September  2016

Dear NAMI Family and Friends,

September brings us apples, smoke, and traffic up Highway 50 for the last gasp summer vacations and visits to Apple Hill and Lake Tahoe.   As we ease into fall, take time for some self care and advocating for mental health in our communities.  We will keep you up to date on classes, events,  and opportunities. September is also Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and is our newsletter's focus this month. 

It's not too late to register for our Family to Family Education classes.  These classes will be provided at no cost to participants on both slopes beginning this month.   The most common comment made on past graduates is, "I wish I had taken this class years ago!".  If someone you care about is struggling with mental health, don't wait.  

West Slope
class begins Sept. 8 and will run until Dec. 1st (Thanksgiving Week off) on consecutive Thursdays, from 6:30 - 9:00 pm.

South Lake Tahoe
class begins Sept. 17 - Oct. 22 on consecutive Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm. 

For information on registering for these classes, scroll down to "Current and Upcoming Classes and Support Groups"

Big News!  Patricia Charles-Heathers was selected as El Dorado County's new Health and Human Services Agency Director. 
Patricia is a native of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and began her career in the banking industry before finding her passion and calling in the helping profession. She has worked extensively in for profit and non-profit organizations, had her own consulting business, served on several community boards in the Sacramento area and came to work for El Dorado County in June of 2012. Over the past 4 years, Patricia has served as Assistant Director of Health Services, overseeing the Behavioral Health and Public Health Divisions. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology, master's degree in substance abuse counseling, doctoral degree in clinical and organizational psychology, and is close to completing her master's in public administration. As an Adjunct Professor at California State University, Sacramento for over 17 years, and mother of a 20 year old son, Patricia places a high emphasis on the family being an integral part of any type of treatment/service and is committed to creating effective systems that support this value.
NAMI El Dorado County looks forward to working with our new HHSA Director!

 The Broadway Substation on the West Slope is open and providing resources for the community.  Resources that recently resulted in 5 homeless individuals finding housing and assistance!  The Placerville Police Dept. is on Facebook.  You can receive important advisories, community updates, and official information by text message and email by signing up at: or and downloading a mobile app. The departments is also taking applications for the 2016 Citizen Academy which gives citizens the opportunity to learn about policing in today's society and in their community.  For more information contact: Sgt. Dan Maciel (530) 642-5210 ext. 301 or
Many thanks to Mayor Wilkins, City Manager Morris, and Chief Heller for their active community building! South Lake Tahoe police is also on Facebook .
El Dorado County Sheriff's department is also on Facebook .

September 5-11 is Suicide Prevention Week.  Brain disorders are serious illnesses "like any others".  They will by definition pose the risk of mortality.  Family members often experience the fear that our loved ones may take their own lives.  This is a painful reality many of us carry in our hearts.  We can learn what to watch for and hope we can intervene, but it is important to remember that the mental processes that drive suicide are illness-related and we need to be exceedingly gentle with ourselves and each other if the worst should occur.  Mental illness are treatable and many people recover or greatly improve.  New research, more effective medications and treatments, the future looks brighter.  Never give up hope!

In the News


Is Closeness a Curse?  Are We Incapable of Healing our Own?
NPR recently did a program about "The Problem with the Solution." In this hour-long 
podcast - our passion for trying to solve problems (and fix our loved ones is explored.)   The town of Geel, Belgium, famous for their community approach to mental health is highlighted.   
The more family members expressed 3 particular emotions, the more their loved ones got worse in their mental health:  
Criticism, Hostility, and Emotional Involvement.   
Scientists have discovered that the fix comes in "not trying to fix them."   This is where the town of Geel has paired those with severe mental illness with other families. Those with illness are called borders and blend in with the community.  The average stay with a family is nearly 28 years with many staying for more than 45 years.   Geel has a psychiatric center, medication management and treatment but the social support that comes from living with a family outside of their own biological family has been very healing.   
They don't see a bunch of problems that need to be fixed.    Instead they see people we should all hope to get to know better.
Thank you to M.B., NAMI member/friend from 
  NAMI Support in South Lake Tahoe for sharing this podcast.
After you replay the podcast, you can learn more by reading this book: 
World Suicide Prevention Day is 10-September-2016

Every year on 10-September the Suicide Prevention is recognized around the globe.  Wear yellow to show your support.   Connect.  Communicate.  Care.
FREE SUICIDE PREVENTION TOOLKIT available for download courtesy of
Click here.

