November  2016

Dear NAMI Friends and Family,

November, the month of Thanksgiving, gives us time to enjoy the transition into winter and time to express gratitude for the many good things that fill our lives.   Studies have shown, practicing gratitude makes us happier people.  Gratitude helps us put situations into perspective and allows us to appreciate what we have.  Gratitude takes practice, but the benefits can be life altering. 

We are grateful to each of you for your dedication to improving mental health and substance abuse services and supports within our community.  Together we are making a difference.

Just a reminder to everyone that the Behavioral Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency is seeking public input on the County's Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Three-Year Plan for Fiscal Years 2017/18 through 2019/20.  Community members can provide input by email, online survey (in English and Spanish) or at an upcoming community meeting.  There are still two remaining community meetings scheduled as follows:
  • Tonight! at 5:30 p.m. at the El Dorado County Government Center, Building A, Conference Room A, located at 330 Fair Lane in Placerville; hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at 8:00 a.m. at the Health and Human Services Agency in the Sierra Room, located at 3057 Briw Road in Placerville; hosted by the ACE's Collaborative.
To provide input on the plan via online survey, go to:
The survey will be available until December 1, 2016.   Completed hard copy surveys can be mailed or dropped off at:
Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic
768 Pleasant Valley Road, Suite 201
Diamond Springs, CA 95619
Input on the plan update and questions can also be emailed to
For a copy of the current MHSA plan, please visit:
California voters passed MHSA (Proposition 63) in November 2004; the law was enacted January 1, 2005.  The MHSA places a 1% tax on personal incomes over $1,000,000.  Counties receive funds through the State with the goal of transforming the public mental health system into one that is consumer and family driven, recovery oriented, accessible, and culturally competent.    


In the News


Mayim Bialik joins with the Huffington Post and NAMI with this hysterical video to advocate for therapy.
Miss Mayim's comedic talent on full throttle for a good cause because getting the help you need for mental illness should be stigma free. 
NAMI Ask the Doctor Webinar Priority Registration for NAMI Members!  
Nov 3 from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Ask Dr. Xavier Amador a question!
NAMI Ask the Doctor: Helping a Loved One Understand the Need for Treatment with presenter Dr. Xavier Amador will be held on Nov 3 from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.   
REGISTRATION IS LIMITED.  Priority invitations to register in advance will be sent to NAMI Members in late October.   Dr. Amador will share why some people with serious mental illness don't believe they need help or see obvious symptoms, and how this can become an obstacle to heaping them get help.
He will share information on overcoming this common obstacle using LEAP - Listen, Empathize, Agree and Partner.  With LEAP, a person can quickly gain trust, lower anger and tension, develop genuine understanding and empathy making it possible to partner with a loved one and help them receive treatment.   
This webinar will be recorded and available after Nov 4, 2016.
Dr. Xavier Amador, author of "I am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help" and founder of the  LEAP Institute 
NAMI CA Survey on Sharing Personal Health Information
The California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII) is releasing the State Health Information Guidance document in 2017 that will communicate the state's interpretation of patient protection law as it relates to the uses, disclosures and protection of sensitive patient information in patient populations like mental health, substance abuse and other areas. The document will be the state's non-mandatory communication to non-government entities on what the state thinks the state privacy laws are saying, what it means and how to apply it as it relates to the exchange of sensitive patient data in lay language.
NAMI California was selected to gather stakeholder feedback in the early stages of formulating this document. Please visit the below survey link to provide very valuable feedback regarding the sharing of personal health information.
Thank you to all for sharing your thoughts and experiences. 
Vote 8-Nov-2016
Election Day is drawing near, 
which means it's time for all of us to do our civic duty as Americans 
and as mental health advocates within our community.  
2017 "Directing Change" Program & Film Contest 
Students throughout California are invited to Direct Change by submitting 60 - second films in three categories: Suicide Prevention / Mental Health Matters / Through the Lens of Culture. The winning teams and their associated high schools will win prizes, receive mental health or suicide prevention programs for their schools,
participate in a meeting with state legislators on these topics and attend an awards ceremony.
Visit f or all the information including contest rules.
Two important dates to remember:
  •    Jan. 15, 2017 : Intent to Direct Form is due
  •    Mar. 1, 2017:   Film is due 
 - This is a student and young adult film contest; only student and youth or young adult produced films are eligible. To participate one of the following must apply to you:
  • To enter as a High School Student you must be associated with a high school located in California and in grades 9-12. Any high school in California is eligible, including but not limited to: public, private, charter, alternative and home schools.  Student films must be reviewed and approved by an adult advisor at the student's school
  • To enter as a Youth or Young Adult you must be between the ages of 14 and 25 and associated with a college, university, club, community-based local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), or other agency or program in California.
  • Visit for more details.

