Page 1

Mississippi SPRING 2018

Pages 10-11

Affiliates p. 4

Day at the Capitol p. 9

NAMIWalks p. 12

State Conference p. 14


Mississippi 2618 Southerland Street Jackson, MS 39216 601-899-9058 • 800-357-0388 Fax: 601-956-6380 •


Letter from the President of the Board 2 NAMI Pine Belt • NAMI Gulf Coast 4 NAMI Meridian 5 NAMI 4 Rivers MS • NAMI Central MS 6 NAMI Vicksburg 7 NAMI Oxford • Community Partners 8 Day at the Capitol 9 Learn & Grow 10-11 NAMIWalks 12 2018 State Conference 14 Education • Comm. Partnership Highlights 15 Advocacy 16 Youth Advisory Council 17 Calendar of Events • Support Group Contacts 18 Membership Updates 19 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Brett Mayfield, President Gloria Mwase, Vice President Sharon Turner-Davis, Secretary Auvergne Williams, Treasurer Jesse Coppenbarger, At Large Hanne Gaycken, At Large Marcus Ginn, At Large Mary Harrington, At Large Clinton Smith, At Large Christiane Williams, At Large Harold & Nancy White, At Large Thomas Carson, Consumer Council Representative Dr. Joe Kinnan, Pine Belt Affiliate Representative Randall Williams, Vicksburg Affiliate Representative Lynn Gilbert, Oxford Affiliate Representative Patricia Battle, Meridian Affiliate Representative Richard Raymond, Central Mississippi Affiliate Representative STATE OFFICERS Tameka Tobias, Executive Director Sitaniel J. Wimbley, Program Director Lauren Ferguson, Development Intern Rita Hodges, Account Manager Tamara Jones-Smith, Conference Coordinator Kawanna Jenkins, Education Outreach Volunteer Jamie Kurlej, Community Outreach Specialist Lauren Parker, Mental Health Advocacy & Public Policy Intern Latasha A. Willis, Community Outreach Specialist AFFILIATES Central Mississippi 4 Rivers MS (Developing) Gulf Coast (Program Affiliate) Pine Belt Vicksburg Meridian Oxford Yazoo (Program Affiliate) NAMI ON CAMPUS Jackson State University USM Gulf Park Millsaps College (Developing) The NAMI Mississippi newsletter is funded by donations from members and partners, and is published to inform, educate and strengthen the community of individuals and families affected by serious mental illness. The articles and opinions within are not necessarily those of the NAMI Mississippi organization. Content is not intended to endorse any political candidates, viewpoint, treatment or medication.


Letter from the President of the Board

ear fellow NAMI Mississippi members, As Mississippians, we pride ourselves on being the “Hospitality” State. Though that may not be the experience of everyone within our borders, we certainly seek to nurture a spirit of generosity, empathy, and support while typically providing an unreasonable number of covered dish treats to anyone in our social circle who is experiencing illness or distress. That’s who we are. It’s something we’re proud of. It’s something we celebrate. All too often, however, we express our generosity without carefully considering our own needs or, in some cases, we feel a sense of pride at intentionally neglecting ourselves to serve others. While self-sacrifice can be admirable sometimes, we must keep in mind that we are best able to serve others when we ourselves are healthy and running on a full charge. The members of NAMI Mississippi are people living with mental illnesses, their families and friends, and professionals in the field of mental health. Given the challenges we face, we often forget the importance of self-care. As I write this, I’m reminded of the children’s song, “There’s a Hole in My Bucket.” The gist of the song is that the man, Henry, can’t

use his bucket to get the water to wet a stone to sharpen an axe to cut the straw to fix the hole in the bucket— because there’s a hole in the bucket. If you didn’t quite follow that, here’s the takeaway: Neglecting our own needs for too long and for too great an extent can be ultimately self-defeating. We are at our best when we take measures to maintain a sense of balance and wholeness so that when we serve others, we serve them with clarity, purpose, and a full measure of our energies. As you face the day-to-day challenges ahead, remember to take some time out for yourself, to sit and consider your own health, to engage in productive reflection, and to do what’s necessary to take care of yourself so that the flame of your passion for the work of advocating for mental health, promoting well-being, and supporting those who struggle with mental health challenges never goes dark. We at NAMI Mississippi are grateful to have such a strong and active membership. Your well-being is our highest value. We encourage you to let us know how we can support you and your communities. Sincerely, Brett Mayfield, Board President

