Mental Health, Mental Illness, on Block Island

bringing services and support for those who are ill and education for mental health to all on Block Island

Welcome to NAMI Block Island – What we do

NAMI BI is a non-profit that aims to improve mental health services on the island, brings awareness and information to the community via ongoing events and conversations, and provides family support*.

We also recognize the crossover with addictions, and developing understanding of dual diagnosis issues, and work cooperatively with prevention programs on the island.

EMERGENCY: Call 911.
Give as much information as possible so that responders are prepared for a mental health issue. Detail e.g. no firearms visible, noise nuisance, damage to property, safety of ill person self or other… because…

If you need help but not in emergency, see the Services page, or phone 207-229-6349, on-island. Also remember The Suicide Prevention Lifeline, anonymous, is 1-800-273-8255. Also you can look up Suicide Prevention QPR.

Ongoing meetings and events:

2019 Summer Program:

Its Good To Talk – Details here

Saturday morning conversations in the Island Free Library

not necessarily on mental health topics – discussion of sometimes controversial issues brings connections, resilience and health in the community. 

Family support group – click here.

Recent Events:

The 2019 Spring Conference: Children and Teens: Won’t They Just Grow Out of It?  Program details, click here. The conference was held on Friday May 17th evening and Saturday May 18th. Click here for a review and pdf versions of our speaker presentations.

Earlier Events

Summer Program 2018: NAMI BI and the Island Free Library showed a series of TED talk on the 2nd and 4th Saturday each month, 10 – 11 am, at the Library. All, residents and visitors, were invited to come, watch, then join in Q/A and discussion. Whether or not we agreed with the TED speakers, there was lively discussion as well as information, much of it from those who attended as well as from the talks. Details of dates and topics here.

Suicide Prevention: NAMI BI hosted an event from the QPR Institute. It was a SHORT event, which really brought the CAN DO into the room. QPR is analogous to CPR and stands for Question, Persuade, Refer. The help given was demystifying and practical, but didn’t fudge that Learn to Listen is hard work, and takes emotional effort. Just like CPR: ANYONE can learn this stuff, and you may never need it, but, you might!

On Friday 18 / Saturday 19 May 2018, during Mental Health Month, Block Island Spring Conference was held, on the topic Depression: A Community Conversationwhat do we know? what can we do? Report here [also see What is “depression”? it would help us all to know more about this catch-all label, or, watch this TED talk, Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret We Share, which suggests questions to be asked]

In May 2017, we organized an Opioid Conference, click here for details.  What does BI think, feel, know? about the ” opioid epidemic”, as news outlets call it? The review of the 2017 conference is here. If you have time (45 minutes) watch the video: Addiction is  …

Other Events Report: Brought by NAMI RI, in February, two programs took place in BI school: “Inside Mental Illness” for High School Students and “Parents and Teachers as Allies” to which all in the community were invited. Click here to access the slides that accompanied these interactive events.

Scroll down for further information and background to NAMI BI:

We don’t just do “events”. Much of our work is advocacy, and in cooperative effort with other agencies enabling our aims. See “about” us.

The Mental Health Task Force began some years ago in the wake of the tragic death of a resident with mental illness who could not receive services on island. Now called NAMI Block Island, affiliated with national [NAMI RI] and state organizations [NAMI], our purposes are the same, simple and threefold:
1. to work to bring mental health services to the island

2. to educate the community and reduce stigma

3. to provide support for families of persons with mental illness

NAMI-BI offers a free confidential and safe Family Support Group for individuals (over 18) with a family member or close personal friend of family living with mental illness. We meet in the Island Free Library, Room C from 10 – 11.30 am on the first Saturday of each month. Facilitators are locals who have received extensive training and also have family with mental health challenges. Inquire 860-202-1124 or 401-486-9278, for yourself, or if you are a friend of a Block Island family.

There are several ways in which the community can be involved. Look at “Can You Help“. Join in the Community Conversations. Come to the BI NAMI events that are advertised in The Block Island Times and on the Block Island Bulletin Board. Make contact or comment in the community posts. You might like to write a post – please ask. You might have found an article of interest – please send.

See how we have succeeded so far, here.

Or, learn how you can help us succeed even more.

Or, find help for yourself or a family member or friend.



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