Press & Archives

Our Story and History in the San Ramon Valley

Our story narrative since 1971, with photos from the early days (scanned press clippings)

50th Anniversary celebrations

By shopping at and donating to The Thrift Station, you are supporting community mental health. We are proud that proceeds from our shop fund Discovery Counseling Center of the San Ramon Valley, a non-profit organization. Discovery Counseling has been providing essential and affordable mental health and wellness programs to community members of all ages for 50 years. We thank you for your generous support!

Past Community Workshops

January 25, 2023 Mental Health Information
Dr. Nitsa Dimitrakos joined Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan to present a mental health information workshop to the community.

Timothy’s Social Justice Committee: Depression

Rachel Kincaid, LMFT presented on the topic of depression, as a part of a series on mental health by the St. Timothy’s Social Justice Committee

October 22nd, 2022
Parenting Workshop: Helping our Children Thrive

In Partnership with The United Methodist Church, Alamo, CA

October 25th and November 1st, 2022
Parenting Workshops: Reconnecting with Our Kids

In partnership with the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs.

NAMI Statement on Fatal Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

May 25 2022

ARLINGTON, VA. May 25, 2022— The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is deeply saddened by the horrific and avoidable school shooting that occurred yesterday in Uvalde, Texas. The mass killing of at least 19 children and two adults at the elementary school impacts all of us. It impacts the mental health of our entire country.

We say the shooting in Uvalde could have been avoided because the nation has failed to act. Littleton, Newtown, Parkland, Blacksburg, Orlando, Las Vegas and most recently Buffalo have been the scenes of mass shootings over the years. Each time, nothing is done, and another tragedy ensues. We should all be free to send our children to schools, to shop for groceries or attend events without the danger of gun violence.

Mental illness is not the problem. It is incorrect and harmful to link mental illness and gun violence, which is often the case following a mass shooting. Pointing to mental illness doesn’t get us closer as a nation to solving the problem and doing so leads to discrimination and stigma against those with mental illness — who are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. People across the globe live with mental illness, but only in the U.S. do we have an epidemic of senseless and tragic mass shootings.

Gun violence is a public health crisis. We urgently need common sense approaches to end gun violence in this country. We all want an end to this senseless violence and trauma, so we need to come together as a nation to find meaningful and sensible solutions.

We are here, ready to help the nation address its trauma. You can connect to your local NAMI. If anyone needs to reach out for resources or help, the NAMI HelpLine is available at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) — open Mon-Fri from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

Articles

Protecting Mental Health On Instagram

9 Ways Parents Can Help Calm Anxious Kids

How To Talk About Mental Health With A Child

Groups

Adult Social & Support Zoom Groups

Amigos

Every 2nd Wednesday 6:30-7:30PM

Este grupo social es para hombres gay, bisexuales y/o trans. Date la oportunidad de conocer a gente nueva, de tu edad y comunidad que habla tu idioma.

Contact christian@rainbowcc.org for private zoom link.

Found Family for Trans Masculine and Non Binary AFAB people

Every Tuesday 4PM

This is a clinician facilitated safe space where we can meet, exchange stories of ourselves and our journey, seek the support of others, ask for education.

Contact kadeth@rainbowcc.org for more info.

Gender Voice

Every 2nd & 4th Monday 7PM

For people across the gender spectrum to get support & build community.

Contact rae@rainbowcc.org for private zoom link.

HIV Monday Night Group

Every Monday 6:30-7:30PM

Our group offers its HIV/AIDS support group members a place to share & encourage.

Contact christian@rainbowcc.org for private link.

HIV/STI Testing

June 8th & 22nd 2-7PM

Free HIV, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.

Contact christian@rainbowcc.org for testing appointments.

LGBTQA Survivors of Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence Support Group

Every Wednesday

This is a clinician lead support group for those of us in the LGBTQA communities who are survivors of domestic violence/intimate partner violence.

Contact kadeth@rainbowcc.org for more info.

Mocha

Every 4th Wednesday 6:30-7:30PM

Monthly HIV Support Group dedicated to men of color.

Contact christian@rainbowcc.org for private link.

Queer Parents, Guardians and Caregivers

Every 2nd Thursday 5:30-7PM

A safe space and support system for Queer people who are Parents, Guardians or Caregivers and want to meet other Queer Parents, Guardians or Caregivers.

Contact lydia@rainbowcc.org for private zoom link.

Parents/Guardians of Transgender & Gender-Nonconforming Children

Every 1st & 3rd Wednesday 6-7:30PM

For families with trans/GNC kids to connect, learn and build community.

Contact rae@rainbowcc.org for private zoom link.

Partners of Trans & GNC Folx

3rd Tuesday 7-8:30PM

A safe and non-judgemental place for partners of Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Folks to find connection and support

Contact aischa@rainbowcc.org for private zoom link.

Senior Zoom Lunch

Every other Friday 1-2PM

Join us for activities, discussions, & fun.

Please contact christopher@rainbowcc.org for private zoom link.

Social GuyZing

Every 4th Friday 6:30-7:30PM

A monthly social group of GBTQ+ identified men.

Contact christian@rainbowcc.org for private link.

Women of the Rainbow

Every 1st Thursday 6:30-7:30PM

A group for older adult LGBTQI+ women to connect, celebrate & support each other.

Contact christopher@rainbowcc.org for private zoom link.

African-American Support Group

African-American Uplift program which meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:00PM. In addition to offering peer-led, culturally responsive, non-clinical, support groups, this NAMI program will help connect the sometimes dispersed black residents in our county.

Facilitated by Gigi Crowder, Executive Director, NAMI Contra Costa County

4th Wednesday of the month from 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Contact:gigi@namicontracosta.org
(510) 990-2670

Zoom Meeting ID: 863 0852 3473

Covid-19-related Resources

Fighting for Hope is a YouTube channel produced by four students featuring videos supporting mental health. Below are two videos featuring an interview with Colleen Millen, LMFT. Colleen discusses anxiety and managing mental health during COVID-19 times.

Supporting Families During Covid-19: Child Mind Institute

Fostering Resiliance In The Time Of Covid-19: Tips For Helping Your Child

Covid-19 Effect On Kids Mental Health

Mental Health And Coping During Covid-19

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Videos

Videos by Kiara Curzi, LMFT and Colleen Millen, LMFT

Tips For Talking About Mental Health


1. Ask twice. Research shows that ‘How are you?’ can often prompt no more than a meaningless exchange. The simple act of asking again, with interest, shows a genuine willingness to talk and listen. If you’re worried about someone, the next time they say they’re fine, try asking ‘How are you really?’ or ‘Are you sure you’re ok?’

2. Ask open questions. We can worry about prying when it comes to mental health, but it’s better to ask questions. It might help someone to get things off their chest, and it shows that you care. Some questions you can ask are: ‘What does it feel like?’, ‘What kind of thoughts are you having?’ and ‘How can I help?’

3. Think about the time and place. Sometimes it’s easier to talk side-by-side. Try chatting while doing something else, like walking. Some people might prefer to talk somewhere with background noise, others may rather have a quiet conversation at home. Everyone is different, so think about which environment you are likely to both feel most comfortable in.

4. Keep conversations small and informal. You don’t have to set aside hours to chat. Talking when shopping, cooking or driving can take the pressure off – it doesn’t need to be a formal sit-down conversation.

5. Depersonalize the situation. It might easier to talk about a hypothetical event rather than asking direct questions about feelings or speaking about your own. For example: ‘work can be really stressful, can’t it?’

6. Help them see they’re not alone. If you know someone else who has struggled with their mental health, talking anonymously about their experiences might be a good way of starting a dialogue, or you could discuss celebrities who are talking about their mental health in the media.

7. Talk about your own feelings. Being open about your own emotions shows it’s okay to be open too.

8. Don’t try and fix it. Resist the urge to offer quick fixes. Often listening is enough.

9. Look after yourself, too. Choosing to talk can make a real difference to someone’s life but it can also bring up difficult things that people may not have spoken about before. If you or others need support, you may find resources at Contra Costa Crisis Center  https://www.crisis-center.org/ or at SAMHSA https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

N. S. LEE

Retired Project Manager, Kaiser-Permanente

Affiliations:

  • Toastmasters’ International
  • Project Management Institute

MIA LEONDAKIS

Former Vice President of Transformation at ServiceNow and VMware

Affiliations:

  • Former Board of Directors, Fostering Wishes
  • Thrift Station

ROBERT COMBS

Real Estate Advisor, Compass

Affiliations:

  • Town of Danville Planning Commissioner
  • Board Member, Leadership San Ramon Valley
  • President, Danville Rotary, Town of Danville Design Review Board Member
  • Board of Directors
  • League of California Cities, California State University at Chico Alumni Board of Directors
  • Parent Advisory Council
  • CSU
  • Past President

MICHAEL COPELAND

Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield

Affiliations:

  • San Ramon Valley Thunderbirds
  • San Ramon Valley Girls’ Athletic League Softball
  • Contributor to Alive Magazine

MARK DAVIS

Tri- Counties Bank- Senior Vice-President

Affiliations:

  • American Heart Association
  • United Way
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • St. Anthony’s San Francisco
  • San Francisco and Sacramento Food Banks
  • Sacred Heart Community
  • Past Board Member California Symphony
  • Past

JENISE FALK

Retired San Ramon Valley Unified School District Principal

Affiliations:

  • President of the Friends of Discovery(Thrift Station)
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association
  • San Ramon Valley Mental Health Advisory Council.

NEWELL ARNERICH

Town of Danville, Town Council Member, AD Architects, Inc., President & Co-founder

Affiliations:

  • Leadership San Ramon Valley
  • Board Member & Past President
  • Danville-Sycamore Valley Rotary Club- Member & Past President
  • AIA
  • American Institute of Architects
  • NACRB
  • National Council of Architectural Registration Board
  • Danville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • San Ramon Valley Mental Health Advisory Council.

KATHY CHIVERTON

Retired Executive Director Discovery Counseling Center

Affiliations:

  • Leadership San Ramon Valley Board of Directors
  • Rotary Club of Danville
  • Contra Costa County Measure X Community Advisory Board Member

MARIE HALL

  • Licensed Social Worker; Retired Clinical Director
  • St. Anne’s Catholic Church

Affiliation:

  • Friends of Discovery

MITCHELL HOPSON

Vice-President of Finance, Zearn

Affiliations:

  • Diablo Black Men’s Group (past Treasurer)
  • San Ramon Valley Diversity Coalition (founding member)
  • Leadership San Ramon Valley
  • Board of Directors
  • Youth sports coach

DAVID KRAVITZ

Affiliations:

  • Director of Student Services
  • San Ramon Valley Unified School District

Claire Humphrey

Retired Pediatrician: Valley Community Health Center and Blackhawk Medical Group

Affiliations:

  • Marriage Mentor Community Presbyterian Church
  • Spiritual Mentor CityTeam Oakland

SCOTT LUCIA

Wealth Management at Andrews, Lucia Wealth Management LLC

Affiliation:

  • Tassajara Valley Little League

ANDY LI

Board Member, Contra Costa Community College District

Affiliations:

  • President
  • Civic Leadership USA
  • President
  • API Coalition, Board of Directors
  • Leadership San Ramon Valley
  • Steering Committee
  • San Ramon Valley Diversity Coalition
  • Rotary Club of Dougherty Valley/San Ramon

NEAL MITCHELL

Community Volunteer

Affiliations:

  • Hall of Fame Board Member Animal Rescue Foundation
  • Board Member Love for Margot Foundation
  • Past Board Member Mercator Medical Systems
  • Past Board Member Injoy Media Corporation

NISHI MOONKA

Chief of Staff/Head of Purpose and Culture at Blue Beyond Consulting

Affiliations:

  • Quail Run Learning Fund Vice President
  • PTA

SARAH NIX

Attorney, Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Law By the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

Affiliations:

  • Past President, Board of Diablo Valley of Estate Planning
  • Iron Horse Mother’s Club
  • AAUW, Volunteer St. Isidore’s Parish
  • East Bay Trust &amp, Estate Lawyers

JILL PURCELL

Owner Purcell International – Food Importing Business

Affiliations:

  • San Ramon Valley YMCA- Past Board Member
  • Diablo Homeowner’s Association- Past Secretary
  • Dorris-Eaton School-Past PTA President
  • Green Valley School and Monte Vista High School- Past PTSA Member

PAT WILSON

Retired San Ramon Valley Unified School District Educator

Affiliations:

  • Sons in Retirement (SIRS)
  • 100 Club of Contra Costa County
  • Community Presbyterian Church (CPC) Sponsor Program
  • San Ramon Valley Mental Health Advisory Council.

MARY VERSTRAETE

Retired from Banking

Affiliations:

  • Member of the Friends of Discovery
  • Thrift Station

GARY RIELE

Affiliations:

  • Principal
  • Riele Commercial Real Estate

ANN WILLOUGHBY

Retired Chief of Staff, University of California Office of the National Laboratories

Affiliations:

  • Treasurer Friends of Discovery Board (Thrift Station)
  • Quest Science Center Advisory Board
  • Livermore Lab Foundation
  • Expanding Your Horizons
  • Agape Village Foster Family Agency
  • American Association of University Women