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Non-Profit Provides Key Mental Health Services In Santa Barbara County To Often Underserved People

(Photo courtesy Roman Craft)

Happiness is something many of us take for granted.  But, that wasn’t the case for Dawne Baird.  The Santa Barbara woman says she was clinically depressed, and at one point even contemplated suicide.

Baird says she wanted to get better, and knew she needed help.

That was more than a decade ago.  Baird did get help, through a non-profit mental health organization in Santa Barbara called Sanctuary Centers.  Sanctuary Centers is more than four decades old. It’s helped more than 10,000 people during its history.

Lisa Moschini is the organization’s Vice President and Clinical Director.  She says they offer services to the entire spectrum of the community, in forms which include inpatient, outpatient, and housing programs.

It has contracts with government agencies to help people, including former jail and prison inmates, as well as the homeless. 

They also offer services to those with private insurance. And, for low income residents, there’s help on a sliding scale based on income.  Grants help the non-profit keep its doors open.

Moschini says the county’s mental health services community has always had a tough time keeping up with the need, and COVID-19 related stress is adding to it.

Baird says the organization is literally a life-saver.  She says the group and individual therapy helped.  And she says their education and work programs gave her, and many others direction.  She lives in one of the organization’s apartment units, and has a job.  She says her life is back on track, and going well.

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