as this conference ends, the next begins…

August 23, 2011

…The NAMI California 2011 Annual Conference was incredible! Well, that’s what I hear anyway. I spent the majority of my time running. I didn’t make it to one single workshop and caught only a few glimpses of the plenary speakers. That’s always a bummer, but with the bummer comes bliss, and I sure got to experience so many amazing people in the Consumer Resource Center (where I spent my non-running time) and was able to catch a whole bunch of lightning speed hugs from all the wonderful people I exchange emails and phone calls with throughout the year.

We’ve always had a Consumer Hospitality Suite, but this was the first year that we had a Consumer Resource Center packed with volunteers offering information and peer support, mindfulness and relaxing activities, and even some NAMI Connection & Conexion Support Groups. This little brain child of mine has been brewing in my head for 4 years and it was awesome to see it come to life. Of course, any good idea is only as good as the people that execute it…thank goodness for the great volunteers that made it really special. We had 184 visits to the Consumer Resource Center this year and more than a hundred surveys with really good feedback. I’d say it was a success. We also heard some great ideas to improve next year’s conference and CRC…I can’t wait to get started!!!

For those of you that I saw at the Conference, thank you for being there. For those that weren’t able to make it, I hope to see you next year. To all of you, thank you for the work you do year round to educate people experiencing mental health challenges and their families. You are the reason we do this work and the reason we are able to do this work.

I hope you’re all out there running toward the places you need/want to be, are appreciating all of the lightning speed hugs you find along the way, and are spending your non-running moments with amazing people.

See you in 2012 in Irvine!!!



The news you’ve all been waiting for…

August 18, 2011

Peer-to-Peer & Persona a Persona Mentor Trainings have been inked in the books.

The first Peer-to-Peer Mentor Training will be in Redding, CA on October 6-9 at the Red Lion. Everyone is welcome, but this trainings is most easily accessible to you NorCal folk.

The next training is a Peer-to-Peer Mentor Training and a Persona a Persona Mentor Training (2 trainings at once…ain’t that wild?). It will be held November 3-6 at Mariani’s Inn in Santa Clara, CA (San Jose Area). These trainings are easily accessible from most everywhere in CA.

For more info about this training or for a training registration form, email me at


In other news:
The NAMI California 2011 Annual Conference starts today with an Affiliate Leadership Meeting this afternoon and Program Forums this evening. The Consumer Resource Center (CRC) will be open from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. There will be a NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm for those of you that would rather experience a support group than attend a forum.

The CRC will be open throughout the conference. I sure do hope you’ll stop by for a visit!

I hope you’re all well, and I really hope that I’ll see you at the conference this weekend!!!