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Mississippi SUMMER 2017

Meet Our New Board of Directors!

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Affiliate Updates pp. 3-5

Education p. 8

NAMIWalks p. 10

Advocacy News p. 16


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

TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from the President of the Board 2 NAMI Vicksburg 3 NAMI Meridian 3 NAMI Oxford 4 NAMI 4 Rivers MS 4 NAMI Pine Belt 5 NAMI Central Mississippi 5 Community Partners 6 The Education Corner 8 Community Partnershio Highlights 9 NAMIWalks 10 2017 Board Members 12-14 Trauma Conference 15 Advocacy Corner 16 Youth Advisory Council 17 Calendar of Events 18 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 Harriette Mastin, Vicksburg Affiliate Representative Lynn Gilbert, Oxford Affiliate Representative Patricia Battle, Meridian Affiliate Representative STATE OFFICERS Tameka Tobias, Executive Director Sitaniel J. Wimbley, Program Director Kawanna Jenkins, Education Outreach Volunteer Jamie Kurlej, Community Outreach Specialist 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 Members: At our July NAMI Mississippi Board of Directors Meeting, we discussed all of the exciting events (and challenges) of the coming year. I think I speak for the entire board in saying that this promises to be an active and exciting year for our organization. This past year has seen an expansion of our affiliate structure, a stronger emphasis on partnerships with organizations that share our goals, growth in our number of trained and certified educational and support leaders, and significant achievements in our visibility and impact on state and national health policy. I hope you are all proud of the continued growth of our organization and our presence and influence within the state. It is our sincere ambition to continue expanding our services and advocacy within the state so that we can improve opportunities for recovery and flourishing for those in our membership and across the state living with mental illness as well as family and caregivers. This is where you come in! We need your help to bring services and support to members of our state who are underserved by current mental health services. So many of our citizens suffer in silence when they find barriers to service such as the ability to pay, confusing processes for accessing services with Medicaid or private insurance, or a lack of knowledge about available resources. That’s where we shine! Our support and educational programs have few barriers for participation, are offered free of charge, and build supportive environments of peers and family members who can share and benefit from each other’s lived experiences.

One of our main goals this year is to engage all of you, as members and stakeholders, in this vital and shared work. In order to offer these services, we need trained teachers and facilitators, funding for our state organization and local affiliates, financial resources and manpower to support our advocacy efforts with the state government and our representatives in Congress, and the personal networks and social and professional knowledge that only you can offer. As always, please check out our website, namims.org, for information about our programs and volunteer opportunities. (We’re revamping our website this fall to make it easier to navigate and find opportunities to plug in.) You can also email stateoffice@namims.org to volunteer or find out how to get in touch with your local affiliate leadership. We’re always looking for opportunities to expand our reach, so if you live in an area not currently served by one of our local affiliates and would be interested in helping to develop an affiliate in your area, please feel free to contact us so that we can help guide you and give you resources to support that effort. We look forward to a fantastic year! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for NAMIWalks, which is coming up November 11, where we’ll raise funds to support our programs, and we’ll also be honoring our state’s veterans. Sincerely, Brett Mayfield, Board President

SUMMER 2017 · 3


he year 2017 arrived with the promise of new and exciting opportunities for NAMI Vicksburg. We kicked off the year with our quarterly affiliate meeting on January 24th. Our guest presentation this time was the multi-media program In Our Own Voice with seasoned presenters Thomas Carson and Marcia Kinchen. Through video and personal stories, the speakers led the audience through five compelling stages of their lives: Dark Days; Acceptance; Treatment; Coping Skills; and Successes, Hopes, Dreams. Final words from the speakers included the importance of having positive people in your life, not letting the illness defeat you, believing you can do anything, believing you can be in recovery, and winning by sharing your story. The audience was very impressed by the speakers and continued to ask questions during the break following the presentation. We were also happy to welcome NAMI Mississippi Board Member Auvergne Williams as a guest to this meeting, who shared information about the upcoming NAMI Mississippi Day at the Capitol and Legislative Breakfast set for February 23rd. In addition, he stressed the importance of affiliate members participating in advocacy and making their voices heard by legislators, the significance of the NAMI Mississippi Advocacy Action Network, and the importance of bills related to the establishment of mental health courts.


une 8, the Meridian Affiliate had some serious burgers and dogs at our first Burgers at Bonita Lakes event. Bonita Lakes is a city park with three lakes, nature trails, a walking track and more. During the cookout, we raised awareness that NAMI National, NAMI Mississippi, and NAMI Meridian existed. We also raised awareness that we are here to help those affected by mental illness. Although the cookout was well advertised, it soon became obvious that someone needed to do something quickly to drum up some business so we made makeshift signs that said, “Free Food.” Walkers and people riding by in their vehicles began to trickle in, but not just for the free food. Once we began to share who we were as an organization, the stories trickled out as well. Folks needed help, guidance,

February also brought with it the opportunity for several affiliate members to attend a Mental Health First Aid training with Dr. Bradford Smith at Belhaven on February 3rd and 4th. The training was so well received and demand was so great that multiple dates for additional training classes were scheduled. In addition, Warren-Yazoo Behavioral Health also offered to do a free MHFA training for the Vicksburg Affiliate in April. This training had to be rescheduled for May 11-12 due to a fire damaging the administration building at Warren-Yazoo.


