Special Speakers for the 2015 Annual State Conference

cfd0c7dd-8a24-48fb-a51d-842544bc1d32Just Announced! Featured Speakers at the 2015 ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN NEWPORT BEACH AUGUST 21 & 22 will include:

Sam Cochran
Sam Cochran was the coordinator of the Memphis Police Services Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). He retired from the Memphis police department after over 30 years of service and now provides consultation to CIT programs throughout the nation. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition to his nationally recognized work with the CIT program, Major Cochran was a coordinator for the Hostage Negotiation Team and the Critical Incident Services (CIS) for the Memphis Police Department. During his time as a law enforcement officer, Major Cochran (ret.) served in uniform patrol, the investigative division and was been an instructor at the training academy.

Andrew Sperling, JD
Andrew Sperling is the Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In this position, he leads NAMI’s legislative advocacy initiatives in Congress and before federal agencies. Mr. Sperling works on issues affecting the mental health community with a focus on improving the lives of people with severe mental illnesses.

William Beardslee, MD
William R. Beardslee, MD, is Director of the Baer Prevention Initiatives, Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital Boston, and Gardner Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He developed a preventive intervention for families facing depression, Family Talk that received very high rankings in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices and has been used widely in this country and abroad. His work has been adapted for use with single parent African American families, Latino families, and for use in Head Start. He directs the Boston site of a four-site study examining a cognitive-behavioral preventive intervention for youth at risk for depression which has demonstrated actual prevention of episodes of major depression at both a nine month and 33 month follow-up and recently served on two Institute of Medicine committees, one of which dealt with the prevention of mental illness in children, youth and families and the other with parental depression.

More speakers to be announced soon!

Study Suggests Mortality Risk is High for Dementia Patients taking Antipsychotics

Research Folders Laptop Mean Investigation Gathering Data And AnFrom Psychiatric News Alert: Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System say that though antipsychotic medications are associated with increased mortality in older adults, little is known about such risk relative to no treatment or alternative psychotropic therapies.

Helen Kales, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Program for Positive Aging, and colleagues analyzed health records of more than 90,500 individuals aged 65 and older with dementia to access the risk for death in patients who received antipsychotics and those who did not. The researchers simplified the rate of risk for mortality by estimating how many elderly patients would have to be on a drug for one of them to die within six months, known as the “number needed to harm (NNH).”

The results, published this week in JAMA Psychiatry, showed that mortality risks statistically increased in patients taking antipsychotics to reduce symptoms of dementia, compared with individuals not being treated. Haloperidol was observed to be the riskiest—with one death per every 26 individuals taking the drug. Risperidone had a NNH of 27, followed by less risky olanzapine and quetiapine with NNHs of, respectively, 40 and 50. The researchers also observed the mortality risk for older adults with dementia who took antidepressants. The mortality risks were lower—with one person dying for every 166 individuals taking the medication.

“Our research indicates that antipsychotics may increase mortality more than previously realized. We hope this creates a dialogue about the advantages and disadvantages of antipsychotic and other psychotropic use as first-line treatment strategies for behavioral symptoms, which are universal and require effective treatments to address serious suffering among patients, families, and caregivers.”

Thank You Kiwanis for Honoring Local Service and Non-Profit Groups

On March 19, 2015, The Kiwanis Club of Torrance held its annual Celebration of Community luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel in Torrance, with support from sponsors, including Enterprise, ExxonMobil, the Torrance Tribune and Milestone Hostice, Inc. Torrance Mayor and Keynote Speaker Patrick Furey presented certificates of recognition to dozens of invited Kiwanis Luncheonservice and non-profit organizations, including NAMI South Bay.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. Kiwanians are volunteers changing the world through service to children and communities. Kiwanis members help shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged, and care for the sick. The Kiwanis guiding principles are:

> To give importance to the human and spiritual rather than the material values of life.
> To encourage living by the Golden Rule.
> To promote higher social, business, and professional standards.
> To encourage and be servant leaders.
> To build Kiwanis clubs that build lasting friendships and serve and strengthen local communities.
> To promote justice, patriotism, and goodwill.

