May 14, 2020
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it's up to all of us to talk about it.

Each week in May, we will focus on healthy habits for your mental health and well-being. This week, our focus will be on Engage. Engage is all about connecting and paying attention to your relationships. Create new social connections or nurture existing ones to bolster your mental health and well-being.
Here's how BCHD is engaging older adults and vulnerable populations during COVID-19.

"We're Here to Help."

Beach Cities Health District’s Community Services department doesn’t have an official tagline, but if it did, that altruistic mantra would be an appropriate contender.

This team of helping professionals serves as the community’s health safety net for Beach Cities residents of all ages. In the era of COVID-19, the support provided to the community has been exponentially increased as employees of BCHD’s temporarily closed fitness centers have been redeployed to support the call line, virtually working alongside the Community Services team to provide essential information, referrals and errand support. Call volume has increased by 100%, as vulnerable Beach Cities residents seek help while Safer At Home. The month of May is both Mental Health Awareness Month and National Older Adult Month, so it’s especially timely to reflect on how the most vulnerable in our community are being supported.

“When I started at Beach Cities Health District more than three years ago, I learned about how big an impact the care management program was making on the health and well-being of the older adults in our community,” said Tom Bakaly, Chief Executive Officer. “I thought it was the best kept secret at BCHD, and I want more people to know that we're here to offer these safety net services and personalized referrals. And not just for older adults – for every Beach Cities resident."
Join a Virtual Moai!

You can still create social connections while practicing physical distancing.

A Moai (pronounced “Mo Eye”) is a group of people meeting for a common purpose. The word “Moai” comes from Okinawa, Japan, where neighbors use Moais as support systems.

Based on this tradition, Moai groups are considered just as important to a person’s health as the benefits of  being active ,  healthy eating  and  finding a purpose.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Although the state and county are reopening certain businesses, it's still important to note that the risk for COVID-19 remains high.

People who have underlying health conditions will still be at much greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, so it will continue to be very important for vulnerable residents to stay at home as much as possible.

If you're healthy and looking to help your neighbors with errands like grocery shopping, follow these best practices for the safety of yourself and our community. Remember to wear your cloth face covering whenever you are out obtaining essential services and keep your cloth face covering on when you drop off groceries to your neighbor.
Donate to the Beach Cities COVID-19 Fund
Donations will provide assistance to Beach Cities residents who are income qualified with essentials like groceries and household and cleaning supplies.
Missed last week's Wellness Check-In?

It's not too late! Find the Wellness Check-In script here and reach out to your friends, family and neighbors and check in on their mental health and well-being.
Roadmap to Recovery

BCHD’s AdventurePlex and Center for Health & Fitness facilities will remain temporarily closed until further notice in accordance with the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health’s Health Officer Order. BCHD is complying with the Order in a continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a public health agency, our top priority is the health and well-being of the community and we are taking extra precautions to protect the most vulnerable. We will continue to monitor the situation and reassess as needed. Please check our website and social media channels for updated information.

During this time, we are offering virtual programming for both facilities, including workouts and other activities. The links are available at:

We know residents are eager for things to get back to normal, but we urge the public to follow the Safer at Home health order and do your part –  especially by staying home as much as possible  and practicing physical distancing if you must go out – so that we can keep our most vulnerable populations and community safe.
Beach Responsibly

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health amended its Safer at Home Health Officer Order to include the reopening of Los Angeles County beaches. Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach reopened their beaches to the public yesterday on May 13 for active recreation only . Learn more about the beach restrictions here.
Mental Health & Happiness Series
Join BCHD for the new Mental Health & Happiness Series! Learn how to boost your well-being through evidence-based practices to build resilience, feel more connected and be happier. Attend one or all of the workshops.

All workshops take place on Tuesdays from
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. with a discussion after from 1:30 - 2 p.m.
Talk About It Workshops
BCHD, in partnership with our Student Mental Health Provider Task Force, is hosting the virtual “Talk About It” Small-Group Parent Workshop Series in May and June. This series will support families at home as they navigate distance learning and help create balance for students and parents.

All Workshops will take place on Thursdays from 1 2 p.m.
Families Connected Parent Chat
Free parent support group

9:50  –  10:50 a.m.

Open to all parents. A support group led by a licensed professional from the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers
Free course for family caregivers

 Now starting Tuesday, June 2
1 – 2:30 p.m.

An evidence-based, self-care program for family caregivers who are currently involved with providing care to children or adults with chronic conditions.
Hour of EmPower: Purposeful Engagement
Hosted by the the South Bay Dementia Education Consortium
Wednesday, May 20
10 – 11:30 a.m. 

Running out of ideas on how to engage your loved one with dementia while physically distancing at home? Join this free course to inspire creativity and find new activities and resources.

To register, email
Get Social!
Add our Facebook frame to your profile picture!  Click here  to update your frame.
Share your #SaferAtHomeSelfie!  Let us know how you are spending time physical distancing and helping slow the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Testing at the South Bay Galleria
COVID-19 testing is available to ALL Los Angeles County residents, whether or not you are experiencing symptoms.

Priority for the same or next day testing is still given to people with COVID-19 symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

Testing is also prioritized for certain critical front-line workers who interact with the public while working. 

All tests at the South Bay Galleria are free of charge and are  by appointment only. 
Appointments have been filling up quickly. Please continue to check the site for availability at the South Bay Galleria or make an appointment at another testing site. 

For more questions about testing, please visit  the City of Los Angeles' FAQ   for answers to frequently asked questions.
As of 5/13/2020
Beach Cities Cumulative Cases:

It is important to remember, as restrictions relax, residents will need to continue to observe and practice physical distancing and take infection control precautions. Increased interactions between residents and workers can increase the risk and rate of transmission of COVID-19 within the community. Asymptomatic (not exhibiting symptoms) individuals are capable of spreading the virus to others. We should assume that each of us can infect others even when we aren’t sick, and that others can infect us.

People who have underlying health conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, cancer or compromised immune systems will still be at much greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, so it will continue to be very important for the County's vulnerable residents to stay at home as much as possible.
Need Help with Health Information and Referrals?
If you or someone you know in the Beach Cities needs assistance with errands, health-related information or referrals, please call our Assistance, Information & Referral line at  310-374-3426, ext. 256 , seven days a week, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. You can also visit us online at