“American Riviera” to See Increase in Homelessness

“American Riviera” to See Increase in Homelessness













Santa Barbara, CA (PRWEB) April 17, 2008

Known by many as the American Riviera and made famous by many celebrity residents, (including Oprah and soon-to-be resident, Calif. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger), the ocean-side community of Santa Barbara County could soon be facing a drastic increase in homelessness if proposed budget cuts by the Department of Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health Services (ADMHS) are approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 22.

The budget cuts include a 60%, $ 6 million cut to community-based programs that provide safety-net services to the mentally ill, as well as a $ 2.7 million cut to County operated mental health clinics, ensuring that many people who need services in the future will be denied access to care.

“This is not the way we do things in Santa Barbara,” said Annmarie Cameron, Executive Director at the Mental Health Association.

“The draconian budget cuts proposed by the ADMHS management put a final strain on a safety net that is already frayed. We should all be afraid of the consequences.”

By its own report, ADMHS acknowledges that among the devastating consequences of this proposal, a significant number of people who are now housed and treated will soon become homeless when lifelines are terminated.

Santa Barbara County is in the top third wealthiest California counties based on per capita income, yet only invests at the 2 percent level in its mental health system. The average for California counties is six percent. In June 2004, the median home price in Santa Barbara surpassed $ 1,000,000. Traditionally the area has had a significant homeless population, due in part to the high cost of living

Last year, 22 homeless people died on the streets of the south coast. Tragically, many, if not most, of those people were mentally ill. If the proposed mental health service cuts go into effect July 1st, this number will likely grow exponentially.

The proposed cuts would purge more than 800 people from the ADMHS caseload, removing the lifelines that support recovery and permanent supportive housing with many of these people becoming homeless.

Referring to a recent County-sponsored effort to re-design the mental health system, Barry Schoer, Executive Director of Sanctuary Psychiatric Centers, said “the process of saving community-based mental health services for the mentally ill has been plagued with divisiveness and a blinding focus on budget instead of people.”

Not only do local leaders expect an unacceptable increase in the level of homelessness and street deaths among the mentally ill, but the cost of providing emergency medical treatment or inpatient care is up to nine times more expensive than providing permanent supportive housing.

ALL4CMH (Association of Local Leaders for Community Mental Health) requested a special hearing before the Board of Supervisors separate from the April 22nd regular agenda, at a time when everyone in the community is free to attend and demand care and justice for the mentally ill. A response from the County is pending.

Prior to the April 22 hearing, ALL4CMH is hosting a community Mental Health Rally on April 18, 2008 2- 4 p.m. at Alameda Park in downtown Santa Barbara (corner of Micheltorena and Anacapa). The rally will focus on how to save mental health services, and will include guest speakers, music and refreshments.

Meanwhile, details on the impact of the proposed budget cuts, and the ongoing struggle to improve the plight of the mentally ill through better management and a much-needed redesign of the system can be found at the campaign’s new website: http://www.SaveMentalHealth.org

Association of Local Leaders for Community Mental Health, or ALL 4 CMH is a coalition formed by local leaders of nonprofit mental health and housing agencies on February 6, 2008 to promote improved delivery and increased efficiency of mental health services and housing supports in Santa Barbara County.

ALL 4 CMH members represent more than 200 years of leadership in local nonprofit agencies with expertise in fund development and high-quality mental health services. Please visit SaveMentalHealth.org for more information.

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HelloLife Notes Significant Increase in Sales of its Products at Local West Michigan Retailer, Apple Valley Natural Foods

HelloLife Notes Significant Increase in Sales of its Products at Local West Michigan Retailer, Apple Valley Natural Foods










Grand Rapids, MI (PRWEB) May 29, 2011

HelloLife has continued their commitment to supporting local business by bringing their products to retailers in the Grand Rapids area. The company is pleased to announce its recently added retail partner, Apple Valley Natural Foods, has seen a significant increase in HelloLife products.

CEO Albert Duoibes notes, “Apple Valley Natural Foods is just the kind of local retailer we’re looking to serve. They concentrate on bringing the best selection of health products under one roof for the convenience of the community. Since we established this relationship, our products – supported by the knowledgeable staff of the store – have increased sales past what we had originally forecasted. This tells us we have indeed filled a need for Apple Valley Natural Foods and their customers.”

About Apple Valley Natural Foods

Apple Valley Natural Foods is located at 3013 West Shore Drive #70, in Holland, Michigan.

About HelloLife

HelloLife, LLC is an Applied Life Science and Technology company doing business in the fields of health and wellness. HelloLife has its headquarters at 4460 – 44th St. SW, Ste. C 600, Grand Rapids, MI, 49512. HelloLife is focused on delivering over-the-counter (OTC) relief products registered with the FDA.

HelloLife is committed to providing safe relief, nutritional support and education for healthy lifestyle choices. Our products are available to consumers via retailers, healthcare professionals and direct mail. For more information about the company or our products, visit our website at: http://www.hellolife.net.

HelloLife continues to offer our successful pet health care line to the market as well. Interested consumers can visit the VETiONX® website at: http://www.vetionx.com/.

If you’d like more information about HelloLife or our products, please contact Jennie Mac Anaspie at 616.808.3290 x1028 or via email at jmacanaspie at hellolife dot net.

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Karla Smith Foundation Joins Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Kansas to Increase Mental Health Awareness

Karla Smith Foundation Joins Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Kansas to Increase Mental Health Awareness











Karla Smith Foundation Volunteers on the Set of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’


Ottawa, KS (PRWEB) August 09, 2011

The Karla Smith Foundation, a St. Louis area based non-profit organization that provides support to families and friends affected by mental illness and suicide, spent the first week of August on the set of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” working to build a new, dream home for the Allen Hill Family of Ottawa, Kansas. Retired Staff Sergeant Allen Hill was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb while serving in Iraq and now lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

BringChange2Mind, a partner organization of the Karla Smith Foundation, nominated the Hill Family for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. BringChange2Mind was founded by The Fountain House in New York, the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), Children Adolescent and Bipolar Foundation (CABF), and Oscar-winning actress Glenn Close, whose sister, Jessie, has bipolar disorder. The non-profit’s mission is to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness. The show, set to air in October, will focus on Sergeant Allen Hill, his wife, Gina, and their children. In selecting the Hill Family, ABC Extreme also agreed to feature mental illness awareness in the two-hour episode.

“This week has been an outpouring of support from a local community for a very deserving family,” said Kevin Smith, Vice-President of Karla Smith Foundation, who has been in Kansas all week working as a Volunteer Lead and helped setup the Mental Health Awareness Tent. “The topic of mental illness has opened a lot of people’s eyes in this area and will touch many more across the country when the show airs.”

While SSgt. Allen Hill has recovered from the physical wounds of war, he has developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and just returned home from years-long inpatient treatment. Environmental triggers such as loud noises, crowds, dimly lit spaces and long hallways, can instigate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episodes. The ‘extreme’ home is being built to make his treatment easier, as the home will be sound-proofed and will include a safe room for Allen to go in case of an episode. As not to trigger a PTSD episode for Allen, for the first time in the show’s eight year history, a silent revealing occurred. A crowd of several thousand people waving American flags showed their support by watching quietly for over 20 minutes as Ty Pennington welcomed the family during the famous ‘move that bus’ moment.

The Karla Smith Foundation has formed a strong relationship with SSgt. Hill and his wife Gina. Gina has become an active advocate for families whose loved ones suffer with PTSD. She is the author of an award nominated blog, has served on a media panel, and has spoken at mental health conferences and on Capitol Hill. In addition, Gina and her husband were interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show in May, 2009.

Gina will be speaking at the Karla Smith Foundation’s annual “Erase the Stigma Conference”, which will take place August 26-27, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois. Gina will share her family’s hopes and struggles as she has steered her family through the maze of mental illness, treatment and recovery. Gina will address: journeying with loved ones with mental illness, family and marriage issues, and care giving as a mother of young children.

“This week a house was built with hammers, nails, sweat and tears, but a home was made with hope, grace and strength,” said Erin Hazen, a Karla Smith Foundation volunteer working in the catering tent.

The Hill Family edition of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is set to air in October, 2011 and will be a special two hour episode. You can learn more about Allen Hill and his family on the BringChange2Mind Facebook Page.

About Karla Smith Foundation

The Karla Smith Foundation offers support groups for family members of those with mental illness, support groups for families coping with suicide grief, peer-to-peer coaching, free education materials, public awareness events, a resource directory, and financial aid to family members and friends of those affected by mental illness and suicide. Since 2005, The Karla Smith Foundation has worked to combat the stigma of mental illness, and in 2009, partnered with the BringChange2Mind campaign co-founded by actress Glenn Close. For more information on the Karla Smith Foundation, visit http://www.karlasmithfoundation.org.

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Vocus, PRWeb, and Publicity Wire are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vocus, Inc. or Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.