new masthead new address
February 2013

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

Working Together

The fact that NAMI members have a lot of power is not news. The power comes from our numbers, our inclusiveness of the entire family, and our diversity. It also comes from our willingness and ability to work with our organization, agencies, and individuals at the local, state, and national levels. When we say that Together, We're Better and NAMI Can!, we are stating facts and not just catchy phrases.


This article is about one association with which NAMI California has worked for many years. Some affiliates work with their local version of the same association, California Coalition for Mental Health (CCMH). The Coalition's Agenda for Fairness shows you the list of more than 30 participating organizations on the letterhead and the mental health principles that all have agreed to. The Coalition is now asking our legislators to sign onto this Agenda for Fairness. We will let you know how that goes.

While you are on the CCMH website, click on resources and see the brochures that the coalition updated this year. So much has changed in the organization of mental health agencies during the last two years, it was more like developing the content than updating it. The brochures are:

  • Understanding Your Mental Health Insurance Coverage
  • Mental Health Parity
  • Speak Up for Your Rights
  • Accessing County Mental Health Services
  • Your Right to Timely Mental Health Services
  • The Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) and Provider Complaints

We will tell you in future months about other coalitions in which we participate AND we would like to hear about your coalitions and associations and how they help you do your NAMI work.


-- Bettie Reinhardt, MPH

NAMI California Legislative & Public Policy Consultant  

Don't Stop the Music

Sixth in a series of columns by Roger Greenbaum

Activities in which a special ed student can participate side by side with so-called "typical needs" (mainstream) students, such as band, choir, or a school sports team, offer possibilities which can, in the happiest sense, be life-changing.

Those vital possibilities can sometimes go undervalued - - even unnoticed - - by administrators, teachers, or others.  For this reason, it's essential that those of us in solidarity with the special needs student speak up.   Inclusive music and team sports can bridge gulfs of isolation that once seemed irreducible.

A January 25, 2013 letter from the federal Office of Civil Rights, in Washington, D.C., reminds school districts that categorical exclusion of special needs students from extracurricular athletics is unlawful.

That guidance letter parallels a growing social science literature on inclusion of the special needs student in school through music.  These papers suggest not only that special needs students have the ability to take part in mainstream band and choir, but that the benefits of their inclusion extend to "typical-needs" students and the wider community as well.


Read the complete column.

Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Williams Beardslee Among Keynote Speakers for NAMI California Annual Conference, August 16, 17th.

NAMI California is pleased to announce Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Williams Beardslee, M.D among our Keynote Speakers for the 2013 Annual Conference.

Dr. Amen is a physician, double board certified psychiatrist, teacher and five time New York Times bestselling author. He is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on applying brain imaging science to everyday clinical practice. Dr. Amen is the Founder of Amen Clinics in Newport Beach and San Francisco, California; Bellevue, Washington; Reston, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia and New York, New York. Using SPECT imaging and other diagnostic tools, Dr. Amen and his staff of highly-trained professionals help people across the country and the world with a wide range of issues, from attentional problems, anxiety issues, mood problems, autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, addictions, obesity, memory, learning and behavioral problems 


beardslee Dr. Beardslee is Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Boston's Children's Hospital and Gardner/Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry at Harvard University. He is the author of over 100 articles and chapters and books including the acclaimed Out of the Darkened Room: Protecting the Children and Strengthening the Family When A Parent Is Depressed. Dr. Beardslee is a frequent speaker and consultant on families and mental illness.


Save when you choose the Early Bird Registration for the NAMI California 2013 Annual Conference, August 16 & 17. Deadline is June 24, 2013. 

San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront
1800 Old Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, California 94010
Phone: 506-474-2009

Click here for registration and information. 
NAMI California Responds to California Department of Education on School Safety

NAMI California Executive Director Jessica Cruz encourages readers to take action.


Superintendent Tom Torlakson, California Department of Education,, has proposed that state schools seek CDE help in coordinating comprehensive safety plans, coordination with local agencies and more. Read his 2013 safety letter.

NAMI California has responded in support of the recommendations and added suggestions for incorporating NAMI programs Ending the Silence and Parents and Teachers as Allies.

"The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California, commends you for taking action by providing education and support to your students, educators, parents and the community. Your letter responds to the need for student safety, outlines a strategic approach and incorporates the need for mental health services education and support that is essential to intervene and prevent mental health crises in our schools and communities."

