Author Archives: Jennie Payne

Annual Meeting & Dinner: Please Join Us at the 2020 NAMI Central Middlesex Annual Meeting & Dinner

Please register here so there will be an accurate head count for the dinner – REGISTER.

You will be signing up for a free “ticket” at

There will be socializing over appetizers, dinner, a brief business meeting including the annual election of the Board of Directors and our speaker for the evening, Representative Tami Gouveia who serves on the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery.

Register for Bridges to Hope

A Free Mental Health Training for Faith Community Leaders

January 21, 2020, 9:00 AM – noon, First Parish Church in Bedford


Because religion and spirituality often play a vital role in healing, it’s not uncommon for families and individuals experiencing mental health issues to turn to a faith leader first for help. Yet faith leaders, staff and key outreach volunteers are often lacking the information, education and resources to be the “bridge to hope” needed as people navigate serious, sometimes life-threatening, mental health issues.

If your community is ready to build bridges to hope for families and individuals living with mental illness, this is a perfect introductory 3-hour training, which features:

  • An informative overview of prevalent mental health myths and common symptoms of mental health disorders
  • First steps to comprehensive Action plans for building “bridges to hope” with your faith community
  • A tool kit of community mental health resources

Who should attend?

Rabbis, imams, clergy, priests, pastors, deacons, elders, and lay leaders.

Please see our flyer for more information.

Please contact Judith McKendry at with any questions or concerns.

(This project/training was funded through a grant by CHNA 15, and was made possible by Determination of Need funds received from Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and Winchester Hospital.)

Creating a Behavioral Health Ambulatory Treatment System

To learn more about creating the proposed new system go to Note that you may wish to sign up for updates.

To submit comments and feedback to the Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS), send your email response to

Below are the questions provided by EOHHS as prompts for our comments, whether at one of the past summer’s Listening Sessions or via your email response (see above). Please consider taking this opportunity to weigh in on your experience and give your suggestions.

Patient and Family Experience

If you, or a family member, were looking for behavioral health treatment, where would you start?

Where would you go if your need was urgent?

What more should the health care system do to address your (or your family member’s) behavioral health treatment needs?

What works well right now (for example, types of treatment, specific providers or health plans)?

Do you receive behavioral health treatment through Primary Care? Why not?

What is the best experience you have had with the treatment system, and what has been the most disappointing?

Do you have innovative or new ideas to improve the patient and family experience?

Behavioral Health Outpatient Specialty

What are the biggest challenges that you face in trying to access outpatient behavioral health care?

What are the biggest barriers or challenges that providers face in meeting their patients’ needs?

Where are the biggest bottlenecks in treatment today?

What types of outpatient behavioral health treatment settings have the longest wait times for treatment access? How are treatment needs met during wait periods?

What aspects of the current outpatient system are working well and should remain intact?


What would you do if you, or a family member, were experiencing a behavioral health crisis?

What is the most significant challenge individuals and families encounter when they are in a behavioral health crisis?

What interventions might be available to people in crisis that are not available today?

What specific changes would you like to see happen that would improve care in the Commonwealth?

Are there strengths within the current crisis care sytem that should be built upon?

Notice: Acton Support Group: WEATHER CANCELLATION 12 FEB

Our family support group in Acton will not be meeting on Tuesday, February 12 due to the anticipated poor travel conditions.  Meetings resume on February 26 as regularly scheduled.

If you are new to a support group, or there is inclement weather in the forecast, we always advise touching base with the facilitators before attending. We also do our best to provide schedule updates on our web site and help line.

January 2018: New Family Program at McLean Hospital

FAMILY CONNECTIONS MANAGING SUICIDALITY AND TRAUMA RECOVERY (FC-MSTR) is a program for parents whose teenage or young-adult child has made a suicide attempt or had one or more traumatic self-injuries. The program aims to provide parents with education, skills and support to effectively manage the stress and other difficulties that arise when their child has attempted suicide or self-harmed.

FC-MSTR is currently being offered as part of a research study. As a research participant you will be asked to: Complete a series of online surveys over a 4 month period. Attend the FC-MSTR program on January, 25-27, 2019 (Belmont, MA) Refer your son/daughter (ages 14-35) who experienced the suicidal crisis for research participation. He or she will be invited to complete a series of questionnaires, if they choose to participate in the study.

Read more at January 2018 McLean Family Connections