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Mental Wellness Center Welcomes Two New Directors

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Liat Wasserman and Gabriela Dodson Join the Nonprofit’s 

Expanded Leadership Team

 

Annmarie Cameron, Mental Wellness Center CEO, announced today that the nonprofit is onboarding two new directors to its leadership team. Liat Wasserman, Director of Development & Communications and Gabriela Dodson, Director of Wellness & Recovery Programs, round out a group of four directors led by Cameron, charting a strategic course aimed at broadening awareness and programming for the organization in service to Santa Barbara County residents.

Liat Wasserman, MA/MSW, comes to Mental Wellness Center after a career in public relations, several years as a grant writer and, most recently, Development and Communications Director at Unity Shoppe. Wasserman brings strategic thinking, effective communications, event planning and donor relations experience to her work with all groups – clients, foundations, corporate and private donors, and all other supporters. A mother of two, Wasserman has spent years volunteering in her area of expertise by serving on committees and boards for local causes: education, cross-cultural communication, religious and ethnic diversity, and event branding.

“I’m honored to join this team, for so many reasons,” says Wasserman. “As we have for 75 years, Mental Wellness Center continues to provide well-regarded programs and services in support of people who live with mental health challenges, but now we’re also responding to our community’s heightened awareness of the pervasiveness of mental health-related issues and meeting their needs by expanding our offerings with even more support services, programming, and education.”

Director of Wellness & Recovery Programs, Gabriela Dodson, LCSW, MSW, is positioned to build on her more than 25 years of professional experience — most recently at Family Service Agency where she was responsible for developing holistic defense teams with the Public Defenders office — serving people experiencing homelessness and mental illness and, prior to that for 12 years at Hospice of Santa Barbara, where she served as Director of Clinical Services. 

“It’s exciting to be able to move the needle and grow programmatically by collaborating with such a strong foundation of community and volunteer support and the committed energy of our partner, NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness).” I’m excited to lead the Community Wellness Program in its growth over the next year and offer more mental wellness and recovery programming and engaging educational opportunities to our entire community, notwithstanding their age, income, or cultural background.”

CEO Cameron added, “I’m thrilled to welcome the talents and skills of Liat and Gabriela to Mental Wellness Center. At long last, as a community, we’re okay with giving voice to the profound mental, emotional, and social toll that’s being experienced by so many in our society,” Cameron added. “We want it known that we are a resource ready to build on the momentum created by our rich history and to evolve our service response to today’s clients who live in a fast-changing environment.”

 

About Mental Wellness Center

Celebrating 75 years of service to Santa Barbara, the Mental Wellness Center has been a community leader in building hope for individuals and families, providing support in recovery and raising awareness of mental health. This important organization provides mental health education to local students, a residential services program which safely provides a home to more than 100 community members across seven residential sites, and serves individuals and families impacted by mental illness through support groups, and social connection programs like the Fellowship Club of Santa Barbara, an on-site social day club and the Community Wellness Club, a safe space with weekly afternoon and evening resources for those working on their mental health and wellness.

 

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