Important Meeting–Long Beach, March 30, 5.p.m

City of Long Beach
Planning Commission Meeting
to Discuss a Proposed Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center

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.

The meeting will be
Thursday at 5 p.m., March 30, 2017
at 333 W. Ocean Blvd. 4th Floor
Long Beach, 90802

Approximately 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in a given year. Even if someone doesn’t experience this themselves, they likely know someone dealing with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or suicidal tendencies. Sometimes those with a mental health condition experience a crisis and need help right away.

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 (BHUCC or “Buck”) 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.

What is a BHUCC?

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


Five Reasons to Attend the NAMI National Convention

  1. Learn exciting research, tools, treatment options and recovery strategies directly from experts
  2. Discover how to lead effective mental health advocacy efforts
  3. Hear relatable stories and make personal connections with powerful impact
  4. Find day-to-day support through coping strategies, health and wellness activities, and legal services
  5. Earn continuing education credits as a licensed counselor, social worker or registered nurse

The NAMI National Convention connects and inspires people with or affected by a mental illness who are looking for resources, research, support services and recovery strategies. Join this diverse, action-driven gathering of individuals with mental health conditions, family members and caregivers, policymakers, educators, researchers, clinicians, providers, exhibitors, sponsors and press this year in Washington, D.C.

First-on-Board member rate of just $195 is only available until January 31.

To learn more about program offerings, CLICK HERE.

Los Angeles Mental Health Court Has Moved

Effective Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, due to structural damage to the Mental Health Courthouse, the courthouse, located at 1150 N. San Fernando Rd., Los Angeles, is closed until further notice. All courthouse operations, including hearings, have been temporarily relocated to:

Metropolitan Courthouse
1945 S. Hill St., Los Angeles 90007

Calendars are relocated as follows:

  • Mental Health Department 95 to Metro Department 69, Room 612
  • Mental Health Department 95A to Metro Department 70, Room 401
  • Mental Health Department 95B to Metro Department 64, Room 400

Public parking is available underground

To enter the building take the elevator from the garage to the first floor and pass through security to access the building elevators.

Metropolitan Courthouse

Appointment of New DMH Director

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will act on a Board Letter, authorizing the appointment of Jonathan E. Sherin, MD, PhD, to serve as the next Director of the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. Dr. Sherin brings a wealth of experience in the mental health field.

As Volunteers of America’s executive vice president for military communities and chief medical officer, Dr. Sherin, has overseen the expansion and innovation of Volunteers of America’s programs for our nation’s service members, bringing key clinical and scientific expertise to the organization as a whole. He has has worked to enhance mental health services in over 400 communities throughout the United States.

Dr. Sherin has held various academic appointments, most recently as clinical professor and vice chairman for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami. He is an accomplished neurobiology researcher with significant achievements for which he has received awards and recognition at the national and international level. Dr. Sherin completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University, his graduate work in a combined program at the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School, and his post-graduate training at UCLA. He continues to teach and provide psychiatric care as a volunteer at the VA in Los Angeles, Calif.

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is the largest county-operated mental health department in the United States, directly operating programs in more than 85 sites, and providing services via contract program and DMH staff at approximately 300 sites co-located with other County departments, schools, courts and other organizations. Each year, the County contracts with more than 1,000 organizations and individual practitioners to provide a variety of mental health-related services. On average, DMH services more than 250,000 County residents of all ages every year.

The DMH Mission:

Enriching lives through partnership designed to strengthen the community’s capacity to support recovery and resiliency is our Mission. DMH works with its stakeholders and community partners to provide clinically competent, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate mental health services to our clients in the least restrictive manner possible. We tailor our services and support to help clients and families achieve their personal goals, increase their ability to achieve independence and develop skills to support their leading the most constructive and satisfying life possible.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson Thanks Governor for Signing Student Suicide Prevention Bill

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today thanked Governor Jerry Brown for signing legislation requiring schools that serve students from grades 7 to 12 to adopt suicide prevention policies.

Torlakson supported AB 2246 by Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. The bill, signed on Monday, September 26, requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop and maintain a model suicide prevention policy.

“With this change, we can better identify students in need, get them help, and keep them safe,” Torlakson said. “One of my top priorities is serving the needs of the whole child, including their mental health needs. This bill is a big step forward in our ongoing efforts to help our students.”

“As classroom teacher, I know from experience that educators often serve as the first line of defense when a student is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts,” said Assembly Member O’Donnell. “AB 2246 will provide parents, teachers, and schools with the tools they need to help save the lives of at-risk youth.”

Torlakson is a longtime supporter of expanding mental health services and preventing suicides. When Torlakson served in the California State Senate in 2004, he was state co-chair of the campaign for Proposition 63, a measure that increased income taxes on the wealthy to fund mental health programs.

As State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Torlakson convened a Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup. The group of 40 experts has conducted 20 free trainings in suicide prevention across the state for more than 500 teachers.

Earlier this year, CDE released the Healthy Kids Survey, which describes how students feel about school and how they rank their school environment.

The survey showed schools need to focus more attention on better meeting the needs of youth. For example, two indicators of depression risk showed little change since the last survey two years ago.

Nearly one-fourth of seventh graders and around one-third of ninth and eleventh graders reported feelings of chronic sadness or hopelessness. And, almost 20 percent of high school students had seriously contemplated suicide.

Torlakson in 2014 released a letter encouraging school districts to adopt suicide prevention policies. Under the new law, each district will be required to adopt suicide policies beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

In 2014, there were nearly 2,300 suicide attempts by students 15 to 19 years old in California.

Image: dollarphotoclub_63337352.

Mental Health Care Expanded for Troops and Families

Soldier Suffering With Stress Talking To Counselor

The DOD has now issued a final rule expanding access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment for service members. The rule eliminates quantitative and nonquantitative limitations on care. All inpatient mental health day limits were eliminated, as were annual and lifetime limitations on outpatient services and substance use disorder treatment. Copayments for mental health visits were reduced. Substance use disorder treatment will now include outpatient medication-assisted protocols.

The new rule represents a step forward for service members and their families.

Still, their effects need to be documented better. According to former U.S. Army psychiatrist Charles Engel, M.D., a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation in Boston:

“What works for those in uniform may be in tension with what is best for non-uniformed military health system beneficiaries. There are lots of complex pieces to these changes, but there has been little large, independent health care services analysis of the system.”

More information on this topic can be found at Psychiatric News Alert, and in the book Care of Military Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families from APA Publishing. APA members may purchase the book at a discount here.

Mental Health Month Top Stories

NAMI Partners for Hill Day 2016
The Hope & Grace Initiative and Mayim Bialik join NAMI to launch a public service announcement called “Stigma Free.”
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Empire State Building Goes Green
The Empire State Building Lights Green for National Mental Health Month.
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Can You Get Mental Health Care When You Need It?
One in 5 Americans has a mental health condition. Contact your senators today to help pass the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.
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Leader Of Landmark Gene Research On Schizophrenia to Speak at NAMI Convention
Dr. Steven McCarroll, who led the research team responsible for a study that examines the gene that may be a risk factor for schizophrenia, will speak at this year’s NAMI National Convention, July 6-9 in Denver.
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Exercise for Mental Health: 8 Keys to Get and Stay Moving
This blog post outlines 8 steps to take charge of your mental and physical health.
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Sisyphus and The Seed
This blog post reveals how NAMI’s Family-to-Family educational program helped one family manage their son’s mental health challenges.
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These Take the Prize: Journalists and Mental Health Advocacy
This post reveals the journalists and advocates who won the Pulitzer prize for contributions to mental health care.
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A Voice At The Table: NAMI and Community Partnerships
One contributor explains how his experience with NAMI’s grassroots activities helped him encourage others to seek NAMI for support for mental health.
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Here Comes the Sun
A simple line of lyrics from a popular Beatles tune helped a 16-year-old contributor cope with mental health challenges and offer hope to those struggling with anxiety and depressive psychosis.
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Bipolar Brain
A contributor shares a personal story revealing their challenges with bipolar disorder and takes a stand on stigma by choosing not to be silent.
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For Those Who Love Someone With Mental Illness
Giving thanks where thanks is due-this personal story does just that to those loving and caring for someone with mental illness.
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