Mental Health in May

June 1, 2023

Annual World Fair Fundraiser

On Saturday May 20th, Penny Lane Centers partnered with Colfax Charter Elementary School in Valley Village for their Annual World Fair Fundraiser event.  Diane Nunn (North Hills Clinical Supervisor) ran the booth with Colfax’s I.D.E.A. committee (Inclusion Diversity Equity for All) to present a complimentary activity to highlight Mental Health Awareness Month.  Fairgoers were invited to color a message of love and hope which was then collected to be donated to Penny Lane North Hills and distributed to our clients and families to help make their days a little brighter.  The booth served as a relaxing respite from all the hustle and bustle of the fair, modeling the importance of self-care, as well as providing lots of information on Penny Lane Centers and mental health resources in general.

-Diane Nunn, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos below!

What is Happening at the W

The Witherbee Hall (the W) is a place many call home. The W is a Transitional Housing Program in which young adult men aged 18-24 reside. We are excited to announce the upcoming FUN activities in the W!

This month we start with our first in person LGBTQIA-S Support Group which will meet every Monday from 4pm-5pm.

On Fridays from 2pm-4pm, we have our lovely volunteer Cynthia Lynette who is a vocal and performance coach. Cynthia Lynette Beltran is a vocalist and vocal performance coach. Cynthia started her professional career in 2005 under the mentorship of legendary Seth Riggs, vocal coach to Stevie Wonder, Michael Bolton, and Barbra Streisand --a collaboration that ultimately led her to singing backup vocals for Josh Groban and Michael McDonald in addition to her performances at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, Hollywood Bowl, and Carnegie Hall. Cynthia has connected us with her friend Howard Chang and his lovely wife who own a music store from which they have donated multiple instruments to our dedicated young adults attending the music class. Among those instruments were a brand-new Yamaha piano and a guitar. Soon we will be adding volunteer Kevin Breeding, who will hold private violin sessions with a special young adult who is currently trying to find a new passion and a healthier coping skill for dealing with hard days; learning how to play the violin.  We are excited as this is an instrument he has always dreamt of learning!

Recently we had the great pleasure of having a representative from the LAUSD Student Support Programs donate brand new socks, clothing, and over $300 worth of new books ordered from Amazon (participants got to choose the books they wanted). LAUSD reached out a day after the tour and were so impressed with the work we do in Transitional that they decided to order more items on Amazon.  The items from Amazon are to decorate our computer room to convert it to a Calming/Study Room ($400 worth of items). Items include Daily Positive Affirmations, Inspirational Wall Art, Bookshelves, Galaxy Lamps, Therapy Lamps, and more!

Finally, The Art of Elysium is planning to collaborate with our THP Housing program (think more apartment buildings and not the W) to provide classes for the summer. The classes last 8 weeks.  A volunteer will come to the W to work with our clients and host Art/Creativity to increase Self-Esteem, Fashion & Design, Film & Theatre, Music & Movement and/or Visual Arts! We look forward to having these classes and ensuring our youth at Penny Lane Centers have a memorable and exciting stay in our Transitional Housing Program.

-Mayra Gonzalez, Penny Lane Centers

North Hills Outreach Events in May

The North Hills Clinic Case Managers have been busy the last few months attending school events throughout San Fernando Valley.  Whenever a school asks  we are there to provide information on general mental health, resources, and of course information on our Penny Lane programs and lots of swag!

The case managers (Vanessa Flores, Irma Canela, and Windy Vasquez-Gonzalez) all agree that one of their favorite parts of their job is connecting the community with Penny Lane Centers and providing resources to help them meet their needs.  No job is too big or too small for them to take on!

Some of the schools they visited recently are:

• North Hollywood High School in North Hollywood

• Valley Oaks Center for Enriched Studies (VOCES) in Sun Valley

• Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences in Granada Hills

• Sylmar Biotech Health & Engineering Magnet in Sylmar

Check out some more photos below!

-Diane Nunn, Penny Lane Centers