new masthead new address
February 2014

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's Advocacy Update

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The new legislative session brings with it the resumption of our NAMI Can Legislative conference calls, scheduled to begin later this month. The Legislative Committee is currently reviewing legislation, including HR 3717-The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013, and we hope to publish our positions on all pending legislation as those positions are developed by the committee.


In addition, we've recently updated some content on our Advocacy page. Look for our Legislation Matrix 2014 on the 2014 Bill List page, an Archive Bill List page showing past legislation, and both current and archived position papers. While on the site, also check out Director of Legislation and Policy Caliph Assagai's blog. 


Finally, the Advocacy staff is currently assembling our new advocacy team, the Capitol Coalition. This group will ensure a robust stakeholder involvement at State-level agencies, and will work to support the work of NAMI California in the Capitol.


News Round-up


California Granted Two Additional Years to Meet Prison Population Cap

In a ruling on earlier this month, a panel of judges gave the state until Feb. 28, 2016, to reduce prison overcrowding. However, the judges said no additional delays will be granted. Read more.

Behavioral and Mental Health Care Summary 2014 Edition

The California Office of the Patient Advocate has released a scorecard on the performance of major HMOs in helping members get the behavioral and mental health care they needed. Read the scores here. 

New Southern California Behavioral Health Job Search Website

This free site provides job opportunities for individuals seeking to find or post behavioral health jobs. It includes County contracted positions and links to the job sites for local County Behavioral Health Departments. The Behavioral health field includes a wide array of positions aimed at providing mental health and alcohol and other drug services for children, youth, families, adults, and older adults, and improving the quality of life within our communities


This job site also recognizes the value added by applicants who have been personally affected by mental illness or substance addiction and the experience of their immediate family members and caregivers. 


Southern Counties Regional Partnership is committed to developing and maintaining a diverse and culturally competent behavioral health workforce.  As part of this effort, we provide this online job center, where you can post and find job opportunities regionally in Behavioral Health.


Southern Region Counties include Santa Barbara, Kern, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Imperial, Tri-Cities and San Bernardino.

View and download promotional fliers:
Flyer One
Flyer Two 
The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church

On Friday, March 28, 2014,
Pastor Rick and Kay Warren of Saddleback Church, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, NAMI Orange County, and other faith and community leaders will participate in a one day event entitled, The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church.


This special event is designed to encourage individuals living with mental illness, educate family members, and equip church leaders to provide effective and compassionate care to those who face the challenges of mental illness.


Friday, March 28, 2014,

from 8:30am-9:00pm 


Saddleback Church Worship Center

1 Saddleback Pkwy, Lake Forest, CA 92630


$20.00 (lunch included)




Questions: Please contact the Saddleback Church Membership Team at 1-949-609-8278 or 


Over six hundred people have registered as of last weekend, and seating is limited. NAMI California hopes to see many of you on March 28th.

NAMI California Staff Corner

Lauren Hee 
School Liaison Coordinator


Lauren Hee is the School Liaison Coordinator at NAMI CA.  In her role, she is working on the implementation of the Directing Change Student Video Contest and developing relationships with schools across the state. 

Lauren is a recent graduate of California State University, Sacramento where she earned her BA in social work with an emphasis in psychology. Her background includes non-profit work serving homeless families, disabled college students, and youth. In her free time she is also a crisis counselor at a crisis hotline.

You can contact her at:

NAMI California 2014 Conference Early Bird Registration Open through June 6, 2014


Reminder:The NAMI 2014 Annual Conference, "Growing Minds in Changing Times," will be held this year at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa, August 1 and 2, 2014. 

Early Bird registration adds up to savings on conference fees.

NAMI is a "Small World"

by Amanda Lipp, NAMI California Board Member 


I'm always reminded of how important the family network is when I recall how I came to know and love NAMI. It seems rather paradoxical to think of how the "World of NAMI" seems to shrink while it continuously expands, as it serves to foster unconditional bonds of friendship and "connect the dots" to so many valuable partnerships that make the world of mental health and mental health struggle seem not so vast and overwhelming. I continue to have those serendipitous moments when I meet someone through NAMI, or we share a similar connection, and think to myself, "Wow, NAMI is a small world!"


Well, three summers ago, a year after I had been discharged from a psychiatric hospital, I attended my first NAMI event, during which I met someone very special and had one of those, "Wow! Its a small world" moments that changed my life.


