Kerry, Jeanne and Charlottte  accepting Mental Health & Wellness   award at TWCF Gala
In This Issue: Quicklinks

Cessation tipshare that you have a mental health condition

Mental Health Kiosks  - new locations

Law Enforcement - we thank you


Interested in Volunteering?

NAMI El Dorado County: Board of Director's Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

WS: NAMI El Dorado County 
  Warm-line: (530) 306-7710

SLT: NAMI El Dorado County 
  Warm-line: 650-740-5776

Spanish Warm-line in SLT: 775-407-0306.  

Partners in California: on-line resources from

Text "NAMI" to 741741

Heartfelt Gratitude for Community Support

GratitudeThank You Community Leaders

Thank you to California Conservation Corp for sponsoring the Mental Health awareness for your crew and staff! What an terrific bunch of individuals and a terrific operation.
Tahoe Regional Young Professionals for sponsoring the Mental Health Town Hall
(including Dr. Rupp and NAMI El Dorado County and Suicide Prevention Network)

Thank you to Lake Tahoe Unified School District for hosting "13 Reasons Why and 300 Reasons Why Not" at the Middle School 
Your on-going commitment to encouraging conversations about important topics and the focus on where to find local services/supports was brilliant.

Thank you Office Depot  for supporting our affiliate with excellent service and pricing for our non-profit.  

Thank you NAMI El Dorado County volunteers and fellow agencies for your tireless efforts supporting Mental Health Matters month!   Together we are making a difference.


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: 13-Jun, 11-Jul, 15-Aug, 12-Sep, 10-Oct, 14-Nov, 12-Dec

Western Slope: NAMI Family Support group: meets the first Tuesday monthly at 7:00 p.m.
Location: is The County Governmment Center, 330 Fair Lane, Conference room C, Placerville
Group facilitator: Jan Melnicoe
Remaining 2017 dates: 06-Jun, Holiday,No group, 01-Aug, 05-Sep, 03-Oct, 07-Nov, 05-Dec

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

NOTE: If you live in bordering Nevada addresses such as Zephyr Cove or Stateline, NV or any areas outside of El Dorado County including any other states with loved ones or caregivers and you wish to join this affiliate - we welcome you.
Unfortunately the NAMI on-line system is not set-up to easily process a NV or out-of-"CA"state address (so please mail in your membership request and we will manually process those that live in zip codes outside of El Dorado County.)      Thank you!   

New Membership Structure Coming 1-July 2017:

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

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

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

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


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

County Government Center, Conf. Rm. C. 
This meeting is open to the public.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NAMI Educational programs in
South Lake Tahoe:

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

NAMI  Peer-to-Peer: coming in early Spring 2018 to South Lake Tahoe: 24-Mar, 31-Mar, 7-Apr, 14-Apr, 21-Apr (5 consecutive Saturdays)
Accepting "interested" sign-ups now.  
Jeanne 650-740-5776 

NAMI Smarts for Advocacy  
17-June-2017 in South Lake Tahoe  
Learn to share your personal story in 2 min or less to move the hearts and minds of policy makers, insurance company's, county leaders, state leaders or other decision makers.   WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?  WHAT DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE?  Mental health, saving the environment, stopping partner violence?  Encouraging adoption of children or pets?  What's "your" thing?
Registration: Call or text 650-740-5776 with your name and contact info. 

NAMI El Dorado County classes on the Western Slope:

NAMI Family-to-Family Education Spring Class graduation is June 6.  
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.  This 6 week class will provide resources and coping strategies for families.  The class is closed.
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.

KeyTakeawaysMHCSelect "Key Takeaways" from 
24-May-2017 Mental Health Commission Meeting: 

By NAMI Leader in South Lake Tahoe:

- There is a new vacancy to serve the community by volunteering your time as a Mental Health commission member in South Lake Tahoe.  Application form can be found here.

- The "I WILL LISTEN" bracelets introduced by Sabrina (H&HS County MH in SLT) have been a huge hit in the community in SLT and WS)

- H&HS Behavioral Health Div provided high-level budget proposal for 2017-18. There was discussion regarding how much contingency $ are appropriate and how those figures are determined.

