In the Limelight: Butte County Department of Behavioral Health
Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement is supported by the outstanding work performed by counties across the state. A recent RAND report shows that through local and statewide efforts California counties are at the forefront in breaking down barriers so all Californians can live mentally well. Each day, our county partners work in communities to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness as well as raise awareness about the services available to their residents.
We continue our snapshot series of these outstanding efforts in our counties with a look at Butte County.
Your Mind Matters – CSAC Challenge Award
Butte County Library employees noticed that some guests were exhibiting disruptive behaviors that may be tied to severe mental illness or substance abuse. The Library coordinated with Behavioral Health to develop a program to better equip staff to assist these library users and help those with mental health challenges feel welcome at the library. Your Mind Matters provided training for employees and volunteers, which included looking at problem scenarios, mental health issues and stigma and discrimination associated with mental health challenges. A wide range of library programs and resources were offered to help the community become more aware of mental health challenges, resources and the need to reduce stigma.
The Butte County Library and Department of Behavioral Health were awarded a 2016 Challenge Award by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) for Your Mind Matters. Each year, CSAC honors the most innovative programs developed and implemented by California counties with Challenge Awards. These unique awards recognize the innovative and creative spirit of county governments as they find innovative, effective and cost-efficient ways to provide programs and services to residents. This year, CSAC received a record-breaking 279 award entries and an independent panel of judges with expertise in county programs selected the award recipients.
Community Education Newsprint Insert
Over the past five years, the Butte County Department of Behavioral Health has funded and co-led the efforts to develop and distribute a newsprint insert to educates the community about mental health. The newest insert aims to increase the community’s understanding of mental health challenges, reduce stigma and promote wellness and features perspectives from a handful of diverse communities as well as veterans and law enforcement.
Click here to view this year’s Chico News and Review insert. Butte County residents were able to find the insert at community centers across the county and in the following newspapers: Chico News and Review, Chico Enterprise Record, Oroville Mercury Register, Gridley Herald and Paradise Post.
Promotores works to enhance the quality of life of the Latino and Hmong communities in Butte County by promoting mental health. Valley Catholic Social Service (NVCSS) has been providing services through the Promotores program since 2009.
The program empowers families and individuals by reducing barriers to education, language, economic and culture. Promotores identifies leaders to bridge the gaps in their community and throughout the year, participants attend group sessions focused on building parenting skills, increasing self-sufficiency and improving their communication and life skills. All groups focus on mental health and wellness, honoring cultural traditions and referring participants to resources that may help reduce any barriers they may be facing.
Serving Butte County’s Spanish speaking families, Promotores goes beyond promoting accessing mental health services and reducing stigma. The program partners with Stonewall to provide support for Spanish speaking parents of children who identify with Gender and Sexual Minorities, facilitates Wellness and Recovery Action Plans (WRAP) in Spanish at Wellness Centers, hosts a healing event on Dia de los Muertos using a traditional altar and promotes SanaMente.
African American Family and Cultural Center (AAFCC)
The AAFCC provides a variety of services to the Southside (Oroville) Community, including a community garden, educational support for youth, community radio and support groups. The AAFCC spearheads cultural celebrations and integrates Each Mind Matters into its annual activities and community outreach. Click here to learn more about this program.