Editor: Denise Nelson
NAMI Leaders,
I would like to share the news that today we announced our participation in a groundbreaking new coalition with 13 partner organizations to create a unified vision for mental health care in the U.S. Our CEO, Daniel H. Gillison Jr., will join the other leaders from the coalition to engage policymakers and lawmakers at all levels to prioritize a response to our nation’s escalating mental health crisis.
In a joint statement, the leadership coalition said: “The mental health crisis that has evolved along with the COVID pandemic is unprecedented. The levies have broken on an overwhelmed system of care and state leadership must move to address mental health care as an integral aspect of their pandemic response. As leaders in mental health care, we offer a viable roadmap for immediate and long-term changes that will lead to a mental health care system capable of saving our nation.” 
The leadership coalition’s plan titled “A Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Abuse Care,” calls for policy, programs and standards that prioritize mental health care and address the social and economic conditions – including racism and discrimination – that disproportionately impact people of color and low socioeconomic status, and result in inadequate and inequitable access to effective treatment.

Please read and share with your stakeholders and on social media:

NAMI News Item Op-ed titled, “A road map from our nation’s experts to transform the mental health system,” authored by Thomas R. Insel, M.D Chair of the Steinberg Institute, co-founder of Humanest Care and former director of the National Institute of Health (2002-2015) and Former U.S Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, the founder of the Kennedy Forum.

We will see more activity over the course of the coming year and will keep you informed and engaged.
Thanks and be well,
Fredric Miggins
NAMI Basics is a 6-session education program for parents, caregivers, and other family who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms. This program is free to participants and is online through NAMI Basics OnDemand.

The NAMI Basics OnDemand program is guided by parents and family members with lived experience. It is self-paced and available 24/7, which offers the flexibility of participating in the course on your own schedule.

What You Will Gain
By participating in NAMI Basics, you will realize that you are not alone. You will find the support and shared understanding compassion, reinforcement, and empathy from people who truly get your situation. Through this program, you will learn that recovery is a journey, and there is hope.
Inner Talk: The Power of Your Thoughts

By Val Silver, Holistic Wellness Coach
Inner talk is natural. We all talk to ourselves
throughout the day. Our minds are busy talking to us, answering back, and having pretend conversations with someone else. What supports us or causes angst isn't the self-talk, but what we say and how we say it. Positive, constructive self-talk boosts our confidence, and helps us remember things, rehearse potential conversations, and problem-solve. It only becomes a problem when we talk to ourselves in critical, harsh ways that tear us down and cause painful emotions.
Your inner talk and the beliefs they echo have great power over your health and every aspect of your life. They have the power to make you feel happy or sad, to define your past and to shape your future. They influence your health, how you feel physically and your risk of disease or getting well.
Did you know...?
You may hear with your two ears, but it is the inner talk and the power of thoughts between those two ears that has the most impact on your feelings and all aspects of your life.
You talk to yourself all the time, even when you are not consciously aware of it. What you say to yourself has found its way into your head from a lifetime of subconscious programming and exposure to others. Even though you may believe all your thoughts are your own, the truth is that many thoughts and beliefs are passed down through your genetic makeup, your ancestry, authority figures and the media.
Self-talk takes many forms and may even sound like different voices. Listen closely; you may notice voices inside your head that sound authoritative, childish, abusive, tender, and/or awesomely divine.
The words you speak to yourself may be negative, positive or neutral.
What you tell yourself is often a mixture of truth and fallacy. They include judgments and beliefs about yourself and the world that you believe and accept as absolute truth, but often are not. They reflect your perspectives and are the filters you view the world with.
Some of your beliefs are so ingrained in your
subconscious programming that you do not even know they are in your minds, or why. For instance, did you know that tall men are often viewed as more competent than short men?
How Inner Talk Affects Your Life
Can you think of any way your inner talk doesn't affect how you experience life?
Listen to your inner talk and it will give you a clear view into your real perceptions and beliefs. Then notice how those perceptions and beliefs influence what you think about yourself, others, and your circumstances.
Back in my college days, I witnessed first-hand just how conditioned we are by certain beliefs and how they influence our decisions and self-esteem. As a psychology class experiment, I conducted a survey of fellow students using photos of woman to see which ones were viewed as happier and more successful. The results were clear - the attractive women hands down received the most votes. No surprise there, but what did surprise those surveyed was that they were comparing photos of the same women. The only difference was how they looked before and after a makeover. 
Here are some other examples of common conditioned subconscious programming you may find influencing what you tell yourself:
  • Do you find yourself lending more credence to what a man says, or someone with a deeper voice?
  • Do you think a doctor automatically knows more about healthy living than a layman?
  • Do you ever hear yourself say that there is safety in numbers?
  • Or that it is better to be thin?
  • How about expensive things are better?
  • Do you tell yourself you have to be nice or play small?
  • Can you see why you may not always want to believe your inner talk?
Your thoughts, emotions and actions influence you and your life choices and actions in a continuous cycle. When you disrupt the cycle by changing what you tell yourself, you change how
you act and experience life. This is why so many teachers of manifesting suggest using affirmations and visualization to point you in the direction of what you want and open you to those possibilities.  

