Print Materials & Community Events;

Recent Media Coverage


October 2020 - World Health Day Launch of Mental Health Support and Resources for First Responders

10/10/2020 NAMI is pleased to join the #FirstRespondersFirst initiative to support frontline health care and public safety professionals facing the adverse mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This community-centered initiative is called NAMI Frontline Wellness.


It’s OK to not be OK right now.


Today is World Mental Health Day - a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy to demonstrate that there is no health without mental health. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline professionals are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. Many have reported fear of contracting the virus or passing it to family and friends, the loss of loved ones, PPE shortages, exposure to financial pressures, long hours and more.
To address these challenges, NAMI is proud to announce NAMI Frontline Wellness: an initiative to support health care and public safety professionals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with #FirstRespondersFirst, Thrive Global, Starbucks, KIND Snacks, Frontline Impact Project, Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, The CAA Foundation and the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, NAMI has developed a suite of no-cost digital resources and community support services.
If you or someone you love needs support, visit NAMI.org/FrontlineWellness to access resources that can help. You can also contact the NAMI HelpLine between 10am and 6pm ET M-F at 800-950-6264, or text “SCRUBS” or “10-18” to 741741 at any time for support.

Help take care of our frontline professionals so they can take care of us.

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July 2019 is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month!

One in 5—60 million Americans—are affected by mental health conditions each year.

Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background.

However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficultBebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Monthwas established in 2008 to start changing this.

Minority Mental Health Facts

• Mental health treatment differs among racial/ethnic identity groups and other minority communities. These disparities point to significant social and structural barriers to care.

• The highest prevalence of mental illness is among mixed/multiracial adults—nearly 1 in 3 reported that they experienced a mental illness in 2017.

• The lowest rate of treatment use is among Asian adults. Only 1 in 5 Asian adults with a mental illness reported that they received treatment in 2017.

• Gay, lesbian, or bisexual adults are more than 2x as likely to experience a mental illness compared to their heterosexual peers.


Strength Over Silence Video Series: Stories of Courage, Culture and Community

In this ongoing documentary miniseries, NAMI explores unique perspectives on mental health from the African-American and Latinx communities. Through candid and courageous stories of lived experience, these mental health champions share their journeys of resiliency and recovery.

• Coming soon: Chris Hubbard, NAMI Ambassador and offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL

• Lorenzo Lewis, founder of The Confess Project

• A.J. Mendez, NAMI Ambassador and author, advocate and former WWE wrestler

• Jasmin Pierre, mental health advocate

View the videos here and please share with your networks: https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Minority-Mental-Health-Awareness-Month/Strength-Over-Silence-Stories-of-Courage-Culture

NAMI Blog: In July, the NAMI Blog will feature 14 personal stories from diverse communities. New posts are added weekly. Be sure to check out the NAMI Blog and look for posts on our social media featuring quotes from our blog authors. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog



Printable downloadable file on Multicultural Mental Health Facts, 2015




(Other recent and past events continue on next page.)


From May, 2019

 2019 Dinner invite print pdf no bleed-page-02019 Dinner invite print pdf no bleed-page-1


November 2018

DJ Jaffe community invite 10-2018 jpg


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:

F2F NF slide jpg 9-2018 sm


WNED slide 10-2-18 jpg 2




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

 Related image

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 

Marcy Spina program 9-18-16 png


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"