It’s Mission:
To serve children of the world.

NAMI South Bay thanks Kiwanis of Torrance for a wonderful luncheon and for its continued support of local service and non-profit organizations.

Study Suggests Psychotic Experiences Help Predict Suicidal Behavior

????????FROM Psychiatric News Alert: Individuals with psychiatric disorders reporting psychotic experiences are more likely to report concurrent suicidal ideation and suicide attempts than those who do not report psychotic experiences, according to a study that appears online in JAMA Psychiatry. Psychotic experiences were especially prevalent among individuals reporting severe attempts and may account for nearly one-third of attempts with intent to die in the United States annually, according to the report.

Researchers from Columbia University, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the University of Maryland School of Social Work examined the association between 12-month suicidality and 12-month psychotic experiences. The researchers found that individuals reporting psychotic experiences were approximately five times more likely to report suicidal ideation and nearly 10 times more likely to report a suicide attempt during a 12-month period. In contrast, depressive, anxiety, and substance use disorders did not reliably identify those at risk for attempts among respondents with suicidal ideation.

Immediate past APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., a coauthor of the study, noted that the increased risk for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts was especially high among people aged 18 to 29, whether or not these young people had a primary diagnosis of psychotic disorder.

“This study of a community-based epidemiological sample identified psychotic experience as a predictor of suicidal behavior in young people in particular. This finding can be considered an important risk factor for suicide in youth in the context of a wide range of mental disorders and can be applied in clinical practice.”

For more information see the Psychiatric News article, “Teens’ Psychotic Symptoms Strongly Associated With Suicidal Behavior.”

Early Bird Special Savings! 2015 Annual State Conference

Register now for big savings! Early Bird registration ends soon!

Friday and Saturday
August 21 – 22, 2015
Newport Beach, CA

Click here to take advantage of the lowest rates for the conference.


The Workshops will feature:

Transitional Aged Youth (T.A.Y.) Workshops will focus on strategies and best practices for educators, early identification and intervention, and reducing stigma and discrimination for ages 18-24.

Criminal Justice. Workshops will focus on strategies around incorporating and partnering with the law enforcement, the Justice system, and other criminal justice sectors.

Strengthening NAMI. Workshops will focus on best practices in Board development, organizational financial management, and expanding access to NAMI education programs through technology.

Consumer and Family Engagement/Recovery Practices. Workshops will focus on strengthening our voice as a unified organization of lived experiences, increase visibility and impact, and promote mental health wellness and recovery.

Advocacy. Workshops will focus on new and innovative ways to advocate, current policies and their impact on all levels (local, state and nation wide), and training tools to effectively utilize grassroots advocacy efforts.

Diversity. Workshops will be focused on strength-based approaches and best practices to engage diverse communities, increase access to programs and services, and reduce the stigma and discrimination among diverse populations.

Hotel information

The Marriott Hotel and Spa is located directly across from Fashion Island and only 10 minutes from the John Wayne Airport. CLICK HERE for special rates of $169, plus tax per night. To receive this discounted rate you must make your reservation by August 5th or call (877) 622-3056 to speak with reservations.

cfd0c7dd-8a24-48fb-a51d-842544bc1d32Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa
900 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, California 92660

Your Teenager: Just Moody… or Something More?

By Ken Duckworth from NAMI Blog

“Is my teen normal?”

As a child and adolescent psychiatrist and father of 3 teenagers myself,  I get asked this question by people in my community all the time—at the grocery store, at the community pool and at cookouts. It’s pretty clear to me this is an important public health concern for the people I know.

First, anxiety is normal and often healthy. It relates back to our human wiring—the evolutionary protection for being prepared for threats, like an incoming mastodon. In the modern day, we still have the same kind of alarm system even though the stresses are different.

For instance, it is natural to get anxious before the SAT exam because of the weight our society places on it. It’s perfectly acceptable to get anxious before your first week at sleep-away camp or trying out for a school play. Anxiety can be motivating to a point, but anxiety can also be overwhelming and disabling.

