NAMI Staff and Volunteers Are Here to Help
RESOURCE HELP LINE:
TAP THE NUMBER ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE
The Resource Line is an information and referral service which can be reached by calling 805.500.NAMI (805.500.6264), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Trained volunteers provide information, referrals, and support to all who have questions about or are affected by serious mental illness.
You may also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need help now?
Start with these additional support options from the NAMI.org National organization in Virginia
The Information Helpline Offers
- Information. We answer general questions about mental illness, recovery, and mental health services.
- Referrals. Callers are referred to NAMI Programs and other mental health services available in the county.
- Support. Trained volunteers—- consumers and family members -— are in a unique position to offer support and empathy from people who know what it’s like and who have “been there.”
ACUTE CARE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS:
Hillmont Psychiatric Center (All county residents)
200 N. Hillmont Ave., Ventura, CA 93003
Aurora Vista Del Mar (Medicare and private insurance only)
801 Seneca St., Ventura, CA 930001
Children’s Intensive Response Team (CIRT):
In case of a mental health emergency – a suicidal child or teen or young adult, a child or teen or young adult who wants to hurt him/herself or hurt others, an out of control child or teen or young adult call Children’s Intensive Response Team (CIRT) at 1-866-431-2478. CIRT is for Crisis Calls Only. For general information inquiries please call (805) 366-4040.
Centers for children and families. www.casapacifica.org
Support for parents who have children with mental health, emotional, and behavioral disorders. www.unitedparents.org
Telecare–VIPS (Ventura Early Intervention Prevention Services):
Assessment and early assistance for people between the ages of 16-25 who are at risk for developing a psychotic illness. www.telecarecorp.com/vips
When an adult refuses treatment for his or her serious brain disorder, a mental health conservatorship, known as an LPS conservatorship, will allow someone else to make certain decisions for the person with the mental illness when they are unable to take care of themselves. This document includes guidelines on obtaining an LPS conservatorship.
These two informational guides were written by NAMI volunteers based on their own personal experience to help families navigate the system. We are not attorneys, and this is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Inmate Search – Find out if your loved one has been arrested
My Family Member With a Mental Illness Has Been Arrested (Information Guide – READ BELOW)
¡Mi Pariente Con Una Enfermedad Mental ha Sido Arrestado! (PDF)
WHAT DO I DO?
1. SUPPORT YOUR RELATIVE
Help your relative or friend stay calm and offer them support if they call you about their arrest. Tell them that they can expect to be interviewed by jail medical and mental health staff. Reassure them: it’s OK to discuss their physical and mental condition, diagnoses, medications, etc. Jail medical staff will not share this information with the District Attorney or law enforcement investigating their case. Feeling safe to speak openly about their medical and mental condition is important for their safety and health.
2. CONTACT THE MAIN JAIL
After Arrest: Ask for 1) the court arraignment date and address, 2) booking number, 3) location of your relative, and 4) the dates and times when visits are permitted.
IMPORTANT: If you know or suspect that your relative/friend has had recent suicide attempts or thoughts, call the Jail. Ask to speak with the Watch Commander. Give him/her all the information you have!
Before Release: If he/she is going to be released, ask for the best time to arrive to pick them up. If your relative/friend is severely ill, ask the Sheriff’s Department to take him/her to the Hillmont Psychiatric Unit to be screened for a “5150” involuntary three-day hold for treatment and evaluation.
3. CONTACT THE JAIL MEDICAL DEPARTMENT
Call: 805-650-4088 and ask to speak with the Manager or a Mental Health Nurse. After business hours, Call 805-654-3343 and ask to speak with the Booking or Special Housing Nurse. Due to patient confidentiality laws, the staff will not be able to give you information about your family member’s medical or mental condition without a signed consent, but they are able to accept information from you.
4. PROVIDING HEALTH INFORMATION
To provide Jail medical staff with medical, including mental health, information:
The Form: Complete the attached form. You can also print out a copy of this form from our web site; go to www.namiventura.org, select Resources. Deliver the form to the Jail by hand or by faxing it to (805) 477-1593. (Mail works if you see no urgency.) If you provide information without using a form, identify yourself and sign the document. Before faxing, always call to verify the accuracy of the fax number; fax numbers sometimes change. Also, give notice to the Jail Liaison for Ventura County Behavioral Health Dept. by sending information by email to email@example.com or by fax to (805) 477-1593.
