NAMI California Monthly Newsletter
December 2015
Front row, left to right: Megan Trader, Kris Amezcua, Kiran Savage-Sangwan, Melen Vue, Jessica Cruz, Steven Kite, Lynn Cathy, Erik Villalobos. 
Back row, left to right: Marcel Harris, Frank Ruz, Eugenia Cervantes, 
Beth Larkins, Veronica Delgado.

HolidayHappy Holidays from NAMI California!

The staff at NAMI California would like to wish all of you a happy holiday season. We're proud of all we've accomplished this year - from developing educational programs to providing training for our affiliates to advocating for meaningful mental health reform at the Capitol.
As you celebrate this special time of year with your family and loved ones, please consider a gift to NAMI California to help us continue our efforts to promote  mental health wellness across our stateTo make your tax-deductible gift, please click here

Th ank you so much for your continued support! 

Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year,

  The NAMI California Staff

Conversation30 Second Survey
Thanks for Your Feedback!  

Thank you for sharing your experiences with mental health courts in November's 30 Second Survey!

While most people who answered the survey were aware if their county offered a mental health court, most did not have experience with one. One participant whose loved one had used a mental health court reported frustration with the time for the case to be resolved, but complimented the court staff:  "The court system takes a very long time with many court dates that accomplish nothing other than a re-calendar. The staff is very sympathetic and helpful. "

This month's survey asks you to share your experiences with housing. Click here to take this month's 30 Second Survey!
ConferenceConference News
Register Now for Our Super Early Bird Special!

fuzzy-chick.jpg Register now and take advantage of our Super Early Bird Special for the 2016 NAMI California Annual Conference! The conference will take place August 26 & 27, 2016  at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront in Burlingame. Stay tuned for more details!

AdvocacyAdvocacy & Legislation
Mental Health Parity Hearing

Patricia Wentzel of NAMI Sacramento testifies at the parity hearing.
NAMI members testified during a December hearing on mental health parity and met with legislators beforehand to discuss issues affecting individuals and families living with mental illness. 

The Mental Health Parity and Access Oversight hearing was held by the Senate Committee on Health and  the Select Committee on Mental Health. N AMI California wants to give a big thanks to Patricia Wentzel and Dr. Daniel Rockers from NAMI Sacramento and Lea Nagy from NAMI Humboldt for sharing their experiences with access to mental health care. NAMI California also appreciates the legislators and staff who arranged the joint hearing, including committee chairs Senator Jim Beall and Senator Ed Hernandez. 

This was a great step in ensuring that consumer and family perspectives are at the forefront of efforts to enforce mental health parity in California.  To watch the hearing online, click here . (Patricia Wentzel's testimony begins at 15:00.)
Graduates of the October Family-to-Family training in Ukiah

NAMI Family & Peer Programs

This has been a busy fall for the Family and Peer Programs Department. Between September and November we  provided three state trainings and arranged for grants for four affiliates to hold local trainings. In the spring, we will offer 13 more trainings throughout the state. 

The feedback we have heard from our graduates has been very encouraging. Says one Basics graduate: "I love the quantity of good resources and information to navigate the school system, but I really appreciate the opportunity to have networking with the trainers and the other participants."
BoardGet to Know Your Board of Directors
Kenton Rainey

Kenton W. Rainey is the Chief of Police of San Francisco BART. Rainey's background combines criminal justice education, law enforcement experience, leadership and a deep commitment to community relations and police reform.

Beginning his career in 1979 as a Deputy in the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, Rainey held the ranks of Senior Deputy, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain. One of his significant contributions in the Sheriff's Department included developing and implementing the program that trained officers how to respond to individuals with mental illness.

In 2002, Rainey served as Superintendent of Patrol Operations with the Dayton Police Department. Rainey was next hired to be second in command at the City of Whittier's Police Department in Southern California. Rainey was promoted to Chief of Police at the City of Fairfield in 2007.

Rainey has worked with federal entities, such as the FBI and U.S. Marshall Service to address gang violence; fostered community relations and implemented a mediation conflict resolution process for city residents. His accomplishments received congressional recognition from Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's office for dedication of service and public safety.

Rainey earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from California State University Long Beach in 1993 and his master's in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix in 2001. He also earned various leadership certificates from UCLA as well as other recognized entities including the National Organization Black Law Enforcement Executives, Police Executive Research Forum and the City of Fairfield.

StaffStaff Corner
Kristin Rapinac

Kristin Rapinac joined NAMI California in October as Communications Coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for updating the NAMI California website, creating e-newsletters and posting on social media.
Kristin's professional experience includes positions in nonprofit marketing and communications, fundraising, journalism and community development. She also owned and managed a stable, training horses and riders and showing on the Arabian horse circuit - as well as mucking out countless stalls.
Mental health is a cause that is close to Kristin's heart, as her older sister has lived with bipolar disorder for most of her life. "I know the struggles my sister and my family have faced and continue to face as she seeks to live a balanced life," she says. "I'm honored to help strengthen NAMI California's voice as we provide support and advocate for those affected by mental illness."
A fluent French speaker and longtime Francophile, Kristin is the President of the Alliance Française de Sacramento and serves on the board of the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA. She also serves as secretary of her neighborhood association. Before coming to California three years ago, she lived in Maine, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ontario, and Minnesota. Kristin enjoys biking, hiking, kayaking, traveling and walking her two beagles.
Kristin holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Missouri with an emphasis in journalism as well as certificates in fundraising and grant writing from the University of Southern Maine.
NAMI Highlights California in Nationwide Report 
NAMI recently released its third annual survey tracking state mental health budgets and identifying legislative trends across the country. The report,  State Mental Health Legislation: Trends, Themes and Effective Practices,  shows  st ate investment in mental health services slowing nationwide, but commends several states -- including California -- for enacting model measures to improve mental health services.

NAMI names California's 2015 legislation among the bright spots in the nation, citing enforcement of mental health parity as well as alternative sentencing for offenders with mental health conditions. 

California maintained is funding for mental health services in 2015 after increases in the previous two years, according to the NAMI survey. Nationwide,  23 states increased mental health budgets, with 12 states decreasing  and 14 states maintaining their budgets from the previous year. 

AffiliatesAffiliate News
NAMI Alameda County South: 
Interview on KTSF-TV's "Mandarin Journal"

Joe Rose and Elaine Peng
on KTSF-TV's Mandarin Journal
Two NAMI Alameda County South members recently appeared on KTSF-TV, an independent television station reaching over 1.4 million Asian-Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mina Li, host of Mandarin Journal, interviewed Elaine Peng, NAMI Alameda County South Asian Community Director and board member, and Joe Rose, President, about mental health issues in the Chinese community. 
Click here to view the interview. (Click on the CC icon for English subtitles.)  

We welcome your submissions for the NAMI California monthly newsletter. We look for articles from our affiliates and members across the state that highlight the best of what's happening in California.  Please keep the length of your submission to 200 words or less, and include a contact name, email and phone number in case we need to reach you for more information. We love photos, so please send a picture if you have one. We regret that we cannot publish all submissions, and we reserve the right to edit all content.
Email your submissions to Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you!
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