Our Annual Events
Advocacy Day 2019 logo
NAMIWalks logo
nami mass convention logo
NAMI Mass Advocacy Day

Systemic advocacy is a core pursuit of the NAMI Massachusetts. Each year NAMI Mass gathers mental health advocates from across the Commonwealth at the State House to lobby lawmakers on key legislative priorities.

NAMIWalks Massachusetts

NAMIWalks Massachusetts brings together people of all ages to combat stigma, raise funds, and promote awareness of mental illness. This yearly event is our largest event and biggest fundraiser.

NAMI Mass Convention

Our Annual state Convention brings together over 350 NAMI members and allies for a day of learning and networking. The Convention features workshop sessions, an exhibit hall, and art marketplace, as well as our Annual Meeting and Board of Directors Election.

Events Calendar

Our calendar features NAMI Mass events, as well as presentations, webinars, workshops, conferences, and other happenings from local NAMI affiliates and other organizations.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September 1 – 30

For more information https://nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month (opens in new window)

September is Recovery Month

September 1 – 30

For more information https://www.recoverymonth.gov/ (opens in new window)

Motivating Towards Recovery: Preparing for ERP & Facing Stigma

September 3, 2019, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

OCD Massachusetts Belmont Lecture Series

McLean Hospital
DeMareneffe Cafeteria, Room 143
115 Mill St., Belmont, 02478

For more information OCD Massachusetts Belmont Lecture Series (opens in new window)

Film Screening: Is Your Story Making You Sick? Followed by a panel discussion

September 4, 2019, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Capitol Theater
204 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 02474

Presented by Ellenhorn and The Cole Resource Center. Please join us for a screening of the film Is Your Story Making You Sick followed by a panel featuring filmmakers Dr. Mark Pirtle and Nick Kelso in-person for a live post-film discussion. The film reveals how individuals battling addiction, trauma, and depression can change their stories and transcend their pain.

Purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/2LDoDml (opens in a new window)

Ticket proceeds will be donated to The Cole Resource Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/262318836  (opens in a new window)

iSPARC’s Upcoming Webinar: Moving from Trauma-Informed to Trauma-Responsive Care Through Training, Referral and Treatment for Youth and Families

Thursday September 5, 2019, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

This webinar discusses the services and main outcomes of the UMMS Child Trauma Training Center (CTTC) – a statewide project funded by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) through the NCTSN (National Child Traumatic Stress Network) with additional funding from the Lookout Foundation and the Department of Mental Health.

They will discuss the main goals of CTTC, including:

  • providing training to child serving professionals (within pediatrics, schools, law enforcements, courts) in trauma-informed care and practices
  • referring children and families to evidence-based trauma treatment through a Centralized Referral System, LINK-KID
  • providing training to clinicians in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

They will present project outcomes measuring the impact of TF-CBT on child’s and caregiver’s symptoms and overall functioning from our first grant cycle (2012-2016).

Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5966032956086944779 (opens in a new window)

8th Annual NAMI Cambridge-Middlesex Auction Party: An Italian Afternoon in Cambridge

Sunday, September 8, 2019, 3:00 – 6:00 pm

237 Brattle St., Cambridge

For more information and to register for this event https://nami-cambridgemiddlesex.org/event-detail/?regevent_action=register&event_id=2678 (opens in new window)

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10

For more information https://www.iasp.info/wspd2019/ (opens in new window)

BBR Foundation Webinar: Choline: A New Prenatal Supplement to Improve a Child’s Mental Health

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Choline is an essential nutrient that, amongst other things, plays a key role in the fetal brain developing well while still in the womb. Even so, one mother in five does not get enough choline in her diet during pregnancy. Our team has conducted clinical trials in which expectant mothers were given choline, via supplements, starting in the second trimester of pregnancy and continuing until birth. Results so far suggest that children born to mothers receiving choline supplements during pregnancy have significantly lower risk of developing serious brain disorders such as schizophrenia. Dr. Hoffman will discuss this and other dietary strategies that have evidence to suggest that they may help prevent serious mental illness in our children.

Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6260989043095875596 (opens in new window)

6th Annual Raise the Bar HIRE! Career Fair

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Partners HealthCare, 399 Revolution Dr, Somerville 02145

Awesome opportunity to connect with over 40 of the biggest companies in the state looking to hire people with disabilities! See the list at http://cwm.umassmed.edu/e/655953/careerfair-/6zv7g/21766869?h=fHsdMW8WxCJJi8rA1v5_hvusYVyfqNxkYtu55tqDDVE (opens in a new window)

All job seekers are encouraged to pre-register and submit their resume, but walk-ins are welcome. https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5051440/RTBCF2019 (opens in a new window)

2019 Mass Leadership Academy (MLA) – Creating Space to Develop Advocacy and Leadership: A Foundation for Beginners

September 11 – 13, 2019, 9 am – 5 pm
Hilton Garden Inn Worcester
35 Major Taylor Blvd, Worcester, MA 01608

MLA is a 3-day program where we gather to develop our personal leadership skills, learn about the mental health movement, and how to advocate for change through the power of peer support. We promote shared power and decision making, and provide a trauma informed approach to leadership for those who have behavioral health struggles.

Applications available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2WG6X5Q
Application Deadline: August 28.

For more information or for long-distance travelers who want to request hotel accommodations, contact The Transformation Center info@transformation-center.org or

OCD 101: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Resources

September 12, 2019, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

OCD Massachusetts Worcester Lecture Series

UMass Medical Center
Hiatt Auditorium Room S1-608
55 Lake St., Worcester 01655

For more information OCD Massachusetts Worcester Lecture Series (opens in new window)

Webinar: Best Practices for Transition Planning for High School Students with Mental Health Conditions

Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 1pm-2pm EST

Information/Registration: https://buff.ly/2SWmtPw

About: Three best practices for transition planning have been identified in research conducted through the Learning & Working RRTC at the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (TACR). Student-led IEPS, community partner involvement, and career and technical education predict post-secondary employment and education outcomes among special education students with emotional behavioral disturbance. This webinar will describe the content of three manuals from the “Translating Evidence to Support Transitions (TEST)” project created to guide secondary school transition planners to use and adopt these practices. Process and outcomes for using an implementation science framework to develop and pilot the guides in two states will be presented.

The Center Cannot Hold: A story of struggle, hope and triumph. Addressing mental health stigma through opera

September 12, 2019, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Hilles P-02 Performance Hall, 59 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA

Hosted by the GlobalMentalHealth@Harvard Initiative Human Rights focus area and the Harvard Law School Project on Disability.

For more information and to RSVP  https://hms.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a2TtAB6GXfnxx8p (opens in a new window)

Celebrating the use of opera and art to address mental health stigma, this event will include a talk by opera composer Kenneth Wells, M.D., M.P.H., (psychiatrist/composer) and live concert excerpts from the opera The Center Cannot Hold, based on the memoir by Elyn Saks, J.D., PhD.  Elyn Saks is the Orrin B. Evans Distinguished Professor of Law, and Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at University of Southern California Gould Scool of Law; Director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy and Ethics. She began having schizophrenic episodes in high school and spiraled into the depths of the illness when she was a student at Yale Law School. Based on her 2007 memoir of the same name, the Center Cannot Hold opera follows Saks during a pivotal time at Yale as she ultimately faces her demons and resolves to live her life as fully as she can, whatever it takes. Elyn Saks, who serves as a co-librettist to the opera, will also be present at the event and will speak about the opera and her experience.


Enter the Scarecrow Making Contest to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Central Middlesex. To secure your scarecrow’s spot along the fence, bring your $25 donation to Cucurbit Farm at 32 Parker St. in Acton, and pick up your scarecrow starter frame. Then drop off your family friendly scarecrow at the farm stand. Individuals, organizations, and businesses are invited to participate, and each scarecrow will wear a sign with the name of the donor willing to “Stand Up to Stigma.”

Consider joining the fun at the “Put ‘Em Up” party on Friday, September 27th, 5:00-8:00 pm. As the scarecrows go up, enjoy the bonfire and smores. The scarecrows will be on display for the entire month of October, and the public is invited to cast their vote for the winning scarecrow. Our goal is 100 scarecrows along the fence and many conversations about mental health.

The event includes three days of farm fun family activities at the farm stand, including farm animals and a corn maze, during Columbus Day weekend, October 12-14th. Representatives from NAMI Central Middlesex will be on hand to provide information and direction on mental health issues. NAMI is a non-profit organization that offers education, advocacy, and support on behalf of individuals and families living with mental health condition. Additional information available at cucurbitfarm.com or namicentralmiddlesex.org.

