TMHA Spring 09 Newsletter - Transitions Mental Health Association



TMHA Spring 09 Newsletter - Transitions Mental Health Association
Transitions Mental
Health Association
Ernie Ball Page 2
Spring 2009 - Volume 4, Issue 1
Steve Skelley credits his renewed
interest in art with a fresh appreciation
Thanks to Amelia Page 3
for nature and life. He’s recently
finished a series of chemotherapy
Volunteer of the Year:
Reese Davies Page 2
treatments and, now healthy, is
Hind Foundation
Helps the Garden
Grow! Page 2
and time spent painting and carving.
Simple Gifts Page 3
Homebase on G: Furniture
Funding Sought! Page 3
Kathy and Peter’s Story
Page 3
Outreach Page 3
James (JT) Haas
Barbara Fischer
Carol Armstrong
Reese Davies
Casey Appell
David Bernhardt
Christine Burkett
Leila Humphrey
Joe Ivora
Nancy Johnson
Deborah Linden
Brad Rudd
Margaret Shepard
Tom Urbanske
Stephanie Baisa Wilson
relishing his time spent with family…
“Life is short. It goes by so fast,” said Skelley, a selftaught artist. His work, Goldfish, has been named
the featured piece for this year’s “Art of Recovery”
Show in Santa Maria and Lompoc. “Family. That’s
what it’s all about. And, I see nature differently too.
I try to reflect that in my work in a positive way. If
I died tomorrow, I would want people to see that in
my work.”
The show dates are May 7-17 on the first floor of the
Town Center East in Santa Maria, and May 20-31 at
the South Side Coffee Company in Lompoc. Over 50
works by local artists are displayed.
“Goldfish happened quickly. I had been looking at
a goldfish earlier, and just painted it,” said Steven.
“I have to be in the mood. If the mood isn’t right, it’s
a task. When I’m painting or carving and am in the
mood, it’s a great way to take my mind off everything else.”
Goldfish watercolor by Steven Skelley
The art show was first developed in 1995 to offer
people in mental health recovery a way to express
themselves and to provide a venue to share art, feelings, thoughts and messages with the general public.
The goal remains the same today. Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA) in partnership with
the Healing Arts Council of Santa Barbara County
(HACSB), hope this year to help the community see
that people should not be defined in terms of their
illness but by their strengths, gifts and by the contributions they make to society.
The Pink Rose by Katia Rose Lorent
Growing the Farm
A generous award from the Hind Foundation is allowing Growing Grounds Farm
in SLO to
expand its
plant propagation efforts,
provide a
area of training for client
and become
a new source
in the county
for locally
native plant
starts. Funds
will also
Greg Hind visits Growing Grounds allow the
with TMHA Director, Barry Johnson. farm to make
major capital purchases and improvements
to greenhouses and other infrastructure.
To learn more about the Hind Foundation,
please visit their website at
While the weather was still cold
and spring seemed far away,
Jeff Pienack, a staff member in
Victor Oneschuck, Dawayne Tuleya, Jeff Pienack, Cameron Eckels,
TMHA’s Supported EmployRuss Lomanto, Troy Owens and Holly Dragovich.
ment Program (SEP), teamed up
the boxes. Work that totaled almost 40
with staff at local business Ernie Ball with
plans to build 16 large planter boxes for the
company’s employees. Jeff, Holly DragovAs this newsletter is being printed, flowers
ich, Ernie Ball human resources manager,
and vegetables are thriving, soaking in
Russ Lomato and Troy Owens, Ernie Ball
water and sun. Ernie Ball employees now
facilities managers, consulted with staff
have room to grow. SEP participants and
from Growing Grounds Farm and Store to
staff are growing too, and can proudly
design the perfect planting environment.
point to an excellent example of creative
When Ernie Ball leadership agreed to fund
the project, Jeff enlisted the help of Victor
Oneschuck, an SEP job coach, Dawayne
Tuleya and Cameron Eckels, SEP participants, along with Russ and Troy, to build
The Supported Employment Program is
funded by the Mental
Health Services Act.
TMHA Inaugural Volunteer of the Year
TMHA has named Reese Davies,
treasurer of the board of directors and 15-year-volunteer, our
inaugural “Volunteer of the Year.”
