new masthead new address
June 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
Dialogues in Mental Health

by Jessica Cruz, Executive Director, NAMI CA

What a wonderful and exciting year we've had for Mental Health in California! We are so proud of the commitment made by our lawmakers at the state Capitol in the establishment of the Mental Health Caucus and Sub-Committee, resulting in real dialogue with our government officials and law makers. These conversations cover many topics, ranging from stories told by those among us living with a mental illness to the stories of those who care for them. Lawmakers are also able to learn firsthand about exciting new advances in medicine and how we can all partner to help each other get, and stay healthy.


Some of our new governmental partners are also hitting the road in an effort get an ear to the ground for what is happening in your community. You might have recently had an MHSOAC feedback meeting in your area. Did you know that a NAMI president is an MHSOAC Commissioner? Tulare County's own Ralph Nelson is there ensuring that communities are getting a fair voice in the processes that affect them. To see when they'll be out in your area again,  click here for more information, or contact David Czarnecki, NAMI CA Advocacy Coordinator, to sign up for our advocacy alerts (


Read more at NAMI California.

Governor Brown and Legislators Agree on Budget Deal

From the Sacramento Bee 

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have reached agreement on major elements of the state budget, including a controversial school funding proposal and other issues, sources said.

In a victory for the Democratic governor, sources said the agreement will largely assume the more conservative revenue estimates proposed by Brown. Legislative Democrats had urged about $2 billion more in spending on state services and programs than Brown proposed, after the state's nonpartisan legislative analyst issued a rosier economic forecast than Brown's.


In a compromise on Brown's proposal to overhaul the state education system and to shift more money to poor and English-learning students, all school districts would receive additional base revenue.


In addition, Senate Democrats are poised to get $206 million to improve mental health services, including $142 million in one-time general fund money. They are also expected to receive about $80 million to restore Medi-Cal adult dental benefits.


Assembly Democrats would receive approval for implementation of middle-class college scholarships, a priority of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez.


Money was freed up for those programs by reducing the amount of money Brown proposed to give schools to pay down debts owed under Proposition 98, California's school-funding guarantee, the sources said. The agreement also assumes nearly $300 million in higher property tax revenue and savings of about $85 million to $90 million in the state expansion of Medi-Cal.

Early Bird Deadline June 24 for NAMI California Conference Registration

The deadline is near for the reduced-rate Early Bird registration for the annual conference, Aug. 16-17 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel in Burlingame, CA.

A Milestone for NAMI Family-to-Family  

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is pleased to announce that the NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program has been added to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). 

In the review, the program was independently assessed and rated for quality of research and readiness for dissemination.


"NAMI is proud to be included in the registry," said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. "It is an affirmation of one of NAMI's signature education programs, established over 20 years ago, which to date has already helped more than 300,000 family members of people living with mental illness. 


Read the details at NAMI California. 


Teri Brister, NAMI Director of Content Integrity and NAMI Basics, calls the recognition a milestone in the two-decade history of Family-to-Family. 

Deeper Federal Budget Cuts on the Horizon

The House Appropriations Committee has divvied up funding for fiscal year 2014 among the 12 annual appropriations bills. The funding levels assume that the federal budget sequester is here to stay.


What's on the horizon for key social and health services? Nearly $35 billion in cuts, or over 22% in cuts compared to funding levels before the sequester was imposed.


Known as "302(b) allocations," the House appropriations bills follow the budget resolution adopted by the House earlier this year. This includes maintaining the lower spending caps imposed by the sequester, but erasing the sequester for defense programs.

As a result, all of the cuts will fall on non-defense discretionary programs (NDD) such as mental illness research and housing programs. 


NAMI was one of more than 900 national, state, and local organizations that signed onto a joint letter to Congress urging that FY14 funding reflect pre-sequester levels. Funding for NDD programs already has been cut by over $1.5 trillion and is on pace to fall to historic lows not seen since the Eisenhower administration.

The House allocations are evidence of what funding will look like for key social and health services if the sequester is not eliminated across the board. The $35 billion cut to the appropriations bill that funds health, education, and labor programs would represent the lowest amount for this bill since 1998, adjusted for inflation.