It feels like a lifetime ago, but I remember how I felt when I was always almost discharged from the hospital. Almost three months of shuffling through the intensive care unit, in-patient, and out-patient treatment; I felt as though I was a puzzle that had been put together and taken apart so many times and by so many people that all the pieces began to look the same as the "goal" of the puzzle became arbitrary. I remember looking in the mirror every day in the hospital and not recognizing myself. If I had been able to reason, I would have been wondering and planning how I would begin to re-acclimate into the world that I had grown to love, yet felt so rejected and isolated from.


I wondered who would care to listen to my story...


Read the rest here.  

Directing Change Regional Judge Recruitment
Video Entry Deadline: March 1


The Directing Change Student Video Contest is currently looking for judges. Anyone who specializes in (or is interested in) directing, writing, editing, acting, video production, suicide prevention and/or mental health is encouraged to participate. The process will take less than two hours of their time, all of which can be completed entirely online from home!


Save the Date!

Please save the date for the Directing Change Award Ceremony at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento, CA. Come support this year's winners by attending the event on May 13th, 2014. We would love to see you there!

The Directing Change video contest is a statewide competition where high school and UC students create 60-second public service announcements to spread awareness about ending the silence on mental illness and suicide prevention. 


The winning team will win $500 and will be recognized for their cinematic achievement at the award ceremony in Sacramento, CA.  The contest is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students.


The deadline for the video submissions is March 1, 2014.


Please contact Lauren Hee for more information at   


NAMI California Basics training held in Modesto this month. We had 11 graduates and two trainers. Seven different affiliates were represented.

Keep up with NAMI Family Programs by following the newly-reactivated blog at


Master Trainings Calendar


Family Programs Trainings:


De Familia a Familia Teacher Training - Deadline March 6th, 2014

March14-16, 2014 - Ontario, CA


Family Support Group and Basics Training

April 11-13, 2014 - Encino, CA                                       


Family to Family Training

May 30-June 1, 2014 Elk Grove, CA


NAMI Family Program news is also posted Facebook. Latest entry - New NAMIStore coming soon! The NAMI Family Programs Blog is now active - same address:


Parents and Teachers as Allies Training:

March 1, 2014 - Sacramento, CA.  - CANCELLED


Peer and Stigma Reduction Programs Training:

Persona a Persona

February 21-23, 2014 - Ontario


In Our Own Voice Anti-Stigma Arts Network

March 8-9, 2014 - San Diego 



March 15-16, 2014 - Ontario 



May 9-11, 2014 - Ventura 



May 16-18, 2014 - Sacramento 


Provider Education Trainings - To be announced


Send inquiries to:  

Family Programs  

IOOV, Peer to Peer and Connection 


Parents and Teachers as Allies, Ending the Silence, NAMI on Campus, Provider Education


Directing Change  


Programs Director 


NAMI California Office:  916-567-0163



Upcoming Connection Training in March 2014

NAMI California is currently recruiting for qualified, passionate people to be trained as Facilitators for the Connection Program in your community! We are interested in getting your help in finding the best individuals to be trained as Facilitators. The training will be held in Ontario, CA on March 15-16, 2014.


To be a Connection Facilitator, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • Be or become a NAMI Member
  • Be an adult with a mental illness who is living in recovery
  • Be comfortable sharing your story
  • Be passionate about "giving back" and helping others with a mental illness

Time Commitment, Expectations & Support for Facilitators

  • 2 days of training to be certified as a Connection Facilitator
  • Facilitators then lead the Connection Support Group; each group usually meets once a week for 90 minutes.
  • A Connection Facilitator will be leading the group with a fellow Facilitator
About Connection

NAMI Connection is a free and confidential support group for adults living with mental health challenges. Support groups meet weekly for 90-minutes. NAMI Connection offers a safe environment for adults who live with mental health challenges to express themselves without being judged. Reflecting NAMI's core values, NAMI Connection is inclusive- any adult with a mental health challenge is welcome, regardless of diagnosis


If you are interested in facilitating a Connection group and want to attend the training to learn how, please complete and submit the application by February 28, 2014.


For questions and applications please contact:

Stephenie Gardella

Program Coordinator

(916) 567-0163

Working Well Together News 

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With the rain comes renewal and growth. In turn, Springtime brings opportunities for new learning sessions throughout the 

Central Region. Working Well Together (WWT) cordially invites you to three training sessions (one per month). Please contact Ron Shaw, TAC Coordinator for the details and to RSVP - call: 916.288.5498 or email:


What is Organizational Wellness and How Does It Transform the Workplace? (February 26th)

85 RSVPs have been received and this session is closed. A few days following the training session, a recording link will be sent out. If interested, please contact Ron.


