Let’s Talk Mental Health – Pathways & Stories for Collective Healing

How do we respond as a community in the face of mass, collective trauma?
What does it really look like to provide safe spaces whilst leading with compassion and hope?

Following the COVID-19 shutdown, Santa Barbara Response Network (SBRN) recognized the risk to mental health and immediately stepped into action with the launch of digital Compassion Centers. Featuring interviews with local leaders, agencies, healthcare experts, parents, and local government, these weekly conversations provide a safe space to invite reactions, pose questions, share resources and encourage the dialogue around mental health within the community. To date, over 100 Compassion Center episodes have been hosted in both English and Spanish, with over 5000 views. Compassion Centers continue to be accessible to the community and have been a pivotal tool in supporting and connecting those in isolation, navigating trauma, and combating mental health exhaustion related to COVID-19.

During Partnership for Excellence, you’ll hear from SBRN Executive Director, Jina Carvalho, and Board Member/Responder, Ali Cortes, in conversation with Santa Barbara Foundation’s Jenny Bruell, on exploring new pathways to self-care, stories from the network, and tools for collective healing from the pandemic forward.

Jina Carvalho

Executive Director
Santa Barbara Response Network (SBRN)


Jina is one of the original founders of the Santa Barbara Response Network (SBRN), a grassroots volunteer non-profit dedicated to offering Psychological First Aid (PFA) and social support for resilient recovery from traumatic incidents including disasters, suicide and violent injuries, especially among the underserved populations and youth in the Santa Barbara region. She is currently serving as SBRN’s Executive Director.

As Director of Communication for the Glendon Association, Jina promotes the organization’s mission to save lives and enhance mental health by addressing the public health issues of suicide, violence and disturbed family relations. They fulfill this mission through research, education and training in the mental health field as well as to the general public. and

Jina is a recently published poet-author. Her book, “The Weight of Desire: a poetry memoir “ was published in 2020.


Ali Cortes

MA, AMFT Associate Marriage and Family, Clinical Youth Outreach
Santa Barbara School District
Santa Barbara Response Network | A Different Point of View


Ali focuses her efforts to empower others by bringing out their strengths and creating positive paradigm shifts with the support of community agencies. She works through the Santa Barbara School District as the Clinical Youth Outreach Worker and is Executive Director of the nonprofit organization, A Different Point of View. Ali has volunteered for the Santa Barbara Response Network’s Response Team for the past five years. In the South Coast Youth Safety City Partnership Alliance, Ali is co-chair for the Community Engagement Team. 

Her services in our community include case management, crisis interventions, advocacy, curriculum development, program management, coaching, mentorship, mediations, workshops, empowerment groups, and trauma focused therapy to at-promise adolescents and families. 

Ali founded Bienestar Latinx in 2020, a community platform that transforms and dismantles generational trauma in order to heal future generations of Latinx folks through authentic leadership development and cultural healing. The platform highlights the strengths and diversity of the Latino community while providing access to resources and people who can directly help those in need. Ali notes,”Just like SBRN, we meet our community where they are.”

Jenny Bruell

Community Grants Program Manager
Santa Barbara Foundation


A native of Santa Maria and mother of two, Patricia has served as senior program and management staff with the Central Coast Future Leaders over the last 12 years, including her role as Executive Director since 2016. As a bilingual and bi-cultural community leader, Patricia has a profound understanding of the communities of North County.

She has worked with CCFL, and held leadership roles in many local community actions and initiatives, including her service on the FUND’s Grant Making Committee and annual North County Tardeada event. Among her numerous recognitions, in 2016 Patricia received the Working Families Award from the Santa Barbara County Action Network for her many efforts to improve the lives of working families in the region.

Registration Deadline: Friday, October 15, 2021

Your participation and perspective are welcomed to help ensure diverse and regional voices from our broad community.

Options for you to participate:

  • Register to attend PFE Community Connections on October 20
  • Volunteer to be a conversation host for a small group breakout
  • Consider an adaptation or lesson your organization/foundation realized that you are willing to reflect upon during the program (and maybe briefly share during a community conversation breakout session)

NOTE: You must register in advance to participate in any part of virtual PFE 2021

The Foundation Roundtable Sponsors

Audacious Foundation

James S. Bower Foundation

Patricia and Paul Bragg Foundation

Cottage Health

The Crawford Idema Family Foundation

G.A. Fowler Family Foundation

Hutton Parker Foundation

The Ann Jackson Family Foundation

La Centra Sumerlin Foundation

Linked Foundation

McCune Foundation

The Henry E. and Lola Monroe Foundation

Mosher Foundation

The Natalie Orfalea Foundation

June G. Outhwaite Charitable Trust

Anthony and Kyra Rogers Family Foundation

Santa Barbara Foundation

The Santa Ynez Valley Foundation

The Towbes Foundation

United Way of Santa Barbara County

Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara

PFE Volunteer Advisors

Gary Clark, Santa Barbara Foundation

Steve De Lira, Family Service Agency

Palmer Jackson, Jr., Ann Jackson Foundation

Joni Meisel, The Foundation Roundtable

Patricia Solorio, The Fund for Santa Barbara

Stanley Tzankov, CAUSE


Produced by Ruby Road Leadership with ZoomEvents hosting by Visionality, Inc.

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