Our office is currently installing a new phone system. Due to this, our phones are unable to accept voice mails. We apologize for this inconvenience, which we hope will be resolved quickly. In the meantime, if you have access to e-mail, and need to leave a message after hours (our helpline number will remain the same), please e-mail us your message at nami-ar@namiarkansas.org with a phone number to call back.

Family Support Group in Hot Springs will meet on the 2nd Monday, July 10, instead of July 3. Meetings will resume on the 1st Monday of each month in August.

Our NAMIWalk pictures for 2017 are on our facebook page!
Please check them out at

Family Support Group in Rogers has been cancelled for the month of May. It will resume on the 2nd Tuesday of June. We apologize for any inconvenience.

May is mental health awareness month!  Be aware of your mental health always!

NAMI Family Support Group in Hot Springs has been moved to a new location & time! It has been moved to Piney Grove United Methodist Church - 2693 Airport Rd.
6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.

21st Century Cures Act HAS PASSED IN THE SENATE!
With the President expected to officially sign this bill into law, here are a few things to know about the 21st Century Cures Act:
  • Raises the stature of mental health & substance use disorder services at the federal level.
  • Establishes a Chief Medical Officer within SAMHSA.
  • Clarifies that the federal Medicaid statute permits same-day billing for the provision of mental health & primary care services.
  • Establishes a new adult suicide prevention & intervention program for individuals aged 25 years or older.
  • Increases & extends existing authorization for Assisted Outpatient Programs.
More information on this bill will be detailed in our e-newsletter. Be sure to subscribe!
If you do not currently have a subscription to our e-newsletter and would like to subscribe, e-mail us at:
write "e-newsletter" in the subject line.

NAMI Family Support Group in Hot Springs has been moved to a new location & time! It has been moved to Piney Grove United Methodist Church - 2693 Airport Rd.
6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.
December's meeting will be held Monday, the 19th. AETN film will be shown, followed by Pastor Gallimore. Coffee & Cookies will also be provided!

AETN Show: November 21, at 6:30 P.M.

"Healing Minds, Changing Attitudes"
Holiday Blues & Depression:  When Happy Holidays Aren't So Happy

If you can't see the show tonight, it will air again on December 19, at 10:30 P.M.

Texarkana Support Group will meet Thursday, November 10 instead of Tuesday, November 8.

Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 2 - October 8


NAMI Arkansas' Annual Meeting and State Conference is Being Held
Saturday, October 8, 2016

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (registration opens at 8:30 a.m.)

Arkansas Children's Hospital
ATTENDANCE IS FREE/Lunch provided/Registration Required

Children's Hall
6 Children's Way
Little Rock, AR 72202

Call the NAMI Arkansas State Office to register at 501-661-1548


Email the State Office at nami-ar@namiarkansas.org

Children’s Hall

6 Children’s Way

FROM I-40 WESTBOUND (coming from Memphis)

From I-40 Westbound, take I-30 West to I-630. Take I-630 West for about two miles to Exit 2B (Martin Luther King Jr. Drive). Take Exit 2B, stay in left lane and turn left crossing overpass. Continue straight and turn right on 10th street. Continue on 10th street turn left at stop sign on Children’s Way. You will see a circular driveway. The doors enter to Children’s Hall. You may park in the Purple parking lot on Children’s way or in the parking behind the building.  

FROM I-40 EASTBOUND (coming from Conway)

From I-40 Eastbound, take I-430 South (Exit 147) to I-630 East (Exit 6). Continue on I-630 East to Exit 2B (Marshall Street/Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) and follow the signs to ACH on the right after you exit I-630. Turn right on to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, continue and turn right on 10th Street. Continue on 10th street to the stop sign. Turn left at stop sign on Children’s Way. You will see a circular driveway. The doors enter to Children’s Hall. You may park in the Purple parking lot on Children’s way or in the parking behind the building.  

From Texarkana/Pine Bluff

Continue on I-30 East until you reach I-630. (From Pine Bluff, I-540 will join I-30; take I-30 East). Take I-630 West for approximately two miles to Exit 2B (Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) and follow the signs to ACH. Stay in left lane and turn left crossing overpass. Continue straight and turn right on 10th street. . Continue on 10th street to the stop sign. Turn left at stop sign on Children’s Way. You will see a circular driveway. The doors enter to Children’s Hall. You may park in the Purple parking lot on Children’s way or in the parking behind the building. 



Little Rock
Sunday, October 2, 2016
6:00 p.m.
State Capitol Steps

Northwest Arkansas Candlelight Vigil
Sunday, October 2, 2016
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Walmart Auditorium, Room B-102
Shewmaker Center for Business Technologies
Northwest Arkansas Community College


Join us at the 

RECOVERY JAM 2016, Hosted by:

Better Community Development Inc.

Monday, September 26,2016

4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Located at the Little Rock River Market Pavilion

400 Clinton Ave. Little Rock, AR 72201



Sign up now for our next Family-to-Family class in Little Rock!
It will meet each Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Begins Tuesday, September 6, 2016

To register: Call Connie Detmers at 870-879-4514, or
NAMI Arkansas at 501-661-1548

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session education program for family, partners, friends and significant others of adults living with mental illness. The course is designed to help all family members understand and support their loved one living with mental illness, while maintaining their own well-being. The course includes information on illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental health conditions. Thousands of families describe the program as life-changing. The program is taught by trained teachers who are also family members and know what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness. 


New report from NAMI released May 25!
Read our newsletter regarding our work with CIT (Crisis Intervention Teams) training and find the link to the report at http://conta.cc/1Wj8XTY


We're halfway in reaching our NAMIWalk goal!  Every bit counts!  Your change changes things!  Register to be a walker, team captain or even a virtual walker at


Mental Illness Awareness Event
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Arkansas State Capitol
2:00 p.m.

