JUNE 2020
Welcome to June, 2020 the flowers are gorgeous and our neighborhoods are humming with life. Despite the grief we feel at so many lost unjustly to the system, the massive upheaval and change we are all experiencing, there are still plenty of ways to connect with our family and friends, and to check in with those who are hit the hardest at this time. We hope you and yours are well today.

If you need anything; resources, information, or just to say hello, call us at 360-695-2823 or email

The nation has been rocked with protests the last few days. Just as life was beginning to feel like we could all take a deep breath and begin to figure out our new place in it, another virus took hold. This one is old; we should have figured out the cure long before now.

People are angry, hurt, and tired of having to continue fighting ignorance and...


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NAMI's Statement on our country's Racist incidents

May 29, 2020
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today released the following statement from CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., regarding recent racist incidents across the country and their impact on mental health:
“The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored.
Our nation’s African American community is going through an extremely painful experience, pain that has been inflicted upon this community repeatedly throughout history and is magnified by mass media and repeated deaths. We stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones senselessly due to racism. And, with more than 100,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic - disproportionately from minority communities - these recent deaths add gasoline to the fire of injustice.
While there is much we need to do to address racism in our country, we must not forget the importance of mental health as we do so. Racism is a public health crisis.
As the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, it is our responsibility to serve all. While as an organization we are still early in our intentional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey and have much to do, we have renewed our commitment to our values. We continue to strive to deliver help and hope to all who need it."
Our trained counselors are here to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 
Visit The Trevor Project
We appreciate all of the support you've given us at this year's NAMIWalks Your Way event! We are appreciative of everything you do to support mental health for all. We wouldn't be able to do what we do without you! 

Our team page can be found here!

Seeking Better LGBTQ Mental Health

Depression is an important issue in the LGBTQ community.

We believe there isn’t a more important time than Pride Month–observed in June to recognize the contributions of LGBTQ individuals on our shared history–to talk about depression and its impact.

LGBTQ individuals are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression compared to heterosexual individuals. Approximately 31% of LGBTQ older adults report depressive symptoms and 39% report serious thoughts of taking their own lives. NAMI suggests the “fear of coming out and being discriminated against for sexual orientation and gender identities, can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, thoughts of suicide and substance abuse.”

These are more than just statistics; there are very human stories behind them. One of our team members, John-Michael Criswell, recently shared his reason for becoming a mental health advocate:

“I first became interested in the GeneSight® test after a string of suicides rocked my world. My first and only close friend in Lexington, Kentucky took his own life the same month that I began the interview process. I know he tried and failed multiple medications and struggled with bipolar depression, but he gave up out of frustration…

 It was at that moment when my job of selling cardiovascular testing became meaningless. The mental health space was where I knew I wanted to work and learn. The GeneSight test could have helped him.

 Since starting here, I have a conviction to help solve the crisis – especially in my own community.”

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SSI, SSDI, and Disability Resources Support

My name is Cindy Falter.  I am a Peer Counselor at NAMI Southwest Washington. I can help you with Social Security Disability Work Incentives, State Disability questions, resources and paperwork. I have been working in this area for almost a decade now and continue to keep up with the constant changes in the system.
Many people I speak with do not know the difference between SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). Many are confused about which one they have or are eligible for. I can help you figure that out. The incentives for SSI and SSDI are different. If you do not know which one you have or receive paperwork you do not understand, I will help you sort it all out. If you are unsure if you have SSI or SSDI or if you are eligible to work, call me! There are some great work incentives that we can discuss.
You might be able to get Medicaid added to your Medicare with the possibility of no medical bills, a small premium in most cases, and no Medicare premium. It includes extended insurance even after your SSI checks stop. You could be eligible for more than you are aware of. I would love to talk with you about your benefits and how you might maximize them. I love to answer questions; there is no dumb question and I will answer as many questions as you have.
Call me at (360) 695-2823 ext.106. Please leave a message with your name, number, and the best time to return your call. It is important for you to understand your SSI or SSDI and how working might impact them.

