To serve as an essential aspect of the community for local youth, the Bright Vista Youth Center opened its doors in Colusa last week.
Haley Amundson, marketing and administrative specialist for Colusa County Behavioral Health, said the facility was brainstormed between the Mental Health Services Act staff, Jeannie Scroggins and Mayra Puga.
“There are few recreational or social activities for youth to participate in that are outside of the school setting,” said Amundson. “This is a safe place for youth to socialize in a structured and supervised setting while learning new skills.”
According to Amundson, the facility has a variety of activities for youth to participate in, including a gaming system, foosball table, air hockey, numerous board games, and arts and craft projects.
“Snacks, daily groups and/or wellness workshops will be offered, as well as school supplies and tutoring if needed,” said Amundson. “As we grow and get to know our youth, field trips will be offered to support educational and career interests. There is access to a full kitchen under the supervision of a staff member. For our readers, we will have a ‘take a book, leave a book’ section available.”
Bright Vista, located at 304 Fifth St. in Colusa, is open to all Colusa County youth ages 12 to 17.
During the summer, the facility’s operating hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4p.m. When school starts, Amundson said the facility’s hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3-6 p.m., Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Amundson said Bright Vista is funded by Mental Health Services Act Prevention and Early Intervention making this program a free resource for the community.
“Youth are welcome to access and utilize the youth center once a membership packet is completed with their caregiver,” said Amundson. “County staff will always be onsite during operating hours to supervise youth, assist with activities and groups, meet with parents, and answer any questions about the program.”
The youth center is a partnership between Colusa County Department of Behavioral Health, Probation, Health & Human Services, and the Colusa County Office of Education, according to Amundson.
“We hope to get established in the community and grow our number of youth participants,” said Amundson. “The success of the program along with available MHSA (Mental Health Services Act) funding may lead to expansion in the future.”