Ms. Myrick brings a program development, training and marketing background to her work at NAMI and PRPSN. While recovery services administrator for the nonprofit Recovery Innovations of California, she managed a peer-run agency and created recovery-based peer education programs. She developed and directed a recovery-based outreach project that targeted homeless people with mental illness and collaborated with community, business, social service providers and law enforcement. She has consulted with the California Institute of Mental Health (CiMH) on the Clinically Informed Outcome Measurement (CIOM) project, and the Advanced Recovery Practices (ARP) statewide pilot. Her training topics include: integrating peers into Mental Health Systems, recovery oriented care, and peer provided services. She has recently been a keynote speaker for the American Psychiatric Association, The National Medical Association, the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS), and the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. She was awarded the 2012 Personal Legacy Award by the Los Angeles Mental Health Commission, the Elvis Coda Award for Building Hope for Families by the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic and has received citations from Congressional Representatives Karen Bass and Lucille Roybal-Allard, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa for her advocacy work.
And her favorite activities included playing with her dogs, reading and more playing with her dogs!
Paul Cumming (Board President)
A National Outreach Advocate with Trilogy Integrated Resources Inc. since 2005, Paul has traveled extensively across the country to Network of Care (NOC) sites, promoting the importance of information and knowledge in enhancing shared decision making between consumers, families and professional staff.
Paul's specialty is connecting people in Systems of Care, showing them how to use the NOC as a virtual hub to work together effortlessly, reducing the fragmentation of services. His outreach extends from state and county administrative offices, to family organizations such as NAMI and Mental Health America to consumer run businesses such as clubhouses and wellness centers.
Paul's degree in accounting from Bentley College enables him to be comfortable in administrative discussions and his lived experience allows him to share his story of recovery and give hope and realistic examples of how consumers can stay on the road to recovery.
Paul lives in Descanso, a small community in San Diego County’s mountain region. His hobbies are playing water volleyball on weekends, and enjoying all that California has to offer.
Yashi Brown (Board Treasurer)
Yashi Brown is a poetess and philanthropist born into the legendary Jackson family. Her collection of poems, Black Daisy in a White Limousine: 77 Poems, published by Periwinkle Press in January 2011, is an eloquent chronicle of life’s triumphs and difficulties. While in her early twenties, Yashi experienced the onset of significant emotional challenges and her poetry took on a new meaning and purpose. Black Daisy captures these private moments, engaging the reader with its heartfelt intensity and simple rhythmic style.
Yashi, has become a passionate and public advocate in the mental health community. She is successfully living with Bipolar Disorder and gives media interviews focusing on the social and self-imposed stigma associated with mental health challenges.
Yashi serves as Vice President of MindBodySeries Health and Wellness Programs developed by renowned psychologist and best-selling author, Dr. Frank Lawlis and Juilliard composer, Gregory Palumbo. These audio programs combine music and guided imagery to help treat various emotional challenges and psychiatric disorders. The MindBodySeries is endorsed by Dr. Phil and has been featured on the Dr.Phil Show.
Yashi speaks publicly and presents spoken word performances for patients and faculty in health facilities, at public and private conferences, and at major private events. She is a founder, with partner Def Poet “Poetri”, of People of Poetry (POP), which works to advance the appreciation of poetry in everyday culture. People of Poetry holds “POP Open Mic” events in Hollywood, CA. and has partnered with the non-profit Traveling Guitar Foundation (TGF) to bring music and spoken word into public schools. POP works closely with NAMI to support spoken word and artistic expression within the mental health community.
Currently developing a documentary chronicling her personal journey, Yashi demonstrates how a support system of family, friends, poetry are the keys to her success.
Dennis Lowe, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. He earned a master's degree in psychology from Pepperdine University and a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed psychologist. Dennis received a distinguished teaching award at Pepperdine and was also recognized as a distinguished alum of the university. He has been training future mental health professionals for 29 years. A particular area of emphasis is families and mental illness. He strives to help students learn to intervene in a helpful manner while respecting the humanity of the individuals and family members they serve. Dennis has been involved in projects to help reduce the stigma of mental illness and has made presentations to NAMI and various conferences on the topic of families and depression. He has enjoyed living in Argentina and Italy while serving as a faculty member for Pepperdine’s study abroad program. He is passionate about playing basketball and continues to work on his 3-point shot.
As a successful entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills, Terri represented the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and major motion picture studios. But beneath her seemingly flawless façade she was struggling with a dangerous secret: ever since childhood, Terri had been battling a debilitating case of bipolar disorder.
Despite wild mood swings and repeated suicide attempts, Terri managed to keep her condition secret from everyone – but at a terrible price. Finally, in an effort to save her own life, she wrote a searing account of her mental illness. Manic: A Memoir quickly became a New York Times bestseller, was optioned by HBO, and translated into eight foreign languages.
Following Manic’s publication, Terri received hundreds of emails from parents of bipolar children, asking about her own childhood. In response, she wrote The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar – a groundbreaking personal portrayal of the emerging phenomenon of childhood bipolar disorder.
Terri’s writings and commentary about bipolar disorder have also been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, NPR, PsychologyToday.com, and countless articles and popular blogs.
The Honorable Marguerite D. Downing has been presiding over a juvenile dependency calendar since September of 2007. A 1989 graduate of the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, Judge Downing worked as a Deputy Public Defender for over 18 years with the Los Angeles County Office of the Public Defender prior to her appointment to the bench. As a Deputy Public Defender, she represented clients with mental and physical disabilities at risk children criminal court juvenile delinquency system.
Since January of 2009, Judge Downing has chaired the Incarcerated Parents Working Group for Los Angeles County, which was established to address barriers affecting incarcerated parents seeking to reunify with their children in foster care. She also serves on the Judicial Diversity Committee for the Los Angeles Superior Court.
In 2007, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George appointed Judge Downing to serve on the Commission on Impartial Courts established that same year. She is vice chair of the American Bar Association Judicial DivisionJudicial Mentor Program and a member of Executive Board of the National Conference of State Court Judges. Recently, she was reappointed to serve as a Commissioner on the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk.
Long active in professional bar associations as an attorney, Judge Downing is a past president of BWL (1994-1995), CABL (1998-1999) and California Women Lawyers (2004-05). Judge Downing is also a former Commissioner of the American Bar AssociationCommission on Mental and Physical Disability Law (2004-2006). At the time of her appointment, Judge Downing was serving as vice president of the State Bar Board of Governors. Both CABL and the John M. Langston Bar Association have bestowed Attorney of the Year honors to her. Judge Downing has lectured on juvenile justice issues, dependency law and courtroom civility in such places as Dubai, Guam and Saipan.
Internationally, she has worked as a Social Worker, developing educational and social programs in the private sector. Lidia has extensive experience providing inpatient and outpatient mental health services and domestic violence services to the Los Angeles County community for the past 20 years. In addition to her clinical insight, she works as a trainer with a focus on Cultural Competence and Mental Health Interpreters.
Other trainings Lidia has provided include: “How to be a Public Speaker”; “How To Be a Board Member”; “Advanced Health Care Directives”; “Peer Support”; “Self-Advocacy and System Advocacy”.
Lidia was born and raised in Argentina and lived in Venezuela for 10 years. She loves visiting Starigrad, historical heart of the Island of Hvar, Croatia, where her grandparents where born. Starigrad means Old Town and the town honors its name. It is a wonderful old village; the houses are built on stone with very wide walls and the people are friendly, warm and gentle.
In 2009 Carl published a memoir titled Bipolar Bare describing his incredible 30-year struggle with bipolar disorder. The book is an Honorable Mention winner of the Eric Hoffer Excellence in Independent Publishing award. Carl was recently featured in the documentary film, Of Two Minds, which tells the personal stories of people living with bipolar disorder. Carl is an active advocate who speaks regularly to mental health groups and policy organizations.
Charlie Hearn, President of Wisdom Legacy, has 25 years of general and executive management experience in healthcare device, services, and infomration technology companies. He has extensive experience building and leading teams around successful start-up companies, since 1987. Charlie is President of NAMI Patton (2004 to present), a Past Board Member, NAMI California, Board Member NAMI San Diego and Chairman of NAMIWALK 2005-present.
Charlie has been married for 36 years and has 4 children and 2 grandchildren. He is interestd in woodworking, and lives with his family in the San Diego area.
Do you need someone to talk to? Our Warm Line is here to help. Run by peers for peers, this anonymous and free service is here for you. Call 888-448-9777 to speak to someone. Available weekdays from 5pm to 10pm.
La Linea de Apoyo
¿Necesitas a alguien con quien hablar? Llama a la linea de Apoyo. La Linea de Apoyo es confidencial pero no para crisis. La llamada es gratis. Llame 888-448-4055. Bilingue (Ingles y Español) los partidarios del igual están disponibles. Lunes a viernes 5:00pm - 10:00pm.