Help Wanted!!
Volunteer part-time Leadership Job Opening
at NAMI El Dorado County

NAMI-Walks 2018 Program Manager needed from
January through early May 2018

  • Attend 4 NAMIWalks steering committee meetings in Sacramento (or via Skype or your video-phone-app such as FaceTime), 
  • Report back to the NAMI El Dorado County Board, coordinate teams (typically we have had about 3 walk teams, and market the walk to the community.    Find walk business sponsors and help invite donations to this year's walk.   
  • Secure at least 1 business sponsor in El Dorado County. We are a small affiliate yearning for business sponsors (this would be a first in South Lake Tahoe by the way!)  A business sponsor donating $3,000 or more gets huge visability (biz name on t-shirt, media coverage.   A business sponsor donating $500 or more also gets benefits.)
  • Promote our affiliate's walk goals (e.g. develop more community NAMI-trainers and fund at least 4 on-campus leaders or peer-leaders at upcoming NAMI CA conference to further their education.)

NAMIWalks is the only "fund-raiser" for our affiliate annually.   Individuals/families gather with other affiliates for a few hours and walk in lovely William Land Park in Sacramento on an early Saturday in May!   It is fun.  Car-pool to the walk is offered to registered walkers in South Lake Tahoe.

Do you have experience securing business sponsors?     

We yearn to have our first business in El Dorado County on the memorable "NAMI Walks Northern CA 2018" walk t-shirt!!!

Contact: Jeanne Nelson 650-740-5776 or if you are interested

In This Issue:

Reasons to Feel Empowered about Depression Prevention

The Role of Trait Gratitude on Functional Brain Activation Changes when Anticipating Negative Events in Individuals with PTSD


Keep talking about Genetics!

Gratitude is an Intentional Action, by Kate  Mosher, Sierra Child & Family Services - student film contest

Health Risks: 4 MD's in El Dorado County provide public comment about Cannabis

NAMI On Campus - launched           

Beyond Beds: National Report


Law Enforcement Partnerships Shine! 

Weekly Art at EDC BH
Genetics and Family History: Do you Know your Family History of Serious Mental Illness and Addiction?

Long-Lasting-Injectables - Success

Thank you Law Enforcement

Select "Key Takeaways" from Behavioral Health Commission meeting

Local Mental Health Events

Interested in Volunteering?

NAMI El Dorado County: Board of Director's Meeting

Find us on Facebook: NAMI El Dorado County

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.  

Partners in California: on-line resources from

Text "NAMI" to 741741

Heartfelt Gratitude for Community Support

Thank You Community Leaders
 Thank you to the 12 individuals that participated in the pilot of NAMI Family & Friend's in South Lake Tahoe.  Don't miss this seminar in Placerville on 9-Dec.  To those on the Western Slope already registered in advance - thank you!   Register here.

Thank you to our NAMI Volunteers that are getting their instructor certifications to help educate, support and advocate for those in our community!  

  Thank you to Natalie Collins, South Tahoe High and all the counselors and teachers, and new principal supporting our new NAMI On Campus (the club continues to grow beyond the 20 students that started this journey!)  These student's recognize that careers in brain science and related fields have an incredibly awesome job outlook and that taking care of our brain health during our teen and young adolescent years is essential.

Thank you Barton Foundation for making Mental and Behavioral Health the theme for this season's fund-raising gala. 
The festival of Lights is a "must-see."  People come from all around the world to see the Festival of Lights hosted by Barton at MontBleu. Tickets do sell out so plan accordingly. 


  Thank you    
 Thank you to NAMI-friend and NAMI El Dorado County Peer-to-Peer instructor Michael Tino for proactively helped a community member in need see value in willingly getting to a  neighboring crisis center.   So many wish that there were more such navigators in this world.


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: 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:   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:   18-Dec
Group co-Facilitators: Jannell Clanton (530) 333-5803 and Lauraleen Patterson (916) 955-1666

NAMI Family & Friends, a 4-hour seminar for caregivers, family members and friends of those living with a mental health condition.   Please register here
  • 09-Dec from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. "NAMI Family & Friends" a 4-hour seminar: Location: 345 Fair Lane, Placerville Library

Psychosis  Toolkit

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.    Do you know what a good FEP service looks like?
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.  
Psychosis 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.

BEYOND BEDS:  The Vital Role of a Full Continuum of Psychiatric Care

A Joint Report with the National Association of
State Mental Health Program Directors
Beyond Beds is a joint report with the 
 National Association of State Mental Health 
 Program Directors and represents the introductory 
 paper in a 10-part series on the inpatient psychiatric 
 treatment capacity in the United States.

A must read!  link to website here 



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.  
Our volunteers are our greatest asset and we 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, or in-kind donations 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.  

