NAMI Family to Family Classes Set to Begin February 6 and February 12, 2020

If you or a friend has a family member living with a mental health disorder, the NAMI Family to Family class can be tremendously helpful in understanding mental illness and how to more effectively cope with the impact on the entire family. Family to Family is a 12-class program taught by specially trained and NAMI certified family members who have dealt with all the issues around mental health disorders in their own families. Past participants have found the program invaluable in helping them not just understand mental health disorders, how they affect the individual who lives with them and their family, but also how to best support both the ill individual and themselves. The Spring 2020 classes will begin on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 in Santa Barbara and on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 in Santa Maria. For more information or to register, contact Family Advocate Ramona Winner at 805-884-8440, ext. 3206;  

NAMI Services in North County Will Lead to Name Change in Coming Months

Our NAMI affiliate recently formed a North County Steering Committee, a group of interested Santa Maria volunteers and Marian Regional Medical Center and Transitions Mental Health Association staff. The purpose of this Committee is to help re-launch NAMI services in Santa Maria where the NAMI affiliate became defunct several years ago. Our first NAMI program offered in Santa Maria will be a Family to Family Class starting on February 12, 2020. Three Steering Committee members will complete NAMI Family to Family Teacher Training this month and will teach the Spring 2020 class at Marian under the leadership of Tom Franklin, one of our most experienced F2F teachers. Additional Steering Committee members are already becoming active in our Public Policy Committee and CIT training programs for law enforcement. Because of these exciting expansion developments into Northern Santa Barbara County, our affiliate will be changing its name over the next several months from NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County to NAMI Santa Barbara County. Special thanks to Tom Franklin and Anne Greaney, our Family to Family Coordinator for their tireless work to ensure that Santa Maria families will get a first rate Family to Family experience.

Dos Pueblos High School to Use Theater to Fight Stigma, Educate on Mental Illness

Dos Pueblos Theater Company is embarking on a bold mission to destigmatize mental illness, educate students and parents about mental health issues and provide resources to individuals and families suffering from mental illness. They’re doing all this by presenting Lisa Loomer’s dramedy: “DISTRACTED” and offering a post-show Q&A session with mental health professionals and community advocates, both people with lived experience and parents. They will be working with the school’s resources as well as community resources (including Family Services Agency, Mental Wellness Center, Mental Health Matters, Youthwell Coalition, and NAMI). In addition to post-show discussions they will also be educating the actors on mental illness. The show will run on November 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7:00 pm with an understudy show presented on November 16 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to:; or call 805-968-2541 ext. 4670; or email:

NAMI Santa Barbara Volunteer Coordinators Will be Calling You

Because your local NAMI has been growing, in membership, in programs and services we offer, and in community events and partnerships in which we participate, we desperately need more volunteers to help us meet all our commitments. For that reason, we now have two “volunteer coordinators” Tom Franklin, and Jason Lehman, (themselves both volunteers) who will be telephoning our members and supporters over the coming weeks in search of volunteers for nearly 20 tasks with which we need help. Many of these opportunities are for tasks taking only an hour or two per month, and a few require more time. We recognize that, for many of us, our ability to commit to volunteer work may be limited, sporadic and sometimes unpredictable - for that reason, we are trying to solicit multiple volunteers for each job, so that one person’s temporary absence won’t jeopardize our ability to complete the task. So, when either Tom or Jason calls, ask them about specific volunteer activities in which you might be interested. Thanks, in advance for helping your local NAMI. For more information, or to discuss the task list, contact Tom Franklin: