NAMI Walks Northern California | Participate virtually or in person
In This Issue: Quicklinks

Assembly Bill 488 Proposed to provide oversight on Mental Health Spending by County   
Law Enforcement - we thank you

NAMI Walks - 6-May-2017: Join Us 
Interested in Volunteering?

NAMI El Dorado County: Board of Director's Meeting

Find us on Facebook: NAMI El Dorado County
NAMI is the nation's most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country.  Dedication, steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in the NAMI mission have produced profound changes.  NAMI has been the driving force behind a national investment in lifesaving research, parity for mental health care, and increased housing, treatments and services that are available to those in need when they need them the most.

NAMI was founded on the Eastern US in 1979 by parents of adult children living with schizophrenia...meanwhile in San Mateo County, CA in 1977 parents of adult children living with schizophrenia had joined forces to share their frustrations with the mental health care system.  Together they helped create NAMI - our nation's largest grassroots non-profit (comprised primarily of volunteers.)   

NAMI El Dorado County is proud to be 100% volunteer. 

This is an interesting historical video on the founding of one of the original NAMI affiliates.  Note that NAMI El Dorado County celebrated our 20th year of volunteerism in 2016.

warmlinesNAMI El Dorado County provides 3 Warm-lines:
Non-judgemental support to members of the community that need education, support or advocacy by volunteer NAMI El Dorado County leaders who share their time and passion for helping others.

WS: NAMI El Dorado County Warm-line: (530) 306-7710
SLT: NAMI El Dorado County Warm-line: 650-740-5776
Spanish Warm-line in SLT: 775-407-0306 

Heartfelt Gratitude for Community Support

GratitudeThank You Community Leaders

for supporting our volunteerism and innovative idea to develop NAMI Peer Empowerment in SLT. We appreciate your broad community support!

Thank you to  Ernie's Coffee Shop in South Lake Tahoe for hosting our first Peer Empowerment breakfast (and for buying raffle tickets to our annual NAMIWalks Fundraiser!)   Great food and a positive supportive place to eat.
Thank you to Kindle Craig, Barton Foundation in South Lake Tahoe for this amazing video contrasting the beauty of South Lake Tahoe with the reality of our community's challenges with mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness.  Awesome 2 minute video!   Play Facebook Video Link


Amy Farrah Fowler from "The Big Bang Theory" opens up about her diagnosis  

DrMayimDr. Mayim Bialik, Ph.D.
talks about why she turned to NAMI (she is StigmaFree).Video-clip

Actress, Mental Health Activist, and real-life Neuroscientist.

NAMISupportGroupsNAMI Family Support Group Meetings - 3 in El Dorado County:  
These are designed for family members and/or caregivers/friends supporting a loved one living with a mental health condition.  The group provides a safe supportive environment where family members and caregivers can talk frankly about their challenges and help one another through group wisdom.   These groups provide empathetic support for those dealing with crisis and the emotional overload that is so much a part of having someone you love living with a mental illness.  You can come, share or just listen, get useful practical information or a hug from others who understand.  This group is for families and friend's of those living with a mental health condition.   No cost to attend.

South Lake Tahoe: NAMI Family Support Group:  meets the second Tuesday monthly from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: South Lake Tahoe Library located at 1000 Rufus Allen Road 
Group co-facilitators: Alan and Jeanne (650)-740-5776 -
Remaining 2017 dates: 10-Apr, 08-May, 12-un, 11-Jul, 15-Aug, 12-Sep, 10-Oct, 14-Nov, 12-Dec

Western Slope: NAMI Family Support group: meets the first Tuesday monthly at 7:00 p.m.
Location: is The County Governmment Center, 330 Fair Lane, Conference room C, Placerville
Group facilitator: Jan Melnicoe
Remaining 2017 dates: 04-Apr, 02-May, 06-Jun, 04-Jul, 01-Aug, 05-Sep, 03-Oct, 07-Nov, 05-Dec

El Dorado Hills: NAMI Family Support Group  
Location: EDH Raleys Event Center, 3935 Park Dr., El Dorado Hills from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. 
Remaining 2017 dates: 20-Mar, 17-Apr, 15-May, 19-Jun, 17-Jul, 21-Aug, 18-Sep, 16-Oct, 20-Nov, 18-Dec
Group co-Facilitators: Jannell Clanton (530) 333-5803 and Lauraleen Patterson (916) 955-1666

NAMI Walks: May 6
NAMI Walks Northern CA
Join us 6-May-2017 at William Lands Park! 
Join as a "virtual" walker or come show your support in-person. Raise awareness, enjoy the farmer's market, inspirational stories, awesome vendors and free give-aways. 

3 team captains from NAMI El Dorado County 


If you are one of the over 500 people who called, attended, or participated in a NAMI El Dorado County program this year, you are familiar with with how much it helps to know you are not alone.  Please consider providing a tax-deductable donation to help us continue this important work in our community.

Your Donations Are Needed and Greatly Appreciated!
Every dollar donated goes  directly to our education, support, and advocacy efforts.  
We are 100% voluntary non-profit
and are comprised of individuals and families with lived experience - working hard every day to crush stigma and improve services and supports in El Dorado County.   
Your donations; volunteer time, items, or money are appreciated and used in our community to benefit and improve the lives of families and individuals living with mental illness.

Let us know if you would like to make a special donation  "in memory of" or  "in honor of" someone special or  "in support of our volunteerism in the community".   

Please add a note to your check (or email after using PayPal)   NAMI El Dorado County covers the Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe - we are one affiliate.
Donations by check:
Please make checks payable to: 

"NAMI El Dorado County", 
PO Box 393, 
El Dorado, CA 95623

Membership in NAMI has benefits!
Don't miss out on the excellent publications, NAMI Advocate Magazine (3 times per year) and the Voice newsletter, as well as online access to informative and thoughtful articles and blogs.   You will also have the option to receive advocacy alerts where you can advocate with your legislature with a single click.
Memberships can be made or renewed online: (select  NAMI El Dorado County Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe  when you apply for membership.)

Or, by mail to 
NAMI El Dorado County, P.O. Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623.  

A full membership is $35.00/year or discounted $3/year "Open Door"

NOTE: If you live in bordering Nevada addresses such as Zephyr Cove or Stateline, NV or any areas outside of El Dorado County including any other states with loved ones or caregivers and you wish to join this affiliate - we welcome you to join our affiliate

Unfortunately the NAMI on-line system is not set-up to easily process a NV or out-of-"CA"state address (so please mail in your membership request and we will manually process those that live in zip codes outside of El Dorado County.)      Thank you!   

New Membership Structure Coming 1-July 2017:

Household Membership $60 (new); Regular Membership $40; Open Door Membership $5
NOTE: The "open door rate" is currently $3.00/year and is now available on-line

VolunteerInterested in Volunteering?
Use your personal passion to give back.  
We are looking for individuals with an interest and skills in teaching, fundraising, organizational management, grant search and writing, and support group facilitation.  

Giving back  and helping others is not only a gift but an opportunity for  personal  growth and, let's face it, a chance to feel good. 
Call Jan on the Western Slope at 530-306-7710

Call Jeanne in South Lake Tahoe at 650-740-5776.

NAMI El Dorado County
Board of Directors Meeting
 - First Tuesday every other month: April 4; June 6; Aug 1; Oct 3; Dec 5, 2017.   

Our meeting place will be changing due to the renovation at the County Government Center.  

This meeting is open to the public.

Check the next newsletter for new place and directions.

CrisisLineIn Need of a Crisis Line?
If you or your child needs information, resources or someone to talk to during difficult times, make a call or send a text to:

 LanguageMattersLanguage Matters: Tips from Dr. Amador
Do NOT Say: 
  • My loved one refuses to acknowledge he's mentally ill
  • Denies he's mentally ill
  • Won't admit
  • Doesn't admit....
  • Refuses to admit...(this is the worst offender)
  This all reflects our loved ones have a choice that they are ill.   We would never say "our loved ones won't admit they are hallucinating."
Do Say:
  • My loved one cannot comprehend he is mentally ill
  • Is unaware he is mentally ill
  • Unable to see or understand he's ...
  • Has anosognosia for his mental illness (which is an actual symptom in the DSM V)
Tips from Dr. Xavier Amador in his 10th anniversary edition book and his recent recorded webinar.   
You can find unlimited access to the recorded webinar available at  NAMI Ask The Doctor: "I am Not Sick. I Don't Need Help!" with Dr. Xavier Amador
Once you register the replay becomes available. The sound quality is poor but worth replaying. 

NAMIWalksNAMI Walks Northern California: 6-May-2017 Join Us!
Multiple local counties including El Dorado County and surrounding communities to raise awareness and empower one another.

3 Ways to Support our Annual Fundraiser.  
Contact your NAMI leader for more details.
  1. Buy a $5 Raffle Ticket (or buy several)
  2. Donate to one of our walk teams or just come join in the fun at no cost
  3. Provide business sponsorship

$5 Raffle Tickets available from your NAMI leader until late March.  Prizes include $150 VISA Gift Card, $100 Amazon Gift Card and many more...
 Carpool available for those registered from SLT

Raffle tickets raise money for our advocacy and educational programs in NAMI El Dorado County. 

90% of the proceeds go directly to our affiliate and 10% goes to NAMI California who offers free trainer-training-certification annually to our affiliate. 

NAMI Walks 2017 raffle tickets are $5.00 donation but ONLY AVAILABLE until 20-Apr-2017 from your NAMI leader.  
Winner does not need to be present to win
Drawing will be held 6-May at the NAMI Walks in Sacramento.

1st: $250 Visa Gift card, 
2nd: $200 Amazon Gift card, 
3rd:$200 Target Gift card, 
4th: $100 Dick's Sporting gift card, 
5th: $100 Gas Card, 
6th: $50 CVS Gift card, 
7th: $50 Starbucks Gift card, 
8th: $50 IHOP gift card.     

Call Jeanne (650-740-5776) if you would like to help us sell Raffle Tickets or if you would like Raffle Tickets. 


If you have recently, or in the past, taken one of our classes, please let others in the community know how valuable the experience was.  Your recommendations help to get the word out.  Too often we hear, "I wish I had known about this class years ago!". 

NAMI Basics - for caregivers/parents of children with behavioral challenges and/or a diagnosed mental health and/or substance use issue.

NAMI Family-to-Family -
for caregivers/parents of teens and adults of any age living with mental health and/or substance use issues.
is on the coveted list of SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) Evidence-based recovery models.  Visit to learn more about SAMSHA.   The classes are posted at and in this monthly newsletter when they are scheduled.  

We are happy to take your name and contact information if you wish to reserve space.   

"I learned more in NAMI Family-to-Family than in the past 20 years working as a nurse across a variety of hospitals."  
Anonymous graduate of NAMI F2F 
"You tossed our family a life-rope and we held on.  Our loved one is now doing well.  This course saved our family and our marriage."  
Anonymous graduate F2F 
"I wish we knew about this course years ago...we cannot help but wonder how much better our loved one would be doing had we been introduced to NAMI sooner."   
Anonymous graduate NAMI F2F

Fun Fact
Over 350,000 individuals have graduated NAMI Family-to-Family educational program (this is less than 1/10th of 1% of the the US population.)   

Imagine how different the world would be if all of us were educated in mental health that emphasizes brain science?

NAMI Family-to-Family is on the coveted SAMHSA list of "evidence-based practices."

NAMI Family-to-Family In South Lake Tahoe:

NAMI Family-to-Family education  in South Lake Tahoe: 
16-Sep-2017 through 21-Oct-2017 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
6 consecutive Saturdays <-- accepting sign-ups now for 2017
Call Jeanne at 650-740-5776 to register 

NAMI Family-to-Family - WS (Placerville) and NAMI Basics

NAMI Family-to-Family Education Spring Class 
starts March 28th, on 12 consecutive Tuesday evenings. Call Jan at(530) 677-2676 or Maureen (530) 350-8080 to register. The class is filling fast, so call soon.  
NAMI Basics - This class is for families with children/adolescents with behavioral/mental health conditions.  This 6 week class will provide resources and coping strategies for families.   The class will meet for 6 consecutive Wednesdays at 6:30-9:00 beginning March 22. 
  Call Juline to register:   530 642-5659 
All NAMI programs are provided to the community at 
no cost to the participants and are offered once or twice a year.  Please call to put your name and contact information on our list for future classes.

Jail - MH Screening Policies

KeyTakeawaysMHCSelect "Key Takeaways" from 
22-March-2017 MHC Meeting: 
By NAMI Leader in South Lake Tahoe:

--PHF (in-patient psychiatric hospital in Placerville) averages 50% capacity in bed utilization (and is intentionally reserving additional beds called "room blocking" to preserve comfort of patients.)  Our county spends approximately $4.5 million / year for this service managed by TeleCare Corp. We contract for 16 beds.  The MHC has asked to see this room blocking policy expressing concern that treating the maximum number of patients in need is essential.  TeleCare provided their written annual update to the commission laying out trend data to demonstrate performance. NAMI SLT leader requested during public comment that 2016 trend data be provided on bed utilization; addition of grievance forms to the corp website; and additional metric by PHF management be considered to assess the total number of denials of medical records without provide of a reason for the denial.

--Commissioner S. Clavere provided an excellent 1 page summary of his findings about the ineffective Mental Health Screening Policies and Procedures used by the Jail.  Ineffective oversight of CFMG exists and further continuous review is necessary.  CFMG is who the county contracts with for jail services.   Commissioner Claver's findings can be found here.  CFMG is managed by the Sheriff (an elected position.)  The budget for CFMG comes from the Sheriff's budget (but the countys CAO is responsible for budget allocations.) 
When services such as drug testing in BHC are not being done then one needs to ask the question "is it budgeted and in someone's job description?"  If not, then why not?
--The MHC under the leadership of Commissioner Dr. Lynn has also recently completed an excellent summary of the BHC noting concerns about this unfunded program that is not providing drug testing services using national evidence-based standards that are the cornerstone in improving recovery.  The probation department (responsible for drug testing) reports into the Sheriff but it is the CAO that approves how many dollars are allocated to each department.
-- Assisted Outpatient Treatment: There are still zero clients in the program (where $500,000 of funding has been set aside for this service.)  The MHC continues to encourage cross-collaboration such that the PHF (psychiatric hospital) and county work closely to refer candidates to take advantage of this program which took years to get approved.   It should be noted that El Dorado County received a grant to develop a "First Episode Psychosis Program" open to all in the county that meet age/criteria - including those with private insurance.  Unfortunately, there are only 3 in the program to-date in SLT and 0 on WS.  There is opportunity for improved marketing about the availability of this no cost program.  

--The Mental Health Commission requested review of MHSA data sooner and there was discussion and reminders set forth that the MHC has accountability to approve or disapprove the process used by the county to complete the MHSA planning.  MHSA programs are funded by the California "millionaire tax" and programs must meet specific criteria set forth by the state but allow very autonomous selection and oversight by each county.   California is under pressure to justify how these programs are actually achieving results in light of the continuing need for transparent and prudent fiscal management - particularly of all mental health services/supports spending.   One example of an MHSA funded program is the new "Community Hubs" spearheaded by First Five offering access to virtual health hubs.   To learn more contact 530-573-3307 in SLT.  These hubs are staffed with bi-lingual staff offering health advice at no cost.  

-- The MHC noted a trend in report review requests or new report requests coming in late in the game from the county.  The MHC is comprised of  highly experienced professionals that volunteer their time to serve the community in this important oversight role.   In order to provide quality review and reporting they have asked the county to provide their requests earlier to the MHC and factor this into their planning cycles.   Typically a sub-team by the MHC is created to do a thorough assessment of various issues.

NOTE: Formal Minutes from prior monthly meetings do not fully reflect the "meat" of discussion, agreements, or any public comment.  This is an area of opportunity for improvement so that members of the public, board of supervisors, sheriff, and others can get a feel for the volume of work this group has accomplished surfacing many issues and making many healthy recommendations.   Therefore, we have added this "key takeaway" section to our newsletters to help keep the public aware of key topics.  While this is our first key takeaway highlight - we will work to keep you better informed going forward.  We encourage your attendance at the MHC.

NAMI El Dorado County outreach continues 

NAMI El Dorado County continues to provide mental health education and awareness at various county and school health fairs, back-to-school events/classes, and at clubs and other organizations.   

If your club, place of worship, or organization is interested in a 20, 60, or 120 minute mental health awareness overview please contact us. 

West Slope: Jan 530-677-2676 

South Lake Tahoe: 
Jeanne 650-740-5776

Spanish South-shore Tahoe Basin: Marisol  1-775-407-0306

AmazonSmileUse AMAZON SMILE and select NAMI El Dorado County

Will you please share this with your friends and family?  You Shop, Amazon gives to NAMI El Dorado County.  1/2% of all your purchase amounts will then go to NAMI El Dorado County

Dear NAMI Family and Friends,

We are welcoming spring in El Dorado County!  Spring is a time of renewal and so we offer you a new format for our newsletter.  Our hope is that it remains a welcoming and informational resource to our families and friends impacted by mental illness.  We welcome your input and suggestions on the new mobile-friendly format.

The recent attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have been everywhere in the news.  It's important to remember that the ACA lists mental health care as an essential benefit.  Please let our representative in Congress know how important it is for your family to maintain affordable access to mental health services and that these services save lives and dollars.  This is an area where all of us can make our voices heard.  We need to continue to fight for quality mental health services.

We at NAMI El Dorado County welcome your participation in this year's NAMIwalk.  The walk is right around the corner on Saturday, May 6th.  The day is fun, rewarding, and helps support our educational programs and support groups.  Please join us!  Information about the walk is in our sidebar.  It's easy to form a team, join a team or support one of our walkers.  If you can't be there in person, you can join as a "virtual" walker.  We also have $5.00 raffle tickets for sale. 
                                          Hope and Healing Team 2016


NAMI El Dorado County in cooperation with the El Dorado County Mental Health Commission will be hosting a breakfast for the Board Of Supervisors and presenting our CIT Officer of the Year Award on Tuesday, May 9th.  There will also be a Mental Health Proclamation for May is Mental Health month by the BOS and the annual Mental Health Commission report to the BOS by the Chair, Jim Abram.  This meeting is open to the public and you are welcome to join us in public display of the importance of mental health services for our county.  These items are scheduled for 10:00 am.   Please join us and show your support for mental health!

