HOPE Center a ‘welcoming environment’ for recovery needs

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HOPE Center a ‘welcoming environment’ for recovery needs

Kyle, Kruhmin, Administrator

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According to the Mental Health Services Act draft three-year plan, the HOPE Center in Ridgecrest is intended to provide a welcoming environment to members of the community who have experience with mental illness. This can apply to clients as well as family members of those with mental illnesses.

According to the report, the goal of the center is to “engage those living with mental illnesses and their support systems with social and educational skill-building activities that promote wellness, inspire hope, and enrich the lives of its members.” Other goals are reducing self-stigma and family stigma. The report states that the HOPE Center provides an average of 252 activities per month.

According to the HOPE Center’s mission statement, it seeks to “provide a learning environment in a stress-free, fun, safe and friendly atmosphere” where people can “relax, make friends, gather information, learn and practice tools to promote recovery” and is open to “anyone touched by mental illness.”

The HOPE Center bills itself as a recovery-oriented environment and offers a long list of free activities, including tai chi, creative expressions, a monthly social potluck, community activities, movie days, karaoke/bingo nights, depression support, ping-pong, art, budgeting group, poetry, food pantry volunteering, peer support, story sharing, music, cooking classes, a reading club, anxiety support, journaling, yarn arts, Wellness Recovery Action Plan and beginning painting.

According to information from the center, all groups are facilitated by peers/volunteers and co-facilitated by staff who are not mental health professionals. It is funded by Kern County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.

The HOPE Center encourages those interesting in volunteering to call.