NAMI Pomona Valley
National Alliance on Mental Illness

April Newsletter 2023


First Tuesday of the Month
6:15pm - 7:30pm

Claremont United Church of Christ
233 Harrison Ave
Claremont Ca, 91711

Location: Sumner Room

Please make sure to social distance

If you are feeling ill, we also have a English Zoom option.

NEW Link to Zoom meeting:


Family Support Group is here to connect you with families and friends who also have a loved one in their life that is suffering from a mental illness. 
We are here to support you!

We are in this together!

NAMI Pomona Valley Te inivitamos a nuestro evento:
Grupo de Apoyo Familiar! 1er martes del mes

El Grupo de Apoyo familiar esta aquí para connectarte con familias y amistades de personas que sufren de una enfremedad de salud mental. Estamos aqui para apoyarte. 

Juntos se puede!

**Family Support In Person offered in English & Spanish**

Connection Support Group Online

Connections Support Via Zoom
Every Friday at 6:30 – 8:00 PM

NAMI WALKS Greater Los Angeles

April 29, 2023
Los Angeles State Historic Park
10am - 2pm

* Register Now *
With your support and high spirits, we intend to make an
unprecedented impact on mental health in Los Angeles.
You won’t want to miss it!!

Let's raise our voices together to be heard, united in our commitment to raise awareness of NAMI Greater Los Angeles County's free, mental health support, and education. Each year, we bring together corporations, community organizations, families, and individuals to raise funds and to meet LA's mental health champions, who have worked to end the stigma.

Whether you're a previous participant or a new voice waiting to be heard, our Mental Health Fest and Walk will inspire.

We Thank you in advance for the support!!

"Together for Mental Health"

In Person - Minneapolis, MN- May 24-27th
Online - June 6-8th

Get ready for an energizing in-person and online experience celebrating all the unique and important voices — including yours — who are creating positive change in mental health.
Whether you’re a long-time NAMI advocate or brand-new to our movement, NAMICon is for you.

If you have a story to share and a passion for mental health awareness, advocacy and education, you have a spot with your name on it at NAMICon.

Personal Stories

by: Jeffrey Parker

My experience with clinical depression began at an early age. I believe many of my mental health challenges stemmed from underlying problems — including epilepsy and ADHD, as well as mental, emotional and physical abuse.
Before the age of three, I had my first seizure. My seizures became more frequent and severe, leading to many injuries, stitches and trips to the emergency room. I also struggled with cognitive deficits and learning disabilities, as well as anger management and impulse control problems. My challenges landed me in special education classes, which became a source of ridicule from my peers. I endured frequent bullying for my cognitive abilities and seizures.

I became angry, violent and depressed. My low self-esteem led me to be self-destructive and rebellious, both at school and at home. I was labeled “incorrigible.” For much of my life, I was running — literally and figuratively. I began running away from home when I was six, and by nine I was in juvenile institutions. In my tween and teen years, I lived in institutions and mental health facilities. To run from the pain, I began drinking — and battled alcoholism at just 15 years old. My drinking led to violent behavior in the streets and severe injuries that landed me in the intensive care unit (ICU). I also experienced frequent trips to the “drunk tank” and the county jail.

After years of struggle, I learned an important lesson: Happiness and contentment come from the inside out and not the outside in. When I told someone that I hated being alone, he replied, “That’s because when you’re alone you hate the person you’re with.” I have never forgotten that. It has reminded me that the external things I once believed would numb the pain — cars, jewelry, houses, drugs and alcohol — will not solve an internal problem.
I realized that empowerment and happiness could start with education. I began attending a local community college. I had to work four times as hard as others to get the same amount of work done and get the same grades. Studying diligently was my primary focus, so drinking became secondary. This energy shift began to change my life. All my priorities changed. I went to college for seven years, earning an associate’s degree in corrections administration and a master’s degree in social work. I drank less and less — and I achieved sobriety one year before earning my master’s degree.


Should you wish to share your own story

6 Things I Wish I'd Known When
Battling Depression

I spent many years struggling with depression. After learning some important tools that helped me heal, I became passionate about helping others do the same. If you are feeling depressed, I hope these ideas can help you too.

Catching ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts)

We generally don’t have a choice about the types of thoughts that pop up on the screen of our minds. They are usually a result of our personality traits, life experiences, and how we process what happens to us. But we do have a choice about whether we become aware of our thoughts, and what we do next.
When someone is struggling with depression, their thoughts tend to be quite negative, hopeless, and self-critical. This makes it especially important to increase our awareness of the nature of our thoughts.

Tip: If you become aware of a thought that seems unkind or unhelpful, rather than automatically believing it or staying lost in its trance, try praising yourself for becoming aware of your thoughts.

Upgrading Unkind Thoughts
Once you become aware of an unkind or unhelpful thought and praise yourself for breaking the trance and catching it, you are ready for an internal upgrade. Depending on how long you’ve believed a thought and how depressed you feel, it might take some time (and support!) to do successful upgrades. But since we get better at what we practice, with willingness and time, you can improve the quality of your thoughts.

When I was in the grips of depression, my mind was regularly playing and replaying unkind and unhelpful thoughts. A typical train of thought went something like this: I'm too sensitive to handle life. I'm not cut out for this. Things are never going to get better.

Not exactly an Oprah pick-me-up. My upgraded thoughts sounded more like I can handle what happens. Everyone has struggles. I am capable of change. I can do things to improve my life.

I learned that even if I didn’t believe my kinder thoughts at first, it was an upgrade in the system and I had to start somewhere. Eventually, I came to believe that there was nothing inherently wrong with me other than my belief that there was something wrong with me! I learned that self-criticism helped me fall into the pit of depression and self-compassion would help me climb out.

Tip: Once you catch an unkind thought and praise yourself for catching it, try on a new thought that is either kind, or at least not unkind. If you have difficulty, you can imagine how you might speak to a child or a dear friend if they told you they were thinking the same way you’ve been thinking.

Distinguish Thoughts From Feelings
Sometimes our depressive thoughts can be so strong and persistent that they drown out our emotions. Then, important emotions that need attention and compassion get pressed down, or depressed. Learning to identify our emotions and offer them kindness and warmth is a very important aspect of depression relief.

Source: Psychology Today

!!Volunteers Needed!!

We need new presenters and are looking for other volunteers, who are willing to be trained; positions hopefully will be posted soon.
More details to follow soon on our website.

Additional positions coming, current position open:

*Community Volunteer Tabling at Events*

You may also contact the office for more details.
Phone: (909) 399-0305

!! Attention Educators & Parents !!

Would you like to see NAMI presence at your School or District?
Reaching out to our local Pomona Valley Community.

Please contact us to strengthen our relationships within the community.
We also need your help with partnering with our local schools.

If interested or can help connect us, please reach out to Kyoni Cummings
our Education Coordinator
An Evolving Picture of Artists &
Mental Health

John Green is a celebrated author who lives in Indianapolis, where I reside most of the time. Two of his many books have been made into movies, and a third is on the way. His notoriety makes him the subject of conversation at cocktail parties.

One specific topic often discussed is his struggle with mental illness. Green was identified with obsessive-compulsive disorder at age 14. He also suffers from anxiety. These diagnoses readily lead to discussing what part mental illness plays in creativity. More than that, it is a subject of vital interest to collectors who interact with artists on a personal or secondary level and, certainly, when dealing with a financial transaction.

Studies Addressing the Issue
In 2008, Nancy C. Andreasen published “The Relationship Between Creativity and Mood Disorders.” She cited previous work related to this subject, including her own. She concluded, “There appears to be a strong association between creativity and mood disorders. However, the overall literature supporting this association is relatively weak.”

Some years later, Dean Keith Simonton tackled the problem in his 2023 paper “Teaching Creativity: Current Findings, Trends, and Controversies in the Psychology of Creativity.” He noted that psychopathology is more common in the arts than in the sciences. In the arts, mental pathology is higher in poetry than in any other discipline. Of interest is that creative novelists scored between the mentally ill and normal on the clinical scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.

