Pandemic Leads Many to Look to New Career Options

Mental Wellness Center May Provide a Great Employment Opportunity for Those Seeking Personal and Professional Balance in Their Lives

The pandemic has led to one of the greatest periods of job loss, career changes and a restructuring of how work is performed, (i.e. working remotely, flexible schedules, etc.). While much of this has deeply impacted the economic wellbeing of millions of Americans and has caused stress and disruption, there may be some longer term positive outcomes.  As the economy starts to recover and jobs are becoming more abundant, the crisis has given many of us some flexibility and time to think about our careers and our lives…perhaps bordering on existential questions like… “Who are we?”  “Who do we want to be?” “Where can we best contribute?” And most importantly, “What kind of work is actually meaningful for us and our  work-life balance that we have now come to appreciate in this changing period–weighing the need to support ourselves and our families with a growing urge to do something new as this crisis has subsided?”

Long before the COVID pandemic, the Mental Wellness Center has prioritized and promoted the health benefits of a balance of work and life, encouraging those living with a mental health disorder to join their team. A recent grant couldn’t have come at a better time. The Mental Wellness Center was recently awarded a Peer Workforce Investment grant in the amount of $500,000 from the Department of Health Care Services to expand their ability to hire Wellness and Recovery Coaches.

“People are often surprised to learn that you don’t need to be a mental health professional to work at the Mental Wellness Center and that they may be uniquely qualified to join our team,” shared Annmarie Cameron, Mental Wellness Center CEO. “Because the Mental Wellness Center does not provide clinical treatment, staff are often hired with little or no previous experience and receive training on the job with supervision of experienced managers. The most essential qualification is the desire to support others on their mental wellness journey. “

“Helping others is great for your mental health and there may be no better boost to traditional treatment for depression and anxiety than having a job that brings personal satisfaction and a sense of purpose,” adds Cameron.

The grant will allow the Mental Wellness Center to supplement and expand the operations for their Fellowship Club, Community Wellness and Family Advocate Programs to serve even more people in our community. The hope is that they can attract those seeking to find new and fulfilling work that serves the critical needs of others. The grant will offer training, support, and certification(s) to peers who want to use their experience and expertise to help others experiencing mental health challenges.

In addition to hopefully attracting those who have a passion to help others, Mental Wellness Center sees these as different from traditional clinical or social services support positions in that it places a high value on the “lived experience” of qualified applicants who have been on their own mental health journeys and working on their own self-care and healing.

“One of the very tangible benefits that peer supporters bring is their first-hand, lived experience with mental health challenges. Because of this, they can easily relate to and offer support to individuals actively struggling with their own personal challenges,” shared Cameron.

The Center is currently hiring several new people who want to help others and have the personal lived experience of having their own mental health challenges or have the experience of being a caregiver relative to a person living with mental illness.

“Much like a cancer survivor may be the best person to inspire someone going through cancer treatment, we value this additional qualification of “lived experience” and welcome the wisdom and determination that comes with someone’s recovery of their illness.” added Cameron. “People may not even be aware that there are fulfilling employment opportunities that they are uniquely qualified to do because they have battled mental illness and have a personal perspective that may be inspirational to others.”

The Mental Wellness Center will recruit, train and foster a full team of Peer Wellness Coaches and Family Advocate staff to grow their programming and services offered to the community while gaining great experience and doing important work.

While no one knows what the future will bring, the Mental Wellness Center believes it is healthy to look at all potential options and is the ideal time to do that and ask the question, “what could be next for me?” Perhaps the answer even lies with employment with this exceptional organization.

The Mental Wellness Center is always looking for talented and motivated individuals to join the organization. Anyone looking to be part of a dynamic team, while working to improve mental health and reducing stigma may visit to learn more and apply for an open position today.



About Mental Wellness Center

The Mental Wellness Center is a nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness around mental health by providing supportive programming, education, and housing in Santa Barbara. For more information about the Mental Wellness Center, visit:

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