We are pleased to announce we have added capacity in order to assist both Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal and California Health and Wellness Medi-Cal participants seeking services. Feel free to call our offices for scheduling.
You might have heard May is Mental Health Month, at least I hope you have. Historically, during most awareness months, efforts are made to increase the level of understanding, capture attention and highlight new information important to the topic. Mental Health Month does a great job in efforts to reduce misunderstanding and the stigma associated with a variety of mental health topics. These efforts do not end June 1st. The work happens all year ‘round but gets the most concentrated positive public exposure in May.
Instead of citing the information that accompanies a campaign of awareness, which can be gleaned from any search engine, perhaps a slightly different approach would be of benefit. This notion is a bit simpler and personal in construct yet in some ways a little more challenging to execute than it might sound. After all, introspection is much harder than wearing a tee shirt, waving a banner or applying a window decal.
Think. That is all, think. Permit yourself 10 minutes of peace and quiet and use this time to honestly reflect upon the people in your life. Family, friends, loved ones, colleagues and acquaintances. Chances are very good that you will be able to realize quite early in the exercise that you are familiar with people who struggle with emotional distress of some variety. Take it a step further and consider how the person has been impacted. What do you imagine it is like and how might you be impacted.
The simplest things you take for granted may seem insurmountable to some. Consider the difference between not wanting to get out of bed because it feels so good and not being able to because you simply have neither the emotional nor the physical energy to do so. Perhaps resignation is preferable to reliving another day in the intense darkness that filled yesterday. Those who are able to navigate through these, and countless other examples, are to be commended for their determination and strength. Maybe this a function of hope. In some cases, even that is lost. Can you imagine?
Will this exercise make a difference in your life? Will it in some way help someone else? You are the only one that can answer that question. Your internal compass will determine that course. Keep in mind; we are free to change headings along the way. Empathy. A simple word but a wonderful gift that can be difficult to acquire and sometimes requires courage to give. Will you feel compelled to offer a kind word or reach out in some way that suggests compassion or a desire to understand? Will you choose not to engage in a departure from the current perceptions you may have? Rest assured whichever direction you go will become stronger and more automatic over time.
In 1986 my career in providing mental health services began. Over the years, it has allowed me to witness extremes from torment to peace and from resignation to refusals to quit as well as every imaginable state in between. For those who have embarked on the same professional path I congratulate you. Check your compass often. I harbor no illusions that everyone who started reading has made it this far. To those who have, I sincerely thank you for listening. Now go be the Tee shirt you want to see in the world.
Sierra Mental Wellness Group (SMWG) is seeking one or more board members. The Agency was established in the early 70’s in order to provide affordable and professional counseling services to people in and around Placer County. Since the beginning, we have been able to maintain our community focus while growing our capacity to help an increasing number of people.
Within the past couple of years, our growth has been significant. Our employee base is now over 100 strong; our geographic reach has expanded and our budget is larger than ever before. We are excited about the growth and potential it holds to assist even more people in need.
We would like to expand the Board of Directors to assist in directing the course of the Agency as we move forward. A commitment of one hour per month and a desire to be a part of helping others is required. If you would like to visit our website: www.sierramentalwellness.org or email us: email@example.com to find out more or express an interest please feel free. If what you learn intrigues you, we can send a prospective member packet for your review.
Stats for April 2017.
We are so pleased to have been able to place a clinician with someone in need of help 521 times in March.
Our Auburn facility will now be seeing clients three days per week to meet community needs.
Our Tahoe office will be adding a Case Manager position very soon to work collaboratively between both Nevada and Placer Counties.
An additional clinician will also join our team in the Roseville office in May.
The Agency provided Assessing and Managing Suicidal Risk (AMSR) training for 50 responders in San Luis Obispo CountyMarch 30th and 31st.
We are projecting to provide over 6,000 emergency evaluations in the field and Emergency Departments within the four Northern California Counties we cover.
Sierra Mental Wellness Group is excited to announce that the agency’s trainer, David Rogers, LMFT has undergone certification as a trainer in Assessing and Managing Suicidal Risk (AMSR); an evidenced based protocol for assessing suicidal risk developed by The Suicide Prevention Resource Center and The American Association of Suicideology.
AMSR teaches a cutting edge, evidence based process of formulating risk beyond ‘high, medium, and low.’ The training explains how to synthesize specific information in order to inform clinical judgments regarding a patient’s immediate distress and resources at a specific time and place (Pisani, Murrie, & Silverman, 2016).
The goal of AMSR is not to ‘predict’ behavior but to promote communication and collaboration among professionals, patients, and families to reduce risk in the short and long term (Pisani, Murrie, & Silverman, 2016). The formulation resulting from AMSR offers one of the highest standards of care related to effectively managing suicidal risk.
The trainer’s certification process required in-depth, multi-day training at The University of Washington’s School of Social Work. David trained under AMSR master trainer Susan Eastward, M.S.W and other National Mental Health Professionals all interested in increasing the competency of the behavioral health workforce in addressing suicidality.
Participants in the AMSR Training earn 6.5 hours of face-to face training and CEUs, comprised of an engaging mixture of lecture and exercises.
Attendees also will receive the 100-page participant manual containing:
The full curriculum including future readings.
Unexpected tools to use in risk formulation.
The AMSR formula including specific questions, methods, and documentation strategies that surprise new and veteran crisis workers.
Two proprietary safety planning frameworks including templates just to name a few!
Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR): Core Competencies for Mental Health Professionals can be offered multiple times throughout the year and can be arranged to accommodate a specific team’s training requirements and schedule.
For inquiries, please call Sierra Mental Wellness Group at (916) 783-5207
SMWG is very happy to welcome our new Clinical Director.
Suzanne Garafolo, LCSW is bringing her talents to the Agency.
We are pleased to have her join the team of professionals that provide care to those in need.
Read more in the “Our Staff” section by clicking here.
Are you looking for easy ways to support charitable causes in your community?
We would be honored to have you partner with us!
Check out our Support page to find out how you can help!
Click here for more info: http://www.sierramentalwellness.org/support/
SMWG is excited to announce a critical addition to the structure of our Crisis Services team!
In order to continue providing essential crisis response services and effectively fulfill our contract requirements with Placer County, we have introduced a new supervisory role to our already incredible Crisis Services team.
David Rogers will fill the position of Placer County Crisis- Line Staff Supervisor, providing direct supervision for the Placer County team, as well as on-call supervisory shifts on a monthly basis.
David has been an integral part of the SMWG team for several years, both as a Staff Clinician and as part of the Crisis Services team, and we are excited to benefit from his experience and expertise in this new role.
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements as changes and additions become official. SMWG continues to be a thriving, changing agency adjusting our services to the needs of the community and adapting our staff to respond to these needs.