General Meeting Monday November 16 — 4th District Mental Health Policies

Mr. Richard Espinosa, the Health Deputy for Supervisor Don Knabe of the County of Los Angeles Fourth District, will speak at the 7:30 p.m. General Meeting of NAMI South Bay. Mr. Espinosa reviews policy recommendations and serves as the 4th District’s liaison on health related matters regarding Los Angeles County. He will provide a review of the state of mental health issues and he will hear from the NAMI South Bay members of our concerns regarding mental health. This meeting is a great opportunity to become educated and to advocate on mental health issues.

Mr. Espinosa joined Supervisor Knabe’s staff after spending 17 years with the County Department of Health Services in a number of administrative capacities. He is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Southern California’s School of Public Administration. He is also the founder and one-time chairman of an interdepartmental task force responsible for creating the County’s Office of Small Business. On October 14, 1998 he was the recipient of the Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Award.

First Lutheran ChurchThe general meeting will be preceded by the 6 p.m. Caring and Sharing Support Group–a support group for family members to discuss anything pertaining to the care, management or treatment of their loved ones, as well as the family members’ and caretakers’ own well being.

The Caring and Sharing Support Group and the Speaker Meeting will both be held in Faith Hall at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson in Torrance.

Parking is available in the parking lot off of Carson Street and on Carson Street and Flower Avenue.

A Time for Direct Advocacy

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors needs to know of all opposition to the recent motion to investigate the creation of a health agency in Los Angeles that would be comprised of the Departments. of Mental Health, Public Health and Heath Services.

NAMI LACC is part of the steering committee on a coalition to oppose the merger and instead propose an Office of Healthcare Enhancement, which would help the agencies work together on areas of overlapping missions. Over 130 agencies have signed the proposal so far. NAMI LACC has shared a coalition report with the Board of Supervisors and needs personal letters to make its case even stronger. A sample supporting letter could say, for example:

Honorable Board of Supervisors
500 West Temple Street
856 Hall of Administration
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: Support for An Alternative to a Proposed Health Agency for Los Angeles County

Dear Supervisors:

I am extremely concerned about the prospect of a proposed Health Agency for Los Angeles County, and believe that there is a better way to promote integrated care for the clients served by the County Departments of Health, Mental Health, and Public Health, while at the same time ensuring the public health of all of the residents of Los Angeles County.

The proposed Health Agency model would have the heads of the Departments of Health, Mental Health, and Public Health reporting to the head of the Health Agency, rather than directly to the Board of Supervisors. If the Director of the Department of Health were to be named the Health Agency Director, as is implied in the Draft Report, the Departments of Mental Health and Public Health would soon be the only two County Departments not run by elected officials whose heads would not be reporting directly to the Board of Supervisors. This model is unacceptable.

Instead, I strongly believe that Public Health and Mental Health should continue to have the same autonomy, voice, and presence in the County as the other County Departments in being able to report directly to the Board. At the same time, I support a model that would be consistent with the Board’s recent unanimous decision to go back to its old CAO governance structure, which retains departmental collaboration and interdepartmental communication while reducing bureaucracy.

Importantly, I believe that the key to better integrated client care is based on a collaborative, problem solving approach among the three departments, which does not require the creation of a new Health Agency. In fact, I believe that if the Board directed the three departments and the CEO’s Interim Office of Health Care Integration to come back in six months with a Strategic Plan for Integrated Care, the talented and committed leadership of the departments and the CEO’s office would certainly be able to successfully do so.

The Draft Report itself acknowledges the fact that there are currently outstanding models of integrated care that exist today. I believe that instead of focusing the County’s efforts on the creation of a new Health Agency, clients would be better served by the implementation of such a Strategic Plan, which would identify ways to best replicate these successful models while overcoming any current barriers.

With regard to public health, the County Department of Public Health has, since its independence, become a nationwide leader in the public health arena, producing outstanding outcomes in protecting the public health of the County’s more than 10 million residents. I believe that its growing scope of critically important responsibilities — with our County residents facing growing public health threats in the aftermath of 9/11, and with growing environmental threats and threats of new infectious diseases such as SARS and the pandemic flu — requires maximum visibility and attention outside the shadow of a new Health Agency.

Similarly, throughout the past several decades, the County Department of Mental Health has built an expansive model of community-based recovery oriented services that is the envy of other counties in this State, has organized a stakeholder process that is unmatched, and has found ways to maintain the key elements of its system amidst rising expectations from all age groups, all while making a big dent in reducing disparities and integrating cultural compentency into its culture and services. Like public health, mental health deserves to continue to stay outside the shadow of a new Health Agency.

Accordingly, I respectfully request that the Board of Supervisors support a collaborative, problem solving approach to better integrated client care which does not require the creation of a new Health Agency, while at the same time allowing for the continued autonomy of each of the three departments and ensuring that mental health and public health continue as equity partners which report directly to the Board.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Personalized (The letter is written for you–just add the date and your name), it could be sent by email to:, with a cc If inclined, you could modify and/or add your personal story.

Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) to Meet May 28

The next MHSOAC will meet on Thursday, May 28 in Sacramento. There will be an Advocacy Webinar on May 22 to go over the agenda and help affiliate members understand the issues of the day.

We encourage all who can attend to make the trip to Sacramento and lend their voice to the effort for better outcomes for ourselves and those we love. We can also bring your voice to the conversation when you submit comments in advance! For more information on the meeting or the Advocacy Webinar, contact

Keynote Speaker, Patrick Corrigan, Announced


NAMI California’s Early Bird Discounts Are Ending Very Soon!
Click Here To Get Your Discounted Rates Now!


Patrick Corrigan is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  His research examines psychiatric disability and the impact of stigma on recovery and rehabilitation.   Corrigan is a prolific researcher, having published more than 300 papers.  Currently, Corrigan is principal investigator on several grants from NIMHD and PCORI that address health disparities from a community-based participatory research perspective.

Corrigan has authored or edited more than a dozen books, most recently, The Stigma of Disease and Disability by the American Psychological Association and Coming Out Proud to Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness: Stories and Essays of Solidarity.  With support of the NIMH-funded Center on Adherence and Self-Determination, Corrigan and his team have developed the Coming Out Proud program, aimed at eliminating the self-stigma of mental illness.

Plus Many More Amazing Speakers and Workshops!
Don’t forget to Register!  
Super Savings Ending soon!   
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.

Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa
900 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, California 92660

California Conference Workshop Preview — Advocacy

Stopping Restraint & Seclusion in Schools: For my Child and All Children

In this workshop you will review what is happening in California and empower attendees on how to advocate for their child and in their community. NAMI has long been involved in reducing the use of behavioral restraint and seclusion in mental health settings but not in schools.

young businessman standing in front of a business

About the Conference: NAMI California’s 2015 Annual Conference will be returning to Newport Beach on August 21st through the 22nd. The conference provides an opportunity to discuss mental health issues, advocacy, and research and to network with industry professionals. Highlights include information on the latest research and tools related to mental health treatment as well as strategies for promoting improvements to the mental health system.

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!

Researchers Seeking to Pay Persons with Schizophrenia and Caregivers for One-Hour Interview

?????????Adept Consumer Testing, a National Market Research Firm is looking for Patients that have been diagnosed by a physician as having “Schizophrenia” and Caregivers of Patients diagnosed with Schizophrenia to participate in a paid medical market research study.

These individual interviews will last approximately 60 minutes on Wednesday, February 25th in the Beverly Hills area. A generous honorarium will be provided to all those that qualify and participate.

If you would like to participate, please contact Adept Consumer Testing at the following phone number so they can ask you the qualifying questions.

Tell them NAMI South Bay sent you.

Call Adé @ 310-279-4343 extension 372

Photo Credit
Ocskay Mark | DPC