Household Membership $60 (new); Regular Membership $40; Open Door Membership $5

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.
When joining on-line system you will need to use a pull-down menu to select CA then find "NAMI El Dorado County."   

Interested 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: Western Slope at 530-306-7710

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


NAMI El Dorado County
Board of Directors Meeting
First Tuesday every other month 
05-Dec-2017, 06-Feb-2018, 03-Apr-2018, 
05-Jun-2018, 7-Aug-2018, 02-Oct-2018.

County Government Center, Conf. Rm. C. 
This meeting is open to the public.  
5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.: 

In 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:

 Language 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 
Once you register the replay becomes available. The sound quality is poor but worth replaying. 

7-Dec-2017 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at 345 Fair Lane.  
Instructors: Juline & Jan   click here to register

NAMI Family & Friends is a 4-hour seminar that informs and supports people who have loved ones with a mental health condition. Participants will learn about diagnoses, treatment, recovery, communication strategies, crisis preparation and NAMI resources. Seminar leaders have personal experience with mental health conditions in their families.

This pilot successfully completed in November in South Lake Tahoe 


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 El Dorado County's
"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 of NAMI El Dorado County's 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 of NAMI El Dorado County's 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 Educational programs in
South Lake Tahoe:

NAMI Family-to-Family education  in South Lake Tahoe: 
Class recently graduated; call to be added to waitlist for 2018:
Nursing CU's available.
Call Jeanne at 650-740-5776 to wait-list

NAMI  Peer-to-Peer: starts Spring 2018 in South Lake Tahoe: 24-Mar, 31-Mar, 7-Apr, 14-Apr, 21-Apr (5 consecutive Saturdays)
Accepting "interested" sign-ups now.  
This class is for those living with mild/moderate/severe mental health conditions.  This program is a unique, experiential learning program for people living with a mental illness who are interested in establishing and maintaining their wellness and recovery.  
Jeanne 650-740-5776 

NAMI El Dorado County classes on the Western Slope:

NAMI Family-to-Family Education  
Call Jan at(530) 677-2676  to leave your name on the list for our next class.  
NAMI Basics - This class is for families with children/adolescents with behavioral/mental health conditions.
If you are interested call Juline to have your name put on a wait list for the next class:   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.

We appreciate Law Enforcement - thank you for helping our loved ones! THANK YOU LAW ENFORCEMENT 

Law Enforcement - continues to help our communitycitofficerofyear

Safeguarding Officer mental health After Mass Casualty Events:  
Check out this NAMI guide for police chiefs..developed in collaboration with the Newton, CT police chief.   click here

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.   

Thank you to all law enforcement in our community - for all you do for NAMI Families and the community:

Thank you for the on-going commitment and pride in the  "100% CIT-Trained" goal.

  • The Placerville Police Department is on Facebook  
  • El Dorado County Sheriff's department is on Facebook :  
  • South Lake Tahoe police is on Facebook.  

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.  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: 

Disability 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:

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

is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance to eligible persons.    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  

Behavioral Health Commission Meeting 29-Nov-2017: 
By NAMI El Dorado County Leader 

A sub-team of commissioners toured the Psychiatric Health Facility in Placerville this month and interviewed both administrative and clinical staff.  Overall impression positive with 5 recommendations to PHF leadership:
1) a procedure be implemented that shares greater health history information with PHF staff
2) PHF staff should be aprised of AOT program and AOT admitting criteria asap.[PFH Director shared this is now in new employee training and current employees have now been trained.]
3) AB-1424 Historical Information Form should be used at PHF when doing intake, diagnosis and development of a treatment plan.
4) There should be a Family Member Satisfaction Survey Form; in addition to the client Satisfaction Survey Form.
5) Greater education of family members should be included to inform them of what to expect while the client is in the PHF and what to ezpect upon discharge in dealing with their family member.
The annual Data Notebook has been updated.  This year's report focus is on the aging population. 

To find an electronic copy of agendas, minutes, reports including the data notebook they can be accessed from the County's meeting calendar.

Find the correct Mental Health Commission meeting date.  Then, click the link for "Agenda" on the right side of the screen.  The Agenda will open (or you may have to save the Agenda and then open it depending on your computer).

Once the Agenda is open, scroll to the item you want to review, and you can click on the attachment.

This Calendar is also used for other Commissions and the Board of Supervisors should you wish to review any documents associated with their Agendas.

