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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

NAMI wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy start to the new year! Thank you for your involvement and dedication to our organization, we look forward to another year of supporting mental health and serving our community.

The Women’s Fund and NAMI Miami Band Together

The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade is a Non-profit that is determined to create change by advocating for Women in the workplace as well as in their private lives. Look for their posters on the metro and highway featuring us and Florida Blue, let us know if you see them!

Join Our Miami-Dade Mental Health Advocacy Council

Join NAMI Miami on Thursday, January 31st for a first meeting to start a Miami-Dade Mental Health Advocacy Council.  The meeting will be held at our office at 6:30pm at 299 Alhambra Circle in Coral Gables.  Sandwiches will be provided. If you would like to attend, please RSVP – email us at or call 305-665-2540.
NAMI Palm Beach County  and  NAMI Florida received a grant from  Allegany Franciscan Ministries to establish advocacy groups throughout Florida and to offer NAMI Smarts for Advocacy trainings.
NAMI Greater Orlando and NAMI Florida have created a video overview of advocacy, lobbying, and how to start the process of advocating for mental health. Click the link to watch a conversation between mental health advocates to learn how you can get involved.

Miami VA Healthcare System Mental Health Summit 2019

You are invited to attend..
The VA Mental Health Summit focused on addressing Mental Health issues and accessibility for Veterans.
FEATURED SPEAKER:  Judge Steven Leifman,  Associate Administrative Judge
South Florida community partners of the Miami VA, including policy makers and funders, members of the legal community and law enforcement, community veteran organizations, representatives from partnering universities and healthcare organizations, community mental health professionals and students, Veterans and their families, and engaged community members.
TO RSVP, email Cathleen,
or call dedicated RSVP line at 305-575-7000 ext. 7531

Reel Minds: Miami Mental Health Film Festival coming May 2019

Do you know a Florida or Miami-Dade film-maker whose films should be at our festival?  The 2019 Reel Minds: Miami Mental Health Film Festival is accepting videos  about mental health conditions with messages of hope & recovery. Length: 4min – 18 min. Please forward to your local filmmaker!
Additionally, there is a Miami-Dade High School Entry through their school teachers being accepted.  Deadline December 31.  Submit your film at

Free Family-to-Family Program in January.  Register Before the Class is Filled.

We are pleased to announce a date for our Family-to-Family Education Program beginning January 30th, 2019 from 7 PM to 9 PM. The program will last for 12 weeks, meeting once a week every Wednesday.
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, confidential, and safe educational program for family, friends, and caregivers of people living with mental illness. It is a designated evidenced-based program. Research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to an individual living with a mental health condition.

For more details and to register, please click  here or call us at 305-665-2540.

FREE Peer-to-Peer Program.  Register Now

Coming soon:
Expert Speaker Meetings
Assisted Outpatient Treatment Pilot Program starting at Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ares-Romero
Miami-Dade Housing and Homelessness Panel Discussion
When Mental Illness Strikes: Crisis Intervention for the Financial Plan
What is the Miami-Dade Jail Diversion Program?
Do you know of a venue to host our Speaker Meetings? We are looking for a no-cost venue where we can host 50+ people, please email us at or call at 305-665-2540. Thank you!

Articles you may have missed from our Facebook Page

  • State lawmaker: Florida’s mental health system needs total revamp  Read More.
  • Ted Kennedy speaks out about mental health   Read More.
  • Surviving the most cringe-worthy (and sexist) family holidays situations  Read More.
Like what you read here?  Join us on our Facebook Page or Instagram Page.

Do you have a personal story you would like to share?

Tell NAMI Miami-Dade your Story!
Do you have a message, poem, quote, photo or video of hope, struggle or recovery?   Email us at
By sharing your experience, you can let others know that they are not alone.

Select NAMI of Miami-Dade as your charitable organization for FREE


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Managing Your Mental Health During The Holidays

By Colleen O’Day | Dec. 19, 2017


During the holiday season, many look forward to festivities with friends and family. But for others, this time can bring on or worsen stress, anxiety and depression.

There are a variety of factors that can bring on holiday anxiety and depression. Some people experience increased financial burden due to travel, gift and/or hosting costs. Others may feel overwhelmed as the holiday season often includes a packed calendar of parties, performances and traveling that can be difficult to balance with everyday responsibilities and self-care. Not to mention: High expectations to give perfect gifts and plan perfect events, as well as loneliness for those who aren’t with loved ones.

If you are experiencing any of these challenges, here are some coping tips you can use to manage your increased levels of anxiety, stress and sadness.

Stay In Therapy

Although the holiday season is overwhelmingly busy, do not cancel your therapy sessions to make time for other activities. The holidays can bring up difficult emotions. If you can, keep your scheduled therapy sessions to ensure you have built-in time to explore anything that comes up.


In addition to professional mental health care, mindfulness can be a valuable mental wellness tool. Certain practices can be particularly helpful if you are traveling or running on an unusual schedule. If you’re new to mindfulness, the online MSW program at the University of Southern California created a Mindfulness Toolkit featuring free mindfulness resources, like guided meditations for beginners.

Don’t Rely On Drugs And Alcohol

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends avoiding drugs and alcohol for comfort. While the prospect of escape can be appealing, substance use can ultimately worsen your issues. There is a 20% overlap between people with anxiety or mood disorders and substance use disorders, and substances can exacerbate symptoms. When you feel you need a relaxation aid, you can instead turn to a mindfulness tactic or other healthy coping mechanism.

Soak Up The Sun

Some struggle with depression during the winter months because of Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern. Exposure to bright lights, including fluorescent lights, can help ease symptoms. Even for those without this form of depression, walking outside in the sun can be an effective centering and calming tool. Numerous studies have pointed to the mental health benefits of spending time in nature, including stress relief, better concentration, lower levels of inflammation and improved mental energy.

Set Realistic Expectations

Another major source of anxiety, stress and depression around the holidays can be examining accomplishments from the past year. Some may experience negative feelings over not being at a place they feel they “should be” in life. Get yourself out of this space by adjusting expectations and setting realistic goals. For example, if you’re trying to establish an exercise routine, try setting a goal of talking a walk three times a week rather than vowing to do CrossFit every day.

Managing mental illness is always challenging, but it can be particularly difficult during the holiday season. While the struggle can feel isolating, remember that you are far from alone. Seek help from professional mental health services, maintain your self-care routines and include mindfulness practices into your days as you approach 2018.


Colleen O’Day is a digital marketing manager and community outreach support for 2U Inc.’s social work, mental health and K-12 education programs. Find her on Twitter @ColleenMODay.

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