Nonprofit health and wellness organizations champion healthy communities and encourage health equity, especially in vulnerable, underserved communities.
Of the 190,000 nonprofits in California, many organizations are focused on health and wellness. These California nonprofits deliver an array of services that include:
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- Responding to crises of public health.
- Creating educational programs to promote healthier lifestyle choices.
- Addressing disparities in healthcare.
- Researching epidemiology in preparation for outbreaks of viruses, bacteria, and communicable diseases.
- Working with local agencies and government to mold public health policies.
Today, we’ll explore some of the best nonprofit organizations in California, specifically nonprofits in southern California dedicated to health and wellness.
List of Non-Profit Organizations in Southern California
A list of nonprofit organizations in California would include almost 200,000 organizations, so we whittled that down to five health and wellness nonprofits in Southern California.
- Be Well OC
- The Purpose of Recovery
- The Phoenix
- NAMI OC
1) Be Well OC
Be Well OC is a California nonprofit organization located in Orange County that is focused on improving the mental health and wellness of the community. The organization was formed in response to the growing need for mental health services in the county. Be Well OC is funded by a partnership between the county government, healthcare providers, and private philanthropy.
Be Well OC offers a range of services and programs to address mental health and wellness needs with an integrative approach.
This nonprofit operates a 24/7 crisis stabilization unit that provides immediate support and care to people experiencing a mental health crisis. The organization also offers a range of outpatient services, including individual and group therapy, and medication management.
Be Well OC provides mental health services in schools throughout the county, with the goal of identifying and addressing mental health concerns early in life.
The organization offers educational programs and community outreach events to promote mental health awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
Additionally, Be Well OC works to connect people experiencing homelessness with mental health services and resources to help them get back on their feet.
2) The Purpose of Recovery
The Purpose of Recovery is a nonprofit RCO (recovery community organization) based in Orange County that serves those battling addictions as well as their families through services that include:
- Community outreach
- Family support
- Peer coaching
This nonprofit offers group meetings, one-on-one mentoring, workshops, and referrals to additional services. You can also find plenty of meaningful volunteering opportunities at The Purpose of Recovery.
The Purpose of Recovery was founded in 2020, and this nonprofit is a member of:
- ARCO (Association of Recovery Community Organizations)
- ARCC (Addiction Recovery Communities of California)
- Orange County Recovery Collaborative.
The Purpose of Recovery is also a Community Partner of The Partnership to End Addiction.
3) The Phoenix
Among the charity organizations in California, The Phoenix is a national nonprofit with
with a presence in California that offers a unique approach to recovery from addiction through physical activity and community support.
The organization was founded in Colorado in 2006, and has since expanded to multiple locations throughout the United States, including California.
The Phoenix uses physical fitness and community building as a way to support those in recovery from substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders. The organization offers a range of activities, including CrossFit, yoga, hiking, and other group fitness classes, all of which are free to participants. The Phoenix also provides social and educational events, as well as opportunities for volunteering and community service.
The Phoenix has several locations in California, including:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- San Diego
Participants can attend any of The Phoenix’s classes and events, regardless of their location or which chapter they are affiliated with. The organization welcomes people of all fitness levels and backgrounds and is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for all participants.
CarePossible is a nonprofit in Southern California dedicated to improving access to mental health and addiction care for military families, veterans, and low-income families with free, high-quality treatment.
This nonprofit raises funds though community events, donations, and grants. CarePossible has also distributed $3 million in addiction treatment and mental health scholarships to veterans experiencing crisis.
5) NAMI OC
NAMI OC (National Alliance on Mental Illness – Orange County) is a non-profit organization based in Santa Ana, California, that provides support, education, and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness. The organization is an affiliate of the national NAMI organization and has been serving Orange County since 1979.
NAMI OC offers a variety of services and programs, including:
- Support groups: The organization provides support groups for individuals living with mental illness, as well as for family members and caregivers.
- Educational programs: NAMI OC offers educational programs on mental health topics, including classes on understanding mental illness, managing symptoms, and navigating the mental health system.
- Advocacy: The organization advocates for policies and programs that support individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI OC also works to reduce stigma and discrimination.
- Helpline: NAMI OC has a helpline that provides information, referrals, and support for individuals and families affected by mental illness. Call 714-991-6412 any time for emotional support and resources.
- Community outreach: The organization participates in community outreach events to raise awareness about mental health and to connect individuals and families with resources and support.
What Does a Health and Wellness Non-Profit Do?
A health and wellness nonprofit is an organization that focuses on promoting health and wellness within a community n. Some examples of the activities that a health and wellness nonprofit might engage in include:
- Educating the public on healthy behaviors: This may include providing workshops or training sessions on topics like exercise, healthy eating, stress management, or disease prevention. Making healthy lifestyle changes helps reduce the prevalence of chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Advocating for policies that support health: A health and wellness nonprofit might work to pass legislation that promotes healthy behaviors – laws requiring schools to provide nutritious meals, for instance, or regulations that limit the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.
- Providing access to healthcare: Many health and wellness nonprofits work to improve access to healthcare services for underserved populations like low-income individuals and families, immigrants, or those living in isolated rural areas.
- Conducting research: Some health and wellness nonprofits conduct research to further understand the root causes of common health problems and develop effective interventions.
- Providing direct services: Some health and wellness non-profits deliver direct services to individuals, from counseling and support groups to exercise classes.
What Needs Do Health and Wellness Non-Profits Meet?
Health and wellness non-profits play a vital role in meeting a variety of needs within a community or population.
Many people face barriers to accessing healthcare, whether due to financial, geographic, or other factors. Health and wellness nonprofits can help to dismantle these barriers by providing resources or services that connect people with the care they need.
Oftentimes, health problems are preventable or can be managed effectively with early detection or lifestyle changes. Health and wellness nonprofits can help to raise awareness about these issues and provide education and resources to empower people to make healthier choices.
For many people, dealing with a health problem or managing a chronic condition can be overwhelming and isolating. Health and wellness nonprofits offer a supportive community where people can connect with others undergoing similar experiences and find the help and resources they need.
Beyond this, health and wellness nonprofits often support research and innovation in areas like disease prevention, pioneering treatments, and improved healthcare delivery models.
How To Get Help or Volunteer at a Health and Wellness Non-Profit
If you are interested in getting help or volunteering at a health and wellness non-profit, there are several steps you can take to make this happen:
- Research non-profits in your area: Start by researching nonprofits in your local area that focus on health and wellness. You can do this by searching online, asking for recommendations from friends or family, or reaching out to local health organizations or government agencies directly.
- Contact the nonprofit: Once you have identified a nonprofit that you are interested in helping, reach out to them to inquire about volunteer opportunities or services they offer. You can usually find contact information on their website or social media pages.
- Attend an orientation or training: Many nonprofits require volunteers to attend an orientation or training session before they can start volunteering. This will give you a more thorough understanding of the organization’s mission, values, and procedures, as well as any training or certification requirements.
- Volunteer your time and skills: There are many ways to volunteer at a health and wellness nonprofit, depending on your skills and interests. Some examples include assisting with fundraising events, providing administrative support, serving as a mentor or counselor, or helping to deliver health education programs.
- Seek help when needed: If you are seeking help from a health and wellness nonprofit, reach out to them directly to inquire about the services they offer. Many nonprofits offer free or low-cost services to those in need, but you will need to reach out and ask for help when you need it.
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