Our well-known Bingo Birthday Parties continued in February with an event hosted by Sarah Johnson and her helpers on February 11th at 2 p.m. at the Warren-Yazoo Group Home. The Wisconsin Cove party was held February 16th at 2 p.m. under the direction of Mary Pope and her affiliate outreach team. These festive gatherings are very popular with everyone and serve as an important outreach link to our friends living with mental illness. One of our affiliate’s most significant responsibilities is providing education programs direction, and hope, and I think we were successful in providing those things to them.


The cookout was also being used as a recruitment tool for new members, and it was a time for current and past members to mingle. We sold tickets to last-minute buyers for our Grillin’ & Chillin’ raffle. Becky Jordan’s ticket was pulled as the winning ticket, so she won a two-burner gas grill, a four-blade ceiling fan, and accessories to go with both prizes. She was very excited to have won, and was able to share with me a little of her story when she came to pick up her winnings.

and support for families and individuals living with mental illness. To that end, we offered a Family-to-Family class that was very well received and had a good retention of participants. The teachers, Deloris McGee and Sarah Johnson, did an excellent job and graduated the class on May 18th. All of the class members received a one-year gift membership to NAMI to acquaint them further with the work of our organization. They were also encouraged to attend the Family Support Group on the first Tuesday of each month and the Breakfast Fellowship on the first Friday of each month. Some have been invited to think about training as a future teacher for Family-to-Family. We are also hoping that we will have teachers available to be able to offer Peer-to-Peer and Basics in the fall. In addition, our Connection Recovery Group leader Thomas Carson is currently pondering a time change which might improve attendance for their group. Along with our usual monthly activities in March, NAMI Vicksburg was privileged to respond to a request for information from a counselor at Vicksburg Intermediate School. We shared 15 copies of the booklet Parents & Teachers as Allies, data on suicide in youth and children, and brochures for parents of children with emotional or behavioral difficulties. Each opportunity to interact with the schools is a step forward in educating teachers, staff, students, and families about the importance of good mental health and the prevalence of mental illness. (continued, page 5) Overall, we had approximately 100 people – from babies to folks from the greatest generation – join us for a beautiful afternoon full of fun, yet serious conversation. Our affiliate couldn’t have asked for a better time. Thank you to all who made Burgers at Bonita Lakes a success by volunteering, or by donating food and prizes. Also, thank you to all who supported our efforts in making a difference, whether it be by saying a prayer for good weather or offering encouragement to go on. It has all paid off. Special thanks to the following event supporters: • Bimbo Bakeries USA • Vowell’s Marketplace • Zero’s 4-Way Pit Stop • Quitman’s Southern Market • Lowe’s Home Improvement • Marvin’s Building Materials - Jill R. Walsh, Secretary



ur primary project this quarter has been the Mental Health First Aid Workshop. This nationallyrecognized program has been promoted at NAMI state conventions, and you may read more about it online at mentalhealthfirstaid.com. The Oxford workshop attracted 12 participants, and was a focus on recognizing mental health disorders and what the ordinary person can do and say in a mental health crisis until professional help steps in. We chose to offer the eight-hour training sessions over a twoday period (Friday, June 2, from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, June 3, from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). The sessions included an excellent combination of PowerPoint presentations, whole-group Q&A sessions, short videos and small group interactions. In one simulation, groups of three participants role-played the “voices” that often occur with schizophrenia. In another creative project, small teams drew a depressed person and illustrated the physical impact of depression (see the drawing). The experiential learning was practical, exciting, and dynamic, thanks to the trained and experienced instructor, Kris Riddle, CLP, of LIFECORE in Tupelo. The well-done videos highlighted concrete, real-life situations that stimulated discussion. Members of the affiliate donated lots of snacks for program breaks, including scrumptious homemade pastries, fruits, chocolates,


ince the last newsletter, 4 Rivers has held its first affiliate meeting on February 15, 2017, at King’s Daughters Hospital in Brookhaven. We had a wonderful turnout and are extremely thankful to everyone who came, including one of our guest speakers, Beverly Pettigrew, who shared her In Our Own Voice testimony. In keeping up with the momentum to spread awareness of our new affiliate and information on mental illness, a second community meeting was held on May 9, 2017, at the Lincoln County Public Library in Brookhaven. During this meeting, Amber Bowman and Pam Bowman, representatives from Regions 8 and 11’s Crisis Teams, respectively, presented information about services and access to services on

and cheese. Because of our successful fundraising, this program was free to current (dues paid) NAMI Oxford members. Prior to the workshop, affiliate members devoted time to planning discussions. Considerable efforts were made to inform local health care and school professionals — folks at AbilityWorks, Haven House, Communicare, NMRC, and the Oxford Police Dept. — as well as clergy, of the workshop.

talking with referred individuals and developed a prospective membership list. One tool that has proved useful in our public service outreach is the doctor list. NAMI people know how scarce medical help is in the state and how difficult it is to find the “right” professional. By sharing the experiences we have had with licensed practitioners in the field, we have developed a referral list. This list has proved very useful to people reaching out for a helping hand. Mother-and-son team Hanne and Karsten Gaycken recently attended the national convention in Washington, D.C. They have returned with very exciting reports about their participation in various convention programs.