Do You Know the Layers of Self-Advocacy?
By Traci Noelle | Oct. 05, 2016
Mental health care is a complex system. Laws and regulations, government budgets, and research on best practices and educational standards for various services, all create the umbrella of resources we use when we are struggling. And it is in our interest to advocate for ourselves as we seek shelter beneath that umbrella.
Self-advocacy-promoting and supporting our own interests and well-being-requires reflection and self-awareness to know what does and doesn't work for us. Sometimes, we need the courage to say: "I don't know what I need. Can you help me figure it out?"
Advocating for ourselves whole-heartedly entails addressing every possible layer that could affect our lives: personal, community and government. These layers have profound influences on one another, and are therefore equally important.
Here are my recommended practices for each of these layers:
  • Be assertive
    and express your needs in a way that fosters respect. If you're too passive or try too hard to avoid conflict, you risk your needs not being met and not being taken seriously. Also, if you don't take someone's needs and feelings into account, you may come across as aggressive. Use positive words, confident body language and "I" statements. For example, "I worry about you and feel hurt when you arrive home late without calling. From now on, please tell me if you're running behind."
  • Practice self-care
    . Good self-care demonstrates that you value yourself. Taking medications consistently, eating nutritious meals and exercising are all important steps in advocating for your mental health.  
  • Know your therapy and medication options.
    When you visit with your doctor or therapist, don't hesitate to offer your thoughts on the course of your treatment. By doing so, you ensure that your providers take into account your personal preferences and values.
  • Ensure your safety. Whether or not to disclose your diagnosis takes careful consideration. People need to earn your trust before you share your vulnerabilities with them.
  • Build up your team
    . When you develop good relationships with your family, friends and the larger community, you strengthen your support system. The adage that the people around you influence your health and well-being is true, and by strengthening the whole system, you all rise together.
  • Maintain a good work/life balance
    . Expecting fair wages, safe working conditions and a balance between your work life and personal life is essential to positive mental health. Asking for accommodations at work can help you accomplish both your career goals and the company's objectives.
  • Have supports in place
    . Insist that your child's school, your parent's retirement home and your workplace offer mental health resources when needed.
  • Work with advocacy groups. By getting involved with organizations like NAMI, you help promote mental health awareness and reduce stigma. Also, creating personal connections with people who are empathetic reduces social isolation, which can make recovery easier.
  • Vote. The easiest way to advocate for your needs at the government-level is to vote for candidates who take your concerns seriously and understand the importance of mental health.
  • Inform your representatives. You can write to and meet with your representatives about legislation that impacts mental health care. If you contribute your thoughts in a town meeting, you can help to shape your environment. You can also support a local Crisis Intervention Team and advocate for mandatory Mental Health First Aid training for high school students.
Mental illness can damage self-esteem, but when we self-advocate within every layer of our lives, we are able to repair some of that damage and empower ourselves.
Traci Noelle, author of Two Hands: Use rituals to create your own peace from Borderline Personality Disorder, has been running away from home on a sometimes bumpy, but always interesting road, since 1995. Traci settled in British Columbia, Canada, where she writes on her blog, Letters to a Young Borderline.

