Monday, October 23 | 6:30-8:00 p.m.

(Meet & greet at 6:30 with event beginning at 6:45)
Austin State Hospital Nifty-Fifty Diner (Canteen)
4110 Guadalupe (map)
featuring
Officer Jaime Von Seltmann & Officer Randy Hunt | Austin Police Department, Crisis Intervention Team
Sgt. Greg Sizmore | Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Crisis Intervention Team
Laura Wilson-Slocum, LPC | Practice Administrator, Integral Care
Annie Burwell, LBSW | Director, Williamson County Outreach

When a loved one is having a mental health crisis, knowing what to do to and who to call can be challenging. This panel of both Travis and Williamson County representatives will cover a variety of topics, including: how to make a good 911 call, who responds to crisis calls and when to call, and what to expect when you call for help. This will be a highly informative event perfect for anyone who loves and cares for youth or adults who live with mental illness.

NAMI Community Education Events are free and open to the public. Please share this event and invite a friend to learn about this topic and NAMI Austin.


 

by Senator Kirk Watson for the Austin-American Statesman

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin during a visit to a Red Cross Shelter set up to accommodate people seeking refuge from Hurricane Harvey on August 26, 2017

As Hurricane Harvey hit Texas a couple weeks ago, I visited the Delco Center to spend time with evacuees who were facing an unknown but excruciating loss.

I talked with a young woman who was there with her children and mother, but she didn’t know where her dad was. He’d stayed behind.  When we visited, she hadn’t heard from him and was frightened about what might have happened.  She worried about what, if anything, she and her family would return to.

Then there was the father who was cradling his 5-week old infant son and concerned about supporting his family and what he’d need to do to recover.

A group of children sat on the concrete floor watching movies projected on a wall.  I returned later with rugs and pillows to make their space a little more comfortable, along with books, games and jumping ropes so that they’d have some activities to pass the time.  Every kid’s routine, even school attendance, was in disarray.

The Delco Center was filled with many fearful, anxious people whose lives had been completely upended by a disaster. Of course, they were only a small portion of those facing uncertain and difficult futures.

For those who lived through Harvey and its aftermath, this storm is likely to become the “before and after” for their lives.

Research shows most people who live through a disaster recover fully, but some will develop mental health issues, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, researchers determined that 30-50% of all survivors suffered from PTSD and 36% of Katrina-affected children showed serious emotional disturbances. In addition, a post-Katrina survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 25 percent of respondents lived with someone who needed mental health counseling but fewer than 2% received it.

The data from Katrina reminds us that Harvey’s survivors will need attention and care far into the future. Mental health issues tend to be underreported in the immediate aftermath because such symptoms are typically not expressed for weeks or months after a traumatic event.

As we shelter our coastal neighbors affected by Harvey, I’m proud to support the work of our local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI Austin provides free classes and support groups for individuals and families living with mental health issues and offers no-cost mental health trainings and presentations in schools, workplaces and faith communities. Their work is changing the way our community talks about and addresses mental health throughout the year, and in times of disaster.

In coordination with other nonprofit organizations, NAMI Austin is serving as a source of hope and help as our community assesses the mental and emotional needs of our coastal neighbors, offering the best of its resources to assist the vulnerable populations of adults and children impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

On Saturday, September 23, I’m serving as the Honorary Walk Chair for the NAMI Austin’s 12th Annual NAMIWalks, the largest mental health awareness event in Central Texas. Join me as we celebrate the wellness our community creates when we encourage people to talk openly about mental health, seek help when needed and access the free mental health programs NAMI Austin offers.

Right now, we’re focusing on the physical needs of our coastal communities. There are buildings to clean, brush to clear, roads to fix and roofs to repair. But organizations like NAMI Austin remind us not to forget the long-term emotional and mental health needs of our neighbors as well.

To register for NAMIWalks Austin, visit namiwalks.org/Austin.

Donate or raise $100 & receive the 2017 NAMIWalks shirt PLUS a chance to win a $100 Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card!

When you #JoinTheMovement with NAMI Austin, you’re helping us change the way our community addresses mental health. Our free classes and support groups for families and individuals living with mental illnesses ensure that no one has to face these challenging health issues alone plus we provide no-cost educational presentations and trainings in schools, workplaces and faith communities to help diminish the stigma and raise awareness.

Between September 10 and 22, register for the Walk, donate or raise $100  and you’ll receive the 2017 NAMIWalks commemorative t-shirt AND a chance to win a $100 Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY!

We’ll see you for a fun-filled, stigma-busting Walk on September 23 at the Long Center!

