Join NAMI Walks on October 11, 2014

Save the Date: October 11, 2014

Please join us this year for our NAMI Walks in Los Angeles at the Grand Park to help spread mental health awareness and to fight stigma!

Last year more than 3,000 people participated in NAMI Walks and NAMI Walks LA County raised more than $380,000, which will help fund all of the FREE services that NAMI affiliates offer their communities!

Get involved with NAMI Walks

Participant Information- There is no registration fee for the Walk.  All participants are encouraged to collect donations from family members, friends, co-workers and business associates.  All walkers raising $100 or more receive a NAMIWalks event t-shirt.

Create Walk Teams and Participation- Companies, organizations and families are encouraged to organize teams of walkers made up of employees, organization members, relatives and friends.

To register as a participant or for a team, please visit

A Powerful Perspective on Mental Illness in the Workforce

On January 27, 2014, Rob Lachenauer published an article in the Harvard Business Review titled “Why I Hired an Executive with a Mental Illness.” In it, he speaks of his experience, his harvard business reviewfirst encounter with a potential employee that disclosed a mental illness, his initial reaction (essentially a mixture of surprise, confusions and admiration), and his observations regarding corporate America in general on the issue.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prevents employers from discriminating against people who have a mental illness. But my experience as a consultant at a very large strategy firm whose clients are giant corporations had been that if someone admitted that he or she struggled with depression or mental illness, that would often be career suicide.”

He also describes the very different and accepting approach to greater or lesser mental health in successful family businesses.

“Family businesses can’t escape these difficult emotional realities because they can’t just fire the guy suffering from depression when he is the majority owner. The successful families do find ways to work together. But even then, things are messy in family businesses, and it is out of this very messiness that the human side of capitalism emerges.”

The problem in the impersonal corporate setting is a type of ignorance. Unlike physical ailments, for which we have a rich vocabulary and sufficient experience to know what to expect, “mental illness is thought of as all or nothing.”

“You’re either depressed, or you’re not; mentally ill, or not. Yet the reality is that the mental illnesses, too, are nuanced. We all have more or less mental health at different times in our lives. But the lack of a working language, together with the terrible secrecy that festers around mental illness, makes understanding one another, and collaborating effectively, extremely difficult.”

Rob LachenauerRob Lachenauer’s experiences and perspective contain a powerful message of understanding, acceptance and resistance against the ignorance and stigma that leads to the exclusion of talented persons with mental health issues from positions in which they could shine.  At present, Mr. Lachenauer is the CEO and co-founder of Banyan Family Busness Advisors, and he is co-author (with Goearge Stalk) of Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win? A complete copy of his Harvard Business Review article can be found by clicking HERE, and is worth reading in its entirety.

Media Alert: 60 Minutes

Sunday, January 26, 2014–7 p.m. EST/PST

CBS News’ 60 Minutes will air a story on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. EST/PST about families and the mental health care system for youth.

The segment is the first television interview with Virginia state senator and former gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, whose 24-year-old son, Gus, died by suicide this past November after attacking him. Gus had been discharged from a hospital emergency room because no psychiatric beds were available in the local or nearby communities.

An advance excerpt from the interview:

“I really don’t want Gus to be defined by his illness. I don’t want Gus to be defined by what happened . . . Gus was a great kid. He was a perfect son. It’s clear the system failed,” Deeds says in the interview.

CBS News notified NAMI of the broadcast on Friday afternoon, January 24. Except for the excerpt on the 60 Minutes website, we have not had an opportunity to view the story in advance.

After the broadcast, viewers are invited to post comments on the 60 Minutes website or through its contact us feature.

