I've been writing up the speaker presentations at the bi-monthly meetings of the National Alliance on Mentally Illness - East Bay Chapter (formerly the American Schizophrenia Association - Alliance for the Mentally Ill) since 1993. For the convenience of members and other interested parties, here are articles from past meetings in inverse chronological order. These documents are in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You should have the Acrobat Reader installed on your system before clicking on the links below. If you don't have Reader, please visit Adobe Systems Incorporated to download this free software.

Perhaps the most significant story to develop over the past ten years is the understanding of how brain chemistry affects mental disorders and the rise of new medications to treat mental illness. For example, see the articles for September 2011 and November 2009. As the names of these new medications can be tongue-twisters, and the categories are sometimes confusing, here is an online copy of NAMI-East Bay's popular Medications for Mental Health, which was revised and updated in September 2011.

The other significant theme of the past decade is the development and refinement of services available on a community level to treat people with mental disorders. Legislation enacted in the mid-60's ended involuntary commitment and forced medication of the mentally ill—which at the time was thought to be the only way to treat people who might be a danger to themselves or others. However, a realistic model for community-based treatment was not then available to fill the gap, and funding at the local level was often inconsistent. To see something of the new treatment model that is now being developed, sample the articles for September 2002, July and March 2000, and March 1999.

To read more about any of the various mental disorders, try the National Institutes of Health's Medline Plus.

2017

NAMI East Bay Newsletter, July-August, 2017

New Psychiatrist with Berkeley Mental Health, Rebecca Carrillo, MD, May 24, 2017

NAMI East Bay Newsletter, May-June, 2017

Triple Treat: A Discussion with Guy Qvistgaard, March 22, 2017

NAMI East Bay Newsletter, March-April, 2017

Report from the Board, NAMI East Bay Members, January 25, 2017

NAMI East Bay Newsletter, January-February, 2017

2016

Current Research on Emotions and Mental Health, Ann Kring, PhD, November 16, 2016

Long-Term Care Planning, Linda Durston, PhD, JD, and Sharon Toth, LCSW, CLPF, September 28, 2016

Staff Psychiatrist with Berkeley Mental Health, Todd Mitchell, MD, July 27, 2016

Berkeley Mental Health: A Time for Growth, Steven Grolnic-McClurg, LCSW, May 25, 2016

Forty Years of Mental Health Practice, Rebecca Woolis, MA, MFT, March 23, 2016

Community Collaborators and Resources, Panel Discussion, January 27, 2016

2015

What is the Hearing Voices Network? Ed Herzog, Sederia Lewis, Dina Taylor, Manton Hurd, November 18, 2015

In Dealing with Agitation, Use De-Escalation Rather Than Coercion, Scott Zeller, MD, September 23, 2015

Overview of Psychiatric Medications, Margo Pumar, MD, July 22, 2015

Housing Costs and Mental Illness, Robert Ratner, MPH, MD, May 27, 2015

FERC at Five Years, Annie Kim and Bettye Foster, March 25, 2015

Targeting Sensory Processing Abnormalities in Schizophrenia with Cognitive Training, Bruno Biagianti, MD, January 28, 2015

2014

Causes of Mental Health Disorders: Genes, Environment, or Both? Isabel Zaror, PhD, November 19, 2014

Minds on the Edge, Fred Friendly Seminars, September 24, 2014

Co-Occurring Conditions: Substance Abuse Combined with Severe, Persistent Mental Illness, Floyd Brown, MD, July 23, 2014

Meet Berkeley Mental Health’s New Manager, Steven Grolnic-McClurg, LCSW, May 28, 2014

Ask the Doctor, Jeffrey Johns, MD, March 26, 2014

Research and Treatment for Early Psychosis, Carmen Chow, MA, MFT, and Michael Minzenberg, MD, January 22, 2014

2013

Experiencing Both Sides: A Psychiatrist’s Journey of Three Generations, “Dr. Margaret,” November 20, 2013

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: How It Can Help with Psychosis, Kate Hardy, Clin PsychD, September 25, 2013

Implementing Health Care Reform: Promises, Progress, Political Struggle, Deborah LeVeen, PhD, July 24, 2013

Laura’s Law and Assisted Outpatient Treatment, Panel Discussion: DeWitt, Narell, Tsai, Smusz, May 22, 2013

Open Dialogue: Mental Health Treatment in Northern Finland, Video by Daniel Macker, March 27, 2013

Perspectives on Stigma and Families with Mental Illness, Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, January 23, 2013