-- El Dorado County H&HS provides awesome detailed report to the MHC and public.   Click here (then click on Behavioral Health Update.)  THIS IS A MUST-READ REPORT.

-- MHSA 3-year plan: was reviewed; public comments consolidated and read and more public comments provided.
-- HHSA Service Integration update: Patricia Charles-Heathers reports that they are assessing other agency's to understand how individuals are brought in for services: with the philosophy of "no wrong door."
Integration of her departments continues  on-track.  The first strategic plan for "Healthy Community: El Dorado County"  and measures will be presented June 6 to the Board of Supervisors (this is open to the public.)   NAMI El Dorado County is a key stakeholder/collaborator.

NAMI El Dorado County outreach continues 

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

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

West Slope: Jan 530-677-2676 

South Lake Tahoe: 
Jeanne 650-740-5776

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

AmazonSmileUse AMAZON SMILE and select NAMI El Dorado County

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

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 Family and Friends,

Happy June everyone.   Whew! What a rewarding Mental Health Matters month!  
Thank you to all of those working hard each and every day to make our community the healthiest community to live, work, volunteer, learn, and play.
We appreciated the many notes and comments providing praise for the volunteerism we do in the community.  We enjoy the collaboration and year-over-year are seeing improved awareness and ultimately improved access to services and supports. 
Let's continue to make our community the healthiest place to thrive.

Our affiliate is passionate about mental health including substance abuse education, support, and advocacy with brain science as core to our community's education.  

A special thank you to Kerry, NAMI Peer Mentor, for sharing her personal story with many students at South Tahoe High School.   What an inspiration!   Keep Talking about Mental Health.   Ever heard Demi Lovato advocate?  She is truly an inspiration and like Kerry loves music (-:  A special thank you to Charlotte and Michael for elevating peer recovery in our community.   Check out these 50 famous celebrities - many are advocates for the cause.    Our affiliate has much more outreach planned this year thanks to additional volunteerism and strong community collaboration.  
A special thank you to the local libraries for hosting Mental Health Awareness displays during the month of May.  

Thank you Board of Supervisor's for the recent proclamation supporting mental health in the community.           

On behalf of our entire board of directors, instructors, and volunteers - thank you.           


Jan Melnicoe
NAMI El Dorado County 

Gene activity patterns suggest cellular immaturity in the brains of adult men with alcoholism

The research was led by Tsuyoshi Miyakawa, Ph.D.,   Fujita Health University in Aichi, Japan.  

In men with alcoholism, cells in the brain's hippocampus and prefrontal cortex have gene expression patterns similar to those in the developing brains of infants.  The "immature" gene expression patterns were found in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, two areas of the brain that may be involved in the memory problems and other cognitive deficits experienced by people with alcoholism.  

They found that in men with alcoholism, activation levels of genes in cells within the two brain regions were similar to gene activity in the same regions in the infants' developing brains. For reasons that are not clear, females with alcoholism showed less resemblance to this immature brain state. 

Further analysis of the genetic data suggested that the immature-like patterns of gene activity occurred primarily in cells called fast-spiking neurons, which send inhibitory signals to neighboring neurons. Disruption of these cells' function could skew the delicate balance of excitatory and inhibitory signals in the brain.  

One aspect of uncertainty in the results concerns causation: In men with alcoholism, chronic alcohol consumption may cause neurons to acquire patterns of gene expression that are characteristic of immature cells, the researchers say. But it is also possible that an immature-like state in these brain regions might predispose individuals to develop alcoholism.

Study shows that sharing you have a mental health condition can be a good predictor of success with cessation programs such as smoking.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration 11-Apr-2017 approved Ingrezza (valbenazine) capsules to treat adults with tardive dyskinesia. This is the first drug approved by the FDA for this condition.  
Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive involuntary movements, usually of the jaw, lips and tongue, such as grimacing, sticking out the tongue and smacking the lips. Some affected people also experience involuntary movement of the extremities or difficulty breathing.
"Tardive dyskinesia can be disabling and can further stigmatize patients with mental illness," said Mitchell Mathis, M.D., director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Approving the first drug for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia is an important advance for patients suffering with this condition."
Tardive dyskinesia is a serious side effect sometimes seen in patients who have been treated with antipsychotic medications, especially the older medications, for long periods to treat chronic conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Tardive dyskinesia can also occur in patients taking antipsychotic medications for depression and certain medications for gastrointestinal disorders and other conditions. It is unclear why some people who take these medications develop tardive dyskinesia yet others do not.
Important Information for Families

Educate, Empower, Engage
Jun 28 - July 1, 2017  

NAMI national convention
See more at htpp://www.

