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General Meetings

Join us at our next meeting July 23rd, 2024.

General Meetings happen on the 4th Tuesday of every other month. 

There are no upcoming events.

Download our past General Meeting PDF Presentations for important information, links and minutes.

May 28, 2024

CARE Court & Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)

In our May General Meeting we were joined by Ally Hoppis, LMFT, from BHRS, who discussed California’s new CARE Court and Kelli Lozano, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, who presented on Tardive Dyskinesia (TD).


    What is Care Court? CARE Court is a proposed framework to deliver mental health and substance use disorder services to the most severely impaired Californians who too often languish – suffering in homelessness or incarceration – without the treatment they desperately need. It connects a person in crisis with a court-ordered CARE Plan for up to 12 months, with the possibility to extend for an additional 12 months. The framework provides individuals with a clinically appropriate, community-based set of services and supports that are culturally and linguistically competent. This includes court-ordered stabilization medications, wellness and recovery supports, and connection to social services and housing.

    What is Tardive Dyskinesia? Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is a persistent, involuntary movement disorder characterized by uncontrollable, abnormal and repetitive movements of the face, torso, limbs and fingers/toes.  TD is associated with prolonged use of anti-psychotic medication used to treat mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia.  About 600,000 people in the U.S. are living with TD and estimated 65% have not yet been diagnosed.

    Meet our Guest Speaker Ally Hoppis, LMFT: Ally Hoppis, LMFT, is a Clinical Services Manager with the County of San Mateo Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. She oversees the future CARE Court program; Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT); Conservatorship Investigations; Service Connect, a realignment program for the recently incarcerated; and Pathways, a mental health-related court program for a variety of populations. In the past 14 years with San Mateo County, she has worked in both juvenile and adult corrections as well as crisis and outreach services.

    Meet our Guest Speaker Kelli Lozano, DNP, AGPCNP-BC: Kelli Lozano, DNP, AGPCHP-BC, is a board-certified adult geriatric primary care nurse practitioner with a diverse clinical background in internal medicine, nephrology and providing primary care to patients in the long-term care setting. She was also a lead inpatient consultant in managing geriatric patients with acute hospital induced delirium. During her clinical practice career, she became an advocate for managing mental health conditions in the underserved geriatric population. While still serving patients in clinical practice Kelli mentored nurse practitioner students and was the lead advanced practice provider for the division of geriatric medicine. She continues to remain involved in regional and national nurse practitioner organizations including the Upstate Nurse Practitioner Association (UNPA), the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Kelli received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Florida. She completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at Wake Forest University. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, traveling, spending time with her husband and volunteering with Meals on Wheels. Kelli resides in Greenville, South Carolina and serves the southeast region.

    March 26, 2024

    Maríluisa Diaz from CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse)

    In our March General Meeting we delve into the multifaceted dynamics of domestic abuse and the rise of tech-enabled abuse in today’s digital age. Domestic abuse remains a pervasive issue affecting individuals across all walks of life, regardless of gender, age, or socioeconomic status. Topics will included statistics that highlight the impact of abuse in our society today. We explored how to identify red flags, barriers to leaving, cultural norms, beliefs and practices that impact survivors. By covering these important areas, attendees gained knowledge, insights and tools to navigate the complexities of domestic and tech-enabled abuse with sensitivity, awareness and empathy to further support those experiencing abusive relationships.


      More about Maríluisa Diaz:
      Our guest speaker was Maríluisa Diaz. Maríluisa joined the CORA team in April 2017 with over 14 years of experience in the domestic violence field. Highlights of Mariluisa’s experience includes work with DV agencies and police departments, working in DV clinics, providing court accompaniment, advocacy, crisis counseling, and outreach. As the Education Manager at CORA, Maríluisa continues that passion and commitment by working with the community to increase public awareness of domestic abuse. She believes in the importance of educating the public on the risk factors of abuse and strengthening community engagement in healthy and safe relationships. Maríluisa holds a B.A. in Politics from the University of San Francisco. She has also received Cultural Humility facilitator training under by Melanie Tervalon M.D., M.P.H and Jann Murray- García M.D., M.P.H.
      January 23, 2024

      Ian Adamson from Mateo Lodge 

      In our January General Meeting we heard from Mateo Lodge’s Executive Director, Ian Adamson. Ian Adamson spoke about the impactful work he has been doing in San Mateo County, such as the Support Team and FAST Team. He also spoke on important issues such as why critically ill patients are being released from hospitals too early and what effect that has on the individual and our county. Watch the recording to learn more about these topics and more. 


        More about Ian Adamson:
        Ian has been working in San Mateo for 46 years. He was trained as a Psych nurse in the UK and did rehab work there. He has been CEO of Mateo Lodge for about 43 years and in that time started Cassia House, The Support Team, Case Management, opened Humboldt House, opened Wally’s Place and started the FAST team and other programs. In the last tree years he has been operating his retreat center at “Small Voice Farm” in beautiful Pescadero. He is a devoted family man with his gorgeous wife, going on 46 years. He and his wife have travelled all over the US teaching and leading retreats that focus on love and healing. They are both Presbyterian elders. In addition, they also have three spectacular kids and four stunning grandchildren.
        November 28, 2023

        Enhancing Emotional Intelligence in Children and Adults

        Presented by Dr. Neil Nedley, MD


        People are being managed by their emotions in record numbers. However, the most successful and happy people understand and manage their emotions. Can emotional intelligence be taught and if so, how? During our General Meeting on November 28th, 2023 Dr. Neil Nedley explained what emotional intelligence is and how it is vital to achieving happiness, success, and fulfillment. He also discussed how emotional intelligence can be learned in adults, as well as how a children and adolescent curriculum in emotional intelligence is transforming these youth in over 30 public schools that it has been piloted in. Dr. Nedley further touched on how we can even improve our emotional intelligence over the holidays and gain insights into how improving emotional intelligence can aid in the prevention and treatment of various mental illnesses and addictions.


