General Meeting July 16 – Reducing Suicidal Behavior

Our general meeting will be Monday, July 16 in Faith Hall at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson in Torrance at 7:30 PM. Our Family Support Group will meet at 6 PM in the small room off of Faith Hall.

We will have a Danielle Anderson, a Certified QPR instructor and Family to Family teacher providing a workshop on QPR — a training intended to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative,practical and proven suicide prevention training.

As recently reported in the media following the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the number of suicides has been increasing alarmingly. Through education the QPR training aims to empower all people regardless of their background to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know.

Call to Action — Long Beach Needs a Showing of Support

Long Beach City Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 23rd at 5:00 PM
333 W. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach 90802
Address of Proposed Site:
3200 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach

Please come and support the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center. These services are urgently needed to assist people with mental health disorders and reduce the long waiting times in emergency rooms. If this site is denied there is not a backup plan and this essential service for those in a mental health crisis will be lost to Long Beach. Your support at the Planning Commission Meeting was wonderful. It is now time to finish this process and get started with helping the community.

Parking will be validated and FREE inside the parking structure at 332 W. Broadway. The parking structure entrance is located off W. Broadway (one-way street). Take parking ticket inside the Council Chambers with you. (Follow the blue arrows to get to the City Hall building) the “validation” stamp machine is located at the front of the Council Chambers on the first floor (in front of Minute Clerk’s desk).

There is a clear need for this center, and the location has been carefully selected. Not everyone understands the need for this facility, and some actually oppose it. However, the practices and procedures of this facility will not negatively affect the neighborhood. (CLICK HERE to see answers to commonly asked questions.) Your help is needed.

Because of the shortage of psychiatric mobile response teams, police and sheriff departments in Long Beach and surrounding cities have the difficult task of responding to mental health-related calls. The Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center is a facility that will save law enforcement time in the field, will decrease the burden on hospital emergency rooms, and will help prevent unnecessary incarceration by providing medical treatment instead.

BHUCC will be a place where people with mental illness can go to be stabilized (instead of going to the hospital ER). It can be compared to an Urgent Care Center (where people often go for a medical emergency instead of going to the hospital ER).

The BHUCC provides:

  • Crisis stabilization service
  • Up to 12 adults and 6 adolescents (estimate about 30 clients a day)
  • Doctors, nurses, therapists, peer counselors
  • 24/7 Outpatient Program
  • Patients may stay up to 24 hours
  • Average stay is 4 to 6 hours
  • Round the clock security staff
  • Discharged patients leave the area and return to their home and community services

Learn more at


May is Mental Health Month

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, as 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. However, everyone is affected or impacted by mental illness through friends and family.

Throughout May, NAMI and participants across the country are raising awareness for mental health. Each year, we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Each year, the movement grows stronger. Help us spread the word through the many awareness, support and advocacy activities below by showing you’re #IntoMentalHealth.


For 2017 Beach Cities Support Group Meets on the Last Monday of the Month

As of January 2017, the Beach Cities Support Group meets on the last Monday of the month at Baycities Southbay Church at 4915 Emerald Street in Torrance (on the corner of Victor and Emerald). Meetings are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Early Youth Intervention Helps Children at High Risk of Mental Illness

Group of child in urban street

The Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School encourages a wide array of supports that could help reduce the likelihood of developing schizophrenia in children at high familial risk, according to the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin. The article, written by Cindy Liu, Ph.D., and colleagues, says that often children born to parents with schizophrenia exhibit subtle but visible signs that can predict later development of psychoses. The signs can include neuromotor problems, minor physical anomalies, cognitive difficulties, antisocial behavior, and problems with speech, language, or hearing.

Of course, these things are not determinative. Many things, including childhood adversity and life stress also may contribute to risk. Still, focusing on high-familial-risk children “may be the most practical strategy for early intervention at this time,” Liu concludes, recommending interventions that might include enhancing parental skills, increasing social support, applying psychotherapy for parents, prenatal care for women with psychoses, and ensuring access to important psychiatric, social, educational, and legal resources.

