In This Issue: Quicklinks

Law Enforcement  - t hank you


Study Involves a Signaling Molecule Involved in Resilience to Stress  - and BBRF new forums

Interested in Volunteering?

NAMI El Dorado County: Board of Director's Meeting

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

NAMI was founded on the Eastern US in 1979 by parents of adult children living with schizophrenia.   In 1974 Eva Oliphant with a small circle of San Mateo and Oakland parents were exasperated with the hostility directed at their sons and the profound ignorance of hospitals.   They began meeting around their kitchen tables to plan a coordinated response.   In October of 1977 Eve Oliphant and others created "Parents of Adult Schizophrenics."   At a 1979 meeting in Madison, Wisconsin families from the East Coast and Parents of Adult Schizophrenics formally unified as "National Alliance on Mental Illness" and Eve Oliphant became the organization's star and most persistent advocate - sort of like a 20th century "Dorothea Dix" according to "No One Cares About Crazy People" author Ron Powers (published in 2017.)
NAMI El Dorado County is proud to be 100% volunteer. 

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

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

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

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

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

Partners in California: on-line resources from

Text "NAMI" to 741741

Heartfelt Gratitude for Community Support

GratitudeThank You Community Leaders

Thank you to the family and friends of Trevor Bartholemew for their support of NAMI Family-to-Family program which begins 16-Sep in South Lake Tahoe.   
 This class is dedicated to the memory of Trevor...


Thank you to the leaders from non-profits such as Green Valley Church in Placerville (and all churches that are part of the nomadic shelter opening their doors to the homeless as cold weather approaches.)  Thank you too to the SLT Warm-Room and the Upper Room in Placerville and the collaboration of Opportunity Knocks for their proactive approach to addressing homelessness.

Thank you Sally & Don for the amazing treats you brought to our NAMI Family-to-Family class in South Lake Tahoe!

Thank you Union Mine High School freshman English teacher, Brigette Bergman for inviting NAMI to raise awareness with the students on 10-Oct-2017 global mental health awareness day.

Thank you  Lake Tahoe Community College and Tina Miller for volunteering to lead NAMI On Campus starting this month!   

  Thank you to Natalie Collins, South Tahoe High and all the counselors and teacher, and new principal supporting our new NAMI On Campus (which starts 28-Oct-2017)
Thank you Kerry Norton, STHS 2016 for your NAMI volunteerism and passionate leadership in helping others. 

Thank you Barton Foundation for adding a 7th Kiosk in South Lake Tahoe 


  Thank you to family and friends   of Emily Alessi, Suicide Prevention Network, and Barton  for their leadership in bringing our community together for an annual suicide awareness walk last month.


NAMISupportGroupsNAMI Family Support Group Meetings - 3 in El Dorado County:  
These are designed for family members and/or caregivers/friends supporting a loved one living with a mental health condition.  The group provides a safe supportive environment where family members and caregivers can talk frankly about their challenges and help one another through group wisdom.   These groups provide empathetic support for those dealing with crisis and the emotional overload that is so much a part of having someone you love living with a mental illness.  You can come, share or just listen, get useful practical information or a hug from others who understand.  This group is for families and friend's of those living with a mental health condition.   No cost to attend.

South Lake Tahoe: NAMI Family Support Group:  meets the second Tuesday monthly from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: South Lake Tahoe Library located at 1000 Rufus Allen Road 
Group co-facilitators: Alan and Jeanne (650)-740-5776 -
Remaining 2017 dates: 12-Sep, 10-Oct, 14-Nov, 12-Dec

Western Slope: NAMI Family Support group: meets the first Tuesday monthly at 7:00 p.m.
Location: is The County Governmment Center, 330 Fair Lane, Conference room C, Placerville
Group facilitator: Jan Melnicoe
Remaining 2017 dates:  03-Sep, 03-Oct, 07-Nov, 05-Dec

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

Psychosis  Toolkit

Psychosis Toolkit - Available Now!  How to transform emerging psychosis
In the course of our work at NAMI, we see all too much heartbreak when people with emerging psychosis don't get the services they need. It doesn't have to be this way!

Congress now requires states to set aside 10% of their block grant for the proven array of First Episode Psychosis (FEP) services. But mere allocation of federal dollars won't fulfill the vision in which EVERY young person in need can get these life changing services. 
We must all advocate effectively for high quality FEP service delivery.    Do you know what a good FEP service looks like?
Teachers/Coaches/Counselors/Mental-health-advocates/Parents/Caregivers -- we must all learn what a "quality" FEP program looks like.   In South Lake Tahoe it is important to know where to obtain high quality services and supports.   
FEP (First Episode Psychosis) is the wave of the future, changing the course of young lives.  
Psychosis Tip sheets:
1.     For youth and young adults: Early Psychosis: What's Going on and What Can You Do?
2.     For families and other stakeholders: What is Early and First-Episode Psychosis?
3.     For school staff and coaches:  Early Intervention: Tips for School Staff and Coaches
4.     For families: Encouraging People to Seek Help for Early Psychosis  

Local resources for First Episode Programs include  UC Davis Medical Center EDAPT Clinic in Sacramento. Click here   EDAPT Clinic for information on eligibility, referrals, and assessment information.
El Dorado County Mental Health also has a limited First Episode Psychosis program funded by a grant and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (not just Medi-Cal individuals) running on both slopes.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOTE: If you live in bordering Nevada addresses such as Zephyr Cove or Stateline, NV or any areas outside of El Dorado County including any other states with loved ones or caregivers and you wish to join this affiliate - we welcome you.
When joining on-line system you will need to use a pull-down menu to select CA then find "NAMI El Dorado County."   

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

Giving back  and helping others is not only a gift but an opportunity for  personal  growth and, let's face it, a chance to feel good. 

