New Board Leadership at the Mental Wellness Center

New Board Leadership at the Mental Wellness Center
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Source: Mental Wellness Center

The Mental Wellness Center is pleased to announce Julie Kessler Solomon as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. Kessler Solomon, a former marketing executive, is a realtor with Compass in Santa Barbara. She became passionate about improving the conditions for mental health in our community through her work with NAMI’s (National Alliance for Mental Health) Santa Barbara chapter and taught in its Family to Family program for 7 years. Solomon continues her membership on the NAMI steering committee and public policy committee. Her lengthy record of service to the community include board leadership positions with Phoenix of Santa Barbara, The Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and Women’s Economic Ventures. Kessler Solomon has also served as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Goleta and as a member of the Santa Barbara County Human Services Commission. Currently, she is also a member of the Santa Barbara Women’s Fund.

“This is a pivotal moment for mental health; never before has there been such strong recognition of the value good mental health plays in the vitality of our community. The Mental Wellness Center provides a completely unique array of resources; outreach, education, advocacy, housing – and on a daily basis – meals for those who would otherwise go without” shared Kessler Solomon. “We have an outstanding staff and board and look forward to increasing and extending our services to younger people as one of our principal goals for 2021.”

Additionally, Eric Jackson and LaRisa Chambers will be joining the Mental Wellness Center’s Board of Directors. Jackson is a UCSB graduate and holds an MBA from the University of La Verne with an emphasis in Information Technology. He works in the software industry and teaches technology courses at the SBCC School of Extended Learning.

LaRisa Chambers moved to Santa Barbara in 2020 and  serves as the Senior Gift Officer for Cottage Health. Chambers graduated from the University of Kansas and worked for the American Cancer Society and KU Endowment. While living in Lawrence, Kansas, she served on many nonprofit and community boards, including the Endowment Board of the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.

The Mental Wellness Center is a nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness around mental health by providing supportive programming, education, and housing in Santa Barbara.

To learn more about the Mental Wellness Center, visit For questions or to donate to the Mental Wellness Center, please contact Amanda Conroy, Development & Marketing Director, at

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