Programs & Services

Community

Community Wellness Program

Mental wellness is an issue that affects us all; therefore, education and support should be available to the whole community. The Community Wellness Program (CWP) welcomes everyone* living in Santa Barbara County the opportunity to participate in courses to learn how to get well and stay well. We offer a range of free and/or low-cost activities incorporating support, awareness, and understanding in a safe space of healing. Many of our classes and activities listed below do not require pre-registration and for many of the support groups offered, drop-ins are welcome. Join us today!

When we talk about community, the whole is indeed far greater than the sum of its parts. Take for example, what happens when a teenager starts showing symptoms of a mental illness. Do friends make fun or do they urge the teenager to get help? Does the school’s staff notice and begin a conversation with the family? Does the family take a stand for wellness and seek out treatment? Do doctors listen and are therapeutic resources available? Does a place exist where information and interpersonal support can be found to manage mental health? The best treatment occurs when all of these elements fall into place.

The Mental Wellness Center promotes community wellness by providing education, support groups, and essential resources to raise mental health awareness in the community. Together, we can stomp out stigma. Together, we can focus on broadening the awareness that mental illnesses are common and treatable. Together, we acknowledge that when people seek help, it is a sign of strength.

*some groups are not open to the public and require pre-registration before attendance is allowed. For groups closed to the public, please contact group facilitator for more information and to register to attend.

Please see the activities listed below to learn more about what the Mental Wellness Center offers to our community members.

Super Special People (aka Hearing Voices Group)

Mondays from 5:30 - 7:00pm on Zoom only. As a fully-chartered member of the Hearing Voices Network USA, we adhere to their Values and Guidelines, offering a safe space to share and support our individual realities of hearing voices, seeing things no one else can see, and other unusual sensory experiences.

For more information and the Zoom link, please contact Catherine Birtalan, Facilitator, at: hearingvoicesgroups.sb@gmail.com.


Wellness Recovery Action Plan Support Group (aka WRAP)

Tuesdays from 5:30 - 7:00pm on Zoom only. Using the Values and Ethics of WRAP as well as the Five Key Concepts of Recovery, together we create our own wellness plans for getting well and staying well.

For more information and the Zoom link, please contact Catherine Birtalan, Facilitator, at: selfhelpgroups.sb@gmail.com.


Living with Depression

Wednesdays from 5:30 - 7:00pm on Zoom only. We explore the many ways of experiencing depression, including in combination with anxiety and fear. We explore ways to heal with knowledge and loving humor.

For more information and the Zoom link, please contact Catherine Birtalan, Facilitator, at: selfhelpgroups.sb@gmail.com.


Being Highly Sensitive

Thursdays from 5:30 - 7:00pm on Zoom only. Being Highly Sensitive is a wonderful gift that offers us many opportunities for interacting with others in healthy and empathetic ways. Understanding how and why we are highly sensitive is an enormous benefit for ourselves and our communities. We explore self-care techniques.

For more information and the Zoom link, please contact Catherine Birtalan, Facilitator, at: selfhelpgroups.sb@gmail.com.


Be Kind, Be Well, Be YOU!

Fridays from 1:00 – 2:30 PM on Zoom. A new Zoom group formed in June 2020, we are people from all over the state of California, and all over the country, who gather together to share the stories of our week. We choose to end our week on high notes, and to start our weekend with a collective joy and sense of community wholeness. In August, we’ll focus on the difference between empathy and being an empath, as well as coping and self-care strategies. We share a 5-minute guided meditation.

For more information and the Zoom link, please contact Catherine Birtalan, Facilitator, at: selfhelpgroups.sb@gmail.com.


WRAP + Trauma + Creativity

Saturdays from 3:00 – 4:30 PM on Zoom. Responding to a need for a creative way to heal, this group formed in October 2021 and has always been a Zoom self-help support group. From July through October, we’ll use the book written by Mary Ellen Copeland – WRAP for the Effects of Trauma – and explore ways to understand the traumas we have experienced. We will use our Wellness Tools to help us navigate our individual healing processes. A thorough knowledge of and use of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan are required for participation in this small, special group.

For more information and the Zoom link, please contact Catherine Birtalan, Facilitator, at: selfhelpgroups.sb@gmail.com.