Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NAMI 2011 Convention

Blockbuster Line Up Of Convention Symposia

NAMI is pleased to announce an exciting line up of symposia for our 2011 Convention.

Health Care Reform.

Part I will offer a Washington,D.C., focus on how the health care reform bill is likely to be handled by the new Congress.

Part II will offer "take aways," or what to do with this information when you return home.

Veterans. How NAMI is working to help veterans, the National Guard and reservists in need of mental health and readjustment services post-deployment.

Employment. Why, after all the work to develop supported employment, are 80 percent of adults living with mental illness unemployed? What can local NAMI State Organizations and Affiliates do?

Disciplinary Confinement. Isolation and confinement exacerbate psychiatric symptoms. Efforts underway to respond--including legislation, litigation and voluntary initiatives--will be examined.

Disparities and Cultural Competence. These issues will be addressed in the context of health care reform, supports and treatment availability and strategies for input and action.

Faith, Spirituality and Mental Illness. Dr. Nancy Kehoe returns to further explore the impact of religious and spiritual beliefs on recovery.

Emerging Creativity in Diagnosis and Treatment. Cutting-edge ideas to push the boundaries of our understanding of mental illness and further the effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment.

Federal Special Education Laws. Understanding IDEA, knowing your child's rights and getting effective services.


  1. Rossa,

    NAMI pushed mental health "parity" legislation for a long, long time... and in spite of enormous lobbying efforts, they could not get it passed through Congress....

    It was slid into one of the bailout bills, at the 11th hour, late at night (when nobody was watching)... before health care legislation was passed by the House of Representatives...

    In any event, now Americans will be forced to pay for psychiatric drugs as if they were equivalent to other medications... In the meanwhile, more and more people become addictive to them, and the disability rates go through the roof.

    The use of psychiatric drugs for the short-term, in an emergency situation is one thing... as long-term "maintenance" is crippling for many people....

    Making these drugs mainstream... increasing market share, to include children, youth, military service members.... this is the work of NAMI....

    "Parity" NAMI insists.

    Psychiatric drugs for "free"... for the masses appears to be the political agenda of the "non-profit" group called NAMI.


    Once the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill...

    Now, the National Alliance on Mental Illness...

    I think the National Alliance FOR Mental Illness is more appropriate than either of the other names...

    No other organization has done more to promote mental illness than NAMI....

    Oh, by the way, "Friends don't let friends join NAMI."

    Duane Sherry

  2. Thanks for filling in the picture of the lobbying behind the Mental Health Parity bill. I thought that readers would be jumping all over paragraph 4:

    Employment. Why, after all the work to develop supported employment, are 80 percent of adults living with mental illness unemployed? What can local NAMI State Organizations and Affiliates do?

    For a lot of people like me, the answer is because NAMI pushes the medical model of mental illness above all else. That being said, through my own experience with Chris, simply getting off the drugs doesn't mean the person is going back to work anytime soon. There are deep rooted psychologica, social and existential issues that need to be addressed. I tend to look at schizophrenia as a "philosopher's disease."

  3. Rossa,

    I think more people would be able to go back to work if they were not placed on drugs for the long-haul...

    Also, you mention "philosopher's disease"... Part of finding success in life, for any of us is to find our passions, to find a niche... I believe this is universal... for all of us - labeled, unlabeled...

    I believe that if a person begins to see themselves as fundamentally broken, they will have a tough time...

    If they begin to see themselves as unique.. with talents and gifts, and learn to focus on these things (like a laser-beam), they have the opportunity to find a niche in life, or several... and this includes finding a product or service of value in the marketplace... making a living, building a career.

    A career for a person diagnosed with "schizophrenia"... a successful life?


    My best,


  4. Hi, again, Duane.
    Yes, absolutely. Now you would think that NAMI could connect the dots, and ask itself if possibly, just possibly, they've got their priorities all wrong.
    Thanks, again.





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