Early Bird Special Savings! 2015 Annual State Conference

Register now for big savings! Early Bird registration ends soon!

Friday and Saturday
August 21 – 22, 2015
Newport Beach, CA

Click here to take advantage of the lowest rates for the conference.

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The Workshops will feature:

Transitional Aged Youth (T.A.Y.) Workshops will focus on strategies and best practices for educators, early identification and intervention, and reducing stigma and discrimination for ages 18-24.

Criminal Justice. Workshops will focus on strategies around incorporating and partnering with the law enforcement, the Justice system, and other criminal justice sectors.

Strengthening NAMI. Workshops will focus on best practices in Board development, organizational financial management, and expanding access to NAMI education programs through technology.

Consumer and Family Engagement/Recovery Practices. Workshops will focus on strengthening our voice as a unified organization of lived experiences, increase visibility and impact, and promote mental health wellness and recovery.

Advocacy. Workshops will focus on new and innovative ways to advocate, current policies and their impact on all levels (local, state and nation wide), and training tools to effectively utilize grassroots advocacy efforts.

Diversity. Workshops will be focused on strength-based approaches and best practices to engage diverse communities, increase access to programs and services, and reduce the stigma and discrimination among diverse populations.

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.

cfd0c7dd-8a24-48fb-a51d-842544bc1d32Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa
900 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, California 92660

When Mental Illness Enters the Family

By Bob Carolla from NAMI Blog. Ask anyone who has a family member who lives with mental illness, and they’ll tell you it isn’t always what someone would consider smooth sailing.When a family is presented with this category of illness, they may feel like they’ve entered an alien world. With a physical illness, it’s often easy to at least obtain information through a doctor, if not through support groups or other organizations, and there’s less shame in discussing it. Mental health conditions, on the other hand, still have an air of secrecy about them.

Both individuals and family members are given the onerous burden of confronting something that even the medical community doesn’t fully understand. Families are often left with little knowledge of where to go or who to turn to. Fortunately, Dr. Lloyd Sederer is aware of this, and he will tell you: you’re not alone.

In January, Dr. Seder gave a TEDx Talk in Albany, NY titled “When Mental Illness Enters a Family”, which included a shout-out to the NAMI Family-to-Family program. He provides listeners with four main steps to cope with the effects of mental illness:

  • Don’t go it alone
  • Don’t get into fights
  • Learn how the system works, learn the rules—and bend them
  • Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRO0-JXuFMY]

Dr. Sederer is no mere psychiatrist moonlighting as a tourist guide. He is the medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health—i.e., chief psychiatrist for the nation’s largest state mental health organization and former medical director and executive vice president of Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital in Massachusetts. He is also the mental health editor and columnist for The Huffington Post.

In 2014, Sederer spoke at the NAMI National Convention and is the author of The Family Guide to Mental Health Care, a terrific resource for families trying to understand what their loved one is going through. He uses humor and plain language and doesn’t pull punches. Families who navigate the world of mental illness will need to “set aside their confusion, sadness and anger—suspending any feeling of despair—about what’s happening in order to get on with what needs to be done.”

– See more at: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2015/When-Mental-Illness-Enters-the-Family#sthash.KSRuHzCs.dpuf

Conference Presenters: Deadline for Proposals Extended to February 13th

0cb9926c-3944-4165-a01f-ea4e881410c0NAMI California’s 2015 Annual Conference will be returning to Newport Beach on August 21st through the 22nd.

NAMI California is seeking proposals for presentations for our upcoming conference. NAMI California highly encourages workshop applications that incorporate and address diverse communities through dynamic strategies and programs including:

  • Multimedia
  • Education/Training
  • Personal Stories
  • Advocacy
  • Diversity.

Below you will find a brief description of each of the categories. Applications can be found HERE.

You can send your completed proposal to conference@namica.org.

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This year NAMI California is excited to announce that its program will include 6 tracks for its attendees to choose from.

Transitional Aged Youth (T.A.Y.)

Workshops will focus on strategies and best practices for educators, early identification and intervention, and reducing stigma and discrimination for ages 18-24.

Criminal Justice

Workshops will focus on strategies around incorporating and partnering with the law enforcement, the Justice system, and other criminal justice sectors.

Strengthening NAMI

Workshops will focus on best practices in Board development, organizational financial management, and expanding access to NAMI education programs through technology.

Consumer and Family Engagement/Recovery practices

Workshops will focus on strengthening our voice as a unified organization of lived experiences, increase visibility and impact, and promote mental health wellness and recovery.

Advocacy

Workshops will focus on new and innovative ways to advocate, current policies and their impact on all levels (local, state and nation wide), and training tools to effectively utilize grassroots advocacy efforts.

Diversity

Workshops will be focused on strength-based approaches and best practices to engage diverse communities, increase access to programs and services, and reduce the stigma and discrimination among diverse populations.

Higher Rehospitalization Rates for Patients With Mental Disorders According to Study

Psychiatric illness may contribute to higher 30-day hospital readmission rates for patients with heart failure (HF), acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and pneumonia, according to a study of 160,169 patients served by 11 U.S. health systems.

From 2009 to 2011, about 21.7% of patients with psychiatric comorbidity went back to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, compared with 15.5% of those without such diagnoses, said Brian Ahmedany, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., of the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and colleagues in Psychiatric Services in Advance yesterday.

“Individuals with comorbid anxiety, dementia, and depression had higher rates of readmission than persons with no psychiatric comorbidity regardless of whether the index hospitalization was for HF, AMI, or pneumonia,” the researchers found. “[H]ealth systems should consider adding elements of mental health assessment, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment to interventions to prevent 30-day all-cause hospital readmissions.”

Those elements might include psychiatric screening and evaluation, discharge planning that includes a mental health component, and follow-up for psychiatric conditions that includes outpatient treatment.

Ahmedany and colleagues noted that the gap in readmission rates between patients with and without psychiatric comorbidities shrank from 6.0% in 2009 to 4.1% in 2011. That was an encouraging trend but might be narrowed still further by adoption of interventions specifically designed for these conditions.

For more on the interface between psychiatric and general medical conditions, see the American Psychiatric Publishing book, Integrated Care: Working at the Interface of Primary Care and Behavioral Health, edited by Lori Raney, M.D.

California Prison Officials Rethink Use of Force on Mentally Ill Inmates

Prison Guards Would Be Required to Consider Mental-Health Status Before Using Force 

From Wall Street Journal: Under the new policies, announced Friday, prison guards would have to consider inmates’ mental-health status and ability to understand orders before using force. The use of pepper spray would also be limited, and hundreds of prisoners with mental illnesses would be removed from solitary confinement, according to attorneys representing the prisoner plaintiffs.

States throughout the country are continuing to grapple with large populations of mentally ill prisoners. In California, more than 37,000 inmates-or just under 28% of the prison population-have mental-health issues, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

California’s new policy proposal is the latest chapter in litigation between prisoners and the state over mental-health care and overcrowding, initiated in 1991, which led to a 2009 ruling by a panel of federal judges to trim the state prison population. Earlier this year, California won a delay of an order to reduce overcrowding and has until 2016 to reach the court-mandated 137.5% capacity. The prison system is now at 140.3% capacity, according to a prison system spokeswoman.

 

Reprograming Skin Cells Into Brain Cells

Using skin cells from patients with mental disorders, scientists are creating brain cells that are now providing extraordinary insights into schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.

For many poorly understood mental disorders, such as schizophrenia or autism, scientists often wish they could turn back the clock to uncover what has gone wrong in the brain. Now thanks to recent developments in the lab, this is coming true.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Joll...

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Researchers are using genetic engineering and growth factors to reprogram the skin cells of patients and grow them into brain cells. In the lab under careful watch, investigators can detect inherent defects in how neurons develop or function, or see what environmental toxins or other factors prod them to misbehave in the Petri dish. With these “diseases in a dish” they can also test the effectiveness of drugs that can right missteps in development, or counter the harm of environmental insults.

“It’s quite amazing that we can replicate a psychiatric disease in a petri dish,” says neuroscientist Fred Gage, a professor of genetics at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies. “This allows us to identify subtle changes in the functioning of neuronal circuits that we never had access to before.”

Anderson Cooper’s Empathy Exercise for Schizophrenia

In case you haven’t seen it yet, below is Anderson Cooper’s segment in June 2014 in which he dons earphones and attempts ordinary activities while experiencing voices in an exercise designed by clinical psychologist, Pat Deegan.

Visit Anderson Cooper’s blog by CLICKING HERE to see what he has to say about the experience and to see his interview of Dr. Deegan.

Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D., is an independent consultant who specializes in researching and lecturing on the topic of recovery and the empowerment of people diagnosed with mental illness. She is an activist in the disability rights movement and has lived her own journey of recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager. She is the creator of the CommonGround Approach, which includes CommonGround – a web application to support shared decision making in the psychopharmacology consultation, and RECOVERYlibrary – a collection of recovery oriented resources aimed at providing the tools, the hope, and the inspiration to recovery after a diagnosis of mental illness.

You can learn more about Pat Deegan at HER WEBSITE.