Healdsburg, CA, March 23, 2022 – The Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County today announced grants totaling $100,000 to be distributed to three local organizations that provide mental health services and resilience training. The recipients of the grants are SOS Community Counseling ($25K), Side by Side ($25K), and the Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation (IMCF) for its Imagine You initiative ($50K).
The funds will support increased access to mental and behavioral health services for vulnerable and underserved populations across northern Sonoma County. The grants to SOS and Side by Side are each for general operating support, providing these community-based nonprofits with the flexibility to determine where the funds can do the most good.
SOS has said it will use the grant to expand its services in Windsor, including group and individual counseling services and its innovative “Team Success” mental health and early intervention program, thereby strengthening the relationship between its youth diversion program—which also operates in Healdsburg and Cloverdale—and the local Windsor school system.
“We are committed to North County and collaborating with other community-based organizations to bolster the mental health of all our students,” said SOS Executive Director Becky Ennis. “We plan to add a physical site in Windsor, which will act as a home base for our clinicians, who work with the whole community to support school students and their families to live healthy, productive lives.”
“These last years have added tremendous stress and life challenges to our youth, particularly our BIPOC youth,” said Side by Side Program Director Denisse Mendoza. “These additional resources come at an extremely important and opportune time to be making the early mental and behavioral health interventions that can ensure the young people of our region can grow and thrive. Side by Side’s services are both community and school-based and focused on supporting the most marginalized and under-resourced youth in our community. In addition to funding critical but non-billable case management services, this grant will help us attract and retain more bilingual and bicultural licensed therapists.”
The grant to Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation will go to building out the organization’s Imagine You Resilience Skills curriculum in Spanish, in a process involving two northern Sonoma County partner organizations to make sure the content, concepts, and delivery are truly culturally responsive.
Since the 2017 wildfires and the pandemic onset in early 2020, local mental and behavioral health resources are stretched thin and are unable to meet the increasing demand for local staff support and retention, as staff and volunteers of organizations serving the Latinx community in Sonoma County have experienced tremendous burnout and compassion fatigue. The Imagine You training aims to protect and enhance these community assets by boosting their resilience, increasing their capacity, and mitigating the vicarious trauma they absorb.
“We are thrilled and grateful to receive this endorsement of the work we are doing in the community,” said IMCF Executive Director Cynthia Calmenson. “While many disaster case workers, home caregivers, Promotores, early learning providers, and other staff serving our Latino community are bilingual, presenting the Imagine You curriculum in Spanish relieves them of the additional burden of code-switching when working with clients.”
“This is critical work being done at a critical time” said Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Kim Bender. “These three organizations are making an outsized contribution to the mental health of our region and particularly for our most vulnerable residents. We could not be more proud to support their efforts.”
About the Healthcare Foundation
The Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County connects people and resources to promote wellness in underserved communities. We do this by supporting nonprofits in the areas of access to healthcare and mental health, with a vision of eliminating health inequities in our region. The organization’s values center on community, compassion, and equity. All our strategies support equitable access to culturally sensitive healthcare and mental health services and promote overall community wellness. Founded in 2001, the Healthcare Foundation has invested more than $27 million to build a healthier region for all who live, work and play in northern Sonoma County. For more information, visit healthcarefoundation.net.
Media Contact: Kim Bender, Executive Director