Bebe Moore Campbell
Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July 14, 2017

As we enter the second week of Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI California would like to invite you to learn about a passionate advocate, educator and leader in California-Elaine Peng. We also would like to share with you information from NAMI Ventura and their community event focusing on engaging underserved communities and increasing access to mental health services. In addition we will share a special announcement regarding the NAMI Sacramento,  Pathways Multicultural Town Hall: Overcoming the Stigma surrounding mental illness scheduled for July 22nd. 
Elaine Peng- Advocate, Educator and Leader

Image 1: Elaine Peng sharing her story at the MH 101 Presenter Training for the Chinese Community.

From a very young age, Elaine Peng witnessed firsthand the stigma and discrimination towards mental illness in her Chinese community. Traditionally in her community, there is the belief that having a mental health problem causes a person to "lose face." Mental illness in the Chinese community is very often a taboo.
Once Elaine was informed that she was diagnosed with panic disorder and depression-she felt angry. However, after learning more about mental illness in NAMI, she realized that it was a brain disorder and it could be treated. Elaine started to seek medication and after two weeks she started feeling that it was actually helping her in her recovery. 

Today Elaine's recovery has taken her to a beautiful journey in which she enjoys life again. 
She explained in an interview, "I can feel the flower is beautiful and the sunshine is wonderful. I help to promote mental health services and became a volunteer for NAMI. I have helped people in the Chinese Community out the same situation." 

Elaine takes her experiences to heart and today continues to be an inspiring role model in her community. She has an extensive track record in San Francisco bay area as a NAMI Family to Family Teacher, State Trainer (In Mandarin and Cantonese), API Peer Recovery Support Group Facilitator, MH101 Program Presenter, Coordinator, Bi-monthly NAMI Education Meetings in Chinese, Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator, 10x10 Wellness for Alameda County Advisory Board, Alameda County May 13 2016 Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day Chairman and Peers Chinese American Action Team Member, San Mateo County Chinese Health Initiative Member and Family Education and Resource Center Chinese Community Support Specialist.

Elaine is also a volunteer for the member of the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee (CLCC) of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC). 

Image 2: Elaine Peng recieved the NAMI National Multicultural Award in 2016.

Elaine is a leader and developer of multiple NAMI programs for the Chinese Community. As a consumer and family member she helps to promote mental health services and provide peer support within the underserved Chinese Community. For the last couple of years, her only purpose was to help those who desperately need help; hoping that through NAMI Chinese programs, they don't have to experience the despair she went through.

As a true educator, Elaine provides education to reduce public prejudice against mental illness, decrease stigma among caregivers, including creating five Chinese support groups and developing the first NAMI Chinese website in the U.S. We are proud to announce that Elaine holds the honor of receiving the NAMI National's Multicultural Outreach Award 2016.
Affiliate Spotlight

Image 1: Resources and information from NAMI Ventura County and Ventura County Behavioral Health Services.

On June 23, 2017 NAMI Ventura County held an event to honor Bebe Moore Campbell and Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The evening included food, desserts, and music for all who attended. Dr. Rev. Clyde Oden, of Bethel AME Church in Oxnard, CA hosted the event at his church and he spoke movingly about Bebe Moore Campbell who he knew personally from having worked with her in Los Angeles. Luis Tovar, Ethnic Services
Manager from the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department and David Deutsch, Executive Director for NAMI Ventura County also presented before opening up the floor for questions, comments, and a great discussion about issues of concern for persons of minority backgrounds. 

There were several community and provider organizations represented at the event including Gold Coast Health Care, The Client Network, The Behavioral Health Advisory Board, Oxnard School District, and Interface Children and Family Services. There was a strong feeling of community in the room and people from all backgrounds connected to one another around the common concerns they share about mental health treatment services for minority community members of Ventura County.

At the close of the event several perople in attendance shared they would like to see something scheduled on a regular basis to continue the discussion and to offer each other mutual support. NAMI provided information on all of the affiliate services and programs which many people had not been aware of prior to attending the event. We intend to follow up with a plan to continue to engage the minority communities in Ventura County with the goal of improving insight about mental health services and to offer to do all we can to increase the level of cultural competency by providers in Ventura County.

Image 2: Dr. Rev. Clyde Oden of Bethel AME Church in Oxnard speaks to community members.
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! 
Donate to NAMI California

Let's Get Social!
What can we do better?
If you have something you'd like to see in the newsletter or want to send us a compliment, send us an email at

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.