NAMI Monterey County

Providing Education, Support and Information

First NAMI Persona-a-Persona, Spanish Class!

NAMI Monterey County is offering it’s first ever

De Persona a Persona NAMI Class!


De Persona a Persona de NAMI is a free, SPANISH 10-session course

designed for any adult living with a mental health challenge- depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.

May 2nd- July 4th (10 weeks)

Every Tuesday, 5:30 pm -8:00 pm


(registration required)

Call 831-422-6264 for more information or email

De Persona-a-Persona de NAMI education program is:

  • A course designed to encourage growth, healing, and recovery among participants.
  • Free and confidential
  • Held every week for two hours (10 weeks)
  • Taught by trained Peer Mentors living in recovery
  • A great resource for information on mental health & recovery
  • For individuals personally living with mental health challenges.

* This course will be taught in Spanish. NAMI also offers Peer-to-Peer English classes.

Bridges of Hope

Spiritual leaders of all denominations are invited to attend an informative presentation designed to provide education, support, resources and human connections for those dealing with mental illness in their faith communities.

The four-hour training, called Bridges of Hope, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 23 at The Grille at Calvary Chapel, 3001 Salinas Highway (Highway 68). The training is free, and lunch will be provided by The Grille for a suggested donation of $10.

“This training will give leaders and staff the knowledge and skills to feel better equipped serving those with mental illness and others touched by it in their congregations,” said Bonnie Bufkin, vice president of NAMI Monterey County, which is presenting the training.

All faith leaders and appropriate staff are welcome. For more information or to RSVP, contact Deanna Rivas at 831-402-4939 or, or Bonnie Bufkin at 831-521-5597 or

Upcoming Classes for Family Members, Peers, Providers … English and Spanish!

NAMI Family-to-Family classes are here!

Sign up now if you or someone you know is a family member with a loved one affected by mental illness. Classes are FREE and are available in English and Spanish. Now located in Salinas, Marina, and Soledad!

Call 831-422-6264 to register now. Spaces are limited.

Las clases de Familia-a-Familia de NAMI están aquí!

Inscríbase ahora si usted, o alguien que conozca, tiene un familiar que es afectado por un trastorno mental. Las clases son gratuitas y están disponibles en inglés y español. Ahora se encuentran en Salinas, Marina y Soledad!

Llame al 831-422-6264 para inscribirse. Espacio es limitado.

Celebrating a Fresh Start in 2017

The coming of a new year is a good time to commit to better health, improved lifestyles and better mental health.

The staff and volunteers at NAMI Monterey County are ready, willing and able to help. With our new office, our additional staff and our trained volunteers, NAMI is committed to providing even more classes, offering more support, training more volunteers and spreading more information about mental health services.

Return to our webpage often for updates on available classes and opportunities. Like us on Facebook. Or send us your email address to be included in our email newsletters and our occasional updates. You are also welcome to visit us at 1020 Merrill St., Suite 1015, in Salinas during regular business hours, or call us at 422-6264.

Meanwhile, the national NAMI organization has announced its aggressive legislative strategy for the coming year.

The 2017 legislative priorities are as follows:

  1. Invest in Mental Health and Innovation
  2. Promote Early Intervention
  3. Improve Integration of Care
  4. Support Caregivers, Military Service Members and Veterans
  5. End The Criminalization of Mental Illness

To learn more, see

Open House Celebrates New Chapter for NAMI Monterey County

Scenes from NAMI Monterey County’s Open House! A fine time with old friends, new connections and great hope! Come visit us at 1020 Merrill Street in Salinas.

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Open for Business in Salinas on July 5

After years of planning, NAMI Monterey County is now an independent agency with the opening of its new offices in Salinas.

NAMI Monterey County will open its new office on July 5.

NAMI Monterey County will open its new office on July 5.

For more than a decade, NAMI MC has operated under the administration and within the offices of Interim Inc. The NAMI board owes a debt of great gratitude to Barbara Mitchell, executive director of Interim, and the entire staff for their guidance and their generous assistance over the years. It has been a terrific partnership. Interim took NAMI under its wings with the understanding that NAMI would eventually transition to independence, and the transition was effective July 1.

For the past two years, the NAMI board has been working to establish its independence as a stand-alone affiliate. The board’s transition committee has guided the process with the assistance of representatives from Interim and the county Behavioral Health Department.

On July 5, NAMI opened for business at its new office on 1020 Merrill St., Suite 1015, in Salinas. The new mailing address will be P.O. Box 1367, Salinas, CA 93902. The Salinas telephone number is 831-422-NAMI; the Monterey telephone number will remain active.

NAMI Monterey County is an affiliate for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the largest grassroots organization for mental illness in the country.


Our family support group has moved to Salinas. English group.

