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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

NAMI California Annual Conference 

NAMI California's Annual Statewide Conference will be held August 19th & 20th at the Sacramento Double Tree Hotel.For more information please visit our website conference page.   



A big thank you to our early sponsors:

GOLD SPONSOR ($7,500):



river city bank













sierra health



COPPER ($1,000):


Turning Point Community Programs

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Jessica Cruz, or  go to our website.


If you are interested in presenting a workshop at the upcoming conference, we would love for you to submit a proposal.  We are looking for a variety of topics for this conference, please complete the form and submit to the NAMI California office no later than May 1, 2011. If you have questions, please contact Nikki Townsend.


Board Nominations

Is there someone on your Board that you feel would be a good representative for the NAMI California Board?  Is serving on a statewide Board of Directors something that you would be interested in pursuing?  If so, please complete the form and submit to the NAMI California office no later than May 1..If you have questions, please contact Jessica Cruz.


NAMI California Award Nominations

We are now accepting nominations for our statewide awards.  If you would like to nominate an individual for one of the below awards, please complete the form and send it to the NAMI California office by May 1st. If you have questions, please contact Nikki Townsend. Awards: 

  • Don & Peggy Richardson Memorial Award: For distinguished service to persons afflicted with serious mental illness
  • Outstanding Clergy Award: In appreciation of devoted and compassionate service to those with mental illness and their families.
  • Outstanding Peer Award: For excellence in advocacy and support of recovery
  • Family-to-Family Award: For excellence in leadership with the NAMI Family-to-Family programs
  • Media Award: For excellence in reporting on serious mental illness
  • Outstanding Criminal Justice Advocate Award: For exemplary time and effort in advocating for accepted best practices that have resulted in the decriminalization of persons with serious mental illness
  • Outstanding Criminal Justice Professional Award:For a criminal justice professional who has advocated for and has been an integral part in implementing accepted best practices that has resulted in decriminalization of persons with serious mental illness                       
  • Veteran's Award: For outstanding service and innovative program development for veterans and their families.
  • Recovery Practitioner Award: For the clinical staff person who consistently initiates, promotes and reinforces recovery principles within their practice, county and sphere of influence.
  • Zero Tolerance of Seclusion and Restraints Award: For A Facility Who Has Done Outstanding Work with Initiation and Implementation of Zero Seclusion and Restrains Practices

NAMI California Client/Family Conference Scholarship

If you are interested in receiving a scholarship to attend the NAMI California Conference, please complete and submit the form by May 1.The NAMI California Conference Committee and Executive Committee will review all applications and award 10 total scholarships to both clients and family members.If you have questions about the scholarship application, please contact Nikki Townsend



If you are interested in becoming an exhibitor at this year's event, please contact Nikki Townsend.


NAMI California Regional Meetings

gavelJoin NAMI California at your regional meeting to discuss advocacy, MHSA issues, and what other affiliates are doing in their area.  


Below are the dates, please RSVP your attendance to Nikki Townsend at invitations to come.

May - LA region

Thursday, May 26, 10am-2:30pm

Irvine Marriott Hotel (same location as BOD meeting)  


June - Central region

June 20,, 10am-2:30pm

Modesto area, Location TBA  


September- Sacramento region

Friday, Sept. 9, 10am-2:30pm

University of Phoenix Sacramento campus  


End of September - San Diego region

Location TBA

October - Bay Area region

Friday, Oct. 14, 10am-2:30pm

Schwab Building in San Mateo

MHSOAC Placer County Update

placer mhsoac
The California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission  (MHSOAC), Client and Family Leadership Committee and Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee, will be holding a Community Forum on April 26th to discuss the progress of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) in Placer County.  


The forum will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Maidu Museum,1970 Johnson Ranch Drive, Roseville, CA 95661. 


Specifically, the MHSOAC Committees are interested in hearing from stakeholders about  their experience with MHSA planning and implementation. Committee members and attending stakeholders will participate in a discussion in a semi-structured format  designed to elicit feedback and diverse views. Information and ideas gleaned through this discussion will be used to provide feedback to the MHSOAC about how persons  have experienced the MHSA in local communities throughout California. This information will be considered by the MHSOAC when developing future policy direction. 


The Community Forum is neither a formal review nor an audit of MHSA programs in Placer County. The goal of the forums is to advance MHSOAC communication with  the California public and provide opportunities to hear firsthand from stakeholders.    


