Speaker Meetings What's New

Been There, Done That.  Panel discussion, April 24, 7:30-9:00

Been There, Done That.  Our 4th Wednesday (April 24) educational presentation will be a casual zoom discussion with five panelists who self define as consumers but who have gotten through the bad parts, made some peace with it all and are now working in the mental health/illness arena.  Jesse Marsh, Lee Davis, Jeffrey Caiola, Viveca Bradley and Ian Morgan will share their stories and insights and discuss the perspective they developed.  Link for the 7:30-9:00 pm event is 

    Join Zoom Meeting:

Speaker Meetings What's New

Integrative Approaches to Mental Health

Integrative Approaches to Mental Health,
 Dr. Eric Arnold,
March 17, 1:00 pm on Zoom

Dr. Eric Arnold is the Vice President of Bay Psychiatric Associates and Director of ECT, Inpatient Partial Hospitalization Program, Alta Bates/Summit. Trained in psycho-pharmacy, psychotherapy and incorporation of psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches, he uses integrative approaches to mental health such as Ketamine, TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) and psychotherapy for diverse psychiatric conditions. These non-medication interventions will be the topic of his presentation.

This month, we have a date other than our regular 4th Wednesday presentation. Because of time issues, we will be taping his talk on Sunday, March 17 at 1:00 PM (link below), videotape it and post it for viewing on our website under What’s New.  Join us for the live presentation if you have questions and would like to interact with our speaker. 

Video recording of 3/17/23 presentation:
Passcode: Y.TnNm2r
Speaker Notes can be found here:

Join live Zoom Meeting March 17, 1:00 pm
Meeting ID: 845 2208 1142

Speaker Meetings What's New

Ketogenic Metabolic Therapies

Stephanie Criteser, Registered Dietician and Nutritional Therapist, will be our 4th Wednesday educational speaker on February 28, 7:30 pm – zoom link below.  Our speaker has had 12 years experience in inpatient and outpatient settings.  At Children’s Hospital Colorado, she helped patients with neurological and metabolic disorders implement and sustain  diet care plans, offering clinical services that support the use of Ketogenic Metabolic Therapies for management of mental health conditions.  Some personal testimonials to the diet’s effectiveness will be shared.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 894 0661 3816

Recording of the event can be found here:
Passcode: zqB4##@9

Speaker Meetings What's New

Powers of Attorney and  Conservatorships

Powers of Attorney and  Conservatorships – how to obtain authority to assist loved ones with  Baron Miller, J.D. , author of Laws We Need to Know….Understanding Rules and Programs for Persons with Mental Illness.  

Wednesday, Jan 24, 7:30 -9:00 pm, zoom ID: 891 3469 9654 

You can view the recording of the Meeting here:–t
Passcode: v!66t%u5

Speaker notes can be found here:

Speaker Meetings What's New

New Year’s Wrap Up, Wednesday, Dec 27, 7:30 PM

Something different here since this is sort of a throw-away/holiday recovery week, we’re just going to host a discussion about mental illness, with topics of book and film recommendations, research updates and the many current and pending legislative changes.  You can bring along some topic of interest that you want to share and discuss. 

   Join Zoom Meeting: ID: 839 8911 4761 

You can view the recording of the Meeting here

Recording Passcode: Q#40D%xQ

What's New

NAMI Monthly Speaker Zoom Meeting 11/15/2023 Recording
Passcode: fL@Z8T4a

Writeup of SSI Benefits Presentation by Tom Thomas

Speaker Meetings What's New

Most Common SSI Pitfalls

Most Common SSI Pitfalls
Daniel Fortuno, Benefits Education Center
Wed, Nov 15, 7:30pm on Zoom

The application process for the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is oftentimes problematic, as many families are painfully aware.  Daniel Fortuno from the Benefits Education Center in Long Beach, California, will be the guest presenter at our next educational event.  He will be discussing the Most Common SSI Pitfalls and will be dealing with questions from attendees.

Join us on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30pm on zoom.  (This presentation has been rescheduled from the 4th to the 3rd Wednesday because of the Thanksgiving holiday).

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 2682 0161

What's New

NAMI Monthly Speaker Zoom Meeting 10/25/2023 Recording 5#N3Kc.L

Speaker Meetings What's New

Presentation  – Allies in Recovery.

Wednesday, Oct 25, 5:00-6:30 on zoom (note time change)
Allies in Recovery is a program that trains families in CRAFT, an evidence-based approach that supports behavior change and increases connection between the family and their loved one.  Dominique Simon-Levine and Laurie MacDougall will provide a brief overview of the CRAFT model and teach us a few key principles that we can implement with our relative.  

Since our our presenters live on the East Coast, we are scheduling this meeting for 5:00pm – our time.  We invite families to join us and share their challenges.  Link is below.  The meeting will be written up by Tom Thomas and also videotaped for posting.  

Note  time change! 
Join Zoom Meeting.
5:00  –  6:30 pm PST
Meeting ID: 846 2310 8691

What's New

Planning for the Future – When Caregivers are No Longer Present:

Planning for the Future – When Caregivers are No Longer Present: 


Summary notes – Planning for when Caretaker is Gone, Sept 27 – see video recording:

    Warm up: Serenity Prayer (paraphrased)  – know what things you can change and what things you can’t change and have the wisdom to understand the difference.

    We can’t anticipate the amount and kind of grief our loved one will experience when we leave…and how this will impact coping

Legal/Financial:  Estate planning generally means attorney involvement around Living and Special Needs trusts.  Nolo Press does have a book on Special Needs Trust but you may want to have your efforts reviewed by a legal professional.  Baron Miller’s book Laws We  Need to Know – Understanding Rules and Programs for Persons with Mental Illness is recommended

Housing  – some resources are 2-1-1 (Eden Information and Referral), for home share matching, -> Housing Solutions for Health.  

We anticipate funding for more housing coming from state legislation and voter approval.  The number of Board&Care facilities is declining due to costs and lack of support for operators.

    Linder ( talked about the family-initiated Vernon Street home in Oakland’s Lake Merritt area where plans are for 7 individual units and one shared apartment.  The families will be owners through either a tenants in common or limited equity housing cooperative.

Daily functioning:  Financial – the county does provide representative payees to handle SSI monies- we don’t know how mobile this service is.  Whereas ATMs are handy to get cash,  there is a security issue of users being targeted.  Debit cards are a good alternative and since they require a passcode, they are not as vulnerable to being stolen as are credit cards.

    Personal – is your loved one able to handle laundry, cooking, shopping, personal hygiene, medication usage and refills?  IHSS (In Home Support Services) is a funded program that provides in home support, dependent on client needs. Meals on Wheels and are also resources

    Insurance – MediCal and Medicare are necessary for most county services, with exceptions being crisis situations and Wellness centers.  Private health insurance can often provide services which are not advertised.  Use of the word “parity” could a useful tool in a push for more services.

    Socialization- Isolation is a common problem and social skills do not always come naturally.  Wellness centers, run by agencies, are drop-in day centers offering social activities and groups – see list on our website under Direct Peer/Consumer Services

    There is a new  process that is giving us folks with PSS (Peer Support Specialist) certificates.  These are family members and consumers with lived experience who have gone through training and may be available for  individual socializing  relationships …something to consider once it is more established.

   Case management: The county’s Full Service Partnerships, administered by agencies, are wrap around trans-disciplinary services for those most impaired by mental illness.  Eligibility criteria are stringent.  There are private case managers and  case management can be arranged through fiduciary firms and Proxy Parent. On our website, go to Private Case Management Services

   *note – for every rant about a service or staff, there is a rave.  It all depends on the personal characteristics of the service provider, the receptivity of the client, and the connection they make. And, of course, eligibility can always be an issue to consider.

    As our loved ones become elderly, there may be more outreach services available through the county’s Older Adult services.  Another idea is to explore the issue of Assisted Living, which may be a possibility if there is cognitive decline or other such disabilities that take precedence over the underlying disorder.