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NAMI Kansas Conversations on Mental Health

NAMI Kansas is pleased to announce its 2020 – 2021 Conversations on Mental Health series as we pivot from the pre-Covid-19 world to the new landscape of distancing and staying safe.

While we had planned to host our 2020 NAMI Kansas Conference in Wichita this year, our new landscape of hosting gatherings, meetings, and training opportunities has prompted new ways of staying connected, engaging our members and supporters, and providing learning environments. Therefore, we are happy to announce our 2020-2021 NAMI Kansas Conversations on Mental Health monthly workshops.

NAMI Kansas presents FREE monthly virtual (online) workshops on topics of interest to NAMI members on the third Friday of each month, beginning July 17, 2020 through June 18, 2021, from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm via GoToWebinar.  Please click the registration link for any workshop you would like to attend.

September 2020 – An Overview of NAMI Smarts for Advocacy

Learn about the NAMI signature program “NAMI Smarts for Advocacy” and how it can help you advocate effectively to make a difference and influence public policy.

Presenter Dea VanDeBerghe is a State Trainer for the NAMI Smarts program, and is the President of the NAMI Northeast Kansas/Leavenworth affiliate of NAMI Kansas.

Please CLICK HERE to register for An Overview of NAMI Smarts on September 18, 2020 at 3:00 pm (CDT).

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

August 2020 – Why Advocate? Why Now?

If you are an individual with a lived experience of mental illness, a family member, or a mental health and provider professional that wants to learn more about advocacy, this workshop is for you. With states facing unprecedented economic and public health crises, its critical for NAMI members and interested parties to understand how to advocate for stronger public policies and resources to support individuals and families affected by mental illness.  In many instances, NAMI members have never had direct contact with their state lawmakers. The goal of the session is to familiarize participants with the state policies that have the greatest impact on access to mental health care, how those policies are decided, and how to get involved to positively influence these decisions. In particular, the objective is to provide a beginner’s guide to mental health advocacy.

In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Build an understanding of mental health policy issues and importance of being an mental health advocate, especially in the current economic climate.
  • Differentiate roles and responsibilities of key players in state government and key processes/dates that decide state mental health policy.
  • Explain easy-to-use advocacy tools and strategies to maximize your impact and how to further grow advocacy skills through NAMI trainings and other opportunities in the future. 

Why Advocate? Why Now? will be presented by Stephanie Pasternak.

Stephanie Pasternak is the Manager of State Affairs for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  In her role with NAMI, Pasternak tracks and analyzes state mental health policy developments. Pasternak works closely with NAMI State Organizations to help advance their policy priorities, advise on advocacy strategy, and explain NAMI’s federal policy actions.

Please CLICK HERE to view the recording of Why Advocate? Why Now?

July 2020 – Who Ya Gonna Call? NAMI Helplines!

In this workshop, our presenters will share the value of NAMI HelpLines as providers of essential information, resources and peer support. No one is prepared for mental illness when it strikes but having a NAMI HelpLine to call makes a big difference. In this workshop, discover why HelpLines are special, the power of peers and learn about a new effort to align NAMI HelpLines across the Alliance. Together, NAMI HelpLines can offer better help and support to people contacting NAMI while supporting each other.

Individuals with lived experience of mental illness, family members, and mental health and provider professionals are welcome to attend and learn more about NAMI HelpLines!

Participants at this workshop will:

  • Learn about the unique value of peer informed resource and information development and peer support.
  • Learn about essential resources and information that will benefit their recovery.
  • Be motivated to volunteer and be a part of the NAMI HelpLines effort.

Who Ya Gonna Call? NAMI HelpLines! will be presented by Dawn Brown and Quinn Anderson.

Dawn is NAMI’s director of community engagement overseeing and directing the NAMI HelpLine. Her involved with NAMI spans 15 years as a NAMI Family-to-Family graduate, support group participant and for the past 9 years a member of the NAMI HelpLine team. She has a background in non-project project management.

Quinn is the NAMI HelpLine Manager who oversees operations and volunteer recruitment and training. She joined NAMI as a HelpLine volunteer before joining the staff. Quinn has professional experience as a legal recruiter.

Please CLICK HERE to view the recording of Who Ya Gonna Call? NAMI HelpLines!

Submit Your Proposal!

NAMI Kansas invites workshop proposals which help us stretch our vision and provide tools for taking the next steps consistent with our Conversations on Mental Health theme and our strategic roles and goals.  Workshop opportunities are 60 minutes in length and will require a PowerPoint style presentation to help visually engage the participants. NAMI Kansas staff will navigate the online platform experience.

Our strategic roles are 1) Educate and Support, 2) Advocate, 3) Lead the Conversation, and 4) Listen and Build our Community.

Our strategic goals are 1) People Get Help Early, 2) People Get the Best Possible Care, and 3) People Get Diverted from Justice Involvement.

We want to empower everyday heroes to make a difference at all levels of society, from the individual and family unit to the larger communities in which they live, and across the delivery systems which affect those living with mental illness. Workshop proposals should therefore include a description of the workshop content and a brief explanation of how the workshop aligns with one or more of our strategic roles and strategic goals.

While we are particularly interested in soliciting workshop proposals which are consistent with our 2020-2021 Online NAMI Kansas Conversations on Mental Health theme, we will entertain any meaningful proposals relating to emerging trends and best practices of interest to an audience largely comprised of individuals living with mental illness and their families. Areas of request include, but not limited to: Tele-health; Responding to COVID-19 Landscape and Mental Health; Strategies for Warm-Lines, Help-Lines, and Resource-Lines; Offering Support through Online Platforms and Strategies; Assisted Outpatient Treatment; Advocacy and Online Platforms; Crisis Intervention Teams and Initiatives; Living on Fixed Budget: Cooking, Healthy Meal Planning; Finding Work After Release from Prison; Crisis Intervention; Cultural Diversity; How Diet Impacts Mental Health; Overview of NAMI Signature Programs; Responding to the Needs of Veterans, Military Personnel, and Their Families; Strategies to Grow Affiliate Memberships; Peer Focus: Respite, Communication, Support, Recovery, and Peer Specialists; Specialized Mental Health Focus: Bi-polar Disorder, OCD, Anxiety; Children and Teens Focus.

All workshops will be offered on the third Friday of each month, 3pm – 4pm, US Central time, beginning July 17, 2020 through June 18, 2021, via GoToWebinar.

Submit your workshop proposal here:

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