NAMI Oxford Election Results!


Oxford’s other major priority has been to continue the Family-to-Family support group and the Connection group. Participation in these groups has remained stable and continues to attract new members. The national NAMI hotline has referred several calls to our local affiliate. We have spent several hours both crisis teams. T.A. Boyd, local and retired therapist, also gave a presentation on her journey of being a caretaker of an individual with mental illness. The next affiliate meeting is scheduled to be held in Pike County at the McComb Public Library, September 19, 2017, from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. The guest speakers are expected to be Chief Deputy Johnny Scott of the Pike County Sheriff ’s Department, and Curtis Oliver, president of Faces and Voices of Recovery MS, vice-president of the Association of Mississippi Peer Support


President: Amanda Williams Vice President: Hanne Gaycken Secretary: Clarice Ivy Treasurer: Carol VanBesien Affiliate Representative: Lynn Gilbert At-Large Representative: Karsten Gaycken At-Large Representative: Michael Danahy

Specialists and the NAMI 4 Rivers Advocacy Officer. As a part of building relationships in the community, an Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority chapter has hosted a NAMI awareness event on April 22, 2017, and its Alcorn chapter is in the process of constructing a mental health discussion panel to be held in the near future. On July 28-30, 2017, five members of the 4 Rivers affiliate attended the 2017 NAMI Signature Programs Training Academy. Harold and Nancy White have been trained to facilitate the Family-to-Family support groups. Curtis Oliver, Latoya Coleman and Stacie Webb have been trained to teach the Peer-to-Peer course. More information on when these will begin will be found on the state website when time, dates and locations have been determined and approved. For more information about NAMI 4 Rivers MS, please email 4riversmsnami@gmail.com.

SUMMER 2017 · 5


reetings to all NAMI members and other friends! We continue to have mental health leaders speak to our affiliate members and guests each month regarding a variety of topics related to recovery. Pastor Thomas from Willow Pointe Church, an addiction specialist and minister, spoke of the recovery programs offered at Willow Pointe. He described the mission and the operation of two programs: “Celebrate Recovery” and “The Journey”. He believes that faith-based programs offer the best means to recovery. At our June meeting, Dr. Tony Lee, Professor from William Carey University, described his personal experiences with his child who has Asperger’s Syndrome. He gave us exceptional insight into the challenges he and his family experienced during the child’s formative years. He also informed us of the variety of symptoms that may present themselves when a child is on the autism spectrum. In June, we also participated in another Crisis Intervention Team training session.

(NAMI Vicksburg, continued from page 3) Several NAMI Vicksburg members attended the NAMI Mississippi State Conference, The Many Lenses of Mental Health: Equity, Ethics, Faith, Public Safety, Education, on May 18-19 at Belhaven University. What an outstanding lineup of speakers for the program! Afterwards, on May 20th, our Annual Statewide Membership Meeting from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., was a focus on NAMI Mississippi over the years with the theme, NAMI Mississippi Past and Present. It was a great time to reconnect with our wonderful teachers, staff, and volunteers who have been the lifeblood of our organization since its early days in the state.


Our April 25th Affiliate meeting was graced by our guest speaker, NAMI Mississippi Executive Director Tameka Tobias Smith, who spoke to the members about the mission and work of NAMI Mississippi. The affiliate also held its election for offices of Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two at-large representatives. Vice-President Thomas Carson agreed to serve as Acting President since there was no

This time, there were law enforcement officers from Petal, the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department, Forrest General Hospital, and the City of Hattiesburg in the class. The CIT Program in Forrest County is seeking a single point of entry to establish a true jail diversion program. Currently, the Behavioral Health Court is assisting people to seek treatment instead of jail.


Our affiliate hosted its third annual Minority Mental Health Forum in July, with our great co-sponsor, the AKA Sorority. Numerous clients, providers, and family members were present. Mayor Toby Barker greeted more than 70 participants. There were two excellent presentations on the legacy and experience of candidate for that office. The meeting ended with a time of special recognition, commendation, and thanks for each of the dedicated volunteers present, and for the work of past president Elizabeth Cantrell and the Cantrell family, who would be moving to east Tennessee. The Cantrells were honored later by the Affiliate during a Breakfast Fellowship with a special card and gift of remembrance. For our July 25th Affiliate meeting, we hosted guest speaker Ms. Denise Rush, a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) and member of the Warren Yazoo Behavioral Health PACT Team, who shared her passion for and details about the Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), a flexible person-centered treatment program available to qualified individuals in their homes or in community settings. Her love for her work was very evident, and members kept her well over an hour asking questions about the program. She also shared her life experience with mental illness and her journey of recovery during this very informative meeting. Kudos to Ms. Rush! We are gearing up for the NAMI Walk with our Vicksburg Volunteers Team Captain, Deloris McGee! We are most grateful to all of our sponsors and donors such as the City of Vicksburg for their support, and to Merit River Region West Campus and Warren Yazoo Behavioral Health for the ongoing use of their rooms for our meetings, classes, and events.

