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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 Conference is just around the corner!

Make sure you take advantage of our early bird registration-ending July 17th.


Register online to take advantage of the reduced registration fee.

This year's conference will offer a variety of workshops to provide education, recovery tools and resources that everyone will enjoy.



        Behind the Mask: Erasing Stigma with Art Exhibits

        CANVAS - Developing Innovative Volunteer Based Wellness Programs

        Children of Mental Illness

        Choices in Recovery

        Culturally Rich Realties: Living Invisible & Unspoken in California Communities

        Food and Mood: 9 Steps to Eliminate Anxiety, Stress, Social Phobia and Panic Attacks

        Health Care Reform: Boosting Recovery with Private Personal Support Services & Special Needs Trusts

        Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System

        Supporting our Returning Service Members and Veterans with PTSD: What can I do?

        The California MHSA Multicultural Coalition - The "CMMC"

        The Importance of Spirituality in Recovery

        The Power of Positive: Innovative Approaches to Promoting Social Inclusion

        Using Logic Models to Initiate Action and Sustain Change

        What you need to know about mental illness and SSDI

        Working for Us: MHSA Client and Family Member Employment and Advocacy

        YOU CAN with NAMI CAN!


For more information or questions, please contact NAMI California's office at (916) 567-0163.  


GOLD SPONSOR ($7,500): 








A-Z logo








Carla Jacobs 


BRONZE SPONSOR ($2,500):   







river city bank




sierra health




sutter center



COPPER ($1,000):


Turning Point Community Programs  

National Study: NAMI Family Education "Significantly" Improves Coping With Mental Illness

Family to Family

NAMI's Family-to-Family Education program "significantly" improves coping and problem-solving abilities of family members of individuals living with mental illness, according to a landmark study published in the current issue of Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.


Led by Lisa B. Dixon, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the study found that the NAMI classes increase both knowledge about mental illness and "empowerment within the family, the service system and the community."  

NAMI's Family-to-Family program offers "concrete practical benefits" and demonstrates the value of free, community-based self-help programs as a "complement" to professional mental health services, the study noted. The classes combine an instructional curriculum with a support group environment. 


Read more about the study at

Legislative Update 


This is a very important week. Advocates are assembling in great haste to prepare comments as deadlines approach on topics of major importance.    


Repeal of AB 3632

AB 3632 is a law passed in 1984 to mandate mental health services for children under the federal Individuals with Disabilities and Education Act (IDEA). NAMI California participated on a conference call with many stakeholders hosted by the Alliance for Children and Families. If tax extensions are not placed on a ballot and passed by the voters in a special election, there will be no source of state funding beginning in FY 2012/13.   


Elimination of the Department of Mental Health

The responsibility for administering our state psychiatric facilities will be transferred to a new Department of State Hospitals. We must have a guarantee that California will have a powerful, knowledgeable, and expert mental health leader in his/her own right with a strong team to put our services back together again after an $861 million raid on Mental Health Services Act funding and the dissolution of our structure. Nothing short of that will suffice. Make sure your legislator knows how you feel today.    


Get more details on these actions at the NAMI California website. 


-- Mark S. Gale

NAMI California Government Affairs & Public Policy Committee, Chair


MHSA Update 


Here is a brief summary of the highlights of a busy month. For answers to questions or to receive additional background, feel free to contact MHSA Policy Coordinator, Kathleen Derby. You may also visit the Mental Health Oversight and Accountability website.    

Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Statewide Programs.  PEI programs implemented by CalMHSA include Suicide Prevention, Stigma and Discrimination Reduction, and Student Mental Health. NAMI California has collaborated on two proposals in Stigma & Discrimination Reduction. View future CalMHSA Board meeting agendas.

MHSA Evaluation Efforts. Two statewide contracts were awarded in MHSA Evaluation, with both Phase 2 and Phase 3 being awarded to the team of UCLA and Evaluation, Management & Training (EMT). NAMI California members are invited to participate in the evaluation. Please contact Kathleen Derby 

or call (916) 567-0163, ext. 109.


Stakeholder Engagement Webinar. We have collaborated with the California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA) in the development of a document and subsequent Webinar entitled "Enhancing Stakeholder Participation -- Strategies and Essential Ingredients for Ongoing Stakeholder Participation."


Community Forums. The Oversight and Accountability Commission has formed a joint workgroup comprised of members from the Client and Family Leadership Committee and the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee to work on Community Forums for this year. Upcoming forums:  


September 21, 2011 - 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. - San Francisco

December 8, 2011 - 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. - San Diego

NAMI San Diego Emergency Psychiatric Program Awarded

san diego_upac

NAMI San Diego, along with Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC), and lead agency Mental Health Systems, Inc. was just awarded a contract funded by MHSA Innovations money to provide Peer and Family Engagement in the County's Emergency Psychiatric Unit (EPU) and in the community.


Recovering peers and family members will assist clients, families and the community to navigate the County of San Diego mental health system, especially during significant life transitions such as initial engagement of services, transitions between different mental health and primary care programs; changes in living situations, reengagement with school, employment and various community resources, and when transitioning out of the mental health system to community resources to include primary care clinics.


This project will demonstrate whether early peer and family engagement results in improved access and utilization of mental health services for clients who receive initial engagement at the EPU and greater client retention in mental health services. The family engagement component will allow us to determine if a systematic effort to involve family and other support persons of Transition Age Youth (TAY), adult and older adult clients positively contributes to better outcomes in the psychiatric emergency room. At the mental health clinic site, we will learn whether peer and family support results in improved long-term recovery outcomes for clients.

