Join Del Amo Behavioral Health in Supporting the National Eating Disorders Association

Eating Disorders are a dangerous and serious disorder that impacts the patient and the family in long lasting and significant ways. To help promote awareness and support NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association), Del Amo Behavioral Health will be walking Saturday, March 7, 2015 at the NEDA WALK in Santa Monica. For more information on the walk, please visit the website.


Walk Venue:  Crescent Bay Park
Walk Location:  2000 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Walk Date:  Saturday, March 7th, 2015
Check In Time:  9 a.m.
Opening Ceremony: 10 a.m.     Walk End Time:  12 p.m.
Walk Fundraising Goal: $30,000
Contact: Julie Steinberg

Follow NEDA on Facebook and spread the word!

Online Registration closes at 12 p.m. PST on Friday March 6th- sign up today! Not sure if you can meet that deadline? You can always register on-site at the walk!

Forming a team? Check out the Team Captain Toolkit for tips and best practices!

More questions about the walk?
Read Walk FAQ or contact NEDA at 212-575-6200 or

Guest Speaker Carolyn Costin

Monte Nido Founder and Chief Clinical Officer, Carolyn Costin, MA., MEd, MFT, FAED, CEDS, recovered from anorexia in her twenties, became a therapist and saw her first eating disorder client in 1979. Carolyn has become renowned for her clinical acumen, her 4 books, her speaking engagements, and her residential and day treatment programs, Monte Nido & Affiliates, now in California, Oregon, Boston and New York.  Carolyn pioneered residential treatment in a home like setting opening the first Monte Nido in California in 1996.

California Mental Health Prevention Effort Is Showing Positive Early Results

RAND Corporation News Release: An effort to improve mental health prevention and early intervention in California is showing positive early results for programs targeted at reducing stigma and discrimination, educating the public about suicide prevention and improving the mental health of students, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

The study evaluates social media marketing campaigns, training efforts and other statewide prevention and early intervention activities undertaken as a result of Proposition 63, which imposed a tax on high income California residents to expand mental health service.

Nicole Eberhart is a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a licensed clinical psychologist.

“Although still in the early stages, we found evidence that the statewide prevention efforts were launched successfully and are beginning to make a difference toward reducing stigma and empowering people to prevent mental health problems,” said Nicole Eberhart, co-leader of the project and a behavioral scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

California voters approved Proposition 63 (the Mental Health Services Act) in 2004. Under the initiative, significant new funding was dedicated to providing intensive mental health treatment at the community level for individuals with serious mental health challenges.

The law, enacted in January 2005, also set aside 20 percent of the revenue raised annually for counties to provide prevention and early intervention services, with the goal of connecting individuals with services before symptoms set in, or early in the course of a mental health challenge.

In addition to local programs, California counties are working together through the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) to deliver statewide prevention and early intervention services. Goals of the program are to reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, prevent suicides, and improve the mental health of students in K-12 schools and colleges across the state. These statewide interventions are being evaluated by RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

“CalMHSA is proud to show California that our state’s leadership in innovative mental health prevention strategies are delivering positive results for communities,” said Wayne Clark, CalMHSA executive director. “By empowering Californians to stop suicide, changing attitudes about mental health, and equipping educational systems to meet the mental health needs of students, we are creating a state where each mind matters.”

RAND researchers have evaluated a variety of activities:

  • Education efforts were aimed at reducing stigma among middle school students. The evaluation found that students who attended the “Walk in Our Shoes” presentations expressed less stigmatizing attitudes, were more willing to interact with fellow students with a mental health problem and had more positive emotional responses to a hypothetical student with a mental health problem.
  • A social media campaign titled “Know the Signs” was designed to empower Californian residents to prevent suicide. Those who viewed the campaign were more confident in intervening with those at risk of suicide, more comfortable discussing suicide, more aware of the warning signs, and felt they had greater skills and knowledge on intervening with or referring someone at risk to help.
  • Trainings about mental health issues were delivered to a diverse group of school staff, teachers and students statewide. Those who participated in the trainings reported greater confidence to intervene with students in distress, greater confidence to refer students to mental health resources, and a greater likelihood to intervene or refer students in distress.

Researchers say the goal of prevention and early intervention is to strengthen resilience in the community by teaching people how to help each other and how to assist vulnerable individuals, including those with newly experienced mental health problems, to access treatment at an early stage to prevent long-term suffering and lifetime consequences for themselves and their families in areas like education, work and relationships.

