NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County April Newsletter


Thursday, April 26, 6:30-8:30 P.M.

Fellowship Club at the Mental Wellness Center, Santa Barbara.
Free – Open to Public; please join us for coffee and dessert at 6:30 P.M., Program at 7:00
Public Defender’s Office:  What Individuals with Mental Health, Conditions and Their Families Need to Know

Speaker: Tracy Macuga, Public Defender of Santa Barbara County

The speaker will discuss the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office services, with specific focus on how they work for clients involved with the criminal justice system who also live with mental health disorders. She will also address concerns these clients’ families may have. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session, during which the audience can have their questions about public defender services addressed.
For more information: contact Ramona Winner, Family Advocate at 884-8440, ext. 3206;

Family Discussion Group Topics

Each week from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M. in the NAMI Conference Room on the second floor of the Mental Wellness Center, NAMI Family to Family facilitators will lead discussions on various topics of interest to families who struggle with issues related to a family member’s mental health disorder. Each week a different topic is discussed, using informational handouts as a discussion guide. These sessions are free, open to the public, and don’t require advanced registration. Upcoming topics are:
April 17: Understanding the Basics of Federal and State Benefits
April 24: Knowing What to Do When Your Loved One Is Too Depressed to Get Out of Bed
May 1: Understanding and Fostering the Process of Your Loved One’s Recovery
May 8: Managing Violent or Disruptive Behavior
May 15: Helping Your Ill Relative Overcome Isolation
May 22: Being a More Effective Advocate for Your Ill Relative
For more information, contact Tom Franklin:

From the NAMI/MWC Public Policy Committee

In March, the California Health Care Foundation issued a major report, "Mental Health in California: For Many, Care Not There".
Major findings of the report were:

About two-thirds of adults with a mental illness and two-thirds of adolescents with major depressive episodes did not get treatment.

The incidence of mental illness in California’s jails and prisons is very high. In 2015, 38% of female prison inmates and 23% of the male prison population received mental health treatment while incarcerated.

Emergency department visits resulting in an inpatient psychiatric admission increased by 30% between 2010 and 2015. More robust community services might decrease emergency department use. 

The prevalence of serious mental illness varies by income, with much higher rates of mental illness at lower income levels for both children and adults

Medi-Cal pays for a significant portion of mental health treatment in California. The number of adults receiving specialty mental health services through Medi-Cal has increased by nearly 50% from 2012 to 2015, coinciding with expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility

Join Your Fellow Santa Barbara NAMI Members at the National Convention in New Orleans

Join the NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County members who will be attending this year’s convention in the Big Easy from June 27th to the 30th. If you’ve never attended a NAMI convention before, here’s your chance to do so at a top U.S. destination, along with folks you know. This year’s program will include speakers, workshops, and symposia on areas of exciting research, treatments as well as recovery and coping strategies. For more information or to register, go to and click on: “Convention.”

NAMI Family to Family Class Set to Begin September 5, 2018

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 cope more effectively 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 understand mental health disorders, how they affect the individual who lives with them and their family, and also how to best support both the ill individual and themselves. For more information or to register, contact Family Advocate Ramona Winner: 884-8440, Ext. 3206;

See you in Monterey for the 2018 NAMI California Annual Conference on June 1-2

This year’s conference will be at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa in the heart of the Monterey Peninsula. The two-day conference is packed with an impressive group of speakers, workshops, and “Ask the Doctor” sessions; the conference will have programs on 6 different “tracks”: Young Adults, Consumers & Families, Providers, Diverse Communities, Criminal Justice, and Advocacy. For more information and to register for the conference, go to: and click on “Conference.”

We Need Your Ideas for Topics/Speakers for Monthly NAMI “Speaker” Meeting

The whole purpose of our monthly speaker program is to provide interesting and important information about topics of interest to our members. Please take a few minutes to send us any recommendations you have, and we’ll do our best to create a program to address the topic. Please send your thoughts to:

NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County is hosted by and receives support from the Mental Wellness Center