Graduate School of Banking at
Southern Methodist University
Cox School of Business.
also serves as a board member for a number of local organizations and Southwest
where children, adults and families can
live, work and grow.
The TMHA Volunteer of the
Year Award has been estabDavies became involved in 1994 with Tranlished in celebration of the
sitions, a nonprofit that provided housing
in San Luis Obispo
“He’s always very concerned that
30 years on the
for people who had a
our assets underlie our mission
Jill Bolster-White, Vicky Mazzei, Reese Davies, and Dave Booker at the
Central Coast
mental illness. When
and that any project we pursue
Antique Treasures Sneak Peek Event
in service to
Transitions merged
answers the question ‘does it
Davies, who is also president and chief
the community. Each year,
with another mental
benefit our clients?’ The way we
administrative officer of Founders ComTMHA will recognize a new
health nonprofit, SLO
get there is to be prudent with
munity Bank, was honored at Antique
our finances. Reese has made
volunteer whose service and
Mental Health AssociaTreasures’ Sneak Peek and Wine Tasting
vision have been essential
tion, Davies remained
James “J.T.” Haas, President
event, March 20th at the Madonna Expo
in the development of a
with the new organizaof the TMHA board of directors
Center in San Luis Obispo.
healthy, whole community
tion’s board. Davies
“When Reese Davies decides to support a
cause, people line up with him.”
Jill Bolster-White,
TMHA Executive Director
Oil on Canvas by M. Rinehart from “Art of Recovery”
Simple Gifts
“I love this program. It’s given me
a life worth living and has made
me a better person!”
Sam* was 34 years old with a history
of mental illness, substance abuse and
legal problems when he was accepted
into TMHA’s Full Service Partnership
(FSP) program. He said he simply wanted
medication and a place to live. Sam was
Upon entering his new housing, Sam
said he just needed “time to rest” before
considering any program-related activities. Little by little, though, he opened up.
First, he attended “Dinner Night” at a
TMHA socialization program. Then he
attended the program at least two times a
week. Later, Sam decided to attend weekly
groups focused on illness management and
recovery. He also started to attend “Field
Trip Friday” activities with other clients.
All of these things happened within his
“time to rest” period.
Sam has now reunited with his family and
visits them regularly. He is a valued house
mate and is engaged in the community. He
credits his progress to involvement with
the FSP Program and his willingness to
explore his possibilities. Not bad for a man
who simply wanted meds and a bed.
FSP is an intensive services program in San Luis
Obispo County and is funded by the Mental
Health Services Act. It is designed to help people
with severe mental illness stabilize and recover.
Staff members involved in Sam’s treatment are
Program Manager Joe Madson, Residential
Case Manager Bill Davis, Therapist Donna Cole
and Resource Specialist Susan von FrausingBorch.
*Name substituted to protect this individual’s
Furnishing Funding Sought
Like the story above, Homebase on G in Lompoc will
become home for the homeless, people who have a
disability, and those who cannot afford other rent.
Learn how you can help furnish Homebase on G!
Call Lesta Travis at (805) 541-5144, extension 115.
We wish a fond
farewell to Cal Poly
senior, Amelia
Capron. A four-year
employee of Growing
Grounds Downtown
Store, Amelia says
her inspiration for
her senior project in
Amelia Capron at TMHA
landscape architecture
started at the Store.
Amelia also says that wherever life takes
her, she knows she’s found her niche finding ways to design “transitional housing, a
therapeutic landscape, and work opportunities for adults with mental health challenges.” Amelia, we wish you the very best
that life can bring!
to Jackie Garza,
recipient of the San
Luis Obispo Visión
Unida 2008 Pioneros
Award, for her work
as a leader in the
SLO community.
Visión Unida is an organization dedicated
to facilitating the leadership development
of people in San Luis Obispo County.
Kathy & Peter’s Story
They met in Southern California, but Peter
popped the question to Kathy on the Central Coast 33 years ago. When planning to
retire, they knew where they wanted to be.
In 2007, they moved to SLO County.
Before they moved, though, their younger
son, who had struggled with increasing
anxiety, was suddenly unable to function
and was hospitalized. Following this hospitalization, he made the decision to relocate
to San Luis Obispo to be closer to family,
but also to live in an area that he loved.
