Destigmatizing and Decriminalizing Mental Illness
NAMI Washington Sate Conference is open for registration and will be held at the Red Lion at the Quay on August 15-17
Continuing Education Credits will be given
Registration Fee is $185 with a discount for NAMI Members
Register at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/726562
Or call (206) 783-4288

From the Directors Desk

Dear Members and Friends,

In June, I was fortunate to attend the NAMI Executive Directors Leadership conference that was held this year just across the river in Portland. Meeting other NAMI executive directors from around the nation is always great; we have lots to talk about, compare, and laugh and cry about since our issues are pretty much the same across the United States: not enough money, people, or time to accomplish all that we would like to accomplish. The great thing about NAMI is that many really great people are working together to improve the lives of people living with mental health diagnoses.

In part because of a discussion I was able to have with the Executive Director of the NAMI in Tucson, AZ at the ED conference and in part because our Regional Support Network unexpectedly received more Medicaid funding than they had planned for, NAMI SW WA is going to apply for status as a Medicaid provider. That will enable us to offer more programs than we can currently, because of severe budget restrictions. I will keep you posted on what happens with this.

Our Board of Directors has voted to add several new members to balance out representation of specialties and of geographic areas. Scott Brickley is a new member from Skamania County joining our Board Treasurer Becky Anderson to represent people in Skamania County. We are still looking for a possible third person from that county. Ted Englebrecht is a resident of Clark County and is representing the faith-based community; he teaches international religion at Concordia University. after spending many years in Southeast Asia as a missionary. Both Scott and Ted are recent graduates of our Family to Family program. Adam Herreid is from Cowlitz County and represents the mental health profession; he is a therapist with Lower Columbia Mental Health. He joins Frank Randolph and Adam Pitham, our two other members from Cowlitz County. Joe Tran is a pharmacist (R Ph) in Clark County. One of the Board goals is to increase ethnic representation however Joe will also fill the spot left by Vicki Starr, R Ph, who recently moved south of Portland and who had resigned her board position in May. Vicki will still work with us on special projects. We are pleased to welcome these new members who bring our board membership up to eleven members.

The NAMI WA conference is just around the corner. We have planned some very good sessions for this conference that focuses on reducing the stigma of mental illness. If you would like to attend the conference you can register online. The registration web listing can be found on the first page of this newsletter. Or call Jenny at our office and she can tell you more. If you cannot afford the $185 registration fee but would like to help us out by volunteering there we have many jobs that can be done, allowing you to attend many or most of the sessions. Again, call us to let us know that you would like to help. We promise a fun time with lots of great education!

Best regards,

Peggy McCarthy