Health and Human Services Agency

Margaret Williams

(530) 642-7164


(Placerville, CA) - May is National Mental Health Month. "Mental Health Month is an important time to promote mental wellness for all," said Jamie Samboceti, Deputy Director of El Dorado County Behavioral Health Services. "Studies show that nearly one in five people in California report needing help with a mental health or emotional health problem, but symptoms may go untreated due to stigma."

According to Samboceti, asking for help is the first step. "Anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges are extremely common. Mental illness is on a continuum from mild symptoms to chronic and severe. Most people with a mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by getting help. This can reduce the number of untreated people suffering in silence," said Samboceti.

Everyone in the community can support optimal mental health through the following:

  • Connect with family and friends to feel supported, valued and understood;
  • Stay physically active (the body releases stress-reducing hormones when it is moving);
  • Connect to new and interesting activities in the community to feel a sense of belonging and shared purpose;
  • Seek professional help to feel better during times of stress and difficulty coping;
  • Understand signs and symptoms of someone in emotional distress, and support them in seeking help;
  • Access support services such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255, Institute on Aging's Friendship Line (age 60 and older) at (800) 971-0016, or nationwide Crisis Text Line at 741741.

 The Behavioral Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency provides crisis services, including a 24-hour crisis line for residents. They are also a response partner with emergency response agencies during traumatic community events. Behavioral Health partners with several community agencies including the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT), where a Sheriff Deputy and a Mental Health Clinician work together in the field to provide support when a crisis call comes into Dispatch, and the Sheriff's Department Homeless Outreach Team (HOT).

Behavioral Health also conducts assessments, adult and contracted children's outpatient services, case management and groups for residents who meet the criteria for Specialty Mental Health Services. Wellness Centers through Behavioral Health offer free peer support groups, life-skills trainings and assistance for those diagnosed with a mental illness seeking a supportive environment. In addition, the Division coordinates mental health prevention programs and trainings in the community (such as "Mental Health First Aid").

To reach Behavioral Health staff for general information, the outpatient clinic and Wellness Center, call (530) 621-6290 on the West Slope of El Dorado County or (530) 573-7970 in South Lake Tahoe. For crisis services, call (530) 622-3345 on the West Slope and (530) 544-2219 in South Lake Tahoe.

For more information about the services of El Dorado County Behavioral Health, please visit


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