Advice and Resources for Caregivers

Caregivers face challenges of every type. Caregivers help persons with physical disabilities, aged persons, injured individuals, and persons struggling with a mental illness. Regardless of the cause, it is important, whether you have volunteered for the role, or it has been thrust upon you by circumstances unfortunate and unexpected, to learn how to deal with the issues that arise in a way that reduces stress and strengthens preparation and flexibility.

NAMI provides help for caregivers of persons with a mental illness. To get started with NAMI’s resources, START HERE..

Other resources are also available. Although NAMI South Bay can’t endorse or guarantee these other sources, they are available by various means, including the internet. Caregiver.com is one such resource. It includes articles, resources and advice for caregivers of all varieties, including caregivers dealing with the symptoms of psychosis. For instance,  Its advice article about dealing with psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia begins:

Try to encourage them gently, never forcefully, to be a part of social gatherings when appropriate. Keep gatherings small and intimate, with one or two relatives or friends over for dinner instead of an all-day affair with the entire clan, like a wedding or family picnic; this may cause frustration and stress, helping to set the stage for another episode. Always discuss your plans with them, and suggest going on an outing once a week, like a drive or a walk in the country; go somewhere peaceful and quite, not hectic and noisy like a city…

The rest of the article can be found HERE.

Caregivers.com is not associated with NAMI. Do your own diligence. NAMI South Bay shares this information because it has become aware of the resource, but is not in a position to recommend, endorse or guarantee services or outcomes. 

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Join Us for Taco Night Monday August 31

Taco Night Dollarphotoclub_56513729Please join NAMI South Bay at Diana’s Restaurant on Monday, August 31, 2015, for our 2015 Taco Night. Help support NAMI Walks. The cost is $20 per person. There will be entertainment, raffle, food, sing-along and prizes.

  • When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 8/31/15
  • Where: 300 E. Sepulveda Blvd.

Diana’s Mexican Food Products is a family owned and operated enterprise that started from humble beginnings and continues to enjoy success that has carried its founders into the 21st century. Samuel F. Magaña came to America at the age of sixteen. He was the first employee hired by another large Mexican food company in Los Angeles, where he was eventually promoted to general plant manager, while concurrently attending night school to enhance his education. Today, the company’s client base reaches across the Pacific into Japan, where the popularity of authentic Mexican cuisine has skyrocketed. The family maintains a strong sense of civic duty in each community it does business in, and has been honored for its achievements, cultural support, and community-oriented activities.

NAMIWalks is an annual event involving tens of thousands of concerned citizens in more than 84 communities across the nation. Participants by region walk together to raise money and awareness 20about the country’s need for a world-class treatment and recovery system for people with mental illness. Funds raised at NAMIWalks provide substantial support to the local NAMI affiliates that participate in the walk. Interested persons can donate to support a walk team, can walk with a team, can become a team leader and form their own team to support their local NAMI affiliate, can attend the walk to support and cheer the walking participants, or can do any combination of these things and more.

Every journey begins with that first step.

Diana’s Restaurant
300 E. Sepulveda Boulevard
Carson, California 90745

For more information, call Rick and Modesta Pulido at (310) 567 0778

Using Twitter to Help Mental Health

Twitter can be used to track all kinds of information and trends. During the course of any day more than 500 million 140-character “tweets” are composed sharing all types of personal information. And now Johns Hopkins University has found a way to use Twitter trends to help track both physical and mental health.

Johns Hopkins researchers have previously used Twitter trends to track flu in different areas, because Twitter users express how they feel when the flu hits them, their family, or their region. With those same methods, the researchers are confident that they can find ways to track mental health, too. For instance, by sifting through tweets about particular diagnoses, or tweets with certain mental health buzzwords, the university can collect data regarding disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and many other mental health concerns.

NAMI is interested to see what this research can do to improve how mental health is handled. Hopefully, this will help medical science learn more about the greatest contributing factors, for instance, and this can lead to better solutions.

Early Youth Intervention Helps Children at High Risk of Mental Illness

Group of child in urban street

The Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School encourages a wide array of supports that could help reduce the likelihood of developing schizophrenia in children at high familial risk, according to the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin. The article, written by Cindy Liu, Ph.D., and colleagues, says that often children born to parents with schizophrenia exhibit subtle but visible signs that can predict later development of psychoses. The signs can include neuromotor problems, minor physical anomalies, cognitive difficulties, antisocial behavior, and problems with speech, language, or hearing.

