Bonita House In Home Outreach Team ? Recommendations?

Hi parents and caregivers, 

Has anyone used the services of the In Home Outreach Team of Bonita House?

We are looking for help and support with a young adult who is hearing voices and talking/ yelling to the voices, but refuses to get help. 

Since he refuses to get help we need psychological services to come in, so we can figure out the next steps to get  him help and to find an alternative living situation that would be supportive of his serious mental health issues/condition.

Please let us know if you have worked with Bonita house or if you have any other recommendations of advice on supportive living situations for psychiatric adults and how to get someone into them, who refuses to admit that he needs help. Please include any recommendations of psychologists or psychiatrists that will come into your home.

Thank you 


Parent Replies

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Hi Sean, This is very tough and you’re not alone, in the least. I could be wrong, but my understanding is that the IHOT teams, whether it be through Bonita House or another CBO, is for Medi-Cal clients/patients or those without insurance, so ensure you have that in place first for your son, if not already. Also it is generally para-professionals that are attempting to engage people into services, and it really depends on who is assigned (I have no recommendations in that case), as most programs, of how diligent they will be in attempting to engage. I’m not sure if you’ve been provided these resources, but the Family Education and Resource Center (FERC) in Oakland and National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) which has an Alameda Co chapter is available for support to families struggling with getting their family member treatment as well. Good luck.

As the parent of a child with serious mental health issues I have some experience with similar situations. There is a new mental health team in Berkeley that can help in times of crisis. The Berkeley Specialized Care Team (510) 948-0075.

However unless he is 5150’d (admitted by emergency to the hospital) for being a danger to himself or othered, he cannot be “forced” to get help. Even then they cannot forcibly medicate him except to calm him initially. I would encourage you not to take this route unless absolutely necessary as it will no doubt cause trauma and impact your relationship going forward. I would seek out the opinions of others who have dealt with these symptoms and those who have associated diagnoses to seek direction. I know this is hard and also finding support for yourself is very important. 

Hi Sean, the Felton Institute has a program for people who are in the early stages of hearing voices. I think some of their staff have lived experience. It sounded like a great advance in treatment and good outcomes. I don't know the specifics or if they will go to the home but maybe your child would be more willing to talk to someone who has experienced the same thing. Good luck.

I think National Alliance on Mental Illness aka NAMI has resources.

I just realized here is the NAMI page fir family and caregivers…

This is such a hard situation. I recommend reaching out Sascha DuBrul, he has a lot of experience working with young people experiencing these issues. He was enormously helpful to our family. If your child isn't willing to speak to someone, he was able to offer us guidance and advice as parents. He has lots of experience working inside and outside the mental health system, and has lived experience of extreme mental states himself as a young man. his website is