final masthead
National Alliance on Mental Illness, California State Organization
Welcome Members and Affiliates
We're happy to announce that our monthly NAMI California newsletter can now be delivered to you by email. We look forward to your ideas for topics to cover, your feedback on issues that face consumers, families, and providers across the state. Contact us at
NAMI CA Advocacy Helps Save MHSA from Governor's Grab
A grassroots outpouring of letters, cards, and emails to legislative committee members and the Governor has helped keep Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, from being put on the ballot again as it was last year with Prop 1E. The Governor wanted voters to approve taking MHSA funds and transferring them advocacy barbieto the state General Fund. NAMI CA organized NAMI members from the Affiliates of Sonoma and Sacramento counties and from Project Return of Long Beach whose representatives are also NAMI members. Testimony was provided at both the Senate and Assembly budget committee hearings dealing with mental health.

As a result, the committees decided not to let the Governor's proposal come to a legislative vote in time to put the MHSA funds up for grabs on the June 2010 ballot. Other mental health organizations attributed the failure of the MHSA "redistribution" proposal, in-large-part, to the unified protest of the mental health community at the hearings and to the letter-writing campaign that several organizations conducted, including NAMI affiliates in California. In addition to the letters that NAMI members sent directly to legislators, the NAMI CA office received over a hundred letters that were hand delivered to the Governor. Dr. LaCalle, NAMI CA's Executive Director, heard -- directly from key members of the legislature and from partner organizations -- that NAMI CA's advocacy efforts were impressive and powerful, especially because of the personal stories that were told. project return
Stand-up People
NAMI CA wishes to give special recognition and thanks to the following individuals who came to the Capitol to provide oral testimony:  Keris Myrick, Christina Burford, Cassandra Ross, Anna Bustamante, Zola Luiten, Rosemary Milbrath, Mike Tebo, Stephanie Glenn, Lieutenant Dave House, Molin Malicay, Doug  Stephens, Caroline Caton, Pat Pavone, and (NAMI CA staff) Kathleen Derby. And a special "thank you" to all who wrote letters in a timely way.

In spite of our current success, we must stay vigilant about the status of the state mental health budget. Cuts to the non-MHSA systems of mental health care are still possible, even though there are gaping holes in access to care because of the poor economy. And, too, there's always the possibility of the same proposal for the November ballot, depending on the size of the state deficit in the fall.
leadership National Leadership Conference: NAMI in Baltimore
The first week of February, NAMI held its annual leadership conference in Baltimore with a special focus on (1) the crisis in mental health care across the nation due to the recession and (2) the new Standards of Excellence for NAMI Affiliates.  NAMI CA Executive Director, Trula M. LaCalle, Ph.D., Brenda Scott, President, and Kathleen Derby, MHSA Policy Coordinator, attended the leadership conference to represent NAMI CA.

While there, the trio honed their advocacy skills and planned ways to put the tips and advocacy techniques to good use across the state. They also reviewed the Standards of Excellence and agreed that the new standards are a welcomed opportunity to help California affiliates develop their nonprofits for better service in their communities. Together they decided to step-up outreach to affiliates in order to ensure a smooth conformity with NAMI's expectations for performance and branding of the NAMI affiliates. Affiliate conference calls will be regularly conducted by Dr. LaCalle and Brenda Scott -- along with NAMI CA board members -- to help affiliates meet the new standards over the next two to three years and enjoy the outcomes of their success.

collaborating NAMI Affiliates and Counties Team Up
On Friday, February 19, eight NAMI Affiliates from the Bay Area: Alameda County,  Contra Costa County, East Bay,  Marin County, Sonoma County, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Solano County, and Tri-Valley joined their respective county representatives and Mental Health Directors in a collaborative meeting, jointly hosted by NAMI California and the California Mental Health Directors Association. The event was held in the Alameda County offices.

The meeting of over 45 attendees was designed to facilitate ways in which affiliates and counties can work together to address common concerns around delivering quality mental health care, education and support to communities despite the fiscal crises faced in all regions of California. Today, counties recognize the need to reach out to community organizations for help. At the same time, local NAMI affiliates need financial assistance and institutional support from their county mental health departments to more effectively serve consumers and family members with education and support programs. NAMI signature programs such as Family to Family, Peer to Peer, In Our Own Voice, and Connection support recovery and fit well with county plans for Prevention and Early Intervention and Workforce Education and Training.

