Category Archives: Stigma Reduction

Together Against Stigma International Conference

The international mental health community will gather in San Francisco from February 18th – 20th, 2015, marking the first time the “Together Against Stigma” Conference will be held in the United States since its inception in 2007. The 7th International Conference will serve as a platform for innovation and community dialogue amongst attendees, allowing mental health advocates from the United States and around the world to come together to tackle challenges, share promising practices and spotlight successes in advancing mental health around the globe. The conference will be jointly hosted by the California Mental Health Services Authority
(CalMHSA), the World Psychiatric Association, the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association this year.

Visit the Conference website at

NAMI “Ending the Silence” Presentation for High School Students

NAMI Ending the Silence is an in-school presentation about mental health designed for high school students. Students can learn about mental illness directly from family members and individuals living with mental illness themselves.

What You Should Expect

  • Fifty-minute presentation is free of cost.
  • Designed for high school students and typically offered in a freshman/sophomore health, science or psychology class.
  • Led by a team of trained presenters including a young adult living in recovery from mental illness.
  • Includes presenter stories, educational slides, videos and discussion.

For more information, visit NAMI Ending the Silence or call NAMI at (800) 950–NAMI (6264).

Continue reading “NAMI “Ending the Silence” Presentation for High School Students” »

Directing Change Winners!

Directing Change is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students.

All submissions were judged by volunteer experts in mental health and suicide prevention, members of the media and professionals in filmmaking and video production. All videos were judged based on how they creatively explored the topics while adhering to guidelines on safely and appropriately communicating about suicide prevention and mental illness.

Winner were announced on May 13, 2014 as part of Mental Health Matters Day. To view contest winners including links to their videos on YouTube, visit

Know the Signs is a statewide suicide prevention social marketing campaign built on three key messages: Know the signs. Continue reading “Directing Change Winners!” »

Art Exhibit Exploring Mental Health Coming to Los Angeles County

Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Contractor Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn (RS&E) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California will facilitate an art exhibition in Orange County titled, “See and Be Seen,” which features art created during hands-on arts workshops for persons facing mental health challenges. These exhibitions give consumers the opportunity to present themselves in a creative and empowering way, emphasizing their experiences of hope, wellness and resilience. 

The Los Angeles County exhibition begins May 7, 2014 and ends May 20th, 2014 at the Bleicher/Golightly Gallery at 1431 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 907401. The gallery will be open Monday through Thursday from 11:00am to 6:00pm and Friday through Sunday from noon until 10:00 p.m. There will be an Artists’ Reception event on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Continue reading “Art Exhibit Exploring Mental Health Coming to Los Angeles County” »

Sacramento County Organizing Mental Health Art Exhibits for Mental Health Month

The “Mental Illness: It’s not always what you think” project is organizing mental health art exhibits around Sacramento County to honor May is Mental Health Month.

Sacramento County is looking for individuals that live with mental illness or who support others that may live with mental illness to submit artwork which would be featured at several locations in Sacramento.  All art displayed will help to dispel myths and stereotypes about mental illness and promote messages of wellness, hope and recovery. If you or someone close to you is living with mental illness, they hope that you’ll take this opportunity to express your experience visually through paintings, photography or drawings that could be put on display.

Art submission guidelines:

  • One piece per artist may be submitted
  • The piece must be wall mountable artwork that is ready to hang (attached cable or hook)
  • The piece must not exceed 24” x 36”
  • All entries must be prepared and submitted by Wednesday, April 30, 2014 along with a completed form – found here, and delivered to:
    • Raj Dhanda at Edelman – 921 11th Street, Suite 250 – Sacramento, CA 95814

If you have any questions, please send an email to


United Nations Endorses Recovery Movement

A resolution on the importance of recovery proposed by the United States at the 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was approved on March 21st in Vienna, Austria.  This resolution marks the first time in the more than 50-year history of the global anti-drug regime that the concept of recovery was formally accepted and supported by United Nations Member States.

The resolution, entitled Supporting Recovery from Substance Use Disorders, recognizes substance use disorders can result in chronic relapsing conditions and that recovery support initiatives help to prevent relapse, facilitate re-entry into treatment when needed, and promote long-term recovery outcomes.  The resolution also calls for an end to stigma, marginalization, and discrimination against those in recovery; promotes international exchanges on best practices related to recovery support initiatives; and encourages the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to disseminate globally information about evidence-based recovery support initiatives.

Stigma reduction is a one component of Prevention and Early Intervention in the Mental Health Services act and it is great to see that emphasis reflected globally.

For more information, visit

Play SPARX, the Video Game for Depression

SPARX is a role-playing game that helps young people recognize and manage their condition. Clinical tests have proven that Playing SPARX is effective in reducing depression. SPARX, The Video Game for Depression, is an award-winning online therapy that treats depression, anxiety and stress. SPARX seems like other video games, but there is no other game like it. The player creates an avatar and advances through seven levels, fighting GNATs (Gloomy Negative Automatic Thoughts). The player is confronted with various confidence-building challenges throughout the game. SPARX helps you feel better by teaching you the skills to find solutions, to take action and seek additional help when needed.

For more information, visit