A Beautiful Mind, John Nash, Game Theory - and Treatment for 
"Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia." Meet The Scientist webinar series.  
The following summary is from a 
NAMI El Dorado County member who listened to this webcast-  click here to replay this webcast 
Dr. Herbert Meltzer, MD is known world-wide for his work in developing Clozapine for use in treatment resistant schizophrenia.  Dr. Meltzer has received many awards world-wide for his outstanding achievement in schizophrenia research.   He is a Professor of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Physiology at Northwestern Feinberg University. 
Dr. Meltzer became a close friend of John Forbes Nash, Jr. and to his family - much of this  webcast is based on that personal relationship.  
JOHN FORBES NASH was b orn in West Virginia into a family with no known mental illnesses.  He graduated Princeton at age 19 and got his Ph.D. a mere 2 years later.   He received the Nobel memorial prize in 1994 for his work in Economic Sciences with Game Theorists.  He was regarded as an extraordinary mathematician and went on to publish 3 famous math papers.  He was highly respected in his field.    John Nash and his wife d ied in car accident in 2015.  The importance of his work is recognized in the field and depicted in the famous  Movie "A Beautiful Mind" which was based on his life.
He displayed clear signs of paranoid schizophrenia at age 31 in 1959 (unlike what the movie portrayed.)  He was a sensitive human being with an intense desire to achieve and be recognized professionally for his work. Dr. Meltzer finds abnormal brain chemistry as well as stress make it more difficult to treat those with brain issues.   First trimester events and stress in pregnant women (and stress in dad's to be) can be a risk factor in later developing schizophrenia.  John Nash had a relationship with a woman who became pregnant. This unplanned pregnancy stress weighed heavily on him.  She went on to give birth to their son prior to John Nash marrying Alicia.  Shortly after his son was born his first psychosis emerged.  
Once the positive symptoms emerged they proved extremely hard to treat.  John Forbes Nash is perceived to have had treatment resistant schizophrenia.  This is what drove Dr. Meltzer to begin his research and later development of Clozapine for those with treatment resistant cases of schizophrenia.   Dr. Meltzer was a resident at the time John Nash was first hospitalized.   Despite Insulin coma and ECT (Electro-Shock-Therapy,) Dr. Nash rejected medications as a way to deal with his illness likely because they were not working well.   He had a full range of psycho social treatments at the time.  His wife divorced him but became his caretaker outside of the hospital.  He became nearly a street-person but with his former wife helping him as much as she could.  In 1994 he got the Nobel prize.   Dr. Meltzer wrote to one of his colleagues and shared about the drug Clozapine.   Nash read his email and said yes he wanted to meet him.
John Nash was intermittently treated with anti-psychotic drugs w/partial response and several courses of insulin coma and ECT,
after 1970 his general level of self-care improved without medication.
Nash was never able to achieve anything approaching the achievement of his youth following his period of his florid psychosis. 
The belief that thoughts can be inserted into ones mind, or diffused, or broadcast from one mind to another is thought to be common in the prodromal phase of schizophrenia.
There are 2 main classes of anti-psychotic drugs: atypical and typical.   Atypical doesn't product the Parkinson's-like side affects.   The basis for clozapine may also improve cognition and reduce risk for active schizophrenia per Dr. Meltzer.   All schizophrenia is related to excessive dopamine in the brain.   Anti-psychotics work to block excess dopamine.
Different genes produce a picture of schizophrenia - they are risk genes - but there are other genes influencing chemistry in brain that affect response to medication.   This is the area of research Dr. Melzer continues to do.   They are working to come up with blood or saliva samples to be able to assess best medication for an individual.    Dr. Meltzer and his team tested a 49-yr old female with severe untreated schizophrenia. Within 6 months of treatment on an atypical anti-psychotic, with pre and post-MRI-brain-scans they saw vast improvement in cognition through neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.   This gives us all hope for the future!
Despite years of psychosis with no treatment - treatment is still possible.  Optimal preservation of cognition is to get early intervention and prompt treatment.   Most with schizophrenia will require life-long medication but some like John Nash (a brilliant man using self-cognitive therapy and highly educated learned in his older years of life to control his psychosis.)    Dr. Meltzer remains optimistic about the future of mental health.
Important Information for our Families
About CalABLE
For many people with disabilities, the fear of losing critical public benefits, coupled with the high cost of support expenses, has limited them from building financial security.
Until recently, individuals receiving federal benefits have been restricted in the amount of money they can save, essentially keeping them in poverty and preventing them from planning for the future. With the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act , signed into federal law by President Obama, these thresholds are no longer an obstacle.
In 2015 Governor Brown signed the California ABLE Act into law. CalABLE allows qualified individuals with disabilities and their families to open tax-free savings accounts without the worry of losing vital government assistance. The law establishes a board that will administer the CalABLE savings program.
The CalABLE program in California will open up life-improving opportunities for people with disabilities and their families in much the same way California's ScholarShare 529 plans formed educational opportunities for the state's students.
Contributions to an ABLE account, currently limited to $14,000 per year, can be made by family, friends, or the beneficiary themselves. The account's earnings are allowed to accumulate tax-free, and the withdrawals, provided they are applied to qualifying disability expenses, are tax-free.
Read more about the CalABLE program by accessing our Fact Sheet .
One of the largest benefits afforded by the ABLE Act is the ability to exclude certain assets from federal means-tested programs. As an example, in order for an individual to obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the countable resources must be worth not more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.
Savings held in an ABLE account, up to a $100,000 limit, are not counted against the $2,000 limit on personal assets for individuals to qualify for SSI and other public benefits.
In essence, the ABLE Act has increased the cap for countable assets from $2,000 to $100,000 for disabled individuals seeking eligibility for SSI.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules for determining program eligibility were finalized in November of 2015.
CalABLE received program funding in July of 2016 to begin development and implementation of the program. CalABLE hopes to make ABLE accounts available by summer 2017. To view the full implementation schedule, view Phase I and Phase II .
Program staff are currently in the process of ensuring that a vast coalition of stakeholders and impacted state, local and federal agencies are all involved in the development of this savings plan. Interested parties are encouraged to participate in the program design and implementation process; connect with us via email , our ListServ or on Facebook .