It's not too late! We still have a few openings for our spring West Slope NAMI Family to Family Education class which started on March 28.  We will be closing the class to new registrants shortly.  Contact us if you would like to register. See sidebar for contact info.


Jan Melnicoe
NAMI El Dorado County


How Should We Be Treating First-Episode Psychosis?
By Laura Greenstein | Mar. 06, 2017
It may come as a surprise that each person is at risk of experiencing a psychotic episode-you, your kids, everyone. Usually, psychosis is associated with schizophrenia or a different mental health condition, but it can also be the result of trauma, substance abuse or a physical illness or injury. "[Any] person is capable of psychotic symptoms given the right circumstances," according to Sarah Deal and Valerie Alt, two psychotherapists trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp).
Psychosis can cause hallucinations, delusions and changes in how the brain processes information and the ability to distinguish what is real and what isn't. Experiencing this for the first time (referred to as first-episode psychosis , or FEP) is often frightening, confusing and distressing. Sadly, about 100,000 young people experience FEP each year.
For these 100,000 people, treatment options can seem bleak. And the longer the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), the more challenging it is for someone to recover from psychotic symptoms. Ideally, a person would receive service and supports within two years of FEP. This leads to better outcomes and keeps young lives on track.
Thankfully, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) conducted a study-the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode Early Treatment Program (RAISEETP)-that revealed the most effective form of treatment for early psychosis.
Coordinated Specialty Care Programs
Study participants treated by coordinated specialty care (CSC) in RAISE-ETP showed significantly better outcomes than those treated by standard mental health services. The CSC participants remained in treatment longer and experienced significantly greater improvement in quality of life, symptoms and involvement with work and school.
Coordinated specialty care programs are a team-based approach to treatment in which individuals and families play a meaningful role on the team. These programs coordinate psychiatric and primary care in a holistic treatment approach.
"One thing that is pretty outstanding is that the CSC programs are person-centered. Young adults are the drivers of their treatment," says Michael Haines, a young adult in recovery from psychosis who works as a peer-support specialist for a CSC program.
Key Components of CSC Programs
Family Support and Education
Families can play a key role in recovery as part of the treatment team. They value education, information and skills that can help them support their loved ones. In FEP programs, that is exactly what happens: Family support and education give families the information and skills they need to aid their loved one's treatment and recovery.
"It's important to understand that relationships with family and friends may be the only relationship a person with psychosis has," says Haines, "and that support means the world to them, even if it doesn't show at first. It may not be until a year or two down the line until they are able to recognize that and put it into words, but to have that support can make all the difference."
Understanding symptoms and developing coping skills that will help the person manage his or her condition is also an essential part of treatment. Currently, the form of psychotherapy that is broadly recommended as a first line of treatment for psychosis is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp). This type of therapy is designed to reduce the distress caused by psychotic symptoms and help individuals gain perspective into how they view the world and their own experiences.
Medication Management
The objective of medication management is not only finding what medication is best for the individual but also finding the lowest possible dose so that side effects are minimized as much as possible.
Supported Education and Employment
One important component of recovery is for the person to be able to return to school or work. Supported education and employment programs can help individuals not only find work opportunities but also remain employed or in school.
One successful program that helps people living with mental health conditions return to work is Individual Placement and Support (IPS). IPS programs follow these principles:
  1. Open to anyone who wants to work;
  2. Focus on competitive employment;
  3. Rapid job-search capabilities;
  4. Systematic job development capabilities;
  5. Decisions guided by client preferences;
  6. Individualized long-term supports;
  7. IPS integrated with treatment team; and
  8. Benefits counseling included.
According to NAMI's "Road to Recovery" report, people participating in an IPS program have significantly higher employment rates and tend to remain employed longer.
Peer Support
Finding other people with similar experiences to connect with can be one of the most important steps toward recovery. "Through my recovery process, [the] one thing that I really held close to me was being able to talk to other people that understood," Haines says. It helps for people living with early psychosis to know that they are not alone and that their condition is not their fault-which is something that peer support can help them achieve.
Current Status of CSC Programs
Given the positive RAISE-ETP study findings, CSC programs should be available to all young adults experiencing FEP and their families. Unfortunately, that's just not the case. CSC programs are expanding around the country, yet only two states have state-wide expansion. Meanwhile, 30 other states only have one or more programs and plenty of room to expand. An investment in expansion by Congress has fueled this expansion, and NAMI advocated for that congressional funding-but this kind of advocacy must successfully continue so CSC programs will be available to all who need them.
How Can You Find These Programs?
If you or a loved one is experiencing early psychosis, find out more-including if your community has a CSC program-by visiting . In addition, you can contact the NAMI HelpLine at 800-950-6264 or, and we will help you locate the closest CSC program in your area. If there is no treatment center or plans for a treatment center in your area, we encourage you to work with your NAMI State Organization or NAMI Affiliate to advocate for an expansion of FEP programs and services in your community.
Laura Greenstein is communications coordinator at NAMI.
- See more at:

Assembly Bill 488 aimed at providing external oversight of Mental Health Services in El Dorado County (and other California counties)

California counties receive the greatest amount of funding for mental health services and supports but is grossly lacking in providing effective oversight to programs.  Read more about this proposed bill here. 

Important Information for Families
40% Fewer Re-Admission Rates when access to medical records provided
Some research has been published indicating that patients that are given their full medical records after release from an in-patient stay have 
40% fewer re-admission rates  within the first month.     There is a special kind of recovery-empowerment that comes from knowing your rights and advocating for those that cannot advocate for themselves.  

If your in-patient hospital or provider is refusing to provide your medical records then it is appropriate to file a grievance with the State of California and with the provider.  Make sure you also contact your insurance provider to let them know this provider/hospital is not cooperating.  You may also request a meeting with the attending psychiatrist and/or patient right's advocate.

Grievance form for TeleCareCorp PHF in Placerville is currently not on-line (NAMI El Dorado County has contacted their CEO noting that both a release of confidentiality and grievance form is lacking in their TeleCare.Com corporate web-site)   NOTE: Grievances for PHF can be filed using the same grievance form used for El Dorado County MH (available on the County's website and available in either Wellness Center.)  Take the time to file grievances please!  

By NAMI El Dorado County Instructor in SLT

We encourage family's and/or our loved ones to file grievances.  This is how operations improve!  Let your voices be heard.

NAMI El Dorado County recently learned that the Placerville PHF (in-patient psychiatric hospital) operated by TeleCare does not have a grievance form on their corporate web-site. We promptly notified TeleCare's new Manager Jeff Symon and the 
El Dorado County team responsible for their oversight.  

TeleCare's PHF in Placerville has grievance forms within their in-patient hospital but this does not help someone trying to get medical records upon release from hospital.   
The PHF in Placerville has hired a new manager, Jeff Symon: 530-748-4700.  
El Dorado County Behavioral Health has a new client-advocate: Danielle:  patientrightsadvocate

TeleCare has signaled that they are working to get these forms added to their website.  Their website serves hundreds of families across multiple states in the West Coast with over 2800 employees.  

If you have completed the necessary forms requesting medical records and have been turned down - we encourage you to file a grievance.

PHF Placerville Grievance Form 
El Dorado County Behavioral Health Grievance Forms are available on their main website here (and available in the Wellness Centers both on the WS and SLT.)   
What Should I Do If I Have A Complaint About a Hospital (which was not addressed by the provider's grievance process)?  File Grievance with California
Educate, Empower, Engage
Jun 28 - July 1, 2017 (early-bird discount registration ends 31-Mar)
Attending a NAMI national convention
 (held annually) is incredibly inspiring.  This year's convention will be in Washington D.C.
The Convention will feature:
  • Attendee visit to Capitol Hill to advocate for mental health.
  • Top-notch researchers and clinicians providing information and tools to advance and sustain recovery from mental illness.
  • People living with a mental illness and their families providing their own important perspectives on recovery.
  • The country's keenest minds and savviest policymakers offering strategies and tactics to effectively advocate for changing the mental health system in our nation.
  • Abundant networking opportunities so we can learn from each other about how we can improve the lives of all people living with mental illness and their families.
  • Inspiration, innovation and an exhilarating four days in Washington, DC.
  • See more at htpp://www.

    Psychosis Toolkit - Available Now!

    How to transform emerging psychosis
    In the course of our work at NAMI, we see all too much heartbreak when people with emerging psychosis don't get the services they need. It doesn't have to be this way. 
    Congress now requires states to set aside 10% of their block grant for the proven array of First Episode Psychosis (FEP) services. But mere allocation of federal dollars won't fulfill the vision in which EVERY young person in need can get these life changing services. 
    We must all advocate effectively for high quality FEP service delivery. 
    Teachers/Coaches/Counselors/Mental-health-advocates/Parents/Caregivers -- we must all learn what a "quality" FEP program looks like.   In South Lake Tahoe it is important to know where to obtain high quality services and supports.   
    FEP (First Episode Psychosis) is the wave of the future, changing the course of young lives.  
    New First Episode Psychosis (FEP) Tip sheets:
    1.     For youth and young adults: Early Psychosis: What's Going on and What Can You Do?
    2.     For families and other stakeholders: What is Early and First-Episode Psychosis?
    3.     For school staff and coaches:  Early Intervention: Tips for School Staff and Coaches
    4.     For families: Encouraging People to Seek Help for Early Psychosis  

    Local resources for First Episode Programs include  UC Davis Medical Center EDAPT Clinic in Sacramento. Click here  EDAPT Clinic for information on eligibility, referrals, and assessment information.
    El Dorado County Mental Health also has a limited First Episode Psychosis program funded by a grant and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (not just Medi-Cal individuals) running on both slopes.

    StigmaFreeToolkitStigma-Free Toolkit - Available Now!  
    Is your non-profit or place of employment "Stigma-Free?"


    Mental health conditions can have a huge impact on companies, from decreased productivity to lowered morale. Companies that join with NAMI in being stigmafree can begin to reverse this. 

    A Stigmafree Company is one that makes stigmafree culture a priority and shows that it values employees' overall health, including emotional well-being and physical health. Being stigmafree creates the foundation for a culture of openness, acceptance, understanding and compassion.  

    Take the pledge; sign-up and get the free toolkit.

    KiosksCommunity Mental Health Kiosks in 6 Locations:
    - El Dorado County Library  (1000 Rufus Allen Road)
    Lake Tahoe Community College  (next to college bookstore)
    - Barton Emergency Room  (2170 South Ave)
    Barton Family Medicine (1090 Third St)
    - Barton Community Health Center  (2201 South Ave)
    - El Dorado County Probation/Sheriff  (1360 Johnson Blvd)

    Volunteers from NAMI El Dorado County and the Barton Foundation work to replenish these valuable resources routinely.

    Over 3000 brochures have been provided to the community in South Lake Tahoe since the kiosks were established in May, 2017.      
    Thank you Barton for funding the kiosks.  
    Thank you Marsha for your volunteerism in designing their look, maintaining inventories and reporting utilization.  Thank you community providers of services/supports for proactive collaboration in making these kiosks an on-going success.

    Mental Health Resource Kiosks will soon be available on the West Slope because of a generous grant from the El Dorado Community Foundation.  Plans are underway for placing kiosks at the Folsom Lake College - El Dorado Center and Cameron Park Community College to start.  Others locations will be posted.    

    LocalNewsLocal News and Discoveries

    EDCStrategyEl Dorado County Health & Human Services - Healthy Communities Strategic Plan

    by Jeanne Nelson, NAMI El Dorado County in South Lake Tahoe

    As reported by Patricia Charles-Heathers of 
    El Dorado County's department of Health & Human Services at the March Mental Health Commission meeting, our county is delighted to welcome KATIE ECHERT, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR H&HS.   Katie will oversee Adult Services.  She will have IHSS (In Home Support Services,) Adult Protective Services and virtually all adult services reporting to her.  Senior Services will move under the adult system of care umbrella service organization in 2018.   Katie has experience in 3 California counties including Nevada, Shasta and Yolo counties.  She is experienced with financial operations as well.  There are 2 additional Assistant Director's that will be announced soon (one will focus on children services.)  There are going to be five systems of care, 1) Adult System of Care, 2) Children's System of Care, 3) Community Support Services, 4) Public Health and 5) Administration and Financial Services.  The goal is to have a seamless process for both adults and children to access services.   

