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County Spotlight - Tuolumne


Tuolumne County Behavioral Health (TCBH) is taking the integration of physical and mental healthcare to the next level by introducing oral health care into the current Wellness:  One Mind, One Body MHSA Innovation program.  Oral health plays an integral role in a person's overall health and well-being.  For example, individuals living with a mental illness are less likely to receive regular dental care, they are more likely to have lost teeth than the general population and have a higher rate of decayed, missing or filled teeth.   In an innovative partnership with SmileKeepers, through the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools, TCBH is bringing quality dental care to clients.  Participants in the program are provided with basic oral education and hygiene skills as well as dental screenings, cleanings and referrals for serious issues.  These dental services are provided by licensed professionals in a safe, trusted environment (the Enrichment Center) and interest and attendance in the program has been growing each week.  Clients are taught how to brush and floss properly and are provided with the tools they need to succeed with improving their dental hygiene.

Day 2 – PEI – Trauma Informed Care

TCBH launched a PEI contract with the Jamestown Family Resource Center (JFRC) to reach unserved and underserved youth in our community.   The goal is to reach foster youth, homeless, and those with behavioral problems in the classroom and to provide them with Positive Behavior Intervention Services (PBIS) in place of detention, suspension and expulsion.  JFRC is focused on addressing behavioral issues from a trauma informed perspective, taking into account the stresses and sufferings that these children have already endured and to create a supportive and nurturing school environment.  MHSA PEI funding is being used to train staff at Jamestown Elementary School to become the first Trauma Informed School in Tuolumne County.

DAY 3 - Peer Supports


The Enrichment Center (EC), located behind the Behavioral Health Department, acts as a safe place for those in our community who are living with a mental illness.  The EC offers computers, showers, laundry and art as well as numerous peer support groups such as “Working With Emotions”, “Mental Health & Addictions”, “Dealing With Life Issues” and “Trauma Recovery/PTSD” as well as new, dynamic groups such as “Eating Disorders”, “Peers Helping Peers” and “College Readiness” which will support those peers seeking certification in the upcoming Peer Specialist Certification process.  The EC currently employs five part time EC Peer Liaisons who are trained to facilitate groups, offer one on one supports and model recovery for all who visit the center.

Clients, who are in our Full Service Partnership (FSP) program, are benefiting from additional peer supports through our FSP Peer Liaison program.  Currently, the county employs five part time Peer Liaisons who are trained to provide one on one supports to FSP clients.  FSP liaisons assist clients with daily life skills such as grocery shopping, public transportation, money management, and overall health and wellness.  Tuolumne County also owns and manages two Supportive Housing facilities which house 11 clients, many of whom are in the FSP program.  The FSP liaisons work with clients in the homes to establish cleaning schedules, run house meetings and manage conflict resolution between the roommates.

Day 4 – Peer Staff Training & Development

Tuolumne is one of several counties partnering with NorCAL MHA to present W.I.S.E. (Workforce Integration and Education) trainings to our staff.  The goal is to recruit, train and retain consumer and family member staff by implementing recovery-oriented workplace practices.   We have been working with NorCAL MHA to provide valuable peer trainings such as Group Facilitation 101, WRAP Seminar, Recovery 101 and Ethics, Boundaries, and Confidentiality for Peer Support Workers.   We are working to ready our peer staff for the impending passage of Senate Bill 614 for peer and family support specialist certification.


Day 5 - Suicide Prevention Efforts

The 6th Suicide Prevention Summit in Tuolumne County is scheduled for May 20, 2016.  Summit attendees represent a wide spectrum of government and non-profit agency participation as well as community members who have attended our trainings or have a solid commitment to make Tuolumne County a suicide-safer community. The key note speaker this year is a local high school teacher who will share his story of finding hope in the aftermath of a suicide attempt.  He brings a message of perseverance and growth as he lives in recovery with his mental illness. 

Tuolumne County is being saturated with suicide prevention and mental health awareness trainings!  Trainers have delivered these vital life-promoting and stigma reducing classes to over 700 people in our community.  Trainings include:  Living Works’ – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST); safeTALK; and eSuicide TALK.  A “Lunch and Learn” program entitled “Suicide Education and Tools for Clinic Service Providers and Staff” has been given to over 120 medical personnel in Primary Care and Specialty Clinics.    In 2015, Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) were introduced and more than 100 community members have since been trained in the past year. Trainings are scheduled for February and March 2016 and are already at capacity with a waiting list!

Tuolumne County is committed to helping our youth find tools that will make them resilient and hopeful and we do this by offering Boys Council and Girls Circle to local elementary and high schools, faith community youth groups and the probation department.  Trainers from One Circle Foundation have taught over 50 community members to be facilitators and the goal is to offer Councils and Circles at every elementary and high school in the county.