Breaking Barriers Breaking Barriers, Transforming the Mental Health System
The stories included in this supplement come from people who in different ways have been touched by programs provided by Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services (BHCS) and funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). These are tales of strength through adversity, determination, and resilience. One of such stories, “The Golden Gift,” was created as part of Alameda County BHCS Stigma Reduction Campaign, in collaboration with the consumer-run organization PEERS.
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Office Ledbetter Crisis Intervention Training Arms Police With Tools For Crisis Calls
Police are often called upon to help people in crisis. When they receive a call, police aren’t always sure what they will be walking into and this heightens their alert for potential safety concerns. The sense of foreboding provoked by these unknowns might cause any officer to arrive on the scene in a suspicious, confrontational mindset. This had been the experience of Officer Alicea Ledbetter of the Alameda Police Department when responding to crisis calls.
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Family's Fear Crisis Intervention Training: Reducing One Family’s Fears
One evening several years ago, Mark Rahman’s adolescent child left home -- to “follow the moon,” it was later explained. This was not a metaphor. Experiencing mental health symptoms, Mark’s child walked continuously for 48 hours in a straight line toward the moon, scrambling over fences and wandering across busy streets in an effort to reach it.
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Caring For The Caregivers Family Education And Resource Center: Caring For The Caregivers
No one understood why Michele Wms-Smith’s younger sister acted out of character at times. Michele said their siblings chalked it up to her sister “being a spoiled brat.”

But when her sister received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and began having trouble caring for herself and her children, the family knew she was in an unfamiliar and scary place.
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Golden Gift The Golden Gift
Everyone at the table in the retirement community’s quaint library gazed in wonder at the vintage photo of Helen Parker. Rachel Love begged her mother to bring the photo down from her room and show the guests. It was worth her pleas. The black-and-white photo was of a 21-year-old Parker adorned in an evening gown. Her hands gliding across the grand piano keys, as the orchestra played on and thousands in the theater listened.
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Romeo Romeo's Ups and Downs
Sitting on a black chair that has seen better days, Romeo considers for a moment the question at hand. He fixes his gaze on the wall across the small living room and a smile plays on his young face. “I’m an actor, I’m a funny guy; I've been acting since second grade." Anticipating the next question, he adds, “When I'm acting I feel I just can be anything I want to be; I can do anything. I love the feeling of being in a character and acting with passion. I can let out all my pain."
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Stories

Breaking Barriers, Transforming the Mental Health System

Crisis Intervention Training Arms Police With Tools For Crisis Calls

Family Education And Resource Center: Caring For The Caregivers

Crisis Intervention Training: Reducing One Family’s Fears

The Golden Gift

Romeo's Ups and Downs

Texting to Reach Teens in Crisis

Turning to the Past for Healings