In order to keep things going around here, we have decided to merge with NAMI Lee County.  We are actually forming a regional group with Lee, Sarasota, and Hendry Counties…  Lee has the infrastructure and knowledge to make things happen.  We have actually dissolved NAMI Charlotte.

Karen Clark.

This blog is now officially a NON-official fan blog of NAMI. Having no direct connection to NAMI other then being a member and fan. I will post and keep reader updated on NAMI Local and national events. But as of June 28 this blog stop being part of the NAMI Charlotte.

Central Florida Behavioral Health Network

Central Florida Behavioral Health Network

presents the three-day Free course:



The Leadership Academy is an educational training program for individuals who are eager to strengthen their leadership, networking, and advocacy skills. This training focuses on creating system and community changes through collective self-determination, which exemplifies empowerment!


Topics covered include the Florida Legislative Process and funding sources, strategies to become a successful advocacy leader, shared decision making, problem solving, and effective communication with community stakeholders including providers, agencies and legislators.



For more information, check out which offers extensive information and many tips about dealing with anxiety, panic disorders and how to deal with a number of psychotrope substances.

WHEN:      Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday May 11, 12, & 13, 2015


TIME:         8:00 am – 5:00pm daily

If you need buypapercheap , then the team of professionals from buypapercheap is here to help you.

WHERE:   Sarasota, Florida


HOW:        Class size is limited and acceptance for registration is by application and interview. For more information and to register:

Contact co-facilitators Stephanie Wolf, at or call 727-544-3560, or Patricia Adams at or 727-520-6808 for registration information and to obtain an application.
Georgia Psychiatric Consultants is a reputable group of psychiatrist in Decatur. If you are looking for a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist then call our doctors today. While our offices are located in Decatur we are easily accessible from anywhere in the Metro Atlanta area.

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Don't Forget – NAMI Charlotte County Updates Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 Meeting

dont forget


NAMI Charlotte County

NAMI Charlotte County UpDate

We personally invite you to join us for our next meeting and support groups on

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015
7 PM
 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1532 Forrest Nelson Blvd., Port Charlotte

We have much more in store for 2015.
So come be a part of us and bring a friend…as we let it shine. (see Agenda Below)


Also Make time now for LEADERSHIP ACADEMY ON JANUARY 21-23, 2015
The EVENT is for: 
MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATES & anyone who wants to be one!
BONUS! *$35 Stipend awarded for completing the academy*

For Information and Registration contact:

Michael McNally, Leadership Coordinator
(239)260-7313 or 
PDF: Jan 21-23 Leadership Academy Flyer


Cartoon by Cartoonist Chato Stewart 


Leadership Academy on January 21-23, 2015

When: Leadership Academy on January 21-23, 2015

For Information and Registration contact:

Michael McNally, Leadership Coordinator

(239)260-7313 or


Join the Suncocast Region Leadership Academy!

January 21-23, 2015



Hosted By: Charlotte Behavioral Health Care

1700 Education Avenue

Punta Gorda, FL 33950


Real Value:

“Consumer Involvement
The Florida Leadership Academy is about getting involved. It is about empowerment.
Participants of the Leadership Academy learn they can get involved at the individual level and start a peer support group.
Participants also learn they can get involved at the service level to help make services and supports better, like serving on a rehabilitation program’s advisory board. They discover they can get involved at the community level—focusing beyond treatment and rehabilitatio — and more on promoting jobs or getting an education. Finally, participants of the Leadership Academy learn they can get involved at the state or national

Exl file:Leadership Schedule

NAMI Charlotte County UpDate

NAMI Charlotte County UpDate

NAMI Charlotte County was awarded the NAMI Florida Phoenix Award at the December 6 & 7 NAMI Florida Annual Meeting and Conference in Orlando.  The Phoenix award is presented for persistence in reviving an affiliate.  Thanks to all who are helping us! 

 We are growing with your help! Thank you!  We want to personally invite you to join us for our next meeting and support groups on

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015
7 PM
 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1532 Forrest Nelson Blvd., Port Charlotte

We have much more in store for 2015.  With your support, we will be more than aPhoenix in 2015.  We will be sun that shines rays of hope to our peers, our caregivers, our loved ones, and our community.  We will let everyone know that there is life after a diagnosis, there is dignity, that the stigma must go, and there is NAMI Charlotte County!. 

So come be a part of us and bring a friend…as we let it shine.

Next Meeting Agenda:

7 PM     

  • Welcome
  • Short Announcements


  • Break into 2 groups for discussion
    • Peer Group
    • Family Group


  • Committees Reports


  • Adjourn

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015.  BRING A FRIEND!


Karen Clark
President, NAMI Charlotte County
Mike Herman
Co-President, NAMI Charlotte County

Action Requested Today Jan 8th

Hundreds of people today are taking action across the state today, calling on lawmakers to close the disgraceful coverage gap.

This coverage gap has trapped nearly 1 million working moms and dads, veterans, students, and more. Those people will remain uninsured until our lawmakers accept the billions of dollars offered to Florida to give coverage to low-income citizens.

Lawmakers returned this week to Tallahassee and we know what that means: It’s time to act.

2015 is our year to win this. More and more businesses, political leaders, faith leaders, and folks just like yourself are putting the pressure on lawmakers to get it done and believe me, they’re listening.

Today, hundreds of health care activists will be taking action in Tallahassee, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. (See below for event details)

If you cant make it to an event, we need you to leave a quick message for your State Representative or State Senator’s office. Click here to look up the number and leave a short message:

This is an important week for our campaign. Lawmakers will be moving very quickly to make critical decisions. 

It is critical that we demonstrate our power this week. Help us show that two years into this campaign, we’re stronger than ever. Leave a quick message for your Representative:

Every day, more businesses, faith leaders, physicians, and folks like yourself are joining in our fight. We’re all coming together today raise our voices with one simple message: Close the Gap.

Take 60 seconds to be part of this powerful day of action: or, join in with one of the events below.

Want to learn more about our strategy for moving forward, see some of the latest information on what the gap means for us, or get the latest policy updates? Join this special call on Tuesday, January 13th at 7:00 PM(less than an hour) featuring Stephanie Glover of National Women’s Law Center

Statewide Day of Action Events!


Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Outside of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 Northwest 1st Street, Miami (for the 11:00 event, contact Carla about metromover/metrorail event)
Contact: Carla, Catalyst Miami,
Synopsis: The event will consist of a press conference that includes lawmakers and individuals in the gap. There will also be a theatrical component with costumes, petition signing, and information about the coverage gap disseminated during rush hour (8:00 – 9:00 AM/5:00-6:00 PM) at the metromover and metrorail. Supporters welcome at all components!


Time: 12:00 Noon
Location: Capitol Building, Plaza Level Rotunda
Contact: Athena, Florida CHAIN,, (570)-760-1828
Synopsis: A short press conference featuring area leaders discussing the need to close the coverage gap will be followed by these leaders dropping off welcome packets to House and Senate leadership. The welcome packets include photos of real Floridians trapped in the coverage gap and vital information about what expansion means for hard-working families in FL. Supporters welcome to come to conference and also to pass out welcome materials!


Time: Throughout the day
Location: Offices of newly-elected House Representatives
Press Contact: Anna, Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando,
Synopsis: Area leaders and supporters will be delivering welcome baskets to newly elected Representatives in Central Florida. The welcome baskets will include photos from the Lives on the Line display that was covered by the Orlando media on October 18th. These are small, friendly events. Contact Anna for more information!


Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Outside local representatives’ offices.
Press Contact: Olivia, Florida Consumer Action Network,
Synopsis: Area leaders will present local representatives  with a welcome basket that includes the photos of real Floridians stuck in the coverage gap that received media attention when they were displayed in St. Petersburg on December 18th. This is a rather small, friendly event, contact Olivia for more details!

NAMI Report Shows Exemplary Leaders in 2014

The following was email published on the NAMI WebsiteL

Mental Health Reforms Have Slowed Since the Newtown Tragedy; NAMI Report Shows Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin among Exemplary Leaders in 2014

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 9, 2014 — Momentum for reform of the nation’s mental health care system slowed in 2014 as a result of failure by Congress to enact comprehensive mental health care legislation and a decrease in the number of states strengthening investment in mental health services, according to a report released today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

The report State Mental Health Legislation 2014 stands in contrast to one issued in 2013 which described a dramatic response by many states following the tragedy at Sandy Hook  Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012.

From 2009 to 2012, states cut mental health budgets by $4.35 billion. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia began to restore funding in 2013 in the wake of heightened public awareness of mental health needs.

This year only 29 states and the District of Columbia increased funding for mental health services. Progress was made in some states, but according to the report, “much of the legislation felt like tinkering at the edges.”

Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin were leaders in enacting measures that might serve as models for other states in such areas as workforce shortages, children and youth, school-based mental health, employment and criminal justice.

“What a difference a year makes,” said NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti. “Last year, as the first anniversary of the Newtown tragedy approached, Americans could see progress flowing from both the White House Conference on Mental Health and state legislation.”

“This year, as the second anniversary approaches, progress has slowed and with the exception of a few members, Congress has been missing in action.”

“Public awareness of mental health concerns has not diminished. In 2014, the tragic death of Robin Williams was another dramatic reminder that no one is immune.”

“Unfortunately, people sometimes forget that tragedies are happening every day. They include people living with mental illness who end up in emergency rooms, people who end up in jail or homeless on the street. They include deaths by suicide. They include young people whose symptoms too often aren’t recognized early enough to avoid the worst outcomes.”

