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.

Protect Your Mental Health Coverage

Congress just unveiled the American Health Care Act, which ends the requirement that Medicaid cover mental health care.
It caps Medicaid funding, which in California is MediCal which will lead to deep cuts and jeopardize mental health services. MediCal provides health insurance and mental health treatment for the majority of persons with a mental illness.

And it will freeze Medicaid expansion, putting young people who are first experiencing serious mental illness at risk. Whether you believe ACA should be repealed, replaced or changed we need to make sure this requirement for Medicaid (MediCal) is not ended. Please see Mental Health Coverage on what you can do.

Tell your U.S. Representative this is unacceptable.

Call (202) 224-3121, press #2 and enter your zip code.

Use our talking points below-and add your own story, if you like.

“As a constituent, I urge you to reject American Health Care Act provisions that will harm people with mental illness:

  • Don’t reduce federal help to buy health insurance. With reductions, millions of people, including people with mental illness, won’t be able to afford mental health care.
  • Don’t accept “per capita cap” funding of Medicaid. Instead of flexibility, this would lead to deep cuts and jeopardize mental health services.
  • Don’t end enrollment of people in Medicaid expansion. This will leave people with mental health and substance use conditions without the treatment they need to stay in school, on the job and in recovery.

Don’t put millions of Americans with mental illness at risk. Cutting corners in health coverage will result in worsened conditions and costly use of emergency rooms, hospitals and jails.”

Can’t make the call? Email your Representative now.

Monday Meeting – March 20, 2017

Please join us for our monthly meeting. This month, Ms. Monique Cando from Stars Behavioral Health will be our presenter. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM.

Ms. Cando is a National Clinical Training Specialist and her presentation will be on “Using Person-Centered Approaches to Planning and Problem Solving”. Monique earned her MA in Psychology from California State University Los Angeles where her area of study was focused on cross cultural research and ethnic minority mental health. Monique has worked directly with children and families specializing in crisis prevention and crisis management. Her presentation will be extremely valuable to families in dealing with crises and problem solving.

The Caring and Sharing Support Group will start at 6 PM and the Speaker Presentation will start at 7:30 PM at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson in Torrance.

Research study to help improve medications for schizophrenia

Have schizophrenia or care for someone who does?

Help inform better medications by sharing your experiences with increased or more intense symptoms of schizophrenia that may have led to hospitalization or community-based treatment—either as a person with schizophrenia or as a caregiver.

Your responses will provide real-life insights that will help research into medications that may help symptoms of schizophrenia from getting worse.

If you qualify and complete the anonymous research survey, you will receive a $50 Visa gift card.

If you’re interested or have questions, email researchstudy@nami.org or call (888) 780-4167.

The deadline to see if you qualify for the research study is
March 13th.
So, email or call today!

What do you need to take part in the research study?

  • An email address
  • Mailing address (so you can receive your $50 Visa gift card)
  • Internet access and a smartphone, tablet or computer
  • Willingness to answer questions about your experience with increased or more intense symptoms of schizophrenia that may have led to hospitalization or community-based treatment—either as someone with schizophrenia or caring for somebody with schizophrenia

Questions? Please contact us at researchstudy@nami.org.

Yes on Measure H

Measure H, the “Los Angeles County Plan to Prevent and Combat Homelessness” is the March 7 ballot measure that will end homelessness for 45,000 families and individuals across Los Angeles County within five years. It will also prevent homelessness for 30,000 individuals and families over the same time period, including women and children, veterans, seniors, foster youth, and survivors of domestic violence.

Why is Measure H Needed?

The number of individuals and families estimated to be experiencing homelessness in LA County in January 2016 was 46,874, an overall increase of 2,515 people (6%) from 2015 (44,359) and 19% more than in 2013. The number of people living in encampments, tents and vehicles increased by 20% from 2015 to 2016 and a staggering 123% from 2013 to 2016.

Please review the information on the Measure H Fact Sheet to advocate for the passage of Measure H on the March 7 ballot. A 2/3 vote is required for passage. So please educate friends and family and vote.

Please also see www.VoteYesOnH.com for more materials and information. The South Bay Council of Governments, the South Bay Chambers of Commerce, and many other non-profits have endorsed Measure H.

Western Recovery Conference — Friday March 3 and Saturday March 4

Peer Action 4 Change announces the Western Recovery Conference, its annual mental health conference organized by and for mental health clients/consumers/survivors, in Culver City, California at SHARE! Culver City. To register and for more information please go to Western Recovery Conference.

Registration fee: $150* by February 28, 2017 ($180 after 2/28/17)
CLICK HERE to go to the registration page.

*Scholarship of $140 is available for mental health consumers who live in Los Angeles County. Enter the Promo Code “PA4C” to pay the $10 reduced registration by February 28, 2017. Notice that the third character in the Promo Code is then numeral 4. After entering the Promo Code, hit the red “Apply” button.

The scholarship rate for mental health consumers from Los Angeles County will be $30 at the door. Please bring photo ID to the conference to verify residency in Los Angeles County.

General Meeting Monday 2/27/17

Dr. Debbie Innes-Gomberg, Ph.D. Deputy Director for the Adult Systems of Care for the Los Angeles County of Mental Health, M.D. Director of Adult Outpatient Program Harbor UCLA Medical Center will speak at our monthly meeting on Monday, February 27, 2017.

Dr. Innes-Gomberg will be speaking about the Department of Mental Health (DMH) Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) three-year program with regard to services and programs, performance of programs, and the involvement of families and community involvement in the development and implementation of the plan.

Dr. Innes-Gomberg has a long history with DMH as a clinical psychologist, District Chief for the Long Beach/South Bay area and the the Program Manager for the MHSA Implementation and Outcomes Division. This presentation will be a great opportunity to ask questions about the programs and address concerns and needs in our area.

The Caring and Sharing Support Group will start at 6 PM and the Speaker Presentation will start at 7:30 PM at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson in Torrance.

Third Annual Parent and Caregiver Conference

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at St. Anne’s Center in Los Angeles

A one day conference featuring speakers, a panel of experts, and round table discussions and workshops for parents and caregivers who have a loved one with mental health condition of any age.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM (PST)
St. Anne’s
155 North Occidental Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026


Morning Program:

  • Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., Los Angeles County Director of Mental Health
    Looking Ahead
  • Steve Pitman J.D., President, NAMI National Board
  • Sandy Banks, Mental Health Advocate, Journalist, former L. A. Times columnist
    Finding Hope & Health Along the Journey
  • Panel Presentation – Tool Box of Communication
    Moderator, Helena Ditko, LCSW , Los Angeles County Dept. of Mental Health
    How can we equip caretakers with the communication tools they need? Our panel will cover some of the family experience, the treatment experience and resources are helpful and available.

Roundtable Discussions over lunch:

  • Caring for Ourselves
  • Why I chose LPS Conservatorship
  • Communication Tips – (English & Spanish)
  • My Family Member has been Arrested
  • Advocating for Care in Crisis – (English & Spanish)
  • Navigating the Dept. of Mental Health

Afternoon Sessions:

  • Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness – Lora Illig, ExecutiveDirector, NAMI Pomona Valley and Leola Johnson, NAMI Antelope Valley, NAMI State Trainer
  • Patients Rights’ – Jaime Walker, Health Program Analyst, Los Angeles County Dept. of Mental Health
  • Trauma Informed Care – Celeste H. Ryan, Ph.D., Juvenile Justice Mental Health Program Coordinator, Los Angeles County Dept. of Mental Health
  • Creating a Community of Care to Heal Hidden Wounds – Gail Soffer, Founder, Executive Director