NAMI California Honors Bebe Moore Campbell

NAMI California honored five legislators who have been champions for mental health issues impacting underserved communities. Awards were given to Assembly Member Rob Bonta, Assembly Member Jim Cooper,  Assembly Member Rocky Chavez, Senator Holly Mitchell, and Senator Bob Hertzberg.

As a part of the event, NAMI California hosted a group of affiliate leaders and presenters at the State Capitol to continue NAMI’s message the way we do it best, by sharing our stories directly with legislators. NAMI members met with over a dozen elected officials and their staff to discuss key legislative issues affecting mental health and wellness in diverse communities.

Psychotic Experiences Are Not Always a Sign of Mental Illness

Hearing Voices UMB-O Dollarphotoclub_73109512According to a July 2015 article by Anna Medaris Miller for U.S. News and World Report, there are “lots of potential reasons someone might hear voices, including anxiety, stress, depression and a history of trauma.”

Of course, all of these are “good reasons to seek mental health help.” But don’t conclude that a mental illness diagnosis is the only outcome.

In the article, Miller quotes Lisa Forestell, the director of community support at Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community who has heard voices her entire life. “They’re playful and silly and they try to cheer me up when I’m sad.” She also quotes Dr. John McGrath, a professor of psychiatry at The University of Queensland in Australia and researcher at the Queensland Brain Institute whose research team found that 2.5% of the population has heard voices and 3.8% has seen something others didn’t see. Psychotic experiences, he says, “are more common than we had been taught. What we really have to do is go back and revise how these symptoms fit into the profile of mental illness.”

This isn’t to say that hallucinations are never a symptom of mental illness. The point really is that hallucinations are a symptom with a variety of possible causes, including mental illness, but possibly also stress or trauma. Dr. Joseph Pierre, co-chief of the Schizophrenia Treatment Unit at VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, and also discussed in the article, conducted a study that compared 118 people who hear voices at least once a month and have a psychotic diagnosis to 111 people who hear voices at least once a month but don’t have mental illness. He found differences, including the tendency for people with psychosis to hear voices more often, to hear them express negative emotions. The diagnosed psychotic subjects also had little control over their voices. In his study, Pierre compared hearing voices to coughs — “common experiences that are often, but not always, symptoms of pathology associated with a larger illness.”

To read the article see Living With the Voices in Your Head.

Infinitely Polar Bear — New Movie with Mark Ruffalo portraying a Father with Bipolar Disorder

In the new, award-winning movie, Infinitely Polar Bear, Mark Ruffalo plays a father whose bipolar condition affects all or most of his life, from an inability to keep a steady job to bold wardrobe choices. Of his character, Ruffalo says he has “one foot on the banana peel and the other on the grave.” It a “real tightrope act.” Ruffalo, 47, had little difficulty accessing the character. He says manic depression “runs in the family,” and that he has personally suffered occasional bouts of depression. 

“I have close family members who are manic and weren’t diagnosed until later in life. Yes their behavior at times will get extreme, but no one was ever looking at it like that. It’s on a scale, it slides around, and you never really know if they’re in mania, or they’re just happy, or they’re sad, or they’re deeply depressed. Sometimes you think it’s like a movie, where you turn the switch on and turn the switch off, but it isn’t like that. It’s more like a dimmer switch.”

In the film, the dad comes around. He gets more regular on his medication and temper tantrums reduce, permitting his daughters to finally see him as the mostly harmless, lovable weirdo he is.




Fecha: (12 Semanas)   Jueves,  27 de Agosto  al  12 de Noviembre, 2015
Hora: 6:30pm  al  9:00pm
Locacion es: Harbor College (Disable Estudiantes Servicios), 1111 Figueroa Place. Wilmington, Ca   90744 (Parking Gratis)

Este es un programa para la familia que le ayudará a romper con la desesperación y el aislamiento, a través de comprender y recibir apoyo para personas que tienen un miembro de familia que sufre de:

  • Depresión Severa
  • Trastorno Bipolar (También conocido como Depresión Mániaca)
  •  Esquizofrenia
  • Trastorno Esquizo-Afectivo
  • Ansiedad y Pánico
  • Trastorno Obsesivo y Compulsivo
  • Diagnóstico Doble (Abuso de sustancias y enfermedad mental)

Family JenKedCo Dollarphotoclub_13900123

Esta serie de 12 clases, la cual se lleva a cabo una vez por semana, está diseñada para ayudar a los miembros de familia a educar, comprender y apoyar a nuestros seres queridos, mientras logran mantener un ambiente de salud personal y de bienestar en el hogar.