Overall, the mental health care system still needs to recover lost ground from the state budget cuts of 2009-2012.  But reinvestment is unsteady.

Although 22 states and the District of Columbia increased mental health spending in 2013 and 2014 (See Appendix 1), six states cut it in both those years:

  • Arkansas
  • Alaska
  • Louisiana
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Wyoming

Four states increased mental health spending in 2013, but then cut it in 2014:

  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Rhode Island

Five states increased mental health spending in 2013, but stayed level in 2014:

  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee

Five states kept mental health spending level in 2013 and managed to increase it in 2014. Indiana stayed level in both years:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • West Virginia

Four state legislatures did not convene in 2014:

  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Texas

NAMI’s State Legislative Report surveyed mental health related laws enacted by states around the country, noting those that might serve as models elsewhere. Areas surveyed include:

  • Health reform and Medicaid expansion
  • Health insurance transparency and parity
  • Crisis and inpatient care
  • Prescription medications
  • Mental health care delivery strategies
  • Housing and employment
  • Children, youth and young adults
  • Mental health care standards
  • Criminal justice
  • NAMI’s policy recommendations for states in 2015 fall within four basic areas:
  • Strengthen public mental health funding
  • Hold public and private insurers and providers accountable for appropriate, high-quality services with measurement of outcomes
  • Expand Medicaid with adequate coverage for mental health
  • Implement effective practices such as first episode psychosis (FEP), assertive community treatment (ACT) and crisis intervention team (CIT) programs

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

NAMI Charlotte County Updates,

Charlotte County NAMI

The Charlotte County NAMI is now up and running with monthly peer and family support groups! The next meeting is December 9th.

NAMI Charlotte County will hold its December meeting and its peer and family support groups on December 9 at 7 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building at 1532 Forrest Nelson Blvd. in Port Charlotte. We will go directly into support groups at 7 PM then meet back together at 8 PM for committee reports. Please come and bring a friend!


7 PM

  • Welcome
  • Short Announcements
  • Review NAMI Guidelines and Principles of Support.


  • Break into 2 groups for discussion
    • Peer Group
    • Family Group


  • Committees Reports


  • Adjourn / End

Be thinking about whether you would be willing to serve on a committee – Advocacy, IT, Fundraising, Public Relations, Hospitality, or Education.

We look forward to seeing you on December 9. BRING A FRIEND!


Karen Clark

President, NAMI Charlotte County


Mike Herman

Co-President, NAMI Charlotte County

National Alliance on Mental Illness is a non-profit organization whose membership is dedicated to the welfare of persons with serious mental illness.

Health Coverage Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 15

Make Your Vote Count

Today’s candidates will become tomorrow’s elected officials, with the power to make important decisions. As voters concerned about mental health care, it is critical that you learn about issues, educate candidates about the importance of mental health, and use your vote to elect representatives that will help improve mental health care in this country.

Ask the important questions. 

Know what your voting rights and options are.

Educate the candidates that mental health is a priority.

Tell your candidates that “Mental Health Care Gets My Vote!”

Health Coverage Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 15  

It’s that time again! Open enrollment for health coverage is Nov. 15 through Feb. 15, 2015. New affordable plans are available, so if you do not have insurance or you need to re-enroll check out to see your options.

Things to keep in mind when choosing your health plan. Make sure:

  1. Your mental health provider is in your network.
  2. Your mental health medications are covered by your plan.
  3. That your plan is affordable, which can mean low co-pays, low co-insurance and low deductibles.

Learn more about the cross section of mental health care and the health insurance marketplace.

Bonus Read: Learn about how the Affordable Care Act is impacting the Criminal Justice System.

Medicare Part D 2015 Open Enrollment Has Begun  

Medicare Part D is a crucial program if you or a loved one is a Medicare recipient who takes medication to treat your mental illness. The new 2015 guide for Medicare Prescription Drug Annual Enrollment is now available from Medicare Access for Patients Rx (MAPRx). Compare plan choices and find the plan that best meets your prescription medication needs. All Part D plans are changing in 2015. Use the guide to get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Read the guide.

Find out if you need to make a change.

Use Medicare’s plan finder.

Enrollment for Medicare prescription drug coverage is open until Dec. 7, 2014.

Finding Ways to Help People Who Are Homeless

Reducing long-term homelessness is a priority for NAMI in our new strategic plan for 2015 through 2017. Homelessness among people with mental illness is a tragic outcome of a broken mental health system. Addressing the needs of long-term homeless individuals, many of whom live with serious mental illness and substance use disorders, requires blending mental health services with supportive housing. Two new reports have been released which provide information about emerging best practices for blending resources to address chronic homelessness.

