Community Programs

TMHA is committed to reaching out within our community with vital resources, trainings, advocacy and education. At the same time, we build community through a range of programs that are provided free of charge and without a need for referral.

SLO Hotline


SLO Hotline is a confidential mental health support, crisis and suicide prevention telephone line which also provides mental health resource information. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Free of charge. Make the call, any time: 800-783-0607.

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Community Outreach


In order to reduce stigma and promote wellness and recovery throughout our community, it’s necessary to provide education and insight into what it’s like to live well with a mental illness. In many of our presentations, one or several people with lived experience of mental illness will share their personal stories with the audience, discussing their struggles and their journey to recovery. Through these powerful stories, the audience is able to see beyond the diagnosis and recognize the presenters for who they are – strong, resilient, competent members of our community.

These presentations can be tailored to fit any audience, and we routinely speak to local schools, colleges and universities, law enforcement agencies, healthcare providers, community groups, civic organizations, and faith communities.

To schedule a presentation or to discuss potential options, please contact Elissa Feld at 805-540-6534 or by email at

The High School Program


Through a generous grant from the Gertrude and Leonard Fairbanks Foundation, TMHA launched The High School Program in 2017.  The program provides the following:

  • Trainings for faculty, counselors, and administration in either Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) or QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention.  These courses provide an overview of the most common adolescent mental health diagnoses and teach adults how to spot kids with unmet mental health needs and refer them to the help they require. Both trainings fulfill portions of the staff training mandate within California AB2246 (Pupil Suicide Prevention Policies).
  • QPR trainings for Associated Student Body (ASB), Link Crew and Leadership classes during the 2018-19 school year.  We believe these are the ideal teenagers to provide peer support and mentoring to their fellow students.  At the same time, we will make QPR available to other interested students and student clubs.
  • TMHA’s original, customized curriculum, New Perspectives and the ALEC training, that provides each student with mental health awareness, self-care options, and the ability to recognize when peers are in distress. This curriculum is presented in Freshman Health classes at each participating High School.  A modified, age-appropriate version of New Perspectives is available for Middle School students and can be presented in designated classes.
  • Mental Health forums for local parents.

In February 2018, TMHA’s High School Program was selected as co-winner of the United Way Innovation Award.  This annual prize is presented for “creative, effective and inventive programs that provide value to SLO County.”

An article and video appeared about TMHA’s High School program on October 10, 2017 in The Tribune.

Feedback from Year One 

For more information, or to schedule a training or presentation for your school, please contact

San Luis Obispo County

Mental Health Advocacy Program


TMHA’s Mental Health Advocacy Program consists of a highly dedicated team of peers who strive to inspire others who are living with mental illness. We draw upon our unique experiences to help guide others along their journey to recovery. Working with someone that you can relate to, someone who has gone through similar experiences and has come out stronger on the other side, can be especially inspiring and motivating. We use the insights that our lived experiences have given us to help empower and guide people on their own paths to recovery.

  • Mental Health Advocates: We meet one on one with adults in SLO County who know or suspect they have a mental illness and offer support, access to resources, and assistance in creating a plan for wellness (their family members and loved ones are encouraged to meet with TMHA’s Family Advocates). We use our personal experiences to help our clients minimize stress, enhance wellness and resilience, and increase each individual’s ability to follow through on referrals and care. This service is offered free of charge and no referral is needed.
  • Behavioral Health Navigators: We have partnered with SLO County Behavioral Health to form the Service Enhancement Team. The goal of this innovative team is to help provide the best experience for those served at the SLO County Behavioral Health Clinics. We offer support, access to resources, and assistance in creating a plan for wellness to anyone who is served by the Behavioral Health Clinics, including adults and their family members and loved ones.
  • SLO-HIP (Health Integration Project): This collaboration between County Behavioral Health, Community Healthcare Centers (CHC) and TMHA seeks to integrate physical and mental healthcare in San Luis Obispo County. Persons with open cases at County Behavioral Health can be referred (or self-refer) to this program and be part of this integration via CHC’s “Clinic On Wheels,” which will periodically provide health screenings, specialized health referrals and general physical healthcare. TMHA’s role in this collaboration is to provide a “lived experience” Health Navigator who can help people from the “been there” perspective.
  • Transition Assistance and Relapse Prevention (TARP): TARP consists of a two-person team that works with graduates of the Full Service Partnership (FSP) program to provide mentoring and peer support towards the goal of self-managed healthcare. Working closely with the FSP team, TARP helps connect people to employment, social supports and other meaning-making community connections that allow for continued wellness after graduation from wrap-around services.
  • Peer Advisory & Advocacy Team (PAAT): PAAT is a committee of peers that work to advocate for those served by the mental health system, educate our community about mental illness, promote wellness and recovery, reduce stigma, and provide support for those living with a mental illness. PAAT meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 4:00-5:30pm. On the 2nd Tuesday PAAT meets in the Copeland Auditorium on the 3rd floor of the French Hospital Annex and on the 4th Tuesday PAAT meets at TMHA located at 784 High Street.

For more information about any of these programs, please contact Trista Ochoa, Mental Health Advocacy and Education Program Manager, by phone at (805) 540-6576 or by email at

Education Programs


TMHA’s Education Programs offer a variety of classes and programs designed to provide support and insight into mental illness, promote wellness and recovery, and to provide people with tools to use in their recovery process.

  • NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer: Developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the course uses a combination of lecture, interactive exercises and structured group processes to explore recovery. It is best described as a psychoeducational course that has helped many people learn to live WITH their mental illness, as opposed to living IN and being trapped by their mental illness. Some topics this course covers are a general overview of some of the more prominent mental illnesses and mindfulness training (which teaches us how to focus on the here and now), but there is also a large peer support component to the class as well.
  • Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP): Through this eight week course developed by the Copeland Center,, participants learn how to develop their own WRAP plan which they can use to help manage physical and/or emotional difficulties. This course covers topics such as early warning signs, triggers, daily maintenance, what to do when things begin to break down, and how to reclaim your life after a crisis.
  • Mental Health First Aid: You are more likely to encounter someone - friend, family member, coworker, neighbor, or member of the community - in an emotional or mental health crisis than someone having a heart attack. Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to people showing the signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis, and connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, or self-help care.

TMHA Wellness Centers


TMHA’s Wellness Centers – with locations in San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, and Atascadero — offer person-centered, recovery-based supports designed for life enrichment, personal development, peer support, community resources, recovery education, social skill development and various wellness workshops. Supports provided by the TMHA Wellness Centers are gauged for multiple age groups and various cultures with focus upon community connection, wellness, recovery, advocacy, independence and empowerment. Our Wellness Centers focus on the individual person and their journey to wellness. We do not focus on the person’s mental illness; the focus is on providing education, empowerment and support to help the person live the best life they choose to live. Living-well mentally, emotionally and physically is what our Wellness Centers are all about.


Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) Group: A weekly support group that is similar to other 12-step groups and is designed to help people who have (or suspect they have) a mental illness as well as an addiction. This is a drop in group, no referral is needed, and there are no fees. Call 805-503-0350 for more information.


Check out what's happening in your community! Calendars for our Wellness Center support groups and events are updated monthly and can be found here

Santa Barbara County

Recovery Learning Communities


Run entirely by peers – people in mental health recovery – the Santa Maria and Lompoc Recovery Learning Communities (RLCs) provide a combination of wellness and recovery-oriented services in comfortable, supportive meeting places. Open throughout the week, the programs promote independence and revitalization through self-governed activities as members work toward recovery.

Check out what's happening in your community!

Calendars for our RLCs are updated monthly and can be found here!

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