Know the Signs and Find the Words! Ask your loved one "are you thinking of ending your life?"  Studies show that being direct in your inquiry can make a positive difference in getting the treatment conversation going.
How do you remember the Warning Signs of Suicide?
Here's an easy-to-remember mnemonic:
I     Ideation
S    Substance Abuse
P    Purposelessness
A    Anxiety
T    Trapped
H   Hopelessness
W    Withdrawal
A      Anger
R     Recklessness
M     Mood Changes
A person in acute risk for suicidal behavior most often will show:
Warning Signs of Acute Risk:
- Threatening to hurt or kill him or herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself; and or,
 - Looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means; and/or,
- Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary.
These might be remembered as expressed or communicated ideation.  If observed, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a referral.
Expanded Warning Signs:
*                Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
*                No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
*                Anxiety , agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time
*                Feeling trapped - like there's no way out
*                Hopelessness
*                Withdrawal from friends, family and society
*                Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
*                Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
*                Dramatic mood changes
If observed, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or 
calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a referral.
These warning signs were compiled by a task force of expert clinical-researchers and 'translated' for the general public.  The origin of IS PATH WARM?
To learn more about youth suicide, risk factors, and how to help, click here 
Who will care when I'm not there?
Just like a caring family, Proxy Parent Foundation helps coordinate social services and medical care for Proxy Parent beneficiaries with mental illness by acting as a "proxy parent"
Proxy Parent Foundation steps into the family's role, either now or in the future, to provide family-like Personal Support Services for its trust beneficiaries with mental illness and other brain disorders. Proxy Parent Foundation answers the family's question, "Who will care when I'm not there?"
Positive reviews are coming back from NAMI El Dorado County families on the Western Slope.   
We contacted to assess if their services extend to South Lake Tahoe and unfortunately they do not.  There are however attorneys who offer special needs trust development and have suggestions in this regard.  
Contact your local NAMI El Dorado County Support leader for more information.  

One Year Later - the memorial service forever in my heart
The truth about the death by suicide of a member of our community was shared at a memorial service Our Lady of Tahoe church in Zephyr Cove (just a couple minutes outside of South Lake Tahoe.)   This particular service was just over a year ago.  
I attended this beautiful memorial service in support of the family's profound loss my heart was moved beyond words.   The service moved me in a way that made me appreciate how kind words can be incredibly comforting when spoken from the heart.   I am an atheist and observed a variety of believers and non-believers in attendance; this memorial reached all of our hearts.
This elderly Father of this lovely church openly shared that this man's death was by suicide and that he will be welcome in heaven.  This brought such comfort to the community.   It made me appreciate the importance of getting people talking about mental health - in order that others may choose to live by finding and getting support sooner.   The first step is getting people talking about mental health in the same way we would talk about getting a hair-cut or going to the dentist. Then, helping the community know where to find support.
graphic-heart.gifNAMI El Dorado County - 
 thinking about family of JRH
Book Review:  
The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.  

Transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a new paradigm for healing.   Lots of brain science provided.   This book is packed with brain science and human stories - an authoritative guide to the effects of trauma and pathways to recovery. This author is a medical doctor that spent years working in psychiatric wards with a focus on helping those overcome traumatic experiences.  
A must read for anyone working in mental health, any of us living with or caring for a loved one overcoming trauma.  The author includes loads of useful information about PTSD.   We are on the verge of becoming a trauma-conscious society.
We secrete large amounts of stress hormones long after the trauma has passed.  In PTSD patients, this continued secretion of stress hormones gets expressed as agitation or panic and can be devastating to our health. Constantly elevated stress hormones can impact our memory, cause attention problems and irritability and sleep disruptions.
This book includes pictures of brain scans illustrating how reliving trauma (actual flashbacks) impact our brains and our bodies.
NAMI Member in South Lake Tahoe

Pets are a game-changer in the Grieving Process
Those of us with pets to snuggle may not realize that statistically those with pets have fewer health issues and greater longevity.   Often our pets know instinctively when we need a snuggle or the comfort of their soft fur next to us.  A pet doesn't have to be the traditional dog or cat.  Some families are getting tons of joy out of their pet chickens, bunny rabbits, hamsters, goats, horses, etc.  

