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.”

Urgent Alert for Mental Health in Los Angeles County

Please raise your voice to oppose the consolidation of the Los Angeles County Departments of Mental Health, Health Services and Public Health.

Supervisor Antonovich is proposing to consolidate the three health agencies (Dept. of Mental Health, Dept. of Public Health, and Dept. of Health Services) in LA County into one agency. This will be heard at the Supervisor’s meeting on next Tuesday, 1/13/15). NAMI Los Angeles County Council is opposed to the consolidation of the health agencies for the following reasons:

  1. It is critical that the Department of Mental Health maintain direct accountability and communication with the Board of Supervisors and not through another entity.
  2. Consolidating these various health-related departments will make it more difficult to bring attention and funding to mental health concerns. Mental health may not be priority #1 in a new health agency, whereas it is of upmost concern to the current Department of Mental Health. Mental health is the leading form of disability and that element is always lost in the shuffle due to stigma and lack of attention in society.
  3. At the state level, California has attempted to consolidate the Department of Mental Health with Health Services — and years later — they continue to work out the operations and policies. This consolidation of health agencies in Los Angeles will create unnecessary confusion and obfuscation of mental health concerns and issues. This will create operational issues that will invariably decease resources aimed at recovery and wellness for individuals living with mental illness.
  4. The new agency may hire or maintain employees who do not necessarily have expertise about mental health and illness. Or, the new agency may opt to maintain employees with less experience and background in mental health than others. These measures may decrease the ability to make informed decisions about mental health issues at the proposed agency.
  5. We are making some progress on mental health issues via the current Department of Mental Health, which may be halted by consolidation efforts.
  6. The Board of Supervisors should consider stakeholder input in this tremendous decision.

In essence: Our county needs a greater focus on mental health, not less. This is what the state has done and it has not been a smooth transition. Delivery of services requires focus and attention to detail. Burying mental health in an even larger bureaucracy  will reduce focus, not improve it.

We encourage you to contact your Supervisors’ offices to make your voice heard on this matter. Please see the Letter to board of Supervisors 1-9-2015 from Brittney Weissman the Executive Director of the NAMI Los Angeles County Council.   For more information please see the article in the Los Angeles Time. The proposed motion can be accessed on the BOS Agenda.

Please call your district supervisor and let them know how you feel before 1/13/15.  For most of NAMI South Bay Supervisor Don Knabe or Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is your supervisor.  Please connect to their links below to verify and raise your voice.

First District

Hilda L. Solis (213) 974-4111

Second District
Mark Ridley-Thomas (213) 974-2222
Third District (westside)

Sheila Kuehl (213) 974-3333

Fourth District
Don Knabe (213) 974-4444
Fifth District
Michael D. Antonovich (213)974-5555

Los Angeles Asian American & Pacific Islander Giving Circle Call for Proposals

FROM LA API Giving Circle:

We invite nonprofit organizations deeply rooted in the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AA/PI) Community to submit a proposal to this round of grantmaking for the Los Angeles Asian American and Pacific Islander Giving Circle.

Founded in 2007, the Giving Circle is made up of a group of community-minded friends who pool together our resources to support projects and organizations in Los Angeles County that are engaged in socially-innovative, grassroots ideas.

The Giving Circle’s grantmaking goal is to invest in community-based organizations engaged in progressive change work that serve AA/PI communities; we encourage organizations that may not have access to mainstream foundation funding due to their size or the nature of their program to apply.

Application Deadline: 

Friday, January 6, 2015, midnight – email to

Grant Announcements:       

February 2015

Grant Awards:

  • Unrestricted grants of up to $3000 will be awarded
  • The Giving Circle may, at its sole discretion, award smaller grants

Eligibility Requirements

  • 501(c)3 organizations (or groups with an eligible 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor)
  • Total annual operating budget of $100,000 or less
  • Organizations that are AA/PI led and/or provide direct services to the AA/PI community
  • Serve Los Angeles County

 Past recipients include:

  • Chinese Progressive Association – San Gabriel Valley
  • W. Lee Center for Leadership
  • Thai Health and Information Services, Inc.
  • Tongan Community Service Center
  • Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress for Summer Activist Training
  • California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
  • Sessions LA
  • Filipino Migrant Center
  • Konnichiwa Little Tokyo
  • YNOT Foundation
  • Kizuna
  • Center for Asian-American Wellness
  • The Kutturan Chamoru Foundation (KCF)
  • The Korean American Senior Citizens Association of San Fernando Valley
  • The Pacific Islanders Education and Retention project (PIER)
  • PFLAG – San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander
  • Korea Academy for Educators
  • Chinatown Community for Equitable Development
  • Barangay Los Angeles

We do not fund membership associations, chambers of commerce or film projects. Organizations that have received funding from the LA AA/PI Giving Circle in the past are ineligible to apply.

For questions, please email

California Prison Officials Rethink Use of Force on Mentally Ill Inmates

Prison Guards Would Be Required to Consider Mental-Health Status Before Using Force 

From Wall Street Journal: Under the new policies, announced Friday, prison guards would have to consider inmates’ mental-health status and ability to understand orders before using force. The use of pepper spray would also be limited, and hundreds of prisoners with mental illnesses would be removed from solitary confinement, according to attorneys representing the prisoner plaintiffs.

States throughout the country are continuing to grapple with large populations of mentally ill prisoners. In California, more than 37,000 inmates-or just under 28% of the prison population-have mental-health issues, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

California’s new policy proposal is the latest chapter in litigation between prisoners and the state over mental-health care and overcrowding, initiated in 1991, which led to a 2009 ruling by a panel of federal judges to trim the state prison population. Earlier this year, California won a delay of an order to reduce overcrowding and has until 2016 to reach the court-mandated 137.5% capacity. The prison system is now at 140.3% capacity, according to a prison system spokeswoman.


NAMI California’s Statement about The Santa Barbara Tragedy: What Communities and Families Can Do

Sacramento, CA, May 28, 2014 / Jessica Cruz, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, California (NAMI CA) has issued the following statement:

NAMI California shares in the sadness over Friday’s tragedy in Isla Vista, California. NAMI California is an organization of individuals and families, whose lives are deeply affected by mental illness. We extend our sympathies to the families of those who lost their lives or were wounded. We are also sorry for the pain experienced by the family of the person responsible.

When tragedies occur, clear facts emerge slowly.  However, the immediate focus on mental illness often adds to the stigma that surrounds them. NAMI California has repeatedly called for action to erase the stigma of seeking help for mental illness.

Acts of violence are exceptional.  The likelihood of violence by people with mental illness is low.  In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General has reported that “the overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.”

Families and communities must work together to ensure adequate and culturally competent services are available to everyone, free of stigma and discrimination. NAMI California praises Senate President pro Tem Darrel Steinberg for addressing key issues today in his press conference. His suggestions to improve the mental health system by reforming sentencing, providing meaningful mental health treatment through the training of prison personnel and law enforcement; and promoting humane releases through Parole Out-Patient Clinics are taking the important next steps in ensuring an adequate response to the mental health crisis in our state.

NAMI California is also taking steps to combat these challenges, our innovative programs such as Provider Education work to reduce stigma and discrimination and better train frontline responders by helping them understand the perspectives of families and individuals living with a mental illness.

NAMI California, its 67 local affiliates and over 19,000 members look forward to being an active part of these solutions. In nearly every community in our state, NAMI members work every day to ensure Californians have access to mental health services and support. We will not rest until that work is complete.

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