SPRING 2018 · 3

4 · NAMI MISSISSIPPI We are excited and grateful to report that the City of Hattiesburg has become a NAMI Mississippi sponsor. A nicely-framed reetings to all NAMI members and certificate of recognition was presented to friends! Our affiliate continues to meet Mayor Toby Barker on February 20, 2018 at each month, learning much from the City Council Meeting. some outstanding guest speakers. In January, We are very pleased with the opportuniLewis Anthony Bullock, a member of the Pine ties we have had to assist with the formation Belt Mental Healthcare Resources Community of the Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) and Mental Health Center, spoke about the progthe de-escalation training of numerous law ress of Crisis Intervention Team training in the enforcement officers throughout the Pine counties. He gave us valuable insight into the Belt, including personnel from Jones and curriculum. In February, Judge Wes Curry, the Forrest Counties. Our affiliate is collaboCity of Hattiesburg Municipal Court Judge rerating with other agencies to host a CIT sponsible for the Behavioral Health Court, told Appreciation Banquet on April 7, 2018. The us of the steady growth of the court’s census CIT Officer of the Year for Jones County as an excellent jail diversion program. Please will be honored at the banquet. The guest join us on the last Tuesday of each month at speaker will be Dr. Thomas Kirchberg, the 6:00 p.m. at the Forrest General Cafeteria Elm Chief of Psychology for the VA Medical Room to share ideas and learn more about the Center in Memphis. Dr. Randy Dupont and issues in mental health. Major Sam Cochran, key founders of the National CIT Program, will also attend the celebration. The local Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority chapter will help us sponsor a Mental Health First Aid Course on July 21, 2018 in Hattiesburg. The event is a key feature to recognize Minority Mental Health Month. 30 people are slated to City of Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker receives a NAMI Mississippi Certificate of attend. They will learn Sponsorship from Dr. Joe Kinnan during a city council meeting on Feb. 20, 2018. The ways to strengthen city is a strong supporter of NAMI and positive mental health programs. mental health awareCOURTESY NAMI PINE BELT



AMI Gulf Coast has begun offering Connection Recovery Support Group meetings again. Chris Marcell and Louis F. Pollio are facilitating on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. in the classroom of the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi in Gulfport. The meetings are 60 minutes, and the average attendance has been between 12-16 people. Chris has been facilitating Connection since 2010; he is also a State Trainer for the program. Louis was trained as a facilitator at the Signature Programs Training Academy Weekend in July 2017. Gulf Coast is looking forward to partic-

ipating in the Learn & Grow meeting on Wednesday, June 13 in Gulfport. - Submitted by: Chris Marcell

Judge Wes Curry, City of Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court Municipal Judge, spoke at the NAMI Pine Belt Affiliate Meeting on February 27th. He is shown with (left to right) Sandy Kinnan, Debbie Dale (Affiliate President), and Dr. Joe Kinnan. COURTESY NAMI PINE BELT

ness in our community and how to respond appropriately to mental health emergencies. Our membership continues to grow in quantity and quality! We are fostering the establishment of the NAMI On Campus programs at the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. We are one of the primary contacts in the area to assist individuals and families who struggle with mental health crises. It is so important to refer struggling families to the most appropriate mental health services. Our affiliate has been very impressed with the way the NAMI Mississippi State Office has kept us informed on legislative matters. Gloria Mwase, Tameka Tobias and Lauren Parker are superb advocates for improving mental health services. We’re privileged to be a part of the advocacy team in our state and nation. Indeed, we are companions on this exciting and meaningful journey! - Respectfully submitted by Joe Kinnan, Ph.D.

NAMI Gulf Coast Meetings Connection Recovery Support: Wednesdays from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Mental Health Association of South Mississippi, MHA Drop-In Center

Family Support Group:

Third Thursdays at 7 p.m. Garden Park Medical Center, first-floor meeting room across from the cafeteria

Chris Marcell of NAMI Gulf Coast speaks at a local event. COURTESY CHRIS MARCELL

More info at: nami-gulf-coast/

SPRING 2018 · 5


appy New NAMI Year! We are already hard at work showing our presence and support for 2018, but first, we want to share an update on our annual December service project – Christmas gift bags. In December 2017, the affiliate collected and purchased items for the annual service project, disseminated the items into 108 gift bags, and then distributed the gift bags to a local homeless shelter, Alliance Health Center, and the DeKalb group home. Children from Alliance Health Center, Southeast Elementary and Southeast Middle schools colored Christmas cards for the bags. Children from Southeast Elementary school and Clarkdale Attendance Center colored the bags with Christmas scenes. Weems Community Mental Health Center assisted the affiliate by collecting and purchasing items to insert into an additional 236 bags that they filled and delivered on behalf of NAMI Meridian to adults participating in 12 different psychosocial rehabilitation programs. Kids from Weems’ Division of Children and Youth festively decorated the gifts bags. Thank you to all who helped bring a smile to so many faces and hearts during the last Christmas season by donating or purchasing items, organizing them, and assembling and delivering the bags. In January 2018, detailed planning began for our annual Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) appreciation event to be held in February. Part of the planning was

