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Chris Potter

Since 1947, the Mental Wellness Center has been building hope for individuals and families, providing support in recovery and raising awareness of mental health within the Santa Barbara community.

And thanks to the generous support of community members like you, the Mental Wellness Center continues to provide safe programming, education and housing to those we serve.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 1 in 5 While

people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges that can impact their mental health.

Throughout the pandemic, many people who had never experienced mental health challenges found themselves struggling for the first time. If you found that it impacted your mental health, you are not alone. In fact, of the almost half a million individuals that took an anxiety screening at www.mhascreening.org, 79% showed symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety. SOURCE: NAMI.ORG

During the month of May, the Mental Wellness Center and the rest of the country are raising awareness of the importance of mental health. Join us in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month because now, more than ever, mental health matters.

And please remember, you are not alone. The Mental Wellness Center is always here for you. If you or someone you know is in need of mental health resources and support, connect with us today at www.mentalwellnesscenter.org or call us at 805-884-8440. This past year has challenged us all, testing our strength and resiliency. In November 2020, the CDC reported that 44% of us were experiencing either depression or anxiety. And while we haven’t all been in the same boat, we’ve been sailing the same choppy waters trying to stay afloat. Hope is on the horizon. Since 1947, the Mental Wellness Center has been building hope for individuals and families, and a huge reason we are able to continue our work is thanks to support from community members like you. You can make your valuable support go even further by becoming a monthly donor today! Your monthly gift makes an immediate impact on the critical work we do, ensuring Mental Wellness Center programs and services continue to serve the Santa Barbara community for years to come. And, donating monthly is an easy and convenient way of providing a dependable source of funds to help the Mental Wellness Center make long-term plans for programs and services that are offered to the youth, adults, and families we serve. We hope you will consider making a monthly gift. Your strong and steady support will help us create long-term change for those impacted by mental illness. Make a tax-deductible one-time or recurring donation securely online at www.mentalwellnesscenter.org/donate.

The Future of Mental Health Mental health conditions are common among teens and young adults.

50% of all lifetime mental illnesses develop by age 14 and 75% develop by age 24. SOURCE: NAMI.ORG

With fifty percent of all mental illness having its onset symptoms by age 14,

young people need to know that while mental illness can feel scary, it doesn’t need to be.

Like physical illness, mental illness can be treated.

By providing young people with the basic facts about mental illness, and strategies for self-care of their own mental health, the Mental Wellness Center hopes to improve the chances that a crisis is

avoidable. The Mental Wellness Center sees youth as the future of mental health and currently offers robust youth programming to the community, reaching thousands of local youth and their families.

Mental Health Matters Mental Health Matters is an original program developed by the Mental Wellness Center’s Education Committee. It introduces basic facts about mental health to elementary, middle, and high school students. The underlying premise is that with understanding, youth will know how to seek help should they or someone they know experience symptoms of a possible mental health disorder, knowing that early treatment tends to lead to better outcomes. This 2020-2021 academic year, the Mental Health Matters team, consisting of twelve teaching volunteers, taught 5-day curricula via Zoom in more than 40 6th grade classrooms and in 26 high school health classes. An additional six volunteers met monthly to participate and offer insightful contributions.

“My son is 11 and was diagnosed over a year ago with severe anxiety, OCD and ADHD. Things were pretty grim for a while. He has seen therapists and takes medication which helps manage the anxiety and OCD. But in the past, he has completely shut down when anybody tries to talk with him about his mental health. Because of the pandemic, Mental Health Matters was taught virtually. And, since my son was at home with me, I was lucky enough to walk by where he was working and hear him speak openly to his peers about his mental health challenges. As a parent, hearing my child talk about his disorders so openly and without stigma made my heart so full. The following week, my son shared, “you know Mom, hearing about ADHD at school, I couldn’t believe how many of the things sound like me. Could you get me an appointment with the Psychiatrist? “He then continued and said, “you know I always feel like I should be able to control it by myself, but now I know that it is just a disorder.” I truly believe that this life changing moment for him and our family was thanks to all he’s learned from the Mental Wellness Center’s Mental Health Matters program. As parents, we have tried to destigmatize these disorders, but having them normalized in a classroom setting was critical for our son to learn more about himself, his disorders, and know that he is not flawed in any way. We are so thankful to have this program in our community and wish that all children had access to this material at such a young age, it can truly make a difference.” 

- Thankful Santa Barbara Parents

The Mental Wellness Center wouldn’t be able to provide this impact if it weren’t for the dedication and commitment of the incredible volunteers of the Mental Wellness Center Education Committee. THANK YOU to our incredible volunteers, you are impacting hundreds of students each year, one seastar at a time!

For more information about Mental Health Matters, visit: www.mhmyouth.org.

Mental Wellness & Our Community

2nd Annual Peace of Mind Fundraiser with Alma Rosa Winery Save the Date! Saturday, July 24, 2021

Join us for the 2nd Annual Alma Rosa Winery’s Peace of Mind - 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction event to benefit both Mental Wellness Center and One Mind. Visit our website for future updates: www.mentalwellnesscenter.org/peaceofmind And, in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, 10% of all proceeds from May sales will directly benefit the Mental Wellness Center. Shop online today at almarosawinery.com

Youth Mental Health First Aid Summer Training

Just as CPR teaches community members to help when a person is having a heart attack, Youth Mental Health First Aid training gives people the tools to identify when a young person might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem. Parents, teachers, and Santa Barbara County professionals who work with youth ages 12-18 are encouraged to participate in a free, upcoming Youth Mental Health First Aid training, which teaches participants how to support youth struggling with a mental health or substance abuse problem. Free online trainings will be offered from 9AM - 2PM on the following dates: May 20, June 3, June 15, July 8, July 20, August 10, August 19 The classes are provided by Family Service Agency, Mental Wellness Center, and the Youthwell Coalition. For more information, visit BetheDifferenceSB.org.

Join the Spring Challenge Being in nature is good for body and mind. Sign up and pledge to be active outdoors. Each time you submit your outdoor activity you are entered into a drawing for the chance to win monthly prizes. Visit healthypeoplehealthytrails.org and join the Spring Challenge today!

Providing emotional support, educational resources and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness, and fighting the stigma associated with mental illness in our community. To learn more about NAMI, visit namisantabarbara.org


805-884-8440 • 617 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Profile for SB Independent

Mental Wellness Center, 5/13/21, Vol. 35  

May - Hutton Parker Media Grant

Mental Wellness Center, 5/13/21, Vol. 35  

May - Hutton Parker Media Grant

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