new masthead new address
March 2012

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
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NAMI National Recognizes NAMI California as one of the 2012 Outstanding State Organizations

The "Outstanding State Organization" award is given by NAMI National to recognize exceptional efforts on the state level to further NAMI's mission. In granting it, the national board said:
The NAMI Board of Directors wishes to congratulate NAMI California for the way it honors and furthers the values and spirit of our organization. We applaud their culturally diverse staff and programs, their leadership in advocacy, the ability to offer top-notch technical assistance to affiliate and the fact that they offer the full complement of consumer, family, provider and public education programs.The National Board also recognizes that NAMI California made a serious commitment to the NAMI Standards of Excellence and the NAMI State Organization chartering early on and worked hard to complete the requirements for chartering." 
The award will be presented at the NAMI 2012 National Convention, scheduled for June 27-30 at the Seattle Sheraton. The award presentation will take place on Saturday, June 30th from 10:30am-11:30am.
NAMI California's 2012 Annual Conference: Applications for Workshops


irvine marriottNAMI California's 2012 Annual Conference will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California on Friday August 17th & Saturday August 18th.  We are now accepting applications for workshops.


This year's theme is "All of Us Together: Advocacy in Action".


All applications must be submitted with this attached form. 


Please include a brief biographical sketch of each presenter, along with the title and proposed objective for your workshop. The may be up to a total of four presenters per workshop. You are responsible for your own LCD projectors; TVs and VCRs may be rented at the hotel.


Completed forms must be received by April 6th, 2012.

Fax or email them to:

NAMI California

Attn: Nikki Townsend  

(916) 567-0163 office    (916) 567-1757 fax

Resources for California Veterans


veterans outreachNearly a third of veterans who seek care through Veterans Administration (VA) health centers receive mental health diagnoses. NAMI California recognizes the need for increased services for veterans and their families.

NAMI California
Our Veterans Resources Center consolidates the most useful online resources, whether you are looking for information on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, mental illness or how to obtain Veterans Administration (VA) benefits.


Visit NAMI California Resources for Veterans


California Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a free, downloadable version of its Veterans Resource Book.  


The book includes:

  • A Directory of County Veteran Service Officers
  • Veteran Service Organizations
  • Veterans Affairs Health Care
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Facilities
  • Mental Health Services
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Filing a Claim for Compensation or Pension

The California Action Plan for Reintegration

CalVet Connect can help you successfully re-enter civilian life by connecting you to the veterans benefits and services you have earned.


Complete the online form. A Veterans Services representative will contact you to answer your questions, and connect you with the appropriate service providers.

NAMI California - Regional Meeting Schedule - 2012


There are two changes to the regional meeting schedule reported in last month's newsletter. See the entries in red for the location and date change. For questions or registration information, the contact person for the regional meetings is Margot Carmassi, 916-567-0163 or by email:
regional training 
NAMI Los Angeles Protests Ending of Psychiatric Care at Famed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

From by
Marcia Pursecedars

The availability of psychiatric care took another hit Friday as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles announced it is phasing out inpatient and outpatient care for the mentally ill.

About 1,800 patients depend on Cedars-Sinai for outpatient counseling and medications. In addition, 51 acute-care beds will be lost .
At the bottom of the move is, as usual, finances.

Cedars-Sinai says it will make $1.5 million in grants to local agencies to "ease the transition," but it won't ease anything for patients who will have a harder time finding treatment as funding keeps being cut to those same agencies, and they keep having to cut staff.


I received the following news release from Andy Behrman regarding a planned protest:

On Monday, February 13th, the National Alliance on Mental Illness/Los Angeles will gather to protest their outrage at Cedars-Sinai's decision to shut down both its in-patient and out-patient psychiatric care facilities. This will eliminate fifty-one beds that are critical to the community at a time when both city and county wide services are shrinking.

The purpose of OCCUPY CEDARS is not only to protest the closing but to grieve this tremendous loss to the community. NAMI members and people from within the community will meet at 6:30 p.m. for a candlelight vigil in front of the Old Thalians building between the two medical center buildings on Alden Avenue and then a walk around the perimeter of Cedars will begin.

In addition to the protest, there will be speeches by mental health advocates including NAMI President Sharon Dunas, Elyn Saks (USC professor and the author of The Center Cannot Hold) and Andy Behrman (the author of
Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania).

Cedars-Sinai claims that the "reorganization" is "designed to focus on the institution's core strengths while continuing to serve the community's healthcare needs."

There is absolutely no reason that all other illnesses deserve top level treatment at Cedars and those with psychiatric illnesses receive no treatment at all. But at the core of the hospital's decision is the fact that psychiatric care does not generate as much revenue for Cedars than other types of care, because there is not nearly as much expensive testing to be ordered.


The closing of the psychiatric facility at Cedars will also mean the loss of so many great doctors, nurses and compassionate staff that will not be replaced. Not to mention, people in the community will have one less resource and be forced to travel far distances to receive quality psychiatric care.


Cedars is clearly putting profit before the mental health of our community.


If you'd like more information, you can contact me at or

When the Affordable Health Care Act is fully operational, insurance companies will not be able to discriminate against the mentally ill, but if facilities aren't available for treatment, that won't matter much. That a prestigious medical center like Cedars-Sinai would stop treating patients with mental disorders, and also stop training doctors in psychiatry, is a big blow to the mental health community. I only hope it doesn't start a domino effect at other hospitals.

Dual Eligibles Demonstration Applications



The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has posted all submitted applications in response to the Request for Solutions for the Dual Eligibles Demonstration. There are 22 applications from health plans operating in 10 counties. DHCS will review these applications over the next several weeks and announce by late March which ones will participate in the demonstration.


If you have comments on the applications, please submit them to












Family to Family Update 


Family to Family

A landmark study which was presented at NAMI's annual convention in July of last year contained the following statement: NAMI's Family-to-Family Education program "significantly" improves coping and problem- solving abilities of family members of individuals living with mental illness


Our teachers can attest to this fact. Says one teacher:


"Each student felt significantly empowered in their own journey with their loved one [living with a mental illness. Over half of the class shared that they had directly applied the information they learned during the course. One student used the information he received in the first four classes to communicate with the court in a child custody case, resulting in the judge acknowledging a new understanding of mental illness. A second student ... applied the Limit Setting information presented in the class to re-establish a safe and confident relationship with their family member."

NAMI California Financial Statements and Supplemental Information 


NAMI California is posting the most-recent Independent Auditor's Report, June 30, 2011.  


Click here to read the full report. 

Contact Information
or call NAMI California
(916) 567-0163
In This Issue
NAMI National recognizes NAMI California
Applications for Workshops
Resources for California Veterans
Regional Meeting Schedule
NAMI Los Angeles Protests
Dual Eligibles Demonstration
Family to Family Update
NAMI California Financial Statements


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 Pharma
, New Brunswick, NJ
AstraZeneca, Wilmington, DE
Ruth Knudtson, Redlands, CA
Phrma, Sacramento, CA 
Patron:  $2,500 - $4,999
May S. Farr, Upland. CA
Samira V. Moran, Encino, CA
Sidney Stern Memorial Trust, Pacific Palisades, CA, $2,500.00 
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

Pfizer Inc., New York, NY

David M. Knapp Special Needs Trust, San Diego, CA   

Dwelle Family Foundation, Visalia, CA
Shackleton Adventure Racing, LLC,  Carmel, CA

Edward Gaston, MD, San Rafael, CA

Ngena Asante, Cypress, CA

Henry Garner, Yorba Linda, CA

NAMI Westside Los Angeles (from NAMIWalk) 

Shareholder: $750-$999

Orange County's United Way, Irvine, CA 

Teresa Walker, San Mateo, CA 

Ralph E. Nelson, Visalia, CA  

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

Patricia Goldring, PhD, Sherman Oaks, CA

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

Wayne Baldaro, Glendale, CA

Virginia Whitcombe, Palos Verdes Estates, CA  

Linda K. Pontious, Grass Valley, CA

Miriam C. Wille, Ventura, CA

Elizabeth Chamberlain, Woodside, CA 

Michael Aldrich, Glendale, CA

Arnold Klein, Malibu, CA

George Greenspon, Westlake Village, CA
Elizabeth Chamberlain, Woodside, CA


NAMI California Annual Conference Donors

Janssen Pharma, $5,000

AstraZeneca, $5,000


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

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