The Division of Behavioral Health Services is planning a gaterhing at the State Capitol to heighten awareness, reduce misperceptions, and support those with mental health needs. Partners in this endeavor include the Mental Health Council of Arkansas, statewide Youth MOVE Organizations, and NAMI Arkansas.  The activity will feature proclamations from the Governor and will include speakers from local youth organizations and consumer councils, as well as representatives from mental health services providers.


Check out our newest Support groups we've added!

Are you walking with us?  Our NAMIWalk is Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock!

If interested in Family-to-Family classes to begin, please contact the State office by calling 501-661-1548 or sending an email to nami-ar@namiarkansas.org with "Little Rock Family-to-Family Class" in the subject line. Classes will begin either in the Spring or early Fall.

It's Giving Tuesday!

At NAMI Arkansas, we say that everyone knows someone with a mental illness.  Our warm line takes over 1,000 calls in a year assisting people just like you.  Our support groups are in some communities, and need to be in more.  Our education programs could grow to so much more if we had additional funds to bring them here.  You can be the change you want to see by using your change here at NAMI Arkansas to make a donation.

Your change changes things!

Please give; any amount helps!

Thank you!


Arkansas Coalition on Children’s Mental Health cordially invites you to 

Advocacy Day 2015

W When: October 6, 2015 @ 3 pm – 7 pm

Ø  Where: Brandon Auditorium

                Arkansas Children’s Hospital, South Campus

                11 Children’s Way, Little Rock, AR 72202

Ms. Sita Diehl, Directory of Grassroots Advocacy for National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be the keynote speaker. She will conduct a ‘hands-on’ workshop on “NAMI Smarts Module: Meeting Your Policymaker” where you will have an opportunity to develop your skills on how to approach your local or national policymaker and how to effectively present your agenda. This will be followed by a presentation on “Mental Health for Children and Youth: Public Policy Trends and Strategies” after which you will get a chance to interact with Ms. Diehl about current policy trends related to children’s mental health. 


Schedule of events:

·         2:30 pm   Registration/Introductions

·         3:15 pm   Meeting Your Policymaker

·         5:15 pm   Break

·         5:30 pm   Mental health for children and youth: Public policy trends and strategies

·         6:00 pm   Small group discussion and report back

·         6:40 pm   Next steps for Arkansas


Participation is free for all modules, and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

No RSVP required.



Participating Organizations:


NAMI Arkansas

1012 Autumn Road, Suite 1

Little Rock, AR 72211

Phone: 501-661-1548 or


Website: www.namiarkansas.org


Arkansas Council on Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Email: arkansascouncil@gmail.com



Thank You all for your involvement with this year's NAMIWalk! Your donations and support are greatly appreciated.

We still need your support. Please help us reach our goal of $80,000! We are still accepting donations.



Our NAMIWalk is Saturday, May 9

at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock

Come take a Walk in the ballpark to strike out stigma!

Registration/check-in:  9:00 a.m.

Walk begins at 10:00 a.m.

Park in the lot west of the ballpark (look for the NAMIWalk signs) and walk under the bridge to find the entry to the event.

Teams:  Your team captain will check your team in and get your tickets to get into the gate.  Once those are distributed, then you can enter.

Individuals:  You will have a place to register and we can get you through in the same manner.

We must have a waiver on file for you!

But no worries, you do that at the park!

It's a rain or shine event!

Help us reach our goal of $80,000!


Watching the AETN show and looking for the video?

We had to post the link on our public Facebook page so head to www.facebook.com/NAMIArkansas and look for the link there!


Our NAMIWalk is Saturday, May 9 and here are the details:

Where:                            Dickey-Stephens Park, North Little Rock

Check-in/Registration:      9:00 a.m.

Walk begins:                    10:00 a.m.

Registration cost:              NONE!!!!!

This is a fun and fundraiser!  Come out and join us for fun and help us keep our quality services at no cost to those who use them.  Raise $100 and receive an event t-shirt.

Head to the NAMIWalks link above for some great news regarding our NAMIWalk Saturday, May 9 at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock!  It will truly be a day to Strike Out Stigma and you can help!

We're waiting out the weather, so you still have time...

Family-to-Family Classes in Little Rock will begin Monday, March 16!

6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
*Registration is required*
You may register in one of these ways:
Contact the Detmers at 870-879-4514, or
Email the office at nami-ar@namiarkansas.org and put F2F class in the subject line, or
call the state office at 501-661-1548

We'll ask you some questions to get you registered!

We still have openings, so call or email today for registration!

If you are a:

  • Family member/primary care giver 
  • Spouse
  • Sibling
  • Parent
  • Adult child
  • Friend
of an adult with mental illness, you are appropriate for this class.

Questions?  Send email to nami-ar@namiarkansas.org

Please come to our program with Mr. Harry Ehrenberg, presenting:

"Protecting Your Child's Medicaid Eligibility through Proper Estate Planning"


WHEN:                      Tuesday, February 3, 2015

WHERE:                     Freeway Medical Tower, 5800 W. 10th Street; Little Rock, AR 72204 – Room 906 (9th Floor, Board room)

TIME:                         7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

COST:                         FREE

REGISTRATION:      Not required, but suggested.  Please contact NAMI Arkansas at nami-ar@namiarkansas.org with “February 3                                                     presentation” in the subject line and we can e-mail you a document for the presentation.  Or contact NAMI Arkansas                                         at 501-661-1548 or 1-800-844-0381 to register.

Mr. Ehrenberg has been recognized as an authority on personal finances by both State and Federal Courts.  Federal Judges have awarded his financial recommendations to the penny.  He is the owner of Ehrenberg Financial, a life insurance agency dating back to 1899 and is a registered principal, offering securities through J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. a member of the NASD/SIPC.  Additionally, Harry is an investment advisor representative offering services through J.W. Cole Advisory, Inc.


Have you joined our e-newslist?  If not, send an email to nami-ar@namiarkansas.org and write 'please add to e-newslist' in the subject line.  We'll add you!

Save the Date!
Our 2015 NAMIWalk
is Saturday, May 9, 2015 at
Dickey Stephens Park!

