NAMI California Annual Conference 2015

2015 Conference 5NAMI California held its annual conference August 21 and 22 at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa. The program was excellent, the speakers were inspiring, and the awards granted were well deserved. The conference and workshops addressed key topic areas from changes and progress in criminal justice to advocacy at the local, state and federal levels.

2015 Conference 3Speakers included Patrick Corrigan, William Beardslee, Waynee Lucero, Sam Cochran, Judge Lawrence Brown, Andrew Sperling, Mark Refowitz, Deandre Evans, Stan Collins, Gary Bess and Joseph Robinson. Powerpoints for many of the workshops can be found by CLICKING HERE. CDs and MP3s of the conference can be FOUND HERE. The full program agenda describing the topics discussed and sessions held can be seen HERE.

2015 Conference 4NAMI California is dedicated to the strengthening of local grass roots organizations. We provide updated information and support to local affiliates and are here to help organize new affiliates. NAMI California has 71 local affiliates and represents 19,000 people to the California Legislature and Governor on mental illness issues. NAMI California educates families, professionals and the public about the recent explosion of scientific evidence that shows serious mental illnesses are neurobiological brain disorders. NAMI California works to provide a strong, coherent system that offers a continuum of care for the persistent, long-term needs of people with mental illness. NAMI California advocates for increased research to uncover causes and new, effective treatments. NAMI California strives to eradicate stigma.

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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.


Keynote Speaker, Patrick Corrigan, Announced


NAMI California’s Early Bird Discounts Are Ending Very Soon!
Click Here To Get Your Discounted Rates Now!


Patrick Corrigan is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  His research examines psychiatric disability and the impact of stigma on recovery and rehabilitation.   Corrigan is a prolific researcher, having published more than 300 papers.  Currently, Corrigan is principal investigator on several grants from NIMHD and PCORI that address health disparities from a community-based participatory research perspective.

Corrigan has authored or edited more than a dozen books, most recently, The Stigma of Disease and Disability by the American Psychological Association and Coming Out Proud to Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness: Stories and Essays of Solidarity.  With support of the NIMH-funded Center on Adherence and Self-Determination, Corrigan and his team have developed the Coming Out Proud program, aimed at eliminating the self-stigma of mental illness.

Plus Many More Amazing Speakers and Workshops!
Don’t forget to Register!  
Super Savings Ending soon!   
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.

Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa
900 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, California 92660

60 Minutes Segment on Mental Health Parity

This past Sunday 60 Minutes aired a segment on how many people are denied treatment for their mental health issues.  It’s important to know that your rights with mental health parity allow for coverage for mental health issues.


When insurance companies deny the mentally ill the treatment their doctors prescribe, seriously ill people are often discharged, and can be a danger to themselves or others

You can read the full script and/or view the segment at 60 Minute’s site here. It is the very first segment of the show.

Happening Right Now – 12/9/14 Beginning 2 p.m. EST

Live-stream of the Capitol Hill briefing on Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EST. Click here to watch the event. Speakers include:

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)
U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL)
Judge Steven Leifman (11th Judicial Circuit of Florida)
Sheriff Susan Pamerleau of Bexar County (San Antonio), TX
Commissioner Marilyn Brown of Franklin County (Columbus), OH
Bill Carruthers (Representative for National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Paton Blough (Represenative for National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Matthew Chase (Executive Director of the National Association of Counties)
Michael Thompson (Director of the CSG Justice Center)
Dr. Fred Osher (Director – Justice Center’s Health Systems/Services Policy)

Statewide Conference Early Bird Discount Still Available

Soon NAMI California’s Annual Conference early bird discounts will run out.  Make sure to reserve your tickets today to get the best value and ensure your spot at our Statewide Conference.  Click here to get yours today:  Early Bird Discounts. The early bird discounts end June 6, 2014.

NAMI California’s 2014 Annual Conference will be held at the Newport Beach Marriot Hotel & Spa, 900 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, California 92660 on August 1st and August 2nd. In addition to its Keynote Speaker, Mariel Hemingway, NAMI California has many other notable guest speakers:

  • Gina Kaye Calhoun, National Director for Wellness & Recovery Education
  • Judge Perez, Superior Court Judge
  • Mark Refowitz, Director of Orange County Health Care Agency
  • Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, the Founding Director of the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities

You can visit NAMI California’s site to learn more about the backgrounds of these speakers:

In addition, the conference will feature dynamic, informational workshops designed for everyone’s needs.  There are many to choose from that cover all areas of mental health. Click the following link to see the topics NAMI California has lined up for you and then sign-up before they are filled!

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Special Announcement: Mariel Hemingway to be Keynote Speaker for NAMI California 2014 Annual Conference

NAMI California announced today that Mariel Hemingway will serve as its Keynote Speaker for the NAMI California 2014 Annual Conference.

Ms. Hemingway is an iconic Academy Award nominated actor from a celebrated family. She is a prolific author, adventurist, ecological activist, healthy lifestyle and mental health advocate, yoga video star, a food brand entrepreneur, and a much sought after keynote speaker focused on mind-body-spirit optimization and purposeful living.

In 2003, Ms. Hemingway wrote the powerful best-selling memoir, Finding My Balance–an honest and inspiring story of her life’s journey through the lens of her personal yoga and meditation practices. Her second book, Mariel Hemingway’s Healthy Living from the Inside Out), is a how-to guide to finding a greater sense of balance, joy, and meaning through self-empowering techniques and strategies. Her 2009 healthy lifestyle cookbook entitled, Mariel’s Kitchen, focused on creative and delicious gluten and sugar free offerings.

In 2013, the rich and evocative documentary, Running From Crazy, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Produced by Oprah Winfrey, the film is an examination of the Hemingway family’s history of mental illness and suicide, and focuses on Mariel Hemingway’s boundless advocacy for mental health awareness.

You can visit Mariel Hemingway’s blog here.

For more information on the conference, click here.
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