Alameda County Spotlight 2016: Prevention

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Summer 2015
Alameda County Mental Health Ser vices Act
2Alameda County Mental Health Services Act
Educational Supplement—Summer 2015
healing of veterans experiencing
post-traumatic stress disorder.
His experiences at the VA Hospital
so inuenced him that he enrolled
in Santa Clara University and com-
pleted a Masters degree in coun-
seling psychology. Jiménez went
on to work more than 20 years in
the mental health eld with chil-
dren and adults in several Califor-
nia counties.
Jiménez has a vision for Alameda
County and how to better serve
individuals with a mental health
concern. “We need more interven-
tion and street outreach,” he said.
“And, we need more engagement
with the individuals who receive
services.” Some people go to John
George Psychiatric Pavilion, Alam-
eda County’s psychiatric hospital,
one or two times and end up back
on the streets. Or, they are arrested
once or end up in a hospital emer-
gency room.
“I would like to see them engaged
in treatment,” Jiménez said. “The
way people get better is when
there is some person or team who
they have a connection with.”
To learn more about Alameda
County’s mental health system,
Manuel Jiménez, Jr., the director of
Alameda County Behavioral Health
Care Services for more than a year,
came to working in the mental
health eld by a circuitous route.
Born in Gustine, California in the San
Joaquin Valley, his family moved to
Arcata when he was in the second
grade. His rst job was delivering
newspapers and his second job was
working in a Mexican restaurant. He
is the second to the youngest of ve
brothers and sisters.
After high school, Jiménez enlisted
and served in the 82nd Airborne
Division, an active duty airborne in-
fantry of the United States Army. At
the end of his service, he attended
St. Joseph’s Seminary in Mountain
View. Jiménez did his pastoral as-
signment at the Department of
Veterans Aairs Hospital in Menlo
Park. There, as a Chaplain intern, he
greeted people who were newly
admitted to the hospital and visited
people on the units. Jiménez co-
led a group to help in the spiritual
More than two million Californians are aected by potentially disabling
mental illnesses every year. About 30 years ago, California cut services in
state mental hospitals, without providing adequate funding for mental
health services in the community.
To address this, in 2004 voters approved the Mental Health Services Act
(MHSA), also known as Proposition 63. It places a 1% tax on personal
income above $1 million. The MHSA emphasizes transformation of the
mental health system while improving the quality of life for people living
with a mental illness.
Prevention and Early Intervention program sta work to assist people
before the development of a serious mental illness, reducing anguish for
individuals and families, and the need for costly additional treatment.
Mental health problems can be reduced for all age groups.
Prevention in mental health:
Early intervention in mental health:
What is the Mental Health
Services Act?
What is Prevention and
Early Intervention?
We need more
intervention and
street outreach.”
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 .......................................7
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Photo by Tue Nam Ton.
Cover photos by, top row from left: Chantil Brown, Chantil Brown, Sherman
Park. Middle row from left: Sherman Park, Sean Fitzpatrick, Tue Nam Ton.
Bottom row from left: Bev Bergman, artwork by Alima, Ming Mur-Ray.
Editor, Sally Douglas Arce. Designer, Nadja Lazansky.
Educational Supplement—Summer 2015
Emotions. Coping eectively
with life and creating satisfy-
ing relationships.
Soul. Expanding our sense of
purpose and meaning in life.
Purpose. Personal satisfac-
tion and enrichment from
one’s work.
Connection. Developing a
sense of connection, belong-
ing and a well-developed
support system.
Having Enough. Satisfaction
with current and future nan-
cial situations.
Our World. Good health by
being in pleasant, stimulating
environments that support
Mind. Recognizing creative
abilities and nding ways to
expand knowledge and skills.
Body. Recognizing the need
for physical activity, healthy
foods and sleep.
“We want to motivate people living
with a mental health or substance
use concern to move their body,
eat well and have fun,” said Colette
Winlock, Health and Human Re-
sources Education Center’s execu-
tive director. The 4th Annual “We
Move for Health” event for consum-
ers, family members and program
sta took place in May. HHREC and
Alameda County Behavioral Health
Care Services sponsored it.
Those participating warmed up
with stretching, and did Zumba
and chair yoga before walking
Lake Merritt and enjoying music
and speakers.
In the U.S., people with serious
mental health challenges die on
average 25 years younger than
the general population of chron-
ic health conditions (diabetes,
cardiovascular diseases, respira-
tory diseases, HIV and AIDS).
Experts say these illnesses
and premature deaths “are
largely due to treatable
medical conditions” that
can be turned around. For
people living with a men-
tal health or substance use
concern, the challenges to
taking better care of their
physical health include lack
of coordination between
primary care and mental
health services, negative at-
titudes and prejudice, lim-
ited access to natural foods
and surroundings.
“It’s about increasing the life ex-
pectancy for persons with mental
and substance use disorders by 10
years in 10 years,” Winlock said.
Darren Linzie, who has been liv-
ing with a mental health concern
for more than 20 years, would not
miss “We Move for Health.” After
some psychiatric hospitalizations,
a 3-year stint at being homeless
and engaging in recovery, he has
been working for the 10 x 10 Cam-
paign for almost three years.
Linzie, who is an artist and created
the “We Move for Health” logo fea-
tured on event t-shirts, has given
up soda and sugar. “I’m already
starting to lose weight,” he said.
“It’s a start and I’m going to keep
at it.”
Walk for Wellness Highlights
10 x 10 Campaign
“It’s about increasing life expec-
tancy for persons with mental and
substance use disorders by 10 years
in 10 years,” Winlock said.
Desiree Johnson, Downtown TAY Coordinator, and
Erin Clark, Peer leader, put pedal power to work
making healthy smoothies. Photo by Chantil Brown.
Artwork by Darren Linzie.