NAMI El Dorado County featured in "Style Magazine"

Pick up a free copy of Style Magazine at Safeway on the Western Slope.   Copies of the article will be made available at our local NAMI Support meetings and in .pdf format after 1-September.     We continue our outreach, support, education and advocacy.

Working on or considering a career in mental health? 
Mental Health Loan Assumption Program (MHLAP) is open and accepting applications!
Please share with anyone who may benefit from this opportunity!

The 2016/2017 Mental Health Loan Assumption Program (MHLAP) Cycle opened August 1, 2016. 
MHLAP was created by the Mental Health Services Act (Act), passed by California voters in November 2004. The Act provided funding to develop a loan forgiveness program in order to retain qualified professionals working within the Public Mental Health System (PMHS). Through the Workforce Education and Training component of the Act, $10 million is allocated yearly to loan assumption awards. An award recipient may receive up to   $10,000  to repay educational loans in exchange for a 12-month service obligation in a hard-to-fill or retain position within the County PMHS.
Eligibility Reminders for MHLAP:

Applicants may work or volunteer with an organization which is administered/funded, in whole or part, by a County Mental Health Department including County Mental Health funded contractors, subcontractors and Juvenile Halls. Those working with Adult corrections or offenders are not eligible.

Working or Volunteering in a hard-to-fill or retain position includes any capacity that meets your County Mental Health workforce needs.  The County Mental Health Director may determine what professions or positions fit their criteria for their County.  The criteria may change each year, please inform MHLAP staff if you have criteria you would like to have posted on the MHLAP webpage for applicants to view.

The MHLAP Flyer, FAQ's and link to the website are below for anyone interested in this opportunity!  

For resources on how to apply, please visit .     
Applications may be found online at 

Important Information for our Families
In Home Supportive Services

Some of our NAMI families in El Dorado County have reported favorably about the quality of the IHSS program.  They are paid by IHSS for basic services that helped their loved one live at home.  Learn more about this program at: 
Disability Benefit Information

Sustainability Outreach Services and Only Kindness Community Resource Center - Rene Evans - Accredited Disability Representative in Placerville - (530) 876-6243 or (530) 344-1864  i s a  comprehensive resource that helps people not only understand, but access social security disability benefits is available.   
In the course of their research,  it was found that most people who have become or already living with disabilities are not fully aware of the benefits and resources that are available to them. This guide will not only answer common questions like qualifications, application process, as well as a calculator that can help estimate monthly and annual benefits.    You can see the entire guide along with some of its features here:
Legal Services

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

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

Persons who need help with a health care issue may receive assistance regardless of their income or assets if they meet other eligibility requirements.  Persons needing help with other issues must have a low income.  If you need help with a health care issue, call (888) 354-4474.  If you need help with one of the other issues listed above, call (530) 823-7560.

Additional information about health care rights may be found at

An attorney from NSNC will provide information to our families at the regularly scheduled NAMI Board of Director's meeting in Placerville (open to the public), Sept. 6, starting at 6:15 pm.   We meet at the Government Center, Fair Lane, BOS Building A, Conf. Rm. A.    Bring your questions or just come to get some important information.  NAMI Family Support follows at 7:00.

