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The Journal NAMI San Gabriel Valley A grassroots organization serving those impacted by mental illness. 2550 E. Foothill Boulevard, Suite 135, Pasadena, CA 91107 Phone: 626.577.6697 VOLUME 28, NUMBER 8

NAMI WALKS 2012 Changing Minds One Step at a Time COME and join with thousands of others to raise awareness of mental health issues and enjoy the inspiration of being with many others who share your concern and experience with mental illness When: Check in: Walk starts:

October 6, 2012 8 AM 10 AM


Third Street and Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica (1400 Block of Third Street Promenade)



HOW TO SURVIVE & THRIVE WITH A MENTALLY ILL RELATIVE The 28th Annual Presentation of the Georgette Shatford Memorial Education Series Continues

Presented by Dr. Michael DiPaolo See page 3 for details Distinguished Speakers Meeting Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:30 PM Wilson Auditorium 2471 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena

5 kilometers (3.1 miles) walkers may walk shorter distances

Speakers: TAKE NOTE: Take the NAMI bus from Pasadena for $5. Loading at 7:15 AM and leaving at 7:30 AM sharp from parking lot behind Pacific Clinics at 2550 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Loading at 12 Noon for return by 1 PM. Call Linda Labrie at 818.790.5858 for reservations. If you drive, there is ample parking at the Walk site. How do I participate in the walk? How do I contribute? See page 4 for answers.

Affiliated with NAMI California, and NAMI USA NAMI SGV e-mail at


Dr. Timothy Pylko and Attorney Terry Wasserman The Value of Conservatorship as a Tool Reminder the November 14th meeting Speaker will be

Dr. Christopher Amenson to speak about What Families Can do to Get a Positive Response When Police are Called for Help in a Mental Health Crisis

Visit the NAMI SGV website at Visit the NAMI website at http://

the San Marino Rotary Club, thanks to Roberta Gunderson, and we also received $2,000 from Charter Oaks, the holding company that runs Las Encinas.

President's Message Robert Liljenwall

I am going to be very blunt with you: We need your financial support more than ever. Now! You have gotten the message I'm sure by now that NAMI Walks is our most important fundraiser. It's not our only one, but certainly our largest and therefore, our most critical event to raise the necessary funds for NAMI SGV. This is why we put so much effort into raising awareness about this event and bringing to your attention our urgent needs. We suffered a severe blow this year when our past president Marty Giffen, who had already done so much organizational work and recruitment this year, had a terrible accident in the UK when she fell and is now recovering. Dennis Thompson, our Vice President of Marketing and Development, has stepped in to fill the breach and has done an outstanding job. But others have, too, and if you are not on one of our many teams for NAMI Walks, which happens Saturday, October 6, in Santa Monica -- get on one now. Please try and come and donate if you can. It's not that we are in any financial crisis -- we're not. We have over $50,000 in the bank in savings, we have a frugal budget, and we will probably exceed our revenues vs. expenses this year -- a good thing. And we do have other support. But we do not want to cut into our savings, either. We need approximately $25,000 to keep our ship afloat. That is NOT a lot of money, folks, considering all the work and free education programs we provide for San Gabriel Valley. But raising a few hundred here and there really makes a difference. For example, at the annual Concerts Under the Stars event in July and August, we sold $1,895 worth of tickets -- each ticket sells for $55 and the attendees get great music, a fabulous dinner and a huge chocolate chip cookie....and we get to keep all of that $55. We received $1,000 from

