December 28, 2011

Greetings y’all,

2011 was a pretty incredible year for us at NAMI California…specifically for our Consumer Programs. We were able to host so many incredible training opportunities that included a Training of Trainers event that gave us so many awesome new State Trainers for Peer-to-Peer, In Our Own Voice, and NAMI Connection. We also hosted our first Persona a Persona Mentor Training (Spanish language Peer-to-Peer) and 3 En Nuestra Propia Voz Presenter Trainings (Spanish language In Our Own Voice). My favourite part of 2011 was introducing our new Consumer Programs Assistant, Charlie Pidwerbecki. With Charlie’s help, we’ve been able to provide so much more support to local affiliates operating consumer programs and are seeing a wonderful increase in involvement at the state and local levels. 

I’m sure this goes without saying, but it never hurts to repeat the good stuff…WE’RE SO EXCITED FOR 2012!!! Next week we’ll be training a handful of talented IOOV Presenters as State Trainers who will be working with NAMI California and Lead Affiliates throughout the State to provide 9 IOOV Presenter Trainings (yes, you read that right…9 IOOV TRAININGS!!!). These trainings will be held in (or near) Shasta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Kern, Sacramento, Stanislaus, Sonoma, San Francisco, and San Luis Obispo Counties. We don’t have all of these dates scheduled just yet, but we’re working hard at it and will have dates for you soon. Keep an eye out for word about these trainings! 

Oh, and on the topic of really awesome things that’ll be happening in 2012…a long awaited and desperately needed NAMI Connection Facilitator Training. This training will take place in the Spring in the Bay Area. Because this training requires so much space, finding dates at our preferred location is proving to be a bit challenging, but the hotel is working hard to make it happen for us. As soon as we have dates, we’ll let you know. I’m not making any promises about another Peer-to-Peer Mentor Training before the Fall, but if there is room in the budget, you can bet that we’ll make it happen!

I hope you all had a wonderful 2011 and are as excited about 2012 as we are. We’ve got our fingers crossed that we’ll get to see you at a training event, hear your voice on one of our conference calls, and see you at the 2012 Annual Conference in Irvine!

Thanks for all you do! Don’t forget to look at the important January dates below!

Becks Hawkins, Consumer Programs Director
(916) 595-3198


January Conference Calls:
January 3: Peer-to-Peer Mentor & Coordinator Conference Call (12:00 pm – 1:00 pm)
January 10: In Our Own Voice Presenter & Coordinator Conference Call (12:00 pm – 1:00 pm)
January 16: Spanish Language Consumer Programs Conference Call (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm  ::  This call is facilitated in Spanish)
January 17: NAMI Connection Facilitator & Coordinator Conference Call (12:00 pm – 1:00 pm)
January 18: Multicultural Development Conference Call (12:00 pm – 1:30 pm  ::  Topic is engaging and supporting communities affected by HIV/AIDS through NAMI Signature Programs)
January 24: All Consumer Programs Coordinator Conference Call (12:00 pm – 1:00 pm)

Scheduled Trainings:
January 6-8: In Our Own Voice Training of Trainers Event (Registration Closed – no additional space available)

Information About Upcoming Trainings:
Peer-to-Peer: No trainings are currently scheduled. If the budget permits, there will be a Mentor Training in May.
NAMI Connection: We are currently working with the hotel to determine dates for a Facilitator Training this Spring. Stay tuned…
In Our Own Voice: Regional IOOV Presenter Trainings are currently being scheduled. As soon a a training date and location is scheduled in your region, we’ll let you know about it. 


November 2011 Multicultural Development Call Information

November 15, 2011

Here’s the info for our Multicultural Development Call this week. We sure hope you can make it!

Wednesday, November 16 :: from 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Dial in number: 800-944-8766 :: Participant Code:18854

This call is for all consumer programs and affiliate leaders to learn about multicultural communities, the unique needs of these communities, and how to reach and serve these communities. Each call will have a different topic and guest speaker. The guest speaker for this call will be Corina Rhett, NAMI California Mulitcultural Coordinator, who will be talking about the work NAMI California is doing to better educate and support multicultural communities and how local affilaites can better educate and support multicultural communities at the local level.

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 becks.hawkins@namicalifornia.org.


