Posts Tagged ‘NAMI’


Happy Women’s History Month – March! is a website hosted by the Library of Congress

Happy International Women’s Day – March 8, 2014!


Click on names of organizations that empower women, girls, boys, men – I’ve hyperlinked so that one click sends you to that website while this blog post remains open.

Bay Area Impact making the world safer – one woman at a time

Women Rising (San Jose area) and their page “Global Movement

Girl Rising  “One Girl with Courage is a Revolution”

Community Violence Solutions provides support services to child and adult victims of sexual assault and their families through seven main programs.

One Billion Rising (one billion women)

Afghan Women’s Writing Project – To Tell One’s Story Is a Human Right

Women’s National Book Association was established in 1917, before women in America even had the right to vote.


Stamp Out Stigma, a community advocacy and educational outreach program dedicated to eradicating the stigma associated with mental illness

Bring Change 2 Mind is a national anti-stigma campaign founded by Glenn Close, The Balanced Mind Foundation, Fountain House, and Garen & Shari Staglin of the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), aimed at removing misconceptions about mental illness.

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.


The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Program (ATIP) identifies and serves victims of human trafficking, assisting foreign trafficking victims in the United States to become eligible for public benefits and services to the same extent as refugees.  The program also raises awareness of human trafficking through the HHS Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking campaign.


The Mission of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is to organize for collective power by advancing transformative work, thinking and leadership of communities and individuals working to end the violence in our lives. NCADV strives to make issues relating to battered women and children one of the top ten political and legislative issues in the U.S.


The documentary FEMME: Women Healing the World – a celebration of women around the world actively transforming and healing our global society. Sharon Stone and leading experts in religion, science, history, politics and entertainment, discuss solutions to the multiple crises we are faced with. FEMME focuses on utilizing a feminine approach with nurturing energy to inspire a new hope for the future.

My dear colleague Margie Yee Webb is one of the producers of this extraordinary project.

There are thousands of organizations celebrating women and girls – may they all grow and grow and grow!







Teresa LeYung-Ryan   aka  22-Day Coach Teresa helps clients identify their themes and archetypes; she is the author of:

Love Made of Heart: a Mother’s Mental Illness Forges Forgiveness in Daughter Ruby (novel used in college courses)

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (workbook for all genres),

“Talking to My Dead Mom” monologues

Coach Teresa’s website

To subscribe to Coach Teresa’s Blog , please click here.




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Coach Teresa . . . starting a new format with my blog posts

Since I wear 3 hats, as writing career coach & author who helps you Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days / editor & manuscript consultant who helps you identify themes and archetypes / novelist of Love Made of Heart who encourages adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families, I wish to divide my post into 3 sections.

As 22-day Platform-Building Coach:

Promote yourselves by linking your names & your projects to these recognized events.  According to Chase Calendar of Events,  November is:

  • Adoption Month, National
  • Alzheimer’s Disease Month, National
  • American Diabetes Month
  • American Indian Heritage Month, National
  • Aviation History Month
  • Banana Pudding Lovers Month
  • Diabetes Month, National
  • Diabetic Eye Disease Month
  • Family Caregivers Month, National
  • Georgia Pecan Month, National
  • Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month
  • Inspirational Role Models Month, National
  • Lifewriting Month, National
  • Long-Term Care Awareness Month, National
  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • Marrow Awareness Month, National
  • Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month
  • Pet Cancer Awareness Month
  • Pomegranate Month, National
  • PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month
  • Vegan Month
  • Today November 16, 2011 is United Nations: International Day for Tolerance
  • the fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A.
  • November 11, 2011 is Veterans Day

Every month is relevant to marketing your literary work. Day 19 of my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days demonstrates the beauty of linking your name to a date that is celebrated or recognized for the entire month–you’ll have a whole month to re-use one piece of writing.


As Editor & Manuscript Consultant:

Give yourself reasons to plot & write and replot & rewrite!

November is National Novel Writing Month (founder is Chris Baty)

Write Nonfiction In November (founder is Nina Amir)

December is International Plot Writing Month (founder is Martha Alderson, The Plot Whisperer)

Read or reread a book – I’m reading Nothing Can Scare Me Now: Managing Breast Cancer So It Doesn’t Manage You by Juliane Cortino (a colleague at Women’s National Book Association)


As author of Love Made of Heart:

I found “Veterans and Mental Health: We Owe Them Better”  blog post by Mike Fitzpatrick, NAMI Executive Director

Last year, more than 1.2 million veterans were treated by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) health care system, about a third for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That is an increase of about 25 percent from four years before, as troops return home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Washington Post reports that approximately 18 veterans die from suicide every day. Yet in survey released in September, the VA reported that 70 percent of its doctors, nurses and social workers believe the system lacks the staff and space to provide adequate mental health care. More than 37 percent said they cannot schedule an appointment for a new patient within 14-days.

* * * * *

Mr. Fitzpatrick,

Thank you for writing this post to shed light on what we can do to advocate for better care of our veterans and their families. I linked your post to mine dated November 16, 2011 so that my blog fans can get resources for their loved ones. My beautiful mom (not a Veteran but was an orphan during World War II) suffered mental illness all her life and I use my writings to honor her. In September I met NAMI Sonoma County board member Ron Shaw at the Sonoma County Book Festival.  Rosemary Milbrath, Executive Director at NAMI Sonoma County, has contacted me and I hope to deliver my Heroes, Tricksters & Villains interactive workshop to the Sonoma County community in California in 2012. Sincerely, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart; mental health advocate

* * * * *

I hope to see you when I’m at these forums:

  • Thursday December 1, 2011 at Women’s National Book Association get-together at San Francisco Public Library Main Branch
  • Sunday January 8, 2012 at California Writers Club–Redwood Branch “Writing-Career-Make-Over with Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan”

Please click here for details.

“Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”


Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan



I grew up with a beautiful mother who suffered mental illness; I’ve witnessed her overwhelming sadness, the stigmas, the not-so-visible scars.

Recently at the Sonoma County Book Festival, I met Ron Shaw, a board member of NAMI-Sonoma County.  Thank you, Ron, for wearing the brilliant NAMI  T-shirt.  Thank you, Rosemary Milbrath, for contacting me. I look forward to presenting my signature writing workshop “Heroes, Tricksters & Villains” at NAMI Sonoma County in 2012. This fun workshop is for all ages–there’s a writer in all of us.


Love Made of Heart inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families


Last week was Mental Health Week.  I believe that Every Week is Mental Health Week.

National Alliance on Mental Illness —- At the heart of NAMI’s mission is our grassroots and the sharing of information with people with mental illness, their families, friends, mental health professionals, and the general public. NAMI strives to offer hope, reform and health to our American community through support, education , and advocacy efforts. Research is constantly providing us with new information about the brain and the nature of mental illnesses and, consequently, more effective treatments.


To find a group near you, go to Information Hotline: (800) 950-NAMI Click on “Find Your Local NAMI”

You’ll see the state organization’s contact info.  Scroll down to find a group near you. If you do not see a group in your local community please contact the state organization.



Coach Teresa

Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Love Made of Heart inspiring adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families.

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

As a manuscript consultant, Teresa LeYung-Ryan loves helping writers identify their themes and archetypes.

YouTube Channel:

Teresa on facebook!  She’s also involved in Women’s National Book Association and California Writers Club

Mentally Disabled & Being a Non-consentable Person

This is Post #3 to follow-up on my two posts published on July 25 & 27, 2010

My cousin’s brother is one of the primary advocates for my cousin.  My cousin’s sister (who lives a thousand miles away) is another primary advocate.

This is the email I received today Tuesday, July 27, 2010 from my cousin’s brother (San Francisco):

“I just got off the phone with Detective ____ from Alameda County Sheriff’s department.

He told me that he will be handling the case. First thing he will do is to contact BART for the video. I already told him it’s from Contra Costa County (not Alameda County).

He mentioned that other than Sis’s mental capacity, there is no crime because she went willingly and based on Sis’s statements, the suspect stopped when asked to.

I told him that the SFGH examiner said Sis is a non-consentable person, meaning her “yes” answers do not qualify as consent. This is similar to a child consenting for sex. It still does not qualify as a real “yes”.

He will contact me after investigating.

I asked for a case number but he has not generated one yet because it is not yet determined how this will be handled.”

* * *

We are not going to give up on our family member or our community. The man in the car who stopped my cousin (between late night July 22 and early morning of July 23) asked her “Do you need help?” and she said “Yes.”  His not calling the police but taking her to his home, sexually battering her, and keeping her there until morning is helping ???

My cousins are brave and I am going to continue to support their efforts. I am contacting NAMI ,  Community Violence Solutions and other agencies.


Teresa LeYung Ryan

From the National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI’s website, I found the “How You Can Help” page :

Contact Your Representatives

It is important that you contact your state and national representatives to ensure they are working for people with mental illness.

A list of current legislation impacting mental health is available along with an easy way to contact your representative with just a few clicks of a mouse.

(For California

Issues and Legislation

The NAMI Newsroom the place for reporters, advocates and other media professionals. NAMI’s communications services team is available around-the-clock to news media for:

  • Expert analysis on a wide range of issues related to severe mental illnesses or brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder/manic-depression, major depression, and anxiety disorders.
  • Current data on research, treatments, rates of prevalence
  • Interviews with national spokespersons and technical experts
  • Access to persons with serious mental illness and their families who are willing to share personal stories with the media
  • Comment on breaking news

Christine Armstrong, Media Relations Associate
Colonial Place Three
2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-3042
Telephone: (703) 524-7600 · FAX: (703) 516-7238  ·

Writing colleague Pamela Reitman had emailed me the invitation to this half-day symposium. The words on the flyer hooked me. “Building a Caring Community for Mental Illness,” “open to everyone,” “this conference is FREE,” and “light refreshments will be provided.”
And, I didn’t have to be Jewish to attend this event at Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco August 30, 2009 Noon-5:30pm.  “Open to everyone” said the invitation.  I would go with my mom watching over me.
In my first novel Love Made of Heart, I had fictionalized my mother’s story, her battling with mental illness, my role as a witness to her suffering. Whenever I give talks on the book, I make the statement: “I advocate compassion for mental illness.”  The conference would give me an

Pam Reitman greets community of mental health advocates

Pam Reitman greets community of mental health advocates

opportunity to meet a spectrum of advocates for mental health.

My impressions and memories of the day:
2 friends carpooled with me.  It was already minutes past noon when I drove up to 301 14th Ave. at Clement St.  I dropped off my friends.   Scanning down the street, I was ready to park many blocks from the Beth Sholom. I couldn’t believe my eyes when half a block down the street, there was a space!  Mom! My parking angel!
Who drives by looking for parking but another friend I had shared the invitation with.
The first person I encountered was a volunteer who opened the glass door and greeted me with a smile.  “Here for the conference?” he asked.  “Up the stairs to the Koret Hall.”
My friends were signing in.  A volunteer handed me a program and welcomed me. I chatted with another volunteer who asked me “Teresa, what do you do?”  “I write stories for those who cannot speak for themselves.”  She told me about her son’s experience at camp—how the one activity he could connect with was story-telling.
A female voice from stage announced the start of the conference. Pam Reitman looked lovely in a black/white/sage Piccaso-ish dress. She welcomed us, told us about the committee’s dedication to making the conference a reality, the history of Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, her personal story. It was hearing Pam’s personal story several years ago that had attracted me to her writing about mental illness.
Rabbi Hyman greeted us with “Nachamu, Nachamu” (Comfort, Comfort).”  He and Rabbi Kukla did in fact create an atmosphere of comfort.  I even sang along a simple song in Hebrew.  A cello player.

Rabbi Hymand and Rabbi Kukla say: "Nachamu, Nachamu"

Rabbi Hymand and Rabbi Kukla say: "Nachamu, Nachamu"

6 panelists shared personal stories.
“I didn’t know we had mental illness in the family until my father suffered from depression, then I found out that his father had mental illness. I had clinical depression after I gave birth.”
“Friends and neighbors bring food when you have a broken leg. They don’t when you have mental illness.”
“There’s stigma on mental illness even among physicians. When I was in medical school, I knew I wanted to be a psychiatrist, but, my classmates looked down at me because they were going to be general practitioners and surgeons.”
“I thought that what I was going through was typical teenage misery. Then in grad school I was feeling happy and confident for the first time, but, I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating, and I was talking to myself. I thought I was the reincarnation of the person that I was writing about in a research paper; that’s when I knew that something was strange. The book An Unquiet Mind catapulted me to call my friend and seek help. Ten years later, I went back to grad school and became a doctor.”
“Stigmas.  We hide behind the illness, knowing other people would ostracize us. We wouldn’t have to hide behind other illnesses.”
“Psychic history.” “Holocaust survivors… intergenerational healing.”
The audience was given index cards to write questions for the 6 panelists. After several questions were addressed, and the volunteers were collecting more cards from the audience, there was silence. Rabbi Hyman said there was no hurry to fill the moment with words. Filling the moment with silence was lovely.
More questions and responses.
“Isolation.”  “Shame.” “Hope.”
“Some people think we have to find meaning in every experience. What about finding leap of faith instead?”
“When I don’t hear from my son, I double-up the efforts to call him.”
“You can continue communicating even though your loved one is not.”
“There’s no distinction in the way I treat this person and that person. I treat everyone with respect.”

Pam Reitman & Teresa LeYung Ryan write about loved ones with mental illness

Pam Reitman & Teresa LeYung Ryan write about loved ones with mental illness

Refreshments. Pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, strawberries. Danishes, glazed donuts.  I chatted with a yoga teacher. We talked about our moms—how much we miss them.
Breakout sessions.   I was in the group facilitated by Steve Foreman and Sharon Roth. In the library. 11 in the group. We sat in a circle. “What would you like to suggest to the planning committee to make this conference more assessable?” “How to connect with folks who are isolated?” “Volunteerism.” “NAMI” “Why is it when I read a news item about a violent crime, there’s mentioning that the suspect has mental illness as though it’s implied that mental illness leads to violence…?”
“What else can we do to help build a caring community for mental illness if we don’t have time to volunteer?” “Call or email legislative representatives and remind them to include mental health in healthcare reform.” “Share stories.” “Create a blog and invite everyone to tell their mental illness story. Offer resources on the blog.”
Then we gathered in the Main Sanctuary to hear reports from all the breakout sessions. Closing ritual that included prayers and songs.  During prayers, I saw my mom on a swing!  That was the first time I pictured her in that playful act.
A lovely day indeed.
It’s Wednesday, Sept. 2nd, and I Googled “An Unquiet Mind” (the book that had helped Dr. Karin Tamerius, one of the panelist on Sunday).  YouTube had “Personal Reflections on Manic-Depressive Illness” from the Research Channel series.  Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison told her personal story. Such courage to open up about her disease (mania, suicidal depression) and her struggles with medication (side effect that were severely debilitating) that ultimately helped her. Stigmas. Personal and professional reprisals.  Who else could really understand what the patients are experiencing?  She ended her speech about the role of love in recovery.
I’m thinking about Carmen Lee’s organization:  Stamp Out Stigma
and National Alliance of Mental Illess
and my mom.

The sequence of the three phrases in the ballot measure title for Proposition 1E  “Mental Health Services Funding. Temporary Reallocation. Helps Balance State Budget.” of the California Statewide Special Election May 19, 2009 is an example of how disjointed themes confuse and even trick the reader/voter.

We, California voters, had voted for Prop 63 Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).  Now, State officials want to “reallocate” funds for those services to help balance the budget?

The documents on the NAMI California website provide insight on Prop 1E.

Mission — NAMI California is a grass roots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness. We advocate for lives of quality and respect, without discrimination and stigma, for all our constituents. We provide leadership in advocacy, legislation, policy development, education and support throughout California.

NO on Prop 1E California May 19, 2009

NO on Prop 1E California May 19, 2009

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