Call Jan: Western Slope at 530-306-7710

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


NAMI El Dorado County
Board of Directors Meeting
First Tuesday every other month 5:30 p.m.: 
Oct 3; Dec 5, 2017.   

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

"I learned more in NAMI Family-to-Family than in the past 20 years working as a nurse across a variety of hospitals."  
Anonymous graduate of NAMI El Dorado County's
"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 of NAMI El Dorado County's 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 of NAMI El Dorado County's NAMI F2F

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

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

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

NAMI Educational programs in
South Lake Tahoe:

NAMI Family-to-Family education  in South Lake Tahoe: 
16-Sep-2017 through 21-Oct-2017 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
6 consecutive Saturdays 
Class is underway; not accepting more students  
Nursing CU's available.
Call Jeanne at 650-740-5776 to wait-list

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

NAMI El Dorado County classes on the Western Slope:

NAMI Family-to-Family Education Spring Class graduated in June.
Call Jan at(530) 677-2676  to leave your name on the list for our next class.  
NAMI Basics - This class is for families with children/adolescents with behavioral/mental health conditions.
If you are interested call Juline to have your name put on a wait list for the next class:   530 642-5659 
All NAMI programs are provided to the community at 
no cost to the participants and are offered once or twice a year.  Please call to put your name and contact information on our list for future classes.


Law Enforcement - continues to help our community citofficerofyear

Safeguarding Officer mental health After Mass Casualty Events:  
Check out this NAMI guide for police chiefs..developed in collaboration with the Newton, CT police chief.   click here

NAMI Families and Friends in El Dorado County continue to  sing high praise for law enforcement's participation in CIT training and the leadership team's focus on ensuring officers are trained in Crisis Intervention Training.       

Did you know the volume of 5150's continue to trend down in this community?  This certainly may be attributed to increased CIT training across law enforcement.   

Thank you to all law enforcement in our community - for all you do for NAMI Families and the community:

Thank you for the on-going commitment and pride in the  "100% CIT-Trained" goal.

  • The Placerville Police Department is on Facebook  
  • El Dorado County Sheriff's department is on Facebook :  
  • South Lake Tahoe police is on Facebook.  

IHHSIn Home Supportive Services

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

DisabilityBenefitInfoDisability Benefit Information

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

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

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

Additional information about health care rights may be found at  

Behavioral Health Commission Meeting 27-Sep-2017: 
By NAMI El Dorado County Leader  

-- El Dorado County - not Stepping Up quickly or efficiently to "Stepping Up" Initiative.   This initiative is critical to our county.  Probation department has been deemed the leader for this initiative to reduce incarcerations of  mentally ill, improve jail conditions and policies/procedures surrounding treatment of mentally ill, gather data and so much more.   Concern was expressed, again, at the Mental Health Commission about the severe lack of progress.   It has been 3 months since Probation assigned a leader to lead (and 2.5 years since NAMI has been urging our county to get organized and move forward with this program.)   Frustrations are high for a reason.  Family members are witnessing their loved ones going into jail managing their recovery well and coming out unwell - we need to overhaul things.  We need a funded Behavioral Health Court and provisions for mental health services/supports within our jails to protect/preserve cognition long-term.   
This is a huge opportunity for Probation, Jail Leadership, H&HS and the county prosecutors and judge to collaborate as a team with a passion for a successful implementation.   

-- The Stepping Up Initiative
continues to be a non-start in El Dorado County. 
Our Board of Supervisors signed a proclamation indicating they will implement this initiative 2 1/2 years ago.  On 19-July-2017 an executive team comprised of cross-functional departments hosted by El Dorado County Probation, Brian Richart agreed to oversee the program and plans to launch a variety of sub-teams to assess where gaps are needed.  Judge Kingsbury agreed to provide oversight and be actively involved in the success of this initiative.   
NAMI and the Mental Health Commission Chair, Jim Abram along with 2 other commission members (and a member of NAMI) have graciously volunteered to be proactive participants offering their expertise to the governance of the Stepping Up Initiative.
We have promoted this initiative tirelessly (as volunteers) and will continue to do so as it affects so many with mental illness  in our community.  
NAMI encourages everyone to learn more.  The National Association of Counties provides these  free webinars demonstrating each step in the recommended "Intercept Model."  We particularly appreciated  this webinar on conducting process analysis 
Check out the Intercept Model and a success story in the webinar provided by

- El Dorado County - AOT Program a disasterous start.  It took over a year to get AOT program approved and $500,000 was set provided to hire a part-time clinician to implement the program.   That said, the basic foundation to the program has not been laid.  That being, utilizing our jails as a feeder of AOT client candidates.  So there is a funded clinician without clients to service (and yet there are hundreds in our County but the criteria for servicing them is absurdly stringent and without merit.   
We appreciate that Sue Novasel, BOS, is in contact with the State of California to understand what it will take to get agreement that our jails can qualify as a "forensic jail."   County counsel is signaling they do not qualify as they do not have 7x24 in-patient mental health unit ... yet the CA state law does not state that a jail has to have an in-patient unit.  County leader is signaling that it does but has not yet provided evidence or a code or case law proving this. To further complicate things, EDC outsources their jail services to CFMG (who is in charge of Mental Health Services - so county leadership is claiming this makes it harder to create change.)   

- Commissioner Clavere worked to try and get any jail statistics from our county jail.  None were provided.   So, he went to the CA State Dept of Corrections and pulled the data that our jail sends to them!   They report a) who is on psych meds and b) how many are on their MH Case Load.  No surprise the numbers are precisely the same as they count whomever is taking a psych med is part of their "case load."  In Jan 2016 there were 130 and in Oct 2016 there were 156.  An average of 85/month in 2016 between WS and SLT.   Interesting there is "no data about MH Services" in our jail.   Hmmmm 

AOT Program has been highlighted as an area of program management improvement opportunity. Inviting ideas as to how to improve this program and publically documenting open issues and measures of success is the collective goal.

