Winter Newsletter I


Upcoming Classes

Dates: 01/13/2015 to 03/31/2015​

Times: 6:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

​Location: Education Wing, Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital, 5801 Bremo Rd., Richmond, VA 23226

Dates: 01/15/2015 to 03/19/2015​

Times: 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Location: Bosher Auditorium, Chippenham Hospital, 7101 Jahnke Rd., Richmond, VA 23225

Facilitator Trainings':
NAMI Parents & Teachers As Allies and Ending the Silence

Dates: 2/7/2015, 2/8/2015 from 9:00 until approximately 6:00 P.M.

Location TBD

The NAMI Central Virginia 2013-2014 Annual Report will be distributed to the membership within the month of January.

A Message From the President
New Years Resolutions

This time of year everyone starts talking about their New Year’s resolutions. Often, resolutions revolve around eating habits, exercise schedule, weight loss and how people spend their free time. How about making a resolution to get involved with NAMI Central Virginia?   

NAMI Central Virginia (NAMI-CVA) is blessed to have a growing membership, but NAMI-CVA can always use more help to accomplish our many tasks. The more teachers, facilitators and support people NAMI-CVA has, the more NAMI-CVA programs can expand. NAMI-CVA provides training to folks interested in teaching or mentoring Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, Basics and other programs to make sure they are equipped to handle the role. Is training or mentoring your skill set?

Another great way to get involved, meet others, and learn how NAMI-CVA operates is to become a committee member. Are you interested in becoming a committee member? 

Throughout the year NAMI-CVA hosts events or works at special events. NAMI-CVA needs members to help at local events. Types of events include Health Fairs, Golf Tournament, NAMI Walk, and other activities the Board of Directors chooses to endorse. Maybe working on special events is your calling?  If you want to pursue a volunteer or committee service opportunity, please call Jeff Conley at the office (804-285-1749).

If you are unable to participate in any of the previously mentioned activities, how about making a personal commitment to attend monthly General Meetings?  Aside from a short break during the summer, NAMI-CVA hosts interesting speakers at every meeting. General Meeting speakers share their experiences and knowledge to assist others with mental health matters. At each General Meeting, attendees meet and engage with old NAMI friends and make new ones as well! General Meeting participants gain knowledge and support through fellowship with one another. Will you make your resolution to attend General Meetings? General Meetings are held the second Thursday of each month, 7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center on Monument Ave. Call the office or check out NAMI-CVA's website to get more information: 

I hope your 2015 is a wonderful year and that you make a decision to get more involved with NAMI Central 
Virginia. NAMI Central Virginia continues to grow and enhance the programs and supports we provide. NAMI-CVA is blessed with members willing to help the cause!

Rick Stuller
January General Meeting 
Thursday, Jan 8th

featuring a presentation by:

Delegate Kirk Cox, 66th District--Chesterfield/Colonial Heights,
House Majority Leader

"Mental Health Issues in the 2015 General Assembly"

Meeting Location:

New NAMI-CVA Board of Directors    

As 2014 comes to an end, the 2015 NAMI-CVA Board of Directors prepares to take the reins. 

Five current members of the NAMI Central Virginia Board will be rolling off at the beginning of 2015. NAMI Central Virginia extends a huge Thank-You to these individuals for their devotion to improving the lives of those living with mental illness and their families:

Rick Stuller, President
Laura Lank,1st Vice President
Bill Schmidt, 2nd Vice President
Lt. Cindy Wood 
Betty Miller

Thank you for your dedication and years of service!

The following elected board members will begin their term on January 8th:

Vince Cammarata, President
Mike Francisco, 1st Vice President (re-elected)
Darryl Matthews
Jennifer Dishman
Rev. Arcelia ‘C.C.’ Jackson
Teresa Shuk
Rev. Dr. Gabriella Caldwell-Miller

The NAMI-CVA Board of Directors is responsible for making executive decisions concerning the operation of NAMI-CVA. 

NAMI CVA Holiday Party & Gifts
NAMI Central Virginia held its annual Holiday Party on the evening of December 4th, 2014. Thanks to a huge outpouring of support from NAMI-CVA members and a generous contribution from the Richmond Christmas Mother, the 2014 Holiday Party was a great success. Over 100 people gathered at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center for a great time of fellowship and an extravagant holiday event. The night was full of great food, games, and the spirit of giving! 

NAMI-CVA Holiday Party guests were provided with a wholesome chicken dinner. There was an abundance of additional dishes including a variety of vegetables, pasta's, salad's, breads, and last but certainly not least, desserts galore! The meal was followed by Bingo.  

