Community News
Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month ๏ปฟ
"Wear your Lime Green ribbons proudly all month!"
Dear NAMI Families and Friends ,

Can you or any of your friends relate to the words in this graphic from ? All too often, they are struggling in silence alone and without support.   Anyone can be struggling with a mental health condition. Mental Health Awareness month is a time we focus on the importance of mental well-being.

Our community has an impressive array of events, listed below, supporting mental health awareness! NAMI families and friends will be at every one of these events and we look forward to seeing you there. Check out the Mental Health Awareness display case at the library , visit a Mental Health Kiosk and take a moment to practice self-compassion .

Knowing both your genetic predisposition to mental illness including addictive behaviors along with your Adverse Childhood Experience score are useful. Openly sharing with your doctors, mental health care professionals and discussing within your family support system is a significant step towards sincere, uncritical, acceptance on our journeys to attain and maintain mental wellness.

We have included some interesting research indicating how gene ADBR2 interacts with Childhood Adversity - impacting pre-disposition to vulnerability or resilience . Some biomedical researchers posit that childhood trauma is biologically embedded in our bodies and that those with high ACE scores have higher levels of indicators for inflammation ultimately reducing lifespan. Brain research is vital in our on-going quest for wellness.

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

Jeanne Nelson,
President, NAMI El Dorado County

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

Mental Health Kiosks locations

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. 

2 Family Support Groups:
  • Placerville: 1st Tuesday monthly
  • SLT: 2nd Tuesday monthly
Click here for meeting dates and details.

3 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 warmlines - not crisis lines.

Placerville / Western Slope:

South Lake Tahoe: 650-740-5776

Spanish Warm-line: 775-407-0306.   

Congratulations Teresa McIntyre-Harlow, PhD of Placerville
Winner of a 2-night stay and dining card at beautiful Harrah's Tahoe (a $250 value donated by Harrah's Tahoe to this year's walk fund-raising process.). Anyone who donated $50 or more to our "Dopamine Blocker's" affiliate team was entered into the drawing. NAMI CA was given the list of names and an 11-year old daughter selected a name from a hat blind-folded.
Great teamwork and support for our community volunteerism
The NAMI Northern California mental health walk raises funds used in our affiliate's awareness work that help change perceptions about mental illness.

Photo below: Henningsen-Lotus Park, El Dorado County courtesy NAMI Board Member: Juline A.
NAMI Walks Northern California,
check-in 8:00 a.m. (pre-walk fun then walk begins 10:00 a.m.)

Join our team or donate

Check out this awesome new hat NAMI pal, Marsha made for this year's walk! Look for this hat and see you there ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™
Congratulations Graduates
celebrating on 21-Apr-2018

Artist, Michael Tino, and NAMI P2P mentor surprised everyone with his heartfelt 2-min video created for the class highlighting important messages such as "self-compassion" and "sincere, uncritical, acceptance" and "please remember this, there are not schizophrenics, there are people living with schizophrenia!"

Learn more about self-compassion from Dr. Kristen Neff.

Thank you TWCF for last year's grant supporting Peer Leader development.
Mental Health Awareness
31-Days of Putting YOUR Mental Health First!

Thank you Barton, for providing

The calendar includes tips to manage stress, encourage healthy sleep, nutrition and exercise and education and support!

Which events and mental health tips will you be enjoying?

1-May 9 a.m.: City Proclamation of MH Month: SLT Airport
1-May 7 p.m.: NAMI Family Support Group (Placerville)
4-May 9AM: Community MH Collaborative (LTCC, Aspen room)
5-May 9AM - 12:30: Women's Workshop (Lake Tahoe Presby Church)
7-May 12:40-1:10: South Tahoe HS Mental Health Faire ( open to students & staff )
8-May 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. BBRF Webinar  - Genomics Across Diagnostic Boundaries to Improve Precision Medicine in Psychiatry (enjoy watching from your home or invite friends over to enjoy together!)
8-May 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.: BOS Meeting (Behavioral Health Commission presents annual report to BOS, Placerville)
8-May 6-7:30 p.m.: NAMI Family Support Group, Library, South Lake Tahoe
10-May 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.: Alpine County BH lunch&learn, Learning Center, 100 foothill Road, Markleeville (adults 50+)
10-May 6-7 p.m.: Understanding your Mental Health, Dr. Marianne R., LTCC, Aspen
11-May, 18-May, and 25-May: 8:30 - 1 p.m. (Parent Leadership Workshop), A Balanced Life
15-May 6-7 p.m. SMART Recovery Group (weekly), A Balanced Life.
16-May 12 -1 p.m. Stepping Up: Day of Action, LTCC, Board Room.
17-May 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Webinar
Avoiding Burnout: Learning to Live & Work Well in Healthcare
23-May: ADVANCE Office Hours 1-3 p.m. SLT Library
24-May 6-7 p.m.: Survivors of Suicide Support Group, 2092 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Ste 400
23-May: Behavioral Health Commission meeting (open to public): 5 p.m.

And special thanks to the 45 students and some parents from Oak Ridge High School present at NAMI El Dorado's MH Awareness for teen's event supported by Oak Ridge Mental Wellness Fund of the El Dorado Community Foundation and the Oak Ridge Pursue for Happiness Club.

Thank you to SummitView in Placerville who provided employees an opportunity to learn Empathy and exchange in dialogue with us.

Thank you South Tahoe HS, Barton, and Soroptimist, NAMI CA and NAMI El Dorado County for supporting NAMI On Campus: Brain Health Leadership Club. A regular club participant, shared this last week:

-- South Tahoe HS Senior:
"I am very glad I got the opportunity to be part of NAMI and I was able to learn so much through this club and through you. These couple of months have been challenging but also wonderful and I've learned so much about myself and people around me. Thank you for giving students like me a voice and an opportunity to thrive and a chance to make positive changes in our community and most importantly within ourselves. "
The El Dorado ACES Collaborative 's stated mission:
to prevent and heal adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by promoting ideas, policies and practices that increase awareness, compassion, and resilience in
El Dorado County.

Next quarterly meeting: 16-May-2018r: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Placerville  - Health and Human Services,  3057 Briw Road , Sierra Room
South Lake Tahoe  - County Behavioral Health,  1900 Lake Tahoe Boulevard  
Contact: Lynnan Svensson,
Nursing Program Manager, EDC H&HS,
(530) 621-6185 desk phone

How can practitioners do better?
What language should be included/revised in goals/objectives? The original ACES study was designed 40 years ago. Substantially more sophisticated mental health screens are recommended today. Family history of psychiatric and addictive issues and current screens for mental wellness have been added to the mix of health screens.

Thank you to those mental health providers in our county embracing the wave of neuroscience research advancements, advancements in medicine, and the overall direction brain research is moving.

Still, some mental health therapists are still cemented to the 70+ year old idea that our behaviors are a result of purely how we were raised. This has been mistakenly carried forward by some who have stretched the interpretation of โ€œACEโ€ research. For example, when we read "adverse childhood events is the cause of most mental illnesses" -- red flags go up! This is simply not factual. Language matters. A high ACEs score increases the risk but is not the sole cause of mental illness.

The majority of people who suffer ACEs do not go on to develop serious mental illness.

Science-based research does not have a simple way to explain the cause of mental illness. There is strong evidence supporting predominance of genetic pre-disposition and evidence that adverse childhood events may be involved to a lesser degree. That said, neither genetics or ACEs are the entire story.

There are steps we can take including parenting classes, resilience methods, and an array of treatment plans to help change our brain's chemistry. We need to keep an open mind and continue to advance our community's collective knowledge.

ACES Connection advocates are taking interest in neuroscience and recently published this article showing how brain imaging technology reveals brain development.

However, if you go to the source, the Ph.D. responsible for the research, we observe the intent was to demonstrate changes in brain structural systems. Specifically the research found evidence about schizophrenia (over-pruning of cells thus a thought disorder), autism (under-pruning of cells thus highly sensitive to sounds/sights).

ACE scores of 4 or higher statistically show higher rates of depression and suicide and many other physical health concerns.