          More about Dr. Neil Nedley:
          Neil Nedley, MD, is founder and medical director of the community based and residential Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Programs™. He is an award-winning, practicing internal medicine physician who is well known as an author, public speaker, and teacher throughout the world.
          September 26, 2023

          Latest Legal Developments in Special Needs Planning

          Presented by Ellen Cookman


          Attorney Ellen Cookman of Cookman Law in Palo Alto, CA covered the following topics about the latest legal developments in Special Needs Planning (among others):


          • What are the best ways to make gifts to special needs beneficiaries?
          • Should I have a stand-alone or testamentary special needs trust?
          • What is the difference between a first-party and third-party special needs trust?
          • When and how should I transfer assets into (i.e. “fund”) the trust?
          • What is an ABLE account and how can we use it?
          • How should the trust be drafted so that pre-tax retirement accounts can be “rolled over” into the trust?


          More about Ellen:
          Ellen Cookman is the principal of Cookman Law in Palo Alto, California. She is passionate about helping families of all shapes and sizes plan for the future and utilize available resources. Ellen is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law from the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. She received her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law and her LL.M. in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate from Golden Gate University. Ellen lives in East Palo Alto with her husband, two cute and very active boys (her older son has high-functioning autism), a puppy named Rosie, and a kitty named Skittles.
          July 25, 2023

          Befriending Your Inner Critic

          Presented by Brinn Langdale, LMFT

          Brinn Langdale is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping young adults and adults heal from sibling sexual abuse and other traumas. Over the last two decades, she has also served as a school-based mental health specialist and has operated a private online therapy practice. In 2015, Brinn hosted teen leadership conferences in Northern California focused on mental, physical and nutritional health. In 2020, she developed the Youth Rising Together curriculum which teaches wellness tools to middle and high school students. Brinn lives in Sacramento and enjoys yoga, going for runs and cold plunging in the American River.

          In this General Meeting Brinn Langdale shares with us the value of the inner critic and the steps we can take to befriend it. Listen to this powerful and insightful presentation done by Brinn by clicking the link below. 

          May 23, 2023

          “Doctoral Students from USF working on “The Invisible Population” Project.

          Presented by Kristin Moser, BSN, RN and Solutions for Supportive Homes.

          Solutions for Supportive Homes is a Bay Area group of committed parents & community professionals working to increase the supply and the quality of permanent, affordable, health-supporting homes where adults living with long term special mental health needs,  They are united by two searing questions:  Where will my adult child live?  And who will help them when I am gone?

          January 24, 2023

          Special Guest Speaker – Ian Adamson

          Ian Adamson was born in London and came to America in 1978 when he began working for Mateo Lodge. He started out as a counselor and became Executive Director around 1980. Ian has started several mental health programs such as Cassia House in 1986, Support Team in 1986, Humboldt House in 2000, FAST Team in 2018, Wally’s Place, and Case Management.
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          View the ZOOM video of the meeting

          September 8, 2021

          Reimagining Crisis Response for San Mateo County

          This is a joint presentation by William Elting, Board Treasurer, and representatives from San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), and StarVista.

          For Additional Resources check out our Reimagined Crisis Response page.

            View the ZOOM video of the meeting

          May 27, 2021

          Getting to Calm, A Personal Story of Health and Healing From Depression

          Our speaker: Ingrid Peterson
          Ingrid Peterson is from Kailua, Hawaii. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Stanford, with a concentration in Developmental Psychology. Ingrid has dedicated much of her professional career to education, teaching from preschool through high school levels, first as an educator at Bing Nursery School, Laboratory Preschool of the Psychology Department at Stanford University. In recent years, she taught primarily at the middle and high school levels, working in both special education and general education classes.


            View the ZOOM video of the meeting


          February 25, 2021

          The role that family members can take to support a loved one with Mental Health Challenges

          Our panel of mental health professionals included:
          Rick Cicinelli: a psychiatrist in private practice in Redwood City. He serves as a staff psychiatrist with Bay Area Community Services and works with The Meadows of Arizona that recently opened an intensive outpatient program in Sunnyvale, and is the Medical Director of Embodied Recovery in Los Gatos.
          Dr. Jennifer Harrison: a Board Certified Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Board Certified Art Therapist. She holds diplomate distinction at the National Center for Crisis Management and with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.
          Connie Swanson, MA, MFT: an associate at the Menlo Park Addictions Institute and a therapist in private practice. Connie is passionate about treatment of addiction and trauma. As a relationship builder she works with individuals, couples and families to advocate for recovery of family life.
          PANEL: Rick Cicinelli, Dr. Jennifer Harrison, Connie Swanson
          FACILITATED BY: Carrie Du Bois, NAMI SMC Board Member


            View the ZOOM video of the meeting