NAMI Conversation Table

Join us on the third Sunday of every month at 2:00pm at the Irish Lion
(212 W Kirkwood Avenue-downtown Bloomington) for good conversation, food and fellowship. Topics of conversation vary.  E-mail your suggestions for a topic to  

We Need Your Creative Energy

 NAMI-GBA Membership Meeting on

Sunday, December 14 at 2:30pm

(Monroe County Public Library in room 1B)

by Laura Jesseph

Almost everyone who reads our newsletter either has a mental illness or loves someone who does. Mental illness is ubiquitous. We know this. We also know that there are pitifully few resources available to those afflicted and their families. The fact of stigma creates even more difficulty for everyone involved. So, what should we do? Good question. Let’s come together and talk about possibilities. Surely we can generate some ideas that just might help. Maybe someone has ideas about how to pressure our legislators, or how to better educate our teachers or policemen or ministers, or how to communicate with someone who is depressed or suicidal, or how to create an environment where someone with mental illness can feel connected to others — any of a thousand issues that would benefit from our attention. If we can make the conversation about mental illness commonplace, we can begin to create solutions. We can find ways, large and small, to spread the word, provide hope, and educate others. So think about it, and bring your thoughts and ideas to our fall membership gathering. 2:30 - 4:00 Sunday, December 14th in room 1B at the Monroe County Public Library. There will be a brief meeting to elect new board members. Light refreshments will be offered.


New Board Members:

Paul Fogleman: I am a university administrator and member of the IU Mental Health Committee and want to assist NAMI in creating a presence on campus. I am an advocate for an immediate family member and my life has been profoundly affected by schizophrenia and PTSD.

Christine Talley Haseman: I am a life-long resident of Bloomington, with the exception of a couple of years that I lived in the Louisville area after I graduated law school. I earned my undergraduate degree, my Masters in Business Administration, and my law degree from IU-Bloomington. I have been a practicing attorney since 1995, and have had my own law practice for over ten of those years. During my legal career, I have also had the opportunity to serve as a Juvenile Court Referee (non-elected judicial officer), a Monroe Circuit Court Judge, and a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, where I prosecuted primarily domestic violence cases. I am once again in private practice with my own law firm. The primary focus of my practice is working as a Guardian Ad Litem, where I represent the best interests of children in custody proceedings. I am also a licensed Family Law Mediator. My husband, Fred, and I live with our two children, a sixteenyear-old daughter and a thirteen-year-old son, our three dogs, and three rabbits. I became particularly interested in serving on the NAMI-GBA Board after participating in the NAMI Family-to-Family Class last spring. While I have always tried to be an advocate for people with mental illness, as well as other disabilities, my personal experience with mental illness in my family drove home the importance of reducing the stigma of mental illness, and the need for ensuring that those suffering with mental illness have the help, resources, and support that they need to succeed in their lives.

Jan Owens: I am a mechanical engineer, retiring in 2010 after 33 years of federal service. I have been married to my wife, Sherry, for 37 years. I am active in our church where I recently completed an 8 ½ year position on the board of administration. Our son was diagnosed with schizophrenia as an 18 year old and suffered with the disease for 13 years until his suicide death earlier this year. Our son experienced multiple local and state hospital admissions so I have some idea of the mental healthcare system. My wife and I have firsthand knowledge of the devastating effect of mental illness on the patient and their family. As a resident of Lawrence County I have an interest in spreading the awareness of mental illness in the Lawrence County community and other areas served by the Greater Bloomington Area NAMI.

Michelle Pratt is a member of a large family that includes seven grandchildren. She has a long-time interest in healthcare issues. She discovered NAMI when she settled in Bloomington and is a graduate of the Family to Family class. Michelle is especially enthusiastic about future findings in brain science.

Current Board Members Re-Elected: 

David Carrico, Sarah Hunt, Laura Jesseph, and Kathleen Mickel are seeking  re-election to continue their service for another three years. Please click bios to learn more about them. 

We welcome anyone who would like to nominate themselves as a board member candidate and we would like to thank all the board members, current and past, for all that they have done for NAMI-GBA and the community.

Mental & Physical Health Care
An Integrated Approach

by John Isbell


On Wednesday, October 9, 2014, NAMI-GBA hosted a well-attended panel with this title at the First United Church in Bloomington, featuring Tara Mendoza, Family Nurse Practitioner with Unity Medical Clinic, Maren Sheese, Director of the BE Well Program at Centerstone of Indiana, and Londa Vautaw, Complex Case Manager with MDWise, Inc. The three panelists spoke of their complementary experiences working in integrated care: Lonnie as a registered nurse and legal nurse directing and accessing care for 170 complex case patients, such as a lady with bipolar disorder whose better managed diabetes has significantly improved her mental health; Maren as a therapist and manager of various statewide Centerstone integrated care programs, extending from BE Well, a four-year program in which clients lost up to 100 lbs, to a series of new pilot initiatives building on that impetus; and Tara as a nurse practitioner establishing a Unity primary care clinic within Centerstone in Bloomington, with patients such as the man who came in reporting stomach trouble but turned out to be suffering from porphyria and needing a toenail completely removed. Tara also got him new socks and open-toed sandals. Two recurrent themes were the link between mental and physical health – integrated care per se – and the link between integrated care and preventative care, and how cost-effective this approach is: Lonnie noted that Tara’s toenail procedure not only improved the man’s quality of life, it saved the state some $2,500. Similarly, Maren’s pilot hospital alert system reduces ER visits, lowering costs and providing better healthcare to patients than the traditional “whack-a-mole” emergent care approach. Lively discussion ensued, in which panelists also outlined challenges to healthcare in Indiana today, such as access to MDs and the sharp decline in numbers of family practitioners; MDs often have fewer than ten minutes per patient. Integrated care, with healthcare teams treating patients, might alleviate some cost and time constraints and improve outcomes.