2012

Trapped Within OCD, NAMI California Video, November 28, 2012

WRAP: Wellness Recovery Action Plan, Yaffa Alter, September 26, 2012

Alameda County Introduces IPS Supported Employment, Rick DeGette, Jackie Pogue, and Theresa Woo, July 25, 2012

From Bipolar Disorder to Bipolar in Order, Tom Wootton, May 23, 2012

Who Will Care When I'm Not There? Baron Miller, March 28, 2012

In Our Own Voice, Robert Villanueva, January 25, 2012

2011

Crisis Assessment and Intervention, Panel Discussion, November 16, 2011

A Review of Psychotropic Medications, Dri Wang, PharmD, September 28, 2011

What Families Need to Know About Treatment of Mental Illness, Dr. Robert Dolgoff and NAMI East Bay President Liz Rebensdorf, July 27, 2011

Alameda County Consumer Opportunities and Programs, Panel Discussion, May 25, 2011

Sleep Better … Feel Better, Allison Harvey, PhD, March 23, 2011

Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy to Treat Mental Illness, Abby Haile, PsyD, January 26, 2011

2010

Charlie Rose Brain Series: Panel Discussion on Mental Illness, November 17, 2010

Supplemental Interventions: “What Can I Do Besides Take Medication?” Panel Discussion, September 22, 2010

Some Subtleties of Recovery, Rebecca Woolis, MFT, July 28, 2010

Alameda County’s Family Education and Resource Center, Karina Foote and Andie Kim, May 26, 2010

Current Psychiatric Thinking and Research, Dr. Jeffrey Johns, March 24, 2010

Minds on the Edge, Fred Friendly Seminars, January 27, 2010

2009

Variable Expression of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Spectrum, Scott Granet, LCSW, November 18, 2009

Involuntary Hospitalization—What’s It All About? Francesca Tenebaum, Beverly Bergman, Eva McRae, September 23, 2009

Psycho-Social Interventions in Mental Illness at the Alameda County Medical Center, Maurice Fried, PhD, and Kyletta Sanchez-Turner, July 22, 2009

Issues Surrounding Dual Diagnosis, Mark Shotwell, May 27, 2009

Questions About Current Medications for Mental Illness, Pauline Chan, PharmD, March 25, 2009

The Recovery Concept and Its Implementation Through the Mental Health Services Act, Rosa Warder, January 28, 2009

2008

Medications Used for Treatment of Mental Illness, Douglas Dell Paggio, PharmD, MPA, November 19, 2008

Specialized Services for Specific Age Groups in Alameda County, Clint Nix and Michelle Burns, September 24, 2008

The Bipolar Advantage, Tom Wootton, July 23, 2008

Housing Options and Programs in Alameda County, Robert Ratner, MPH, MD, May 28, 2008

The LPS Conservatorship Laws in California, Harry Gin, ACSW, March 26, 2008

The Promise of Early Intervention for Psychosis, Shelley Levin, PhD, January 23, 2008

2007

What’s New in Schizophrenia Research, Sophia Vinogradov, MD, November 28, 2007

Personal Insight into Serious Mental Illness, Xavier Amador, PhD, September 26, 2007

The Impact of Stigma on Self-Esteem and Confidence, Sydney Loggins, Mark Solomons, and Fanya Margo McDaniel, July 25, 2007

Special Needs Trusts for Family Members with Mental Illness, Linda S. Durston, PhD, May 23, 2007

Update on Electroconvulsive Therapy and Other Brain Treatments, Robert Dolgoff, MD, March 28, 2007

Guiding a Loved One Toward Recovery, Rebecca Woolis, MFT, January 24, 2007

2006

“In Our Own Voice”—Personal Stories of Experience with Bipolar Disorder, Krista Radojevich and Robert Villanueva, November 15, 2006

Alameda County’s Vocational Program for Persons with Mental Illness, Theresa Razzano, CRC, MFT, September 27, 2006

Berkeley Mental Health Solicits Input from Consumers and Family Members; Fred Frese Describes Coping Mechanisms for Living with Schizophrenia, Kathy Cramer, Christine Fry, Fred Frese, July 26, 2006

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Clinical Conditions, Kumar Vedantham, MD, May 24, 2006

Free Services for Alameda County Mental Health Clients, Francesca Tenenbaum and Tina Coker, March 22, 2006

A Critique of the Dr. Phil Show on Schizophrenia, NAMI-East Bay Members, January 25, 2006

