Hello And welcome to is live North Bay Virtual town hall. Thank you for joining me. I am Markleeville Tính. You're Assemblymember's representing the communities of Marin and Southern Sanoma County in the California State Assembly. Before we continue. I'd like to share this brief message stain emotionally naked as a community, even though this past year for past 13 months, we've been temporarily become physically isolated. Is so important to all of our mental health. If you are looking for help, or you need someone to talk to know that there are resource is in our communities that are ready to help. You can call 1855845. 741518. To access the California pure run warm line for support 24 hours a day. Seven days a week, If you if you were someone you know is experiencing a psychiatric crisis. You can also call the cinema County crisis line at seven. Oh 7576. 8181 in Marin County. Those in crisis can call. 415473. And Sanoma County seven.
Oh, 7576 in Marin. 415473. 6392 people are really there and want musicology. Neither the assistance. The course of the pandemic. I've hosted a number of virtual town halls to discuss issues and resource is relevant to the cove in 19 pandemic, including mental health, Signor said. Education and distance learning parks and open space and wildfire preparedness. You can view all of these. At assembly dot CIA dot gov slash levin That is Assemblymember's. Today we are revisiting a topic that we discussed at the start of the pandemic Mental health. It has been over 13 months since the start of the covert 19 pandemic in the Bay Area and California and around the entire world at the time. Over many questions, uncertainties about the virus shelter in place, and what the next few weeks and months would hold. Today with widespread availability of coded 19 vaccines, lower infection rates and reopening of schools and our economy. There's a sense of relief that has been taken off that has. Take off our shoulders, but we're not entirely out of the woods. Yet Some workers were still without work. Many students were still doing some form of hybrid learning, and public health officials continue to urge residents 12 masks in some places, Maybe not another, maintain social distance in public and, of course, get vaccinated.
If you're looking to obtain a vaccine appointment, is it My turn dot CIA dot gov's with us today. We have Bill Carter, the behavioral health director at the Cinema County Department of Health Services, anDr J Africa director of behavioral health and Recovery Services on how we continue Take care of our mental health. During the cove in 19 pandemic and what tools are available to run because it's to take care of their families and their own mental health during the 1 tìm, If you're watching this live, and if you have some questions for our panel, you can email your questions. T■g8 Assemblymember's dot Levin at assembly got Ca.gov Assemblymember's dot Levin at assembly that ca.gov. You can also post your question in the comments section on Facebook or YouTube. You hope to answer as many questions today as possible. I'm really grateful for the guests that we have today. As our Panelists you have Bill Carter L. C S W been serving as the county Sumas behavioral health director since November of 2018 Bill has a wealth of experience in this recognized as a statewide expert in the mental health field.
Dr J. Africa director of behavioral Health and Recovery services at the county of Marin. Has over 20 years of counseling teaching consulting in private practice expertise, and there is a behavioral health trauma, health, equity and diversity. I hope you'll find today's discussion. With our mental health experts informative and helpful as we seek ways to keep our community mentally healthy. Welcome Villain J. I'd be grateful for you to share a few words as we begin. So why don't you go ahead? Sure. Thank you, Mark. I appreciate this opportunity that participate in your town hall, You know, unprecedented is a word that's used far too often over the last year, but it's used because it's accurate. Because of the old code Red emergency. We've experienced an unprecedented amount of disruption. Personal, emotional financial stress. Isolation We've been separated from the people in the institutions that we rely upon. You feel a sense of normalcy and v■g"i. Have a sense of belonging. And on top of this, you know this region has experienced additional natural disasters and Billy sometimes more than once a year since 27 Tính and the locals political and social justice landscape has impacted all of us.
In very different ways, each of them profound. You know, given this pericing stress and anxiety and depression is normal. You know, we should expect it. We shouldn't be surprised. We should understand that this is. How people respond when faced with this kind of. Environment and was just kind of challenges. And it's necessary that we recognize this so that we can reach out and support our friends and our families, our neighbors and our co workers During this time, it's important so that we can Look inward and take care of ourselves. In conversations like this. This conversation today is an important step to opening up this issue in creating opportunities for all of us to take care of each other and take care of ourselves and to be well, I'm very happy to be here. Thank you. Bill J. Got similar with what Bill said. Really? I'm just grateful that. We are elevating these conversations because it's really so important. One of the things I just want. Um is, you know the challenges that we're facing is a forbid or many of the other issues.
I've also just seen the So I want to just emphasize that we have also seen people helping each other looking out for each other, really stepping up and as we are dealing with the troubles and the challenges that. There's a sense of hope and community that people came together to help each other. So I that for me is the biggest message. You were always going to be facing multiple barriers and challenges Crisis. It is, the community really comes together and sees that we are connected to each other and help out each other. I think we can go much, much further to ensure that people. Mental health. On dwell Nous, R are safe and that people are feeling really healthy and part of the community, So that's really I just wanted to say. Thank you, both of you made is mental Health Awareness month and we're getting early start on that just checking in with each other, and I've been grateful for the times.