NAMI-GBA Presents a Talk by

        Dr. Bernice A. Pescosolido         

Reducing Stigma: Where Are Our Efforts Going?

How do people who want to “do good” in the world come up with a plan and carry it out? This is what Bernice A. Pescosolido, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Indiana University and Director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research, will examine in a talk on Monday, April 28th from 7:00-9:00pm at the First United Church (2420 E 3rd St, Bloomington). Dr. Pescosolido will discuss a new approach that is being used to decrease the prejudice and discrimination, commonly referred to as stigma, which has been documented by IU scientists to still plague the lives of people touched by mental illness. In a partnership between IU and Bring Change 2 Mind (BC2M), Glenn Close’s organization to end stigma, she will discuss how scientists, consumers and advocates 1) used a research-based approach to define the problem; 2) tested an option; and 3) developed a new PSA that is currently being run in the United States. The different versions of the PSA and videos that shaped and were shaped by the effort will be shown. In addition, Dr. Pescosolido will examine the data on stigma and its current use in US media.

About Dr. Bernice A. Pescosolido and her Research:

Pescosolido has received numerous career, scientific, and community awards from the NIH, the ASA, the APHA, and Mental Health America, and in 2011 was the recipient of the prestigious Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal from Yale University. She focuses her research and teaching on social issues in health, illness, and healing. In the area of stigma research, Pescosolido has led a team of researchers on a series of national and international stigma studies including the first U.S national study in 40 years, the first national study of children's mental health, and the first global study of 16 countries representing all six inhabited continents. As a result, she and her colleagues developed a model on the underlying roots of stigma, designed to provide a scientific foundation for new efforts to alter this basic barrier to care.

Fall Membership Meeting 2013 

"We Will Never Give Up Hope"

When: Wednesday, November 13 from 7:00-8:30pm
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church Library (2120 North Fee Lane)

On Wednesday, November 13 NAMI-GBA’s annual membership meeting took place. Dr. Alfred Strickholm presented a very interesting, engrossing talk about the trends in research and never giving up on hope.  In addition, the program allowed for people to meet current and prospective members of the board of directors, to mingle and eat dessert, to hear a little bit about what NAMI-GBA has been doing this past year and to learn what is being planned for the upcoming year. NAMI members voted to allow Janet James, Jan Reeves, Jill Giffin and Jill Bolte Taylor to serve another three-year term.  We are happy to report that Margaret Londergan was elected to the board for the first time.  We welcome the energy and new ideas that she will contribute. There was a good discussion about possibly trying to revive an effort to establish a clubhouse in Bloomington. For information about the clubhouse model, please refer to NAMI's Clubhouse factsheet.   If you are interested in being in on the discussion, please contact us at (812) 369-3119.  We'd like to thank Al Strickholm for his informative and hope inspiring talk. 

NAMI-GBA is pleased to present

"We Will Never Give Up Hope"

a talk by:

Alfred Strickholm, Prof Emeritus of

Neuroscience, Physiology and Biophysics

Discussed will be:
(1). Where We once were (failed hope with little understanding)
(2). Where we are now (unfinished hope with improved science)
(3). Explorations into tomorrow with great hope (and new insights)

Mental Illness Awareness Week/Art of Mental Health Events

  October 7-12, 2013


Family Psychiatric Crisis: NAMI-GBA’S Beginner’s Guide
Date: Wednesday, October 9
Time: 7:00-8:30p.m.
Location: Centerstone Boardroom (645 S Rogers St)

Have you ever wondered what the steps are to apply for a 72 hour hold? Have you ever wondered what you would have to do to get help for a loved one dealing with a psychiatric crisis? Have you wondered what the challenges could be and
how to prepare for them? If you have these questions or ones like them, please come to NAMI-GBA’s October 9th panel discussion entitled “Family Psychiatric Crisis: NAMI-GBA’s Beginner’s Guide.” The event will be held in the Centerstone Boardroom (645 S Rogers St) and will begin at 7:00pm. NAMI-GBA is very pleased that Judge Mary Ellen Diekhoff from the Monroe Circuit Court, Scott Branam from IU Health Bloomington Hospital, Joshua Paul from Meadows Bloomington Hospital and Mark Hickman and Amanda Pardue from Centerstone have agreed to field questions and provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the system. NAMI-GBA will provide information and brochures about local resources such as our family support group and Family to Family class. This panel is being held in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 7-12) and as part of the Art of Mental Health week programing. The theme of this year’s Art of Mental Health is “Nourishing Family Mental Health.” Other Art of Mental Health events will be offered throughout the week. Please see the link below for other Art of Mental Health events.

