WRC Collaborates with Another Chapter

Caminar’s Wellness Recovery Center Solano Region is collaborating with Another Chapter. This organization "encourages a love for reading and is committed to providing access to books to children & adults in need." Their mission is to share the joy of reading and connect with the local community by providing free books.

The WRC just received their 1st donation of books from Another Chapter and clients absolutely love the periodicals, books, and magazines provided. Natalie from Another Chapter will visit the Wellness Recovery Center every 30 to 60 days to enrich our clients with the gift of reading! 

You can see all the wonderful things that Another Chapter is doing here:

https://www.facebook.com/AnotherChapterSolano/

 

1st book donation

1st book donation

3rd Annual Mental Health Symposium Highlights

On May 18, 2017, more than 200 guests convened at Filoli for our 3rd Annual Mental Health Symposium. We would like to thank our illustrious speakers who shared new research and generous sponsors who made possible this valuable educational event.

PANELISTS (Click on the presentation title to view the slides):

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this special evening! Our very special thanks to photographer Michael Collopy.



Tonight in Vallejo: A Conversation about Mental Health

Tonight, May 16, representatives from Caminar Solano will be taking part in a community conversation about mental health. We're delighted to be partnering with Vallejo Police Citizen's Workshop to raise awareness about mental health and our services during Mental Health Awareness Month. Join us!

Join us!

  • Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2017
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)
  • Cost: Free! No advance registration required.
  • Location: Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia Street, Vallejo, CA 94590

Click here to view the event webpage.

Read about the event in the Times Herald!

Solano Region Libraries Showcase Mental Health Month Posters

Library patrons are being educated about Mental Health Month and the services that Caminar provides thanks to a donation by Tim and Susan McDonald of the Vallejo Arts Counsel. Ken Langill, Program Coordinator at the Wellness Recovery Center, secured 7 Mental Health Month posters and informational brochures that showcase the Wellness Recovery Center, FSP Program, CCM Program, Supported Housing, and our homeless outreach program called H.O.M.E. You can see the displays at the following locations:

Benicia Library, Benicia, CA

Springtown Library, Vallejo, CA

John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo, CA

Cordelia Library, Fairfield, CA

Fairfield Library, Civic Center, Fairfield, CA

Suisun Library, Suisun, CA

Vacaville Library (Town Square) Vacaville, CA

The WRC Decorates Vallejo City Hall for Mental Health Month

It's May, which means it's Mental Health Month! In order to celebrate and raise awareness around mental health issues, clients from Caminar's Wellness Recovery Center have decorated Vallejo City Hall with beautifully crafted digital and hand painted art.

In total, 20 oil painted tapestries and 30 digital images are on display as a part of the 2nd Art Inspiration event held at this location. We would like to extend a big "thanks" to Gary Cullen, local retired photographer and mental health advocate, for volunteering a lot of his time and technical support to bring this project to fruition. We encourage you to check out his work at www.garycullenpictures.com. Please enjoy some photos of the decorated Vallejo City Hall:

 

 

 

 

WRC Clients had a Ball at the Oakland A's Game

The Wellness Recovery Center is privileged and grateful for being able to take clients to an Oakland A’s vs. Anaheim Angels Baseball game on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017. This event was made possible through a collaboration with the CATS (Community Access Tickets) Program.

The WRC clients had a lot of fun eating cotton candy and tuna fish sandwiches from their lunch that day at the WRC. 

They are looking forward to additional games and other entertainment events, which are provided at no cost to clients. The pictures below were taken during the game at the Oakland Coliseum. 

'15-'16 Client Satisfaction Surveys

We are pleased to share the results of client satisfaction surveys from 2015-2016. These numbers show how dedicated our staff has been in progressing Caminar's mission, which is to help people with disabilities live in the community with dignity and independence. 

WRC Clients Visit the Empress Theater

Clients from The Wellness Recovery Center were able to go to the Empress Theater and experience live music for free on February 22nd, 2017.

The Empress Theatre is a historical landmark located in downtown Vallejo, California built in 1911.

This visit is part of the ongoing efforts of the WRC to provide clients with experiences that they may not otherwise be able to receive due to economic circumstances. 

Please enjoy the images below, which were taken at the event.

WRC Clients Visit Academy of Arts Sciences Museum

The Wellness Recovery Center was able to participate and go to the Academy of Arts Museum for FREE on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, thanks to collaborating with C.A.T.S (Consumer Access Tickets), a non-profit organization.

Ken Langill, Program Coordinator, is proud to share that he took 4 WRC clients to the Academy of Art Sciences Museum to see the Steinhardt Aquarium, Phillipines Coral Reef, African Exhibit and also the Planetarium. 

This visit is part of the ongoing efforts of the WRC to provide clients with experiences that they may not otherwise be able to receive due to economic circumstances. 

