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Kim Arnold
Executive Director

Racquelli Henry Harris
Affiliate Coordinator

Board of Directors
Nihit Kumar, MD President
Dave King,Vice President
Kimberly Stickley,PhD. Sec/Treas
Debra Jeffs, PhD

Contact Us
NAMI Arkansas
1012 Autumn Rd, Ste 1
Little Rock, AR 72211
FAX: 877-720-0538

Check out our March 2016 Newsletter

Newsletter from Fall 2012

NAMI Arkansas thanks Dr. Rick Owen for his service on the board from April 2007! Rick stepped down from the board at the Annual Conference and Meeting on November 10th but continues to support NAMI Arkansas as the NIMH Research Collaborator and on the NAMIWalk committee. We very much appreciate all of Rick's time and effort!

A note from NAMI Arkansas Executive Director Kim Arnold

President Obama’s re-election recently and the Supreme Court Health Law Decision earlier this summer means the Affordable Care Act continues implementation and it has important implications for all, including people living with mental illness. A few things not always mentioned are some covered preventive screenings and services that include, depending on age:

    • Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol test 
    • Many cancer screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies
    • Counseling on quitting smoking (smoking cessation), losing weight, and eating healthfully
    • Regular well-baby and well-child visits, from birth to age 21
    • Routine vaccinations against diseases such as measles, polio, or meningitis
    • Counseling, screening and vaccines to ensure healthy pregnancies
    • Flu and pneumonia shots 

These items are critical when we think of recovery and wellness, especially when research indicates persons with serious mental illness die, on average, 25 years earlier than those without serious mental illness. 

Other areas within the law are also important, such as:

    • Mental health and substance use disorder coverage at parity
    • No more pre-existing conditions exclusions or annual limits
    • Closing the Medicare Donut Hole (entirely by 2020)
    • Expansion of a Medicaid option to pay for home and community based services for people living with serious mental illness, known as the 1915-i option
    • A new option in Medicaid to fund “health home” models of care, which coordinate a wide range of health care needs for people living with chronic medical conditions, including serious mental illness.
    • Expanded insurance coverage through insurance ‘exchanges’ and through expanded Medicaid programs

The last item is very important. The Medicaid Expansion ruling from the Supreme Court gave states the choice to expand or not expand Medicaid eligibility. However, the incentive for the expansion is financially significant to states and that would hold true for Arkansas also. The Affordable Care Act provides 100% federal funding for a state’s expanded Medicaid population between 2014 and 2016 then gradually reduces to 90% federal funding by 2020. That level of federal funding is far higher than what is available to our existing persons in Arkansas on Medicaid. Knowledge is power. You can learn more about the Affordable Care Act at,, and

The NAMI Arkansas 2012 Annual Conference was held on November 10th at Freeway Medical Center in Little Rock. We had a good turn out and a good program of presentations: 

    • Paula Stone and Rene Montgomery from DHS presented on The Healthcare Payment Improvement Initiative 
    • Dr. John Fortney with UAMS and the VA presented on a study jointly funded by NIMH and DOD about the mental health of Veterans in Arkansas Community Colleges 
    • Kim Arnold talked about "What NAMI Arkansas Can Bring To Your Community" 
    • The NAMI Arkansas Board met and the public policy platform should be ready for review by year's end - (available on our website: 

The conference closed with a presentation of the film: "A Sister's Call"

" This film intimately tackles many issues that millions of families around the world deal with every day, including sexual abuse, drug & alcohol addiction, suicide, mental illness and homelessness. Yet amidst so much pain, one driving force has helped Rebecca and many like her rise above it all. Love." 

Tips for Handling Holiday Stress

  • Celebrate the holidays in ways that are comfortable for you. This may include setting limits on what or how much you decide to do with friends or family.
  • Talk with friends and family who understand your illness about any stress you may begin to feel about the holidays so that they understand why you may be setting limits.
  • Try to keep as close to your schedule of rest and exercise as possible. If you are traveling, make sure you have all of your medications with you, shoes for walking, etc. Remember that "Holiday Cheer" does not stop feelings of sadness. Give yourself permission to work through those feelings but remember the positive things also. 
  • Many persons find doing for others gives them a sense of hope and purpose. If you can, volunteer your time or just do something nice for someone else without expecting anything in return. 
  • Traditions can be changed. Create new memories. 

College Students and Depression "In 2009, the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) - a nationwide survey of college students at 2- and 4-year institutions-found that nearly 30 percent of college students reported feeling "so depressed that it was difficult to function" at some time in the past year"

NIMH has more information on "Depression and College Students" here:

- the publication can be downloaded or ordered in hard copy form (free). 

May 11, 2013 - Clinton School of Public Service (Little Rock) 

NAMIWalks has a new website - and a free app for your smartphone - our goal this year is $100,000 - please sign up and join us!

Kim Arnold,
Apr 11, 2016, 10:57 AM