THE HOPE YOU SHOULD KNOW
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.

Rally for Recovery

This day honored individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the mental health community, including the premiere of videos highlighting local accomplishments. We featured a pre-recorded candle lighting service involving local faith and community leaders demonstrating NAMI-Yolo’s tradition of resilience, wisdom, and support. 

Videos and a description of each honoree are below.

Hope Rock

7:00 PM Premiere (Self-guided links available below after 8:00 PM)

RALLY FOR RECOVERY

  1. Celebrate NAMI MIAW Honorees
  2. Interfaith Candle Lighting, featuring stakeholders
  3. Hope Rocks! Participatory Art Project.

A full video of this event can be seen on our YouTube Channel. You can also scroll through every element and video on the page below.

Description:

This day honored individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the mental health community, including the premiere of videos highlighting local accomplishments. The day also will feature a pre-recorded candle lighting service involving local faith and community leaders demonstrating NAMI-Yolo’s tradition of resilience, wisdom, and support.

Yolo County participated in sharing hope in our community and inspiring others by creating an art piece, a rock painted with hope. We thank Davis Art Center for helping to coordinate distribution of art supplies and instructions. If you create a hope rock after our event, you can still take a photo and email it to hoperocks@namiyolo.org

Below are our Hope Rocks Art Gallery, Candle Lighting photos, and videos of all of the presentations!

Yolo County participated in sharing hope in our community and inspiring others by creating an art piece, a rock painted with hope. We thank Davis Art Center for helping to coordinate distribution of art supplies and instructions. If you create a hope rock after our event, you can still take a photo and email it to hoperocks@namiyolo.org

We look forward to receiving Hope Rocks photos from the community. Please send yours to hoperocks@namiyolo.org

 

Interfaith Candle Lighting Campaign

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Yolo County is holding our candle lighting campaign during Mental Illness Awareness Week for the national day of prayer and understanding and recovery. While it may not be safe at this time for our communities to have in-person gatherings, we are striving to find new ways 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 are excited to invite the members of our community to join us for this campaign! By submitting to us an image/video of yourselves lighting a candle, you are helping us to send a message of hope to all those affected by mental illness. We will spread your light and hope by sharing your pictures, videos, and messages to our social media account!

Share Your Light Virtually

We will be led on screen by these mental health stakeholders with a message of wellbeing, support, and hope, while we light our own candles at home.

Rally for Recovery – Meet the Honorees

Sharie Fontana

Honoree 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.

 

Tessa Smith

Honoree 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.

 

Dick Bellows and Marilyn Schwartz

Honorees Dick Bellows and Marilyn Schwartz

Dick Bellows and Marilyn Schwartz and family members moved to Woodland in 2005. They soon became active in community organizations. NAMI and the Mental Health community were top priorities. Over the years, they have participated in leadership roles in a number of organizations.

Marilyn served on the Yolo County Mental Health Board for six years. After that, Dick has served on the Board for another six years. In NAMI, Marilyn developed the “Easy Eats” program. She worked with consumers to prepare easy meals that could be duplicated at home, using donations from the Yolo Food Bank. She also developed the “Bikes for Wellness” program. She organized volunteers who refurbished gently used bikes. Over a period of five years, she delivered 110 bikes, with a lock and helmet, to consumers. Dick was NAMI Yolo Treasurer for over five years. He fondly remembers Stuart Buchan. As Dick was leaving his first NAMI Board meeting, Stuart twisted his arm and asked him to replace the outgoing Treasurer.

In the early days of the pandemic, face masks were in short supply. Marilyn is a quilter. She felt driven to make 15 masks a day and donate them to mental health residences, low income residences, migrant workers, homeless organizations, Planned Parenthood, etc. Dick was just along for the ride. He provided about 30% of her output for the first 600 masks, by ironing the cloth straps. Since then, her design changed and he is out of work. To date, the couple has donated almost 1400 masks. Almost 500 have been donated within the mental health community. Marilyn is a retired social worker. Dick is a retired research chemical engineer.

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.