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2020 Annual Conference

October 12-13, 2020

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Each year, the NAMI California hosts a conference to examine important trends, best practices, new treatments, activities in mental health, and ways we can work together to improve care and services for individuals, families and communities.

To nurture our extraordinary community until we can gather in-person again, the 2020 NAMI California Conference will be a virtual event. Join us for a unique opportunity to reflect and connect with peers statewide, engage in meaningful discussions, and exchange ideas and resources. We are looking forward to reaching new members within our community and creating opportunities within the virtual platform and interactive app.


The California Alliance of Child and Family Services (Alliance) is a public policy, advocacy and training organization with nearly 150 nonprofit community-based organizations that provide a broad array of services to children, youth and families throughout California.

The focus of their presentation will be about work they are doing to support children, youth, and families, including school-based mental health, suicide prevention, and foster youth with mental health needs; their Catalyst Center and ACES aware grants; and their partnership with the State Department of Social Services for a provider helpline to help with COVID-19-related issues.

Joining us will be their Executive Director, Chris Stoner-Mertz, and their Senior Policy Director, Adrienne Shilton.


Each year, NAMI California hosts advocacy days — our Spring State Capitol Day and Bebe Moore Campbell Advocacy Day — 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. The 2020 event combined both days to honor the voices of diverse communities and family members.


California law enforcement representatives joined us for conversations about officer wellness led by law enforcement.

NAMI California is teaming up with the State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)  for a training program to support officer wellness and address trauma. NAMI COPE is a resilience-building peer support program designed specifically for law enforcement, modeled on the NAMI Connection support group, a peer-led, 90-minute, weekly confidential support group for those experiencing mental health challenges.

Listening sessions were facilitated by law enforcement and for law enforcement to share their insights and experiences on officer wellness.


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NAMI California virtual Town Hall Meeting with the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). The DMHC works to protect consumers’ health care rights and ensures a stable health care delivery system. Join us to hear the latest and for the opportunity to ask questions about accessing care or challenges with providers and insurers.

More Town Hall Meetings


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Event presentation

NAMI California virtual Town Hall meeting with the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), which represents county government before the California Legislature, administrative agencies and the federal government. CSAC places a strong emphasis on educating the public about the value and need for county programs and services.


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The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) was created through Prop 63, the Mental Health Services Act, is tasked with oversight of the implementation of the MHSA. The Commission evaluates MHSA-funded programs throughout the State, provides approval of county Innovation plans, and receives all county 3-year plans, annual updates, and annual Revenue and Expenditure Reports. Additionally, the Commission leads a number of statewide efforts to support suicide prevention, criminal justice, student mental health, county triage crisis funding, and stakeholder advocacy.



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Q&A from the Town Hall

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DSH manages the California state hospital system, which provides mental health services to patients admitted into DSH facilities. DSH oversees five state hospitals in California – Atascadero, Coalinga, Metropolitan (in Los Angeles County), Napa and Patton. All facilities are fully licensed by the California Department of Public Health. DSH was created by Governor Jerry Brown’s 2012-13 Budget, which eliminated the Department of Mental Health by transferring its various functions to other departments. In fiscal year 2018-2019, the department employed nearly 13,000 staff and served 11,752 patients in a 24/7 hospital system.


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Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH) is tasked with several statutory goals, which include investigating, identifying, and promoting cost-effective strategies that prevent adults and juveniles with behavioral health needs from becoming incarcerated; identifying incentives for state and local justice and health programs to adopt such approaches; reporting activities to the legislature; and providing recommendations for improving the cost-effectiveness of existing behavioral health and criminal justice programs.


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Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) works to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians.


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The County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA) is a nonprofit advocacy association representing the behavioral health directors from each of California’s 58 counties, as well as two cities (Berkeley and Tri-City). They believe everyone should have access to quality behavioral health care. Through advocacy, lobbying and education efforts, they promote the reduction of individual and community problems related to unaddressed behavioral health issues. They regularly bring together behavioral health professionals to discuss ways to inform public policy and improve the delivery of behavioral health services. They also support efforts to help the most vulnerable among us – children with serious emotional challenges, adults with serious mental disorders, and people living with substance use disorders.


All members of local mental/behavioral health boards and commissions are welcome to attend regional meetings and trainings. Additionally, the staff liaisons who support the local boards/commissions are welcome and encouraged to attend!