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Oakland, Calif., July 2– Today, Well Being Trust (WBT) announced $10.25 million in new giving for the final round of grants in the California Mental Health and Wellness Initiative.
“For too long, our nation has kept mental health on the back burner, while the heat has continually been turning up,” said Tyler Norris, MDiv, chief executive, Well Being Trust. “With these grants, we are focusing on scalable solutions for communities across California to ensure that every single person has a chance to be well and thrive. These initiatives will meet people where they are and focus on the array of issues that impact one’s mental health and well-being—from earning a livable wage, to healthy housing, to equitable access to quality health care.”
As with previous grant rounds of this initiative, Well Being Trust worked with California-based partners to identify the most significant areas of need and opportunity at the state level, as well as community-level initiatives that could provide substantial improvements. Some of these initiatives include:
In all, this round of grants addresses specific needs as well as structural elements that explicitly limit the advancement of mental health at a system level, including financing, policy, and cross-sector collaboration; lay a foundation for better assessing work specific to mental health in California by creating tangible data platforms, innovative initiatives and models, and research; and aligns strategic partners at multiple levels to maximize the change opportunity in California.
“Combined, these 26 grants have the power to improve the mental health and well-being of countless children, adolescents, adults, families, and caregivers. By focusing on the current mental health needs of vulnerable populations and, at the same time, the root causes that are preventing good mental health and well-being for so many Californians, we can make immediate and long-lasting impacts, and do our part to secure the vital conditions for intergenerational well-being for all,” said Norris.
In the first round of California grants, in 2017, WBT invested $11.25 million across 24 initiatives, including to COTS, a Sonoma County-based nonprofit that created a Coordinated Care pilot initiative focused on reducing stigma associated with homelessness, mental illness, and substance misuse. Within the pilot, a client first undergoes a detailed assessment conducted to uncover primary barriers to housing. Once barriers are identified and agreed upon, a licensed clinical social worker 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.
In the second round of grants, in 2018, WBT issued $8.5 million to 21 initiatives, including to The Cambodian Family Community Center’s Body, Mind, and Spiritual Wellness Program in Santa Ana, CA, which brought 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.
Over the last three years, Well Being Trust has invested $30 million to more than 60 California community- and state-level initiatives.
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