to once again establish February as CIT Awareness Month statewide by a proclamation from Governor Phil Bryant. Also, the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors and Meridian’s Mayor Percy Bland declared the same locally. This year, NAMI Meridian decided to take the appreciation receptions to the officers. Two receptions at the Lauderdale County Sheriff Department and two receptions at the Meridian Police Department were held in an effort to catch CIT officers as they transitioned shifts. We were able to have Weidmann’s Restaurant in Meridian cater each event, and the officers enjoyed a delicious menu of sandwiches, homemade potato chips, seasonal fruit, brownies, and cookies. Each CIT officer also received a nice padfolio with the East Mississippi CIT emblem embossed on the cover, for which they were very appreciative. Our community partners generously supported CIT Awareness Month and sponsored the appreciation events. Sponsors for the event include Alliance Health Center, Rush Hospital, Weems Community Mental Health Center, Central Mississippi Residential Center, Lauderdale County Mental Health Association, Anderson Regional Health System, 1st Mississippi Federal Credit Union, Community Bank, Great Southern Bank, Long Creek Community Club, MUNA Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Citizens National Bank, and Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Individuals representing the sponsors, NAMI Meridian, the Connection Support Group, and the local Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority attended the appre-

CIT Officers from the Lauderdale County Sheriff Department waste no time in helping themselves to the delicious spread during their appreciation reception, February 27. COURTESY NAMI MERIDIAN

ciation events. Members of our affiliate then attended the ribbon cutting for NFusionX-Crossover Xpand on March 8. On March 17, we participated in the Eliza Pillars Health Fair by setting up a booth and sharing information with several people about NAMI locally, statewide, and nationally. Next, we will begin selling raffle tickets on April 16 for chances to win beachthemed prizes. The winners will be drawn on June 14 at our semi-annual membership drive at Bonita Lakes Park. Our affiliate’s spring training session will be held April 26-28 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Meridian. Classes will be held to train facilitators for the Connection Support Group by Chris Marcell and Family Support Group by Patricia Battle. We will also try to have another training in the fall to include Basics facilitator training. Plans are being worked on for our National Mental Health Awareness Month event on May 10, and our National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month event on July 19. We are also beginning to gather information and volunteers to put together a NAMI Meridian affiliate walk in November with a focus on suicide awareness and prevention. We hope that 2018 will be even more successful than past NAMI years. Here’s to showing our presence and sharing support to those who need us! - Submitted by: NAMI Meridian affiliate members

Members of NAMI Meridian Affiliate, CIT Officers from the Meridian Police Department, and supporters of the CIT program gather together, February 26, in front of stacks of padfolios which were given to all the CIT officers in appreciation of their going above and beyond for those dealing with a mental health crisis. COURTESY NAMI MERIDIAN



ny new startup is frightening and challenging. A little over a year ago, a group of concerned mental health advocates met to discuss community support for individuals with mental health issues and their families. Together, these advocates brought a vision to begin a new affiliate in Southwest Mississippi known as NAMI 4 Rivers MS. With support and leadership, and with willing hearts and hands, these individuals laid the groundwork for the new affiliate which offers support, education, and advocacy for this area. Also, a big shout-out goes to the NAMI Mississippi State Office (too many to name) for supporting us with all facets of our startup. Special thanks to Latoya Coleman, the first NAMI 4 Rivers MS president, who has moved on to new opportunities. Please help us welcome Kate Morrow, our new president. Kate brings with her years of experience in the mental health area and recently relocated to this area after years of service in Maryland. Our name, NAMI 4 Rivers MS, comes from the four rivers in Southwest Mississippi (Homochitto, Bogue Chitto, Pearl and Mississippi River). We are a diverse group of professionals, lay people, neighbors, friends, and individuals with a mental health issue

NAMI Central Mississippi held an affiliate meeting on April 3 at Christ United Methodist Church. This was a speaker’s meeting with perspectives from a peer speaker, Kawanna Jenkins, and a family speaker, Pat Montgomery. At the meeting, we stressed the need to build our affiliate into a more robust and active part of NAMI Mississippi. Another focus for 2018 will be to increase our participation in local events, both to raise our visibility and to partner with worthwhile causes. Our early afternoon NAMI Connection group meets every Thursday at Cups in the Quarter (1855 Lakeland Drive, Suite D-10, Jackson) from 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m., and participation has been encouraging. We have recently added a second NAMI Connection meeting, which meets biweekly on Thursdays at Hinds Behavioral Health Services (3450 Highway 80 West, Jackson) in the Ruth Wilson Executive Board Room from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. NAMI

