Community News
Increasing Access to Mental Health Care in our Community
Dear NAMI Families and Friends ,

Happy Summer and wishing for clear skies soon!

Good news : Annual trainer training is now available. We are welcoming additional instructors and back-up support group facilitators. Thank you to the 120+ individuals that donated to our campaign in May/June honoring Louis Hjerp e with the objective of expanding our NAMI Family-to-Family trainers and classes. This is the first time in 21 years of volunteerism we have been able to offer trainer trainin g locally! We are planning a trainer training in South Lake Tahoe in 2019.
Contact with attendance interest.

More good news: We have a new warm-line: 530-306-4101 .
Whether you live in South Lake Tahoe, Alpine area or the Placerville / Western Slope area we have one warm-line supported by skilled volunteers Monday - Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. (leave a voicemail if someone doesn't pick up the first time and we will call you back.).

Still more good news: Governor Brown signs bill for jail diversion! Great article here in the Mountain Democrat last week. There are many details to be worked out as outlined in last week's Mountain Democrat article. Conceptually it forces county's to look very seriously at the quality of their jail diversion programs, processes, and methods of data measures. The spirit of the bill is to support "treatment." How many NAMI Families had loved ones arrested wish this was in place years ago? How many of us spent tens of thousands on private attorney's, therapists to help deal with the stress of seeing our loved ones incarcerated due to gaps in existing policies? How many of us experienced PTSD and Depression over the horrible processes and lack of "treatment" available while incarcerated?

We are grateful to have so many community mental health kiosks available within our community. The volume of usage is high demonstrating our community's interest in education and access to services/support.

We are grateful to the many providers of mental health services/supports locally including law enforcement in partnership with H&HS who have added the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, PERT, on the Western Slope. PERT is essentially a social worker working in collaboration with law enforcement providing in the moment support reducing the need for so many involuntary holds. In June 2018, EDC Health & Human Services reported that 13 face-to-face contacts would have been placed on a a 5150 hold had it not been for the skilled field-based PERT interventions. We look forward to hearing a plan to expand PERT to South Lake Tahoe.

Thank you to Barton Health for offering a free children's Bereavement Camp for ages 7-14. Participants have the opportunity to spend a weekend with peers to gain a deeper understanding of their grief and how to live with it: Barton Hospice: 530.543.5581. Barton wellness program schedule is now available!

Check out our beautiful and informative new rack cards available at any of our community mental health kiosks. Our new NAMI El Dorado County rack cards were designed by Michael Tino, who is also a NAMI Peer-to-Peer mentor/instructor.

Thank you to the many community groups that have welcomed us for very recent outreach presentations including Kiwanis, Lyon's, and Soroptimist (and FRC who appreciated Marisol's outreach in Spanish.)

We have included some fascinating and historically relevant psychiatric interviews from the 1950's. Do you relate to any of those being interviewed either in your loved on or yourself? Mental illness looks and sounds the same...but treatment has vastly improved!

Your opinion matters! Will you please take this survey (takes 9-11 minutes to help NAMI CA understand services/support/gaps in our area? This will be broadly published so every survey response matters. We are advocating for mental health parity and the result of this survey will be a community report for a contract with Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission regarding experiences of family members as they navigate Public Mental Health Systems. 

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,
President, NAMI El Dorado County
Warm-line: 530-306-4101.

  • Aug 6 or 7 NAMI Homefront on-line. 3 class options! click here HF Online Flyer. For military families and veterans..
  • 8-Sep NAMI Family-to-Family begins in South Lake Tahoe (6 Saturdays)
  • 21-Sep (through 23-Sep) NAMI Family-to-Family TRAINER training in Placerville, CA. (We will be bringing F2F TRAINER training to South Lake Tahoe in 2019)
  • Oct 4-5: NAMI Peer-to-Peer TRAINER training hosted by NAMI CA in September in San Diego!
  • Oct 4-5 CACITA Conference in Sacramento. (Thank you El Dorado County law enforcement and EDC H&HS for your planned participation!)
  • Oct 19-21: NAMI BASICS TRAINER training in San Diego
  • Nov 3-4 NAMI Family Support Group in Redding (Shasta County) Facilitation training
  • Dec 7-9 - De Familia a Familia - TRAINER Training in San Luis Obispo
  • And in 2019....NAMI Peer-to-Peer in South Lake Tahoe (March 9, 16, 23, and 30th in South Lake Tahoe - four consecutive Saturdays using the brand new format made available in late 2018. Past graduates welcome.). NAMI Family-to-Family train-the-educator training is tentatively scheduled for July 19, 20 and 21 in South Lake Tahoe.

What to say when calling 9-1-1  
for a Mental Health Emergency: click 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  
NAMI El Dorado County donated this new book to the library.

The story of America's first Mental Health Court as told by its presiding judge, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren--from its inception in 1997 to its implementation in over 250 courts across the nation  
As a young lawyer, Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren bore witness to the consequences of an underdeveloped mental health care infrastructure. Unable to do more than offer guidance, she watched families being torn apart as client after client was ensnared in the criminal justice system for crimes committed as a result of addiction, homelessness, and severe mental illness. She soon learned that this was not an isolated issue--The Treatment Advocacy Center estimates that in 44 states, jails and prisons house ten times as many people with serious mental illnesses than state psychiatric hospitals.

In  Mental Health Courts,  Judge Lerner-Wren tells the story of how the court grew from an offshoot of her criminal division held during lunch hour without the aid of any federal funding, to a revolutionary institution that has successfully diverted more than 17,000 people with serious mental illness from jail and into treatment facilities and other community resources. Working under the theoretical framework of therapeutic jurisprudence, Judge Wren and her growing network of fierce, determined advocates, families, and supporters sparked a national movement of using courts as a place of healing.

The above book review is from

This book is available for check-out at the El Dorado County library. leverages technology as a free resource for anyone with a mental health condition. Founder of established this platform in honor of his friend Louis Hjerpe (El Dorado County) who passed away last year during a period of untreated psychosis. His family is active with NAMI El Dorado County and the founder of (Zach) and the Hjerpe family were at the helm with our affiliate's most recent fund-raiser to help other families in this community. It was an added bonus to learn about and utilize (very therapeutic and at no cost.).

Global, free peer-to-peer support, and featured in Calgary news. Anyone can use this free application from anywhere anytime for mental health.

Canada Radio discusses

Barton TeleMedicine: Adult Psychiatry, Adult Psychology
On-line therapy options (headquartered in South Lake Tahoe): “Smartphones have reduced in-person interactions. Technology has made it easier for people to communicate, and harder for people to connect… As we become more disconnected from the world around us, we often lose our psychological support systems… It’s time we put technology to work for us, as a tool to help people connect with others who can help.”
-Shawn Kernes, CEO


Researchers at King's College complete huge meta study illustrating a link between autoimmune disorders and psychosis. This is not the first study to demonstrate this linkage. Read full article here.
NAMI California conference in Monterey was well-attended. Over 500 people and the most popular break-out sessions were "standing room only" on topics of how to decriminalize mental illness and success story's shared by Los Angeles County and their use of jail diversion, data to improve performance , and proactive sharing of information to help clients. Key takeaway "those working in the field of law enforcement or mental health must want to help clients by being proactive in collaborative sharing sessions with multiple agencies to be successful. Great leadership and teamwork set the tone for quality collaboration"
Reasons for Admission to Psychiatric Hospital 1864-1869 list included

  • Novel Reading
  • Politics
  • Religious Enthusiasm
  • Laziness
  • Business Nerves
  • Self-Abuse
  • Parents were Cousins
  • Jealousy & Religion
  • Exposure & Quackery
  • Bad Company

Fast forward 150 years and we have vastly improved standards for treatment, services and supports. Where will we be as a society in another 150 years?

We are so grateful to for their cutting edge research seeking a cure and improvements in treatment options.
Did you know that in the 1930's if a woman was not taking proper care of her husband or appeared sad she could be placed into a psych ward for smile therapy treatment along with shock therapy?

