|MONTHLY NEWSLETTER||August 2010|
|National Alliance on Mental Illness, California State Organization
Welcome Members and Affiliates
We welcome your ideas for topics to cover, your feedback on issues that face consumers, families, and providers across the state. Contact us at email@example.com.
DON'T BE LATE! The 2010 NAMI-CA Annual Conference Promises to be Memorable!|
Be sure you have registered by mail or on-line and have reserved your room at the San Francisco Marriott. For those who already have a reservation at the San Francisco Airport Marriott, it's smart to register for the conference in advance. With on-site registration your meals cannot be guaranteed.
The cut-off date for special conference rates at the hotel is August 18, 2010. If you have trouble obtaining a room at the conference hotel or are looking for a lower room rate, check our website for information on "spill-over" hotels.
Be Excited and Renewed!
NAMI Affiliate leaders across the state are remarking that NAMI California has been re-energized. Come to the conference and find out for yourself. We think you will return home after the conference with new motivation and enthusiasm for doing the work in your communities. Take home ideas and plans that you captured in the workshops. Find hope in the future by listening to our expert plenary speakers who will tell us about scientific advances and recovery models. Be inspired by the personal story of our keynote speaker, award-winning actress, Mariette Hartley.
Unlisted On Friday evening, we will screen Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia, the documentary of the journey made by Delaney Ruston, MD, to reconnect with her schizophrenic father after hiding from him for 10 years. Dr. Ruston will be at the conference.
Contribute Your Ideas!
to the annual conference prepared to share as well as learn. Network
with your fellow NAMI members and - if you can - bring with you
materials and ideas to help other NAMI members. Talk with the NAMI
California board members and staff and learn about how the state
organization can and does support the work you do. Let NAMI California
leaders know what more we can do for you.
Check our website for a listing of the full program schedule and decide ahead of time what workshops are right for you. You'll find a full page of conference information, including links to the on-line and mail-in registration, and links to to on-line voting (see story below).
We want to see you there! Help make NAMI a stronger force in the state of California. Let's show our strength in numbers!
|BOARD ELECTIONS-NAMI CALIFORNIA|
All NAMI members in California are strongly encouraged to vote for new NAMI California board members. If you haven't voted or if you know someone who hasn't voted, please help make this election a good one. We need full participation to truly represent our membership, so your vote makes a difference. You will need your membership number in order to vote. Recently, members received in the regular mail an announcement of the conference. Your membership number is on the mailing label.
If you can't find the number on the Annual Conference Announcement or in your files, please call Jose Perez in our office (916-567-0163) to obtain your membership number.
To vote on line, click here.
This link will take you to a page where you can quickly and easily vote-and save a postage stamp.
CANDIDATESYou may vote for up to four candidates. Vote for more and your ballot may be disallowed. View all candidates' statements here.
Randy Beckx, NAMI Orange
David House, NAMI Sonoma
Stephanie M. Glenn, NAMI Sonoma
Rosina Guzman-Ehrlich, NAMI Westside Los Angeles
Oscar Guzman, NAMI Sonoma
Dorothy Hendrickson, NAMI Orange
Marilyn Sanacore, NAMI Coachella Valley
Frances Tibbits, NAMI Westside Los Angeles
NAMI California Pioneer Eve Oliphant and Her Empowering
Eve Oliphant, one of one of NAMI's leading founders and a
founding member of the organization that became NAMI California, passed away on
June 26 in California at the age of 89. Her enduring legacy reflects the monumental
shift in the American landscape regarding the medical perception and treatment
of mental illness, as well as in the de-stigmatizing transformation of the way
Americans, consumers, family members, and physicians look at schizophrenia,
depression, PTSD, bipolar, and many other disorders.
Oliphant led marches, organized letter-writing campaigns,
and attacked those who continued to foster the myth of the "schizophrenogenic
mother." Strong willed mothers and
weak-willed fathers were blamed by physicians for their mentally ill children
in this Dark Age of American medicine only 30 years ago. Not only was Oliphant
and other mothers' sons shipped to the Napa State hospital, but physicians
denied parental visits, claiming mothers would only deepen their sons' mental
When Medicine Got it Wrong, a documentary narrated by actress Rita
Moreno, documents the struggle of Oliphant and Tony and Fran Hoffman to battle
family stigmas and begin the long movement that continues to fight for many
people who today can finally speak up for themselves.
Oliphant ended up employing her tireless resolve to creating a
continental shift in medicine and American culture. Oliphant would certainly agree
that there's still much work to be done.
We shall be forever grateful to her for lighting a torch in
Read more about her here.
Interview with Keris Myrick|
Vice-President, NAMI National Board of Directors
Jšn Myrick, Ph.D.c, has been a member of the NAMI California board since 2007
(with her term expiring this month) and a member of the NAMI National Board of
Directors since 2008. She has just been named First VP of NAMI National. As
executive director of Project Return Peer Support Network (PRPSN), Ms. Myrick
oversees one of Los Angeles' premier self-help programs for people recovering
from mental illness.We
recently had the opportunity to ask her about her new role at the national
level and about key issues facing California and the nation. She had just
returned from a visit to the White House to participate in the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Q. Could you briefly explain the
process of becoming a member of the national board and how long you have served
A. I am starting the 3rd year of my first term.
I hope to run for another three-year term next year. The process involves being
nominated by an affiliate or state organization, writing responses to a several
questions (willingness to serve, what skills etc will a candidate bring to the
National Board etc), delivering a three-minute speech at National Convention,
completing an on-line speech, attending as many state caucuses as you can, and
then ultimately being elected to the board.
Q. What are your responsibilities as
A. My role is to be an active member of the
executive committee which consists of the board officers. I am the back-up to
the president when he is absent and/or steps out of the room while presiding
over a meeting. I work closely with the president on pressing issues before the
board and we work as a great team. I am sure that I will learn more about other
duties as this year progresses.
Q. What are the key issues or
concerns that you see on the table at the national level?
A. From an advocacy perspective, we are
focusing attention on the implementation of health care reform and parity,
adequate and access to mental health services for our veterans and their
families, mental health services to those affected by the BP oil spill. From
the organizational perspective, we are focusing on developing our strategic
plan as well as rolling out the Standards of Excellence.
Q. Speaking as executive director of
Project Return Peer Support Network, what similar issues affect providers and
consumers at both the national and California levels?
A. At Project Return we focus on providing
peer/self-help support that meets the needs of the people that we serve
throughout Los Angeles County. Because of harsh economic times, we are focusing
on finding creative ways to be fully involved in one's community that are
empowering, independent, and relevant to the person's life. For example,
community integration, social interaction is important for people, but
sometimes finances preclude folks from doing fun things like going to the
movies -- or even to Disneyland which is right in our backyard! One of our
groups took part in a volunteer event sponsored by Disneyland. The group
volunteered at a blood bank right after the tragedy in Haiti and in return each
volunteer received a free Disneyland ticket!
was novel is that by volunteering as a group from Project Return in their
community, they reduced the stigma of mental illness, had people involved in
their community, and each person got a free ticket to Disneyland--something
that many could not afford on their own. Also, many receiving services from
Project Return as well as employed by Project Return were involved in letter
writing and providing testimony at the State Capitol to preserve MHSA and
Mental Health funding. From the perspective of Project Return and the national
perspective - participation emphasizes the importance of our voice (the lived-experience
voice) in policy planning, decision-making, and ultimately in the services
that we receive.
Q. Are there Multicultural issues at
that national level that you'd like to explore during your tenure?
A. I am Chair of the Planning Committee for the
Board and we have a Diversity Workgroup comprised of grassroots leaders from
around the country. This group along with the Multicultural Action Center is
keeping their eye on the pulse of multicultural and diversity issues within
NAMI as well within mental health issues on a national level. There is not one
multicultural issue that I can identify, but can state the focus is to ensure,
especially as we refer to Standards of Excellence for NAMI, that we are meeting
the needs of our members that come to us from various backgrounds inclusive of
culture, race, ethnicity, language, disability, as evidenced by the passage
of the NAMI national by-law this year on an revised and expanded
definition of diversity. Further, our focus is on the inclusion of people with
lived experience of mental illness throughout the whole of NAMI, from
membership, leadership, on committees and boards but most importantly as equal
members at the NAMI table.
Q. How does your experience in
California inform the idea of a recovery based model at the national level and
what are the challenges?
A. My personal experience of living with a
mental illness is probably the best way that I came to understand recovery for
myself and how to honor others' definition and experience of recovery. It is hard for me to say there is a
"model" due to the very individual nature of recovery for each
person. If anything, that is the biggest challenge, taking something so very
personal and individual and trying to aggregate the experience and apply it as
a one-size-fit model to everyone. One thing that is a rather new revelation for
me is that as we continue to advocate for access to, variety and choice in and better
mental health services, as well as research for better medications. We use the
word "recovery" right now based on the aforementioned efforts. These things are
indeed crucial yet are just shy of focusing on the whole person. Within the
context of recovery, , I think it is
important to advocate for services and supports that are whole-person centered
such as housing, employment and
education which are, as identified by people with mental health issues,
critical issues and needs that positively impact their recovery. So the
challenge is not to reduce the word recovery to just a word or buzzword, but to
ensure that RECOVERY is real, attainable, powerful and aligned fully with our
Q. As an
advocate of In Our Own Voice and peer-recovery programs, what message would you
like to send to the NAMI California audience?
A. Peer services work! Family to Family is peer
service, just as Peer To Peer and In Our Own Voice provide a peer/ lived
experience service. How wonderful it is to know that either as a parent,
sibling, spouse, friend or person living with a mental illness that we are NOT
alone! When I was first hospitalized, the staff discouraged the
"patients" from doing the most natural thing in the world: helping,
supporting and caring for one-another. Could you imagine that happening in a
cancer treatment center? Of course not! Sharing common experiences is
what helps us to learn and grow as individuals. It is what provides
"connection" and tethers us to this world. It is what makes us human!
NAMI's Anti-Stigma Efforts Benefit Sebastopol Community|
A potentially offensive event that might have stigmatized mental
illness was converted into a mutually beneficial learning experience at a Sebastopol
nightspot this month.
When the local HopMonk
Tavern's "Lunatic Binge" party advertisements hit the local media showing a
crazed face and the words "Please, no sharp objects", Sonoma County
NAMI President Rosemary Milbrath and NAMI California Executive Director Trula
M. LaCalle responded with concern.
In an interview with The Press Democrat, Dr. LaCalle said poking fun
at people with mental illness is no different than the insensitivity of mocking those with cancer or other
Milbrath said in a letter to HopMonk owner Dean Biersch that members statewide
were "poised to become involved if needed."
The "lunatic" theme was the idea of the event's headliner group,
Baby Seal Club, a local indie rock band whose members defended the show. The
band's bass player, who identified himself only as Wizzbang, said the intent
was to mock archaic institutions and stigmas, not mentally ill people. In fact,
the band is sympathetic to the plight of the mentally challenged and some have
family members who have suffered, he said.
Milbrath subsequently spoke with the tavern owner by phone to explain her
concerns. After her conversation, she received a call from the band leader
agreeing to allow NAMI to set up an information table at the event.
"The band and management welcomed us," Milbrath said after the concert,
"and we all had a wonderful evening. Their event was not exploitative, nor a
mockery. Rather, it was a multi-media art event by a talented group of people
who have a personal experience of the link between mental illness and
creativity. There was sort of an Andy Warhol meets Burning Man feel to the evening.
We all made a genuine connection and I think that they will help us in the
|Nearly 1 in 5 Californians Report Need for Mental Health Services|
In a comprehensive new study on mental health status and the use of mental health services by Californians, researchers at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that nearly one in five adults in the state - about 4.9 million people - said they needed help for a mental or emotional health problem.
In addition, approximately one in 25, or more than 1 million, reported symptoms associated with serious psychological distress (SPD), which includes the most serious kinds of diagnosable mental health disorders.
Of those adults with either "perceived need" or SPD, only one in three reported visiting a mental health professional for treatment, a factor potentially attributable to fear of stigmatization, as well as lack of insurance coverage, the researchers said. The study draws on data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), which is administered by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
"There's a lot of need, but also a lot of obstacles connecting those in need to the services that can help them," said David Grant, the study's lead author and director of the CHIS. "Part of the problem may be stigma. It's hard for many Californians to acknowledge they need help - to their family, friends or their doctor. The challenge for policymakers and providers is to both target appropriate services to those with needs and to reduce fear." Grant noted that since the data was collected, the state has suffered an economic downturn, resulting high unemployment.
"The recession has created even more stress for people," he said. As a result, the study "is probably an underestimate of the true level of mental health need in California right now."
Among the findings:
Women at risk
Women were nearly twice as likely as men (22.7 percent vs. 14.3 percent) to say they needed help for a mental or emotional health problem ("perceived need"), such as feeling sad, anxious or nervous.
Working-age adults at risk
The prevalence of perceived need was twice as high for adults under 65 as for those 65 and older (20.2 percent vs. 9.2 percent).
Income a significant factor
The poorest adults - those living below 100 percent of the federal poverty level - were much more likely to report symptoms associated with SPD than those with incomes that were even just slightly higher. The poorest were more than five times as likely to report SPD as those living at or above 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
Distress pervasive regardless of race or ethnicity
Although racial and ethnic disparities in mental health were found in the study, those differences diminished when adjusted for income. These findings suggest that mental health status is more closely related to socioeconomic status than ethnicity or place of birth.
Insurance coverage improves access to services
Adults with health insurance coverage were almost twice as likely to have received mental health services during the previous 12 months as adults without health insurance.
