995. Please update your current Tom Thumb card to link
to this number or apply for a Good Neighbor card. Each household can link up to three organizations per
card. You will simply need to fill out the Good Neighbor program section and the top part of a Reward
Card Application, indicating NAMI TC‘s Good Neighbor number and return it to the Courtesy Booth.
From that point on, the purchase price of groceries will automatically be recorded to NAMI TC‘s Good
Neighbor account which will receive 1% of the total quarterly. Please link up and support NAMI TC!
                                                                                        Martha Meyer

NAMI TC Board Officers:
Melissa Gibbons, President
Robin Mayne, Secretary
Martha Meyer, Treasurer
Kevin Cates
John Gabel
Dennis Gibbons
Mary Ann Gray
Ron Smith
Barbara Walther
Katie Ward


                                              Membership Dues *      Total

NAME _______________________________ Consumer 5.00 2.00 $ 7.00

ADDRESS ____________________________ Family 35.00 5.00 $40.00

CITY______________________STATE_____ Friend 35.00 5.00 $40.00

ZIP___________PHONE_________________ Professional 35.00 5.00 $40.00

Email _______________________________ Organization 75.00 5.00 $80.00
                                     OTHER CONTRIBUTION $_____
MAIL TO: NAMI Tarrant County
          PO BOX 1504
         FORT WORTH, TX 76101-1504

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