Dear NAMI-Central Virginia Member,

Greetings from NAMI Central Virginia! As the Thanksgiving holiday comes to a close, NAMI-CVA sure has a lot to be thankful for! This edition of the newsletter will highlight a bit of those, as well as some opportunities to give back and spread cheer this holiday season!
Mental Health News

Letter from the President

Dear Members,

Many thanks to all those came out and supported the NAMIWALK on October 18th.  It was a beautiful day, a great crowd and lots of fun for those participating.  I hope everyone enjoyed the exercise and 
camaraderie with the many others that were there.

As the holidays approach, we still have a lot going on with NAMI Central Virginia events. Ray's Friends had their annual Thanksgiving gathering on Saturday Nov 22 hosted by Chris and Lynn DiChristina. We will have our annual Holiday Party on Thursday December 4th at the JCC. This is always a large gathering each year, a great time to get out, have a great meal and visit with your NAMI friends.

Thanks to Alisa and Tom Roberts, we are involved with this year's Deep Run High School Charity Marathon Dance. We will be putting a team in their charity Bowling event. This effort can bring much mental health awareness and the support NAMI Central Virginia can offer to the many students and parents involved in this large event.

We should be very grateful we have been able to grow and spread our message to many who are looking for help in Central Virginia. We can continue on this upward trajectory, by getting more people involved and working together with good leadership.

Happy Holidays,
Rick Stuller
Volunteer Recognition &
New NAMI-CVA Board of Directors    

At the November general meeting, NAMI-CVA recognized several members that volunteer for the organization, including members of the board that are retiring at the end of this year. Ribbons and pens were handed out to those that volunteer within any number of areas, including health fairs, programs, and assisting in the office.

Four program volunteers received awards from NAMI National’s Education Department Hall of Fame: Wally Hogue, Darryl Matthews, Gina Bennett, and Paula Harstad. These four individuals received framed-certificates for their tenure as NAMI Program Facilitators.

The five retiring members of the NAMI Central Virginia Board of Directors were also given special recognition. NAMI-CVA thanks the following individuals for their time and devotion to improving the lives of those living with mental illness and their families: President Rick Stuller, 1st VP Laura Lank, 2nd VP Bill Schmidt, Lt. Cindy Wood who does work with Crisis Intervention Team Training (C.I.T.), and Betty Miller, who chairs Consumer Education and handles the NAMI-CVA Warmline.

That very same evening, six new Board Directors were elected. These new Directors will begin their terms in January:

Darryl Matthews
Jennifer Dishman
Rev. Arcelia ‘C.C.’ Jackson
Teresa Shuk
Mike Francisco
Gabriella Caldwell-Miller

The NAMI-CVA Board of Directors is responsible for making many important high-level decisions that affect how NAMI-CVA operates.  The newly-elected Directors will have the opportunity to oversee a specific area of NAMI-CVA’s activities in the local community. 2015 will be a great year for NAMI-CVA to make an even bigger difference in Central Virginia.  A huge thanks to all of our Board Members, past, present and future, for devoting so much time, energy, and love into everything that NAMI-CVA is about!

Fundraising Opportunities!
NAMI Central Virginia  (NAMI-CVA) is excited to announce several opportunities to raise funds for mental health programs. In addition to events like the NAMI Walk and the NAMI-CVA Annual Golf Tournament, there are a number of ways to financially strengthen our affiliate. Here are some of the ways you can get involved. Please share with others!
Do you shop online, especially during the holiday season? Do you shop at NAMI Central Virginia is enrolled in the Amazon Smile Program!

With Amazon Smile, shoppers that have registered with NAMI Central Virginia as their non-profit of choice will have .5% of their total purchase donated. Eligible products include most physical products sold on This excludes digital music/video downloads and Kindle e-book downloads.

Haven’t registered on Amazon Smile yet? Don’t worry, it only takes a minute! Simply visit our Amazon Smile Page, or click the Amazon Smile "Get Started" image above to register and start donating!

Kroger Plus-Card Community Rewards!

Once again, NAMI Central Virginia is participating in the Kroger Community Rewards Program! Shopping at Kroger? Register your Kroger Plus-Card online, and help raise money simply by purchasing groceries!
  • Visit with your Plus Card ready
  • Click “Sign Up”, or “New Customer?” to register
  • Fill in the required information. You will receive a confirmation email to activate your account
  • Once activated, you can search for our affiliate by typing in “NAMI Central Virginia” or search our NPO #, which is 83261
  • Once registered, you should see NAMI Central Virginia pop up on your Kroger page. You’re done!
If you require assistance with these steps, don’t hesitate to call the office at 804-285-1749!

Crowdfunding Campaigns!

2014 will be the first year that NAMI Central Virginia participates in Crowdfunding. What is crowdfunding, you ask? Simply put, Crowdfunding is fundraising done through an online donation service, allowing individuals and non-profits to raise funds from people across the world. Crowdfunding campaigns benefit NAMI-CVA the most when shared on social media and email. 

NAMI-Central Virginia is now live on the following Crowdfunding sites:

...and CVA will soon launch campaigns on these Crowdfunding sites:

  • Pozible
  • Kickstarter
  • Crowdrise

Each site has a different “flavor” allowing people to donate to specific causes or projects. Check out some of our Campaigns and share them with friends
Holiday Party

The NAMI Central Virginia annual holiday party will be held on December 4th at the
Jewish Community Center from 6 PM – 8 PM. The party will feature food, fellowship with friends, and holiday fun! Look for your invitation in the mail in the near future. 
Volunteers are needed to serve food. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the office at 804-285-1749 or

Donations for the Sycamore Center
This year, NAMI Central Virginia will be collecting gifts for consumers at the Sycamore Center, a psychosocial clubhouse in Petersburg. Donations can be dropped off at the annual holiday party on December 4th. Please pay attention to the list of items below that are needed (acceptable) and not allowed. Thank you in advance for your donations!

Not Allowed
• No candles
• No glass containers (i.e., no nail polish, etc.)
• No perishable food (gifts are not delivered for up to 4 days)

• Playing cards
• Board games such as checkers
• Toiletries (shampoo, aftershave lotion, sanitizer – plastic bottles ONLY)
• Note paper or cards
• Art supplies or magic markers, pens, or pencils
• Hair bands/ribbons/clips
• Candy that does not melt
• Knit hats
• Gloves/socks size large or XL
• Scarves
• Wallets or change purses
• Flashlights with batteries
• Holiday door decorations
• Holiday jewelry
• Holiday men’s neck ties
• Picture frames (No glass)
• Novelty food items (again, non-perishable only)
• Disposable cameras
• Photo albums
• Greetings cards
• Tissues (boxes and pocket packets)
• New books (paperbacks and crossword puzzle)
• Teas and coffee
• Flip flops/slippers, sizes Large and XL
• Gift cards for $5
Peer-to-Peer 2015

There will be a new Peer-to-Peer class early in 2015.

Where: Bosher Auditorium at Chippenham Hospital
7101 Janke Rd, Richmond, VA 23233
When: Every Thursday from January 15th - March 19th from 6-8 P.M.

Peer-to-Peer is a free 10-week course taught by individuals living with a mental illness who have completed special training as mentors for others in recovery.  The course includes education on individual empowerment, family and peer support, relapse prevention, communication skills, advanced directives, mindfulness exercises, and more. Peer-to-Peer provides tangible resources, survival skills for working with providers and the general public, exercises to help focus and calm thinking, and a “relapse prevention plan” to help identify feelings, thoughts, behavior, or events that may warn of impending relapse and to prepare ways to cope before they are needed. The class follows a structured format, in a confidential setting, providing emotional support, information and resources, and coping skills. ​
Parents and Teachers and Ending the Silence

NAMI Central Virginia is actively recruiting for two new programs, Parents and Teachers and Ending the Silence.  The upcoming training will be taking place in early 2015.  If you are interested in participating, please contact the office at 804-285-1749 or email  

Below is more detailed information on both programs.

Ending the Silence

Ending the Silence is a program that aims to educate high school students on mental illness and related issues.  The program is taught typically to a high school science or psychology class and is run by trained presenters that include a young adult in recovery.

In order to have this program placed in the community, NAMI-CVA needs to train people that fit the following roles:

Lead Presenter - An adult who is either a family member or an individual living in recovery with a mental illness.
Young Adult Presenter - An adult (ideally 18-35) who is living in recovery and can relate well to youth ages 13-18.

Parents and Teachers as Allies (P&TasA)

Parents and Teachers as Allies focuses on teaching parents and teachers about the early warning signs of mental illness in order to help get those with mental illness into early treatment. P&TasA focuses on the specific age-related symptoms of mental illness in youth. The program lasts two hours, and aims to help schools communicate with families when issues arise. 

In order to have this program placed in the community, NAMI-CVA needs to train people that fit the following roles:

An educational professional, who is also a family member.
A parent or caregiver of a child with mental illness.
A mental health consumer that experienced the early onset of mental illness, usually before age 18.

December Health Fair
There will be a CVC Charity fair in December!

Date and Time: December 16, 2014, 10 a. m. – 1 p. m. Location: James Monroe Building, Downtown Richmond​

NAMI Central Virginia needs volunteers to man the booth and distribute information, as well as answer questions about NAMI programs.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the office at 804-285-1749 or email us at
Upcoming Class: NAMI Hearts & Minds

NAMI Hearts & Minds is an educational wellness initiative promoting the idea of wellness in both mind and body. The program focuses on additional physical health risks that individuals living with mental illness may face, as well as developing wellness plans to curb those risks. Those living with mental illness, traditionally, have been at higher risk for things such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other physical impairments. Knowing these risks and what can be done to minimize them can vastly improve overall health!

The Hearts & Minds program will be presented in four separate sessions. Jeff Conley will be facilitating the program along with one or two health professional guest speakers. Hearts & Minds is offered free of charge but registration is required!

Where: NAMI-CVA Office
              1904 Byrd Ave., Suite 207
               Richmond, VA 23230
When:  Mondays from 3:00 – 4:00 P.M.
              December 8th—December 29th
For more information or to register, call Jeff at the NAMI-CVA Office, 804-285-1749.
50 Street Name., New York, N.Y. 11013  |   Call us @ 212.555.3629