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Health Reform and Mental Illness

In the November 2010 Issue of Psychiatric Services is a Special Section on Health Reform and Mental Illness with several articles. The links to the articles have been provided here.

Introduction to the Special Section


Health Care Reform and Mental Health Care Delivery


Regulating a Health Insurance Exchange: Implications for Individuals With Mental Illness


Health Reform and the Scope of Benefits for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services


Health Care Reform and Care at the Behavioral Health—Primary Care Interface


Recap of the NAMI Mass Convention

Over 350 people attended the 28th Annual NAMI Mass convention.  Here is a recap of the days events including awards and recognitions.


2010 NAMI Mass Convention

Saturday, October 30, 2010

8am to 10am                      Registration

8am to 11am                      Board and Bylaw Voting

Marquis Room

8am to 4:00pm                  Consumer Art Marketplace and Exhibitors Hall Open

Terrace Room

9:15am to 9:45am            Welcomes from Laurie Martinelli, Executive Director; Brenda Venice, President NAMI Greater Fall River; Chaz Gross, Executive Director NAMI Rhode Island; and Guy Beales, Board President NAMI Mass

NAMI Award Presentations:

Karl Ackerman Annual Peer Award: Julia Green

NAMI Lifetime Achievement Award: Jim McNulty

NAMI Mass Lifetime Achievement Award: Sid Gelb

9:45am to 10:50am          Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bruce Cohen

New Research on Brain Energy in Mood and Psychotic Disorders

Share-NAMI-Keynote 2010-Mod (PDF)

10:50am to 10:55am        NAMI Mass Psychiatrist of the Year Award: Dr. Bruce Cohen

11am to 11:10 am             Break

11:10am to 12:25pm  Workshop Sessions #1

12:45pm to 2:30pm         Luncheon

Announcement of Voting Results for Board      election

Announcement of Voting Results for bylaws

NAMI Mass Champion Award: Toby Fisher

NAMI Mass Volunteer of the Year Award: Fenton and Peggy Burke

NAMI Mass Lifetime Achievement Award: Jean Childers

2010 NAMIWalks Massachusetts Awards:

Corporate LeadershipBeacon Health Strategies

Sustained Corporate SupportPartners Psychiatry & Mental Health

Top Affiliate Team: NAMI Central Middlesex

Top Single Walk Team:  NAMI Cambridge-Middlesex

Teams that Raised Over $10,000

Family-to-Family Central Middlesex

Recovery is Real

Beacon Health Strategies

Mass Behavioral Health Partnership

Teams that Raised Over $5000

Make the Merge

Team Fairwinds

Edinburg Shining Stars

Elm Brook Place – The Dream Team

NAMI Central Middlesex

Team Walsh

Family Ties

Teams that Raised Over $2500

Cape Cod

Cove Club House

The Breakers

Faces of Stigma Cape Cod

Team Karl

Tina’s Team

Mary’s Team


Harvard South Shore

Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Team Eliot

Team McLean Hospital

NAMI Newton-Wellesley Area Team

Individuals Who Raised Over $5000

Regina Aldhurst

Individuals Who Raised Over $2500

Lynda Michaud Cutrell

Patti Gould

Mary Iglesias

Betty MacIntyre

Corinne Meyer

Jody Newman

Joe & Debbie Walsh

Brian Ramsay

John Sharp

Individuals Who Raised Over $1000

Eric Adelman

Holly Baab

Guy Beales & Diane Joe

Stuart Beck

Scott Bezzini

Dorothy Bergold

Rhonda Bourne

Michael Brown

Jonathan Burke

Clara Carr

Linda Chance

Skip Cutrell

Priscilla DiLuzio

Maura Dolan

Cara Falconi

Dee Febba

Michael Fetcho

Melissa Haroules

Lindsey Hopkinson

Diane Krasnick

Nancy Lane

Jaeok Lee

Charlie Manning

Ralph Marple

Jane Martin

Lynda McCumber

Stephany Melton

Hector Merlin

Denise Montoya

David & Mary Munsell

Elizabeth Pattulo

Michael Scott

Tom Scurfield

Glenyce Sones

Scott Taberner

Sam Ward

Elizabeth Watson

Carolyn White

NAMIWalks Volunteers:

