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    Two Visions of America by Don Jans

    NAMI VC Launches Program Aimed at Wellness in a Challenging World

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    Just in time for Mental Illness Awareness Week, NAMI Ventura County has launched a new pilot program designed to empower and encourage participants to actively address mental health using skills based in awareness, self-care and communication.

    Like all the non-profit’s program offerings, the Community Cares program is free to participants and available exclusively in webinar format through Zoom. The Ventura County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness created the program locally to help counteract the mental-health related fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Community Cares includes information on mental wellness, stigma, diagnoses, treatment, suicide prevention, self-care and communication. Participants receive, electronically, a 34-page participant workbook filled with information building on the course topics as well as exercises aimed at building awareness and practicing useful skills.

    “This is an exceptional program for anyone in the community who is not aware of the signs of mental illness,” said Roberta Griego, Director of Operations, Community Outreach & Development. “Anyone who attends Community Cares will come away with a new perspective and renewed focus on wellness.”

    The two-hour webinar is facilitated by two volunteer presenters who are either family members or peers living in recovery and trained to share their experiences with participants.

    Many trained presenters are both family members and peers giving them valuable, unique insight into mental health and wellness.

    What’s the new program’s bottom line? Caring for ourselves as individuals is fundamental to caring for our communities.

    Community Cares attendees are already praising the webinar.

    “I don’t think I do well in the self-care area of my life as I am always taking care of others first,” said one participant. “I enjoyed the area in the presentation and workbook on self-care. I intend to do more self-care of myself after hearing that reminder.”

    People who live or work in Ventura County can register for an upcoming Community Cares webinar at

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