Of course, these things are not determinative. Many things, including childhood adversity and life stress also may contribute to risk. Still, focusing on high-familial-risk children “may be the most practical strategy for early intervention at this time,” Liu concludes, recommending interventions that might include enhancing parental skills, increasing social support, applying psychotherapy for parents, prenatal care for women with psychoses, and ensuring access to important psychiatric, social, educational, and legal resources.

More research is needed to know which interventions are most effective in terms of function and cost.

Quick Guide to NAMI California Conference 2015 Workshops

For those attending, here is an outline guide to the workshop tracks at the NAMI California annual conference this weekend in Newport Beach

Advocacy

  • Stopping Restraint & Seclusion in Schools: For My Child & All Children
  • Coming Out Proud to Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness
  • On the Job with a Mental Illness: What Are My Rights?
  • Changing Policy, Saving Lives: School Suicide Prevention Policies

Criminal Justice

  • Verbal De-Escalation: Performance and Skills are the Mosaic Art of CIT
  • Building a Reformed Criminal Justice System: The Sequential Intercept Model
  • The Crisis Intervention Team, A Community Partnership
  • How to Break into Prison

Engaging Diverse Communities

  • Reducing Mental Health Disparities in Your Community – A Way Forward
  • From Me to You to Us: Mental Health Education in All Communities
  • Take One Day at a Time
  • Community-Defined Solutions for Latino Transition Age Youths’ Mental Health Care

Transition Age Youth

  • I’ve Been There: Embracing Personal Storytelling to Reduce Stigma
  • Embrace the Change: Effective Personal Youth Advocacy
  • What You Can Do to Prevent Suicide
  • The Dream Between the Lines: A Shift in Perspective that Allows Us to See Beyond the Disability

Consumer & Family Engagement

  • Together is Better: Family Unit Approach to Treatment
  • 40 Days to Wellness: An Integrative Nutrition and Wellness Approach to Mental Health
  • The Family Talk Approach to Family Conversation
  • Using Laughter to Break the Cycle of Psychological Negativity

Affiliate Relations

  • A Solution for the Payroll Headache: Employee vs. Independent Contractor?
  • Affiliates Helping Affiliates: Affiliate Mentoring Pilot Project, What We’ve Learned
  • Building Rome Day 1: Where to Begin & How to Get Started Grant Writing
  • Changing Lives with NAMI Programs? This one’s for you!

A Good Resource for News about Bipolar and Related Disorders

There are many groups and organizations other than NAMI that share information about mental illnesses and do their part to help raise awareness, end stigma and address, with clear vision, the real issues mental illnesses raise. One group that provides free updates in the form of a newsletter to anyone that requests it is Bipolar Network News (BNN). BNN is a newsletter publisher and online clearinghouse of information about mood disorders, and a quarterly print and email publication.

BNN regularly provides updates on the latest research about bipolar disorder in the hope of shedding light on emerging trends in research and treatment to help educate patients, family members, interested laypeople, physicians, and other field professionals. The newsletter is available free of charge to all who request it. You can visit BNN’s website and request an email subscription by CLICKING HERE, or request a postal subscription HERE.

Walk and Fight Stigma – NAMI Los Angeles County 2015 Walk

The 2015 Walk this year will be Saturday, October 3, at Grand Park in Los Angeles. Please consider being a Team Captain to fight the stigma of mental illness, raise awareness and raise funds for our programs offered free to the community. To become a Team Captain, download these powerpoint instructions on how to register. If you can’t be a Team Captain, please join us as a Walker or support a Walker. If interested, or if you have any questions, please contact Paul Stansbury at pstans5@aol.com or 310-892-8046.

The following are the current teams with more to be added.  To join just click on team name.

Team
Team Captain
Paul Stansbury
Modesta Pulido
Anna London
Nancy Stansbury
Chiaki Ueki

There was a great Kickoff Brunch on Friday, July 31 at the California Endowment Center. The theme was Superheroes.  Families and persons with a mental illness like the superheroes who because of some significant event in their lives changed and took on superpowers are the superheroes of the NAMI movement. Their heroic efforts were celebrated at the Kickoff Brunch.

Join a Team or form a Team and be part of the NAMI superhero movement.