Bob Antonioni

Kate  & Tom Boyson

John Colburn

DJ Conrad

Aine Crytes

Susan Davenport

Tina DeAngelo

Judy DeMilla

Jennifer Denning

Briana Duffy

Naresh Gajera

Gina Gallagher & kids

Julia Green

Kyle Greenleaf

Diane Holden

Jill Judson

Patricia Kean

Patty Konjoian & kids

Marty Krasnick

Joe Le

Jennifer Leahy

Cathy Liu

Ken Mack

Charlie Manning

Louise McDonald

Peggy McNeil

Kelsey Meagher

Jennifer Middleton

Megan Miller

Joel Moses

Meta Moy

Sherwin Moyston

Leonard Mulcahy

Brandon Pearl

Amanda Pham

Laney Poulack

Richard Price

Lois Pulliam

Rita Purcell

Mary Sine

John Sharp

James Shy

Debbie Taylor

If anyone has inadvertently been omitted from this list, please accept our apologies and contact Karen Gromis, kgromis@namimass.org or 781-938-4048.

Recognition of Education & Support Volunteers:

Family to Family

Family Support Groups

NAMI Connection

In Our Own Voice

Children’s Challenging Behavior

NAMI Basics

2:35 to 2:45pm                  Break

2:45 to 4:00pm                  Work Sessions #2

4:00pm to 6:00pm           Consumer Networking Get Together, Diplomat Room

Award Bios

Keynote Speaker and Psychiatrist of the Year

Dr. Bruce Cohen is President and Psychiatrist in Chief Emeritus at McLean Hospital, having led McLean from 1997 through 2005, after which he became head of the Shervert Frazier Research Institute. He has been Director of the Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory at McLean Hospital since 1985.  Dr. Cohen is a board-certified psychiatrist with a PhD in biology. His research activities focus on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with psychotic and affective disorders, including bipolar disorders and schizophrenia, and psychiatric disorders of late life. In this work, he has used pharmacologic, brain imaging, epidemiologic, molecular and animal model approaches to study psychiatric illness. He has a total of over 400 manuscripts, abstracts, and book chapters describing the results of this work.

Karl Ackerman Peer Award

Julia L. Green has a long history as a consumer of mental health services. She has worked in the financial industry and in the programming industry and her own web design business, Julia Computer Consulting LLC which is a sole proprietorship. Green was NAMI Mass webmaster for over 10 years.  She earned a graduate degree from Harvard University Extension, the tuition supported by State Street Bank while she was a transaction processor and account specialist there. She also enjoys writing poetry and book and movie reviews. She would like to thank NAMI Mass for the opportunity of working for such a generous and loving organization.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim McNulty is a past President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI National) currently serving as  the President of MDDA-RI, (formerly Manic Depressive and Depressive Association of Rhode Island,) and board chair of Mental Health Consumer

Advocates of RI, both support and advocacy organizations for individuals in recovery. McNulty has served in many roles in Rhode Island and nationally: Director of the Office of Consumer & Family Affairs for the RI Division of Behavioral Health, State of RI;  Magellan Health Services’ Director of Consumer & Recovery Services for Public Sector Behavioral Health and member, Advisory Mental Health Council for the NIMH from 2000 to 2004. He currently serves on the SAMHSA/CMHS National Advisory Council, and chair of the Council’s Subcommittee on Consumer/Survivor Issues. McNulty also serves on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force for the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.  He is active in promoting research into treatments for mental illness, and implementation of peer support services in public mental health systems.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sidney Gelb has a BS in Chemistry from the City College of New York (CCNY) and a MS in Science Education also from CCNY. He joined the ROTC and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserves. He taught General Science and Earth Science at the Junior High/Middle School in Hicksville New York for 35 years.  He moved to Brookline from Plainview New York in 1998 to be near his daughters and grandsons. He became a member of the NAMI Mass Board of Directors (BOD) in 1998 and became chair of the public policy committee. In 2003 he was honored by the NAMI Plymouth Area affiliate as “Outstanding  NAMI Mass Legislative Coordinator.” In 2004 he received the Ruth M. Batson Advocate of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers. In 2005 he received the Distinguished Service Award by the Department of Mental Health and Advocacy Award from the Legislative Mental Health Caucus of the House of Representatives. He served as secretary to the NAMI Mass BOD from 2006 to 2009.  He is currently on the Board of Directors of NAMI Latino Metro Boston.

Champion Award

Since 1993, Toby Fisher has worked in the mental health field. For five years, he worked at Vinfen Corporation as a Program Manger, Assistant Program Director, and lastly Budget Director. He earned a Masters in Business Administration and a Master in Social Work from Boston College. From May of 2000 through 2007, he held the position of Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI Mass). He is also a former adjunct Professor Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, Candidate for Massachusetts House of Representatives 10th Middlesex District, and member of the Governor’s Council for Mass Rehab Commission.  In 2007, he stepped down as Executive Director of NAMI Mass to manage a family business, however remained as the Policy Director until 2010.  On July 1, 2010, Toby began a new job with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), building campaigns to improve services for persons recovering with mental illness. He is a statewide leader and a visible force on Beacon Hill fighting for the disabled.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Fenton and Peggy Burke have three children and have lived in Brussels, Belgium, New York City and Washington, D.C. They currently live on Martha’s Vineyard.  Fenton practiced law; Peggy taught Special Education in NYC and Washington, D.C.  Fenton retired in 1990 from the practice of law and they biked across the B.A., M.E., is President of NAMI Plymouth, a Family to Family teacher, as well as a Family Support Group Facilitator and has led a weekly family support group in the Plymouth area for the last eleven years. By invitation she is a NAMI presence on the DMH Plymouth Provider Committee and facilitates mental illness education wherever possible.  Childers is a lifetime NAMI worker bee and was an instrumental member of the Planning Committee for this convention.


McLean Hospital

Arbour Health Systems


Harvard Brain Bank

Fellowship Health Resources

Research Study B-SNIP

Research Study:  CIDAR



NAMI Mass Wine Tasting & Holiday Sale FUNdraiser

Kristen Fitzpatrick-Medical Claims Consultant


UMass Medical

Transitions RTC

NAMI GB CAN & Boston Resource Center

Mass Behavioral Health Partnership


Wild Acre Inns

Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry

What Family to Family has done for me

The summer of 2001 I had my expectations of the future and all of my dreams shatter in the time it took the doctor to say, “Timmy has Schizophrenia.”

Nothing I have ever learned in life prepared me for my son’s total break with reality. There were no parenting books out there to tell me how to communicate with a child who is talking to voices that are not there? No helpful neighbors giving me tips on how to deal with a crisis situation, no casseroles coming to my door or town fundraisers to help the family. We were utterly on our own.

I was a lucky one, though! The very first time my son had been put into the hospital, a social worker handed me a worn out, copied so many times it was almost too light to read, paper with information on an organization called NAMI Massachusetts and a free program called Family to Family (F2F). Being a mom, I wanted to take all my son’s pain away so I reached for anything out there that could help, which thankfully for me was taking that course on the very same month.

I walked in that class room with my mom at my side, not knowing what to expect…nervous about talking and looking for a magic bullet. Well, sorry to say I found no magic bullet, but what I found saved my life! Everything I learned in that course has given me direction through these past 8 years. I learned about the illness and the meds…I practiced communication skills & did empathy exercises…I learned that it was ok to still laugh, to still care for myself and in doing so I was better able to care for my son. I made friends and created support!

Tim told me one day that “I was the only one who he could really talk to without being afraid of how I would react.” Because of F2F I remained calm when my son tried to commit suicide. I stayed by his side and understood what was going on in his head and never judged his choice, (not that I believe his choice was correct!) only held his hand while he became well enough to return home again.

I have come a long way since that first time…I have also chosen to pass this wonderful course onto others and became a F2F teacher, then a state teacher trainer and now the coordinator of all the F2F courses through Massachusetts.

I tell my son, that because of him, I am able to help so many other family members out there. The ones who cannot find that book or neighbor for help…the ones who are always looking for a magic bullet…This course in my eyes is the single most important thing I did for myself, my family & my son that year…and every year after.

Karen McGravey-Gajera

Proud mom of Timmy!