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December 31

Mental Health Client Action Network


Organization Mission

The Mental Health Client Action Network of Santa Cruz County is a clean and sober mental health community center and a peer-run organization that supports both children and adults struggling with mental diagnoses and challenges through numerous services with an emphasis on providing a voice for peers in all matters. Advocacy, peer networking, addressing treatment disparities, creating programs created by peers, and educating the public about mental health issues are key.

MHCAN provides a day center for the severely mental health diagnosed in Santa Cruz and a safe space to socialize, celebrate our lives and survive times of intensity.

The Big Idea:
Shower Room for Members

The vast  majority of MHCAN members are housed and have access to showers and baths. The vast majority have good hygiene skills, but the poignant fact is that a small minority, whether or not they are housed, have issues with daily living skills involving hygiene to the point where they have a negative effect upon others. Often this mindset and lack of self-care comes from a history of child sexual abuse. As adults, some of us don’t like to change clothing because of the vulnerability, and don’t like to look in the mirror to groom because our own reflection is so painful.

We need funds for a permit and to remodel a small room into a beautiful shower room designed to make people feel good about themselves. Taking inspiration from spas and retreats, we hope to develop a reassuring space to people who may be coming from backgrounds of trauma, so users will feel safe enough to take a shower and practice self care. In addition to a non-institutional style shower and mirror, hygiene supplies will be provided, which are usually in short supply.

Good hygiene can go a long way toward self-confidence and finding one’s rightful place in the world.

 This place is the best thing in Santa Cruz Mental Health.

— Zach, 35