Professional Assistance to Transmit Necessary Information. If your act of providing essential mental health information to the Jail may unduly upset your loved one, consider enlisting a professional (like VCBH staff or his or her conservator) to send the information.
Written Confidentiality Waiver: If available, include a copy of any current confidentiality waiver for mental health information. If you have no written confidentiality waiver, ask the Jail to try to seek a waiver from your loved one so that Jail medical staff can communicate with you if necessary. Without a consent, medical staff cannot disclose information to you, but can only receive information from you.
Important: Do NOT address any impending charges against your relative/friend in communications to the Jail. Medical information only!
5. BRINGING MEDICATIONS TO JAIL
Jail physicians may not evaluate and prescribe medications immediately after arrival. Consider bringing to the Jail your relative/friend’s prescribed medications in their original containers. Medications you bring might be accepted to prevent interruption. Medications may be returned if they are available in jail or if they were changed by a jail physician due to your loved one’s current symptoms.
6. GENERAL JAIL INFORMATION
The Main Jail is located on the campus of the
County Government Center at 800 S. Victoria Ave
in Ventura. The Todd Road Jail in is located at
600 South Todd Road, Santa Paula. Visiting hours vary; check the Sheriff’s Department web site at www.vcsd.org and select “Inmate Information” for more details on your family member’s location.
TIP: When visiting, purses, wallets, cell phones and other items are not allowed in; you must have valid photo ID.
7. MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY
Call: 805-477-5731 for assistance from County Behavioral Health Department’s Office of Patient’s Rights 1) to learn the requirements of detention facilities regarding mentally ill inmates, or 2) to ensure needed mental health treatment services are provided to your loved one.
8. LEGAL REPRESENTATION
Assist your loved one, as needed, to obtain proper legal representation. Remind them of their right to an attorney present if being questioned by police officers or detectives related at all to past, existing or any potentially new charges.
Your relative/friend may have a choice of 1) using an attorney in the Public Defender’s Office or 2) retaining a private attorney. Do not be afraid to use the Public Defender. Deputy Public Defenders often have knowledge of the “system” as it pertains to those who need mental health services. If your relative does not have or cannot afford a private attorney, a Public Defender will be assigned at arraignment. Note that the arraignment attorney will not usually be the attorney handling the case for the Public Defender’s Office.
Call the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office at 805-654-2201 for the name of the Deputy Public Defender assigned to the case. It may take several days for an attorney to be assigned and police reports, etc. obtained. Once you identify the assigned attorney, direct your phone calls to that assigned attorney. Similarly, address any written communication (including faxes to 805-648-9220) to the specific attorney. Provide an extensive history on your relative/friend (medical, psychiatric, social, educational). This history will be very useful in pursuing the best outcome. Information provided to the attorney will be available to your loved one. Again, consider enlisting someone else to provide the information if your involvement will create undue strain. The Public Defender’s website is at www.pubdef.countyofventura.org. Remember, your loved one is the client, not you, so the attorney may not be able to share all information with you.
A private attorney may grant you more time, but you pay for that access. If your family member decides to retain a private attorney, find a private attorney who is well versed in representing people with mental illness and understands not only the law, but also how to access available treatment facilities and mental health services.
IMPORTANT: Think carefully about posting bail.
No one wants a loved one to remain incarcerated for any length of time. It is an unpleasant experience for them, as well as for the family. However, ask yourself: Will your loved one be able to comply with the terms of the bail and appear in court when required? Also, as hard as it may seem, for a person in crisis with severe mental illness, jail may be safer than wandering the streets with no help at all. At least in jail they will have food, shelter and access to medications.
Supporting and coping with a loved one who suffers from a brain disorder can be extremely challenging and stressful.
Knowledge, as well as your love and fortitude, will help you to be an effective support system for your relative.
For information about support groups and educational programs provided free of charge in your area contact NAMI Ventura County at:
This informational guide was written by NAMI volunteers based on their own personal experience to help families navigate the system. We are not attorneys, and this is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. Please assist your family member in obtaining proper legal representation.
For life threatening emergencies: dial 911
For psychiatric emergencies:
Law Enforcement: 911
If you need help immediately dial 911 and request a CIT Officer. (CIT Officers have been trained to deal with Mental Health Crises)
Ventura County Crisis Team: 1-866-998-2243
If you are having a psychiatric emergency but do not need immediate law enforcement assistance, call the Ventura County Crisis Team. Support and assistance is provided first over the phone, and if it is indicated they will send a team to the home to help de-escalate the situation.