-El Dorado County Behavioral Health will be seeking public input for  FY18/19 Mental Health Services Plan Update The county will be providing public meetings, using social media, and promoting in news media to get the word out about how you can provide input to their plan. Your input is valuable.  This plan provides funding for the majority of programs for both adult and children and those of us who depend on these services for self or family have the opportunity to let our providers what is needed, working, or needs improvement. 

- Do you have a passion to improve mental health and co-occuring addiction services and supports in our community?   The Mental Health Commission currently has vacancies.   Application form can be found  here
  •  South Lake Tahoe has 2 vacant positions - if you have a passion to volunteer and provide governance to our county's services/supports please apply.  You must live in El Dorado County to apply.

- Have you or a loved one had an experience with the Behavioral Health System in our county that was positive or problematical?  The Mental Health Commission is open to the public and the Commission welcomes the public's personal experience and stories during Public Comment.  It may be these accounts that are the impetus to needed changes.   

Patricia Charles-Heathers reports organization transformation on track and provided an updated organizational chart.  County's Healthy Community's plan is here  

El Dorado County is implementing a Quality Improvement Committee and is seeking family member participation and are especially interested in hearing feedback on their services.  Your opinion counts so let your voice be heard.  Details can be found here.

El Dorado County's H&HS BH Monthly Report can be found as an electronic link at the bottom of their Mental Health Commission agenda here.

NAMI El Dorado County outreach continues 

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

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

West Slope: Jan 530-677-2676 

South Lake Tahoe: 
Jeanne 650-740-5776

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

AmazonSmileUse AMAZON SMILE and select NAMI El Dorado County

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

NAMI El Dorado County is on FACEBOOK
Share our Facebook page with all your friends - we invite you to engage with us.   
Please "like" our page on Facebook - we invite you to add your comments  
You can find NAMI California information here:

Dear NAMI Family and Friends,

October brings us lovely colors, pumpkins, and Halloween.  For many of us; family members and individuals alike, this season can also be a time to confront stigma.    
A definition of stigma is, " A symbol or mark of disgrace or dishonor".  Dealing with the stigma of having a mental illness can affect individuals and families in a variety of ways. Stigma can impact employment, education, and relationships due to misinformation and bias.  Self stigma can create fear and anxiety, which can make the recovery process more difficult.  Mental illness is often portrayed as scary and/or violent on television and movies and can contribute to stigma around mental illness. Rare occasions of violent incidences by a mentally ill person are given headlines, while the real stories of courage, determination, and perseverance by families and their loved ones with mental illness are usually not covered.    
This season, let's all be aware of stigmatizing images and language and, when possible, bring attention to how hurtful and damaging they can be.  Let's all be "Stigma Crushers". 
Let's continue to promote " Regular Consistent Treatment - Same bat time, same bat channel", as Dr. Matt, Psychologist in South Lake Tahoe shares in his  article below .

Mental health education empowers each of us to confidently crush stigma.   We thank Barton for adding a 7th Mental Health Kiosk in South Lake Tahoe!   

Last month, your NAMl El Dorado County affiliate participated in several county wide events/workshops/discussions on mental health issues that affect our community.  These were:
  • Provided a Suicide Prevention and mental health awareness outreach to our South Lake Tahoe Hispanic Community.  This was assisted by a grant from NAMI CA.  See story below on this outstanding event!
  • Hosted a preview movie screening for the community on both slopes of "Elizabeth Blue", a drama depicting mental illness in a realistic, compassionate, and thoughtful way.  This movie will be available in movie theaters and streaming after the release on Sept. 22.   Over 40 people were in attendance.
  • Set the framework for NAMI On Campus at a high school and a community college.
  • Graduated NAMI Basics students on the Western Slope and launched our annual NAMI Family-to-Family in South Lake Tahoe.
  • Participated on the Executive Leadership team for a HRSA grant project with Barton Hospital, EDC, and other non-profit leaders in South Lake Tahoe.
  • Participated in the El Dorado County Community Provider Stakeholder Workgroup. The purpose of these meetings is to continue discussions on:
    1) Continued development of the continuum of care and client needs
    2) Updates on key topics including status of DMC-ODS waiver
    3) Provider support and technical assistance - especially under Drug Medi-Cal rules and regulations
    4) Ongoing collaboration focused on strengthening services in El Dorado County.
  • Attended and spoke in support of EDSO's final presentation to the BOS to ask them to approve acceptance of the $25 million award for the jail expansion in Placerville. The jail expansion in Placerville will include:
  • Increased space for treatment of the mentally ill 
  • Additional attorney's visiting booths to reduce Public Defenders wait time
  • Office space for Probation programs (Pre-trial, re-entry, case planning, etc...)
  • Work space for HHSA duties and obligations (CPS, Public Gaurdian, court ordered assessments)
  • Female housing to improve our ability to have more appropriate functional beds within the whole facility and utilize it to its rated capacity.
  • Additional classrooms for vocational and re-entry programs.
  •  Participated in "Emily's Walk For Hope" on 10-Sep-2017 with our NAMI vendor booth; South Lake Tahoe's very first suicide awareness walk.
  • Participated in Faith Episcopal Health Fair Sept. 23, 24 in Cameron Park providing information and resources to the community.
We continue to work hard to push for thoughtful leadership to our local community to make El Dorado County a healthy community to live, work and play. We participate in countywide leadership meetings, sit on the County Mental Health Commission, speak to groups and county leaders in order to advocate for best practices, brain-based research, family centered, peer led, and hope filled treatment practices.
El Dorado County Behavioral Health will be conducting their annual Community Planning Process to gain community input for the FY 18/19 Mental Health Service Act Plan Update.  NAMI El Dorado County will be hosting a community meeting November 7th in Placerville.  Look for future notices about this important process!

Mental Illness Awareness Week: Oct 1-7, 2017
October 1-7 is Mental Illness Awareness Week.  
October 5 is "National Depression Screening Day!"

World Mental Health Day
is on Tuesday, 10-October-2017 this year.  
Every year on the " 10th of October" communities from around the world raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilize efforts in support of mental health.    We can each raise awareness on 10-October and through-out the year and be personal stigma crushers!
NAMI California will soon be offering trainings for Family to Family Teachers, and Support Group Facilitators (in English and Spanish) If  you have been wondering how you might like to be a part our our mission, this is a wonderful opportunity.  Please call or email us to indicate your interest.  Slots for these trainings are limited and we need more teachers and facilitators in El Dorado County. 
NAMI El Dorado County is seeking individuals with a strong desire to see mental health and mental illness be treated as a priority in our county. If you have an interest in helping with the governance of our affiliate, our Board needs you!  We meet 6 times a year and need individuals with lived experience in mental illness (family member or self), professional background in mental health or related field, or past board experience. Many of you have found assistance and support from this organization.  Think about serving a year to make it even stronger and better!
On behalf of our entire board of directors, instructors, and volunteers - thank you.           


Jan Melnicoe
NAMI El Dorado County 


Mental health: Overcoming the stigma of mental illness
False beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems. Learn what you can do about stigma.
By Mayo Clinic Staff

Stigma is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that's thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype). Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common.
Stigma can lead to discrimination. Discrimination may be obvious and direct, such as someone making a negative remark about your mental illness or your treatment. Or it may be unintentional or subtle, such as someone avoiding you because the person assumes you could be unstable, violent or dangerous due to your mental illness. You may even judge yourself.
Some of the harmful effects of stigma can include:
  • Reluctance to seek help or treatment
  • Lack of understanding by family, friends, co-workers or others
  • Fewer opportunities for work, school or social activities or trouble finding housing
  • Bullying, physical violence or harassment
  • Health insurance that doesn't adequately cover your mental illness treatment
  • The belief that you'll never succeed at certain challenges or that you can't improve your situation
Steps to cope with stigma
Here are some ways you can deal with stigma:
  • Get treatment. You may be reluctant to admit you need treatment. Don't let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief by identifying what's wrong and reducing symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life.
  • Don't let stigma create self-doubt and shame. Stigma doesn't just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. Seeking counseling, educating yourself about your condition and connecting with others who have mental illness can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.
  • Don't isolate yourself. If you have a mental illness, you may be reluctant to tell anyone about it. Your family, friends, clergy or members of your community can offer you support if they know about your mental illness. Reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support and understanding you need.
  • Don't equate yourself with your illness. You are not an illness. So instead of saying "I'm bipolar," say "I have bipolar disorder." Instead of calling yourself "a schizophrenic," say "I have schizophrenia."
  • Join a support group. Some local and national groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offer local programs and internet resources that help reduce stigma by educating people who have mental illness, their families and the general public. Some state and federal agencies and programs, such as those that focus on vocational rehabilitation and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), offer support for people with mental illness.
  • Get help at school. If you or your child has a mental illness that affects learning, find out what plans and programs might help. Discrimination against students because of a mental illness is against the law, and educators at primary, secondary and college levels are required to accommodate students as best they can. Talk to teachers, professors or administrators about the best approach and resources. If a teacher doesn't know about a student's disability, it can lead to discrimination, barriers to learning and poor grades.
  • Speak out against stigma. Consider expressing your opinions at events, in letters to the editor or on the internet. It can help instill courage in others facing similar challenges and educate the public about mental illness.
Others' judgments almost always stem from a lack of understanding rather than information based on facts. Learning to accept your condition and recognize what you need to do to treat it, seeking support, and helping educate others can make a big difference.
May 24, 2017

stigmafreeLearn how you can be stigmafree:

Think "stigmafree company"

Think "stigmafree non-profit"

Think "stigmafree college"

Think "stigmafree family"

Think "I am stigma free !"

frc1Crushing Stigma in our Latino Community!


On September 12, 2017, NAMI El Dorado County and the Family Resource Center hosted a collaborative event titled, "Presentacion de la prevencion de suicidio" [Presentation on Suicide Prevention] to outreach and raise awareness around mental health to the Latino community.  This was our very first outreach in Spanish in South Lake Tahoe!
Marisol Mariche Morales

The presentation was conducted by NAMI El Dorado County's  Marisol Mariche, Spanish Community Outreach leader and her friend, Dr. Hector Toledano, Licensed Psychologist from Reno, NV with some suicide prevention materials from and   Participants were able to learn about prevalence of suicide, symptoms of suicide, what to say to a loved one experiencing symptoms and where to find help.   The presentation was followed by a healthy delicious dinner and an opportunity for community members to network and share their experiences.  

El Dorado County, CA's overall Latino population is 13.11% whereas in South Lake Tahoe (a rural community within El Dorado County) there is a Latino population of 25.6% according to    The event was highly appreciated by the attendees and the community leaders of mental health services and supports in South Lake Tahoe.
As a result of the event, NAMI El Dorado County has been invited to meet with families  Friday mornings beginning mid-October to raise awareness about mental health at the Family Resource Center  in South Lake Tahoe.    More interest is being raised in this rural community.    Spanish Warm-line in SLT: Marisol: 775-407-0306

A heart-felt thank you to Marisol and Dr. H. Toledano for their volunteerism!

notCrushing Stigma in our College and High Schools  
NAMI On Campus begins 30-October-2017 at South Tahoe High School 12:40 - 1:15 p.m. in A6
Students will learn about brain health, careers in brain science, and hear from guest speakers while leading their own resume-building NAMI On-Campus Club.   Questions? Contact Jeanne at 650-740-5776   

NAMI On Campus coming soon to Lake Tahoe Community College. Thanks to the leadership of Tina Miller and the full support of LTCC we are delighted NAMI On Campus will be starting this fall at LTCC.   Details will be shared via our NAMI El Dorado County facebook page, and as well as listed in the on-campus clubs at LTCC.    Questions? Look for Tina Miller at the LTCC   NAMI On Campus club booth on 6-11 p.m. when LTCC shows many on-campus club opportunities available to students.  

NAMI providing outreach presentations at Union Mine High School in Placerville.
An English teacher covering a book on trauma with her 105 students has invited NAMI to chat with the students about mental health symptoms and facts as a compliment to the selected reading.    Brilliant way to crush stigma.


militaryCrushing Stigma in our Military Service Families
NAMI Homefront starts 8-October-2017 through 6-Nov-2017 
from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. on-line! 

NAMI Homefront
is a free, 6-session educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and vets with mental health conditions.
Based on the nationally recognized  NAMI Family-to-Family
 program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of service members/veterans living with mental health conditions.
What You'll Gain
Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all people affected by mental illness. This in-person group experience provides the opportunity for mutual support and shared positive impact. You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow.



crushCrushing Stigma - one personal story at a time 
By NAMI Member in El Dorado County
Our adult son recently had a relapse due to stress on the job and a recent physical injury where a muscle relaxer was prescribed at an urgent care which then interfered with his anti-psychotic medication.    He has been hospital free for over 4 years and working full-time with very good insight into his illness.
This relapse was stressful for the whole family but far less frightening than what was experienced 5+ years ago.   We are grateful for a strong support of his psychiatrist, therapist, and family support system.   That said, he elected to openly share his diagnosis with his management and co-workers.  He did this to help them grasp why he was on a short medical leave but also to crush stigma and raise awareness about why a positive work environment matters to overall health & wellness.   Companies are embracing overall health as a key theme.    It is an individual choice to share one's personal health information.      NAMI provides this summary about "When to Disclose." is also a very good resource for those wanting to understand disability rights and workplace accommodations.   For many, sharing about a brain disorder can bring a greater level of support system in the work-place.
Neuro-diversity is starting to be considered the wave of the future.  
This author articulates this beautifully in her article about Neuro-diversity.     Enjoy!
StigmaFreeToolkitStigma-Free Toolkit - Available Now!  
Is your non-profit or place of employment "Stigma-Free?"


Mental health conditions can have a huge impact on companies, from decreased productivity to lowered morale. Companies that join with NAMI in being stigma-free can begin to reverse this. 

A Stigmafree Company is one that makes stigmafree culture a priority and shows that it values employees' overall health, including emotional well-being and physical health. Being stigmafree creates the foundation for a culture of openness, acceptance, understanding and compassion.  

Take the pledge; sign-up and get the free toolkit.

Important Information for Families

KiosksCommunity Mental Health Kiosks:

5 West Slope "Mental Health Resource" Kiosks have been placed at the following locations: 
- Folsom Lake College   (El Dorado Center - Student Services - Green Valley Rd. )
- El Dorado County Library  (Cameron Park - Country Club Dr.)
- Marshall Emergency Department (1100 Marshall Way, Placerville)
- Georgetown Divide Wellness  (2 kiosks)  (6065 California 193, Georgetown)
- Shingle Springs Tribal Health  ( 5168 Honpie, Shingle Springs)
These West Slope kiosks were made possible through a grant from the 
El Dorado Community Foundation  and NAMI El Dorado County.   Thank you!

Left to right: Marshall Hospital Emergency Dept. Kiosk with Jan Melnicoe of NAMI El Dorado County, Angelina Larrigan, HHSA, and Larry Schmidt, Director of Emergency Dept. 
7 South Lake Tahoe "Mental Health Resource" Kiosks at the following locations: 
Barton Emergency Room (2170 South Ave) 
Barton TeleMedicine Psychiatry (2209 South Ave, Suite A)
- Barton Behavioral Health (2209 South Avenue, Suite B)
Barton Community Health Center (2201 South Ave)
El Dorado County Probation/Sheriff (1360 Johnson Blvd)
Lake Tahoe Community College (next to college bookstore)
El Dorado County Library (1000 Rufus Allen Road)
Jeanne and Marsha at
Barton Community Health
Volunteers from NAMI El Dorado County and the Barton Foundation work to replenish these valuable South Lake Tahoe resources regularly.
Over 3500 brochures have been provided to the community in South Lake Tahoe since the kiosks were established in May, 2016.      
These South Lake Tahoe Mental Health Kiosks were made possible through a grant from the  Barton Foundation.   Strong collaboration with local providers keep resources at the finger-tips of our community.
  Thank you!
Thank you Marsha graphic-heart.gif for your incredibly on-going volunteerism in designing the kiosks, maintaining inventories and reporting utilization.  Thank you community providers of services/supports for proactive collaboration in making these kiosks an on-going success.

We encourage family's and/or our loved ones to file a complaints / grievances.  This is how operations improve! Change is only possible with awareness.  Let your voices be heard.  

Have you done  all that you can do  to help improve the operation's of mental health services/supports?  Filing a simple complaint/grievance suggesting improvements helps improve our community's mental health services/supports as a whole!
Be part of the solution - make suggestions that are specific.

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

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

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

  • Every hospital or provider has their own complaint/grievance form (they are not standard across providers or agencies.)
  • TeleCare's PHF in Placerville has complaint/grievance forms within their in-patient hospital.
  • El Dorado County Behavioral Health Grievance Forms are available on their main website here (and available in the Wellness Centers both on the WS and SLT.)   
  • TeleCare Corporation now has a generic on-line grievance form based on our local advocacy.
  • Placerville's PHF manager, Jeff Symon: 530-748-4700. 
    El Dorado County Behavioral Health client-advocate: Danielle:  patientrightsadvocate
What Should I Do If I Have A Complaint About a Hospital (which was not addressed by the provider's grievance process)?
LocalNewsLocal News and Discoveries
Hats off to the students in our Fall NAMI Family-to-Family class in South Lake Tahoe!  If you would like to be part of this educational movement, sign up for a class.  We will schedule classes as demand indicates a need.  We are accepting names for future classes and you will be contacted when we have enough students signed up.  Family to Family on the West Slope will be offered early Spring. 
batRegular Consistent Treatment: "Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel"
By Dr. Matt Wong, 
Licensed Psychologist, South Lake Tahoe: 415-806-0275
Therapy is at its most helpful when there is a strong foundation of trust between provider and client. It can be extremely difficult to build trust without consistency. Imagine if you were unsure of when and where your therapist was going to show up - they randomly popped in and out of your life with no predictability or plan. For many, it would be extremely jarring and unsettling because there would be little structure and almost no ability to feel a sense of control over the situation. 

Trust develops when situations are predictable and for the most part repeatable. 
Trust also develops when an action receives a consistent reaction. You can trust that a light switch will help brighten a dark room because pretty much every time you flip it, a light turns on. 

This consistency and predictability also works in social situations. Take a road intersection, for example. When four cars meet at a 4-way stop more often than not there is an order that follows. First all the cars stop because there is a sign, then cars continuing straight have the right-of-way before cars making a turn, and cars on the right go before cars on the left. There are no major disruptions and you, as a driver, can trust that the street is safe to drive on. Of course we know that there are exceptions to this example! If the consistency and/or predictability were to break down in this scenario, many of us would prefer to avoid the road all together. Can you imagine a road where you could not predict whether any car would stop at a stop sign or whether a car would yield the right of way? My trust in the safety of cars as transportation would seriously be shaken and I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a road! 

When dealing with a mental illness most people feel that some or many aspects of their lives are out of their control and that the connection between action and effect breaks down. This is especially true for people who contend with psychosis, where often our most basic human senses like sight, hearing, and clear thinking can break down. It can become frustrating and even maddening when one is unsure of reality because the basic link between cause and effect is broken. This is exactly when it is so critical to have a consistent and positive place to turn. 

Therapy can be a safe and effective way of coping with a chaotic life experience, but it works at its best when there is trust. Trust blossoms when there is a pattern or a groove of consistency in a relationship, especially including consistently meeting with your mental health provider. "Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel" goes a long way to reminding us that there are reliable things in our lives and that can make all the difference.

artWeekly Art at Wellness in Placerville
Jan Melnicoe, NAMI El Dorado County President, has facilitated weekly art group at the Wellness Center in Placerville, CA for years.  Jan brings motivational style and interesting and unique art projects every week.  Plus she is 100% volunteer.  She has been serving our community for years teaching, inspiring, and sharing her passion for art and wellness.  
This colorful project celebrates our changing season!.  Art projects include artistic techniques, art theory, and just fun art experiences.  Painting, drawing, and molding clay, are ways to connect with our inner creativity and bring calmness and pride into lives where this can be in short supply.

Think of trauma,  the THC in cannabis, and/or  high stress as potential "on-switches" to our genetic predisposition. According to Stanford Medicine heritability for depression is probably 40% and significantly higher for severe depression (2-3 times higher or 20-30% vs 10% chances of developing depression.)  
Addiction is estimated to be up to 60% genetic. Of those that are diagnosed with BiPolar or Schizophrenia it is estimated that there was a family history of mental health issues in 75-80% of those living with those mental health conditions.  
So understanding our relative's mental health and history of addictive behaviors can help us take steps to avoid triggers and build resilience.  Knowing genetic predisposition may increase our desire to increase our psycho-education or prompt more open prevention/resilience dialogue with our children/teens. 
These crucial conversations both to gather family history then to share that history with the next generation may be the ticket to seeking treatment and sooner. 
So have that oh so crucial conversation with older relatives that can still recall prior generations.   The director of NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) encourages everyone to think of predisposition not as "I have it or I don't" in my family tree but rather "I have traits of mental illness and traits of addiction in my family tree."   Essentially all of us carry some traits for each - the question we need to find is the degree of severity of these traits and talk about these traits openly and honestly.
Perhaps your family will respond with "Great-Grandpa Joe had a nervous breakdown and had to take a rest at the hospital for a month." Or you might hear "Oh we don't have any history of mental health issues in "our" family. But Auntie Suzie died by suicide." Or perhaps you will hear "Every single member of my Mom's side had alcohol addiction." You may feel you already fully understand your family's history but you would be surprised how much may never have been shared until you are suddenly in a crisis situation.
Perhaps you will lead the crucial investigative conversation at your next family reunion! Bring your sense of humor and sincerity to the table. Let's crush stigma and bring these conversations forward in El Dorado County and everywhere.

InjectablesAsk your doctor about Long-lasting Injectables

"Multiple families across our county have shared the very positive changes in their loved one since switching to a long-lasting injectable form of medication.  NAMI families reporting favorably about the positive change in their loved one since transitioning to long-lasting injectables such as most commonly reported Abilify Maintena (aripripazol) and Invega Sustenna (paliperidone).  There are others such as Risperdal Consta, Geodon  (ziprasidone
 mesylate). Clozaril (clozapine) has been referred to as the gold standard for treatment  resistant cases.   More technical information can be found here.
Every body is different so it is important to proactively discuss medication options with your treatment provider(s) and monitor side effects.   

