Monthly news from NAMI California
Welcoming the New Year with Optimism and Hope
There's good news on the local policy front.

We were pleased to see a commitment to prioritize behavioral health in Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2021-2022 state budget. The proposed investments in mental health and substance abuse programs will help community members in desperate need. Read our full summary.

State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced SB 224 to require all students in California receive age-appropriate mental health education. The bill, which NAMI California co-sponsored, ensures that students in grades 1 and 12 will receive mental health education from a qualified instructor at least one time during elementary school, one time during middle school, and one time during high school. More on the bill.
Celebrating Black History Month
Each February, we mark Black History Month by reflecting on history, elevating voices from our communities, and sharing mental health information and resources.

Town Hall Meeting on February 18
Join us for our February virtual Town Hall meeting: "Imagining a Mental Health System Built for You," featuring guest speaker Lara Gregorio from humanest.

Thursday, February 18, 1 to 3 pm PT

Did you miss recent Town Hall meetings with Graham Wiseman of BeingwellCa on suicide prevention and Randall Hargar on the LPS Act? Catch the video replays.
Youth Symposium 2021
Save the date for our 2021 Youth Symposium as we present a two-day event to feature youth speakers and more special guests to be announced soon.

Together, we can empower youth to change conversations around mental health!

Tuesday, April 13 and Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 2 pm PT

Capitol Advocacy Day Spring 2021
Each year, NAMI California hosts advocacy days to provide a platform for passionate advocates to engage with lawmakers on important policies aimed at improving the quality of life for people with mental illness. Our next Capitol Advocacy Day is set for Spring 2021!

We’re lining up legislators to visit and will share more details soon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

Find out about trainings offered by NAMI California and our local affiliates.
Pandemic Help
More than 42% of people surveyed by the US Census Bureau in December reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, an increase from 11% the previous year.

Find out more about mental health impacts of the pandemic and what you can do to help yourself or a loved one during this challenging time in our updated resources guide.

We are also keeping our other pandemic resources guides updated with new information.
New on Our Blog
It's an understatement to say that the last year has been filled with stressful news.

Reports on the news, especially involving violence, can cause stress and be triggering for so many.

Get tips on how to cope in our Guide to Managing News-Related Stress.

"Our behavioral healthcare system feels very much like the Grand Canyon to the individuals and families it purports to serve..... We need to provide a path that feels welcoming, that has road signs in the languages we speak, that recognizes the value in our communities, and the experience of our families."

Community Voices
30-Second Surveys and Responses
A participant in our current Family and Peer Specialist (FPSS) Training cohort shared this comment about the impact of our NAMI community.

When we hear comments like this from community members, it reminds us that we truly are stronger together.
NAMI California Support and Involvement
Nominations are open for NAMI California's Board of Directors: Qualified candidates will be considered who have experience working at the state level, have knowledge of mental health policy, insight into nonprofit organizational structure and governance, and/or legal, financial or fundraising experience. Nominations must be received by February 28, 2021.
We couldn't make the strides we do to improve mental health for our communities without the input and support of our members.

Voting for NAMI California's Board of Directors is coming up soon, and only active members will able to vote.

If you are already a member, we thank you!

You can also support NAMI California with donations or by making purchases using Amazon Smile or through Target Circle (at no extra cost!) More on how to shop for a cause, other ways you can give. You can also find about about ways to be involved in our efforts to improve mental health care and service for all Californians, from supporting advocacy efforts to finding out about volunteer opportunities and sharing your insights and stories.