If you have questions about the Community Forum, please contact Matt Lieberman or Peter Best of the MHSOAC staff at: or (916)445-8696 and  or (916) 445-8696. 

NAMI San Diego Named Outstanding Local Affiliate

 san diegoThe NAMI Board of Directors has selected NAMI San Diego as the Outstanding Local Affiliate for 2011. The Outstanding Local Affiliate award is given to recognize exemplary efforts to achieve NAMI's goals on the local level.


In his letter announcing the choice, NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick said,  "NAMI San Diego's consistent support of NAMI's mission of education, support and advocacy is evidenced by the number of support groups, education classes, community outreach activities, seminars, and monthly education and advocacy meetings you offer." 


"We're very excited about the award," said Shannon Jaccard, Executive Director of NAMI San Diego. "As one of the largest affiliates in the nation, we work hard to serve those affected by mental illness and their loved ones through our support, education and advocacy services." 


This year's NAMI San Diego Walk is scheduled for April 16 in Balboa Park. NAMI San Diego also runs a Family and Peer Support Helpline that offers free, safe, confidential information, referrals and support for people with mental illness and their loved ones.


For more information on NAMI San Diego, call (800) 523-5933. Or visit


NAMI California congratulates NAMI San Diego on its outstanding service and distinction.

Battling AB 60 and SB 794

This season's legislative bills make it extra clear why education and advocacy must go hand in hand for members of NAMI California.  The bills seem to be taking us back in time, rather than advancing forward.

AB 60 and SB 794 are two bills that criminalize behaviors that may be associated with serious mental illnesses.SB 794, set for its first hearing by the Senate Public Safety Committee on April 26, was authored by Senator Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo in California Senate District 15. This bill would provide that a person confined to a state hospital who commits battery upon the person of a peace officer or employee of a state hospital by "gassing" is guilty of aggravated battery, punishable by imprisonment in county jail or state prison for 2, 3, or 4 years. Gassing is defined as "intentionally placing or throwing...upon the person of another, any human excrement or other bodily fluids...that results in actual contact with the person's skin or membranes."


AB 60 was authored by Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries of Murrieta, in the 66th Assembly District. AB 60 has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety but has no hearing scheduled to date. Existing law provides that battery committed against a peace officer, custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, process server, traffic officer, or animal control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, as specified, is punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony.   


This bill would add felony battery against the above-named persons to the list of "serious felonies" and to the list of "violent felonies."  While not calling out people living with mental illnesses, it does increase the probability of prison sentences for people who do not respond to these official individuals in the desired manner.  The bill will add to prison over-crowding and increase the likelihood that even more prisoners living with the symptoms of serious mental illness will be serving  longer mandated sentences in correctional facilities.


Can NAMI California review and take opposition positions when bills such as these come up?  Absolutely. Can we issue calls to action to get all of you involved?We will. Should bills that would force people coping with mental health challenges

into prison even be introduced? 


Have you met with your state legislators or their aides since their December swearing in?  There is no better time than now. They are on spring recess through April 24, so make an appointment.Include their top aides.Be sure that someone with lived experience of mental illness is in your NAMI contingent. Help  legislators to understand your struggles as well your great recovery stories.  

NAMI Pioneer Liz Davis

in tribute
I met Bill and Liz Davis many years ago through the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill and the Kern County Mental Health Board.


Liz wasn't just an advocate - she was an ADVOCATE!


If you had wronged someone she cared about - look out. Liz could move faster than a tornado when there was a crisis, and she knew what to do when she got there. She was always organized, informed and ready to educate those of us who were standing around wondering what to do - and she could get us to do it!


When a wrong was committed in Kern County, or at the state level, I thought, "I really should write an editorial about this issue." Then I opened the paper and there was an editorial about the issue, written by Liz.When I called Mental Health Director Marvin Southard about persons turned out from the Emergency Room in the middle of the night, Marvin said, "Liz was just here."  When vital legislation was pending and I wondered how to get people advocate - Liz had already handed out self-addressed stamped post cards and left a note on the blackboard telling us what to write.


Liz was a tremendous role model with courage, ethics, strength and moral character. We have lost a great advocate, wonderful spokesperson, tremendous writer and, most of all, a very dear friend.It will not be the same without her.


Bill, our prayers are with you and your family.   


