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This is our first NAMI Jax e-news update!  We are planning to send either a traditional newsletter or Mailchimp blast (like this one) every other month.  The goal is to stay connected with you, and inform everyone of the exciting things NAMI is doing in Jacksonville ... let's get it started!


What's Going On ....

Due to inclement weather, we had to cancel our May NAMI educational meeting.  We are rescheduling the next one for August 21st - mark your calendars!  As the date approaches we will send out more details.

We have taken another look at our planned car show fund raiser originally scheduled for October 21st, and decided to defer the event.  The reason is that our fund raising team has done a great job, and we can channel our energy into other areas.  We're considering some type of fall social event, the main focus of which will be simply having a good time in each other's company.  Your suggestions are solicited!

We are pleased to announce our Fall 2017 Family to Family class schedule:

August 29 - November 14 (Tuesdays)
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Watson Realty/Avondale-Ortega Branch
4194 San Juan Ave.
Jacksonville FL 32210

August 21 - November 13 (Mondays)
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Orange Park Medical Center
2001 Kingsley Ave, Orange Park, FL 32073

If you’re interested in taking any of these classes, please contact our Helpline number (904-724-7782) or email us (namijax@gmail.com) and specify which location is best for you.  You will be called by a Family to Family instructor in July to actually register for the class.


President's Thoughts ...

Hello - this is Kent Rutherford writing  - the President of NAMI Jacksonville. A little about me … I  am retired military, married 38 years, 3 kids, 5 grandchildren and a long time member of NAMI.  I want to share with you in this 1st edition of our Mailchimp blast some of the challenges and opportunities our organization is facing right now. We are transitioning from the first generation of leadership to the second.  In doing so we are focused on improving the routine processes that must work well to allow us to be able to communicate with you, conduct planning, budgeting, and deepen our leadership bench strength.  This is taking a lot of time, but will pay off big dividends allowing us to focus on providing more services to our wonderful loved ones and community.

I'd like to thank John Metcalf and Chandler Coggins for doing some research into our sister NAMI affiliates throughout Florida. The objective is to compare ourselves to them and see what best business practices we can emulate. It has been striking how diverse the different affiliates in Florida are. For example, Palm Beach County has a budget almost 15 times bigger than ours. That’s exciting because if they can do it, so can we!

I also want to thank Tory Wilcox for her tireless work in coordinating our Peer to Peer and Family to Family training events. She has spent untold hours on the phone and emails in planning the myriad details required to successfully pull off this training.  It goes without saying that if we couldn't train new instructors our signature programs would soon wither and die. Thank you, Tory and team for an exceptionally great job.

Please let me know if you enjoy this type of communication and any suggestions you may have. Your guest writing contributions are most welcome!

Thanks - Kent


Research Update!

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Depression is a treatable condition, but for some people, standard treatments aren't effective. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is typically used when standard treatments such as medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy) don't work.

TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. TMS is typically used when other depression treatments haven't been effective.

During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the scalp near the forehead. The electromagnet painlessly delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates nerve cells in the region of the brain involved in mood control and depression. And it may activate regions of the brain that have decreased activity in people with depression.

Though the biology of why TMS works isn't completely understood, the stimulation appears to affect how this part of the brain is working, which in turn seems to ease depression symptoms and improve mood.

For more information, go to http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/transcranial-magnetic-stimulation/home/ovc-20163795


Caregiver Corner

As educated, informed mental health advocates, we recognize and act on the signs of depression when we see it in those we are caring for.  We understand depression can be bio-chemical in origin, and there are effective medications and therapies. However, it can also be caused by situations, like intensive caregiving.

You might not realize you are suffering from it.  You may think your constant fatigue, emotional outbursts and irritability are just a side effect of caregiving.  Depression can distort your thinking, making the difficult task of taking care of another even more daunting.  The people who count on you may not be able to understand why your behavior changes.  Your lack of energy, loss of interest/appetite, low self-esteem, and hopelessness may be adding up to depression.

One thing you can do right now to improve your state of thinking is take time to take care of your physical self.  Eat more fresh food, work on getting enough sleep and exercise.  You don't need a gym membership to take a mind-clearing walk when you have a few minutes.  Maintaining your body is part of taking care of yourself, which has to come first when taking care of others.  There's a reason behind our NAMI Walks!

Do you see yourself as possibly depressed?  Here are some links that provide more information and may help you determine your next steps:



June's NAMI Jax Hero - Chandler Coggins

Chander serves on our Board of Directors and is our NAMI Connection Program Coordinator.  He grew up in Fruit Cove, graduated from Bartram Trail High School and got a bachelor's degree from Yale University.  If that all wasn't enough, he's one of the few young men who's earned the proud title of Eagle Scout.  He is currently completing his final clinical internship with the palliative care team at Baptist Medical Center as part of his master of social work program through Florida State University.  Oh yeah – in his "spare time" he also works at the Sulzbacher Center!  When I asked him why he joined NAMI, Chandler replied "Because Norma Basford was so kind and convincing. My Dad had taken a Family to Family course, and the teacher of that course passed on my name to Norma, who promptly called to tell me about all that NAMI Jacksonville offers."  Chandler enjoys volunteering in community mental health, going for long walks, listening to music, and travelling.  As one who contributes so much to our community, Chandler believes that "One of NAMI's mottoes is Expect Recovery. Too often people view those living with serious mental illness in a tragic or pitying light. What I appreciate about this organization is that it's informed by hope and builds on the strengths of those affected by SMI."  His personal creed is "Do good, do your best, and please be kind to yourself."

Chandler –  thanks for everything you do ... you rock!

This month's cool video is from our own Jeanine Hoff
who recently spoke at TedX in Jacksonville ... well done, Jeanine!
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