American Adoption Congress Annual Conference

For Interested NAMI Members and Friends – If you have a personal interest in the world of adoption, foster care and assisted reproduction, or if you know of someone who has, please consider the following: 
The American Adoption Congress, which is a national association committed to adoption reform and promotion of honesty, openness and respect for family connections, is having its annual national conference at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, Atlanta from Wednesday, April 5 through Saturday, April 8.  This is also a unique opportunity to learn about changing public policies and legislation being enacted nationwide for all adopted persons and their birth and adoptive families.  If you have an interest in registering, please go to the AAC website: www.americanadoptioncongress.org and click on the conference link.
Another opportunity to experience the conference is to attend the special presentation of Alison Larkin Live, who is an acclaimed comedienne, award winning audiobook narrator and the bestselling author of The English American autobiography about an English woman who finds her birth mother – and her self – in the U.S.  This occurs on Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m., April 6, at the same venue.  We are not positive at this time as to any cost to attend, but we are working with the conference chair to make this a successful and well-attended event for all to enjoy!  Stay tuned and let Bruce Kellogg, Member of the Board of Directors of NAMI Northside know if you are interested and have plans to attend.  You can email Bruce at bakellogg@att.net or call him at 770-833-6548.  Thank you.

FREE Webinar on helping depressed & suicidal teens

The ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) is offering a FREE webinar on Thursday, September 8. The topic is “How to Help Depressed and Suicidal Teenagers”.
“Rates of depression as well as suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury are surprisingly common among adolescents. Dr. Alec Miller will describe treatments that exist for them in clinical and school settings.”
This webinar series is intended for the general public. Details HERE.

Mental Illness and College

A Diagnosis of Mental Illness Need Not End a College Career
A recent survey reports that 47% of adults living with schizophrenia drop out of college, compared to the 27% college dropout rate in the U.S. overall.  Another study reports that students diagnosed with bipolar disorder are 70% more likely to drop out of college than students with no psychiatric diagnosis.
My son was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his junior year of college. I was devastated by what I perceived to be the loss of hope for his future, but he was determined to return to school and complete his degree. His university, which had been eager to help him withdraw when he became ill, was most unwilling to help him re-enroll after his symptoms were under control. When I called the Disability Services Office for help, a staff member told me, “Your son got in trouble…” I responded, “My son did not get in trouble, my son got sick.”
This kind of negative attitude from a university is tragic. Many young people with schizophrenia or other serious mental health conditions are perfectly capable of completing a college education. There is no reason for universities to discriminate against students living with mental illness—in fact, such discrimination is against the law.
Read entire article at NAMI.org

College guide for students with psychiatric disabilities

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported the following about college students:
  • 30% struggle with school work due to mental illness
  • 25% experience suicidal thoughts
  • 14% engage in reckless behavior
These shocking numbers moved the team at BestColleges.com to do more research about mental illness among students. We realized those struggling with mental illness contend with a true disability that requires the full support of their learning community. We published our College Guide for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities as a way to start a conversation about this issue. Our goal is to share this with as many students, families, and educators as possible.

 

Musical Play “Next to Normal”

“Next to Normal” February 19 – March 6, 2016
NAMI has partnered with Elm Street Cultural Arts Village to present the musical play “Next to Normal”. The play is focused on the effect on a family dealing with mental health issues, and on common public perceptions of mental illness and medical treatment. For each ticket sold, $1 will be donated to the affiliate identified by the purchaser in the purchasing process, $1 will go toward implementing the NAMI HomeFront program in Georgia, and $1 will go to the NAMI Georgia state organization.
Each night after the play, there will be a “Talk Back” session where  “Next to Normal” patrons will have an opportunity to hear from people living in recovery and family members about their experiences.  We invite you to be a part of the dialogue!
See the following You Tube link to get a taste for the musical. https://youtu.be/TPfxUGMKgLA
For more information and to order tickets: http://namiga.org/fundraiser-next-to-normal/
History of the show:

Next to Normal (styled as next to normal) is a rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. Its story concerns a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness and the attempts to alleviate it have on her family. The musical also addresses such issues as grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and the underbelly of suburban life.

Next to Normal received several workshop performances before it debuted Off-Broadway in 2008, winning the Outer Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Score and receiving nominations for Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actress (Alice Ripley) and Outstanding Score. After an Off-Broadway run, the show then played at the Arena Stage in its temporary venue in Crystal City, VA (just outside Washington, DC) from November 2008 to January 2009.

The musical opened on Broadway in April 2009. It was nominated for eleven 2009 Tony Awards and won three, Best Original Score, Best Orchestration and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Alice Ripley. It also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming just the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. The previous musical to win the Pulitzer was Rent, in 1996, which was also directed by Michael Greif. In awarding the prize to Kitt and Yorkey, the Pulitzer Board called the show “a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals.”[1]

The First US National Tour launched in November 2010, with Alice Ripley reprising her Broadway role; the tour concluded in July 2011. The Broadway production closed in January 2011 after over 700 performances. It has since spawned many international productions.

NNA Re-affiliation Process

What is involved when a NAMI Affiliate seeks re-affiliation? Get answers at NAMI.org.

Call Me Crazy: A Five Film premiering April 20, 2013

World Premiere of Call Me Crazy: A Five Film – April 20th at 8:00pm on Lifetime channel.

Through the five shorts named after each title character — Lucy, Eddie, Allison, Grace and Maggie – powerful relationships built on hope and triumph raise a new understanding of what happens when a loved one struggles with mental illness.

The first of the five, written by Deirdre O’Connor and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, “Lucy” follows the film’s title character, a law student who finds herself amidst the horror of schizophrenia, landing her in an institution where, through the support of a new friend, meds and her psychotherapist, she begins her path to not only healing, but a promising future. “Lucy” also features Clint Howard.

NAMI is Lifetime’s official partner for “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film.” Together we have teamed up to shed light on mental illnesses and reduce the stigma surrounding those who live with them.

Read more about Call Me Crazy: A Five Film.