We have come a long way...seeing these psychiatric interviews from the 1950's is eye-opening.

Continued investments in brain and behavior research is essential to finding improved medications, treatments, and one-day a cure or prevention methods.

Check out these fascinating historical psychiatric interviews from the 1950's.

Teen obesity (13-year old girl and her family - improve their communication as treatment team works to build resiliency in the teen.)

Middle-aged man living with OCD unable to work for 5 years.

Oklahoma State Mental Hospital video - promoting their services in 1950's.

BBRF Webinar - Lifting the Veil of Neurons that assign Good or Bad associations to our environment
Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

BBRF Webinar  -  Bright Light Therapy for Mood Disorders including BiPolar Depression
Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

BBRF Webinar  Pathways to New Treatment in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Introducing RASP Relapse Prevention in Schizophrenia|Dir of Outcomes Management
Aug 8, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 

An Update from NCQA: HEDIS Quality Measures| Aug 22, 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 and Represent Recovery resources!

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

SB 906   Creating Certified Peer Support Specialists
SB 968  Increasing Mental Health Counselors on University Campuses
SB 1010  Supportive Housing Pilot Program for Parolees
SB 1125  Allowing Same Day Visits for Healthcare and Mental Health Treatment 
SB 215  Creating a Pretrial Diversion Program 
AB 2022  Increasing Mental Health Professionals on K-12 Campuses
AB 1971  Redefining Gravely Disabled 
AB 1795  Transporting Patients in Crisis Directly to a Behavioral Health Facility 
SB 1045  Expanding Conservatorship in Certain Cases
SB 1101  Establishing Mental Health Statewide Objectives 

Raising awareness on your own, as part of a small group or part of your community can make a difference.

The public discussion about Mental Illness has sadly turned towards mild to moderate. Greater community conversation on those of us living with SERIOUS Mental Illnesses are needed.

NY Times Article articulates this point.

July 11, 2018: SYDNEY, Australia — As public conversation about mental health has grown louder and busier in recent years, mental illness has become more than a category of disease with social and psychological dimensions. Especially in the case of depression and anxiety, mental illness has come to be seen as a proxy for what is wrong with the modern Western world. Read full article here
Interested in attaining NAMI F2F, BASICS, P2P, or Family-Support-Group certification? Must have lived experience caring for a loved one with mental illness.
Contact Expenses for training will be covered for those who qualify and have applications accepted.
August 1, 2018 update

Next Stepping Up Steering Committee (open to the public) is Sep 8 at 10 a.m. at the probation office in Shingle Springs.

This project is a directive by the Board of Supervisors , and yet it has taken over 2 years to get to the starting gate, and is wildly dependent upon leadership by the Sheriff as it requires participation from staff skilled in jail intake and analytical support initially. Many positive shits in our county have been made resulting in improved services such as the adoption of Homeless Outreach, PERT, and CIT Training. Still for those of us with loved ones living with Serious Mental Illness we know first hand we have a long ways to go.

Candidly, no progress has been made on this "unfunded" project these past 90 days. The initial work requires a meeting and some data analysis and creative ideas on ways to improve improve. There is no investment needed - other than strong sponsorship from the top that says "let's do this and let's do it well right now."

We will remain hopeful and optimistic that the Board of Supervisors, Sheriff, Probation, and H&HS as a whole will provide the collaborative sponsorship essential to this program's success.

I have been informed by the Program Manager that the next Steering Committee agenda may possibly be found on the El Dorado County Probation link provided as of the time of this publication. The El Dorado County clerk and county counsel have not yet agreed to where agendas/minutes for this project should be placed so to-date they are not on El Dorado County Legistar website. This was raised by the public as an issue at our 16-May public Stepping Up Day of Action event in South Lake Tahoe.

an  d

Lack of Data Turns Jails into Psychiatric Units:
Governor Brown's Jail Diversion bill - read more here
NAMI El Dorado County

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

Date: 7-Aug-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, 4-Dec-2018.

Want to volunteer with us? Click here to see our many volunteer opportunities.
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