From May, 2019

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November 2018

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July 2018 - Concerning recent investigation and findings at the Erie County Holding

Center on the death of India Cummings

Link to NAMI Buffalo & Erie County President Ann Venuto's interview on WBFO about the hearing:
Link to Buffalo News reporter Matt Spina's report on the proceedings:

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The complete Commission of Correction report may be found here:


 NAMI Members Library Resources Available (6-2018)

Click here to open a printable, downloadable list




From May 3, 2018:

NAMI Buffalo & Erie County's 34th Annual Awards & Dinner Celebration

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NAMI Buffalo & Erie County hosted its 34rd Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 3, 2018

We were excited to have as our keynote speaker the brilliant Dr. Kafui Dzirasa who is the first African American to complete a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Duke University in 2009, and an M.D.      He has gone on to a stellar psychiatric research, teaching, and service career in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Duke University School of Medicine. Born in Boston, MA to Ghanaian parents, his accomplishments are impressiveHis work was featured on 60 Minutes in 2011, and his recognition since then has included:

    - the International Mental Health Research Organization Rising Star Award, 2013

    - the Sydney Baer Prize for Schizophrenia Research, 2013

    - the inaugural Duke Medical Alumni Emerging Leader Award, 2016 and

    - the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2016

Dr. Dzirasa’s research focuses on understanding how changes in the brain produce mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Student National Medical Association, a national organization dedicated to the eradication of    health care disparities. He has participated in numerous programs geared towards exposing youth to science and technology, providing health education for underserved communities, and organizing clinics to screen for chronic diseases.

Uniquely talented at engaging both lay people and professionals, he spoke with us at this year’s event about his hope-giving work for people who suffer with serious mental illnesses. 

To see video about Dr. Dzirasa and his pioneering work, visit the following links:  


NAMI in Buffalo & Erie County can provide chapter members and interested community groups with a wide array of printed brochure materials for outreach and distribution.

We may be able to provide a table or speaker for community events (as our volunteer availability permits).

Contact the office to inquire about specific print material topics or event dates:

716-226-6264 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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From February 2018 

NAMI members interviewed on WBFO Radio News:

"Crisis Intervention Teams: The future of policing?"

  FEB 12, 2018

Click on the link below to listen:





From October 28, 2017



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                    Media contact:

October 13, 2017                                                                                                                NAMI Buffalo & Erie County

                                                                                                                        President Ann Venuto, 716-226-6264 or

                                                             Alpha Kappa Alpha President

                                                         Josephine Cross, 716-634-3014


Organizers: AKA Gamma Phi Omega Chapter & NAMI Buffalo & Erie County

Hosting Free Healthy Minds Empowerment Conference for Area Teen Youth


Date: Saturday, October 28th; 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Where: Medaille College, parking available on campus


Invited: Youth ages 12-19 (grades 7-12) of diverse urban communities, with accompanying parents, guardians, or group leaders

This one-day conference features nationally recognized keynote speaker Keith O’Neil, NFL Super Bowl Champion, breakout sessions, and panel discussions. Teens and adults will participate in separate sets of workshops exploring issues around the emotional and mental wellbeing of today’s youth, and empower youth and adults who care for them. Continental breakfast and lunch provided. Participant prizes and giveaways.


Topic areas include: Social Media & Mental Health – Stress Management Skills - Empowerment Skills - Suicide Prevention - Substance Abuse


Pre-registration is required. Registration is recommended no later than Sunday, October 22.


To register, go to: https://healthymindsempowermentconference.eventbrite.com


For more information or questions, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 716-226-6264.

Photo Opportunities: NFL former champion player discussing mental illness and mental health with community youth, parents and leaders; panel discussions and workshops with youth and caring adults, as well as invited dignitaries


Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gamma Phi Omega Chapter is an international organization devoted to service to all mankind. We emphasize programs of social action, and services related to the needs of the community; leveraging our commitment to service and outreach through partnership with corporations, governmental and social agencies, and women's organizations.


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Buffalo & Erie County is a local affiliate of the largest grassroots mental health organization in the U.S., dedicated to bettering the lives of people affected by mental illness. NAMI Buffalo supports, educates, and advocates for families and their loved ones living with mental illness.


This event is sponsored by The African American Cultural Center, Erie County, and Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams

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 From September, 2016 

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Also: click the link below to the July 5, 2015 podcast of The Journey; Stories from Crisis to Hope. This program runs weekly on Tuesdays from 11 a.m to 12 p.m. with Jessica Pirro, CEO of Crisis Services on Voice America. In our efforts to eradicate stigma, NAMI members work to be visible, and a voice of support and advocacy in the community. This episode featured our past president, Marcy Rose, and is titled:

"Understanding, Support and Advocacy: From an Individual's Mental Health Diagnosis to the Impact on the Family"