More research is needed to know which interventions are most effective in terms of function and cost.

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.


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

California Mental Health Prevention Effort Is Showing Positive Early Results

RAND Corporation News Release: An effort to improve mental health prevention and early intervention in California is showing positive early results for programs targeted at reducing stigma and discrimination, educating the public about suicide prevention and improving the mental health of students, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

The study evaluates social media marketing campaigns, training efforts and other statewide prevention and early intervention activities undertaken as a result of Proposition 63, which imposed a tax on high income California residents to expand mental health service.

Nicole Eberhart is a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a licensed clinical psychologist.

“Although still in the early stages, we found evidence that the statewide prevention efforts were launched successfully and are beginning to make a difference toward reducing stigma and empowering people to prevent mental health problems,” said Nicole Eberhart, co-leader of the project and a behavioral scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

California voters approved Proposition 63 (the Mental Health Services Act) in 2004. Under the initiative, significant new funding was dedicated to providing intensive mental health treatment at the community level for individuals with serious mental health challenges.

The law, enacted in January 2005, also set aside 20 percent of the revenue raised annually for counties to provide prevention and early intervention services, with the goal of connecting individuals with services before symptoms set in, or early in the course of a mental health challenge.

In addition to local programs, California counties are working together through the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) to deliver statewide prevention and early intervention services. Goals of the program are to reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, prevent suicides, and improve the mental health of students in K-12 schools and colleges across the state. These statewide interventions are being evaluated by RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

“CalMHSA is proud to show California that our state’s leadership in innovative mental health prevention strategies are delivering positive results for communities,” said Wayne Clark, CalMHSA executive director. “By empowering Californians to stop suicide, changing attitudes about mental health, and equipping educational systems to meet the mental health needs of students, we are creating a state where each mind matters.”

RAND researchers have evaluated a variety of activities:

  • Education efforts were aimed at reducing stigma among middle school students. The evaluation found that students who attended the “Walk in Our Shoes” presentations expressed less stigmatizing attitudes, were more willing to interact with fellow students with a mental health problem and had more positive emotional responses to a hypothetical student with a mental health problem.
  • A social media campaign titled “Know the Signs” was designed to empower Californian residents to prevent suicide. Those who viewed the campaign were more confident in intervening with those at risk of suicide, more comfortable discussing suicide, more aware of the warning signs, and felt they had greater skills and knowledge on intervening with or referring someone at risk to help.
  • Trainings about mental health issues were delivered to a diverse group of school staff, teachers and students statewide. Those who participated in the trainings reported greater confidence to intervene with students in distress, greater confidence to refer students to mental health resources, and a greater likelihood to intervene or refer students in distress.

Researchers say the goal of prevention and early intervention is to strengthen resilience in the community by teaching people how to help each other and how to assist vulnerable individuals, including those with newly experienced mental health problems, to access treatment at an early stage to prevent long-term suffering and lifetime consequences for themselves and their families in areas like education, work and relationships.

Audrey Burnam is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation.

“Often the most meaningful effects of prevention and early intervention programs cannot be detected immediately, so it will be important to continue to track public attitudes and knowledge regarding mental health, as well as impacts in reducing the negative consequences of mental health problems, over a longer period of time,” said M. Audrey Burnam, a RAND senior behavioral scientist and co-leader of the project.

The study was sponsored by the California Mental Health Services Authority and conducted independently by RAND. The report, “Evaluation of California’s Statewide Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention Programs: Summary of Key Year 2 Findings,” can be found at Other RAND reports about the California mental health prevention and early intervention program are available at

Other authors of the report are Sandra H. Berry, Rebecca L. Collins,Patricia A. Ebener, Rajeev Ramchand, Bradley D. Stein of RAND and Michelle W. Woodbridge of SRI International.

RAND Health is the nation’s largest independent health policy research program, with a broad research portfolio that focuses on health care costs, quality and public health preparedness, among other topics.

About the RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.