By: Jessica Cruz, 6/20/2013
What a wonderful and exciting year we’ve had for Mental Health in California! We are so proud of the commitment made by our lawmakers at the state Capitol in the establishment of the Mental Health Caucus and Sub-Committee, resulting in real dialogue with our government officials and law makers. These conversations cover many topics, ranging from stories told by those among us living with a mental illness to the stories of those who care for them. Lawmakers are also able to learn firsthand about exciting new advances in medicine and how we can all partner to help each other get, and stay healthy.
Some of our new governmental partners are also hitting the road in an effort get an ear to the ground for what is happening in your community. You might have recently had an MHSOAC feedback meeting in your area. Did you know that a NAMI president is an MHSOAC Commissioner? Tulare County’s own Ralph Nelson is there ensuring that communities are getting a fair voice in the processes that affect them. To see when they’ll be out in your area again, click here for more information, or contact David Czarnecki, NAMI CA Advocacy Coordinator to sign up for our advocacy alerts (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maybe you had or will have a visit from our friends at the Office of Statewide Health Planning Department (OSHPD)? They are out and about this year to talk about how workforce development is going and what you’d like to see happen in the next 5 years. We want them to hear your voice to ensure that peers and family members in your area have access to supportive and meaningful employment. Your friends at NAMI California are at the table demanding local stakeholder involvement every day!
We here, at NAMI California, will also be out and about this year. In addition to our regional meetings, which help connect you with your local Mental Health Director and their teams, we will also be holding meetings across the state to see how we can serve you better. We want to hear about the great work you are doing, about the new and innovative programs you are undertaking and to thank you for the wonderful and underappreciated work that you are all doing in your communities every day. Without you, without your strong spirit, new ideas and unbeatable tenacity, NAMI wouldn’t function.
All of these dialogues are what makes us strong as NAMI, a commitment to discourse and listening to new viewpoints is what brought our founders together. Because they knew that the established idea within psychiatry that families shouldn’t be together was wrong. They dedicated their lives to fighting for all of us and we stand on the shoulders of their great work today.
It is up to us to continue these dialogues, and we are committed to doing so. That means that we will bring viewpoints to you from different backgrounds, from science that is still being tested and thought about. From prevention methods that are still being evaluated, and from communities that no one has given a chance to speak. We do this because we believe in NAMI’s voice, and we believe that voice is stronger…together.