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Monday, Jan 30, 2023
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Dignity, UniHealth Investment

Dignity Health, UniHealth Foundation and Southern California school districts are partnering, with the help of $4 million in grant funding, to train school staff and parents about mental health for at-risk youth. School staff and parents trained in the Cultural Trauma and Mental Health Resiliency Project will learn how to identify mental distress, address the impacts of trauma, and reduce stigma surrounding mental wellbeing through education and awareness, Dignity said in a statement. Nine organizations, including five in the Valley area, have been chosen to receive a portion of the project’s first year in funding: $759,000. The organizations will train 80 staff who will then train 7,200 individuals throughout Los Angeles and San Bernadino counties, Dignity said. Organizations include the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center Inc.; Tarzana Treatment Centers Inc.; National Alliance of Mental Illness San Fernando Valley; National Alliance of Mental Illness Glendale; and Glendale Youth Alliance. Grant money will see the project through three years, Dignity said, but grantees will need to apply for consideration each year. New organizations may benefit from the grant in the next two years. Dignity Health staff from its six Southern California hospitals will also be taught how to deliver mental health awareness training. “Our health is affected by poverty, racism, adverse childhood experiences and violence,” said Dr. Lynn Yonekura, director of community health at Dignity Health – California Hospital Medical Center. “We know that trauma and mental health issues can contribute to stress-related illnesses, such as mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders and suicide. Linking youth to the mental health resources they need is one way we are helping schools to decrease disciplinary referrals, decrease the suicide rate, decrease absenteeism and increase on-time graduation.”

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