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!!!


long time gone…

July 13, 2011

It feels like forever since I’ve had a moment to sit down and breathe…and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In less than two months, NAMI CA hosted three, yes three, En Nuestra Propia Voz Presenter Trainings, a Peer-to-Peer Training all the way in Mammoth Lakes, and a Training of Trainers Event for Peer-to-Peer, NAMI Connection, and In Our Own Voice. So awesome! We’re all equally exhausted and exhilarated. What a fantastic way to end a fiscal year!!!

Now we’re all hard at work preparing for the 2011 Annual NAMI California Conference on August 19-20. This year’s conference will be held in Sacramento, the State Capital…and my hometown. I’m wicked excited. Joe Teixeira of NAMI Sacramento has been hard at work putting together the Consumer Empowerment Luncheon. I’m not gonna give away the goods, but you definitely want to come to this. We’ll also have a Consumer Resource Room this year with information about the conference workshops and speakers, NAMI Programs, peer support if you need or want it, refreshments, and room to chill out for a little bit and maybe do some networking. We might even have a few fun surprises in there for you. It’ll be pretty incredible all the way around. I sure hope to see you there. If you haven’t registered, you should visit http://www.namicalifornia.org to do so.

My goal is to have some training dates and locations for scheduled for Peer-to-Peer, Persona a Persona, In Our Own Voice, and En Nuestra Propia Voz before the conference so I can give you all dates when you ask me for them (I’m sure you get as tired of hearing “Fall or Spring” as I get of saying it). Oh, that’s right, I totally forgot to mention that NAMI CA will now be hosting In Our Own Voice Presenter Trainings! I definitely have more details to offer you soon in the future, but for now, let’s all just enjoy this good news. We still haven’t secured funding for NAMI Connection Facilitator Trainings, but trust that we are forever working on it. Cross your fingers for us!

So that’s all I have for you today. I hope you’re all out enjoying the summer, soakin up some vitamin d, spending time with your peeps near some body of water, and keeping your lawn green in the most eco-friendly way possible.

Grateful for you,

training…training…training…wonderful training!

April 15, 2011

It’s nearing the end of the fiscal year and things sure are busy over here (as to be expected). We’re planning all kinds of awesome trainings to be held throughout California. Here’s a rundown of what’s coming up…

In the local training arena, we’ve got…

  • NAMI SoCo will have a Peer-to-Peer Mentor Training, a Connection Facilitator Training, and an IOOV Presenter Training in May. Some of these trainings will be open to surrounding counties. If you’re interested in sending people, please contact NAMI Sonoma County for more info.
  • Inyo and Mono Counties are bringing Peer-to-Peer to their gorgeous little area of the world with their first Mentor Training in June. Since there aren’t really surrounding Counties, this training is not open.

In the State training arena, keep an eye out for…

  • TRAINING OF TRAINERS FOR P2P, IOOV, and CONNECTION! That’s right, you heard me, we are training trainers for all 3 programs!!! This training will be in San Jose on June 16-19, 2011. Space is limited in each of the 3 trainings. Applications for this training will be sent out to local affiliate leaders soon. Check your inbox or ask your local affiliate leader to check theirs and give you the info.
  • En Nuestra Propia Voz (IOOV in Spanish)! 3 trainings in late May/early June. Locations and dates are still in the works so definitely check back soon for more info. I can tell you that there will be one Southern, one Central, and one Northern training.

If you have any questions about these upcoming trainings, please feel free to email me at becks.hawkins@namicalifornia.org or you can call or text me at (916) 595-3198.

I hope you’re all out there enjoying the lovely springtime! If you’re allergic to everything like I am, give some local honey a shot at boosting your natural defenses so stopping to smell the roses doesn’t result in a fit of uncontrollable sneezes.

and so it begins…

April 6, 2011

Hey Y’all!

Welcome to my first official NAMI CA Consumer Programs blog. I’ve been working with NAMI CA for just over 4 years and I’ve done so many great things and met so many amazing people and it feels silly that I’ve waited this long to tell the world about all of the wonderful things we’re doing here. It’s clearly long past time to get with the social networking times.

This blog will be used to keep you (our members and local affiliates) informed about exciting upcoming events and updated on our Consumer Programs (Peer-to-Peer, NAMI Connection, and In Our Own Voice). For kicks, I might even tell you about some of the wild and wonderful adventures I get to have traveling the Golden State and meeting with local affiliates. This work I am blessed to do is never boring.

Please subscribe to this blog or remember to check back regularly. I’ll do my very best to make it worth you while.

I hope you’re all out there creating change and making the most beautiful waves in the world!

Until soon,


Becks Hawkins
Consumer Programs Director
NAMI California
(916) 595-3198