    Countywide Strategic Goal of Healthy Communities.  This "Healthy Communities Team"  includes multiple partnering agencies (including NAMI) and will meet again in April with emphasis on protecting against adverse outcomes among children, adults, and seniors.    The team will work to integrate services and include families directly.  We will keep you updated on potentially significant changes on how services are delivered and received and are particularly excited to have families at the table. 

    Lake Tahoe Unified School District - Proactive in early intervention
    By NAMI Leader in South Lake Tahoe
    Thank you to the LTUSD school resource leaders, counselors, psychologists, and nurses for working in collaboration with NAMI El Dorado County in South Lake Tahoe and with licensed providers of services/supports locally.   There is such a genuine passion from each of you to help identify early psychosis and to detect early symptoms of any mental health or substance use disorder.  Studies clearly show that early intervention yields the best recovery results.  Families need to be educated to proactively hunt for symptoms and to be diligent in creating a family tree that highlights any mental health and/or addictive behaviors amongst their relatives (going back at least 2 generations.)    

    Both addiction (food, gambling, spending, alcohol, drugs, sex, etc) and mental health issues (depression, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc) may come from overlapping genetic vulnerability.   Mental health issues are estimated to be 80% genetically heritable and addiction up to 60% genetically heritable.  Think of it this way:  There is a 2.6 - 5% chance of being diagnosed with BiPolar disorder (but of those diagnosed approximately 75% have a family history somewhere in their family tree of BiPolar, Schizophrenia or Depression.)
    Similarly, there is a 1.1% chance of having schizophrenia.  Of those diagnosed, nearly 80% have a family history of schizophrenia or BiPolar in their family tree.
    Mental illness can lead to drug abuse.  About half of those living with drug addiction including cannabis addiction have an underlying mental health issue and do not realize that by treating the mental health condition can help address their addiction as well.

    About 50% of those with serious mental health issues drop out of school (compared to just 30% living with other disabilities.)  We appreciate having programs within our school district that are proactive in early intervention. This is a direct result of hiring and retaining top talent (psychologists, therapists, highly skilled student advocates.)   Such talent is in high demand and does not exist across all counties.

    InjectablesAsk your doctor about Long-lasting Injectables

    "Multiple families across our county have shared the very positive changes in their loved one since switching to a long-lasting injectable form of medication.  19 people attended our NAMI Family support group last month and several families reported favorably about the positive change in their loved one since transitioning to long-lasting injectables such as most commonly reported Abilify Maintena (aripripazol) and Invega Sustenna (paliperidone).  There are others such as Risperdal Consta, Geodon  (ziprasidone
     mesylate). Clozaril (clozapine) has been referred to as the gold standard for treatment  resistant cases.   More technical information can be found here.
    Every body is different so it is important to proactively discuss medication options with your treatment provider(s) and monitor side effects.   
    NAMI El Dorado County Instructor in SLT
    Long-lasting injectable administration are available through 
    • Barton Psychiatry (through a medical technician on-site); 
    • El Dorado County Mental Health (monthly); and 
    • Safeway Specialty Pharmacy in South Lake Tahoe and on the Western Slope.
    We continue to educate families and friends about the availability and benefits of long-lasting injectables for those that have this option available.    
    Safeway provides a free case manager service (out of their Idaho call center) where they call and remind our loved ones when their injection is due, schedule the appointment, and help the process run smoothly.  Call 1-877 466-8028 and request speaking with an injectables case management team member.
    You can buy the long-lasting injectable through other pharmacies and have it administered by a professional.
    This is a great convenience since many family members were having to pick up the medication and bring it to a medical technician outside of the pharmacy setting to receiving the injection.  Now, it's one stop shopping.   


    Law Enforcement - continues to help our community
    Law enforcement resources continuously help our loved ones.     
    NAMI Families and Friends in El Dorado County continue to  sing high praise for law enforcement's participation in CIT training and the leadership team's focus on ensuring officers are trained in Crisis Intervention Training.    

    Did you know the volume of 5150's continue to trend down in this community?  This certainly may be attributed to increased CIT training across law enforcement.   

    graphic-heart.gif Thank you for all you do for NAMI Families and the community.

    The Placerville Police Department is on Facebook
    El Dorado County Sheriff's department is on Facebook : 
    Awesome CIT-trained Deputies - thank you!
    South Lake Tahoe police is on  Faceboo k  
    A special thank you to Chief Uhler for his support in ensuring his officer's completed CIT Awareness training and planning more in-depth CIT training in 2017.  A special thank you to the CIT team within the Sheriff's department AND the CIT lead within the CHP.  What you are each doing is making a huge positive difference in our community.

    CHP - South Lake Tahoe is on Facebook.   Thank you Officer Ruthie Loehr for participating at the Mental Health Commission meeting, proactively participating in community events and breaking down stigma.

    Are you Prepared for a Crisis?

    NAMI El Dorado County is very grateful for our trained officers and deputies who recognize and respond to the human being behind the brain disorder in a way that lessens the possibility of violence and trauma.    