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Another fundraiser is our Education Series, which is going on right now. We we get donations of approximately $1,500 from attendees who come to the seven-part Lecture Series given by renowned Dr. Michael DiPaolo. Patty Berger heads this up and she's marvelous at the door greeting our guests (and accepting donations as well!). Of course, we receive your membership support every year -- and for 2012 this amounts to $7875 of which $4500 is sent to NAMI California. But there will be some changes next year in how we do our billings (a bit complicated) so I won't go into that here. So your membership fees provide a big part of our budget, too. The point is this: We provide so much for so little. We operate on a razor-thin budget that provides an incredible education and training program for families and individuals suffering from mental illness -at no charge. Our services are free. That's what makes us unique. And one last thing, I want to thank Pacific Clinics for their generous support every day, every year -- they provide us office space and facilities at Wilson Auditorium for our general and Care & Share meetings each week and month. They have been so supportive from our very first meeting in 1979. They, too, recognize our value to the mental health community. In 2013, there is a good possibility that the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health will fund NAMI of Los Angeles County with a substantial, new funding program that could enable us to have an executive director, staff and provide broad support for expansion of our existing programs and creation of new ones. This could be a significant challenge as we will need to expand our volunteer cadre as well. Most importantly, it is you our volunteers who make all this work. We're all here to support our loved ones, whoever they may be -- and work tirelessly to bring our education and support programs to all those who need it -- free of charge. That's our promise.

October 2012

HOW TO SURVIVE & THRIVE WITH A MENTALLY ILL RELATIVE The 28th Annual Presentation of the Georgette Shatford Memorial Education Series Continues

Presented by Dr. Michael DiPaolo Dates:

October 2nd—October 23rd Tuesday Evenings


Pacific Clinics Training Institute 2471 E. Walnut Street Pasadena, CA 91107


Check-in begins at 6:30 PM Lecture from 7 to 9 PM Call NAMI SGV office at 626.577.6697

Questions? October 2nd October 9th October 16th October 23rd

Schizophrenia: A Brain Disorder State of the Art Treatment for Schizophrenia Understanding Trauma and PTSD Family Roles and Skills that Promote Recovery

Reminder A Connections Peer Support Group to Begin October 3rd The Connections peer support group for consumers in recovery will meet first and third Wednesdays beginning October 3, 2012. Location:


Wilson Auditorium, 2471 East Walnut Street Pasadena, CA 91107. 6 PM - 7:30 PM

New member Mary Schmidt will be facilitating, and additional help with facilitating is welcome. The Board of Directors, with Mary's agreement, has decided to try the Connections group on a six-month basis. After the first six months the facilitators and participants can assess how it is working and decide whether to make a longer commitment to continue the group. We enthusiastically welcome all consumers to the Connections group and look forward the success of the program.

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NAMI San Gabriel Valley Elected Officers President: Robert Liljenwall Vice President of Programs: Lucienne Marie Vice President of Development: Dennis Thompson Vice President of Operations: Patty Aguilar Treasurer: Larry Hixon Recording Secretary: Julie Traughber Corresponding Secretary: Lynne Garcia Past Presidents: Eleanor Stemshorn Marty Giffen Council of Chairs Programs:--------------------- Marita Pinkel NAMI Walks: --------------- Marty Giffen Advocacy: -------------- --Shirley Spencer Quality of Life: ----------- Katherine Ellis Basics: ------------------------David Czolba Outreach to Schools: -------David Czolba Newsletter: -------------------- Jeri Gaudino Care and Share: ------ Eleanor Stemshorn ------------------------------- Carole Thueson Frontline: --------------------- Lynn Garcia Lecture Series: -------------- Patty Aguilar Website: ------------------------Jack Labrie --------------------------------- Max Schenker Membership: ------------------ Bruce Elgin Data Base: --------------------- Bruce Elgin NARSAD Liaison: ---------------Roberta Gunderson

SGV is a 501Š3 non-profit. Dues and donations are entirely tax-deductible. Dues payable annually. Regular member: $35.00 Patron member: $100 Lifetime member: $500 Membership includes Newsletter subscription. For membership application and more information, contact 626.577.6697

October 2012

How do I participate in the walk: 1. All walkers must be registered. Registration is free. Register on line at losangelescounty or on walk day at the event. 2. Invite friends, relatives, coworkers to join you in walking. 3. Make a donation to support NAMI services and programs. Invite others to donate as well. 4. If you can’t make the walk reach out to those around you and educate them about mental illness and the critical services and programs NAMI provides. And invite them to join you in contributing to support NAMI. How do I contribute: Off line: • Check made out to “NAMI Walks LAC” (enter “San Gabriel Valley” on memo line). • Cash turned into a walker or mail to NAMI Walks, NAMI San Gabriel Valley, 2550 E. Foothill Blvd, Suite 135, Pasadena, California, 91107. Donations accepted after the walk date. ONLINE by credit card: • Go; click on donate; do a “team search” and enter Advocators; click on name when it comes up; click on donate and follow prompts.