One way to answer the question is to look at your teen’s level of functioning. Does the anxiety reduce his ability to perform at school or engage with friends? Are the symptoms of anxiety stopping her from pursuing what she wants?

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/111773267]

When It Could Be a Mental Health Condition

Anxiety disorders often co-occur with other conditions, such as depression. Major depression in teens is an important public health concern and, like anxiety, often responds to treatment. Depression is characterized by more than 2 weeks of persistent sadness (or irritability, hostility) coupled with most of the following warning signs: sleep troubles, appetite changes, physical complaints, negative or hopeless thinking, concentration problems, loss of interest in activities and, most concerning, suicidal thoughts.

Family history of mood and anxiety conditions can increase the risk for some teens. People with trauma histories may be quicker to experience threat and anxiety based on the past. Teens who are stressed by divorce, are being bullied—on social media or at school—or who have problems “fitting in” in social circles are also at risk.

A full clinical assessment from a health care provider is a worthy investment of time and resources to determine a diagnosis if you’re seeing any of the signs I mentioned in your teen. There are a few medical concerns that can mimic anxiety and depression, so it’s a good idea to look for those—examples are thyroid disorders and substance use disorders.

Once a comprehensive assessment is made, the next step is forming a treatment plan that your teen can buy into. It is challenging yet essential to get your child’s acceptance and collaboration into any plan to approach these issues. While some kids will quickly acknowledge their vulnerabilities, others will be more resistant. This spectrum is natural and expected—not everyone will want support.

Communicating with Your Child

How do you talk with a teen you are worried about? Listening to them is the best first rule. Speak from your own experience. I don’t encourage parents to lead with a diagnosis—I begin with a supportive focus on the functional problems they are having, like with friends for example. This can often be something both the parent and teen can connect on. Loving a teen into care can be difficult, but keeping lines of communication open is key. You don’t need to get to yes on everything, but you may need to get to a professional. I tell parents that their job is to get their teen to my office, but it’s mine to get them back for a follow-up visit.

At the end of the day, I may not be able to give a well-rounded answer at the soccer field, but I hope that what I’ve shared will help if you are concerned about your child’s mental health.

– See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2015/Your-Teenager-Just-Moody-or-Something-More#sthash.X8CfxZfh.dpuf

When Mental Illness Enters the Family

By Bob Carolla from NAMI Blog. Ask anyone who has a family member who lives with mental illness, and they’ll tell you it isn’t always what someone would consider smooth sailing.When a family is presented with this category of illness, they may feel like they’ve entered an alien world. With a physical illness, it’s often easy to at least obtain information through a doctor, if not through support groups or other organizations, and there’s less shame in discussing it. Mental health conditions, on the other hand, still have an air of secrecy about them.

Both individuals and family members are given the onerous burden of confronting something that even the medical community doesn’t fully understand. Families are often left with little knowledge of where to go or who to turn to. Fortunately, Dr. Lloyd Sederer is aware of this, and he will tell you: you’re not alone.

In January, Dr. Seder gave a TEDx Talk in Albany, NY titled “When Mental Illness Enters a Family”, which included a shout-out to the NAMI Family-to-Family program. He provides listeners with four main steps to cope with the effects of mental illness:

  • Don’t go it alone
  • Don’t get into fights
  • Learn how the system works, learn the rules—and bend them
  • Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRO0-JXuFMY]

Dr. Sederer is no mere psychiatrist moonlighting as a tourist guide. He is the medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health—i.e., chief psychiatrist for the nation’s largest state mental health organization and former medical director and executive vice president of Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital in Massachusetts. He is also the mental health editor and columnist for The Huffington Post.

In 2014, Sederer spoke at the NAMI National Convention and is the author of The Family Guide to Mental Health Care, a terrific resource for families trying to understand what their loved one is going through. He uses humor and plain language and doesn’t pull punches. Families who navigate the world of mental illness will need to “set aside their confusion, sadness and anger—suspending any feeling of despair—about what’s happening in order to get on with what needs to be done.”

– See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2015/When-Mental-Illness-Enters-the-Family#sthash.KSRuHzCs.dpuf