Public Education Events

We provide free public education events throughout the NYC metro area.

Sign up to receive our e-newsletter to find out when events, workshops, and community health fairs will be.

If you are interested in presenting or hosting an event or workshop with NAMI-NYC Metro, please email our Outreach Programs Coordinator, Clara S. Kiely, at

Upcoming Events

October 26, 2017 6:30 – 8 pm at the NAMI offices

Special Plans for a Special Life: An overview of financial and legal options for families with special needs

Experts will answer your questions about

Special Needs Planning • Medicaid • Social Security

Estate Planning • Special Needs Trusts • ABLE Act

Dinner Will Be Provided


Please RSVP online here or call our helpline at (212) 684 3264.


Thomas Pallogudis has over 18 years of experience working with business owners, professionals, and families who are serious about preparing for their futures. He looks at the financial goal of each client first, then seeks to develop a strategy to most effectively reach those objectives. Above all else, when you become a client, the emphasis is on the total picture, not just part of it. The goal is to ensure that your objectives have been incorporated into your strategies and that you are working with a professional you can trust.

Benjamin Stark works with professionals and families who are serious about preparing for their futures. Benjamin has an extensive knowledge of the special needs world and his area of specialty is working with families who have a child with special needs. In his spare time, Benjamin acts as a board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Morris County Chapter as well as the Middlesex County Family Support Organization. He also actively volunteers with the New Jersey Center for Tourette’s Syndrome.

Salvatore M. Di Costanzo is a partner with the firm of Maker, Fragale & Di Costanzo, LLP located in Rye, New York and Yorktown Heights, New York. Salvatore is an attorney and accountant whose main area of practice is elder law and special needs planning which consists of estate planning, wills, trusts, probate and administration of estates, Medicaid planning, asset preservation, nursing home and home care planning and planning for individuals with special needs.

Previous Events

July 22, 2017


To celebrate Minority Mental Health Month, we host an annual NAMI C.A.R.E.S. (Community Advocacy, Resources, Education, and Services) Community Mental Health Fair.

This year we’re heading to the Lower East Side. We’ve partnered with several mental health-focused organizations serving the community.

There will be family-friendly activities, refreshments, and of course, free swag.

2017 NAMI CARES Fair for Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

English Workshops

  • In Our Own Voice — people living with mental illness tell their stories.
  • The unique challenges for international students and 1st generation children.
  • Common cultural and language barriers to mental health services.

Mandarin/Cantonese Workshops

  • Personal stories of immigration.
  • What is mental health?
  • Immigration stressors and family life.


Know someone in the neighborhood who might be interested in going? English-language flier (PDF) | Chinese-language flier (PDF)

Co-sponsored by Chinese-American Family Alliance on Mental Health (CAFAMH), NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene — Office of Consumer Affairs, University Settlements, and YMCA Chinatown.

June 22, 2017

Ask The Lawyer

Got questions? We’ve got answers! The Affordable Care Act, elder care law, healthcare proxies, Medicare and Medicaid, Supplemental Needs Trusts, navigating the mental health system, and more!

Judith D. Grimaldi is a partner in the pioneering elder law firm GRIMALDI & YEUNG LLP. Ms. Grimaldi’s perspective on the issues facing the elderly and disabled is unique; it was shaped by more than a decade of field experience as a social worker.

As an attorney for over 20 years, Ms. Grimaldi has represented the rights of the elderly and disabled. She has special expertise on Medicare and Medicaid, health law, trusts, and wills and estates. Her particular focus is on family caregivers and homecare. Ms. Grimaldi is a Certified Elder Law Attorney.

Judith Grimaldi

March 21, 2017

This was a two-part event, with an afternoon workshop at NAMI-NYC, and an evening discussion at the New School.

WRAP Workshop: Wellness Recovery Action Plans

Gina Calhoun struggled to find the right mental health treatment and care when she was hospitalized – until she found a program where she could create the road to recovery that best fit her needs and her life: WRAP.

WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) is a personalized coping strategy designed by the client, for the client, in order to succeed beyond recovering from mental illness.

Integral to the values and ethics of WRAP is communicating through the language of experience, rather than diagnostic language. In this way, each WRAP is framed through each client’s individual perspective, the expert on what’s worked best for them.

Gina ran an afternoon workshop at NAMI-NYC Metro about what a WRAP is, as well as how to create and use your very own WRAP. These are invaluable skills for those living with a mental illness, family members and loved ones, as well as mental health practitioners.

Gina serves as the National Director for Wellness and Recovery Education at the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. She is a certified peer support specialist and previously worked for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Personalized Recovery: A Panel Discussion on One Family’s Unique Journey

Gina Calhoun struggled to find the right mental health treatment and care when she was hospitalized – until she found a program where she could create the road to recovery that best fit her needs and her life.

Gina, her mother, and her sister shared their stories as their family fought for Gina’s recovery. They talked about the difficulties accessing mental health treatment, their experiences as family members, as well as how they each came to thrive today.

Gina is one of the nation’s most inspiring leaders on personalized recovery and well-being in the face of mental illness.

Co-sponsored by the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery and The Center for New York City Affairs at The New School

January 11, 2017

Panel Discussion: Mental Health and Criminal Justice

Providers, policymakers, parents, and people living with mental illness—we have an exciting panel discussion you’ll want to be a part of. Our diverse panel features New York’s thought leaders in psychiatry, public healthcare, and criminal justice: Francis Greenburger, Cindy Rodriguez, and Detective Jeff Thompson.

We open with a presentation by the Chief Medical Officer for the NY State Office of Mental Health, Dr. Lloyd Sederer on his new book, Improving Mental Healthcare: Four Secrets in Plain SightImproving Mental Healthcare provides a unique springboard for a dynamic discussion, moderated by Dr. Lisa Dixon, on the intersection of the criminal justice system and mental health care.

Dr. Lloyd Sederer

Dr. Lloyd Sederer, M.D.

Dr. Sederer is Chief Medical Officer for the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), “chief psychiatrist” of the nation’s largest state mental health system. Dr. Sederer also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health as well as Medical Editor for Mental Health for the Huffington Post.

Dr. Lisa Dixon

Dr. Lisa Dixon, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Dixon is the director of the Center for Practice Innovations at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is also a Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center and the director of the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research within the Department of Psychiatry.

Francis Greenburger

Mr. Francis Greenburger

Mr. Greenburger is the President and Founder of the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice. He has a family member with serious mental illness in the criminal justice system.

Cindy Rodriguez

Ms. Cindy Rodriguez

Ms. Rodriguez is the Urban Policy reporter for New York Public Radio. Her stories include in-depth looks at homelessness, neighborhood violence, and more recently on crisis intervention policy with the NYPD.

Jeff Thompson

Detective Jeff Thompson, Ph.D.

Detective Thompson is a NYPD Detective, and is involved in Crisis Intervention/Communication in a variety of different roles including the Crisis Intervention Team training.

September 20, 2016

Reaching Agreements in Mental Health Conflict: Learning from Mediators

The mental health system can be confusing to navigate, even for experienced professionals. Family members, peer specialists, clinicians, and clients often disagree about the best ways to deliver mental health care.

MH Mediate has developed tools for reaching agreements specific to mental health settings. Dan Berstein will talk about these techniques as well as teaching how to create realistic, sustainable agreements in mental health conflicts.

Dan Berstein — Inspired by his personal experiences living with bipolar disorder, Dan has built a career focused on conflict resolution and mental health. Nationally renowned for his mediation expertise, Dan has traveled across the US to train mediators, mental health service providers, government agencies, universities, and peers on how to improve their mental health communication.