suicide. They were followed by a panel of nine professionals from law enforcement, mental health agencies, judiciary, and the community at large. It was a town hall addressing the challenges facing mental health programs in an atmosphere of funding cuts. All those who attended were invited to join NAMI. We are promoting the NAMI Walk in November, especially since it honors veterans this year. Stella and David Reed will be our affiliate co-captains for the event. We anticipate our usual outstanding support from the Pinebelt Mental Healthcare Resources team again this year. We also anticipate that the students from the Psychology Club at William Carey University will attend this year’s event. We will continue to reach out to William Carey and USM students who seek to establish NAMI on Campus programs during this calendar year. We are still focused on expanding our membership, so the load can be shared as we fight to eradicate stigma and improve mental health care. We continue to reach out to veterans in need of assistance. We are companions on their journey! - Respectfully submitted by Joe Kinnan, Ph.D.

NAMI Vicksburg Meeting Calendar: Affiliate Meeting

The 4th Tuesday of the quarter (January, April, July, October) at 6 p.m.

Family Support Meeting

First Tuesday of month, 6 p.m., River Region West Campus Conf. Rm.

Connection Support

First Wed. of month, time TBA, River Region West Campus

Dutch-Treat Breakfast Fellowship

First Friday of month, 8:30 a.m., Shoney’s on Pemberton

Affiliate Contact Info: 800-357-0388 / 601-630-9470 or namivicksburg@gmail.com



Providing hope for wherever you are in life C hi l d re n • Te e ns • Ad ul t s Fa m i l y & M a r r i a g e F i na nc i a l Co uns e l i ng G r i e f • C a nce r • D i vo rce Te st i ng S e r v i ce s

4 31 N . STATE S



6 01 .9 4

th e re ’s h o p e fo r yo u !


SUMMER 2017 · 7



thank Kawanna Jenkins for all her work and dedication. Classes Deloris McGee and Sarah Johnson offered Family-to-Family course in Vicksburg. From that class, 12 individuals graduated, and one elected to become a NAMI Program Leader. Thomas Carson and Monica Walters are currently leading


Training AMI Mississippi is elated to announce the completion of the 2017 NAMI MS Training Academy. The Academy was held at Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond. There were 27 participants who were trained and certified as NAMI Leaders. We at the NAMI MS State Office are certain that these individuals will be great additions to our growing family of NAMI MS Program Leaders. Thanks to everyone across the state who came together to assist in making the 2017 NAMI Training Academy possible! We would especially like to

by Sitaniel J. Wimbley, Program Director the Peer-to-Peer course in Central Mississippi. We wish them the best of luck on their completion of the course. We currently have a number of continuous support groups around the state. Thanks to all the NAMI Program Leaders for your valuable efforts - it is greatly appreciated. We look forward to more successful classes in the future.

Reminder to NAMI Teachers, Facilitators, and Presenters:

To register for classes, please go to www.namims.org/ 2017-fall-registration

Please attend the monthly Technical Assistance Calls as well as the monthly NAMI State Conference Calls. For additional information, contact education@namims.org or 601-899-9058.


SUMMER 2017 · 9

A special thanks to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) and HOSA for supporting the mission.

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

Goal: $40,000 Date: Saturday, November 11, 2017 Distance: 5K Location: South Steps and Grounds at the Mississippi State Capitol Contact: NAMI Mississippi 2618 Southerland Street Jackson, MS 39216 Sitaniel Wimbley, Walk Manager 601-899-9058 walkmanager@namims.org Check In: 8:00 a.m. Start Time: 9:00 a.m. Honoring/Theme: Giving Our Veterans a Helping Hand

Register FREE online at www.namiwalks.org/mississippi

• •

Good Team Captains:

Recruit as many walkers as possible and help each walker register online with a personal web page. Make your own donation the first one on your walker page and begin your own email letter campaign to raise awareness and funds. Share your personal email or letter as an example to all members of the team so that they can use your example to learn how to conduct their own email campaign. Send weekly email communication to all the members of your team highlighting progress towards the team goal, good examples of teammates who are succeeding in raising awareness and funds by sending out emails asking everyone they know to support them, and news about

• •

team activities (team T-shirt design, challenges among team members, top fundraisers, other team events or get-togethers). Provide a team T-shirt or facilitate a team T-shirt design event. Organize walk day activities for your team (team picture, walker envelope collection, special pre-walk or post-walk get-together). Recognize and thank all your walkers after Walk Day and remind them to thank their donors.

