Meeting Tonight – Special Report on Mental Health in the South Bay

Dennis Murata, Service Area 8 Chief of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (South Bay and Long Beach) and Jennifer Lamarque of Los Angeles County Supervisor Hahn’s Office will be presenting. Dennis Murata will be giving an update on the Department of Mental Health efforts. Jennifer Lamarque will present on Supervisor Hahn’s priorities regarding mental health. We are fortunate to have this pair of knowledgeable persons at our meeting to tell us about the state of mental health programs in the South Bay and the important initiatives of Supervisor Hahn regarding mental health. Supervisor Hahn has taken the leadership on several mental health issues. including the replacement of part of the central jail with mental health treatment facilities, has supported studies of number of hospital, and step down psychiatric beds. We will also learn how we can assist in improving the mental health system.

Please come to hear and provide comment on these presentations. We need to show our interest and support of mental health initiatives. As part of our mission to advocate for persons with a mental illness and their families we need to support efforts to improve the system and provide comment on issues where the system is not working well.

The Family Caring and Sharing Support Group for family members will start at 6 PM and the General Meeting will start at 7:30 PM. First Lutheran Church, 2900 Carson in Torrance.

February Meeting — Whole Person Care

The speaker for our meeting on February 25 is Ms. Diamond Lee, MSW. Ms. Lee is the Associate Director for Regional Collaboration on Whole Person Care for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

She will present information about the Whole Person Care Program. Whole Person Care Los Angeles (WPC-LA) is a program that brings together health and social service agencies to build an integrated system that delivers seamless, coordinated services to LA County’s most vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries who are high risk, high users of hospital and emergency departments, of which many are persons with a mental illness. Please join us and learn about this program. Even if does not directly affect your family right now, it will help the mental health system to be more effective and may help your family at some point in your journey.

The Caring and Sharing Support Group for family members will start at 6 PM and the General Meeting will start at 7:30 PM.

March Meeting — Family and Consumer Affairs

March 19, 2019
7:30 p.m.
First Lutheran Church
2900 Carson Street
Torrance

We are fortunate to have Helena Ditko, LCSW, the Director of the Office of Family and Consumer Affairs for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, speaking at our general meeting this month.

The Office of Consumer and Family Affairs was previously identified as two separate offices – Consumer Affairs, as Empowerment & Advocacy and Family Engagement. In 2014, the two combined to provide conversation, information, education and inspiration. Unlike the Patients’ Rights Office, which corrects error and investigates the violation of rights of consumers, the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs gives quality improvement to mental health services.

Helena Ditko and her office have been invaluable to many families and clients trying to navigate the mental health system. On Monday, March 18, Ms. Ditko will discuss her office, how they can assist families and persons with a mental illness, and various forms of treatment. When NAMI South Bay didn’t know where else to get help it has referred families to her office.

Please come. Meet and listen to Ms. Ditko. We believe you will find it invaluable for your family.

Image credit: Pixabay CCO Creative Commons

September General Meeting Tonight

7:30 PM Monday, September 18, 2017

The Speaker for September will be Yvonne Miranda of Project Return Peer Support Network (PRPSN). Yvonne is the Regional Recovery Supporter for the South Bay/Long Beach area. PRPSN offers a variety of services to persons with a mental illness including Hacienda of Hope, warm line and self-help groups. Yvonne will tell us about their services and especially the groups in the South Bay.

The Project Return groups meet weekly in a variety of locations for discussion, friendship and social activities. For many, these peer support groups are important steps towards recovery, self-help and wellness. Each group is individualized and is self-directed. Activities and curriculum are created by the facilitators and group participants.As one of the Regional Recovery Area Supporters Yvonne works with the help group facilitators develop their skills and give feedback to the group.

We are working with Project Return to link our Peer to Peer Program and Connections Support Group for persons with a mental illness with their activities. We are piloting a program with Kaiser to have better connections from the clinical programs to these support groups.

Please come and learn how persons with a mental illness can become involved in these programs and how NAMI South Bay can help support their efforts.

The Caring and Sharing Support Groups will meet at 6 PM and the regular meeting at 7:30 PM will meet at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson in Torrance.

 

June Meeting: How to Find Mental Health Resources on the Internet

Monday, June 19, 2017: Please come and and discuss with John Conway, our Vice President and Website Manager, and with Paul Stansbury, our President, resources, sites and links to resource regarding mental illness on the internet. Please come and share internet resources you may use with us and NAMI South Bay members.

Among the resources we plan to discuss are:

No special knowledge is necessary. We will meeting for the Internet workshop at 7:30 PM in Faith Hall at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson, Torrance.

The Caring and Sharing Support Groups will meet at 6 PM.

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 http://www.starsinc.com/bhucc

 

Major Medical Organizations Call upon the Senate to “Do the Right Thing”

In response to the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) yesterday, six major medical organizations jointly released a statement urging the Senate to “put aside” the AHCA and instead work with them to “achieve real bipartisan solutions to improve affordability, access, and coverage for all.”

The six groups that signed onto the statement are the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Osteopathic Association. They collectively represent more than 560,000 physicians and medical students. Among other things, the statement says:

Before and throughout the AHCA debate, our organizations continually offered constructive ideas on achieving agreement on legislation consistent with our shared principles. Regrettably, the AHCA, as amended and passed by the House, violates our principles, dramatically increasing costs for older individuals, resulting in millions of people losing their health care coverage, and returning to a system that allows insurers to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

We also oppose the AHCA’s Medicaid cuts, including capping and cutting the federal government’s contribution to Medicaid, sunsetting federal funding for Medicaid expansion, and eliminating Medicaid coverage of essential benefits.”

In addition to encouraging the Senate to not take up the AHCA “in any form,” the statement encourages the Senate to take the following actions:

  • Work to achieve real bipartisan solutions to ensure that coverage remains affordable.
  • Stabilize the individual market.
  • Ensure long-term, adequate funding for the CHIP program.
  • Make primary, preventive, and mental health and substance use services more readily available to all Americans.
  • Lower the costs of pharmaceutical treatments.
  • Reform medical liability laws.
  • Reduce the administrative and regulatory burdens that add costs and take time away from patients.

The statement concludes: “We stand ready to assist the Congress on achieving these and other necessary improvements.”

How does the health care bill affect mental health?

  • The AHCA will strip over $800 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years, forcing states to slash mental health services.
  • 24 million Americans will lose insurance for mental health care.
  • Allows states to:
    • Drop coverage of mental health and substance use (one of the essential health benefits) from insurance plans
    • Charge people higher premiums if they have a pre-existing condition, like depression or anxiety.
    • Create high-risk pools, which are another way of charging people with mental illness more money and providing less coverage