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.

March Meeting — Family and Consumer Affairs

March 19, 2019
7:30 p.m.
First Lutheran Church
2900 Carson Street

We are fortunate to have Helena Ditko, LCSW, the Director of the Office of Family and Consumer Affairs for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, speaking at our general meeting this month.

The Office of Consumer and Family Affairs was previously identified as two separate offices – Consumer Affairs, as Empowerment & Advocacy and Family Engagement. In 2014, the two combined to provide conversation, information, education and inspiration. Unlike the Patients’ Rights Office, which corrects error and investigates the violation of rights of consumers, the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs gives quality improvement to mental health services.

Helena Ditko and her office have been invaluable to many families and clients trying to navigate the mental health system. On Monday, March 18, Ms. Ditko will discuss her office, how they can assist families and persons with a mental illness, and various forms of treatment. When NAMI South Bay didn’t know where else to get help it has referred families to her office.

Please come. Meet and listen to Ms. Ditko. We believe you will find it invaluable for your family.

Image credit: Pixabay CCO Creative Commons

4th Annual Parent and Caregiver Conference March 17

Image Credit: Pixabay/geralt CCO Creative Commons

DATE: MARCH 17, 2018

NAMI Los Angeles County Council invites the public to its 4th Annual Parent and Caregiver Conference.

This is a free event to the public (donations welcome).



Parking is available; Public transportation is accessible on the Purple/Red Line.

Topics that are expected to be presented include:

  • School-based mental health programs
  • Individualized Education Program plans
  • Foster/kinship program services
  • Benefits services – SSI/SSDI
  • Communication skills
  • Crisis response
  • Ask the doctor session with a child psychiatrist
  • Panel session: “My Family Member Has Been Arrested”

In addition, we will have opportunities for the following discussions:

  • Family Support Group (offered in English and Spanish)
  • Advocacy
  • Signs and symptoms of mental illness
  • Integrated care for co-occurring disorders
  • Conservatorship
  • Legal help for parents and families

For more information contact Alecia Ojinaga at alecia_ojinaga@yahoo.com or (310) 299-2973. Here is the evitebrite link to the conference https://www.eventbrite.com/e/parent-and-caregiver-conference-tickets-41398535133

Meeting Tonight: Schizophrenia

7:30 PM Monday, February 26, 2018

Dr. Michael Makhinson, the Co-Director of the Harbor UCLA Inpatient Psychiatry Program, will speak this evening, Monday 2/26, at 7:30 p.m. on the mental illness of Schizophrenia. The meeting will be held at First Lutheran Church, 2900 Carson Street, in Torrance.

Dr. Makhinson received his medical degree from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and his doctorate in psychology from the UCLA/Neuropsychiatric Institute. He will provide an overview of the illness, and updates on treatments and medications. It will also be an opportunity to ask the Doctor questions about the illness. We plan to have a series on the major mental illness in the coming months which allow us to get the latest information on the illness and be able to ask the doctor questions about that illness and related issues.

NAMI Homefront

Available now online, NAMI Homefront is a free, 6-session educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and vets with mental health conditions.

Based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of service members/veterans living with mental health conditions.

What You’ll Gain

Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all people affected by mental illness. This in-person group experience provides the opportunity for mutual support and shared positive impact. You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow.

NAMI Homefront teaches you how to:

  • Manage crises, solve problems and communicate effectively
  • Learn to care for yourself, including managing your stress
  • Develop the confidence and stamina to support your family member with compassion
  • Identify and access federal, state and local services
  • Stay informed on the latest research and information on mental health, including posttraumatic stress disorder and substance abuse
  • Understand current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects
  • Navigate the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on the entire family

Now offered online! We understand that attending an in-person class can be difficult for busy individuals and families. We now offer NAMI Homefront Online. Online classes meet weekly in a virtual classroom, so participants experience the same level of interaction and learning as traditional in-person classes.


  • Central, Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., CT, 02/21/2018, – 03/28/2018
  • Mountain, Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., MT, 02/22/2018, – 03/29/2018
  • Pacific, Mondays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., PT, 02/19/2018, – 03/26/2018


January 2018 Meeting — The Future of Nami South Bay

This month’s general meeting is being held on the fourth Monday because of last week’s holiday.
Please note that the February meeting will also be the fourth Monday, instead of the third, because of a legal holiday.

NAMI South Bay January General Meeting
7:30 PM Monday, January 22, 2018

Please come to the January Meeting to participate in our annual organizational meeting. NAMI South Bay needs your input to discuss future plans, to meet your needs, and to meet the needs of our community regarding the challenges of mental illness. We will also have our annual election of officers.

Among the things we will discuss: NAMI National is asking all NAMI affiliates to meet criteria included in their Standards of Excellence. We need your input and participation to ensure we, as NAMI South Bay members, meet these Standards and are doing the best we can to serve persons with a mental illness and their families to get the treatment, services, and support they need. Your thoughts are critical to this effort.

For the election of officer at this meeting for office starting February 2018, persons who have consented to have their names be considered for election to a NAMI South Bay Board Office are:

President: Paul Stansbury
Vice President: John Conway
Secretary: Cheryl Tchir
Treasurer: Chris Lawrence.

We welcome other persons who would like to be candidates for Board Officers and to participate in other positions such as Volunteer Coordinator, Newsletter Editor, Education Coordinator, Peer Coordinator, Advocacy Coordinator, and assist in other activities. Please email pstans5@aol.com of your interest or questions.

Holiday Potluck 2017

NAMI South Bay
Holiday Potluck

6:30 PM, Monday, December 18
First Lutheran Church,
2900 Carson, Torrance, CA

Please come to our annual Happy Holidays Potluck. Bring the whole family and friends. It is a wonderful time to connect with others who share in the struggles and challenges of a mental illness and learn about resources and recovery. Bring a dish to share for 8 to 10 people and a white elephant gift for a raffle to add to the festive spirit.

The Caring and Sharing Support Group for family members will start at 5:30 PM in the Fireside Room and end at 6:30 PM.

General Meeting, Monday, November 20, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

The Speaker for October will be Dr. Dorit Saberi, Supervising Psychologist of the AMI/ABLE Program and Associate Professor UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Saberi will be speaking about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and the Friends and Family Program.

DBT is a psychotherapy treatment program first developed for treating Borderline Personality Disorder but has now been used to treat other forms of mental illness. This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions. DBT assumes that people are doing their best but lack the skills needed to succeed, or are influenced by positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement that interferes with their ability to function appropriately.

The Friends and Family program is for family members and friends of a person with a mental illness that helps them to communicate more effectively with their loved ones and to better handle difficult situations. Please come to learn about DBT and how it is used in the Friends and Family Program.

The Caring and Sharing Support Groups will meet at 6 PM and the regular speaker meeting at 7:30 PM will meet at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson in Torrance.