Sponsored By:

SUMMER 2017 ¡ 11


Saturday, Nov. 11 Jackson, MS

#StigmaFree Join the NAMI Mississippi mental health walk to raise funds and awareness to help change perceptions about mental illness.

Register and Donate Today! www.namiwalks.org/mississippi For more information contact: Sitaniel J. Wimbley walkmanager@namims.org 601 899 9058

Check-in at 8:00am Walk at 9:00am Walk location: Mississippi State Capitol 400 High Street Jackson, MS 39201

National NAMIWalks Elite Sponsor

National NAMIWalks Sponsor

National Walk Partner



We would like to welcome and introduce our new and returning board members. wellness, early childhood development, parental engagement and involvement, teenage pregnancy prevention, community engagement in early education and family social problems.

Brett Mayfield, President

William “Brett” Mayfield, a teacher at Madison Central High School, teaches courses in AP Psychology, the Psychology of Conflict, and AP Human Geography. An instructor for nearly two decades, Mr. Mayfield earned his master’s degree in teaching from Belhaven University.

Gloria Mwase, Vice President

Auvergne Williams, Treasurer

Sharon Turner-Davis, Secretary

Sharon Turner-Davis holds both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in sociology and criminology from Mississippi State University. Throughout her professional work both in and out of the classroom, she has developed an astute awareness and understanding of the social, racial, economic, health and educational needs of diverse populations within society. Having been born and reared in one of the most economically stagnated, educationally challenged and racially oppressed areas of this country, the Mississippi Delta, she is aware of the need to provide essential mental health support services, community organization and planning for diverse populations. Sharon has served as a full-time or adjunct instructor of sociology for more than 10 years at several institutions of higher learning throughout the state of Mississippi. She is a full-time instructor of sociology at Hinds Community College and an independent research evaluator for various federally-funded projects. As a research evaluator for more than 20 years, Sharon has conducted evaluation research and analysis on an array of community, educational and social issues including health and

Mary Harrington, At Large Mary Harrington recently retired from the University of Mississippi, where she served as Director of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Strategic Planning. She has been a member of the United Way Board of Directors for the past 10 years, and is active in many other community projects. Mary has taught Family-to-Family classes, served as Walk Captain for the NAMI Oxford Affiliate (the state’s top fundraiser), and is a regular participant in the NAMI Oxford support group. Mary is the mother of an adult daughter living with mental illness, and has firsthand experience of the stigma, the challenges and the heartbreak of mental illness. NAMI has been a source of support, strength and inspiration to Mary as she deals with her daughter’s illness. As a board member, Mary will remain firmly committed to NAMI’s goals to educate, advocate and support in order to improve lives for those living with mental illness in our state.

SUMMER 2017 · 13

Clinton Smith, At Large

Clinton Smith was born in 1939 in Brookhaven, the location of most of his ancestors. He grew up in Jackson and finished college at Tulane University. He completed medical school at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and his residency training in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology at the University of Minnesota. He practiced primarily at UMMC in Jackson, and retired in 2011. His wife is Lois Smith, who spent many years in NAMI, worked with direct care workers at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, and was a contractor for the Department of Mental Health. They have a son with serious mental illness who lives in the Warren--Yazoo group home. They are both avid readers, and Smith is writing his memoirs.

Dr. Joe Kinnan, Pine Belt Affiliate Representative

Joe Kinnan, Colonel (USAF, Retired) has a Ph.D. in adult education from the University of Southern Mississippi. His other degrees are from the University of Florida, Wayne State University, and Ohio State University. He served in the Air Force for 26 years. He and his family were involved in volunteer mental health activities throughout most of his career. After retiring from the Air Force in 1988, he served with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) as an associate psychologist, staff development director, investigator advocate and risk management director. Most of his service was at Boswell Regional Center and Ellisville State

School (1988-2001). He then became a consumer education consultant with DMH from 2003 to 2015. During that time, he conducted the Mississippi Leadership Academy, a program to help people recovering from serious mental illness to re-discover their giftedness. He also assisted in creating jail diversion programs such as the Crisis Intervention Teams. Joe and his wife, Sandy, have been active in NAMI since the early 1990s. They are committed to eradicating stigma, and to help vulnerable people to prosper and maintain their dignity. Joe is currently on the NAMI Mississippi affiliate development and education committees. He is also the facilitator for the NAMI Mississippi State Veterans Council.

Christiane Williams, At Large Christiane Williams has been in law enforcement/corrections for 20 years. She has extensive training in all aspects of law enforcement/corrections. She is certified in law enforcement with an educational background in criminal justice. She is active in the behavioral health community in the area of law enforcement/corrections, a Certified Mental Health First Aid Public Safety Instructor, and also currently serves as a Priority 7 Committee Member of the Mississippi Urban Research Center (MURC). In the last four years, she has been very active in the mental health community assisting persons with a mental illness get the help they need when they become a part of the criminal justice system. In May 2015, she gave a presentation at the statewide NAMI conference entitled, “Mental Health and Probation.” She is involved in various community organizations involving adults and youth, serving as president and a board member. Christiane currently works as an agent with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. She resides in Jackson, Mississippi and has one son.

