April 2018 Newsletter
Mental illness behind bars
While many recognize April as "Second Chance Month," an awareness month focusing on the dignity and potential of prison inmates, a systemic problem remains largely unrecognized by the legislature and the general public. There are more people with mental illness in jails and prisons than there are in psychiatric hospitals. Mental health advocates have attempted to address this problem for decades, but now more than ever we must educate and take action.

Take Action
Join Stepping Up for their national Day of Action on May 16. Stepping Up is a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. The Day of Action is an opportunity for California communities to come together to learn about the county’s efforts to connect people to treatment and services instead of jails. NAMI California is committed to #StepUp4MentalHealth for people with mental illness in our community. Find out more at www.StepUpTogether.org .

If you attend the NAMI California Annual Conference in June, we have an entire criminal justice track, including a workshop titled “Strategies for Improving Health and Behavioral Health Care for Prison and Jail Inmates Returning to the Community.” Register for the conference.
Your Stories: Dan Kasperick
"I speak whenever and wherever I am needed and I enjoy telling a story of hope and dreams come true... It’s a far cry from the floor of the NY bus station when I was so all alone so many years ago."
NAMI North Coastal San Diego Board Member Dan Kasperick shares his journey through mental illness and how finding the right treatment and rediscovering his faith helped him on the road to recovery.
Spotlight on NAMI Youth
CalHOSA Conference
NAMI California was at the California HOSA State Leadership Conference last week. NAMI CA CEO Jessica Cruz, COO Steven Kite, Board Member Gustavo Loera, and Board Member Cindy Beck all spoke at the conference, which was packed with high school students passionate about advancing health. CalHOSA is training the next generation of leaders and professionals in health science education, health care professions, and biomedical science programs.
Turlock High School NAMI On Campus Club
The new NAMI on Campus at THS already has nearly 20 members. Students are working to create a dialogue surrounding mental health, and eliminating stigma through advocating and educating their fellow classmates.
One NAMI on Campus event encouraged students to take a pledge promising to be kind to all and to write down kind words that might help someone else going through a rough day. The club is also hosting a “Sole to Soul” 5K in May to promote awareness and raise funds for mental health. Read more.