Community News
Increasing Access to Mental Health Care
Improving Services, Supports, and Community Knowledge
Dear NAMI Families and Friends ,

We are so grateful for our volunteers who work with such heart and passion to support, educate, and advocate for others in our community.

We advocate daily hunting for improved process opportunities, improved transitions of our loved ones, improved services and supports, greater and smoother utilization of AOT, AB-1424 forms by families, expanded CIT, expanded and efficient PERT (psychiatric emergency response teams that have skilled social workers and CIT officers working in partnership.). We seek improvements to our Behavioral Health Courts, improvements in housing options for those living with mental illness including co-occurring substance use disorders and other addictive tendencies, and shorter wait times in gaining access to treatment.

Thank you Barton Hospital for maintaining 3 in-person psychiatrists (plus tele-psychiatry options with wait time below 2-3 weeks). Thank you Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Community for dramatic expansion of Behavioral Health services/programs! Thank you Marshall Hospital for hiring a skilled psychiatrist just over a year ago.

We do all this NAMI volunteerism knowing we must treat physical body health and mental health the same. It is a human right as described so well in this recent article in the Washington Post .

Good news:
  • NAMI Family-to-Family class starting in El Dorado Hills: Feb 6 - Apr 24: Contact Victoria at vicrad@pacbell.netor 916-952-7325 to register 
  • 2019 Board of Directors are here.
  • We are delighted to are partnering with Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Community.
  • NAMI On Campus: Brain Health Leadership is returning to South Tahoe HS with a new flare - Lisa from Suicide Prevention Network will are the lead providing her own inspiration. Jeanne and Alan will guest present. Any high school or college can start their own NAMI On Campus.
  • Over 15 Mental Health Kiosk locations available. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Pearson's personal generosity a new Mental Health Kiosk has been placed at the Juvenile Probation in Placerville. A special thank you to Barton Foundation who funds our NAMI brochures in the South Lake Tahoe kiosks; depletion rates reveal our community thirsts for education and access!
  • El Dorado County Behavioral Health posted a Mental Health AOT (Assisted Outpatient Treatment) access form: read more here. Find form here. Positive results from Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction grant.
  • A Balanced Life provides teen Mindfulness and Resiliency / DBT at South Tahoe Middle School and adult DBT at their site.
  •'s co-found Zach aims to help teens and young adults and shared this TED-like talk.

We need your help -- we are seeking monetary donations to support our Peer Development programs in 2019. Donate here . We are not planning to participate in NAMIWalks in 2019 as we have no volunteer available to coordinate the walk fundraising. We are seeking donations on our website directly or mail donations by check to NAMI El Dorado County, PO Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623.

On behalf of our entire board of directors and our skilled and totally awesome volunteers let us each be the change we want to see in the world.

Jeanne Nelson and Fred Hjerpe
President and Co-President
NAMI El Dorado County
Warm-line: 530-306-4101.

treatment teams available now - click here

NAMI El Dorado County is partnering with the new Behavioral Health at Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center .

Much appreciation for their Director, Arturo Salazar, for collaborating with us. We look forward to providing more family and peer programs at this location in 2019.

Arturo has a vision of networking and community collaboration that will lead to helping the community at large.

Arturo can serve more clients! He is staffing up. He plans to have 3 MFTs, 3 LCSWs and 2 psychiatrists. Their space is intentionally "homey" and less clinical looking. They have one adult psychiatrist now Dr. Lanzano who has about a 3 week wait for appointments (down from 3 to 4 months). Arturo is in process of recruiting a child and youth psychiatrist.

He has 3 of 6 therapists on board and they can see clients right now (no wait unless you are a new patient it may take up to 3 days for processing). He plans to have one social worker co-located on the primary care floor to help the primary care doctors identify and refer to Behavioral Health as needed. He has one bi-lingual clinician on board now Liliana and hopes to have at least 1/2 of his clinicians bilingual. Adult/child screenings have begun.

