Expert panel to discuss ‘Putting the Puzzle Together: Mental Health Policy and Community Options’

Jewish Family Service will present “Putting the Puzzle Together: Mental Health Policy and Community Options,” on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Congregation Beth Israel, 9001 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego.

The free event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a resource fair and light appetizers, and continues with a panel discussion from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m.

Parents and families can offer crucial support for loved ones living with mental illness by working with doctors, contributing and monitoring a treatment plan, and conveying hope. However, families can also become frustrated when confronted by the obstacles of patient privacy laws and competency standards, especially if a loved one with a serious mental illness is resistant to treatment. The panel is designed as a conversation to explore how mental health policies fit with family and community interest.

Featured panelists include Jim Fix, Psy.D., executive director of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT); Michael Krelstein, M.D., clinical director of San Diego Behavioral Health; and Jeff G. Elias, attorney and consultant in criminal and mental health law.

“We are often afraid or ashamed to admit feelings of frustration, despair, or guilt over caring for a child, even an adult child, with mental illness,” said Linda Janon, founder of the Behavioral Health Committee. “But only when we speak out do we find we are not alone. Together we find support and hope.”

The Behavioral Health Committee of Jewish Family Service of San Diego provides resources and services for coping and living with mental illness and seeks to eliminate stigma by increasing community awareness.

Register online at Call 858-637-3350.