Behavioral Health Connection 


As part of the integration efforts, we are developing our mission statement.  Please stay tuned for the Behavioral Health mission statement in the  next edition of the newsletter.


Integration Generation
Libby Madelyn Collins Trauma Recovery Project
Volunteer and Serve the Homeless
Healthcare Training Grant Award
Improving Psychiatric Care
Peripartum Depression Project
Rainbow Collaborative Services





Community Access Site 


Essential Learning




County Staff


Network Providers

Mental Health Awareness Month  
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month 
Recipe of the month: 
CC Logo 
Contra Costa 
Behavioral Health   

1340 Arnold Drive,  
Suite 200
Martinez, CA 94553
P: (925) 957 - 5150 
F: (925) 957 - 5156 

 We want to hear

from you!

Staff Comment Box

Questions or Comments about the  E-Newsletter? 

Email Us

Want to Join Our Mailing List?



 MAY/JUNE 2012

Thoughts are the seed of action

Cynthia Belon Photo
Cynthia Belon, LCSW Director of Behavioral Health Services

              -Ralph Waldo Emerson



Greetings! ,


Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Behavioral Health Connection. It is the collective "you" who brought this newsletter to life from a simple thought - to provide a vehicle for communication and celebration about all that is going on in our world of Behavioral Health.

During this past year, the Behavioral Health Services Division was created by combining Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs and Homeless Services into a single system of care. With increasing challenges in serving our culturally diverse residents with complex behavioral health needs, this integration is an opportunity to respond to the growing desire to have improved client outcomes through a systems approach that emphasizes "any door is the right door," and that provides enhanced coordination and collaboration when caring for the "whole" individual.  With this systemic change comes opportunity! To take advantage of opportunity, we need to embrace change and continue to find promise.

A new vision is emerging. With your expertise, we will create an integrated, accessible, comprehensive, and compassionate system of care that is designed at every level to focus on the whole individuals and/or family and not just the presenting symptoms; and to promote physical, emotional, and social well-being. Your thoughtful insight, input and participation in this integration process are the seeds that will grow into action!

So stay tuned to this publication to learn more about Behavioral Health news that is about you, from you, for you! And many thanks to those whose hard work and creativity provided the "seeds" for this newsletter.


Cynthia Belon, LCSW
Behavioral Health Director
Contra Costa County Behavioral Health 
Behavioral Health Design Teams  in Action 


The Behavioral Health Division is undergoing a transformation; an organized process of change in which Alcohol and Other Drug Services, Mental Health, and Homeless Programs, in collaboration with our community partners, are beginning to talk and work together differently to integrate services that focus on treatment of the whole person to achieve positive outcomes for individuals and families with children who have complex behavioral health needs; paying particular attention to those who need us the most and may have the most difficult time accessing care within our system. We are committed to being inclusive of everyone from consumers and families, direct service staff, community service providers and other shareholders, together with all levels of administration to create a roadmap and workplan that will bring forth this vision over the next three years.

To read more on the integration efforts, click here.

For more information contact:


 "SAMHWorks: Wellness to Independence" is an example of mental health and alcohol and other drug treatment providers working together successfully to serve a targeted group of clients. Under the 1990s-era federal welfare reform known as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), California began to set aside a small part of its annual CalWORKs funds for counties to offer behavioral health treatment to parents receiving temporary cash assistance. National research has found that many of the parents who have the most difficulty finding or keeping jobs suffer from mental health, substance abuse, and/or domestic violence problems.

In collaboration with Contra Costa's Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD), which administers CalWORKs, Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs have over the years developed a program that includes community-based organizations offering a range of treatment services to CalWORKs parents. Behavioral health counselors are stationed on-site at EHSD's CalWORKs offices to screen and refer participants and to liaison among participants, programs, and to either or both mental health and substance use treatment programs.   Children's mental health services have also been a part of the mix. The services are designed flexibly and oriented toward helping families cope with behavioral health issues in relatively short time frames, and preparing parents feel readier to seek work and moving toward economic independence.

For more information contact:


Return to Top


This 24-month program pilots the use of a Trauma Recovery Group with consumers diagnosed with co-occurring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and/or cluster B personality disorders who receive mental health services at the county-operated adult mental health clinics. The program is currently in its first year. There were seven individuals enrolled in the first group. Three additional groups, each with no more than 10 participants, will begin in spring of 2012. One of the upcoming groups will be held in a board and care facility and one will target Spanish-speaking consumers. The goals of the project are to determine: 1) if offering this group to consumers will improve mental health outcomes and promote recovery; 2) how peer providers can support the group; and 3) if the group is effective among various cultural populations, particularly Spanish-speaking populations and transition age youth.


For more information contact:


Return To Top

 Volunteer for Project Homeless Connect 8 - June 14, 2012


Homeless Connect Image
An estimated 15,000 people    experience homelessness in Contra Costa County each year, 
and on any given night, more than 4,200 people are homeless. Project Homeless Connect will provide vital services to these  people under one roof in one day.
We need your help for a one-day, one-stop shop to offer a variety of services to people experiencing homelessness, connecting them with benefits, medical care, substance abuse and mental health counseling, social services, housing  and shelter.


Consider being a  community volunteer and, or service provider volunteer for Project Homeless Connect 8!  


Project Homeless Connect 8 


June 14, 2012  
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  
Willow Pass Center  
2748 East Olivera Road  
Concord, CA 94519 


To view the event flyer, Click here

Interested in Becoming a Community Volunteer? 
Interested in Becoming a Service Provider Volunteer?  Click here


Please check with your supervisor before signing up to volunteer as this is during normal business hours.


For more information contact:  


Healthcare Career Training Grant Awarded to Contra Costa Mental Health


In April 2012, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) announced Contra Costa Mental Health as one of 14 organizations to receive a Healthcare Career Training Program (HCTP) grant. The HCTP Mini-Grants are designed to strengthen the educational and social foundations by providing direct and indirect program support for underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged students to build on as they pursue careers in the health industry. Funded activities focus on various categories that cover health career conference and workshops and health career exploration.


Contra Costa Mental Health's project entitled, 'Developing a Mental Health Concentration in High Schools in Contra Costa County', is designed to help Mental Health continue partnerships with Dozier Libbey Medical High School, Vicente Martinez High School and Pinole Valley High School to administer a mental health curriculum in these schools and potentially implement in other schools in the County.  This is the second year Contra Costa County received the OSHPD mini-grant award.  


For more information contact:


Return To Top

The Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration Project



The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has selected California to participate in the three-year Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration project that will provide additional federal Medicaid funds to improve acute psychiatric care in Contra Costa and Sacramento counties.  Eleven states and the District of Columbia, were selected to participate in the pilot project to improve access to psychiatric care for persons with mental illness, while lowering state Medicaid costs. 


Currently, Medicaid does not provide reimbursement for services to Medicaid beneficiaries aged 21 to 64 in institutes of mental disease which includes many acute care psychiatric facilities.  Additionally many Medicaid enrollees with acute psychiatric needs, such as those experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, enter general hospital emergency departments, many of which are not equipped to appropriately meet the needs of these individuals.  Under this pilot project, federal Medicaid reimbursement will be available for treatment of psychiatric emergencies in free standing acute psychiatric hospitals.


For additional information contact:  


Newly named WELL-Women Embracing Life & Learning


The Peripartum Depression Project is collaboration between Contra Costa Mental Health Services, Public Health Nursing and Women Infant and Child (WIC) program. The 12 month pilot will integrate perinatal/post partum depression services into the services currently provided at the Central County WIC office. The target population consists of mothers who receive services from the Central County WIC office who screen positively for perinatal and/or post partum depression. The goals of the program are to learn: 1) which elements of the collaboration are most/least effective and why; 2) if the collaboration leads to an increase in awareness about mental health services and a decrease in the mothers' perception of stigma associated with depression; and 3) improved health outcomes for the women participating in the collaboration.


For more information contact:



Rainbow Collaborative Services Now Available in Contra Costa County


 Gay Couple- Diversity Poster


The collaborative effort of five nonprofit partners serving LGBTQQI2-S youth in Contra Costa County is now in full operation. The partners in this MHSA Innovation Project combined resources and skills to design an innovative support model for LGBTQI2-S youth that improves outreach to and engagement of support networks that influence health outcomes for these youth. This collaborative effort focuses on families, schools and faith groups.


The partners include the Rainbow Community Center, the Center for Human Development, the RYSE Youth Center, the James Morehouse Project at El Cerrito High School, and Gender Spectrum. This effort is rooted in the ground-breaking work of Caitlin Ryan's Family Acceptance Project. Partners are developing prevention and early intervention strategies which increase accepting behaviors among key support networks.