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

What to say when calling 9-1-1
for a Mental Health Emergency 
  • I'm calling about a Mental Health Emergency and request a CIT Officer.
  • My name is __________________________________________________
  • I'm calling from __________________(your location) because my (family member/friend) is _____________________________________________.
  • Describe in detail what is going on right now.
  • Advise law enforcement is there is information on file about the person in crisis. (see the Family Information Form link below)
  • Ask if it's possible to arrive without lights or sirens
The 9-1-1 dispatacher will ask the following: (be clear and brief)
  • Are there any acts or threats of violence?
  • Are there any weapons involved?
  • Where is the person experiencing the emergency located?
  • Has there been a suicide attempt or has the person made threats of suicide?
Additional information to provide: 
  • Mental health diagnosis and mental healthcare provider.
  • Intoxicated or overdosed?
  • Current medications
  • Gravely disabled and unable to care for themselves.
Always provide a completed AB-1424 (Family History Form).  If the deputy or officer that arrives is not aware of how this form is used then ask for a law enforcement supervisor.   AB-1424 has been in effect since 2002 but not all law enforcement has been trained in the importance of how this form can help get your loved one help.  This is why it is important to ask for a "CIT trained officer" in a mental health emergency.
Family Information Form
AB-1424 form from El Dorado County (click on link above) will assist you in getting important family historical information to law enforcement and emergency personnel.  This form applies to the WI code 5150.5 which allows families to provide important historical information in case of hospitalization or incarceration.   
This form is also available at NAMI Support meetings, El Dorado County Mental Health's website, the Psychiatric Health Facility on Spring St. in Placerville, and at El Dorado County Mental Health at 768 Pleasant Valley Rd., Diamond Springs or El Dorado County Wellness Center 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd in South Lake Tahoe.  
During a crisis, you may not be able to access information about your loved one, but with this form, you can provide essential information to assist providers in developing appropriate treatment.  California law AB-1424 requires historical information be considered in helping our loved ones.   
Providing the "history" of mental health issues may help the deputy or officer in getting our loved ones treatment. For example, if your loved one is currently not a danger to themselves or others but things are escalating...they have a history of prior hospitalizations or prior violence/threats when untreated it is relevant to share specifics about this.  
The crisis intervention  (CIT) team program with the Sheriff's Dept. is active on both slopes.  

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

Crisis on the Western Slope call (530) 622-3345
If your instincts tell you a situation is dangerous, it probably is.  
Call 911 immediately.  Make sure you communicate that "this is a MENTAL HEALTH emergency involving mental illness and we are seeking involuntary psychiatric hospitalization and not arrest.
Passionate about learning more about Mental Health and the importance of Brain Research and Scientific Discoveries?
Visit and attend their monthly "Meet the Scientists" webinars at no cost.

Visit and attend a virtual forum at no cost.  
22-Sep:   "Trauma Informed Care Across The Lifespan: A Nursing Perspective".
1-Nov: "Future Of Psychopharmacology: Is New Treatment Innovation Still Alive?"

Visit and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can learn more about specific illnesses.
Visit  and visit their on-line
Psycho-education is a core to recovery.  
This means psycho-education for family/friends and for our loved ones.  We are pleased with the response by the community regarding the donation to the El Dorado County library. 

Pick up a copy of our recommended reading booklist and website list at our NAMI Family Support Group meeting or simply click  here.        Visit El Dorado County library or your local community college library.
Barton Health has identified the need for additional mental health services and continues to take action to provide extra support for patients and the South Lake Tahoe community. Psychiatrist Saul Zelan, MD joined the Barton Psychiatry team in August. Dr. Zelan will provide counseling, assessments, and other mental health services for adults and children. Potential patients should ask their doctor or healthcare provider about this service.
 3 local Psychiatrists: Dr. Zelan, Dr. Protell, and Dr. Rupp plus Telemedicine Psychiatrists and Psychologists plus licensed Social Workers - each focused on improving mental health.

Where can you find help in South Lake Tahoe and surrounding area?  Here is the  link to the The Health & Wellness portion of the Barton community  directory (starting on page 49.)  Notice all the support groups and counseling services - many health and wellness programs available.   You may also pick up a hard-copy of this directory at our NAMI Support Group meeting in South Lake Tahoe, at a Mental Health kiosk, or at Barton Hospital.  

Check out  Barton's mental health page  which outlines strategic priorities and accomplishments and more...  Have you checked out all the community classes available including smoking cessation?

NEW PSYCHOLOGIST in South Lake Tahoe, 
accepting new patients
on Fridays and Mondays in South Lake Tahoe: 
Mathew Wong brings an improved continuum of care to South Lake Tahoe!
He will see patients who subscribe to Cigna's health insurance.  He is planning to accept both Anthem Blue Cross and Medi-Cal in the next few months and is just waiting for final paperwork to be processed in this regard.
He sees children, teens and adults and is experienced in a broad range of behavioral health therapies including assessments.  He has experience practicing in Menlo Park, CA (San Mateo County) and Palo Alto, CA - he knows what quality mental health services looks like - and was intentional in wanting to help our rural South Lake Tahoe area.   
Similar to Barton's addition of a 3rd psychiatrist this month, having Matthew Wong's services here is a substantial benefit to our community.
He is very experienced in treating child/teen cases with complex diagnoses including mild-moderate to severe cases.   
He is also experienced treating young adults and adults with:
-Intellectual Disability (I also do formal IQ and adaptive functioning testing to identify need)
-Life stressors/Transitions
-Psychological Testing (Differential diagnosis, Personality functioning, etc.)
Can also treat:
-Borderline PD
-Bipolar I/II
He does not treat severe psychosis or schizophrenia that is not in remission/recovery.
He does not treat substance abuse / dual diagnosis.

"Schedule an appointment soon before provider calendars are filled.   Mental health clinicians have far smaller caseloads than primary care physicians. With psycho-therapy treatment can last for an extended period which means often people pick a standing time-slot.  Experts recommend not delaying treatment (even if you are wait listed for someone you really like.)  Recommend getting to treatment promptly.  The sooner you begin psycho-therapy - the sooner your journey to recovery will begin.   Take care of you and your loved ones"  
NAMI Leader - NAMI El Dorado County 
Matthew Wong 
Psychologist | M.A., Psy.D PSY#26365
South Lake Tahoe appointments Mondays and Fridays only:
870 Emerald Bay Rd., Suite 303
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Barton's ER is most visited Mental Health Kiosk 
Six locations  hosting Mental Health kiosks for our South Lake Tahoe community.   
- Barton Emergency Room  (2170 South Ave)
- Barton Community Health Center  (2201 South Ave)
- Barton Family Medicine  (1090 Third St)
- El Dorado County Probation/Sheriff  (1360 Johnson Blvd)
- El Dorado County Library  (1000 Rufus Allen Road)
- Lake Tahoe Community College  (next to college bookstore)

Most frequented kiosk is at the Barton ER;  second most frequented is the kiosk at the Lake Tahoe Community College.

Have you asked your doctor 
about Long-lasting  Injectables?

Safeway's Speciality Pharmacy in South Lake Tahoe AND on the Western Slope provide long-lasting injectables.  Not all Safeways provide this.   We continue to educate families and friends about the availability and benefits of long-lasting injectables for those that have this option available.    
Many NAMI families are reporting vast improvement in their loved ones since switching from pill form to long-lasting injectables.
Safeway provides a free case manager service (out of their Idaho call center) where they call and remind our loved ones when their injection is due, schedule the appointment, and help the process run smoothly.  
Call 1-877 466-8028 and request speaking with an injectables case management team member.
This is a great convenience since many family members were having to pick up the medication and bring it to a medical technician outside of the pharmacy setting to receiving the injection.  Now, it's one stop shopping.  Multiple NAMI family members in South Lake Tahoe report the process and impact are favorable. 
Long-lasting injectable administration are available through Barton Psychiatry (through a medical technician on-site,) El Dorado County Mental Health (monthly), and Safeway Specialty Pharmacy in South Lake Tahoe.  
NAMI El Dorado County outreach continues 

NAMI El Dorado County continues to provide mental health education and awareness at various county and school health fairs, back-to-school events, and at clubs and other organizations.   If your club, place of worship, or organization is interested in a 20, 60, or 120 minute mental health awareness overview please contact us. 
West Slope: Jan 530-677-2676 or in South Lake Tahoe: Jeanne 650-740-5776

Current and upcoming classes, events and support groups:

NAMI El Dorado Board of Directors Meeting - First Tuesday of every month
We will meet at the Government Center, Fair Lane, BOS Building A, Conf. Rm. A, 5:30 p.m.   Everyone is welcome.    Support Group follows at 7:00 pm

El Dorado County Mental Health Commission:

Regular meeting of the Commission will be Sept. 28.
Health and Human Services Agency, 3057 Briw Rd., Sierra Room, Placerville, CA - and in South Lake Tahoe at the Wellness Center 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd (video-teleconference.) - 5:00 pm 
These meetings are  open to the public and are an important interface between the community and our county mental health system.  Concerns and stories from the community are welcome during public comment time at the start of each meeting.  While your concerns may not be discussed unless it is already an item on the agenda, your input as part of the public is valued and will  be addressed at a later meeting.
Are you interested in becoming a member of the Mental Health Commission?  
Let your voice be  heard in El Dorado County.

NAMI Family Support Meetings - 3 in El Dorado County!

NAMI Family Support groups are a monthly meeting of caregivers of individuals with a mental illness where family members can talk frankly about their challenges and help one another through their learned wisdom.  
These support groups group provide empathetic support for those dealing with crisis and the emotional overload that is so much a part of having someone you love living with a mental illness.  You can come, share or just listen, get useful practical information, or a hug from others who understand.  This group is for families and friends of those living with a mental illness.  We hope to see you there.  No cost to attend.

South Lake Tahoe NAMI Family Support Group  
This group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month 
Location: South Lake Tahoe Library located at 1000 Rufus Allen Road from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.    
Group facilitators: Jeanne and Alan (650) 740-5776 |  
2016 remaining dates:    Sep 13, Oct 11, Nov 8, Dec 13.

The West Slope NAMI Family Support Group
This group meets the 1st Tuesday monthly at 7:00 p.m. following the monthly NAMI Board Meeting in Placerville at the Government Center, Fair Lane, BOS Building A, Conference Room A, Placerville, CA
Group facilitator: Jan 530-677-2676 
2016 remaining dates:  Sep 6, Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6

El Dorado Hills NAMI Family Support Group    
This group meets the  3rd Monday of each month.  
Location: EDH Fire Dept, Station 85, 1050 Wilson Blvd. El Dorado Hills. 
Conference Room: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
2016 remaining dates:  Sep 19, Oct 17, Nov 21, Dec 19
Group Facilitators: 
Jannell Clanton (530)333-5803 | or 
Lauraleen Patterson (916)955-1666 | 

We are pleased to offer  NAMI Signature programs  right here in 
El Dorado County.   If you have recently, or in the past, taken one of our classes, please let others in the community know how valuable the experience was.  Your recommendations help to get the word out.  Too often we hear, "I wish I had known about this class years ago!". 

NAMI Family-to-Family 
is on the coveted list of SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) Evidence-based recovery models.  Visit to learn more about SAMSHA.  We will be offering Family-to-Family and Basics,  this year.  The classes are posted at and in this monthly newsletter when they are scheduled.  We are happy to take your name and contact information if you wish to reserve space.  Phone numbers are given below.

"I learned more in NAMI Family-to-Family than in the past 20 years working as a nurse across a variety of hospitals."  
Anonymous graduate of NAMI F2F 
"You tossed our family a life-rope and we held on.  Our loved one is now doing well.  This course saved our family and our marriage."  
Anonymous graduate F2F 
"I wish we knew about this course years ago...we cannot help but wonder how much better our loved one would be doing had we been introduced to NAMI sooner."   
Anonymous graduate NAMI F2F

NAMI Family-to-Family In South Lake Tahoe:

NAMI Family-to-Family education  in South Lake Tahoe: 
Sep  17 through Oct 22 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
6 consecutive Saturdays
Call Jeanne at 650-740-5776 to register 
NAMI Classes on the West Slope: 
NAMI Family-to-Family is scheduled to begin on Thursdays beginning Sept. 8th through Nov. 17th at Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park.   Registration required.  Call Jan at (530) 677-2676

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

All NAMI programs are provided to the community at 
no cost to the participants and are offered once or twice a year.  Please call to put your name and contact information on our list for future classes.
Local Happenings

