North American Mental Health Services provides comprehensive care in Eureka


The North American Mental Health Services started in Redding about 12 years ago. Since then, they’ve been helping people all throughout Northern California 

“One of the things I’ve been talking with the folks about is this idea of a wheel that represents the individual, family or community. And each of us, working in these areas is a spoke on a wheel.  And so that the more collaboration that we have together, not in competition, but in communication and collaboration, the smoother and more fluid the wheel spins”, says Simeon Jones, director of Therapy services at North American Mental Health Services.  

 North American Mental Health Services is looking to make a collaborative effort throughout various organizations in Eureka 

“I work with a lot of people that have mental health challenges as well as homelessness. I get to work side by side and help them find a good choice for their mental health desires. Just support people, and encourage them to make some good choices in their lives”, says Deanette Kellerman, social worker for Humboldt County. 

NAMHS also partners with Uplift Eureka, which offers resources for people trying to find housing and jobs. 

“One of the big things is a lot of folks, when they experience homelessness, they might lose their documents. And that makes it a lot harder to find work, to find housing. So one thing could be helping somebody get a birth certificate, maybe providing a warm handoff to, an employment agency to help them find work. all those sorts of little things that you might not think about but are really important to somebody”, says Sierra Wood of Uplift Eureka. 

“One of the challenges, I think, in mental health services in general, is that stigma. And so I’ve thought a lot about why that is, and I think that one of the reasons is that with mental health we personalize and it becomes part of our identity even in the language that we use. We say, ‘I’m depressed, I’m bipolar, I’m schizophrenic’, It’s like, no, you’re Steve, right? We don’t say that with other maladies or other afflictions that we have”, says Jones.

“We don’t say, ‘I’m cancer. We don’t say ‘I’m diabetes’, right? We say’ I’m battling cancer’, right? We say ‘I’m managing my diabetes’, ‘I’m living with AIDS’, or whatever the case might be. We’re not all mentally ill, but we all have mental health issues. And so how do we reach out to the community, not just the mental world, but the population in general. And North American Mental Health services is there to help the community and be that spoke on that wheel. 

Story by Tucker Caraway 

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