KiosksCommunity Mental Health Kiosks:

 Marshall Hospital Emergency Dept. Kiosk  with Jan Melnicoe of NAMI El Dorado, Angelina Larrigan, HHSA, and Larry Schmidt, Director of Emergency Dept. 

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)
These West Slope kiosks were made possible through a grant from the 
El Dorado Community Foundation  and NAMI El Dorado County.   Thank you!
6 South Lake Tahoe "Mental Health Resource" Kiosks at the following locations: 
El Dorado County Library  (1000 Rufus Allen Road)
Lake Tahoe Community College  (next to college bookstore)
-  Barton Emergency Room  (2170 South Ave)
Barton TeleMedicine Psychiatry (2209 South Ave)
Barton Community Health Center  (2201 South Ave)
El Dorado County Probation/Sheriff  (1360 Johnson Blvd)

Volunteers from NAMI El Dorado County and the Barton Foundation work to replenish these valuable South Lake Tahoe resources regularly.

Over 3000 brochures have been provided to the community in South Lake Tahoe since the kiosks were established in May, 2016.      
These South Lake Tahoe Mental Health Kiosks were made possible through a grant from the  Barton Foundation.   Strong collaboration with local providers keep resources at the finger-tips of our community.
  Thank you!

Thank you Marsha for your on-going volunteerism in designing the kiosks, maintaining inventories and reporting utilization.  Thank you community providers of services/supports for proactive collaboration in making these kiosks an on-going success.

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!

records40% Fewer Re-Admission Rates when access to medical records provided
Some research has been published indicating that patients that are given their full medical records after release from an in-patient stay have 
40% fewer re-admission rates within the first month.     

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

If you have completed the necessary forms requesting medical records and have been turned down - we encourage you to file a grievance first with the provider...and then with the State of California if the provider's grievance process did not address your complaint.

  • Every hospital or provider has their own complaint/grievance form (they are not standard across providers or agencies.)
  • TeleCare's PHF in Placerville has complaint/grievance forms within their in-patient hospital.
  • El Dorado County Behavioral Health Grievance Forms are available on their main website here (and available in the Wellness Centers both on the WS and SLT.)   
  • TeleCare Corporation now has a generic on-line grievance form based on our local advocacy.
  • The PHF in Placerville has hired a new manager, Jeff Symon: 530-748-4700.  
    El Dorado County Behavioral Health has a new client-advocate: Danielle:  patientrightsadvocate
What Should I Do If I Have A Complaint About a Hospital (which was not addressed by the provider's grievance process)?  File Grievance with California
LocalNewsLocal News and Discoveries

Consider what we each can do to be a healthier individual and community?
A NAMI El Dorado County Family-to-Family Instructor Perspective

13 Reasons Why and 300 Why Not!
This tag-line was created by LTUSD teachers/counselors in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of opening up dialogue about mental health with adolescents.  Kids are watching "13 Reasons Why" and the good news is conversations are indeed starting. Kudos to LTUSD (Lake Tahoe Unified School District) for hosting the community event at the Middle School last week.

Recognize the role of the Primary Care Physician in our treatment plan.   Make an appointment with your regular doctor and express honestly when you are not feeling your best being as specific as possible.  If you feel a family member can help represent what you are feeling, encourage them help you voice what they are observing.    Your Primary Care Physician can provide basic screening and access to medication. They can also help connect you to specialists.