Stigma, cultural factors may impede access to services
Men, adults aged 65 or older, and Latino and Asian immigrant groups were far less likely to seek help with a mental health professional than other groups. The authors note that these findings suggest that stigma and cultural factors may pose a significant barrier to care.
Read the policy brief: Mental Health Status and Use of Mental Health Services by California Adults.
NAMI California wishes to give a hearty thanks to the Northern California NAMI Walk for their contribution of 10% of their revenues from their very first Walk. Not only did they demonstrate an outstanding success for their kick-off Walk, they have shown great faith in their partnership with NAMI California and confidence that we can build a better regional future together.
We also wish to thank the Riverside County Walk for their generous contribution earlier this year. Riverside may be far from Sacramento, but their engagement with us is strong and is the home county of our NAMI California Board President, Brenda Scott.NAMI California puts Walk funds to use in programs and services that directly support NAMI California Affiliates. Support for NAMI Walks across California will continue to increase in months ahead. We encourage all Walk leaders to stay in touch with NAMI California so that we can help promote the most important awareness and fund raising events we have across the state.
Kern County, CA
Walk: October 16, 2010
NAMI Walks at the River Walk Park Saturday, October 16th
NAMI Walks 2010 Kickoff Brunch at Hodel's on Saturday, August 7th, at 10am! RSVP to RussMFT@aol.com.
Los Angeles, CA
Walk: October 2
Phone: (213) 251-6519
Orange County, CA
Walk: October 2
Phone: (714) 544-8488
FAX: (714) 544-0791
Walk: November 6
Phone: (714) 801-7704
FAX: (951) 925-9450
The Rubberband Man|
I am elastic.
Just pull me back,
And I might stretch
Or I might crack.
I might unravel
Then I might shrink.
But, I know, now,
Just what to think.
Stretching and cracking
May cause me pain.
But, I will just
Fly forth again.
And If I, perchance,
Fling to the floor,
I will bounce thru
The open door;
Out, where the world is
waiting for me,
The man made from
A rubber tree.
-- Stewart Wise, President of NAMI Stanislaus
Written to reflect my feeling of resiliency when dealing with Bipolar Disorder.
NAMI Sonoma County|
NAMI Sonoma County will host its Mental Health Symposium and Champions Awards
Luncheon on September 14, 2010. There is no charge for this event.
Where: Wells Fargo Center for
the Arts, Santa Rosa, California
When: Tuesday, September 14,
2010, 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Mental Health Symposium
offers CEU's for professionals. Students are welcome at
class time. While there is no charge for symposium, you must Preregister.
provided (11:00 am).
Workshops on Mental
Health Needs of:
● American Indian
To RSVP by Phone:
Register online for theMental Health Symposium by clicking this link.
To nominate a champion please click on this link.
Click here for detailed Workshop descriptions
Symposium is generously
funded by The Lytton Rancheria.
|Kern County Affiliate|
Police Chiefs Release Report: Improving Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has released a report titled Building Safer Communities: Improving Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness. This report presents the findings and recommendations from a national summit held by the IACP in May 2009 to address the millions of encounters between law enforcement and persons with mental illness in our communities. The report can be downloaded on the IACP website.
Thanks to the efforts of many here in Kern County and despite tight fiscal budgets, Law Enforcement's partnering with Mental Health & Veterans organizations is improving the response and outcomes - continued efforts will help strengthen our communities. Join us in improving Awareness for Vets with PTSD & Traumatic Brain Injury and those with Mental Illness.
Register Online Now!
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
available. For details and applications call (916) 567-0163.
Visit our Conference Page at the NAMI
California website. There you'll find details on sponsorship,
exhibitor information, and more details as time grows closer to August.
NAMI California's 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
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
NAMI California thanks the following for their very generous contributions of $500 or more.Humanitarian: $5,000 - $15,000
The Community Foundation, Riverside, CA
Mitch Francis, (location withheld on request)
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
Frances Tibbits, Pacific Palisades, CA
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
Linda K. Pontious, Grass Valley, CA
Elizabeth Chamberlain, Woodside, CA
Gunnar Christiansen, MD, Santa Ana, CA
Venona & John Levine, Walnut Creek, CA
Ralph Nelson, Visalia, CA
Victoria Link, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Mark Gale, West Hills, CA
large and small,
are greatly appreciated by
NAMI California and help
us achieve our mission
at the state level.
or call NAMI California
This educational newsletter is supported, in part, by an educational grant from Lilly USA, LLC. For further information concerning Lilly grant funding visit www.lillygrantoffice.com. |