January Meeting – Early Schizophrenia Treatment

Treatment Approaches That Help Improve Outcomes in Individuals in the Early Phase of Schizophrenia

Presenter: Joseph Ventura, Ph.D.
Research Psychologist with the Aftercare Program, Director of Cognitive Training, and Director of Assessment and Functional Outcome
UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Monday, January 24, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

The early phase of schizophrenia is thought to be a critical period for providing treatments that have been proven helpful in promoting recovery. Several studies show that in the early phase of schizophrenia, various forms of psychosocial treatments are associated with achieving desired outcomes.

This talk will focus on several of these key treatments. Several scientific and accepted statistical methods were used to compare the success of these treatments by examining subsequent levels of cognitive performance, daily functioning, and changes in symptoms. The findings from these studies demonstrate the success of several types of psychosocial treatment approaches provided to individuals in the early phase of schizophrenia. All of these early interventions, especially when there is active involvement in the treatment, showed great promise for promoting recovery during the early course.

The meeting will be virtual. Please contact Nami South Bay President, Paul Stansbury (pstans5@aol.com) for remote access information.


December Monthly Meeting TONIGHT

Navigating the Winter and Holiday Blues

Presenter: Dr. Christine Crawford
7:30 PM, Monday, December 13, 2021

NAMI National had an “Ask the Expert” webinar by Dr. Crawford on Navigating the Winter & Holiday Blues which because of its timeliness and information wanted to make sure all our members, friends and community had an opportunity to view and discuss. Dr. Christine M. Crawford, NAMI Associate Medical Director, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and the Associate Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine.

In this webinar, Dr.Crawford discussed symptoms that people can experience secondary to Seasonal Affective Disorder, as well as challenges that people can face over the course of the holiday season. Dr. Crawford also reviewed strategies that people can use as they navigate the winter months in order to mitigate their stress during this period of time. We plan on seeing video excerpts from this webinar and having a discussion among participants as it relates to our lives and the South Bay.

November Meeting – Mental Illness and Older Adults

Monthly Meeting (Virtual)
Monday, November 15, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Presenter: Dr. Matthew Wong

Life’s big transitions can be challenging, and older adults can be affected by this in many different ways – especially when it comes to their mental health.

Mental illness in older adults is actually quite common. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 15% of the people in the world over age 60 are affected by mental disorders. That is a much higher risk than the population at large and it is important to be alert for warning signs in yourself and your loved one.

Sadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older-adult mental-health disorders are only increasing. In fact, the number of older adults is expected to double by 2050, making elderly mental health services and senior behavioral health immediately critical to stem a looming mental health crisis.

Our presenter, Dr. Matthew Wong, is the Medical Director at Del Amo Hospital in Torrance, which has a program for older adults. He was trained at the Ross University School of Medicine. Dr. Wong has been practicing for over 21 years since obtaining his license to practice in California.

This meeting will be conducted via Zoom. To attend, see our Monthly email Newsletter for login information or contact Paul Stansbury for information and access. pstans5@aol.com.

Please come to this virtual presentation in our ongoing series of “Ask the Doctor” in which there will be a presentation and opportunity to ask questions.

October Meeting – Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Monday, October 18, 2021, 7:30 PM Virtual
Presenter: Dr. Dorit Saberi

Dialectical Behavior Therapy-
Treating Emotion Dysregulation & Trauma.
A Program Adapted for Friends and Families.

This presentation will highlight the theory and practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a treatment originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to help people who were suicidal and struggling with self-harm urges. The workshop will address the application of this modality to friends and family of individuals who currently struggle with intense emotional and behavioral dyscontrol. The workshop will include a panel of friends and family members of consumers who will talk about their personal struggles with a family member diagnosed with BPD or other disorders marked with emotion dysregulation. They will also share the application of the skills with their family members, the obstacles and challenges and the advantages and impact of DBT on their lives.

This meeting will be conducted via Zoom. To attend, see our Monthly email Newsletter for login information or contact Paul Stansbury for information and access. pstans5@aol.com.

Dorit Saberi, Ph.D is a Supervising Psychologist at AMI/ABLE Integrated Services/Wellness at Harbor UCLA, and Co-Founder/Clinical Director of the Safe Harbor- Trauma Recovery Center at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) – David Geffen School of Medicine and a part-time faculty member at California State University, Long Beach- Psychology Department. She is an investigator at the Lundquist Institute, Harbor UCLA Medical Center. She conducts research, provides direct services, supervision teaching and consultations in Evidence Based Practices adapted for diverse populations and children, adolescents and adult survivors of interpersonal violence such as gang related violence, human-trafficking, and immigration/refugee trauma.

