The Mental Wellness Center works with thousands of people every year to improve and maintain mental wellness. We offer courses and activities for teens and adults to learn and practice self-management skills for better self-regulation; and We educate youth, families, and community groups about mental health so that we can take better care of ourselves individually and as a community. We help adults with mental health disabilities meet critical and basic needs as a foundation for their wellness. • WEBSITE • 


Mental Health Matters (MHM) is a program of the Mental Wellness Center (MWC). Originally created in 2000, it is designed to introduce basic facts about mental health to elementary, middle and high school students. The MHM course addresses three foci: (1) signs and symptoms of major mental health disorders, (2) stigma and how it affects our perceptions of mental illness and (3) wellness activities and practices. The underlying premise of MHM is that with understanding, youth will know to seek help should they or someone they know experience symptoms of a possible mental health disorder, knowing that early treatment tends to lead to better outcomes. There is evidence of a recognized need for mental health education that is grounded in the increase in requests and the ongoing success of the MHM curriculum.

Our work is now well established in the Buellton, Carpinteria, Cold Spring, Hope, Goleta Union and Santa Barbara Unified School Districts.


  • In 2000, the Mental Wellness Center in collaboration with the Goleta Union School District developed a curriculum called the School Mental Illness Learning Experience (SMILE).
  • In 2008, the curriculum was updated and rebranded MHM. The revised curriculum was piloted in a 6th-grade classroom at El Camino Elementary in the Goleta Union School District.
  • In 2017-18, the MHM curriculum was taught in forty-eight 6th-grade classrooms, educating more than 1,200 6th graders!
  • Based on an efficacy study, conducted in eight 7th grade science classrooms, the MHM curriculum was revised and updated during the summer of 2014 to also include mental wellness, and such issues as empathy, stigma and person-first language.

Website designed by Rachael Steidl with support from Ann Lippincott and Christy Morse (2018),
with acknowledgment and appreciation for the many years of
foundational conceptual and creative design work by Francis Cosworth.