Audrey Burnam is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation.

“Often the most meaningful effects of prevention and early intervention programs cannot be detected immediately, so it will be important to continue to track public attitudes and knowledge regarding mental health, as well as impacts in reducing the negative consequences of mental health problems, over a longer period of time,” said M. Audrey Burnam, a RAND senior behavioral scientist and co-leader of the project.

The study was sponsored by the California Mental Health Services Authority and conducted independently by RAND. The report, “Evaluation of California’s Statewide Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention Programs: Summary of Key Year 2 Findings,” can be found at Other RAND reports about the California mental health prevention and early intervention program are available at

Other authors of the report are Sandra H. Berry, Rebecca L. Collins,Patricia A. Ebener, Rajeev Ramchand, Bradley D. Stein of RAND and Michelle W. Woodbridge of SRI International.

RAND Health is the nation’s largest independent health policy research program, with a broad research portfolio that focuses on health care costs, quality and public health preparedness, among other topics.

About the RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.

I Am Hungry — Why?

by Melissa Killeen

Hunger can be a physical or emotional need. Understanding the need to eat is fairly straightforward. Meeting nutritional needs allows our bodies to operate to the highest potential, and will keep us feeling better. So to ease your hunger, it is advised not to turn to destructive habits, substances or negative people. This will not fill the physical or emotional emptiness that you’re feeling. Instead, find something wholesome to eat or talk to a good friend or loved one.

????????????Maybe if we look into to why we are hungry, it can help us tease out these feelings. Feelings are, for a recovering person, very difficult to identify and challenging to discern. When we use the recovery tool known as HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, and tired) to assess our situation, we may see that being hungry is more physical and less emotional. Maybe being hungry is bringing up your emotional need for something else? Or maybe hunger comes from the physical triggers that we will explore more in this blog.

Some reasons that you are hungry

So, it’s 3:00, past lunch yet many hours before dinner, and you are hungry. All you can think about is the next time you get to eat and what you are going to eat.  It’s all you can do not to scarf down whatever is in the nearest vending machine. But what gives? You ate a good lunch, why are you ravenous now? Turns out, our brains and bodies are frequently conspiring to trick us into thinking it’s time to eat when it really isn’t.

I bet you didn’t sleep enough last night. Ever notice your grumbling stomach is a bit louder on the days after a fitful night’s sleep? That’s because too little sleep has been linked to higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for triggering hunger. This recent study from Northwestern University showed that people who regularly stay up late are also more likely to eat unhealthier food, weigh more and eat more during the evening, compared with people who go to bed early. And to make matters worse, when you’re sleep deprived, you’ll usually crave carbohydrates, and calorie-laden foods, as your body searches for alternate sources of energy. Researchers at the University of Chicago think this could be a clue as to why people who regularly get too little sleep are at a greater risk of obesity.

You had dinner at your Mother’s last night and ate too much. Science doesn’t have a completely fool-proof explanation for this sensation yet, (of eating too much, not the sensation of eating at Mom’s) but there’s no denying that you are hungrier in the morning after going to bed stuffed to the gills. Contrary to common belief, it’s not that your stomach is stretched out, but more likely a result of the type of foods you overindulged in. If you overdid it on starches, you could have triggered dramatic changes in your blood sugar that trick the brain into thinking you’re still not full. I believe that this phenomenon is the reason why we will eat cold pizza for breakfast after a night a watching the World Series and downing four other pizzas, chips and soda.

You’re pre-menstrual. Guys, you are off the hook here. But many women intuitively know this, and now there is proof to back up those thoughts that PMS is really the reason you ate the whole container of Ben and Jerry’s. During the pre-menstrual phase, progesterone production increases. This increased hormone production boosts your appetite but also increases your general malaise about your body in general, as if you weren’t already emotional enough.

You could have had granola instead of Pop Tarts. The most important meal of the day is breakfast. It is also the one that is most under pressure to be eaten dashing out the door, while driving in the car or standing at the bus stop. Eating the wrong thing for breakfast can throw off an entire day. A 2013 study suggested that one of the most important breakfast component is protein. A serving in the range of 300-400 calories of fruit, plain yogurt, eggs and yes, even a turkey sausage or bacon is an ideal breakfast. In this study, people who ate high-protein breakfasts were less likely to reach for fatty, sugary foods later in the day. You might also be getting too little fiber or fat, both of which help keep you full. As many as 31 million people in the U.S. skip breakfast each day, with men ages 18 to 34 leading the pack. So that is why so many people join you in the break room at 3pm.