and their family members. The one thing we have in common is the desire, interest, and compassion to help support individuals and their communities in the various areas of mental health. 4 Rivers has taken on a daunting task: It encompasses 10 counties and tracks two mental health organizations, which includes Region 8 (Lincoln County) and Region 11 (Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Franklin, Lawrence, Jefferson, Pike, Walthall, and Wilkinson counties). 4 Rivers has held four quarterly affiliate meetings in the past year - two in Brookhaven, one in McComb, and one in Natchez with more to come. Our last affiliate meeting on Feb. 27, 2018, was held in Natchez at the Natchez Convention Center where we learned about Crisis Intervention Teams and the commitment process in Adams County. In June of 2017, five members attended the Signature Programs Training Academy in Raymond, and they took the Family Support Group and Peer-to-Peer courses. They also participated in NAMIWalks on November 11. 4 Rivers launched our first Family Support Group in January, which meets once a month on the second Thursday of the month in Brookhaven at the Episcopal Church at 6:30 p.m. Peer-to-Peer will be starting soon. We want to continue our outreach efforts to recruit and establish relationships with the outlying communities, and now have enough

members to host a training session in our area (TBA). Please call the NAMI Mississippi office in Jackson at (601) 899-9058 if you are interested in becoming involved. We welcome new members to our affiliate and hope to see more people become involved as we seek to help those who need us most. - Submitted by: Curtis Oliver

Connection is a weekly recovery support group for people living with mental illness in which people learn from each other’s experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding. Our spring NAMI Peer-to-Peer course is also being held at Hinds Behavioral Health Services. The session began on March 12, and Monica Wolters and Latasha Willis are the facilitators. NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a 10-week, recovery-focused educational program for adults who wish to establish and maintain wellness in response to mental health challenges. Be sure to sign up for NAMI Mississippi’s

e-newsletter and follow them as well as NAMI Central Mississippi on Facebook so you will be notified when the course is offered again. Also, the NAMI Family Support Group meets on second Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. at St. Dominic Hospital (969 Lakeland Drive, Jackson) in the St. Catherine Room. NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for family members, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Read more about NAMI Central Mississippi on our web page: nami-central-ms/. - Submitted by: Auvergne Williams

Natchez Sheriff Vince Patton, guest speaker, interviewed by local reporter. COURTESY NAMI 4 RIVERS MS

NAMI 4 Rivers MS members chat with Natchez court official and Region 11 Director. COURTESY NAMI 4 RIVERS MS

Attendees at the NAMI Central Mississippi affiliate meeting on April 3, 2018 at Christ United Methodist Church.

Central MS member Auvergne Williams. PHOTO CREDITS: KAWANNA JENKINS

SPRING 2018 · 7


ello, Everyone! NAMI Vicksburg is busily planning a very important event coming up in April. We will be hosting our very first Mental Health Town Hall Meeting along with NAMI Mississippi. Please mark your calendars and plan to be with us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, in the Circuit Court Room of the Warren County Court House at 1009 Cherry Street here in Vicksburg! The panel of speakers will include Mr. Bobby Barton of WarrenYazoo Behavioral Health, Ms. Stacey Waites of the Warren County Holding Facility, Sheriff Martin Pace, VPD Chief Milton Moore, Ms. Tameka Tobias of NAMI Mississippi, and Mr. Brent Hurley of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. This panel will discuss community mental health challenges, services, facilities, crisis training, and the impact of current political and economic factors on community mental health. The primary intent is to share information about the current status of mental health care in our community and look at ways that crisis intervention training can assist law enforcement in their dealings with individuals with serious mental illness. The moderator for the evening will be Randall Williams, the NAMI Vicksburg affiliate representative to the NAMI Mississippi Board of Directors. Randall also has chaired the Planning Committee, which has been working diligently for months in preparation for this important community-wide event. For questions or more information, you can contact Randall directly at 601-630-7724, via email at or through NAMI Vicksburg at vicksburg@ In looking back over the past several months, NAMI Vicksburg maintained outreach to the community through several events. October brought a quarterly Affiliate Meeting with guest speaker Ms. Anitra Nichols of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., who shared with the attendees about the history and service of AKA over the years and down to the present. NAMI Vicksburg hopes to partner with AKA on some projects in the future. The quarterly birthday parties for our friends at Wisconsin Cove and the Group Home have continued under the

able leadership of Mary Pope and Sarah Johnson with the aid of volunteers Shirley Williams, Denise Mounger, Deloris McGee, and others. NAMI Vicksburg was also represented at the Alcorn Health and Wellness Fair on Nov. 8, 2017, by Thomas Carson, Thomas Spates, and Shirley Hedrick, who shared NAMI resources with visitors. The Affiliate’s usual visit to the local Vicksburg Veteran’s Day Luncheon was replaced by NAMIWalks on Nov. 11th, which honored veterans. Several affiliate members attended the walk and walked with the NAMI Vicksburg Volunteers Teams, captained by Deloris McGee. It was a great day! Two of the highlights of 2017 for NAMI Vicksburg were walking in the Christmas Parade on Dec. 2nd (participants included affiliate members, families, friends, and fur babies), and hosting our much-anticipated Christmas Party for 50-plus guests complete with decorations, gifts, door prizes, games, Christmas carols, delicious food, great fellowship, and special guest Santa Claus, on Dec. 7th. The party as usual made Christmas extra special for all of us. The new year brought another Affiliate Meeting on January 23, 2018. Guest speakers for the event were Mr. Michael Caputo, Executive Director of Merit Behavioral Health; Ms. Tammi Sims, Outreach Coordinator for Merit Adolescent Services; and Ms. Lindsay Lynn, Outreach Coordinator for Merit Geriatric Services. They presented on the services available through Merit Behavioral Health and expressed an