When: The 1st  and 3rd Saturday of the month
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:30p.m.
New Location: NAMI Monterey County office,
1020 Merrill Street, Suite 1015
Salinas, CA 93901

NAMI Family Support Group is a free confidential support group for family members, friends, and partners of loved ones living with a mental illness in a compassionate environment.

Family-to-Family Leaders Trained in Salinas

NAMI Monterey County was proud to host a Family-to-Family instructional course on May 20-22 in Salinas.

Participants included 13 residents from four different counties, including Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Contra Costa counties. The intense three-day session concluded with the presentation of certificates that will allow each of the participants to teach NAMI’s signature Family-to-Family classes.

Among those certified were five residents of Monterey County. The training will allow NAMI Monterey County to expand its course offerings to people on the Monterey Peninsula and in Salinas.

NAMI Monterey County intends to continue hosting similar leader-instruction courses in the future. Many thanks to NAMI program coordinator Laura Hollien for organizing the classes.

Buried Above Ground: Film Event Resonates for Capacity Crowds

Capacity crowds, a powerful documentary and meaningful conversations about post-traumatic stress disorder marked NAMI’s two-day film extravaganza this week at CSU Monterey Bay.IMG_2482

Ben Selkow, director of “Buried Above Ground,” screened his film to more than 110 people at the Black Box Cabaret. About 160 people attended the event on May 12 at the Maya Cinema in Salinas. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion featuring Erundina Lopez, a subject in the film, as well as local experts.

The documentary follows an Iraq war veteran, a survivor of domestic abuse and an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina over a six-year period as they try to unburden themselves from the crippling lock of their past traumas. Their personal battles illuminate a global health condition that is misunderstood, under-reported and often left untreated. To learn more about Selkow and his film see the Monterey County Weekly story from May 5 or coverage from the Monterey Herald on May 11.

Ben Selkow, director of 'Buried Above Ground,' joins panelists to discusses his film.

Ben Selkow, director of ‘Buried Above Ground,’ joins panelists to discusses film.

The presentations were greatly appreciated by those who attended. “The presentation was able to provide a broader view to PTSD and it also helped educate many of the attendees that PTSD is not just a military-related disorder,” said one attendee. “It can happen to anyone, anytime, and anywhere.”

“It has helped me realize that I am not alone,” said another. “I met some very caring people that have reached out to me.”

NAMI Monterey County coordinated with other local agencies—the Veterans Transition Center of Monterey County, the county Behavioral Health Department, Each Mind Matters, the CSUMB Health and Wellness Center, the YWCA Monterey County and the CSUMB Veterans Services Center—to present this special two-day event.

Ben & Erundina

Selkow with Erundina Lopez, a subject featured in the film, at Maya Cinemas.

The events are made possible with funding from the California Mental Health Services Authority and the Each Mind Matters initiative in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month.

The presentations were free to the public. Representatives from the Veterans Transition Center of Monterey County, the YWCA Monterey County and NAMI Monterey County participated in the panel discussions.

Pacific Grove Officer Honored with Crisis Intervention Award

Sgt. Orlando Perez was named the 2016 Crisis Intervention Officer of the Year during the annual Fiesta of Hope dinner on May 6 in Seaside.

Sgt. Perez was honored for his response to a call to the Pacific Grove Police Department concerning a suicidal man holding a knife. During the three-hour standoff, the sergeant was able to use the skills he learned during Crisis Intervention Training before ultimately convincing the man to drop the weapon and to accept the assistance being offered.

“Sgt. Orlando Perez did an outstanding job in what was a very precarious, dangerous and tense situation,” according to Melanie Rhodes, Behavioral Health Forensic Services Manager, who nominated Perez for the award.

NAMI Monterey County has sponsored the Crisis Intervention Award for the past six years. The award presentation is a highlight of Fiesta of Hope, the annual dinner sponsored by the Monterey County Health Commission.

New Family-to-Family Facilitators Trained

NAMI Monterey County is proud to have hosted a three-day training of Spanish-language Family-to-Family facilitators in Salinas the weekend of September 11-13.

As a result of the intensive training, six volunteers from Monterey, Santa Clara and Napa countiesNew Certified Facilitators in Monterey County. Facilitators in Salinas were certified to lead De Familia a Familia classes in their respective counties. Three of the volunteers had attended a Spanish-language Family-to-Family classes facilitated by Rosa Gonzalez and Deanna Rivas in Salinas earlier this year. The classmates were so inspired by that experience that they immediately signed on to lead their own classes. They are now certified by NAMI.

NAMI Monterey County looks forward to offering more Family-to-Family classes to Spanish-speaking residents in the very near future.

Donate to NAMI

Please consider a donation to NAMI Monterey County. Your contribution helps NAMI continue its key missions to support and educate consumers, families and others struggling with mental illness.

You can make your contributions conveniently through PayPal. Use the button below.