Anti-Stigma Arts Network Project

NAMI California is involved in the special CalMHSA Anti-Stigma Arts Network Project. The Arts Network Project is designed to promote anti-stigma and discrimination messages regarding mental illness through various forms of art (including: visual, performing, decorative, written, spoken, etc.). The goal of the project is to promote a better understanding of stigma and recovery, while advocating the use of creative expression as a healing tool.

The project includes three In Our Own Voice (IOOV) Presenter Trainings.  IOOV is one of NAMI’s Signature Programs, which offers insight into the recovery possible for people living with mental illness. An IOOV presentation is delivered by two trained speakers sharing their personal stories of living with a mental illness and their journey to wellness and recovery.

The first presenter training for this project is scheduled for November 23-24, 2013 in Campbell, CA. NAMI California is currently seeking, to participate in the training, individuals (18 years and older) with experience in using creative expression as a tool to maintaining wellness and recovery. The training is absolutely free. Meals will be provided and/or costs will be reimbursed for all attendees. Travel and lodging expenses will be covered for eligible participants.

The advantages of becoming an IOOV presenter include:

  • Providing encouragement and hope to individuals and/or family members experiencing the effects of mental illness
  • Helping to inspire and motivate others
  • Developing and/or enhancing leadership and public speaking skills
  • Networking opportunities
  • A paid a stipend for each presentation given

If you or someone that you know might be interested in participating in this upcoming training, please contact Veronica J. Delgado, Community Engagement Coordinator or (916) 567-0163 to request an application.

Special Bulletin: NAMI South Bay Partnership with Palos Verdes Resale Thrift Shop

NAMI South Bay is very pleased to announce a partnership with the Palos Verdes Resale Thrift Shop at 2321 Pacific Coast Highway in Lomita. The PV Resale Thrift Shop is an organization of approximately a dozen charitable organizations whose members volunteer time to work in the thrift shop. Based on the number of hours each charitable organization members work in the thrift shop the organization receives a proportionate amount of the surplus created.

The partnership will allow NAMI South Bay to generate funds for needed programs in more parts of the South Bay and has the added benefit of networking with other charitable organizations while providing low cost items to the community. There will be a brief training session for any volunteers. Please contact Paul Stansbury at or 310-892-8046 if you are interested in volunteering to work for a few hours a month.

NAMI South Bay General Meeting Tonight

First Lutheran Church, 2900 Carson St.

NAMI South Bay’s monthly meeting takes place tonight, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the First Lutheran Church on Carson Street in Torrance. This month, Tysun Roberts tells his story of incredible courage and determination. You won’t want to miss this story of recovery and hope.

Before the meeting, a Caring and Sharing Support Group for family members and caregivers only will meet at 6:00 PM in the Fireside Room.  If the group becomes too large a second group will meet in Fellowship Hall.

A Special Thank You

A special thanks to Pastor Hurst and Associate Pastor Carson of the First Lutheran for a very wonderful evening of reflection and prayer for persons with a mental illness and their families on Tuesday, October 8 during Mental Illness Awareness Week.


211–Get Help in LA County

211 LA County is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week comprehensive information and referral service for residents of Los Angeles County. It provides critical information on available health and social services, and is an invaluable number to remember for anyone that might find themselves in need of help.

Call 2-1-1 for FREE

211 LA County is a front-line, performance-driven service center, including specialized hotline services to over 600,000 callers each year. For 30 years, 211 LA County has helped connect the most vulnerable and hard to reach populations with the services they need. 211 LA County commonly fields issues and questions like:

  • Help with landlords/tenant issues
  • Crisis response and management
  • Sudden or chronic Homelessness
  • Senior services
  • Violence in the home
  • Specialized shelters and childcare
  • Obtaining health insurance for children
  • Infant safe surrender
  • Qualifications for food stamps

To name only a few.

For a short public service announcement about 211 LA County, watch the following video:

For more in-depth coverage, visit the 211 LA County Site and/or watch the following:

Hypothyroidism and Depression

The medical condition of hypothyroidism, i.e., an under-active thyroid gland, is one that can cause depression. Depression is a condition caused by chemical changes in the brain. The chemistry of the brain is also influenced by the chemistry of the blood. The thyroid gland, a small, butterfly-shaped gland sits low in the neck, secretes hormones that regulate the body’s energy. In this way, the thyroid indirectly affects everything from muscles, bones, skin, digestive tract, heart and brain.

If you have hypothyroidism your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which causes blood levels of T3 and T4 to remain low. When thyroid hormone levels are low, organs and the internal systems slow down, creating a wide range of symptoms; depressed mood, fatigue, weight gain, reduced sexual desire and trouble concentrating, are also symptoms of depression. Not surprisingly, hyperthyroidism is often misdiagnosed as depression.

