Spring Newsletter II
Pictured above: Dr. Kenneth Kendler speaking at the NAMI-CVA Awards Banquet
In this Issue:

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Hello NAMI Central Virginia Family! By the time you receive this newsletter, spring will have officially arrived and the brutal cold and ominous weather in January, February and March is now history. Our new board (in collaboration with our full time staff) has been aggressively, efficiently and effectively strategizing to continue serving NAMI-CVA members and the community with the utmost achievements. This is clearly evident by our organizations administration of the many programs serving our members and community. I would be remiss if I also did not recognize the other members of our organization, not serving on the board, that tirelessly contribute untold hours in support of our mission.

I am excited to report that the board authorized and approved our full time staff (Kathy and Jeff) to attend the 2015 NAMI National Convention in San Francisco, California. This convention will comprise of four days of learning about new research, services, policy initiatives, recovery strategies and much more. The program begins on Monday, July 6 and ends with the closing night banquet on Thursday, July 9.  Also, there will be over 20 world-renowned mental health professionals speaking throughout the event on varied and diverse topics concerning current mental health issues and challenges.

In closing, I want to remind everyone that you are not alone in times of crisis. Your NAMI Central Virginia family is here!

All my best,
Vince Cammarata

Thursday, May 7th at 7:00
Note: this is the first Thursday in May

Featuring a presentation by
Larry Barnett, Chief of Chesterfield Emergency Services

Presentation Topic:
"Emergency Mental Health Services and CIT in Chesterfield"

The NAMI Central Virginia Annual Golf Tournament is less than a month away! Each year, NAMI Central Virginia holds the Annual Golf Tournament as a fun way to promote mental health programs in our region, raise funds, and reduce stigma. The tournament is hosted by the Country Club at the Highlands in Chesterfield. Golfers compete for a slew of wonderful prizes and enjoy a delicious lunch and dinner.  ​

There is still time to register for a team or sponsorship! Click here for the registration & sponsorship form. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to support NAMI Central Virginia programs by playing a great game of golf!   

When: Monday, May 18th
Where: The Country Club at the Highlands
8136 Highland Glen Drive, Chesterfield, VA 23838

Registration begins at 11:30
Tee time is 1:00 P.M. 
NAMI-CVA is in need of two members to serve on the Nominating Committee. This committee assists in the selection of candidates for next year's Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee presents their selections to the current Board of Directors for a vote. 

If interested in joining the Nominating Committee, please contact Board Director Amanda Simons at simonsar@vcu.edu. 
The 2nd Annual NAMI Central Virginia Awards Banquet took place on April 16th, 2015. That evening, over 140 individuals came to the Banquet. The first part of the evening was the Awards Ceremony, where six individuals/groups were recognized for their contributions to mental health in Central Virginia. Keynote speaker Dr. Kenneth Kendler gave a compelling presentation following the Awards Ceremony. Dr. Kendler outlined some of the latest findings in research linking genetics to mental illness and engaged the audience in a question and answer session. Pictured below are some highlights from the evening. 

John Randolph Medical Center received the NAMI Central Virginia Distinguished Community Partner Award. Shown in the picture is  NAMI-CVA Board Secretary Keith Kittinger presenting the award to Kristen Eichert, Director of Behavioral Health Outreach at the JRMC.

Kirk Morton, RNC of Richmond Behavioral Health Authority received the NAMI Central Virginia Mental Health Service Award. Shown in the picture is NAMI-CVA Board Director Rev. Arcelia Jackson presenting the award to Kirk Morton.

Sergeant Shane Waite of the Richmond City Police Dept. received the NAMI Central Virginia CIT Officer of the Year Award. Shown in the picture is NAMI-CVA Family-to-Family trainer Pat Francisco presenting the award to Sergeant Waite. 

Lieutenant Cindy Wood of the Henrico County Police Department received the NAMI Central Virginia Outstanding Contribution Award. Shown in the picture is NAMI-CVA Board Director Howard Twilley presenting the award to Lieutenant Wood.

Family-to-Family mentor Pat Stewart (L) received the NAMI Central Virginia Volunteer Champion Recognition Award. Shown in the picture is former NAMI-CVA Board Director Laura Lank (R) presenting the award to Mrs. Stewart. 
The Chesterfield County Crisis Intervention Team (C.I.T.) Taskforce received the NAMI Central Virginia Members' Choice Award. Pictured from left to right is Captain Brad Badgerow from Chesterfield Police, Larry Barnett, Chief of Chesterfield Emergency Services, and NAMI-CVA Program Coordinator Jeff Conley.   

Keynote speaker Dr. Kenneth Kendler (L) shaking hands with NAMI-CVA 1st Vice President Mike Francisco (R) at the conclusion of the evening.
Mental health certainly doesn't take breaks throughout the year, but May is a month full of community engagements surrounding the topic. There are a handful of local events coming up that will serve to educate the public about mental health, NAMI, and various sources of support. For additional information regarding any of these events, please call the NAMI-CVA office at 804-285-1749.

  • May 4 - VCU/MCV Mental Health Day sponsored by the  Virginia Treatment Center for Children. The event lasts from 11 A.M. - 2 P.M. at  'The Learning Center' within MCV.

  • May 16th - "My Feelings Are a Work of Art," health fair sponsored by RBHA and the VCU Department for African American Studies. The fair will occur from 11 A.M. until 3 P.M. at the Peter Paul Development Center, 1708 N. 22nd St. in Richmond.

  • May 16 - 17 - Mental Health Awareness Fair in Petersburg, hosted by VFW Post #622. The fair will be held from 3:00 P.M. until 6:30 P.M. both days, at 1925 Johnson Rd. in Petersburg

  • May 26 - "Moving Beyond the Broken Places" - Chesterfield Recovery Conference. This event will occur at the Sheraton Hotel at 9901 Midlothian Tpke in N. Chesterfield from 9 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. Several speakers and breakout sessions will be featured.
Nothing could be accomplished at NAMI-CVA without the hard work of the dedicated program volunteers! On June 27th, NAMI Virginia will be hosting an Adult & Family Program Volunteer Appreciation and Refresher. 
This will be a fun-filled day that's all about Adult & Family programs including Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, In Our Own Voice, NAMI Connection, and NAMI Family Support Group. There will be small breakout sessions with state trainers for specific programs, followed by an afternoon group activity. 

  • Buff the rust off your volunteer skills - mentor, facilitator, teacher, & presenter!
  • Expand your range of tools and strategies to improve your program efforts
  • Celebrate the difference we've made in Central Virginia!
  • Connect with passionate program peers from around the state
  • Enjoy a day full of learning and fellowship!

Program refreshers are excellent. All program volunteers are encouraged to attend. The official agenda and registration will be released soon. Stay tuned!
Now there is a new, hassle-free method to donate to NAMI-CVA! Pledge Direct is a great way to give the same amount every month. Your gift arrives automatically through electronic funds transfer from your checking account or credit or debit card.  Pledge Direct saves time and money with no more stamps, checks, remembering, or worries! Contact or visit the NAMI-CVA office today for information on Pledge Direct giving. Help open a door that was once opened for you! We can be reached at 804-285-1749 by phone, at info@namicentralvirginia.org by email, or by mail at the address below:

NAMI Central Virginia
P.O. Box 18086
Richmond, VA 23226-8086
On June 6th, NAMI Virginia will hold its Annual State Convention at the Crowne Plaza in Downtown Richmond. Don't miss out on a great opportunity to attend a fantastic event! ​​The Convention will feature top quality presenters on a wide range of topics, excellent networking opportunities, and a chance for NAMI members to vote on nominees for the NAMI Virginia Board.

The 2015 NAMI National Convention is right around the corner. NAMI affiliates and a variety of mental health partners from around the country will convene in San Francisco, CA the week of July 6th-9th. Some highlights of the Convention are as follows: 

  • The country’s keenest minds and savviest policymakers 
  • Abundant networking opportunities 
  • Top-notch researchers and clinicians providing information and tools 
  • Inspiration, innovation, and an exhilarating four days in beautiful San Francisco

Howard Twilley is the man of the month in the May Volunteer Spotlight! Howard and his wife, Evelyn have been members of NAMI-CVA since December 2012 Howard began serving on the NAMI-CVA Board of Directors in January 2014, and has since been in charge of fundraising for the affiliate.

Howard has worked tirelessly reaching out to local businesses regarding the Golf Tournament. His door-to-door outreach has resulted in a huge variety of prize donations. He has been instrumental in rounding up volunteers for the event as well. 

Howard serves in several other areas beyond his Board duties. He and his wife volunteer at numerous health fairs throughout the year. They also assist in co-facilitating the Family Support Group at Bon Air Baptist Church along with Paula Harstad. He continually makes himself available to transport members to General Meetings and special events like the Awards Banquet. Howard participated in the Amazing Raise last year thanking donors in real-time via email, and also put together a Virtual Walk Team at the NAMI Walk last year. 

A huge thanks goes out to Howard from NAMI-CVA for all of his efforts!