Call the toll-free  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)   at 1-800-273-TALK (8255),  24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
The service is available to everyone.   Learn more at NIMH

In This Issue: Quicklinks

Law Enforcement Partnerships Shine! 

Law Enforcement  - t hank you
  - 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 each of the following venue locations for National Night Out  on the Western Slope for allowing us to utilize your facilities! 
 CAMERON PARK: Burke's Junction- 3300 Coach Lane
CAMINO: Camino Community Church- 4205 Carson Road
DIAMOND SPRINGS: Gold Country Retirement Center, 4301 Golden Center
EL DORADO HILLS: Keystone Court- Blackstone subdivision
POLLOCK PINES: Fire Station 17- 6430 Pony Express Trail
RESCUE: Rescue Fire Station- 5221 Deer Valley Road

  Thank you to Ruthie Loehr, CHP Officer in South Lake Tahoe who organized the first National Night Out in SLT.   Thank you to Officers Chris Roberson and Stephanie Chavez from South Lake Tahoe PD for going above and beyond to help those with mental illness in our community in their time of need.

Thank you A Balanced Life for your additional focus on Veterans (and co-occurring support.)  


  Thank you Kelsey Magoon of Tahoe Youth & Family for the fantastic new educational rack cards on various substances including prescription drugs, cannabis, meth, Spice/K2, etc.


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:  05-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

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.

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.: 
Aug 1; 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 
accepting sign-ups:
Nursing CU's available.
Call Jeanne at 650-740-5776 to register 

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.  This 6 week class has just graduated.
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 CIT Training last month held in South Lake Tahoe, CA.

  • 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 23-Aug-2017: 
By NAMI El Dorado County Leader  

- 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.

-- El Dorado County H&HS provides awesome detailed report to the MHC and public.   Click here (then click on Behavioral Health Update.) 
- Significant praise for law enforcement in their work towards getting approval of a part-time mobile outreach team in Placerville where a social worker and CIT deputy ride-along proactively identifying at-risk individuals in the community (e.g. homeless and chronically mentally ill and connecting them with services)
South Lake Tahoe looks forward to this coming to our area as well.   NAMI shared statistics about other county's that have had great success with this model and remains hopeful and optimistic this will soon come to South Lake Tahoe.

-- The Stepping Up Initiative has started. 
Two years ago the Board of Supervisors signed a proclamation indicating they will implement this initiative.  On 19-July 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 have graciously volunteered to be proactive participants offering their expertise to the governance of the Stepping Up Initiative.
We have promoted this initiative for 2+ years 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

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.

Patricia Charles Heathers reports organization transformation on track.  County's Healthy Community's plan is 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,

September is the precursor to fall and brings us cooler nights, shorter days, yellow school buses, and is also Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.    

Our affiliate focuses on mental health and substance abuse year-around with suicide prevention a common concern and a topic we discuss candidly.  According to the CDC, each year more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind thousands of friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of their loss. Suicide is the 10 th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 2 nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24; these rates are increasing.

With these facts in mind, this issue is dedicated to increasing awareness and providing resources and practical ways to address the often silent fear that someone we love may be actively considering taking their own life. 

NAMI will be participating in South Lake Tahoe's first suicide awareness walk called "Emily's Walk for Hope" on 10-Sep.   NAMI will also be providing a Spanish-language suicide prevention/awareness outreach at Family Resource Center in South Lake Tahoe on 12-Sep from 5-7 p.m. along with a complimentary dinner. 