Hypothyroidism can be confirmed or ruled out with a blood test. Once diagnosed, it is usually treated with a thyroid pill that restores thyroid hormone levels to normal. Researchers aren’t sure why there is a link between hypothyroidism and depression. But hypothyroidism is associated with a host of varied symptoms and body malfunctions, including potentially lack of energy, stiffness, and weight gain, among many others. Clearly the low thyroid hormone levels in the blood affect the chemistry in the brain that leads to depression. In fact some doctors add thyroid medication to antidepressants treatment to improve mood.

Los Angeles Public Legal Services Fair–L.A. Law Library

Saturday, October 26, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For the grand finale of Bro Bono Week in Los Angeles, LA Law Library is hosting a Public Legal Services Fair. More than 25 legal aid organizations, government agencies, social services and community-based groups will be represented. Legal aid and lawyer referral programs will be available to provide free consultations and referrals for those in need of legal assistance. Clinics and legal information sessions in the areas of expungements, quality of life citations for youth, family law and citizenship eligibility will be provided by legal aid organizations. There will be a variety of resources for job seekers including resume reviews, interview and wardrobe consultations. Free makeovers and haircuts will be available for disadvantaged women.

“This is the most amazing array of free legal and public services! It’s an incredible benefit to the community and I’m very happy to be able to participate.”

–Bobby “Babo” Castillo, former pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers
and an integral part of the Dodgers’ community relations efforts.

Pro Bono means free. Booths providing information, free legal consultations with attorneys, community services, information and assistance from many different service providers.

For more information visit the Pro Bono Week Site at:

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Project ABC

“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” —Joyce Maynard

Project ABC is a collaborative partnership between professionals in Mental Health-LA County Department of Mental Health; Child Welfare-LA County Department of Children and Family Services; and Community Service Providers-Children’s Institute, Inc, For the Child, Pacific Asian Counseling Center and TIES for Families; designed to create a system of care for young children in the Los Angeles County area who would benefit from mental health services. With funding support from the SAMHSA, LADMH has taken the lead and has brought together the key partners from these varied disciplines to ensure that children birth through five have access to services that are family-centered, strength-based, and culturally competent.

“Family voice and choice is essential to everything we do and we are guided by the strengths of each family to plan and deliver services that will result in the best possible care for the children in our community.”

Community-based, infant/early childhood mental-health-treatment programs provide families with needed services and support when families identify challenges working through atypical behaviors in very young children or managing the after-effects of difficult family experiences or traumatic exposure.

What is Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health?

Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health is a comprehensive approach that refers to the social and emotional well being of very young children under the age of six. Positive relationships between young children and adults lay the foundation for healthy social and emotional development. This foundation allows children the freedom to:

  • Experience and manage a full range of emotions, cope with frustrations and regulate their behaviors
  • Develop supportive relationships with caregivers as well as other children
  • Safely and actively explore and learn from their environments, feel protected in the context of their families, neighborhoods, and cultures.

Project ABC’s History

In 2005 the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funded the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to develop Project ABC. In partnership with The Department of Children and Family Services,

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Institute, Inc., a system of care was developed in the Los Angeles County Metro region. This network of organizations provided professional training and consultation, leadership in relevant advocacy and policy changes and a wide array of educational and support materials for use by professionals as well as families with children birth to 5. The families also gained the benefit of a range of specialized and evidence-based services proven to strengthen infant-adult relationships and reduce the impact of traumatic exposure for children and their families. With the success of that partnership as our foundation, Project ABC has now redirected its efforts to focus on the South Bay, Long Beach and Inglewood communities and its partnership now includes For the Child, Pacific Asian Counseling Services and Ties for Families in addition to its on-going collaboration with DMH, DCFS, CII, and USC.

10 Simple Things to Help a Child’s Mental Health

1. Interaction – Spend time watching me and responding to my cues. It tells me I’m important and special to you.

2. Loving Touch – Cradle me, hold me. Give me lots of hugs. It keeps me calm and comforts me, and gives me courage to move on.

3. Stable Relationship – I need someone special to be there when I call. When I look around and see you, I know I can go far.

4. Safe, Healthy Environment – Plug the outlets, block the stairs. Keep lead away for sure! Make a safe, special place so I’m free to explore.

5. Self-Esteem – I can do it, yes I can, if you tell me. So pay attention, give me praise and watch me go, go, go!

6. Quality Child Care – When you’re gone I need to be with people you can trust to help me grow and teach me new, exciting stuff.

7. Communication – I may not talk, but don’t be fooled, I understand a lot. Our little conversations mean so very much!

8. Play – Play is fun, play is work, it’s how I learn the ropes. When we play together you help me more than you know.

9. Music – 1,2,3 sing to me and make up silly tunes. Music is special time that’s fun to share with you.

10. Reading – Read to me, show me books with lots of pretty pictures. Write my stories out in words. I’ll love to read forever.

Courtesy of Safe From The Start, California Attorney General’s