Go to the Behavioral Health Services LGBTQI2-S Inclusion Initiative website which provides links to the Collaboration's programs, as well as to other resources to support LGBTQ youth and their families.


CCC LGBTQ Youth Collaborative: call 925/692-2056

Additional Links:

For LGBTQ youth and family publications and videos please visit: Behavioral Health Services LGBTQI2-S Inclusion Initiative




People Who Care Awardees


Several individuals and groups who are doing exceptional work combating alcohol and other drugs in their communities were recently honored by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and the Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board. This year's recipients of the "People Who Make a Difference" Awards included law enforcement, school, students and a community resident.


"Our awardees come from a broad spectrum of society, their involvement is needed in order to address alcohol and other drugs which is a serious and widespread problem in the community", says Jerry Lasky, Chair of the Community Awareness Committee of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board. The winners were acknowledged at the May 8, 2012 meeting of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors in Martinez and are listed below. The People Who Make a Difference Awards takes place once a year. 







Volunteer Individual, District II - Supervisor Gayle B. Uilkema



Volunteer Individual, District III- Supervisor Mary N. Piepho 



Non-Volunteer Individual, District II- Supervisor Gayle B. Uilkema



Non-Volunteer Individual, District III- Supervisor Mary N. Piepho



Non-Volunteer Group, District I - Supervisor John M. Gioia



Youth Leadership Individual, District I- Supervisor John M. Gioia


For more information please  


Mental Health Awareness Month 
Mental Health Awareness
Mental Health America has posted their webpage focusing on "May is Mental Health Awareness Month" which began in 1949 to raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for all. This year, they are addressing these important issues through two themes:


  • Do More For 1 in 4 is a call to action to help the 1 in 4 American adults who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition and the fact that they can go on to live full and productive lives. Download the Do More For 1 in 4 Toolkit. (approx. 1 minute to download)
  • The second theme, Healing Trauma's Invisible Wounds, focuses on the impact of traumatic events on individuals and communities.  It centers around asking the person-based question: "What happened to you?" Download the Healing Trauma's Invisible Wounds Toolkit. (approx. 1 minute to download)

Click here for the Contra Costa County's Board of Supervisor's Proclamation.

For additional information contact: 





Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month 



LGBT youth are routinely targeted for harassment by their peers simply because of their sexual orientation and/or gender non-conformity.   According to the 2009 National School Climate Survey, a study by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 85 percent of LGBT or Questioning students were the target of verbal harassment, 40 percent were physically harassed, and 19 percent were assaulted due to their sexual orientation. LGBTQ youth were more likely to report missing school due to fears for their safety.

In order to bring more acknowledgment to this important matter Barack Obama issued a proclamation recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month. Obama called upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people. As well, since 2009 the CCC Board of Supervisors had declared June Pride month.

In support of the goals of LGBT Pride Month, the Behavioral Health Services LGBTQI2-S Inclusion Initiative provides a list of helpful links for providers and those they serve:


CCC LGBTQ Youth Support Groups:




For publications, videos and other resources, click here.


For more information contact:


Return to Top

HealingCuisineHealing Cuisine

Zucchini Bread 


Ingredients:Zuchini Bread


3 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

3-5 medium zucchini, grated

2 cups chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

         Also need: 3 bowls, a cheese grater with   

         large holes, 2 loaf pans or 1 bundt pan



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Bowl #1 (mix thoroughly):flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder
  3. Bowl #2: 3 eggs, whisked, add oil, add sugar, mix together
  4. Bowl #3:grated zucchini, add vanilla, stir thoroughly
  5. Add contents of Bowl #3 to Bowl #2, mix thoroughly,
  6. Add combined Bowl #2 to Bowl #1
  7. Add chopped nuts, mix thoroughly
  8. Pour into 2 loaf pans or 1 bundt (or similar) pan
  9. Place into oven for about 1 hour (check after 45 minutes to make sure not burnt)

When your toothpick or butter knife comes out clean it's done! Stays fresh on the counter for a week. Especially delicious sliced, toasted and slathered with butter.


Recipe Submission By: Felix Box, Behavioral Health, Homeless Program  


Send your recipes to: