Education Events

We host public education events every month. Below is an archive of past events.

Here are the current and more recent events.

If you’re interested in hosting or presenting an event or workshop with NAMI-NYC, please email Clara, our Outreach Coordinator, at ckiely@naminyc.org.

January 30, 2020

Mental Health Care and the New York Health Act: A Panel Discussion

Finding quality mental health care can be a challenge. And paying for it can be even harder.

Insurance companies are required to cover mental health and substance abuse care in the same way that they cover physical health care. But data shows that disparities in coverage continue to increase. The New York Health Act aims to change this by establishing comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker. And that includes mental health care.

Learn about the New York Health Act and why it matters. Learn from medical and policy experts about barriers to good care, and learn how you can make the New York Health Act a reality!

This panel was co-hosted with the Campaign for New York Health.

Welcoming remarks by Assembly Member Richard Gottfried

Our panelists

  • Kim Behrens, RN
  • Christine Rollet, LCSW-R
  • NAMI-NYC Advocacy Ambassador Candace Dunkley
  • Peter Steinglass, MD

You can view the overview that Dr. Steinglass provided on the New York Health Act here.

Education Event about the New York Health Act on January 30 2020

December 11, 2019

Psychiatric Advance Directives – Ask the Expert

A Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD) is a legal document written by a currently competent person who lives with a mental illness. A PAD allows a person to be prepared if a mental health crisis prevents them from being able to make decisions. A PAD describes treatment preferences, or names a person to make treatment decisions, should the person with a mental health condition be unable to make decisions.

Our experts were attorney Moira Laidlaw, and psychiatrist Dr. Guy Maytal.

NAMI NYC ATE Psychiatric Advance Directives education event

November 5, 2019

Antidepressants – How Do They Work?

According to the CDC, the number of people who report taking antidepressants has increased by over 65% between 1990 and 2014. In 2014 about 1 in 8 Americans aged 12 and over reported taking antidepressants in the previous month. At this presentation you can find out how antidepressants work and about the differences between them from a board-certified physician and assistant professor of psychiatry. Dr. Manassa Hany, of the Icahn School of Medicine and the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai West presented an overview and history of antidepressants especially geared towards people living with depression and those supporting them.

Dr. Hany is an assistant professor of psychiatry at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He serves as the medical director of the outpatient department at the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai West. He is board certified in both General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry. He earned his MD degree from Cairo University School of Medicine in Egypt and completed psychiatry residency at Richmond University Medical Center. He completed an addiction psychiatry subspecialty fellowship at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai West. He enjoys watching/playing soccer on weekends.

Antidepressants education event for people with depression and those who support them.

October 16, 2019

Creativity As Coping – A Hands-On Workshop

How can we use creativity and creative expression to cope with mental health challenges? Hear from a working writer, learn more about the clinical use of creative expression, and then practice some exercises to awaken your own creativity.

Our guests were Jen Epstein, author of Don’t Get Too Excited, and Drena Fagan, Co-Founder and Director of Programs at NY Creative Arts Therapists.

Writer and activist Jen Epstein was raised by two mental health professionals and struggled as a child with anxiety and irrational fears. These fears evolved over time into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She is the author of Don’t Get Too Excited.

NY Creative Arts Therapists integrates creative arts with proven therapeutic practice, and have all of the creative arts therapies under one metaphoric roof: Art Therapy, Drama Therapy, Dance-Movement Therapy, and Music Therapy. They are the only practice in New York with a fully multi-modal staff.

Creativity As Coping Hands On Workshop

September 18, 2019

Safety Planning for Suicide – A Samaritans Workshop for Family and Friends

Join us for this important workshop facilitated by Samaritans staff on conversations with loved ones who are or may be suicidal, including crisis response and crisis management skills.

Samaritans Safety Planning Presentation provides information and guidelines to recognize when someone is experiencing distress, depression, self-harming or suicidal behavior, and how to access the help they need 24-hours-a-day. Samaritans Safety Planning Presentation will prepare you with the keys to getting help for yourself, your family, and those you work with and care for.

The Samaritans of New York has been providing crisis response, prevention planning, suicide survivor support groups and related services to the people of the region for over 30 years.

Safety Planning for Suicide - Samaritans workshop

August 27, 2019

Dr. Scott Bienenfeld, of the Recovery Spot, provided an overview of FDA-approved medication-assisted treatments for addiction, including medications that can help with treating an addiction to alcohol, opiates, or nicotine.

The Recovery Spot is a center for the treatment of addiction, co-occurring psychiatric disorders and chronic pain.

Ask The Doctor - Medication Assisted Addiction Treatment

June 20, 2019

Ensure your family and loved ones are taken care of.  Ask questions of professional financial advisors and a qualified attorney.

A presentation by Benjamin Stark (Financial Advisor), Thomas Pallogudis (Wealth Management Advisor), and Salvatore DiCostanzo (Elder Law Attorney). Part of our Ask the Expert series!

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.

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.

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.