Even more relevant is the work by Rajagopal et al. (2023), “Genome-Wide Association Study of School Grades Identifies Genetic Overlaps Between Language Ability, Psychopathology, and Creativity” The researchers measured E1, which was overall school performance. They found that both E1 and educational achievement showed genetic correlates with six psychiatric disorders (attention deficit hyperactivity disorderautistic spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and anorexia nervosa). This suggested that the relationship between psychiatric disorders and cognitive function was similar early in life to that later in life.

The E2 measurement turned out to be more definitive. It measured language performance relative to math. The latter indicated phenotypically (the outward manifestation in an individual resulting from the expression of genes) and genetically that there was a negative correlation between math skills and the risk for most psychiatric diseases. On the other hand, they found an association between language performance and the possibility of specific disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Source: Psychology Today

Workplace Mental Health:

In this episode of NAMI’s podcast, NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr. speaks with founder and CEO of Hurdle Health Kevin Dedner about how people of color are affected by seeing hate crimes, police brutality and other acts of racism in the news, online and in the media. Tune in to learn more about vicarious trauma, advice for coping and supporting loved ones, and proposed policy ideas for systemic solutions.  


City Council meetings cover an array of topics within local Government. With so many ongoing changes we want to make sure NAMI's voice is heard. Its time to stand up and raise our collective voices to help you and your families. When policies and programs are being decided we want to advocate for Mental Health Services, Housing and so much more. Please take the
time to see when your local city may meet and what is on the agenda. If any topics arise we want to make sure we are advocating for ourselves, families and the community at large who may not be able to articulate their needs. Some local City links below.

Fore more information if you want to assist in advocating email

?Need Information?
NAMI Pomona Valley Helpline
Is here for YOU!!
(909) 399-0305

Support Groups

Classes, Support Groups, and General Meetings. In-person or Virtual meetings via the Video conferencing platform Zoom. You can also contact the office for more information.

Connection Support Group Online

Connections Support Via Zoom
Every Friday at 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Family Support Group Online
1st Tuesday of every month at 6:15 – 7:30 PM

If you have any questions please feel free
to call the NAMI Pomona Valley Helpline: (909) 399-0305
Available 9am to 9pm
Healthy Habits to Help You Sleep Better

While we know a good night’s sleep makes it easier to start off the next day on the right foot, it’s also one of the most important things we can do for our whole health. After all, we spend one-third of our lives sleeping or trying to sleep. Almost everyone tosses and turns through the night every once and a while, but if it happens regularly, it can increase the risk of several problems, including weight gain, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and mental health issues. Everyone’s sleep needs are different, but most healthy adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. If you’re struggling to snooze soundly, some simple changes might be the help you need to sleep better and, ultimately, feel better.

1. Build a sleep-friendly bedroom
If you want to sleep better, start by making sure your bedroom is a relaxing space for sleeping. Is it comfortable, dark, and quiet? Here are three tips to make your bedroom more sleep friendly:

  • Check your “sleep station”: Think about your sleep habits, including your sleep position, whether you sleep hot or cold, and whether your body needs extra support. From there, check to make sure your sheets, pillows, and mattress are designed to work best for your body and patterns.
  • Block out light and noise: If you live in a noisy area, try drowning out outside sound with a fan, white noise machine, or earplugs. Room-darkening curtains can also help simulate nighttime if you’re in an area with a lot of light pollution or you work unconventional hours.
  • Keep it cool: Our body temperatures are programmed to drop a little when we sleep. Turning down the thermostat matches your body’s natural drop and signals it’s time to sleep. For adults, the best temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut down on screen time
Scrolling through your phone or laptop at the end of the night isn’t as harmless as it might seem. Device backlights can interrupt the body’s release of melatonin, which is its natural way of making you feel sleepy. Over time, regular electronic use around bedtime can permanently increase the time it takes to fall asleep. If you’re used to screen time at night, start with small, simple tweaks to cut it down, like enabling the “do not disturb” setting on your phone in the time leading up to and through your normal sleep hours. See more tips to help you change your nighttime tech routine and sleep better.