SSHWC accepts many types of insurance including Medi-cal, Medicare, and has a sliding scale for those without insurance based on income. 

Shingle Springs Health & Wellness Community already offers a lot of programs including a parent academy , mental health first aid, suicide prevention, and is looking at offering many more e.g., perhaps a support group for latino women, and of course NAMI family and peer programs in 2019.

NAMI El Dorado County is a proud member of the Behavioral Health Network SLT sponsored by Barton Health

NAMI El Dorado County is proud to be growing our collaboration with Marshall Hospital and Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center.

NAMI El Dorado County is proud to be a part of the Northern CA Kaiser pilot where our NAMI services will be optionally "prescribed" for patients as part of the Kaiser database of treatment options: NAMI Family Support Group and NAMI Peer Connections is co-chaired by the California Hospital Association and NAMI California with a goal of engaging state and federal candidates and highlighting their views on finding solutions during the 2018 election cycle.

Focused on creating a unified movement for more coordinated and integrated care services for individuals with behavioral health needs.

  • Nov 3-4 NAMI Family Support Group in Redding (Shasta County) Facilitation training
  • Nov 8 NAMI Family & Friends seminar 6-8 p.m. in Placerville - register on-line here

Share your input about how you feel MHSA$ should be spent in the coming year at one of these sessions. The county requests each of us complete this survey

or Mail your comments/perspectives to:
  • County of El Dorado/Behavioral Health, Attention: MHSA, 768 Pleasant Valley Rd., Diamond Springs, CA 95619

or email comments/perspectives to   
or attend one of these in person events

  • Placerville: Dec 4 from 7 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in Conf room C NAMI Family Support group will follow.
  • South Lake Tahoe: Dec 11 from 6 p.m. a- 6:30 the library: 1000 Rufus Allen Road. NAMI Family Support Group will follow.

Compare how other counties use MHSA$ - see report here

  • Dec 7-9 - De Familia a Familia - train-the-educator Training in San Luis Obispo
  • Feb 6 - Apr 24 NAMI Family-to-Family in El Dorado Hills, Feb 6 - Apr 24 (12 Wed evenings)
  • Mar 9, 16, 23, and 30: NAMI Peer-to-Peer in South Lake Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe - four consecutive Saturdays using the brand new format made available in late 2018. Past graduates welcome and possible transportation from Western Slope.).
  • NAMI Family-to-Family train-the-educator training is tentatively scheduled for July 19, 20 and 21 in South Lake Tahoe.
  • Feb 6 - Apr 24 NAMI Family-to-Family in El Dorado Hills, Feb 6 - Apr 24 (12 Wed evenings)
  • Because our Placerville Family Support Group is so popular we are outgrowing the space; we will be adding a 2nd Family Support Group at the Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center. Details to follow soon.

What to say when calling 9-1-1  
for a Mental Health Emergency: click here

 Mental Illness Arrests? Learn what you can do here .

Mental Health Kiosks locations

Homelessness Services: here

Grievance Filing Tips/Links :

Communication Tips :

Psycho-Education is Core to Recovery: Recommended Reading

Which Way to Compliance? Ask about Long-lasting injectables

Spanish language resources are here

Genetics, Genetics, Genetics: Do you really know your family history? family-tree

Community Health Directory is on-line an d our county has where data illustrates health by zip code, age, etc.

NAMI On Campus in El Dorado County : Learn more here

I n-Home-Support Services; Disability Benefit Information; and Legal Assistance: click here


Family Support Groups designed for family members and/or caregivers/friends supporting a loved one living with a mental health condition. 

Monthly Family Support Groups:
  • Placerville: 1st Tuesday monthly starts 7 p.m.
  • South Lake Tahoe: 2nd Tuesday monthly starts 6 p.m.

Click here for logistics/details.

Warm-lines that offer non-judgmental experienced support to members of the community that want support, education or advocacy. M-Th 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - leave a message and your call will be returned if you get voicemail.

