Solano Region Celebrates Clients Who Are Sailing To Wellness

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In recognition of Mental Health Month, our Solano region hosted the 8th Annual Cammie Awards on Thursday, May 23.

As always, this gathering highlighted clients who have reached a successful milestone and are sailing to wellness on their journeys toward recovery. Clients were recognized for inspiring achievements with housing, education, employment, sobriety, and healthy lifestyles.

Centerpieces were handmade and hand-painted sailboats created by clients at our Wellness and Recovery Center. Guests enjoyed a lovely lunch complete with delicious desserts and fun door prizes before the awards ceremony began.

We applaud the efforts of all clients as they move toward resilience, wellness, and independence. And, we delight with them in all of their accomplishments.

Special thanks to Fremont Hospital for once again generously sponsoring this special event.

5 Tips to Talk About Mental Wellness

What can we do to help create a society where mental wellness is discussed and valued?

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a month in which mental health advocates and leaders work to amplify awareness of mental health issues and the stigma around mental illness.

And as you likely know, our society is experiencing an epidemic wave of adolescent behavioral health disorders. In fact, one in eight teens reported a major depressive episode in 2014–2015, up 25% in the last four years.

One of a child’s greatest protective factors is a sympathetic adult who can help the child understand their own feelings, develop emotional skills, and buffer the child’s exposure to adverse experiences that cause emotional distress. That sympathetic adult may be a parent, guardian, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, coach, teacher, close family friend, or other caring adult.

Here are five tips to help create homes, workplaces, schools, and communities where mental wellness is valued, discussed, and embodied. We invite you to consider which you may like to try in your life.

  1. Normalize talking about difficult emotions and feelings, such as stress, grief, or loss.

  2. Consider reducing or eliminating screen time at night to improve the quality and length of sleep.

  3. Take time at one weekly meal to encourage everyone to share something about their day. Through listening and supporting each other, show that emotional experiences are valued.

  4. Talk about mental health and how it affects your family with community leaders and elected officials.

  5. End the stigma by being forthcoming about your own struggles and success with your own mental health – you can be an example of resilience for your family, peers, and community.

We would love to hear from you, too! What practices do you find help to promote mental wellness? We will feature tips in a future blog post. Please send your tips to

The Pressing Need for Behavioral Health Solutions

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The complexity of needs influencing the health and well-being of local youth and adults has been increasing over the last several years.

We find people often are overwhelmed by overlapping and interrelated challenges, whether it’s serious mental illness and maintaining safe, affordable housing, or the co-occurring symptoms of mental health and substance use disorders, or trying to balance mental health recovery and the demands of the workplace.

Complex needs impact all age groups. Here are a few statistics to remind us of the importance of behavioral health solutions and services.

  • 1 in 5 adults have a mental health condition. That's over 40 million Americans; more than the populations of New York and Florida combined. Mental Health America

  • One in eight teens reported a major depressive episode in 2014–2015, up from one in 11 in 2011–2012. Two-thirds of adolescents with major depressive episodes did not get treatment. California Health Care Foundation

  • Overall, sexual minority youth were 3.5 times as likely to attempt suicide as heterosexual peers. Transgender adolescents were 5.87 times more likely, gay and lesbian adolescents were 3.71 times more likely and bisexual youth were 3.69 times more likely than heterosexual peers to attempt suicide. JAMA Pediatrics

  • An estimated 43.6 million (18.1%) Americans ages 18 and up experienced some form of mental illness. In the past year, 20.2 million adults (8.4%) had a substance use disorder. Of these, 7.9 million people had both a mental disorder and substance use disorder, also known as co-occurring disorders. SAMHSA

  • An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in homeless shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders. HUD

  • Nearly half of 20,000 US adults surveyed indicate they suffer from feelings of loneliness. Cigna

We are grateful to all of our donors, funders, and friends who help Caminar’s work to empower and support individuals and families to move toward resilience, wellness, and independence.

Caminar Participates in Solano's Mental Health Month Celebration

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Solano County Behavioral Health hosted the 5th Annual Mental Health Month Celebration on Saturday, May 4 at the County Events Center. Caminar staff, including a contingent from our Wellness and Recovery Center, joined the celebration and brought awareness Caminar’s services in Solano County.

We extend our gratitude to the team for spending their Saturday in the community and providing outreach efforts to help our most vulnerable neighbors.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

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The month of May marks Mental Health Awareness Month. As you may know, mental health challenges are quite common.

In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),

  • Approximately 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 have or previously had a mental disorder.

  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.

  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.

  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.

  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.

Unfortunately, research shows that many people do not reach out for support.

This May, let’s bring awareness to this important health issue and encourage friends, family, and colleagues to better understand the significance of mental health. Here are a couple of resources to start the conversation:

Together, we can support those who most need it and ensure no one feels alone in their mental health journey.

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

Caminar for Mental Health and Basecamp Fitness: Miles for Mental Health

On May 21, the Basecamp Fitness family came together across its four locations to help Caminar for Mental Health raise money for Mental Health Awareness month. 

Basecamp Fitness, with locations in Burlingame, San Francisco, Santa Monica and West Hollywood, opened its doors to Caminar and its members biked over 1,400 miles in the name of mental health awareness. 

"We cannot be more grateful to Basecamp Fitness and their members for their hard work and sweat," said Caminar's Director of Development, Carolyn DeVoto Salcido. "As a community-based nonprofit, it's truly heart-warming to see other community entities like Basecamp really open their hearts to our mission." 

[RELATED: Caminar participates in "Road to Recovery 5K"]

In all, the four Basecamp studios combined to raise more than $2,200 for mental health awareness.

Basecamp Fitness is a 35 minute, heart-pumping, muscle-building, fitness experience that builds a healthier person! They are a tight knit, supportive community built around building strong hearts inside and outside their studio.

For more on Basecamp Fitness, click here. 

Solano hosts 5th Annual Cammie Awards

Caminar for Mental Health’s stars shined bright on Friday, May 20 during the 5th Annual Cammie Awards.

“Walk a mile in their shoes” was the theme for the 2016 version of the Solano region’s biggest date on the calendar and over 100 people attended the award ceremony that filled Vallejo’s Foley Cultural Center.

“Cammies are really meant to honor our clients for their achievements in recovery,” said Chris Kughn, Executive Director of Caminar’s Solano Region. “We really build on the courage of the clients that we serve. They get acknowledged for achievements in recovery, achievements in maintaining housing, finding employment, reintegrating into community. This is one day when we formally acknowledge our clients, but everyday our clients show they’re moving into recovery.”


In all, eight clients and three volunteers were honored during the award ceremony that focused on walking a mile in the shoes of those Caminar serves. “It’s really challenging to walk a mile in someone’s shoes,” Kughn said. “The idea is to take today and really think about how challenging it is for many of our clients to get up every single day, go to work, pay their rent — really taking a moment today to acknowledge just how powerful of a drive they have to move forward in recovery.”

[RELATED: Solano brings Art Therapy Inspiration to Vallejo's John F. Kennedy Library]

“I think individuals who struggle with substance and mental health challenges are often isolated,” Kughn said. “They don’t get acknowledged for what they’re doing in their lives even if it feels like it’s not a huge thing. The power of the Cammie Awards is having the opportunity to be witnessed by your community.” 

Caminar kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month with participation in Center for Open Recovery's "Road to Recovery" 5K

Caminar for Mental Health kicked off Mental Health Awareness Month by putting its best foot forward.

In sponsorship of the Center for Open Recovery, Caminar joined 500 participants in the inaugural "Road to Recovery 5K" walk and run with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco serving as a backdrop for the event. Caminar's team of over 20 Caminarians ran, jogged and walked their way through five kilometers from Crissy Field Beach and around San Francisco’s Presidio district.

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