NAMI Pomona Valley Newsletter
December News 2021


Tues. Dec. 7th

Maintaining Mental Health During the Holidays
& A Pandemic

The holidays can be a joy-filled season, but they can also be stressful and especially challenging for those impacted by mental illness.

A NAMI study showed that 64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse. “For many people the holiday season is not always the most wonderful time of the year,” said NAMI medical director Ken Duckworth (in an interview before the pandemic). For individuals and families coping with mental health challenges, the holiday season can be a lonely or stressful time, filled with anxiety and/or depression. If you’re living with a mental health condition, stress can also contribute to worsening symptoms. Examples: in schizophrenia, it can encourage hallucinations and delusions; in bipolar disorder, it can trigger episodes of both mania and depression. The COVID-19 crisis has made maintaining mental health more challenging for so many.
Here are some suggestions for how you can reduce stress and maintain good mental health during the holiday season:

  • Take steps to stay safe. As COVID-19 continues to pose a severe risk to communities, California’s Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released guidelines for holiday gatherings. The safest way to gather is to spend time with people living in the same household or to gather virtually. For those planning to gather with others, follow these guidelines:

  • Limit the number of people and households. Gatherings of more than 3 households are prohibited in California; this includes everyone present, including hosts and guests. The smaller the number of people, the safer.
  • Gather outdoors.
  • Don’t attend gatherings if you feel sick.
  • Don’t attend gatherings if you are in a high-risk group.
  • Practice physical distancing and hand hygiene at gatherings.
  • Wear a face covering and keep your mask in a safe place when eating or drinking.
  • Keep gatherings short: 2 hours or less.
  • Frequently wash hands and surfaces.
  • More on the California State guidelines for holiday gatherings and guidelines for celebrating safely and preventing the spread of COVID-19 (CDC)

  • Accept your needs. Be kind to yourself! Put your own mental and physical well-being first. Recognize what your triggers are to help you prepare for stressful situations. Is shopping for holiday gifts too stressful for you? What is making you feel physically and mentally agitated? Once you know this, you can take steps to avoid or cope with stress.

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

Support Groups

Everything is still up and running and on the same schedule; Classes, Support Groups, and General Meetings. It’s all just Virtual, online via the Video conferencing platform called Zoom. You can also contact the office for more info.

Connection Support Group Online

Connections Support Via Zoom
1st Tuesday of the month 6:16 - 7:30 PM
Thursdays 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Every Friday at 6:30 – 8:00 PM

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

Spanish/Español Family Support Group
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

A New Way of Treating Anxiety, Depression & Trauma

Are psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression truly different from each other? Or might they be part of the same syndrome?

A recent paper, by David Barlow and colleagues from Boston University, published in the October 2021 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, suggests some psychological disorders (or “emotional disorders” as they call them)—such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and dissociative disorders—are variations of the same syndrome. And central to this syndrome is neuroticism.

The personality trait of neuroticism
Many years ago, psychologist Hans Eysenck suggested mental illnesses result from interactions between stressful events and the personality trait neuroticism.
What is neuroticism?

In an interview, David Barlow defined neuroticism as “the tendency to experience frequent and intense negative emotions in response to various sources of stress along with a general sense of inadequacy and perceptions of lack of control over intense negative emotions and stressful events.”

Naturally, when someone believes challenging and potentially stressful events are unpredictable and uncontrollable, they are more likely to avoid the events or respond negatively both to the events and to the negative emotional experiences.
One way neurotic people try to reduce or prevent negative emotions is through avoidant coping (also called avoidance coping). Some examples of avoidant coping are distraction, reassurance-seeking, avoidance of anxiety-provoking activities or situations, and engaging in safety behaviors. Even worrying may be associated with avoidant coping, since a function of worry is to protect the individual from directly experiencing unpleasant emotions.

Because avoidant coping temporarily reduces discomfort, it may seem like a good long-term strategy for reducing negative emotions. But it is not. In the long run, people who use avoidant coping often experience more frequent or intense aversive emotions.

Source: Psychology Today
Additional Support Resources

A toolkit for Schizophrenia and Related Disorders. The Alliance of America (SARDAA), has helpful information and resources. They also have virtual support groups:
Families and Friends for Care (FFFC) is a support group for families of diagnosed individuals with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-related brain illness.

To register for the conference support calls,
Groups are available Tuesdays at 4pm,
Wednesdays at 3 pm,
Sundays at 3pm and in Spanish on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month at 6pm.

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 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. 

**New Family 2 Family Classes coming January, call us to get more info and Register now while space is available!!**

For more information on any class, please contact the helpline:
Phone: (909) 399-0305 Email:

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

 Legislation Spotlight

Help Support

We need your help.

Several critical bills have been introduced in the California State Assembly and State Senate that can improve the lives of individuals, families and communities impacted by mental illness.

What can you do?
Find out about the legislation under consideration and sign our letters of support;
links below.

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