2005

Update on Programs Submitted by Three Agencies Under the Mental Health Services Act, Proposition 63, Kathy Cramer and NAMI East Bay Members, November 16, 2005

Anxiety Disorders: Recognizing and Treating Them, Michael Menaster, MD, MA, September 28, 2005

Huge Change in Coverage for Psychiatric Medications under MediCal and Medicare, Douglas Del Paggio, PharmD, MPA, July 27, 2005

Planning for a Family Member’s Future: the Special Needs Trust, Linda S. Durston, PhD, May 25, 2005

Mental Health Programs in the Oakland Public Schools, Ilene J. Yasemsky, LCSW, March 23, 2005

Mental Health Services Available in Alameda County Through BACS, Clayton Goad, MFT, January 26, 2005

2004

Competency and Mental States: The Law as It Applies to the Mentally Ill, Michael J. Markowitz, JD, November 17, 2004

Advocacy and Patients’ Rights: Assistance with Treatment and Financial Support for the Mentally Ill, Dan Jordan, September 22, 2004

Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder in Adults, Bradley Engwall, MD, July 28, 2004

Overview and Update on Current Psychopharmacological Medications, Including New Medications in Clinical Trials, Alice Myong, PharmD, May 26, 2004

Encouraging Behavioral Change in a Person with Mental Illness and Substance Abuse, Rebecca Woolis, MFCC, March 24, 2004

Outpatient Psychiatric Services Available in the East Bay, Head-Lyons, Onia, and Vahe, January 28, 2004

2003

The Role of the Psychiatrist in Treating Mental Illness, Roger Mendelson, MD, November 19, 2003

Referenced EEG Offers a New Way to Prescribe the Right Medication, Mark Schiller, MD, September 24, 2003

Behavioral Health Services Now Offered Under the California Mental Health Parity Bill, Andrea Goetz Glover, LCSW, Jeth Gold, LCSW, and Alane L. Friedrich, July 23, 2003

Local Day Services Available to Adults with Mental Illness, Alvarez, Beckerman, Handy, Stradtner, and Taft-Butkowski, May 28, 2003

Bipolar Disorder and Other Depressive Disorders, W. Douglas Moorhead, MD, March 26, 2003

New Concepts in the Treatment of Psychosis, S. Craig Risch, MD, January 22, 2003

2002

Advice on Establishing a Special Needs Trust for a Family Member, Linda S. Durston, PhD, November 20, 2002

Rubicon Programs Inc. Supports Work, Housing, and Case Management for the Mentally Ill, Andrew Brown, PhD, September 25, 2002

The Spectrum of Services Available to Consumers in Alameda County, Manuel Galindez and Suzanne Gorham, MFT, July 24, 2002

Developing Housing for People with Mental Illness, Thomas Walker, May 22, 2002

Recovery Options: Empowerment and Support for the Wellness Process, Tracy Thode and Steven Bucholtz, March 27, 2002

Local Research on Bi-Polar Disorder and Major Depression, Randy Bloch, MD, January 23, 2002

2001

Coping Strategies for Family Members During the Holidays, Rebecca Woolis, MFCC, November 28, 2001

Exploring Schizophrenia, Christopher Amenson, PhD, September 26, 2001

Special Needs Trust Preserves Public Assistance Support for Your Disabled Family Member, Baron Miller, July 25, 2001

Mark Watanabe Updates NAMI-East Bay on Psychotropic Medications, Dr. Mark Watanabe, May 23, 2001

Adolescence and Mental Illness, Moises Garcia-Lemus and Liz Rebensdorf, March 28, 2001

Exploring Depression, William C. Wirshing, MD, and Lori Altschuler, MD, January 24, 2001

2000

Psychiatric Help Within the Criminal Justice, Edmunds, Sherman, and Meyers, November 15, 2000

Two Day Treatment Programs That Can Help in the Work of Recovery, Sanchez-Turner, Starosky, Beckerman, and Handy, September 27, 2000

An Update on Berkeley Mental Health's First Year with Assertive Community Treatment, Hynes, Surber, and Kahan, July 26, 2000

Exploring Bi-Polar Disorder, Jerome Vaccaro, MD, May 24, 2000

Assembly Bill 1800: Changing Mental Health Law, Randall Hagar and Yehuda Sherman, MD, March 22, 2000

Psychotropic Medications: What's on the Horizon?, Dr. Mark Watanabe, January 26, 2000

1999

Update on Treatments and Medication for Schizophrenia and Schizo-Affective Disorders, Stephen Sturges, MD, November 17, 1999

Planning for Your Disabled Family Member's Financial Future, Susan St Amour and Akio “Joe” Shimizu, September 22, 1999

“Trapped Within”—How People Cope with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Jerry Gelbart, MD, July 28, 1999

Berkeley-Albany Municipal Judge Addresses Mental Illness and Criminal Justice, Judge Carol Simon Brosnahan, May 26, 1999

The Assertive Community Treatment Model: A Higher Standard of Care for Mental Illness, Patricia Hennigan, PhD, and Robert Surber, MSSW, March 24, 1999

Understanding People with Dual Diagnosis and How to Treat Them, Rebecca Woolis, MFCC, January 27, 1999

1998

Housing Availability for People with Mental Disorders, Karen Euston, Suzanne Gorham, and Azikiwe Nantambu, November 18, 1998

A Psychologist Describes His Own Experiences with Schizophrenia, Dr. Fred Frese, September 23, 1998

What Rights and Benefits do People with Mental Disorders Have?, Dan Jordan, July 22, 1998

What Happens When You Have to Call the Police?, Rafael Herrera, LCSW, Sergeant David Faeth, David Wee, Lieutenant Russell Lopes, May 27, 1998

The New Generation Medications Available for Psychiatric Disorders, Gary Viale, PharmD, and Douglas Del Paggio, RPh, MPA, March 25, 1998

Alameda County's New Mental Health Plan: What's Changed and How It Affects Clients, Dr. Stan Taubman, DSW, January 28, 1998

1997

Dual Diagnosis: Practical Considerations for Dealing with Both Problems, Nancy Piotrowski, PhD, November 19, 1997

Sacrificing the Sick: The Politics of Mental Health Care, Henri Montandon, MD, PhD, September 24, 1997

Current Research into Prenatal Causes of Schizophrenia, Catherine Schaefer, PhD, July 23, 1997

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adults: Current Research and Interventions, Margo Thienemann, MD, May 28, 1997

Panic Disorder — Stories of Hope, Sarah Stadler, MD, March 26, 1997

New Research in Brain Imaging and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder, Terence A. Ketter, MD, January 22, 1997

1996

Planning Low-Stress Holiday Festivities That Can Include Your Mentally Ill Family Member, Rebecca Woolis, MFCC, November 20, 1996

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: New Understanding and Directions in Diagnosis, Herbert Schrier, MD, September 25, 1996

Currently Available Mental Health Services and How to Access Them, Stan Taubman and Manuel Velasco, July 24, 1996

Treating the Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia, Nancy Andreasen, MD, PhD, and Bruce Africa, MD, PhD, May 22, 1996

“Talk Therapy” in Treating Neurobiological Disorders, Bruce Burtner, LCSW, and Simone Madan, MA, March 27, 1996

An Update on Treatments and Medications for Manic Depression and Major Depression, Thomas Morrissey, MD, January 24, 1996

1995

Treatment of Clients with Both Mental Illness and Substance Abuse, Rick Crispino, Beth Hanis, and Laura Post, MD, November 15, 1995

New Medications for Treating Psychiatric Disorders, Gary L. Viale, PharmD, and Laurel Mechling, MBA, September 27, 1995

Providing a Financial Future for Your Mentally Ill Relative, Janet Fairchild, July 25, 1995

When the Mentally Ill Encounter the Criminal Justice System, Irene Raby, PhD, MFCC, Chuck Meyers, PhD, Myra Sherman, LCSW and MSW, Peter LaValle, MD, May 24, 1995

Mood Disorders and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents, Glen R. Elliott, MD, PhD, March 22, 1995

Motivation and Coping, Rebecca Woolis, MFCC, January 24, 1995

1994

Ask the Doctor…, Richard A. Shadoan, MD, November 16, 1994

Anxiety and Panic Disorders, Sarah Stadler, MD, September 28, 1994

Financial Benefits Available to People with a Mental Illness, Dan Jordan, July 27, 1994

Helpful Support Services for Persons with a Mental Disorder, Johanna Kocher, Frances Wage, Jim McClure, Karen Jaeckel, and Paul Clermont, May 25, 1994

Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele Reports on the State of Children’s Mental Health Services, Gail Steele, March 23, 1994

The Psychobiology of Suicidal Behavior, Bruce Victor, MD, January 26, 1994

1993

New Medications for Treatment of Schizophrenia, Dr. Sophia Vinogradov, November 17, 1993