LELA News, January 2018


January 20, 2018, 2:00-3:00
Directors Circle
Workgroup, 3:00-4:00pm
East L.A. Library
4837 East Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
If you show up at the library and wonder where in the world we are, call me (323-672-9082) or email Vonzie. Sometimes we meet in a study room and if the weather is nice, we meet at a picnic table across the lake. Look for a purple balloon.
LELA’s current logo is a character with a little heart. If you can do better, send a .jpg. In Mexican Spanish, Lela means something like, “a little nuts.” We’re accepting our disability to remember where we’ve come from and to find our focus, which is greater health for Los Angeles County.
Yvonne Sandoval, “Vonzie,” whose picture is on our heading this volume, is our Director of Membership. She has survived mental illness in her family and has become a healer in East L.A. She is a Peer Professional Supporter. If you have questions about LELA, or would like to attend a meeting, feel free to email her at ysands1999@yahoo.com. 

PRPSN Macro Advocacy Training,
by Christa Maria Sacco

A group of about 20 volunteers completed the first session of the Macro Advocacy Training at the Cabrillo Villages in Long Beach on Saturday, November 18th.  The training was a collaboration between Project Return and CAMHPRO funded by the LA County Department of Mental Health.  The main players were the peers being trained to advocate in the policy arena for the peer movement in mental health.

We also had two excellent trainers covering the essentials of policy advocacy, how bills are passed into law, how to build a relationship with your local state assembly member and senator.  We also discussed where the peers were passionate about informing policy.  Some of the topics were fighting stigma, training service professionals and law enforcement, utilization of peers in the workplace, expanding respite care, re-entry and diversion, and literacy of the mental health system.

In the afternoon we discussed Assembly Bill 1250 which if passed would greatly limit the ability of the County to contract out to private nonprofit organizations to provide services.  This bill might cause for many local community nonprofits who provide specialized services to lose their government contracts.  We are learning how to mobilize against bills that threaten mental health services!

Note from the derelict editor:

I apologize to our members that this is out so late. I did have an inspiring Christmas. By the way, a book has begun to write me, called “The Medicine Pouch.” If you would like to follow the drafts, I will try to post on Face-book and lelaca.org or you can email Jane Engleman (jme641@gmail.com). We also want to develop more space for input by members and to add resources. PLEASE POST TO LELA ON FACEBOOK!

What’s Happening

1.We are planning to do an informal podcast which we can put up on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
2.I hope that we will be starting a Leadership Development Group for Peer Advocacy. It is $20 for nonmembers, although we can talk about that. I’ll try to get out dates and times as they develop.
3.We also hope to set up a resource and “chat” table at the East LA Farmer’s Market once a month, also at the library. We would eventually like to sell funky “mental health products” to attract more “customers” and get the word out that mental health can be fun as well as extremely serious. 10% of these sales will go to LELA. We are looking for advocates with business or arts experience. We are desperate for people with computer skills. Come to our meeting if you are interested in helping out.
4.As you can see, we need some assistance with our Facebook page and our website, lelaca.org. If you have ideas, we will be meeting on January 20, 2018.
5.If you are needing support from somebody who has experienced and recovered from severe mental illness, contact Christa Sacco (Christa.Sacco@my.pacifica.edu) and she will direct you to someone in the group. If we get an overwhelming response, we may have to resort to general text encouragement, but for now, get in touch.

More Resources

If this doesn’t work and you need help, post us on Facebook. Project Return also has an excellent warmline, if you can get through. Their number is 1-888-448-9777. You might get in to the Suicide Hotline at 1-877-727-4747. I have had stellar results; I am alive. Samaritans.org has been extremely effective for me in the past. If you are an artist, writer or musician, contact Painted Brain (paintedbrain.org). They provide a space for advo-cate on their extensive website which gets filtered out to many other sites. They are refreshingly into FREE EXPRESSION. Pam Inaba works with the LA County Client Coalition (purpledragondancer@gmail.com) a spectacular source of information about peer advocacy that I know about. Hope to have more resources to offer in the future.
Do not operate on crisis mode as a general rule! Get into treatment with a paid professional on a weekly basis for now until we can establish an effective peer advocacy system of support. If you are hunting effective re-sources in the community, especially if you have skills in database management or have OCD tendencies that would be helpful, come talk about hunting with us,
6. We currently have members at large, who cannot attend meetings but are a vital part of LELA. Directors must attend meetings. If you need information or would like to volunteer, we will be meeting on January 20, 2018, at 2:00-4:00 pm.


LELA, Lived Experience LA, “Lifting lives through experience”
Jane Engleman, jme641@gmail.com
Yvonne Sandoval, ysands1999@yahoo.com
2245 E. Colorado Blvd, #104
Pasadena, CA 91107
(323) 672-9082
Facebook/LELA (Lived Experiene LA)
website: lelaca.org


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