new masthead
September 2011

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 

Fred Frese
Dr. Fred Frese
NAMI California's Annual Conference was a huge success.  Over 475 participants from across the state came to Sacramento to attend the event. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Fred Frese was a crowd favorite sharing his insight living with schizophrenia and the research he has conducted to help fight stigma.


Other plenary speakers shared their expertise on issues around PTSD, food and mood, cultural discrepancies in the mental health community, new research on schizophrenia and the new criminal justice task force. The various workshops received positive feedback, as well as for those doctors who were there to answer questions regarding specific mental illnesses.


Next year's event promises to be even better. Mark your calendars to join us on August 16th, 17th, & 18th, 2012 in Irvine, California. See you next year!


New NAMI California Board of Directors


NAMI California has a new Board of Directors and officers. Please welcome our new Board: 

  • Dorothy Hendrickson, President
  • Mark Gale, 1st Vice President
  • Brenda Scott, 2nd Vice President
  • Frances Tibbits, Treasurer
  • Roberta English, Secretary
  • Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Board Member
  • Randy Beckx, Board Member
  • Ratan Bhavnani, Board Member
  • May Farr, Board Member
  • Shannon Jaccard, Board Member
  • Navah Statman, Board Member

We currently have an opening to fill our final seat. If you are interested in sitting on the NAMI California Board of Directors, please contact Executive Director, Jessica Cruz at 

CalMSHA Update 

In response to NAMI California's and other stakeholders' input at their last Board Meeting, CalMSHA felt it necessary tMSHAOCo convene another meeting with stakeholders to discuss how stakeholders can achieve more meaningful involvement in CalMHSA's. We had a very productive meeting and emerged with the attached consensus proposal, which will go before the CalMHSA Board at their next meeting. This involves stakeholders from 6 regions in the state serving on a Program Committee, along with 6 board members, to oversee important aspects of programming. In addition, CalMHSA has agreed to host quarterly roundtable sessions between stakeholders and board members to solicit input that is not regularly on CalMHSA Board agenda.  


Click here to view proposals.


These are important developments that demonstrate tremendous improvement with regard to CalMHSA's understanding of stakeholders' need for meaningful involvement in the implementation of the PEI Statewide Programs.


Please stay tuned for further information, along with distribution of applications for membership on the CalMHSA Program Committee.

NAMI California's Voice is Necessary

circle logoThis year has provided many opportunities to demonstrate the value of NAMI California's voice: an exceptionally tough budget, Mental Health Services Act changes, the usual flurry of bills in the legislature, new realignment of services to the counties, and now, reorganization of state mental health administration. Many organizations and individuals line up to speak, write letters, and send lobbyists to the decision-makers. Yet, NAMI has a special role.


NAMI speaks for the people affected by mental illnesses, all of us. NAMI wants to increase the healthy longevity of people living with mental illnesses and decrease the isolation and burden experienced by family members. NAMI has a unique, total family understanding of how actions affect lives. In today's parlance, NAMI is a lot more concerned with outcomes than it is with process and with products than it is with widgets.


We make use of this by stating our expected goals, asking hard questions, and sharing our experiences. Whether we are speaking to the possible demolition of the Department of Mental Health or a new Medi-Cal co-pay, we let the policy makers know how our families need to be affected, we ask how their proposed action will achieve that goal, and we tell them how an action will affect us as individuals.


No one else can speak the way NAMI speaks.

Together, we're better.

Uninsured But Not Yet Informed


If there is one thing there is general agreement on when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) it's that it will help the uninsured.  The estimates are that 32 million people will gain coverage under the law through an expansion of Medicaid and tax credits, which will help low- and moderate-income people purchase coverage through the new insurance exchanges.


Therefore, it was a real surprise in our latest tracking poll to learn that most of the uninsured don't know how much the law will benefit them.  About half of the uninsured (47%) don't think they will be affected much at all by the ACA, either positively or negatively.  Fourteen percent think it will affect them negatively (their main reason is that they are worried about being forced to buy insurance they cannot afford). We know from survey after survey that the uninsured want insurance coverage. And we know that the main reason they don't have it is that they cannot afford it.   


Experts who have advocated for expanded coverage for decades probably envision the uninsured sitting around the kitchen table anxiously awaiting the implementation of coverage expansions under the ACA.  But surprisingly, only three in ten of the uninsured say the ACA will help them get health care.  It is possible that some of the uninsured will be faced with choices in the exchanges they don't like (for example, plans with very high deductibles), and a small number may resent being required to buy health insurance, but the vast majority of the eligible uninsured will benefit from the coverage expansions under the law. 