Photo credit: CN

Forty-seven years later, I still have vivid memories of the devastation my hometown, Corpus Christi, endured during Hurricane Celia in 1970. My family lived on the edge of poverty, so the sense of urgency and desperation was heightened as my divorced mother tried to navigate the resources available.

Nothing quite prepares you for the aftermath of a catastrophic event, a life altering event that forever shapes one’s perspective. Catastrophic events tend to be the “before and after” by which we remember things, and they tend to impact the mental and emotional state of those affected for months and years to come.

As we welcome our neighbors from coastal towns who are calling Austin “home” for now (and possibly permanently), NAMI Austin is working in coordination with other nonprofit organizations. We are coming together to assess and address the mental and emotional needs of our guests, each organization offering the best of its resources to assist the vulnerable populations of adults and children impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

For those displaced by Hurricane Harvey, a helpful general list of resources—such as shelter, food, flood claim assistance, and real-time flood information can be found here. There is also information on how to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

As we always have, NAMI Austin will be a source of hope and help in the community by providing resources, information and support. Join us in our work by accessing and sharing these resources:

Helplines

  • Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a–year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Crisis Text Line offers free 24/7 crisis support via text message. Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • NAMI HelpLine is a free service that provides information, referrals and support to people living with a mental health condition, family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public. The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., ET. The number is 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
  • Magellan Crisis Line is a 24-hour crisis line for all residents of Texas. The toll-free number to access free, confidential counseling services is 1-800-327-7451.

Digital Fact Sheets

I have yet to encounter anyone in this community who doesn’t have a family member or friend impacted by this devastating storm. It is inspiring and heartwarming to see the time, resources and energy our community is offering to address this crisis.

At NAMI, we remind caregivers that the race to recovery is not a sprint, but a marathon. We must take care of ourselves along the course so we have the energy to cross the finish line. Take breaks. Monitor your own physical and emotional health. Ask for help when you need it (because no one does this work alone!). Lastly, thank you for being a source of hope, help and healing in our community. I am Texan proud!


Executive Director

Maintaining good mental health practices during a natural disaster can be vital to the recovery process. This is also true of recovery workers who often suffer from secondary trauma during major disaster events. We have compiled just a few of the best resources that we’ve found for those recovering from or responding to a natural disaster.

Helplines

  • Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a–year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Crisis Text Line offers free 24/7 crisis support via text message. Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • NAMI HelpLine is a free service that provides information, referrals and support to people living with a mental health condition, family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public. The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., ET. The number is 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
  • Magellan Crisis Line is a 24-hour crisis line for all residents of Texas. The toll-free number to access free, confidential counseling services is 1-800-327-7451.

Digital Fact Sheets

Integral Care, a longtime NAMI Austin community partner, was awarded a grant by St. David’s Foundation to expand their Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training program and are now offering weekly classes to the community. MHFA is a one-day training that teaches people how to help someone who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or showing signs of mental illness or substance use disorder. Just like CPR can save someone who can’t breathe or is having a heart attack, MHFA can save a life.

Register for MHFA.

featuring

Rose McCorkle, M.Ed.
Mental Health Educator and Advocate

Monday, July 24 | 6:30-8:00 p.m.
(Meet & greet at 6:30 with event beginning at 6:45)
Austin State Hospital Nifty-Fifty Diner LOCATION CHANGED (7/18)
4110 Guadalupe St. (map
)

For many people seeking much needed disability benefits, the process of applying can be daunting. Join NAMI Austin at our monthly community event to learn more about the basics of disability benefits, including the application process, gathering and organizing documentation and tips on submitting a thorough and effective application.

NAMI Community Meetings are free and open to the public. Please share this event and invite a friend to learn about this topic and NAMI Austin.

 

Can Your Phone Help You Manage Your Mental Health? 
Using technology to build positive outcomes

featuring

Dr. Gloria Oyeniyi
Psychiatrist at Seton Mind Institute

Dr. Elizabeth Truong
Clinical Lead at Cloud 9 – technology for psychology

Monday, June 26 | 6:30-8:00 p.m.
(Meet & greet at 6:30 with event beginning at 6:45)
Austin State Hospital Nifty-Fifty Diner (Canteen)
4110 Guadalupe (
map)
Add to Calendar: iCalendar  •  Google Calendar  •  Outlook •  Yahoo! Calendar

Managing mental health issues has changed considerably in the last 10 years with the advent of the modern smartphone. Today, applications make it easy to track, analyze and react to trends in sleep, diet, exercise, medication and more. Apps can help us see how those all can affect mental health treatment and recovery. Join NAMI Austin as we discuss why it’s important to track physical and emotional changes, how technology can help, and what to look for when choosing an app.

NAMI Community Meetings are free and open to the public. Please share this event and invite a friend to learn about this topic and about NAMI Austin.