WELCOME NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The board of directors and staff of NAMI Howard County (NAMI HC) are very happy to welcome Denise Giuliano as our new Executive Director (ED). Denise comes to NAMI HC with many years of experience in public policy, grassroots advocacy and coalition building. Her skills and enthusiasm will be a great benefit to NAMI HC and we look forward to having her join us as our new ED.
Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reach out electronically or stop by the office to say hi and welcome her to the NAMI HC family.
Police expand voluntary “flagging” program for calls to 911
Howard County police are expanding a program in which residents can voluntarily “flag” their address in the 911 system to make police aware of a family member with a disability. The program began through a partnership with autism advocates in 2012, but has expanded to include other information residents believe would be relevant to a police response, if 911 is ever called.
For example, if someone living with autism has sensory sensitivity, an officer could be mindful of the possible effect of police lights or sirens when approaching that household. If a person with dementia has a history of wandering to a particular place, responding officers would know to quickly check that location. Or if responding officers are aware in advance that a person inside a residence is deaf, they can be prepared if they do not get a response to verbal directions.
“Whenever possible, we want to make accommodations to best-serve the needs of all our residents,” said Police Chief Gary Gardner. “Having this valuable information in advance can reduce confusion in what may already be a stressful or chaotic situation. Our goal is always to create the safest possible environment for everyone.”
The flagging program can be used for various relevant mental or physical health concerns, to include:
- Intellectual, developmental or degenerative disabilities
- Physical disabilities
- Mental health diagnoses
- Other behavior that may affect police response
A request form is available on the Howard County Police Department’s website under “Programs and Services.” Residents with questions about the program should contact the Community Outreach Division at 410-313-2207 or HCPDoutreach@howardcountymd.gov. All information submitted as part of the 911 flagging program remains confidential and will only be used by emergency dispatchers and responders.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives proclaimed July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Campbell was a champion for mental health education and support among individuals of diverse communities. A leading African American author, she co-founded NAMI Urban Los Angeles and received NAMI’s 2003 Outstanding Media Award for Literature. She died in 2006.
Throughout the month of July, Minority Mental Health Month, NAMI HC will continue to promote the theme of “Into Mental Health: Inspired, Informed, Involved.” The campaign focuses on the power of starting inspiring conversations, getting informed to know the right thing to say and encouraging people to proudly proclaim that they are #IntoMentalHealth!
INTERESTED IN SHARING YOUR STORY?
How many of you living with a mental health condition would be interested in sharing your story about what it’s like to be you? to be living with a mental health condition? and how are you able to live well with it? By becoming an In Our Own Voice presenter for NAMI Howard County you are given the opportunity to share your personal journey from the beginning stage of finding out your diagnosis to the acceptance stage of your mental health condition. We want to know your story!
If you are interested in finding out how to be trained to share your personal story as an In Our Own Voice presenter, please email Alikah Adair at:
Annual Meeting – May 16, 2017
Board Members and Executive Director
TO THE HOWARD COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL LEADERSHIP TEAM FOR
HOSTING OUR SUNDAY SUPPER ON FEBRUARY 12, 2017
Congress is debating the future of mental health care right now. If there’s one thing we know, they need to hear from you. Stand up with thousands of others.
Tell your members of Congress that you want your mental health care protected. #AmericasMentalHealth http://ow.ly/wd9o308lzSf
Forward to your friends, family and fellow mental health warriors.
NAMI is nonpartisan. We support policies that help people with mental health conditions and their families
On October 6, 2016, we received the 2016 Service Award from the Howard County Commission on Disability Issues
Top Affiliate Walk Award for 2016
At the Annual Meeting of NAMI Maryland, NAMI HC was recognized and received the Top Affiliate Walk Award for 2016. Thank you to everyone who donated, walked, served as a Team Captain or volunteered in some way to make this event successful.
Remember, if you haven’t donated there is still time. Contributions will be accepted until July 21st– just designate that your gift is for NAMI HC. Go to www.namiwalks.org/Maryland .
May is Mental Health Month
NAMI HC has launched an Anti-Stigma Campaign to bring attention to the variety of ways we stigmatize people with mental illness in our community.
We are asking everyone to sign our Anti-Stigma pledge.
While acceptance of certain groups of people has increased greatly over the past 50 years, specifically those with AIDS, breast cancer, those of different races, and those with disabilities, this tolerance has not yet been fully extended to individuals with mental illnesses. It’s important now more than ever that we strive to live in a stigma free community; so, please join our campaign and tell your colleagues, family, and friends.Go to the navigation on the left hand side “stigmafree#iamstigmafree” to sign the pledge form.
TOP AFFILIATE RECOGNITION!!
NAMI Howard County has been selected as the “Top Affiliate of the Year” at the NAMI MD Annual Conference on Friday, October 16, 2015. Beverley Francis-Gibson, Executive Director and President of the Board of Directors, Juliette Jenkins were on hand to accept the awards. They were given awards from Kate Farinholt, Executive Director of NAMI Maryland and Senator Ben Cardin for the community outreach, advocacy, education programs and support groups they provide year round to local residents. This is a great recognition for all the hard work that our staff, board members and volunteers provide every day in our community.