Thursday, May 24, 2012

NAMI lunch meeting Thursday June 14 at Van Dyck

Hear ye! hear ye!

NAMI Schenectady holds its next lunch meeting on Thursday, June 14 at 12:30 pm at the Van Dyck Restaurant, 237 Union St., Schenectady. We will have City Court Judge Matthew Sypniewski as our guest to speak to us on the progress of the alternative treatment court at city level. Matt is one of three city court judges, with Mark Blanchfield and Guido Loyola, and he is the one handling the alternative (mental health) court. As such, he hears from people in different degrees of difficulty with some kind of mental illness or drug addiction who the court gives special attention to because of their circumstances. It's been found a poor procedure to process these cases in front of the entire audience of those who appear that day in city Criminal Court, so the alternative court is held in separate chambers at a different time of the day and week. We need to convey to the judge our concerns about the process in which our family members with the illness sometimes do not purposefully commit an act that leads to their arrest. It might instead be the outgrowth of their illness where their behavior is inappropriate. We want to learn from the judge how the court works and how it might work better; what we can do in support of our family member to better represent him or her, and know what to anticipate. And what kind of legal representation is best, particularly when there are serious charges being brought. The courts are serious business and have led to jail and prison sentences that don't do our family member much good in his or her treatment and eventual recovery. Please come to our session on June 14 at the Van Dyck--you don't have to be a NAMI member to attend and you can bring friends or other family members. We're in the second floor dining room at 12:30. (Roy Neville)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NAMI Schenectady lunch meeting May 14, 2012

Hear ye! hear ye!

We meet next at noon on Monday, May 14 at the Schenectady YMCA in Center City for lunch with Lou Magliocca, director of the Y. Park in one of the city lots behind the building (Franklin Street--parking is free), enter back door and ask receptionist for the teen community room downstairs. We're having a catered lunch of pizza and salad from Isopo's Pizza on Erie Blvd. Lou will tell us about the miraculous changeover of the downtown YMCA and give us a tour of the building with its busy gym and fleet of exercise machines, upstairs classrooms and far flung offices filled with other tenants. He'll try to sign you up as a member also. We have other important business to discuss--our advocacy agenda includes the need to call the governor to support improvements in Kendra's Law now close to a floor vote in the Legislature (May 10). We'll bring up the need for a peer recovery center here, need for special police training to stop the violence against people with mental illness, and need for more housing and services. Learn about future plans for meetings and events coming up. (Roy Neville, 377-2619)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

NAMI Schenectady lunch meeting April 9, 2012

Hear ye! Hear ye!

NAMI Schenectady holds its next regular lunch meeting at noon on Monday, April 9 at Center Stage Deli, 2678 Hamburg Street, Rotterdam. Our speaker will be Dr. Heidi Van Bellingham, a senior psychiatrist at the Ellis Mental Health Clinic on Lafayette Street. Dr. Van Bellingham also serves as a doctor on staff for the Personal Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) program adjoining the mental health clinic and she is the psychiatrist assigned to the county jail. We expect Dr. Van Bellingham to tell us about her role at the clinic and how she perceives the current status of publicly assisted mental health services in Schenectady. We can also learn how we might help to make treatment of our family members more successful at the clinic. To reach Center Stage Deli, starting from the corner of State Street and Brandywine Ave., turn south on Brandywine and go three short blocks to stoplight at Duane Avenue. Turn left, east, on Duane and proceed over the bridge to first stoplight. Take left fork at the light onto Hamburg Street and travel south about two miles to the deli. It is on the right just after a U Haul truck rental place with big signs. Park in front or along side the deli building. We have tables reserved at the rear of the restaurant and begin to take our seats at 11:45. If you are new to join us you might call Roy or Mary Neville or Flora Ramonowski to ask for more details about our meetings. You do not have to be a NAMI member to attend our meetings. Other topics on the agenda are the Forensic task force and police training, housing for men living at the YMCA, the state budget just passed and bills we advocate for, and our NAMI affiliation business. See you there!

Reminder: Two relatives support groups continue to meet weekly for the families of someone with a mental illness. One is led by Kevin Moran, a psychiatric social worker at Ellis Hospital, meeting inside the hospital in classroom B-3 every Wednesday evening at 6 pm. Call Kevin on 243-4255 if you are new to the group. Park in the hospital garage and proceed through the main floor corridor to the B wing elevators. Take elevator to the third floor and see signs on the wall pointing to the classroom. The other support group is held at the CDPC Franklin Street clinic at 426 Franklin Street, Schenectady and is led by Frank Greco, a social worker at the CDPC hospital in Albany. The group meets from 5:30 to 7 pm every Monday night in a first floor room at the clinic. Call ahead on 374-3403 to check on availability for that evening. Besides these groups there is a DBSA--Depression, Bipolar Support Alliance--group intended for consumers with either of these illnesses. It meets every Thursday evening at 7 pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 1930 Hillside Avenue, Niskayuna. Celeste Trotz leads these meetings. Call her at home on 374-9753 if you are new to the group.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NAMI lunch meeting Monday March 12 at Center Stage Deli

Our next NAMI Schenectady lunch meeting is at noon on Monday, March 12, 2012 at Center Stage Deli, 2678 Hamburg St., Rotterdam. Our speaker will be Jody Kovach, manager of the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team in Schenectady, under Mohawk Opportunities auspices. The team, with a staff of seven and 48 clients, conducts visits to patients in their homes and meets with them at other locations. The aim is to monitor their health and mental health care and try to keep them from having to be rehospitalized. Our NAMI group has reserved seating at the back of the restaurant. We arrive just before noon. Parking is available in front and along the side of the building. Look for the Center Stage Deli sign right after a U-Haul Truck Rental place. The deli is about two miles south of the intersection of Hamburg St. with Altamont Ave. at its northern end. We will also discuss the Health home initiative in Schenectady, the Forensic Task Force, and progress on our affiliation agreement with NAMI national.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

NAMI Holiday dinner party at Turf Tavern Dec. 15

Hear ye! Hear ye! NAMI Schenectady holds its annual holiday dinner party at Turf Tavern, 40 Mohawk Avenue, Scotia, on Thursday, December 15. We arrive at 6 and sit down at 6:30 in the Bentwood Room, an arm of the main dining room. We order off the menu so there is no need to prepay for the meal, but we do need you to tell us if you're coming so we can tell the restaurant. The Bentwood Room holds 23 and we usually fill or nearly fill the room, so call the Nevilles (377-2619) as early as possible. We have Joe Gallagher, executive director of Mohawk Opportunities, as our guest speaker. Turf Tavern is a cozy place with delicious food. Hope you will join us on the 15th.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NAMI Schenectady meets Monday, Nov 14, 2011

Hear ye! Hear ye! NAMI Schenectady has scheduled its next lunch meeting at noon on Monday, Nov. 14 at Denny's Restaurant, Nott Terrace and Liberty Street, Schenectady. We arrive at the restaurant at 11:45 and sit down for lunch at 12. We have tables together in the rear room of the restaurant.

Our guest speaker will be Mark Chaires, Schenectady police chief. Mark will tell us how police officers might encounter an upset or violent person in the home or out in the community and what happens from there. Mark has previously shown interest in providing more advanced training for his officers to learn to manage similar situations involving a mentally ill person.