El Dorado County celebrated "National Night Out" in multiple places all over the county on Aug. 1st. Our Law Enforcement leaders, along with many organizations and members of the public gathered to celebrate and share commitments to the community at large with food and fun at these popular annual events. Connected communities are healthier and safer.  
A big thank you to the many locations where events were hosted  
CAMERON PARK: Burke's Junction- 3300 Coach Lane
CAMINO: Camino Community Church- 4205 Carson Road
DIAMOND SPRINGS: Gold Country Retirement Center, 4301 Golden Center
EL DORADO HILLS: Keystone Court- Blackstone subdivision
POLLOCK PINES: Fire Station 17- 6430 Pony Express Trail
RESCUE: Rescue Fire Station- 5221 Deer Valley Road
South Lake Tahoe's  Community Night Out  was a first! Law enforcement, first responders, Live Violence Free, Tahoe Youth and Family Services, California Conservation Corp, Barton, NAMI, First Five and so many others came together to celebrate our truly awesome community.   We thank  CHP Officer Ruthie Loehr  for organizing this event and  the Kiwanis  for providing the delicious burgers/hot-dogs, chips and drinks (and the It's It company and CHP for the ice cream.)   Children and adults of all ages enjoyed seeing the variety of service providers and vehicles used in maintaining a healthy and safe community while picking up safety tips and loads of cool promotional items and prizes.   Collaboration between providers was clear - we are a collaborative communty like no other.  The K-9 dogs were amazing, and the California Conservation Corp exceptional in their professional support.

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.

We encourage everyone to visit to see modern best practices, community gaps, and where to find support in our community.
Please encourage your non-English speaking friends/family to use the "select language" button on the upper right of our website. Do you know someone that wants to learn a new language?  Encourage them to switch back and forth from their native language to the language they want to learn in our website - it's fun and educational!  
Language Options: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified),Filipino, French, German, Hmong, Italian, Japanese,Korean, Lao, Persian, Polish, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese

NAMI California will soon be offering trainings for Family to Family Teachers, and Support Group Facilitators.  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.  If you have an interest in helping with the governance of our affiliate, our Board would welcome 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. 

We welcome each of you to attend a pre-screening at no cost of the important mental health drama about schizophrenia " Elizabeth Blue" on 16-Sep-2017.  Location and time details are below. Mark your calendars!

On behalf of our entire board of directors, instructors, and volunteers - thank you.           


Jan Melnicoe
NAMI El Dorado County 

elizabethMental Health Drama "Elizabeth Blue" 
free pre-release screening 
in El Dorado County community

NAMI El Dorado County is pleased to bring a free pre-release screening of this important film to our El Dorado County community - all are welcome!. 
Mark your calendars (free snacks and awesome movie.) We interviewed the author and producer in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago after the film's first pre-release viewing.  What a treat!  The trailer does not do it justice.

2 pre-screening locations and times:

South Lake Tahoe, CA Saturday 16-Sep 3:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. at Lake Tahoe Community College (BOARD ROOM). Doors open 2:45 p.m.

Placerville, CA Saturday 16-Sep 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Green Valley Community Church, Placerville, Room 306.

Watch the 2 minute movie Movie Trailer.
Read the Article in Variety about this important film.


Men and suicide: Breaking the silence in EDC 
Published: June 13, 2017  
Lake Tahoe News

By Laura Walny

Suicide in men has been called a silent epidemic around the world because of limited awareness. Yet according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women and account for the majority of suicide deaths in most nations, including the United States.
El Dorado County is no exception. A study of health data in El Dorado County between the years 2005 and 2015 showed that 347 people died from suicide in the county, and 78 percent of these deaths were among males. In addition, 73 percent of the suicide deaths were among people aged 40 or older.  
As a community, we need to be talking about suicide. It's important that everyone knows the risk factors and signs to look for, as well as protective factors that can help reduce the risk of suicide. 
When it comes to suicide and suicide attempts, there are some big differences between men and women. Research shows that while females tend to make more suicide attempts than males, their methods are generally not as lethal as men. Men, by and large, tend to act more quickly on suicidal thoughts and to use more lethal means, such as firearms. Of the 347 suicide deaths in El Dorado County between 2005 and 2015, over half (54 percent) were committed with a firearm.  