A comfortable strategy for asking for donations Most of us are unfamiliar with asking for donations. What do I say?? How can I present my case with dignity and pride? It can be a lot easier to consider approaching others and it can feel a lot more natural if you remember that NAMI Walks is as much about educating others about mental illness as it is about raising funds. Not every one will donate but every one will listen. Open the conversation by sharing information about NAMI and mental illness. What do I do? First register on line ( losangelescounty. Join a team if you wish and create your own personal walker page. This enables you to contact people by email as well as accept donations by credit card.

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Start with people you know. The better you know the person the more likely they are to support YOU. Try some variation on the following: I am a member of a group called NAMI which stands for National Alliance on Mental Illness. We are having a walkathon on October 6th. Can I tell you about it? Part of the purpose of NAMI Walks is to spread the word about serious mental illness to the general public. We want people to understand that it is a biological disorder in the brain in the same way that Diabetes is a biological disorder of the Pancreas. It can not be cured but with proper treatment and support, it can be managed. Many people do recover to lead productive and satisfying lives and contribute to society. One of the important predictors of recovery is the support of caring, educated family members and other caregivers. NAMI is the only national organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by mental illness thru providing free education programs and emotional support groups for those who love and care for people with mental illness, as well as for those in recovery from mental illness (Now for the real leap) I can speak about the importance of the NAMI programs and services because I love someone with a serious mental illness and NAMI has been a great help to me and my loved one. (Tell your story in a few sentences emphasizing how NAMI educated and supported you in your efforts to help your loved one toward recovery. If your listener asks questions you can expand your story to the degree you are comfortable with that person. But keep it to the short version. Have an affiliate brochure to show them our services and an Introduction to Mental Illness brochure if they want to know more about mental illness. (Get copies by emailing Ask if they know a family affected by the mental illness of a member. This is why I would appreciate your contribution to NAMI to help maintain and expand our critically needed education and support programs to reach more of the many families that do not know about us. One in four families is affected by mental illness. We have been able to reach only part of this number. We would like to do more. I have donated. Would you join me in supporting these vital programs and services? Would you consider making a donation of $15, $25 or $35? Suggest a realistic figure based upon how well you know the per(Continued on page 5)

October 2012

(Continued from page 4)

son. Don’t be too conservative. You can suggest a lower figure if they hesitate. “Every dollar makes a difference” Accept cash or checks made out to “NAMI Walks LAC” with “San Gabriel Valley” entered on the memo line. Return these to your Team Captain or the Registration desk on the day or the walk. If they would rather donate by credit card on line give them one of your “business card” slips with your personal URL. Remind them it is a url and NOT to do a “Google search” or “web search” but enter it directly in the URL bar at the very top of the browser page.—(You have registered as a walker and created a personal walker page haven’t you?) Invite them to join the walk with you if it is relevant. If it seems appropriate, share that you are trying to reach a certain donation goal. If you need any further information, printed literature, or have any questions email Dennis Thompson at Or call the NAMI office at 626.577. 6697 and leave a message. =========================================

Does SIZE really matter? Does a donation have to be large and impressive to be important? I can hear the over 800,000 NAMIWalks participants (since 2003) combine their voices with a resounding, “No!” The truth is that wealth has never been a prerequisite for giving. In fact, the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans only account for 25 percent of all charitable giving. A $5 donation repeated, can affect as much change as a $1000 donation from one person. We don’t look to have a few people raise the bulk of the money, Instead, we rely on our grassroots process and our walkers’ willingness to leverage the power of their personal stories, concern for community mental health, and appreciation for NAMI. By reaching into your everyday networks and engaging people to support YOU by walking and/or donating to your NAMIWalks efforts, we can (even $1 at a time) spread awareness and raise the necessary funds to continue making a difference. The personal contact between fundraiser and donor is very effective. Be sure to set the stage by giving your own donation first and establishing a reasonable “gift range”. From there, encourage your potential supporters that every dollar makes a difference. If people don’t feel that they are capable of making an impact, they may not give