There are jobs out there that you can do. Delivery drivers, Amazon, and grocery stores are hiring. Call me and we will sort it all out!

Best of health to you,
Cindy Falter
360-695-2823 ext.106

Celebrities are talking more about their own mental health. It’s helping — even if it’s complicated.

Demi Lovato leaned into the microphone. “I tried to talk to my piano,” she sang softly, stopping as she broke into tears. It was her first performance since she suffered a drug overdose in 2018. The audience — gathered in Los Angeles’s Staples Center last month for the Grammy Awards — applauded as Lovato took a deep breath and restarted “Anyone,” the intensely personal ballad she wrote just days before the overdose nearly took her life. Lovato’s tears returned when she finished the song.

There was no need for Lovato to explain the emotions behind that moment — the singer has talked for years about her battles with bipolar disorder, substance abuse and eating disorders. That honesty made Lovato a “pioneer” when it comes to celebrities opening up about mental health, said Katrina Gay, director of strategic partnerships for the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

It’s a space that largely didn’t exist in 2012 when Lovato first shared, in an MTV documentary, that she had struggled for years with self-harm, anorexia, bulimia and drug and alcohol abuse, even as she courted increasing fame as one of the Disney Channel’s marquee talents.

Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness, according to a 2017 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Experts say talking openly about mental health can help break down stigmas that persist around depression, addiction, eating disorders and other issues.

“Research has told us that the best way to change someone’s beliefs around mental illness is to have a direct contact with someone who has a mental illness that you relate to,” Gay said. Because social media has lessened the degrees of separation, celebrities — with highly visible platforms and fans who look up to them — can be particularly influential when they share their stories. But opening up about these serious, sometimes deadly, illnesses can come with its own set of challenges.

Lovato, 27, has repeatedly emphasized that her recovery is ongoing. In an interview released Tuesday on model Ashley Graham’s podcast, she said she continues to educate herself on how to talk about the issues that affect her. “When I make mistakes, it’s important that I own up to them right away and am vulnerable with it and say ‘hey, I don’t know about certain things’ or ‘you’re right, I should have been more educated on this topic,’ ” Lovato said. “But it’s just about being real. And if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it.”

Taylor Swift attends the premiere of “Miss Americana” during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23.
Taylor Swift attends the premiere of “Miss Americana” during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift recently opened up about her history with disordered eating as part of her uncharacteristically candid Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” released last month.

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Support Groups


and their Zoom Meeting ID's.
Connect online or call in.

Women’s Support Group
Every Wednesday, June 3, 10, 17, 24
10:00 - 11:30 AM

Zoom link:

Hearing Voices Network
Every Wednesday, June 3, 10, 17, 24
2:30 - 4:00 PM

Zoom link:

STRivE Class
Every Thursday, June 4, 11, 18, 25
1:00 - 2:30 PM

Zoom link:

Connection Recovery Support Group
Every Thursday, June 4, 11, 18, 25
3:00 - 4:30 PM

Zoom link:

Thursday Afternoon Family Support Group
Every Thursday, June 4, 11, 18, 25
3:00 - 4:30 PM

Zoom link:

Tuesday Evening Family Support Group
1st Tuesday of the month, June 2
6:30 - 8:00 PM

Zoom link:

Thursday Evening Family Support Group
2nd Thursday of the month, June 11
6:30 - 8:00 PM

Zoom link:

Tuesday Evening Family Support Group
3rd Tuesday of the month, June 16
6:30 - 8:00 PM

Zoom link:

Thursday Evening Family Support Group
4th Thursday of the month, June 25
6:30 - 8:00 PM

Zoom link:

Creative Writing for Wellness
Every Friday, June 5, 12, 19, 26
12:00 - 1:30 PM

Zoom link:


June 2020 Southwest Washington Events


Click here for the
Portland Metro Area Calendar

Includes all NAMI Multnomah, NAMI Clackamas, NAMI Washington County, and NAMI SW WA support groups and educational classes.
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