These are confidential volunteer warm-lines - not crisis lines.


SPANISH: 775-407-0306  
El Dorado County has secured 35 new books on mental health thanks to a recent grant.

New titles are here. NAMI El Dorado County recommends requesting Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide to DSM-5

Seeking bi-lingual Spanish/English volunteers caring for a loved one with serious mental illness that are eager to help others in the community and gain certification in NAMI program(s).

Please email Jeanne at

A free 3 day train the educator program is available in Spanish called "NAMI Familia de Familia" and will be held in San Luis Obispo in December. A commitment to teach 2 of these NAMI programs in Spanish in our county is requested. Ideal candidates will have already completed the NAMI Family-to-Family program.

Seeking more candidates to cross-train as instructors and support group facilitators (English and/or Spanish)
Common reasons to secure an attorney for you or your loved one:

Ensure access to services:
There is ever growing demand and shrinking availability of clinical professionals – both psychiatrists and allied health providers such as social workers, case managers, and psychologists. Health plans both private pay and public health plans are challenged to assure  timely access to care. Psychosis should be treated prompt (like a stroke, certainly within hours not weeks) to minimize long-term cognition issues and maximize quality of life.

Hold Medi-Cal accountable for services needed and deserved.
Hold Counties accountable for services needed and deserved (but perhaps not on their menu of what they provide or perhaps criteria to service you is too stringent and you are not receiving care.). Need a case manager or social worker or routine treatment and are not getting access and have made efforts but finding serious challenges with policies?

Hold landlords / property managers accountable (e.g. illegal eviction; pressure/force to move out.
Hold employers accountable: Forcing you out; hostile environment; lack of accommodations, etc.
Financial Management:
Need financial conservatorship and want a 3rd party to control your loved ones finances.

And so much more....
Need help obtaining a restraining order; need help setting up a special needs trust; need help filing a disability appeal or new claim.
What is El Dorado County Doing to Help the Homeless?

Collaborative focus is on-going to raise awareness about the link between mental illness and homelessness. Read more here.

NAMI El Dorado County will be presenting to the Homeless Coalition on 7-Dec.
Legal Services of Northern California and NAMI El Dorado County are collaborating to provide a free mini-legal training in South Lake Tahoe and in Placerville. Both are anticipated to be held in the Spring or Summer 2019. We will be announcing dates soon. Sarah Fielding is our primary contact covering dozens of counties - she coordinates our NAMI friends towards qualified attorney's relevant to situations. Email if you would like more information.

Meet Mr. Affie who is living with blindness
Mr. Affie (for "affable") is quite an amazing cat. He is blind and provides his owner, Dawn, with great companionship and such interest in helping label over 2,000 NAMI Brochures! This is one handsome cat coping well with his disability. Yes, the animals have many lessons to teach us!

We appreciate all of our NAMI volunteers!
The Behavioral Health Commission meets the 4th Tuesday monthly. The next meeting will be on Weds 11/28 at 5pm. Thank you NAMI Volunteer Val for these notes from the October BHC meeting:
1. Jim Abram has volunteered his time and skill for years to this commission. He will be stepping off the BHC in Jan. after his term is over. Thank you for your volunteerism!
2, The October meeting highlighted how the county is focused on bringing in Substance Use Disorder Program and how they have budgeted to get Medi-cal waiver from State some time in 2019 so we can help more clients by being able to charge Medi-Cal for additional programs:
    - New youth preventative programs will be starting soon - 
    - Peer Council (started on W. Slope, will start in Tahoe in 2 weeks), Botvin Life Skills Training - staff going out to interested jr. highs now w/intent to add high schools later
    - Referrals are coming from Sheriff's HOT (Homeless Outreach Team); staff are already linked to HOT team
3. AOT program goes to BOS 10/30 to become part of HHSA's regular program so it doesn't have to be renewed as a "pilot" any longer.
4. Meeting on AB 1810 was to happen 10/26 but due to Judge Kingsbury's last min. change, will be rescheduled. Jamie coordinating meeting and includes D.A., Jim, Jamie, etc.
5. Stepping Up - met and got grant of $282,144 + County's match of $70536 = $352,680 total. Will take two (or more) years to implement. First step is hiring contractor familiar with process.
6. PERT data - still looking good
7. PERT team in Tahoe - Jamie said numbers don't justify a team in Tahoe but she has a clinician now dedicated to crisis intervention only and she is connecting that clinician to the CIT team in Tahoe so that they will call the clinician to have her go out with them when she is available. Data will be added to the monthly report that the BHC receives under the PERT section so we can see what is happening in Tahoe too.
8. CIT training - Jamie will ask at the monthly CIT meeting if she can get data on number of officers trained, etc. She said that a few years ago, the figure was 80%. Now, much lower due to staffing changes, etc. She said the Sheriff is working on getting everyone CIT trained.

