About Us 

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Our Mission and History

 

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

What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation's leading voice on mental health.

 
 
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“NAMI Marin is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families living with mental illness, through advocacy, education and support.”

 

Our Team

Executive Director, Kelli Finley

 

Kelli brings substantial non-profit, mental health, and family support experience to NAMI Marin.  She has previously worked with clients with severe mental illness and as a bereavement counselor for hospice patients and their families.  She has also worked with nonprofits where she: developed an innovative program to provide opportunities for children to visit parents who were incarcerated in the San Francisco county jail system; worked to ensure that children have access to gender-specific programs; and brought live music concerts to people with life-threatening illnesses, children with severe challenges, and wounded veterans.

“I am honored to join the Board of Directors and dedicated volunteers of NAMI Marin to continue to expand the conversation around mental illness in Marin,” said Kelli. “Many members of the Marin community are affected by mental illness and we have an opportunity to address our struggles and challenges seeking collective and collaborative community solutions that put kindness and respect at the forefront of our interactions.  It is some of the most important work I could imagine.”

 
 
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NAMI Marin County and all of its free programs are facilitated by dedicated, compassionate volunteers with lived experience.  We are grateful for their service and expertise.

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NAMI Marin Board of Directors

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Robert Reiser

Robert Reiser, Ph.D, a licensed psychologist, is a Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Beck Institute. Dr. Reiser is cognitive behavioral therapist with a focus on supervising cases and treating individuals and families with recurrent severe depression, schizophrenia and bipolar spectrum disorders. He co-authored the book, Bipolar Disorder: Advances in Psychotherapy Evidence-Based Practice (2018) with Larry Thompson, Sheri Johnson and Trisha Suppes.

Dr. Reiser has taught a core Cognitive Behavioral Therapy class at the graduate level for over 10 years and has provided numerous workshops and Institutes at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) focused on improving supervision and training through the use of empirically supported practices.

Currently, he maintains a full time clinical practice and is a consultant/trainer who provides training and consultation on CBT for psychosis. He also supervises psychiatric residents at UCSF in the Early Psychosis Clinic.

Peg Super

For more than 25 years, Peg Super has been a management consultant working primarily with medium to large corporate companies in the area of business leadership and performance. She is currently part owner of a small consulting firm called Breakthrough Resources Corp, based in San Rafael, CA. Peg and her husband, Rik, live in San Rafael and have two adult children. Peg started volunteering with NAMI after she and Rik took the Family-to-Family course, as a way of contributing to NAMI for the great value they both received. Peg has served on the NAMI Marin Board of Directors (2009 – Present) and was its President for 2 years (2013 – 2015). She has served on several committees, been NAMI Marin’s co-chair (with her husband, Rik) of the NAMI Walk, and taught the Family-to-Family class since 2009.

Jeff Helvig

Jeff Helvig’s professional career for more than 20 years has been focused on working with individuals and families struggling with mental illnesses of all types and severity, helping them to access the supports and resources available to them. He is a fierce advocate for client rights and social justice, and a compassionate ally for those needing empathy or guidance.

Jeff currently works for Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Marin County as a case manager on their Homeless Outreach Team, a collaborative project with other local nonprofits in partnership with city and county agencies. He is currently enrolled in a Masters in Social Work program.

Debra Belaga

Debra Belaga joined NAMI Marin’s Board of Directors in April 2015 and before that served on NAMI’s Advocacy Committee. She also serves as NAMI’s President. She is a retired business trial lawyer. She spent the latter part of her legal career as a senior partner with an international law firm specializing in complex commercial litigation. She has been named one of the top women litigators in California. She grew up in Europe and the East Coast, and graduated from Brown University majoring in European History and Stanford Law School. Debra retired in 2011 after more than 30 years of practicing law in order to focus on community service. She previously served as a founding director of a non-profit that is dedicated to early childhood education in Richmond, California.

Sue Roberts

Sue Roberts joined NAMI Marin’s Board of Directors in 2009. She serves as coordinator of NAMI’s membership and donation database, and enjoys organizing the annual NAMI Marin and Enterprise Resource Center Picnic. Over the years, she has supported many NAMI Marin fundraising and educational events.

As a research scientist and data analyst for California’s Environmental Protection Agency and for California’s Tobacco Control Program, she specialized in program evaluation and survey-guided development. Sue worked for many of California’s local, nonprofit and volunteer organizations, conducting surveys and needs assessments for California County Health Departments and community-based organizations in the Bay Area. Sue has a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Berkeley and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Psychology from UCSF.

Kay Browne

Kay Browne, M.D. completed a behavioral pediatrics fellowship and psychiatry residency for two years at Indiana University. Prior to retirement several years ago, she worked for 26 years as a pediatrician assessing special education children for the California Department of Education. She worked on a team with speech and language specialists, clinical and school psychologists and education specialists who assessed children with a variety of behavioral disorders, most with psychiatric disorders as well as children with developmental disorders and on the autistic spectrum.