Has your insurance company denied coverage?  Ensure you file an appeal advocating for your loved one and include a letter from your provider with the appeal.   
Contact the drug manufacturer to see if they have a program that will fund the drug on behalf of your loved one.  For example, Otsuka, the maker of Abilify has this program.
NAMI El Dorado County Instructor in SLT
Long-lasting injectable administration are available through 
  • Barton Psychiatry (through a medical technician on-site); 
  • El Dorado County Mental Health (monthly); and 
  • Safeway Specialty Pharmacy in South Lake Tahoe and on the Western Slope.
We continue to educate families and friends about the availability and benefits of long-lasting injectables for those that have this option available.    
Safeway provides a free case manager service (out of their Idaho call center) where they call and remind our loved ones when their injection is due, schedule the appointment, and help the process run smoothly.  Call 1-877 466-8028 and request speaking with an injectables case management team member.
You can buy the long-lasting injectable through other pharmacies and have it administered by a professional.
This is a great convenience since many family members were having to pick up the medication and bring it to a medical technician outside of the pharmacy setting to receiving the injection.  Now, it's one stop shopping.   

Are you Prepared for a Crisis?

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

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

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

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

BrainResearchBrain Research and Scientific Discoveries


Study Involves a Signaling Molecule Involved in Resilience to Stress
Using medication to augment signaling molecule 2-AG in the brain may promote resilience to adverse effects of traumatic stress and help individuals better adapt to repeated stress, a preliminary study in mice suggests. BBRFoundation research 

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) Could Help Treat Bipolar Depression 

brainaBrain Activity Patterns Could Help Identify Best Treatment for Patients with Major Depression: BBRFoundation research

CannabisTeens and Young Adults Urged to Wait before you Vape: <- full article here
That's because THC occupies the same receptors on neurons as a natural brain chemical called anandamide. In essence, THC is acting as an impostor of this  natural chemical.
The brain's electrical pathways and the insulation process aren't complete until the mid-20s for females and late 20's for males.  This means teen/young-adult brains are vulnerable to outside influences. In addition, teen brains are more "plastic." They adapt and learn faster than adult brains - suggesting that teens/young-adults  are more vulnerable to developing an addiction.    
ECT is generally used when severe depression is unresponsive to other forms of therapy. Or it might be used when patients pose a severe threat to themselves or others and it is too dangerous to wait until medications take effect.
Although ECT has been used since the 1940s and 1950s, it remains misunderstood by the general public. Many of the procedure's risks and side effects are related to the misuse of equipment, incorrect administration, or improperly trained staff. It is also a misconception that ECT is used as a "quick fix" in place of long-term therapy or hospitalization. Nor is it correct to believe that the patient is painfully "shocked" out of the depression. Unfavorable news reports and media coverage have contributed to the controversy surrounding this treatment.
Study looks at how Legalization of Marijuana affects Teen Usage:
Visit and attend their monthly "Meet the Scientists" webinars at no cost <- they fund scientific research to ultimately find a cure for mental illness - improved treatment discoveries are lending towards full, happy, productive lives.
latinoLatino Community Members
"Stop Stigma with Science"   
Detener el estigma con la ciencia

20% -  de los latinos nacidos en Estados Unidos han sufrido de un reto de salud mental durante el último año.

Check out these Spanish resources:           
La salud mental en la comunidad latina


NAMI El Dorado County: Spanish Warm-line in SLT: 775-407-0306

ENGLISH: Getting any kind of health treatment is sometimes difficult to manage for families, and the barriers of language, community isolation, stigma, provider availability and cultural differences, compounds this difficulty.  We believe adjunct treatments to be of great benefit for those who find them reassuring, comforting, and familiar. NAMI stands firmly on the side of science and evidence based treatments as the desired primary treatment modality.  We do not support "alternative" treatments in lieu of, considering the damaging effects of continued psychosis or prolonged damaging mental health episodes. We are working hard to provide evidence-based education in our community.   You are not alone.

SPANISH: Es importante señalar que, en el caso del estigma, hay una falta de conocimiento sobre la calidad de la atención de la salud. Creemos que son útiles para aquellos que los encuentran tranquilizadores, reconfortantes y familiares. NAMI está firmemente en el lado de la ciencia y la evidencia basada en tratamientos como la modalidad de tratamiento primario deseado. No apoyamos tratamientos "alternativos" en lugar de, considerando los efectos perjudiciales de psicosis continuada o episodios de salud mental dañinos extendidos.  Estamos trabajando duro para proporcionar educación basada en la evidencia en nuestra comunidad. No estas solo

Local Mental Health Events
The El Dorado Mental Health Commission is part of a system of Boards and Commissions established under the Welfare and Institutions Code.  Its purpose is to review and report tp the Board of Supervisors about the County's Mental Health Plans. It is comprised of volunteers from the Community with lived or professional experience in mental health.
The Mental Health Commission is open to the public.  
It meets the 4th Wednesday of each month.  
3 min is allowed for public comment (and the public is invited to provide perspective when prompted by the chair after each agenda item.)   Let your voice be heard to help improve county services/supports.

MHCEl Dorado County Mental Health Commission: 
Next Meeting is 24-Oct-201 7 at 5:00 p.m. 
2 locations - both connected via video-link
  • Health and Human Services Agency, 3057 Briw Rd., Sierra Room, Placerville, CA 
  • South Lake Tahoe at the Wellness Center 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd  
These meetings are  open to the public and are an important interface between the community and our county mental health system.  Concerns and stories from the community are welcome during public comment time at the start of each meeting.  

While your concerns may not be discussed unless it is already an item on the agenda, your input as part of the public is valued and will  be addressed at a later meeting.

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Mental Health Commission?  
Let your voice be  heard in El Dorado County: vacancies on both slopes
MHC Agenda and Minutes can be found:  here    

Select "Key Takeaways" from NAMI EDC leadership perspective an be found here.