Collaborating to Overcome Deficits
The California Mental Health Directors Association stressed the severe deficits faced by counties and community support needs, while NAMI California's team focused on how our state organization and local affiliates are best equipped to help in offering recovery-oriented support and education by qualified individuals to those who desperately need it. In addition to presenting on signature programs, the NAMI California representatives introduced the state-sponsored community program, Working Well Together ("WWT"). As part of this collaborative, NAMI California, along with United Advocates for Children and Families, The CA Network of Mental Health Clients, and the CA Institute of Mental Health, provides technical assistance to county mental health departments in all regions of the state to prepare them to hire and sustain a workforce of qualified consumers and family members.

The Bay Area region meeting was a success, with NAMI affiliates and counties reporting on mutual goals to work together to better serve their communities. Some affiliates and counties reported on their already successful partnerships, such as the one for Sonoma County, where the county contracts with the affiliate to fund NAMI signature programs and supports innovative ventures to providing mental health supports in law enforcement and other segments of the community.

NAMI Sonoma County Honored jefferson award
The County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors has selected NAMI Sonoma County to receive a 2010 Jefferson Award for Public Service, an acknowledgement of its excellence in providing services to the public in Sonoma County. The ceremony will be held on March 16, at 8:30 a.m. at the Board of Supervisors Chambers at 575 Administration Drive, Room 102. There will be a short reception after the presentation.

NAMI Sonoma County is one of only five award recipients selected in Sonoma County. Established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard (a staffer to Bobby Kennedy), the Jefferson Awards Program is a national recognition system designed to highlight public service in America. It serves as a complement to local recognition efforts, tying winners into regional and national media systems.

At the national level, this prestigious award has been given to many well-known figures over the years such as Dr. Henry Kissinger, Cesar Chavez, Lance Armstrong, John Glenn, Paul Newman, Oprah Winfrey, Rosalyn Carter, and Barbara Bush.

Nami kern vets NAMI Kern Members Serve Veterans with Honor
NAMI Kern's JR and Nicole Browning were recently interviewed by NBC Affiliate Channel 17 in Bakersfield about the traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress suffered by uncounted thousands of returning American troops. JR, a sergeant in one of the first units to enter Baghdad in 2003, experienced more than twenty nearby explosions in those early days. He returned after two tours of duty with combat stress, constant headaches, and memory loss. The Army medicated him heavily while on duty, so he wasn't aware of most of his PTSD and TBI symptoms until he came home.

Today, JR is an advocate for NAMI Kern, helping with its signature Front Line program, serving returning veterans and their families. His wife, Nicole, is a member of the NAMI Kern board. Nicole attended the NAMI Family-to-Family course, while JR has completed Peer-to-Peer training and teaches courses to vets with PTSD. Both have spoken bravely at conferences, hoping to help others to recover, and they maintain a blog on PTSD. JR is attending college, studying history and law, while Nicole has started an art consulting business. She told NBC Affiliate News Anchor Jim Scott that we should prepare now for "an epidemic" of PTSD and TBI.

More information about NAMI Front Line.

censusBe Represented. Be Counted!
All residents of the United States must be counted in the Census. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens. Too often people with disabilities go uncounted!

Census information is used to distribute federal and state dollars to your local government and community services.

The form has 10 questions and takes just 10 minutes to complete. Census forms arrive in mailboxes in March 2010. Be sure to complete your Census form and mail it back, it's the law.

For more information about the 2010 Census in English, visit For more information about the 2010 Census in Chinese, Korean, Russian and Spanish
, visit
In This Issue
NAMI CA Advocacy Saves MHSA
NAMI Leadership Conference
NAMI Affiliates, Counties Team Up
NAMI Sonoma Honored
NAMI Kern Serves Vets
Census 2001
Thanks, Darlene!
NAMI California 2010 Annual Conference
Thanks Darlene!
Darlene Prettyman (right) was recipient of a California Legislature Assembly Resolution - honoring her service on the Oversight and Accountability Commission - June 2004 to January 2010. In the above photo, she holds her resolution, stranding with Brenda Scott, President of the NAMI California Board of Directors.