"I've often asked my spouse to fill out a second copy of the mental health screening questionnaire about how I'm feeling.  His responses coupled with my own help my me see how other's that know me well may perceive how I'm feeling.  It has been incredibly useful in helping me get a more accurate treatment plan.   For example, I originally felt my issues were "depression." But upon further analysis I understand that "anxieties" were driving my depression.   It has been a long while now since I've felt severe anxiety or depression because my therapist and my medication are working well for me.  Plus, I try and eat right and get some exercise at least 4-5 times per week (even if it is simply a 20-min walk.)"    
NAMI El Dorado County Member

Recognize that 36% of all pediatric visits are for mental health!   Parents - find and take a parenting class immediately.  Learn resiliency skills and prepare for behavioral and mental health issues in your children.  Seek out detail for your family tree to understand mental health and addiction risks.  Most of us raise our kid's assuming mental health and substance abuse will not be an issue.  The reality is quite different.

Recognize our earth's shortage of psychiatrists.  India has 1 psychiatrist for every 286,000 people on average.  China has 10,000 psychiatrists for over 1 billion people.   The US has 5% of the world's population but 30% of the earth's psychiatrists.    
"Wishing and hoping" for more psychiatrists will not solve the problem.  Psychiatry is amongst the lowest paying professions for MD's and the cost of medical school is extremely high.
We as a community need to take ownership to learn the gaps in our healthcare, educate ourselves as much as we can, and work collaboratively to fill the gaps.    Recovery works but it requires a level of knowledge to launch the process.   

Therapists/Clinicians: Learn more about brain science and emphasize that 1 in 6 Americans benefit from psychiatric medication.  Learn why and how medication works for many in parallel with treatment.   Getting "happy" is not always a matter of just diet and exercise and behavioral adjustments.  Some of us really do need a dopamine blocker or an SSRI to keep more seratonin in our brains.   

Individuals/Families:  When selecting a therapist, ensure they have experience in some degree of brain science.   They should be able to inform you about which psychiatrists they work in partnership with and/or with PCP's (Primary Care Physicians) they collaborate with routinely and how many of their patients are taking prescription medication in parallel.     Behavioral experts are essential to recovery...but collaboration as an integrated treatment team is useful.  Individuals and families can help play a role in orchestrating such collaboration.

Think of trauma,  the THC in cannabis, and 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.  Knowing genetic predisposition may increase our desire to increase our psycho-education or prompt more open prevention/resilience dialogue with our children/teens. 
These crucial conversations both to gather family history then to share that history with the next generation may be the ticket to seeking treatment and sooner. 
So have that oh so crucial conversation with older relatives that can still recall prior generations. 
Perhaps they will respond with "Great-Grandpa Joe had a nervous breakdown and had to take a rest at the hospital for a month." Or you might hear "Oh we don't have any history of mental health issues in "our" family. But Auntie Suzie died by suicide." Or perhaps you will hear "Every single member of my Mom's side had alcohol addiction." You may feel you fully understand your family's history but you would be surprised how much may never have been shared until you are suddenly in a crisis situation.
Perhaps you will lead the crucial investigative conversation at your next family reunion! Bring your sense of humor and sincerity to the table. Let's crush stigma and bring these conversations forward in El Dorado County and everywhere.

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.   


Law Enforcement - continues to help our community citofficerofyear
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. 

NAMI El Dorado in partnership with the EDC Mental Health Commission was pleased to present the CIT Officer of the year award last month to two law enforcement officers; Sgt. Troy Morton of the EDCSO, and Reserve Officer Duane Tadlock of the Placerville Police Dept. 
Sgt. Troy Morton began working as a sergeant with the EDSO CIT Unit in 2015. Sgt. Morton has done an exceptional job supervising the CIT unit during the past year while balancing numerous other responsibilities. Sgt. Morton ensured the level of service provided to mental health consumers maintained a high standard despite having fewer CIT deputies to perform follow up than in years past.
Sgt. Morton was faced with some very difficult and dangerous CIT cases this past year. Sgt. Morton gave priority attention to these cases with a proactive and dedicated approach. In the mentioned cases, Sgt. Morton kept the mental health consumers and public safe while also managing the cases until they were properly stabilized.
Sgt. Morton's excellent work as a CIT sergeant was not without significant sacrifice and effort to balance his other duties. Sgt. Morton's primary assignment is to supervise the Coroner Unit, and he is also the sergeant of the SWAT Sniper Team. This combination of duties would pose a serious time management and organizational problem for most supervisors. Sgt. Morton has not only handled his numerous assignments well, but managed to further improve the CIT Unit through his collaborative efforts.

