Five Reasons to Attend the NAMI National Convention

  1. Learn exciting research, tools, treatment options and recovery strategies directly from experts
  2. Discover how to lead effective mental health advocacy efforts
  3. Hear relatable stories and make personal connections with powerful impact
  4. Find day-to-day support through coping strategies, health and wellness activities, and legal services
  5. Earn continuing education credits as a licensed counselor, social worker or registered nurse

The NAMI National Convention connects and inspires people with or affected by a mental illness who are looking for resources, research, support services and recovery strategies. Join this diverse, action-driven gathering of individuals with mental health conditions, family members and caregivers, policymakers, educators, researchers, clinicians, providers, exhibitors, sponsors and press this year in Washington, D.C.

First-on-Board member rate of just $195 is only available until January 31.

To learn more about program offerings, CLICK HERE.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson Thanks Governor for Signing Student Suicide Prevention Bill

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today thanked Governor Jerry Brown for signing legislation requiring schools that serve students from grades 7 to 12 to adopt suicide prevention policies.

Torlakson supported AB 2246 by Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. The bill, signed on Monday, September 26, requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop and maintain a model suicide prevention policy.

“With this change, we can better identify students in need, get them help, and keep them safe,” Torlakson said. “One of my top priorities is serving the needs of the whole child, including their mental health needs. This bill is a big step forward in our ongoing efforts to help our students.”

“As classroom teacher, I know from experience that educators often serve as the first line of defense when a student is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts,” said Assembly Member O’Donnell. “AB 2246 will provide parents, teachers, and schools with the tools they need to help save the lives of at-risk youth.”

Torlakson is a longtime supporter of expanding mental health services and preventing suicides. When Torlakson served in the California State Senate in 2004, he was state co-chair of the campaign for Proposition 63, a measure that increased income taxes on the wealthy to fund mental health programs.

As State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Torlakson convened a Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup. The group of 40 experts has conducted 20 free trainings in suicide prevention across the state for more than 500 teachers.

Earlier this year, CDE released the Healthy Kids Survey, which describes how students feel about school and how they rank their school environment.

The survey showed schools need to focus more attention on better meeting the needs of youth. For example, two indicators of depression risk showed little change since the last survey two years ago.

Nearly one-fourth of seventh graders and around one-third of ninth and eleventh graders reported feelings of chronic sadness or hopelessness. And, almost 20 percent of high school students had seriously contemplated suicide.

Torlakson in 2014 released a letter encouraging school districts to adopt suicide prevention policies. Under the new law, each district will be required to adopt suicide policies beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

In 2014, there were nearly 2,300 suicide attempts by students 15 to 19 years old in California.

Image: dollarphotoclub_63337352.

Each Mind Matters–Mental Health Awareness Week October 2 – 8

Mental Health Awareness Week is October 2-8, an annual event where advocates across the nation will come together to spread awareness about the importance of mental health and to speak out against the stigma around mental illness. Thanks to NAMI’s efforts in 1990, U.S. Congress established the first full week in October for the observance.

Each Mind Matters developed a toolkit with valuable resources that can be customized to raise awareness in your community and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health challenges. Download the 2016 Mental Health Awareness Week Toolkit and share with Each Mind Matters and NAMI California how you use the materials by tagging @EachMindMatters and @NAMICalifornia on social.

Show-Off Your Lime Green

Lime green is building momentum as the national color for mental health awareness. Wearing the lime green ribbon is a great way to open an honest dialogue with friends, family, classmates and co-workers about mental health. And it’s an easy way to show your support. It’s also easy to order! Get your lime green ribbon, wristband or other Each Mind Matters items at their online shop . Or wear it online by adding this twibbonto your profile on social media. Here are some more ideas to help you get creative while showing your support:

  • Post selfies wearing your lime green ribbon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, encourage others to do the same. Use the hashtag#EachMindMatters and #NAMICalifornia.
  • Order a supply of lime green ribbons or wristbands and keep them in your desk, car, backpack or purse to offer to people when they ask about it.
  • Ask family members and friends to wear their support too.
  • Wear lime green clothes, paint your nails lime green or even put a streak of lime green in your hair! Let everyone know that Each Mind Matters.

Support NAMI South Bay at NAMI Walks this Saturday Morning

The excitement and funds are growing as we approach our grand event in just 10 days! Thank you for your efforts so far and keep it going so that we can reach our goal and thereby, help more people impacted by mental illness!  See below for how to register and NAMI South Bay Walk team information.  When you register  be sure to indicate you are supporting NAMI South Bay. 

PROGRAM -Starts at 9:15 AM.  Actress Carly Chaikin, actress on USA’s hit show, Mr. Robot, will be Master of Ceremonies!

LOCATION – Walk Registration, Walk Stage, Vendors and Affiliate Booths will be at Grand Park between  Broadway and Spring Streets closest to City Hall.  This location is the far eastern part of the park away from the Music Center on the western end. See map for more information.

PARKING -For those of you who are driving, you can park right underneath Grand Park, or across the street at the Music Center (on Grand), down the block at Disney Concert Hall (Grand also), or at Our Lady of Angels Cathedral on Temple St.  On the weekends, parking is $10 for the day.

