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Winery walk will help mental wellness funds throughout Santa Barbara County

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – Participants plan to put their best foot forward on a weekend winery walk that will raise money for the Mental Wellness Center in Santa Barbara. A portion will also go to the One Mind non-profit that funds neuropsychiatric brain research.

The event Saturday begins at 9 a.m. at the Alma Rosa winery. It is called "Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction"

"This walk is so important to use because May is Mental Health Awareness Month," said the Mental Wellness Center CEO, AnneMarie Cameron at the headquarters on Garden Street in Santa Barbara. "All of the money raised at this event will go to support our programs here at the Mental Wellness Center."

The funds then alo go to a variety of mental wellness programs countywide.

Alma Rosa Winery General Manager Debra Eagle said, "the Wellness Center provides services to people  that have had a mental  diagnosis here in Santa Barbara County and One Mind  funds research for mental health diagnosis so they are a great compliment to each."

Both individuals and teams are signing up. The walk begins at 9 a.m. and the distance is just over four miles. This will take the walkers through the vineyards now in their development stages for the next harvest and also into areas not seen by the public. Cameron said the early registration was about 200 and this week they are expecting many more by the deadline on Friday.

Some of the participants have been in the past four walks, some are new and some are coming from out of the state.

There will also be a wine reception at the finish line with area wineries who support the walk, along with non-alcoholic beverages and snacks.

The participation for each walker is $55. Alma Rosa owners Bob and Barb Zorich are matching the money raised up to $70,000 that will be split between the two mental health organizations.

This is the fifth year for the walk. It will be at different elevations on the winery. "It's about 10,000 steps, a  little less than that so it's a nice fitness goal for everybody and a good way to start the day, " said Eagle. "They are amazed at how beautiful the estate is and the views that they get  they are blown away  by that it is very peaceful place in the world. I think they really enjoy being in nature."

The turnout is expected to draw area residents, longtime supporters and visitors to the area. Cameron said, "we have people coming from out of state for this walk  people who are friends of the Mental Wellness center  people coming up from L.A. and certainly tourist that are in town."

She said everyone in their lifetime will likely see the need for mental health services either directly or in other ways, and the organization in place to help will be a vital resource.

For more information go to: Alma Rosa Winery, Mental Wellness Center or One Mind

About One Mind™

Launched in 1995 by Shari and Garen Staglin as their means to “run toward the problem” of their son’s schizophrenia diagnosis, One Mind is today a leading mental health non-profit that heals lives by direct support for neuropsychiatric brain research. By convening the brightest minds in brain science and advocacy around a collective vision of “Accelerating Brain Health for All,” One Mind is advancing a three-pronged program strategy of accelerating discoveries, improving services, and transforming culture. Through such achievements as enrolling over 10,000 patients in innovative clinical studies and the One Mind at Work initiative that has brought supportive workplace mental health practices to over 7 million employees, One Mind is creating a world where all facing brain health challenges can build healthy, productive lives. Brandon Staglin, whose own experiences triggered the creation of the non-profit, now serves as its President, exemplifying the change One Mind seeks in its disruptive research and workplace initiatives.

About Mental Wellness Center

With 77 years of service to the Santa Barbara community, Mental Wellness Center has been the leading provider of mental health support to adults, families, and youth. The organization instructs in mental health education to nearly 5,000 local students, operates a residential services program which is home to community members in seven residential sites, and serves individuals and families impacted by mental illness through support groups and social connection programs like its onsite recovery day program that sees hundreds of individuals, both housed and unhoused, living with severe mental illness.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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