Sacramento County Children’s Mental Health

Sacramento County Children’s Mental Health

 Sacramento County Children’s Mental Health
Welcome to the Sacramento County Children’s Mental Health Homepage!E-MAIL THISALTERNATE FORMAT ASSISTANCEPRINT VERSION Our VisionThe vision for Sacramento County Child and Family Mental Health is a community where children and families are happy, healthy, and thriving. Our MissionSacramento County Child and Family Mental Health provides culturally competent family and youth driven services that promote optimum mental health outcomes for the individuals we serve. Guiding principles:All individuals have a basic human right to be treated with dignity and respect.A child and family’s requests and choices regarding services are the basis from which we proceed.Inclusion of the child and his/her family’s cultural norms and community support system in the individual treatment and system planning processes is critical to quality outcomes.Effective communication, including consideration of the linguistic needs of children and their families, and respect for the relationship between families and their service providers, is essential for successful outcomes.Treatment should always be delivered in the most appropriate least restrictive environment and level of careThe treatment process is strength based. We are Committed to Providing: Easy access to child and family centered, strength based mental health services.Quality services that are cost effective and achieve positive client, community, and system outcomes.Services in an environment that respects the child and family’s rights, culture, customs and confidentiality.A system designed to meet the culturally diverse needs of our community.Inte

Sacramento County Children’s Mental Health

 Sacramento County Children’s Mental Health
Welcome to the Sacramento County Children’s Mental Health Homepage!E-MAIL THISALTERNATE FORMAT ASSISTANCEPRINT VERSION Our VisionThe vision for Sacramento County Child and Family Mental Health is a community where children and families are happy, healthy, and thriving. Our MissionSacramento County Child and Family Mental Health provides culturally competent family and youth driven services that promote optimum mental health outcomes for the individuals we serve. Guiding principles:All individuals have a basic human right to be treated with dignity and respect.A child and family’s requests and choices regarding services are the basis from which we proceed.Inclusion of the child and his/her family’s cultural norms and community support system in the individual treatment and system planning processes is critical to quality outcomes.Effective communication, including consideration of the linguistic needs of children and their families, and respect for the relationship between families and their service providers, is essential for successful outcomes.Treatment should always be delivered in the most appropriate least restrictive environment and level of careThe treatment process is strength based. We are Committed to Providing: Easy access to child and family centered, strength based mental health services.Quality services that are cost effective and achieve positive client, community, and system outcomes.Services in an environment that respects the child and family’s rights, culture, customs and confidentiality.A system designed to meet the culturally diverse needs of our community.Inte

Consumer Speaks Conference

Consumer Speaks Conference

October 28, 2008

9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Oak Park Community Center

Conference Highlights

MHSA Prevention & Early Intervention (PEI)

Special Guest Speaker- Stephen Pocklington, Copeland Center (Founders of WRAP)

Lunch, Awards Ceremony & Raffle!

Conference, lunch and continuing education hours for LCSW/MFT provided FREE of charge!

The public is welcome.

The following document links are attached:

Michelle L. Callejas, MFT

Program Manager

Mental Health Services Act

7001-A East Parkway, Suite 400

Sacramento, CA  95823

(916) 875-MHSA (6472)

Strategy aims at the root causes Administration’s campaign is liberal – and successful

Strategy aims at the root causes

Administration’s campaign is liberal – and successful

fgreve@mcclatchydc.com
Published Monday, Oct. 27, 2008

WASHINGTON-Ona cold January morning in 2001,Mel Martinez, who was then the new secretary of housing and urban development, was headed to his office in his limo when he saw some homeless people huddled on the vents of the steam tunnels that heat federal buildings.

"Somebody ought to do something for them," Martinez said he told himself. "And it dawned on me at that moment that it was me."

So began the Bush administration’s radical, liberal and successful national campaign against chronic homelessness. Sacramento – led by the incoming state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, a former assemblyman – was among the first cities in the country to buy into the administration’s approach. Today, the concept is at the heart of the capital city’s 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness.