-- From Henry K. Kaiser Family Foundation

Read the complete story at NAMI California

The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities

disability The Housing News & Events Update: Priced Out in 2010 shows that in 2010, the basic cost of shelter, represented by the average rent for a modest one bedroom apartment, was more than the entire income of an individual receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  


Federal housing affordability guidelines state that low-income households should pay no more than 30% of monthly income towards housing costs, or about $211 per month for someone who receives SSI. Priced Out also reports that there was not one state or community in the nation where a person with a disability on SSI could afford to rent housing without a permanent rental subsidy.


For more information visit

Medicare Drug, Alcohol, and Depression Screening 

medicareThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today proposed to add alcohol screening and behavioral counseling, and screening for depression, to the comprehensive package of preventive services now covered by Medicare.These proposed national coverage determinations (NCDs) are issued under authority granted by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA), which allows CMS to add coverage of new preventive benefits that are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and are appropriate for Medicare beneficiaries.


Under the new proposals, Medicare would cover an annual alcohol misuse screening by a beneficiary's primary care provider.The benefit would also include four behavioral counseling sessions per year if a beneficiary screens positive for alcohol misuse.Medicare would also cover an annual screening for depression in primary care settings that offer staff-assisted depression care, so beneficiaries can receive an  accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up.

Public comments are invited on today's proposed decisions for 30 days. CMS will issue final coverage decisions later this year. The proposal for screening and counseling for alcohol misuse is available on the CMS website


The proposal for screening and counseling for depression is also available on the CMS website

Links from the California Psychology Internship Council 

Please have a look at the links below from The California Psychology Internship Council which offer the following modules available to all:

  1. Recovery & Recovery Oriented Care
  2. Homelessness & Poverty
  3. Navigating Through the DMH System and Paperwork
  4. Supported Employment with Severely & Chronically Mentally Ill
  5. Severe Mental Disorders: Treatment and Systems of Care
  6. Poverty, SES, Health, and Health Care
  7. Advocacy and Public Policy in Professional Psychology
  8. Supervision in Professional Psychology
  9. Cognitive Behavioral Interventions in the Treatment of Substance Abuse
  10. Trauma and Substance Abuse: Considerations in Assessment and Treatment
  11. Substance Abuse and Working with Families: Special Considerations for Treatment
  12. Health and Mental Health: Assuring Needed Care to All
  13. Evidence Based Practice in Mental Health Settings
  14. Working Effectively with Culturally Diverse Populations in the Public Mental Health System
  15. Psychopharmacolgy for Clinicians: A CAPIC Workshop 

Also: read about the CAPIC/MSHA Intern Stipend Program


Family to Family Update 

 Chinese family to family

The Family to Family Education Program Chinese translation was completed by NAMI SCC's Chinese Group on June 30, 2011. This project was led by Jen Hong, shown above with team members Sheng-Yin Lin, Katherine Fok, Chiao-Wen Chen, Caroline Wang. (Not Pictured are Priscilla Wey and Sunny Chien.) 


The group started the project in March, 2010, partially supported by MHSA, SCC ECCAC funding and many volunteer hours, completed with two tryout classes for final revision.


Special thanks also to John Mitchem (Past President) and Kathy Forward (President) of NAMI SCC, Lynn Cathy of NAMI CA, Joyce Burland and Lynne Saunders of NAMI National and ThuHien Nguyen of the SCC Mental Health Department for their support and encouragement during the whole project.

Taking Steps to Expand Our Outreach to Multicultural Communities  

Mexican flagNAMI CA MAC Coordinator partnered with the NAMI CA MHSA Coordinator and the NAMI CA WWT Coordinator and together visited the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento to introduce and promote NAMI and its programs. There are 10 Mexican consulates throughout California.


The Mexican Consul offered space inside their new building in Sacramento for NAMI to set up a booth and give away NAMI program and mental health information to everyone that comes to the Consulate (at least 500 people per day).  


In addition, NAMI can schedule NAMI En Nuestra Propria Voz presentations once a week in the Consulate, where people already are gathered. The Consul also offered the opportunity to join them and bring information about NAMI throughout the state during their health fairs, where all Mexican consulates in California pool their efforts to host regional events. The Consulate will keep NAMI California posted about all their community events in which they often gather more than 2,000 people.


 Read the full report of the meeting at NAMI California

Affiliate Updates

NAMI Ventura County Aims for One Hundred Percent CIT Training

CIT TrainingThe 27th Academy for the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program was held in July in Ventura County, with 32 police officers attending. CIT training provides law enforcement personnel with training on mental illness, and is proven to help officers de-escalate situations involving people in serious mental health crisis. When they are asked to assist with a problem involving mental illness, the training results in a more professional and humane response by police officers.


