CalMHSA Express - December 2015
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A Note from Wayne Clark 

The holidays are generally a time for joy, happiness and celebrating with family and friends. However, while it is a myth that suicides occur more frequently during the holidays, mental health challenges can come up for many people during this time. Many people living with mental health challenges find sharing their stories to be a healing process. What’s more, research shows that first hand accounts serve to shatter hurtful misconceptions about mental illness. This holiday season, CalMHSA is empowering individuals to make time during their celebrations to promote healing and connect friends and family to support. Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement has produced a “Say this, not that” tip sheet to help Californians talk openly and honestly about mental health with loved ones this holiday season. 

Groundbreaking Stigma Documentary Honored 

The documentary “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” received the Audience Choice Award at the Council on Social Work Education's 2015 film festival. The groundbreaking documentary, narrated by Glenn Close, aims to shatter misconceptions about mental illness through stories of real people who experience hope and resilience in the face of mental health challenges. Since its premiere in the spring of 2013, “A New State of Mind” has now aired more than 150 times on PBS stations in California and across the nation. View the documentary at Contact:

New Video Answers Question: “What is Stigma?”  

Each Mind Matters has released an eye-opening new video, “What is Stigma?” to raise awareness about the effects that stigma can have on the individual with a mental health challenge, as well California communities. This new resource can be used to enhance a presentation or to share on social media. Visit to watch the video and contact Kate Calderazzo at for more information.

Directing Change Seeks Young Filmmakers  

Attention filmmakers! The 4th Annual Directing Change Program and Student Film Contest is now taking submissions! California high school students are invited to participate, as are youth or young adults (ages 16-25) in partnership with a college, university, club, program or community-based organization. Submission categories include: Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Matters, and new this year, Through the Lens of Culture. For more information visit or contact Jana Sczersputowski at  

Student Mental Health Conference Inspires New Leaders

Active Minds chapter members, leaders, staff, affiliates, and more recently gathered at the University of California at Irvine for the 12th Annual National Mental Health on Campus Conference. The only national conference addressing college student mental health and young adult advocacy, the conference brought together nearly 500 experts, change-agents and leaders from across the country to educate, energize and inspire the next generation of mental health advocates. Active Minds’ Send Silence Packing exhibit of 1,100 backpacks, representing the number of college students who die by suicide each year was on display during the conference. The conference program can be seen here. Contact: Becky Fein at   

The University of California Steps Up to Help Students

The Los Angeles Times and California State University Los Angeles' University Times highlighted how the University of California is stepping up to help students in distress through the Red Folder, a CalMHSA-supported resource for faculty and staff to identify and respond to the signs of a mental health crisis in students. 

Active Minds Seeks Student Leaders

  • Active Minds’ Emerging Scholars Fellowship seeks proposals for unique and thought-provoking research or creative projects related to mental health. Applications are due by December 20th, 2015. Learn more here.
  • Active Minds is currently accepting applications for the Student Advisory Committee (SAC), an advisory body to the national office staff and brings the student perspective to organizational decision-making. Applications are due by January 10th, 2016 for the April 2016 – April 2017 term. More details and applications can be found here.

Contact: Becky Fein at   

Stress Less with Active Minds

Who: Active Minds invites students, faculty, experts, change-agents and leaders
What: Stress Less Week spreads awareness about stress and anxiety disorders and creates supportive communities wherein speaking up about one’s struggles is a sign of strength and self-awareness. Downloadable action kits for communities and campuses are available. Click here for more information!
When: December 7th, 2015 – December 11th, 2015
Where: Nationwide
Contact: Becky Fein 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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