Solano Region Christmas Party at the WRC

The Solano Region Christmas Party at the WRC was a blast!

"Our friend and advocate of Caminar’s Wellness Recovery Center graced us with his visit to our Xmas party. We had well over 100 plus people which comprised of WRC Staff / Clients / Case Managers and Mental Health Specialists from Solano County Mental Health as well as board and care and room and board operators." Kenneth Langill, Program Coordinator, WRC.

Here are some photos from this very fun event.

Teen Suicide

The word suicide is a frightening word. But the term teen suicide is even more horrific, with the mental picture of a young person terminating his/her own life.  

As a result of having an unusual rash of teen suicides (many more than the average) in the Bay Area, a Federal investigation is now underway, conducting interviews with school personnel, faculty, family members and, of course, students and peers. Their sole goal is to gain knowledge to eliminate these tragedies from reoccurring and trying to find long-term solutions.

When a young person dies by suicide, both the immediate survivors and many others are deeply affected. In fact, exposure to suicide can itself be a suicide risk to other young people.  “Cluster” suicides may actually have been the main factor in these recent youth suicides. If someone is contemplating ending their life and hear of another young person taking his/her life, it can exacerbate an already despairing mood.

“Pact” suicide is another ominous, but secretive deliberation, whereas several teens (usually girls) carefully plan and execute their own suicides. Somehow, they view it as glamorous and prepare, carefully, in writing and in sharing their suicide notes. Recently, in the New York City area, four girls jumped off a building to their deaths holding hands while someone is the background was taking pictures. How tragic is this?

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It is critical, therefore, to find answers and ways to reach this populace and prevent these catastrophic occurrences.

Caminar for Mental Health takes an holistic approach, recognizing the role of the environment, relationships and what peer pressure plays, as well as limited life experience, when helping a younger person grapple with the powerful emotions behind thoughts of suicide. They are totally committed to doing whatever it takes to save someone’s life. When one of their clients at Caminar cannot hold onto hope for themselves, the staff’s job is to hold on to hope for the client for as long as necessary and to never give up.

The causes of teen suicides are complex and determined by multiple combinations of factors: bullying, poor self-image, individual coping skills, family and school social support, use and/or experimentation with substances, academic stress, undisclosed mental health conditions and excessive expectations from parents and self.

Teens, too, are going through puberty and are in the process of pulling away from the parental structure in learning to be independent and finding out whom they really are. Unfortunately, teens, also, are vulnerable to depression. That’s because hormones and sleep cycles, which both change dramatically during adolescence, can affect mood. The good news is that depression is treatable and most teens get better with the right help.

It’s balancing act for the clinician who works with young clients at Caminar to empathize with the person’s pain, acknowledging and normalizing this human emotion and to then start working on a safety plan with that youth in identifying their own personal strengths and their own reasons to want to live. It is crucial that this plan is created by and for that individual client.

Sexual issues, too, for teens can be a difficult time of uncertainty, confusion and fear, with their primary confidential conversations being only with their peers, who, for the most part, probably also have little knowledge.  At home, their main conversation from a parent is most likely: “How was school today?” “Oh fine,” says the teen, and off they go to their room to text or e-mail.

Although technology has given us tremendous tools to learn, to connect, to inquire, it also has created obstacles in the way we socialize, especially with the younger generation. Seldom do we have face-to-face conversations anymore. Most young people are looking down at their phone or tablet – never having an eye-to-eye contact and not verbally sharing, or even laughing. Are we missing something valuable and healthy for our own well-being?

The media, especially in the daily news, seems only to cover violent, scary and murderous stories, creating a “gloom and doom” atmosphere that can greatly intensify despairing feelings for a youth, or anyone, who is feeling on the edge.

From one teenage suicide attempt survivor: “I was upper-middle-class — probably the wealthiest of my whole friends group — and went to private school and went to summer camps in the summer. I had everything tangible. We had a nice house. I had a boyfriend. Had lots of friends. And, I just didn’t care about any of it. I felt so alone. Now thanks to counseling and therapy I am doing much better. I know for a fact suicide is not the only answer left; there are other choices. IT DOES GET BETTER! Life gets better! For those out there who are thinking about suicide and that it is the only way out, I know you won’t believe me and that’s okay. Try to talk about how you’re feeling. Try someone you trust and if that person turns away, take a deep breath and tell someone else. Talk and tell until it does feel a little bit better. Help is out there. I know you can find it. You are a beautiful, unique, special creative person who deserves to be loved, cherished and respected.”

We must create opportunities to really talk, to share, to confide, to trust. This is very needed and maybe it’s the basic root of these serious problems.

Let’s continue, then, to explore, converse, and search for ways to reach our teens and prevent these senseless and devastating suicides. There are answers out there, let’s find them!  

-Carmen