What We Do
The Mental Wellness Center works with thousands of people every year to improve and maintain mental wellness. Our community-based nonprofit organization specializes in helping individuals in three ways:
- We help adults with mental health disabilities meet critical and basic needs as a foundation for their wellness;
- We offer courses and activities for teens and adults to learn and practice self-management skills for better self-regulation; and
- We educate youth, families, and community groups about mental health so that we can take better care of ourselves individually and as a community.
We are working toward a future when the importance of prevention and effective, early intervention to treat mental illness is recognized. We believe in recovery at any stage. We’re here to help with the concerns and challenges of better mental health across the spectrum.
Much of our work is in the city of Santa Barbara – where our community members live and thrive together in wellness. Our services are in English or Spanish. We collaborate with other private and governmental entities to extend our services and make our community stronger. To learn more about our work with others, visit our section on Community Partners.
Current Program and Services
The Recovery Learning Center at the Fellowship Club (“Fellowship Club”) is a drop-in, day program for adults living with serious mental illness. The program is staffed by peers experienced in mental health recovery and offers wellness-related activities, hot lunches, and more. It is also a training site for Psychology students for extra interpersonal support.
Employment Services offers a person-centered and highly effective approach to helping adults with mental health disabilities find and keep competitive work.
Housing includes five projects: two affordable complexes for independent living, and three adult residential facilities with around-the-clock care. We provide homes for 90 people.
The evening Depression & Bipolar Support Group course is for adults with mood disorders to find comfort and direction in a confidential and supportive setting.
*NEW* The Wellness Connection Club through San Marcos High School is fighting back against stigma by spreading awareness, understanding and education throughout campus.
Mental Health Matters is a course taught in public schools, with two curriculi (for sixth graders and ninth graders) to introduce students to mental health topics.
Keeping Connected is a course for teens and young adults to learn how to take care of their mental health using practical strategies in emotion management in a fun, safe place with their peers.
The Education Portal allows students (sixth grade and older) and their parents to access helpful information and resources about mental health.
Community Wellness Program is a collection of support groups and wellness activities offered to the community at no or little cost to participants. Included are the family support and education groups, presentations, and special activities.
Lunch and Learn Opportunities are short mental health presentations by experts shared over lunch. This program is offered to any business or organization looking for mental health guidance and knowledge.
Sharing our Stories is a speakers’ bureau that emphasizes personal accounts of mental illness issues and recovery of wellness.
The Trainee and Internship Program provides practical experience for future mental health workers.
Family Advocates are here for the community! They are easily accessed by telephone and in person. They will meet with individuals and family members on one-to-one or in small groups. Family Advocates also facilitate support groups and coordinate services with our National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) volunteers (see below).
Southern Santa Barbara County Chapter of NAMI volunteers teach classes, facilitate support groups, make presentations, and advocate for better mental health services. They work closely with our Family Advocates to help members of the public in need of mental health information and support.
Family-to-Family’s 12-week course teaches care-giving family members about living with someone who has a mental illness. It is taught by trained NAMI family members.
Family Support Group provides parents and other caregivers with information and support for a serious mental illness in the family.
Support for Parents of Teens (SPOT) group is welcome to parents with concerns about their teens’ mental health. We offer a mid-day mom's group.
NAMI 4th Thursday Presentations are held once per month with knowledgeable local speakers discussing mental health topics of interest.
Focused Education Groups are regularly scheduled to examine important issues related to mental health and family approaches to care.
Are you interested in learning more about Mental Health?
We offer a Lending Library with fiction and nonfiction titles on topics of mental illness and wellness recovery. Do you want to learn more about the language used in the mental health field? Like what makes an illness “serious”? What does “evidence based” mean and why would you care? How about symptoms - what are they in terms of a mental illness? To understand these words and phrases, please visit our Glossary.