interest in supporting NAMI Vicksburg in any way they could. One of their reps, who is on the planning committee for the upcoming Town Hall, is very interested in getting crisis intervention training locally. In the midst of all the activities, the Affiliate made plans to offer a Familyto-Family class and a Peer-to-Peer class beginning in March. After publicizing the classes at length, the Family-to-Family class began March 5th with Mary Pope and Deloris McGee as teachers, and Jenny Drake as the resource person. The Peerto-Peer teachers decided to wait until a later date to offer their class. NAMI Vicksburg continues to offer the following opportunities to the community: • Family Support Meeting – First Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m., Merit River Region West Conference Room, 1111 N. Frontage Road. • Connection Recovery Support – First Wednesday of each month, 4:30 p.m., Merit River Region West Conference Room, 1111 N. Frontage Road. • Dutch-treat Fellowship Breakfast at Shoney’s – 1st Friday of each month, 8:30 a.m. Drop in/come and go at Shoney’s on Pemberton. • NAMI Vicksburg Affiliate Meeting – Fourth Tuesday of each quarter (Jan., April, July, Oct.), 6 p.m. Location TBA. Next meeting: April 24th, 6 p.m. Mental Health Town Hall Meeting. Court House (2nd floor, Circuit Court Room). For info on NAMI Vicksburg activities, please email - Submitted by: Harriette Mastin

Mambers of NAMI Vicksburg participated in the annual Vicksburg Christmas Parade on Dec. 2, 2017. COURTESY NAMI VICKSBURG



he biggest news from the Oxford NAMI Affiliate is that we are offering a Family-to-Family class this spring. It has been several years since we have taught the F2F class here, so we are pleased that Lynn and Ken Gilbert have agreed to teach the class. Lynn is currently a NAMI Mississippi board member, has taught classes in the past, and is very active in our organization. Her husband, Ken, has been a long-time supporter of NAMI and renewed his teacher training certificate last August. We are so grateful to our first husband and wife teaching team! The Family-to-Family class began on March 20 and will be held on Tuesday evenings, from 6-8:30, at the North Mississippi Regional Center. We are excited to announce that nine people are currently enrolled for the class. Thanks to the folks in the NAMI Mississippi Jackson office for designing posters to assist us with advertising the class.

Several of our members worked with reporters from our two local papers to promote the class. The Oxford NAMI Affiliate’s support group continues to grow and thrive. We are happy to report that several newcomers have joined us recently. For quite some time now, we have been putting an announcement in the local paper about the support group, and we believe that is encouraging people to attend. We meet the second and fourth Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., and usually have about 10 people in attendance. Our affiliate was very surprised and pleased to learn about a donation from Parkwood Behavioral Health Center in Olive Branch. Parkwood has a program where employees pay $1.00 to wear blue jeans on Fridays, with the money being donated to a worthwhile charity or organization they choose. We were pleased that they chose to support us, and we will use the funds to promote NAMI. We continue to foster our relationship with the Ole Miss Chapter of Alpha Kappa

T.J. Ray of the Oxford Eagle wrote about NAMI Oxford’s support groups in his article about mental illness. COURTESY NAMI OXFORD

Alpha Sorority, Inc. and will be working with them on their upcoming mental health program on April 5th. The Oxford NAMI Connection Group continues to meet every Sunday from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m., but now meets at the North Mississippi Regional Center, rather than Baptist Memorial Hospital. The group keeps growing and they enjoy going out for dinner once a month. Several of the members have expressed an interest in attending the NAMI National Convention in New Orleans. - Submitted by: Mary Harrington


Providing hope for wherever

SPRING 2018 · 9



The next Mental Health and Wellness Day at the Capitol takes place on February 13, 2019, from 7:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at the Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St., Jackson, MS 39201), and this event will be held in the Rotunda and West Hallway.