If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts:
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
NAMI offers outstanding peer-directed programs in education and support. Thousands of trained NAMI volunteers bring these programs to a wide variety of community settings. These no-cost programs support families, individuals living with mental illness, students, and mental health and school professionals.
Social Security Fact Sheets – Prepared by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
Prescription Assistance Programs (BROKEN LINK) – A coalition of biopharmaceutical research companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations, and community groups have come together to form the Partnership for Prescription Assistance — the largest private-sector program to help qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or private program that is right for them.
Benefits – Disability and Medical – Information regarding SSI, Medical and Medicare.
What benefits are available to those suffering from serious mental illness?
Answer. The benefits depend upon degree of disability. Those that are simply unable to work, can receive full benefits under the Federal Social Security program.
Answer. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid health care program. This program pays for a variety of medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources. Medi-Cal is supported by federal and state taxes. You can apply for Medi-Cal benefits regardless of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, or veteran status. People enroll in Medi-Cal through their county social services department. If you are found (or determined) eligible, you can continue to get Medi-Cal as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
Answer. Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment and you are 65 years old and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. You might also qualify for coverage if you are a younger person with a disability.
Answer. Medicaid is a jointly-funded, Federal-State health insurance program for certain low-income and needy people. It covers approximately 36 million individuals including children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled, and people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.
How do I apply for SSI?
To apply for SSI benefits, you must contact the Social Security Administration to make an appointment. The phone number is 1-800-772-1213 (TTY phone connection at 1-800-325-0778); it is confidential and has 24-hour automated service. Applicants must file a claim by phone or in person at a local social security office. Representatives are available to help with the application process.
Effective January 2004, the SSI payment for an eligible individual is $564 per month and $846 per month for an eligible couple. California adds additional payments to this amount (a table of SSI payment amounts can be found by clicking here), and usually people who receive SSI automatically receive Medi-Cal benefits. SSI recipients do not get food stamps, because this allowance is included in the SSI payment.
To qualify for SSI, the applicant must have little or no income and few resources. This means that the value of the things you own must be less than $2,000 if you are single or less than $3,000 if you are married. The value of your home, car, and many other resources do not count.
Who can help me if I have been turned down for SSI?
HEALTH CONSUMER ALLIANCE
www.healthconsumer.org (see the Web site for toll-free phone numbers listed by county)
NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS LAW CENTER
NATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW CENTER
www.nilc.org (see the Web site for toll-free phone numbers)
PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY, INC.
(legal services for people with disabilities)
CALIFORNIA INDIAN LEGAL SERVICES
DIRECTORY OF CALIFORNIA LEGAL SERVICES
(hosted on Public Interest Clearinghouse Web site)
*This information originally provided on the California Healthcare Foundation website
New Zoom General Meeting
Please join us for our Monthly NAMI Ventura County general meetings. We will be holding our general meeting via Zoom format!
Our meeting topics vary, please sign up for the zoom conferences. You will be notified in advance once you have signed up using the registration link below.
To attend the meeting on Zoom, please use the registration form below and you will be emailed the log in and password for the meeting.
805-641-2426 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Please click below to register for our meetings and receive zoom link:
At the heart of NAMI’s mission is the sharing of information with consumers (i.e., persons with mental illnesses), their families, friends, mental health professionals, and the general public. NAMI educates all people about severe and persistent mental illnesses to eliminate stigma and promote access to integrated systems of care, education, and rehabilitation. Research is constantly providing us with new information about the brain and the nature of mental illnesses and, consequently, more effective treatments. The information below comes from mental healthcare providers, advocates, and researchers.
Information and resources from NAMI, the Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness (web links to the following topics)
Special Needs Estate Planning Guidance System (BROKEN LINK)
Comprehensive information on Special Needs Estate Planning.
Many NAMI families face the challenge of planning for a loved one disabled with a severe mental illness (with special needs).
Families need to have a comprehensive financial and legal plan.
31% of all adult smokers have a mental illness. Mental health requires balance and stability, and smoking may counteract medicines, medications, and recovery. This site recognizes the particular difficulties of quitting when combined with mental illness.