Mental Health, Mental Illness, on Block Island

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

Archive of past events and activities

Much of NAMI BI work is advocacy which does not show up as an event. We have conversations with others, such as the Town Manager, or the School Principal or the Medical Director, and also with Police and Emergency Services, and with agencies off island, NAMI RI, South County Prevention, and RI governemnt agencies. Information about these activities is buried in the minutes of Board meetings, as is preparation for the events below.

2019 Summer Program: Its Good To Talk – Details here 

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 Conversation – what 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.


Further information and background to NAMI BI:

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

Before COVID-19 restrictions made work too difficult, NAMI-BI offered 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.

This will be re-started when it becomes possible for the facilitators to feel that it is safe to do so.