Crisis Support

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Crisis Text Line

Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

NAMI HelpLine

Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) M–F, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. PT for free mental health info, referrals and support.

Find a Local NAMI

We look forward to seeing you at the NAMI California 2023 Annual Conference in Sacramento from August 23 – 25!

Please see below for an outline of the schedule of events.

Conference Day 1

Thursday, August 24, 2023

General Session  —  9:00 am – 10:30 am

  • Land Acknowledgement
  • Opening
  • CEO Welcome


Keynote  — Dr. Mondo (Armando González) Founder & CEO of Cheatcode

Dr. Mondo (Armando González) is the Founder & CEO of Cheatcode—a concierge mental wellness program that unlocks athletes, entertainers’ and executives’ peak mental performance with clientele such as Olympian Lindsey Vonn, MLB All-Star Dansby Swanson, and the Tennessee Titans. In addition, Dr. Gonzalez is the Founder of The Cheatcode Foundation—a nonprofit determined to end stigma and increase access to transformational mental health services in underserved communities.

Dr. Mondo is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Speaker, Professor and Academic Researcher. He holds a Doctorate of Psychology in Marriage & Family Therapy from Alliant International University and Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Sacramento State University.


Plenary Sessions  —  10:45am – 11:45am

OPTION 1: An Overview of the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH): Current Legislative Recommendations and Project Updates

Brenda Grealish, Executive Officer, Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH)

Anita Fisher, CCJBH Council Member, Fisher Mental Health Consulting

The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH) Councilmember, Anita Fisher, and Executive Officer, Brenda Grealish, will provide an overview of CCJBH’s 21st Annual Legislative Report, including recommendations made to the California Legislature on juvenile justice and diversion/reentry and project highlights that directly impact justice-involved individuals with behavioral health needs.


OPTION 2: State of State of California’s Behavioral Health Agenda

Stephanie Welch, Deputy Secretary, Behavioral Health for the California Health and Human Services (CalHHS) Agency

In response to the growing statewide need for accessible, equitable, and affordable behavioral health services, California is implementing major policy reforms as well as historic investments in infrastructure and workforce to ensure that all Californians have access to the services they need. These efforts include billions of dollars in infrastructure funding for programs such as the Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program and Behavioral Health Bridge Housing, substantial transformations to the state’s Medi-Cal program via CalAIM, and a large array of workforce development initiatives to hire, train, and advance a diverse behavioral health workforce. Governor Newsom has also proposed reforms to the Mental Health Services Act that would address remaining gaps in the continuum of care for the most vulnerable Californians through new funding for housing, community-based care, and workforce, as well as expanding services for those with debilitating substance use conditions and strengthening county accountability measures. Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health Stephanie Welch will share an update on these historic efforts and present attendees with a road map for continued large-scale improvements to California’s behavioral health system.


OPTION 3: Stories, Practices, and Implications of Faith and Mental Illness

Paul Lu, NAMI California Vice President

Luan Sy, MSW, Content & Program Director, Kay Warren’s Acts of Mercy Foundation

Tom Okamoto, NAMI California Board Member

Have you ever wondered if faith and spirituality can be a part of an overall mental health program? Have you considered seeking mental health medical professionals who are spiritually matched for yourself and/or your loved ones? Have you thought about how to go about starting and growing a mental health ministry at a faith organization?

Join us for a session to discuss stories, practices, and implications on Faith and Mental Illness. Tom Okamoto will share stories and discuss the benefits of matching with like-minded, spiritually grounded mental health professionals. Tom will direct the audience in discussions and an information gathering session. Luan will share her stories and best practices for starting and growing mental health ministries. Paul will share stories, practices, and implications on conducting spiritual formation practices in mental health facilities.


OPTION 4: 988 and Crisis Response

Dr. Jonathan Porteus, Chief Executive Officer, WellSpace Health

Jonathan Porteus, PhD and Chief Executive Officer of WellSpace Health will discuss WellSpace Health’s role serving as the primary 988 dispatch for all of Northern California and progress made, and further opportunities to support crisis response.


