Mental health forum set for Nov. 1 in Ukiah – Ukiah Daily Journal Express News

On Thursday, Nov. 1, a panel of experts will discuss mental health issues
relative to Measure B, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fine Arts Building at the Redwood Empire
Fairgrounds.

Mental illness affects one in five individuals each year, according to Mental Health
America. Founded in 1909, Mental Health America is the nation’s leading
community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness
and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.

Of those individuals living with mental illness, more than 50 percent are untreated due to lack of services and access to care. Consequently a disproportionate number of those suffering from mental illness become subject to incarceration. Nowhere is this more true than in Mendocino County.

Measure B is a local initiative to bring more access and care to individuals suffering from
mental illness home to Mendocino County. Currently there are no local beds or facilities for
those in crisis or requiring stabilization. The impact on our emergency rooms and the cost of
sending people out of county is tremendous.

The small sales tax collected by passing Measure B will be charged not only to Mendocino County residents, but to all visitors who come to enjoy the beauty of this special place. The accumulated financial resource will be used to create local facilities to allow quicker stabilization and access to local treatment where clients have a support system.

Speakers at the forum will be Sheriff Tom Allman, Dr. Marvin Trotter, and Camille Shraeder of RQMC. In addition, Manzanita peer specialists Raven Price, Paula Redding and Maxx Cauley will also be speaking. These three latter individuals are all presenters or facilitators in various NAMI Mendocino programs. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

The challenges of mental health are complex, and illnesses affecting the brain are not the
result of personal weakness, a character defect or poor upbringing. Furthermore, recovery is not
simply a matter of will and self-discipline. Providing mental health services to those in need can
be challenging because too often prejudice and stigma hamper the development of mental health
policies, and there are very few resources to address these issues. Many residents of Mendocino
County can attest to the tragedy of this lack of services.

All people interested in understanding Measure B in particular, and hoping to advance
Mendocino County out of the darkness of limited mental health services to the light of a caring,
supportive community in general, are invited to attend. This forum is supported by NAMI
Mendocino. For more information call 468-8632.

 

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