3. Watch what you eat and drink

What you put in your body in the hours before bedtime can have a big impact on your quality of sleep. Consider the following tips:

  • Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed: Going to bed uncomfortable, whether it’s from hunger or an overly full stomach, is a recipe for poor-quality sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime: Alcohol can cause drowsiness, which might put you to sleep more quickly. However, drinking alcohol — especially too much of it — actually lowers overall sleep quality. Caffeine, on the other hand, can cause sleep problems when it’s consumed within six hours before bedtime.

Source: Anthem Blue Cross
Greater Crisis Care Access: The Reality and the Promise of 9-8-8
The number to reach the National Lifeline, access to confidential support for anyone experiencing a suicide or mental health crisis has now become much easier.


In this episode of NAMI’s podcast, NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr. speaks with actor and advocate Jamie Gray Hyder and NAMI ambassador Elise Banks about gender and mental health in honor of International Women’s Day. Tune in to hear about unique challenges women face, how we can support teenage girls, and more.
Events in APRIL

Free Diaper Distribution Monthly
Eligibility Requirements
  • Must live in San Bernardino County
  • Must be within the gross income guidelines
  • Must not be receiving diapers from another Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino partner
You can sign up to pick diapers once a month.
Sizes Available: Newborn to 6 & Training Pants 2T to 5T
For more information call the Health Education Center at (909) 806-1816.

Spring Egg-Stravaganza
April 5th
Location - Pomona Public Library
3-4:30p picture with Bunny & face painting
4:30p Egg Hunt 12 and under

Drug & Alcohol Support -Pomona
2pm - 6pm
Spanish 4/6/23 & 4/20/23
English 4/11/23 & 4/25/23

Pomona Public Library
625 S. Garey Ave, Pomona, CA

Youth Group
April 8th
2nd Saturday of the Month 
12pm to 2pm 
Pomona Pride Center’s Youth Group is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ youth and allies (12-17) to support and uplift each other through a variety of engaging discussions, fun activities and workshops.

Pomona Pride Center 
386 South Thomas Street
Pomona, 91766

Pomona Art Walk
April 8, 2023 @ 5pm - 9pm

The Downtown Pomona Arts Colony has an art walk every second Saturday of the month that brings big crowds to stroll the streets. Over a dozen galleries host receptions and open houses to showcase their latest exhibits and artists. Enjoy music, food, and wine.

Downtown Pomona
West 2nd Street and Garey Avenue
Pomona, CA

Call the NAMI Helpline at
Or text "HelpLine" to 62640

NAMI Membership Dues:
Are you Current? Donations and membership are actually tax deductible!

Membership benefits include:

  • Our flagship magazine, The NAMI Advocate
  • Membership with NAMI National, NAMI California, and our Pomona Valley Affiliate
  • Voting privileges 
  • Discounts at the NAMI Store and on registration at the NAMI National Convention
  • Access to all the information and features on the website and more

NAMI National is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record. We'll send it to you upon successful
completion of your donation.

NAMI education classes and training programs are held throughout the year. Class seating is limited and fill quickly. Training programs are offered upon availability. Please fill out this contact form to be notified when registration for classes become available or for training program availability.

Support groups will continue as scheduled and info can be
found on our website. 

An 8 week course for family members and caregivers of individuals afflicted with severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. Teachers are trained family members guided by a curriculum prepared and regularly updated by the national offices of NAMI. The course covers research to date on causes of mental illness, plus treatment and recovery programs as well as communication and coping skills.

To register please call 909-258-9864
Kyoni Cummings

If you Need Help Reach out

Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

Other Resources Check the link below

NAMI POMONA VALLEY | P.O. Box 53, Pomona, CA 91711
Helpline (909) 399-0305 | Email: