May is Mental Health Awareness Month

February 24, 2022 3:36 PM
by Ivy Chang

Mental health is health. This May, the City is excited to work with community partners to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. All are invited to participate in free online and in-person events and opportunities to learn more about mental health and the resources available in our community. 

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the LA County Department of Mental Health Help Line at 800-854-7771 or text "LA" to 741741. Available 24/7.

Additional mental health resources are found below.


Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation
April 26, 5:30 p.m. at the Santa Monica City Council Meeting
Great for: Teens and adults
City Council will present a proclamation to Disabilities Commission Chair Alex Elliot proclaiming May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Watch the proclamation at

Mental Health Reading Challenge and Book List
May 1 – 31 Online through the Santa Monica Public Library
Great for: Teens and Adults
The Santa Monica Public Library is offering two reading challenges, one for teens (6th – 12th grade) and one for adults (18 and over) to encourage self-care throughout the month. Registration will open May 1 at Go to for a reading list curated by SMPL of books for youth and adults that address mental health.

Experimental Quesadilla Lab (EQL)
May 1 - June 11 at Virginia Avenue Park’s Teen Center
Great for: All ages
Led by artist Teresa Flores, EQL is a workshop series exploring identity and wellness in Santa Monica through quesadillas, art, and movement. Free and open to all. This project was made possible by Art of Recovery, an initiative of the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs. For the schedule, more info, and to RSVP visit

Beach House Walk & Talk with Architect John Berley
May 1 (Sunday), 10 – 11 a.m. at Annenberg Community Beach House
Great for: Adults
Discover the intentions and hidden mysteries of the landmark Beach House, and hear how the past, present, and future are interrelated through design to harmonize the historic setting into an experience of delight, wonder, and a sense of well-being. Register via

Samohi Mental Health Awareness Month Kickoff Event
May 3 (Tuesday) during lunch at Santa Monica High School
Great for: Current Samohi students
The Samohi Wellness Advisory Group (SWAG) club is hosting a lunch event for students, including a puppy party, on-site therapists and support staff to answer questions, and information on self-care and stress management.

Mindfulness Movement Class
Every Tuesday, 9 – 10 a.m. Online
Great for: 18+
Providence Saint John's Child & Family Development Center is offering a Mindful Movement class based on the principles of Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. This class is focused on the internal experience of the participant and is an opportunity to notice, choose, and engage in a shared authentic experience with others. All skill levels are welcome. To attend, please use login through using the following ID (401 384 9671) and passcode (6huKEV).

Every Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Annenberg Community Beach House
Great for: Adults
Calm your nervous system and soothe your mind as you experience the benefits of classical yoga with postures for flexibility, strength, and balance. All levels are welcome. There is a fee of $20 per class (includes parking). For more information, go to

Mindful Movement & Meditation Class
May 4th & May 18th (Wednesdays), 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Online
Great for: Families of all ages
Providence Saint John's Child & Family Development Center is offering a Mindful Movement class based on the principles of Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. This class is an opportunity to move in an authentic way with other family members in a shared online community. A meditation will be offered as a closing to the class. All skill levels are welcome. To attend, please use login through using the following ID (401 384 9671) and passcode (6huKEV).

NAMI WLA Janis Black Warner Speaker Series with Dr. Mark Ragins
May 4 (Wednesday), 7 – 8 p.m. Online
Great for: Adults
The National Alliance on Mental Illness Westside LA hosts Dr. Ragins, esteemed author and award-winning leader of person-centered, recovery-based psychiatry. For more information, go to

Create to Destress – A Workshop to Ease Stress
Fridays in May, 5 – 7 p.m. at Virginia Avenue Park
Artist Carmela Morales will provide a workshop on Fridays during the month of May focused on personalizing a canvas bag using simplified embroidery. Each class will have a lesson for the first hour and an open workshop with casual conversation for the second hour. Mental health professionals will join some of the sessions and speak on mental well-being. Learn more and register at

