The CBB Mental Wellness Initiative (MWI) works to reduce the stigma of mental illness by supporting congregants and their families through education, and promotes emotional and spiritual wellness.

The MWI Committee works to provide resources on this webpage, at the CBB library, and in the temple office, and also sponsors activities and educational programs that promote mental health and wellness.

If you have any suggestions for presentations, or have questions about mental wellness, please contact Arlene Raphael at

Committee Members

Lynne Glasman, PhD
Debbie Hartzman
Jane Honikman
Elizabeth Karlsberg
Alan Levy, PhD
Arlene Raphael
Arnold Spechler
Beth Weinberg, MFT
Elizabeth Mason
Howard Cohen, LPCC

Mental Wellness Topics

  • Talking About the Stigma of Mental Health: Let’s Talk About Suicide (NY Times article, July 24, 2017)
  • The Healthy Brain: How Wellness Activities Can Improve Brain Functioning and Overall Mental Health
  • Physical Activities for Wellness (e.g., Yoga, Dance, Hiking)
  • Cooking for Wellness and Healthy Eating
  • Low-Tech Family-Fun Activities (e.g., Games, Outdoor Adventures)
  • “Sleep Hygiene” (practices to improve your quality of sleep and daytime alertness)
  • Engaging in Quiet Activities (e.g., Silent Meditation; Mindfulness)
  • Activities that Awaken the Senses (touch, smell, taste, etc.)
  • Jewish Music for Healing
  • Wellness and Visual Arts & Literature (e.g., Book & Poetry Readings)
  • Wellness and Spiritual Enrichment (e.g. Studying Torah, Honoring Shabbat)
  • Making a Contribution: Caring for Others & Repairing the World (Tikkun Olam)

Spiritual Wellness Shabbat at CBB  – Coming in October/November 2017

More details to follow.

Mental Health Resources in Santa Barbara County

  • AA (Alcoholics Anonymous): (805) 962-3332
  • Alanon & Alateen (Support for loved ones/ kids & family of alcoholics): (805) 899-8302
  • Emotional Health Anonymous: (805) 961-3945
  • Detox Center: (805) 963-1836
  • Mental Wellness Center: (805) 884-8440
  • NA (Narcotics Anoymous): (805) 569-1288
  • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): (805) 884-8440
  • NarAnon (Support for loved ones/kids & family of those with substance abuse issues)
    Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
    909 North La Cumbre
    Santa Barbara, CA 93110
    Meeting Name: “I Can Be Free”
    Fridays at 6:00 PM

Mental Health First Aid: Become a First Responder to Someone in a Mental Health Crisis

By Howard Cohen, Clinical Services Coordinator for Jewish Family Service

How many of us have had to take a class in CPR for work? And, have you noticed an increase in the businesses that have a defibrillator available if someone is faced with a cardiac event?

We also have first aid kits that help to provide quick medical attention in case of an emergency, so why not have some Mental Health First Aid available when someone is feeling overly sad or anxious?

“Mental Health First Aid training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Mental Health First Aiders learn a single 5-step strategy that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other supports. Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families, and learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.”

This information was brought to CBB’s Mental Wellness Initiative committee by member, Jane Honikman and I recently attended the class at the Mental Wellness Center. I found it be very helpful to create empathy and understanding around this complex topic. Please see our webpage on the CBB website to learn more about our committee.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.

I am not recommending that mental health clinicians take the course, necessarily, but our committee feels that anyone who meets directly with the public on a daily basis should consider attending. We also feel that CBB family members might benefit from the education and knowledge included in the program.

Classes are held on certain Saturdays at the Mental Wellness Center here in Santa Barbara. Please check out their website for the amazing programs they offer to our community. And, reach out to Debbie Terhune at the Mental Wellness Center at to schedule attending a class.

Feel free to contact me directly with any question about the program at The cost is $45, but the information could be priceless in helping out someone in need.

History of the CBB Mental Wellness Initiative (formerly Mental Health Initiative)

  • November 21, 2010: Mental Health and Mental Illness: Secrets, Stigma, Silence, Science, Search, Support and Spirit, led by Rabbi Steve Cohen and Jane Honikman
  • January 10, 2011: Follow up meeting with Rabbi Steve Cohen, Jane Honikman, and Lynne Glasman
  • May 22, 2011: Clinical and Jewish Perspectives on Depression with Rabbi Anne Brenner and Ira Weinstein.
  • September 16, 2011: Dr. Mark Leffert, MD presented on Depression
  • April 2012: Aaron Ettenberg presented on Addictions
  • Fall 2012: Dr. Ron Brooks presented on Anxiety
  • Fall 2013: Alzheimers presentation
  • October 26, 2014:  Unmasking the Hidden World of Mental Illness – An Interactive Discussion about Stigma, facilitated by Elizabeth Gaynes, Rabbi Steve Cohen and Barbara Kuhn
  • January 25, 2015:  Co-Occurring Issues – Dual Diagnosis, led by Arnold Spechler, Howard Babus, MD, Armando Quiros, MFT, and Rabbi Steve Cohen
  • October 12, 2015 and February 8 & 22, 2016: Holistic Approaches to Mental Wellness with Dr. Michael Mantz