June 2016


News and Updates

Respite Partnership Collaborative Sunsets

Thank you for taking this journey together and creating partnerships that provide important mental health respite services in our communities. The 11 programs that were funded through the Respite Partnership Collaborative represent an expansion of the county mental health delivery system, and have provided an alternative to receiving care in hospital emergency departments for more than 7,000 Sacramentans since 2013!

We hope you enjoy this final RPC newsletter, including the reflections shared by RPC members and grantees below.

Stay Connected!

FOR FB screenshot

Friends of Respite Sacramento is a new online network created by RPC members to keep RPC members and grantees in touch and to continue their important work. We encourage all RPC members and grantee partners to join the Facebook group F.O.R. Sacramento.

Grantee Impact Story

All of the incredible mental health respite work that Respite Partnership Collaborative grantees are doing in the community continues to make a difference! This grantee impact story from Saint John’s Program for Real Change gives a glimpse into the value the community places on respite services.

During April of this year, a young mother entered our respite program with her 2-year-old son. She was experiencing acute panic attacks and severe anxiety related to fleeing her romantic partner who was emotionally abusive. After successfully completing our respite program, she transitioned to a residential vocational program and has recently moved to supportive housing. She reports no longer having panic attacks and is “finding a voice.”

Highlights from the May 19 Community Stakeholder Meeting

The Respite Partnership Collaborative hosted its final Community Stakeholder Meeting on May 19. These meetings have been a forum for presenting findings, challenges and successes of the RPC Project to the community at large.

Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy kicked off this final meeting with opening remarks on the importance of appropriate and accessible mental health respite services. He also acknowledged the continuous work of the RPC and all of the grantees in creating a respite service network in Sacramento that did not previously exist. Supervisor Kennedy was followed by the external evaluators of the RPC project, American Institutes for Research, who presented on their findings specific to the impact of the community-driven process and where this community-led initiative succeeded. A panel of current and former RPC members then shared their perspectives on the need for community voice and the lessons learned for other groups thinking of implementing similar programs.

Meeting photo

Photo (left to right): Iffat Hussain, Kay Temple Kirk and Lyn Corbett share their experiences as members of the Respite Partnership Collaborative.

Video Series Highlights Respite Service Grantees

The Respite Partnership Collaborative grantee video project continues! Each RPC grantee was offered an opportunity to produce a two-minute video that highlights their organization, their mental health respite work and the impact they are having in the community. The videos are for organizations to tell their story of respite, such as on their web site, for funders, at community presentations and as a general way to get the word out into the community.

Eight videos are now posted and three more are in production. Two other videos tell the story of the RPC Project: Respite Partnership Collaborative: A Public-Private Partnership and Respite Partnership Collaborative: A Community-Driven Innovation Project. See the videos on the RPC Video web page.

Respite Partnership Collaborative Reflections

RPC Milestones

We asked current and former RPC members and RPC grantees to provide answers to some reflection questions on the RPC journey, the RPC legacy and what respite means to them. Each member and each grantee chose how many questions to answer.

Photo of Michelle Johnston

Michelle Johnston
RPC Member 2012-2014

Q: What have you gotten from participating with the RPC?

A: I was an RPC member for the first couple of years of the project, representing older adult service providers. Participating in the RPC helped me increase my knowledge of the scope of mental health services in our community (both what we had and what was missing).

Q: What is the one thing you are most proud of that the collaborative has achieved?

A: I was pleased that the RPC members decided to fund respite serving all five of the initial target audiences (from the county plan). While the members all came with a particular perspective and each represented a particular audience, they were interested in supporting all in our community who were in need of respite.

Photo of Karen Brockopp

Karen Brockopp
Respite Grantee: TLCS, Inc.

Q: What is the one thing you are most proud of that your program has achieved through the collaborative?

A: We are very proud to be a part of the collaboration with the other recipients of the RPC grants. The spirit of partnership has been inspirational, energizing and beneficial to the people we serve. The RPC’s Collaborative Grantee Learning Community Meetings have been instrumental in promoting the camaraderie between our programs. The collaboration between programs has given that “personal touch” that is needed to make solid referrals amongst our programs. Furthermore, many of the programs give us access to populations that may not otherwise trust a “mainstream” service such as the TLCS Crisis Respite Center. In essence when we receive the “seal of approval” from the other Respite Programs, we too are able to serve an underserved and at-risk population. The cooperation between CRC and other programs has been superb. We are truly partners and work together in such a way that our guests and clients are benefiting.

