Lompoc mental health program aims to ‘Fight the Stigma’ with new art show fundraiser – Santa Maria Times


Lompoc mental health program aims to ‘Fight the Stigma’ with new art show fundraiser

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A Lompoc agency that provides mental health support services is inviting the community to its first-ever “Fight the Stigma Art Show,” which will serve as a fundraiser as well as an event to honor the creativity of its clients while raising awareness about mental health wellness.

The event is being put on by the Transitions-Mental Health Association’s Lompoc Assertive Community Treatment, or ACT, team. It will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Lompoc ACT offices at 401 E. Cypress Ave.

Along with the featured artwork, the event will include a silent auction with donated gifts, food provided by Mi Amore Pizza and Pasta, and live music.

“We are thrilled for the public to see [the clients’] work and come together as a whole community for our event,” said Dr. Zillah Hodgkins, a Lompoc ACT team lead.

“They have been so excited to work on this project,” she added, referring to the clients.

The concept for the art show was borne out of a weekly group in which clients find solace and wellness in creating art pieces. Hodgkins said she proposed sharing those works of art with the community at-large, and the idea took off from there.

“Often our clients are stigmatized as ‘crazy’ or a ‘burden’ when in fact they are some of the strongest and most compassionate people in our community,” Hodgkins said. “They have been through challenges most of us could not even dream of and my team wants the community to see them as the creative souls they are.”

Some of the artwork will be made available for purchase, with the proceeds going directly back to the artists. The funds raised in the silent auctions will go toward Transitions-Mental Health Association’s nonprofit to better serve clients.

Several Lompoc businesses, organizations and residents donated to the silent auctions. Among the donors (and their donated items) are:

Viviana Tracz (Fiddlehead wine), Maria Martinez (wine), Michael-Lyn McBride (yoga), Sissy’s Uptown Café (gift card), Audicy Family Photography (photo session), Hairillusions Supplies and Salon (haircut), Juan Morales of J’s Barber Shop (haircut), Chris Ceballos of J’s Barber Shop (haircut), Essential Touch Massage (massage), Scarlett’s Creations (personalized cup and gift card), Surf Connection (gift card), Anita’s Healing Hands (massage and spa treatment), Magnolia Massage (massage), Anderson Recreation Center (pool passes), Wild West Pizza (gift card), Alfie’s Fish and Chips (gift card), El Toro Bronco (gift card), Dr. T’s Chiropractic (essential oils) and Cruz Insurance (gift basket).

The event will also include an open mic for any clients or others who would like to share their talents.

Transitions-Mental Health Association offers services in San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties. The Lompoc ACT team, according to the organization, “provides therapeutic and rehabilitative services for adults, older adults and transitional age youth with severe and persistent mental illness.”

“Lompoc ACT is committed to reducing homelessness, psychiatric hospitalizations and incarceration, and focuses efforts on encouraging each individual’s recovery and pursuit of a healthy and productive life,” Hodgkins said. “The goal of the ACT program is to support each individual in their personal wellness and community connections.”

Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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