Becky Hill Martin, a community relations representative for Magnolia Health, spoke on the topic, “My Route to Health,” which covers practical tips on nutrition and exercise so one can take steps toward living a healthier life. She gave demonstrations of fat and sugar consumption for certain foods by measuring intake for a type of food with teaspoons of sugar and vegetable shortening. Participants received a free journal and recipe book. Both speakers answered questions from the audience and met with attendees after the session. We would like to thank the speakers for attending, the attendees for their active participation, and Whole Foods Market for their accommodations and hospitality. The next Learn & Grow sessions are scheduled for: • Wednesday, June 13 in Gulfport • Wednesday, August 8 in Starkville • Wednesday, September 12 in Southaven • Wednesday, October 10 in Clarksdale Stay tuned for updates on locations and times. We are also actively seeking for speakers to participate in these future sessions, so if you are interested, please visit and complete the speaker application at the bottom of the page. Thanks for making our first Learn & Grow a great success! PHOTO CREDIT: LATASHA WILLIS


earn & Grow is a new endeavor launched by NAMI Mississippi this spring to offer additional opportunities to connect with communities throughout the state. Since education is one of NAMI Mississippi’s signature objectives, these sessions are used to give participants exposure to other topics regarding self-help, health and more. Speakers give tips on improving lives or offer general information that may be new to the attendees. These lunchtime sessions take place in casual settings where food is welcomed according to each venue’s guidelines. The first Learn & Grow was held at the Whole Foods Market Community Room in Jackson on Wednesday, March 14 with NAMI Mississippi executive director Tameka Tobias opening up the session with a welcome and an overview of NAMI Mississippi. The guest speakers were the following: Kathy Amos, the executive pastor of Turning Point Fellowship Ministries International Church in Canton, Mississippi, spoke on the topic, “Breaking Through to a New Level of Influence.” Integrity was the focus of the presentation, which was given from a spiritual perspective. She provided worksheets to guide the attendees through the discussion and encouraged the attendees to maintain integrity regardless of impending obstacles.

SPRING 2018 ¡ 11


athy Amos is the Executive Pastor of Turning Point Fellowship Ministries International Church in Canton, MS, under the leadership of her husband, Apostle Joe R. Amos. Kathy is a author, certified coach, speaker and trainer with


ecky Hill Martin is a Community Relations Rep for Magnolia Health. She has more 20 years of experience in healthcare marketing. Originally from Pensacola, FL, Martin

Mississippi is

Looking for speakers!

the John Maxwell Team. She is the CEO of Kathy Amos Coaching & Consulting, LLC and the President/Founder of the Empowering Progressive Women’s Association, dba EPWA. Kathy also serves as ambassador for the Canton Chamber of Commerce.

calls Brandon home. When not working community events, can be found acting in her dinner theater troupe, writing and singing in the Journey Church band. She has a 14-yr-old diva-in-training.

June 13


August 8


September 12


October 10


If interested, please email

12 · NAMI MISSISSIPPI by Sitaniel J. Wimbley, Program Director

This year, the walk also is coming to you. Save the Date!

Theme: Be a Hero (honoring law enforcement) Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018 Location: Mississippi State Capitol 400 High Street Jackson, MS 39201 Distance: 5K Check In: 8:00 a.m. Start Time: 9:00 a.m. Fundraising Goal: $40,000 Register Online: Contact: NAMI Mississippi 2618 Southerland Street Jackson, MS 39216 Sitaniel Wimbley, Walk Manager 601-899-9058

The NAMI Affiliates will be hosting their own walk events leading up to the November 10th NAMIWalks Mississippi at the Mississippi State Capitol. Stay tuned for updates.

NAMIWalks help needed! •

Walking and collecting donations in the walk as a member of a team or as an individual walker not affiliated with any team. Please list the name of the family, business, organization, service provider or affiliate that you will be representing in the walk if you will be walking as a member of a team. Volunteering to work the day of the walk. (Tasks include setting up the walk site, registering walkers, serving refreshments, giving out event T-shirts, cleaning up after the walk is over.) Helping to get other people and businesses that you know or have connections with involved.

• •

Helping to promote the walk by scheduling a presentation at your workplace or to a group or organization that you belong to. Helping to recruit companies or businesses in the community to sponsor the walk by making a cash donation or donating good or services in support of the event. Helping to get food and refreshments (coffee, bottled water, juice boxes, sport drinks, bagels, donuts, snack foods, fruit, etc.) donated for the walk. Helping to get entertainment (music, clowns, jugglers, magicians, face painters, etc.) for the walk. Helping in some other way.

SPRING 2018 · 13


2018 ANNUAL STATE CONFERENCE • MAY 17-18, 2018 The Billy Kim Center at Belhaven University • Theme: “THRIVE: Navigating the Journey” $85.00 Per Session • $150.00 Both Days (Save $20.00) • $25.00 Lunch Per Day A limited number of conference scholarships are available for NAMI Peers (living with a severe mental illness). No additional fees for Social Work or DMH CEUs (5 contact hours), but there will be a small fee for any teacher CEUs.

Conference Email Address: Register at • More at

SPEAKERS Tiffany Anderson-Washington

Dr. Teri Brister

Daisy Carter

Al A. Cervantes

Bishop Ronnie C. Crudup, Sr.