The 40-hour training is offered by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, which also provides contracted police services to five cities in the County. Under an extraordinary partnership, the CIT training is open to all other Police Departments in Ventura County, and sometimes to out-of-county agencies as well.


In mid-2010, when the number of CIT trained officers dropped below 50%, NAMI Ventura County expressed concerns to both candidates running for the Sheriff's office. Both assured us that CIT was an important program and that funding would be strengthened. When Sheriff Geoff Dean took offi ce in January 2011, he agreed to be the Honorary Walk Chair for the NAMI Walk. At this year's Walk Kickoff Luncheon and at the NAMI Walk, Sheriff Dean pledged to have all Sheriff's Department officers undergo CIT training, and stated that the police academy for new recruits would be followed by a similar 40-hour CIT program. NAMI Ventura County continues to encourage the other six police departments in the County to follow the Sheriff's lead. 

Read the full story at NAMI California

NAMI Walks Los Angeles

LA walks

NAMIWalks Los Angeles County will take place on October 1, 2011 at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Registration begins at 8:00 AM and the Walk Program at 9:30 AM.

Join us as we walk to eradicate stigma, raise awareness and support NAMI Signature Programs in our communities.

To connect, donate, join or form a team visit 

For more information contact Wayne Baldaro Walk Manager at or 213-251-6519
6th Annual Sierra Apple Festival

apple festivalNAMI Tuolumne County presents the 6th Annual Sierra Apple Festival on Saturday September 24th at the Mother Lode Fair Grounds in Sonora. This popular family oriented event will be held from 10 AM to 3 PM. Admission is FREE.


Children games, crafts, cake walks, silent auction, drawings, entertainment and a luncheon will be featured along with lots of apples and apple baked goods. Tuolumne County 4-H are making home-made caramel apples, Cover's Apple Ranch will be doing demonstrations and selling their yummy wares along with apple goodies from Alice's Sugar Shack. The luncheon, $5 for children and $10 for adults, will include fajitas, rice, beans with apple churros for desert.


All donations and funds received at this event will support NAMI Tuolumne County housing. The local NAMI group started its first housing program over ten years ago. This program was totally self-funded. Its success resulted in NAMI Tuolumne County receiving a HUD grant to provide housing to homeless mentally ill individuals. NAMI now houses eleven individuals in these two programs. Event proceeds will provide matching funds for the HUD grant and help cover high utility costs for residents in the original housing program.


Please call Bob at (209) 532-3787 or Mary at (209) 586-9351 for more information about the Sierra Apple Festival or NAMI Tuolumne County. Donations may also be mailed to support these housing programs - NAMI Tuolumne County, P.O. Box 4720, Sonora, CA 95370.


The festival web site is at


namibikes The inaugural NAMIBikes California Tour draws people together in a healthy activity to make a difference in the lives of those living with mental illness. Proceeds from the event support the mission of NAMI to fund innovative programs at the national, state and community level.


Help us break ground in 2011 by encouraging friends and family to join you in supporting this important cause. Register today and start spreading the word!


We will provide you with your own personal, customizable fundraising web page and provide templates and tools for emailing, writing and reaching out to your family and friends, making donating easy and fun. And you can directly link to your Facebook or Twitter page to help expand your reach within your social networks.   


To register, click here!
Contact Information
or call NAMI California
(916) 567-0163
In This Issue
NAMI California Annual Conference
CalMSHA Update
NAMI California's Voice is Necessary
Uninsured But Not Yet Informed
The Housing Crisis
Medicare Drug, Alcohol, and Depression Screenining
Family to Family Update
Hope Rides On Us


Proud Sponsor of NAMI California:

Janssen logo

NAMI California's Tree of Tribute
Fiscal Year 2011-12
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 Kelly Foundation, Sacramento, CA
Janssen Services
, New Brunswick, NJ
Patron:  $2,500 - $4,999 
Benefactor:  $1,000 - $2,499
The Knudtson Family Donor Advised Fund
, CA

Ralph E. Nelson, Visalia, CA

Attias Family Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
Frances Tibbits, Pacific Palisades, CA

Shareholder: $750-$999

Sponsor:  $500-$749
Joseph Kotzin,, Los Angeles,CA

Patricia Goldring, PhD, Sherman Oaks, CA

Kessel, Young, & Logan, Charitable Account, Long Beach, CA


All donations,
large and small,
are greatly appreciated by
NAMI California and help
us achieve our mission
at the state level.
2011 advocacy

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