With that, the process of finding the right
care for their son began. “I left a lot of
messages,” Kathy recalls, “and fortunately,
the right people called back.” She found
TMHA in the phone book, looked up
the web site and got in touch with Janice
Holmes, the program manager for TMHA
Family Services. “Through Janice Holmes
and the [family] support group, we’ve
learned about resources that help educate
families about mental illness and also help
their loved ones who have mental illness
move forward to an optimal level of independence.”
In the past two years, Kathy and Peter have
supported their son in his new life. “We
are supportive, but recognize that he is an
adult and try not to take over,” says Kathy.
“We leave each [family support] group
meeting feeling even more empowered
to move down this path that is now our
life,” says Kathy. “Our son has come so far
and continues to move forward with the
TMHA Supported Employment Program,
enjoying life more each day.” Peter notes
that “Seeing our son progress and find
his way gives us hope… and we do look
forward to the future once again”.
We know that a diagnosis is not a destiny. Recovery is
possible with consistent, effective services. That’s what
motivates what we do and what gives us hope. In this
newsletter, we’ve presented stories from programs
funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).
Also known as Proposition 63, this legislation was
designed to ensure that effective, consistent care
could be a reality in California. We are grateful for
MHSA funding and hope that you will see the results
in our communities. Thank you for your support!
10% OFF
956 Chorro,
Volunteers are always welcome in our programs and
funding events. One or two hours of your time each
week can make an enormous difference.
• Please include TMHA in your
year-end tax planning
• Program “wish lists” can be viewed
on our web site at
• Online donations can be made
via our secure web site. Click on the
“How You Can Help” menu item.
If you would like to donate your
financial support or time,
please contact us at:
Transitions Mental Health Association
Post Office Box 15408
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406
(805) 541-5144
Thank You!
…A holiday dinner in December provided by the SLO
Morning Kiwanis Club. Employees and clients of
TMHA look forward to this year’s event and appreciate
the opportunity to celebrate. Our thanks, especially, to
Frank Drake and Nancy Rye who have coordinated the
winter holiday dinner for 12 years in a row!
…Wonderful sponsors and volunteers who made this
year’s Antique Treasures
Show and Appraisals Event
a great success!
…Gifts of all shapes and sizes from you, our friends and
neighbors! Your generosity makes effective, innovative
mental health services to our communities a reality.
Our thanks to the Pismo Coast Association of REALTORS® Charitable
Foundation Inc. which has chosen TMHA as a beneficiary to their 24th Annual
Benefit Golf Tournament, scheduled for Thursday, May 28th at Cypress Ridge
Golf Course.
The second annual SLO Wine and Grill Affair will be held June
6th from 12 to 4 p.m. at Per Bacco Cellars, Calle Joaquin, SLO.
Exemplary local wineries are gathering at the historic Filipponi
Ranch for food, wine and fun. Tickets are $30 per person and
can be purchased at or by calling (805) 5415144, ext. 174.
g G rou nd
An Anniversary Celebration to Remember
This year, Growing Grounds Farm and Nursery in SLO
will be celebrating its 25th anniversary and TransitionsMental Health Association is celebrating its 30th! We
will be commemorating it on June 26th from 12 to 6 pm,
with a family-friendly party at the Farm on the corner
of Orcutt and Johnson in San Luis Obispo. Music will be provided by Hear the
Darlings Roar and The Mighty Croondogs. We hope you will join us!
ar m
Donations of money, service, vehicles or other
needed items are both appreciated and vital to continuing the quality programs we provide. Funds are
used to purchase equipment for the farms, essential
household items for our supportive housing, clothes
for adults and teens and more.
We’d also like to say thanks for…
25 Years
Twenty-Fifth Annual Central Coast Wine Classic Experience the beauty and
diversity of California’s Central Coast! Participate in the 2009 Twenty-Fifth
Annual Central Coast Wine Classic. This event benefits a number of wonderful
nonprofits, including Transitions-Mental Health Association! Visit www. for more information!
Fundraising Newsflash!
We are happy to announce that TMHA has been invited by
the Kiwanis Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa to join them
in holding their fall auction. It’s always an evening of fun
and great auction items, so make plans now to attend. More
event information will be posted on our web site soon.

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