NAMI Greater Boston Peer Support and Advocacy Network Monthly meeting with speakers from the Committee for Public Counsel Services

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Center Club, 31 Bowker Street, Boston
Right around the corner from the Haymarket MBTA

Free Pizza & Soda served at 6:30 pm and the free meeting (open to the public) is scheduled to end at 8:30 pm. If this is your first time attending a meeting, please email hdt@nami.org

What the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) https://www.publiccounsel.net/ and the public defenders of the Mental Health Litigatin Division (MHLD) https://www.publiccounsel.net/mh/ offer and how MHLD attorneys can help, including assignment of counsel for psychiatric hospital admissions. Plus, a summary of recent court decisions affecting individual rights.


Paulette Marie, Administrative Staff Attorney

Joesph Robinson, Trial Panel Director


Paulette Marie, Esq. is an administrative staff attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel’s (CPCS) Mental Health Litigation Division (MHLD) administrative office in Boston. She joined the administrative office in 2014 after two and a half years as a trial
attorney with the Springfield MHLD office. She was in private practice from 1988 to 2012 in Lynn and Springfield, Massachusetts. As part of her practice she served on the MHLD and Children and Family Law (CAFL) panels. She was a CAFL mentor in Essex County and also served as a Guardian ad Litem for the Probate and Family Courts on Elder Abuse, Family Law and Guardianship/Estate Administration matters. In her prior private practice, Attorney Marie represented litigants in family law and probate matters, debtors in bankruptcy matters and buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. She served as a mediator for the Hampden Juvenile Court and as a Conciliator for the Hampden Probate and Family Court. Attorney Marie is a graduate of Williams College and Suffolk University Law School. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and Connecticut (Retired).

Joseph Robinson, Esq. is the Trial Panel Director for the Mental Health Litigation Division. Joe was a trial attorney in our Brockton office since 2011 where he represented hundreds of clients at Bridgewater State Hospital. In addition, Joe has presented at various MHLD seminars, worked extensively with both public defenders and private practitioners on cases involving competence to stand trial and criminal responsibility. Prior to joining CPCS, Joe spent 26 years in private practice both as a solo practitioner and in small firms, including 14 years as a member of the MHLD private attorney panel. Joe
has argued eleven cases before the SJC and Appeals courts as well as cases in the Appellate Division of the District Court and recently tried his first SDP commitment.

Symposium: Treating Adolescents and Young Adults with an Eating Disorder

Friday, September 20, 2019, 12:00 – 4:30 pm

Cape Codder Resort & Spa
1225 Iyannough Road, Suite #1
Barnstable, MA 02601

For more information and to register https://www.eventbrite.com/e/treating-adolescents-and-young-adults-with-an-eating-disorder-tickets-61960185583

This symposium is geared towards those working directly with adolescents and/or young adults struggling with eating concerns.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to best support clients with these issues, regardless of the particular setting they are working in.

Families for Depression Awareness Webinar: Recognizing and Managing Teen Anxiety

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 7:00 – 8:15 pm

In this webinar, Lisa M. Schab, LCSW, a practicing psychotherapist and international best-selling author, will discuss the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, anxiety management skills adults can practice with youth, and ways adults can encourage teens to be a part of choosing treatment options.

This program is designed for parents, guardians, caregivers, youth workers, and any adults interested in teen mental health. Register to join us for a live webinar discussion or watch on demand after it airs. https://platform.cinchcast.com/ses/Lea8JMcl3u0iBvYpblckNg~~ (opens in a new window)

Patient and Family Education Day Dauten Family Center for Bipolar Treatment

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm

The Starr Center Auditorium
Charles River Plaza, 185 Cambridge Street, 2nd floor
Boston, MA, 02114

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To learn more about the program and register, click here or call 866-644-7792.

This free event provides an opportunity for people with bipolar disorder, their family, friends, treaters, and others to learn about bipolar disorder. This event offers an update on new research findings and important clinical topics for people with bipolar disorder and their families.

Presented by:

Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry
The Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy

Target Audience:

This free educational program is designed exclusively for patients, families, friends, and their clinicians. This program is not offered for continuing education credit


  • Pediatric Bipolar- Challenges and Updates
  • Psychosocial Interventions for Bipolar Disorder
  • Treatment of Mania and Psychosis
  • Patient and Family Panel
  • Treatment of Bipolar Depression

Check-in from 8:45 am – 9:30 am. Complimentary coffee, tea, and lunch will be served.

Location: The Starr Center Auditorium is located on the 2nd floor in the Schepens Eye Research Institute. Look for the Richard B. Simches Research Center building located in the Charles River Plaza next to CVS and Whole Foods.

Transportation and Parking: Parking will not be discounted or validated.

Because of the hospital’s close proximity to the Charles/Mass General Red Line Station, the use of public transportation for this event is highly recommended.

My Time at OCDI: Living With Intrusive Thoughts

October 1, 2019, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

OCD Massachusetts Belmont Lecture Series

McLean Hospital
DeMareneffe Cafeteria, Room 143
115 Mill St., Belmont, 02478

For more information OCD Massachusetts Belmont Lecture Series (opens in new window)

Beyond Possible: How the Hearing Voices Approach Transforms Lives

October 2, 2019, 7:00 pm

101 Dwight Hall, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

Join us for the premiere of a new short film about the Hearing Voices approach with panel discussion to follow! Learn about the history of the approach and about how lives are being changed.

Free and open to the public!

This film has been produced by the Hearing Voices Research and Development Fund through the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care in collaboration with Mount Holyoke College and the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community.

Click here for a shareable flyer

Please note: This film features two current Board Members, Caroline Mazel-Carlton and Claire Bien, as well as former Board Member, Terresa Ford.

Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 6-12, 2019

For more information https://nami.org/miaw (opens in a new window)

World Mental Health Day

October 10, 2019

For more information https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2019/10/10/default-calendar/world-mental-health-day-2019-focus-on-suicide-prevention (opens in a new window)

Community Conversation: Talking about Suicide and the Role of Prevention

Thursday October 10, 2019, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Northern Essex Community College
Hartleb Technology Center, Room TC 103 A & B
100 Elliot Street, Haverhill, MA

Keynote presenter will be Waheeda Saif, LMHC, and Riverside Trauma Services
Moderated by Joanna Fortna, – Pres. DMH Essex North Community Site Board & NECC

We welcome requests for sign language interpreting and other access requests. For more information about this event or if you need accommodations please contact: counseling@necc.mass.edu (978)556-3730

Cosponsored by Northern Essex Community College, NAMIand The Dept. of Mental Health Essex North Site Board

Social Hour for Social Anxiety: Celebrate OCD Awareness Week with a Group Exposure

October 10, 2019, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

OCD Massachusetts Worcester Lecture Series

UMass Medical Center
Hiatt Auditorium Room S1-608
55 Lake St., Worcester 01655

For more information OCD Massachusetts Worcester Lecture Series (opens in new window)

International OCD Awareness Week

October 13–19, 2019

For more information https://iocdf.org/programs/ocdweek/ (opens in a new window)

BBR Foundation Webinar: Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression A Progress Report

Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

It is now almost 15 years since researchers first used a method called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to treat major depression that has not responded to conventional therapies. Subsequently, follow-up studies have made steady progress, both technically, in terms of how the treatment is targeted in the brain, as well as in identifying which patients are most likely to benefit. Close monitoring of patients has improved our ability to understand effects of DBS over the long-term, and to link these with changes at the level of neural circuits. This work brings us ever closer to a more comprehensive understanding of illness and recovery.

For more information https://iocdf.org/programs/ocdweek/ (opens in a new window)

Documentary Screening of Orchestrating Change: The only orchestra in the world created by and for people living with mental illness and those who support

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

A300 Auditorium, Charlestown Campus
Bunker Hill Community College
250 New Rutherford Ave.
Charlestown, MA 02129

Please join us for A FREE screening made possible by Mass Humanities & Mass Cultural Council

ORCHESTRATING CHANGE is the new feature documentary that tells the story of Me2/Orchestra. Once Music Director, Ronald Braunstein’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder was made public, his acclaimed international conducting career came to an end. He dreamed of creating an orchestra for people “like me.” Me2/Orchestra, Inc., based in Boston, is the realization of that dream. The mission of the orchestra is to erase stigma one exhilarating performance at a time. While preparing for a major concert, these extraordinary musicians reveal what it is like to live with a mental illness – the joys and the devastating setbacks – and how the orchestra is changing their lives in ways they never imagined. Powerful and inspiring, ORCHESTRATING CHANGE celebrates the abilities in all of us.

Meet the filmmakers, the Me2/Orchestra maestro & one or more of the Me2/Boston musicians, stay for the discussion.

The 90-minute film will be followed by a panel discussion and audience Q & A with the filmmakers, Margie Friedman and Barbara Multer-Wellin, Maestro Ronald Braunstein, Me2/Music Director, Caroline Whiddon, Me2/Executive Director, and one or more of the Me2/Boston musicians.

NAMI Greater Boston Peer Support and Advocacy Network monthly meeting speaker Ivy Watts

Thursday, October 17, 2019, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Center Club, 31 Bowker Street, Boston
Right around the corner from the Haymarket MBTA

Free Pizza & Soda served at 6:30 pm and the free meeting (open to the public) is scheduled to end at 8:30 pm. If this is your first time attending a meeting, please email hdt@nami.org

My Struggle With My Mental Health As An Athlete: You Are Not Alone:

Learn about Ivy’s story of her struggle with her mental health as an athlete (anxiety, suicidal thoughts), her fear of speaking up, but how speaking up saved her life.

Change your mindset from seeking help as a sign of weakness, to seeking help as a sign of strength and recognition of self-worth

Understand that our mental health is just as important as our physical health

Feel empowered to be part of the solution to change mental health culture in our society.

Bio:  Ivy Watts, a former Division II All-American track athlete, who appeared to have it all together, graduating Summa Cum Laude and a top 30 finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, on the inside struggled daily with anxiety, self-worth and depression, in silence. After finally seeking help, Ivy is now dedicated to promoting mental wellness and reducing stigma around mental illness by sharing her story through public speaking and her blog, Beautifully Simply You. Ivy empowers others to speak their truths, know that they are not alone, learn the beauty of self-love and find strength to keep fighting for their tomorrows.

Pharmacotherapy of OCD

November 5, 2019, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

OCD Massachusetts Belmont Lecture Series

McLean Hospital
DeMareneffe Cafeteria, Room 143
115 Mill St., Belmont, 02478

For more information OCD Massachusetts Belmont Lecture Series (opens in new window)

BBR Foundation Webinar: Integrating Virtual Reality into Psychotherapy for Anxious Youth

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

The most common age of onset for anxiety disorders is in adolescence and young adulthood and can put youth at risk for failure to meet academic, social, and occupational milestones, or for developing depression and substance use if not properly treated. Cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure therapy has been identified as the frontline treatment, however a substantial number of patients do not get better or experience relapse. Dr. Pelcovitz will discuss her current research, focusing on enhancing existing therapies by integrating cutting edge technology.

Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5057950699627497229 (opens in a new window)

Understanding Social Anxiety

November 14, 2019, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

OCD Massachusetts Worcester Lecture Series

UMass Medical Center
Hiatt Auditorium Room S1-608
55 Lake St., Worcester 01655

For more information OCD Massachusetts Worcester Lecture Series (opens in new window)

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

Saturday, November 23, 2019

For more information https://afsp.org/find-support/ive-lost-someone/survivor-day/ (opens in a new window)

The Good Fight: My Life With OCD

December 3, 2019, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

OCD Massachusetts Belmont Lecture Series

McLean Hospital
DeMareneffe Cafeteria, Room 143
115 Mill St., Belmont, 02478

For more information OCD Massachusetts Belmont Lecture Series (opens in new window)

BBR Foundation Webinar: Changing the Way the World Thinks About Eating Disorders

Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Genetic research has encouraged us to think not only about the psychiatric aspects of anorexia nervosa, but also about metabolic factors. Anorexia nervosa can be life threatening and strikes individuals of all genders and backgrounds. Recent advances in genetic research have revealed significant genetic correlations not only with other psychiatric disorders, but also with a broad range of metabolic and anthropometric (body measurement) factors. This work leads us to question whether we could improve outcomes of illness by intervening on both psychiatric and metabolic levels. Dr. Bulik will also introduce the next generation of research, namely the Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI).

Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5057950699627497229 (opens in a new window)

Let’s Talk About Medications: A Questions and Answer Session

December 12, 2019, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

OCD Massachusetts Worcester Lecture Series

UMass Medical Center
Hiatt Auditorium Room S1-608
55 Lake St., Worcester 01655

For more information OCD Massachusetts Worcester Lecture Series (opens in new window)