She has been on the NAMI Marin board for over 12 years and has held various roles. She currently oversees the IOOV program. The most significant part of her experience is being a close family member of an adult with mental illness for 25 years.

Jacqueline Janssen

Jacqueline Janssen is a nonprofit advocate, transition and executive search consultant, author and entrepreneur and a champion of volunteering and the positive difference people can make for each other and our communities. Jacqueline is one of three mothers responsible for the Marin County Family Partnership Policy to ensure families are included in Marin’s public and families’ mental health services. In addition to her role as board member of NAMI Marin, Jacqueline serves on the Marin Women’s Commission, is a representative to the CA Commission on Women, a Member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and presenter at the UN Conference and a Nominated Changemaker for the White House’s United State of Women. She is also a Member of the International Association of Feminist Economics (IAFFE).

Jacqueline created and leads Women Can Negotiate trainings. She is the co-author and co-founder of LeaveLight, A Motivational Program for End-of-Life Planning, and A Brief History of NAMI. She is co-producer and Host of Architects of Opportunities, a weekly TV Series featuring nonprofit founders. She holds a bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley, has lived in Marin County since 1988 and loves traveling the globe with her husband.

Mental Health Stats and Figures

 
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Prevalence Of Mental Illness

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.1

Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2

Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a serious mental illness at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3

1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.4

2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.5

6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.6

18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.7

Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.8

Social Stats

An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.9

Between 10%-15% of jail inmates have SMI and more than 50% have some type of mental illness. 10

70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.11

Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received

mental health services in the past year.8

Just over half (50.6%) of children with a mental health condition aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.12

African Americans and Hispanic Americans each use mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.13

Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.14

Consequences Of Lack Of Treatment

Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.15

Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.16

Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.17

Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.18

Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.19

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.,20 the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–1421 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.22

More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.23

Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.24

 

Citations

Click to expand Citations

Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-adults.shtml

Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/serious-mental-illness-smi-among-us-adults.shtml

Any Disorder Among Children. (n.d.) Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-disorder-among-children.shtml

Schizophrenia. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/schizophrenia.shtml

Bipolar Disorder Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/bipolar-disorder-among-adults.shtml

Major Depression Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml

Any Anxiety Disorder Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-anxiety-disorder-among-adults.shtml

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-50, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4927. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Retrieved October 27, 2015 from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development. (2011). The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2010HomelessAssessmentReport.pdf

Citing Torrey EF, et al: More Mentally Ill Persons Are in Jails and Prisons Than Hospitals; and “Special Report: Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates”, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. (2007). Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. Delmar, N.Y: Skowyra, K.R. & Cocozza, J.J. Retrieved January 16, 2015, fromhttp://www.ncmhjj.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2007_Blueprint-for-Change-Full-Report.pdf

Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Children. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/use-of-mental-health-services-and-treatment-among-children.shtml

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use among Adults. HHS Publication No. SMA-15-4906. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015. Retrieved July 2017, from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/MHServicesUseAmongAdults/MHServicesUseAmongAdults.pdf.

Kessler, R.C., et al. (2005). Prevalence, Severity, and Comorbidity of 12-Month DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbitity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593–602. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=208671

Insel, T.R. (2008). Assessing the Economic Costs of Serious Mental Illness. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 165(6), 663-665

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, The Department of Health & Human Services. (2009). HCUP Facts and Figures: Statistics on Hospital-based Care in the United States, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/factsandfigures/2009/pdfs/FF_report_2009.pdf

Colton, C.W. & Manderscheid, R.W. (2006). Congruencies in Increased Mortality Rates, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Causes of Death Among Public Mental Health Clients in Eight States. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, 3(2), 1–14. Retrieved January 16, 2015, fromhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1563985/

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Council. (2006). Morbidity and Mortality in People with Serious Mental Illness. Alexandria, VA: Parks, J., et al. Retrieved January 16, 2015 from http://www.nasmhpd.org/docs/publications/MDCdocs/Mortality%20and%20Morbidity%20Final%20Report%208.18.08.pdf

U.S. Department of Education. (2014). 35th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2013. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/2013/parts-b-c/35th-idea-arc.pdf

Suicide Facts at a Glance 2015 (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf

"10 Leading Causes of Death By Age Group, United States, 2015" (2015). Retrieved June 1, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_age_group_2015_1050w740h.gif

"10 Leading Causes of Death By Age Group, United States, 2015" (2015). Retrieved June 1, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_age_group_2015_1050w740h.gif

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBJC.pdf

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Mental Health Services Suicide Prevention Program. (2012). Suicide Data Report, 2012. Kemp, J. & Bossarte, R. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf