Friday, August 29, 2014

Free NAMI Family to Family class begins on October 8 in Jackson

Families, close friends and caretakers of people who develop serious mental illnesses are often in shock when they realize their loved one has mental illness. They may be stigmatized by those around them who know nothing about mental illness, and may feel alone, while the medical community gives them no information to help them care for their ill person.

These are scenarios that the National Alliance on Mental Illness, America’s largest grassroots mental health organization, saw when it was formed. From this need the Family to Family NAMI Signature Program developed, and volunteer teachers all over the US were trained. To date over 300,000 people have taken the course, and Family to Family is now part of the prestigious National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.

NAMI Amador is one of the affiliates of NAMI with trained teachers that can offer the free six-week class to the community, supported through a contract with Amador County Behavioral Health Department with Mental Health Services Act funding. Class begins Saturday, October 4th from 9:00AM to 2:30PM at Sutter Amador Hospital in Jackson.

The course, updated each year with the latest research, addresses schizophrenia, mood disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression), panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD and co-occurring disorders. It balances education and skill training with emotional support, self-care and empowerment. Participants learn coping skills such as handling crisis and relapse; basic information about medications; listening and communication techniques; problem-solving skills; recovery and rehabilitation; and self-care around worry and stress.

One graduate said, “I truly wish I had known this information when my [family member’s] illness began. It gives me the tools to deal with her in a more positive way. The information about medications and the mental illness process was invaluable.” People interested in taking the course, who are able to make the 6-week commitment, should call  NAMI Amador at 223-1485, X266 and leave a message for instructors.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sutter Medical Foundation Amador Pediatrics Office Recommends Physicals Before School Starts

JACKSON, Calif. – Back to school is upon us and if you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to schedule your child’s annual school and sports physicals.

Routine physicals allow pediatricians to assess your child’s growth and development, which includes checking height and weight, blood pressure, vision, hearing and a complete physical exam. Pediatricians will also assess for other physical, emotional or social health concerns and perform any indicated or recommended laboratory testing.

“All of these assessments are very important and require more time and attention than is available during illness visits. Therefore, you should make an appointment specifically for a well-child check-up,” said Aye Moe, M.D., a pediatrician with Sutter Medical Group who joined the Sutter Amador Pediatrics office this year.
In addition to Dr. Moe, Sutter Amador Pediatrics office features physicians David Stone, M.D., and Amy Appleton, M.D., and Nurse Practitioner Denise Lack, Ph.D. – who are excited to care for your children. The office, located at 100 Mission Blvd., is now accepting new patients. To make an appointment call (209) 257-1722.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual check-ups for children ages 3 through 18. These provide a good opportunity for parents and doctors to talk about development and behavioral issues your child or adolescent may be facing. A child’s health can change from year to year, so it’s important to receive a complete examination on an annual basis.
In addition to an annual physical, the beginning of the school year can be a good time to discuss athletic injuries with your pediatrician. As more children and adolescents are participating in the same sport year-round (as opposed to 20 years ago, when they might have been in a couple of seasonal sports), physicians are seeing more overuse injuries.
“If student-athletes see their physician before beginning a new sport, it can significantly decrease the possibility of injury,” said Dr. Moe. “We can recommend exercises to increase your child’s fitness and encourage the use of safety equipment. We want to partner with you to assess any special risks that are unique to your child.”

Monday, August 4, 2014

Special Needs Trusts Informational Meeting - Tues Aug 26

Many families that have a member with special needs, whether a child or adult. If that person is unable to manage their lives for any reason, families worry about what will happen to their loved one when they are no longer able to provide support and care.

If the person is receiving SSI, for example, how will additional funds be provided to cover expenses beyond the limits of SSI without causing the individual to lose their benefits? If the loved one is not on public assistance, still the question of how to provide for their needs is no less urgent or worrisome. These key questions and many others come up frequently for NAMI members.

The NAMI Amador affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness invites the public to a free NAMI meeting Tuesday, August 26, 5:30 – 6:30PM in the Meadow Room at Sutter Amador Hospital Outpatient Bldg.

The speaker will be Gwendolyn K. Christeson, attorney at law, who is the lead attorney for the Estate Planning Law Center in Jackson. A graduate of UC Sand Diego, and University of San Diego School of Law, she has been in practice in Amador County since 2002, where she resides with her husband and three children.

NAMI is America’s largest grassroots mental health organization with over 1000 chapters across the US. It provides education, advocacy, and support for people living with mental illness and their families. For more information contact 223-1485, X266, or

S.O.S. (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) Groups - New Sessions begin August 18