Mental Illness Awareness Week October 5-10, 2020

A Virtual Rally For Recovery – Join Us in the Art of Hope

NAMI Yolo Logo
Save Pine Tree Gardens Logo
UC Davis Diversity Equity Inclusion

Click here to learn more about Pine Tree Gardens or donate to the landscaping project during Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Interfaith Candle Lighting Campaign

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Yolo County held our candle lighting campaign during Mental Illness Awareness Week for the national day of prayer and understanding and recovery. We used a virtual platform to find a new way to connect with each other – to bring hope and understanding for all who struggle with mental health conditions, be it ourselves or those we care for and love. We  invited the members of our community to join us for this campaign!

Below is the video of community leaders speaking with us and lighting a candle of hope. We’ve provided biographies about each, as well.

We also were sent photos by community members sharing their light, which are featured here – please take a look!

Meet Our Candle Lighters

Kim Eichorn Portrait

Kim Eichorn
Kim Eichorn is a community member, supporter, and local Realtor. She grew up in Yolo County and has lived here for the majority of her life, raising two daughters (now adults) and contributing to the community as a Realtor and local philanthropist. She appreciates the fine work done by NAMI Yolo County to destigmatize mental health and provide exceptional support and resources. Her hope is to witness a time during her lifetime when mental health and physical health are treated on a level playing field.

Nora Kim Portrait

Dr. Ah Young (Nora) Kim
Dr. Ah Young (Nora) Kim is a psychiatrist working for Yolo County Health and Human Services and Communicare Health Centers. She is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology as well and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is committed to working with underserved populations with serious and complex behavioral health needs in the public and community psychiatry field.

Cap and Helen Thomson

Cap and Helen Thomson
Cap and Helen Thomson came to Yolo County in 1965. Cap was recruited by Dr. Herbert Bauer to be the Director of the Yolo County Mental Health Department shortly after the originating law passed in California. Cap did his psychiatric residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a Master’s Degree in Community Mental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Helen was trained as a psychiatric nurse at the McLean Hospital in Boston where they first met. Over the years Cap has provided statewide leadership for many innovative programs and organizations focused on mental health and psychiatric care. He continues to see patients at his home office and is active in the California Psychiatric Association. Helen has been an elected Davis School Board member, Yolo County Supervisor and California Assemblywoman whose legislative focus was on health care, mental health and Children’s issues.

The Thomson’s are the parents of 3 children, grandparents of 4, and live in Davis.

Sharie Fontana

Sharie Fontana
Sharie Fontana lives with major anxiety and depression. She worked in the pet industry for over 30 years. Four years ago she was diagnosed after having a major episode during which she was hospitalized. She was introduced to NAMI Yolo County and began attending the weekly NAMI Connection meeting in Woodland. This past December NAMI asked her to facilitate the NAMI Connection group in Woodland. She finds it to be very fulfilling and has helped tremendously in her recovery.

James Glica-Hernandez Portrait

James C. Glica-Hernandez
James C. Glica-Hernandez is the former Coordinator of NAMI Yolo’s Connection program as well as the former chair of the Yolo County Local Mental Health Board, and a former Governing Board member of the California Association of Local Behavioral Health Boards and Commissions. He is also a peer who recognizes and proudly supports the work of NAMI Yolo for its vital work on behalf of those living with mental illness in the community.

Al Rowlett Portrait

Al Rowlett
Al Rowlett is the Chief Executive Officer of Turning Point Community Programs (TPCP), a nonprofit mental health organization operating over 40 programs in several Northern California Counties. Al holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from Ottawa University, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Services Management from Golden Gate University, and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from California State University Sacramento and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Al is committed to advancing hope and healing in every interaction with those he is privileged to support and serve.

Tessa Smith

Terresa “Tessa” Smith
Terresa “Tessa” Smith works as Family Partner and Outreach Specialist in the Mental Health Services Act Unit of Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency. For the past eight years, she has sought to educate our community on mental illness, to spread the good news that recovery is possible, and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Her support and partnership with NAMI Yolo springs from both a personal and professional commitment to promote mental health literacy and the safety and resilience of those living with mental illness.

John Fanous Portrait

John Fanous
John Fanous is the lead pastor of University Covenant Church in Davis, California. John is the son of Egyptian parents and was raised in Southern California. He previously served as an associate pastor at First Covenant Church in Oakland, CA, and church planter of Edgewater Covenant in Pittsburg, CA. Prior to this, John served on staff and as a team leader with InterVarsity in the Bay Area. He is married to Beckie, and has two sons, who are 16 and 14 years old, and a daughter, who is 5 years old.

John’s experience also includes mentoring young pastors, particularly in the area of preaching and church planting, for the Pacific Southwest Conference. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master’s degree in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary.