CNMI Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation

Photo: Jacqueline Hernandez

This May 2007, like every May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is a time to raise awareness about mental illnesses and the importance of mental wellness for all. The photo above shows government entities and officials along with mental health providers and consumers from throughout Saipan.

I’m reproducing verbatim of the best part of the proclamation because I think it captures the ideals of a good mental health system for the CNMI.

Mental health is an important part of our everyday lives. Mental illness can affect individuals regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, language, or place of residence. The functional impairments associated with mental illness can significantly limit or interfere with major life activities, such as basic living skills, instrumental living skills, as well as social, family, and vocational activities. Mental illness not only affects the actual consumers of mental health services, but also their family members, friends, and loved ones.

Despite all this, mental illness is treatable and recovery is possible. The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month is “There’s Hope, There’s Help.” This simple idea shows that even the smallest effort can make a big difference. We must focus inward on utilizing local resources and island way of life to transform how the CNMI addresses mental health. Educational and awareness activities must be increased in order to enhance our understanding of mental health and address the stigma and negative attitudes commonly associated with mental illness. Consumers and family members must continue to take an active role in making mental health services system more responsible. Collaborative ties must be strengthened between government agencies, private organizations, consumers, family members, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the effective coordination of services and state resources. Hope lies within these smallest of efforts. It is up to us, as a community, to take the initiative and help each other shape our mental health services system into one that best serves the people of the CNMI.

Posted bySteve Nguyen at 4/25/2007 11:48:00 PM 0 comments  

Mental Health Presentations by George Badillo

George Badillo is a Peer Trainer.

He works out of the New York State Office of Mental Health Long Island Field Office, providing training to people with psychiatric histories. He provides education and information about patient rights, policy issues, and mental health services to peers (formerly known as clients/consumers) in outpatient and inpatient settings. Mr. Badillo believes strongly in providing his peers with the opportunity to make informed choices about mental health services and community supports.

Mr. Badillo sits on the Advisory Board to the New York State P.A.I.M.I. (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness), and on the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee of CONTAC, a national technical assistance center. His personal story of survival and courage is featured in the film, “Inside Outside: Building a Meaningful Life after the Hospital,” produced by Pat Deegan, Ph.D. He has traveled the country presenting the film and discussing the importance of a life in the community for everyone with a psychiatric history.

George’s Presentation and Travel Agenda for the Northern Mariana Islands:

Mon. April 16 — AFTERNOON [1:30pm] Training mental health providers and clinicians of Community Guidance Center (CGC) and the Transition Living Center (TLC)

Wed. April 18 — [10:00am] Mental Health Planning Council Meeting

Thu. April 19 — [6:30pm] Family Night at Guma Dinana (formerly “Clubhouse”), located in the Ben-Cam Building behind Mobil gas station on Middle Road.

Fri. April 20 ➙Fri. April 27 — TINIAN

Mon. April 23 — ROTA ➙ 12:00 noon at the Rota Health Center

Wed. April 25 — [10:00am Saipan] Proclamation Signing, Governors Conference Room

Fri.-Sun. April 27-29th — Flame Tree Festival. Coalition on the Anti-Stigmas of Mental Illness in the CNMI (CAMI-CNMI) will have a booth to display arts/crafts.

Mon. April 30 — Harry Blalock on KCNM/KZMI, Guests: Kaye Christian & George Badillo

Tue. May 1 — Presentation at the Multi-Purpose Center from 8:30 am - 11:30 am

* * * PLEASE make an effort to attend these events, in particular
Thu. April 19 (Guma Dinana), Fri. April 27 (TINIAN), Mon. April 23 (ROTA), and Tue. May 1 (Multi-Purpose Center)

The Coalition on the Anti-Stigmas of Mental Illness in the CNMI (CAMI-CNMI) in Saipan was established to act as an advocate for people labeled as mentally ill. Its mission is to assist these peers (formerly known as clients or consumers) and their families to understand their rights, to educate them about mental illness and mental health services, to empower them with the knowledge and tools so that they can live healthy and productive lives as members of the community, and to educate the public and raise awareness by bringing peers, family, and community members together to eliminate the stigmas of mental illness.

Steve Nguyen, MA, BCSCR
CAMI-CNMI Secretary
Board Certified in School Crisis Response™
Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Certified Instructor
Member, Premier Speakers Bureau
National Center for Crisis Management

Posted bySteve Nguyen at 4/16/2007 01:14:00 AM 0 comments