Silicon Valley Gives Coundown to May 6th, 2014

Caminar is proud to be a participant in this year’s Silicon Valley Gives Day on May 6th. More about SVGives:

“Silicon Valley Community Foundation will host the first-ever day of giving to benefit every nonprofit organization in our region, an event aimed at inspiring and uniting our local community to support philanthropic causes.

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of community foundations, SVCF will raise money for local nonprofits through a single online donation platform, providing a great way to connect donors to the charitable causes they care about most and encourage them to take action. This event will provide an opportunity for donors of all different capacities to be involved and will provide invaluable trainings to a broad range of nonprofit organizations.

One of the pillars of SVCF’s mission is to strengthen the common good locally. This 24-hour online fundraising effort will give the community foundation the opportunity to raise millions of dollars for thousands of nonprofits – and make a difference to people’s lives here in Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Benito counties.

This giving day is supported by Razoo, the world’s fastest-growing crowdfunding site for causes. Razoo is committed to creating a more generous world.”

Exercise Your Way to Better Mental Health

Exercise for Good Mental Health.


Exercise does more than just improve your physical well being, it can also help you generate good mental health as well. While most people often separate one from the other, the truth is that exercise improves the body as well as the mind.

This is because regular exercise releases certain chemicals in the brain that help you feel better and can actually improve your overall mental state. Some of the advantages include the following;

  • Boost self esteem

  • Better concentration

  • Reduce anxiety & effects of depression

  • Better quality sleep

  • Feel better and more energetic

While exercise alone cannot fight all the effects of mental illness, it can make a positive contribution that can serve as a means of maintaining good mental health. For example, when people finish their exercise routine for the day, they often feel quite good and relaxed whether they have walked, jogged, lifted weights, performed aerobics, yoga or many other forms of exercise.

How Exercise Improves the Mind

There are actually many ways in which exercise actually improves the mental outlook. What follows are just a few ways that exercise can improve your mind as well as your body.

Stress Release: Exercise is one of the best methods for reducing stress. When not properly released, stress can have many negative effects on the body and the mind, including increasing anxiety, depression and even amplifying the effects of mental illness. Exercise reduces the effects of stress to help people live longer, healthier lives.

Better Sleep: Because your body is being properly worked out, your sleep pattern will improve. A good exercise session in the morning or afternoon five days a week leads to better sleep which in turn improves the minds, lifts the spirits and creates more energy for the day.

Fun and Social Interactions: One of the best ways to improve the mental state is by having more fun and exercise is a way to achieve that goal. The key is to mix up the exercise routine so that it is different each day. That way, you challenge your body and keep the mind interested. Plus, if you work out at a health center or gym, you can meet new people who have the same goals as you in mind.

How to Work Proper Exercise into your Routine

Good physical activity and exercise should be performed five days a week at least 30 minutes per day. The best part is that you do not have to engage in heavy or stressful exercise to achieve your goals. Instead, activities as simple as a brisk walk can not only improve your overall physical condition, but your mental health as well.

The exercises you perform need to be just difficult enough to make you break a sweat, but not leave you exhausted. In effect, you are running your body up faster than normal, but not enough to cause any undue stress. A good walk is a great platform for your exercise program and you can add weight lifting, cross training, aerobics or whatever you feel comfortable in performing so you can both improve the body and the mind simultaneously. and


Caminar’s Annual Report

We have published our Annual Report, highlighting some of the work we’ve done in 2013. You can view the report on our website

Some highlights:

9,273 crisis residential beds provided

2,257 individuals served in San Mateo, Solano, and Butte Counties

107 individuals assisted in gaining competitive employment through Jobs Plus

75% of Caminar’s clients were homeless at the time of referral

We look forward to another great year of serving our communities!