 -- Darlene Prettyman


Liz Davis died February 12, 201. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Elizabeth's name to: NAMI of Kern County, PO Box 9144, Bakersfield, CA 93389.      

MHSA Funded California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP)

AAHIAccording to national and California data, the African American population continues to display extremely high risk factors for severe mental illness, which contributes to gross disparities resulting in persistently high death and disability outcomes. California MHSA funds are dedicated to directly addressing risk factors through outreach programs for families and communities to recognize early signs of mental illness, to improve early access to services, and to reduce stigma and discrimination.   


Even in the face of severe mental health funding cuts, California is on the cutting edge of redesigning the public mental health system to be responsive to the cultural needs of its residents and to initiate interventions early at the community level. African Americans were one of five ethnic populations funded by the California Department of Mental Health MHSA Reducing Disparities Project to develop a strategic planning workgroup (SPW) to identify community practices for access to prevention and early intervention (PEI) mental health services.   


On March 24, 2011, the African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County (AAHI-SBC) after working for over a year with its SPW convened a statewide planning meeting at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino. The meeting included nearly 100 SPW members, clients, client family members and consumers representing all five regions of California, who came together to give ongoing input into the development of a population report on mental health and African Americans.  


The report will feature recommendations for practices identified by African Americans that will help them have good mental health.    

"This planning meeting was exceptional, well organized and demonstrated the diversity of African Americans across California who are investing their energies in helping develop a public mental health system that will use scarce resources to get people "help first" before there is the need for crisis intervention," said Sherman Blackwell, M.A., NAMI California State Board of Directors Reducing Disparities Committee Chairman.  


"The voices of African Americans were heard from rural isolated counties to large metropolitan cities. It was the consensus of the participants in attendance that inclusion rather than omission needs to be emphasized, and it must lead to funding support to reconcile the gross disparities in mental health outcomes across complex structures, and service delivery systems," said V. Diane Woods, Dr.P.H., CRDP African American SPW Project Director, and President/CEO of AAHI-SBC.  


Please visit the AAHI-SBC website for ongoing information about the CRDP Project, at, or contact Dr. Woods at (909) 880-2600.  


CCMHHC: Tradition Lives On

housingThe 12th Annual Central California Mental Health Housing Conference. "A Home, a Job, and a Date" is scheduled for May 19 at the Holiday Inn in Visalia. General registration is $55, $40 for consumers.Scholarships are available for general and consumer registration.


Returning keynote speaker is Xavier Amador, PhD, author of "I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help". In addition to his keynote address Amador will present an "Ask the Doctor" workshop. 


Stephen Mayberg, PhD, recently retired California Mental Health Director, will be honored for his insight to make direct involvement of consumers and family members in the mental health system possible.  


A unique feature of the event is the consumer fashion show.Models are all volunteers and will be showing clothes that follow the conference theme.Workshops will include update on MHSA funding, how to maintain housing, and development of collaborative efforts for housing and others.


Registration forms may be obtained by emailing

Crisis Intervention in San Francisco and the Memphis Model

sf pdOn March 23, 2011 Pam Fischer, San Francisco Advocacy Committee Co-Chairperson, flew to Memphis, Tenn. as part of a 15-member working group to study the CIT (Crisis Intervention) model of police response to mentally ill individuals who are experiencing a crisis.


The group included community representatives, mental health service providers, the criminal justice side, and 911 dispatch. The Memphis Model has been nationally recognized because of its success in reducing police violence and diverting consumers from the criminal justice system into mental health services. It has been in existence since 1988 and came into being because of NAMI Memphis's advocacy on this issue. 


The high point for Fischer was a "ride-along" in a patrol car with a CIT officer for her 6-hour shift. Toward the end of the shift, the officer received a CIT call that involved a paranoid schizophrenic veteran, off his meds and intoxicated, who was threatening his mother. Three squad cars with two CIT officers responded.


Fischer reports: "My officer and her partner responded with calm and with respect for the individual in crisis. He was not armed and they were able to talk him into coming with them. There was no drama. No one was hurt. Memphis, unlike San Francisco, has a single Crisis Center where all the consumers are brought for evaluation and services. San Francisco's mental health system is fragmented with many different points of entry--very confusing and time-consuming for an officer trying to deliver a consumer in need of services."