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at all. A small donation repeated, in a campaign where awareness-building is a significant component, will go a long way. HOW TO RAISE $100 $10 – your personal donation $10 $15 from spouse/parent $15 $10 from a work colleague $10 $10 from 2 friends at church $20 $5 from 4 neighbors $20 $10 from 2 family members $20 $5 from teacher/school friends $ 5

SAVE THE DATE Wednesday, October 24, 2012 21st Annual MILES Conference Los Angeles/San Gabriel Hilton 225 West Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Prescription Drugs and Teens: A Dangerous Combination Presented by Supervisory Special Agent Thomas P. Lenox Supervisory Special Agent Thomas P. Lenox is a 26year veteran in drug law enforcement. He is the group supervisor for the Tactical Diversion Squad that targets pharmaceutical drug trafficking for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) San Diego Regional Office. He has also served as the DEA San Diego Regional Training Coordinator and on the San Diego County Regional Narcotics Task Force. With the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, he was instrumental in the Sacreation of the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force in San Diego. Invitations will be mailed in mid-September! All registration is online at For further questions, contact Lindy Russell, Pacific Clinics 626.254.5037 or email MILES is a partnership of Pacific Clinics, the San Gabriel Valley Police Chiefs’ Association, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

October 2012

and is harder to treat than the psychoses that happen in bipolar and other disorders.

Review of Distinguished Speaker Program, September 12, 2012: “Demystifying the Elements of Psychotic Symptoms” By Paula Matei Our speaker, Patricia O’Neill, Ph.D., provided us with a moving, profound, and hopeful view on how to understand psychotic symptoms and what approach to take when dealing with loved ones suffering from them. In 2010, as a mature student, Ms. O’Neill bravely changed fields and earned her Ph.D. in psychology with a dissertation about subjective quality of life in schizophrenia. Her interest is with the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of sufferers and loved ones. From childhood Ms. O’Neill has had an affinity with the mentally ill, which compels her to speak out and make clear the nature of their suffering so we can know better what to do about it. First, Ms. O’Neill observed: There is clearly a biological predisposition to mental illness that is passed on by heredity, but from studies of twins it is also clear that not everybody with the same genes will develop mental illness. So why does psychosis occur? In a word the answer is STRESS. Ms. O’Neill insists it is a matter of “not scary people, but scary illness.” She said: • All psychotic symptoms are the effort of the individual to defend against unbearable anxiety. •

• • •

“Insanity” is not “an escape”. Rather, delusions are formed to explain hallucinations and give sufferers a way to cope with the terrifying evidence of their senses. Hallucinations can involve any or all of the 5 senses. The most common ones for bipolar and schizophrenia are auditory and visual hallucinations. Schizophrenia is considered a psychotic illness,

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Major depressive illness and anxiety disorders can also produce psychotic symptoms.

NONE of the experiences and feelings of mentally ill people are unique from those of people not suffering from mental illness.

Psychotic symptoms are normal behavior/ responses “writ large.”

The mental illness intensifies the effects of 3 other factors. These 3 elements are: 1. 2. 3.

The Human Condition Personality History and Environment

The illness itself is only one-fourth of the story! Ms. O’Neill urges us to consider that we all have heard our names called when no one was there. Or walked into a room, noticed everybody go quiet, and wondered if they had been talking about us. We all know that some people are more sociable and others are more “loners.” This affects how the illness makes them act later – as does •

whether somebody is more optimistic/ pessimistic, or

more/less sensitive to others’ anger,

and any number of other personality qualities.

And everybody is obviously affected by the environment around them, events in their life, their family setting, etc.

People with psychotic symptoms are having more INTENSE responses to these factors. Ms. O’Neill presented family members and caregivers with some valuable advice:

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• • • • •

• • •

Acknowledge your pain. Listen to the patient. Accept what they have to say about themselves and their experience. Acceptance is not agreement. Consider “judicious redirection” when talking with patients; stay engaged without arguing. Sometimes it’s okay to walk away! Do not wrap your life around the patient – take care of your needs too! Meet them where they are, and realize that patients often have deep-seated guilt about the pain they cause. Quality of life is not about control of symptoms, but more about living with illness. Never forget that a person is NOT their illness. In fact, Ms. O’Neill made the intriguing suggestion: “What if it does not need to be seen as illness as such?” This takes time and patience! Do not give up!