Ask The Expert Special Needs Trusts

May 29, 2019

Navigating the Criminal Justice and Mental Health Systems: A discussion and Q&A

Moderated by an attorney who specializes in defending people with mental health conditions, this panel will combine personal and professional perspectives. You’ll learn about alternatives to incarceration, the difficulties of getting mental health care in the criminal justice system, the criminalization of mental illness, and what it’s like for individuals and family members who have lived through it. You will get concrete information about navigating the criminal justice system.

Elizabeth Kelley, our moderator, is a criminal defense lawyer with a nationwide practice specializing in representing people with mental disabilities. She is the Editor of Representing People with Mental Disabilities: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers (ABA, 2018) and the upcoming book Representing People with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers. She co-chairs The Arc’s National Center for Criminal Justice and Disability and serves on the Editorial Board of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Magazine and Criminal Justice Section Council.

NAMI NYC presents Mental Health and Criminal Justice - How Do I Navigate? A discussion and Q&A May 29 6:30pm in Manhattan

April 3, 2019

Self-Care and Self-Compassion: A Workshop

“Self-care” can be easy to talk about and difficult to practice – especially for those who are living with mental health conditions or supporting someone who is struggling. Learn how to awaken self-compassion and support self-care as an ongoing part of life!

Our speaker:

Maxine Outerbridge is a New York City native, hardworking and passionate mother of two (including a special needs child) and mental health and healing advocate. Maxine’s testimony of surviving domestic violence and sexual abuse, teen pregnancy and financial distress during her pursuit of her undergraduate degree landed her a role as surrogate to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Maxine was the youngest delegate to represent the state of New York at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Maxine studied Finance and Accounting in her undergraduate and graduate studies and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working in the Financial Services industry.

Self-Care and Self-Compassion A Workshop

February 25, 2019

Ask the Lawyer – Insurance Edition

A presentation and opportunity to ask questions about the law and mental health, facilitated by Judith Grimaldi.

Learn about:

  • The Affordable Care Act
  • Medicare and Medicaid
  • ABLE Accounts
  • Navigating the mental health system

Our speaker:

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. She is also a many-times expert public education presenter at NAMI-NYC, for which we are all grateful.

Ask The Lawyer Insurance Edition - Pub Ed Feb 25

January 30, 2019

How To Reach Agreements in Family Mental Health Care Conflicts – Learn from Mediators

Dealing with mental health is confusing, and there are many conflicts.  Families often disagree about how to talk about mental health, how to know which treatments to pursue, and what lifestyle choices are best.  Mediators have tactics for useful, empowering conversations during disagreements, and for creating realistic, sustainable agreements to resolve them.

Workshop with Dan Berstein, mediator and co-founder of the Dispute Resolution in Mental Health (DRMH) Initiative at the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center.

We learned how to:

  • make someone feel heard even when we disagree,
  • ask the right questions to discover everyone’s needs, and
  • reach agreements that resolve the conflict in an effective, lasting way.

About Dan Berstein

Dan is the nation’s leading expert in conflict resolution and mental health. He combines his professional expertise as a mediator, his academic background in mental health and public health, and his personal experience living with bipolar disorder to develop innovative conflict resolution skill-building programs for diverse mental health stakeholders. Through his company, MH Mediate, Dan has traveled the country training mental health service providers, peers, families, universities, workplaces, housing providers, and government agencies at the city, state, and federal levels.

Dan co-founded the Dispute Resolution in Mental Health Initiative at the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center, he sat on the Mediator Advisory Board of the New York Peace Institute, and he serves as Vice-Chair of the Diversity Committee at the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution. He holds a master’s degree in Mental Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School.

Click here to watch Dan’s TEDxTalk about conflict resolution and mental health.

Conflict Resolution Public Education Event January 30

November 29, 2018

Ask the Lawyer

Ask questions about the law and mental health, facilitated by Robert Freedman.

Topics included:

  • Legal guardianship
  • Advanced directives
  • Benefits and entitlements
  • Special needs trusts

Robert Freedman is a knowledgeable and experienced attorney with a practice that focuses on elder law and special needs planning. He is a nationally recognized expert and pioneer in Elder Law and Special Needs Planning. He was one of the creators of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association and served as Chair. He brings knowledge and experience to addressing legal and financial issues for clients and their family members with mental illness. Robert works with clients to obtain government benefits, set up special needs trusts, and address guardianship issues. He is also a many-times expert public education presenter at NAMI-NYC, for which we are all grateful.

October 23, 2018

Mental Illness and Addiction – Hope for Double Trouble

A panel discussion about an essential and often-overlooked topic: the intersection of mental illness and substance use.

Our panelists were Dr. Lloyd Sederer, Chief Medical Officer of the New York State Office of Mental Health and author of The Addiction Solution: Treating Our Dependence on Opioids and Other Drugs, Dr. Richard Friedman, New York Times contributor and psychopharmacology clinic director at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Karen Varano, NAMI-NYC Program Director, and parent of a recovering addict.  They shared insight and personal experiences, and answered questions in a moderated discussion by Alexandra Botti, of WNYC’s The Takeaway.

You can watch a video of the panel here on our Facebook.