Sgt. Morton understands the important role of CIT for mental health consumers, our community, and our department. Sgt. Morton should be commended for his efforts to reduce the recidivism rates of mentally ill persons in El Dorado County through effective supervision and management of mental health cases. Sgt. Morton is well deserving of this year's CIT aware presented by NAMI at the Board of Supervisors Chambers in May.  

Reserve Officer Duane Tadlock has been in law enforcement for over thirty years. Duane has a Bachelor's Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management and is about to complete the Master's program in the same major. Duane has completed both the 8 hour and 24 hour Crisis Intervention Training and is CIT certified. Duane is currently a Major in the California State Military Reserve and has been in the CalGuard for 33 years. Duane has been married to Cassonda for over 27 years. Duane and Cassonda manage a scholarship fund that is currently providing therapeutic horseback riding for 7 disabled children at Project R.I.D.E. in Elk Grove. The scholarship is named after their daughter Baylee Rose Tadlock who died in 2010. Duane serves on the Board of Directors for Project R.I.D.E. as well as the Executive Committees of the Sacramento Regional Baptist Network and the California Southern Baptist Convention.
Duane thoroughly enjoys working with the community of Placerville as he walks Main Street, rides the bicycle trail, and patrols the city. Duane seeks out the homeless populations on a regular basis in an attempt to connect the homeless community members to needed services. Duane has effectively assisted many members of the Placerville community during a time of mental health or emotional crisis. Duane has always been a professional that represents the Placerville Police Department and the City of Placerville in the most exemplary manner.

Congratulations to them both! 

graphic-heart.gif Thank you to all law enforcement in our community - for all you do for NAMI Families and the community: 
Over 120 law enforcement trained  in CIT in past 12 months...and more training planned - thank you officer Ruthie Loehr for organizing this training and thank you Alan Nelson, retired officer and NAMI Member for participating in teaching mental health awareness.   Some CIT training is open to the public.   

The Placerville Police Department is on Facebook
A warm welcome to the new Placerville Chief of Police, Captain James Ortega.   
El Dorado County Sheriff's department is on Facebook : 
South Lake Tahoe police is on  Faceboo k  
CHP - South Lake Tahoe is on Facebook.  

Thank you to SLT PD Chief Uhler and EDC Sheriff's CIT Sgt. Yarborough for your leadership and participation at the recent CMBHC educational visit to Carson's Mallory Crisis Center that provides service to many locations including South Lake Tahoe.  CIT Deputy T Morrison missed out on the field trip - keeping our community safe - as he was called away to a critical emergency 911 call.   
Are you Prepared for a Crisis?

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

What to say when calling 9-1-1
for a Mental Health Emergency 
  • I'm calling about a Mental Health Emergency and request a CIT Officer.
  • My name is __________________________________________________
  • I'm calling from __________________(your location) because my (family member/friend) is _____________________________________________.
  • Describe in detail what is going on right now.
  • Advise law enforcement is there is information on file about the person in crisis. (see the Family Information Form link below)
  • Ask if it's possible to arrive without lights or sirens
The 9-1-1 dispatacher will ask the following: (be clear and brief)
  • Are there any acts or threats of violence?
  • Are there any weapons involved?
  • Where is the person experiencing the emergency located?
  • Has there been a suicide attempt or has the person made threats of suicide?
Additional information to provide: 
  • Mental health diagnosis and mental healthcare provider.
  • Intoxicated or overdosed?
  • Current medications
  • Gravely disabled and unable to care for themselves.
Always provide a completed AB-1424 (also known as the Historical Information Form). If the deputy or officer that arrives is not aware of how this form is used then ask for a law enforcement supervisor.   
The crisis intervention (CIT) team program  with the Sheriff's Dept. is active on both slopes.  

