NAMI, the acronym for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a grass roots, self help, support and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of families who have relatives with a brain disorder (mental illness). This includes the families of persons diagnosed with a mental illness, relatives and friends, mental health professionals, and all who share NAMI’s vision and mission.

NAMI South Bay is an affiliate of National and State NAMI. NAMI South Bay serves the general area from El Segundo on the north to Palos Verdes on the south; from the Beach Cities on the west to Carson/Wilmington on the east. NAMI South Bay has regular monthly meetings with a Caring and Sharing Support Group and Speaker Sessions, Family to Family and Familia de Familia Programs, Peer to Peer and Connections Programs (ongoing support group for persons with a mental illness). NAMI South Bay supports other programs such as NARSAD, dedicated to the service of persons with a mental illness and their families. Also, NAMI South Bay participates in the NAMI Los Angeles County Walk. Please consider joining and participating in NAMI South Bay.

Japanese Speaking Support Group Meeting

October 15, 2016


来週月曜日の集会は、荒井さんから〝精神科医とのコミュニケーション” と題しての話しをして頂く予定です。




To Japanese Speaking Support Group
From Chiaki Ueki

There is monthly meeting on Monday, next week.
Mr. Arai, RN, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Psychiatric Department, is going to talk about “Communication with Psychiatrist Doctor.”
After his talk we have Q & A time. Please ask Mr. Arai any questions if you have.

Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Public Health Challenges: Early Identification and Engagement of Patients Experiencing First Episode Symptoms

From Psychiatric News Alert: According to John Kane, M.D., the winner of the APA Foundation’s 2016 Alexander Gralnick, M.D., Award for Research in Schizophrenia, early identification and appropriate engagement of patients experiencing first-episode symptoms of schizophrenia remains a major public health challenge.

During Dr. Kane’s award lecture, he outlined a number of important issues, including unrealized potential of LAI (long-acting injectable) antipsychotics.

“I think we have enough data to show that this is a very effective option we are not taking advantage of.”

He also emphasized the use of emerging technologies.

“New technologies, such as smartphones and other monitoring tools, should be systematically developed, tested, and applied.”

To read more, see the Psychiatric News Alert article HERE. Complete coverage of the Gralnick lecture will appear in an upcoming issue of Psychiatric News. For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Long-Acting Injectable Increases MedicationAdherence in Patients With Schizophrenia.”

Volunteers Needed

NAMI South Bay needs you. Whatever time and talents you have can be extremely helpful.

Volunteers are also needed to answer phone calls which can be done remotely or on site at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Orientation, training and resources will be provided. The answering of phone calls may be or only a hour or for whatever more time one is available.

1d99dafb-f3ae-4183-9d31-212d782f6e6dOr please consider working a few hours at the PV Thrift shop with other dedicated volunteers with the funds generated helping NAMI South Bay.

Please contact Paul Stansbury pstans5@aol.com to discuss volunteer needs.

NAMI Walk Success is All About You

1e915da8-42b3-40a0-aa9f-6b750eb92b9dTo the Team Captains, Walkers, Supporters, Donors and all those who helped make the NAMI Los Angeles County 2016 Walk on Saturday, October 1, 2016, such a wonderful day: THANK YOU!

6ac2a2d7-b0dc-4598-a32e-0a4f5d4bca14NAMI filled Grand Park in Los Angeles with families, friends, mental health professionals and loved ones to fight the stigma while enjoying a walk by treasures of Los Angeles and talking with NAMI friends from across Los Angeles County.

2eb2c763-e91f-4b5c-abcd-d308e83e94b3We need you to continue to walk and talk!

77cbf229-a87c-4c09-b42f-cf95e9fb65aeWe haven’t quite reached our goal. NAMI Walks Los Angeles County is our signature fundraiser for NAMI affiliates throughout the County. The funds raised through this event are critical to our ability to provide classes and support groups at no cost, and to advocate at a county-wide level to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness.

1d426b67-2fec-41d7-ae08-83c9207afc23Keep the walk going by asking for support and help us get to $450,000 countywide!

Our fundraising site is open for donations until December 1st!

3394af97-f349-4cc3-814c-a7c1e1fba174Please go to the NAMI Walks site and Donate to NAMI South Bay.

NAMI South Bay Meeting–Monday, October 17, 2016

Please join NAMI South Bay for its October monthly meeting with the Caring and Sharing Support Group beginning at 6 p.m., and the Speaker Meeting starting at 7:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 2900 Carson Street in Torrance. The speaker for this meeting will be Ruth Hollman the Executive Director of SHARE, a leading advocate for housing for persons with a mental illness and other programs.

Since 1993, SHARE! the Self-Help And Recovery Exchange has served people though self-help support groups and communities that provide recovery and social support. SHARE!’s programs-include collaborative housing, self-help centers in Culver City and Downtown, the Recovery Retreat and Volunteer-to-Job internships designed to support self-sufficiency through social support and community integration. This innovative approach was honored with the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission Outstanding Program Award in 2013.