Risk factors and warning signs

Certain factors tend to put individuals at risk for suicide. These include social stressors such as social isolation, family breakdown (divorce or separation), overwork, and employment insecurity. These stressors can be especially difficult for men because they often do not have the same social supports as women. In addition, men may be less likely than women to seek out help when they are depressed or experiencing emotional problems. The stigma males may feel in asking for help with mental health problems can be very powerful.
In addition to social stressors, a history of alcohol or other drug use can be a significant risk factor for suicide. Social factors are often combined with alcohol or drug abuse, particularly in men. In fact, many suicides are committed while the individual is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.  
As men age, their risk for suicide can also increase. Risk factors, warning signs and symptoms of suicide and depression can look different for older people than for young adults. Some risk factors increase with age, such as chronic health conditions; disabilities; limited mobility and access to services and activities; substance abuse; and fear of prolonged illness. Older adults face challenges such as coping with retirement, smaller budgets, health concerns, and loss of friends and family. Symptoms of depression in older adults (such as loss of appetite, changes in sleep and disinterest in activities once enjoyed) can often be mistaken for "normal" signs of aging.

The most critical warning signs of suicide are:
  • Talking about wanting to die or about suicide
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself.
If you are concerned about someone, don't ignore those feelings. Talk to them and ask direct questions. Call the Friendship Line at 800.971.0016 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 and talk with a trained counselor who can provide additional tips.
Protective factors
Research shows that there are certain protective factors that can help to reduce the risk of suicide. These include having a strong social circle of friends, engaging in meaningful activities such as volunteering or taking up a hobby, and staying as physically active as possible.

Major protective factors to help reduce suicide include:
  • Effective behavioral health care
  • Connectedness to individuals, family, community, and social institutions
  • Life skills (including problem solving skills and coping skills, ability to adapt to change
  • Self-esteem and a sense of purpose or meaning in life
  • Cultural, religious, or personal beliefs that discourage suicide.
Ideally, a person will have multiple protective factors. If someone is severely depressed, it is important to reach out for help to a mental health professional or trained counselor.

Learn more

El Dorado County Behavioral Health and partner agencies offer trainings on suicide prevention. For questions about local suicide prevention trainings, call 530.621.6130. Behavioral Health also operates a 24-hour mental health crisis line at 530.622.3345 in Placerville and at 530.544.2219 in South Lake Tahoe for residents experiencing a mental health crisis. In an emergency, call 911.

Laura Walny is the program manager with the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency.


Suicide Prevention is Everyone's Business
Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 10 - 16, 2017. During this week individuals and organizations around the country and the world join their voices to broadcast the message that suicide can be prevented, and to reach as many people as possible with the tools and resources to support themselves and those around them. Here are a few basic things you should know and that you can share with those around you:
Suicide can be prevented . Most of us have been touched by the tragedy of suicide. We may have lost someone close to us or been moved by the loss of someone we may have never met. When a suicide happens, those left behind often experience deep shock. Even if they knew the person was struggling, they may not have expected suicide would be the result. However, many people who find themselves in a suicide crisis can and do recover. Suicide can be prevented; you can help by taking the following actions:
  • Know the Signs:Most people who are considering suicide show some warning signs or signals of their intentions. Learn to recognize these warning signs and how to respond to them by visiting the Know the Signs web site (
  • Find the Words:If you are concerned about someone, ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. This can be difficult to do, but being direct provides an opportunity for them to open up and talk about their distress and will not suggest the idea to them if they aren't already thinking about it. The "Find the Words" section of the Know the Signs web site ( suggests ways to start the conversation.
  • Reach Out:You are not alone in this. Before having the conversation, become familiar with some resources to offer to the person you are concerned about. Visit the Reach Out section of the Know the Signs web site ( to identify where you can find help for your friend or loved one.
The Know the Signs campaign is one of several statewide initiatives funded by counties through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63).  These efforts are administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) and are part of Each Mind Matters:  California's Mental Health Movement.
Prevention Works . Many people who feel suicidal don't want to die. If they can get through the crisis, treatment works. There are programs and practices that have been specifically developed to support those who are in a suicide crisis. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center hosts a registry of 160 programs, practices and resources for suicide prevention. You can learn more about them by visiting .    
Help is available
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255- TALK) offers 24/7 free and confidential assistance from trained counselors. Callers are connected to the nearest available crisis center. The Lifeline is also available in Spanish, and for veterans or for those concerned about a veteran, by selecting a prompt to be connected to counselors specifically trained to support veterans.
To find local services and supports, visit the Reach Out section of the Know the Signs resources page where you will find California statewide and national resources as well as links to resources in your county:

howartifHow Artificial Intelligence Can Save Lives: Machine Learning to Predict Suicide Risks

How Artificial Intelligence Can Save Lives: Machine Learning to Predict Suicide Risks
Summary: Machine learning may allow clinicians better ability to predict which of their patients will attempt suicide, a new study reports.
Source: Florida State University.
A groundbreaking project led by a Florida State University researcher makes an exponential advance in suicide prediction, potentially giving clinicians the ability to predict who will attempt suicide up to two years in advance with 80 percent accuracy.

Studies show about 60-90 percent of people who die by suicide had visited their medical provider within the past year and the clinician never saw it coming.  Read full article here in

suiciderSuicide Risk Factors from NIMH and Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Brain Abnormalities linked to Suicidal Behavior in Young People living with BiPolar Disorder: Feb 2017 Yale School of Medicine:   In a study of adolescents and young adults with bipolar disorder, researchers have found structural and functional differences in the brains of those who have attempted suicide compared to those who have not. The differences affect parts of the brain involved in emotional processing and impulse control.   In the new study, published January 31 in the  American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers led by  Hilary P. Blumberg, M.D., used several different types of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of people with bipolar disorder between the ages of 14 and 25.    Read full story here .

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk. Suicidal behavior is complex and there is no single cause. In fact, many different factors contribute to someone making a suicide attempt. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are:
  • Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Chronic pain
  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Having recently been released from prison or jail
  • Being exposed to others' suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or celebrities
Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. It is important to note that suicide is not a normal response to stress. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.
Often, family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and can be the first step toward helping an at-risk individual find treatment with someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. See the resources on our  "Find Help for Mental Illnesses" page if you're not sure where to start.

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. 
6 South Lake Tahoe "Mental Health Resource" Kiosks at the following locations: 
Barton Emergency Room (2170 South Ave) 
Barton TeleMedicine Psychiatry (2209 South Ave)
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 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

Law Enforcement Partnerships Shine!
El Dorado County Behavioral Health Dept. has partnered with the Placerville Police Department to schedule a clinician to ride along with Police Officers in the field to enhance appropriate use of WIC 5150  interventions.  This ride along support will occur three times a month. 

Also on the West Slope, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office HOT (Homeless Outreach Team) is scheduling meetings with Behavioral Health to develop and implement a partnership to link homeless individuals struggling with mental illness to appropriate mental health services.

This is good news for our county and its residents.  We are pleased our county agencies are working together to provide best practices in their interventions with the public.  Hats off to those who have worked so hard to see these practices implemented!

South Lake Tahoe is eager to see this same partnership in our community.

Here are some fun photos from South Lake Tahoe's first "National Night Out."


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 the artistic style of Keith Haring.  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

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.    

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

El NAMI también proporcionará un programa de prevención y concientización sobre el suicidio en español en el Centro de Recursos Familiares el 12 de septiembre de 5-7 p.m. junto con una cena de cortesía.
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 27-Sep-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.

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.

Emily's Walk for Hope
: 10-Sep-2017 <- NAMI will be there! 
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  
10 a.m. Opening Ceremony
12 p.m. BBQ
Suicide Prevention Network
Alisa Merino
Program Coordinator

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  6 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 MediCal
  • 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

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 - Research Updates: Improving Functioning in Schizophrenia 
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