"Housing first," the federal program is called.That’s to distinguish it from traditional programs that require longtime street people to undergo months of treatment and counseling before they’re deemed "housing ready." Instead, the Bush administration offers them rent-free apartments up front.

New residents, if they choose,can start turning their lives around with the help of substance abuse counselors, social workers, nurse practitioners, part-time psychiatrists and employment counselors.

However, residents are referred to as "consumers," and the choice is theirs.

The help is so good and the deal’s so sweet that roughly four out of five chronically homeless Americans who get immediate housing stay off the streets for two years or longer, according to the program’s evaluators. In Britain, which has used the approach for a decade, the so-called "rough sleeper" population declined by about two-thirds.

The "housing first" strategy gets much of the credit for a 30 percent decline in U.S. chronic homelessness from 2005 to 2007. The number fell from 176,000 to 124,000 people, according to the best available census of street people.

The chronically homeless, estimated to be between a fifthanda10thofthe total, are the hardest group of street people to help. A chronically homeless person is someone with a disabling condition who’s been continuously homeless for a year or more or for four or more episodes in three years.

If a "housing first" strategy seems absurdly generous to them, it’s proved to be crazy like a fox for many of the more than 200 U.S. cities that have adopted the approach.

The earliest adapters, including Denver, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco, found that the added cost of homes and support services for the chronically homeless wasn’t burdensome. In fact, it was largely or entirely offset by reduced demands on shelters, emergency rooms, mental hospitals, detox centers, jails and courts.

Instead of shuttling between them, chronically homeless people "are staying housed and starting to look for employment,"said Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the leading advocates of the approach. "A lot are reconnecting with their families."

Just being off the street is healthy, said Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. "Even if they continue to drink, they’re eating better, sleeping better and interacting with people better."

For the chronically homeless, the life change is sudden and profound.

"Today, God has seen fit to bless you," James Hamilton’s counsel or told him last month on a day that Hamilton began in a fusty bunk bed in a Washington homeless shelter.

By nightfall,Hamilton’s permanent home was a quiet one-bedroom apartment in an iffy neighborhood in Southeast Washington, for which the city pays a HUD-subsidized $900 a month plus utilities.

It’s furnished with a new $1,200 furniture set, including a green plush sofa, bureau and end tables. Also a newoak kitchen table and chairs, bed, linens and a $300 Target gift certificate for incidentals such as the microwave that’s perched on a wastebasket.

Hamilton, a lean and chatty 51-year-old, hawks newspapers at a Washington subway station from 6 to 10a.m. In the afternoons, he helps a clothing distributor make deliveries to fancy retailers.

In between, Hamilton spends a lot of time at Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown, his spiritual home.

With its help, he’s now enrolled in an educational lay ministry course at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. He types his papers at a near by public library. He’s also a recovering crack addict who tests positive for hepatitis C.

"This is the best chance I’ve ever had to make things work," said Hamilton, who, to keep the apartment, needs only to:

– Meet with his counselor once a week.

– Abstain from substance abuse and smoking in his apartment.

– Start paying 30 percent of his income as rent "in a few months."

– Not let anyone else move in permanently.

For Hamilton, the apartment means that he can store his scattered possessions in a secure place. He can stock food securely, too. He’s spared what he calls the "beefing" of other shelter dwellers and is free to watch his own choice of programs on the analog TV that his stepfather gave him. Hamilton attends night events at Grace now.When he lived at Washington’s Adams Place Shelter, he had to check in by 6:30 p.m. to keep his bed.

He’s also attending a more energized evening Narcotics Anonymous meeting than the one the shelter offered, he said.

In that regard, Hamilton’s home, set amid older frame houses and small, rickety churches, has a threatening downside, however. Crack and PCP pushers are everywhere, he said. "You got God and the devil in the same place."

The "housing first" approach, originally intended for mental patients, may not work so well for substance abusers, who, Roman suggested, may need more structure and supervision. Critics also wonder whether more shouldn’t be done for homeless families, especially newly homeless ones, and low-income families at risk of homelessness.

Even if all those arguments are right, it’s indisputable that the Bush administration has been a Good Samaritan to the least appealing of America’s homeless.

A lot of the credit goes to Martinez, who left HUD in 2003 to run for the Florida U.S. Senate seat that he now holds. It was Martinez who got a pledge to end chronic homelessness in 10 years written into President Bush’s first budget, said Roman, the head of the homeless alliance. The cause received small but steady increases thereafter, thanks, others said, to Roman and to the bipartisan congressional support that her group nurtured.

Since fiscal year 2002, authorizations for HUD homeless programs have risen from $1.1 billion to a proposed $1.6 billion for fiscal year 2009.For all federal authorizations that help the homeless, including VA benefits, Social Security and Medicaid, the figure has risen from $2.9 billion to a proposed $5 billion. Dr. Sam Tsemberis, a New York psychologist, also deserves credit.

In the early ’90s, he demonstrated that immediate access to housing worked for homeless people with psychiatric disturbances and substance abuse disorders. Tsemberis’ program, Pathways to Housing, is now the dominant national model for" housing first" programs. Dennis Culhane, a University of Pennsylvania social psychologist, helped the cause, too. In a series of long-term studies, Culhane established that while the chronic homeless were only 10 percent of all homeless people, they consumed about half of all the government services that the group used.

‘Housing first’ programs put roofs over Sacramento’s homeless

‘Housing first’ programs put roofs over Sacramento’s homeless

chubert@sacbee.com
Published Monday, Oct. 27, 2008

On a gritty stretch of road in south Sacramento, construction workers are putting the finishing touches on a key part of Sacramento’s ambitious plan for ending chronic homelessness.

It is called Martin Luther King Jr. Village, and it soon will offer permanent housing to people who have lived on the streets for a year or more. Residents will not be required to get mental health, drug or alcohol treatment, although such services will be available and encouraged. Tenants will have to pay for part of their housing costs if they have income. They also will have to follow certain rules of behavior. But they will not be banned from drinking in their homes.

The "housing first" strategy is a departure from traditional approaches, which require homeless people to be "clean and sober" to retain housing. In Sacramento and across the country, the strategy has proved effective in keeping formerly chronically homeless people off the streets and out of jails and emergency rooms.

"It solves the root causes of homelessness," said Tim Brown, leader of a city and county panel working on a plan to end chronic homelessness. "It offers people affordable, permanent housing, along with the help they need to retain it and improve their lives."

Surveys suggest that more than 2,500 homeless people live in Sacramento, about 700 of whom have been on the streets for a year or more.

More than 200 of those previously "chronically homeless" people have been placed in permanent housing in Sacramento so far, Brown said. Most live in single-family homes or small complexes, and more than 80 percent of them have stayed in those residences for at least six months.

Robert Smith is one of the success stories.

Smith, 50, said he became homeless after he lost his construction job two years ago. He wandered the streets during the day and spent his nights "wherever I could find a place to sleep," he said.

With a history of bipolar disorder and a prison record, he said, "I was on my last legs, the bottom of the barrel" when he moved into a home with six other men in May. Smith is a client of Sacramento Self Help Housing, which supports the "housing first" concept.

"My life has changed," said Smith, who is studying business at Sacramento City College, tends a garden and enjoys the companionship of housemates. "Once you get stable, you have hope."

The village in south Sacramento, a project of Mercy Housing, has 80 units. It is set to welcome its first tenants next month, said Chris Glaudel, vice president of asset management for Mercy Housing. Next year, the agency, which works with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, plans to start transforming the Budget Inn on Stockton Boulevard into permanent housing, Glaudel said.

Led by incoming state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento was one of the first cities in the country to test the "housing first" concept. In 2004 Steinberg, then an assemblyman, wrote Proposition 63, a voter-approved ballot measure that provides funding for mental health services including permanent housing.

The approach now is the touchstone for Sacramento’s 10-year plan. Leaders of the effort are calling for public officials, businesses, nonprofit groups and churches, to help raise public and private funding for housing, counseling and other services.

"I personally believe in ‘housing first’ because I work directly with homeless people with severe mental health, drug and alcohol issues," said Sister Libby Fernandez of Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento. "It’s hard for change to occur unless you can change the environment. You have to get them into a safe place where they believe that their lives can get better."