Appointment of New DMH Director

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will act on a Board Letter, authorizing the appointment of Jonathan E. Sherin, MD, PhD, to serve as the next Director of the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. Dr. Sherin brings a wealth of experience in the mental health field.

As Volunteers of America’s executive vice president for military communities and chief medical officer, Dr. Sherin, has overseen the expansion and innovation of Volunteers of America’s programs for our nation’s service members, bringing key clinical and scientific expertise to the organization as a whole. He has has worked to enhance mental health services in over 400 communities throughout the United States.

Dr. Sherin has held various academic appointments, most recently as clinical professor and vice chairman for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami. He is an accomplished neurobiology researcher with significant achievements for which he has received awards and recognition at the national and international level. Dr. Sherin completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University, his graduate work in a combined program at the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School, and his post-graduate training at UCLA. He continues to teach and provide psychiatric care as a volunteer at the VA in Los Angeles, Calif.

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is the largest county-operated mental health department in the United States, directly operating programs in more than 85 sites, and providing services via contract program and DMH staff at approximately 300 sites co-located with other County departments, schools, courts and other organizations. Each year, the County contracts with more than 1,000 organizations and individual practitioners to provide a variety of mental health-related services. On average, DMH services more than 250,000 County residents of all ages every year.

The DMH Mission:

Enriching lives through partnership designed to strengthen the community’s capacity to support recovery and resiliency is our Mission. DMH works with its stakeholders and community partners to provide clinically competent, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate mental health services to our clients in the least restrictive manner possible. We tailor our services and support to help clients and families achieve their personal goals, increase their ability to achieve independence and develop skills to support their leading the most constructive and satisfying life possible.

Mental Health and Undocumented Residents

adobestock_93722048Although 1 in 5 residents of the US experience mental illness, for undocumented residents of the US and their loved ones, fear of deportation increases the likelihood of undocumented folks to experience trauma. Even the threat of a raid has a serious impact on the mental health of undocumented immigrants and refugees and their children. The American Psychiatrist Association produced a short documentary following the lives of three undocumented folks and the impact of their documentation status on their family. National Public Radio highlighted the impact of deportation of parents on the mental health of children in their June 22nd podcast. The stigma associated with mental illness compounds the problem.

NAMI resources can make the difference for many undocumented folks and families with undocumented family members struggling with mental illness, says Modesta Pulido of NAMI South Bay, California.

“The legal barriers for many of our families has a serious impact on their access to care so when they come to NAMI, they feel like the doors are finally opened and are very grateful for the services since we don’t ask for legal documents. Our services are especially helpful to parents with children who are experiencing mental health conditions. They don’t have insurance, they don’t have anything when they come to the classes; so when we give them resources, they are like, ‘Wow! This is so helpful!’.”

NAMI groups have inspired networks to expand into Mexico where similar groups are being formed. If you or someone you know is living with a mental illness, contact your local NAMI for more resources. In addition, NAMI classes provide certificates that can help undocumented families demonstrate in court that they have taken courses and are seeking help for their loved one’s mental illness. Such documentation may be helpful during immigration cases.

For those seeking to make their resources more available to undocumented folks, Paloma Bayona, Program Director of NAMI Connecticut, gives the following advice:

“Families of undocumented people are so scared of deportation that they don’t want to share about their mental illness with others because then maybe immigration will hear and they will get deported. That’s why it is so important during our classes that we open each class right away with announcing that it doesn’t matter your status. That’s why we don’t take names at our groups.”

Keeping services anonymous as well as hiring more recent immigrants on staff are two steps towards structural change. Of course, creating and respecting immigration laws are also important.

Mental health resources are hard to navigate. For those dealing with that problem in combination with the problem of immigration status, here are a few things that might help:

Language Access. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act requires all programs that receive federal funds to provide resources and interpretation in your preferred language. If an organization refuses to provide services in your preferred language and receives federal funds, call the Office of Civil Rights at (800) 368-1019.

Legal Aid. A mental health condition can be used as justification for granting documentation. If your loved one is going through deportation processing and has a mental illness, it is crucial that they advocate for their right to representation by a lawyer. For legal aid, call the NAMI Helpline at (800) 950-NAMI or the National Asylum Helpline at (612) 746-4674. For a list of resources in Spanish, go to WomensLaw.org.

In A Mental Health Emergency. County-level mobile crisis teams often do not include police officers and are composed of mental health experts who will come to your location and can intervene during a mental health crisis.

Health Insurance. Although federal Medicare programs bar undocumented immigrants from accessing healthcare, some local organizations like Puentes de Salud; the healthcare company, Kaiser Permanente; and state-federal Medicaid partnerships in states like California, offer insurance options. Find out more about the Medicaid process for undocumented folks HERE.