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...
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...
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,...
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...
At the Empowerment Center, Miller Phoenix:  Artist, Chef, Clown, Friend

At the Empowerment Center, Miller Phoenix: Artist, Chef, Clown, Friend

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier “I make art when I can’t gath­er the words to say.” Nik­ki Row “Art can per­me­ate the very deep­est part of us, where no words exist.” Eileen Miller “At the deep­est lev­el, the cre­ative process and the heal­ing process arise from a...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Counseling Peer to Peer — Ch.2 -

Counseling Peer to Peer — Ch.2 -

Mike Talks about Senior Peer Counseling By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Mike is a vol­un­tary coun­selor in the Senior Peer Coun­sel­ing Pro­gram asso­ci­at­ed with West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices, and in a recent inter­view he explained that peer coun­selors are not...
At the Empowerment Center

At the Empowerment Center

Ted Fox, the great home­less advo­cate, has passed away. The bridge is closed to cars, But there many inter­est­ing and help­ful activ­i­ties in the works at the Empow­er­ment Cen­ter this Octo­ber. You can read the news and a cal­en­dar of October’s activ­i­ties in...