Gamaliel Polanco, ACSW
Wellness Center Coordinator
The Tri-City mental health Wellness Center was created through funding from the Mental Health Services Act. The Wellness Center is a hub of community activities that promote recovery, resiliency, and wellness for people confronting mental health issues. Staff located at this site, including peer advocates, family members, clinical staff, and others, provides a range of culturally competent, person – and family-centered groups, workshops and socialization activities designed to promote increasing independence and wellness for people of all ages.
For children, services include:
- Skills building classes
- Recreational activities
- Leadership training
For young adults, services include:
- Self-help groups
- Peer support
- Independent living skills coaching
- Job and vocational training
- Recreational activities
- Specialized supports
- Assessment and linkage
- Leadership development
For adults, services include:
- Assessment and linkage
- Recreational and cultural activities
- Educational resources
- Services to promote independence (education, employment and housing)
- Support networks
For the family, services include support to the individual member or members (as previously described) and to the family as a whole through parenting classes, resource development, budgeting and advocacy.
Group activities/support groups at the Tri-City Wellness Center include the following:
Anxiety/Depression Groups: These groups are open to individuals of any age who are experiencing anxiety and depression as part of their symptoms. It is both a support group as well as a learning group in which the facilitator provides instruction in the various coping skills used for the management of anxiety and depression.
Monthly Workshops: Open to all consumers, presentations are made on different topics by a variety of community agencies. Each month, a representative provides an overview of the benefits and enrollment process for the specific workshop being presented. A question and answer period is built in to answer questions about specific cases (SSI, Emergency Preparedness, Skills Building, Money Management, Cooking, etc.).
Monthly Outings: Recreational outings are planned to encourage and foster socialization and positive interactions between participants. The outings are open to individuals of all ages, although children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
TAY (Transitional Age Youth) Day-Socialization Support Group for Young Adults Ages 16-25: Different activities, such as board games, karaoke, video games, and social outings are made available to young adults. The purpose of this group is for TAYs to interact with one another while improving their social skills and learning life functioning skills.
Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA): This group is available to those who are presently dealing with or have previously experienced both mental health and substance abuse simultaneously. It is open to individuals 18 years of age and over, and is facilitated in the Alcoholics Anonymous format.
Schizophrenia 101: This support group is open to anyone 16 years of age and over who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, has a family member suffering from schizophrenia, or simply wants more information related to this mental illness. This group follows the guiding principles of Schizophrenics Anonymous.
Parenting Classes (Hosted by Pomona Unified School District): Shirley Alvarez of Pomona Unified School District is the facilitator of a ten-week cycle course in which parents can earn a court mandated certificate. ($40 fee)
Parent Project: This group is designed to better equip those families struggling with the burdens of mental illness and psychosocial factors in their daily living. This group runs on a sixteen-week cycle, and is open to parents and children five years of age and older. A fee in the amount of $20 is charged for the workbook.
Arts Group: Open to all individuals who take an active role in their recovery by creating and sharing their art work with others. Attendees are welcome to bring their own art supplies, and are encouraged to provide creative guidance and/or mentoring to others.
Spanish Groups: Various groups are facilitated in Spanish for monolingual consumers. They include (among others) a depression group, a socialization group called “Comadres y Compadres,” and a positive alternatives group. Anyone who is suffering from or wants to learn about depression or any other type of symptoms is encouraged to attend.
Walk for Fitness: This group is geared toward participants of all ages. Its purpose is to introduce physical activity into the overall emotional and mental wellbeing of individuals suffering from a mental illness.
Anger Management: Open to individuals 18 years of age and over who are experiencing difficulties controlling and/or expressing their anger. It is both a support group as well as a learning group in which the facilitator will teach about the different coping skills necessary in the effective management of anger.
Bipolar Group: Open to individuals 18 and over who are experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder. It is both a support group as well as a learning group in which the facilitator will provide instruction related to the different coping skills useful in the management of symptoms.
Socialization Group: This socialization support group is available to adults aged 26-59. A variety of activities, such as board games, karaoke, video games, and social outings are made available to adults. The purpose of this group is for participants to interact with one another while improving their social skills and learning life functioning skills.
Music Group: Open to anyone who enjoys listening, learning, and playing music as a way to manage their mental health. Individuals of all ages are welcome to bring their own music and/or instruments, and are encouraged to guide and/or mentor fellow group members.