new masthead new address
April 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
NAMI Can! 
Covered California Takes Major Step Toward Launching New Health Care Options for Small Business

You have likely read that the Obama administration is delaying the small business portion of health care reform from January 2014 to January 2015. That is for states that are relying on the federal government to operate, completely or partially, their health benefit exchanges. California is operating its own exchange and is moving forward as these excerpts from their April 4th press release state.


The Covered California Board has approved Irvine-based Pinnacle Claims Management, Inc. (PCMI) to administer its Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). The program will offer approximately 375,000 California small businesses access to an array of affordable health coverage options for its employees.


Small employers participating in the SHOP will be able to provide their employees with a broader choice of health plans that generally has only been available to large employers. Certain small businesses - those with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees paid an average annual wage of less than $50,000 - may be eligible to receive a 50 percent small business health care tax credit for coverage purchased through the SHOP.


Through SHOP, employers will be able to pick the level of support for their employees, and in turn employees will be able to pick from those options the specific health plan that is right for them and their families. All plans will provide a standardized set of benefits and cost sharing to make it easy for employers and employees alike to make apples-to-apples comparisons.


For more information on Covered California, please visit


-- Bettie Reinhardt, MPH

Legislative and Public Policy Consultant

Meeting the Moment with Advocacy

Eighth in a series of columns by Roger Greenbaum 

In shaping public policy on mental health, in seeking clinical care, and in the schools, advocacy for the interests of children and teens often requires the voices of parents and other caregivers devoted to their cause.


Every parent and caregiver can be effective in advocating on their child or teen's behalf. Not that it's easy. Even so, this is a skill one can learn. There are time-tested approaches useful across a range of situations.

This column features helpful approaches, and highlights opportunities and training for advocacy available through NAMI California and its local affiliates, as we prepare to mark Advocacy Day in California, on April 29.


Read the complete column.  

Now Online: When Medicine Got It Wrong   

Discover NAMI's roots in California in this documentary -- and you can view it online.   


In this landmark film by Katie Cadigan and Laura Murray, Rita Moreno narrates the story of a small group of middle-class parents who, in the 1970s, got sick and tired of being blamed for causing their children's schizophrenia. They built a grassroots movement and launched a multi-pronged rebellion.


When Medicine Got it Wrong opens a hidden chapter of recent American history, one where parents declared "Yes We Can" and took on doctors, politicians and the cultural fear surrounding schizophrenia. Their battles played out amid the life-and-death consequences of medical misunderstanding - from the assassination attempt on President Reagan to rampant homelessness and incarceration for those not receiving treatment.


This family movement helped shape dramatic advances in brain research and an explosion of neuroscientific discoveries. By the 1990s the term "schizophrenogenic" mother disappeared from textbooks for good. Medicine now knows that people with schizophrenia can live fulfilling lives as long as good treatment, medications and services are in place.


Click here to view the documentary online.

Or, you can visit the official film website

Oakland Police Trained on Mental Illness
From The San Francisco Chronicle by Matthai Kuruvil

Oakland police say they receive an inordinately high number of 911 calls, many of them from unstable people, so they have started tracking those calls and have begun to learn better ways to deal with people with mental illness. The understaffed Oakland Police Department believes it receives the highest number of 911 calls per capita in the nation. Officials hope they can minimize the explosive nature of some of those calls by improving their tactics, but they say that the unstable need to be handled by mental health professionals.


"It's a losing battle to treat mental health issues through a 911 response," said Sgt. Chris Bolton, chief of staff to Police Chief Howard Jordan. "Deeper solutions are needed."


Analyses revealed the department gets about 19 mental health-related calls every day - or nearly 7,000 a year - said Officer Doria Neff, the department's mental health liaison. 

Tulare Mental Health Wellness and Recovery Conference 

NAMI Tulare County is sponsoring the Mental Health Wellness and Recovery Conference on May 23, 2013, from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, at the Holiday Inn, 900 W. Airport Drive, Visalia, California. Registration will be $55.00 for general registration and $40.00 for consumers.


Guest Speaker is Frederick J. Frese, Ph.D. Dr. Frese is a psychologist who has specialized in the area of schizophrenia for over forty years. Diagnosed with the condition when he was 25, he has worked tirelessly as a practitioner and advocate for consumers and their families.


In the afternoon there will be several workshops to choose from, followed by Dr. Arieh Whisenhunt taking questions in "Ask the Doctor".


For more information contact Susie Nickey at 559-624-7476 and/or email,

Peer to Peer Changed My Life 
By Hugh Joseph McCormick, NAMI Peer Mentor

Hugh and Carol Williamson

President, NAMI Santa Cruz

It's not about the money. Money is nice, but it is not everything.

I've been through a lot in the last 11 years. In 2001 I was diagnosed with a mental illness. Since then I have experienced intense highs and cavernous lows. Before having my mental break I was a day trader. I recall instances of making a thousand dollars in less than ten minutes. Even losing $4,200 in the time it took me to drive over highway seventeen to school. It could be said that I was obsessed with the green paper.


When I dropped out of UC San Diego, (I wasn't going to classes; just daytrading) and came back to Santa Cruz I was stripped of everything. Conserved, I became a ward of the state. I left a life of privilege and entered into a dark world full of scary roommates, powerful medications, and virtually no liberty whatsoever. I became angry, bitter, and scared. Doctors and psychiatrists told me that I would be this way forever. Recovery was not an option. It wasn't even mentioned. My obsession with money turned into an obsession with survival.