WarmLine Family Resource Center   WarmLine provides  resources & support (at no charge) to families of infants, children and youth with special needs and disabilities, birth to 26 years. 
WarmLine is funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs as the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) for children with disabilities 0-26 years in Region 5 (26 counties from Yolo County to the Oregon border) of Northern California. This funding gives WarmLine the means to provide more support and trainings to families on Special Education than ever before.

In 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: 
Disability 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,  it was found that most people who have become or already living with disabilities are not fully aware of the benefits and resources that are available to them. This guide will not only answer common questions like qualifications, application process, as well as a calculator that can help estimate monthly and annual benefits.    You can see the entire guide along with some of its features here:
Legal Services

Legal Services of Northern California
is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance to eligible persons.  They provide help in the following areas: housing (resolving problems with landlords and housing subsidies), public benefits (CalFresh, CalWORKs, General Assistance, etc.), Social Security, and health care (physical and mental health).  

"Our health unit  may be able to help you get and keep health insurance, and deal with insurance premium and share of cost disputes, medical debt; coverage of medical treatment (procedures, medication, medical equipment, etc.), seeing doctors in a timely manner, and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)."

Persons who need help with a health care issue may receive assistance regardless of their income or assets if they meet other eligibility requirements.  Persons needing help with other issues must have a low income.  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.

A huge Thank You to Leon Dixson for coming and speaking to our group last month about Medi-Cal and Medicare and some of the difficulties families may have around insurance, housing, and public benefits! 