Harold White, At Large

Harold White had a career in the corporate world for more than 35 years. Prior to retirement, he worked in corporate human resources with the responsibility of helping global business leaders improve organizational performance. He was also charged with developing business leaders at the executive level. Harold earned a BS degree in industrial engineering and an MS degree in organizational psychology. When he lived in Tennessee, Harold was a member of NAMI Tennessee. He currently lives in Brookhaven with his wife, Nancy. Harold has experienced the pain of family members living with serious mental illness through Nancy’s brothers. Harold participated in family support groups in Tennessee and Mississippi. His NAMIrelated activities include being on the steering team for the Central Mississippi affiliate, SMART advocacy training, public relations work for the state, building the NAMI 4 Rivers MS affiliate for southwest Mississippi (serving as vice-president), and participating in radio and newspaper interviews to build awareness and membership. Harold’s other related experiences include being a member of the DMH Advisory Board and the Hinds County PACT Advisory Board.

Nancy White, At Large Nancy White has served as a teacher for children with disabilities for 28 years. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in special education, and served as the Bradley County School System Department Head and Coordinator of Special Services in Cleveland, Tennessee for eight years, which involved supervising a (continued, page 14)

14 · NAMI MISSISSIPPI (2017-2018 Board, continued from page 13) staff of 15 teachers, leading in-services and coordinating programs, and scheduling of personnel. Having retired in 2014, Nancy and her husband returned to their hometown of Brookhaven, where she now tutors children with autism and reading difficulties. Nancy is the sister of family members who have suffered with severe mental illness for more than 40 years. Because of knowing firsthand what living with family members with mental illness involves, she has a desire to join with others to play an active part in helping improve the lives of those individuals and their families, and to help them know that there is hope and they are not alone. Nancy has been active in NAMI Mississippi and was formerly active in NAMI Tennessee. She has served as a member of the steering committee for NAMI Central Mississippi, is a member of a Family Support Group, and completed the SMART advocacy training program. She is currently involved in the startup of a new NAMI affiliate in southwest Mississippi, NAMI 4 Rivers MS, where she serves as secretary. She also serves on the advisory board for the Department of Mental Health and the Hinds County PACT Team.

Harriette Mastin, Vicksburg Affiliate Representative Harriette Mastin is a longtime NAMI member and supporter, and she has served on several board committees such as the Executive Committee, Bylaws Committee, and the Chartering Committee. She is a State Teacher Trainer for Family-to-Family, Basics, and Provider Education. She is also qualified to facilitate the Family-to-Family and Basics Support Groups. For her work, she was recognized with the NAMI Mississippi Volunteer Award in 2011. At the affiliate level, Harriette is a member of the Governing Committee of NAMI Vicksburg and has served for several years on the Warren-Yazoo Mental Health Advisory Council. She is also a longtime member of the DMH Planning Council and has additional certifications.

Lynn Gilbert, Oxford Affiliate Representative Lynn and her husband, Ken, joined NAMI Mississippi in 2000 after moving back to their home state of Mississippi from State College, Pennsylvania. They are both educators with degrees in the field. Both are now retired and live in the rural community of Thaxton, which is east of Oxford. They have been married for 52 years, and have three children and two granddaughters. Lynn taught her first and large NAMI Family-to‐Family class in 2001 in Tupelo. After successfully teaching several Family-to-Family classes and attending various NAMI events and forums, Lynn became a State Trainer. This past July, Lynn and Ken attended NAMI Mississippi’s Signature Programs Training Academy in Raymond. Ken renewed his certification as a Family-to-Family Teacher, while Lynn took the Family Support Group Facilitator Training Class. Lynn and Ken both give credit to NAMI Family-to-Family educational classes, alongside NAMI family members’ loving support, in coping with mental illness within their own family.

Patricia Battle, Meridian Affiliate Representative

Jesse Coppenbarger, At Large

Thomas Carson, National Consumer Council Representative

Hanne Gaycken, At Large

Originally from Germany, Hanne Gaycken attended UT Knoxville where she received her MA and PhD degrees in historical linguistics. She met her husband there, and they both began to teach in the Modern Language Department at Ole Miss. Hanne also taught German part time at Oxford High School. She retired from both institutions in 2010 after many years of teaching foreign languages. Their middle son, Karsten, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2006, and Hanne learned about NAMI in 2007 by participating in a Family-to-Family class. She then underwent training to teach Family-toFamily classes herself and has now been the Support Group Facilitator since 2012. She is the vice-president of the recently-established NAMI Oxford Affiliate and has been active in NAMIWalks, raising a considerable amount of money for the annual charity event. NAMI is an important organization in the Gayckens’ lives. Hanne and Karsten both attended the NAMI national conference this year, and Karsten is one of the facilitators of the local Connection group.

Marcus Ginn, At Large Full bios available at namims.org.