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

NAMI Family & Friends is a FREE 4-hour Seminar that informs and supports people who have a loved one living with a mental health condition.   WHEN: Wed., 15-Nov from  5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Lake Tahoe Community College, South Lake Tahoe.    Email, text or call: Jeanne at 650-740-5776 to register.

Mark your calendars:  NAMI Convention Jun 27-30, 2018: Sheraton, New Orleans: 
Dr Ken Duckworth, NAMI Medical Director announced that "The British are Coming to New Orleans!"  The founders of CBT for Schizophrenia, Turkington & Kingdon (Cognitive Therapy of Schizophrenia (Guides to Individualized Evidence-Based Treatment) will be providing a 1/2 day or full-day session at the New Orlean's NAMI Convention. Details to follow.

We encourage our county's CIT leaders, El Dorado County H&HS leaders, Jail leadership, mental health providers and NAMI community members to attend. 
Many county leaders across our nation attended the 2017 conference.   
Learn from many top neuroscientists, modern best practices, and the latest discoveries relevant to peers, families, jail leadership, therapists, law enforcement, etc.

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 - on the Western Slope
Marshall Medical Center
Friends For Survival is a national non-profit organization offering help after a suicide death:
Meetings are held monthly. For more information, contact Walt or Leona Narr at 530-647-8864.    

Survivors of Suicide (SOS) in South Lake Tahoe
Loss Support Group 
Meeting is held the 4th Thursday of every month
2092 South Lake Tahoe Blvd.
Contact or 775-783-1510.

Thank you to Suicide Prevention Network and Emily's Family and Friends for a beautiful community collaboration last month.  

Thank you Charlotte for your volunteerism

Bipolar Insights (Placerville)
Weekly Class * Every Monday at 7 pm
Green Valley Community Church
3500 Missouri Flat Road, Room 304 in Placerville, CA 95667
$5 per person per class

Special Events * Tuesday's
Marshall Medical Building
681 Main Street, 1st Floor Common Room in Placerville, CA 95667
Check the website for dates and events
Bipolar Insights / Mental Health Education Center  (530) 642-0859      

Where to Find Help? This is the county's website for health & wellness (calendar, statistics and more.)

HealthDirCommunity Health Directory  is available in South Lake Tahoe at any Barton provider and at each of the  7 Mental Health Kiosks   t hrough-out the community or at NAMI Support Group.    Here is the  link  to the on-line Community Directory.
Notice all the support groups and counseling services - there are many health and wellness programs available.   

Barton Health has identified the need for additional mental health services and continues to take action to provide extra support for patients and the South Lake Tahoe community. 

Barton provides 3 local psychiatrists:
Dr. Zelan, Dr. Protell, and Dr. Rupp plus Telemedicine and Psychologists and also licensed Social Workers - each focused on improving mental health.  
NAMI Families reporting such favorable results!
Check out  Barton's mental health page  which outlines strategic priorities and accomplishments and more. 

Have you been wait-listed to see a Psychiatrist?   Make an immediate appointment with your Primary Care Physician.  

We need to close the gap on long wait-lists.  Do not delay treatment - hunt for an available provider and ask for available alternatives.

Did you know there are MORE than 2 dozen therapists available in South Lake Tahoe? Ask your NAMI leader in South Lake Tahoe if you are unable to locate the directory.
Please refer to the "Community Resource Guide" for a comprehensive list of providers. These are available at each of the Mental Health Kiosks in South Lake Tahoe.   
Ask your NAMI community leader if you cannot locate the directory.  

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

  • LARKR is a brand new on-line application providing 24/7 access to therapists from the comfort of anywhere anytime (they are headquartered in South Lake Tahoe, CA)  They accept children/parents, teens and adults of all ages.  They serve mild to moderate as they are not integrated yet with psychiatrists nor do they have the ability to prescribe medication.   Their new on-line application went to public beta-release on 20-June-2017.  

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

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

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

obtained a grant to fund FEP (First Episode Psychosis Program) 
AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC  -  not just Medi-Cal insured individuals  
Individuals with other types of insurance welcome as this program is funded by a grant.  
 Call   530-573-7970 El Dorado County Behavioral Health to learn more.

El Dorado County Behavioral Health - free support groups 
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - not just county clients
Drop in hours are from 1:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday:  adults 18+
for people to socialize and participate in a wide assortment of fun and therapeutic groups. 

Group schedules are available at the Wellness Centers and may include: Dialectal Behavior Therapy, Anger Management, Conversation Skills, Healthy Pleasures, Smoking Cessation, Symptoms without Stigma, Mindfulness, Coping Skills, Stress/Anxiety Reduction, Seeking Safety, and others.  Some of these groups are available on a referral basis only, while other groups, such as Art, Physical Activity, Mindfulness, Coping Strategies, etc. are open to all.  Check current schedule at the Centers.

Psycho-education is a core to recovery: 

Recommended Reading
Pick up a copy of our recommended reading booklist and website list at our NAMI Family Support Group meeting or simply click  here.        
Visit El Dorado County library or your local community college library where you will find many fantastic books featuring mental health and/or substance abuse topics.

Visit and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can learn more about specific illnesses.
Visit  and visit their on-line
Visit the Marshall Community Health Library, 3581 Palmer Dr., Cameron Park.  Good selection of titles on mental health, including NAMI picks!
Virtual forums - FREE on-line webinars


Providers and community members are welcome to participate in virtual webcasts (and replay them whenever convenient.) Simply create a free login to participate and view past research and previously recorded forums. 

  BBRF Webinar - Psycho-Social Interventions for Materinal Depression: Impact on School-aged Children 
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

  BBRF Webinar - Research Updates: Improving Functioning in Schizophrenia 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

  BBRF Webinar-   Robert Lowell: Courage, Genius and BiPolar Disorder
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT  (530) 306-7710 - Western Slope (650) 740-5776 - South Lake Tahoe
PO Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623