Ryan’s Achievement, a Caminar Success Story

Meet Ryan Taylor, A Story of Achievement

Ryan Taylor is an industrious guy and loves to work. He recently celebrated his two year anniversary as an employee of Kmart in Paradise and has taken on a second job at Feather River Hospital as an Environmental Specialist. Just two years ago, as a recent high school graduate of Paradise High School, Ryan was unsure of where to start or how to apply for a job.

Ryan has a learning disability and was referred to Caminar’s Jobs Plus services through the Butte County Department of Rehabilitation. He viewed any communication, instruction, and advice as being negative, he did not have a driver’s license, and he had never used public transportation before. These were just a few challenges he had to hurdle before entering the job market.

Through Caminar’s Jobs Plus program, Ryan was assigned a Job Developer who met with him weekly to discuss what kinds of jobs he may be interested in and a job placement plan was developed for him. With consistent training, practice and direction, Ryan started riding the bus routes in Paradise and Chico until he was able to get around both areas independently. He received coaching on how to apply and interview for a position and after being hired at Kmart was offered on the job training by Caminar’s Jobs Plus staff to help Ryan adjust as a new employee at no cost to Kmart.

Now, Ryan is full of confidence, has a strong sense of personal responsibility and a strong work ethic. He has his driver’s license, used his own money to fix his truck and gets high praises from his employers. Ryan is delighted with himself and is grateful for the support that Jobs Plus program has given him.   Ryan stated that being employed, especially in a hospital environment has given him “a lift”, a positive feeling that he has never experienced.  Congratulations, Ryan!


The Importance of Proper Mental Health Care for Children

Approximately one in ten children will suffer from mental health issues either in their pre-adolescent or teen years. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems can arise in a direct response to the events that they are experiencing in their lives.

Becoming a well-rounded, healthy adult requires children to develop mental resilience to the events that life will inevitably throw at them. While most children will respond positively, it befits parents to ensure that their child is in good physical condition and enjoys a healthy household as well.

Prevalence of Mental Health Issues in Children

Studies have shown that roughly half the people who struggle with mental health issues show symptoms by the age of 14. Yet only 20% of those at that age get the help they need. One of the biggest hindrances that children struggling with mental issues face is the belief that no one else relates to their problems.

Children who feel this way will often hide or disguise the true nature of their struggles, making it difficult for parents to correctly assess what is happening. Yet correctly identifying the problems early can lead to quicker, more effective treatment.

How to Help Keep Your Child Mentally Healthy

While there is no way to predict which child out of ten will suffer from mental health issues, there are steps that can be taken to help minimize the chances. Taking such actions can provide your child with the support needed to help them cope with life’s difficulties and avoid negative impacts on mental health.

Strong Family Structure

While every family goes through trials and tribulations, the strong families support and love each other, which make the challenges of life easier to deal with. If a child feels the love and support from their parents, siblings and other members of the family, it can lay the foundation for good mental health.

Good Physical Condition

This means eating balanced meals, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. While all children will grow and their weight many fluctuate from time to time, many studies show that children who are overweight are at higher risk for bullying and early social discrimination.

Let Them Play…Outside

While television, video and computer games are certainly fun, they need to be limited so that children can get outdoors and play. Physical activities such as riding a bike, playing sports and interacting with others is crucial to brain development, and social and emotional health.

Supportive School

The more supportive the school, the easier it is for your child to flourish both academically and socially. Teachers and other school staff should be able to communicate to a parent if any suspicions of a mental health problem in a student arises.

Take Part in Activities

If your neighborhood or school has activities for children, this can be an excellent way to encourage them socialize and interact with others. Such activities can also help keep children in shape, both physically and mentally.

An atmosphere of love and trust can go a long way towards supporting children who otherwise might slip into a state of anxiety, depression or other negative place. If a parent suspects their child may be having some mental or emotional troubles, it is important to seek help. People are eager to pursue treatment when there is a physical problem, and we need to be equally proactive when we presume a mental problem is present as well.

For some good mental health resources, follow the link:

For information regarding the mental health services that we provide, please visit