Healthcare Foundation

Wildfire Mental Health Collaborative Update

An update message from our CEO,

I wanted to give you an quick update on The Wildfire Mental Health Collaborative  and ask for your help in getting the word out about a convening of wildfire survivor mental health services providers – and mapping of services. Please share the info!

The Wildfire Mental Health Collaborative is now rolling out several of the planned strategies available to nonprofits, mental health professionals and survivors to use in serving wildfire survivors’ mental health needs.

  • First training was underwritten and provided SPR (Skills for Psychological Skills) –  training for 135 professionals from all walks of life from nonprofits, hospitals, clinics, closed systems and private practitioners for the 12 hour training.  The cost was paid for by donations to the Collaborative – except for $40 fee for CEUs —  which the professional associations are graciously donating back into the Collaborative. A second training is planned for June, with emphasis on nonprofits, clinics, and school mental health professionals.
  • More than 1/3 of those participating mental health professionals signed up to provide FREE care to survivors and will be among those first referred by NAMI.
  • These SPR trained professionals can now be deployed for two hour facilitated community sessions with up to 20 participants for neighborhoods, churches, etc. to take folks through psycho-educational learning and resiliency building tools.
  • A initial grant of $40,000 was made to NAMI to extend its hours of service to now be 7am to 7pm and include some weekend hours (more to build as volume builds). We have committed more for expansion as needed.
  • The bilingual website will be launched soon – hopefully, next week. This site provides assessment, response strategies and resiliency building tools that can be used alone or in consultation with a professional therapist. It refers people who need more services to NAMI for referral to SPR trained professionals and nonprofit services.
  • Drop-in sessions have been held for several months now at Catholic Charities and CHD Healdsburg and we are expanding the locations – if you know of free locations where these facilitated sessions can occur – please let Alex Reed know (
  • The pilot program of the trauma informed yoga and iRest meditation sessions has gone very well this first month. Each week showed growing attendance of fire survivors who attended and gave glowing feedback on the usefulness to their recovery. More locations will be offered around the county for this strategy. If you know of yoga studios that will donate their space twice a week and allow use of their props for fire survivors, please let Alex Reed know (
  • We are in contract discussions with the developers of the bilingual app (this truly democratizes service delivery to teens, low income and undocumented folks) so when we have the grant $$ in hand we can move quickly.
  • We’ve developed the research outline and are in conversations with Stanford and the VA to provide the research component that will inform future disaster response strategies for our own community and the nation.
  • The Collaborative is working hand in hand with Sonoma County’s CCP FEMA outreach to provide access through NAMI for referral to mental health support.
  • The Collaborative is supporting the ROC’s emotional, spiritual and physical committee to share and access services through NAMI and use NAMI as the referral source to avoid creating duplication.

The feedback we received last week from block captains of the burned out areas validated that these evidence based strategies are right on point for what survivors want and need.

We’ve submitted grant requests to foundations, corporation and individual donors and are at almost 1/3 of the total $1 million we need for year one – with several large prospective gifts pending. If you know of funders who might be interested, please do share that contact information with me. An updated summary and budget is attached as an FYI.

In addition, we know that so many nonprofits are offering wonderful services on their own, as well. It is important for us to pause, come together, and map the full extent of resources and services being offered, to increase collaboration and cross referral. By doing so, we deepen NAMI’s ability to refer survivors to services, expand our sector’s connectivity and broaden our service to those in need in our community.

Please feel welcome to join on us on May 22, 2018 from 9 am to 11:30 am for a mapping session where we can share the resources available from the Wildfire Mental Health Collaborative – and map those offered nonprofits, as well.


The location of the meeting is at:

Social Advocates for Youth, 2447 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Please RSVP to  Please share this with other colleagues of nonprofits offering mental health services to wildfire survivors, too.

For information, contact Alex Reed –

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Warmest regards,

Debbie Mason

Allie Murillo

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