Inner Talk and Your Health
When it comes to health and life choices, your belief systems, and the inner talk that springs from them, have more power than you may think.
For example, the power of thoughts to create spontaneous healing or on the flip side to cause negative side effects with sham treatments is such a bane to researchers that they have to allow for positive placebos and negative placebos during clinical trials. They know when the subconscious mind believes something, it makes it happen, even when it defies logic. Beliefs about healing and health care are so powerful that even color influences research results. Blue pills mean downers, right?
Your inner talk has the ability to directly affect your health. New research supports what James Allen wrote in his book, As a Man Thinketh, over 100 years ago. Your body obeys your mind. Disease, health and circumstances often have their roots in your subconscious belief systems. Body cells respond to your perceptions and emotions, as do your moods and energy levels. Diet may help, but it is not as powerful an influence as your mind.
Your true thoughts and beliefs affect your health indirectly as well.
An example of the power of your thoughts: You tell yourself, "I am so tired (fact), I have too much work to do (opinion). It would be nice if hubby helped (opinion)". You feel overwhelmed and angry. Your body responds with tummy butterflies and tight shoulders (emotions and feelings). You react by snapping at hubby, and cleaning in a fury (actions). The action you do not see is your body churning out health damaging stress hormones. The next round of thoughts is likely to be even more negative. And so, since results mirror what you believe, the downward spirals continue.
Note that, for the most part, your subconscious programming is running this show. You may not be consciously choosing it at all, even though your conscious mind may lend its support.
The good news is, this same flow applies to positive self-talk, creating upward spirals. It is also within your control to use your conscious mind to interrupt the flow of stinking thinking and turn it around.
Mastering the Power of Thought
and Inner Talk
The key to mastering your mindset and inner talk, and ultimately your emotions, actions and results is to take control of what you hear between your two ears, instead of letting it control you.
Although there will always be an undercurrent of programming operating beyond your awareness, there is plenty for you to observe and influence.
Listen closely when you are talking to yourself. Choose to believe what you think when it is supportive of your highest interests and challenge the rest. Do you really believe that your troubles are everyone else's fault, or there's nothing you can do to feel better?
Tell yourself the truth, even if you do not believe it or like it. Fake it until you do believe it. Eventually your subconscious will get on board. You can actually interrupt the flow shown in the graphic above at any point, but thought is probably the easiest. If you write down your thoughts and read them back to yourself (maybe pretend they belong to someone else), you may get a better idea if they are thoughts that are helping or hindering, or if they are rational or nonsensical.
When your inner talk eludes you, look at the emotions and feelings you are experiencing, your actions, and the results you are getting. How are you feeling - happy, sad, angry, passive? What are you doing or not doing? Your emotions and actions will provide strong clues about your belief systems and how you are unconsciously talking to yourself.
You can spend a lot of time analyzing your inner talk, but what really matters is the impact those thoughts have on your life. Realize that talking to yourself is really talking to your Self. Your spirit and your subconscious mind listen and respond accordingly.
What you believe, and therefore tell yourself, guides you to make wise decisions, or those based on fear and old subconscious programs. They can cause you to either continue habits and behaviors that keep you on the road to poor health, or they can help you create a healthier, happier life.


Family Support: We’re all in this together
The main challenges in the early phase of treatment are fear, denial, and stigma. People with bipolar are often reluctant to give up the “great high”, increased energy and inflated self-esteem they feel when in a manic mood zone. But they also may feel the stigma against having a mental health condition and receiving treatment for it. Facing fears, denial, and stigma alongside your loved one builds a spirit of confronting the bipolar condition, instead of confronting the person. For example, fear of losing control is common. So rather than saying, “You’re in denial about bipolar,” it’s better to say something like, “I know this diagnosis is difficult for you. What are you afraid of losing if you go to treatment?” An open conversation, especially with the help of a professional, can support positive feelings that no one is alone in the treatment process.

In post-stabilization therapy, all can benefit from what I call the “Grand
Bargain”, this means everyone agrees
to keep each other apprised of how they feel treatment is going — without thinking that everything about the person is about bipolar. When a person with bipolar is having an emotional reaction to stress, it’s easy to quickly ask. “Are you taking your meds?” People with a mental health condition need the freedom to share emotions, challenges, and life issues honestly without worrying about feeling judged that everything about them is because of their condition. Through the Grand Bargain, I encourage loved ones to instead say something like, “You seem to be having a lot of stress lately. Is there something going on that I can help you with?”
When family members support open dialogue about mental health illnesses --- along with everything else that makes the person who they truly are --- fear and shame are replaced with a new sense of trust and hope for the future.


Bp, Winter, 2019, Michael G. Pipich, MS. LMFT.

Michael G. Pipich is a psychotherapist author of How Patients and Families Can Take Control of Bipolar Disorder. He practices in Denver, Colorado.

NAMI Tulare County works closely with other mental health organizations in our community. These organizations provide supportive, stigma-free environments and peer-led services for individuals who are working towards wellness and recovery.  

Visit our Calendars Page for more information about the activities these organizations are offering for January 2021.
Now more than ever we need your continued support. Let's start this year off with a bang! Shop with AmazonSmile, and Amazon will donate a portion of their earnings to NAMI Tulare County.

AmazonSmile is also available in the Amazon Shopping app. Learn how to generate donations for NAMI Tulare County here.
Help us improve the lives of people affected by mental illness.
Thank you for your support!
Ralph Nelson, President
Sandra Juarez, Vice President
Mary Mederos, Treasurer
Kathy Farrell, Secretary
Donna Grigsby
Karen Mabry
Bruce Nicotero
Elizabeth Vander Meer
Ivy Jones
Ray Lara
Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday 8:00am-2:30pm
Office Phone: (559) 732-6264
Office Cellphone: (559) 967-6168 (best option)