You can help address chronic homelessness in your state by sharing these reports with the agencies responsible for Medicaid and housing in your state and urging them to implement the best practices highlighted in these reports.

Read the reports.

Bright Spot: NAMI Policy Team Takes on Twitter

Two NAMI Policy Team leaders have joined the Twitter-verse and are actively tweeting about #MentalHealth policy! Follow them at @NAMIPolicyWonk and @DarcyGrutt to stay up to date! Below are some tweets from the last week.

You can also follow NAMI on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for your advocacy!


Myths about the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 3717)


Myths about the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 3717)

Groups representing high functioning individuals with a ‘lived-experience’ and other recipients of SAMHSA funds have made numerous claims about The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 3717) that are inconsistent with the facts. The following compares the claims with the facts. Prepared by Mental Illness Policy Org.

PDF Version



HR3717 greatly promotes stigma and discrimination by its unfounded and damaging connection between mental illness and violence.”

HR 3717 does not make any claim that persons with mental illness are more violent. However, provisions of the bill have been proven to reduce violence by those with untreated serious mental illness. It is violence by this minority that stigmatizes the majority, so it can be expected HR 3717 will reduce stigma.

HR3717 virtually eliminates the main system of legal representation for Americans with psychiatric disabilities

The Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program was founded to improve the quality of care received by the most seriously ill. It now focuses on ‘freeing’ them from treatment and lobbying states to oppose policies that can help the most seriously ill (ex preservation of hospitals for those who need them. HR 3717 returns PAIMI to its original mission and reigns in their ability to use funds to lobby against treatment needed by some of the seriously ill.
The bill would amend HIPAA and erode privacy rights for people who have a mental health diagnosis and strip away privacy rights for Americans with psychiatric disabilities HIPAA and FERPA require doctors to keep parents in the dark absent a specific waiver by the mentally ill individual. Mentally ill individuals who “know” the FBI planted a transmitter in their head are unlikely to sign the waiver. Parents who are caregivers need the information about the diagnosis, treatment plan, medications and pending appointments of mentally ill loved ones so they can ensure they have prescriptions filled and transportation to appointments. HR 3717 writes very limited exclusions into HIPAA that allow parents who provide care out of love to get the same information paid caretakers already receive.

Incentivize needless hospitalization and civil rights violations

The Institutes for Mental Disease (IMD) provision of Medicaid prevents states from receiving reimbursement for persons with mental illness who need care in a state psychiatric hospital. So states kick the seriously mentally ill out of hospitals. Many wind up incarcerated. Patrick Kennedy called the IMD Exclusion federally funded discrimination against the mentally ill since Medicaid reimburses for hospital care when the illness is any organ other than the brain. HR3717 makes small revisions in Medicaid so those who need hospital care are more likely to receive it. It does not require anyone to be hospitalized or gives states an incentive to hospitalize.

Redirect federal funds from effective, voluntary community services to high-cost, involuntary treatment, including outpatient commitment

HR3717 does not redirect funds away from voluntary community services. It does give states an incentive to help people who were offered voluntary services and refused to accept them. For example, Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is for people who fail on voluntary treatment. It is often the last off ramp before hospitalization or incarceration. By replacing hospitalization and incarceration with community treatment, it cuts costs in half.

Destroys SAMHSA

HR3717 creates an Assistant Secretary of Mental Health to distribute funds previously distributed by SAMHSA and directs the Assistant Secretary to fund evidence-based programs that help the most seriously ill. SAMHSA has refused to do either.

The AOT interventions proposed in the bill are not proven to work, are costly and drive people away from seeking support.

Six months of mandated and monitored treatment has been shown to reduce homelessness 74%; hospitalization 77%; arrest 83%; incarceration 87%, physical harm to others 47%; property destruction 46%; suicide attempts 55%; and substance abuse (48%). 80% of those in AOT–as opposed to those who purport to speak for them-said it helped them get well and stay well. Those in AOT had lower perceived stigma than others. AOT does allow judges to order the mental health system to provide care which likely accounts for some objections. It limits a programs ability to cherry pick the highest functioning for admission.  

The bill’s provisions run counter to Olmstead v. LC (1999), which calls for persons to receive services in the “most integrated setting.”

By funding AOT, HR3717 reduces the use of both hospitalization and incarceration thereby furthering the mandate in Olmstead to help persons with mental illness live in the most integrated setting.

The bill would slash innovative and promising programs developed by persons in mental health recovery

HR 3717 takes steps to ensure that programs that get funded are evidence-based. Other programs could apply to NIMH for research to determine if they work.  Many “innovative” programs are being funded absent research showing they work. Numerous recent studies show that some programs that use peers to replace professionals in service delivery have not been proven effective in improving meaningful outcomes (reduced suicide, homelessness, arrest, incarceration) in people with serious mental illness.

The information on Mental Illness Policy Org.

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