Today, Well Being Trust (WBT) announced $8.5 million in new grants as the second round of grants to mental health and well-being initiatives in California.
“Mental health challenges do not exist in isolation—they are intertwined with chronic health conditions, lack of safe and clean housing, substance use disorders, economic and transportation deficiencies and a myriad of other issues,” said Tyler Norris, MDiv, chief executive, Well Being Trust. “With both rounds of grants, we intend to meet people where they are and where they need help and focus on all of the issues that impact one’s mental health and well-being.”
As in the first round, for round two, Well Being Trust worked with California-based partners to identify the most significant areas of need and the community-level programs that could provide substantial health and well-being improvements across the state. Some of these initiatives include:
- The Cambodian Family Community Center’s Body, Mind, and Spiritual Wellness Program (Santa Ana, CA): This program will bring together services from a diverse group of partners—including Families Together of Orange County, the Minnie Street Family Resource Center, and St. Joseph Hospital of Orange—to reduce stigma around mental health and increase access to mental health care services for underserved, low-income Cambodian populations, who have been impacted by the Cambodian genocide. The program will conduct community outreach through a culturally- and linguistically-tailored approach and provide spiritual, physical, and creative opportunities to promote community connectedness and mental well-being.
- Providence Saint John's Health Center’s Community Care Coordination Program for Vulnerable Patients (Santa Monica, CA): This program brings together The People Concern, St. Joseph Center, and Venice Family Clinic to provide intensive patient navigation and case management for high needs individuals experiencing homelessness, ensuring a smooth transition from the Emergency Department to community services. Case managers at The People Concern and St. Joseph Center will work with social workers, other case managers, and community care coordinators at Saint John's Health to develop a coordinated care plan for individuals and establish a permanent medical home at Venice Family Clinic.
- The California State University Northridge Foundation’s Counseling Services for the Catholic School Collaborative (Northridge, CA): This program seeks to provide mental health services for parents, students and families at four K-12 Catholic Schools in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. Many of the students attending the target schools are low-income from first generation Mexican and Central American families.
- St. Joseph Queen of the Valley Community Outreach Department’s Building and Strengthening Community-wide Systems for Preventing and Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Napa, CA): This grantee is building a collaborative of community-based nonprofits, public serving agencies, and health care providers to develop a countywide approach to addressing ACEs. The collaborative will focus on developing provider training and education; strategies to integrate mental health services into school district wellness programs; and supportive interventions around mental health in county Emergency Departments. It will also expand substance misuse counseling for pregnant women.
In the first round of grants, WBT issued $10 million in grants, including to COTS, a Sonoma County-based nonprofit focused on helping people find and keep housing. With WBT funding, COTS created a Coordinated Care pilot program focused on reducing stigma associated with homelessness, mental illness, and substance misuse.
Within the pilot, a client first undergoes a detailed assessment conducted by a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) to uncover the client’s primary barriers to housing. Once barriers are identified and agreed upon, the LCSW creates a customized Care Plan and provides a warm handoff to a COTS Housing Navigator who uses the plan to guide housing search and placement.
The Housing Navigator also facilitates additional handoffs to income development and benefits services, mental health services, and physical health services. Additionally, funding supported the creation of software to track and manage interactions between care partners, staff, and outreach personnel, empowering a client with access to information.
To date, 46 percent of participants exited the program into permanent housing or institutional setting (29 percent permanent housing and 17 percent institutional setting including nursing home, treatment center, or psychiatric facility).
“The Coordinated Care pilot has transformed our approach to clients, making us more flexible, responsive, and effective in meeting their needs. It has even changed the way we see our clients and, subsequently, how the clients see themselves,” said Brian Bricker, COTS’ Chief Operating Officer. “Coordinated Care has really become a philosophy here, not a program. Our staff and our care partners in the community are all working together to ensure each client’s path is customized to their particular needs.”
Well Being Trust is a national foundation dedicated to advancing the mental, social, and spiritual health of the nation. Created to include participation from organizations across sectors and perspectives, Well Being Trust is committed to innovating and addressing the most critical mental health challenges facing America, and to transforming individual and community well-being. www.wellbeingtrust.org. Twitter: @WellBeingTrust