SUMMER 2017 · 15



The 2017 Mississippi Trauma Informed Care Conference Planning Committee is excited to announce Dr. Vincent J. Felitti as one of the keynote presenters for this year’s conference. A renowned physician and researcher, Dr. Vincent J. Felitti is one of the world’s foremost experts on childhood trauma as well as the co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. The Mississippi 2017 Trauma Informed Care Conference, “Standing in the Eye of the Storm,” will be held Tuesday, September 26th – Friday, September 29th at the Jackson Convention Complex in downtown Jackson. Back by popular demand, Tuesday sessions are targeted for first responders. With more than 40 sessions, the conference will address various topics related to trauma-informed care services and supports. To register for the annual conference online, go to https://www.regonline.com/2017MSTraumaConference. General information about the conference can be found at www.2017traumainformedcareconference.weebly.com.



by Gloria Mwase, Vice President & Advocacy Committee Chair

Yes, Your Voice Matters!


lot has been going on around mental health advocacy at the state and federal levels over the last several months. There have been rallies in the state, and Capitol Hill visits in D.C. There have been urgent calls and emails to contact your state legislators, to contact your congressmen, to contact your family and friends, and ask them to call somebody! Given all these requests and the sometimes less-than-desired response from our policy makers, it’s natural to wonder, “Does my voice even matter?” NAMI Mississippi answers this question with a resounding reply: Yes, it does! Those of you who have been following the national health care debate might not be aware of how much your voices made a difference, but they did! More than 120,000 emails, multiple calls, and more than 1,000 Congressional Hill visits from people across the country translated into a rejection of efforts to strip away Medicaid funding and insurance protections that would have been devastating to people with serious mental illnesses and their families. Earlier this year, many of you weighed in with your state legislators to help pass school anti-bullying legislation that helps to protect all children, including those living with

Representatives from NAMI Mississippi at the 2017 NAMI National Convention in Washington, D.C. First row: Christiane Williams and her son, Kelvin. Second row: Brett Mayfield, Sitaniel Wimbley and Sharon Turner-Davis. Third row: Gloria Mwase, Hanna Gaycken and Hanne’s son, Karsten. (Image courtesy of Sitaniel Wimbley)

mental illness. You helped to authorize the development of court diversion programs that allow people with mental illnesses to get the services and support they need, not jail time. You also helped to protect the integrity and independence of our state’s mental health system. On behalf of NAMI Mississippi, and the people living with mental illnesses and their families that we serve, thank you! Every effort

June 29, NAMI Mississippi partnered with advocacy groups such as Families as Allies and LIFE of Mississippi to host the Medicaid Matters to Mississippians Rally, an event to protest the U.S. Congress’ efforts to roll back Medicaid expansion with the passing of the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Executive Director Tameka Tobias-Smith is pictured on the left. (Image by Scott Crawford)

in advance of this cause, no matter how big or small, contributes to our collective strength and capacity to ensure high-quality treatment leading to recovery and an improved quality of life for those who are affected by mental illness. We have more work to do, and we’ll need your help doing it! We want to support and expand efforts in our state to transition to more community-based care. We want to push for state and federal budgets that support programs which respond to the needs of people with serious mental illnesses. We need to ensure that resources follow good ideas so that they translate into real solutions. Finally, we need to pursue bipartisan strategies because we know that mental illness impacts one in five residents in our state. We’ll be sharing a number of opportunities to get engaged over the next few weeks, but we would love to hear from you! Feel free to share your thoughts at advocacy@namims.org. In the meantime, take a moment to reflect on how you are helping to advance better care and better lives. Refresh and rejuvenate because, before too long, we’ll be calling. All the best, The NAMI Mississippi Advocacy Team


SUMMER 2017 · 17


Youth Advisory Council · Est. 2016

n May of 2016, NAMI Mississippi’s Executive Director, Tameka Tobias-Smith, decided that it was time to expand in a way that would reach youth and young adults, and as a result, the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) was established. YAC volunteers recognize the value of being present within the community. From Say It Out Loud “road trips” to back-to-school

From the Legislatuve Meet and Greet at the Mississippi State Capitol in February (left to right): YAC members Jamie Kurlej and Hannah Kanengiser with prison reform advocate Willie Blackmon (image courtesy of Jamie Kurlej)

drives, community involvement and outreach remain a top priority to the Council. Throughout the first half of 2017, YAC advocated for prison reform during a Legislative Meet and Greet in February, partnered with NFusion Metro for a summer block party event in May, and attended several community events, including Word and Worship’s Back-to-School Bash in July. For the remainder of 2017, YAC will be hosting a string of events during Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in October. To kick off MIAW, YAC will be hosting a Cupcake Wars fundraiser at Broad Street Bakery & Cafe. Following Cupcake Wars, YAC will be hosting Campus Conversation forums at various colleges for the remainder of MIAW. The focus of these forums will be to bring awareness and insight into mental illness on college campuses. Mission Statement: As the Youth Advisory Council, our mission is to encourage, educate and immerse ourselves within our


Youth Advisory Council ∙ Est. 2016

DATES: October 2-7, 2017 MENTAL ILLNESS AWARENESS WEEK Campus Conversations

The Youth Advisory Council will host town hall forums at various colleges throughout the state. • Alcorn State University • Jackson State University • Millsaps College • Mississippi College

• Ole Miss • Hinds Community College • Holmes Community College • University of Southern MS

Interested speakers should contact stateoffice@namims.org.

by Jamie Kurlej, Community Outreach Specialist & YAC Member local community, while also striving to put an end to the stigma of mental illness. We focus on reaching and involving youth and young adults throughout our journey to end stigma and advocate for those living with mental illness.

