The Santa Barbara Mental Wellness Center (MWC) welcomed two new hires: Gabriela Dodson, MWC Wellness and Recovery Programs Director and Vicente Garcia Jr., Assistant Wellness and Recovery Programs Director. MWC recovery.
CEO Annmarie Cameron said the organization is expanding its approach, after celebrating 75 years of treatment in the county.
“We’ve expanded the way we approach our work,” Cameron said. “Our goal is to catch people earlier rather than waiting for them to become mentally ill. We understand the value of early intervention and prevention, the sooner you respond, the better the results.
Dodson, Garcia Jr. and the MWC’s Assistant Director of Wellness and Recovery Programs, Alexis Freeborn, will create the center’s new community wellness programs, featuring all-day activities. Dodson is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with the Public Defenders Office; Garcia Jr. is a Santa Barbara resident who has a history with youth justice programs and a master’s degree in counseling.
“We want to hear from individuals and families to find out what their needs are,” Dodson said. “Some people are looking for structured support groups and others may be looking for casual wellness activities. Many will seek support for a friend or loved one.