TAKING THE METRO is quick and easy with these simple directions: Metro Red or Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station or the Gold Line to Union Station or Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.

FOOD TRUCKS -Here’s some other great news–we will have four fantastic food trucks on the Park, too!  They are also donating to our cause–so please support them, too!

T-SHIRT CONTEST – You can enter the T-shirt contest just by being at the Walk.  Upon return from the 5K, have one team member dressed in the Team t-shirt head up to the Stage area, where the contest will take place about 11:30 am.  The NAMI Walks logo can be anywhere on the shirt.

WALK ROUTE – Walk past our Lady of Angels Cathedral,  Music Center, Disney Concert Hall, Pershing Square and many other historic sites on Walk Route.  For complete walk route and sites along the way see 2016 Walk Route.

Please join one of the following teams as a Walker, be a Virtual Walker or support a Walker inputting the name of team or walker in the Fundraiser button at the link.  

CLICK HERE to Register for NAMI Los Angeles 2016 Walk


  • nami-walksNAMI South Bay Walkers (Captain: Paul Stansbury)
  • NAMI Espanol Bay Blues 2016 (Captain: Modesta Pulido)
  • Chester Hope (Captain: Anna London)
  • Eve’s Family-to-Family and Friends (Captain: Eve Somers)
  • DBSA South Bay (Captain: Dawn Biegel)
  • NAMI South Bay Japanese (Captain: Chiaki Ueki)
  • Madelyn’s First Year (Captain: Madelynn Sanchez)
  • Coastangs! (Captain: Linda Lee)
  • TIES for Families (Captain: Lara Litvinov)
  • Del Amo Hospital (Captain: Howard Mationg)

If interested or any questions, please contact Paul Stansbury at or 310-892-8046


Looking Ahead to the NAMI California Annual Conference in August

San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront 1800 Old Bayshore HIghway Burlingame, CA 94010

Learn about the latest news, research and breakthroughs in mental health! The 2016 NAMI California Annual Conference in San Francisco (August 26th and 27th) will feature a variety of tracks, inspirational speakers and educational workshops.

Early Bird Registration is Open. Register now for the Conference to take advantage of our early bird pricing! Click here to register for our Early Bird Special.

Group Rates. NAMI California is now offering special group rates for our Annual Conference. For a limited time, groups of four or more registering at the same time will receive the lowest Super Early Bird pricing! Click here to download the group registration form or call the NAMI California office at (916) 567-0163.

Featured Screening. Among many other things, the Conference will feature a screening of Inside Out, Pixar’s highly acclaimed animated comedy adventure. The film, which just won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, is set in the mind of a young girl named Riley, whose emotions — Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness and Disgust — compete as she adjusts to her new life in San Francisco. Discover this groundbreaking movie that explores mental health issues in a sensitive but entertaining way.

Participate. Interested in participating in the Color Guard, singing the National Anthem or volunteering at the conference? Contact Erik at Conference scholarships for adults and young adults ages 18-24 are also available.

Members Share How NAMI Has Affected Their Lives

Survey Dollarphotoclub_53229363In NAMI California’s last survey, participants were asked how NAMI has affected their lives. NAMI California received responses from members all over the state relating how NAMI helped them find the path to recovery, better understand mental illness, learn how to help a family member or loved one, fight stigma, and advocate for mental health reform.

A sampling of comments from the 30-second survey:

  • NAMI was the single most important organization or “individual” in our family’s existence since our son had a serious breakdown and was diagnosed with a serious form of mental illness… We will forever be indebted to NAMI.
  • Before NAMI I saw mental illness as behaviors without seeing the people. NAMI taught me empathy. My life is richer and much more meaningful, and I feel privileged to work with those with mental health challenges.
  • NAMI has changed my life. Before I was an OK advocate for myself and others with mental illness. Now I have a lot of tools that make me a lot better!
  • I found friendship, and hope that there is recovery for families and my son. Also, (NAMI) empowers me to speak up to fight stigma.
  • NAMI has been the catalyst to take a tragic disease and turn it into a call to legislative action.

Click Here to Read more 

This month’s survey: What was your experience the first time you accessed mental health services for yourself or your loved one?

Click here to take this month’s 30 Second Survey!

2nd Annual Parent & Caregiver Conference

conference love treeThe NAMI Los Angeles County Council and Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is presenting the 2nd Annual Parent & Caregiver Conference at St. Anne’s, 155 N. Occidental Blvd., Los Angeles, 90026, on Saturday, February 20, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m.

The conference is to feature expert speakers and workshops for parents and caregivers who have one or more loved ones of any age with a mental illness. Attendees will gain knowledge on how to provide stability and guide their loved one(s) to a healthy and exceptional life.

Registration is $10.00 (which includes lunch and parking) Limited scholarships are available.

To register, go to THIS SITE, or email Letty Baldaro, In Our Own Voice & Education Coordinator, NAMI LACC.

NAMI Los Angeles County Council (LACC)  is the leading countywide organization composed of grassroots-based affiliates that promotes health, equality and dignity for those affected by mental illness.  It provides leadership in advocacy, legislation, policy development, education and support throughout Los Angeles County. CLICK HERE to visit NAMI LACC on Facebook.