Traditionally, NAMI-CVA members come together and donate small holiday gifts at the holiday party to be distributed to consumers. This year was no exception. Small gifts and $5 gift cards were delivered to over 60 consumers living in the community, more than ever before. The donated gifts were taken to locations such as the Sycamore Center in Petersburg, Gateway Homes, Guardian Light Adult Home, and Another Level of Quality Care. 

A huge thank you to Marie Parker and Tina Bishop for distributing the wonderful gifts provided by NAMI-CVA members and the Christmas Mother. Another huge thank you to everyone who contributed to make the holidays brighter for so many people!
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Advocacy Day

NAMI Virginia will be hosting the 2015 Advocacy Day on January 19th.  Advocacy Day is an event where consumers and their families meet with legislators, meet other advocates, exchange stories, and enjoy a breakfast.

For more information or to register, please click here to view the Advocacy Day page on the NAMI Virginia website.

Date: January 19th, 2015

Time: 9 A.M. to 2 P.M.

Location: Virginia General Assembly Building,

1000 Bank St.,

Richmond, VA 23218

The General Assembly Bldg. is on the corner of Broad St. and 9th St.

The Event will start in the 7th Floor West Conference Room

An Evening at the Bowling Alley with Deep Run HS
For the last eight years, Deep Run High School has held a  successful fundraiser known as the "Deep Run Annual Marathon Dance."  The Dance is a 27-hour celebration resulting from students collecting money for charities that affect the community. Since the inception of this event, Deep Run has raised $1.3 million! This year, the students will select twelve organizations to receive money from the Dance Marathon. 

The process for selecting charities is quite extensive; this year there were over 80 applicants, of which sixty were considered for further review. One of those sixty is NAMI Central Virginia!

NAMI Central Virginia's staff and a small group of members have been participating in several events leading up to the dance marathon. These "lead up" events allow NAMI-CVA members to meet the student committee members responsible for choosing charities. Pictured here are some highlights from the evening of December 11th at the Short Pump BowlAmerica. The entire alley was rented out so that each charity could bowl on their own lane with a student committee member. The NAMI Central Virginia team made a lot of new friends, shared tons of information about NAMI-CVA programs and the mission, and even met some young people interested in volunteering!  
        CBS 6 Healthy Lifestyle Expo
      Volunteers Needed!

NAMI Central Virginia will return to the CBS 6  Healthy Lifestyle Expo on January 31st.  This is one of the larger (if not the largest) health fairs in the Central Virginia community. The event will feature information and workshops on fitness, athletics, cooking, safety, stress, and more.  Health screenings will also be available at the event.

NAMI Central Virginia needs plenty of volunteers to man the NAMI-CVA booth and distribute information as CBS 6 is expecting around 4,000 attendees. If you are interested in volunteering for a portion of the day, please contact the office at 804-285-1749 or email us at  

Date: Saturday, January 31st, 2015
Time: 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Location: The Greater Richmond Convention Center 
403 North 3rd Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Grand Rounds Presentation
on Youth Trauma
 Presented by Ryo Maruyama, Ph.D.
Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellow
Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC)

The Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University holds a series of lectures known as VCU Grand Rounds. These presentations occur throughout the year and are open to the public. Grand Rounds covers a huge array of topics related to psychology, mental health, and behavioral therapies.

The topic of the December 5th presentation was "Prevalence of Trauma in Children and Adolescents Admitted to the Acute Psychiatric Hospital at Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC)."

The lecture provided a wealth of information, beginning with a breakdown of the demographics; who is coming into the VTCC? Dr. Maruyama shared that in the period ranging from August to October 2014, the VTCC admitted 277 patients between the ages of 4-17. Of the 277 admitted,152 were female and 125 were male (55% and 45%, respectively). 

Dr. Maruyama offered insight to challenges related to the prevalence of youth-trauma. Information offered suggests that there is reason to believe that many parents/guardians will under-report traumatic events or domestic issues, out of fear that they will be investigated, stigmatized for bad parenting, etc. Also discussed were cultural and generational viewpoints on what is considered 'trauma.' Much of the discussion centered on 'corporal punishment' for bad behavior such as spanking or flogging with a stick. 

One way that the VTCC is able to gauge the prevalence of trauma in the area is through a Trauma Patient Questionnaire (TPQ) which is administered to all incoming patients. This questionnaire provides the staff with a solid foundation of data that can be analyzed along with data collected at the time of discharge. Dr. Maruyama shared some insight as to what a high score on the TPQ correlates to; more trauma and increased length of stay at the Treatment Center. 

The data from VTCC was compared to national averages drawn from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study conducted by the Center For Disease Control. On the whole, the local data collected is fairly consistent with national averages. The prevalence of youth-trauma at the VTCC resonates closely with the national figures from the ACE study. This is also true for the data on different types of trauma experienced. The VTCC will continue to use the TPQ and other methods to collect data and analyze the prevalence of trauma in children in the coming years.