BBRFoundation published this article "Childhood Trauma, What Role Does it Play in Depression?" 6 years ago, citing that for the test group with no childhood trauma, the combination therapy was superior to drug therapy, and psychotherapy alone was relatively ineffective. Researchers emphasize that not everybody with childhood trauma goes on to become depressed!

The contribution of genetic differences and the timing of childhood adversity with relation to later depression are among other areas being examined in the hope that early-life classification of depression will help to inform treatment decisions.

Dr. Charles Nemeroff published research in 2016 that Adults who experienced abuse as children, particularly prior to age 7 correlated to poorest treatment outcomes.

Understanding your ACE score:
and your genetic pre-disposition to mental health issues including addictive behaviors are a healthy step towards recovery and building resiliency.

Learn more at,,
Advice for parents on Enhancing Early Childhood Development: James F. Leckman, M.D., Ph.D., is the Neison Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at Yale. Read full article here
We challenge every provider of mental health services/supports with the following:

  • Take the NAMI stigma-free company pledge
  • Provide policies that foster a strong belief in recovery
  • Coach employees on what to say and what not to say
  • Lead by example and raise the performance bar.

To those doing jobs as important as connecting with, treating, monitoring, sitting with, and in positions to help our loved ones with their recovery:

the patient is "manipulative, attention getting, unwilling to do this or that" or categorically classifying them as a "run-away" or "problem kid" or "problem-patient."

Such words demonstrate a lack of empathy and a lack of understanding of neuroscience. Patients did not choose their genetics, their traumas or the environment in which they were raised. Chronic patterns of manipulation may indicate an underlying mental illness.

Supervisors - please lead by example (take a tour of a top-rated facility known for best practices.) Discover what strengths are essential to our loved one's recovery! The tone of what is and is not accepted so often begins at the top.

Families - there is a reason we encourage filing grievances. Management may not have insight into employee performance. Listen to your loved ones and track your own interactions with staff.

When I started getting involved with NAMI education, support, and advocacy, I heard quite a few hurtful and ignorant words used to describe our loved ones. Over time with outreach, education, awareness, and a very strong sense of collaboration across providers, I'm delighted to say things have improved greatly.

Families are getting educated - they know it is hurtful and not a sign of a healthy educated community when labels are used such as those ending in "ic." Instead of saying "a schizophren ic " or "diabet ic " instead mindfully say "my loved one is someone living with schizophrenia, diabetes, etc.

We still have work to do.

ADBR2 Gene interacts with Childhood Adversity - impacting Pre-disposition to vulnerability or resiliance

In 2014 researchers from Columbia University and Michigan University published their first evidence that a gene called "ADBR2" interacts with childhood adversity and either result in a vulnerability or resilience to developing PTSD symptoms following adult trauma.

Your genotype is your complete heritable genetic identity.
Individuals with two or more experiences (see your ACES score ) of childhood trauma such as abuse, genotype was associated with risk for adult PTSD symptoms .

This genetic research goes directly towards the treatment and prevention of stress-related illnesses, and may have implications for treating pain, which has also been linked to the ADRB2 gene.

The adrenergic system may be a crucial modulator of PTSD risk. In January, 2017, The Journal of Psychiatric Research published further evidence for a role of of ADRB2 gene in risk for PTSD.

Anyone with loved ones living with Depression or PTSD and/or addiction to pain medication this is important research.

Recommended reading :
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel Vander Kolk

This book is available for check-out at the El Dorado County library.
This book along with over 70 others were donated by our NAMI El Dorado County affiliate thanks to a grant by Barton.
BBRF Webinar  Genomics Across Diagnostic Boundaries to Improve Precision Medicine in Psychiatry
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

BBRF Webinar -  Ketamine: Why Now? How? Where do we go from here?
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

BBRF Webinar  -  Rare Misspellings in the Genome, Dopamine Mishandling, and ADHD
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Avoiding Burnout: Learning to Live & Work Well in Healthcare
Virtual Forum | May 17, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 

The Interplay Between Sleep and BiPolar| June 5, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 

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 introduces Advocacy Resources!

