California Offers Free Education Program on Mental Health

March 3, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. stir up / stɜr ʌp / (phrasal v.) – to make someone feel a certain emotion or desire strongly
Example: The song stirred up feelings of nationalism in him.

2. persevere /ˌpɜr səˈvɪər / (v.) – to continue persisting through difficulties and challenges
Example: We persevered despite the setbacks we experienced.

3. reform / rɪˈfɔrm / (v.) – to change something to improve it
Example: The school plans to reform its disciplinary methods.

4. comprehensive /ˌkɒm prɪˈhɛn sɪv / (adj.) – covering many things
Example: The comprehensive manual covered everything about the condition.

5. intervention /ˌɪn tərˈvɛn ʃən / (n.) – the act of doing something to stop a negative incident or event
Example: The family managed to stage an intervention before anything bad happened.


Read the text below.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in California is offering an educational program for families and friends of people with mental illness.

The program, dubbed “Family-to-Family,” covers topics such as crisis and stress management, effective communication, confidence, and up-to-date information on mental health conditions. The program helps in improving the problem-solving abilities of people who have a close relationship with individuals experiencing mental illness. The program started in January 2016 and will run on a weekly basis for 12 weeks.

NAMI acknowledges the importance of providing encouragement and support to individuals with mental illnesses. The organization believes that a person’s support system, or those closest to that person, can show support by being educated about a loved one’s condition. The program can help support systems learn how to stir up an atmosphere of cooperation, give verbal encouragement, and most of all, persevere through problems.

Being informed also allows the support system to offer suggestions on possible treatment. However, NAMI emphasized that the final decision regarding treatment should be given to the person living with the condition.

The implementation of the Family-to-Family program in California was made possible through the state’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The proposition was passed to increase the funding and resources of the California Department of Mental Health. It aims to develop and reform California’s mental health systems by providing more comprehensive care to individuals living with mental illness.

Under the MHSA, a 1% income tax is imposed on citizens that have a personal income above $1 million. Projects covered by the act include giving financial support to people with severe mental illness, and programs for prevention and early intervention.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that a program like Family-to-Family should also be introduced in your country? Why or why not?
·         What is the importance of educating the family and friends of a person living with mental illness?

Discussion B

·         Aside from educating their families, what else can the government do for people with mental health conditions?
·         In addition to the government, what other institutions should offer programs like this?

March 3, 2017