NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS

                                                         Email:  namiorangeny@warwick.net         
                                                     Website:  namiorangeny.org
                                                 Telephone:  845-956-NAMI (6264)                                                                               Toll-free:   1-866-906-NAMI (6264)
                                        InstagramInstagram:  NAMI Orange NY
                                     facebook icon FaceBook:  NAMI Orange County, NY 
                                     facebook icon FaceBook:  NAMI Orange Discussion Group

      *Contact us if you wish to be added to our email database to receive meeting announcements




ADVOCACY:

Not losing MH beds to Coronavirus


Would you be interested in becoming a NAMI Orange board member?
If so, contact our office at 845-956-6264
or email namiorangeny@warwick.net
to learn about the application process



Upcoming Events/Outreaches


Live Concert to benefit NAMI:

The
Armonia Band

Sat., August 15
6-7 pm
on Facebook
click here for details



See details
of upcoming NAMI
meetings and courses by clicking links below:

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NAMI Orange Education Mtg.
Virtual Meeting  Mon., Sept. 14
7-8 pm
Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy

Click link for details

 




UPCOMING COURSES:


Youth Mental Health First Aid
virtual training
Limited capacity
is now closed out

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NAMI Family-to-Family
Virtual Course

8 weeks (Saturdays)
Sept. 5 - Oct. 24
10 am-1 pm

Register now:
Dhanu: 845-294-2749




On-going  Support Groups:


Coping Circles
offered through
NYS Office of
Mental Health


NAMI Connection

*Offered online through
NAMI Sullivan Mondays, 7 pm

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*Offered online through
NAMI
capitalregionny

Tuesdays, 5 pm

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*Offered online through NAMI
Mid-Hudson
2nd Friday
of month 
6:30 pm

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NAMI Connection
a peer-led support group for adults living with a
mental illness.
No fee, no registration
PLEASE NOTE: 
unfortunately these meetings held in Goshen will not be able to resume until a later date, but online is available-
see above

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FAMILY 
SUPPORT
GROUPS
(Virtual)

presented by NAMI Orange
Click here for details

Starting Sept. 7
7-8 pm
1st & 3rd Mondays

Register: Call Dhanu at 845-294-2749, or dhanu72@hotmail.com

with name, address, phone # and email


For ongoing Family
Support Group Meetings, click here
for Zoom meetings thru NAMI Sullivan
3rd & 4th Tuesdays
6:30-8 p.m.


NAMI Rockland,
click here for support groups including
Family Support
in Spanish
Thurs., 3-4 pm
845-359-8784





NAMI In Our
Own Voice

CANCELLED  UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE





NAMI Presentations:

Both programs are arranged by request

Click on links below for details

  -Ending the Silence
is an in-school presentation designed to teach middle and high school students about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to recognize the early warning signs and the importance of acknowledging those warning signs. Through this classroom presentation, students get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition.
*3 types of presentations are available: for students, for staff and also for families


-In Our Own Voice
trained presenters who are in recovery from mental illness share compelling personal testimonies about their experiences of living with and dealing with the challenges posed by mental illness.



MENTAL HEALTH  ADVOCACY



*For information on public policy and advocacy issues:

Current NAMI-NYS Advocacy Alert: 
Click link to learn how to send an email letter to Governor Cuomo in support of mental health housing. You can send multiple letters, so if you have already send one, please take a moment to send another one. We need to generate as many letters as possible in order to demonstrate how important this issue is.




 Advocacy requested from NAMI Mid-Hudson

NAMI NYS is partnering with the NYS Nurses Association (NYSNA) to help protect vulnerable inpatient psych beds which include those beds recently moved during the Coronavirus pandemic from Ulster County Health Alliance St Mary Avenue campus to MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

Here is the situation and how you can help:
Hospitals throughout the state have been mandated to have 30% of their beds available in case of another COVID surge. Many hospitals have disproportionately targeted psychiatric beds for elimination in order to meet the mandate.

Some hospitals have totally eliminated their psychiatric beds (as has Ulster County) and there is no guarantee that these beds will return. In fact, in many cases we fear that the beds will be lost for good as hospitals have long aimed to eliminate these beds as they are less profitable.

In the coming weeks, NAMI NYS and NYSNA will be engaging in numerous media events to raise attention of this important issue. It is not an overstatement to say this requires the advocacy voice of NAMI NYS, our members, and YOU!

NAMI-NYS has created a survey asking people about their experiences accessing inpatient beds. They plan to use the feedback during the press events to demonstrate that there already is a crisis of too few beds and how a further reduction of beds would be catastrophic.

We need your help and encourage you to participate by taking the survey.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Also, if you or someone you know who has a good story about the inability to access inpatient services or having to travel a great distance to access services, please let Matthew Shapiro, Associate Director of Public Affairs NAMI NYS know as he is looking for patient/family advocates.

Here is his contact information:
Matthew Shapiro
Associate Director, Public Affairs
NAMI NYS
matthew@naminys.org
518-462-2000



  NAMI-NYS 2020 Legislation Action Agenda

               




                 
                        #BringItHomeNYS twitter

                         Bring It Home Website


BIH is group of community-based supportive housing providers, mental health advocates, faith leaders, & consumers & their families, demanding adequate funding.

Bring It Home NAMI-NYSNAMI-NYS Bring It Home

Visit  https://www.bringithomenys.org/  to discover more facts and to learn how you can support the Bring It Home campaign which calls for increased financial support for New York's Mental Health Housing Programs.





NYS License Plate (photo credit: News10 ABC)

Specialty License Plates
for Mental Health Awareness
Click above link to NYS Department of Motor Vehicle

The governor has signed into law Bill #A.06216B sponsored by Aileen Gunther which creates a specialty license plate stating, "Healthy Mind, Healthy NY"



                    Veterans Deserve Mental Health Care

                               excerpts from NAMI of Greater Des Moines


When Veterans transition out of service into civilian life, they can experience many challenges.

To help, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) recently introduced a bipartisan bill, S.785, The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act.

This bill will help Veterans access better care—care they deserve and need. NAMI worked with a bipartisan group of legislators on key parts of the bill, including provisions to:
  - Provide veterans with a full year of VA health and mental health care  after transitioning from the Armed Forces
  - Increase access to online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  -Create a Precision Medicine for Veterans Initiative to identify brain and mental health biomarkers
  -Provide $10 million to increase availability of and locations for VA telehealth care

S. 785 celebrates the legacy of retired Navy SEAL Commander John Scott Hannon, a member of NAMI Montana, who died by suicide last year after fighting a courageous battle with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and bipolar disorder.

CDR Hannon embodied the strength of veterans with mental health conditions. This bill honors his passion and efforts to improve veterans’ mental health care.

You can help. Click here (https://nami.quorum.us/campaign/18992/) to ask our U.S. Senators for their support of S. 785.



             
            How New Medicare Rule Proposals
               Affect People with Mental Illness

        excerpts from NAMI Advocacy and Public Policy Team


In November, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule<https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-11-30/pdf/2018-25945.pdf> that would impact Medicare coverage of prescription drugs. In January, 2019, we will distribute template comments specific to our areas of concern, but in the meantime, NAMI's partner organizations may reach out your NAMI State Organization or Affiliate to sign on to letters or encourage action regarding this proposed change or others.

To help determine if signing on or engaging is appropriate, you'll find more information on these changes and the areas that impact people with mental illness below.

Background on Medicare and Mental Illness
Medicare, unlike Medicaid, is entirely funded by the federal government. It provides health coverage to older Americans and to adults with disabilities. Many older adults on Medicare have mental health conditions. In addition, there are millions of younger adults who are on Medicare because they have a psychiatric disability.

Medicare is made up of "parts" that cover different benefits:

* Part A: Hospital care, short-term skilled nursing, home health services, hospice
* Part B: Health care professionals, outpatient and preventive care, some medical equipment and supplies
* Part C: Medicare Advantage-an alternative coverage option that covers both part A and B benefits, and often includes part D prescription benefits
Part D: Prescription drugs

What are the "6 protected classes" in Medicare Part D?
Medicare Part D provides drug coverage for 43 million seniors and adults with disabilities. Today, Part D plans must cover "all or substantially all" drugs in six classes, including:

1. Anticonvulsants (often prescribed for epilepsy)
2. Antidepressants
3. Antineoplastics (prescribed for cancer)
4. Antipsychotics
5. Antiretrovirals (prescribed for HIV/AIDS)
6. Immunosuppressants (prescribed for transplants)

These six protected classes were created to ensure people with conditions treated by these medications are not discriminated against, as well as to ensure access to a range of options that meet individual needs.

What is CMS proposing to change?
CMS is proposing a number of changes to how Medicare pays for drugs. Of these proposals, NAMI is concerned that the following will negatively affect people with mental illness:

Medicare Advantage (Part C) changes

* Step therapy for Part B drugs
NAMI has a long-standing policy of opposing step therapy for mental health medications. The proposed rule would put into regulation what CMS already allowed in an Aug. 7, 2018 memo-allowing Medicare Advantage plans to implement step therapy for drugs covered under Part B.

What drugs are covered under Part B? Part B covers drugs that have to be administered intravenously, such as chemotherapy. One long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic is also covered by Part B, while newer LAIs are covered under Part D.

Part D changes

* Prior authorization and step therapy in the six protected classes

CMS is proposing changes that would allow plans to use prior authorization and step therapy more widely in the six protected classes, even for people who are stable on their current medication. NAMI opposes this rule change, which would cause dangerous disruptions in treatment for millions of Medicare enrollees with mental illness.

* Restrictions on new formulations of drugs

The new rule would allow Part D plans to not cover new formulations of existing drugs, such as the long-acting injectable form of an antipsychotic or a new extended release formula. NAMI opposes this rule change, which would limit important innovations that make medications easier to take, better tolerated, or better tailored to a specific condition.

* Price increases above inflation

The new rule would allow plans, starting in January 2020, to exclude coverage of drugs, including "protected class" antipsychotics and antidepressants, if their wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) rose more quickly than general, not medical, inflation. General inflation generally rises more slowly than inflation for medical goods or services. This change could result in people not having access to needed medications and experience harmful disruption in their treatment.

What you can do
Comment on the proposed rule: Your voices on this issue matter. NAMI will distribute template comments specific to these areas of concern and instructions for submitting comments in early January which you can use to let CMS know about our concerns regarding the proposed rule.

Sign on to coalition letters: You are encouraged to sign on to coalition letters on this rule, provided the letters appropriately represent NAMI's position(s). As always, if you are not sure or would like advice, feel free to reach out to Hannah Wesolowski, director of advocacy, at
hwesolowski@nami.org.

Note: Separately, CMS is asking for comments on options for changing payment for Part B drugs to more closely align with international prices. If you're contacted about this issue, please reach out to Hannah Wesolowski, director of advocacy, at hwesolowski@nami.org


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NAMI-NYS Anylasis of 2015-2016 NYS Budget Agreement

 

Highlights Include:

Housing Investments

Expansion of CIT

Restoration of Prescriber Prevails

Criminal Justice Initiatives

Investment in Community Services

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On Sunday, March 29th, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders Assemblyman Carl Heastie and Senators Dean Skelos and Jeffery Klein reached an agreement for the FY 2015-16 budget. State legislators are expected to approve the budget deal before the April 1st deadline.

 

NAMI-NYS is extremely encouraged about many aspects of the budget agreement. Highlights include an investment in housing, several criminal justice initiatives including CIT expansion and the restoration of precribers prevails. This is one of the strongest budgets for mental health services in many years.