Programs & Services

Client & Family

Employment Services

Did you know that employment plays an important role when it comes to mental wellness? Being employed creates meaningful activity that can expand a person’s sense of self-worth, grow professional skills, and serve as an opportunity to build relationships within the community. Despite the positive impact people with mental health disorders can make in our workforce, “Only one-third (32.0%) of working-age people with mental health disorders are employed on average” (Department of Labor, 2010-2012).

How are we working to change this? The Mental Wellness Center offers unique Employment Services that promote competitive and integrated employment for those living with mental illness in our community.

At the Mental Wellness Center, our Employment Services Program provides individualized vocational services to people living with mental health disorders, focusing on those affected by mental illness, while providing our community with a qualified workforce. Since 2011, the Mental Wellness Center Employment Services (MWCES) has operated as a vendor of California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and maintains a contractual agreement with DOR and Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness (BeWell) as a case-service contractor, providing services for individuals diagnosed with severe and pervasive mental illness (SPMI). Additionally, MWCES provides approved services as a fee-for-service vendor of the DOR. MWCES is approved to provide the following six services: (1) External Situational Assessment, (2) Work Adjustment, (3) Employment Services, (4) Job Coaching, (5) Personal, Vocational, Social Adjustment, and (6) Vocational Assessment. MWCES staff are trained in Nonviolent Crisis Prevention and Intervention (NCPI), First Aid/CPR, Cultural Competency, and Mental Health First Aid.

Employment Services Offered:

  • On-site and off-site job coaching
  • Resume and cover letter development
  • Informational interviews with local employers and professionals
  • Employer/work site visits
  • Mock interviews with MWCES staff
  • Hands-on assistance with selecting appropriate workplace attire
  • Connections to resources (e.g. AmeriCorps, Independent Living Resource Center, Workforce Resource Center, Tri-County Regional Center, etc.)

How can Employment Services help you?

For further questions, please contact:
John Barlow
Employment Specialist
(805) 884-8440 ext. 3296

Recovery Learning Center at the Fellowship Club

The Recovery Learning Center at the Fellowship Club (hereafter referred to as the Fellowship Club) is a day-use, mental health recovery program for adults who live with serious mental illnesses. The Fellowship Club promotes the power of peer connections with an all-peer staff identifying as experienced in recovery as well as being professionally qualified for their positions. The club’s environment is safe and supportive of members’ individual wellness recovery journeys, and the social connections found there are an antidote to the isolation that many may otherwise feel. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), the Fellowship Club offers a wide range of activities from which to choose, including the following:

  • Information and support groups highlighting wellness-related activities, and symptom management and self-care techniques.
  • Referrals to and assistance in navigating systems and resources for meeting basic and critical needs.
  • Dedicated spaces and staff for art, computers, and music.
  • Daily lunches prepared by an in-house staff in the club’s commercial kitchen.
  • A Care Closet offering gently used clothing and hygiene items to members.
  • Recreational activities, including board games, skill-development groups, physical activities as diverse as basketball and yoga, and cultural outings.
  • Opportunities for check-ins with case managers and other professional support for wellness.
  • Holiday celebrations and special events unifying club members in pursuit of practical wellness activities.

The Fellowship Club is open to all residents 18 years and older of Santa Barbara County. A referral is required by a mental health professional who can attest to the applicant’s mental health challenges, and club staff will work with applicants to access local services for care and such a referral. Membership is free, and activities are available in English and Spanish.

Interested in becoming a member of the Fellowship Club?

For further questions, please contact:
Carrie Faulkner
Program Manager, Recovery Learning Center at the Fellowship Club

Family Advocate

Since our beginning, the Mental Wellness Center has recognized the impact and importance of family in mental health.

The Mental Wellness Center is proud to offer our community a dedicated Family Advocate who is trained and familiar with issues faced by families impacted by mental health disorders. The Family Advocate assists families who are trying to understand and deal with the impact of serious mental health disorders in their family and provides assistance in understanding and navigating the local public and private mental health systems. The Family Advocate also assists families in accessing various clinical and support services available in our community and can offer one-on-one support during challenging times.

The Family Advocate...

The Mental Wellness Center is proud to offer our community a dedicated Family Advocate who is trained and familiar with issues faced by families impacted by mental health disorders.
  • Directs individuals and family members to resources in our community related to mental health (housing, hospitalization, treatment, legal system, and supportive programming)
  • Identifies client concerns and helps client discover workable options
  • Provides mental health related outreach and education to our community
    • Facilitates support groups for caregivers and family members, including: SPOT (Supporting Parents of Teens) – a weekly support group for moms of teens and adolescents
    • NAMI Santa Barbara County – Family-to-Family classes and monthly educational meetings

Drop-ins are welcome on a first come, first served basis. However, appointments are encouraged. Services are offered at no cost and are available in both English and Spanish. The Mental Wellness Center Family Advocate Program is offered in partnership with NAMI Santa Barbara County.

Get connected to the Mental Wellness Center Family Advocate

For further questions or to make an appointment, please contact:
Ramona Winner
Family Advocate
805-884-8440 ext. 3206