Photo of Kay Temple Kirk

Kay Temple Kirk
RPC Member 2015-Current
Respite Grantee: Gender Health Center

Q: What does respite mean to you?

A: To us at Gender Health Center, Respite means a chance to take a break in a safe bubble, away from the harshness of our day to day experiences of transphobia, queerphobia, racism, classism, sexism, bigotry, and stigma. Respite is a place to exist for people whose existence is threatened, challenged, and preyed upon. Respite is a place of humanity in a world that is increasingly less humane by the day. Respite is a place of acceptance and inclusivity for people who experience rejection repeatedly from society and family. Respite is a place of empowerment for people who experience empowerment nowhere else in their lives.

Photo of Iffat Hussain

Iffat Hussain
RPC Member 2012-Current
RPC Co-Chair 2016
Respite Grantee: Turning Point Community Programs

Q: What does the RPC Project mean to you?

A: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway. For me, this quote from Ernest Hemingway, really epitomizes my understanding and experience of RPC. Reflecting back, I remembered that I joined RPC initially to represent the needs of un-served and underserved ethnic communities from Sacramento Region, especially Muslim community. Muslim community is a highly underserved population for cultural reasons such as a lack of awareness of many mental health issues, and stigma associated with receiving aid or treatment for such conditions. However, it was my journey with the RPC from 2012-2016 that I realized my assimilation with the larger group prepared me to represent the entire Sacramento community at a RPC. As a result, RPC project is very close to my heart for multiple reasons:

  • Opportunity to collaborate: RPC was my first experience being part of a project where public, private entities collaborated with the diverse group for a common goal.
  • Opportunities for personal and professional growth: At the personal level, this journey offered me multiple learning. RPC project helped me to be comfortable with my own discomfort. It reinforced my belief in the process toward the same cause with the like-minded individuals. At the professional level, I appreciated the inclusiveness and collaboration piece i.e. diverse groups collaborating to launch respite programs serving five target population identified by innovative work group.
  • Learning and understanding: This journey continues to offer a multiple learning opportunity to serve community in innovative and non-traditional ways to address mental health crisis.

As this journey is coming toward end, for me, it is creating mixed emotions: feeling of joy toward completion of the project, accompanied with the feelings of separation from the group. I strongly believe that though it is the end of the project, yet it is the new beginning of possibilities and opportunities, at the Regional and State level, to address mental health crisis in more innovative ways.

Q: What is unique about the RPC Project?

A: The uniqueness of RPC was its focus on the process, learning and growth, internally and externally. Internally, within collaborative, each monthly meeting provided an opportunity to learn and grow as a team. Externally, the launching respite programs to serve diverse individuals and families through eleven grantees in the Sacramento County.

Q: What is the one thing you are most proud of that the collaborative has achieved?

A: One thing I am really proud is the experiential growth at the community level. The achievement of short term goal of funding the 11 grantees to serve five target populations and understand the term Respite. This project also helped to envision a long term objective of reducing stigma around mental health and using innovative approaches to reduce mental health crisis.

Photo of Kao Thun

Kao Thun
Respite Grantee: Iu-Mien Community Services

Q: How has the RPC support made a difference for your respite project?

A: The RPC support Iu-Mien Community Services in bringing two additional programs. We were able to open an additional adult day peer-run program on a Monday. The RPC also enable us to open up an after school youth club.

Q: What has been unique about the RPC Project?

A: One of the unique things about the RPC Project is that many respite programs are designed to give the caregiver time away from the patient, but in the IMCS’ Healthy Village Senior program the caregivers accompany patients to gain strength from not only participating in activities but also sharing experiences with other caregivers.

Q: What is the one thing you are most proud of that your program has achieved through the collaborative?

A: One of the things that I am most proud of our program is that now our clients have deeper understanding of mental health and mental health respite. They seem to be more openly to talk during mental health discussions.

Photo of Ebony Chambers

Ebony Chambers
RPC Member 2013-Current
RPC Co-Chair: 2013-2015

Q: What is unique about the RPC Project?

A: The public and private partnership combined with a diverse group of stakeholders that includes consumer voice! It has been amazing to see this in action.

Q: What is the legacy of the RPC?

A: The legacy of the RPC will be effective respite supports available to the community that will continue to have a long lasting impact for years to come. This legacy will be available to individuals in crisis who now know where they can go and have supports in place when needed.

Photo of Alexis Bernard

Alexis Bernard
RPC Member 2013-Current
RPC Co-Chair: 2014-2016
Respite Grantee: Turning Point Community Programs

Q: What have you gotten from participating with the RPC?

A: I have learned a lot about the collaborative decision making process as a result of my participation in the RPC. I have also had the opportunity to work on my leadership skills and obtain a better understanding of the grant making and evaluation process. Then there are all of the amazing people whom I’ve had the opportunity to share opinions with while also participating in rich discussions – it really has been a journey worth talking about!

Q: What is the legacy of the RPC?

A: While I understand that the RPC was an innovation project focused on learning, and I do believe that a great deal of learning occurred as a result of the project, I still believe that the true legacy is the development of new and varied respite programs in Sacramento. Along with the development of the respite services the RPC was able to contribute to the dialogue around mental health and wellness, what qualifies as a crisis, and open the door for future discussions around mental health and wellness.

Photo of Leslie Napper

Leslie Napper
RPC Member 2012-Current

Q: What does respite mean to you?

A: Respite for me is having FREEDOM in knowing I have OPTIONS, other than an emergency room or a locked facility, when I am seeking RELIEF from a MENTAL HEALTH crisis. I am so grateful to the RPC, their partners and ALL the grantees for bringing this much needed service to OUR COMMUNITY!

Photo of Michelle Nevins

Michelle Nevins
RPC Member 2015-Current
Respite Grantee: Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center

Q: What have you gotten from participating with the RPC?

A: Unique perspective of the different types of respite available.

Q: What does respite mean to you?

A: A break, a relief and time away.

Photo of Arden Tucker

Arden Tucker
RPC Member 2012-2015

Q: What is the legacy of the RPC?

A: The RPC has many positive outcomes to be very proud of. The one that resonates with me is that the concept of collaboration be considered a cornerstone of the work done by the grantees. Not only did each awardee meet that requirement but they also furthered that challenge by utilizing collaboration to greatly enhance their services to their target communities as well as the Sacramento County community. These grantees epitomize the meaning of innovation in providing such needed services and by their examples have exhibited for the community significant practices to not only meet the needs of the community but to exceed them by showing just how important forging new ties with other agencies and organizations can ultimately benefit all.

Q: What is the one thing you are most proud of that the collaborative has achieved?

A: I served on the RPC Collaborative from it’s inception through the first three years. This was a new experience working with a 22 member collaborative who had never met each other. The task before the collaborative was to fund respite services through the approach of consensus. What subsequently ensued from that charge was the amazing success of this group coming together time after time after time to reach consensus without strife or conflict. These open minds prevailed even though there were old members moving on and new members joining which allowed us to complete the multi-faceted structure and organization to fund several respite services.

Q: What was one of the things that the RPC learned which benefited the community at large?

A: At the inception of the Collaborative the need to become a diverse collection of members was a challenge. It was a significant challenge as a new body taking on the enormous job of funding respite services. At the same time the work ahead of the Collaborative necessitated moving forward with the time sensitive tasks facing us. With the continued efforts of the Collaborative members, Sierra Health Foundation and Sacramento County Behavioral Health the Collaborative met the challenge of diversifying and assured a seat at the table for various ethnic and cultural communities. This enabled the work of the collaborative to hear, include, and act upon the factors and aspects affecting diverse communities. One way this was exhibited was through the insistence that smaller organizations be considered for funding as well as the larger organizations with sophisticated infrastructure. The skill sets common to the larger organizations typically assured success in accessing and obtaining new funding streams. The RPC successfully made room for upcoming agencies and organizations allowing them to realize the dream of providing respite services to multifaceted communities.



Join the F.O.R. Sacramento Facebook group to post or learn about upcoming events.



Join the F.O.R. Sacramento Facebook group to post or find resources.

Visit the Respite Partnership Collaborative web page.

The Respite Partnership Collaborative is a public-private partnership of the County of Sacramento, Division of Behavioral Health Services, the Center for Health Program Management and community members who serve as members on the RPC. The RPC is a Sacramento County Mental Health Services Act Innovation Project, funded by the County of Sacramento, Division of Behavioral Health Services through the voter-approved Proposition 63, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).