Our Blog

Common Illnesses

 mental healthj

Anxiety Disorder

Bi Polar Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

Dual Diagnosis

Schizoaffective Disorder


Major Depression

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Panic Disorder


BrainAreasImprove Your Brain Power!

UCLA researchers want to learn more about the benefits of participation in a game-like internet training program designed to improve thinking skills such as memory, attention, and concentration.

Who is eligible?

Individuals who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia

What will you be asked to do?

You will start by participating in clinical interviewing and cognitive testing.  You will be assigned to either a computer training program or you will play computer games.  Both programs are designed to be challenging and fun!  All study activities will take place at UCLA.  The study requires frequent participation and takes place over a six month period.Your Read More Link Text

Hospitals Closing

Area Hospitals

In a recent issue of the NAMI Westside-LA newsletter, I wrote an editorial about the revolving door policy of many psychiatric wards. NAMI members know that it is usually difficult to get a relative placed on a 72-hour hold. If your relative is mentally unstable and would benefit from hospitalization, and doesn’t want to hospitalize himself, he or she needs to demonstrate that they are a danger to themselves or others, or are gravely disabled (i.e., unable to care for themselves), when the police or the psychiatric mobile response team responds to your call for help.  If your relative is able to hold it together for minutes, long enough to satisfy inquiries of authorities, nothing will be done. Often concerned caregivers have to call several times in order for the responding police and/or mental health workers to see the full, florid illness at work.

I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment


IAmNotSickXavier Amador, Ph.D

Vida Press: 2010 10th Year Anniversary, 249 Pages
Language: English, Spanish

I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment

Dr. Amador is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience. He is a professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City and the author of eight books including this national best seller I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! In addition to his books, Dr. Amador was co-chair of the last text revision of the schizophrenia and related disorders section of the DSM IV-TR and is internationally sought-after speaker.

Among his academic and impressive professional credentials, Dr Amador is a past member of the board of directors of The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and director of research at NAMI.

In this book’s latest edition, Dr Amador explains that of 6 million Americans who suffer from severe mental illness, 50% believe they don’t have a mental illness. It is because they don’t have insight, a symptom technically known as anosognosia. It is not an act of denial on the patient’s part, the doctor explains, but considered to be caused by a neurological deficit. It is a symptom of the brain disorder, and not a willful psychological state.

Lack of insight results in refusal of treatment, often medication non-compliance, leading to delusions or hallucinations, lack of personal hygiene and isolation. And for many, drug and or alcohol abuse follow.

The question is, how do we reach our loved one, friend, spouse or patient to get them to do what will be good for them? Although the cure for schizophrenia has not been found, in his book Dr Amador offers us invaluable tools that will help us improve the lives of those afflicted with the illness. Dr Amador’s technique is simple. It is called LEAP, for Listen, Empathize, Agree and Partner. Listening, without commenting or disagreeing. Empathy, meaning showing genuine emotion even in the face of a person’s delusions. Agreeing, in a neutral way. Partnering with the person to achieve shared goals.

Dr Amador’s technique is based on his own personal experience in an effort to better understand and improve communication with his brother, the late Henry Amador, who had schizophrenia.

I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help! is a must for family members, friends, therapists, and members of law enforcement, medical doctors and service providers. It teaches us all how to better communicate and convince someone with mental illness to accept treatment. It is a book that shows us we are not alone, and a guide to the road of recovery for those afflicted with schizophrenia who do need our help.

Review by: Silvia Kloc

I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment

Kindle: I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment

The Skipping Stone: The Rippling Effect of Mental Illness in the Family

Skipping Stone

By. Mona Wasow

Paperback: 204 pages
Published: 1995
Language: English

The Skipping Stone: The Rippling Effect of Mental Illness in the Family

Mona Wasow supports wholeheartedly NAMI Westside’s Family to Family groups with a strong theme to impart information to families about mental illnesses. By creating rippling effects on the entire family, Mental Illness is like a Skipping Stone.

People in Affluent Nations May Be More Depression-Prone


A new study from World Health Organization researchers suggests that people living in affluent countries, including the U.S., tend to have higher rates of depression than nations with lower-incomes such as Mexico. In nearly 90,000 people face-to-face interviews, researchers surveyed representative samples of people in 18 countries on five continents and assessed their history of depression using a standardized list of nine criteria. Click here to Read More from CNN…


PanicDisorderWhat is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious and challenging medical illness, an illness that affects well over 2 million American adults, which is about 1 percent of the population age 18 and older.  Although it is often feared and misunderstood, schizophrenia is a treatable medical condition.

Schizophrenia often interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, to distinguish reality from fantasy, to manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others. The first signs of schizophrenia typically emerge in the teenage years or early twenties, often later for females. Most people with schizophrenia contend with the illness chronically or episodically throughout their lives, and are often stigmatized by lack of public understanding about the disease. Schizophrenia is not caused by bad parenting or personal weakness. A person with schizophrenia does not have a “split personality,” and almost all people with schizophrenia are not dangerous or violent towards others while they are receiving treatment. The World Health Organization has identified schizophrenia as one of the ten most debilitating diseases affecting human beings.Your Read More Link Text

Bipolar Disorder

BipolarWhat is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a medical illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. These changes may be subtle or dramatic and typically vary greatly over the course of a person’s life as well as among individuals. Over 10 million people in America have bipolar disorder, and the illness affects men and women equally. Bipolar disorder is a chronic and generally life-long condition with recurring episodes of mania and depression that can last from days to months that often begin in adolescence or early adulthood, and occasionally even in children. Most people generally require some sort of lifelong treatment. While medication is one key element in successful treatment of bipolar disorder, psychotherapy, support, and education about the illness are also essential components of the treatment process.Your Read More Link Text

Major Depression


What is Major Depression?

Major depression is a serious medical illness affecting 9.9 million American adults, or approximately 5 percent of the adult population in a given year. Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, major depression is persistent and can significantly interfere with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health. Among all medical illnesses, major depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and many other developed countries.Your Read More Link Text

Schizoaffective Disorder


What is Schizoaffective disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is one of the more common, chronic, and disabling mental illnesses. As the name implies, it is characterized by a combination of symptoms of schizophrenia and an affective (mood) disorder. There has been a controversy about whether schizoaffective disorder is a type of schizophrenia or a type of mood disorder. Today, most clinicians and researchers agree that it is primarily a form of schizophrenia. Although its exact prevalence is not clear, it may range from two to five in a thousand people (- i.e., 0.2% to 0.5%). Schizoaffective disorder may account for one-fourth or even one-third of all persons with schizophrenia.