Workshops for NAMI California Conference 2019 have been announced! Listed are the workshop titles, descriptions and presenters, organized by tracks.


NAMI Smarts


Brenda Scott, Executive Director, NAMI Mt. San Jacinto

Bettie Reinhardt, NAMI Smarts trainer


NAMI Smarts will enhance your advocacy skills and help you shape a powerful and personal story that will move policy makers. This workshop will cover a NAMI Smarts module and share tools to help grow local grassroots efforts by utilizing formats to influence policy! We encourage all individuals who would like to be more involved with advocacy to participate in this workshop.


The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)


Lawrence Reyes, Senior Community Worker, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health


The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is a system for monitoring, reducing and eliminating uncomfortable or dangerous physical and emotional difficulties.  The modules are designed to equip anyone who wants to create positive change in the way they feel or increase their enjoyment of life; with relapse prevention tools as they become more actively involved in their own emotional and personal recovery.  The purpose of this training is to educate DMH or Community Peers and Families about the modules of the WRAP including action planning in the areas of: a wellness toolbox, a daily maintenance list, relapse, triggers a plan for these triggers, and identifying and responding to early warning signs.  Also included are: modules on crisis planning, identifying supporters and supporter tasks, identifying health care providers, and recognizing recovery. Upon completion of this training, attendees will be able to provide guidance to Peers on the elements of WRAP development.


A Queer Peer Perspective: How to Advocate for Culturally Responsive Mental Health Services


Robyn Gantsweg, Peer Self-Advocacy Program Manager, Disability Rights California

Barbara Acosta, Peer Self-Advocacy Coordinator, Disability Rights California


For the queer community, finding support for mental health issues presents unique challenges.  This workshop will address these barriers to services and provide self-advocacy strategies so queer mental health clients can overcome obstacles like societal and self-stigma, advocate for their needs, and improve their treatment.


Consumer & Family

Compassion Fatigue and Self-Care; Time to Take Care of You


Laura Stillmunkes, Executive Director, Parents and Caregivers for Wellness/Capital Adoptive Families Alliance


Compassion fatigue is very common in parents, caregivers, and professionals that care for those with special needs. In this training, we will define compassion fatigue and discuss its effects. The last half of the training will be devoted to self-care and avoiding compassion fatigue.


Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS)


Dr. Lester Love, Medical Director of Mental Health, Tulare County HHSA Mental Health

Warner Ribuca, Lead RN, Tulare County HHSA Mental Health

Alfonso Rodriguez, LVN, Tulare County HHSA Mental Health


The Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) is a rating scale that was designed in the 1970s to measure involuntary movements known as tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD is a disorder that sometimes develops as a side effect of long-term treatment with neuroleptic (antipsychotic) medications.


Services for Older Adults: Are They Meeting the Needs of our Aging Population


Susan Morris Wilson, Member, California Behavioral Health Planning Council

Linda Dickerson, Research Scientist, California Behavioral Health Planning Council


The California Behavioral Health Planning Council Notebook 2017 recently compiled a review of services provided for older adults by state counties. We will discuss the information we received and recommendations we are making regarding service delivery systems for older adults.


Criminal Justice

Working Towards a Better Crisis Response: Building a Co-Responder Model for a Medium-Sized City


Paul T. McCormick, Police Sergeant, Fremont Police Department

Grant Goepp, Police Officer, Fremont Police Department

Sophia Singh, Crisis Counselor, Washington Hospital Healthcare System

Michele Wms-Smith, Family Advocate, Family Education Resource Center (FERC)


This presentation is a first-hand account of a medium-sized police department’s challenges and successes in partnering a mental health professional with a uniformed police officer during mental health crisis calls. The presentation will include experiences from the officers and mental health clinicians assigned to the unit, and comments from a family advocate who routinely works with the team.


Mental Health and Justice System Behavioral Health Court Model Puts Team on the Same Page


Sarah Nudel, Administration, Telecare Corporation

Robin Weintraub, Administrator, Telecare Corporation


Telecare offers behavioral health court programs in Orange County and San Diego that are unique treatment modalities for individuals who are currently on formal probation with severe mental illness. This presentation explains how these programs successfully serve this unique population across distinct county systems.


Crisis Communication: Gaining Voluntary Compliance, Cooperation, and Rapport


John Wilson, Sergeant, California Highway Patrol


Crisis communication provides an easy-to-remember, systemic approach to effectively establishing rapport while gaining cooperation. It also includes a universal behavioral standard for self-de-escalation and impulse control. The system has been used in a wide spectrum of situations where communication was essential for a positive outcome, such as crisis moments (with or without mental health consumers), victim interviews, criminal interrogations, gaining consent, or simply allowing a person to vent and be heard.



Planning for Disaster Evacuation for Community Dwelling Persons with Mental Health Needs


Anita Catlin, Manager of Research, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rose

Mary-Frances Walsh, Executive Director, NAMI Sonoma County


Persons with mental health needs needed to be evacuated during the 2017 Sonoma County fires. Danger to our clients showed a need for improved safety and education. Kaiser Permanente, NAMI Sonoma County, NAMI Peer Members and the Halter Project met to create evidence-based evacuation and educational materials for distribution.


NAMI Connects – How to Implement and Secure Funding for the Next Level of Care in an Inpatient Hospital Setting


Amy Durham, Director of Development, NAMI Orange County

Rocio Valencia-Vega, LCSW, Program Manager, Hoag Mental Health Center

Dr. Nefta Pereda, Founder and President, Season 5 Community Consulting

Aisha Khan, Family Mentor, NAMI Orange County


This presentation will outline the work done by the NAMI Connects staff, the various benefits of implementing this program at local hospitals, how to work with your local hospital to secure funding, and the process of starting a NAMI Connects program. The NAMI Connects program provides an additional dimension of personalized care in a hospital setting by offering emotional support, care navigation and resources to patients and their adult family members. The program is conducted by trained NAMI Connects staff that is stationed inside the Emergency Department and available to meet with mental health patients and their families to empathize and facilitate engagement in the patient’s healing process. Altogether, this presentation will provide an all-encompassing directive to a newly funded program that will benefit hospitals, NAMI Affiliates, patients, family members, and the surrounding community.


Beyond the Ramp: Why Accessibility Matters in Mental Health


Joelle Marie C. Nourse, Certified Peer Specialist, DBSA National/Facey Medical

Rudy Caseres, Mental Health Advocate


Accessibility is an important issue in mental health, but many providers are unsure how barriers to optimal care may present. This workshop will involve discussion of not only physical space but various aspects of communication and connection. Specific needs such as interpreters, low literacy information, sensory processing, sensory sensitivity accommodation, personal culture, and difficulties in expression and neurodiversity will all be discussed.


Engaging Diverse Communities

Cultural Competence


Jonathan DuFresne, Community Engagement Manager, NAMI California

Brianna Vargas, Program Coordinator, NAMI California


This is Part Three of NAMI California’s three-part Cultural and Linguistic Competence Training Curriculum, created to enhance NAMI affiliate and community partners’ capacity to better serve diverse racial/ethnic communities. Through this interactive workshop, participants will cover key principles and the spectrum of community engagement, discuss key features that define community, and use case scenarios to engage in a deeper dialogue about real-world strategies and pitfalls for engaging diverse communities.


Mental Health for Boys and Men of Color


Kristene Smith, Founder & CEO, Mental Health California


This workshop will focus on mental health solutions for boys and men of color with an emphasis on trauma-informed care, community partnerships, education and training, family engagement, communications, innovation, and creative therapeutic interventions. The audience will preview a forthcoming targeted campaign spanning 5,000 direct interventions.



Early Intervention/Prevention

Mental Health in Education: Prevention and Intervention from Early Childhood to Young Adults. How Can We Support Students


Michael Doria, Licensed Educational Psychologist, Chapman University

Sherilyn Kile, School Psychologist, Chapman University

Anne Steketee, PhD Candidate, Chapman University

Hayley Ratzan-Wank, Student, Chapman University


This workshop seeks to offer an overview of students’ mental health to educators, mental health professionals and community stakeholders, with an explicit focus on supporting direct practices that are both preventative and reactive supports in the school guided by educators.


Brain XP


Christine Marie Frey, Founder, Brain XP

Deborah Dennison, Advocate, Brain XP


“Brain XP” is a community created by 16-year-old Christine Marie Frey – a teenager with mental illness dedicated to ending the stigma toward other teenagers with mental illness. Brain XP education is the use of contemporary social media, videos, music, and public speaking that reaches out to teenagers. Brain XP changes the language of mental health by emphasizing the expanded creative, insightful and intuitive functions of the brain for those with mental health challenges.


Do Not Suffer in Silence: Suicide Prevention for Adults and Adolescents

Presenter: Jessica Oakes, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Credentialed School Psychologist, Hemet Unified School District


Do Not Suffer in Silence: Suicide Prevention for Adults and Adolescents engages participants in an in-depth discussion about the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. The program offers strategies for individuals experiencing suicidal ideations and provides local and national resources by utilizing anecdotal stories about youth who have had suicidal ideations.