I have, you know, talked to both of you. Um, the pandemic and the stay at home orders that we had, Um, when the Bay area was the first in the nation to issue those it was, um, a real change. It was a heroic thing, Thio taken action like that to save human life, But it was a really overwhelming experience for so many of us and right. So many in the community did step up and respond in a positive way, making sure neighbors hadood and were cared for looked after. But also I think that many of us either. Could have experienced a sense of, um. Power empowerment because we could do things to protect ourselves, but also suddenly also a lot US of agency because we had so many fears that that we were frightened about. Maybe even going outside for a walk in nature because we didn't know exactly how covert 19 was spread, and this did cause this is Bill talked a very natural reaction or response that somebody had, which was, you know, falling into depression. Were sadness at a different level.
Also what was talked about in, um in the media was, a lot of purchasing of alcohol. Um, So you know that that could be fun, right? And we're home. We're not driving. We can. We can do something like that, or fallen thio a little bit more of a pit of despair because of the effects of ■#cn drinking too much when you could be sad, you know, how do we kind of just check in with ourselves When you know we could go almost either way in tow, understanding that we have some choices that we can make toàn protect ourselves versus falling into a bad spot? Because sometimes we can't control how our bodies respond in our minds. Respond to the news that we hear. Bill. Do you want to take that? Off starting J at add your talked as well, u kw, especially when we are faced with a crisis or an emergency like this, we go on autopilot and we're we are. Generally good at it. You know, we react quickly.
We react effectively. We take care of ourselves. We take care of business. You take care of our families, but there's a danger to being on autopilot too long and not recognizing not having an objective view of what. What's happening so you could become so much a reactionary to whatever you're feeling. Whatever you're thinking, your mind is always working. It's always trying toàn Dent if I the next problem in solve it, and it's important Thio, especially after the immediate crisis has passed. Stop yourself, Um, be calm. Look inside and understand what's happening. Because if you don't you fall into unhealthy, you can fall into unhealthy patterns.
Right So you mentioned Mark. Drinking more than normal, perhaps drinking too much. Um you can also fall into a bad habit of past revising, you know, imagining the worst, um, feeling badly and not seeing what good things are happening. Not not bringing that balance to your life. And so it's important to Up. Breathe. Look inside. See what your body is feeling. Follow your thoughts Become conscious of that so that you can put yourself in a place where you are able to exercise more agency as opposed to just reacting to what happening all the time, So that's that's one. Approach. I encourage assault to consider. They're really good tools. Remind us that we all have Jane just to add, though that oftentimes we really. Make poor decisions where we are in crisis right because our fight and flight is just over over charge. I would say so. Bill's comments about really stopping and reflecting is really a good Check like, how am I doing? And sometimes actually asking the people around us if they've noticed any behavior that's differently, because we might think it's okay.
But our loved ones our families. Our friends are being affectediffently thi newehavr that they have really no sense off. Uh you know, off the starting point, because things have changed significantly. The one thing that we did see. Because of covert West, The normal routines, the normal sort of checks. Point checkpoints have gone away. And so people in this last 13 months have tried to create their new normal. And sometimes because we have limited capacity or we don't go out this much, and this fear thinks I'm just shifted so being able to check with oneself. Then also with our loved ones. So how am I doing and how they're being affected by this new baby of yours, I think would be also helpful. Yeah. Thank you for I'm one thing that we had early on.
There was a lot of information A ZX We're learning new things or new countries that we're dealing with the pandemic. Um New New medical information coming out on the cable news. Ah, lot. And so it felt to me like a lot of information overload. And I also know of course, that cable news is there to salt TV advertising, so they want to keep you hooked in. And I thought for me, it was important to disconnect a little bit. So you know if you're at home, it's easy to just keep the TV on, but that it was important Thio really? Meter that significantly. What are some tools that people can use toe manage that type of information overload that you know, we still come to come to.
Um uh, good. Good Bill. Okay. Jake ■"Bó. So one of the things that I think is really important It's ■#dn. The sources of information and make sure that they're credible, right. So that's very, very important. The other thing is to limit how much sources you have, so we don't know early on. People were Going to different state radio station's Facebook, So I think to really find one particular one or two particular sources and really stick to that, and really ensure that that really is credible. The other part is like really scheduling what would be certain times of the day to really watch out for that information and not having that on all day 24 7.
One of the things that we did here in the beginning of the off ■"C■g0c v■fÑ. It was people actually had their TVs on their their radios on because they were so alone that they wanted some form of. Connection to the universe or to the outside world and so having those media on made them feel connected and the challenge with that, though, is it really prevented them in my opinion? The connection that really was more important that they had, actually, you know, a back and forth with people. So we told people crisis lines talking to friends reaching out whether it's email text phone call. Was really also a good opportunity to reach out and decrease that isolation and not having the dependency on media.
Really on that alone was enough. So I think that wa ce. Sort of really good. I mean suggestion from folks and say, it's good to have conversations. It's good to reach out to people differently and not just rely on sort of the media. Because it's really created more, I would say about relationship if you'reI thk a lot of us experience Salas zoom, happy hours with old friends and that that kind of took over for a while and then even my old friends and I were like, I think we've had enough of this. We can take a break from these things. Yeah. A couple of things, Jay said, Made me think of Children and how important it is that, um, mark your point about, um, keep being plugged into news too much. Also impacts Children because there when that plane in the background when your attention is there that's impacting them as well. On Dhe. This is a you know, a confusing situation for them, and it's important Parents. Caregivers for Children, Um. You unplug And do, you know, spend some time thinking about what.
How do you help a child through a situation like this have been in many ways. It should be the same things we do for ourselves, which is scheduled routine because, you know, having a sense of purpose and a sense of moving forward and. Some predictability in your day is important, Making sure you're getting sleep and you're eating well, making sure Children are getting their sleeping, eating well exercise. You know, they say in sports always go back to the basics and it's very, very much the same in living through difficult times and helping Children with through difficult times. I was a parent. That was something we certainly were sensitive to. We we started observing Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, which begins on a Friday night with the lighting of the candles and. I'm having Holla wishes a bread and saying those blessings and it it really punk should the week for us, and it made us look forward to something when ah lot of the days were monotonous.
But then it made this a little bit more special. And I just enjoyed sharing that with my Children. I was unsure how much they would buy into it. They really got into having that thing that you know it became the routine on a Friday, um, that that was good for us. Tow hav and look forward to the past four years even before the pandemic.
For four years of great anxiety. I think it was just a lot of heightening Zay for a lot of people and the pandemic hit and in a very anxious year because it was also an election year. And. We also saw things that we knew were occurring in our country, but really had, I think hit another Peca's far as, um. The rate racial inequities that we saw that were always there. But yet the pandemic revealed and even more stark weighs, including violence against. Blacks and Asians and others. And so there was like so much pushing anxiety levels.
High in our country and of course, in our own community, some people decide to decided to respond in a you know this role, more physical way of like Martin Sheen and protesting and being part of that, which. Was very healthy way to demonstrate how we feel. Um, I'm sure that all of this anxiety also, you know, made people feel even more despondent, powerless. Um, you know how How have you seen that impacting our communities and you know It's just such a hard year with the pandemic. You know, I worry about I mean, there are Jason. There are many good signs. So we've seen many positive things happening and in society and. Many of the bad outcomes we have been worried about have not come to pass right.
So in general, overall, suicide rates have not gone up. We're not sure how things will will go with Tìm Bazan. But for now, Our concerns about that has had not come to pass but living under that kind of stress over along too good times changes. You could change your biochemical. Your body releases different chemicals. Um your brain, um, re refined the circuitry and, um. Those things take a toll and I think the way we deal with it is by going back to some of t healthy m be the anchors and making sure we scheduled them every day. Your. Um, um, description of, you know, routine of the family routine of joining together for Shibata just it's a wonderful example of that kind of. It chae way your brain's working gives you relief from.
The stress and strain we're experiencing outside of it. Meditation prayer leaning on your faith. Um. Leaning on the metaphysical. Your beliefs are important. Many people are using, you know, like breathing, breathing meditation of. It's a very healthy way of again rebooting your body and your mind. The research on that is just gets stronger every year and again going back to the basics. You know when you exercise you. Make your body be positive Biochemically when you eat nutritious food, you're giving your body what it needs thio function of. Well, if it can, and I think we have to be conscious about doing that and scheduling that think a lot of us gain some weight turn. Move it. I know I did. I had I had to pull myself together and discipline myself a little bit about my exercising in food, and I think I've spoken with others who have had the same experience so Hopefully, work coming out of ■"B■g0c Vittel little bit healthier than we were our midway through.
Can I just say, though, that I really sort of like to hear your story mark of the Friday nights with your kids. It's really creative than your theme for you and your family, Right, which really. Be on Sam to really change your circuitry and change that a. Be on Sam to reay change your circuitry and change that a little bit for us. But I also think many, many in this time also used this opportunity to connect. You know with other folks that you know that really gave time to connect with other people that they have not talked to before.
Look that so for me and as much as theirs. Conflict and fear there, that people really reframed what this opportunity in their time, But now can they do differently about their lives? Right. And so some people are thinking more like I need to take care of myself a little bit more, You know, really? Not working too much connecting with my family members that I've not talked to looking at old memories, creating new memories. So I feel like that also is helping us cope and because I feel like that really brings a sense of optimism and hope. That while we were still at this, the things are shifting. Things are going in a positive direction. And then, as Bill said, it's really going back to the basics. If there's anything to just go back to the basics, eating good and nutritious food, exercising. Focusing on the moment and mindfulness and being grateful. Still even with challenges on what you have right now that you have the opportunity to still, you know.
Wake up in the morning, I think is something to look forward to Actually, That's a really good point. We have a pretty big hearted community in the North Bay and one thing that I noticed. I think everyone was aware of the essential work curtain people who showed up to work every day. Um in any number of roles, you know they could be. You know the garbage man. You know who made sure that our car which was you know, taking it each week to, um people at the grocery store who made sure that we were able to go in and purchase the food that our families needed.
Of course, healthcare workers every day. Show me not on day again. There. Many people were fearful, probably including people that needed to go to work to earn a living of whether or not they would contract. K bee 19f they were putting themselves at risk. Um. Are we? You know, just just at least check in on how you know that. Whole community is doing, um. Or is it just that must have been traumatic for them. Um. To go through that, um, figure out how to get the peopie that they needed and Um Keeping themselves as safe as they can. Did you? Were you guys able to observe that and how that impacts impacted our community? Especially in the beginning. We the concern with the PPS. Yeah, even among our staff that we're sipping and helping class are c■g ng clients were worried about their own family members.
Ruin safety, So we really wanted to ensure that they had We had all the precautionary measures. Um D■g8 to provide to them so that they can continue still serving our clients. We are very, very grateful for many of the essential workers like the folks at the grocery that you know the farm workers that really try to, you know, make sure that we had food and if you like that super important and really acknowledging that We would still not beating without those folks that really I would say you risked their lives but really providing the U F b p ensuring that we had enough resource is also ensuring that way are looking out for them was really important for us. And right now we're still doing that because a sui are actually going in the right direction of opening up and ensuring that ju forhemselves, butfs, if not actually, for the other people that will be. That will be working with and so that's really very important, frustrating.
Yeah, I think you know him. You know, as Jay talked about the early days, it was as he described it was very stressful, particularly for people who had to go to work and there was not enough. There were not enough math. We didn't know what worked and what didn't work The mask Guidance changed. There was so much Um. Uncertainty and people have dealt with that uncertainty because they didn't run away right. They didn't go home and shut the door and stay safe. They went out and they wanted to work. I think we're heading into another version of that may be a.
They were moving version. But as we open up where we are all going toe be faced with doing things we haven't done for a year and away. We have not done them. And with that kind of come uncertainty, right? So what? What is safe? And what is not safe right when my child in school every day. And I and my spouse go to work every day. Um. And we are together. Gonna have Thio deal with that uncertainty and make decisions that move us forward. So I think that there are some, um, another set of those challenges ahead for all of us. We've gone through them, right? And we.
And despite the tragedies that you come with the loss of. Those who have died during this pandemic. Um, we have also been very resilient and move forward as a community, Um, and that's going to continue, but some more challenges ahead for us, too. What? What are you tell you? Great raised this point. So I'll ask both of you about the coping mechanisms for all of us, as we Try Thio.
Go back to a sense of normalcy. You know, we just heard from the CDC that if you're outside. Now you don't need to wear a mask. I you know, walking through my neighborhood with a mask always felt a little funny, but the social etiquette kicked in. There were like no, no, no, I want to respect everyone. Um, So as we get near each other, we put that mask on. Even if we're on different sides of the street and s O. It was people maybe are are called tow, you know, go back to their offices. You know for work for those officers that had been closed for the past year. Um. Think a lot of people might not feel as ready. A southers, you know. But we're not all college students on screen make in Florida for already ready. Tow, you know, with reckless abandon. D■g8 are normal things, but as far as you know, getting on elevators with others that that could be a real heightened sense of anxiety For some, Um I work in the state capital.
I'm sitting in the state capital right now it's closed to the public. Um, sadly, and in fact, our ass ours not are not working. Here We are allowed to have one staff member. Actually, it's just changed to two staff members now of her office. Might typically have one on Dhe. So we have a lot of space between us. But if we all started coming back into the office, it might things might start feeling small and that the walls were kind of. Coming in on us. Um, and there are times where.
Here in the capital. For Intentions bills, thousands of people would come and would be inside the corridors, the hallways it would be very hot and sticky, especially in the summer months. Sacramento and this does not. It's not the North Bay. Um and. I don't think I'm ready for that. I'm just I will share with you. And I don't think I don't think that the building will be reopened to that anytime soon. But I know that I'm not ready. Just checking in with myself. That is a big leap for me A smudge as I would love to open up the doors and for the public to be here in person, You know, we've done other things technologically to allow the public to call in on bills, which has never occurred before. But now anyone no matter where you are can call in in a committee hearing. And weigh in on a bill, which is amazing, Democratic thing, but we don't have the personal connection that we used to have.
But So for a lot of people like me. When they're thinking about going back into the office is taking the ferry are getting on a bus. Um and you know, engaging in those behaviors again might be a tall order I don't use into that. S■fs mentioned in one of his early remarks about being well informed, so I think it starts with. Getting good information from good sources. And we all know that there are a lot of bad sources of information out sadly making this situation more difficult, But I think if you look towards the Authorities that you trust. I recommend all of my colleagues here. We work together to look start with the CDC. When you don't know you're not sure Start there. They're very They're the experts in this there They have been, um. Consistent throughout this endemic in terms of their. I'll be Their ability to share good information amended to do what you did, Mark. We just think about it. You know when you have that information, be prepared and you prepare yourself so. Think through the various scenarios, um, that you're going to be faced with and be ready with.
Plan Now s O. You're able to deal with it, then without having to figure it out in the moment And then lastly, what you did, Which is you? You're comfortable with your position. And I think we should All feel comfortable making individual decisions about how we're gonna handle this, and we should respect other's decisions. Right So I'm obviously there are limits to that. But generally. Um, I am gonna be respectful of people I work with who want to maintain distance longer? Where masks longer? I mean, I will, sometime with the next three or four weeks be fully vaccinated.
And you know, I'm already thinking about the fact Azuma Jas. I look forward to losing the mask. I know not everyone is vaccinated yet And not everyone is comfortable yet. I'm okay being supportive in the public. Arena and wearing a mask. If it's gonna help, some folks feel more comfortable that I feel like that's my way to contribute, so I think it's important to be well informed. Think about this and feel comfortable and making decisions and Supportive of Different approaches. I really I really love the way you talked about Bill what? Wearing a mask to respect others because you know, there are so many people out there that believe that if they have to wear a mask, they're being oppressed. And um, I really just think they're they're paradigm eyes is you know they're looking at the world the wrong way. Um and thinking a little bit too much of the themselves and not of the community around them. On and we're approaching the mask wearing for a safety perspective, not just for our safety, but for other people's 62.
So we feel like. ■"Bó people think about mask wearing. It's for our protection and prevention and safety. Aye D■g8 wanted to just add that, um, really appreciate sort of. Bills thinking about how to approach it. Two words Come to mind. This communication right is to communicate with people. What's what's your comfort level? What do you need right And really be because sometimes we don't want to assume right that you. S o. I think communicating with folks about what you're needing. What would your expectation and having some dialogue about that, but also really knowing your comfort level? You know if you're not ready to You know, 20 feeling people government to your office. You have to communicate that and really be clear of what's comfortable for you Engaging people around you about it and being very clear about it.
One of the things that we've seen over time is right. You actually need a little bit stronger boundaries and be more up front about what you're needing, because if you don't think about that, then people will will make a lot of assumptions and that can actually open up more problems. So being very clear about. What is more than for you and how you will feel safe. And what's your comfort level and communicating that with people and asking them do what will make you feel safe when we're coming together? Right? So not assuming that people know Yeah. There's ask you both about therapy and where we are in the pandemic and public health orders where there hasn't been a lot of in person therapy going on and s ■"Có.
When can there be a transition to do that in person therapy, or is that already kind of been occurring and then also that it's been very difficult for people to actually find therapists that can take. New clients and what a challenge it's been for those who have been trying to reach out checking in with themselves, understanding that it would be helpful for them to talk to somebody. Um, and that the situation isn't really. Good because the demand for therapy caress is so high. How do we deal with that? It's definitely a workforce issue in this field. We don't have enough. Therapist We don't have enough psychiatrists. Um. It's um This is definitely a challenge for us A future challenge for us.
Um you know, we hear it Sanoma County behavioral health we provide in person services for urgent. Here right now and for crisis care, right? So our crisis stabilization unit, for example, has not stopped operating operating throughout this endemic. There is a. There are local group of Heroes here in bay General Health and also our homeless outreach staff who have continued to do their work. Um, to serve people who are living a nhà housed in our community. Um. But I think that standard therapy were probably some months away. I think that, um. If you follow the health orders. Once, folks they're vaccinated distance social distance inside, probably with masks. Once we're in that situation, I could imagine MME or. In person therapy taking place in some ways, not much different than dentists and doctors. Um, I wonder if one of the silver linings isn't hasn't been, um, the emergence of telehealth so we provided ■#dn. Help help! Very Pete Little.
Tell health services prior to this, and it was not a technology I or my colleagues looked v■g"i grow very quickly. Mental health is going to be much different next year than it would have been without the pandemic. We're gonna we're learning. The value of telehealth. It's not going to replace. I don't believe in person services, but it's going to augment it, and it makes it increases the availability. So, for example, in the area psychiatry we've been able to hire. Psychiatrist from across the country. All right, So where's there may be a shortage in cinema County. There seemed to be some individuals in the Midwest who are available for tell health services for a client so. There are some silver linings and I hope we can build on them. Yeah. And you just have that same here that you know in Marin Crisis stabilization unit Jail. Mental health services have continued. Some of our teams have continued to provide sort of crisis related services.
Um. We do know, though, that there are clients that I really need to come in, so we are would have come in and meet face to face either they don't have the idea equipment or the laptop or the bat Broadband. Really provide get those services. So we've tried to create pockets in our services to do that. I do think the question, though, is how many of the providers as we expanded telehealth are sort of seeing the types of clients that really need the level of service is geographically It's kind of widen. But the affordability still I think it's an issue way D■g8 still hear people saying they're taking Falun health, but their private pay or they don't accept medical or.
There's their fetuses really high, So I think, in addition to just expanding geographically or the ability to be able to provide the services, it's be affordability. Also that we're hearing. Overtime so that I think is an issue that way. It's just like a chronic issue. I think that we will face for a while. We've had a couple of questions submitted that I want to read to you and I hope I'm reading them correctly. There's some interesting ones. This question is I've been experiencing this feeling similar. T■g8 Imposter syndrome. I live alone and I'm working from home and I'm sure that the isolation is not impacting my mental wellness and ability to be a good girl. Any advice on how to help myself? Get out of this. Reflecting a little bit and what? When? When What that means to me in terms of the impostors that I tripped on that, too, that Zubiate very technical term.
Yet And so I would say that I'm hoping that if you do have any medical provider therapist to reach out to them, your primary care prablyherere crisis lines. When. I would not want to know more about what you mean with the impostor syndrome. And what specifically, you're trying. You feel like you're maybe they're they're passing buys a better worker than it's what they are because they haven't been in person in the office. Mm. I'm not Yeah, it's just. It was important enough to share. It's I think a lot of people might, you know, have have feelings about this, Not, you know, not being with your colleagues and you know, getting the feedback.
You're not normal. Normally, I'm used to getting. Yeah I mn, I would focus on the discomfort and what level of discomfort are you experiencing? I mean, I'm e think we're all experiencing discomfort and we all UM and it's on a continuum. And when it's. Um and that should help you decide. What? How you want to follow up right so higher levels of discomfort means you should reach out right? You should talk to your support system or your friends or your family. Your mentor, your. Um, religious advisor. Or do you have a therapist or you interested in engaging in therapy and having a discussion about that discomfort? You know, it's if you over if you overreact in terms of seeking help, I don't find that there's much harm in that.
Harmon leaving yourself to suffer without. Um, doing what you can do to help yourself, so I can't. I'm uncertain with the impostor experience. It means you two are so I would focus on what is that level of discomfort. Let that level of discomfort guide what you do next. Are the crisis lions in the warm pure support lines? Are they getting the traffic and, um, the use that we would match in because of the high levels of depression and anxiety? We've certainly at least in Marine with seen sort of a slight increase the one that we're paying attention to, which is a little bit different now from the beginning off, Go over this. The types meaning still see depression anxiety. People are actually calling Now, if like, how do I go about this? Now that there's we're opening, right, my anxiety of being around people haven't been around people for Over a year and then some of the economics of like, you know, I'm still worried about getting a job.
You know all those economic pieces so, but I don't know if it's significantly increased. I think we're sort of seeing. Kind of similar numbers, but it's the type of calls that I think concerns that people have. We have really anecdotally been hearing people are like I haven't been around people for Right here. I don't even know how to be with when I You know what? I'm gonna be in places where there's more people. But that's the anxiety and how they shall not. Yeah. Throughout the pandemic had peaks and valleys of calls to our crisis line on. It's been difficult for us to track with that. You know it relates to the two things that we've seen in a very concrete way that are are a significant concern to us. One is that well, the general suicide rate has gone down. We'll be nationally and some of our local data shows that Or, um, Under served under represented. Ethnic populations are are experiencing up tips.
So it's a Noma County, The Latin EXT. Community has all those are the numbers or small. Um the increase is significant enough to. Reflected This is yet another way the pandemic has impacted Thies communities and nationally that the information's new but it's starting to come together that African American communities communities of color C■fYm use that live in poverty. Are having your first signs of measurable bad outcomes. You're the one that it really impacted us. It's been.
What appear to be unintended death for drug use because of the fentanyl. So the. Impact of fentanyl is been profound. Um. And um, you know, we worry that you know. Is it the lack of treatment services that are available of brutal live person to person group services at Camp. Take place. Is that it? You know, it's called the disease of despair for a reason, But again, it's we're not alone in Sanoma County. But were we just. Had a number of very sad losses. Over the most recent months from folks who have used drugs unintentionally been Killed by fentanyl. It's heartbreaking, really heart breaking. Um, we did a question. Um. That I definitely could relate to. In some ways, this person had put in something that what advice can you give so that we don't get too irritable.
And order pressed, especially for people who already have mental health conditions, both for her Children and adults. And then this. This is the one that I think all parents can really connect with. Kids have done back to in person learning three days week, but I'm still working from home. Even those two days when I have to work and be with my kids at the same time is challenging. And I feel like I'm no help to them or myself on. I would just say, you know, I try to recognize my good parenting moments and my bad parenting moments and at least lea, len fr like I didn't do that too well.
Um, but no for others. You know when you're really struggling with the tools of just how you're your own mental health is be there for your Children. It's really hard. How do we help out parents who are struggling with that? You know, I think there are a number approaches. You can take someone we've already talked about. Um what the slap that comes to mind.
When you read that question was, what is causing the irritation? Right? So again, you could be on auto pilot and just be pushing yourself to your busy day trying to take care of far too many things and not be aware of what it is that. It's causing the irritation. I mean, maybe maybe simple. Maybe you need a break. Take a day off. The kids take a day off from school. But the comment that made a impression was I feel like I'm not doing well enough. And that is. That's that's the feelings you have, because you are a good parent and care. Um and that's the feeling you're having that is unreasonable. No one can do as well as they want to do right now.
This is again I started with my irritation with the word with unprecedented How often I hear that, But it. What you're experiencing. What you're doing right now is in its own way. Heroic if you have kids were part time at home, and you're working from home. And you're keeping food on the table in the house relatively cle in the dog's head far. You are covering your bases in the world pandemic, So take a look at what's causing the irritation might be a feeling like you're not doing as well as you should. And is that feeling reasonable? What can you do to reframe that for yourself? Christine perspective, That's really I just wanna know what Bill said. And this is the also the time to be really realistic with our expectations of ourselves, right, So, as Bill said, it's un pretty unprecedented.
But our expectation of ourselves our super parents, super workers. And so to really just say it's not going to help us to have that expectation, but really sit down and saying Like what's really riel and concrete and practical that I can do right now and then take. And then being very clear through yourself. That and the permission to say I can't do it all right now, because we've never done this before, And so I am sort of learning in this process and to really and for me, that's also a sign of compassion to ourselves that we're role modeling. Our family members, right? That's really for me the long term effects of this whatever we do now, whatever whatever behaviors we share are being seen by our Children or grandchildren are relative, so it's really an opportunity to say. You have to be compassionate. We have to be realistic way have to communicate more and to talk about our needs, especially with our young people because they're looking at that's insane. How is Mom or not? Being figuring this out.
Like I'm I am I just going to be continuing to take on and on and on and not really saying Hold on a minute. Let's check where we're at, and his.this really. What's what's really happening here. So that's just that I think that came up a spill a stocking And Children. No you know, a certain age. They're aware of what's going on. Or that this moment is a lot for any individual and in our community. And on. So there are aware of that, But I think Thio, you know The point.
Um. Building that you made about having some some self criticism. You wanna be down in the dumps about yourself. But if you're not if you're not doing some, you know. Critique of you know how you're doing, even in the positively or negatively if you just think you're always doing great, um maybe there's a problem on the other side when you're not trying to really assess. Um particularly in this moment that you know am I being everything that I can be for my kids? Even if you can't live up to what you hope but trying to adjust and adapt. Um and assessed for that, Um So, you know, uh, And Jade. You know the way that you're talking about the needs that people have had, Um and I think the different.
Sectors of you know. SOC Demographically, Um. You know, this has been a place where there's been a lot of demand on your departments and the services that you pied and the staff that have been trying Thio. Um T■g8 ■"Bó. Yeah. Measure up to the needs of the community. So I wanna you know, just say thank you to all of them into you for, you know, Doing the work that you guys have been doing. How do we support? Um You know your efforts. I know. You know here at the Capitol were looking at the state budget. We had a meeting today with the Legislature's mental health caucus with.
County behavioral health directors on Dhe, So they kind of briefed us a little bit. Um today over. We used to do brown bag lunches, but they were assume s O. We were all just each in our offices. Not together. Usually we're together doing those things pre pandemic. S O is good for me to hear directly from your counterparts on the statewide side. But you know for the public that's listening in and wondering, you know, how do you guys do all the work that you do, and. How do you make it possible? Can you give us some insight into how it all works? Jail throwed at you know, I was thinking like, how do I answer that? Uh so we've I will say that I Really grateful to our staff that I'm sick of local heroes do and many of them probably don't get acknowledge, day in and day out that again in spite of having to deal with their own challenges with bring your skin, you know teachers Toàn, you know, putting food on the table that there really are day in and day out, really trying to support some of their clients.
And knowing that our commitment is to really provide the services of a so much as we can, in a way that we feel is as a important I think one of the things that's. Um, now that you said that Maze Mental Health Awareness month we For me, the call is to really pay attention to really taking care of him taking care of themselves D■g8. And really knowing about resource is that's available in the community, But also thinking about how to get connected with resource is and other people, so that for me is. And also the permission that you can't do it all. And it's okay tnot oka.
Evy now and then because we're not super human beings, right? And I think that permission and the reality is that we. We kind of need each other together and that remain optimistic. The things are getting better over time, so that that for me is sort of my t■g8 sense. We are encouraging our staff to do a lot of self care, too. Right? So we have actually incorporated. In our normal gonna call business have mindfulness moments encouraged after due south care, because, as you know, We can't keep just running and running without taking a pause without taking a vacation with taking a moment to say we need to refuel, so that for me is my sort of my two cents.
Yeah, well, yet if the question is how do the folks in this field do it? Um I would say, um And you know if you want to talk a little bit about how how your your department's been able toàn. You know what you know, Just give a sense of the services and. How it's Yeah. So we have. We had a set of services that we have provided in person on uninterrupted During the course of the pandemic.
I mentioned our crisis stabilization unit and arhomeless outreach. We have community health clinics and people who do, UM, home based services who have also continued to reach out and serve people directly. We've also had to be very creative, so. Um, on our staff have created from hybrid models, where by people who don't have access to v■g"i technology. T■g8 D■g8 telehealth. They make arrangements for those folks to come to our offices. Go to the room with a camera and we're in another room in the camera, and we're doing telehealth in the same building right? And it never occurred to me we would ever provide services like that. But that's. What? You know my colleagues came up with to deal to help folks who continued to not on our lobby door when they needed help and didn't have the ability that a mputer and join us forntf Telehealth.
And then Lastly, there's telehealth. Um, we have people who, um, I mean, it was literally over the course of two or three days that people change their work from always going out and meeting a person to person in the field or or in our offices. T■g8. Getting hold of the people they care for and looking at them in the square in a box like this and doing the work they do together and. It's been an amazing process. Tow watch. Killed We are come up on an hour and I want to respect everyone's time.
This was important Check in for us tow ■#cn. Into Health Awareness month coming up one of the most challenging past 13 months. I think of anyone's life who has been alive in the past 100 years. It's been very challenging. It's a church. Moment this burden this year that globally that we've had, so I just want to say again. Thank you both. Thank you to all of your staff, who. Have helped so many of our community through this pandemic. Thank you, Mark. We appreciate that. I appreciate being invited to talk with you and your constituents. Thank you do for the invitation, of course show great. Grateful for fear, Leadership and mental health.
Thank you both. It's important to remember that you are not alone. ISS I'm speaking to the audience, not not J and villa. This point is, you're not alone. These are difficult in China in times. And we all need to lean in and support one another. There are many resource is available, so don't be afraid to ask for help. If you or someone you know, is experiencing a psychiatric crisis. You can call the cinema County crisis line. At seven. Oh 7576. In Marin County.
Those in crisis can call 415473. 6392 Cinema counties line is seven. Oh 7576. Marin County, 415473. 6392. If you were someone you know is in crisis. You can also call the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 802 738. To speak with a crisis counselor Free 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the National Suicide Prevention lifeline. 1 802 7382, please also ■#dn. My office continues to be a resource for you during this time. If you have other questions that weren't addressed today, or needing this with any other issue, please don't hesitate to reach out to my office by calling seven Oh, seven. 57626. Or 415479. To 0.
You can also reach me. At Assemblymember's dot Levine. Assembly that CIA dot gov's Assemblymember's got living at assembly. Ca.gov for email. Um and I want specifically say, for those who need assistance with the Employment development Department. We are here to assist you. We know that. Getting unemployment assistance has been a very big challenge throughout this pandemic. I'll also be posting today's teletype. Today's Town hall, along with links to other resource is on my legislative website, which is assembly. Not see a dot gov slash living. So thank you again. J and Bill grateful for you.
Thank you, everyone for joining us..