If your need is immediate & someone is in danger of harming themselves or someone else, phone 911.
(888) 965-6647 Make sure to indicate this is a crisis call so it can be directed to the proper person.
Crisis assessment and supportive counseling; referrals to other local community resources
500 Jefferson Blvd., Building B, West Sacramento, CA
Open 7 days per week from 12 noon – 9 p.m. (closed County holidays)
Behavioral Health Access and Crisis Line
Davis: (530) 756-5000
Woodland: (530) 666-7778
West Sacramento: (916) 372-6565
Toll-Free: (888) 233-0228
Davis: (530) 753-0797
Woodland: (530) 668-8445
West Sacramento: (916) 371-3779
Woodland: (530) 662-1133
West Sacramento: (916) 371-1907
215 West Beamer Street
Woodland, CA 95695
(formerly Peterson Clinic)
500 B Jefferson Boulevard
Suites #180 & #195
West Sacramento, CA 95605
2051 John Jones Road
Davis, CA 95616
Circle of Care: A Guidebook for Mental Health Caregivers
Click here to download the Guidebook.
Families and friends sometimes have a difficult time making the hard decision to phone for emergency help when a family member or friend with a psychiatric disability is experiencing severe symptoms. Sometimes the situation is clearly an emergency. Other times, it’s not so clear, especially when a person’s psychiatric disorder is emerging and/or family members and friends are inexperienced.
Here are some guidelines from NAMI San Francisco to help:
The situation is an emergency when your family member or loved one is:
- Inflicting or attempting to inflict serious bodily harm on another.
- Gravely disabled: unable to provide for own food, clothing, shelter to the extent that death, bodily injury or physical debilitation might result without treatment.
- Attempting suicide or behaving as though he or she intends to follow through with verbal threats.
- Mutilating or attempting to mutilate himself/herself.
- Acutely distressed by hearing or seeing things which do not exist.
- Expressing serious thoughts about hurting themselves or someone else
- Experiencing uncontrollable anxiety or anger.
- Having a severe reaction to psychiatric medication.
What to Do in an Emergency
(Source: NAMI San Francisco)
Don’t shout into the phone or at arriving officers or medical professionals. They can’t understand you if you shout.
On the Phone
Be ready to give concrete examples of the dangerous behaviors and to support your contention that the person is mentally ill. For example, say, “My daughter pulled a knife” as opposed to “My daughter wants to kill me.”
State over the phone the following information and be ready to repeat it to arriving police officers and/or medical professionals:
Family member’s name.
That the person is mentally ill and give the diagnosis.
State whether medications are being used, whether it was stopped and when was the last time the meds were taken.
Describe what your family member is doing now.
Say whether you feel threatened.
Say whether your family member is hearing voices or fears someone.
Say whether a weapon is in the house — to minimize further agitation, remove any guns from the house before the police arrive
Say where inside the house is your family member
Say whether there is a history of violence
Until professionals arrive, STAY CALM
Be polite, respectful, reassuring, low-key and direct with your family member.
Maintain on-going communication directly with the person and do not include others in side conversations.
Do not try to trick or deceive your family member.
Avoid immediately moving in close or touching the person unless necessary.
Remove all objects with which a person may do harm to self or others.
When Professionals Arrive
Have all the lights on inside the house.
Carry nothing in your hands especially coming outside to meet them, in which case walk, don’t run to meet them.
Be prepared to repeat the information you gave over the phone.
State whether there is a history of suicide attempts.
State whether your family member is violent or delusional.
Have treating psychiatrist’s phone number handy.
Family Participation Rights and Guidelines
DON’T GET LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
- Families are not to blame.
- Ask what you can do for your family member.
- Keep a list of questions to ask the psychiatrist.
- Know your rights. Protect your family.
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is often used by mental health providers who don’t fully understand its purpose and limitations, to completely block communication with family members. These U.S. Department of Health & Human Services guidelines clarify and give examples of sharing mental health information with family members. This document can be used as a basis to open a dialog with providers about when and what information can be shared using HIPAA as it’s meant to be applied. HIPAA Privacy Rules & Sharing Information related to Mental Health webpage.
Here is a guide from the family point of view. Understanding What HIPAA Means for Mental Illness
Families are often shut out even when people who have mental illness sign waivers.
If your family member regularly signs waivers, make sure they sign a new waiver each time they enter a new facility. Most waivers need renewing each year.
Strategies if a Family Member Does Not Sign a Confidentiality Waiver
- Mental health professionals can’t talk with you about your family member’s situation without a confidentiality waiver. However, you can talk with them or send them information. Your historical memory of the illness and your relative is valuable to treatment and you should be keeping a diary. Here is a form you can give to the clinician. It’s imperative to consider requesting confidentiality to not share this information with your relative.
- If you know or suspect your family member is in a specific facility and a waiver has not been signed, you can send a letter detailing your relative’s history, different characteristics you’ve noted about their illness, medications etc.
- You may also call the clinicians and give them information over the phone, but limited resources in the mental health system may make them difficult to reach in person.
- You can ask the treating psychiatrist questions about “patients with symptoms similar to your relative’s,” how families can help in situations where patients are ________.
- These types of questions do not conflict with most confidentiality laws. If the treating psychiatrist is not helpful, ask questions of another psychiatrist on the treatment staff.
Family Participation Statutory Rights & Guidelines
The following is a summary of current California Law prepared by NAMI California For additional information, refer to the statues cited, or consult an attorney.
Statement of Policy Families of clients in mental health facilities should be encouraged to participate in the assessment, treatment and aftercare planning process for each client, consistent with the best interests and wish of the client. The right [of a spouse, parent, child, or sibling] to be given notification of the client’s presence in a 24-hour facility, unless the client requests that this information not be provided. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5328.1]
- The right to be given information regarding the diagnosis, prognosis, prescribed medication and side effects, and progress of the client, if authorized by the client. If the client is initially unable to authorize the release of this information, daily efforts shall be made to secure the client’s consent or refusal of authorization.[Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5328.1]
- The right to have the family make reasonable attempts to notify the immediate family of the client’s admission, release, transfer, serious illness, injury or death, unless the client requests that the information not be provided.[Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5328.1(b)]
- The right to see and receive copies of information and records regarding the client, with the consent of the client and approval of the treating physician, psychologist or social worker. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5328(b)]
- The right to a copy of the written aftercare plan when the client is discharged from an inpatient psychiatric facility, when designated by the client. (effective January 1998) [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5622, 5768.5]
- The right to have removed from the client’s record any information provided in confidence by the family, prior to release. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5328(b)(d)(j)(k), 5543]
- The right to have removed from the client’s record any information provided in confidence by the family, prior to release. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5328(b)(d)(j)(k), 5543
- ]The right to be given required information concerning the administration of convulsive treatment or psychosurgery, if authorized by the client. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5326.6(b), 5326.7(c)]
- The right to receive copies of public information, including licensing and other reports. [Cal. Gov’t Doc 6250 et seq.]
- The right to visit the client every day, if desired by the client. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5325(c)
- ]The right to have confidential phone calls with the client and to mail and receive unopened correspondence, if desired by the client. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5325(d)&(e)]
- The right to provide clothing, personal possession and a reasonable sum of money to the client for us in the facility, if desired by the client. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. code 5325(a)]
- The right to participate in the treatment and rehabilitation planning of the client, as a source of information and support. Included in the participation is the identification of service needs, and advocating for, and coordinating the provision of these services, as appropriate.[Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5600.2(a), 5600.4(c)]
- The right to be advised of the time and place of certification review hearings, judicial review, conservatorship proceedings, unless the client requests that this information not be provided. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5256.4(c), 5276, 5350.2]
- The right to be appointed conservator or to nominate a conservator subject to the priorities and preferences in the Probate Court. [Cal. Probate Code 1810-1813]
- The right to have the first priority for conservatee placement be a facility as close as possible to the conservatee’s home or home of a relative. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5358(c)]
- The right to submit a complain regarding abuse, unreasonable denial or punitive withholding of rights concerning a resident in a license health or community care facility to a clients’ rights advocate for investigation. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5520(a)]
- The right (unless found not to be acting in good faith) to be immune from civil or criminal liability, penalty, sanction or restriction for participating in the filing a complaint of providing information to the patients’ rights advocate. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5550(a)]
- The right to be informed of the telephone number by the facility of where to file complaints with the Department of Health Services, Licensing and Certification Program. [Cal. Health and Safety Code 1288.4] Profession licensing boards and other regulatory and enforcement agencies may also be contacted to register complaints about the facility or personnel .
- The right to not have the client discriminated or retaliated against for the family members’ participation in any advocacy activity. [Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 5550(c)]
- Cal. Government Code,
- Cal. ProbateCode,
- Cal. Welf & Inst. Code,
- Title 22 Cal. Code of Regs.,
- Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization Standards,
- California Association of Hospitals and HealthSystems Consent Manual.
October 1997, Updated July 2017