May was a VERY busy month for NAMI Solano County, as we joined many other participants across the country to bring awareness to mental health concerns. Some of the exciting events we were involved with included:
1. An Open House was held at our office on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 4th. Several people stopped by to visit with us; we renewed old friendships and made new friends!
2. Nine Solano County teams braved the rain to participate in the Northern California NAMIWalk on Saturday, May 7th at William Land Park in Sacramento. The wet weather did not dampen the spirits of these hardy walkers as they walked to fight stigma!
3. Several NAMI members participated in two different Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill in Sacramento, meeting legislators and lobbying for more awareness about how some of the bills before our state legislature will affect people in the mental health community.
4. Dr. Steve Seager, Psychiatrist and Film Maker from Napa State Hospital, spoke to a full house in Napa on May 17th, at an event sponsored by Napa Citizens for Mental Health along with NAMI Solano County. All who came were well rewarded by his presentation on “Shattered Families, the Collapse of America’s Mental Health System.”
5. NAMI continued to have a presence in Napa County as we participated in two sessions of CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) for the Napa County CHP, under the direction of Dr. James Jones (who will also be our General Meeting Speaker on June 27th — please come out and join us! See flyer link on sidebar).
6. On Monday, May 23rd, we had a special treat when KUIC came to our office for their daily “Morning Coffee Break” presentation. We were able to record a brief announcement about NAMI and our upcoming events, which was broadcast live on KUIC that morning! (And, all who came to support us were treated to delicious pastries and coffee!)
7. Our BIG event for “May is Mental Health Month” was the screening of the award-winning movie “HOME” on May 26th at the Sullivan Interagency Youth Center. As this was the story of a person of color, living with mental illness and attempting to rebuild his life, we invited special guests to be a part of this event. Minister Monique Tarver, director of Solano County’s new “Mental Health Friendly Communities” project, and Doris Marie Jones from AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha, a professional black women’s sorority), spoke to us about the positive impact their organizations are having on the Afro-American community. Ivette Campos from Children’s Nurturing project, who helped arrange and co-hosted this event, spoke about the services their organization provides to children with mental health concerns. Special awards were presented to Halsey Simmons, Director of Behavioral Health services for Solano County, and to Supervisor Linda Seifert, for their contributions to the Mental Health community in Solano County. Our dignitaries were very gracious and appreciative of their awards, and the movie itself was very well received with a good Q/A discussion period afterwards. Refreshments and resource tables were also available, which made for a very lovely evening!