Countywide mental health services, supports and trainings are available countywide, in English and Spanish, including Zumba, Gardening Groups, Walking Groups, Mental Health Workshops, Stressbusters, and more to come including Cafecitos, and Mental Health First Aid training. The community has the opportunity to be trained in Psychological First Aid and certified in Skills for Psychological Recovery. Research, including a recent survey by psychiatric times, tells us that getting involved in the community and maintaining connections, enhances our mental health and coping skills – it promotes resiliency. Another article by NAMI states that not only is community connection important for our mental health, it is critical for us to thrive.
The community activities and trainings are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and developed through the feedback gained from over 5,000 community participants in the community mental health assessment led by Behavioral Wellness last fall. The assessment was conducted to learn the local impact of the pandemic within our community, and hear what the community felt was most needed to help in the overall recovery from the devastating impact felt in the lives of many. Through the existing resources in our community in addition to new activities and supports now in place through ARPA funding, we may continue to build our resiliency.
Key priorities heard through the community included:
- Social Connection Opportunities
- Accessibility to Resources
- Education and Stigma Reduction
- Variety of Accessible Services and Supports
A collaborative team of five local organizational providers have been awarded ARPA funding and are hard at work in the launch of the services and supports now available countywide. Providers include CommUnify, Community Promotores Network, Santa
Barbara Response Network, Transitions Mental Health Association, and the Lompoc Valley Community Health Care Organization.
To learn more about these new services being offered, including activity flyers and to sign up, please visit the Behavioral Wellness website here. Fall and Winter opportunities are currently posted. Please be sure to check back as community recovery services and supports will be updated regularly.
For linkage to mental health services or for urgent or crisis needs, please call the Behavioral Wellness 24/7 Access line at 1-888-868-1649. To learn more about the County of Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness, please visit https://www.countyofsb.org/274/Behavioral-Wellness.