A Clinical Overview of Bipolar and Related Disorders

March Meeting Tonight: Nami South Bay is starting an “Ask the Doctor” Series about the different types of mental illness using Zoom until meetings can once again be held in person. Dr. Benjamin Furst will be presenting to start the series. Dr. Furst has been a teaching psychiatrist at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and faculty member at UCLA for the better part of the past 15 years. He currently serves as an attending psychiatrist in the adult outpatient clinic at Harbor-UCLA, where he has also worked in acute inpatient and emergency room settings. In additional to clinical work, he teaches and supervises psychiatry residents and medical student rotators and has participated in the conduct of clinical trials in mood disorders, schizophrenia, and substance-use disorder.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. (Monday, March 15, 2021)

We will be providing presentation on the other types of mental illness in this “Ask the Doctor” format in future meetings thanks to the assistance of the Harbor UCLA Medical Center School of Psychiatry.

Online Monthly Meeting – Alternative to Incarceration

Online Monthly Meeting – 7:30 PM
Monday, February 22, 2021

Alternatives to Incarceration

The Board of Supervisors commissioned in February 2019 a County Work Group on Alternatives to Incarceration charged with developing a “road map with an action-oriented framework and implementation plan to scale alternatives to incarceration and diversion so care and services are provided first and jail is a last resort.” The work group has produced a report “Care First, Jails Last” with a variety of recommendations. Brittney Weissman the Executive Director of NAMI Greater Los Angeles County(GLAC) was a member of the work group and will tell us about the work group, their recommendations and continuing work.

She will also report on other NAMI GLAC efforts across the county with Measure J and the consolidation of NAMI affiliates into NAMI GLAC. Please see below for more information about committees working to develop recommendations on Measure J approved by LA County voters in November. Measure J is the proposition requiring 10% of locally-generated revenue go to community investment and alternatives to incarceration. For information on how you can participate in stakeholder input go to Measure J Re-Imagine LA Advisory Sub-Committees.

Online Monthly Meeting – 7:30 PM Monday, June 15

Because of COVID-19 guidelines on gatherings, we will not be meeting in person but will have an online Zoom meeting on current advocacy issues regarding legislation and budget reductions on mental health and related programs. As you have read in the newspapers, with the economic impact of the pandemic some severe budget reductions are being discussed at the National and State level. These reductions and legislative proposals may have a severe impact at the County and local levels. Further, the recent protests and social justice efforts may provide opportunities to advocate for support of mental health programs and budget.

Our newsletter includes an urgent call to action in opposing some current legislative efforts, which will be discussed. The current legislative and budget proposals at the National, State, and local levels are only going to intensify. We want to use this meeting to inform about and discuss with our members the upcoming process and opportunities for raising concerns about mental health issues. Please join us for this discussion.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Paul Stansbury at pstans5@aol.com to receive information on the link and password for the meeting on Zoom.

October Meeting – DBT and Friends and Family Program

The Speaker tonight will be Dr. Dorit Saberi, Supervising Psychologist Harbor UCLA School of Psychology and Associate Professor UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Saberi will be speaking about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and the Friends and Family Program. There will be a panel of participants from the program.. DBT is a psychotherapy treatment program first developed for treating Borderline Personality Disorder but has now been used to treat other forms of mental illness. This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions.

The Friends and Family program is for family members and friends of a person with a mental illness that helps them to communicate more effectively with their loved ones and to better handle difficult situations. Many NAMI Members and graduates of the NAMI Family to Family Program have gone on to participate in the Family and Friends Program. Please come to learn about DBT and how it is used in the Friends and Family Program.

Monday General Meeting — The Homeless Count

Our September general meeting will be Monday night, 9/15/19, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Please come and learn about the homeless count in the South Bay which has been so widely reported on in the media and the connected homeless issues. Nancy Wilcox Co-Chair for the South Bay Coalition To End Homelessness will review the data and the give us a good understanding of the data, how it is compiled through the annual homeless count, what the implications are for the South Bay.

Nancy has been instrumental in coordinating the Homeless Count with Los Angeles Housing Services Authority (LAHSA) the last several years. Under her leadership the South Bay Coalition to End Homelessness has become a leading force in working with South Bay cities to address homelessness. The South Bay Coalition to End Homelessness has worked closely with the Coordinated Entry System in the South Bay to secure housing and services for those in need.

It is important that NAMI South Bay members be informed and provide input regarding the policies and plans developed by cities, the county, and LAHSA.

August Meeting – Sneak Peek at a New Docu-Series

Please come for a very special treat. for the last few years we have had a movie night at our August general meeting. This August we will have one our former board members, author Jamie Weil, tell us about her young adult book First Break and give us a sneak peek of the “A Crazy Thought” docuseries.

Jamie Weil and her family, like many families, have had a very challenging journey and have found important support at NAMI. Jamie transmuted her difficulties into a passion to help other families successfully navigate the labyrinth of mental illness when it hits the youngest and most vulnerable family members. Momma Bear first, Jamie is a youth mental health advocate, writer, filmmaker, and former elementary school teacher in Manhattan Beach.

Her current Young Adult novel, First Break, is a first person story of moving from 17 to 18 in the middle of a psychotic break.

Her current docuseries, “A Crazy Thought“, is in production, with the raw pilot coming to NAMI South Bay Monday night for a special sneak peek. This docuseries is the answer to a calling to produce a six-part series that can used both in the schools to educate students and teachers, as well as to reach widely the 1 out of 4 families struggling silently with mental illness in their homes.

We will show the pilot, have books on hand for purchase ($16 cash) and signing, and have a Q&A after on what we are calling Mission ACT. Jamie and Mike, both former board members at NAMI South Bay board, are excited to bring back a piece of advocacy to their NAMI South Bay Family.

NAMI South Bay Educational Programs

Family to Family Program
12 Week Program for family members and caregivers meeting once a week covering all different aspects of mental illness. The next Family to Family class will be starting on Tuesday May 14 in Westchester and another one on Wednesday, June 12 in Torrance. Please contact the NAMI South Bay Office at 310-533-0705 or Paul Stansbury at pstans5@aol.com for more information.

Peer to Peer Program
A 8 Week program for persons with a mental illness meeting once a week for 8 weeks. A Peer to Peer will be starting on June 11 at the Harbor UCLA AMI/ABLE Facility. Please contact Paul Stansbury at pstans5@aol.com for more information on next class.

Basics
A program for families with children having a mental illness. Please contact Paul Stansbury to register and for more information.

Basicos
Program in Spanish for families with children with a mental illness. Please contact Rick Pulido at 310-567-0748.

Familia de Familia
For information on the Familia de Familia Program in Spanish please contact Rick Pulido at 310-567-0748.

Connections
A support group for persons with a mental illness meets every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 PM in AMI/ABLE Program Facility 21730 S. Vermont Suite 210 upstairs from the Chicken Maison Restaurant in the Vermont Village II Shopping Center across Vermont from the Harbor UCLA Medical Center and another groups meets at 10 AM in Conference Room B-2 of the Kaiser Lomita facility 2081 Palos Verdes Drive North, Lomita, CA. There is also a Connections group at 6 PM prior ot the monthly meeting usually on the third Monday of the month at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson in Torrance.

Please contact Paul Stansbury at pstans5@aol.com to register or for more information.