Over the last several years, the Sacramento African American/Black (Black) community has repeatedly expressed its frustration and outrage with local encounters involving behavioral health (mental health or substance use disorders) and law enforcement. In several publicized cases, Black people with behavioral health issues died tragically. But there are many other experiences that have not been well-publicized that also cause waves of stress, trauma, and loss to Sacramento Black families and community. There are new relevant public initiatives* underway that have the potential to address this crisis that the Black community needs to know about and play an active role in.
This 2-part virtual event series:
Session 1: Wednesday, 11/17/21, 2-5 pm (Pt 1)
Lifted up voices from the Sacramento Black community on their experiences specifically involving behavioral health and the criminal “justice” system” (“The Call”). This session included a panel presentation of Black community members with lived experience, breakout sessions, large group sharing, and questions & answers.
“The Call” Panelists:
- Ryan McClinton, community activist & Public Health Advocate (Ryan will be the first and last panelist)
- Raphael, a “lifer” from San Quentin Prison who was paroled to Sacramento
- Donetta Jefferson, Ms. D., community member with personal lived experience as survivor of Sac Jail
- Tamara Lacey, community member with personal lived experience with grandson with mental illness & incarceration
- Stevante Clark, community activist
- Keke Brown, ONTRACK Soul Space Empowerment Advocate (Case Manager)
- Tifanei Ressl Moyer, JD, Decarcerate Sacramento co-founder
Session 2: Thursday, 11/18/21, 2-5 pm (Pt 2)
Highlighted new Sacramento County and City behavioral health and criminal “justice” related initiatives (“The Response”). We wanted to be sure that the Black community is aware of these local initiatives* and the opportunities to have meaningful input and roles so that implementation is transparent, responsive, beneficial, equitable, and successful.
This session included a panel presentation of officials from the City and County including the Mayor’s Office, Sheriff’s Department, Police Department, Public Defender’s Office, Behavioral Health Services, and community activists, breakout sessions, large group sharing, and questions & answers.
“The Response” Panelists:
- Alondra Thompson, LCSW, Sac County Behavioral Health Services (BHS)
- Geoff Twitchell, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Health Division Manager
- Chief Deputy Jim Barnes, Sac County Sheriff Department
- Chief Marlon Yarber, Sac County Probation
- Chief Daniel Hahn, Sac City Police Department
- Chief Deputy, Kathy Lester, Sac City Police Department
- Kelly Rivas, Sac City Mayor’s Office
- Tiffanie Synnott, Principal Criminal Attorney Sac County Public Defender’s Office
- Ryan McClinton, PHA
- Special Guest: the Honorable Lawrence G. Brown, Collaborative Courts, Sacramento Superior Court
Both sessions were facilitated by Dr. La Tanya Takla, psychologist, EdD, LMFT, LPCC,and the Mending Feelings team of Black clinicians (www.mendingfeelings.com) to be culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and conducive to listening, healing, and right action, and included breakout sessions, large group sharing, and questions & answers. The priority of both sessions was that Black people were heard and their behavioral health needs were being addressed, in a safe, supportive, and respectful way.**
We strongly encouraged and requested participants to attend both sessions.
This event was one of two annual events hosted by ONTRACK Program Resources, Inc. The next annual event will take place in 2022 (Date TBD after July 1st). There will be monthly planning meetings to support the right action in between these two annual events.
*Some of the brand new initiatives that will be highlighted include the:
**Individual therapy sessions with Dr. Takla will be available to members of the Sacramento Black community who may want or need additional support at no charge through the Trauma Informed Culturally Responsive Therapy (TICRT) program.
ONTRACK Program Resources (ONTRACK) has been contracted as a “Local Level Entity” (LLE) subcontractor with the California Black Health Network (CBHN) under the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network’s (CPEHN) Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) Diverse Stakeholder Engagement contract. In its role as an LLE, ONTRACK is contracted to coordinate two annual events to engage the Sacramento African American/Black (AA/Black) community and develop a post-event report. This event series is made possible through funds from the Mental Health Services Act, Proposition 63.