Alameda County Spotlight 2016: Hope and Wellness

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Fall/Winter 2015
Alameda County Mental Health Ser vices Act
Hope and Wellness
2Alameda County Mental Health Services Act
Educational Supplement—Fall/Winter 2015
sta tried everything. Yet, the
woman continued to lose weight
and refused medication. Her family
brought spiritual healers from her
home country and eventually the
voices subsided. She was willing to
eat and take medications.
“It was such an experience,” Tribble
says. “[It showed me that] you need
to meet a person where they are.”
“Our behavioral health department
should work to provide a compre-
hensive system of supports and
care on behalf of the community,”
Tribble says. This means partner-
ing with other agencies and wel-
coming feedback from consumers
and family members. “Services that
speak to a variety of needs in the
perspective and language of the in-
dividual are extremely important.”
Tribble is the co-author of the “Psy-
chology Education & Careers Guide
for College (and High School) Stu-
dents of Color.” She is an LCSW and
has worked with all ages in com-
munity organizations and hospitals
in executive management. Tribble
conducted research with Howard
University’s African Burial Ground
Project. She earned Masters de-
grees in both Social Service and
Science. Tribble holds a Doctorate
degree in Clinical Psychology.
Dr. Karyn L. Tribble, Deputy Direc-
tor of Alameda County Behavioral
Health Care Services (BHCS), joined
the department in May 2015 and
has worked in health and men-
tal health for more than 20 years.
“When I came here, the sta and
community welcomed me with
open arms,” Tribble says.
Tribble enjoys working with peo-
ple. She believes that everyone
deserves to be treated with dignity
and respect. While working at a
private psychiatric hospital on the
East Coast, Tribble encountered a
woman who refused to eat. She
happened to be an African immi-
grant and thought the disconnect-
ed voices she heard would go away
if she stopped eating. The medical
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.
What is the Mental Health
Services Act?
The Mental Health Services Act provides funding to help reach commu-
nity members who are dicult to engage and those who need culturally
appropriate supports.
Full Service Partnership programs serve those who are homeless and/
or formerly incarcerated. The African American Steering Committee
is making recommendations about how to better serve community
members who are developing or experiencing a serious mental health,
alcohol or drug concern.
Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services (BHCS) is committed
to maximizing the recovery, resilience and wellness for Alameda County
residents who are experiencing a serious mental health or substance use
challenge. Improving care is a continual process. People living with men-
tal illnesses can, and do, live full lives.
Community Services & Supports
Seasoned Innovator
Joins County Leadership
Hope and Recovery for the Homeless ..................3
From the Director’s Desk ........................................3
Promoting Wellness for the
African American Community .......................... 4–5
Hope and Recovery, continued .............................6
Mental Health Resources ........................................7
Upcoming Events .....................................................7
Crisis and Support Hotlines ...................................8
Photo by Tue Nam Ton
Cover photos top left, lower left, and center photos by Tue Nam Ton. Top right and lower
right photos by Janny Castillo.
Editor, Sally Douglas Arce. Designer, Nadja Lazansky.
Educational Supplement—Fall/Winter 2015
Full-Service Partnerships (FSPs) are
designed to do ‘whatever it takes’
to improve residential stability,
mental health and health results for
some of the hardest to reach men
and women in Alameda County.
Some have been homeless and/
or formerly incarcerated. Research
and experience has shown vulner-
able individuals are best assisted
with a mix of treatments and sup-
ports—services that make wellness
and recovery a reality for people
living with mental health condi-
tions. In the year 2014–2015, FSPs,
which are funded by the Mental
Health Services Act (MHSA), served
400 people in Alameda County.
“FSP ‘s build upon clients’ strengths,
hopes and dreams, rather than
shortcomings,” says Jennifer Mul-
lane, Clinical Program Specialist,
Alameda County Behavioral Health
Care Services (BHCS). “We want
people to do more than just sur-
vive and stay out of the hospital.
We want them to thrive and have a
happy life. Just like we all do.”
Housing First
Housing First is based on the idea
that the rst and main need for
people who are homeless and have
a mental health concern is to ob-
tain stable housing. An alternative
to shelters and transitional housing
programs, Housing First has posi-
tive results.
“Once in housing, we [sta] wrap
the other services around them,”
says Mark Shotwell, Program Direc-
tor, Homeless Outreach Stabilization
Team (HOST), a program of Bonita
House. “You have to meet people
with what they are willing to do.”
People are not required to partici-
pate in treatment in order to have
housing. On average, HOST serves
90 individuals annually. Eighty-ve
percent have remained in their
Danielle Richardson, Jay Mahler, Jodi Monahan and Mary Hogden spoke on a panel at the
Full Service Partnership Conference on September 25th. Photo by Paul Takayanagi.
Continued on page 6
From the Director’s Desk
I am honored to serve Alameda Coun-
ty as the Director of Behavioral Health
Care Services. It gives me pride to be
surrounded by such a dedicated, com-
passionate and responsive service de-
livery team.
The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)
provides Alameda County new re-
sources and new direction for preven-
tion, early intervention, treatment and recovery. It is not an
easy task but I am committed to continual improvement,
depending equally upon all the consumers, constituents,
stakeholders and sta who strive daily to design and pro-
vide meaningful and culturally relevant services to under-
served persons and families in need in Alameda County.
I look forward to sharing our triumphs and successfully
meeting the challenges ahead of us. Our roots are deep
and our foundation is strong, with our core values intact:
1) collaboration, 2) inclusion, 3) collecting data and measuring
outcomes and 4) ensuring accountability.
Manuel J. Jiménez, Jr., MA, MFT
Director of Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services
In southern Alameda County,
Abode Services nds dwellings for
homeless people with severe men-
tal illnesses. “We don’t take ‘no’ very
easily,” says Denah Nunes, Program
Manager for Abode’s Greater HOPE
FSP. “We keep trying to nd ways to
partner and nd common ground
on participating in services.”
Annually, Abode serves 85 south
county residents and has a 90 per-
cent retention rate for people who
have stayed in housing for one year
or longer. Participants have some
say in choosing or refusing services.
Since 2007, in Alameda County
MHSA dollars have helped more
than 600 homeless individuals with
serious mental health issues obtain
permanent housing.
For information, contact
Dr. Robert Ratner, Housing
Services Director
510-567-8124 or
Competitive Employment
Persons living with a signicant
mental illness or substance use
concern often live below the pover-
ty level. FSPs help them obtain jobs
or go to school. Most clients want
to work. They see work as a way to
Photo by Tue Nam Ton