Mindfulness Storytime
May 7 (Saturday), 10:30 – 11 a.m. at Santa Monica Public Library, Main Library
Great for: Ages 3 and up
Health and Wellness Coach Julz Kerr introduces mindfulness and the importance of being present through interactive stories, breathing exercises and activities for the whole family. Space is limited. To sign up, go to

NAMI WLA Mental Health Townhall and Listening Session
May 11 (Wednesday), 5 – 7 p.m. Online
Great for: Adults
This community-based event will focus on advocacy and awareness of the community’s mental health needs. The National Alliance on Mental Illness Westside LA and local providers will share principles of wellness, recovery, and resiliency activities; discuss available services and supports; and provide strategies for reducing stigma and discrimination for families and individuals living with and supporting those living with mental health conditions. For more information, go to

Keeping Kids Safe (Child Abuse Prevention Training)
May 12 (Thursday), 6 – 7 p.m., Online
Great for: Caregivers of elementary school-age children and younger
This is an informative workshop for caregivers of elementary school age children and younger on how to keep kids safe from sexual abuse. To sign up, go to

Kidical Mass Family Bike Ride - Kids through Seniors
May 14 (Saturday), 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Ishihara Park
Great for: All ages
A safe and fun event and bike ride for members of the whole family! Community partners will share information and offer activities focused on mental health and wellness throughout the morning. Enjoy pancakes and a learning garden activity. To sign up, go to

Beach Walk & Sketch
May 15 (Sunday), 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Annenberg Community Beach House with the Audubon Society
Great for: Adults
For a peaceful morning on the beach, bring your sense of wonder and take to the sands to sketch nature’s offerings on the beautiful coastline. The Beach House will provide binoculars, drawing boards, pencils, and newsprint, or bring your own easy-to-carry sketching tools. To sign up, go to

Meditation and Sound Bath
May 15 (Sunday), 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at 18th Street Arts Center (Airport Campus)
Join a meditation and sound bath with Ameeta Nanji, artist and yoga teacher, and Greg Ellis, rythmatist. Meditation quiets the mind to create pathways to reflection and change. This experience will explore meditation as a moral force that ignites our passion to transform the world. Learn more and register

Take-and-Make Kits for Kids: Understand Emotions and Reduce Stress
Available beginning May 16 at Santa Monica Public Libraries
Great for: Ages 3 and up
This special Mental Health Awareness Month kit includes supplies to create and color a Feelings Cube, a Mindfulness Labyrinth, and other activities to do with children and teens. Pick up at the Main Library Youth Services desk, Pico Branch, or Montana Branch. Available while supplies last.

Middle School Madness: Strategies to Support Middle School-Aged Children
May 17 (Tuesday), 5 p.m. Online
Great for: Caregivers of middle school age children
Do you have a child that will be in middle school next year? How are you preparing for this upcoming change? Join Boys and Girls Club of Malibu and SMMUSD for a webinar to get some ideas on how to turn this transition into an exciting positive experience. The presenters will discuss the pre-adolescent brain, what middle school is like, and what to do if your child is struggling with the changes. Register at

Discussion on Artists and Healers as Essential to Recovery from Crisis
May 20 (Friday), 3 – 4:30 p.m. Online
What is the role of artists, healers, and artists as healers during a crisis such as COVID-19? This conversation, organized by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, brings together artists and healers from backgrounds such as mutual aid, birthwork, anti-incarceration, and somatic embodiment, to consider how we can support and scale the work of artists and healers embedded in our communities. Learn more and register at

NAMI Mental Health and Wellness Event
May 21 (Saturday), 12 – 3 p.m. at the Wellness Stage on 3rd Street Promenade (1300 block)
Great for: All ages
The National Alliance on Mental Illness Westside LA is hosting a mental health awareness event featuring an uplifting youth voice and dance workshop with Psypher, Santa Monica Boys and Girls Club's Ballet Folklorica Group and youth singers, Voice Movement (VOMO) with Chris Pan (Founder of MyIntent bracelets), and resource booths. For more information, go to

Unfiltered: Cyberyouth Manifesto
May 22 (Sunday), 3-5 p.m. Online
You’re invited to Unfiltered: Cyberyouth Manifesto, a virtual cyber-revolution workshop hosted by The Revolution School and Feminist Center for Creative Work. Login to co-craft tools that liberate our relationships with digital landscapes, algorithms, and surveillance, meet an influencer and co-write a manifesto of your dream social media platform! This virtual workshop is for youth ages 14-18 years old to share, explore, co-process, alchemize, and transform past and ongoing experiences with digital social media landscapes and the social and algorithmic powers that define, censor, and/or limit representation. Learn more and register at

Discussion on “Belonging, Bought and Sold,” an Essay about Asian American Identity and Gentrification
May 25 (Wednesday), 4 – 5 p.m. Online
Join a conversation on the bilingual publication “Belonging, Bought and Sold,” a critical essay about Asian American identity and the gentrification of historical ethnic enclaves, written by artist and organizer Carol Zou. Learn more and register at

Inside Out Movie Screening
May 27 (Friday), 7 – 9:45 p.m. at Virginia Avenue Park (2200 Virginia Avenue)
Great for: All ages
An outdoor movie screening of Pixar’s Inside Out. Come early to explore community resources and enjoy a free chair massage (sponsored by the Coalition of Asian & Pacific Employees in honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month). Bring dinner and picnic blankets (or low chairs) and dress warmly. The movie will start at 8:15 PM.


Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
The County Department of Mental Health (DMH) offers prevention and treatment resources for individuals with a variety of mental health needs, including service referrals and linkages, crisis counseling and intervention, wellness coaching, a meditation app, and support for specific populations (veterans, LGBTQ+ youth, people experiencing homelessness, foster youth, etc.). DMH also continues to support We Rise, a series of community-led events – art installations, cultural experiences, and other community engagement projects – focused on health, healing, and wellbeing through the month of May. More information at

CLARE | MATRIX is a nonprofit organization that saves lives by providing compassionate, evidence-based treatment for those who struggle with drugs, alcohol and related behavioral health challenges and strives to enhance the field of treatment worldwide through education, research and training. Services include detoxification, residential and outpatient treatment for adults, adolescent prevention services, homelessness services, worldwide Matrix Model training, and certification, along with a series of other provider education resources. For more information, please call 866.452.5273 to be connected with our Call Center or visit for more information.

Family Service of Santa Monica
Family Service of Santa Monica (FSSM) provides mental health services for children and families throughout the community in the form of individual psychotherapy and group work. FSSM supports the Santa Monica School District by offering onsite school support through individual and group counseling, crisis support, parent education, and teacher consults. The Early Childhood Well Being Project offers clinical case management, child-parent psychotherapy, developmental screenings and parent support groups for families with children age 0-5 years. Call Family Service of Santa Monica at (310) 451-9747 or visit to learn more.

Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center
Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center provides a comprehensive range of mental health outreach, prevention, and developmental services in response to community needs since 1962. Available in English and Spanish, services are offered for children, adolescents, and their families. Following a “clinic without walls” model, services are provided within the Center, on school sites (SMMUSD and LAUSD), preschools, in the home, in community centers, and in the greater community utilizing evidenced-based practice models. Please call (310) 829-8921 or visit for more information.

WISE & Healthy Aging
WISE & Healthy Aging, Santa Monica’s senior services provider, offers a wide array of ongoing mental health services, including men’s and women’s support groups; caregiver support; and workshops focused on decluttering, stress management, and bereavement & transitions. Please call (310) 394-9871 or visit for more information.

NAMI Family Support Groups
NAMI Westside LA offers a range of family support groups, including one group in Spanish at Virginia Avenue Park. The support groups are free for family members, significant others, and friends of people living with mental health conditions. By sharing your experiences in a safe and confidential setting, you can connect with others experiencing similar challenges, gain hope, and develop supportive relationships. More information at

Information subject to change

Authored By

Ivy Chang
Senior Administrative Analyst


Arts, Culture & Fun, Getting Around, Parks And Recreation, Programs, Transportation Planning, Youth And Seniors