August  2016
Dear NAMI Family and Friends,

We are deep into summer,  it's already August, the County Fair is history and the Back to School ads are everywhere!  As a retired school teacher, I still love the start of the new school year.  It always meant for me a new year, a new crop of kids, and endless possibilities.  It's a good way to think during these hot summer days.

Some reminders; soaring temperatures and medications do not mix well. If you or your family members take medications for a variety of conditions, many of these medications make individuals more vulnerable to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and sunburn.  Those taking medication should make sure they stay well hydrated and stay out of the direct sun in the middle of the day.

A BIG Thank You to all those who responded to our call for volunteers and donations for the County's Wellness Center's musical program, "Calihoma", last month.  We especially would like to thank Safeway, Flowers on Main, and Lee's Feed for their generous donations!

NAMI El Dorado participated in the Placerville Public Safety Leadership Forum on July 26th.  This was an opportunity to hear about new programs provided by the Placerville Police Dept. and be part of a round table discussion.  We appreciate the effort by Placerville City leaders to be proactive in informing the community and addressing any concerns the community may have.  Be on the lookout for our bike patrol officers! New technology made available by grants was also presented and includes body worn cameras for all officers, downtown cameras, and other public safety tools.  The Broadway Substation is open and providing resources for the community.  Resources that recently resulted in 5 homeless individuals finding housing and assistance!  The Placerville Police Dept. is on Facebook.  You can receive important advisories, community updates, and official information by text message and email by signing up at: or and downloading a mobile app. The departments is also taking applications for the 2016 Citizen Academy which gives citizens the opportunity to learn about policing in today's society and in their community.  For more information contact: Sgt. Dan Maciel (530) 642-5210 ext. 301 or
Many thanks to Mayor Wilkins, City Manager Morris, and Chief Heller for their active community building!

NAMI El Dorado also participated in training the CHP in Crisis Intervention Training.   Thank you to all law enforcement in El Dorado County for your support of helping our loved ones, healthy de-escalation techniques, and safe transport.   

El Dorado County has posted the part-time position of Patient Rights Advocate.  See link below to see if you might be able to fill this important position.

We are pleased to announce we have received a community grant from Wells Fargo for our NAMI Family-to-Family Program on the Western Slope.  Thank you Wells Fargo for your support of communities and NAMI El Dorado County!   Thank you Foster Kinship for co-sponsoring our fall NAMI amily-to-Family materials in South Lake Tahoe and on the West Slope.  Thank you Barton and Thank you EDC South Lake Tahoe Endowment for your support making our outreach a huge success in the South Lake Tahoe area this past year.   A Barton grant funded the NAMI brochures available in the six South Lake Tahoe Kiosks.

NAMI Family-to-Family Education Classes are open for registration!  Seats are filling fast; these classes typically fill to capacity so reserve your seat early.

West Slope class begins Sept. 8 and will run until Dec. 1st (Thanksgiving Week off) on consecutive Thursdays, from 6:30 - 9:00 pm.

South Lake Tahoe class begins Sept. 17 - Oct. 22 on consecutive Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm. 

See below for more information on registering for these classes.

In the News


Patrick Kennedy sits down with NAMI El Dorado County Member!

NAMI's annual convention known as NAMICon 2016 just completed in Denver, Colorado.   NAMI advocate, Shirley Hackett from South Lake Tahoe attended this year.   The conference theme was ACT, ADVOCATE, ACHIEVE.   
Shirley was delighted to sit down with Patrick Kennedy where he humbly thanked her for all her support for the cause. 
She and thousands of NAMI members across the nation returned from the conference inspired and confident about their volunteer advocacy efforts.   She and many other NAMI friends have already made plans to attend next year's NAMI Convention 2017 which will be in Washington D.C:  June 28 - July 21, 2017 - Mark your calendars!

CD and MP3 audio recordings available  here.   

If you have not yet read Patrick Kennedy's book please do so.  It is an inspirational read and available at the local library.
A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction.  By Patrick Kennedy

Want to become a "Certified Family or Peer Specialist?"
NAMI CA is excited to announce a great training opportunity for family members, loved ones and peers who are interested in using their lived experiences to help other families in similar situations. 
The Family and Peer Support Specialist program consists of 70 hours of specialized "webinar" training. Participants will learn skills that include Suicide Prevention, Recovery Model, Cultural Competency, trauma informed services, motivational interviewing, triggers, etc. By the end of the program, they will be equipped with the necessary skills and support from the participating NAMI affiliates (NAMI San Diego, NAMI SF, NAMI Sonoma, NAMI Fresno) to go out into the community to volunteer or secure a paid position within a wide range of behavioral positions. Click on the link below for more information. 
Family and Peer Support Flyer

Is High Altitude Affecting Your Mental Health?
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation ( recently interviewed scientists studying the affects of high altitude on our mental health.  Physicists and neuroscientists are assessing how our brain chemistry changes at various altitudes.   The frontal part of our brain seems mostly associated with depression.
You can replay the free webinar here.
Across the globe no matter what country you assess, suicide rates are higher in higher altitude areas. These scientists also suggest that there are typically less cancers in the high altitude western states.   A very small study of 15 patients suggested 5-HTP in conjunction with anti-depressants for those in higher altitude areas may have improvements in seratonin synthesis in our brain.   
45% of US population is estimated to be affected by hypobaric hypoxia.   Enjoy the joy and beauty of our rural area but keep track of mental health triggers.  Altitude sickness can happen within a day or two (or rapidly at very high altitudes such as what mountain climbers experience.)
Do not test changes in your mental health treatment plan on your own.  Discuss with your psychiatrist, primary care physician, or other mental health professional.  Build in a layer of safety!

Book Review:  Psychopharmacology: Straight Talk on Mental Health Medications, Third Edition" 

This book by Joe Wegmann was so good as an audio book that we bought the book so we would have a quick go-to reference for NAMI friends.  It is a clear guide for healthcare professionals and patients alike.  Covers topics such as psychosis, anxiety, depression, bipolar, insomnia, ADHD, current psychiatric medications and even includes discussion on alternative treatments and their impact.
NAMI Member, South Lake Tahoe
Placerville Author blogs about her experience with Psychosis:

NAMI El Dorado County will be featured in Style Magazine in early September - available for free at the local Safeway in Placerville, CA (and will be shared in our next e-Newsletter as a .pdf file link.)

Dayana Stockdale interviewed NAMI leaders in El Dorado County and in the course of the interview shared her personal blog about her early experience with psychosis.  Click here to read her heartfelt share on what psychosis felt like.  Thank you Dayana for sharing your story and crushing stigma along the way.

Pivotal Victory Clarifies Use of MHSA Funds

Counties such as  El Dorado County can now allocate MHSA Funds (also known as the annual 1% millionaire tax funds) towards voluntary or involuntary Crisis Stabilization services.   This may mean funds can be carved out towards creation of a local crisis stabilization unit in the future.  Still, it is important to recognize that public input into how MHSA funds are allocated are key.   Every year the county solicits public input as to how to prioritize spending.   

Creating an involuntary Crisis Stabilization service locally may benefit from a shared funding model such as MHSA funds, law enforcement and hospital funding and collaboration.  A shared funding model may ensure those with private insurance, Medi-Cal, under-insured or without insurance benefit from the crisis stabilization service.  The Wellness Center's tele-psychiatry and private therapy for example are MHSA funded but have strict restrictions in who they are allowed to serve (i.e. Medi-Cal only and severe only; see their criteria sheet for more specifics.)   Our local County Wellness Centers and other existing services depend on MHSA Funds to operate so careful prioritization and a collaborative strategic planning process across agencies is core. We have strong collaboration in our county which is a key ingredient to the success of community programs/services that help those with mental health needs.   

Press Release about how California's Dept of Health Care Services has acted on SB-1273 here.
Important Information for our Families
In 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.  Learn more about this program at: 
Disability Benefit information

Sustainability Outreach Services - Rene Evans - Accredited Disability Representative in Placerville - (530) 876-6243
is a 
comprehensive resource that helps people not only understand, but access social security disability benefits is available.   
In the course of their research,  it was found that most people who have become or already living with disabilities are not fully aware of the benefits and resources that are available to them. This guide will not only answer common questions like qualifications, application process, as well as a calculator that can help estimate monthly and annual benefits.    You can see the entire guide along with some of its features here:
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 (Family History 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.  This is why it is important to ask for a "CIT trained officer" in a mental health emergency.
Family Information Form
AB-1424 form from El Dorado County (click on link above) 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.   
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.
Passionate about learning more about Mental Health and the importance of Brain Research and Scientific Discoveries?
Visit and attend their monthly "Meet the Scientists" webinars at no cost.

Visit and attend a virtual forum at no cost. 

Visit and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can learn more about specific illnesses.
Visit  and visit their on-line
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.
Lake Tahoe Community College is planning a Mental Health display in their library in August.  Thank you libraries!   Thank you again to the El Dorado County library for their celebration of Mental Health Awareness month in May.  
NAMI El Dorado is delighted to be participating in the planning process for Careflow mapping which was rated a high priority by the community in South Lake Tahoe area.

Where can you find help in South Lake Tahoe and surrounding area?  Here is the  link to the The Health & Wellness portion of the directory begins on page 49.   Notice all the support groups and counseling services - many health and wellness programs available.   You may also pick up a hard-copy of this directory at our NAMI Support Group meeting in South Lake Tahoe, at a Mental Health kiosk, or at Barton Hospital.  

Check out  Barton's mental health page  which outlines strategic priorities and accomplishments and more...  Have you checked out all the community classes available including smoking cessation?
Barton's ER is most popular Mental Health Kiosk
Six locations  hosting Mental Health kiosks for our South Lake Tahoe community.   
- Barton Emergency Room  (2170 South Ave)
- Barton Community Health Center  (2201 South Ave)
- Barton Family Medicine  (1090 Third St)
- El Dorado County Probation/Sheriff  (1360 Johnson Blvd)
- El Dorado County Library  (1000 Rufus Allen Road)
- Lake Tahoe Community College  (next to college bookstore)

Most frequented kiosk is at the Barton ER;  second most frequented is the kiosk at the Lake Tahoe Community College.

Have you asked your doctor about Long-lasting

We continue to educate families and friends about the availability and benefits of long-lasting injectables for those that have this option available.   
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.  Multiple NAMI family members in South Lake Tahoe report the process and impact are favorable. 
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.  
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, 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 or in South Lake Tahoe: Jeanne 650-740-5776

Current and upcoming classes, events and support groups:

NAMI Board of Director's meeting is 2-August-2016 at 5:30 PM. 
We will meet at the Government Center, Fair Lane, BOS Building A, Conf. Rm. A, 5:30 p.m.   Everyone is welcome.     

El Dorado County Mental Health Commission
Special Meeting will be Aug 10, 2016 to review committee report on HHSA Director candidates.
Regular meeting of the Commission will be Aug. 24.
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.

NAMI Family Support Meetings - 3 in El Dorado County!

NAMI Family Support groups are a monthly meeting of caregivers of individuals with a mental illness where family members can talk frankly about their challenges and help one another through their learned wisdom.  
These support groups group 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 friends of those living with a mental illness.  We hope to see you there.  No cost to attend.

South Lake Tahoe NAMI Family Support Group  
This group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at the South Lake Tahoe Library located at 1000 Rufus Allen Road from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.    
Group facilitators: Jeanne and Alan (650) 740-5776 |  
2016 remaining dates:   Aug 9, Sep 13, Oct 11, Nov 8, Dec 13.

The West Slope NAMI Family Support Group
This group meets the 1st Tuesday monthly at 7:00 p.m. following the monthly NAMI Board Meeting in Placerville at the Government Center, Fair Lane, BOS Building A, Conference Room A, Placerville, CA
Group facilitator: Jan 530-677-2676 
2016 remaining dates: Aug 2, Sep 6, Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6

El Dorado Hills NAMI Family Support Group    
This group meets the  3rd Monday of each month.  
Location: EDH Fire Dept, Station 85, 1050 Wilson Blvd. El Dorado Hills. 
Conference Room: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
2016 remaining dates: Aug 15, Sep 19, Oct 17, Nov 21, Dec 19
Group Facilitators: 
Jannell Clanton (530)333-5803 | or 
Lauraleen Patterson (916)955-1666 | 

We are pleased to offer  NAMI Signature programs  right here in 
El Dorado County.   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 Family-to-Family 
is on the coveted list of SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) Evidence-based recovery models.  Visit to learn more about SAMSHA.  We will be offering Family-to-Family and Basics,  this year.  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.  Phone numbers are given below.

"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

NAMI Family-to-Family In South Lake Tahoe:

NAMI Family-to-Family education  in South Lake Tahoe: 
Sep  17 through Oct 22 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
6 consecutive Saturdays
Call Jeanne at 650-740-5776 to register 
NAMI Classes on the West Slope: 
NAMI Family-to-Family is scheduled to begin on Thursdays beginning Sept. 8th through Nov. 17th at Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park.   Registration required.  Call Jan at (530) 677-2676

NAMI Basics - Stay tuned for more information; we assessing new demand.

NAMI Peer-to-Peer  is a 10-week education class for individuals coping with a mental health issue.  This class just completed. Please call Jan  to get on wait-list for a future class.    (530) 677-2676

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.
Local Happenings

Bipolar Insights - in Placerville, CA 
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      
Teen Support Group (no cost to attend)   
A Balanced Life:  2100 Eloise, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Call to learn more: 530-544-1748
SMARTS Recovery held at: A Balanced Life ($3 donation requested)
Call to learn more: 530-544-1748 
A science-based addiction recovery support group -  no cost - 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, etc).  
SMART Recovery meetings are now in South Lake Tahoe at A Balanced Life 
- Every Thursday, 6-7PM (on-going weekly; no cost but a $3.00 donation is suggested) 

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

Adult Outpatient Services Wellness Centers  continue to provide a safe, understanding,  and recovery oriented place, Monday through Friday afternoons. 
Drop in hours are from 1:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday, 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 Center. 

Your Donations Are 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 - everyone has a personal story.  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.
Donations by check:
Please make checks payable to "NAMI El Dorado County", PO Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623

Use 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

Any of you shop at Amazon?  Go to
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 by mail to 
NAMI El Dorado County, P.O. Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623.  
You can also join online.  Go to (select NAMI El Dorado County Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe when you apply for membership.)  A full membership is $35.00.  Discounted "Open Door" memberships are available from your NAMI leader also. Thank you!   

NAMI El Dorado County - FACEBOOK
Share our Facebook page with all your friends
Please "like" our page on Facebook!    

Here you will find a 
drop-box  (file folder) of our local resources, interesting posts, and photos.   As a reminder there is a national NAMI website at , a California NAMI website , and our  NAMI El Dorado affiliate  information can be found  here  and on  Facebook      You need not have a Facebook account to view any of  NAMI El Dorado County Facebook  content.  

                           Interested in volunteering?
Use your personal passion to give back. We currently have openings on our Board of Directors.  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.
Jan Melnicoe, President
NAMI El Dorado County - Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe
(530) 306-7710


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