Ms. O’Neill is frank that there is no “cookiecutter” solution to mental illness, no shortcut. BUT patients absolutely can achieve quality of life through 1. Accepting their own personal best, and not other people’s/society’s standards AND 2. Illness management, usually with medication and talk therapy together. Ms. O’Neill reminded us that there is hope. She made the frightening world of psychotic symptoms a bit less frightening. All of our NAMI audience were rapt during her presentation and some expressed the wish that she could have talked longer. We can only hope that her research and approach, soundly based on human dignity and worth, will spread everywhere where mental illness is treated.

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REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ALONE CARE AND SHARE MEETINGS Except for Front Line all meet at: Wilson Auditorium 2471 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena •

5:30-7:30 PM every Thursday.

6:30-7:25 PM second Wednesday of the month before the Distinguished Speakers and membership meeting. Everyone is invited to this meeting! ===============================================================

Front Line Support group for families and veterans coping with delayed stress, depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). •

5:30 to 7 PM first and third Tuesday of the month at 66 Hurlbut, Pasadena. Call office for more information.

Just a note of interest The Iris is the monthly publication of NAMI Wisconsin. And the iris symbol is a variation on a theme of irises Vincent van Gogh painted while he was hospitalized for mental illness at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint Remy-de-Provence, France. NAMI Wisconsin has adopted the iris as a symbol of hope and courage.

October 2012


The Journal NAMI SAN GABRIEL VALLEY 2550 E. Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena , CA 91107

Address Service Requested

Halloween October 31 RESOURCE INFORMATION • L A Co DMH Arcadia Mental Health Center 626.821.5858. Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM. • DMH Psychiatric Mobile Response Team (PMRT): 626. 258-2004 for crisis management in Service Area 3 MondayFriday 8 AM—5 PM. For PMRT at other times use Access Line listed below. • DMH 24-hr Access Line: 800.854.7771, for information & consultation, and for Psychiatric Mobile Response Team after hours and week ends. L A Co Sheriff/DMH Mental Evaluation Team (MET). operates 5 PM to 1 AM. Call Local Sheriff Station (or 911 if dire emergency) to request MET response. For general information: 626.258.3002 (as of 10/26/06). • LACO DMH Family Advocate: Helena Ditko, 213.738.3948 (as of 12/8/2011). • L A Police / DMH System-wide Mental Assessment Response Team (SMART) Mental Evaluation Unit (MEU): call local LAPD station (or 911 if dire emergency) to request MEU response. For general information: 213.485.4188. • DMH Court program (Diversion): Alisa Dunn 626.403.4370 or Arlene Veliz 626.245.2160 (pager). • Mental Health Justice programs: Ira Lesser, MD, Chair of Psychiatry at Harbor UCLA 310.222.3101. • DMH Jail Mental Health Services: Beth Briscoe, Director , Phone 213.974.9083. NAMI SGV Journal

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• Twin Towers Jail Inmate Reception Center: phone 213. 893.5385, fax 213.229.9991. • Patient Information Center: 213 473.6080 or 213. 73.6100 or on website; click on “inmate information center” then enter name or booking number. • Jail Inpatient Unit: Neil Ortego, MD 213.893.5391 • Men’s Outpatient Unit: Stephen Jacobson, PhD 213.473.6183. (as of 9/2003) • Women’s Outpatient Unit: Michael Maloney, PhD 323.568.4678 • Friends Outside Los Angeles County, Mary Weaver, Executive Director 626.795.7607 ext. 104 (As of 10-09) • Suicide Prevention Center Crisis Line 24 hrs 7 days 310.391.1253. Trained Counselors No Fee

NAMI SGV JOURNAL is published ten times per year. Subscription is included in membership dues. Subscription for non-members is $15 per year. Submission deadline is the 5th of each month. Co-editors: Jeri Gaudino and Marty Giffen Editor phone: Leave message for editor at the office. 626.577.6697 Editor e-mail:

October 2012

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