Art of Mental Health Flyer     

 Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor Presents

  The Teenage Brain

Opportunity to View Award Winning Documentary "Of Two Minds"

April 11 7:00pm IU Cinema
Click Image to learn more about the film

NAMI-Greater Bloomington Area Co-Sponsors

NAMI-GBA and Centerstone co-sponsored the Cardinal Stage Company's 2:00pm, April 7, 2013 performance of the rock musical, Next to Normal. Laura Jesseph's review of this hit musical can be found here.

NAMI-Greater Bloomington Area

 Fall Meeting in Appreciation of

Al and Lee Strickholm

At the October 20, 2012 NAMI-GBA annual membership meeting, friends and admirers gathered to celebrate long time NAMI-GBA board members, Al and Lee Strickholm.  In recognition and appreciation of their countless and invaluable contributions, NAMI-GBA presented them with the Beautiful Mind award and many individuals expressed their admiration and appreciation for all that the Strickholms have done for our community. Hors d'oeuvres & refreshments (prepared by Food Works Catering) were enjoyed by all.   In addition to the Strickholm appreciation, John Isbell and Daunna Minnich were re-elected for a three year term on the board of directors.   

Al and Lee Strickholm

NAMI-GBA Celebrates

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2012:

Oct. 7-13, 2012

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI's efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October in sponsoring many kinds of activities.

MIAW has become a NAMI tradition. It presents an opportunity to all NAMI state organizations and affiliates across the country to work together in communities to achieve the NAMI mission through outreach, education and advocacy.

You MADE YOUR VOICE HEARD on July 17, 2012

 NAMI-GBA co-sponsored a very successful

Candidate Forum
on Disability Issues

We met nine candidates for state and federal offices, listened to presentations on current disabilities issues and submitted questions of interest for candidate answers.

When: Tuesday, July 17, 7 - 9 pm

Where: First United Church

2420 East 3rd Street, Bloomington

Childcare was available by reservation: contact

Thanks for MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD as an advocate for the disabilities community!

The forum can be viewed on CATS at


Presented by
Stone Belt,
Life Designs,
Mental Health America
NAMI Greater Bloomington Area
The Arc of Indiana

May is Mental Health Month

Mosaic Film Festival

Saturday, May 12 from 1-4p.m. at the Monroe County Public Library

Free film screening of NO KIDDING! ME 2!! at 1:00 followed by light refreshments and discussion from 2:25-4:00.  Sponsored by the City of Bloomington, MCPL, MHA, NAMI-GBA and the Office of Multicultural Initiatives.  For more information please visit the City of Bloomington's Mosaic Film Festival information page.

NAMI-GBA members at the 2012 Annual Meet and Greet with state legislators.


To see other images from the 2012 Annual Meet and Greet please visit NAMI Indiana's Facebook page.

NAMI-GBA Presents Judge Kenneth Todd with the "Beautiful Mind Award"


            NAMI-GBA President Jill Taylor and Judge Kenneth Todd          NAMI-GBA's 2007 Beautiful Mind Award

(The Herald Times, October 2007) Monroe Circuit Judge Kenneth Todd has been awarded the “Beautiful Mind Award” by the Greater Bloomington Area chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Todd received the award during a public panel discussion on “Decriminalizing the Mentally Ill in Bloomington,” held at the Monroe County Public Library earlier this month.

He was recognized for his work in establishing and implementing the Monroe County Drug Treatment Court.

“Although we recognize that many individuals have worked very hard to create this wonderful program, which both saves taxpayers’ money and reduces jail recidivism, we have chosen to recognize Judge Todd for his leadership in bringing this program to Monroe County,” Jill Bolte Taylor, president of the local chapter of NAMI, said in a prepared statement.

Drug court is a program that provides intensive treatment and monitoring to long-term drug and alcohol abusers who have pleaded guilty to nonviolent criminal offenses.

Participants appear weekly before a judge for review of progress and compliance with conditions of participation. Upon successful completion of the two-year program, charges are dismissed.

An independent study by Oregon-based NPC Research found the program reduced recidivism of its graduates by 66 percent and, in comparing graduates to nonparticipants, determined the program reduced subsequent criminal justice costs by more than 2,000 percent.

Decriminalizing Mental Illness

At our October 2007 general meeting, a panel was convened to talk both individually and collectively about the process of decriminalizing the mentally ill in Bloomington.  Included in the discussion were:

Bloomington Police Captain Mike Diekhoff
Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal
Monroe County Sheriff Jim Kennedy
David Carrico from the Center for Behavioral Health
Drug Court Judge Kenneth Todd
Bloomington Hospital Psychiatrist Perry Griffith

This meeting has been videotaped and will air periodically on Bloomington's Community Access Television Channels.  To request the program, please contact CATS at 812-349-3111 and ask for the "Decriminalizing Mental Illness" program.