Reflections of Life and Loss (South Lake Tahoe) graphic-heart.gif
Second and Fourth Thursdays monthly 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Barton Hospice encourages people who have experienced the loss of a loved one or have endured a significant, life-altering event to attend. This group helps teach attendees how to cope with certain situations and encourages emotional connections with others. Support and bereavement groups allow people to release emotions they may otherwise keep to themselves. It can improve a participant's mood and decrease psychological distress.
Location: Barton Hospice
2092 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Suite 600
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Friends for Survival (Western Slope)
Marshall Medical Center
Friends For Survival is a national non-profit organization and you can learn more at 
Meetings are held monthly. For more information, contact Walt or Leona Narr at 530-647-8864.
Bipolar Insights - in Placerville, CA
Weekly Class * Every Monday at 7 pm
Green Valley Community Church
3500 Missouri Flat Road, Room 304 in Placerville, CA 95667
$5 per person per class

Special Events * Tuesday's
Marshall Medical Building
681 Main Street, 1st Floor Common Room in Placerville, CA 95667
Check the website for dates and events
Bipolar Insights / Mental Health Education Center  (530) 642-0859      
Teen Support Group (no cost to attend)   
A Balanced Life:  2100 Eloise, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Call to learn more: 530-544-1748
SMARTS Recovery held at: A Balanced Life ($3 donation requested)
Call to learn more: 530-544-1748 
A science-based addiction recovery support groupno cost - where participants learn self-empowering techniques to aid their recovery through mutual-help face-to-face and online meetings and services.  
More than 1/2 of those living with mental health have a co-occurring addiction 
(work, drug, gambling, food, sex, alcohol, social-media, etc).  
SMART Recovery meetings are now in South Lake Tahoe at A Balanced Life 
- Every Thursday, 6-7PM (on-going weekly; no cost but a $3.00 donation is suggested) 

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

Adult Outpatient Services Wellness Centers  continue to provide a safe, understanding,  and recovery oriented place, Monday through Friday afternoons. 
Drop in hours are from 1:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday, for people to socialize and participate in a wide assortment of fun and therapeutic groups.  Group schedules are available at the Wellness Centers and may include Dialectal Behavior Therapy, Anger Management, Conversation Skills, Healthy Pleasures, Smoking Cessation, Symptoms without Stigma, Mindfulness, Coping Skills, Stress/Anxiety Reduction, Seeking Safety, and others.  Some of these groups are available on a referral basis only, while other groups, such as Art, Physical Activity, Mindfulness, Coping Strategies, etc. are open to all.  Check current schedule at the Centers. 

Your Donations Are Needed and Greatly Appreciated!
Every dollar donated goes directly to our education, support, and advocacy efforts.  
We are 100% voluntary non-profit
and are comprised of individuals and families with lived experience - working hard every day to crush stigma and improve services and supports in El Dorado County.   
Your donations; volunteer time, items, or money are appreciated and used in our community to benefit and improve the lives of families and individuals living with mental illness.
Donations by check:
Please make checks payable to: 
 "NAMI El Dorado County", 
 PO Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623

Use AMAZON SMILE and select NAMI El Dorado County

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

Any of you shop at Amazon?  Go to
Membership in NAMI has benefits!
Don't miss out on the excellent publications, NAMI Advocate Magazine (3 times per year) and the Voice newsletter, as well as online access to informative and thoughtful articles and blogs.   You will also have the option to receive advocacy alerts where you can advocate with your legislature with a single click.
Memberships can be made or renewed by mail to 
NAMI El Dorado County, P.O. Box 393, El Dorado, CA 95623.  
You can also join online.  Go to (select  NAMI El Dorado County Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe  when you apply for membership.)  A full membership is $35.00.  Discounted "Open Door" memberships are available from your NAMI leader also. Thank you!   

New Membership Structure Coming 1-July 2017:

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

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

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

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

You need not have a Facebook account to view any of  NAMI El Dorado County Facebook  content.  
  Interested in Volunteering?
Use your personal passion to give back.  We are looking for individuals with an interest and skills in teaching, fundraising, organizational management, grant search and writing, and support group facilitation.  
Giving back  and helping others is not only a gift but an opportunity for  personal  growth and, let's face it, a chance to feel good. 
Call Jan on the Western Slope at 530-306-7710; Call Jeanne in South Lake Tahoe at 650-740-5776.
Jan Melnicoe, President
NAMI El Dorado County - Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe
(530) 306-7710


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