Read the full NAMI California letter to the Superintendent.

To reinforce the Superintendent's request, the following immediate actions would be helpful:

1. Ask your local school district to incorporate the Superintendent's action into their next school safety plans, which are due on March 1

2. Send Superintendent Torlakson an email/note commending his action. Contact information: 
P.O. Box 21636, Concord, CA 94521
Phone: 925-682-9998 Fax:  925-459-3421.)

-- Jessica Cruz, Executive Director
Smoking Among U.S. Adults with Mental Illness Is Close to 70 Percent Higher than for Adults with No Mental Illness


Studies show especially high smoking rates among minority and low-income people who experience mental health problems.  According to a Vital Signs report released on February 5th by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 36 percent of adults with a mental illness are cigarette smokers, compared with only 21 percent of adults who do not have a mental illness.  Mental illness affects 14.1 % of Latino men and 20.6 % of Latinas. Of those, 38.2% of males and 26.8% of females smoke cigarettes.

As reported in the 2011 National Health Interview Survey, 12.9 % of Hispanic adults in the United States are current smokers (17% of men and 8.6% of women), a decrease from the 2009 rate of 14.5 percent, though this data does not take into consideration the rates for Latino subgroups, which in some cases are higher. The overall current smoking rate for adults in the United States is 19 percent (21.6% of men and 16.5% of women). Thus, Hispanics/Latinos with mental illness have higher smoking rates than the general population.

Read the full report from The National Latino Tobacco Control Network.
MHSA: Individualized County Reports



The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) is pleased to present you with a series of reports highlighting the impact of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) in individual counties throughout California.  Each individual county report uses a set of performance indicators to provide a snapshot of consumer outcomes and community mental health system performance in each county; small counties with a population less than 200,000 were aggregated into one "Small Counties" report.


These individual county reports, and a comparable statewide report that was previously released in 2012, were conducted with the goal of developing a set of standard indicators to help stakeholders with ongoing quality improvement.  These individual county and statewide reports are the first in a series that will be conducted with this goal in mind.  


If you have any questions regarding the individual county or statewide reports, please feel free to contact the MHSOAC at (916) 445-8696.  The individual county and statewide reports are posted on the MHSOAC website at (the statewide report was posted in December 2012 and individual county reports were posted in January 2012).  
Working Well Together News


working well

Central Region News: Peer Support Within the Workplace Environment

Central Region Trainings are now complete & archived for fiscal year 2013. Working Well Together would like to thank the Behavioral Health Service leaders and staff members (Kings County and San Joaquin County) for hosting the sectional trainings. Much appreciation goes to Connie Burgess of C. Burgess Consulting & Associates, LLC and Sharon Kuehn of People Envisioning and Emerging in Recovery Services (PEERS). Both trainings were well received in Kings County (Connie) & San Joaquin County (Sharon).


Connie's activities empowered peer leaders based upon workshop title: 'The Power of Peer Support: Transforming the Mental Health System of California'. Sharon's engaging activities were driven by workshop title: 'Championing the Lived Experience within the Workplace'. As your Technical Assistance Center Coordinator, I would like for you to learn, become empowered and share this invaluable workshop knowledge throughout your respective workplace environments. Please call (916.288.5498) or email ( to schedule a presentation. Workplace Development Opportunities exist everyday - Are you ready to receive, either education or support for Career Success?


Contact Ron Shaw today!

Obama Gun Control Proposal Addresses Doctors' Concerns


President Obama's wide range of proposals to address gun violence in the United States included a clarification that physicians should be allowed to discuss firearm safety with their patients.


The plan states, "Doctors and other health care providers also need to be able to ask about firearms in their patients' homes and safe storage of those firearms, especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses or if they have a young child or mentally ill family member at home."

The clarification was issued in response to recent concerns that the Affordable Care Act prohibited physicians from asking about firearms in the home. That is not true, according to the White House, which also added that "the administration will issue guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit or otherwise regulate communication between doctors and patients, including about firearms.

Several groups representing physicians, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Physicians, praised the administration's initiatives.


Read the full story

Study: Asians, Latinos Less Likely To Seek Mental Health Care for Children


marin symposium Latino and Asian parents in California are less likely than other racial groups to seek traditional mental health treatment for their children, researchers at Loma Linda University and UCLA say.


