Dec 20 - Media & Newsletters, -

Warm Wishes from CHRT for the Holidays

Patt Joins a Working Group at the United Nations
Comments from Jeannie

When Patt speaks, her words go from her mouth straight to your mind and your heart. I don’t know how she does it, but that was the effect she had on a gathering of healthcare professionals at the United Nations in Vienna last month. The purpose of the meeting  was to develop effective treatment protocols for people who use drugs and have co-occurring medical and mental health disorders. The recommendations from the meeting will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly in 2019 when it meets to review the world’s response to drugs. We are ever hopeful that the UN will decide to end the War on Drugs, which causes more harm to individuals, their families, and communities than the use of drugs ever has.

The 30 or so participants represented countries from every continent and presented a great deal of worrying information about the grave medical and societal issues facing people who use drugs, some directly caused by drug use, others related to the abysmal conditions that people who use drugs face in countries (including ours) where drug use is stigmatized and punished.

It turned out that we were the only ones to present a comprehensive and integrated treatment model. Our work in low threshold drop-in centers and on the streets, where we work alongside harm reduction workers, peer counselors, massage therapists, employment programs, doctors, and nurses, was extremely exciting to the participants! We hope that the resulting report proves helpful to other countries.  Read more for highlights of the meeting

Over the Influence, an excerpt from the newest edition

Come as you are. These are the first words we say to people who come to us. In other words, you don’t have to change a thing. You don’t have to promise anything.You don’t have to know what you want. You just know you are worried about your drinking or drug use. Or someone else in your life is.What if people are saying you have to quit? At times that will happen. You might be one of the people telling yourself you have to quit! Maybe it’s even true. But saying “You have to quit” is akin to saying “Just say no!” Saying it doesn’t make it true, and it certainly doesn’t make it happen. Hearing “You have to quit” is really just a signal that it’s time to start thinking. Read more

Coming in 2018

Discussion with Patt & Jeannie about their new book, Over the Influence, the Harm Reduction Guide for Controlling Your Drug and Alcohol Use

When & Where:
Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 6:00 to 7:15
San Francisco Main Library 100 Larkin St., San Francisco Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room

Over the Influence is for people who struggle with alcohol and drugs and for the people who care about them. Patt and Jeannie will read from and present some highlights from the book, then engage the audience in what hopes to be a lively discussion. Download Flyer

New Programs!

Our big news for 2018 is that we are adding three new programs, two of them for young people aged 18-24. We have been selected by the San Francisco Dept. of Public Health to start a Mobile Mental Health Team for transition-age youth. We will be traveling to drop-in centers, shelters, and housing programs to bring harm reduction therapy to young people who are struggling with mental health and drugs problems.

At the same time, we are very excited that we will be expanding to a full-time therapist at the Homeless Youth Alliance and increasing our support for Covenant House youth shelters and drop-in center in Oakland and Berkeley.

Our third new program will be at the Waterfront Navigation Center run by Episcopal Community Services. For those of you not in the Bay Area, Navigation Centers are a relatively new effort to move people who are homeless indoors. People are invited in whole communities (called encampments here) complete with their friends, possessions, and pets into shelters and single-room occupancy hotels (SRO’s) while they develop sources of income and look for permanent housing. We will be adding mental health and substance use treatment to a growing array of harm reduction programs in this most recent of SF shelters.

Would you like to support our work?

What we need most is a mobile therapy office for our young clients! (In the form of an RV.) Why? First of all, we don’t have an office for our young clients. We have been working with them in the streets and parks for three years since the Homeless Youth Alliance lost its lease. But we know that if we have a warm, enclosed, private place for therapy, a place where we can offer warm drinks, snacks, and a cozy chair, young people will settle in and work with us more consistently and enthusiastically. And the sooner they get to work, the faster their mental and emotional health will improve and the easier it will be for them to build a rich and satisfying life. Read Entire Letter