Bob Carolla, J.D.
Director of Media Relations
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
3803 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22205
(703) 516-7963

CBS 60 Minute Show – “Untreated Mental Illness an Imminent Danger”

Please CLICK HERE to visit CBS’s site to view the segment on mental illness that appeared last night on the 60 minute show. Correspondent Steve Kroft interviewed two experts on the subject—Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., president of APA and chair of psychiatry at Columbia University, and E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute. Dr. Torrey Fuller, a nationally known psychiatrist, frequent contributor on national television shows, NAMI award winner, and one of the founders of the Treatment Advocacy Center provides comment on mental illness and recent tragic events involving persons with a mental illness. The segment is also available through YouTube, embedded below:

Several major points emerged from the segment, including:

  • That schizophrenia is a brain illness. Lieberman documented this knowledge with brain images showing changes in the brains of people with schizophrenia. He also explained that the illness, which “usually emerges in late adolescence and early adulthood, affecting perception and judgment,” may cause a person to hear voices, among other symptoms.
  • There are effective treatments for the hallucinations that individuals with schizophrenia experience, but not all of those individuals have access to such treatments.
  • The vast majority of individuals with schizophrenia do not commit violence. They are the ones who suffer the most from their illness. And the tragic fact is that many people with serious mental illness are not receiving treatment in the community and end up in jails and prisons.

Dr. Fuller is also the author of Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Consumers and Providers (Harper Perennial). Since its first publication in 1983, Surviving Schizophrenia has become the standard reference book on the disease and has helped thousands of patients, their families and mental health professionals. In clear language, this much–praised and important book describes the nature, causes, symptoms, treatment and course of schizophrenia and also explores living with it from both the patient and the family’s point of view.

The present edition is the Fifth Edition. It is completely updated and includes the latest research findings on what causes schizophrenia, information about the newest drugs for treatment, and answers to the questions most often asked by families, consumers and providers.

Broadcasters Launch Campaign to Educate Public on Mental Health


“Say anything. It’s time we talked about mental health. Share what’s on your mind.”

Sen. Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters, kicks off the launch event

A new survey from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) reveals that two-thirds of young adults have a personal experience with mental health problems. Although the overwhelming majority of parents and young adults are supportive of discussing mental illness openly, more than one fourth of young adults and one in six parents admit they avoid talking about it.

To encourage these critical conservations and let people know that help is available and effective, NAB unveiled a new public service announcement campaign featuring teens and young adults opening up about their experiences with mental illness. The OK2Talk campaign includes TV and radio ads in English and Spanish, and uses social media to invite teens and young adults to create the conservation about mental health. With this unrivaled reach into homes across America, broadcasters have a powerful platform to encourage young people to start talking about mental health and to get the help they need.

Ending the Silence

From NAMI California

In early August, NAMI California will be holding four different Presenter Webinar Trainings for the Ending the Silence program–Apply Today!!

Ending the Silence is a transformational program offered to high school students. In the 50 minute presentation, students are taught about mental illness and then hear about another young person’s own journey with mental illness. The Program has been presented across the state and is growing. In order to keep up with the demand from schools, NAMI California needs more trained presenters!

NAMI California is looking for people who are comfortable with self-disclosure and knowledgeable about mental health. Presenters either have experience with a family member with a mental-health condition, or have experienced a mental-health condition themselves. If you are interested in learning more or getting an application, please contact Beth Larkins at (916) 567-0163 or NAMI California looks forward to hearing from you


A Conversation with Mariel Hemingway

Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 7 p.m., at the Arclight Theater in Los Angeles. Sponsored by Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission

Mariel Hemingway will be sharing clips from her documentary, Running from Crazy, shown at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

Mariel Hemingway, Oscar-nominated actress, best-selling author, and mental-health advocate with a family legacy of seven suicides, including her famous grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, will talk about the history of mental illness in her family and will be joined by mental health experts in the community to continue the discussion.

NAMI Communications Coordinator Brendan McLean interviewed Mariel about the film and her experience with mental illness:

“Running From Crazy was a powerful journey for me. I wanted to share my story as a way for others to realize no matter what and where you come from everyone has a story and some relationship to mental instability. I am a Hemingway and have struggled with depression and craziness in my family but I believe that we all share similar stories. I want others to feel supported and the stigma of mental illness to be obliterated. The more we have a dialogue about this issue the better for everyone. Also the positive take away is my belief, based on my experience, that our lifestyle informs our mental wellness is a strong message.”

See the full interview at the NAMI National Site.

A Conversation with Mariel Hemingway begins at 7 p.m. at the Arclight Theater on May 15. For more information about the event and for reservations to attend, go to Free Your Minds Projects. See also the very fine review of Running from Crazy at The Telegraph.