The website will open soon for walkers.  We're taking sponsors now!  You can become a sponsor online at

Mental Illness Awareness Week
October 5 - 11, 2014

Raising Awareness

Little Rock                                                  Springdale
    6:00 p.m.                                                                                                    6:00 p.m.    
Steps of State Capitol                                                                                       First United Methodist Church
                                                                                                                      Chapel, 206 W. Johnson Ave.
                                                                                                                        Hosted jointly by NAMI Springdale and                                                                                                                                                                       Mental Health America Northwest

Depression Screening
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

AETN: Healing Minds, Changing Attitudes
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults
Thursday, October 9, 2014
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

State Conference
Bringing NAMI Arkansas to Your Community
Friday, October 10, 2014
10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Details below - please join us and our special guest!

Get ready!  Our 2014 Annual State Conference is Friday, October 10 and it's all about us!

"Bringing NAMI Arkansas to Your Community"

With 1 in 4 adults being diagnosed with a mental illness in a given year, a lifetime prevalence of mental illness in youth aged 13 to 18 years being 46.3%, the average onset of mental illness being age 14 and only 36% of those with mental illness receiving treatment for it, it's clear we're in this together.  And together, we become not just an organization, we become a movement.

Join us October 10 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and learn how to become part of that movement.  All you have to do is come to the conference.  Print this NAMI Arkansas 2014 State Conference Registration Form  and mail it along with your payment; or you can register with a credit card at: 


You know we have a saying at NAMI Arkansas - Find NAMI, Find Hope.  So we want you to tell us your story of Hope...we know you have one.  It may be one where you've been on your journey with your own recovery and your hope now is to help others.  Or your journey has been that of a family member and your story of hope is that of helping others...or your story of hope is for your loved one.

Perhaps your story is that of a provider, or administrator, or advocate or friend...no matter what your story; as long as it is one of hope; it's one that we want to have.  So send us your story - let us know what you are thinking and let us know for what you have hope for our state and how NAMI Arkansas is part of that.  We're in this together.  And together we'll make a difference.

If you decide to share your story of hope, please know, we may contact you.  Please read the form below and begin!

2014 My Story of Hope submission form

There is still time to donate to our 2014 NAMIWalk!

We hoped to provide more training this upcoming year.  We need you to help support our organization by donating to make this possible!

All of our services are free to those who use them and NAMI Arkansas is a charitable organization in Arkansas - we aren't part of the National NAMI office staff.  This means we must raise funds for the cost of the lease of our office space and all the costs of having an office.  We depends on grants and funds, like the NAMIWalk funds!  So please consider giving and give generously.  If we've helped you before, consider what that was worth to you and please give.  Everyone knows someone with a mental illness.  Would you want someone you know to have the things that NAMI Arkansas could offer if it could bring all the NAMI programs to Arkansas?  We need to train more individuals in Family to Family as teachers so that we can offer this wonderful program to more across our state. And, we all know we need more support groups so we need more trainings for support group facilitators.  We also need more NAMI Basics teachers and we've long wanted the NAMI In Our Own Voice here as well as Peer to Peer and Parent and Teachers As Allies and other valuable programs.

We can bring them here, but it takes funds to do so.  Please consider giving to the NAMIWalk or giving to NAMI Arkansas - either way will help us.  Click on the Donate button above or you can go to www.namiwalks.org/arkansas to donate to the NAMIWalk.

Thank you so much for your support!  

Kim Arnold, Executive Director

NAMI Arkansas

Tune-in June 4 to Hear Why It’s Time to Take Action on Children’s Mental Health

·         Forum, webcast provided by National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cigna Foundation

·         Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14

·         One in five children suffer from mental illness

BLOOMFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, with one in five children affected by mental illness and often not getting treatment for years. To help children and their families, schools and communities, the Cigna Foundation is sponsoring and co-hosting a forum and webcast today with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The forum will provide steps that teachers, parents and health care professionals can take to address the growing mental health crisis among youth.

Today’s forum is taking place between 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. EDT. The full agenda, speaker information and live webcast are available on the forum webpage at www.nami.org/childrensmhforumIn mid-June, taped videos of the forum sessions will be posted to the forum webpage.

Called “It’s Time to Take Action: Innovative Community Approaches to Children’s Mental Health,” the forum includes advocates and experts from the mental health field discussing conditions, treatment, bullying and addiction.

“It’s time to move the needle from talk to action. Cigna is pleased to shine a light on this urgent topic, as children’s wellness is a priority as part of our company’s corporate responsibility platform,” said Stuart Lustig, M.D., M.P.H., lead medical director for child and adolescent care for Cigna Behavioral Health and associate clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco in the Department of Psychiatry.

“Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among youth, ages 10 to 24,” said NAMI executive director Mary Giliberti, J.D. “Early recognition of symptoms in children and early treatment can save lives and ensures a better future.”

“National dialogue about children’s mental health is important, but dialogue also must lead to action. We hope the forum will help move mental health professionals and policymakers forward,” Giliberti added. The forum will focus on successful, innovative and cost-effective programs that should be examined for replication nationwide to help prevent suffering and tragedy, including:

·         Ensuring that schools are equipped with mental health prevention and early intervention tools;

·         Early identification, intervention and care for youth with mental health conditions, and how to fill the gap in a shortage of mental health services and providers; and

·         Opportunities to talk about mental health, such as the NAMI Ending the Silence program for high school students and OK2Talk.org, a social media community that promotes sharing, dialogue and resources to eliminate the barriers that often stand in the way of children with mental health conditions.

“Talking more openly about mental illness and the tangible actions that benefit children helps to remove the stigma and discrimination that often surrounds these conditions. Today’s forum is a start,” Dr. Lustig said.

About the Cigna Foundation

The Cigna Foundation, founded in 1962, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope. To learn more about NAMI, visit www.nami.org

# # #


Help us meet and exceed our goal of $80,000 for our NAMIWalk and you could win an iPad Mini in the process!  Check our our NAMIWalks section and find out how, then register to walk in our NAMIWalk!  Raise funds and awareness and help us keep our services free to those who use them now and available and free to those who may need them in the future.  After all, everyone knows someone with a mental illness, so please help us help everyone!  With more funds, we can have more services available to more areas in our state!  Click on the NAMIWalks section to find out more!

ACA Grace Period for In-Process Applications - Start yours now!

ACA Open Enrollment Deadline - Grace Period for In-Process Applications

From Paul Dioguardi, HHS Director, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs:


The deadline for open enrollment is March 31st. As the Administration said previously, those consumers who are in line by the March 31st deadline to complete enrollment, we will make sure you get covered. Just like Election Day, if you are in line when the polls close, you get to vote. We won’t close the door on those who tried to get covered and were unable to do so through no fault of their own. So, those who were in line or had technical problems with the website can quickly come back and sign up as soon as possible.


CMS also is clarifying that under limited circumstances, people with complex cases may qualify for a special enrollment period. These include, for example, victims of domestic abuse and consumers who were found ineligible for Medicaid, but whose accounts were not transferred to the Marketplace in a timely way before March 31. These special cases are for specific situations where a consumer was not able to successfully complete enrollment during the open enrollment period despite their efforts to do so and through no fault of their own.


·         Assister Tips for People Who are In Line: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/assisting-consumers-march-31.pdf

·         Assister Tips Complex Cases: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/complex-cases-sep.pdf

There is still time to register for Family to Family!

Due to inclement weather, classes in both Little Rock and Fort Smith began March 10, 2014

That means you can still call the numbers below to register and attend through March 17!

Check our NAMIWalks section for information on our Kick off luncheon happening March 18, 2014!

NAMI Arkansas is proud to offer

Family to Family in Little Rock and Fort Smith!

Free for family members, partners and friends

of individuals (adults) with


Major Depression

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)

Schizophrenia and Schizo-affective Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

Panic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Co-occurring Brain Disorders and Addictive Disorders

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder




Little Rock


Classes Start:  Monday, March 3, 2014


Freeway Medical Tower 9th Floor, Room 906

5800 W. 10th Street

Little Rock, Arkansas

(University Exit from I-630) 

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Each Monday evening from March 3rd – May 19th, 2014

 Co-Teachers:  Connie Detmers and Marquitta Magnini with assistance from Bill Detmers 

Phone: 870-879-4514


Fort Smith


Classes Start:  Monday, March 3, 2014


The Elvin and Sally Frick Bost Community Center

5812 Remington Circle

Fort Smith, Arkansas

(turn at Doug’s Also Conoco Station on Zero Avenue, approx. 1 mile East of I-540)

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Each Monday evening from March 3rd – May 19th, 2014


 Co-Teachers:  George Neece and Randy Sanders 

Phone: 479-221-0102


Pre-registration required for both! You may pre-register with the teachers or with the state office but we MUST have you on the register!

Enroll now!



Many go without Health Coverage. If you don't have health insurance, go to HealthCare.gov right now and sign up. You can compare plans based on your own needs and budget, and you can sign up for coverage. To have coverage on January 1, 2014 you must signup by December 23, 2013. 

Support NAMI Arkansas with end of year giving

Need a tax deduction for 2013?  Make a donation to NAMI Arkansas now and up to the end of the year and claim it on your 2013 taxes!  

Yes!  You can give to the 2014 NAMIWalk (at www.namiwalks.org/arkansas) and make your donation now, and claim it this year!  You can also mail a check to our office - click on the donate button for more information!  

Inclement weather - NAMI Springdale Support Group cancelled

The support group for NAMI Springdale is cancelled for Monday, December 9, 2013 due to inclement weather.  The next meeting will be Monday, January 13, 2014.

Inclement weather - Little Rock support group

*The Support Group in Little Rock has been cancelled for Saturday, December 7, 2013*


Please remember NAMI Arkansas on #GivingTuesday, December 3, 2013! It's easy to give - click on the donate button above and use PayPal if you wish.  You can also donate directly to our office or you can get an early start for our 2014 NAMIWalk and donate at www.namiwalks.org/arkansas!  

Everyone knows someone with mental illness - have we helped you, them or can we assist?  Please help us keep our services free to those who need and use them and help us get more of our education programs to more families individuals in Arkansas!

Depression Screening

Depression Screening Day is an event held each year in October during Mental Illness Awareness Week.  Use this screen to provide you with some indication of whether or not you may be experiencing some depression.  This screening does not provide a definitive diagnosis of depression nor does it rule out the diagnosis of depression; it is not a full work up for depression but take a moment to answer these and then total them and find out what your score means at the bottom:

Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems? (Please circle one answer for each question)


Not at all

Several days

More than half the days

Nearly every day

Little Interest or pleasure in doing things





Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless





Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much





Feeling tired or having little energy





Poor appetite or overeating





Feeling bad about yourself- or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down





Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television





Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed.  Or the opposite- being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual





Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself





Add together the scores you circled – interpretation is on back of this sheet

*If you checked off any problems, how difficult have these problems made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people?

Not difficult at all    /  Somewhat difficult  /    Very difficult  /    Extremely difficult

Interpretation of the score:

1-4: minimal depression

5-9: mild depression

10-14: moderate depression

15-19: moderately severe depression

20-27: severe depression

Call NAMI Arkansas for some resources in your area or contact your primary care physician for a referral.

NAMI Arkansas Banquet and State Conference

If you are coming to the NAMI Arkansas State Conference Saturday, October 12, why not make it an early weekend and enjoy a banquet/silent auction and speaker at Starving Artist Cafe with us Friday, October 11? Tickets to the banquet $50; conference is very affordable at $20 for members and now we have Clarion Hotel Medical Center in Little Rock to thank for affordable rooms for the evening of October 11 - $79!

Mental Illness Week in Arkansas

Governor Beebe proclaims October 6-12, 2013 as
Mental Illness Awareness Week in Arkansas

Join us
Sunday, October 6, 2013
6:00 p.m.
State Capitol Steps
and listen as we read the Proclamation
and have others speak on the theme
"It's Time to Make a Difference"

Event if free and honors the beginning of Mental Illness Awareness Week, those with mental illness, their families and those who serve them

Mental Illness Awareness Week Activities

NAMI Arkansas is pleased to announce the following activities for

Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 6 – 12, 2013)

              “It’s Time to Make a Difference”

October 6, 2013 – State Capitol Building

6:00 p.m.  Join us as we read the proclamation and have a variety of individuals sharing their thoughts about mental illness and our state and the theme “It’s Time to Make a Difference.” Event is free.

October 7, 2013 – Market Street Cinema

7:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.)     Join us for a screening of the movie A Beautiful Mind. Admission is free.

October 8, 2013 – National Day of Prayer and AETN show

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Tune into AETN for Healing Minds, Changing Attitudes as the topic of Depression is discussed through a documentary and live panel

October 9, 2013 – Pikeview Elementary

Art work on the theme and presentations on Bullying are highlights for this day

October 10, 2013 – Depression Screening Day

Free depression screenings will take place all day by many partners and volunteers for NAMI Arkansas will be at UALR providing them live.  Find our partners list or the screening itself on our website this day

October 11, 2013 – Starving Artist Café - NAMI Arkansas Banquet/Silent Auction/Guest Speaker

7:00 p.m.  – 9:00 p.m. (doors open to view silent auction items at 6:00 p.m.)   Join us for a night of fun with dinner, silent auction and special guest speaker, Hilary Chaney, author of the book Through the Open Door: A Bipolar Attorney Talks Mania, Recovery, and Heaven on Earth. Tickets: $50 each cash or check – purchase now at the office or from one of our board members!  Also, Hilary Chaney will be selling signed copies of her book at the banquet – books cost $12 cash or check! Starving Artist Café;  411 Main St.;  N. Little Rock, AR 72114

October 12, 2013 – St. Vincent Center for Health Education – NAMI Arkansas State Conference

7:30 a.m. Registration; Conference 8:30 a.m. – 4:20 p.m.  Join us for a day of learning! Register now! $20 members; $30 non-members to October 3. After October 3 and day of conference, $40 members; $50 non-members St. Vincent Center for Health Education; Two St. Vincent Circle; Little Rock, AR 72205

Heat related illness

Certain medications used to treat mental illness can increase the risk of heat related illness and/or stroke. Read this from usa.gov:

Extreme heat can be very dangerous, leading to heat stroke and death. Heat stroke occurs when your temperature rises quickly and your body cannot cool down. This condition is life-threatening, but it is preventable.

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

  • Stay in air-conditioned space if possible. If your home is not air-conditioned, go to a public library, heat-relief shelter, or other cool location.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids (check with your doctor if you are usually supposed to limit your fluids).
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
  • Cut back on exercise. 
  • Closely watch those who are at high risk of heat-related illness, including older adults, young children, and individuals with physical and/or mental illnesses. 
  • NEVER leave anyone in an enclosed, parked vehicle.

If you believe that you or someone else may be suffering from heat stroke or another heat-related illness, get help right away. It could be a life or death emergency. 

NAMI Family-to-Family Education Added to National Registry of Evidence-Based Mental Health Programs

ARLINGTON, Va., May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is pleased to announce that the NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program has been added to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).


In the review, the program was independently assessed and rated for quality of research and readiness for dissemination.


"NAMI is proud to be included in the registry," said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick .


"It is an affirmation of one of NAMI's signature education programs, established over 20 years ago, which to date has already helped more than 300,000 family members of people living with mental illness.


The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free 12-session course taught by other family members who have received intensive training for its presentation. Instruction and course materials are provided free to class participants.


Class topics include:


·        Current information about schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder.

·        borderline personality disorder, and co-occurring brain disorders and addictive disorders.

·        Up-to-date information about medications, side effects, and strategies for medication adherence.

·        Current research related to the biology of brain disorders and evidence-based treatments to promote recovery.

·        Gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness.

·        Problem solving, listening, and communication techniques.

·        Acquiring strategies for handling mental health crises and relapse.

·        Focusing on care for the caregiver: coping with worry, stress, and emotional overload.

·        Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community.

·        Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand mental health services.


NREPP is a searchable online database intended to help people learn more about available evidence-based programs and practices and determine which may best meet their needs. It is a voluntary, self-nominating system in which program developers elect on their own to participate.


About NAMI

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope.




SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness



ARKANSAS NAMIWalk is Saturday, May 11, 2013!

Clinton Presidential Center

Registration is 9:00 a.m. - Walk begins at 10:00 a.m.!

The route we'll walk is a 1.2 mile loop - walk around 3 times for a little over a 5K or more if you want to walk for more exercise!

Remember - the NAMIWalk is a RAIN or SHINE event!

There is still time to qualify to win a Samsung Galaxy Tablet - you can register online at www.namiwalks.org/arkansas or you can register at the WALK site and bring your donations there - each increment of $50 raised qualifies you for an entry for a drawing.  You can continue to qualify for the Tablet with donations until noon, Friday, May 17, 2013!

NAMI Arkansas is proud to recognize
May 9, 2013 as
National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

Image created for CASSP Public Policy Committee in Arkansas

Raise funds for NAMIWalk Arkansas, and YOU might WIN a SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB!



All you have to do is raise money for NAMIWalks Arkansas to qualify to win one of two Samsung Galaxy Tabs! Our contest began at noon on Thursday, May 2, and will end at noon on Friday, May 17. For every $50 an online walker raises during that period he/she will get a chance to win the prize and the online Team Captain who’s team raises the most funds during that period will win a Tab! What, you haven’t registered for the Walk? Don’t worry, there’s still time to register and to get into the competition, just follow the link – www.namiwalks.org/arkansas. See below for all the details regarding how YOU can be one of the lucky winners of a Samsung Galaxy Tab!


How it works:


For every increment of $50 you (an online registered NAMIWalks’ walker) raise between noon, Thursday, May 2nd and noon, Friday, May 17th you will be entered into a raffle to win a tablet! So, if you raise $50 you get 1 chance to win, raise $100 you get 2 chances, raise $150 you get 3 chances, etc. The more you raise the better your chances are to win the Samsung Galaxy Tab!


Don’t worry Team Captains, we haven’t forgotten about you and the hard work you’re doing! The team that raises the most money between noon, Thursday, May 2nd and noon, Friday May 17th will win its Team Captain a Samsung Galaxy Tab! Now that’s one lucky Captain!


Donations must either be made online during the raffle timeframe by a donor using his/her credit card or money must be submitted to the Walk Manager or to the NAMI Arkansas office by noon, Friday, May 17thUnverified donations that are posted to the website by a walker/Team Captain will not count toward the contestPreviously submitted donations do not count. This is a clean slate, everyone is starting from zero!


If you are mailing in donations in the form of checks, please include a note indicating your name, and what Team or Affiliate you wish to receive credit for your funds. Send donations to NAMI Arkansas, 1012 Autumn Road, Suite 1, Little Rock, AR 72211. Donations must be received/in-hand by noon, Friday, May 17thMail post marked May 17th doesn't count if it arrives after 12:00 PM that day.


So, walkers and Team Captains get ready to start contacting your family and friends to make a donation to your Walk efforts! Contact them in person, through online social networks, or by phone or email! Remember to download the NAMIWalks’ app to your Droid or iPhone and have people donate to you in the palm of their hands! For those who haven’t registered for the Walk, there’s still time! Follow this link –www.namiwalks.org/arkansas – to register today! When registering make sure to select the Facebook option, so your Facebook friends will see that you're raising money for NAMIWalks Arkansas!


Make sure you’re registered and ready to get your family and friends to start donating at noon today!


Thank you for supporting NAMI Arkansas!

Remember our WALK is Saturday, May 11!



Take a moment to remember

Today our hearts and thoughts remain with those in Boston - those injured and those who responded  - we think of them and remember their immediate needs and their future ones.

It is the future needs that expand farther than Boston.  In our connected world of websites, streaming videos, Twitter, Facebook, radio and television, many persons have seen and heard much.  

Now, more than ever, we need NAMI Arkansas across our state - in all areas - local affiliates and support groups to assist families and those with mental illness with support and education in alliance with their treatment communities.  Events like those in Boston affect lives across the country - please help those in Arkansas by giving to NAMI Arkansas. Click on the donate button at the top of the page or donate to our NAMIWalk at www.namiwalks.org/arkansas.  Help us help those who will need us.

Thank you,
Kim Arnold, Executive Director

Monday, March 25th - June 10th (off May 27)
6:30 p.m.  – 9:00 p.m.
Freeway Medical Building
5800 West 10th Street
Little Rock


Free for family members, partners and friends of individuals with any mental illness including:

Major Depression
Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder
Panic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Co-occurring Brain Disorders and Addictive Disorders

A series of 12 weekly classes structured to help caregivers understand and support individuals with serious mental illness while maintaining their own well-being.  The course is taught by a trained NAMI family member volunteer who knows what it’s like to have a loved one struggling with a brain disorder.  There is no cost to participate in the Family-to Family Education Program.  Over 80,000 people in the U.S., Canada and Mexico have completed this course.  We think you will be pleased by how much assistance the program offers.  We invite you to call for more information.  Registration required.

Connie Detmers: 870.879.4514
Marquitta Magnini: 870.540.3038
or call the NAMI State Office: 1-800-844-0381
Classes limited please call to reserve your spot today!

Newtown Tragedy: NAMI Condemns NRA Position as "Outrageous and Wrong"

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 21, 2012 -- Michael J. Fitzpatrick , executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has issued the following statement:

"The National Rifle Association (NRA) response to last week's tragedy in Newtown Connecticut -- in which 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School were killed -- is outrageous and wrong.

The NRA has called for putting more guns in schools and creating a bigger list of people treated for mental illness -- which presumably includes civic leaders, teachers who take prescriptions for anxiety or depression, police, fire fighters and veterans returning home from Afghanistan.

The NRA posed the question 'How many more copycats are waiting…A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?'

One in four American adults experience a mental health problem in any given year, yet the U.S. Surgeon General determined over a decade ago that 'the overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.'

Law already exists requiring states to report the names of people 'adjudicated as mentally defective' to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS). It has never been properly implemented because of confusion surrounding the highly stigmatizing term "mentally defective" and the uncertain meaning of 'adjudicated.'

After the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007, NAMI recommended that Congress clean up existing law by adopting standards consistent with modern medical knowledge and clear legal procedures. We continue to support that approach.

When violence occurs, it is usually because something has gone terribly wrong in the mental health care system.

We must address the fact that less than a third of Americans who have a diagnosable mental illness are able to get treatment. The NRA's proposal to create a bigger "active" national database will only discourage people reaching out for help. Stigma will be imposed. Stigma will be internalized. Stigma will turn into prejudice and discrimination.

NAMI condemns the NRA position. We hope the NRA instead will join others in seeking positive, workable, appropriate solutions. NAMI stands ready to work with the President, Congress and states to accomplish that end."

"At age 34 I had my first hospitalization  two days before Christmas. I was told I had a nervous breakdown. For the next 10 years I was diagnosed as depressed even going through ECT treatment. In 2000 I was diagnosed as Bi-Polar after having a suicide plan. It was then my psychiatrist encouraged me to attend a support group which lead to me finding NAMI in 2004. Where I first trained for a family support group.

Since then I have been doing support groups Co founding  a consumer/family group in Illinois in 2004 and continuing by establishing a NAMI Connection support group when I moved to Arkansas in 2008." - Ruth Trowbridge, NAMI Connection Facilitator and State Trainer

Please support NAMI Arkansas – you could make a donation as a holiday gift to a friend or relative, or in honor or memory of a loved one.  Please consider making your tax-deductible donation to NAMI Arkansas before the end of the year by:

  • Clicking on the “Donate Now” link on our home page, http://namiarkansas.org
  • Mailing a donation to the NAMI Arkansas office at the address below.
  • To ensure that we can continue to provide support, education, and advocacy across the state, we need your help now.  Please note that donations sent to the national NAMI organization do not directly support NAMI Arkansas programs – so, if you have already supported NAMI National, please also donate to NAMI Arkansas. 

On behalf of the NAMI Arkansas , I wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!  Thank you for all your efforts to improve the lives of those that live with mental illnesses and their families.  Please join me in supporting NAMI Arkansas!


Ruth Trowbridge,NAMI State Trainer/NAMI Connection Facilitator

Disaster Distress Helpline Offers Immediate Crisis Counseling

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746.

Our texting service also is available to Spanish speakers. Text "Hablanos" to 66746 for 24/7 emotional support.

TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired: 1-800-846-8517

The recent shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, continues to bring out strong emotions across the Nation. The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the many issues and problems that might arise from this tragedy.

Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.

The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week national hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. The toll-free Helpline is confidential and multilingual, and available for those who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of natural or man-made disasters, incidents of mass violence, or any other tragedy affecting America's communities.

Statement from Kim Arnold, NAMI Arkansas Executive Director, and Greg Mashburn, NAMI Arkansas Board President, on Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy:

Our hearts ache for the children, families and community of Newtown, Connecticut.  We concur with the statement from NAMI below.  We also know that our children here in Arkansas may begin to ask questions about their safety.  In addition to the suggestions in the NAMI statement, as Outreach Partners with NIMH (National Institute on Mental Health), we have a publication from them that you may find useful on talking to children about violence and disasters. We've added the attachment. (PDF can be downloaded at the bottom of this page)
The Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy; NAMI Statement Includes Trauma Resources

[National Alliance on Mental Illness. (PRNewsFoto/National Alliance on Mental Illness)]

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI<http://www.nami.org/>) has issued the following statement which includes recommended links to trauma resources for families:

"Like other Americans, NAMI is horrified and saddened by today's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As of Friday at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern), news reports indicated that close to 30 people were shot and killed, most of them children. We extend our sympathy to their families and to all who knew and loved them.

It is extremely important that the Newtown, Conn. community be prepared to provide trauma services and resources to all those affected by the tragedy. Our national community must do so as well. The tragedy will inevitably leave an impression on many children. Parents and caregivers throughout the country will need to reassure them.

American Psychiatric Association recommendations<http://drbeckerschutte.visibli.com/share/he23Ln> include:

*        Create an open and supportive environment where children know they can ask questions.

*        Give honest answers and information. Use words and concepts they can understand.

*        Help children to find ways to express themselves and to know that people are there to help. Remember also that children learn by watching parents and teachers react and listening to their conversations.

*        Don't let children watch too much television with frightening repetitious images.

*        Monitor for physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches or other pains.

Additional resources are also available from the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS<http://www.aacap.org/galleries/default-file/csts_restoring_sense_of_safety_after_shooting.pdf>), the University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health (CSMH<http://csmh.umaryland.edu/Resources/OtherResources/CSMHListofTraumaResources.pdf>) and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA<http://www.samhsa.gov/children/trauma_resilience.asp

NAMI will follow news reports closely as more details become known. At this time, there is no indication that mental illness was a factor in the tragedy. It is important to not make assumptions or speculate in such cases. The overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.

When tragedies occur, no matter what their nature or cause, national, state and local communities must come together to find out what went wrong and to take steps to ensure it does not happen again. We expect such scrutiny to occur in days and weeks ahead. Today, however, is a time to mourn and pray for the victims of a senseless act and for their survivors. As a nation, we must reassure each other."

About NAMI

NAMI<http://www.nami.org/> is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope.

SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness

PR Newswire<PR%20Newswire> (http://s.tt/1wZhD)

Kim Arnold, Executive Director
NAMI Arkansas
1012 Autumn Road, Suite 1
Little Rock, AR 72211

NAMI Arkansas 2012 Annual Meeting
"Raising the Standards of Excellence"
Saturday November 10, 2012
Freeway Medical Tower 9th Floor, Suite 900
8:15 a.m. registration/check-in
Conference 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (lunch included)
$15.00 - members
$35.00 - non-members
Become a member prior to registration and save!

John C. Fortney, Ph.D. will present on a study that was jointly funded by NIMH and DOD about the mental health of Veterans in Arkansas Community Colleges.

John C. Fortney, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Director of the Division of Health Services Research. For the last 20 years Dr. Fortney's research has focused on issues of access to care, especially the delivery of mental health services in rural areas.  His research has been supported by NIMH, NIAAA and the VA.

Healing Minds, Changing Attitudes
AETN 7pm - 9pm
join us for a panel discussion on smoking cessation

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI's efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October in sponsoring many kinds of activities.

James Mahowald - Voices for Recovery


"If governors opt their states out of the health law’s Medicaid expansion — as many are now threatening to do — it’s the poorest Americans who would find themselves getting the rawest deal.

This set of charts from our graphics department helps explain why: People who earn less than 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (about $11,170 for an individual) are ineligible for tax credits to purchase health insurance. In a state like Arkansas, for example, that could be a big deal:" - Posted by Sarah Kliff on July 5, 2012 at 10:25 am


Mental illness is a serious medical illness that affects one in four families.

