25th Annual Mental Health Arts Festival

The Mental Health Arts Festival is an important and much anticipated event by artists living with mental illness and the Santa Barbara community at large. This year marks the festival's 25th anniversary! This free community event will feature the talent of approximately 70 local artists who will exhibit paintings, drawings, sculpture, jewelry, arts and crafts and much more!

The Mental Wellness Center will also host a table with educational materials for consumers and the general public on mental illness, treatment options, and community resources. We hope to see you at De La Guerra Plaza on July 13th. 

For more information about this year's Mental Health Arts Festival, including how to participate as an artist or how to volunteer, please contact Amanda Conroy, Development & Communications Manager at 805-884-8440 ext. 3298 or aconroy@mentalwellnesscenter.org.


Call for Participants

Mental Health Research Study

We are seeking emerging adults and their parents for an academic research study. Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, often have an impact on the entire family. This study investigates how emerging adults who have been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder I/II and their parents talk to each other about their journey with a mental health condition.

If you are interested in participating please contact: cparrish@ucsb.edu. Please type the words “Mental Health Study” into the subject line. All ages ethnicities and gender expressions are welcome!

  • Be between 18 to 29 years old

  • Have depression or bipolar disorder I/II

  • Have been diagnosed by a mental health professional

  • Have one parent willing to participate with you

  • This parent must be aware of your diagnosis


  • Both people must participate in the survey and study.

  • The study will be conducted three separate times over the course of three months, and requires approximately 1.5 hours total of your time.

    Studies will be conducted via internet in the privacy of your home. Therefore, you must have access to the internet and to Skype/webcam, etc. (Alternative arrangements can also be made in certain situations).

  • Must be willing to be video recorded

The results of your participation will be kept strictly confidential.

Compensation: Each individual will receive $10 for participating in this study ($20) total.

This study will be conducted through the Communication Department of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is subject to the rules and policies of UCSB Human Subjects Committee. Primary investigator: Callie Parrish, Graduate Student, Department of Communication Co-investigator/Faculty Advisor: Dr. Tamara Afifi, Department of Communication.

Local Santa Barbara Members Participate in State Minority Mental Health Event

By Jewell Dennis

My son Dion and I were honored to have the opportunity to attend the Bebe Moore Campbell Capital Advocacy Day on June 27 in Sacramento along with other NAMI representatives from around the state. Each year, this event commemorates July as “Bebe Campbell Moore National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month”.  Bebe Campbell Moore was a champion for mental health education and support among individuals of diverse communities. She was a leading African-American author and co-founded NAMI Urban Los Angeles. In 2003, she received NAMI’s “Outstanding Media Award for Literature” and two years after her 2006 death, the U.S. House of Representatives enacted the proclamation designating July as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. 

After a brief preparation session conducted by NAMI California staff, we visited our state legislators to discuss the fact that minority California communities are more underserved when it comes to mental health services than the population at large, and that this disparity needs to be addressed.

This experience was particularly moving for me because I had the opportunity to meet and have lunch with Bebe Moore Campbell in 1991, before mental illness impacted our immediate families.  Bebe Moore Campbell believed that the United States needed a national campaign to de-stigmatize mental illness, and that it especially needed to target African-Americans , a need which is just as relevant today.


What Mental Health Topics Do You Want to Know More About at Monthly Speaker Meeting?

We’re beginning to plan our programs for our 2020 monthly “NAMI 4th Thursday Evening Speaker Series” and need your ideas about what topics you’d like to learn more about. We have a very robust mental health community here in Santa Barbara and have a wealth of potential local “experts” on many areas of mental health ranging from treatment to clinical and supportive services to accessing services or anything else related to mental health. Please give us your ideas; just email g.kaufmann@cox.net and give a brief description of programs you’d like to see in 2020.