Full Statement from NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr.:
“The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored.
“Our nation’s African American community is going through an extremely painful experience, pain that has been inflicted upon this community repeatedly throughout history and is magnified by mass media and repeated deaths. We stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones senselessly due to racism. And, with more than 100,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic – disproportionately from minority communities – these recent deaths add gasoline to the fire of injustice.
“While there is much we need to do to address racism in our country, we must not forget the importance of mental health as we do so. Racism is a public health crisis.
“As the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, it is our responsibility to serve all. While as an organization we are still early in our intentional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey and have much to do, we have renewed our commitment to our values. We continue to strive to deliver help and hope to all who need it.
“NAMI stands in solidarity with everyone impacted across the country. You are not alone.”
This week, our CEO, Jessica Cruz, celebrates 10 years with NAMI California.
“In ten years, I have met amazing people that I now call friends; I have struggled but have grown out of it; and I have accepted that we can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. I am looking forward to many more years in continuing to fight alongside warriors to make sure ALL people impacted by mental illness are seen, heard and served.”
Thank you for your tireless efforts and leadership!
In this video message to our members and community, NAMI California’s CEO, Jessica Cruz, discusses the support needed for caregivers who have loved ones with serious mental illness during the COVID-19 crisis.
Our CEO, Jessica Cruz, spoke about COVID-19 and what we’re doing to support our members during an interview with Kevin Riggs for the Behavioral Health Action coalition’s new “Rising to Meet the Moment” video series.