June 29, 2022

2022 Youth Mental Health and Wellness Mini-Grants Awarded to Cambridge Organizations

June 29, 2022

The Cambridge Public Health Department is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Youth Mental Health and Wellness mini-grant awards. This spring, the department awarded a total of $12,000 to six organizations around Cambridge who are providing support and programming for the well-being of Cambridge youth. 

The funding is intended to support initiatives in Cambridge that promote youth mental health and wellness, with a focus on youth ages 12-18.   

“Supporting youth mental health in Cambridge is a top priority,” said Mary Kowalczuk, manager of Mental and Behavioral Health Promotion at the Cambridge Public Health Department. “We hope that these mini-grants will help strengthen and sustain efforts in supporting youths in Cambridge.”  

The 2022 mini-grant awardees and their projects are:

  • HEART Jr., Middle School Edition: Designed by a soon-to-be-middle schooler, this program will help teach kids how to deal with situations involving conflict and how to identify their emotions. The program hopes to help young people find ways to work through emotions, without harming themselves or others.
  • CCTV, Reflections on a Pandemic 2 Years Later: Provides a forum in which students openly reflect on their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years. This project will open up a safe space for teens to share the good and the bad impacts the pandemic had on their mental health. These testimonials will help raise awareness and capture this very important moment in time as a learning experience. 
  • Cambridge Camping Association, Enhancing Trauma Sensitive Care: Aims to build the capacity of Cambridge Camping staff. Professional development opportunities will be open to all Cambridge Camping staff, seasonal and year-round, but will be designed specifically for those working with youth who need meaningful therapeutic support. 
  • Agassiz Baldwin Community, CIT Program: Will support a Counselor in Training (CIT) Mentor Teacher to help CITs problem solve as issues arise, provide individualized feedback and support, and lead daily meetings with the group to discuss important mental health and wellness topics, specifically stress management. 
  • Community Arts Center, Children’s Yoga Project: Will expand the center’s children’s yoga program to include strategies for coping with stress and trauma, including mind-body awareness.
  • Gately Youth Center, 8th Grade Transition Program: Supports a 13-week youth development.
    internship focused on providing information and activities around wellness practices, connection to community and resources, organizational and life skills, etc. in order to support the transition to high school and continued support-seeking throughout high school.

The grants were awarded through a competitive process and reviewed by representatives from nonprofits, city departments, residents, teens, and staff from the Cambridge Public Health Department. 

For more information about the mini-grant program, please contact Mary Kowalczuk at the Cambridge Public Health Department at [email protected] or 617-665-3865.