CalMHSA Express - June 2016
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A Note from Wayne Clark 

Each year, May is Mental Health Month energizes mental health advocates as we showcase the life-changing services and highlight the leadership that are creating a state where Each Mind Matters. With another successful May behind us, I challenge our mental health community to build on this success all year long by staying connected to California’s Each Mind Matters mental health movement on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and continuing to share stories of success and resilience that stop stigma. 

Mental Health Matters Day at the Capitol 

CalMHSA joined Mental Health America of California and other advocacy, provider and government organizations for an energetic and inspiring Mental Health Matters Day at the State Capitol on May 24th, 2016. Attendees were empowered to work together to bring mental health stigma out of the shadows and to bring learning opportunities back to their communities through a dynamic speaking program and resource booths hosted by mental health and community-based organizations.
Diverse perspectives from the movement were shared by mental health champions Yashi Brown, poet/spoken word artist, Scott Budnick, founder and president of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and executive producer of The Hangover series, Paul Gilmartin, former TV host and stand-up comedian, Katie Williams, former Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Assemblymember Rocky Chavez, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond and Herschel Walker, former NFL running back. Contact: Zima Creason at

New Leaders Emerge Through Opportunity to "Direct Change” 

The Directing Change Program and Film Contest held its fourth annual award ceremony at the Alex Theatre in Glendale to honor statewide winners of the youth film contest. A total of 451 films about mental health and suicide prevention were received from 31 counties, which represent more than 1,100 students from 91 high schools and 35 colleges and youth organizations. More than 1,000 attendees including students, families and supporters filled the auditorium along with celebrity guests. Winners included:

·      Category: High School Mental Health Matters
           First: “The Journey” – Redwood High School, Marin County
           Second: “Off the Script” – Valley High School, Butte County
           Third: “Naivete” – Canyon High School, Orange County

·      Category: High School Suicide Prevention:
           First: “The Guides of Life” – Franklin High School, Sacramento County
           Second: “A Hand of Hope” – San Jose High School, Alameda County
           Third: “Leap of Faith” – Murrieta Valley High School, Riverside County

·      Category: Youth and Young Adult Mental Health Matters
            First: “Real Life Super Hero” – Redwood Voice, Del Norte County
            Second: “This is Claire” – Active Minds at UC Davis, Yolo Count
            Third: “Phone Call” – Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside County

·      Category: Youth and Young Adult Suicide Prevention
            First: “I Have Walked in Your Shoes” – VYVA Inc., Solano County
            Second: “Brighter Days” – Pasadena City College, Los Angeles County
            Third: “Hope Melody” – City of Indio Teen Center, Riverside County

·      Category: Through the Lens of Culture Mental Health Matters
             First: “The Language of Healing” – San Francisco State University, San Francisco                      County
             Second: “Through Our Eyes” – Ruben S. Ayala High School, San Bernardino                            County
             Third: “Hear Me” – Elk Grove High School, Sacramento County

·      Category: Through the Lens of Culture Suicide Prevention
             First: “My Hidden Feelings” – Canyon High School, Orange County
             Second: “Depression Has No Culture” – Clovis East High School, Fresno County
             Third (tied): “Suicide on Indian Country” – Humboldt County Transition Age Youth                      Collaboration, Humboldt County and “My Friend Tyler” – Whitney High School,                    Placer County

For more information about Directing Change, view the submitted videos, or to learn how to submit a film to next year’s contest, visit: Contact: Shanti Bond at

New Research Identifies Opportunity to Break Down Mental Health Stigma for Diverse Communities 

New research recently released from the RAND Corporation offers insight and information policymakers and advocates can use to craft programs that can reduce stigma among Latino and Asian and Pacific Islander communities with a goal of improving access and utilization of mental health services by these communities. Encouragingly – the report finds that the vast majority of people experiencing psychological distress who were surveyed from California’s diverse communities felt it was possible to recover from mental health challenges. However, these findings also demonstrated that mental health disparities still remain. Read the report here. View CalMHSA’s press releases for the Latino and API communities, which offer a wide array of culturally responsive mental health resources. Contact: Theresa Ly at

Evaluation Summary Demonstrates the Substantial Impact of Statewide Prevention and Early Intervention Programs 

The RAND Corporation recently released an evaluation summary about CalMHSA’s prevention and early intervention initiatives. The results show that many program components were successfully implemented and achieved their intended impacts in the short term. Read the report, On the Road to Mental Health: Highlights from Evaluations of California’s Statewide Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention Initiatives. Contact: Nicole Eberhart at  

CalMHSA Supports Lime Green Events in May

In May, mental health advocates and students hosted events up and down the state of California to strengthen the mental health community and help more people find a path toward mental wellness. Here are a few highlights:

  • NAMI California helped numerous affiliates facilitate different Mental Health Month activities throughout California:
    • Folsom High School’s NAMI on Campus High School Club coordinated a “Dodge Stigma” dodgeball event, where Each Mind Matters materials were distributed to 400 students. A local radio station attended and broadcast from the event and students wrote lime green notes of positivity and encouragement that will be displayed throughout the campus.
    • Ayala High School’s NAMI on Campus Club spread information on their school’s mental health resources to each English class, distributed Each Mind Matters wristbands, and coordinated a lunchtime screening of an educational documentary on depression.
    • NAMI Pomona Valley coordinated a panel presentation of lived experience presenters, who shared their stories and Each Mind Matters resources with the Tri-City Mental Health staff. Various other community organizations, schools, and faith communities were also attended.
    • NAMI El Dorado County held an Each Mind Matters Breakfast event for the County Board of Supervisors where two outstanding Crisis in Training officers were recognized with an award for their efforts. 
    • NAMI California and the California Psychological Association held Youth Capitol Day, where over 60 students received training on advocacy and Each Mind Matters, and met with their local legislators during the event. Contact: Beth Wolf at
  • Active Minds organized Mental Health Matters Day at Coachella Valley High School where students took the pledge to break the stigma surrounding mental health. Contact: Becky Fein at
  • Each Thursday during May, Disability Rights California held the second annual TweetChat on Twitter using the hashtag #ChatMentalHealth where experts answered questions and provided valuable information about peer-support and service, emotional support animals, and employment accommodations. Contact: Margaret Johnson at
  • Rio Hondo College celebrated Mental Health Month all month long by passing out green ribbons to the campus community, sending tailored social media messages, hosting film screenings, suicide prevention training with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and a specific training aimed at supporting veterans.

Share Your Story of Strength 

Who: Active Minds invites mental health advocates
What: Our Stories, Our Strength is an online course that will train participants to tell their mental health stories in safe and empowering ways – both for themselves and their intended audiences. The course is four weeks in length and features videos, audio clips, discussion questions, activities, and polls. Click here for more information.
When: Courses are beginning now
Where: Online - one in June and one in July – for 2-3 hours per week
Contact: Maggie Bertram at

For more information on Each Mind Matters, sign up for the Each Mind Matters Newsletter.

Have news to share? Send submissions to Jenna Thompson at
CalMHSA is a partnership of California counties working together to prevent mental illness and promote mental health by implementing Prevention and Early Intervention programs that are a critical part of the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). 

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