Block Party at the the State Capitol with NFusion Metro in May. (Image courtesy of Jamie Kurlej)

YAC member Hannah Kanengiser does face painting at the 2016 NAMIWalks event at the Mississippi Museum of Art. (Image courtesy of Jamie Kurlej)


CALENDAR OF EVENTS September September 4 September 10 September 10-16 September 26 September 28 October October 1 October 5 October 10 November 11 November 18

Mental Health Recovery Month 1st Annual Wellness Community DayCation - New Orleans, LA World Suicide Prevention Day National Wellness Week, National Suicide Prevention Week 2017 Trauma Informed Care Conference - First Responders Track NAMIWalks Kickoff Luncheon ADHD Awareness Month, Bullying Prevention Month, Positive Attitude Month Cupcake Wars 2017 National Depression Screening Day World Mental Health Day 2017 Annual NAMIWalks and Wellness Festival International Survivors of Suicide Day


NAMI CENTRAL MS (JACKSON), REGION 8, 9 Affiliate Meeting 3rd Thursday 6 pm Location: TBA Contact: Brett Mayfield NAMI Mississippi - 601-899-9058 centralms@gmail.com

Family Support 2nd Thursday, 7 pm St. Catherine Room @ St. Dominic Hospital In the Basement by Cafeteria Contact: Patricia Montgomery - 601-754-2347 Consumer Support Each Thursday, 1:30-3pm Cups in the Quarter, 1855 Lakeland Dr. John McFadden - 601-956-1856 Consumer Support Every Thursday except the last Thursday of the month, 5:30-7:00pm The Church Triumphant Global 6531 Dogwood View Parkway Monica Wolters - 601-831-4354 GULFPORT, REGION 13 - TBA HARRISON COUNTY, REGION 13 - TBA JACKSON COUNTY, REGION 14 - TBA HATTIESBURG, REGION 12 Affiliate Meeting Last Thursday of Each Month except July at 6pm Forrest General in the Cafeteria Meeting Room Contact: Amanda Clement- 601-287-7014

NAMI MERIDIAN, REGION 10 Affiliate Meeting 1st Tuesday, 12:00 pm Meridian Activity Center Contact: Patricia Battle - 601-527-3734 Jill Walsh - 601-917-1474 namimeridian@gmail.com

Consumer Support Each Tuesday 5:00-6:30pm Wesley House Community Center 1520 8th Ave Contact: Carol Ann Nason - 601-693-8519 Jill Walsh - 601-917-1474 jillrwalsh@hotmail.com Family Support 2nd Tuesday of each month 5:45-7:15 Wesley House Community Center 1520 8th Ave Contact: Patricia Battle - 601-527-3734 patbattle67@gmail.com NAMI OXFORD REGION 2 Family Support 2nd & 4th Saturday 10:00-11:30 North MS Regional Center in Administration Bldg Hwy 7 South Contact: Hanne Gaycken 662-234-9572/662-801-6530 Consumer Support Sundays, 3:30-5 pm Baptist Memorial Hospital Magnolia Room

Contact: Clarice Ivy - 662-816-0469 clariceIam@yahoo.com

NAMI VICKSBURG REGION 15 Affiliate Meeting (Quarterly) Every 4th Tuesday Jan/April/July/Oct., 6pm Warren-Yazoo Behavioral Health, Conference Room Harriette Mastin - 601-630-9470/601-218-0843 Family Support 1st Tuesday, 6-7:30 pm River Region West Campus Mary Pope - 601-437-3156 Harriette Mastin - 601-630-9470/601-218-0843 Consumer Support 1st Wednesday of the month 2:00-3:30pm Merit River Region West Conference Room 1111 North Frontage Road Harriette Mastin - 601-630-9470/601-218-0843 NAMI YAZOO CITY REGION 15 Affiliate Meeting (Quarterly) Every 1st Tuesday, 4pm- 5:30pm Warren-Yazoo Mental Health Contact: Beverly Pettigrew - 662-571-3902 Lashell Steward - 662-746-5712 Family Support Every other Tuesday, 5:30pm-7:00pm Warren-Yazoo Behavioral Health Beverly Pettigrew - 662-571-3902 Lashell Steward - 662-746-5712


SUMMER 2017 ¡ 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.


NAMI Mississippi is pleased to introduce an addition to our membership benefits. As an added membership bonus, every NAMI Mississippi member will receive a personalized membership card.



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Summer 2017 Newsletter  

Summer 2017 Newsletter  

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