Speaker Meetings

Speaker Meeting June 28, 2023 7:30 – 9:00 pm

“Patients Rights Advocacy”
Wed, June 28, 2023
7:30-9:00 pm

Passcode: i2s6*.KN

Join us for a discussion with Francesca Tenenbaum, Director of Patients’ Rights Advocacy and Training,  and Sharnice Jones,  Director of Patients’ Rights Advocates, in Alameda County.

They will be discussing how they provide hearings to patients, their focused monitoring at facilities, investigations of complaints, and facility  response to recommendations.  The family perspective and that of the legally mandated Patients’ Rights Advocates  are not always on the same page, so we want to use this opportunity to see how the two groups can help each other and work together.

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Meeting ID: 897 1776 1376
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Speaker Meetings

Speaker Meeting May 24, 2023 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Coping, Communication, Self Care

Dr. James Branson

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Video Recording of Meeting below

Dr. James Bramson will be the guest speaker at our next 4th Wednesday affiliate event on May 24.   Dr. Bramson is a licensed psychologist and social worker with over 25 years experience as a clinical director,  trainer/supervisor of psychology interns, organizational consultant, neuropsychologist, forensic  psychologist and therapist.  He is the director of the Mindful Alliance Center and co-founded the East Bay Mindfulness Center.  

He will talk with us about communication techniques, limit setting, mindfulness and self care.

Our meeting will be on zoom  Wednesday May 24, 7:30-9:00pm.  Zoom link is

Meeting ID: 829 5585 0470
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Speaker Meetings

Families Advocating for the Seriously Mentally Ill, April 26

FASMI group discussion, April 26 (4th Wednesday) – 7:30-9:00pm,

Recording can be found here: 

Passcode: &9J1P$iQ

Join us for a  lively discussion with members of FASMI (Families Advocating for the Seriously Mentally Ill).  This group is making waves  with their informed advocacy for our loved ones and families.  We will be hearing more about their organization and getting an update on current legislation measures, the challenges underlying the process of working for system change and an inside look at advocacy efforts. 


Meeting ID: 883 9843 5105
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Speaker Meetings

Effective communication and connection strategies Wednesday, March 22, online 6:00-7:30pm

Recording of the Zoom Meeting
Passcode: !=5*K%*=

1. *******TIME CHANGE*****
Because our presenter lives on the East Coast, we will be taping her talk at 6:00pm our time.. She has some guided exercises so be sure to join us for a chance for interaction. The presentation will be videotaped and hopefully available for viewing later in the evening on Wednesday, March 22 at the What’s New tab on our website

March 22, 6:00-7:30pm Zoom Presentation:  NOTE TIME CHANGE

 Families are typically the first line of recognition and care for a struggling loved one.
We are called on to be case manager, vocational counselor, therapist and housing specialist.  Yet we have little access to training and support.

Kayla Solomon, LICSW, facilitator of the Allies in Recovery ( support group, and co-host of the podcast Coming up for Air, has worked at the intersection of mental illness and SUD (Substance Use Disorder) for many years as a clinician in private practice.

People struggling with serious mental illness feel alone and unheard.  Families feel helpless and unsupported. Kayla will explain how families can take care of themselves while learning positive engagement with our struggling loved ones. She uses what is called the CRAFT approach, Community Reinforcement and Family Training.

By practicing the communication techniques she describes, we will learn how to acquire and maintain effective communication and connection.  In her presentation we will have real time experience of staying centered and strong as family members and connected as loved ones by using mindfulness and reflective listening. 

    This presentation will be offered on zoom, Wednesday, March 22, 7:30-9:00pm

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Meeting ID: 833 2957 4874
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Speaker Meetings

Privately Available Independent Services
Discussion group, Wed, Feb 22, 7:30pm on zoom

Here’s the recording of the Feb 22 discussion group ….

Passcode: E5.urhug 

And here’s contact information for the three discussants at the meeting:

  *Ian Morgan, peer specialist: 415-448-6777,
  *Ryan Gardner,  case management,:c/o Peninsula Counseling and Consulting., phone/text 650-644-4454, email –
  *Meredith Taylor, fiduciary: IMT Associates,, 510-352-6000.  -for fiduciary search by area and specialty

Many of our families’ ill  loved ones are not receiving county services, unless in crisis.  Insurance coverage is a primary reason that one is ineligible for such service accessibility.  With that in mind, along with full awareness of frantic families who need help as they plan for the future,  we’re hosting an introduction to and casual conversation with three service providers who provide crucial help for a fee.
     Join us and meet Ryan Gardner, therapist/consultant/case manager; Ian Morgan, peer specialist (pending) and Meredith Taylor, fiduciary with IMT.  They’ll be giving us an introductory overview of services and respond to questions. 
    This may be the first of our explorations into this arena and we’ll be reviewing some of the already-known resources as well.  The discussion will occur on zoom and will be videotaped for sharing afterwards.  Here is the link for Wednesday, Feb 22, 7:30pm

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Meeting ID: 811 3199 1599
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Speaker Meetings

January Author/Speaker meeting – Jan 24/25. 2023 BEYOND MADNESS

The recording is now available here. Passcode: L%Av1mEa

Dr. Rachel Pruchno

January Author/Speaker meeting – Jan 24/25. 2023

    Beyond Madness, written by Dr. Rachel Pruchno, is a comprehensive,  very readable book which addresses all aspects of mental illness.  Ms. Pruchno, a PhD psychologist, Professor of Medicine at Rowan University and director of research at the New Jersey Institute for  Successful Aging,.covers an array of topics, from stigma, securing financial benefits, resistance, history, resilience, obstacles,  research findings, legal aspects, etc.  Throughout, she shares insights from experiencing her own daughter’s journey with the challenges of mental illness and brings in others’ stories as well.

   The book has earned the endorsement of many professionals, including E. Fuller Torrey, author of Surviving Schizophrenia, who wrote “…excellent book…strongly recommended”.

  Because  Ms.Pruchno lives on the East Coast and we do not expect her to talk with us late at night, we will be talking with her the day before  our regularly scheduled 4th Wednesday evening meeting.  If you have read the book or are interested and would like to meet the author for a group discussion of topics she covers, join us for our Tuesday, Jan 24, morning  meeting from 10-11:30 am.  The link is below, under Author Meeting.

   The recorded discussion will be posted on our website the next day so you can view it then if you aren’t able to come to it “live”.

Author meeting:

Speaker Meetings

Online Speaker Meeting

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Nov 29, 2022 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Speaker Meetings

November 2022 Speaker Meeting Bay Area Community Services

Bonita House

A sometimes hidden gem among county services are the Wellness Centers or Hubs. Scattered throughout the county are six sites which offer welcoming, accessible, and supportive community spaces for individuals with a wide range of mental health needs. The sites have the goals of building community, encouraging independent skills, and providing support through groups and activities.

     Bay Area Community Services (BACS, offers four hubs: Hedco, Towne House, South County, and Valley. Bonita House ( has two sites: the Berkeley Wellness Center and Casa Ubuntu Creative Wellness Center.

     We are pleased to have the directors of wellness programs from each agency speak with us on Wednesday evening.  LeAnne Rozner from Bonita House is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Clarise Burton is from BACS and she or a representative will be joining us. The speakers will be describing their programs and respond to questions.

Speaker Meeting starts at Wednesday, November 16, 7:30 pm

Recording of Presentation on Wellness Centers:
Passcode: 9#&4!l^B

Speaker Meetings

September 2022 Speaker Meeting – Hearing Voices Network

Link to recording: 
Passcode: EA*2zh&D

Speaker Meetings

Prevention and Early Intervention in Psychosis: A Window of Opportunity to Change the Course of Serious Mental Illness Wednesday, July 27, 7:30 pm

According to the National Institutes of Health, 100,000 youth and young adults in the U.S. experi- ence a first episode of psychosis each year (NIH, 2013). And yet, it takes 21 months on average before someone can received specialized treatment for early psychosis after they first begin experiencing symp- toms (NIMH, 2019). Coordinated specialty care for early psychosis is a treatment model provided with evidence-based components designed for early detection, individual psychotherapy, strength-based care management, supported employment and education, judicious medication management, and peer and family support.

Adriana Furuzawa, LMFT, is the director of Felton Institute’s Early Psychosis Division and over- sees the implementation of the (re)MIND® programs (formerly PREP – Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis) in five counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast. Felton’s (re)MIND® programs were first implemented in 2007 and are nationally recognized for bridging the gap between science and community-based services. Furuzawa will discuss what is psychosis and why it is important to intervene early, with the right resources, to prevent lifelong challenges and to support individuals and families to reach their life goals and dreams.

Recording of presentation:
Passcode: wVT1VfJ$