Porterville Wellness Center provides mental health services | News | recorderonline.com – Porterville Recorder

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Updated: July 21, 2022 @ 2:02 am

When dealing with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, sadness, or hopelessness it’s important to talk to people and get help.
Talk to your family, friends, and people who you trust in your lives. Even a trusted friend, colleague or family member can help you. If you’re in school, a school counselor can help.
That’s the message of the Porterville Wellness Center, PWC, located at 333 W. Henderson Avenue, a behavioral support and wellness community.
They have crafting activities for members all through the year, and all kinds of group activities as well as support groups in a safe environment, without the traditional clinical/patient type of relationship.
The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. Members need to be at least 18 years old to join PWC. All their services are free.
The center is peer run and peer driven, and they offer a wide variety of wellness and resiliency focused supportive services. 
“This is a great support group for everyone,” said a former staff member. The environment at PWC is non-judgmental, and non-stressful. 
“What is so rewarding to me is when members come in and they build friendships with other members,” the former staff member said. “And then they begin to support each other. That is really nice to see. This is just an amazing place.”
“This place has helped me immensely,” said a former PWC member, “The staff are so good to me.”
He said they gave him a reason to get out of bed when he got hurt, and he started doing volunteer work, and raising money for people with AIDS.
“This place is awesome, and they’ve given me hope. And I’m always happy to come here. They’ve helped me out so much,” he said.
“And what I like is that the staff always acknowledge when you are here, and they know if you’re not here. That is just awesome.”
There are busy days at PWC, with support groups and activities like cooking, depression and anxiety support, Karaoke, meditation and yoga, coping with stress, music expression, job readiness, men’s and women’s support groups, and also LGBTQ+ social groups.
The center also has plenty of room for support groups, activities, and they even have a nice courtyard, where members grow a garden and plants during the year. They also use the courtyard for crafts when the weather is nice.
The point to being a member is working on wellness and socializing. One of the most popular things are the social activities.
PWC provides a service to the community where people can come and be themselves in a non judgmental environment, 
They can come here and talk about their feelings, have a good time, and make friends. 
“Kindness doesn’t cost a thing,” said former director Veronica Clifton. “Our members really enjoy this place. And it becomes a home away from home for many of our members.”
For more information call Porterville Wellness Center at 559-570-5000 or 559-573-8367.
One Monache High student helped by PWC recently spoke about depression during the years in school and before the pandemic, and how the student made it through with the help of a lot of family and friends once they spoke about it. 
Also the staff and school counselors were also a great help, the student said, by being alert and noticing when the student needed help, especially when the student entered high school with all the transitioning from middle to high school going on. Also during the beginning of the pandemic when there were major changes going on the student needed help, but was able to get it from friends and other people the student knew.
Some advice the student offered was “don’t bottle up your feelings, and know that you are able to lean on people.”
The student said to help with depression, find something you love and focus on it. Go on walks, focus on nature, the student said.
“I loved seeing Porterville all lit up at night, and the cool breeze. Also the quietness,” the student said.
This young person felt the depression often, when the student was feeling the most stressed, the student said.
Now after graduating high school, there are new goals and a new chapter in life. The student has entered the nursing program at Porterville College, and is looking forward to experiencing more things in life, especially independence.
“Enjoy the little things in life,” is another bit of advice to young people, “just spreading their wings,” the student said.
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