Oct 23 Mental Illness and Addiction panel

September 25, 2018

“Every time I tell my story, it’s a promise” – Talking About Suicide, Depression, and Substance Use Through Storytelling

In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, hear Jamie Brickhouse discuss his experiences.  Part performance, part story-telling, and part Q&A, you’ll get a unique perspective on topics that are taboo even in the world of mental health.

Jamie Brickhouse is a writer, a comedic storyteller, and a keynote speaker.  He’s the author of the critically acclaimed Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My Mother – and his solo show based on the book won an Audience Choice Award at the 2017 FRIGID Theater Festival in New York.  Jamie is a three-time StorySLAM champion of The Moth.  And as a keynote speaker, Brickhouse covers a range of topics from alcoholism / addiction / recovery / suicide prevention from the perspective of an SAS (suicide attempt survivor), the art and craft of memoir writing, overcoming HIV stigma, dementia (specifically Lewy body dementia), storytelling (as performer and instructor), book marketing and publicity, and GLBTQ issues. You can read an even longer list of Jamie’s accomplishments on his site.

September 24 2018 education event - Every Time I Tell My Story

July 28, 2018

NAMI C.A.R.E.S.

The Brooklyn Public Library Macon Branch, at 361 Lewis Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

In recognition of Minority Mental Health Month, NAMI-NYC is holding our community mental health fair—NAMI C.A.R.E.S. (Community Advocacy, Resources, Education, & Services). This year we’re heading to Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.

The goal of NAMI C.A.R.E.S. is to highlight mental health issues that specifically face communities of color. Through storytelling and live presentations, we show you that help is available, and recovery for people living with mental health challenges is possible. We connect you to local resources that specialize in serving diverse populations, and are available in your neighborhood.

Workshops

In Our Own Voice — From “dark days” to “successes, hopes, and dreams,” people living with mental illness share their stories. IOOV is a unique and powerful public presentation that offers insight into the hope and recovery possible for people living with mental illness. (12:30 pm – 1:30 pm)

Mothers of Color and their Mental Health – Advocating for Ourselves — Alicia James, President of The PAM Project, (Preserve A Mom) a social enterprise agency for maternal mental health, will be moderating an interactive discussion about mothers of color and their mental health. (1:30 pm – 2:30 pm)

June 19, 2018

Suicide and Emotional Pain: Seeing and Supporting Those in Crisis

How can you recognize if someone is in emotional distress, even if they aren’t talking about suicide? How do you meet people where they’re at and acknowledge their pain without trying to fix it? Brett Scudder is a counselor, speaker, and suicide attempt survivor. After one of his suicide attempts in 2005, he dedicated his life full-time to helping people prevent or manage emotional pain and crisis to prevent suicide ideations and attempts.

You can watch the video of this event on Facebook.

Brett A. Scudder is a certified Mental Health, Psychological, Trauma and Suicide First Aid Practitioner who provides services and support to people worldwide. He is the Executive Director of SISFI’s Abuse and Suicide First Aid Response and Wellness Center and the founder of Scudder Intervention Services Foundation, Inc. (“SISFI”) and The Suicide Institute. In 2017 SISFI had 1173 successful suicide interventions with individuals ages 4-87.

April 26, 2018

Ask the Lawyer

A presentation and opportunity to ask questions about the law and mental health, facilitated by Robert Freedman.

Topics include:

  • Legal guardianship
  • Advanced directives
  • Benefits and entitlements
  • Special needs trusts

March 28, 2018

When “Fine” Isn’t Good Enough: School Advocacy Tips for Caregivers

Come learn about mental health services available in NYC schools for children ages 4-21 and how to access them, presented by Lisa Krizman, MSW and retired Special Education Law Attorney.

Topics will include:

  • Eligibility for special education services
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
  • How to approach school administrators, including scripts to use
  • Common obstacles to receiving services

Lisa has had a long career representing families with children with mental health and developmental disorders and giving public presentations. She also has personal experience with special needs children and is a member of NAMI-NYC’s Family Advisory Board.

March 1, 2018

White Walls: A Conversation and Book Signing With Judy Batalion

“White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess In Between” is a poignant and humorous tale of “stuff and survival,” considering four generations of Jewish women as they navigate hoarding and antihoarding, the search for home, and the emotional legacy of the Holocaust. The book has been featured on the Today Show, the New York Times Sunday Review, LA Review of Books, The Believer, the New York Post and the Forward.

Thank you to Brookdale Battery Park for providing space!

White Walls by Judy Batalion

October 26, 2017

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

With Thomas Pallogudis, Benjamin Stark, and Salvatore M. Di Costanzo

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.

July 22, 2017

NAMI C.A.R.E.S.

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.

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.
In recognition of Minority Mental Health Month, we’re holding our community mental health fair. This year we’re heading to Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.

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.

 

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 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

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.

Our panelists:
Dr. Lloyd Sederer, M.D. 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, M.D., M.P.H. 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.

Mr. Francis 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.

Ms. Cindy 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.

Detective Jeff Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Police Department Detective, and is involved in Crisis Intervention/Communication in a variety of different roles including the Crisis Intervention Team training.

Co-sponsored by the Mental Health Association of New York City, and The Fortune Society.

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