Factoring out income, education and immigration, the study found that "the race of the parent is still a big deal" in determining whether services are sought, said Jim Banta, an assistant professor of public health at Loma Linda


About 24 percent of Latino children and 29 percent of Asian children identified by their parents as having serious emotional problems received mental health services, compared to 47 percent of white children and 50 percent of African-American children, the study found.


Though the study did not address the reasons for the discrepancy, Banta said in an interview Tuesday, Jan. 22, that culture-related barriers to treatment include parents' fear of having their child labeled, their fear of being blamed, limited availability of culturally appropriate programs and a shortage of bilingual providers.

DOL Provides Guidance on FMLA Leave to Care for Adult Children

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently provided a number of resources to help employers navigate the use of family medical leave to care for a child age 18 years old or older. The resources include an FAQ web page on the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) at, an "administrator interpretation" letter and a fact sheet.

According to the new guidance, an eligible employee is entitled to family medical leave to care for a son or daughter 18 years of age or older if the adult son or daughter has a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); is incapable of self-care due to that disability; has a serious health condition; and is in need of care due to the serious health condition. DOL clarifies that employees may be eligible for family medical leave regardless of when the child's disability occurs. It also notes recent amendments to the ADA expanding the definition of "disability" will enable more parents to take FMLA-protected leave to care for their adult sons and daughters with disabilities. Hospitals should review these resources and make any necessary changes to their policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

Click to view:
 Administrator Interpretation
 DOL Fact Sheet 

Provider Education Training of Trainers  


Training of Trainers

NAMI California hosted a Provider Education Training of Trainers on January 12-13, 2013 in Sacramento, CA. This was the first-ever state Provider Education Training of Trainers. The training was led by Teri Brister, Director of Content Integrity & NAMI Basics from NAMI National. The event was a great success, and we would like to congratulate the twenty new Provider Education State Trainers that successfully completed the training.

Family Programs News  

Family to Family  

Save these dates for the Family Programs trainings for the fiscal year:

  • April 12-14, Support Group, Pasadena, CA
  • May 31 - June 2, Teacher Training in Citrus Heights (Sacramento) CA 

If you are a current NAMI support group leader, please consider applying for becoming a support group trainer. Contact Lynn Cathy at: 


If you would like to become involved as a Family to Family teacher or support group leader, please contact your local affiliate.


Thank you!

NAMI California Financial Statements and Supplemental Information


Click below to view the NAMI California 2011-2012 Final Audit, including dual-year and single-year presentations.

Contact Information
or call NAMI California
(916) 567-0163
In This Issue
Don't Stop the Music
Dr. Daniel Amen Among Keynote Speakers
NAMI California Responds to California Department of Education on School Safety
Smoking and Mental Illness
MHSA: Individualized County Report
Working Well Together News
Obama Gun Control Proposal Addresses Doctors' Concerns
Asians, Latinos Less Likely To Seek Mental Health Care for Children
DOL Provides Guidance on FMLA Leave
Provider Education Training of Trainers
Family Programs News
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

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
Lilly Grant Office, Kalamazoo, MI    
Patron:  $2,500 - $4,999
May S. Farr, Upland. CA
Samira V. Moran, Encino, CA
Sidney Stern Memorial Trust, Pacific Palisades, CA
Teva Biologics & Specialty Products, North Wales, PA
Lilly Grant Office, Kalamazoo, MI 
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

NAMIWalks Los Angeles County

Shareholder: $750-$999

Orange County's United Way, Irvine, CA 

Teresa Walker, San Mateo, CA 

Ralph E. Nelson, Visalia, CA

Ronnie Okon, Tarzana, CA   

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

Patricia Goldring, PhD, Sherman Oaks, CA

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

NAMI Glendale in honor of Tom & Kay Connus, 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
Google, Inc., CA

Joseph Kotzin, Los Angeles, CA

Patricia Goldring, PhD, Sherman Oaks, CA

Corning Exchange Club, Corning, CA

Linda K. Pontious, Grass Valley, CA 


NAMI California Annual Conference Donors, 2012 

Janssen Pharma, $7,500

Lilly Grant Office, $7,500 

Teva Biologics & Specialty Products, $2,500

River City Bank, $2,500

Turning Point Community Programs, $500   



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

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