CalMHSA Express - October 2016
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A Note from Wayne Clark 

As mental health advocates and Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, from October 2 - 8, 2016, we should be immensely proud of how far we’ve come in changing the dialogue around mental health.  For the first time in my memory, a major party’s presidential platform includes mental health as a plank in the nation’s overall wellness.  And our movement is only growing. With the tools and messages Each Mind Matters offers to change agents like you across the state, this week represents another opportunity for Californians to lead the way in connecting our friends, family and clients to the support they need to attain mental wellness. Stay involved this week and throughout the year with our Each Mind Matters movement on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

2016 Mental Health Awareness Week 

Mental Health Awareness Week is next week and Each Mind Matters has developed a toolkit with resources that can be customized to raise awareness in communities across California. The toolkit includes the Mental Health Support Guide, a new brochure providing tips to help reduce stigma and find support for a mental health challenge. Click here to view and download the new toolkit. Contact: Rosa Guerrero

New Mental Health Resources Available for Emerging Refugees 

Each Mind Matters is excited to announce new outreach materials to reach the emerging refugee populations of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. As part of our ongoing work to support counties in meeting local needs, Sacramento County identified materials meeting the needs of these underserved communities as a priority for support and community outreach. The process to develop the brochures included several listening sessions with representatives from these emerging refugee communities and work with CBOs to support the development of this brochure. Please distribute to your networks and feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Here are direct links to the in-language and English mental health brochures for Emerging Refugee communities:

  • Farsi (Iranian) - In language (Link)
  • Iranian – In English (Link)
  • Arabic (Iraqi) – In language (Link)
  • Iraqi – In English (Link)
  • Pashto (Afghan) – In language (Link)
  • Dari (Afghan) – In language (Link)
  • Afghan – In English (Link)

Contact: Mariana Baserga at

School Suicide Prevention Now Statewide Law  

Governor Jerry Brown signed groundbreaking legislation that requires school districts with students in grades 7 to 12 to adopt suicide prevention policies. The new law was recommended by the Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup and supported by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “With this change, we can better identify students in need, get them help, and keep them safe,” Torlakson said. This system-wide shift to a prevention approach for schools across California cements a major CalMHSA policy priority into law, one that will stand a legacy of mental wellness for generations of students. Contact: David Kopperud at

Film Contest Asks Students to Direct Change

The Directing Change Program and Film Contest is back for its fifth year, asking high school students and youth ages 14-25 to create 60-second films in one of two categories: Suicide Prevention or Mental Health Matters. Over the past four years, Directing Change received more than 1,600 films from youth teams throughout the state, representing over 250 schools with more than 4,000 youth participants. You can help spread the word about Directing Change by using films to raise awareness, getting the word out through promotional materials, including flyers and DVDs of the 2015 finalists, following Directing Change on social media, and signing up to be a judge. The submission deadline for films is March 1, 2017. Visit for more information. Contact: Shanti Bond at

California Campuses Win National Award 

Active Minds awarded two California universities with the organizations’ 2016 Healthy Campus Award, which recognizes campuses that create a community where every student has the opportunity to thrive and succeed. California State University, Long Beach and Sacramento State University prioritized a campus culture of health and well-being, including mental health alongside physical health. Jane Close Conoley, president of California State University, Long Beach said, “Good physical and mental health is essential to student success, which is why we support a variety of programs that directly affect health and wellness. Winning the Active Minds Healthy Campus Award validates our commitment to this important mission.” More information about the award is available here. Read an article about CSU Long Beach’s award here. A call for applications for the 2018 award will open in October 2017. Contact: Becky Fein at

Suicide Prevention Social Media Kit Now Available 

Active Minds’ Suicide Prevention Month #ReasonsISpeak Promotional Kit is now available to help promote Suicide Prevention Month​. #ReasonsISpeak​ is the official social media campaign, and everyone is encouraged to share an image or text post explaining why they speak out about suicide. #ReasonsISpeak was first held in 2014 more than 1,300 social media posts with the hashtag have been shared since then. The kit is available here. Contact: Becky Fein at

Send Silence Packing Transforms Understanding of Suicide on Campuses 

Active Minds is bringing its award-winning Send Silence Packing tour to California college campuses this fall. Send Silence Packing promotes a positive dialogue about mental health on college campuses and raises awareness about student suicide with a powerful traveling public exhibit of 1,100 backpacks – representing the number of college students who die by suicide each year. The tour has been to Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita and Fullerton. The remainder of the schedule is available here. Contact: Candace Daniels at

Ending the Silence Reaches High School Students

NAMI California conducted their first in-person Ending the Silence (ETS) training in Solano County with five graduates who will now be able to offer the ETS program to their community. Ending the Silence is a 50-minute presentation designed for high school audiences. Through the presentation, students learn symptoms and indicators of mental illness, and how to help themselves, friends, or family members who may be in need of support. ETS helps create a generation of students that are well-positioned to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness through education and advocacy. For more information about the ETS program, please contact Erik Villalobos at

Your Mind Matters Honored With Award

The Butte County Library and Department of Behavioral Health were awarded a 2016 Challenge Award from the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) for Your Mind Matters, a program providing access to essential mental health resources while reducing the stigmatization of mental health. Each year, CSAC honors the most innovative programs developed and implemented by California Counties with Challenge Awards.  Your Mind Matters provided training for employees and volunteers including looking at problem scenarios, mental health issues, and stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. A wild range of library programs and resources were offered to help the community become aware of mental health challenges, resources, and the need to reduce stigmatization. Contact: Jeremy Wilson at

Disability Rights California at NAMI California’s 2016 Conference 

Disability Rights California recently presented the workshop “Mental Health Parity: Becoming Parity Advocates,” at NAMI California’s annual conference. The workshop covered the history of mental health parity, explored the intricacies of Federal and California mental health parity law, and reviewed strategies on how consumers can enforce their mental health parity rights with their insurance. If you missed the workshop or would like to obtain a copy of the recording or the PowerPoint, please visit NAMI California’s website. Contact: Margaret Johnson at or (916) 504-5937.

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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