Additional information about health care rights may be found at  

Law Enforcement - helping our community
Law enforcement resources continuously help our loved ones.    NAMI Families and Friends in El Dorado County continue to sing praise for law enforcement's participation in CIT training and the leadership team's focus on ensuring officers are trained in Crisis Intervention Training.
The Placerville Police Dept. is on  Facebook
Deputy DeLeon speaks to NAMI class about CIT Thank you for all you do!
South Lake Tahoe police is also on Facebook .
El Dorado County Sheriff's department is also on  Facebook  .
Congratulations NAMI Graduates_ Fall 2016
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 (Family History Form).  If the deputy or officer that arrives is not aware of how this form is used then ask for a law enforcement supervisor.   AB-1424 has been in effect since 2002 but not all law enforcement has been trained in the importance of how this form can help get your loved one help.  This is why it is important to ask for a "CIT trained officer" in a mental health emergency.
Family Information Form
AB-1424 form from El Dorado County (click on link above) will assist you in getting important family historical information to law enforcement and emergency personnel.  This form applies to the WI code 5150.5 which allows families to provide important historical information in case of hospitalization or incarceration.   
This form is also available at NAMI Support meetings, El Dorado County Mental Health's website, the Psychiatric Health Facility on Spring St. in Placerville, and at El Dorado County Mental Health at 768 Pleasant Valley Rd., Diamond Springs or El Dorado County Wellness Center 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd in South Lake Tahoe.  
During a crisis, you may not be able to access information about your loved one, but with this form, you can provide essential information to assist providers in developing appropriate treatment.  California law AB-1424 requires historical information be considered in helping our loved ones.   
Providing the "history" of mental health issues may help the deputy or officer in getting our loved ones treatment. For example, if your loved one is currently not a danger to themselves or others but things are escalating...they have a history of prior hospitalizations or prior violence/threats when untreated it is relevant to share specifics about this.  
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.
Brain Research and Scientific Discoveries
Visit and attend their monthly "Meet the Scientists" webinars at no cost.

13-Dec: "Neuro-inflammatory Hypotheses of Depression"
 Yvette I. Sheline, M.D.

Visit and attend a virtual forum at no cost.  

1-Nov: "Future Of Psychopharmacology: Is New Treatment Innovation Still Alive?"
9-Nov:  "BiPolar Disorder: Importance of Residual Symptoms and Impact on Outcomes".
9-Nov:  "Understanding the Role of Social Determinants in Population Health Management".
17-Nov:  "BiPolar Disorder: Importance of Residual Symptoms and Impact on Outcomes".
15-Dec:  " Meeting the Challenges in caring for patients  with Schizophrenia: Roles of the Pharmacists".
Visit and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can learn more about specific illnesses.
Visit  and visit their on-line
Psycho-education is a core to recovery.  
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.
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. Psychiatrist Saul Zelan, MD joined the Barton Psychiatry team in August. Dr. Zelan will provide counseling, assessments, and other mental health services for adults and children. Potential patients should ask their doctor or healthcare provider about this service.   3 local psychiatrists: Dr. Zelan, Dr. Protell, and Dru Rupp plus Telemedicine and Psychologists plus licensed Social Workers - each focused on improving mental health.

Where can you find help in South Lake Tahoe and surrounding area?  
Here is the  link  to the The Health & Wellness portion of the Barton community
 directory (starting on page 49.)  Notice all the support groups and counseling services - many health and wellness programs available.   You may also pick up a hard-copy of this directory at our NAMI Support Group meeting in South Lake Tahoe, at a Mental Health kiosk, or at Barton Hospital.  
New mental health providers have arrived in South Lake Tahoe bringing a new continuum of care.  Their names will be added to the community directory next year.  No wait-list as of this month...that will change quickly.
  • 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.
  • A Balanced Life has hired 2 new therapists specializing in co-occurring addiction/mental-health issues: 
"Schedule an appointment soon before provider calendars are filled.   
Mental health clinicians have far smaller caseloads than primary care physicians. 
With psycho-therapy treatment can last for an extended period which means often people pick a standing time-slot.  
Experts recommend not delaying treatment (even if you are wait listed for someone you really like.)  
Recommend getting to treatment promptly.
The sooner you begin psycho-therapy - the sooner your journey to recovery will begin. " 
Take care of you and your loved ones"   NAMI Leader - NAMI El Dorado County 

Check out  Barton's mental health page  which outlines strategic priorities and accomplishments and more...  Have you checked out all the community classes available including smoking cessation?
Lake Tahoe Community College takes #1 spot as most visited Mental Health Kiosk in October!
Six locations  hosting Mental Health kiosks for our South Lake Tahoe community.   
- Barton Emergency Room  (2170 South Ave)
- Barton Community Health Center  (2201 South Ave)
- Barton Family Medicine  (1090 Third St)
- El Dorado County Probation/Sheriff  (1360 Johnson Blvd)
- El Dorado County Library  (1000 Rufus Allen Road)
- Lake Tahoe Community College  (next to college bookstore)

Barton ER is second most visited and Barton Family Medicine is third most visited.   All six locations are popular...over 1500 brochures have been provided to the community since establishment in our community!     
Have you asked your doctor 
about Long-lasting  Injectables?

Safeway's Speciality Pharmacy in South Lake Tahoe AND on the Western Slope provide long-lasting injectables.  Not all Safeways provide this.   We continue to educate families and friends about the availability and benefits of long-lasting injectables for those that have this option available.    
Many NAMI families are reporting vast improvement in their loved ones since switching from pill form to long-lasting injectables.
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.
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.  Multiple NAMI family members in South Lake Tahoe report the process and impact are favorable. 
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.  
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, 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 or in South Lake Tahoe: Jeanne 650-740-5776

Current and upcoming classes, events and support groups:
Saturday, 6-May-2017 is Northern California NAMIWalks. Details to follow  - 10 counties will come together at William Land Park in Sacramento to raise mental health awareness and crush stigma!   Come join in the fun and show your support.   

This is NAMI El Dorado County's annual fundraiser.    
NAMI El Dorado Board of Directors Meeting - First Tuesday of every month
We will meet at the County Government Center, 330 Fair Lane, BOS Building A, Conf. Rm. A, 5:30 p.m.   Everyone is welcome.    Support Group follows at 7:00 pm
This month we are hosting a Mental Health Services Act Community Meeting beginning at 5:30.  Please come and support the process.  Your input is truly needed and appreciated!

El Dorado County Mental Health Commission:

Regular meeting of the Commission will be November 23.
Health and Human Services Agency, 3057 Briw Rd., Sierra Room, Placerville, CA - and in South Lake Tahoe at the Wellness Center 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd (video-teleconference.) - 5:00 pm 
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.

NAMI Family Support Meetings - 3 in El Dorado County!

NAMI Family Support groups are a monthly meeting of caregivers of individuals with a mental illness where family members can talk frankly about their challenges and help one another through their learned wisdom.  
These support groups group 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 friends of those living with a mental illness.  We hope to see you there.  No cost to attend.

South Lake Tahoe NAMI Family Support Group  
This group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month 
Location: South Lake Tahoe Library located at 1000 Rufus Allen Road from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.    
Group facilitators: Jeanne and Alan (650) 740-5776 |  
2016 remaining dates:   Nov 8, Dec 13.

The West Slope NAMI Family Support Group
This group meets the 1st Tuesday monthly at 7:00 p.m. following the monthly NAMI Board Meeting in Placerville at the Government Center, Fair Lane, BOS Building A, Conference Room A, Placerville, CA
Group facilitator: Jan 530-677-2676 
2016 remaining dates:   Nov 1, Dec 6

El Dorado Hills NAMI Family Support Group    
This group meets the  3rd Monday of each month.  
Location: EDH Fire Dept, Station 85, 1050 Wilson Blvd. El Dorado Hills. 
Conference Room: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
2016 remaining dates:  Nov 21, Dec 19
Group Facilitators: 
Jannell Clanton (530)333-5803 | or 
Lauraleen Patterson (916)955-1666 | 

We are pleased to offer  NAMI Signature programs  right here in 
El Dorado County.   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 Family-to-Family 
is on the coveted list of SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) Evidence-based recovery models.  Visit to learn more about SAMSHA.  We will be offering Family-to-Family and Basics,  this year.  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.  Phone numbers are given below.

"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

NAMI Family-to-Family In South Lake Tahoe:

NAMI Family-to-Family education  in South Lake Tahoe: 
Sep  17 through Oct 22 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
6 consecutive Saturdays <-- class is full and in progress!
Call Jeanne at 650-740-5776 to register - Accepting wait-list candidates for future class
NAMI Classes on the West Slope: 
NAMI Family-to-Family is scheduled to begin on Thursdays beginning Sept. 8th through Nov. 17th at Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park.   Registration required. This class is in progress and closed to new students.  Call Jan at 530-677-2676 to put your name on the wait-list for future class

NAMI Basics - Stay tuned for more information; we are assessing new demand.
NAMI Peer-to-Peer  is a 10-week education class for individuals coping with a mental health issue.  Please call Jan to get on wait-list for a future class.    (530) 677-2676

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.
Local Happenings

Nov 1 in Placerville:  We will start at 5:30 for the MHSA Community Planning portion, followed by our business meeting.  Family support will follow at 7:00.   Come learn about programs the county has supported based on Prop 63 funding. The meeting will be held at the County Government Center, Board of Supervisors Building, Conf. Rm. A, Fair Lane, Placerville.  Refreshments will be served.  Hope to see you there!  If you cannot make it to the meeting, you can provide input through a survey. Click on the link below to find all the meetings available and the on-line survey to give your input.  
I n early October,  South Lake Tahoe's Mental Health Co-operative included MHSA planning at their forum. MHSA feedback was provided to the county emphasizing greater transparency would be beneficial with regard to how MHSA program funding is divided or spent in South Lake Tahoe and Western Slope.  The county acknowledged this need and indicated they will return soon with this data.  For example some programs are very specifically available only on the Western Slope.  This means improved tracking will be beneficial and specifically requests were made to enhance  to accommodate such transparency. 
To provide input on the plan via on-line survey, go to

Thank you for your participation! 
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
Friends for Survival (Western Slope)
Marshall Medical Center
Friends For Survival is a national non-profit organization and you can learn more at 
Meetings are held monthly. For more information, contact Walt or Leona Narr at 530-647-8864.
Bipolar Insights - in Placerville, CA
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      
Teen Support Group (no cost to attend) - A Balanced Life
A Balanced Life:  2100 Eloise, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Call to learn more: 530-544-1748 
Therapists skilled in co-occurring addiction now available (for adults/teens)
SMARTS Recovery held at: A Balanced Life ($3 donation requested)
Call to learn more: 530-544-1748 
A science-based addiction recovery support group
no cost - where participants learn self-empowering techniques to aid their recovery through mutual-help face-to-face and online meetings and services.  
More than 1/2 of those living with mental health have a co-occurring addiction 
(work, drug, gambling, food, sex, alcohol, social-media, etc).  
SMART Recovery meetings are now in South Lake Tahoe at A Balanced Life 
- Every Thursday, 6-7PM (on-going weekly; no cost but a $3.00 donation is suggested) 

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. 
Drop in hours are from 1:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday, 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. 

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

Use 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

Any of you shop at Amazon?  Go to
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 by mail to 
NAMI El Dorado County, P.O. Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623.  
You can also join online.  Go to (select  NAMI El Dorado County Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe  when you apply for membership.)  A full membership is $35.00.  Discounted "Open Door" memberships are available from your NAMI leader also. Thank you!   

New Membership Structure Coming 1-July 2017:

Household Membership $60 (new); Regular Membership $40; Open Door Membership $5

NAMI El Dorado County - FACEBOOK
Share our Facebook page with all your friends
Please "like" our page on Facebook or add your perspectives to our page!  

Here you will find a 
drop-box (file folder) of our local resources, interesting posts, and photos.   

As a reminder there is a national NAMI website at
a California NAMI website
and our  NAMI El Dorado affiliate information can be found  here and on  Facebook     

You need not have a Facebook account to view any of  NAMI El Dorado County Facebook  content.  
  Interested 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.
Jan Melnicoe, President
NAMI El Dorado County - Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe
(530) 306-7710


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