Second Glance, Better Chance: A Deeper Understanding into the Southeast Asian Community and Trauma Informed Care

(March 28th, statewide webinar).
Raksmey Castleman will be the lived-experience presenter. Topics will include: the experience and associated PTSD from living in a refugee camp, challenges and barriers when working with individuals living with PTSD and tools for service providers and volunteers while working with Southeast Asian Communities


Peers Speak: Promising Ideas, Concepts and Designs

(April 10th, Modesto). A showcase day filled with presentations and site visits. Peers with lived experience will lead attendees through highlights of successful programs and the sharing of effective strategies 


As always, Working Well Together wishes you and your co-workers the very best -- in sustaining a culturally responsive workplace and the further expansion of your leadership skills sets - along a career pathway within the Mental Health System.



NAMI Santa Cruz County:

Volunteer Spotlight

Jennifer Wentworth is a volunteer for NAMI as an Ending the Silence peer storyteller, In Our Own Voice speaker and UCSC presenter. She volunteers for NAMI so she can share her own personal experiences with mental illness and journey of recovery with others. By sharing her experiences, she can help touch the lives of others in a deep way. She says, "Every time I share my story with others, I feel it also helps me through my own recovery process and I want others to see that hope of recovery & strength within themselves."


Jennifer has been involved in the Santa Cruz County Mental Health system since 2004 and realizes that though she may struggle with symptoms, her mental illness does not define her. Some things that help in her recovery are: socializing at Community Connection with her peers, mindfulness, playing with her cat & watching Harry Potter movies.


She has a mental health recovery blog that she started earlier this year and uses it as a platform for sharing the message of recovery to others as well as using it as a personal coping skill. She posts her experiences living with Schizoaffective Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder and writes about coping skills she has learned through her years in treatment and therapy. Other topics include her advocacy in the mental health system and personal experiences with different treatment modalities and coping skills. You can visit her blog at:


NAMI Merced County:

Peer-to-Peer Education Class, a unique ten-week course, will begin on Thursday, February 6, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm, 480 13th Street, Merced. This class is designed for adults who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. It is facilitated by peers for their peers. It is a safe place to explore various mental illnesses, learn to recognize their symptoms, comprehend major brain disorders and brain function, and develop new coping skills. For more details please contact Jan Morita at (209) 812-4058.


On Saturday, March 8, NAMI Merced County will host a Community Dialogue at the Livingston Middle School, located at 101 F Street in Livingston. The program will be held from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm and will be offered both in English and Spanish.


The purpose of the Community Dialogue is to reduce the stigma and discrimination that are so often associated with mental illness. The documentary film, "A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness," will be shown. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to Marilyn Mochel at


NAMI East San Gabriel Valley:  

NAMI East San Gabriel Valley is starting a Family to Family class February 20th, 2014, at 6;30 TO 9 PM in West Covina. This is a 12 week Family to Family class. There is a waiting list for the next class which hopefully will be offered again May or June. Call Dolores Encinas at 626-338-8981 if interested in attending.  

NAMI California Financial Statements and Supplemental Information


Click below to view the NAMI California 2012-2013 Final Audit.


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Santa Clara


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Contact Information
or call NAMI California
(916) 567-0163
In This Issue
NAMI California's Advocacy Update
New Southern California Behavioral Health Job Search Website
Gathering on Mental Health and the Church
NAMI California Staff Corner
NAMI California 2014 Conference...Early Bird Registration
NAMI is a "Small World"
Directing Change Deadline Extended to March 1
Family Programs News
Upcoming Connection Training
Working Well Together News
Affiliate News


NAMI California's Tree of Tribute
Fiscal Year 2012-13

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 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, 2013-2014.

Humanitarian: $5,000 - $36,000
Lily Grant Office 
Patron:  $2,500 - $4,999
Santos Properties
Samira V. Moran
Janssen Pharma
United HealthCare Services
Benefactor:  $1,000 - $2,499
Attias Family Foundation
Schwab Charitable Fund 
Linda Crosthwaite 
Jane Pomeroy 
Albert Benich
Sheila Lake
John McCoy
Alex Schenker
Frances Tibbits
Lindsay Weston
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Shareholder: $750-$999

Henry Garner

Ronnie Okon 

Sponsor:  $500-$749
Effie Beeman 
Gary Bjorklund
Rita Boppana
Peter Briscoe
Boris Chen
Peter DesForges
Edward Gaston, MD
Jack Glantz
Patricia Goldring
Kim Hettena
Judy Hock
Katherine Kitchens
Arnold Klein
Larry Knorr
Daniel Roberts
Ronald Stone
Bryce Tanner
Teresa Walker
Carl Walsh
Virginia Whitcombe
The Clorox Company Foundation
Perry Communications 



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