Shattering Silence for Serious Mental Illness

NSSC is an alliance of diverse individuals who are uniting to ensure that mental illness, health, and criminal justice systems count those with SMI, SED, and their families in all federal, state, and local policy reforms.

Meet The Team

Coordinator & Steering Committee Co-Chair, NSSC.

Jeanne’s been an advocate for the seriously mentally ill since 2002. She has a blog at http://mystruggleforgabriel.blogspot.com where she’s created a history of her efforts to get treatment for her son. Jeanne’s mother suffered from bipolar disorder and never received adequate treatment for her illness.

With the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), she and other advocates got Maine’s version of AOT, the PTP Program, passed along with changes to Maine’s statutes regarding commitment laws allowing for a “need for treatment” and “grave disability” standard.

Jeanne worked with the TAC to support passage of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act which became part of the 21st Century Cures Act. She holds a bachelors degree in business from Fitchburg State College. She's owned her own franchise, Cruise Planners, since 1998.
Jeanne Allen Gore
Steering Committee Co-Chair,
ISMICC Committee,
Communications Committee,
Emergency Action Committee,
Advisory Committee
"With care and patience, people may accomplish things which, to an indolent person, would appear impossible."

-Dorothea Dix
Tamara Lee is the mother of four beautiful children. She lives on a 40-acre horse farm in West Virginia where she raises Arabian horses and writes. She started Healthy Mind Ministry and ministers to those with serious mental illness (SMI) in her community.

Tamara's passionate about making the world a kinder, safer place for those living with SMI. Her eldest son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and she understands the impact that has had on his life and her family.
Tamara Dalrymple
Steering Committee Co-Chair,
Emergency Action Committee Chair, Communications Committee,
Advisory Committee
"I can't change my son's diagnosis, but I hope to change how the world treats him."
Dede established the Institute for Mental Illness and Wellness Education at Cal State Hayward, served as walk director for the first two NAMI walks in San Francisco, and was the first Mental Health Services Act Policy Director for NAMI California.

Today, Dede has two blogs on her website, Sooner Than Tomorrow, A Safe Place to Talk About Mental Illness in Our Families. One publishes first person stories of families with serious mental illness. The other blog is her book, Sooner Than Tomorrow, A Mother’s Diary. She wrote it from 2013 to 2014 not realizing she was capturing the last year of her son’s life. He died in 2014 on a psych ward where she thought he’d be safe. www.soonerthantomorrow.com

Dede’s essay about serious mental illness, “A Canary in the Coal Mine,” is included in a new book, We Rise to Resist: Voices from a New Era in Women’s Political Action. On Amazon
Dede Ranahan
Steering Committee,
Communications Committee
As a microbiologist for psychiatric hospitals of the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) in the 1970s/80s, Dianne developed interest in the well-being of those with severe mental illness. Later, she obtained a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning from Ohio State University and worked as a grant administrator focused on HUD housing grants in small cities. While she worked on a project to fund transitional housing for men, an ODMH study found the lack of affordable housing was the “cause” of mental illness and turned its departmental back on responsibility for treating the homeless mentally ill.

Dianne watched her father and a friend suffer serious breakdowns. With medication they were able to recover. However, her younger sister and her son died young of conditions that weren’t diagnosed because of the effects of their mental illnesses.

Now retired, Dianne advocates for serious mental illness treatment and the elimination of homelessness.
Dianne Harris
ISMICC Committee
Laura Pogliano
Laura Pogliano is a training and education consultant in Baltimore, MD. She was the primary caretaker of her son, Zaccaria, who was stricken with schizophrenia at age 17. Ms. Pogliano is the director of Parents for Care, a nonprofit that provides practical supports and small financial grants to caregivers of those with mental illnesses and their families. Zaccaria’s story has been featured in CBS News, USA Today, and Baltimore and Oprah magazines.
Steering Committee,
ISMICC Committee Co-Chair, Advisory Committee
"your place on this earth is right next to your brother--the sick, the suffering, the unwanted, the maligned, the poor; and the only worthwhile response is love"
Lynn Nanos is a licensed independent clinical social worker employed as a full-time mobile psychiatric emergency clinician in Massachusetts. She evaluates patients in homes, jails, residential programs, day treatment programs, rest homes, ER’s, and inpatient medical units. She determines if patients are presenting a danger to themselves or other(s). She authorizes and implements involuntary transfers to hospitals or refers individuals to residential treatment, outpatient care or crisis stabilization units.​​

With a master’s of science in social work from Columbia University, Lynn also worked as an inpatient psychiatric social worker. On inpatient, she assessed adults for danger to self or to the community, and self-care ability. She referred them to aftercare treatment or advocated with insurance companies for their continued stay.

Lynn published the book, Breakdown: A Clinician’s Experience in a Broken System of Emergency Psychiatry. She’s petitioned NAMI to include AOT in their advocacy efforts and testified for AOT in the Massachusetts legislature.
Lynn Nanos
​ISMICC Committee, Blog Committee
Alison Monroe, of Oakland, California, has been an angry mom in Alameda County for four years, fighting a broken system for the survival of her schizophrenic dual-diagnosis daughter, for beds locked and unlocked, and for programs like AOT
Alison Monroe
​ISMICC Committee, Blog Committee Chair
Tama T. Bell is trained as a scientist and works in healthcare. She’s also the mother to three special needs children. One child has serious mental illness and, as he was becoming a young adult, the mental health system had a serious breakdown. Budgets were cut, beds were lost, treatments were available to only a select type — not like her son who was deemed “hard to serve.” While HIPAA was meant to be a protective law, it stopped Tama from helping her son. She heard advice from mental health counselors like, “If he goes to prison, he’ll get more help than out here in the community.” Tama’s son landed in solitary confinement but treatment in prison is almost nonexistent. Tama began her advocacy against the criminalization of the mentally ill. She became a reverend and is writing a thesis on restorative justice. Her family lives in the Mid Hudson Valley of New York State.
Tama Bell
Communications Committee
I’m the mother of a marine veteran who’s been battling bipolar and schizoaffective disorders for 14 years. We’re at a point in his mental illness where he can’t function safely on his own and needs long term mental health care. We’re frustrated in our efforts to find a suitable solution.

Current long-term treatment is non-existent. We’ve been supportive parents during this journey with our son but now we need more help, even if it means trying to turn a battleship in quicksand. We feel families like ours and mentally Ill citizens could benefit from some new options.
Sherri McGimsey
Emergency Action Committee