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Mental & Behavioral Health

Just as your health and physical well-being are important, your mind also matters. One in eight people are affected by diagnosable mental illness. Only one third seek help. Jump to list of area resources and phone numbers >>

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same things. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States and more than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. There are more than 200 classified types of mental illness, some of the main types of mental illness and disorders include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder
  • Disruptive behavioral disorders
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
  • Substance use disorders


Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. An individual may be depression when a sad mood lasts for a long time and interferes with normal, everyday functioning. Symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sad or anxious often or all the time
  • Not wanting to do activities that used to be fun
  • Feeling irritable‚ easily frustrated‚ or restless
  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Waking up too early or sleeping too much
  • Eating more or less than usual or having no appetite
  • Experiencing aches, pains, headaches, or stomach problems that do not improve with treatment
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
  • Feeling tired‚ even after sleeping well
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Thinking about suicide or hurting yourself

If you think you or your loved one is depressed‚ talk with your primary care provider or a mental health professional (see the list of local resources below) immediately. This is especially important if your symptoms are getting worse or affecting your daily activities.

Suicide Prevention

Know the signs to help yourself or others; pain isn’t always obvious, but most people show signs if they need help. Find the words; by understanding these signs, you can recognize if you or someone you care about needs help and support. Reach out; if you or a loved one needs help.

  • Know The Signs - Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.  
    • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
    • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
    • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
    • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
    • Talking about being a burden to others
    • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
    • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
    • Sleeping too little or too much
    • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
    • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
    • Extreme mood swings
  • Find The Words - "Are you thinking of ending your life?" Few phrases are as difficult to say to a loved one, but when it comes to suicide prevention, none are more important.
  • Reach Out - You are not alone in helping someone in crisis. Call one of the local crisis lines listed below or the National Suicide Hotline at 1.800.273.8255.

Your support makes a difference and support is available in our community.

24-Hour Crisis Lines Area Resources State and National Resources Psychologists & Private Therapists


Health & Wellness Directory



24-Hour Crisis Lines

  • El Dorado County Mental Health - 530.544.2219
  • El Dorado County Substance Use Disorder Services - 530.544.2219
  • Live Violence Free - 530.544.4444
  • Tahoe Youth & Family Services - 800.870.8937
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - 800.950.6264
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800.273.TALK (8255)
  • Text Line - Text 'tahoeyouth' to 839863



Area Resources

Barton Community Health Center in South Lake Tahoe - 530.543.5623
Tracy Protell, MD - Child Psychiatry

Barton Pediatric Psychiatry in Stateline - 775.589.8946
Tracy Protell, MD - Child Psychiatry
Sonia Rupp, MD - Child Psychiatry

Barton Adult Psychiatry in South Lake Tahoe - 530.600.1968
Joseph Hibbeln, MD

A Balanced Life

Carson Counseling and Supportive Services

El Dorado County Mental Health

El Dorado County Alcohol And Drug Program

Family Resource Center

Hope Lutheran Church

Live Violence Free

NAMI El Dorado County - South Lake Tahoe
National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI hosts a monthly Family Support Group for those with loved ones dealing with a mental health issue or co-occurring addiction issues. Please call for date, time and location information.

Sierra Child & Family Services

Nurture Your Nature Counseling at Lake Tahoe Acupuncture and Wellness

South Lake Tahoe Drug Free Coalition

St. Theresa's Church

Suicide Prevention Network
Suicide Prevention Network hosts a monthly Survivors of Suicide support group, meant for those that have lost a loved one to suicide. Please call for date, time and location information.

Tahoe Youth & Family Services



State and National Resources

Each Mind Matters

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)



Psychologists & Private Therapists

Catherine Aisner, PHD, PSY

Sandra Branton, EDD, LMFT

Trina Brown, LMFT

Lynne Daly, LMFT, LPC, NCC

Thomas Dickey, MFT

Erin Eisenlohr, MFC

Laurie Gallagher, LSCW

Elizabeth (Betsy) Glass, LCSW

Evelyn Goodell, LMFT

Nancy J. Huzicka Crebs, LMFT

Raoul Kaufman, LMFT

Erin Kelly, LMFT

Kate Mosher, LCSW

Viola Nungary, MFT
530.542.0800 / 775-588-9230

Michele Parsons, LMFT, MFC

Marianna Randolph, LCSW

Lindsay Simon, LMFT

Debra Vance, LMFT

Michael G. VanGordon, MFC

Matthew Wong, PsyD

Learn more about what Barton Health and the Behavioral Health Network do for Mental Health in our community.