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2021 Youth Mental Health and Wellness Mini-Grants Awarded to Cambridge Programs

June 10, 2021

The Cambridge Public Health Department is pleased to announce the recipients of the first-ever Youth Mental Health and Wellness mini-grant awards. This spring, the department awarded a total of $6,000 to six organizations around Cambridge who are providing support and programming to 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 age 12-18.  
 
“Supporting young people is an investment in long-term prevention and is an important step in addressing the residual effects youth will experience because of the pandemic,” said Mary Kowalczuk, manager of substance use prevention programs for the Cambridge Public Health Department. “We see the mini-grants as a way to partner with youth-serving organizations and hope these projects will strengthen efforts to support teens during this time.”
 
The 2021 mini-grant awardees and their projects are:
 
  • CCTV for its project, “Through Their Eyes,” in which youth will create a short series of profiles of peers who will reflect on their experiences living through this pandemic and its impacts on their mental health.  
  • Cambridge Community Center to support the Mental Health ACCESS Program speaker series. The Mental Health ACCESS (Advancement of Culturally Competent Education to Stop Stigma) program is designed to expose Black teens in Cambridge to mental health professions; provide psychoeducation about mental illness/health and its relevance; destigmatize mental illness and mental health treatment; and foster interest in pursuing post-secondary education and/or careers in mental health.
  • Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV) to update its training volunteer curriculum. The updated  training materials will be used by CSV staff to educate volunteers about the specific social and emotional needs of adolescents to help them build a healthy and supportive relationship with the student with whom they will be working.   
  • East End House’s Middle School Program Self-Care Unit. Staff will create and implement a self-care unit focusing on building skills to support mental health and wellness with young people. Student voices will be used when creating the topics of discussion to ensure the students are receiving the support they need.
  • Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s Mental Health Empowerment Group plans to create and provide comprehensive resources to engage youth and families around multilingual, multicultural access and awareness of mental health services.
  • Community Art Center for its project “Mindfulness, Meditation and Movement for Teens.”  This project aims to conduct a pilot comprehensive mental health session and evaluation with the goal of creating a progressive, institutionalized mental health programming that is integrated into all of its youth programs.
 
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 mkowalczuk@challiance.org or 617-665-3865.
MEDIA CONTACT

Suzy Feinberg, MPH
Public Information Officer
617-665-3833
sfeinberg@challiance.org


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