Dorothy Vyenielo

Dorothy Vyenielo

Our dear friend and colleague, Dorothy Vyenielo, passed away peacefully on 6/22/18. She lived 90+ years on this planet and her gifts to the world were many. We were blessed to have her volunteering with our Senior Peer Counseling program for over 20 years. Her feisty...
Sheds for Hope

Sheds for Hope

Here are a few photos of our CCP Crisis Counselors building Sheds for Hope in Santa Rosa this week. 100 sheds were built for people who lost their homes. CCP is a FEMA-funded program to help folks impacted by last year’s...
Congrats to Peer Counseling Grads

Congrats to Peer Counseling Grads

Congratulations to our 9 new Senior Peer Counselors who graduated on May 1st, 2018! We recruit and train seniors as peer counselors to work with other seniors who are struggling with issues of aging and need support in navigating the many challenges and transitions...
Members Meet at the Empowerment Center

Members Meet at the Empowerment Center

By Christopher Oak Reinier We could adopt a creek. They’re already doing that. We want to get us some recognition. Could go around, clean the streets, plant flowers. What would you like to see done here? Sell our art. Who gets the money? Good question. Number one: We...
Melissa Fike, MFT, Discusses “Boundaries” with the WCCS Staff

Melissa Fike, MFT, Discusses “Boundaries” with the WCCS Staff

By Christopher Oak Reinier The West County Community Services staff held their November all-staff meeting last week. At the monthly meetings, the staff report to each other about their activities. A WCCS team member will often present information helpful to the work...
Melissa Fike: Helping Struggling Seniors

Melissa Fike: Helping Struggling Seniors

By Christopher Oak Reinier        “We see people who have had really hard lives. You combine poverty with aging, health decline, and isolation and you have a formula for serious depression and suicide. We deal with people who need more contact but usually don’t have...
What To Do About Emotional Trauma From the Fire

What To Do About Emotional Trauma From the Fire

By Christopher Oak Reinier WCCS staff at the October all-staff meeting learned about the emotional trauma any one of us might be experiencing from the recent fires. Xochi Lubin-Amaya, WCCS Youth Services Counselor in West County schools, assembled and...
Wine Country Fire Community Support

Wine Country Fire Community Support

For Sonoma County residents displaced by the fires and re-locating to West County, West County Community Services stands ready to provide the following support to our neighbors in need: Mental Health and Emotional Support Feelings of grief, guilt, and fear are common...
Christy Davila, WCCS Director of Counseling and Behavioral Health

Christy Davila, WCCS Director of Counseling and Behavioral Health

By Christopher Oak Reinier Just a brief chat with Christy Davila LMFT and you will know West County Community Services has found a bright, warm and clear light to show the way further in its Counseling Division. She has taken the lead this month as WCCS Director of...
May Is Mental Health Month

May Is Mental Health Month

The Empowerment Center of West County Community Services is supported by Mental Health Services of Sonoma County. Notes from California’s Mental Health Movement, Each Mind Matters: Every May the nation comes together to raise awareness about mental health. Each Mind...
Melissa Fike, WCCS Director of Senior Adult Counseling

Melissa Fike, WCCS Director of Senior Adult Counseling

By Christopher Oak Reinier Melissa Fike, MFT, received a Masters Degree in Education with a focus in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard. After moving to San Diego, she earned a Masters Degree in Counseling from San Diego State, obtained a Marriage and...
Valerie Belote, Peer One at the Empowerment Center

Valerie Belote, Peer One at the Empowerment Center

By Christopher Oak Reinier Valerie Belote had just come from a meeting of the Member Advisory Council when I sat down with her at a table in the sun, the glorious sun, in the yard outside the Empowerment Center. The Council members are restructuring the programs...
Adria, Program Assistant and Host at the Empowerment Center

Adria, Program Assistant and Host at the Empowerment Center

By Christopher Oak Reinier Adria Fournel, Program Assistant at the WCCS Empowerment Center, grew up by the Russian River, grew through a difficult childhood, complicated by a congenital problem with her knees, making it necessary for her to use crutches to walk.  “I...
Social Isolation, A Hidden Epidemic

Social Isolation, A Hidden Epidemic

(Picture credit: Damon Winter/The New York Times, Article from THE NEW YORK TIMES) Human Touch – How Social Isolation Is Killing Us by Dhruv Khullar DEC. 22, 2016 Social isolation is a growing epidemic, one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical,...
A Brief Description of What Is Happening at the Empowerment Center

A Brief Description of What Is Happening at the Empowerment Center

Managed by peers who have lived the life, the ups and the downs of emotional challenges, the Empowerment Center offers programs and activities through which its members and drop-in visitors gain companionship, guidance, and support in their daily life.  You can read...