For ease of reference, here is the direct link to the Notebook:

Website for Local County MH Data and reports:

MHSA survey input from public trending up since last year thanks to agency's such as NAMI El Dorado County and others hosting scheduled meetings.  Still they have fewer than 300  out of a county-wide population of over 180,000. 
They thanked new Commissioner Arturo Salazar for connecting the county to the Latino population and NAMI for reaching family's/individuals so crucially experiencing gaps first hand.
County wants to investigate purchasing a building for approximately $500,000 to buy a building on outskirts of Placerville to create a community-based Wellness Center (this would be in addition to the current Diamond Springs BH Wellness center.)   They hope to take this ask to the Board of Supervisors.
Stepping Up was to launch as a program with a leader assigned in early July 2017.   Here we are 5 months later and no launch.    This will be escalated to Judge Kingsbury and Don Ashton.  Probation department reports into the courts in EDC and many county's in CA but not in all county's.
Our loved ones are the victim of a broken criminal justice system.   NAMI continues to advocate.   Stepping Up leader and Probation did not show up for this meeting in spite of it being agenda topic.
Frustrations are very high 
Issues were raised about strategic requests (tactical items needing follow-up from the county over a year ago.)   Commission Chair requested proposed agenda topics be sent to him so we can get them added and addressed formally.

Frustrations are high surrounding the interpretation that our jails are not "forensic" - which is a requirement to use jails as a referral source for AOT candidates.   
With a $20 million investment in a new jail and jail enhancements we will continue to advocate for our county leaders to make improvements to the jails so they can in fact be designated "forensic."
-- County reports their ROC (Restitution of Care) program funded by MHSA $ and managed on the Western Slope was able to-date successfully help 2 individuals restore competency so they can now stand trial.  This saved the county from paying large $ to the Napa State Hospital.   More detailed information can be found in the county's monthly report on-line.

El Dorado County is implementing a Quality Improvement Committee and is seeking family member participation and are especially interested in hearing feedback on their services.  Your opinion counts so let your voice be heard.  Details can be found here.

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

Mark your calendars: 
Super Early Bird Special Savings!
2018 Annual NAMI California State Conference
Friday & Saturday, June 1-2, 2018 in Monterey, CA

Mark your calendars:  NAMI Convention Jun 27-30, 2018: Sheraton, New Orleans: 
Dr Ken Duckworth, NAMI Medical Director announced that "The British are Coming to New Orleans!"  The founders of CBT for Schizophrenia, Turkington & Kingdon (Cognitive Therapy of Schizophrenia (Guides to Individualized Evidence-Based Treatment) will be providing a 1/2 day or full-day session at the New Orlean's NAMI Convention. Details to follow.

We encourage our county's CIT leaders, El Dorado County H&HS leaders, Jail leadership, mental health providers and NAMI community members to attend. 
Many county leaders across our nation attended the 2017 conference.   
Learn from many top neuroscientists, modern best practices, and the latest discoveries relevant to peers, families, jail leadership, therapists, law enforcement, etc.

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

NAMI El Dorado County is on FACEBOOK
Share our Facebook page with all your friends - we invite you to engage with us.   
Please "like" our page on Facebook - we invite you to add your comments  
You can find NAMI California information here:

Dear NAMI Families and Friends,

As our board of directors and other volunteers reflect on this past year we have just 2 words that come to mind "Thank You"    It is the support of our community that has allowed us the privilege of making a difference with our "lived experiences."    

Here is a snapshot of our collective affiliate volunteerism accomplishments in 2017 .

Genetic discoveries have emerged literally just in the last few years that profoundly change the landscape for those of us caring for a loved one with a mental health condition or for those of us living with a mental health condition.  Tools to understand mechanisms of these illnesses and improved strategies to think about mental health are emerging at a rapid pace.   This is a game-changing time to be in the field or start pursuing the field of brain research, cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, brain surgery, advances in treatments and the like.

"If you're not studying genes, you're going to be dinosaurs in an age of mammals"    Daniel Weinberger, M.S. Director and CEO, Lieber Institute for Brain Development

Similarly if we as a community are not talking about genetics in relationship to mental health we are doing a dis-service to our community.   We must talk about genetics; we must take the time to learn some very basics in this field of study so that we may in turn encourage our youth and young adults in particular to take notice.   

Some people get very excited when a new edition of People Magazine comes out weekly. For others they feel a rush of excitment when they see their favorite Sport's Team is playing.  For me, I'm filled with glee when a new scientific discovery with statistical significance is published that is aimed at improved understanding of our brain's health.   The article below called "Keep Talking About Genetics!" highlights some important key takeaways from Brain & Behavior's November 2017 special edition called "Pathways to the Future."   To learn more visit
There is a science behind expressing gratitude, helping others, giving back to our community.   We have included a few articles about this in this month's e-Newsletter. 
Over the past two decades, studies have consistently found that people who practice gratitude report fewer symptoms of illness, including depression, more optimism and happiness, stronger relationships, more generous behavior, and many other benefits. Enjoy UC Berkeley's "Gratitude Quiz" here    Public Radio International put this 1 hour special out on "The Science of Gratitude" - academy award winner Susan Sarandon narrates.

