A report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health published in 2003 found that "services and treatments must be consumer and family centered, geared to give consumers real and meaningful choices about treatment options and providers — not oriented to the requirements of bureaucracies." Similarly, one of the guiding principles of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) is to create a consumer- and family member-driven system of mental health care.
Below are resources for consumers and family members in Santa Barbara County. For more information, contact the ADMHS Consumer Empowerment Manager at (805) 681-5323.
Resources for Consumers and Family Members
- The Family Service Agency maintains the 2-1-1 Helpline and online resource directory, the most comprehensive listing of health and social services and support groups in Santa Barbara County It may be searched by key word or city.
- The ADMHS Consumer and Family Member Advisory Committee meets on the third Thursday of each month from 2 - 4:30 pm at the Solvang Holiday Inn Express, 1455 Mission Drive, Solvang. To be placed on the e-mail mailing list, call (805) 681-4744. An application to serve as a voting member is here: English | Spanish.
- Meetings of the Santa Barbara County Mental Health Commission are also open to the public. For the current schedule, visit this page.
- ADMHS supports Peer Recovery Specialists in the Partners in Hope Program to assist consumers in recovery-based activities. In South County call (805) 681-5455. In North County call (805) 934-6380 and Central County call (805) 737-7719.
- Recovery Learning Communities feature consumer-run activities and learning opportunities. For more information about South County (Santa Barbara), contact the Mental Wellness Center, (805) 884-8440. For information about North County (Lompoc and Santa Maria), call Transitions-Mental Health Association, (805) 540-6500.
- Support groups in Spanish are available through ADMHS Peer Recovery Specialists and through the Recovery Learning Communities (see details above).
- Under Prop 63/the Mental Health Services Act, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) oversees the Adults and Older Adults Systems of Care Act; Human Resources; Innovative Programs; Prevention & Early Intervention Programs; and the Children’s Mental Health Services Act.
Resources for Consumers
Resources for Family Members
- Family advocates are active in all regions of the County. For North and Central County, contact Transitions-Mental Health Association, 540-6500. For South County, contact the Mental Wellness Center, (805) 884-8440.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a grassroots mental health advocacy organization working for awareness, support, education and advocacy. The South County chapter maintains a web page, as does the California statewide chapter. For information about NAMI activities in Santa Maria, call (805) 343-1541. Lompoc NAMI may be reached at (805) 737-5870.
- Families Act! is an advocacy group for persons with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in Santa Barbara County, For more information call (805) 637-1339; info@FamiliesACT.org.
- The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health sponsors research, evaluation, technical assistance and advocacy.