Call to Action — Long Beach Needs a Showing of Support

Long Beach City Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 23rd at 5:00 PM
333 W. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach 90802
Address of Proposed Site:
3200 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach

Please come and support the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center. These services are urgently needed to assist people with mental health disorders and reduce the long waiting times in emergency rooms. If this site is denied there is not a backup plan and this essential service for those in a mental health crisis will be lost to Long Beach. Your support at the Planning Commission Meeting was wonderful. It is now time to finish this process and get started with helping the community.

Parking will be validated and FREE inside the parking structure at 332 W. Broadway. The parking structure entrance is located off W. Broadway (one-way street). Take parking ticket inside the Council Chambers with you. (Follow the blue arrows to get to the City Hall building) the “validation” stamp machine is located at the front of the Council Chambers on the first floor (in front of Minute Clerk’s desk).

There is a clear need for this center, and the location has been carefully selected. Not everyone understands the need for this facility, and some actually oppose it. However, the practices and procedures of this facility will not negatively affect the neighborhood. (CLICK HERE to see answers to commonly asked questions.) Your help is needed.

Because of the shortage of psychiatric mobile response teams, police and sheriff departments in Long Beach and surrounding cities have the difficult task of responding to mental health-related calls. The Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center is a facility that will save law enforcement time in the field, will decrease the burden on hospital emergency rooms, and will help prevent unnecessary incarceration by providing medical treatment instead.

BHUCC will be a place where people with mental illness can go to be stabilized (instead of going to the hospital ER). It can be compared to an Urgent Care Center (where people often go for a medical emergency instead of going to the hospital ER).

The BHUCC provides:

  • Crisis stabilization service
  • Up to 12 adults and 6 adolescents (estimate about 30 clients a day)
  • Doctors, nurses, therapists, peer counselors
  • 24/7 Outpatient Program
  • Patients may stay up to 24 hours
  • Average stay is 4 to 6 hours
  • Round the clock security staff
  • Discharged patients leave the area and return to their home and community services

Learn more at


General Meeting October 19 — Coordination, Emergency Outreach, and Mental Evaluation Teams

LAC_DMH_Antelope_Valley_MHC_1786130Our next regular General Meeting will be Monday, October 19, 2015, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Faith Hall at the First Lutheran Church in Torrance. NAMI South Bay will have a panel of three guests for Monday evening’s meeting: Pam Pasillas of the Emergency Outreach Bureau (EOB) of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), Sergeant Carol Wilk of the Torrance Mental Evaluation Team (Torrance MET), and a member of the Gardena/Hawthorne Mental Evaluation Team (GH-MET).

The panel will discuss the field-based mental health services teams combining police and mental health professionals in our area. Important information will be presented about what these teams do and how to work with them.

First Lutheran ChurchThe general meeting will be preceded by the Caring and Sharing Support Group, a support group for family members to discuss anything pertaining to the care, management or treatment of their loved ones, as well as the family members’ and caretakers’ own well being.

Parking is available in the parking lot off of Carson Street and on Carson Street and Flower Avenue.

Happening Right Now – 12/9/14 Beginning 2 p.m. EST

Live-stream of the Capitol Hill briefing on Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EST. Click here to watch the event. Speakers include:

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)
U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL)
Judge Steven Leifman (11th Judicial Circuit of Florida)
Sheriff Susan Pamerleau of Bexar County (San Antonio), TX
Commissioner Marilyn Brown of Franklin County (Columbus), OH
Bill Carruthers (Representative for National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Paton Blough (Represenative for National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Matthew Chase (Executive Director of the National Association of Counties)
Michael Thompson (Director of the CSG Justice Center)
Dr. Fred Osher (Director – Justice Center’s Health Systems/Services Policy)

Have an Emergency Contact List

You should consider having a list of numbers, email addresses and other information close at hand if your family is in a crisis. The numbers you should consider include:

  • The doctor’s office number
  • The therapist’s number
  • Psychiatric Evaluation Team (PET) it varies depending on where you live. It’s sometimes called Mobil Crisis Team
  • DMH Access Hot Line (800) 854-7771
  • Suicide Hotline (800) 273-8255
  • Police department (911)
  • NAMI friend or support person
  • Family friend or relative
  • Trusted neighbor
  • List of medications your loved one is taking
  • Insurance or MediCal numbers

Make multiple copies of the list and store the info in your cell phone, computer or iPad. Provide copies to your relatives and support person and anyone who might act in your absence. Keep a copy at home, at work, in your car and place a copy in your luggage if you take a trip. Revisit and revise it regularly to make sure the numbers are current. (From: Treatment and Advocacy Center.)

Providing Help Against a Suicide Risk

It can be scary when a friend or loved one is thinking about suicide. Let us help. If someone you know has any warning signs we encourage you to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) so that you can find out what resources are available in your area. Your call is routed to the Lifeline center closest to your area code. The local crisis center may have resources such as counseling or in-patient treatment centers for your friend or family member. Most importantly, please encourage them to call the Lifeline.

How To Be Helpful to Someone Who Is Threatening Suicide

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Don’t dare him or her to do it.
  • Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
  • Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
  • Be Aware of Feelings

Many people at some time in their lives think about suicide. Most decide to live because they eventually come to realize that the crisis is temporary and death is permanent. On the other hand, people having a crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. These are some of the feelings and thoughts they experience:

Can’t stop the pain
Can’t think clearly
Can’t make decisions
Can’t see any way out
Can’t sleep, eat or work
Can’t get out of depression
Can’t make the sadness go away
Can’t see a future without pain
Can’t see themselves as worthwhile
Can’t get someone’s attention
Can’t seem to get control

If you experience these feelings, get help! If someone you know exhibits these symptoms, offer help!

This content was developed by the American Association of Suicidology.


This is Suicide Prevention Week

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health, is hosting World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, 2014. This year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention: One Wold Connected,” and will focus on raising awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death on a global level. Governments need to develop policy frameworks for national suicide prevention strategies. At the local level, policy statements and research outcomes need to be translated into prevention programs and activities in communities.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) was founded in Vienna, Austria in 1960 as a working fellowship of researchers, clinicians, practitioners, volunteers and organizations of many kinds. IASP wishes to contribute to suicide prevention through the resources of its members and in collaboration with other major organizations in the field of prevention. AAS is proud to be a member and supporter of IASP (

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a United Nations health agency founded in April 1948. Its primary objective is to help all people attain highest possible level of health (physical, mental and social well-being). This organization carries out this objective through advocacy, education, research medical and technological development as well as the implementation of health standards and norms (

The World Federation for Mental Health’s mission is to promote the highest possible level of mental health in all aspects (biological, medical, educational and social) for all people and nations. Their goals are to heighten public awareness, promote mental health, prevent mental disorders and improve the care and treatment of those with mental disorders (


Warning Signs for Suicide:

These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. Seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings


Los Angeles Readies Itself to Implement Laura’s Law

As previously reported, Los Angeles County leaders voted in July to fully implement Laura’s Law (AB 1421), a state statute that gives counties the option to pursue court-ordered outpatient treatment for people with serious mental illness. Los Angeles County launched a small outpatient treatment program soon after Laura’s Law took effect in 2003, but that program was purely voluntary. Now, the supervisors voted 4 to 0, with Don Knabe absent, to expand the existing outpatient treatment program from 20 to 300 slots and create a team that will reach out to potential patients and manage the court filing process when necessary.

Once implemented, which will take place over the foreseeable weeks, Laura’s Law will:

  • Permit people who are severely disabled by mental illness–and currently caught in a revolving door of homelessness, incarceration, and hospitalization–to receive timely, continuous, and supervised treatment in the community.
  • Safeguard the public and the person, by allowing families and mental health professionals to petition for “assisted outpatient treatment” for individuals incapacitated by mental illness before they become a danger to themselves or others.
  • Protect the rights of the individual by requiring court approval of the petition to provide “assisted outpatient treatment” to assure that it is applied only to those who are so severely disabled by mental illness that they are unable to stay in treatment without help and supervision.
  • Authorize “assisted outpatient treatment” orders lasting up to 180 days and, when appropriate, the renewal of them.
    Provide those under orders with intensive, supervised mental health treatment in the community until they are capable of maintaining their own psychiatric care and recovery
  • Reduce county expenditures on law enforcement interaction, judicial, jail, and crisis services.

There have been positive results in a growing number of counties in California. If you are concerned or interested in how Laura’s Law will actually function, you can see a Functional Outline of the law by CLICKING HERE.