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

  1. AB2156 dead --> folded into AB1971 and SB1045 which are still moving; expands the def. of gravely disabled and creates a new type of conservatorship for high fliers (i.e., those constantly in 5150 holds, jail, or ER)
  2. Concern expressed about how County would pay for added conservatorships...NAMI staff said funding is being discussed as part of the bill
  3. AB1795: allows counties to opt out of having to take mentally ill to ER first and instead allow paramedics to take them to a community care facility for example.
  4. SB1363: adds NAMI on tax return form: passed thru Senate, moved onto Assembly
  5. SB906: Establishes a statewide peer, parent, and family support specialist cert. program. This was not discussed but noted that it passed the Senate Healthcare comm. and moved to Appropriations comm. likely will be taken up in mid to late May for discussion

Raising awareness on your own, as part of a small group or part of your community can make a difference.
Dr. Wayne C Deveat's is one of the keynote speaker's at NAMI California's annual conference this year!

We look forward to sharing key takeaways provided by our NAMI El Dorado County friends planning to attend!

June 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa on Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey, California. Register
NAMI's Annual national convention is June 27-30, 2018
in New Orleans

The 2019 NAMI Convention will be held June 19-22, 2019 at the Atlanta, GA Marriott Marquis.

Our affiliate will soon be raising funds to bring train-the-trainers here locally to develop more F2F instructors to reach broadly across our community. Interested in attaining F2F certification? Must have lived experience caring for a loved one with mental illness. We are in early stages of gathering volunteer interest.
NAMI El Dorado County

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

Date: 5-Jun-2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Conference Room C at the County Offices on Fairview Lane, Placerville

Upcoming board meetings:
7-Aug, and 2-Oct-2018.
Paid CONFIDENTIAL Market Research Study.

Seeking caregivers of individuals diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

Please let them know you were referred by " NAMI El Dorado County ."

Researchers often hire a 3rd party Market Research Firm to adhere to HIPPA and add a layer of confidentiality so personal information is not shared with them.

Phone screen took me about 5 min. On-line survey if you are selected to participate will take approximately 45 min. - $100 will be mailed to you by RC Horowitz & Co. First come, first served (they only need 180 more from the Western US.)

Here are the questions they asked me on the phone screen:
  • My age
  • My loved oneโ€™s age
  • Whether he lives w/me or independently
  • The estimated hours per week I provide care to him (average caregiver btw spends 32 hours/week even when they are doing wellโ€ฆI said about 32.)
  • # of years on meds
  • # of years since diagnosis
  • Whether he has co-occurring diagnosis such as addiction, anxiety, bipolar, schizoaffective, etc.
  • Whether he is currently taking an anti-psychotic.

They are nearly done putting their 45 min survey together and anticipate emailing that out in a week. They do not get to see who has hired them to do this market research, nor do they share our personal information. I did find that the phone screener seemed adept in her knowledge of mental illness.

We look forward to seeing everyone on May 16 at Lake Tahoe Community College from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. in the Board Room (refreshments provided by CakesByTheLake.).

Come show your support for this initiative - no cost to attend. Hear from Chief Probation Officer, Brian Richart and other EDC leaders.

May 1, 2018 update

The first Steering Committee met 25-Apr-2018. Our BOS signed support for this initiative in Jan, 2016. The topic has appeared on 7 of 12 Behavioral Health Commission Meetings.
Brian Richart, Chief Probation Officer was well-prepared in his facilitation of the first Steering Committee meeting to address garnering collaborative support for this initiative.
County departments represented include Probation, Jail Correction's, Sheriff, Police, DA, Public Defender, H&HS, CAO.
President, NAMI El Dorado County, Barton Board Trustee, and Behavioral Health Commission Chair also participated in this steering committee meeting open to the public. Next meets on 13-Jun 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Judge Kingsbury is the Executive Sponsor for this initiative as a whole.
He provided  this hand-out from NACO (National Association of Counties) and emphasized the importance of metrics citing that without them we are simply relying on โ€œanecdotal opinion.โ€
  • 3-6x higher volume of mentally ill in jail than general population
  • 3/4 are living w/ co-occurring addiction.
The SteppingUp Initiative has been demonstrated to work, while not increasing risk to the public's safety.
Our charge is to work collaboratively to move this process of consistent measures and standards forward in the best interest of our community.
an ๏ปฟ d
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