Some medication’s side effects include weight gain. In the last 20 years, the number of meds with weight gain side effects has increased from one in 10 to one in four.  The drugs you should be concerned about are drugs for chronic diseases, like diabetes and psychiatric problems, because you may have to be using these drugs for a long time. Even innocuous meds like over-the-counter sleep aids can cause weight gain by slowing your metabolism, or by altering the hormones in your body that control your appetite. If you use a drug for chronic conditions that require life-long treatment, experts suggest discussing your medication with your doctor. There could be a similar drug without the weight gain side effect.

You are hooked on diet soda. A zero-calorie sweet drink sends a message to the brain that calories are on their way. Then, no calories are actually delivered, this triggers the brain to send out hunger pangs to compensate for that bait-and-switch. More research is being completed on this, so in the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to cut out or at least cut back on artificially-sweetened pop.

Open a bottle of water, you’re actually just thirsty.A little mild dehydration can give you a sluggish, fatigued feeling and, just like when you’re sleep deprived, the body often turns to calories for fuel. That means, when you experience what you think is hunger, it’s really thirst. Weight-loss experts often suggest drinking a glass of water and then waiting a few minutes before giving in to the craving for something to eat.

You are on a tele-conference call and you’re bored. Dopamine is a chemical messenger in the brain linked with motivation, stimulation and reward. Dopamine makes us feel good about eating, so we don’t forget to do it, which is not exactly a problem for most of us! So, in the absence of more stimulating fare, like drugs, alcohol, sex, or internet gaming, the handy dopamine neuron-stimulating electrode in our brain triggers a lever whenever we fancy a thrill, like during a telephone conference call, and the food starts calling to us.

You’re emotionally impaired, angry or stressed. Yes, there’s a biological reason for emotional eating, too. Think fight or flight. Our natural stress response is technically an evolutionary tactic to help us avoid becoming someone else’s dinner. In the face of stress, hearts race, muscles fire – all to give us the ability to run away or be eaten. Once we are safe, our body relaxes and our brain sends messages to refuel and replenish for the next harrowing experience. So stress activates a couple of brain systems to increase appetite. It seems to trigger cravings for sugary or fatty foods, and a flight to the corporate cafeteria before they close.

So what can a person do to avoid the constant and dreaded desire to eat when they are not really hungry?

Of course, the most obvious advice is to avoid it in the first place: drink water, avoid stress, chose foods that will keep you full longer, avoid carbs, and eat foods that are high in volume and low in calories, like leafy greens, which are also full of protein and fiber. Beyond that, all you can do is some damage control: eat a sensible, filling breakfast (oatmeal, granola egg-veggie scrambles!), walk around the office, straighten the copy area, talk to your colleagues, and know that the hunger will pass.

This article was originally posted by Melissa Killeen at Melissa Killeen Recovery Coaching, and is reposted here with permission. For more on this subject, see Melissa Killeen’s other work at

Melissa Killeen is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Organizational Dynamics focusing on Executive Coaching and Leadership Management. Melissa has been President and executive board member of Recovery Coaches International, an international association of recovery coaches. In addition, she is certified Master Trainer of theLIFO® assessment survey. The LIFO® system is owned by Business Consultants, Inc. (BCon), the largest consulting firm in Japan specializing in large-scale selection and development systems.  She integrates the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping) and Matrix Re-imprinting into her practice, bringing her clients a wide range of drug free recovery resources. Melissa is the author of the first book on recovery coaching, RECOVERY COACHING-A Guide to Coaching People in Recovery from Addiction, and it is available for purchase on Amazon.

Ending the Silence

Helping middle and high schoolers understand mental illness makes a big difference. We can teach them about the warning signs for themselves and their friends. NAMI Ending the Silence helps raise awareness and change perceptions around mental health conditions.

Through this free classroom presentation, students get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the 50-minute presentation, a young adult living with mental illness and a family member tell their stories about mental health challenges, including what hurt and what helped.

Why Ending the Silence Matters

  • 1 in 5 kids experiences a mental health condition; only 20% of them actually get help
  • About 50% of students ages 14+ with a mental health condition will drop out of school
  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds
  • The earlier the better: early identification and intervention provides better outcomes

What Your Students Get

Moving stories from positive role models have the power to change kids’ views. The discussion gives students the rare opportunity to ask questions about mental health challenges to people who have lived it. The presentation’s message of empathy and hope encourages students to actively care for themselves and their friends. It also teaches them it’s okay to talk about what they’re feeling. NAMI Ending the Silence covers:

  • Early warning signs
  • Facts and statistics about youth and mental health conditions
  • When, where and how to get help for themselves or their friends
  • When it’s not okay to keep a secret

What People are Saying

“I’m really grateful and glad that you talked to us. I often feel very alone or weird because many kids my age don’t understand. But, now I’m sure they would be more supportive of me.” -Student

“It is amazing what just one day, one talk can do. You never really know what’s going on in the brain of any particular student.” -Teacher

Schedule an Ending the Silence Presentation

If you would like to host a NAMI Ending the Silence presentation at your school, contact your local NAMI. If the presentation isn’t already available, ask to bring it to your community.

Senator Beall and Assemblymember Thurmond Join MHSOAC

The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) announced the addition of two new Commissioners:

Senator Jim Beall, San Jose – Senator Beall was elected to the California State Senate in 2012 and represents the 15th Senate District. He was elected to the State Assembly in November 2006, representing District 24. He is the chairman of the Senate Mental Health Caucus. He has spent three decades in public service as a San Jose City Councilman, a Santa Clara County Supervisor and an Assembly member. On the Commission, Senator Beall represents the member of the Senate selected by the President pro Tempore of the Senate.

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, Richmond – Assemblymember Thurmond was elected to represent California’s 15th Assembly District in November 2014. The district includes the East Bay communities that stretch along the I-80 corridor from Hercules to Oakland. First elected to the Richmond City Council in 2005, Thurmond served as Council Liaison to Richmond’s Youth Commission, the Workforce Investment Board and the West Contra Costa Unified School District. On the Commission, Assemblymember Thurmond represents the member of the Assembly selected by the Speaker of the Assembly.

NAMI California will continue to work with Senator Beall and Assemblymember Thurmond at the MHSOAC Commission and on mental health care issues in the legislature. We encourage NAMI members to participate in MHSOAC Commission meetings. Please contact to learn more and attend the next meeting with other NAMI members!

High Numbers of Students Entering College Report Poor Emotional Health in Previous Year

FROM Psychiatric News Alert: ?????????????????Record numbers of students entering college are self-reporting poor emotional health, according to a report on a national survey titled “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2014.”

Students were asked to rate their emotional health in relation to other people their age, in addition to the frequency with which they felt depressed. Additionally, the proportion of students who “frequently” felt depressed rose to 9.5 percent, 3.4 percentage points higher than in 2009.

The survey, conducted by the Cooperative UCLA University Higher Education Research Institute for almost 50 years, assesses hundreds of matters ranging from political views to exercise habits.

The report also noted that students with different types of disabilities say they are feeling depressed more frequently. Of those students who indicated being on the autism spectrum, 22.4 percent reported being “frequently” depressed. Over 17 percent of students who reported having a chronic illness or ADHD were “frequently” depressed.

Students who felt depressed more frequently reported behaviors reflecting disengagement—they were about twice as likely to “frequently” come late to class and “frequently” fall asleep in class. Further, they were less likely to “frequently” engage with their classmates by studying with other students or working with other students on group projects, according to the report.

The report concluded, “With counseling centers on campus reporting a record number of visits and increased wait times, it is clear that campuses have more work to do to assist students experiencing emotional health issues.”

The APA Caucus on College Mental Health will meet during at the 2015 annual meeting in Toronto on Monday, May 18, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Toronto Room, Convention Floor, Fairmont Royal York. APA members interested in college mental health are encouraged to attend.

For more on the subject of college mental health, see the Psychiatric News article “College Students Explain Decisions About Getting MH Care.”

Researchers Seeking to Pay Persons with Schizophrenia and Caregivers for One-Hour Interview

?????????Adept Consumer Testing, a National Market Research Firm is looking for Patients that have been diagnosed by a physician as having “Schizophrenia” and Caregivers of Patients diagnosed with Schizophrenia to participate in a paid medical market research study.

These individual interviews will last approximately 60 minutes on Wednesday, February 25th in the Beverly Hills area. A generous honorarium will be provided to all those that qualify and participate.

If you would like to participate, please contact Adept Consumer Testing at the following phone number so they can ask you the qualifying questions.

Tell them NAMI South Bay sent you.

Call Adé @ 310-279-4343 extension 372

Photo Credit
Ocskay Mark | DPC