NAMI Pathways Conference

AdobeStock_94580313It’s time for the annual NAMI Westside LA community conference on mental health!

Open to all at no cost

Pathways to Wellness Conference
Sunday June 26, 2016
9:00 AM to 2:30 PM


8:00 AM to 9:00 AM  

Registration and Refreshments, Vendor Room  Please visit the tables, there are a lot of great resources being given by many great people from different agencies!

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM     

Keynote Presentation –  Auditorium  – John Shuchart  Famous comedian, writer, mental health advocate

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM   

Plenary Presentation –  Auditorium –  Mitchell Katz, MD, will be giving us an overview of the three agencies under his leadership; Health, Public Health, and Mental Health

10:45 AM to 12:00 PM  

Session I Workshops

  1. SSI and SSDI Benefits – Marc Shulman, SrChLAP, CCA and house lawyer – National Center on Life Planning
  2. Art Therapy – Anna Reyner ATR,MA
  3. Depression, Beyond Pills – Vincent F. Caimano, PhD.
  4. Patients Rights (Conducted entirely in Spanish) – Senobia Pichardo – Dept. of Patient’s Rights
  5. Mental Health and the College Student – Dean Shalamon Duke, PhD. –  West Los Angeles College

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM  

Lunch – Vendor Room  –  Free popcorn and  raffles will be handed out at this time

Some NAMI affiliates will be selling things; Whittier is selling churros (a big hit last year) and South Central will sell NAMI dolls (the most adorable things, make sure to get one for your office or home!) 

1:15 PM to 2:30 PM  

Session II Workshops

  1. Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) –  Linda Boyd, RN, BSN, MN – LA County Department of Mental Health
  2. Latest research on Schizophrenia –  UCLA
  3. Latinos and Mental Health Disparities (Conducted entirely in Spanish)  Luis Garcia, PsyD – Pacific Clinics
  4. Hearing Voices – Dave Leon, LCSW –  Paint the Brain
  5. Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine – Carmen  M. Navarro, LAC  –  Acu-Sancturary L.A.C.


Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/gustavofrazao

Mental Health Month Top Stories

NAMI Partners for Hill Day 2016
The Hope & Grace Initiative and Mayim Bialik join NAMI to launch a public service announcement called “Stigma Free.”
Read More »

Empire State Building Goes Green
The Empire State Building Lights Green for National Mental Health Month.
Read More »

Can You Get Mental Health Care When You Need It?
One in 5 Americans has a mental health condition. Contact your senators today to help pass the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.
Read More »

Leader Of Landmark Gene Research On Schizophrenia to Speak at NAMI Convention
Dr. Steven McCarroll, who led the research team responsible for a study that examines the gene that may be a risk factor for schizophrenia, will speak at this year’s NAMI National Convention, July 6-9 in Denver.
Read More »

Exercise for Mental Health: 8 Keys to Get and Stay Moving
This blog post outlines 8 steps to take charge of your mental and physical health.
Read More »

Sisyphus and The Seed
This blog post reveals how NAMI’s Family-to-Family educational program helped one family manage their son’s mental health challenges.
Read More »

These Take the Prize: Journalists and Mental Health Advocacy
This post reveals the journalists and advocates who won the Pulitzer prize for contributions to mental health care.
Read More »

A Voice At The Table: NAMI and Community Partnerships
One contributor explains how his experience with NAMI’s grassroots activities helped him encourage others to seek NAMI for support for mental health.
Read More »

Here Comes the Sun
A simple line of lyrics from a popular Beatles tune helped a 16-year-old contributor cope with mental health challenges and offer hope to those struggling with anxiety and depressive psychosis.
Read More »

Bipolar Brain
A contributor shares a personal story revealing their challenges with bipolar disorder and takes a stand on stigma by choosing not to be silent.
Read More »

For Those Who Love Someone With Mental Illness
Giving thanks where thanks is due-this personal story does just that to those loving and caring for someone with mental illness.
Read More »


Study Examines the Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency Potentially Associated with Known Psychosis

A recent study highlights the concern of vitamin D deficiency among people with established psychosis, and the consequent increased risk of cardiovascular disease in that population. The study is reported at in the BMC Psychiatry article Clinical Correlates of Vitamin D Deficiency in Established Psychosis by J. Lally; P. Gardner-Sood, M. Firdosi; C. Iyegbe; B. Stubbs; K. Greenwood; R. Murray; S. Smith; O. Howes; and F. Gaughran. The scope of the study included Vitamin D levels with respect to mental state, cardiovascular disease factors, lifestyle factors, and cardiometabolic risk. The study concludes, among other things, that:

“given the extremely low levels of vitamin D seen in this vulnerable population, large randomised trials, specifically in psychosis, are urgently needed to determine whether supplementation with vitamin D is an effective means of ameliorating mental health outcomes, boosting cardiometabolic health and ultimately reducing mortality in psychosis.”

AdobeStock_100720396Vitamin D is generally considered an important vitamin and is included in many foods. However, a healthcare professional should be consulted in determining whether a vitamin D deficiency exists or whether and how vitamin D deficiency should be treated. For instance, the WebMD says, among other things:

“Vitamin D is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth or given as a shot into the muscle in recommended amounts. Most people do not commonly experience side effects with vitamin D, unless too much is taken. Some side effects of taking too much vitamin D include weakness, fatigue, sleepiness, headache, loss of appetite, dry mouth, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, and others.”

Further, WebMD warns, among other things, that:

“Taking vitamin D for long periods of time in doses higher than 4000 units daily is POSSIBLY UNSAFE and may cause excessively high levels of calcium in the blood. However, much higher doses are often needed for the short-term treatment of vitamin D deficiency. This type of treatment should be done under the supervision of a healthcare provider.”

A healthcare professional can advise you with respect to the risks and/or benefits of treating vitamin D deficiency in light of each patient’s state of health and health history.

Photo Credit: Coloures-pic/Adobe Stock

Waiting List to Open for City of Long Beach Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and HOPWA TBRA

The Housing Authority of Long Beach (HACLB) will be opening their Section – 8  Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and HOPWA Program (Housing Opportunities for Person with AIDS) on Monday, June 6, 2016 and will close on June 20, 2016.

Persons interested in applying can do so only online at  There’s no paper application. Persons applying must have an active and valid email, so they can receive a confirmation on application received and any future updates.

If you need more information please call the Automated Information Line (562) 570-6309.

Again, application can be completed and submitted ONLY online. Persons applying MUST have an active and valid email. Information about satellite locations where computers may be available for persons that do not have a computer can be found through the link above.

NAMI CAN! Call May 25

The next NAMI CAN! call is Wednesday, May 25. The NAMI California Advocacy Network (NAMI CAN!) was created to facilitate the active involvement of NAMI members all over the state in education and advocacy around issues impacting individuals living with mental illness. During these calls, we hear from affiliates about local advocacy efforts, share legislative updates and short advocacy trainings. To register, please email Marcel Harris at

Advocacy Training & Regional Meeting In Alameda County

NAMI SmartsSave the Date: The next NAMI Smarts for Advocacy Training and Regional Meeting will be held Saturday, June 11 in San Leandro. NAMI Smarts for Advocacy is a hands-on advocacy training program that helps people living with mental illness, friends and family transform their passion and lived experience into skillful grassroots advocacy. To RSVP, please contact Marcel Harris at

NAMI Smarts Training and Regional Meeting
Saturday, June 11
9:30 am – 3 pm
John George Psychiatric Hospital
Clinical Education Room, GL7
2060 Fairmont Drive
San Leandro, CA 94578

Our Community, Our Health — Live Town Hall Meeting

OCOHDon’t miss Our Community, Our Health (OCOH), a live town hall meeting on mental health care solutions, from 3-4 pm (Pacific Time) Tuesday, May 17. OCOH is presented by the California Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and Health Street, a community-engaged research initiative at the University of Florida.

The town hall will provide a forum for sharing ideas about priorities for health research and ways to communicate research findings from stakeholders across the country.Panel members include Jessica Cruz, Executive Director of NAMI California, Dr. Hendry Ton, Director of Education for the UC Davis Center of Reducing Health Disparities, and Charles Casey, Senior Public Information Officer at UC Davis. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at UC Davis and President of NAMI California.

Click here for more information and link to live feed