Overview Spring 2015: We have been able to accomplish several significant things: both the provision of mental health services on the island, and education and support programs for the community.
Mental health services currently available through NAMI BI:
A telemedicine service is provided by psychiatrist resident doctors from Butler Hospital and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. This is a free service. The program started as an experiment and has been maintained by Butler Hospital and the Alpert Medical School and NAMI BI, growing into a viable and meaningful resource for those using the service.
[From Butler Hospital Behavioral Health Update, Summer 2014: “Butler Hospital and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University are using telemedicine to provide residents of Block Island access to high-quality mental health care without having to commute off-island to receive it. The program uses innovative software combined with high-density webcams to enable patients and doctors to see and talk to each other clearly.”]
A counselor from South Shore Center (The Community Health Center in Wakefield) comes to the island every two weeks. This service accepts insurance including Medicaid and serves at least as many clients as the telemedicine program. It reaches a somewhat different client group (family support, etc) as well as being used by some who also use the telemedicine service.
To arrange appointments or discuss services, phone the Case Manager, Tracy Fredericks [CSP certified], 207 229 6349.
We also hope to begin a family support group. Please ask about this so that possible times can be arranged.
Education and support to the community through voluntary effort:
There is good co-operation with other island groups, in particular with Block Island Health Service, The Island Free Library, The School Improvement Team, The Wellness Coalition, and the Block Island Times, sharing information and presentation of programs. From May to November monthly public programs on mental health issues have been offered, mostly at The Island Free Library.
These dealt with a variety of subjects, such as the integration of primary care and mental health care, parent-child attachment, different kinds of therapy, emotional education and prejudice, understanding depression. Articles in The Block Island Times increased the impact. All speakers gave their services voluntarily.
And of course we need help to accomplish these things, so we raise funds, stuff envelopes, make contact with interested individuals. We have needs too. Can you help?