Vicki DeMoney

Lauren Elliott

Linda Foley

Lori Hodges

Joy Hogge

Dr. LaQuita Johnson

Javis Jones

Chris Marcell

Brett Mayfield

Diana Mikula

Henry Moore

Dr. Rita Porter

Molly Portera

Marshall Ramsey

Dr. Thomas Recore

Dr. Bradford Smith

Tameka Tobias

Jill Walsh

Randall Williams

Tiffany Williams

Sitaniel Wimbley

Monica Wolters

Dr. Shani Collins Woods

Speakers not pictured: Sadie Bennett-Ross, Donna Christmas, Dr. Ragan Downey, Michelle Ellison


Jewel Hillery

Wendy Mahoney

Lauren Parker

Erin Pickens

Anna Wolfe

Note: some of the speakers will also serve as panelists.

Latasha Willis

SPRING 2018 · 15


by Sitaniel J. Wimbley, Program Director

Changes to Peer-to-Peer and In Our Own Voice!



acilitator training for these two programs are changing and will include computer-based learning. This will allow presenters to start their training online and finish in person with an actual NAMI Mississippi State Trainer. All current presenters and trainers are required to be recertified by the end of May. If you need information about the recertification process, please contact Program Director Sitaniel J. Wimbley at 601-899-9058 or education@ Thank you in advance for your assistance and continued dedication to NAMI Mississippi.

CIT Graduation – Hinds County


id you know that your community is better prepared to handle mental health emergency calls? This past January, 12 officers took a 40-hour law enforcement class regarding mental health and crisis response at Hinds Behavioral Health Services. Congratulations, CIT Officers! Welcome to the Hinds County Crisis Intervention Team.

Hinds Community College Police Nakia Clemons Gregory L. Norwood Sr.

Hinds County Sheriff’s Department Joshua L. Adams Dan W. King Jr. Christopher Kimmons Randy Razor Brandon Williams

Jackson Police Department Ahvegail White

Jackson Municipal Airport Police LaPortia Franks

Mississippi Department of Corrections John Haynes Adrian Starkey Christiane Williams




dvocacy is important all year round, but a special emphasis is always placed on it during our state legislative sessions. The 2018 Legislative Session began in January and ended on March 28th, and mental health was a big topic. Several bills that NAMI advocated for, such as HB 419 and 434, which aimed to create a mental health court system and provide funding for it, as well as HB 302, which aimed to provide additional funding for crisis centers and outpatient services, didn’t pass out of the legislature. Overall, however, it was a very successful year! HB 709, which created the Prescription Drugs Consumer Affordable Alternative Payment Options Act that requires pharmacists to inform customers of alternative, cheaper prescriptions, did pass, as well as SB 2773, which will allow enrollment into the ID/DD (intellectual/development disabilities) waiver program again. In addition, the federal budget bill that President Trump signed into law increases federal spending on several important

We want the rhetoric surrounding mental illness to be stigmafree and supportive of those living with a mental illness.

federal entities, such as the National Institute for Mental Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The budget also allocates additional funding to the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), which funds programs such as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and jail diversion programs. Great news for mental healthcare in our country!

by Lauren Parker, Mental Health Advocacy & Public Policy Intern Lastly, we have seen a lot of news related to mental health lately. Some of the news is negative, such as the controversy around mass shootings, while some of it is positive, such as several NBA players being open about their struggles with mental health. We want the rhetoric surrounding mental illness to be stigma-free and supportive of those living with a mental illness. All in all, the environment is really improving, but we still have a long way to go in improving how the public discusses mental health. Thank you from all of us at NAMI Mississippi for continuing to help advocate for a better system for people living with a mental illness and for helping improve the conversation on mental health! What you do is very important, and we really appreciate it. Lauren is also the Director of Health and Wellness for the University of Southern Mississippi’s Student Government Association.


SPRING 2018 · 17

Youth Advisory Council · Est. 2016

by Jamie Kurlej, Community Outreach Specialist & YAC Member


Adopt-A-Highway Sign

Through the Adopt-A-Highway program, the Youth Advisory Council now has our own sign on Highway 471 near Holly Bush Road in Brandon. This will help us spread awareness of NAMI Mississippi and YAC in Rankin County.

Quarterly Service Days

Look for the sign on Highway 471 near Holly Bush Road in Brandon.

