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July 31, 2012 > A look at "wellness" programs funded by Proposition 63

A look at "wellness" programs funded by Proposition 63

By The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Jul 28 - A look at some Proposition 63 wellness programs in various California counties:

- SAN BERNARDINO: Has budgeted $8.1 million over three years for a ``holistic campus'' of three community centers that provide services like acupuncture, art classes, equine therapy, tai-chi and zumba to the general public. The recently-launched program is expected to reach about 7,000 people a year

- FRESNO: Spends $171,620 a year for a ``horticultural therapy'' program that serves 110 gardeners annually from marginalized groups, including Hmong immigrants and migrant farmworkers. The program helps residents meet their neighbors and grow produce not available locally, and also holds community events.

- SAN FRANCISCO: Spends $250,000 per year on an African-American Holistic Wellness Program that uses ethnic celebrations, oral histories and arts to build a stronger sense of community among blacks in the low-income Bayview neighborhood. The county also holds a lunchtime yoga class for Department of Public Health ``peer staff'' workers who have had personal experience with the mental health system, either through their own treatment or through a family member. The classes are an hour long, cost $100 each and attract an average of six attendees.

- KINGS: The state approved $944,843 to start an Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy program for students who are not reading at grade level or otherwise not doing well in school. The three-year program was expected to serve 24 people a year.

- LOS ANGELES: The Tri-City Mental Health Center, which serves Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne, received approval for $230,000 to develop student wellbeing programs expected to reach more than 100 people a year. The proposal included a plan for self-help, drop-in centers featuring massage chairs for relieving muscle tension, a meditation room and a biofeedback lab where students use computer software to learn breathing and relaxation techniques.

- SANTA CLARA: The state approved $ 2.1 million to establish a community center that will be a hub for ``traditional'' wellness practices including acupuncture and meditation. The center is expected to serve 1,500 people a year and operate for three years.

- NAPA: A monthly sweat lodge session is one element of a program for Native Americans with an approved 10-month budget of $53,692. The program, which was expected to reach 510 people, also includes a monthly potluck, powwows and traditional drumming circles.

- BUTTE: The state approved a three-year $536,540 Therapeutic Wilderness Experience program that takes teenagers with behavioral problems on a 20-day outdoor adventure. The program was expected to help more than 90 families, but has not yet been implemented.

- STANISLAUS: Received a three-year budget of $308,863 for an arts project open to anyone in the county. The arts center provides free classes and youth groups, and doubles as a gallery. The state also approved $75,000 for ``Friends are Good Medicine,'' an online directory of self-help groups that address topics ranging from bereavement to weight struggles to single parenting.

- RIVERSIDE: Received approval for a 12-week ``mood management'' course titled Mamas y Bebes that helps young Latina mothers create a healthy physical, social, and psychological environment for themselves and their infants. The course is one of eight parenting programs that together have an annual approved budget of $2,958,317.

- SUTTER: The state approved $93,000 a year to help 40 at-risk youth ``thrive not just survive'' through gym memberships, dance classes and team sports.

- SAN DIEGO: The state approved $547,805 for the inaugural year of a program where homebound seniors receive daily meals from workers who also screen them for depression or suicidal thoughts.

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