NAMI Sonoma County Begins Veteran Outreach 


NAMI Sonoma County has embarked on a new and exciting venture to reach out the Veterans in our community. On May 5th it hosted a gathering of representatives from many county agencies, the VA clinic in Santa Rosa, a VA Rep from Fort Miley in San Francisco, a Blue Star mom from Marin county, Viet Nam veterans from our local chapter (223), the general public and several interested citizens including NAMI members and more.


Patric Maniaci explained what Kern County does in providing outreach and services to families and Vets through their Frontline program. Frontline has been recognized by NAMI National as the plan to follow in helping family members and Vets. 


With the help and support that NAMI provides, NAMI Sonoma County plans to train members of Veterans organizations to be Family-to-Family teachers, Peer-to-Peer mentors, NAMI Basics, NAMI connections facilitators, and to gather families and vets to help them understand mental illness and how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects our Vets and their loved ones.The Peer-to-Peer program will help the veteran directly understand how they can best accept their mental challenges and move forward to recovery.

NAMI California Family Programs Report

Family to Family
NAMI Sonoma is offering Family to Family Teacher and support group trainings in June. For details, contact Lynn Cathy, Director of Family Programs


Visit the new Family to Family, Support Group and Basics blog. Final class reports from F2F classes are starting to come in from across the state and the response has been very positive. To quote a few:

"Thanks for helping me and my family start our mentally-well journey." -- San Luis Obispo

"[Our teachers] were very warm, engaging and at times entertaining. Their personal experiences are invaluable." -- Pomona Valley.

"I've been telling everyone about this course." -- San Diego.


If you are a family member of a loved one with mental illness, please contact your local affiliate to find out when classes are being offered. 

Proxy Parent Foundation Started by NAMI Members

proxy"Who will care when I'm not there?"  This concern can plague parents of people with disabilities.

"It was this consistent question from our members who were worried about what was going to happen to their loved ones that propelled us to find an answer," said Ann Eldridge, current president of NAMI-Southern Santa Barbara County and a past NAMI-CA (then CAMI) board member. "We wanted to be able to leave an inheritance to our relative without endangering his or her government benefits. Plus, we wanted to know that someone would be there who truly cared about our loved ones after we had died." 

Thus, in 1991, NAMI-CA and the Mental Health Association-LA worked together to develop Proxy Parent Foundation as a separate 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization in California. Proxy Parent Foundation safeguards eligibility to public entitlement benefits through its Proxy Parent Foundation PLAN of California Special Needs Trust while providing "family like" personal support services for its beneficiaries who have a mental illness or other brain disability.


Read more about personal support services and learn how to safeguard assets at NAMI California.

Visit the Proxy Parent Foundation's Website or contact them at 888-574-1258. 

Support AB 154


The changing landscape of healthcare has given California wide latitude to re-design both public and private treatment coverage for mental health and substance abuse. On April 25, the Assembly Select Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse convened a hearing to gather information from experts in an effort to assist counties with shaping their benefit packages for eligible low-income, uninsured individuals via their Low Income Health Plans (LIHPs), and to help the state determine its essential health benefit package for plans operating within the Health Benefit Exchange.


All the experts reached a common conclusion: access to effective mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment results in tremendous savings for business, government, and health insurers.


Experts shared studies demonstrating that healthcare costs are significantly reduced when people have access to mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits.

The chairman of the committee, Assembly Member Jim Beall, encouraged individuals to send a support letter for his mental health and substance abuse parity bill, AB 154 that requires private health plans to treat mental health and substance abuse disorders in the same manner as other physical chronic conditions.

Click here to download an AB 154 Support letter template you can email or fax to my office.

To download the agenda, click here. Click on the links below to view the supporting documents including the power point presentation prepared by Sandra Naylor Goodwin President and CEO of the California Institute for Mental Health:


Item 1Power Point  

Item 3a ADPI Presentation 

Item 3b SUD Services in LIHP 

Item 3c Minimum Benefit Requirement for all MediCal 115 Waiver Providers 

Item 4 Expansion of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Within Reach Through Health Care Reform 

Readers of the printed version of the newsletter can find these documents on our website, or obtain copies by contacting the NAMI CAN! Coordinator, Bettie Reinhardt, at or 619.341.3956.

New AAPI Issue On Mental Health Released By UCLA

aascThe UCLA Asian American Studies Center announces the publication of Asian American Pacific Islander Nexus Journal: Policy, Practice and Community Special Issue on Mental Health. This issue features select papers presented at the first "State of AAPI Mental Health" conference held in 2010, which was a transdisciplinary gathering on mental health research, treatment, and practice among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). The release of the Special Issue on Mental Health is in conjunction with the second conference on Friday, April 22, 2011. For more information on the conference, click here.

The goals of the two conferences and this special issue are to increase the understanding about mental health and service needs of AAPIs. Research has shown that AAPIs have unique economic, linguistic, and cultural characteristics that require specific mental health services that can adequately address their needs. Read more at NAMI California

Contact Information
or call NAMI California
(916) 567-0163
In This Issue
NAMI California Annual Conference
National Study: NAMI Family Education
Legislative Update
MHSA Update
NAMI San Diego Emergency Psychiatric Program
NAMI Sonoma County Begins Veteran Outreach
NAMI California Family Programs
Proxy Parent Foundation


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