East County News Service
December 3, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Kaiser Permanente Southern California announced a $6 million, five-year Community Mental Health and Wellness Initiative with an immediate Local Partnership Grant (LPG) grant allocation of $1.28 million to combat and improve access to mental health services. The initial grant allocation is funding a group of two-year grants to support 16 nonprofit community partners working to improve mental health and wellness in under-resourced Southern California communities.
“The prevalence of mental illness is significant and growing in Southern California and across the country,” said John Yamamoto, vice president, Community Health & Government Relations, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals/Health Plan. “For adults and youths affected by mental illness, the effects can be devastating, increasing their risk for serious medical conditions, diminished quality of life, and even suicide. These grants are designed to address the mental health needs within our most under-resourced communities by funding trusted nonprofit organizations that serve these areas and populations.”
In Kaiser Permanente’s continued efforts to improve mental health and wellness in the communities it serves, it once again identified mental and behavioral health as a top community health initiative.
The grant will award approximately $80,000 to each of the 16 nonprofit community partners to aid these organizations that are representing the clinical, social service, advocacy, public, and primary and secondary school sector in Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. These organizations’ efforts include:
- Improving access and connection to care to mental health services in clinical and community settings.
- Enhancing and building the current and emerging mental health workforce to meet community mental health needs.
- Reducing self, public, and institutional mental health stigma and boosting resilience in individuals, communities, and organizations.
Every day, millions of adults and youths with mental health issues struggle in silence, either because they cannot get the appropriate care or are too ashamed to seek help. Mental health disorders are among the most common health conditions faced by Americans and Californians, with nearly one in five American adults experiencing mental illness and one half of all chronic mental illness beginning by age 14.
Kaiser Permanente’s mental health and wellness initiative seeks to address these issues in communities through improving equitable access to high-quality care and reducing the effects of mental health stigma. Some of the grantees supported by this funding have found unique ways to address mental health through a grassroots approach directly into at-riskcommunities. An example can be seen through one of Kaiser Permanente’s mental health grant recipients in San Diego County, Cajon Valley School District was awarded an $80,000 grant to provide counseling services at Cajon Valley Middle School for refugee students from several countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria over a 2-year period.
Students at Cajon Valley Middle School will benefit from an onsite mental health therapist who will provide mental health services to help refugee students enhance their social-emotional well-being and academic development. Cajon Valley Union School District will partner with Survivors of Torture International an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for survivors of politically motivated torture and their families who live in San Diego County.
The complete list of all 16 community grant recipients of the Local Partnership Grant are:
- Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
- San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
- Mental Health of America of Los Angeles (MHALA)
- National Alliance for Mental Illness Orange County
- Cajon Valley Union School District
- The Achievable Foundation
- Jewish Family Service of the Desert
- Foothill Family Services
- California State University, Bakersfield
- California State University, San Bernardino
- Family Service Association
- Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc.
- Riverside University Health System Foundation
- Mental Health of America of Los Angeles – Antelope Valley
- Coalition for Human Immigrants Rights of Los Angeles
- Village Family Services (VFS)
To learn more about Cajon Valley Union School District: https://www.cajonvalley.net/.
To learn more about Survivors or Torture International: https://notorture.org.