Dr. Saberi is an author of several grants, educational curricula, and best practice parameters related to the development and implementation of trauma-informed/trauma-specific care. She serves as a Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors for Fostering Unity- a nonprofit 510c3 organization focused on providing care to resource parents and foster children to preserve and stabilize family connection and prevent the trauma of displacement and frequent transitions. She also serves as a consultant and trainer for various Harbor UCLA and community organizations. Dr. Saberi is certified as a Prolonged Exposure for PTSD therapist, supervisor and trainer through Edna Foa’s Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA). She is also a certified Cognitive Behavior therapist and a diplomate of Aaron Beck Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and a Certified Teacher of Community Resiliency Model (CRM®). She is also a certified NEABPD Family Connections teacher.

Dr. Saberi is the founder of the DBT Friends and Family program at Harbor UCLA, which began in October 2009. This program has been instrumental in providing education and support to NAMI families and community members wishing to improve relationships with their loved ones who are diagnosed with mental illness.

September Meeting – Ask the Doctor – Mental Health Services in Los Angeles County

Monday, September 20, 2021
Online Monthly Meeting
7:30 p.m.

Please join us on September 20 for an “Ask the Doctor” presentation. Dr. Todd Zorick will discuss Los Angeles County mental health services available to treat mental illness. Dr. Zorick will also give an overview of categories and criteria for the different types of mental illness via DSM, along with a brief discussion of medications used for each category, how they overlap, and how they differ. In addition, Dr. Zorick will discuss some of the current problems facing L.A. County with respect to providing access to mental health care for its residents, and will raise some innovative ideas about how to improve things going forward.

Dr. Zorick received his medical degree from the U.C. San Diego School of Medicine. He practices at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. He is also an Investigator with the Lundquist Institute which conducts biomedical research.

This meeting will be conducted via Zoom. To attend, see our Monthly email Newsletter for login information or contact Paul Stansbury for information and access. pstans5@aol.com.

The October 18 Meeting will be Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Dr. Dorit Saberi, Ph.D.

The November 15 Meeting will be “Ask the Doctor-Older Adults and Mental Illness” with Dr. Wong, M.D., Del Amo Hospital


Curso Gratis!!


Fecha: (11 Semanas) JUEVES, 26 de Agusto al 11 de noviembre 2021 Hora: 6:30pm al 9:00pm Locacion es: ZOOM/VIRTUAL/Telefono

Este es un programa para la familia que le ayudará a romper con la desesperación y el aislamiento, a través de comprender y recibir apoyo para personas que tienen un miembro de familia que sufre de:

Depresión Severa
Trastorno Bipolar (También conocido como Depresión Mániaca)
Trastorno Esquizo-Afectivo
Ansiedad y Pánico
Trastorno Obsesivo y Compulsivo
Diagnóstico Doble (Abuso de sustancias y enfermedad mental)

Esta serie de 11 clases, la cual se lleva a cabo una vez por semana, está diseñada para ayudar a los miembros de familia a educar, comprender y apoyar a nuestros seres queridos, mientras logran mantener un ambiente de salud personal y de bienestar en el hogar.

El programa de educación de Familia a Familia es gratis! Pero es necesario registrarse lo antes posible. Favor de comunicarse con Ricardo y Modesta Pulido a los teléfonos: 310.245-9820 o 310.567.0748. cell email: rick@namilaccc.org

De Familia-a-Familia es un programa que ayuda a transformar a la familia desde la desesperación y el aislamiento (ofreciendo esperanza y apoyo) hasta llegar a superar las enfermedades del cerebro.

Mindfulness Meditation Course

An 8-week class on mindfulness meditation on Thursday evenings in September and October.

Mindfulness meditation may bring you greater tranquility, insight into habit patterns, a more graceful acceptance of life’s difficulties, ways to honor all your emotions, and a fuller awareness of life’s preciousness, to name just a few possibilities.

This course is appropriate for beginners, those who have meditated occasionally, or for those who have an ongoing practice. It will be held via zoom on consecutive Thursday evenings, from 7-9, beginning September 2 and going through October 28. (No class on October 7). In keeping with NAMI’s policy of offering educational programs free of charge, this will be free, although this is not a NAMI course. The only cost will be to purchase the book, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, by Sharon Salzberg. It’s considered a classic introduction to meditation. You can get it at any bookstore or on Amazon for $9.73 https://www.amazon.com/Real-Happiness-10th-Anniversary-Meditation/dp/1523510129.

About the facilitator, Cheryl Tchir

I began meditating about 20 years ago to relieve the stresses of teaching full-time and caring for my husband who had bipolar illness plus physical and mental disabilities from a bout with encephalitis. I have found it to be a deeply helpful and enriching practice. I also have taught several Family to Family classes, which I believe are essential for anyone who wants to better help and understand their loved one who has a mental illness. I see mindfulness meditation as an extension of that learning, helping with your own self-care, which too often gets squeezed out. Taking good care of yourself is another important way to help your loved one; the benefits spill over. Last year I was accepted into a Training Program with Insight LA to prepare me to facilitate basic classes in mindfulness meditation. I completed it in May.

To register, email Cheryl at catchir@aol.com, with Mindfulness Meditation in the subject line. Include your name and phone number. I would like to communicate with each participant before the class begins to learn more about your background and what you hope to gain from the class.

Attendance will be limited. So, if you are interested, please act now.