St. Joseph Health Hosts Art for Mental Wellness Classes at Eureka Community Resource Center

October 31, 2018 Providence News Team

The Eureka Community Resource Center (CRC) organized a pumpkin decorating class this month, encouraging clients who struggle with homelessness, mental health issues and drug addiction to get into the spirit of Halloween.

The CRC is one of five facilities of its type supported by St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County’s Community Benefit Department. CRCs provide community outreach services focused on health referrals, education and the social determinants of health. These services are available to all community residents with the goal of creating a healthier community. The Eureka CRC is located inside the St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Facility, at 35 West 3rd Street, in Old Town Eureka. There, coordinator Brian Olson engages with some of the most vulnerable in our community.

To celebrate the Halloween holiday, Olson recently worked with Marina Cortez-Hash, coordinator of the Loleta Community Resource Center, to acquire pumpkins from the Loleta Community Garden. “Most of my clients have not had the opportunity to decorate a pumpkin since they were small children, if even then,” says Olson. “The art program is all about removing barriers for people to express themselves through a creative process.”

Earlier this year, Olson provided an opportunity for folks to participate in a county-wide Reframe Your Brain poster contest to help stomp out the mental health stigma. The event was so successful Olson now provides drop-in art sessions every Wednesday from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

The Art for Mental Wellness class is another example of how Olson is fulfilling St. Joseph Health's promise: “Know me, care for me, ease my way.” While Olson and those he works with can't solve homelessness for the class attendees, they can show up each day, connect with clients, learn their story and help ease their way.

“I’ve seen first-hand that our clients leave class feeling more hopeful, respected and with a sense of dignity,” said Olson. “It’s powerful.”

Services provided by the Eureka Community Resource Center are open to the public. Community members are encouraged to stop by and visit with Olson or call (707) 442-5239 for more information.

About St. Joseph, Health Humboldt County

St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County (SJHS-HC) is committed to meeting the highest standards in health care delivery while ministering to the needs of the whole person – body, mind and spirit. This commitment to the people of the North Coast is expressed in the St. Joseph Health System's five core values – Compassion, Dignity, Excellence, Justice and Integrity. The health care ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange began in Humboldt County during the flu epidemic of 1918. The Sisters opened the first St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka in 1920 and committed to continually improving the health and quality of life of the people served. This commitment continues today and has been further defined by the vision of St. Joseph Health of “Health for a Better World.”

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