Represent Recovery Video Series:
Gigi R. Crowder
The NAMI Contra Costa County Executive Director tells her story as a family member who advocates to reduce mental health disparities for communities of color.
We conclude our National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month series with Gigi R. Crowder, L.E., who is the Executive Director and FaithNet Coordinator at NAMI Contra Costa County. Gigi is the family member of several loved ones with mental illness, including a foster son with bipolar disorder. She discusses the disparities facing communities of color, particularly for black men, and how the faith community has been a source of healing.
Represent Recovery Initiative
Our Represent Recovery Initiative calls for a shift in the way we view mental health in diverse cultural communities. It aims to serve members of underrepresented communities while centering their voices in the overall mental health movement. Visibility and representation matter both in mental health treatment and mental health awareness activism.
Our African American community page includes resources and perspectives of African American individuals and families affected by mental illness.
Stay connected as we roll out resource pages for various underrepresented communities.
Represent Recovery: Community Member Art

Much has been written about the overlap between mental illness and creativity. Mental illness can spark creative endeavors, and the arts can be therapeutic for our mental health. If you are a member of an underrepresented community who would like to contribute art that expresses your mental health journey, email Shireen@namica.org
Marlena N. Guzman
This piece, titled "Sick Well Me," was made "simply to express that 'sick' or well it is just still me and that the external is no measure of any presence of the person."
Visit the link below to learn more about Marlena and view more of her art.
Educate. Engage. Empower.

NAMI California is committed to addressing barriers to accessing mental health care in underserved communities. We work in partnership with diverse communities to provide mental health education and peer support that is culturally relevant and appropriate. We advocate for policy change to increase access to mental health care and end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Join us by following and sharing our blog to bring awareness to the mental health needs and stories of underrepresented communities.
NAMI California
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Sacramento, CA 95815