New Federal Website and SAMHSA’s Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the launch of as an online resource for people looking for information about mental health. This website provides information about the signs of mental illness, how individuals can seek help, and how communities can host conversations about mental health. The website also features videos from a number of individuals sharing their stories about mental illness, recovery, and hope.

SAMHSA will release a Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health to support communities interested in holding discussions about mental health using consistent information and approaches. The Toolkit has three parts: an “Information Brief,” a “Discussion Guide” and an “Organizing Guide.” These components will help communities and individuals start a conversation about mental health and help identify innovative and creative actions to meet the mental health needs of our Nation.

Through and SAMHSA’s Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health, we can all work together to provide youth and adults accurate information about the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions, coupled with open spaces to tell their stories, ask for help, share their successes, and support one another. These conversations will also give us a venue to highlight the importance of recovery, support those in recovery, and offer opportunities for everyone to see that recovery is possible.

The entire SAMHSA Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health will be available soon via the SAMHSA website, the SAMHSA Store, and The Information Brief section of the Toolkit is available for print and electronic download on the SAMHSA Store and at

From: Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Rockville, MD 20857
1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727)


“A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” Premieres Statewide Tonight!

From NAMI California Newsletter: Award-winning actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close will narrate “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness,” an inspiring documentary that tells the stories of everyday people to shatter myths about mental illness, highlighting the struggles faced by those with mental health challenges, and their hope, resilience and recovery.

One in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental health illness in any given year, but many don’t seek help because of fear of judgment, isolation and discrimination.

Through the stories of real Californians, viewers of “A New State of Mind” will come to understand that mental health challenges are more common than they think, that they can be managed and that recovery is possible. Elyn Saks, professor of law at the USC Gould School of Law and author, former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy and five-time Olympic medalist diver Greg Louganis are among the many subjects profiled in the hour-long documentary.

Ms. Close is a dedicated mental health advocate, having founded a national anti-stigma campaign, Bring Change 2 Mind in partnership with The Balanced Mind Foundation, Fountain House, and Garen & Shari Staglin of the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO). The idea for Bring Change 2 Mind was born when Ms. Close volunteered at Fountain House in order to learn more about mental illness, which both her sister, Jessie Close, and nephew, Calen Pick, live with.

“The toxic stigma around mental illness can be as painful as the illness itself,” said Ms. Close. “It’s crucial that these diverse and powerful stories are told and shared so that everyone realizes that mental illness touches us all. No one need struggle in isolation, silence and shame. Listening and having the courage to join the conversation will save lives.”

“A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” is produced by KVIE, Sacramento’s PBS station, as part of a comprehensive statewide effort to increase the number of people who seek early help for mental challenges by reducing stigma and discrimination around mental illness. It is a Prevention and Early Intervention program of California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working together to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities, and funded by the voter-approved California Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63).

The documentary will air on PBS stations across California during primetime on May 30.

Regional air times are listed below:

      • Eureka / KEET: 10 p.m.
      • Redding / KIXE: 10 p.m.
      • San Francisco / KQED: 10:30 p.m. on May 31
      • Fresno & Bakersfield / KVPT, Valley PBS: 8 p.m.
      • Reno & Lake Tahoe / KNPB: 8 p.m.
      • San Francisco Bay Area / KMTP: 8 p.m.
      • Los Angeles / KLCS & KOCE: 10 p.m.
      • Sacramento / KVIE: 9 p.m.
      • San Jose, Salinas, Monterey / KQED Plus: 10 p.m.
      • North Bay / KRCB: 8 p.m.
      • San Bernardino/Riverside / KVCR: 8 p.m.
      • San Diego / KPBS: 10 p.m.
      • PBS SoCaL: 10 p.m.

To learn more about “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” and California’s mental health movement, visit

Click here to view the film online.



1851 Heritage Lane, Ste 150
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone: 916-567-0163
Fax: 916-567-1757

5 Most Common Mental Illnesses Share Same Genetic Code

National Institutes of Health-funded researchers discovered that people with disorders traditionally thought to be distinct – autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia – were more likely to have suspect genetic variation at the same four chromosomal sites. These included risk versions of two genes that regulate the flow of calcium into cells.

“These results will help us move toward diagnostic classification informed by disease cause,” said Jordan Smoller, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, a coordinator of the study, which was supported by NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health. “Although statistically significant, each of these genetic associations individually can account for only a small amount of risk for mental illness, making them insufficient for predictive or diagnostic usefulness by themselves.”


Cross-Disorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Identification of risk loci with shared effects on five major psychiatric disorders: a genome-wide analysis. The Lancet, February 28, 2013

See also Science Update: Five Major Mental Disorders Share Genetic Roots. Overlap Blurs Diagnostic Categories – NIH-funded Study.

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