YAC will now begin holding quarterly service days to pick up trash along a section of Highway 471 between Marshall Road and Holly Bush Road. For our first service day in May (date TBA), we’ll be asking all volunteers to wear green to show support for a cleaner environment and for Mental Illness Awareness Month. If you or your NAMI affiliate would like to volunteer for our first service day in May, please email

To keep up with YAC or see service day updates, go to



May Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (first week), Mental Health Month May 17-18 NAMI Mississippi State Conference June PTSD Awareness Month July Minority Mental Health Awareness Month September Mental Health Recovery Month, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) October Mental Illness Awareness Week (first week) October 6 National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding, National Depression Screening Day October 10 World Mental Health Day November Caregivers Awareness Month November 10 2018 NAMIWalks Mississippi


NAMI 4 RIVERS MS, REGION 11 Family Support 2nd Thursdays from 6:30- 8:00 p.m. Cannon Hall, First Episcopal Church, 230 W. Monticello St., Brookhaven Contact: State Office - 601-899-9058 NAMI CENTRAL MS (JACKSON), REGION 8, 9 Affiliate Meeting 3rd Thursdays at 6 p.m. Location: TBA Contact: Brett Mayfield NAMI Mississippi - 601-899-9058

Family Support 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m. St. Catherine Room @ St. Dominic Hospital In the Basement by Cafeteria Contact: State Office - 601-899-9058 Consumer Support Each Thursday, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Cups in the Quarter 1855 Lakeland Dr. Contact: John McFadden - 601-956-1856 Biweekly on Thursday, 5-7 p.m. HInds Behavioral Health Services, Board Room 3450 Highway 80 W., Jackson Contact: Jessica James - 601-454-0507 NAMI GULF COAST, REGIONS 13, 14 Consumer Support Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Mental Health Association of South Mississippi, MHA Drop-In Center 4803 Harrison Circle, Gulfport Contact: Chris Marcell at 228-233-9294 or MHA at 228-864-6274 Family Support 3rd Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Garden Park Medical Center 1st floor meeting room across from the cafeteria 15200 Community Road, Gulfport, MS 39503 Contact: Mike Fullilove at 228-343-9098

NAMI PINE BELT (HATTIESBURG), REGION 12 Affiliate Meeting The Last Tuesday of the Month (January through October) at 6 p.m. Forrest General Hospital, Cafeteria Meeting Room 6051 US 49, Hattiesburg Contact: Amanda Clement - 601-297-7014 NAMI MERIDIAN, REGION 10 Affiliate Meeting First Tuesday of the Month, Noon – 1 p.m. Meridian Activity Center 3300 32nd Ave., Meridian Contact: Patricia Battle at 601-527-3734 or Jill Walsh at 601-917-1474 Consumer Support Tuesdays, 5 p.m. Wesley House Community Center, 1520 8th Ave., Meridian Contact: Jill Walsh at 601-917-1474 Family Support 2nd Tuesday of each month, 5 p.m. Wesley House Community Center, 1520 8th Ave., Meridian Call to Schedule: Patricia Battle at 601-527-3734 NAMI OXFORD, REGION 2 Family Support 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m. North Mississippi Regional Center, Administration Building Highway 7 South, Oxford Contact: Hanne Gaycken - 662-234-9572 or 662-801-6530

Consumer Support Sundays, 3:30-5:00 p.m. North Mississippi Regional Center, Conf. Room Highway 7 South, Oxford Contact: Clarice Ivy - 662-816-0469

NAMI VICKSBURG, REGION 15 Affiliate Meeting (Quarterly) Jan./April/July/Oct., 6:00 p.m. Call for specific dates. Merit Health Region West Conference Room (until further notice) 1111 North Frontage Road, Vicksburg Contact: Harriette Mastin at 601-630-9470 or 601218-0843 Consumer Support 1st Wednesday of the month, 4:30-6 p.m. Merit Health River Region West Campus, Conference Room 1111 North Frontage Road, Vicksburg Contact: Thomas Carson at 601-529-4677 or Thomas Spates at 601-619-9320 Family Support 1st Tuesdays, 6:00 p.m. Merit Health River Region West Campus Contact: Mary Pope at 601-437-3156 or Randall Williams at 601-630-7724 NAMI YAZOO CITY, REGION 15 Affiliate Meeting Quarterly on 1st Tuesdays from 4-5:30 p.m. at Warren-Yazoo Behavioral Health 3444 Wisconsin Ave., Vicksburg Contact: Beverly Pettigrew at 662-571-3902 Family Support Every other Tuesday, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Warren-Yazoo Behavioral Health 3444 Wisconsin Ave., Vicksburg Contact: Beverly Pettigrew at 662-571-3902


SPRING 2018 ¡ 19

As a reminder, the NAMI Board of Directors has decided to add a Household membership category to our membership structure as well as increase the dues for Regular and Open Door memberships. All of these changes became effective July 1, 2017.

Household Membership - $60 Regular Membership - $40 Open Door Membership - $5 A Household membership will apply to everyone living in a single household whose names are provided to NAMI. Regular and Open Door memberships will continue to apply only to one individual. For voting purposes, each membership (including Household) will be counted as one (1) membership.


As an added membership bonus, every NAMI Mississippi member will receive a personalized membership card. Look for yours in the mail after your dues are received by the State Office. Carry it proudly!



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Profile for NAMI Mississippi

Spring 2018 Newsletter