OPTION 5: Disminución del estigma en la comunidad LatinX (Decreasing Stigma in LatinX Community)

Jessie Armenta, Clinical Director, LMFT, La Familia Counseling Center

The Latinx community is rich in culture, history, and diversity, but despite their contributions to society, they often encounter misconceptions, prejudice, and discrimination. The stigma surrounding mental health, immigration status, language barriers, and cultural traditions often leads to isolation, reduced access to resources, and limited opportunities for growth and empowerment.
This session will address the stigma around mental health in the Latinx community, we will emphasize the importance of mental well-being and seek to break down the barriers that prevent individuals from seeking support.


Lunch  — 11:45 am – 1:30 pm

Connections Support Group  —  12:00 pm – 1:15 pm


Plenary Sessions  — 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

OPTION 1: Surviving Familial Incarceration

Tamika J. Carter, Founder, Advantage Public Institute

There are nearly 2 million people in the United States living in penal institutions. For everybody being detained there is typically one or more hearts that are grieving the loss of a wayward loved one. The socio-emotional impact of being separated from partners, children, or parents is compounded by the shame of their criminal involvement.  Systems of care must be equipped to meet the diverse needs of consumers presenting them with the resultant mood disorders and trauma. Our work with the Tondalao Hall case exemplifies the community-centric services necessary to support individuals and families through incarceration, release, and reintegration.


OPTION 2: Best Practices of Crisis Response… Going Beyond CIT Training

Chris Roup, Dir. of Programs, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) International

In this plenary session, you will learn about the best practices of crisis response systems and the importance of crisis systems reform for your community and effectively utilizing 988. You will also learn how to engage key stakeholders to support effective de-escalation training, as well as the development of a robust system of care. You will know how to advocate for training and so much more to ensure community members receive the most compassionate, most effective, and least intrusive response in the lives of those living with behavioral health conditions.


OPTION 3: The Importance of Self-Care and Boundaries for Mental Health

Dr. Corrine McIntosh-Sako, President of the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association

Most of us are much better at taking care of others than we are at taking care of ourselves. And yet, practicing self-care – such as setting compassionate boundaries – is a vital ingredient to our mental wellness. This presentation will help you learn the importance of self-care, identify at least three specific self-care strategies you can implement, and help you think of boundaries as ways to connect with others while you protect your mental health.


OPTION 4: Update on the Progress with CARE Act

Ivan Bhardwaj, Chief Medi-Cal Behavioral Health – Policy Division, California Department of Health Care Services

Senate Bill (SB) 1338 (Chapter 319, Statutes of 2022) established the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, which provides community-based behavioral health services and supports to Californians living with untreated schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders through a new civil court process. CARE is intended to serve as an upstream intervention for the most severely impaired Californians to prevent avoidable psychiatric hospitalizations, incarceration, and Lanterman-Petris-Short Mental Health Conservatorship. The California Department of Health Care Services will be presenting on the CARE Act and providing the latest implementation updates.


OPTION 5: Los Efectos de la Deportación para las Familias y las Comunidades

Isabel Sierra, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor/AMFT

Rosa Alvarez, Spanish Program Coordinator, Los Efectos de la Deportación en las Familias y comunidades, NAMI Urban Los Angeles

A workshop that will discuss the impact of deportation on the mental health of individuals and families. Attendees can learn about the realities of immigration and its impact on individuals and communities. The goal of the workshop is to create a safe space for open dialogue and discussions about important issues related to immigration, as well as to educate and inform the audience about the unique perspectives of immigrants. Join us to learn how we can work together to support those affected by deportation and provide them with the care they need.


Ask the Doctor Workshops  — 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Comedy Show  — 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm


Conference Day 2

General Session  —  9:00 am – 9:45 am

  • NAMI California Board President


Keynote — Yasmine Cheyanne, Author of “The Sugar Jar”

We’re thrilled to have self-healing educator, author and mental health advocate Yasmine Cheyenne as our keynote speaker on Friday, August 25 at the NAMI California 2023 Conference.

Yasmine is best known for her book “The Sugar Jar,” which provides readers with an array of rich self-healing tools that she has used with her own clients. As a self-healing educator and mental health advocate, she supports her clients in learning how to create healing practices that improve their lives through workshops, classes, and more.


Ask the Doctor Workshops  — 10:15 am – 11:15 am

Meet with the Doctors  —  11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Lunch  —  12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Connections Support Group  —  12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Workshops  —  1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Workshops  —  3:00 pm – 4:00 pm