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

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

BrainResearchBrain Research and Scientific Discoveries

Health systems do not yet track mortality of mental illnesses.... Greater quality of integrated care opportunities abound for early episode psychosis
NIMH » Higher Death Rate Among Youth with First Episode Psychosis - click here to read full story
A new study shows that young people with first episode psychosis have a much higher death rate than previously thought. Researchers looked at people aged 16-30 and found that the group died at a rate at least 24 times greater than the same age group in the general population.

A new study shows that  screening in emergency departments, followed by safety planning guidance and periodic phone check-ins led to a 30 percent decrease in suicide attempts over the 52 weeks.  Imagine if each of us (providers of any service/support and each of us living in our community participated in proactive mental health reduction.


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.

Have you tried watching  HEALTHY MINDS TV 

Have you listened to a free Webinar based on "brain science" to learn more about your brain health issue or a loved one's brain health issue?  Provide hope and improve recovery through free education!


13-June-2017 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
Toward Rapid Acting Treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Carolyn I. Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., of Standford University School of Medicine discusses her latest research findings about OCD.


The ADDICTED BRAIN: is an excellent 47 min video replay   Over time, the 
brain  adapts in a way that actually makes the sought-after substance or activity less pleasurable. In nature, rewards usually come only with time and effort. 
Addictive  drugs and behaviors provide a shortcut, flooding the 
brain  with dopamine and other neurotransmitters.
Check out Brain&Behavior Foundation's TOP 10 Advancements & Breakthroughs by Foundation Grantees in 2016: click here
Brain Activity Patterns Could Help Identify Best Treatment for Patients with Major Depression: BBRFoundation research

CannabisTeens 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 the mid-20s for females and late 20's 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.    
Learn more at and 
Study looks at how Legalization of Marijuana affects Teen Usage: virtual forums  

Providers and community members are welcome to participate in virtual webcasts (and replay them whenever convenient.) Simply create a free login to participate and view past research and previously recorded forums. 
15-Aug at 9:00 a.m.: 
 Quality measures from the National Committee on Quality Insurance provide information on importance of quality measurement in the field of behavioral heath.

Psycho-education is a core to recovery.  

Recommended Reading 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 where you will find many fantastic books featuring mental health and/or substance abuse topics.

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

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
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

IHHSIn Home Supportive Services

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

DisabilityBenefitInfoDisability Benefit Information

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

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

is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance to eligible persons.    If you need help with a health care issue, call (888) 354-4474.  If you need help with one of the other issues listed above, call (530) 823-7560.

Additional information about health care rights may be found at  

Local Mental Health Events
The 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 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 28-June-201 7 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: 1 vacancy in WS and 1 in SLT
MHC Agenda and Minutes can be found:  here

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

NAMI Family Support groups: 3 in El Dorado County. Click here for details.

NAMI Smarts for Advocacy (Free class in advocacy)
17-June-2017 in South Lake Tahoe
What are you passionate about? Learn the art of advocacy.  

Learn to share your personal story in 2 min or less to move the hearts and minds of policy makers, insurance company's, county leaders, state leaders or other decision makers.   
Registration: Call or text 650-740-5776 with your name and contact info. 
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

safeTALK Training
no cost to attend
Lake Tahoe Community College, 
June 28, 2017  3:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Registration Required (Seats are limited)
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?

HealthDirCommunity Health Directory  is available in South Lake Tahoe at any Barton provider and at each of the  6 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.

Good news: New mental health providers have arrived in South Lake Tahoe this past year bringing a new continuum of care without a wait-list.  
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.   
  • Matthew Wong Psychologist| M.A., Psy.D PSY#26365 415-806-0275  South Lake Tahoe appointments Mondays and Fridays available for children/teens/adults mild to moderate; broad range of therapies.  Psychological testing and intellectual disability assessments.    <- very close to getting Medi-Cal approval (and accepts a variety of insurances) -- NAMI Families reporting favorably.  Dr. Wong works in collaboration with a team of tele-med psychiatrists.
  • A Balanced Life added 2 new therapists specializing in co-occurring addiction/mental-health issues:   530-544-1748 
    • Adults, Teens, Children
    • Free Teen Support Group.  
  • Live Violence Free - has free weekly group counseling for victims of sexual abuse / violence.

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

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

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

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