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Faith Outreach and Mental Illness


									                                                                                                       May 2010

                                         Our Area’s Voice on Mental Illness

  With more than 230,000 members,
      NAMI is America's largest
        grassroots mental health           Faith Outreach and Mental Illness
 organization dedicated to improving
 the lives of individuals and families
       affected by mental illness.
                                                          Monday, May 17, 2010
                                                        Education Meeting 6:00 PM
                                            CONTACT Training Building – 1520 22nd Street
          Inside This Issue
Message from Mimi                  2     “Today, each of us can choose to be an everyday hero -- like Nehemiah
Road to Recovery                   3     -- and help those with mental illness. It's a moral call for me. I urge you
Advocacy                           4     to make it yours, as well.” This is a quote from our featured presenter this
Calendar & Upcoming Events         5     month, Dr. Branko Radulovacki, a NAMI member and a psychiatrist in
Volunteer Possibilities            6     private practice in Atlanta. He wrote to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in
This & That                        7     2008 in response to their series of articles about profound problems in
Membership Application             8     Georgia's mental health system. That led him to become a tireless, and
                                         wonderfully effective, advocate on behalf of those with a mental illness.

                                         I have been working with Dr. Radulovacki since January of this year as NAMI
                                         Georgia undertook, in my opinion, it’s most exciting initiative. The NAMI
  NAMI Columbus, P.O. Box 8581,          Georgia Faith Outreach committee was formed and has been working on
       Columbus, GA 31908
           (706) 320-3755
                                         developing a blueprint to help Georgia affiliates reach out to the single most
   Email: ~~           important group of people in our communities that can help spread the word       about NAMI…our local faith leaders. Over 60% of people turn to their faith
                                         leaders in times of emotional distress and NAMI can be a wonderful resource
                                         to help them be of help to their congregations.
          Board of Directors             Dr. Radulovacki and I will be presenting our May education program. I’ve
     Mimi Marlowe, President             asked him to share his story of how he went from being a somewhat
   Kristine Walls, Vice President        interested bystander to a leader, within NAMI and to many faith groups. Dr.
      Doris Keene, Secretary             Radulovacki is the founder of FaithWorks (, a
  Mimi Marlowe, Acting Treasurer         nonprofit initiative launched to educate faith leaders and their denominations
             Sue Knight                  statewide about mental health issues.
            Sue Marlowe
            Linda Peters                 My goal as a co-presenter with Dr. Radulovacki is to let you know what NAMI
             Steve Scott                 Georgia is doing with this initiative. NAMI Georgia Faith Outreach will be
             Amy Zabel                   introduced at our NAMI Georgia annual meeting on May 15 in Atlanta. I also
     Perry Alexander, Advisor            want to let you know what this can mean for NAMI Columbus as we gear up
      David Wallace, Advisor             to connect more with our faith communities.

                                         Please join us at this vitally important meeting. I want you to know about
                                         NAMI Georgia Faith Outreach. I also want you to hear Dr. Radulovacki
  Georgia Crisis & Access Line           because he has inspired me, and so many others, to do what we didn’t think
   Single Point of Entry to access       we could do…find more time and energy to give to NAMI.
 mental health, addictive disease and
         crisis services 24/7                                                                ~ Mimi Marlowe

Support      Education                     May 2010 ~~~ Page 1 of 8                          Advocacy       Recovery
                    Message from Mimi
                    As I thought about what I wanted to say to you this month, I struggled. For me, struggling normally
                    means something negative but this struggle is positive. I’m struggling to decide where to use my time
                    among all the things happening within NAMI this year. It is a year of change in a very positive way.

                     These changes include, first and foremost, NAMI Georgia Faith Outreach. When I am tired and don’t
think I have another ounce of energy in my body, this initiative sparks me…much like two battery cables coming together
bringing life again to a car’s dead engine. I see us reaching out to the faith community and helping them bring hope and
support to people who have been afraid to reach out and get help because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Another change for me is looking for new ways that NAMI Columbus can participate in community programs and events,
such as the Third Annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down (see article on page 5). We have, through the tireless efforts
of our former president Sue Marlowe, represented NAMI Columbus at some annual events such as the Homeless
Resource Fair held January of this year. We need to be present at every event that allows us to reach people who are
affected by mental illness in order to educate them on NAMI Columbus and the services we provide.

Then there is NAMI Georgia’s strategic planning process that was introduced this year as a way to help affiliates in
Georgia create plans to become more effective organizations in order to fulfill their mission. The stronger we are as an
organization, the more effective we can be in providing the support, education and advocacy efforts that will help
strengthen and improve our mental health system and allow people to live more productive and happier lives.

It’s also time to start planning for the 2010 NAMI Georgia Walk which will be held on Saturday, October 2, in Atlanta. This
is a terrific opportunity for us to raise awareness about, and funding for, mental illness programs. We must do what others
have failed to do so far.

The list is long. But isn’t that great. What if we were members of an organization that didn’t have a direction or efforts
underway to make a change? Change is difficult but change is also very good.
                                                       ~ Mimi Marlowe, President
                                                                                                    Year of the Volunteer

   FaithNet Family-to-Family Class to Begin                               NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Class to Begin
A new Family-to-Family Class will begin on Tuesday, May            One of NAMI’s signature programs, Peer-to-Peer, is being
25, at 6:30pm. (Note the change in date.) Pre-                     offered on Thursday, June 17, 6:00pm. Pre-registration
registration is mandatory (in order to ensure the correct          is mandatory. Cutoff for registration is Wednesday, June
number of textbooks). Cutoff for registration is Friday, May       9. Please call 706-320-3755 and leave a message.
21. Call 706-320-3755 and leave a message to register.
                                                                   Peer-to-Peer, a free, 10-week, peer-led, recovery education
Family-to-Family is a free 12-week course for family and           course, is open to any person who lives with serious mental
friends of individuals with serious mental illness. It is taught   illness. Peer-to-Peer emphasizes recovery from mental
by trained NAMI family members.                                    illness as a feasible, supportable goal and challenges the
                                                                   stigma often wrongly associated with mental illness.
“Family members who take the NAMI Family-to-Family
course are better equipped to work with mental health              Peer-to-Peer is an important course because it gives
clinicians in a collaborative manner.       My bottom-line         people living with mental illness the information they often
recommendation? Take this course. It will help you learn to        don’t get when they are first diagnosed. It allows them to
cope successfully with a major challenge in your life, and         see other peers succeeding, and it also allows them to be
that, in turn, will help your loved one as he or she works         with a group of people that are going through the same
toward recovery.”       -- Peter Weiden, M.D., author of           things they are.
Breakthroughs in Antipsychotic Medications

Support       Education                           May 2010 ~~~ Page 2 of 8                           Advocacy       Recovery
  THE                                     TO RECOVERY
                                                   NAMI Columbus C.A.R.E.S.
                                          RECOVERY Consumers Achieving Recovery thru Education & Support
Today is what matters
My name is “Mo” and I have a mental illness called Bi-Polar.

Today is what matters, because it is evidence of my survival in this world.
What brought me to today? My will to live and survive has brought me to today.

The first time I tried to get help for my mental illness was when I was in my early 30’s. I remember being very
embarrassed to ask my family practitioner for anti-depressants. That fear was doubled when he took out his prescription
pad and wrote me a prescription. He gave me the prescription and on it was a bible verse. I don’t recall the bible verse,
but his instructions to me where to go home and read the bible verse, and then if I still felt depressed, to come back and
see him. Obviously that was not a cure for depression, because since that day, I have read many bible verses and I still
have a mental illness.

I did go back to see him and I was put on anti-depressants. My journey with my mental illness does not end there.

Then in 2003 I tried to commit suicide. I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar then and have been in denial ever since until about 6
months ago.

Last September was my defining moment so to speak. I had not been on any medication for 5 years. About 2 years ago,
I started seeing red flags in my life about my illness. My mind was like a “wild horse” totally out of control, and I was the
trainer. I thought I would be able to “tame” my “wild horse”. During that time I had many suicidal thoughts. Then this last
September those suicidal thoughts became too much for me to handle. I checked myself into the Bradley Center.

Since then, a lot of things have happened to me. I got on the right medications and my life feels like it is my life again.
These past 6 months have been the most important to me in my life.

Today is what matters, because today I realize it is not my mental illness that has kept me in my “shackles” so to speak it
was my DENIAL of my mental illness that has kept me from getting better.

I believe my suicide attempt was my way of seeking help for something I did not know how to handle. For something I did
not want to know how to handle. My suicide attempt has haunted me for years. To me it has always represented this
huge weakness in my life.

But today is what matters.
Today is when I am changing my way of thinking.

Today is when I realize that I really do not want to end my life. Today I know that those suicidal thoughts are part of my
illness. They are a red flag. Those thoughts are a way of telling me that my illness needs attention immediately. Today I
realize that it is not a sign of weakness to have those thoughts but a sign of my illness being out of balance.

I no longer see myself as a weak person, but as a strong person. Today is what matters, because I am here. I have the
will to want to survive and live in this messed up world. It is not me that is messed up, but the world that I live in.

So today is what matters to me. I cannot change the past. I can only live for today. Today is when I choose not to be in
the DENIAL. I will live with my mental illness because it is a PART of who I am, but I also know that it is not the whole
                                                                                                    ~ Anonymous

Support      Education                          May 2010 ~~~ Page 3 of 8                          Advocacy        Recovery
Advocacy News

            SACVET’s Third Annual                              Robert Van Keuren and Dr. Jon Nachison. The first Stand
          Homeless Veteran Stand Down                          Down was held in San Diego during the summer of 1988.
                                                               The popularity of the event has steadily grown from the
                                                               original in 1988 to some 80 yearly throughout the nation. It
On April 17, Jane and Mimi Marlowe had the privilege to        is estimated that as many as 100,000 homeless veterans
attend this event held at the Columbus Trade Center.           have received assistance at Stand Downs.
NAMI Columbus was asked to participate at the 2010 Stand
Down by SACVET (The South Atlanta Center for Veterans          What Happens at a Stand Down?
Education and Training, Inc.) who organized this event for     Hundreds of homeless veterans are provided with a broad
the third year in a row.                                       range of necessities including food, clothing, medical, legal
                                                               and mental health assistance, job counseling and referral,
                                                               and most importantly, companionship and camaraderie. It
                                                               is a time for the community to connect with the homeless
                                                               veteran population and address this crisis that affects each
                                                               and every town, city, and state in this country.”

                                                                              “Yesterday they fought for us.
                                                                                Today we fight for them.”

                                                               What is Mental Health Month?
                                                               "May is Mental Health Month," began in 1949. This year,
                                                               the theme is "Live Your Life Well," and challenges us to
                                                               promote health and wellness in homes, communities, and
                                                               schools, and inform those who don't believe it is attainable.

Before the request was made for NAMI to man a resource         Every day, Americans are affected by the myriad of
table to educate people about NAMI and our mission and         challenges, stresses and demands on their lives. And every
services, we had no idea what this was or how important it     day, they seek help in responding to them. The good news
is to us as a community. Now that we know, NAMI                is there are tested and effective tools that are readily
Columbus will continue to advocate on behalf of our            available and free. Anyone can use these tools to help
veterans. And we think you should know about Stand             them cope better and improve their well-being. This Mental
Down so you can help until this program is no longer           Health Month, Mental Health America is encouraging
needed. Here’s what we learned about this event.               Americans to use these tools, which form the Live Your
                                                               Life Well campaign.
“What is a Stand Down?
In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to      Mental Health America created Live Your Life Well to
rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a       increase the number of people who take action to protect
place of relative security and safety. Today, Stand Down       their mental health, both in the face of ongoing stress and
refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention           in times of great personal challenge.
program designed to help the nation’s estimated 200,000
homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets any given                                                                   SM
night. The hand up, not a handout philosophy of Stand          The heart of the program is the Live Your Life Well
                                                               website ( that provides 10
Down is carried out through the work of hundreds of
volunteers and organizations throughout the nation.            research-based, straightforward tools and ways to apply
                                                               them in everyday life. From relaxation techniques to
What is the history of Stand Down?                             journaling exercises to simple ways to get better sleep and
The concept of a Stand Down as it relates to the homeless      improve eating habits, the materials offer a wide range of
veterans crisis, was the brainchild of two Vietnam Veterans,   resources to build resiliency and well-being.

Support      Education                         May 2010 ~~~ Page 4 of 8                          Advocacy        Recovery
                            Upcoming NAMI Events
May 2010 – Mental Health Month                                   June 2010
2-8   Children’s MH Awareness Week                               1-3    National CIT Conference, San Antonio
6     National Children’s MH Awareness Day                       14-18 Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office CIT
15-16 NAMI GA Annual Meeting & Tune-Up (Atlanta)                 17     Peer-to-Peer Course – Week 1
17    Monthly Education Meeting                                  21     Monthly Education Meeting
23-29 Older Americans’ Mental Health Week                        28     Mental Health Court Graduation, Govt.
25    FaithNet Family-to-Family Course – Week 1                          Center (rescheduled from May 10)
                                                                 29     NAMI National Convention, Wash. DC
July 2010 Minority MH Awareness Month                            August 2010
TBA NAMI GA Walk Kickoff Luncheon                                9     Mental Health Court Graduation
1-3    NAMI National Convention, Wash. DC                        16    Monthly Education Program
12-16 Columbus Police Dept. CIT                                  23-27 Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office CIT
16-18 NAMI GA Facilitator Training (Atlanta)
19     Monthly Education Meeting

Support Groups
        Every Monday night, 6-7:30 pm Family/Friend and NAMI Connection Recovery Support Groups
        Every Saturday 1-2:30 pm NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group
        Meeting Location:
        • NAMI Connection Recovery Support Groups meets at The Bradley Center’s Multipurpose Room
                                       (use 22nd Street Parking Lot)
        • Family/Friend Support Group meets at the CONTACT Training Building, 1520 22nd Street

What’s coming up that we want to highlight…

Change in Date:
•   Mental Health Court graduation, originally scheduled for May 10, has been changed to Monday, June 28. We only
    had a few ready to graduate recently but a lot of people will be graduating in May and June. So we wanted a big
    celebration of this outstanding achievement. Please mark June 28 in your calendar.

Mark your calendar:
•   Monday, June 21, our monthly education meeting. Our special guest presenter will be Jewel Norman, Georgia’s
    Mental Health Ombudsman, who took office in July 2009. We’ll have more information in the June newsletter about
    this critical resource available to us as we try to get the right resources in the treatment of mental illness.

•   Saturday, October 2, 2010 NAMI Georgia Walk. We’ll have a lot of information about the walk beginning with next
    month’s newsletter. But we want you to start thinking now how you can help NAMI, Columbus and Georgia, with this
    very special event. It’s our #1 way of raising awareness about mental illness and funds to help us with our support,
    education and advocacy efforts here in Columbus.

                                   Peer Support “Warm Line” at 1-888-945-1414 (toll-free)
                        The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network operates a state-funded, consumer-
                       directed “warm line” for anyone struggling with mental health issues, 24 hours a day.

Support      Education                          May 2010 ~~~ Page 5 of 8                               Advocacy   Recovery
                                             We’re working diligently on matching NAMI Columbus needs to the
                                             interests of our volunteers. If you’re looking for new opportunities, come
                                             to this page each month. Think about it! What are you passionate about?
                                             What are you interested in? How can you connect to NAMI Columbus?
                                             What opportunities does NAMI Columbus have that would fulfill your need
                                             to give back to the organization that helped you in your time of crisis? If
                                             you see something that interests you, please contact us (706-320-3755 or

          NAMI Columbus Thanks All Who Made Our 2010 Spring Yard Sale a Success
   Well, NAMI Columbus did it again. At our April 24 yard/bake sale, we more than doubled our net proceeds over our
   spring 2009 yard sale. In April 2009 we brought in $458. In April 2010 we brought in over $1,200. After expenses we
   will still clear over $1,100…more than double last year.

                                                         And it was a lot of fun bringing in that money... …except for
                                                         sorting and pricing all the items donated by friends of NAMI (lol).
                                                         You can see what I’m talking about in the picture. We had so
                                                         many items at this sale and it was a lot of work. But we really
                                                         appreciate everyone’s contribution...and we had a lot of volunteers
                                                         to help us.

                                                         I hope I have everyone’s name because there was a lot of effort
                                                         spent in order to make this a success and I want to make sure
                                                         everyone is recognized. Here are our special volunteers who
                                                         worked either Thursday, Friday, Saturday and/or Monday:

                                                     Our co-chairs Kristine Walls & Linda Peters, Mimi, Sue & Jane
                                                     (welcome home) Marlowe, Joyce Bartley, Joyce Bassett, Doris,
                                                     Wayne & Brian Keene, Gisela Poesing, Laurie Mahon, Scott Story
   (couldn’t have gotten all the stored items from the storage room to CONTACT without him making multiple trips),
   Bonnie Holmes (who worked almost all of Thursday and Friday sorting), Dawn Gonzalez (who just graduated from our
   April CIT class) and her dad David and friend Shane who helped sort, Ann Williams, David Wallace, Molly Jones,
   Ursula King, Sue Knight (who loaned us her clothes racks which really helped a lot), and Ken Danielson (one of our
   newest and most active members).

   Our volunteers who contributed baked goods include Steve Scott with those indescribably delicious cookies, Maureen
   Goldfuss with her magnificent brownies, Lois Byrd, Mimi Marlowe, one of Kristine’s co-workers at Columbus Hospice,
   Laurie Mahon and her cream cheese pound cake, and Dawn Gonzalez with her cookies and Rice Krispie treats.

   Thank you everyone for all hard work you did to make this a rousing success. Start saving items for October!!!

    Two of NAMI’s signature programs are the NAMI Connection and NAMI Family Support groups. So many of our
    newest members come to us as a result of these well-facilitated groups. We have some facilitators who have
    generously volunteered their time for several years. Now it’s time to bring in some new ones and let others have
    a little rest. The facilitators are well-trained and follow a model that makes it easy (most of the time) to facilitate a
    support group. A training class for both the family and NAMI Connection group is scheduled for July 16-18. If
    you have an interest in helping NAMI Columbus and think this might be something you would like to do, please
    contact the office (706-320-3755) and we can discuss it in further detail.

Support     Education                           May 2010 ~~~ Page 6 of 8                            Advocacy         Recovery

 • Using as your search
                                                               •   The 2010 Census: Have you turned in your census
   engine. If you are tired of hearing about this, I’ll tell
                                                                   form yet? If not, open your door to the census taker
   you a secret. You can make me stop giving
                                                                   that comes to help you complete the form. Our
   reminders. How? By changing your home page to
                                                                   community needs the benefits and services that will
   Goodsearch and verifying that NAMI Columbus is who
                                                                   come if we have an accurate tally of our population.
   you are goodsearching for. I promise, when I see the
                                                               •   NAMI Georgia’s 2010 Annual Conference &
   numbers going up significantly, I’ll move on to
                                                                   Membership Meeting. It’s not too late to sign up to
   something else (lol).
                                                                   attend this wonderfully informative event. Go to
 • Letting NAMI Columbus know about items                 and you’ll see the announcement on
   you want to donate to the October 2010 yard                     the home page. Click on ‘More Information’ to find the
   sale. If you need a place to store it, call the                 sign-up form as well as the agenda of workshop
   office (706-320-3755) to make arrangements.                     topics. It’s also a great networking event.

                                                               Have You Heard…about
                                                               the number of people who have graduated
                                                               from CIT (Crisis Intervention Team)
                                                               training in our community to date.
                                                               These numbers came from Sue Marlowe:
                                                                      143…Columbus Police Department
                                                                       52…Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office
                                                                        6…Muscogee County Marshal’s Office
                                                                       10…911 Operators
                                                                        2…US (Federal) Probation
                                                                        1…DJJ (Dept of Juvenile Justice)
                                                                       10…Fort Benning
                                                                        3…Medical Center
                                                                        6…Phenix City PD
             CIT Graduates, April 16, 2010
                                                                        4…Tuskegee VA

                                                               •   To Buddy Coiner and Lois Byrd for a delightful and very
NAMI Salutes Mothers' Power to Transform                           informative program on Social Security (SSI & SSDI)
                                                                   on April 19. There was so much information and
Any mother can be called upon to be a hero for the                 questions that we stayed much later than usual. That’s
sake of her child. The parents of children living with             always a sign of a good program.
mental illness are often called upon to find creative          •   To everyone who donated items and helped make our
solutions to challenges. NAMI can trace its birth to a             April 2010 yard/bake sale a success. See article on
handful of mothers who reshaped the official medical               page 6.
understanding of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia.   •   To Kristine Walls and Jacquelyn Grandy for mentoring
                                                                   the Peer-to-Peer class that completed on April 11. I
Honor your mother by making a donation in her name                 heard many good things from folks who took the class.

Support     Education                          May 2010 ~~~ Page 7 of 8                         Advocacy        Recovery
Columbus                        P.O. Box 8581, Columbus, GA 31908, (706) 320-3755
The Area’s Voice on Mental Illness

 I want to support NAMI Columbus                                                   Please Cut and Mail
 and NAMI’s mission.
                                                                     NAMI National, NAMI Georgia and NAMI
                                                                     Columbus are dedicated to eradicating stigma and
 Name                                                                improving the lives of persons with mental
                                                                     illnesses thereby also benefiting their friends,
 Address                                                             family and community. Catch the wave and be a
                                                                     part of change.

 City                               State           Zip              NAMI Columbus is the largest affiliate in Georgia.
                                                                     We are a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable
                                                                     organization. Dues and donations are tax
 Phone Numbers (do not enter a number if you do not want to be
 listed in the Membership Directory (members only).
                                                                     deductible. Membership includes a subscription
                                                                     to our monthly newsletter, membership directory,
                                                                     (501((3) and access to immediate news on
 E-Mail (Please include so we can be green and email you             advocacy, treatment and support issues from our
 our monthly newsletter.)                                            national, state and local organizations.

 Please check type of membership desired:                            Please make checks payable to:
        Individual Membership $30 Dues                               NAMI Columbus
        Professional Membership $50 Dues                             P.O. Box 8581
          (Individual and Professional Dues are for one year         Columbus, Georgia 31908
          and are tax deductible.)
        $3 Open Door Membership (low income)                         You can also join safely online at
        I am not joining at this time, but I would like to make a    ($35.00 by credit card).
          contribution of $ ______________. (Thank you!!!)

Support          Education                                May 2010 ~~~ Page 8 of 8                    Advocacy       Recovery

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