El programa de educación de Familia a Familia es gratis! Pero es necesario registrarse lo antes posible.  Favor de comunicarse con Ricardo y Modesta Pulido a los teléfonos:   310.513.1178  o  310.567.0748. cell   email:

De Familia-a-Familia es un programa que ayuda a transformar a la familia desde la desesperación y el aislamiento (ofreciendo esperanza y apoyo) hasta llegar a superar las enfermedades del cerebro. NAMI/SOUTH BAY/LACC/Harbor College    GRACIAS!

Bases y Fundamentos

NAMI/SOUTHBAY/ESPANOL Mejorando la vida con Educación, Información y Recursos para los Familares…

NAMI esta dedicada a ayudar a las familias y a otros que cuidan a los que sufren de salud mental. La  recuperación es real!  La Clase es gratis!

11901 West 119th St.
Hawthorne, Ca 90250

(6) Semanas empezando el Juves, 3, de Septiembre, 2015
Salon #  Gratis!
Desde las  6:30 PM a  8:30 PM

NAMI es una, organización sin fines de  lucro que ha servido a la comunidad en el  condado de Los Ángeles por más de 30 anos.

Nuestra misión es mejorar la vida de las personas y familias que viven con una enfermedad mental mediante la educación, la información y  recursos. Todos los programas son gratuitos para la comunidad.

NAMI (Alianza Nacional para la Salud Mental) ofrece una clase gratis totalmente en español.

Que es NAMI Basics? Bases y fundamentos es un programa de educación informativa, para padres  e otros quienes cuidan a niños o adolecentes que viven con problemas de salud mental. El curso se dirige por padres  entrenados  para dar las clases quienes niños desarrollaron síntomas de salud mental antes de los 18 años de edad. El curso consiste de seis clases, cada clase se imparte en 2 1/2 horas.

“Esta clase me ayudó muchísimo, la profesora de mi hijo quiere saber más de ella después de ver el resultado positivo con mi hijo en la escuela.”   …Nancy Baker, estudiante. Llame: Profesores (Nelida Guzman) 323.907.4639  Nami/Surbay

Si desea mas información sobre la clase contacte a: Ricardo y Modesta Pulido (310) 513-1178  cell# (310) 567-0748 / e-mail: /


Making a Difference with Schizophrenia

According to a recent article by Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., medical editor, mental health for The Huffington Post, and author of The Family Guide to Mental Health Care (Forward by Glenn Close), after an intensive, series of sessions involving 25 scientists, clinicians, researchers, patients, family advocates and government prepresentatives, the following were identified as important answers to the question: “What really makes a difference in the lives of people with schizophrenia?”

  1. Keep the natural environment when possible, keep family closely involved, and work toward a return to school or work.
  2. Measurement-based care with clear goals.
  3. Use technology effectively to reach home-bound and rural patients.
  4. Increase peer services, which are critical in engaging and retaining people with schizophrenia in care.
  5. Combine treatments, using reliable treatments, but permitting innovation; use skill building in social and work areas, cognitive techniques to manage paranoia, effective medications, family education/support, all combined with outreach to help people stay engaged.
  6. Recruit people and grounds that will go byond the call of “champion” and zealously pursue improvement over the status quo
  7. Insist on goals–for patients, families and clinicians.
  8. Maintain hope and a belief in human resilience.

Dr. Sederer is the Medical Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the nation’s largest state mental health system. As New York’s “chief psychiatrist”, he provides medical leadership for a $3.6 billion per year mental health system which annually serves over 700,000 people and includes 24 hospitals, 90 clinics, two research institutes, and community services throughout a state of ~ 19 million people. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health. Previously, Dr. Sederer served as the Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Services in NYC, the City’s “chief psychiatrist”. He also has been Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, a Harvard teaching hospital, and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association.

Follow Lloyd I. Sederer, MD on Twitter: @askdrlloyd

His website is


Clergy Outreach Coming Soon

Often, families recognizing the first unusual behaviors in their loved one seek the counsel of their clergy. They might fear the ill loved one is using illegal drugs, be unduly streed at school or work, or suffering other harmful influences. Typically the family doesn’t know at the outset what is wrong, but they need help. So they consult their Pastor, Priest, Rabbi or Imam.

NAMI believes that reliable mental-illness eduction will help clergy direct families to NAMI and its education and support. NAMI South Bay will be providing a “Menta lHealth First Aid” training for the clergy in October 2015. Please call Paul Stansbury at area code 310, number 892-8046, with your clergy’s contact information so NAMI South Bay can extend an invitation to the training.