History of The Circle of Friends

The Circle

The Circle

The Solano Wellness and Recovery Program is administrated by Solano Network of Mental Health Consumers/ Circle of Friends (CoF).  Circle of Friends provides peer programs that serve adults with lived experience in behavioral mental health and who reside in Solano Counties.

Our members come from diverse segments of the community.  Services promote empowerment, wellness and recovery, continuing education; employment services, social and recreational activities, volunteering, and independent thinking in a comfortable, safe and compassionate environment.  Our underlying goal is to assist mental health peers to become healthier, stay well, and become a vital part of the community.

The Solano Network of Mental Health Consumers / Circle of Friends

The Solano Network of Mental Health Consumers/Circle of Friends was formed in 1992  and incorporated by and for peers in 1995 as a 501c3 self-help organization operated by and for mental health peers with the most serious types of mental illness. Since then, we have provided peer-directed and peer-managed self-help, wellness and recovery services.

From 1992-2006, Circle of Friends developed and ran three centers in Solano County, including the primarily Latino-oriented Dixon center, which was funded by The California Endowment. Circle of Friends ran a "bi-lingual warm line", which was operated by and for peers at the Dixon center. During this period, a Wellness and Recovery Action Plan® , based on the work of Mary Ellen Copeland, was introduced to Solano County. These Plans were peer-developed and included instructions for contacting the Crisis Center, should psychiatric interventions be necessary. We also provided consultation services to peer-based organizations in California and beyond.  By 2005-06, we were serving a minimum of 200 peers per day and 500-600 unduplicated peers annually.

In the Spring of 2007, Circle of Friends was awarded an ongoing contract under the Mental Health Services Act to establish and operate a drop-in adult resource center in Napa County.  Formal program activities began in February 2008 at the Napa site which has since closed. These program activities, which won the first Joe Mortz Memorial Spotlight on Excellence commendation, "The Best in the state of California," in August 30, 2013, from the California External Quality Review Organization (through the California State Mental Health Department) continue today at our new Fairfield Wellness and Recovery Center.

Circle of Friends opened another location at 349 Travis Blvd. Fairfield CA. 94533 in 2014. The Center serves over 60 peers per day 6 days a week.  In 2016 the peers changed the name of the center to, The Circle. In 2017, we opened a new Center at 185 Chandler St., Vacaville, to accommodate peers living there. November 7, 2017, we  celebrated our 25th Anniversary of community service and commitment to serving those with mental illness to find their quality of life.