We are profoundly grateful to the variety of clinicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, primary-care-physicians and staff that are key ingredients in the health and wellness of our community.  We are grateful more people are enrolling in health insurance with this year's deadline of 15-Dec and seeking treatment sooner.
As Kate Mosher, LCSW says in her article below "Gratitude is an Intentional Action."  

This holiday season let us all take notice of things we appreciate about each day.   We will lower the anxiety of our children, extended-family and friends by demonstrating a relaxed atmosphere filled with gratitude, one without perfection, one where all expectations are set aside.

   On behalf of our entire board of directors, instructors, and other volunteers - Thank You.


Jeanne Nelson
NAMI El Dorado County 

"Be the change you want to see in the world." Ghandi

"Studies show that the effects are especially potent during childhood, with children who are physically active showing a 1.5 times smaller risk of developing depression."  Dr. Berk

Photo credit:

Reasons to Feel Empowered About Depression Prevention

Reasons to Feel Empowered About Depression Prevention
--By Andrea Alfano, science writer; Post: April 2017

Some of the most talked-about risk factors for depression, like genetics and the wiring of the brain, are not things that one can easily change. These are far from the only things that can contribute to depression, however, and within this complexity is a message of empowerment, according to Michael Berk, M.D. Ph.D., Director of the IMPACT Strategic Research Center and Professor of Psychiatry at Deakin University School of Medicine, Australia, and 2015 Recipient of the Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders. 

In a webinar broadcast by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation on March 14, 2017, Dr. Berk presented evidence that "many of the factors that are important in terms of the risk of depression are in the control of you and I"-everyday decisions like going on a bike ride, catching up with a friend over coffee instead of over Facebook, and eating healthier foods.
"Environmental" factors like these are "among the most important drivers," Dr. Berk says, though genetic and other biological factors do play a role in depression. Dr. Berk gave a tour of fascinating evidence that he sees as reason to feel empowered about preventing depression.

The Role of Trait Gratitude on Functional Brain Activation Changes when Anticipating Negative Events in Individuals with PTSD

Biological Psychiatry May 15, 2017: Volume 81, Issue 10, Supplement, Page S187

University of Arizona - Dept of Psychiatry

The Role of Trait Gratitude on Functional Brain Activation Changes when Anticipating Negative Events in Individuals with PTSD

While higher levels of trait gratitude have been associated with reduced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity and improved emotion regulation abilities, the neurobiological basis of this association is unknown. We aimed to investigate how differences in trait gratitude were associated with functional brain activation changes in individuals with PTSD when anticipating negative stimuli.

Conclusion: In a sample of patients with PTSD, those with higher gratitude show evidence of higher 
hyper activation within the insula and greater connectivity of the insula when anticipating negative stimuli, a finding that may suggest better automatic emotion regulation abilities.   [The insular cortex, a structure of the human brain located within the lateral sulcus. ] As previous studies have shown [gratitude] activation has been liked to better emotion regulation, and trait gratitude can be enhanced via gratitutde interventions, the use of such approaches as part of current evidence-based may be beneficial for individuals with PTSD.

Read full research   here 

LocalNewsLocal News and Discoveries

 Keep talking about Genetics!
By Jeanne Nelson, NAMI El Dorado County: 

We need to recognize that if we are not yet comprehending that genetic research is our pathway to the future then we are living in the dark ages.  I'm personally wildly grateful to the neuroscientists and other young scientists doing research on the brain.   Here are a few details gleaned in Brain & Behavior's Special Edition dated Nov 2017:

Genetic discoveries have emerged literally just in the last few years that profoundly change the landscape for those of us caring for a loved one with a mental health condition or for those of us living with a mental health condition.  Tools to understand mechanisms of these illnesses and improved strategies to think about mental health are emerging at a rapid pace.   This is a game-changing time to be in the field or start pursuing the field of brain research, cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, brain surgery, advances in treatments and the like.
The NIMH, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development, and other NIH institutions are all producing positive advances, new ideas, tools, concepts fostering new thinking and research on psychiatric disorders.   This is a world-wide loosely coupled collaboration of brilliant minds aimed at acceleration of research and potential for breakthrough discovery's.
The state of research of psychiatric disorders has dramatically improved.  For example, in 1992 scientists could identify that the brain was "involved" with schizophrenia and they could identify systems in the brain associated with behavior.   Now scientists map circuits that mediate some of the features believed important in how people behave when they have these conditions.  Brain scientists have learned more in the past 25 years about mental health than in all of history.  
"If you're not studying genes, you're going to be dinosaurs in an age of mammals"    Daniel Weinberger, M.S. Director and CEO, Lieber Institute for Brain Development
Genetic discoveries have emerged literally just in the last few years that change the landscape profoundly.   Tools to understand mechanisms of mental illness and improved strategies to think about mental health are helping our loved ones!   This is a game-changing time to be in the field or start pursuing the field of brain and behavior research.
The brain's Dopamine system, glutamate system, and GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter) is implicated in many of our genes.  
Our ability to understand how genetics translates in mechanisms of risk and illness are a genuine sweet spot for advancements in treatment and research. 
Genes are inherited and most of the genes that influence risk of schizophrenia for example exist from birth.    Scientists are keen to find ways to improve pre-natal health by targeting the healthy development of the placenta for example.   Understanding our family tree and learning as much as we can about genetics is really important.   We have been cheerleading this at every mental health outreach we do.  
Depression is ranked #1 in terms of lifetime disability.
Brain research is now proposing that clock "genes" may play a critical role in depression.  The use of 24-hour rhythms and bio-markers to identify individuals at risk for suicide. Current studies are finding people with depression have abnormal 24-hour rhythms of temperature, hormonal secretion, sleep and mood which are all controlled by clock genes.
Future research studying molecular biomarkers in blood and clinical markers that could predict high risk for suicide and potentially save lives.
Autism research has made huge advancements.  Several genes conferring risk for autism have been identified.  They encode proteins located in the synapses glutamate neurons.   Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain that involves about 70% of the synapses in the cortex.   16,000 subjects with autism and 140,000 controls were published to achieve statistical significance.    This is an example of credible research.  
The pathology of autism involves glutamate synapses.   The problem in about 40% of cases of autism is an excess of synapses that form and subsequently after birth an "ineffective pruning" of synapses .   Contrast this to schizophrenia where there is an "over-pruning" of synapses.   So in autism a child may be overwhelmed by the stimuli in the environment due to this excess number of synapses that exist.
I am honored to be able to connect with students weekly (and to bring in expert guests) at South Tahoe High's NAMI On Campus: Brain Health Leadership Club.   These students are keen to study what is involved in brain health and many have aspirations to go into fields that relate brain research, neuroscience, psychiatry, etc.    We share at least 1 brain health fact a week and about the very positive job outlook forecasted in these types of careers.   Perhaps one of these students will go on to lead game-changing research in the field of brain health!    

Gratitude is an Intentional Action -  
 by Kate Moss, LCSW - Sierra Child & Family
By Kate Moss, LCSW
Mental Health Clinician
530) 544-2111

As we go about our lives, there is an ever-present dance happening in our brains and bodies between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Our lens on the world shifts with our moods, and our moods are affected for better or for worse by the patterns of our thinking. Exercising gratitude is an intentional action you can try that helps the brain to have more positive patterns of thoughts and resulting moods and behaviors. A few ways to start are by looking at what you have, what others do for you, what you appreciate about the moment, what you appreciate about the world, and what you enjoy or love. As NAMI El Dorado County comes to the end of the year, and reflects on its accomplishments, partnerships with families, resources in the community, and growth, it feels like a perfect time to talk about the practice of gratitude.
Caregivers of loved ones living with severe mental illness have every reason to practice gratitude. You may react--Do you know what I have been going through? Do you know how heartbreaking and stressful life has been? Yes! As a psychotherapist who often works very closely with the caregivers of my clients, I am often painfully aware of the stress, worry, and heartache many caregivers go through on the journey of treatment and recovery. Practicing gratitude is one of the ways to manage stress and to cope, even (or especially) in very difficult situations. Perhaps this newsletter finds you in a good place in life, and even then, a gratitude practice is beneficial for self care-and another tool in your toolkit when times become more difficult. 
As part of your self care, consider some of the following ideas. An easy way to start is the classic 'gratitude list'. Make a list once a week of everything that you appreciate and value about your life (include yourself): tangible objects, skills, strengths, choices you made, activities, aspects of people you know, the environment around you, things people did, and what you notice in the greater world. Notice how you feel after concentrating on everything good in your life for a few minutes. Another way to practice is to keep a gratitude journal and write down one thing per day that you truly appreciated or liked. These lists or journals can also serve as a pick me up for future use to read when you might be having a difficult day.
Another tool to use is 'mindful gratitude' which means to simply focus your mind in this moment (no past problems or future worries) and to focus your 'lens' on everything that is appealing, feels good, looks neat or beautiful, or that you notice with interest. For example, you might practice this on a walk noticing the chill in the air, the shapes of the leaves on the plants, the smells of sage or cedar, and the sounds you hear as your feet walk over the wet earth. Or, you might do this while cooking and really appreciating and attending to the fresh ingredients, the tastes and smells. This kind of gratitude practice can increase your pleasure in the moment.
Gratitude practice is very beneficial in the context of relationships with others. For this practice, one focuses and makes a conscious effort to find what they can appreciate about the people their life. Now, I am sure that there are some things you don't appreciate about some family and friends. However, when upset with a child, friend, partner, or coworker you may find that you feel more optimism when you focus on the things that people are doing that you DO like. (Also, since people are most likely to respond to positive reinforcement or 'pats on the back', the more you notice a good deed or trait, the more likely then someone is to repeat the positive behavior.) Consider from time to time listing all of the things that you appreciate about your support system, and then letting people know about it through telling them with words, a card, emails, texts, or kind gestures. 
Some of the words that you might use to prompt your gratitude practice include: appreciate, enjoy, value, recognize, love, and cherish. The brain tends to dwell on the negative--or problems that need solving, and so, cognitively speaking, a benefit of a gratitude practice is to balance this tendency out and to see life in a more holistic and realistic view. It is through strengths and resources that one solves problems, and so it makes sense to identify for oneself what those are. Additionally, the qualities for resilience in the face of stress include resourcefulness and optimism--which are cultivated through a gratitude practice.
Speaking to the NAMI audience, here are some things that come to mind to feel grateful about:

...that awareness is rising about mental illness and stigma is decreasing
...that there are effective treatments 
...that every day there is new research and hope for recovery
...that NAMI El Dorado County families and friends are a strong community supporting each other
...for persons struggling with mental illness-their contributions and perseverance
...for non judgmental and supportive allies in the community


Every year the California Mental Health Services Authority sponsors a film contest for students. It is part of a statewide effort to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness and promote the mental health and wellness of students.
High school students and young adults are invited to create 60-second films in one of two categories:
Suicide Prevention or Mental Health Matters. The winning teams and their associated schools win prizes and receive mental health or suicide prevention programs for their school or organization.
Go to for all the information including contest rules. March 1, 2018 is the final submission date. 


Cannabis Health Risks - presented during public comment to City Council
4 MD's provide public comment in South Lake Tahoe | Aug 29, 2017 

Thank you to NAMI El Dorado County Member for high-lighting the start and end times of each of the Medical Doctor's public comments and sharing their key-points.  Thank you Barton Health for El Dorado County for providing leadership in educating our community on health risks.

  Read Here <-- Key Takeaways by these 4 doctors:
  • Dr. Lance Orr, Barton Health Emergency Services Director  
  • Dr. Rhonda Sneeringer, Barton Health Chief Medical 
  • Dr. Tracy Protell, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist: Board Certifications: American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Child and Adolescent, and American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Adult
  • Dr. Nancy Williams EDC Public Health Officer (read by Hector Reyes - supervising health education coordinator for EDC.
Special City Council Meeting full video replay available here 

NAMI On Campus is here - thank you student leaders!  

South Tahoe High School - Monday's 12:40 - 1:15 in A6

South Tahoe High School 12:40 - 1:15 p.m. in A6.   
FREE lunch to the first 30 students on Mondays while learning at least 1 key brain health fact.   

Students learn about brain health, careers in brain science, and hear from guest speakers such as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, law enforcement and the like while leading their own resume-building NAMI On-Campus Club.   
 Questions? Contact Jeanne at 650-740-5776   

Flyer is posted here

LTCC Registered Students are invited to join us 9-January (Tuesday) at 12:00 p.m. for pizza and a mental health awareness overview.    Details are on flyers posted on campus and will be shared i n campus social media.    To join LTCC's NAMI On Campus you just need to be enrolled with at least 3 units...
More student volunteers to join Tina in leading mental health awareness on campus!    

Questions? Contact Julie Booth, Student Life Coordinator, located on the E-wing or LTCC   NAMI On Campus club leader, Tina Mller.

Congratulations to Union Mine High School in Placerville on the Western Slope.
Their awesome English teacher invited NAMI El Dorado County to increase awareness to 105 students freshman.
What a brilliant way to crush stigma.


militaryNAMI California Conference:  plan now to advance your education!
The 2018 NAMI California Annual State Conference will take place June 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa on Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey, California. Register today and take advantage of special pricing

We are encouraging our community to attend the 2018 NAMI California conference in Monterey, CA.    Psycho-education is core to building a healthy community to live, work and play.    

Take advantage of the super-early registration special.  Discount on rooms and conference registration.    

Hyatt Regency, Monterey, CA

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 stigma-free 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.

Important Information for Families

Community Mental Health Kiosks: 

5 West Slope "Mental Health Resource" Kiosks have been placed at the following locations: 

- Folsom Lake College   (El Dorado Center - Student Services - Green Valley Rd. )
- El Dorado County Library  (Cameron Park - Country Club Dr.)
- Marshall Emergency Department (1100 Marshall Way, Placerville)
- Georgetown Divide Wellness  (2 kiosks)  (6065 California 193, Georgetown)
- Shingle Springs Tribal Health  ( 5168 Honpie, Shingle Springs)

7 South Lake Tahoe "Mental Health Resource" Kiosk Locations:
Barton Emergency Room (2170 South Ave) 
Barton TeleMedicine Psychiatry (2209 South, Ste-A)
- Barton Behavioral Health (2209 South Ave., Suite B)
Barton Community Health Center (2201 South Ave)
El Dorado County Probation/Sheriff (1360 Johnson)
Lake Tahoe Community College (next to elevator adjacent the bookstore)
El Dorado County Library (1000 Rufus Allen Road)
Volunteers from NAMI El Dorado County (and the Barton Foundation) work to inventory and refill these valuable resources in our community.   

NOTE: NAMI Brochures are also available in the jail waiting room in South Lake Tahoe, in A6 at South Tahoe High School and in the waiting area at El Dorado County Behavioral Health.
We encourage family's and/or our loved ones to file a complaints / grievances.  This is how operations improve! Change is only possible with awareness.  Let your voices be heard.  

Have you done  all that you can do  to help improve the operation's of mental health services/supports?  Filing a simple complaint/grievance suggesting improvements helps improve our community's mental health services/supports as a whole!
Be part of the solution - make suggestions that are specific.

40% Fewer Re-Admission Rates when access to medical records provided
Learn more details  here.
artWeekly Art at Wellness in Placerville
Wellness Thanksgiving - Peers in Action!  On Nov. 16, the Peer Leadership Group at EDC Wellness Center put on a Thanksgiving Dinner for over 100 individuals and family members.  The Peer Leadership with support from EDC staff was responsible for  the planning, shopping, cooking, decorating, serving, and cleanup for this fun annual event.  There was active participation and folks were proud of their peers and appreciative of the efforts of so many.  NAMI EDC provided the rental fee for the event at the Diamond Springs Fireman's Hall and always enjoys being part of this annual celebration of "gratitude". 
Art projects include artistic techniques, art theory, and just fun art experiences.  Painting, drawing, and molding clay, are ways to connect with our inner creativity and bring calmness and pride into lives where this can be in short supply.

Think of trauma,  the THC in cannabis, and/or  high stress as potential "on-switches" to our genetic predisposition. According to Stanford Medicine heritability for depression is probably 40% and significantly higher for severe depression (2-3 times higher or 20-30% vs 10% chances of developing depression.)  

Addiction is estimated to be up to 60% genetic. Of those that are diagnosed with BiPolar or Schizophrenia it is estimated that there was a family history of mental health issues in 75-80% of those living with those mental health conditions.  
So understanding our relative's mental health and history of addictive behaviors can help us take steps to avoid triggers and build resilience.   Learn more here.

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.  NAMI families reporting 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.   

Has your insurance company denied coverage?  Ensure you file an appeal advocating for your loved one and include a letter from your provider with the appeal.   
Contact the drug manufacturer to see if they have a program that will fund the drug on behalf of your loved one.  For example, Otsuka, the maker of Abilify has this program.
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.   

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:  
read details here


BrainResearchBrain Research and Scientific Discoveries


Study Involves a Signaling Molecule Involved in Resilience to Stress
Using medication to augment signaling molecule 2-AG in the brain may promote resilience to adverse effects of traumatic stress and help individuals better adapt to repeated stress, a preliminary study in mice suggests.'s  research 

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) Could Help Treat Bipolar Depression 

Brain Activity Patterns Could Help Identify Best Treatment for Patients with Major Depression: BBRFoundation research

Teens and Young Adults Urged to Wait before you Vape: <- full article here
That's because THC occupies the same receptors on neurons as a natural brain chemical called anandamide. In essence, THC is acting as an impostor of this  natural chemical.
The brain's electrical pathways and the insulation process aren't complete until approximately age 25 for females and 26+ for males.  This means teen/young-adult brains are vulnerable to outside influences. In addition, teen brains are more "plastic." They adapt and learn faster than adult brains - suggesting that teens/young-adults  are more vulnerable to developing an addiction.    
ECT is generally used when severe depression is unresponsive to other forms of therapy. Or it might be used when patients pose a severe threat to themselves or others and it is too dangerous to wait until medications take effect.
Although ECT has been used since the 1940s and 1950s, it remains misunderstood by the general public. Many of the procedure's risks and side effects are related to the misuse of equipment, incorrect administration, or improperly trained staff. It is also a misconception that ECT is used as a "quick fix" in place of long-term therapy or hospitalization. Nor is it correct to believe that the patient is painfully "shocked" out of the depression. Unfavorable news reports and media coverage have contributed to the controversy surrounding this treatment.
Study looks at how Legalization of Marijuana affects Teen Usage:
Visit and attend their monthly "Meet the Scientists" webinars at no cost <- they fund scientific research to ultimately find a cure for mental illness - improved treatment discoveries are lending towards full, happy, productive lives.
latinoLatino Community Members
"Stop Stigma with Science"   
Detener el estigma con la ciencia

20% -  de los latinos nacidos en Estados Unidos han sufrido de un reto de salud mental durante el último año.

Check out these Spanish resources:           
La salud mental en la comunidad latina


NAMI El Dorado County: Spanish Warm-line in SLT: 775-407-0306
Mental Health Awareness and support available on most Fridays - 
call Spanish Warmline in South Lake Tahoe for details in Spanish language 

Bill Martinez, Executive Director of Family Resource Center says 
"The group sessions on mental health have been very well received by our South Lake Tahoe Community. Marisol is a wonderful presenter who interacts with the participants and allows for their feedback. Our group continues to grow by word of mouth due to the enthusiastic sessions led by Marisol."

ENGLISH: Getting any kind of health treatment is sometimes difficult to manage for families, and the barriers of language, community isolation, stigma, provider availability and cultural differences, compounds this difficulty.  We believe adjunct treatments to be of great benefit for those who find them reassuring, comforting, and familiar. NAMI stands firmly on the side of science and evidence based treatments as the desired primary treatment modality.  We do not support "alternative" treatments in lieu of, considering the damaging effects of continued psychosis or prolonged damaging mental health episodes. We are working hard to provide evidence-based education in our community.   You are not alone.

SPANISH: Es importante señalar que, en el caso del estigma, hay una falta de conocimiento sobre la calidad de la atención de la salud. Creemos que son útiles para aquellos que los encuentran tranquilizadores, reconfortantes y familiares. NAMI está firmemente en el lado de la ciencia y la evidencia basada en tratamientos como la modalidad de tratamiento primario deseado. No apoyamos tratamientos "alternativos" en lugar de, considerando los efectos perjudiciales de psicosis continuada o episodios de salud mental dañinos extendidos.  Estamos trabajando duro para proporcionar educación basada en la evidencia en nuestra comunidad. No estas solo

Local Mental Health Events
The El Dorado Mental Health Commission is part of a system of Boards and Commissions established under the Welfare and Institutions Code.  Its purpose is to review and report tp the Board of Supervisors about the County's Mental Health Plans. It is comprised of volunteers from the Community with lived or professional experience in mental health.
The Mental Health Commission is open to the public.  
It meets typically 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 10-January-2018   at 5:00 p.m. 
2 locations - both connected via video-link
  • Health and Human Services Agency, 3057 Briw Rd., Sierra Room, Placerville, CA 
  • South Lake Tahoe at the Wellness Center 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd  
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: vacancies on both slopes
MHC Agenda and Minutes can be found:  here    

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 - on the Western Slope
Marshall Medical Center
Friends For Survival is a national non-profit organization offering help after a suicide death:
Meetings are held monthly. For more information, contact Walt or Leona Narr at 530-647-8864.    

Survivors of Suicide (SOS) in South Lake Tahoe
Loss Support Group 
Meeting is held the 4th Thursday of every month
2092 South Lake Tahoe Blvd.
Contact or 775-783-1510

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? This is the county's website for health & wellness (calendar, statistics and more.)

Community Health Directory  is available in South Lake Tahoe at any Barton provider and at each of the  7 Mental Health Kiosks   t hrough-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 are 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 to see a Psychiatrist?   Make an immediate appointment with your Primary Care Physician.  

We need to close the gap on long wait-lists.  Do not delay treatment - hunt for an available provider and ask for available alternatives.

Did you know there are MORE than 2 dozen therapists available in South Lake Tahoe? Ask your NAMI leader in South Lake Tahoe if you are unable to locate the directory.
Please refer to the "Community Resource Guide" for a comprehensive list of providers. These are available at each of the Mental Health Kiosks in South Lake Tahoe.   
Ask your NAMI community leader if you cannot locate the directory.  

El Dorado County Behavioral 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.    

obtained a grant to fund FEP (First Episode Psychosis Program) 
AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC  -  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.

El Dorado County Behavioral Health - free support groups 
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - not just county clients
Drop in hours are from 1:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday:  adults 18+
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.

Download a copy of our recommended reading booklist that includes interesting websites at  
Visit  El Dorado County library  or your local community college library where you will find many fantastic books featuring mental health and/or substance abuse topics.
Visit the  Marshall Community Health Library, 3581 Palmer Dr., Cameron Park.  Good selection of titles on mental health, including NAMI picks!  

Visit and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can learn more about specific illnesses. Virtual forums - FREE on-line webinars

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.
BBRF Webinar- Robert Lowell: Courage, Genius and BiPolar Disorder
Tuesday, December 14, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

BBRF Webinar - Research Updates: The Social Brain in Anorexia Nervosa
Tuesday, January 9, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

 BBRF Webinar-    Psychotic Disorders: Current Concepts and Therapeutics
Tuesday, December 14, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT  (530) 306-7710 - Western Slope (650) 740-5776 - South Lake Tahoe
PO Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623