    What to say when calling 9-1-1
    for a Mental Health Emergency 
    • I'm calling about a Mental Health Emergency and request a CIT Officer.
    • My name is __________________________________________________
    • I'm calling from __________________(your location) because my (family member/friend) is _____________________________________________.
    • Describe in detail what is going on right now.
    • Advise law enforcement is there is information on file about the person in crisis. (see the Family Information Form link below)
    • Ask if it's possible to arrive without lights or sirens
    The 9-1-1 dispatacher will ask the following: (be clear and brief)
    • Are there any acts or threats of violence?
    • Are there any weapons involved?
    • Where is the person experiencing the emergency located?
    • Has there been a suicide attempt or has the person made threats of suicide?
    Additional information to provide: 
    • Mental health diagnosis and mental healthcare provider.
    • Intoxicated or overdosed?
    • Current medications
    • Gravely disabled and unable to care for themselves.
    Always provide a completed AB-1424 (also known as the Historical Information Form). If the deputy or officer that arrives is not aware of how this form is used then ask for a law enforcement supervisor.   AB-1424 has been in effect since 2002 but not all law enforcement has been trained in the importance of how this form can help get your loved one help.  All new law enforcement hires receive CIT training. Over 120 officers (CHP, PD, and Sheriff's Deputies) were trained in CIT just in the past 6 months. This is why it is important to ask for a "CIT trained officer" in a mental health emergency.
    ab1424Historical Information Form - provided by family
    AB-1424 form from El Dorado County will assist you in getting important family historical information to law enforcement and emergency personnel.  This form applies to the WI code 5150.5 which allows families to provide important historical information in case of hospitalization or incarceration.   We encourage you to provide completed copies of the completed form to all providers (new therapists, new psychiatrists, etc.) - or simply provide the same details on a piece of paper to new providers.
    This form is also available at NAMI Support meetings, El Dorado County Mental Health's website, the Psychiatric Health Facility on Spring St. in Placerville, and at El Dorado County Mental Health at 768 Pleasant Valley Rd., Diamond Springs or El Dorado County Wellness Center 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd in South Lake Tahoe.
    During a crisis, you may not be able to access information about your loved one, but with this form, you can provide essential information to assist providers in developing appropriate treatment.  California law AB-1424 requires historical information be considered in helping our loved ones.   
    Providing the "history" of mental health issues may help the deputy or officer in getting our loved ones treatment. For example, if your loved one is currently not a danger to themselves or others but things are escalating...they have a history of prior hospitalizations or prior violence/threats when untreated it is relevant to share specifics about this.  
    The crisis intervention (CIT) team program  with the Sheriff's Dept. is active on both slopes.  

    Crisis in South Lake Tahoe call (530) 544-2219

    Crisis on the Western Slope call (530) 622-3345
    If your instincts tell you a situation is dangerous, it probably is.  
    Call 911 immediately. 
    Make sure you communicate that "this is a MENTAL HEALTH emergency involving mental illness and we are seeking involuntary psychiatric hospitalization and not arrest.

    BrainResearchBrain Research and Scientific Discoveries

    Visit and attend their monthly "Meet the Scientists" webinars at no cost:

    BPD Social Learning in Borderline Personality Disorder:

    People with BPD can suffer from tumultuous social worlds in which other people seem unreliable or even threatening, and relational ruptures can be difficult to repair.  What do we expect about new people we meet? How do we respond when they surprise us? How do we respond when they are unreliable? Using new mathematical and neuroimaging methods, 
     Dr. Fineberg explores how these social processes may go awry in BPD.
    by Dr. Sara Fineberg, MD, Ph.D.
    Check out Brain&Behavior Foundation's TOP 10 Advancements & Breakthroughs by Foundation Grantees in 2016: click here
     virtual forums  

    Providers and community members are welcome to participate in virtual webcasts (and replay them whenever convenient.) Simply create a free login to participate and view past research and previously recorded forums. 

    Psycho-education is a core to recovery.  

    This means psycho-education  for family/friends and for our loved ones.  We are pleased with the response by the community regarding the donation to the El Dorado County library.   Pick up a copy of our recommended reading booklist and website list at our NAMI Family Support Group meeting or simply click  here.        

    Visit El Dorado County library or your local community college library - many fantastic books featuring mental health and/or substance abuse topics.

    Visit and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can learn more about specific illnesses.
    Visit  and visit their on-line

    IHHSIn Home Supportive Services

    Some of our NAMI families in El Dorado County have reported favorably about the quality of the IHSS program.  They are paid by IHSS for basic services that helped their loved one live at home.  NAMI families particularly those that have graduated NAMI Family-to-Family are proactive in interviewing IHSS caregiver candidates to help their loved one and work collaboratively on a successful caregiving model.    Teamwork is dreamwork.   Learn more about this program at: 

    DisabilityBenefitInfoDisability Benefit Information

    Sustainability Outreach Services and Only Kindness Community Resource Center - Rene Evans - Accredited Disability Representative in Placerville - (530) 876-6243 or (530) 344-1864  is a comprehensive resource that helps people not only understand, but access social security disability benefits is available.   
    In the course of their research:

    LegalServicesLegal Services of Northern California - at no cost (for eligible persons)

    is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance to eligible persons.  They provide help in the following areas: housing (resolving problems with landlords and housing subsidies), public benefits (CalFresh, CalWORKs, General Assistance, etc.), Social Security, and health care (physical and mental health).  

    "Our health unit may be able to help you get and keep health insurance, and deal with insurance premium and share of cost disputes, medical debt; coverage of medical treatment (procedures, medication, medical equipment, etc.), seeing doctors in a timely manner, and In-Home Supportive Services ( IHSS)."

    Persons who need help with a health care issue may receive assistance regardless of their income or assets if they meet other eligibility requirements.  Persons needing help with other issues must have a low income.  If you need help with a health care issue, call (888) 354-4474.  If you need help with one of the other issues listed above, call (530) 823-7560.

    Additional information about health care rights may be found at  

    Local Mental Health Events
    The Mental Health Commission is open to the public.  It meets the 4th Wednesday of each month.   3 min is allowed for public comment (and the public is invited to provide perspective when prompted by the chair after each agenda item.)   Let your voice be heard to help improve county services/supports.

    MHCEl Dorado County Mental Health Commission: 
    Next Meeting is 26-Apr-201 7 ( 5:15 p.m. "late start" in April but routine start is indeed 5:00 p.m.)

    Health and Human Services Agency, 3057 Briw Rd., Sierra Room, Placerville, CA - and in 
    South Lake Tahoe at the Wellness Center 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd (video-teleconference.) - 5:00 pm 
    These meetings are  open to the public and are an important interface between the community and our county mental health system.  Concerns and stories from the community are welcome during public comment time at the start of each meeting.  

    While your concerns may not be discussed unless it is already an item on the agenda, your input as part of the public is valued and will  be addressed at a later meeting.

    Are you interested in becoming a member of the Mental Health Commission?  
    Let your voice be  heard in El Dorado County.
    MHC Agenda and Minutes can be found:  here

    Select "Key Takeaways" from NAMI leader in SLT perspective can be found here.

    Coming in April - Green Valley Community Church is presenting a Mental Health Awareness Weekend - April 29 and 30.  NAMI will be there.  Come by and say hello and see what other resources may be available to you!

    Saturday, April 29, 8:00am-12:00pm
    FREE, no registration required
                Lake Tahoe Community College, Commons Area - 1 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe
    Come enjoy a morning of pampering, fitness and wellness with Barton Health.  Formerly called "Mom's Morning Out,"  women of all ages - mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and sisters - are encouraged to attend.  Yoga class starts at 8:00am. Other complimentary activities start at 9:00am and include coffee and brunch, wellness booths put together by local businesses, health presentations, and a Zen room with complimentary pampering and massage services.  
    Thank you Barton Foundation for organizing this community-wide event.
    NAMI El Dorado County in SLT will be there - come learn best practices in mental health!

    NAMI in partnership with the Mental Health Commission hosts 
    "Board of Supervisor breakfast" in Placerville
    9-May at 10:00 a.m.
    - 330 Fair Lane, Placerville, CA trophy_isolated_gold.jpg
    NAMI El Dorado County and the MHC is hosting our annual "Board of Supervisor's Breakfast": 9AM on 9-May to honor the Board's work in support of mental health and substance abuse awareness.   We will also recognize CIT leaders with our annual CIT award.

    Reflections of Life and Loss (South Lake Tahoe)  graphic-heart.gif
    Second and Fourth Thursdays monthly 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    Barton Hospice encourages people who have experienced the loss of a loved one or have endured a significant, life-altering event to attend.   This group helps teach attendees how to cope with certain situations and encourages emotional connections with others. Support and bereavement groups allow people to release emotions they may otherwise keep to themselves. It can improve a participant's mood and decrease psychological distress.
    Location: Barton Hospice
    2092 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Suite 600
    South Lake Tahoe, CA

    Friends for Survival (Western Slope)
    Marshall Medical Center
    Friends For Survival is a national non-profit organization and you can learn more at 
    Meetings are held monthly. For more information, contact Walt or Leona Narr at 530-647-8864.

    Bipolar Insights (Placerville)
    Weekly Class * Every Monday at 7 pm
    Green Valley Community Church
    3500 Missouri Flat Road, Room 304 in Placerville, CA 95667
    $5 per person per class

    Special Events * Tuesday's
    Marshall Medical Building
    681 Main Street, 1st Floor Common Room in Placerville, CA 95667
    Check the website for dates and events
    Bipolar Insights / Mental Health Education Center  (530) 642-0859      

    Where to Find Help?

    HealthDirCommunity Health Directory 
    in South Lake Tahoe is available at any Barton provider and at each of the 
    6 Mental Health Kiosks through-out the community or at NAMI Support Group.
    Here is the  link to the on-line Community Directory.
    Notice all the support groups and counseling services - there many health and wellness programs available.    

    Barton Health has identified the need for additional mental health services and continues to take action to provide extra support for patients and the South Lake Tahoe community. 

    Barton provides 3 local psychiatrists: 
     Dr. Zelan, Dr. Protell, and Dr. Rupp plus Telemedicine and Psychologists and also licensed Social Workers - each focused on improving mental health.  
    NAMI Families reporting such favorable results!
    Check out  Barton's mental health page  which outlines strategic priorities and accomplishments and more. 

    Have you been wait-listed?   We need to close the gap on long wait-lists.  
    Good news: New mental health providers have arrived in South Lake Tahoe bringing a new continuum of care without a wait-list (as of this publication date.)  
    • Matthew Wong Psychologist| M.A., Psy.D PSY#26365 415-806-0275  South Lake Tahoe appointments Mondays and Fridays available for children/teens/adults mild to moderate; broad range of therapies.  Psychological testing and intellectual disability assessments.    <- very close to getting Medi-Cal approval (and accepts a variety of insurances) -- NAMI Families reporting favorably.  Dr. Wong works in collaboration with a team of tele-med psychiatrists.
    • A Balanced Life added 2 new therapists specializing in co-occurring addiction/mental-health issues:   530-544-1748 
      • Free Teen Support Group
      • Build Resilence in your children! Reserve you space now for free parenting class:                                                                                                               
      • Struggling with Addiction of ANY kind?  SMARTS Recovery is free and nationally recognized science-based program where participants learn self-empowering techniques to aid their recovery through mutual-help face-to-face and online meetings and services.  
        More than 1/2 of those living with mental health have a co-occurring addiction:  work, drug, gambling, food, sex, alcohol, social-media, porn, etc.  
        - Every Thursday, 6-7PM (on-going weekly; no cost but a $3.00 donation is suggested)

    • Live Violence Free - has free weekly group counseling for victims of sexual abuse / violence. 

    El Dorado County Mental Health - Wellness Centers  
    (Diamond Springs  and South Lake Tahoe)

    Adult Outpatient Services Wellness Centers, 768 Pleasant Valley Rd., Diamond Springs and 1360 Johnson Blvd., South Lake Tahoe,   continue to provide a safe, understanding,  and recovery oriented place, Monday through Friday afternoons 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

    NOTE: Wellness Centers are migrating towards a Peer-Led support group model; some are co-lead by licensed therapists and many are lead by Peers.    

    fepWellness Centers obtained a grant to fund FEP (First Episode Psychosis Program) - this is available to the public!  Not just Medi-Cal only candidates.  
    (not just Medi-Cal insured individuals.)  
    Individuals with other types of insurance welcome as this program is funded by a grant.  
     Call   530-573-7970 El Dorado County Behavioral Health to learn more.
    Drop in hours are from 1:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday (open to the public; adults 18 or older), for people to socialize and participate in a wide assortment of fun and therapeutic groups. 

    Group schedules are available at the Wellness Centers and may include Dialectal Behavior Therapy, Anger Management, Conversation Skills, Healthy Pleasures, Smoking Cessation, Symptoms without Stigma, Mindfulness, Coping Skills, Stress/Anxiety Reduction, Seeking Safety, and others.  Some of these groups are available on a referral basis only, while other groups, such as Art, Physical Activity, Mindfulness, Coping Strategies, etc. are open to all.  Check current schedule at the Centers. 

    NAMI El Dorado County is on FACEBOOK
    Share our Facebook page with all your friends

    Please "like" our page on Facebook - we invite you to add your comments  

    You can find NAMI California information here:

    graphic-heart.gif  (530) 306-7710 - Western Slope (650) 740-5776 - South Lake Tahoe
    PO Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623