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About NAMI – Who We Are

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

– See more at: https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI#sthash.gdp2T2MS.dpuf

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Avatar of Michael Rinkin
Avatar of Michael Rinkin
Avatar of Michael Rinkin


September 2016 is also known as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month which helps promote resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention, how you can help others and how to talk about suicide without increasing the risk of harm.
Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people and is often the result of mental health conditions that effect people when they are most vulnerable. Suicidal thoughts and suicide occur too frequently but should not be considered common and can indicate more serious issues. In many cases the individuals, friends and families affected by suicide are left in dark, feeling shame or stigma that prevents talking openly about issues dealing with suicide.
• Know the Warning Signs and Risk of Suicide
• Preventing Suicide as a Family Member or Caregiver
• Being Prepared for a Crisis Crisis and Information Resources
• I’m in crisis or am experiencing difficult or sucidal thoughts: National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
• I’m looking for more information, referrals or support: NAMI HelpLine 800-950-NAMI (6264)
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately. – See more at: http://www.nami.org/suicide#sthash.GE2GI37c.dpuf
World Suicide Prevention Day
On September 10, 2016 we observe World Suicide Prevention Day to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect indiviudals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to address suicide prevention.
What else can I do?
We believe that these issues are important to address year round. Highlighting these issues during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and World Suicide Prevention Day provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of the millions of Americans that can benefit from honest discussions about mental health conditions and suicide. In fighting for those living with mental illness there is still much more that needs to be done and more ways to get involved.
• Mental Illness Awareness Week
• Take the StigmaFree Pledge
• Raise Awareness
• Get Involved
• Donate
Awareness Resources
Share the images and graphics below during the month of September to help promote awareness of suicide prevention resources and promote discussion of suicide prevention awareness. You can also usesuicideprevention orIAmStigmaFree on social media.
– See more at: https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month#sthash.94I9vhlm.dpuf

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Why is it that Olympians are so often asked about their physical health but rarely about their mental health? Many of them have admitted to various health issues they’ve overcome, but so few have opened up about living with a mental health condition. This is somewhat surprising due to the immense mental component of being an Olympic athlete. Many Olympians have commented that the mental aspect of the game far exceeds the physical. Therefore, coping with the symptoms of a mental health condition could potentially make competing more of a challenge—quite similar to how a physical injury would make competing more challenging. But even if it is more challenging, living with a mental health condition wouldn’t prohibit someone from being able to compete or win.

Olympians who have told the world that they live with a mental health condition almost always do so after their career as an Olympian has ended. Of course, there are exceptions, such as gold-medalist swimmer Allison Schmitt who is currently competing in her third Olympics. Schmitt has bravely shared her personal story of living with depression. She had been struggling in silence for years, but after her cousin took her own life, Schmitt felt compelled to talk openly about her depression.

Statistically speaking, Schmitt is not the lone Olympian in this year’s Rio games living with a mental health condition. There are 554 athletes competing in the 2016 Olympics on the USA team. Since 1 in 5 adults live with a mental health condition, approximately 110 of these athletes live with a mental health condition. Yet, only a handful have spoken out.
So why don’t Olympians talk freely about mental illness, if they have it? Probably stigma. Athletes want to be viewed as strong and empowered, and rightly so. They don’t want the public shaming them for any type of issue or condition, but especially one that is so heavily stigmatized in our society.

But the simple truth is: Being able to manage symptoms well enough to handle the highest pressure competition in the world, proves the fact that living with mental illness doesn’t mean you’re weak. And that some of the strongest, most motivated individuals in the world have these struggles as well.
We need to encourage athletes to open up about their mental health. It could alter society’s perception of what someone living with a mental health condition is capable of achieving. We need to break the stigma that is keeping these world class athletes silent. To join NAMI’s movement in ending the stigma on mental illness, go to www.nami.org/stigmafree and take the pledge to be stigmafree.

