Sadly, our "happiest place" is only one alienated, distraught person away from the tragic shootings like those in Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Parkland. Since significant actions aren't happening at the federal level, we need to look to our community for solutions.
What can we do? Importantly, we can strengthen the network of mental health services available across our county. Destigmatizing mental health problems, expanding resources in our schools, and providing no-cost and sliding-fee professional counseling offer real hope.
Thankfully, Community Counseling Center of San Luis Obispo County (CCC) addresses all three needs. Celebrating 50 years of service, CCC's proven programs engage volunteer mental health professionals. Last year it served more than 2,000 people in our county. Yet, surveys indicate that an estimated 20,000 people in our county need counseling help. With funding for an expanded hub in San Luis Obispo and systems to leverage its model of no-cost and sliding-fee services provided through trained professionals throughout the county, CCC can make sure that no one gets turned away.
If you have a family member, friend, or neighbor in need or want to join us in donating to strengthen mental health in our county, see the opportunities at cccslo.com.
Don and Liz Maruska