Having a mental illness is a humbling experience. One in which a man or woman is taken from the world that they used to know and placed in to a whole different universe. There are new customs to learn, rules to follow, and terminology that is used. For years I bounded from facility to facility and in and out of the behavioral health unit. I wanted my pain to end and tried suicide twice. I burned myself for a physical manifestation of my emotional pain. The scars on my wrists were more visible to others than the scars inside of me. It was a dark time that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.


Read the rest of the story. 

Fighting Stigma and Dispelling Myths

Imagine if high school students produced public service announcements for their school television station supporting the fight against stigma connected with mental illness.

This group of students from Elk Grove stepped up to the challenge and set a great example.


NAMI California Conference Reminder 

Remember, early-bird registration for the conference ends June 24.

Register today! 
NAMI California Programs News


IMPORTANT REMINDER - The phone number for Lynn Cathy, Family Programs State Coordinator, is the NAMI Office telephone: (916) 567-0163 x101



Family to Family Teacher Training and Family Support Group Facilitator Training - April 12-14, 2013 in Ventura, CA. Current status - trainings full


Family to Family Teacher Training - May 31 - June 2, 2013 in Elk Grove, CA (Sacramento County) waiting list available



Peer To Peer Trainings Spring 2013
Chico - 5/17 - 5/19
Ontario - 6/7 - 6/9 (Spanish)

Campbell (San Jose) 6/21-6/23*


IOOV Spring 2013

4/27 - 4/28 - San Diego, CA

5/4 - 5/5 - Campbell, California

5/18 - 5/19 - Redding, California

6/22-6/23 - Ontario, California


Send inquiries about IOOV to Nereida Castillo. Thank you.  



The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation upcoming conference entitled, "Discovery to Recovery: A Path to Healthy Minds," is being held on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles.


This conference will offer an opportunity to hear presentations from mental health experts and leading research scientists in small group settings. The focus and topics will address translating research into practice and you will hear from research experts on discoveries in Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Schizophrenia.

The cost is $80.00 per person and discounted group rates may be available for NAMI California members. Check out the conference brochure or contact the Brain and Behavior Foundation at 800-829-8289.


-- Lynn Cathy, State Family Programs Coordinator

Interim Peer Programs Coordinator
916-567-0163 x101
NAMI California Accepting Applications for Ending the Silence (ETS) Presenter Trainings

Are you interested in making a difference in the lives of young people? Do you have a passion for reducing stigma and discrimination toward people with a diagnosable mental health condition through education? If so, join enthusiastic people across the state in participating in the Ending the Silence program!


ETS is a program designed for high school audiences and gives students an opportunity to learn about mental illness through an informative PowerPoint, short videos, and personal testimony. Through the presentation, students learn symptoms, and indicators of mental illness, and are given ideas about how to help themselves or others who may be in need of support. NAMI California is looking for presenters who are comfortable with self-disclosure, knowledgeable about the various disorders, and young adults with a diagnosable mental health condition who are doing well in their recovery. Since this program will be reaching out to high school students, we are especially interested in getting young people (ages 18-29) involved in this program. Two-hour webinar trainings will be held on June 12 and June 27.


If interested, please complete the application and email/fax to Beth Larkins, NAMI California Program Coordinator. Beth can be reached at, 916-567-0163 (phone) or 916-567-1757 (fax).

Working Well Together News


working well

Thank you goes out to our Central Region Peer Team. Through a recent one-hour interactive session of engaging exercises, discussion and reflection, Peer Team EC was fired up to create a two-way communication strategy (engagement, acknowledgement & recognition) with Managers, Supervisors and Clinicians.


The end result will yield two benefits: First, a multi-county recognized, evidence based, recovery model. It must be acknowledged this exemplary center of operation - a Peer Center (both peer led & driven) -- engages peers in supportive activities and services five days per week.


Next, invitations will be designed and created, including a heartfelt, testimonial quote and inspirational art, also done by Peers.These Peer-inspired invitations will invite Managers, Supervisors and Clinicians to 'be present' for the witnessing of Peer successes, breakthroughs and leadership transformation in 'real time'. 


To all Peers with Lived Experience and working/volunteering within public and contracted mental health services:

Save the Date:
May 7th from 12 noon to 1:30 PM, for this webinar,
Improving Our Work Environment through Transformational Leadership. Please email Ron at: for all details.


-- Ron Shaw

TAC Coordinator

Central Region

Affiliate News 

We are celebrating our first year of operation as a NAMI affiliate. Thank you to all who have contributed to this year's success. Many affiliates have supported us, but a special thank you goes to NAMI San Mateo (our fiscal agent pending receipt of our letter of determination from the IRS), NAMI Santa Clara (provided staff support for some of our programs) and NAMI California (helped us become a recognized NAMI affiliate effective March 12, 2012).  With receipt of our Letter of Determination dated Feb 27, 2013 from the IRS, we are an IRS approved 501(c)3 effective as of April 6, 2012 (our incorporation date with the state of California).  

Other highlights:
  • From our 6 NAMI ACS Charter members starting in March 2012, we now have 53 members and growing.
  • In all, 16 IOOV presentations have been given to a total of 301 people since June 2012.
  • Our first NAMI Family to Family class in Mandarin will start on Monday April 29, 2013 in Union City.
-- Joe Rose, President
NAMI Alameda County South 

NAMI California Financial Statements and Supplemental Information


Click below to view the NAMI California 2011-2012 Final Audit.

Contact Information
or call NAMI California
(916) 567-0163
In This Issue
Meeting the Moment with Advocacy
Now Online: When Medicine Got It Wrong
Oakland Police Trained on Mental Illness
Tulare Mental Health Wellness and Recovery Conference
Peer to Peer Changed My Life
Fighting Stigma and Dispelling Myths
Ending the Silence (ETS) Presenter Trainings
Working Well Together News
Affiliate News


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