BBRF Webinar - Pathways for new treatment in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

BBRF Webinar -  Neuroimaging Inflammation in Clinical Depression and OCD
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Replay these fascinating webinars on ADDICTION:

Virtual Forum:  Tackling Behavioral Health Provider Shortages: Health Plan Strategies From Access To Engagement.
Nov 7, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 

Study suggests more aggressive screening for Substance Use in the Primary Care setting: learn more here

N ow in its 5th Season! New episodes are added as they stream through PBS.

Healthy Minds With Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, aims to remove the stigma of mental illness, educate the public and offer a message of hope by shedding light on common psychiatric conditions through inspiring personal stories and experts sharing cutting edge information on treatment. This season examines some of the most pressing public health issues including the opioid epidemic, traumatic brain injuries and concussions, and the rising rate of anxiety and other mental health issues affecting our youth.

NAMI California's Advocacy

NAMI CA supports Prop 2. FAQs can be found here .

Want to know latest bills proposed and their status? Click here


Annual Peer-to-Peer class starts in March 2019 (4 consecutive Saturdays.). Carpool available from Placerville. Our class will be held in South Lake Tahoe. Details here
Mentally Ill Crime Reduction Grant was obtained by El Dorado County's H&HS over 3 years ago. Click here to read the results thus far.
F2F Graduates 2018 in SLT
Congratulations F2F Graduates, Fall 2018 - one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved ones is completion of this evidence-based program!

Interested in attaining NAMI F2F, Family-Support-Group educator certification?
Contact .

Family-to-Family Educator training: July 19, 20, 21 (in South Lake Tahoe and prefer candidates that have already completed the 32 hour evidence-based program as a pre-requisite.)

Familia-de-Familia (Dec 7 weekend in San Luis Obispo) - formación de educadores

Family Support Group Facilitator education: Nov 3-4 in Shasta County.

See NAMI California Programs to learn more.
Nov 1, 2018 update

Thank you Sheriff D'Agostini and Chief Probation Officer Brian Richart and all those involved in the September implementation of the Brief Mental Health Jail Screen.
This means that our loved ones and all detainees entering jail in South Lake Tahoe or Placerville are given a screening. If the detainee requires additional assessment based on the results of the screening then a licensed mental health professional from EL Dorado County H&HS are called upon. It is critical for family members or friends of the detainee to read this and help get the necessary diagnosis information to the jail. Read more here .

A grant and county funding has a combined $352,000 for this anticipated 2-year program implementation.
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NAMI El Dorado County

Board Meetings:
Are open to the public - we meet every other month on the 1st Tuesday of the month.

Date: 4-Dec-2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Conference Room C at the County Offices on Fairview Lane, Placerville

We are in early planning stages of hosting a June 4, 2019 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. board meeting in South Lake Tahoe - open to the public.
Want to volunteer with us? Click here to see our many volunteer opportunities.
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