Advocacy Alert

Mental health coverage
is at risk

Congress is bringing back the American Health Care Act, which would leave millions of Americans without mental health coverage and strip Medicaid of billions of dollars in funding. Please remember that Medicaid in California is Medi-Cal. And the bill has gotten worse.

The recently introduced “MacArthur Amendment” would let states get waivers allowing health insurance plans to not cover mental health and substance use treatment and charge people with mental illness more.

It’s outrageous to even suggest that mental health coverage is optional and to charge people more because they have a mental health condition.

Medicaid coverage is also under threat. It covers important mental health services that help people with mental illness get better and stay better.

Efforts are being made to generate enough votes which we need stop. We have fought for mental health parity for a long time and this act would reverse years of effort and mean many would not have mental health coverage. Your mental health coverage is at risk.

Tell Congress to #KeepWhatWorks and REJECT the American Health Care Act.

Call Now

Email Now

Thank you for your advocacy efforts.

Important Meeting–Long Beach, March 30, 5.p.m

City of Long Beach
Planning Commission Meeting
to Discuss a Proposed Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center

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.

The meeting will be
Thursday at 5 p.m., March 30, 2017
at 333 W. Ocean Blvd. 4th Floor
Long Beach, 90802

Approximately 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in a given year. Even if someone doesn’t experience this themselves, they likely know someone dealing with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or suicidal tendencies. Sometimes those with a mental health condition experience a crisis and need help right away.

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 (BHUCC or “Buck”) 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.

What is a BHUCC?

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


Homeless Count — Volunteer Opportunity

A Point in Time Count of homeless neighbors in the South Bay will occur on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The purpose of the count is to assess the scope of homeless in the South Bay. As many of the homeless are persons with a mental illness, NAMI South Bay is working with the South Bay Coalition to End Homeless to recruit volunteers on this count. For this particular task, the work as a volunteer is to count. It is not to engage or assist. Rather, it is to provide valuable information so that problems can be addressed based upon the facts as they are. For information on how to volunteer please go to 2016 Homeless Count.


About the Homeless Point-in-time Count

The Homeless Point-in-time Count is led by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), to determine how many homeless individuals and families we have in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care (CoC) on any given night. Over the course of three days and nights, sta and trained volunteers fan across the Los Angeles CoC and count the number of homeless persons, identify their demographic characteristics and the locations where they reside. In 2015, the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count was the largest homeless census in the country. It engaged more than 5,500 volunteers who counted 89 percent of Los Angeles County’s census tracts – a powerful showing of hands-on community engagement. And now we’re going annual – to help capture ever-more timely data to support the delivery of services.

Free Webinar: Giving Regional Center Clients More Choice Over Services

Self-Determination: A Way to Give Regional Center Clients More Choice Over the Services They Receive
Thursday May 28, 2015
10am PST
Presented by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
In this webinar Bruce Harrell, Community Program Specialist with the Los Angeles Regional Office of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, will discuss:
  • What Self-Determination is
  • How it works
  • Whether it’s right for you
  • How to enroll
  • When it will start
This FREE webinar is designed for people with developmental disabilities, family members, and advocates.  It will include a presentation and Question & Answer session.  Professionals are welcome to attend.  However, questions from consumers and family members will be given priority.
Can’t attend the webinar?  See slides and video recordings of past webinars on the Event Archive page.

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

Senator Beall and Assemblymember Thurmond Join MHSOAC

The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) announced the addition of two new Commissioners:

Senator Jim Beall, San Jose – Senator Beall was elected to the California State Senate in 2012 and represents the 15th Senate District. He was elected to the State Assembly in November 2006, representing District 24. He is the chairman of the Senate Mental Health Caucus. He has spent three decades in public service as a San Jose City Councilman, a Santa Clara County Supervisor and an Assembly member. On the Commission, Senator Beall represents the member of the Senate selected by the President pro Tempore of the Senate.

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, Richmond – Assemblymember Thurmond was elected to represent California’s 15th Assembly District in November 2014. The district includes the East Bay communities that stretch along the I-80 corridor from Hercules to Oakland. First elected to the Richmond City Council in 2005, Thurmond served as Council Liaison to Richmond’s Youth Commission, the Workforce Investment Board and the West Contra Costa Unified School District. On the Commission, Assemblymember Thurmond represents the member of the Assembly selected by the Speaker of the Assembly.

NAMI California will continue to work with Senator Beall and Assemblymember Thurmond at the MHSOAC Commission and on mental health care issues in the legislature. We encourage NAMI members to participate in MHSOAC Commission meetings. Please contact to learn more and attend the next meeting with other NAMI members!

Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Programs Discussed at MHSOAC Services Committee Feb. 11, RAND Report Shows Efforts Make a Difference

The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) Services Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday February 11, 2015 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

The Services Committee is tasked with making recommendations regarding the quality of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) programs and services. As the MHSOAC develops key Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) regulations, the Committee is responsible for adherence of services to regulatory guidelines, identifying relevant implementation issues, and assuring consistency of reporting for evaluation.

The PEI regulations move California toward a proactive, integrated response to helping people with mental illness before their symptoms are acute.

The meeting will take place at the MHSOAC offices, 1325 J Street, Suite 1700, Sacramento, CA.

The Call-in Number is 866-810-5695 and the access Code is 9546397

In other news about PEI programs, CalMHSA’s RAND report shows that statewide initiatives are “reaching targeted California populations, reducing mental illness stigma, increasing the number of Californians with the skills to intervene with and refer individuals with mental health challenges, and disseminating evidence-based practices through online resources and strategic collaborations.”