Free Open Mind Lecture October 6 About The Stigma of Mental Illness

U.C. Berkeley Professor of Psychology Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, will return to the Open Mind event coordinated by the Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at UCLA. Professor Hinshaw will speak about the stigma of mental illness: personal, family and policy perspectives. Professor Hinshaw is the author of seven books, including The Mark of Shame, The ADHD Explosion and The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today’s Pressures.

Admission is free, but reservations required. RVSP HERE.

Professor Hinshaw is a leader in the field of developmental psychopathology and one of the foremost experts on ADHD in the country. He serves as the Vice-Chair for Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco and is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A former president of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Professor Hinshaw is currently the editor of the highly regarded Psychological Bulletin.

The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior is a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing state-of-the-art research and treatment for illnesses of the mind and brain.

NAMI Support Group Facilitator Training

Announcement from NAMI San Fernando & Santa Clarita Valley

  • DATES: June 27-28th, 2015
  • START TIME: 8:00 am. Saturday
  • END TIME: 6:00 pm Sunday
  • LOCATION: Encino, California
  • TO REGISTER: Contact your local affiliate for an application. Candidates must be referred by their affiliate education coordinator/Family to Family or Basics teacher/active Support Group facilitator or local NAMI board member. Applications are remitted to
  • COST: Materials, training, and meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner both days) are covered.  Transportation cost is not reimbursed.

NAMI Support Group Facilitator Requirements:

  • Membership in NAMI is $35.00 annually. To find your affiliate’s website and additional contact information go to or call NAMI California at 916-567-0163.  References from your local NAMI affiliate will be requested.
  • It is important that all individuals trained in this curriculum have lived through the experience of having a first degree relative (brother, mother, spouse, etc.) with a mental illness. Caregivers of someone with mental health challenges will also be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Be at a point in their life where they are familiar and comfortable with the emotional issues families face and can self-disclose about their own feelings regarding their life situation.
  • Be willing to lead a support group for at least once a month for two years. It is understood that unexpected situations may occur in which flexibility in this policy will be needed.

References from your local NAMI affiliate will be requested. Once you are accepted into the training you will receive an email acknowledgement. Emailing confirmation letters will be sent beginning June 15th.

Announcement initiated by:

Bob Medof, Support Group Facilitator Coordinator
NAMI SFV-SCV,California
NAMI California Family to Family
National Alliance On Mental Illness
1851 Heritage Ln.  Ste. 150  Sacramento, CA 95815
Tel: 916-567-0163  FAX: 916-567-1757

New Brain Research Center to Open

Returning unhealthy brains back to health

From Friends of the Semel Institute: The new Staglin Family Music Festival Center for Brain and Behavioral Health will open at UCLA on July 1. Funding is being provided by the family of Shari and Garen Staglin, owners of the Staglin Family Vineyard in Napa Valley and longtime supporters of UCLA.

“The center will focus on brain health and will develop novel methods to get the unhealthy brain back to the healthy state,” said Dr. Michael Fanselow, Professor of Psychiatry at the Semel Institute, Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the UCLA College and Director of the new center. Dr. Michelle Crask, Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Center, will serve as Associate Director.

Learn more in this UCLA Newsroom story.

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

Mental Illness Program Could Transform L.A. County Justice System

From the LA Times

Los Angeles officials announced Wednesday the launch of an alternative sentencing program aimed at diverting mentally ill, low-level offenders from jail into treatment, a project they hope will signal a dramatic shift for the county’s criminal justice system..

The $756,000 initiative marks one of the county’s most significant attempts to find a better way to treat people who have mental illness and wind up in the criminal justice system by offering them transitional housing, medical treatment and job-hunting help. Officials say the pilot program will start in Van Nuys and initially help 50 people at a time, but it is expected to spread throughout the county and could accommodate up to 1,000 people at once.

The program is designed to reduce jail overcrowding and end a revolving door for offenders with mental illness who find themselves incarcerated for relatively minor crimes.

“It is time to stop bouncing people who are mentally ill and genuinely sick between the streets and our jails,” said Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey. “This is an unconscionable waste of human life and money.”

Read the full article HERE

Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, City Atty. Mike Feuer and L.A. County Superior Court Presiding Judge David Wesley, right, at a news conference on the pilot mental health diversion program, which they support. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

NAMI Urban Los Angeles May 1 Meeting–African American Issues regarding Treatment

GetMapOntson Placide, MA, LMFT, will speak on African American Issues regarding Treatment; historical barriers, current barriers, treatment recommendations this coming Thursday May 1, 2014 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 4305 Degnan Blvd., Suite 104 in Los Angeles.

Ontson Placide has an extensive career spanning over 27 years experience in both the Mental Health and Social Services field including; program development, administrative systems development, financial and quality assurance development. Currently he is the Administrator for Star View Children and Family Services Wraparound and Non Profit Programs. He is also responsible for other non-profit programs, including High Risk High Need which serves Juvenile Probation youth in the community, and Family Preservation Services, & Up Front Assessment program serving Child Welfare referred families to prevent possible detainment, and lastly the Department of Mental Health’s Intensive Field Capable Clinical Services which works to mitigate safety risks of youth falling in and out of the foster care system.

Previously he was the Director, and Clinical Director for the City of Long Beach, Center for Families and Youth of which over the years he was administratively and clinically responsible for several social service programs operating within the City of Long Beach. Since 1990, Mr. Placide has also continued his clinical, training, and consulting practice specializing with adolescents and families. He has also worked extensively with adolescents and their families in settings ranging from locked psychiatric facilities to group home and outpatient programs. Mr. Placide received his Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1987 and a Masters Degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology in 1989 at Pepperdine University. He has been licensed in the State of California as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 1992.

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