The Mental Wellness Center aims to advance mental wellness in Santa Barbara County through person-centered, practical programs for local residents 10 years and older. Across the spectrum, we help people identify and use needed resources for their well-being through housing, employment services, day-use mental-health recovery programming, family support (we partner closely with the local National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter), education for managing symptoms and promoting recovery, and activities that build awareness of the importance of mental health and what it entails. Our services are in English and Spanish, often at no or nominal cost to reduce financial barriers.
The Youth Wellness Connection Project is changing the community’s next generation through a positive approach to the basics of behavioral health. With on-campus clubs and an overarching leadership council, the project provides a platform for secondary school students to learn connection and awareness to defend against stigma and disenfranchisement and support wellness and recovery practices.
As an ambassador for the Youth Wellness Council, I can honestly say that this program makes a huge difference in our community. By being able to connect with and be vulnerable with a large group of other teenagers who all have the common goal of destigmatizing mental illness, it makes us all more comfortable reaching out to others in need of connection and make the discussion of mental illness more prevalent. Additionally, this council's training creates an environment at our high schools in which students can approach the issue of mental illness with background knowledge and connect with different people around campus.
- Emma G.