Darlene was the original family member serving on the Oversight and Accountability Commission (OAC) until she resigned in January to care for her husband of 57 years. While on the OAC, Darlene served as the Co-Chairman to Prevention and Early Intervention, Co-Chairman of the Consumer Family Leadership Committee, and attended many of the other Committee meetings. She is proud of the passage
of Prop. 63.

A certified psychiatric nurse, Darlene was a member of the JCAHO Commission for developing rules and regulations for seclusion and restraints.  She is past President of the California Mental Health Planning Council, Consumer/Family Member Task Force, NAMI CA, and Kern County RN Society. She also founded and chaired the Central California Mental Health Housing Conference for the past ten years. She was a member of the NAMI National Board of Directors, 1998 - 2003, is Past Chairman and current member NAMI of Kern County, where she has volunteered from 1987 to today.
conference hotel

NAMI California 2010 Annual Conference
"Lighting The Way To Recovery Together"
August 27 & 28, 2010
San Francisco Airport Marriott
1800 Old Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone:  650-692-9100

The NAMI California 2010 Annual Conference is on its way!  We have begun to assemble the program for the NAMI California 2010 Annual Conference, which will be held at the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame on August 27 & 28, 2010.
If you want to be a workshop presenter at this year's Annual Conference, you need to fill out a Workshop Proposal at the NAMI California website. We need to receive completed forms by April 30, 2010 to review all proposals and begin inviting speakers. Do not miss the deadline, as late proposals will not be considered.

If there are any questions, phone NAMI California at (916) 567-0163 or email.


NAMI California's Tree of Tribute
tree of tribute
Each year many donors elect to give a gift in celebration of an event, in honor of a special individual or in memory of a loved one.

The Tree of Tribute formalizes this tradition by providing a lasting acknowledgement
for individuals who are remembered, individuals who are honored or have an enduring record of a significant celebration. 
Gifts in Celebration, in Honor or in Memory

Gifts of $500 or more will be eligible for an engraved leaf on the Tree of Tribute or an engraved stone at the base of the tree.

$500 - Bronze leaf
$1,000 - Silver leaf
$2,000 - Gold leaf
$3,000 -- Small stone
$5,000 - Large stone

Major Donors

I California thanks the following for their very generous contributions of $500 or more.

Humanitarian: $5,000 - $15,000
The Commu
nity Foundation, Riverside, CA

Patron:  $
2,500 - $4,999

Benefactor:  $1,000 - $2,499
Rita Jean Boppana, Playa Del Rey, CA
Attias Family Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Mountain View, CA

Shareholder: $750-$999

Sponsor:  $500-$749
Teresa A Walker, San Mateo, CA
Stephen Dwelle, President, Dwelle Family Foundation, Visalia, CA
Edward Gaston, MD & Lori Zager,San Rafael, CA
Margaret C. Winrich, Kelseyville, CA
Elaine Zelnik, Berkeley, CA
Doris Crowell, Walnut Creek, CA
Jeannette Lowe, Washoe Valley, NV
Pamela Zelnik & Mark Suhr, Berkeley, CA
Elizabeth L Friedman, Los Angeles, CA
Elizabeth Chamberlain, Woodside, CA
Mr. & Mrs. Michael Aldrich, Glendale, CA
John & Beverly White, Brentwood, TN
John J Krolewski & Nadia Ghent, Irvine, CA

Mark & Theresa Gale, West Hills, CA
Frances Tibbits, Pacific Palisades, CA
Christopher & Mary Folck Family, Truckee, CA
Glen & Linda Meyer, Danville, CA
Nancy Doyle, Santa Rosa, CA
Stephen & Jacqueline Astle, San Rafael, CA
Elizabeth S. Holden, Eugene. OR
Loeb Family Foundation

All donations,
large and small,
are greatly appreciated by
NAMI California and help
us achieve our mission
at the state level.
state advocacy link
Contact Information
or call NAMI California