Scarecrows and Service Dogs!

OK, so, we don’t actually have scarecrows and service dogs on the same program. But they are both exciting things we are doing in the month of October.

The scarecrows are up at Cucurbit Farm in Acton, and will be on display through the month of October. Come out to see some amazing field art and support this stigma-busting event.

Our October educational program will be a presentation on service dogs by Helena Lewis. Join us on October 21, 7pm, at the Edinburg Center in Bedford. Additional details are available in our flyer.

Hope to see you in October!

NAMI Basics in Acton Starts October 16

NAMI Basics will be offered in Acton starting Wednesday, October 16. Classes meet 7-9:30PM, weekly for 6 weeks. There is no cost to the participants and all course materials are provided by NAMI.

The NAMI Basics program is specially designed for parents and other caregivers of adolescents and children living with emotional or behavioral challenges. The course is taught by trained volunteer teachers who themselves are parents/caregivers of children living with emotional difficulties. This structure creates an intimacy that few programs possess and consequently, a program whose capacities are unparalleled. It is an evidence-based program recognized nationwide.

Please view the flyer for more details, including how to sign up.

For more information, you may contact the teachers, Dee at, or Sharon at

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.)

The 2019 Scarecrow Contest is On!

Cucurbit Farm in Acton is where the action is! Come join in the fun!

Stop by the farm starting on September 1 to pick up your scarecrow frame and make your $25 donation to NAMI of Central Middlesex. Create your family friendly scarecrow, then join us for a “Put ‘Em Up” party on Friday, September 27, 5pm until 8pm.

Vote for your favorite! Prizes will be awarded October 12-14, Columbus Day weekend. Scarecrows will, of course, stand until after Halloween, wearing signs with the names of the donors.

Details in our flyer: Scarecrow Flyer

Many thanks to Heidi and the gang at Cucurbit Farm for all you do to support NAMI of Central Middlesex!

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?