Congress needs to hear stories about how these cuts are affecting you and your local programs. Please share your stories with your congress people. Find contact information and news and resources at the NAMI Action Center.


Read what Sen. Mikulski  (D-MD), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has to say about the effects of the sequester.


--  Bettie Reinhardt, MPH

Legislative & Public Policy Consultant, NAMI California 

After Special Education: Then What?

Tenth in a series of columns by Roger Greenbaum

Eventually -- not later than age 22 -- by law, every special ed student will age out of the process.



True, many a special needs student will have obtained a  high school diploma well before then. "Pomp and Circumstance" is heard . . . Congrats!! Yet whether she gains that pretty piece of paper or not, the student's need for services or accommodations to overcome effects of disability may persist after age 18.


Then what? That question is what this month's column is about.


For a young person and his family, making headway in "transition" can often seem -- and be -- very hard. Striving to overcome a disability can be a slow and frustrating journey. Things don't always move forward in a straight line. 


But there's mounting evidence the effort can bring the student rewards that are meaningful and measurable.


 Read the complete column.  
CMHDA Congratulates Dr. Karen Baylor on Appointment to State Department of Health Care Services


On behalf of the California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA), I am very pleased to congratulate Dr. Karen Baylor on her appointment as Deputy Director, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services at the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). As CMHDA's immediate past president and current mental health director for San Luis Obispo County, Dr. Baylor will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new position. 


We are very pleased that DHCS has selected an individual for this critical position who possesses on-the-ground experience in the community mental health system. Her colleagues at CMHDA look forward to a collaborative and productive business relationship with DHCS as Dr. Baylor assumes her new role. We also want to thank retiring Deputy Director Vanessa Baird for her dedicated leadership in the position over the past year. Ms. Baird proved to be an incredibly fast learner of mental health and substance use disorder issues, and has been a skilled facilitator of stakeholder dialogue as she managed a smooth transition of state-level community mental health administration into DHCS.


-- Jerry Wengerd, LCSW, CMHDA President

Mental Health Director, Riverside County

Intervention Brings Sustained Weight Loss in Patients with Mental Illness


Patients with serious mental illness who are overweight or obese can lose weight and keep it off with a multifaceted behavioral intervention, a randomized trial showed. This was one of the conclusions reached by Dr. Gail L. Daumit, lead investigator of ACHIEVE (Randomized Trial of Achieving Healthy Lifestyles in Psych Rehabilitation).


"Despite many challenges, with a tailored lifestyle intervention, overweight and obese adults with a serious mental illness can make lifestyle changes and achieve substantial weight loss," Dr. Daumit said while presenting the data at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. "Our findings really support implementation of a targeted behavioral weight-loss intervention in this high-risk population."


Dr. Daumit expressed concern about failure of policymakers to include people with serious mental illness in their thinking, particularly in light of this population's prevalence of overweight and obesity.


"Historically, interventions for cardiovascular disease risk reduction, including weight loss trials with tens of millions of dollars of funding by the [National Institutes of Health] for the overall population, have systematically excluded almost all mental health consumers," she noted. "All of the large trials that really kind of define our nutrition policy or other health behavior intervention policies in the U.S. exclude this population." 


Read more at NAMI California

Affiliate News

NAMI Sonoma County Leads Native American Cultural Competency Training Course 

NAMI Sonoma County recently partnered with the Sonoma County Indian Health Project and sponsored "Understanding American Indian Culture: A Cultural Competency Training for the Community." The three-hour class was conducted by Molin Malicay, CEO SCIHP, a California Pomo Indian, a former NAMI Sonoma County Board President, and NAMI Family-to-Family instructor.


Around 60 people attended, including representatives from many agencies, including Living Bridges, Community Action Partnership, In Home Support Services, St Joseph's Health Systems, Kaiser Hospital, Sonoma County Behavioral Health, SELPA, Vista Health Center, the District Attorney's Office, CCAN, Redwood Empire Chinese Association, CFSA, Interlink, Department of Health Services, Goodwill Industries, the Mobile Support Team, Santa Rosa Junior College, CAD, Sonoma State University, Brookwood Clinic, FASCI, Family Medicine Residency, DHS Adults and Aging Division, Bennett Valley School District, the Living Room, professional MFT's and LCSW's, NAMI members, and private citizens.


The training focused on the California Indian culture, but also outlined broad aspects of the American Indian culture. Of the 566 tribes in the US, 111 are in California.


NAMI Ventura County To Participate in Quality of Life Program 

NAMI Ventura County is excited to take part in Turning Point Foundations new Quality of Life Program. Turning Point Foundation (TPF) was awarded a 3-year grant aimed at serving serious and persistently mentally ill residents living in specified licensed Board and Care facilities in Ventura County.


Life in a Board and Care can be boring and monotonous. Often, with no appropriate activities for the resident to participate in, he or she becomes socially isolated and cannot take suitable steps toward recovery. 


The Quality of Life Program seeks to improve the lives of people living in Board and Cares in Ventura County by enriching their environment and integrating them into the community. This exciting program will begin with two Board and Cares in the first year, add two more in the second year, and a fifth in the third year. It will provide engaging activities and facility beautification projects. Some of the activities will include art and gardening programs, fitness activities such as Pilates and Yoga, meditation and other spiritual activities, pet therapy, book and movie clubs, field trips and more. 


NAMI Ventura County considers it a privilege to collaborate with TPF on this important project. Many NAMI families are all too familiar with the deplorable conditions of the Board and Care facilities available to their loved ones. This project will involve NAMI Ventura County volunteers using their many strengths and skills to provide a variety of activities for the residents.


-- Joan Wiggins, NAMI Ventura County  


NAMI Sonoma County Co-hosts "Celebrating Healthy Sonoma"


In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month NAMI Sonoma County, the Department of Health Services, and The Wellness & Advocacy Center/Goodwill Industries presented a collaborative "whole health" fair and celebration.

The day-long event featured diversity and included participa
tion by Native  Americans (workshop), African-Americans (music), military veterans (workshop), LGBT (tabling), client art, and activities for all ages. 

View the write-up in the Press Democrat
Working Well Together News


working well

As the fiscal year comes to an end, we would like to know from each of the 20 counties within the Central Region what is working well in regards to workforce development within the Mental Health System. For example, how successful is the Wellness Center in preparing family members or consumers for jobs within mental health? Where do I find the latest update of the WET (Workforce, Education and Training) Plan for your county? Do you have identified role models or mentors for Peers with lived experience within the workforce of mental health? How well are WRAP support groups working within the workplace?  


Finally, please share a list of trainings within the department of mental/behavioral health. I would enjoy reading and sharing the list of eLearnings, workshops, or webinars.


Fiscal year 2013 has been an eventful, fulfilling year of accomplishments and successes throughout California. Along my visits and trainings throughout the Region, I continue to meet awesome, productive Peers. I applaud you for your tireless efforts, dedication and, most importantly, your ever-inspiring passion.


-- Ron Shaw, Technical Assistance Center Coordinator of the Central Region for Working Well Together, or call 916.288.5498.

NAMI California Programs News

Family to Family



Family Support Group phone call - June 27th at 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

and at 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. The Participant Code will be provided via email to all NAMI affiliate coordinators and support group trainers. All support group facilitators are invited to participate!


No F2F, Support or Basics state trainings scheduled at this time.

The 2013-2014 schedule will be announced in August.



Peer To Peer Trainings Spring 2013
Campbell (San Jose) 6/21-6/23 (Training full)



IOOV Spring 2013

6/22-6/23 - Ontario, California (Training full)


Send inquiries about IOOV and Peer to Peer to 


Send inquiries about Family Programs to  


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
Dialogues in Mental Health
A Milestone for NAMI Family-to-Family
Deeper Federal Budget Cuts on the Horizon
After Special Education: Then What?
CMHDA Congratulates Dr. Karen Baylor
Intervention Brings Sustained Weight Loss in Patients with Mental Illness
NAMI Sonoma County Leads Native American Cultural Competency Training Course
NAMI Ventura County To Participate in Quality of Life Program
NAMI Sonoma County Co-hosts "Celebrating Healthy Sonoma"
Working Well Together News
NAMI California Programs 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