Next Steps:

Commissioner Angela Chan will present a timeline for launching the Memphis model in San Francisco to the Police Commission on April 6 at 5:30PM at City Hall, Room 400. The plan is for the first group of 25 officers to begin training in June. The goal is to train 200 officers in the course of the next year. NAMI SF is an integral part of this team. It involves not only police training but a "change of heart" regarding the mentally ill.


For more information or to get  involved, contact:

Pam Fischer, 415-661-8543 or,

Dale Milfay; 415-285-4617

Family to Family News

Family to FamilyWe are excited about our Family to Family teacher training scheduled for April 8-11, 2011. We have 19 participants scheduled to attend.


Our next teacher training will be held in May in Ontario. For details please go to the NAMI California website and check under Classes and Events. All trainings are posted there.   


Have you attended a Family to Family 12 week class?  If you have an ill family member, you would benefit by attending!  Please go to the website for the course description, then contact your local NAMI affiliate to see when classes are offered.


NAMI North Coastal San Diego County 

kruidenierElizabeth (Liz) Kruidenier, Co-President of NAMI North Coastal San Diego County, has been selected as Mental Health Volunteer of the Quarter by the San Diego Mental Health Board.The award was presented at the April 7 monthly board meeting.  


"Liz is the best example of what volunteering is all about," said Eric Revere, board vice chair and NAMI North Coastal newsletter editor.  "She is like an 'energizer bunny' of mental health advocacy," added Revere."Liz is constantly either attending meetings or leading multiple mental health advocacy groups.


"Her efforts during the planning phases of the Mental Health Services Act were instrumental in the establishment of 2 psychiatric walk-in assessment centers in the north county area. Her further advocacy led to the addition of a master's program in psychiatric nursing at Cal State San Marcos School of Nursing.  It will begin in the fall of 2011 with ten candidates."


Liz is a resident of Carlsbad for 20 years. She has been a leader, advocate and volunteer in the mental health community and other community groups for 15 years.  


The San Diego County Mental Health Board's mission is to review, evaluate and advise the Board of Supervisors of the county's mental health needs, services, programs, facilities and special problems and to advise the local mental health director. To find out more, please visit    


NAMI Sonoma 

NAMI Sonoma is exploring way to obtain permanent supportive housing for NAMI members in the Sonoma County and hopefully partnering with NAMI affiliates in the Bay Area Region. It has distributed a survey with the goal to determine what Bay Area NAMI members think about the type of housing and service that are needed. This is a great step in providing supportive housing for NAMI members.  


For more information, contact NAMI Sonoma at

707-527-6655 or by email.

Contact Information
or call NAMI California
(916) 567-0163
In This Issue
NAMI California Annual Conference
NAMI California Regional Meetings
MHSOAC Placer County Update
NAMI San Diego Named Outstanding Local Affiliate
Battling AB 60 and SB 794
NAMI Pioneer Liz Davis
California Reducing Disparities Project
CCMHHC: Tradition Lives On
Crisis Intervention in San Francisco
Family to Family News
Affiliate News


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  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
Mitch Francis, (location withheld on request)  

The Knudtson Family Donor Advised Fund at The Community Foundation Serving Riverside & San Bernardino Counties

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
Carla Jacobs, Tustin, CA
Betty & Marvin Hoffernberg, Pacific Palisades, CA 
Stephen Dwelle, President - Dwelle Family Foundation, Visalia, CA
Edward Gaston, MD & Lori Zager, San Rafael, CA
Dr. Charles & Annette Wilson, Corona Del Mar, CA
Rita Jean Boppana, Playa Del Rey, CA
Peter P. Blasko,San Francisco, CA
Lenore Kirvay, San Jose, CA 

Joanne McMahon, Newport Beach, CA
Shareholder: $750-$999 
Teresa Walker, San Mateo, CA 

Sponsor:  $500-$749
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
Ronald & Pat StoneModesto, CA
Palmyra Cameron, Los Angeles, CA 
Virginia Whitcombe, Palos Verdes Estates, CA Monika & David Eisenbud, Berkeley, CA
Linda Meyer, Danville, CA
Linda Crosthwaite, Covina, CA

Herbert & Marlene Greenstein, San Diego, CA

Elizabeth & Glen Friedman, Los Angeles, CA

Bruce & Jill Connole, Palm Springs, CA


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

This educational newsletter is supported, in part, by an educational grant from Lilly USA, LLC.  For further information concerning Lilly grant funding visit