– See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/August-2016/Olympians-Can-Prove-Mental-Illness-Doesn-t-Mean-Yo#sthash.psgrKosc.dpuf

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I believe laughter has a unique power to connect people, reveal truth and change perceptions of the world. It is perhaps the quickest way to open people up to learning and feeling deeply. However, I wasn’t fully aware of the power of laughter until I started acting, and my acting journey was deeply affected by my relationship with Lee Eshleman, the funniest person I’d ever met. Lee was my best friend and creative partner who struggled with bipolar disorder and depression. After he and another member of my congregation died from suicide, I became heavily involved in mental health advocacy. Many members did not know of their struggles with depression, but for me, it was the very personal loss of Lee that compelled me to speak out. And thus storytelling and humor became my avenue of healing—my way to create an identity and find my place in the world. I love to make people laugh, but I especially love when they can learn at the same time. Learning, therefore, has always been an element of my comedy writing and acting, and a huge factor in creating a unique niche in faith-related theater. I have eight shows in rotation, which are mainly based on Biblical stories. I try to find the humor in each story and then allow the story to unfold and display its deeper meaning.

I used this model in a play I was asked to create revolving my experiences with suicide. The play, Laughter is Sacred Space, is a walk-through of my discovery of theater as a calling and my life with Lee. I illustrate through performance and multi-media the playwriting and comedy work we did together. I recount the events around Lee’s suicide and my spiraling depression as a survivor. The play is a tribute to my best friend and our work together, as well as an illustration of the power of community and art to heal one’s pain. After the show, I provide time and space for a talkback, asking questions and allowing others to share their experiences. The responses to Laughter is Sacred Space have been amazing. The play helps open dialogue about mental health issues. Laughter and vulnerability are valuable methods to open people up to new or difficult conversations. Many have used the show as a kickoff or a capstone to a series on mental health within a congregation.

On my upcoming tour, I’m bringing a professional photographer to offer a portrait session for those who live with mental illness and their caregivers. The photographs and stories will be prepared for a website or book. My hope is that the faces and personal stories will open hearts and minds and change the narrative about mental illness.

Currently, we’re booking for two tours,one in September for Suicide Prevention Awareness month and one in May 2017 for Mental Health Awareness month. We look forward to working with many NAMI affiliates to create many sacred spaces in order to help raise awareness and funds for NAMI support, advocacy and education.

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According to Fast Minds: How to Thrive if You Have ADHD, adults can take the following steps to help manage symptoms:

1. Take medication. Medication can be important and helpful for someone with ADHD, but shouldn’t stand alone in a treatment pain. Understanding the risks, uses and benefits of all medications for ADHD is essential.

2. Getting organized. Being organized can help someone with ADHD maintain a healthy routine and lifestyle. An organizational or life coach may be key in achieving this.

3. Learning to make decisions thoughtfully rather than impulsively. Before making an important decision, think through the positive and negative consequences of the choice. A therapist or support relationship can help to improve decision-making.

4. Finding emotional support. Many people living with ADHD have faced negative messages when their symptoms caused their actions to fall short of other people’s expectations. Emotional support is important step in counteracting harmful experiences.

5. Maintaining a wellness routine. Such routines include a healthy diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep.

6. Have a solid calendar and reminder system. This can be essential when dealing with attention issues so as to not forget important occasions or deadlines.

Research has also pointed to Metacognitive therapy as a potential solution for people living with ADHD. Such therapy may help people to change how they think and understand their thinking style. A major part of this therapy is discussing how symptoms are caused and maintained and finding strategies for managing those symptoms.

According this study (http://www.ncbi.nim.nihgov/pubmed/20231319) that aimed to measure the success of metacognitive therapy, 42% of participants improved on organization and ability to complete tasks, compared to only 12% who completed supportive therapy.
It is estimated that only 10% of adults (http:/www.tarnowcenter.com/newsletter/256-the-side-effect-of-not-treating-adult-adhd-is-the-most-serious-effect-of-all-.html) who meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD are actually diagnosed. This mental health condition needs to viewed as a lifelong disorder and not something exclusive to youth and young adults alone.
Source: “Not Just a Childhood Disorder: How ADHD Affects Adults” by Laura Greenstein, 6/27/16


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When you hear of people living with ADHA, is your first thought of a child struggling to sit still in a classroom? Probable. But while hyperactivity usually diminishes, inattentiveness and impulsiveness will likely persist into adulthood. It’s a common misconception that ADHD is only a childhood condition and does not affect individuals after adolescence.

In fact, adults are sometimes misdiagnosed or undiagnosed because physicians are not properly trained to identify the disorder in adults, according to Medical Daily (hhtp://www.medicaidaily.com/treating-mothers-could-help-kids-who-have-adhd-researches-suggest-243173): “About 25% of the time, when a child has ADHD, there’s a parent that has ADHD. We realized this is a weakness in our service delivery models, because often clinicians focus on just treating the child and ignore the fact that another family member has ADHD,” said Mark Stein, a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of Chicago-Illinois.

Studies suggest that about 4% of adults are significantly affected by the symptoms of ADHD, according to Karen Weintraub, co-author of Fast Minds: How to thrive if You Have ADHD. These individuals may have difficulty controlling what they pay attention to. For them to focus on anything uninteresting may take large amount of effort. Poor attention can also lead to reduced memory encoding and memory problems. Adult with ADHD may also have trouble staying organized and may make impulsive decisions.

According to Weitraub, research suggests that people living with ADHD are more likely to have sleep problems, to eat impulsively and to exercise routinely.

Having ADHD can lead to other issues, according to a 33 yea-year follow-up study conducted on ADHD (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10944664). The study was led by Rachel Klein, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. The abstract of the study states that, while the research doesn’t tell the whole story, participants living with ADHD tended to complete less schooling, hold lower-ranking occupations and have poorer self-esteem and social skills.

It also important to recognize that many people function at a high level with ADHD. These individuals often master coping strategies and maximize their capacity. ADHD does confer risks as noted in these studies and developing coping tools and undergoing treatment is shown minimize these potential risks.

Source: Not Just a Childhood Disorder: How ADHD Affects Adults by Laura Greenstein, 7/26/16.


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My lifelong dream was to be a cop, and I started on the job at age 21. I’ve been in law enforcement for 30 years and a supervisor for 17.

About eight years ago, I was going through tough times at work. I wasn’t getting along with my immediate supervisor. We were both alpha males, but we had different styles of working and supervision. He was hard-headed and strict, and I tried to be approachable to my team. I felt he was disrespectful. We became argumentative, insulting each other. He told me I wasn’t aggressive enough, that I had to be harder on my team. He gave me an evaluation of “below standards.” I felt worthless, like maybe he was right, maybe this job wasn’t for me anymore. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right.

– See more at: (copy and paste link into your browser)



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By Marcella Allison | May. 16, 2016

There are so many times in the last five years when I’ve felt like Sisyphus in the ancient myth, condemned to roll a giant boulder uphill over and over again. Anyone who has a loved one with mental illness knows how it feels. Our son goes on and off his medications and in and out of mania, psychosis and psychiatric hospitals and treatment centers. Every time we think we’ve finally reached the summit, the boulder comes rolling back down the hill to crush us. We want so much to believe that if we just keep pushing that boulder up the hill—if we hire the best doctors, chase down the latest drugs and enroll in the right programs—eventually we will reach some glorious summit and all our hard work will be worth it. But what I am realizing after five years of trying to push this boulder uphill is that helping my son and healing our family doesn’t have to become some endless Sisyphean task. It doesn’t have to become a seemingly futile effort to reach the summit. Instead of fighting my son, the health care system and the disease itself, I can be like this clever tree. That tiny seed didn’t try to push the boulder uphill. It simply settled on a small patch of dirt on top of the boulder and rooted itself. Slowly, day by day, its roots crept over and around the boulder in a gentle embrace until the boulder became the foundation upon which a mighty tree could grow. Some days it is enough to share a cup of coffee and a short conversation with my son. To simply be together as best we can. To find some moment of light and joy. To have just one good day. Maybe it’s taking him to the grocery store and rocking out to a song on the radio, going to a movie together or getting a short text message at the end of the day saying, “I love you, Mom.” Every moment, every glimpse of grace roots us here together. We may never get to the summit, but we can grow into a rich and beautiful family tree. We can embrace the boulder and make it part of our strength instead of something that crushes us. This is the gift of NAMI. To take an often difficult and painful struggle with mental illness and transform it into something beautiful. NAMI helps us to find hope, to see the beauty in our loved ones and to find meaning in this journey. Without NAMI, dealing with mental illness truly would become an endless and futile task. Please join us in donating to NAMI today and help keep this burden from crushing the 1 in 5 Americans and their families who live with mental illness. Marcella Allison is a writer and NAMI Family-to-Family participant in Cincinnati, Ohio. She finds strength and hope in writing about her family’s journey with mental illness and addiction.

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Spring is in full bloom, along with flowers and allergies and seeing again the Lord’s handy work with the beautiful display of spring colors. “The heavens are telling of the Glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the works of His hands.” Psalm 19:1.
*We want to introduce Compassion Ministries new Board member – Steve Dow. Stephen W. Dow is the newest addition to Compassion Ministries Board of Directors and recently selected to be its new Board Chair. Steve (as he prefers to be called), recently celebrated the completion of his 14th year as pastor of the First Church of God in Albany, Oregon. He was ordained by the Churches of God in October 1981 while he was a youth pastor at the same congregation he now serves. Steve has a degree from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon in pastoral ministries and it was while attending college there that he met Kathy Cleveland. They have been married for over 36 years and they have two grown children, Brittany and Jordan, and 4 grandchildren. Over the course of their ministry, Steve and Kathy have ministered in Surrey, British Columbia, Morden, Manitoba, Canada, Rainier, Oregon and their present pastorate in Albany. He also currently directs the Middle School Camp sponsored by the Churches of God in Oregon. Steve enjoys fly fishing, hunting, golf, yard work and gardening, meeting new people, and good food and coffee (He’s a big fan of Starbucks). He is an only child and admits he doesn’t quite understand sibling rivalry. However, he does have an affinity with individuals and families who struggle with emotional and mental illnesses and how to navigate those challenging relationships. He is excited about working with Compassion Ministries.
*Compassion Ministries 12th Annual Auction – October 1, 2016 with a
great dinner and over-the-top desserts again from Krista Ferguson. Again this year, Willamette Valley Christian Supply will be the co-sponsors. For our entertainment and education, we have a Comedy Troupe from Portland, OR back by popular demand, composed of adult consumers, sharing about their lives in their own special style. We have some new and exciting items in the Auction, along with some ‘high-rolling’ items from previous years, a couple of weekend beach vacations and ¼ side of beef to name a few. Our evening will be starting out with Hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction at 5, followed by dinner, entertainment, and the oral auction. Nervous Breakdown will return as our music entertainment. We hope to see you at the 12th Compassion Ministries Auction. The evening will truly be a Harvest of Hope! If you have any items to donate for the Auction, please contact jrinkin@comcast.net, you will receive a TaxReceipt.
*Compassion Ministries is partnering with Marriage Works and Family Matters to present a workshop for families who have loved ones with a mental illness. No charge for this workshop.

C. Michael Rinkin, M. Div.: Executive Director

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Psychosis is a general term used to describe a mental health problem in which a person has lost some contact with reality, resulting in severe disturbances in thinking, emotion and behavior. Psychosis can severely disrupt a person’s relationships, work and usual activities. Self-care can be difficult to initiate or maintain.

There are numerous disorders in which a person can experience a psychosis, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychotic depression, schizoaffective disorder, drug-induced psychosis, and delirium.

For more information, please contact Linn County Alcohol and Drug or ask them about Mental Health First Aid Training by calling (541) 967-3810 or email: spercy@co.linn.or.us


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