NAMI Arkansas' support and public education efforts are focused on educating Arkansas about mental illness, offering resources free of charge to those in need and insisting that mental illness become a high priority in the state of Arkansas. For us to continue doing this we need your support! Here is What you can do:

  • Donate $35 for 100 resource brochures/pamphlets and you educate the public about a specific disorder (in English or Spanish).
  • Donate $125 for one day coverage of the NAMI Arkansas Helpline , and you help many individuals with mental illness and family members/caregivers find an empathetic ear with a helpful yet professional demeanor. We listen and direct them to the resources they need. (We are also available by email.)
  • Donate $200 for an In Our Own Voice presentation , and you educate the public about mental illnesses and recovery and help to reduce the stigma stereotypes surrounding mental illnesses.
  • Donate $875 for a NAMI Basics Class for parents/caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses, and you educate 8-10 parents/caregivers during the in-depth six week sessions.
  • Donate $1,100 for aFamily-to-Family Education Program , and you help 20 family members/friends/caregivers learn coping skills, communication techniques, and what to do when their loved one is in a crisis, along with other important information and resources during the 12 weekly sessions.
  • Donate $2,500-5,000 for a Training Program * for one of the education/support programs NAMI Arkansas offers and you allow us to expand the education/support programs and reach more family member/caregivers and individuals living with a mental illness. *(Family-to-Family Teacher Training, NAMI Basics Teacher Training, Family Support Group Facilitator Training, NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group Facilitator Training, and In Our Own Voice Presenter Training). 

Check out this story on Fox 16 about the danger inmates living with mental illness pose to a system ill equipt to deal with them and what can be done to keep everyone safe, 
NAMI Arkansas in the News

Check out these articles about Mental Illness and NAMI Arkansas!

THV Extra at 10: Treating mental illness
- "The diagnosis is affecting more than 100,000 people of all ages, races, genders of Arkansans. But the good news is it's treatable."

Living with mental illness a daily struggle
- link may be unavailable at this time "The leading cause of disability in Arkansas and in the U.S. has nothing to do with broken bodies. It affects more than 100,000 Arkansans and often strikes in the prime of life."

Medicare News from the Department of Health & Human Services

This press release announces that Medicare prescription drug premiums will not increase, that more seniors are receiving free preventitive care, and has information about discounts in the donut hole.  http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/08/20110804a.html


Check out this article about Executive Director Kim Arnold!

On May 15, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette Front and Center featured an article on our Executive Director, Kim Arnold! Spend a minute and get to know Kim and find out why she is involved with NAMI!   Full Text


State Mental Health Cuts: A National Crisis

Statement from Bonnie Leonhardt, President of NAMI Arkansas Board of Directors and Kim Arnold, Executive Director, NAMI Arkansas:

Arkansas experienced an increase in its mental health budget and review of the figures indicates the increase is due to the System of Care for Children.  We appreciate the efforts on the part of the Governor, the First Lady of Arkansas and the state legislators who helped make this funding a reality; however we must recognize that that this funding increase was not for adults.  Adults with mental illness need the same financial attention as do our children with mental illness.  We urge the state to see the need and increase the budget accordingly.

State Mental Health Cuts are a National Crisis; State-By-State Data Released

ARLINGTON, Va., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two thirds of states have cut mental health care in the last three years—even though need has increased because of the nation's economic distress and troops returning home from war, according to a report released today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Seventeen states managed to increase mental health budgets during the same three years. For 10 of them, the increases totaled four percent or less.

"State mental health cuts are a national crisis," said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick.  "Some states are trying to hold the line or make progress, but most are cutting deep. This stands in contrast to the intense national concern about the mental health care system following the Arizona tragedy two months ago."

State Lists and Data

The report can be downloaded at www.nami.org/budgetcuts.  State-by-state tables appear in the appendices. A summary of decreases and increases appears below listing the total change in dollars, percentages and rank.

In all states, the budget squeeze is getting worse in part because of the expiration of enhanced federal Medicaid support in June 2011. Oregon, for example, which increased mental health by $57.4 million over three years, will lose $156 million because of the expiration.

The report focuses primarily on non-Medicaid mental health services, which are financed with state general funds and provided through state mental health agencies. It is the part of the mental health system that state legislatures have the most control over.

"Cutting mental health means that costs only get shifted to emergency rooms, schools, police, local courts, jails and prisons," Fitzpatrick said. "The taxpayer still pays the bill.

"Mental health cuts mean that clinics, crisis centers and hospitals close. Admissions are frozen. Emergency room visits increase. Where services remain, staff is cut, wait times for appointments are stretched and when people finally are seen, it's for shorter amounts of time.

"Cuts mean people don't get the right help in the right place at the right time. Communities suffer and families break under the strain. Some people end up living on the street or dead."

The report makes five priority recommendations:

  • Protect state mental health funding and restore budget cuts, but tie funding to performance.
  • Maintain adequate numbers of inpatient beds for psychiatric treatment.
  • Invest in research on early detection and intervention in the treatment of serious mental illness in youth and adults.
  • Implement mental health screening and assessment programs.
  • Support programs designed to educate families, peers and the public about serious mental illness and how to respond to people living with mental illness.

"Decisions need to be made carefully rather than simply cutting for cutting's sake. If done right, the state budget crisis can still be turned into opportunity," said Fitzpatrick.

To see the report, go to www.nami.org/budgetcuts.

Mental Health Parity Toolkit for Persons Living with Mental Illness, Providers and Advocates

Read the Parity Implementation Coalition's strategies for winning disputes with your health plan - NAMI to Release Updated Family Guide on Adolescent Depression

NAMI will release a second edition of its extremely popular family guide, What Families Need to Know about Adolescent Depression and Treatment Options in November. NAMI is thrilled to be able to offer this valuable resource to families once again. The updated guide includes new information on getting an accurate diagnosis, treatment options, research and more.

Through Nov. 30, you can preorder the family guide for free. You can order a single guide or submit a bulk order (in increments of 50 only please). Please send your order and mailing address to Program Coordinator Dana Markey at danac@nami.org.

After Nov. 30, the family guide will be available for purchase in the NAMI Bookstore for one dollar plus shipping and handling. It is also available online as a PDF - Mental Health Parity Toolkit


If you are interested in getting updates about what is going on at NAMI Arkansas you can follow us facebook by selecting 'like' on our page! We will keep you updated on our classes, support groups, events, and our annual NAMIWalk.

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