Bebe Moore Campbell
Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July 21, 2017

As we enter the third week of Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI California would like to invite you to learn about a passionate advocate and leader in the state of California-Ronald Reyes. In addition, we would like to highlight NAMI Monterey and their event focusing on mental health awareness within the Latino community. 
Ronald Reyes- Advocate and Leader

Image 1: Ronald Reyes at the snow.

Ronald Reyes, a Hispanic male, grew up in the city of San Diego. Ronald traces his mental health conditions to the dark days with depression when he was 7 years old. He remembers telling his mother that he did not want to live anymore. Ronald's symptoms included anxiety, loneliness, alienation, guilt, sense of unworthiness, rushing thoughts, shortness of breath and crying spells. Due to these symptoms he said that he could not deal with change, He could not hold a job, lost his marriage, his possessions, and ended up trying to commit suicide four times.

Ronald explained that since his mother had major depression disorder and anxiety, it was easy to see that he had the same thing. "In my case it became my identity I was officially "depressed" in my eyes", Reyes said.

Within the Hispanic community Ronald explained that he received a lot of "man up" comments which adds a sense of guilt towards someone suffering from a mental health issue. At times even in his spiritual community some people not familiar with the issue said comments like "you just need more faith". The stigma around mental health made it rather difficult for Ronald to seek services and support.

The changing point for Ronald was when his brother went to the hospital to offer his kidneys after learning that he [Ronald] was not doing well. At that moment, he realized that he was not alone and that his actions and mental health were affecting those around him. Ronald said that from there on out, he started to take control over his life and seeing what recovery would look like for him.

Ronald's recover plan today includes cognitive behavioral therapy, listening to books and podcasts, exercising and being in touch with his spiritual community. Every day he tries to improve on something. 

For over two years Ronald has worked with NAMI's In Our Own Voice program in which he has helped to deliver the message of hope and recovery to people in crisis homes, hospitals, universities, and work places. He currently manages a property that is designed for low income families and helps provide them with resources so they can also seek help and recovery.
Affiliate Spotlight

Image 1: (Bottom Left) Deanna Rivas, NAMI Monterey, Program Supervisor, and (Bottom Right) Grace Candelario, NAMI Monterey, Program Assistant and Board Member Sue Ellen Stringer.

On June 22nd, NAMI Monterey County hosted a Spanish community presentation in honor of Minority Mental Health Awareness month. The event was titled "Latinos and Mental Health: Trauma and Immigration," this event was attended by 100 community members and resource organizations at Jesse G. Sanchez School in Salinas, CA. The event featured a video made by NAMI Monterey County that highlights real immigrant stories and discusses the trauma and anxieties often times experienced by immigrants. The event also featured mental health and immigration presentations by Monterey County Behavioral Health, Clinical Psychologist- Dr. Maria Ale Nava and Immigration Attorney, Magnolia Zarraga. Resource information, food, and child care were also provided. After the event, participants who attended said, " I learned about mental health, something I did not know about" and "It was very important to know that some of the symptoms that we think are common (headache and fatigue) are actually symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are actually something to pay more attention to."

If you would like to learn more about the event, click here to view video. 

Image 2: (Top Left) Presenters- Dr. Maria Alejandra Nava, Clinical Psychologist; Magnolia Zarraga, Immigration Attorney; NAMI Program Supervisor; and Claudia Melendez, Local reporter/Writer. 
(2nd Row) Grace & Viri, Program Assistants
Affiliate Event Announcements

Pathways Multicultural Town Hall: 
Overcoming the stigma surrounding mental illness

July is National Multicultural Mental Health Awareness Month. Culture, race, gender, ethnicity, age and sexual orientation are all factors that can influence mental health. Challenges in overcoming mental illness include experiences of discrimination due to racial, ethnic, gender or sexual orientation, history of sexual abuse, history of violence in the community and more. Moreover, many members of diverse communities may feel heightened stigma associated with a mental health challenge and are therefore unwilling to reach out and get the help they need.

Join with NAMI Sacramento in its effort to resolve these challenges that prevent too many people from getting the information, support and care they and their families need. NAMI Sacramento is bringing qualified panelists to share their experiences and inviting local service providers, educators, political representatives and community advocated to discuss the challenges with overcoming cultural stigma.

When: Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 (9:00 AM-2:00 PM)
Where: KVIE Headquarters, 2030 W El Camino Ave, Sacramento, CA 95833

~Lunch will be provided~

Special Thanks!

Stay tuned for the month of July as we continue to highlight NAMI affiliates and individuals in the state of California creating an impact in their communities. 

A special thanks to California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), funded by counties through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63), for the opportunity to fund Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month events around the state that are spreading education and awareness among diverse communities! 
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