2013 NAMIWalk Los Angeles County

In 2013, tens of thousands of concerned citizens in more than 84 communities across the nation will join NAMI and walk together to raise money and awareness about our country’s need for a world-class treatment and recovery system for people with mental illness. Through NAMIWalks’ public, active display of support for people affected by mental illness, we are changing our American communities and ensuring that help and hope are available for those in need.

NAMIWalks Los Angeles will take place at the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA.

      • Date: October 5, 2013
      • Distance: 5K
      • Check-in: 8:00 a.m.
      • Start Time: 9:30 a.m.

Need more information? Every walk has a Walk Manager who is the primary contact person for the Walk. For the Los Angeles County NAMIWalk, contact:

Shelley Hoffman
Walk Manager
(310) 571-5256

If you would like to participate in the Walk, donate on behalf of a walker, or check out our sponsors visit the NAMIWalks website. Registered walkers can login there with their username and password.

Honesty: Silver Linings Playbook Delivers

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook. / The Weinstein Co.

By Katrina Gay, NAMI Director of Communications

This is one of the good ones. Equal parts date night movie, art film, chick flick and football fan fest, Silver Linings Playbook is more than a film about characters struggling with mental illness recovery, it is a film about all of us. Adapted from the novel by Matthew QuickSilver Linings Playbook tells the story of Pat (Bradley Cooper) as a man with bipolar illness who returns to his parents’ home after many months in a mental hospital, following a meltdown after his marriage breaks up, determined to reconcile with his wife. As if things could not be more challenging, he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young woman with depression and major challenges of her own. They develop a quirky relationship through which they find themselves, through sad and funny twists and turns.

The film, produced by The Weinstein Company, was directed by David O. Russell (The Fighter, Flirting With Disaster), and with an tremendous cast including Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) and Robert DeNiro, one would expect excellent acting. And yes, the acting was brilliant—but so was the story, which the actors revealed with vivid, realistic creativity.

Therapy sessions, a house, a family, football, routines, dancing, cooking, mental illness, mothering, marriage, neighbors and community, fathers and sons, romance—with no filters, the film slowly develops through the laissez-faire, “natural” directing style of Russell.  Watching the film, one is anxious yet hopeful; a voyeur perhaps, watching the story through the eyes of each character. Medication, therapy, strategies and goals blend with dinner, relationships, community and daily family life.

Billed as a comedy, this film is actually more of a drama with comedic elements. At times laugh-out-loud funny, but at others tearful in its authenticity, we feel the pain and struggles of Pat and Tiffany as well as their families and friends. But like them, we are led to a simple understanding. The film reveals that we all have our issues—clearly some have it worse, but deep down, we are all the same. We understand how obsessive the quest for love can be and how vital community and support are to our own journey to happiness. Life gives us what we need, it seems, if we stop and consider, if we are willing to work for it. As we experience Pat and Tiffany’s recovery, it is the important support they get from their family and friends that reveals to us the fact that we all walk a vulnerable tightrope.

Delivering a dramedy about mental illness can be a challenge. Handled in the wrong way, it could trivialize or sensationalize. But Silver Linings Playbook manages to entertain while filling us with joy at the revelation of just how alike we really are.

Go see Silver Linings Playbook—for the gift of great directing, the joy of excellent acting and the comfort of our connectedness.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from http://www.nami.org/
(800) 950-NAMI; info@nami.org ©2013


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.

5 Most Common Mental Illnesses Share Same Genetic Code

National Institutes of Health-funded researchers discovered that people with disorders traditionally thought to be distinct – autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia – were more likely to have suspect genetic variation at the same four chromosomal sites. These included risk versions of two genes that regulate the flow of calcium into cells.

“These results will help us move toward diagnostic classification informed by disease cause,” said Jordan Smoller, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, a coordinator of the study, which was supported by NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health. “Although statistically significant, each of these genetic associations individually can account for only a small amount of risk for mental illness, making them insufficient for predictive or diagnostic usefulness by themselves.”


Cross-Disorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Identification of risk loci with shared effects on five major psychiatric disorders: a genome-wide analysis. The Lancet, February 28, 2013

See also Science Update: Five Major Mental Disorders Share Genetic Roots. Overlap Blurs Diagnostic Categories – NIH-funded Study.